[nSLUG] [Fwd: Power supplies et al]

Ben Armstrong synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
Sun Sep 12 14:50:43 ADT 2010

We're looking into why Eastlink messages are getting blocked and will 
have the problem solved shortly.  Sorry about that.

Here's one that didn't get through:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Power supplies et al
Date: 	Sat, 11 Sep 2010 10:08:56 -0300
From: 	Jim Haliburton <jim at on-site.ns.ca>
Reply-To: 	jim at on-site.ns.ca
Organization: 	On-Site Computer Services - Halifax
To: 	dlpotter at eastlink.ca


I have tried to reply to the nslug list and now it appears to be blocking some
mail from eastlink.  Could you post or forward this e-mail to the list asking
the moderator to unblock my addressjim at on-site.ns.ca

I have a long post I have tried to send but have been blocked each time.

Here is that post

David Potter asked about power supplies.

Most tower cases use a standard size and shape power supply.  Generic
replacements are readily available that just bolt in.  Connectors all fit and
the power supplies can be purchased at many places.

SFF or Small Form Factor cases, such as the low profile IBM, Dell, HP/Compaq,
Acer desktops, and the slim towers from the same vendors usually have a unique
size and shape power supply,  peculiar to the brand and model of computer. Some

do not.  Some thankfully have generic power supplies.

This is  the same with the mini-ITX cases.  The power supplies are non-
standard, not-stocked, and when you can find them usually very expensive.
Consider that most mini-ITX cases have at most a 250 watt power supply, yet the

cases with power supply cost as much as twice the cost of a generic tower case.

Recently I purchased some off lease IBM low profile desktops.  Within 60 days
the power supply of one failed.  Now I had paid less than $100.00 for this unit

with XP Pro Cof A.  It would cost me over $60.00 US plus freight to get a used
power supply.  I just replaced the unit.  It was cheaper because I would not
have to spend any time on it.  I unplugged the hard disk and moved it to
another identical unit.  Fixed.

The worst part of the story is the motherboard in the unit, although working
perfectly, cannot be moved to a generic case because it has non-standard
mounting holes.  It also has a non-standard proprietary rear back plate.  Now
you see why I have made it a rule to never buy any more of these units for my
clients.  I have made it very clear to the local wholesalers that bring these
units in that this type is not acceptable and I will not buy any more.  I
cannot in good faith supply these to clients knowing that spares are made of

This also would usually apply to used rack and blade units that might be
available.  In my estimation the only resale value of any of  these non-
standard type of units is to someone who has a goodly number of the same and
wants some for spare parts use.  I regard selling 1s and 2s to a business as a

So when looking at a used unit of any make, even if it is free, non-standard
mounting holes, non-standard power supplies or even fan assemblies may make the

unit a poor risk.  It would be very frustrating to spend days getting a unit
installed and tweaked to your own preferences, and then have a simple thing
like a power supply die, possibly making much of your work wasted.

I mean no disrespect to those offering various Sun, DEC or other old, but
working units.  Be wary.  They are out of service for good reasons.  Usually
the spare parts availability or power consumption and therefore heat issues
have lead the users to take them out of service.  I was offered some big DEC
Vax units once.  They were FREE.  They were very powerful!!  But they did need
water cooling.  I was tempted, just to have them to play with, but I
respectfully declined their generous offer.

Jim H

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