Meanwhile, I've been working on two projects: testing server CPUs, and benchmarking desktop GPUs. I typically don't interleave testing work between two different things, but this week has been strange. Now, if only I could turn this interleaving into productive multitasking, I'd really have something.
Instead of being productive yesterday, though, I was trying to get my spiffy new digital power meter, a Yokogawa WT210, up and running.
This meter is approved by SPEC for SPECpower testing, and it should be somewhat more accurate than the Extech I've used in the past. But getting the thing talking to a computer for logging purposes has been more of an adventure than I expected. Turns out this advanced piece of equipment outputs data via, yes, a 25-pin serial port. The Extech requires a serial connection, too, but at least it's a 9-pin—and old enough to have an excuse. Some digging in the prodigious Damage Labs storage area produced a 25-pin to 25-pin RS-232 cable, along with some 3dfx Voodoo VGA pass-through cables and various other assorted uselessness, but nothing that converts from 25 pins to 9 pins in the right genders. So I ran out to the store and bought an adapter, only to discover after the fact that the Yokogawa wants a null modem cable. As if it were a computer or something! That led to an order on Newegg, 'cause wow, I haven't seen one of those for over a decade. Maybe I can Laplink to the power meter and keep all of my settings.
I will be taking suggestions in the comments for this evening's Friday Night Topic. The parameters will be familiar to many of you, but to refresh your memory, we're looking for a topic of discussion—about which people might want to converse—that's not too boring, too inflammatory, or too closely related to the usual tech-oriented mission of the site. If you have ideas, let us know. The FNT would be more consistent in its appearances if we had a decent cache of potential topics.