still more mITX musings

So a quick follow-up to my last post (my wanting a mini ITX motherboard with thunderbolt) it seems that Zotac might actually be working on one, but well, it’s Zotac, so it won’t have anywhere near the quality/polish, feature set, or reliability of a board like the Asus Maximus VI Impact.

While I’m musing on all of this, I suppose I should explain that I really don’t see my request being all that challenging, especially given the design of the current Impact motherboard, it’s already perfect for it:

  1. The Impact only exposes four of the six possible SATA III ports to the user. This is fine, now just ditch the stupid eSATA port, and switch the Z87 PCH to the 6/8/4 configuration (i.e. 6x USB 3.0, 8x pcie 2.0 lanes, 4x SATA III ports.)
  2. And next, configure those 8x pcie 2.0 lanes as follows:
    1. 1 lane to the integrated intel gigabit nic (required.)
    2. 1 lane to the mpcie side of the mCombo II card (e.g. wifi/bluetooth.)
    3. 2 lanes to the ngff/m.2 side of the mCombo II card for ~1GB/second SSD speeds.
    4. 4 lanes to a dual-port thunderbolt controller. Assuming everything intel has said about thunderbolt 2.0 is actually true, then four pcie 2.0 lanes should still be enough bandwidth to support falcon-ridge/thunderbolt 2.0, since it’s enough to support dual-port cactus-ridge/1.0 controllers.
  3. Lastly, re-arrange the back-panel to fit the dual thunderbolt ports. Since we’re removing the eSATA port, shift the remaining two USB 3.0 ports up to the height of the adjacent usb 2.0 port block, and stack the thunderbolt ports underneath.

Really that would be the perfect motherboard for a small form factor system.

another motherboard plea…

While I have no illusions that this will actually be read or acted on by motherboard manufacturers (just like my previous open letter!) I can at least dream, right?

So, I’ve recently decided that apple is doing one thing right with the new Mac Pro, and that’s the small size, though again, I feel it’s better suited to a prosumer market, and not really a working professional (especially in light of the new Nvidia Quadro K6000, the Mac Pro sorely needs that card instead of the FirePro.)

Anyway, on to my plea, please Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, etc., give us a mini-ITX motherboard with dual thunderbolt ports.

Imagine this board, but rearrange the “impact control” daughter board so that underneath it fits 2 thunderbolt ports.

Pair that with a Quadro K6000 (or a GTX Titan for home users), Xeon E3-1295v3 (or 4770k), 16GB RAM (ECC unbuffered for the Xeon, plain DDR3 ~2400Mhz for 4770k), and the amazing crowd-funded Ncase M1:

That would make a crazy awesome, powerful, and stylish little hackintosh.

adb screencap function

So regardless of being a failure at pretty much everything, I still like to tinker and tweak my android phones pretty regularly, and one thing I rather hate is the need to open DDMS/Monitor to take a screenshot.

Well, a few days ago I found a great tip on this site: http://blog.shvetsov.com/2013/02/grab-android-screenshot-to-computer-via.html

And quickly decided to expand on it a bit for my own personal use, and thought I’d share my final implementation here in case anyone might use it.

Just add the following function to your .bashrc or .zshrc file and either re-start your shell, or re-source the file (e.g. source $HOME/.zshrc) to be able to use the “adbss” command.

# setup a simple adb screenshot function
adbss () {
    local file="$(/bin/date +"%d-%b-%Y_%I.%M.%S").png"
    local dir="$HOME/Downloads/adb_screencaps"
    if [[ ! -d $dir ]]; then
        mkdir -p "${dir}"
    fi
    adb shell screencap -p | perl -pe 's/\x0D\x0A/\x0A/g' > "$dir/$file"
}

And of course to change the directory the screencaps are stored in, just edit the “local dir=…” line with the path to the directory of your choosing.

Anyway, I’ve tested this with the default BASH 3.2.48 shipped with OS X 10.8, BASH 4.2.52 (built by homebrew), and ZSH 5.0.2 (also built by homebrew) and it works fine in all three.