My CPU fan had been making loud and obnoxious noises for a long time--it'd run smoothly (but loudly--it was the default AMD brushless fan--crap, but certainly good enough for my piddly 600MHz Duron), and then it would just start grinding. Not going visibly slower, but man, it sucked. Distracting, to say the least. Fooling around with that, long ago, I determined also that the secondary CPU fan (not really sure what is or what it's on top of--smaller thing, has its own housing on the mobo, but the housing doesn't seem conductive) wasn't even spinning.
So when I needed to power down my system to upgrade my AV, I decided to unscrew the (dying) fan and put a different one on (I have a box of standard and semi-standard cpu fans). Popping it off, I was amazed my computer hadn't died the good death years ago--the blades of the heatsink were almost entirely encrusted with dust. The fan's blades themselves were, as well, especially the undersides which hadn't been visible. TRUSTY VACUUM TO THE RESCUE! I vacuumed the #(*$#( out of my computer. Man oh man, it's looking kind of shiny. ;) Then I washed the chincy fan, and filtered through my box for something quieter. I tried a few, and picked a ball bearing one from... I forget who. Ice Cool, maybe?
So much quieter! And it looks like it's moving a lot more air, too. Then I pop off the mini-cooler, which has long seemed rusted cold. Spin, spin, spin, it don't like to spin. WD-40 to the rescue, and recue it did. The thing spins beautifully, now. Cleaned it up, put it back on, and whirrrrrr quiet as a bird (compared to the quieter-than-previous cpu-fan). Woot. :)
The fan on the graphics card isn't spinning, either, but I'll see about dealing with that _next_ powerdown. I have high hopes. =)
I haven't been feeling very accomplished of late, and part of that is now that I'm home the enormity of all the tasks I have in front of me is becoming more apparent. Working from home is not a panacea, and I knew that. But maybe I didn't know it quite as well emotionally--I'm slowly making a lot of progress on things that have needed to be done for half a year to a year, but none of the "glory" items that I spent so much time thinking about when I was working the dayjob. My writing has not increased. My drawing hasn't really increased. My videogames are still all at a standstill. I _am_ sleeping more, and I'm spending more time with Amy (both good things--she's rediscovered the joy of Star Craft, even!), but it's still frustrating, day to day, that I haven't done more.
And don't get me wrong. I'm still working in the day--my work is just more scattered about. It involves talking to people on the phone, researching technologies/platforms/whatnot, emails, detailing specifications of what projects are going to be, estimating costs, conferring with my partner on all of the above and more, server maintenance on our own server(s) as well as maintenance on client servers as necessary, maintaining and extending old code for various clients, developing new code, procuring servers and/or domains and/or security certificates and/or a host of other things as needed for clients, and so on ad nauseum. Ideally I would be defining projects and methodologies well enough that I and/or my partner could better parcel them out, but that's all part of growing. We're still trying to figure out a good timetracking system--we've tried a bunch, and nothing quite feels right, yet. I'm doing my own hours in excel, and until I find something that's as simple as the worksheet I've got, yet makes me feel like I have full reporting and visibility on what I'm doing... And it pretty much has to be linux-based, web-driven.
As for tools, we use svn for revision control (and pulling things onto production), mantis for bugtracking (and I'm thinking about making a timetrack extension to it--it has support for custom variables and custom reports, so ... yeah). mysql is our database of choice, mostly because that's what our clients typically have, because that's what shared servers and even dedicated servers tend to be packaged with; adodb is our database abstraction layer of choice (it so rocks). nusoap is the soap thingy we use, for some things. and we've got a basic email layer, too, though I wrote some quickndirty functions to do form email population. We tend to code in a barebones pseudo-MVC manner, with data population at the top of a given php file, display and display logic as necessary afterwards, and any form processing happening in separate ".do" php files (all, of course, interacting with data-oriented library pseudo-classes). Every "display" page includes a configuration header, does what logic/data population it needs to, then includes the "top" of the html template, then does what display it needs to, then includes the "bottom" of the html template. Oh, and CSS may not be God, but it's up there.