Saturday, November 18, 2006

Reducing the Net down and simmering....

Here are a number of links I've been sitting on for a while.

Firefox Add-on Pick

Uppity - This Firefox Add-on (weaning myself off calling them "extensions" now) will allow you to browse up the HTML tree in your Mozilla browser. So if you frequently find yourself on a deep-linked webpage and want to quickly browse up to a higher point (say going from " techblog/archives/2006/11/ data_rescue_can_be_easier_than_you_think.html" to "") but you don't want to be back-space/deleting in the address-bar, this is a great little tool. Some pages it offers aren't valid links, but it is a quick an useful way to explore the site tree of web-pages. --via Lifehacker


Dough Mahugh "Office 2007 Technical Evangelist" drops a number of Microsoft Office Blog links. It you are into all things Office, then you may want to set your RSS feed to some of these blogs to keep up with the latest in Office developments.

The SANS-ISC handler's diary has had a number of good and interesting posts lately: Hacking Tor, the anonymity onion routing network, Malware with new features, and Microsoft Patching Observations (NEW).

Here's a neat tool: Fiddler (free) Quoting from the developer's page, "Fiddler is a HTTP Debugging Proxy which logs all HTTP traffic between your computer and the Internet. Fiddler allows you to inspect all HTTP Traffic, set breakpoints, and "fiddle" with incoming or outgoing data. Fiddler is designed to be much simpler than using NetMon or Achilles, and includes a simple but powerful JScript.NET event-based scripting subsystem."

Got a Sony laptop/notebook? Repair4Laptop has a fantastic collection of links outlining How to Upgrade, Repair, Disassemble a Sony Laptop or Notebook Repairs are a lot easier when you can see the ground others have covered first.

Looking to add some plugins into your Photoshop application? Check out The Plugin Site's Free Photoshop-compatible Plugins. Nicely organized, you might find some useful treats in here.

Images and Art

Speaking of images, Dwight Silverman points us to the flickr Wallpapers page. Wow! These are a pool of images at screen resolutions of at least 1024x768. If you are looking for striking photographic images for your desktop, this is a great place to find some really original work!

Bob Kessel is an artist who primarily uses vibrant, geometrical shaped elements, and strong lines. His works, both original and as inspired by others, present a bold usage of color and force. These are paintings that don't just attract your attention, they mug you! Wowzers.

Want a custom emblem/badge for your vehicle? Head over to BadgeMakerDeluxe. There you can select from some ready-made emblems or have a badge made-to-order. They look really nice and might be able to set your vehicle apart from the pack with some retro-bling. --via RetroThing.

Video Delights!

Some time ago, Dwight also blogged about Random encounters of the video kind. He tips us to a really fascinating website (Serendipitous Chat) that pulls random live video-cam feeds from the social networking site, Stickam. There is something compulsive about watching strangers chatter on with each other. I don't know why it is addicting, but it is. If loading a single Stickam user at a time is not meeting your hunger, try Kismetchat, which loads 12 random screens of Stickham users.

Despite reports to the contrary, it seems that YouTube retains a ton of Japanese anime clips. For anime fans, there is an Air video montage, a music video of "Love Hina" set to "Pretty Girl (The Way)" by Sugarcult (very slickly done!), and then, there is the incredible music video of "Love Hina" set to "Barbie Girl" by Aqua. Great stuff here on YouTube with a little searching.

Dream Wheels

If I could have just one car given to me, I would almost certainly ask for it to be a classic Aston Martin Vantage V8. It captures the toughness of the American muscle-car era, but retains a certain British "refinement". I recently found the Aston Workshop online. It is a wish-list of all things Aston Martin. They handle sales, restorations and parts. I may never have the opportunity to either drive, let alone own one, but it sure is fun looking! Their Downloads page also contains a number of quality photos, screensavers, and even sound-clips. Nice.

Extreme Blending!

Finally for just, all out WTF video madness, head on over to the Will it Blend? site. Here's the recipe: Take a commercial blender on steroids, look around the office, and ask yourself..."Will it Blend?" Two categories: "Don't Try This at Home" and "Try This at Home".

It's hard leaving you with a favorite, but it probably has got to be "The Movie": blending popcorn, a drink, and a movie.

I've got to get me one of these things!



Thursday, November 16, 2006

What she said was...

So Sunday night, Alvis and I were watching the tail-end of the Japanese variety show "Fun Tours."

Like most things Japanese, it's kinda hard to explain, but it seems to revolve around a small group of college-aged guys and gals who ride around on a highly painted tour-bus (Partridge Family style) and go from place to place, with humorous results.

Anyway, they appeared to be on a sushi tour this time and stopped by this one place that was serving, umm, odd sushi. Not so much ingredient-wise, but how it was presented. Like the meat was five times as big as the rice it was placed on. Stuff like that.

So, one of the members, a young woman, was trying to delicately eat this sushi and was finding it kinda spicy and a bit larger of a single-bite portion than normal. All her tour-bus companions were laughing at her, she was making all kinds of faces, and everyone was having a grand time at her expense.

Alvis and I were laughing too; pretty loudly.

Lavie came in to see what the fuss was about and watched a few more minutes with us as the young woman began chattering away in Japanese to her friends, everyone laughing, riotously.

Then Lavie turns to me, and asks "What did she say?"

I had to pause for a minute to consider her question.

Lavie was wearing her dead-serious face. The one she wears when she asks me her "so tell me again why we need a new keyboard/mouse/hard-drive/CD-ROM, etc...." question all too often.

She really and sincerely wanted to know and expected me to be able to tell her.

