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Sunday, February 14, 2010

What is it?

To demonstrate just how romantic geeks can be, I'm posting this on Valentine's Day.  Although my wife and I stopped exchanging gifts on this day many years ago because it's become so commercialized, I did purchase her a gift and it's somewhat unique, so I may take some photos and post them later.  

What is this? I'll give you a useless hint.  It's metal and the little particles are dust. I think this is a really cool photo, but that just reinforces the whole geek thing. 

Canon EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro lens
Exposure 15.0 sec @ f10
ISO 400
Aperture Priority
no adjustments

I used my flash for this.  I had it fire on the second curtain.  In this mode, the flash 'pre-fires' when the shutter opens, then fires again just before the shutter closes.  Pretty slick. 

Give up?  How about a second hint?  It's not going to help.  Different angle showing the relative height.  I kinda like the first one better. 

Canon EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro lens
Exposure 13.0 sec @ f10
ISO 400
Aperture Priority
no adjustments

OK, here's another hint.  Not likely this is going to be much help either.  Most people would not know what it is because they've never seen anything like this before, unless you're a computer geek like me. I shot this one a few days prior using my telephoto, the ones above were with the macro.

Canon EF 24-105mm L f4 IS USM lens
102mm Focal Length
Exposure 1/60 sec @ f4.0
ISO 400
Curves adjusted for contrast
 Give up?  Don't feel bad. 

This is the heat sink from an Intel Pentium II microprocessor that came from a 'vintage' personal computer.  The microprocessor is the chip that runs the instructions generated by a programmer.  Microprocessors consume a lot of power for their size, thus they get very hot.  Heat sinks attach directly to the surface of the microprocessor and have a very large surface area.  This helps move the heat away from the microprocessor helping it remain cool. 

Way more information than you really wanted. 

'Vintage' in computer terms is anything older than about 3 years.  The Pentium II was initially released in May 1997 and the last release was January of 1999, so this baby really fits the 'vintage' bill.


James said...

Cool pictures. I didn't know what it was until the last photo.
I remember going to Radio Shack back around 1977 and watching an older friend write a program that made a stick man dance. I was so amazed. I didn't get my first computer until 1988 and I was very impressed by it's 30MB hard drive, lol. Now that's vintage. :)

Stine in Ontario said...

Hahaha! Yes, I did give up. I NEVER, NEVER would have guessed what it is! But it does make for good photos!

Marka said...

Is that one of those where the processor mounts on a board than attached to the motherboard similar to the was a PCI or AGP device attaches? (I can't think of the proper name for it right now).

I've got two P4 systems, two older systems with clock speeds in the range of 333MHz to 1GHz, and a relatively recent AMD processor that I have yet to make a home for. Along, of course, with boxes of assorted computer components and accessories.

Woody said...

James, The first computer I programmed was a DEC PDP-8 with a whopping 4 Kb (that K as in Kilo) bytes of core memory, which was volatile - turn off the power, memory is wiped. You had to toggle the switches on the front panel to program the thing to be able to read punch tape, then feed the tape in, assemble the program (which took many attempts), then ran the program. 1 hour of prep for a 1 second program execution.

Woody said...

Stine, regardless of what they are, they look cool!

Woody said...

Marka, You are correct! The processor is a module that plugs into a connector that resembles a PCI connector, only longer.

You can't have too many computers! The one I have been photographing was my old weather computer. It pulls data from my weather station, formats it in html, then uploads to my weather website ( We bought my oldest son a laptop for his birthday, so his old desktop became the 'new' weather computer and the old weather computer became my photographic experiment. I have more shots to post, when I get to them.

earnest said...

Never fooled me a bit, Wayne... then again I'm a computer engineer or used to be...

Rebecca said...

So I never would have figured it out. My husband is the computer geek in the house, not me!

MikesHandsSay said...

Slot 2!!!

I think Slot > Socket.

I digress. Nice shots tho. I <3 the macro with anything machined/precision.

Anyway, on your sons desktop comment. I was always re-purposing old desktops, but then I realized that they took too much heat/power.
So I decided to pick up 1 of these and could NOT be happier. It draws such a small amount of power.

Powerful and Cheap(but no real graphics support):