I finally installed the new motherboard for Beast. It’s a different chipset but the same CPU and RAM. As expected, GNU/Linux booted from the stock Debian kernel on the first go. I did have to reset the MAC address in my router to give Beast the correct IP address and that was it. I did not even have to worry about which drive was which because they all were identified by UUID. The hard part was getting the damned big hair-drying heat sink attached. My fingers are way too big and my eyes too poor for that kind of work. I was a millimetre or so away from having to remove the PSU to give my fingers more room.
Now I can boot virtual machines in a few seconds and test out all kinds of neat stuff. I have enough RAM for a whole cluster of virtual machines. I spent most of the day fiddling with Beast. It took hours to bring my local repository up to date. In the meantime I cleaned out obsolete files (like openoffice.org and .iso files I don’t need). Since it looks like Beast and I are now officially retired or soon will be, I can embed Beast into the home network a bit, making each client update from Beast and setting up backups of users’ files.
Beast feels really fast. With 3 hard drives it can really seek files much quicker than the notebook with its 2.5 inch drives and less powerful processor. LibreOffice opens in about 1s.
I am getting ready to hunt deer for the first time since 1996. In the North hunting is almost always done from vehicles and I did not have one up there so I have only hunted a couple of times in the years I was teaching in the North. Yesterday my son had a go with a deer rifle and experienced recoil… He fired a few 180 grain bullets from a .308 Winchester and found it accurate enough for gophers. Deer should be a piece of cake. We tried some 220 grain bullets but they did not stabilize in that rifle barrel. Tomorrow muzzle-loading season begins for three weeks. Since muzzle-loading is much less popular than centre-fire, we should have the bush to ourselves when we go out. The big problem will be finding space in the freezer with all those turkeys and vegetables… We might have to buy another freezer if hunting is successful.