I burst out laughing. Alvis had put on her puzzled face as well.

Lavie looks at me and asks again, "What did she say?" thinking maybe I didn't understand her.

I just grinned at her and waited....

"What?" Lavie asked.

Using my kindest, warmest voice I said, "Honey, I don't speak Japanese."

I went on, "But I think she was saying something like "you guys are meanies. You told me it was sweet sushi and this is so spicy. I think my mouth is on fire. Oh gosh I want to spit it out! I'm going to get you when you are asleep tonight on the bus...just you guys wait for tricking me!" Or something close to that.

Lavie blushed hard and buried her face in a pillow, realizing what she asked me and now remembering full well I don't speak Japanese.

Granted, I watch a ton of Japanese anime and live action dramas. Lavie sometimes watches the romantic-dramas with me. But I guess it's getting pretty bad when your spouse starts to associate your Japanese TV habits with your foreign language skills. She does ask me from time to time to translate some Spanish. Lots of years of Spanish classes in high school and college, and then on the job in my former career left me comfortable speaking some elementary-level Spanish. But my knowledge of the Japanese language is sadly, very, very, very weak.

Why do I enjoy watching these dramas so much, even if they aren't subtitled or dubbed? The language sounds pretty and it's stimulating and entertaining to watch the sets and locations and the clothing styles. And it's just fun. I'm also finding that it hones my "people-reading" skills by forcing me to pay attention to mannerisms, tone of voice and other details like that. More times that not I think I am able to follow the basic story line pretty successfully, anyway. And with some careful searching on the Web, I can often get the basic characters and their relationships to each other down. That helps.

I've thought about getting some conversational Japanese CD's to listen to in the car driving to and from work, or maybe seeing if the local community college offers a class. That would probably be the best. It might be fun

Danny Choo recently posted about how he learned Japanese. It was very interesting.

So now, all I have to do is quietly mutter "What did she say?" with a straight face and Lavie blushes all over again.

Isn't marriage great!


Related Links:

Nihongo o Narau: Learn Japanese -- nice website with all kinds of Japanese vocabulary words, reviews, grammar lessons, etc.

Hanzi Smatter -- blog "dedicated to the misuse of chinese characters in western culture" A real riot to read!

Gibberish Asian Font Mystery Solved via Hanzi Smatter. Beware before you get that "cool" Asian-font tattoo!

All Things Kawaii - OK, not really so much anything "language" related, but hey, it's still kawaii (cute).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Few Last Shuttle Mods...

Now that my confidence has been restored on the home Shuttle system, I've decided to make one more modification to it.

Cooling the Shuttle Down...

As shared before, it is a Shuttle SK41G system. It is a very compact system and temps can get pretty warm in there.

These units utilize "heat-pipe cooling" which works pretty well. Cool air is drawn into the case from a row of holes on each side of the case. Air then is passed across the system board and then out through the internal fan and forced over the heat-pipe fins and out the rear. The BIOS can be set to adjust the internal fan speed automatically, but I have always left it set manually on "high" to get better cooling. It's a touch noisier but I feel better with it running cooler.

The (standard) PSU unit also serves to draw air in and force it out the rear using the PSU fan.

After watching my system fail to boot once due to cheap cpu-heatsink paste, monitoring the core and case temps has been a critical issue for me.

I've been using Motherboard Monitor almost from day one to monitor system temps.

Generally the Shuttle's CPU temp was running at 50 degrees Celsius. The case temp was running at 42 degrees Celsius. Hard processing tasks might see a bump in the temps by a degree or two each.

Once I installed the bigger PSU and added intake holes in the case side to accommodate the air-flow, the temps dropped down to about 48 and 40 degrees Celsius, respectively. The beefier PSU fan was probably responsible.

I had seen an easy cooling mod a long time ago where a modder had cut the rear aluminum case grill cover out, then mounted an additional fan on the outside of the case to help pull additional air volume out and help the internal heat-pipe fan out.

So, I finally decided to try it out as well.

Here is a nice picture of the rear of a standard Shuttle SK41G system so you can follow what I'm describing.

I measured the fan mounting size since I wanted to try and use the four original fan mounting screw holes. Then I went by the local Good Purchase electronics store and found an Antec 80mm LED TriCool case fan for about $12. The blue LED matched the blue power light on the front and would add a custom glow to the rear desk area. And the three-speed switch would allow me to adjust the "noise" factor easily. I also went by Lowe's to grab some new machine screws as I knew the standard tool-less ones used to hold the heat-pipe fin shroud to the case rear wouldn't be long enough.

I got home and punched out the top parallel-port hole from the case rear (in the picture linked, it's right underneath the top-center case cover screw).

Next I unscrewed the four fan-shroud mounting screws. I decided not to try cutting out the punched rear venting case holes out as some users do to increase the air flow volume. I'm not sure what combo would cool better. Removal of that section would allow a greater volume of air to be moved, but at the same time, my unscientific mind would think that the holes actually speed up the air passing through the smaller spaces, thereby increasing cooling at the fins. Anyway, I left it in place.

I had bought a bag of 1 inch 6-32 machine bolts that matched the stock screw threading, but ended up wishing I had bought the longer 1 and 1/2 inch lengths instead, as the fan itself was about an inch thick. So I had to carefully feed the bolts through the lower holes in the fan instead of going through both sets of holes. Fortunately it wasn't too difficult and I soon had the fan perfectly mounted in the stock holes to help the primary fan pull air out of the case.

I fed the wires through the parallel port hole and into the case. I then taped off the hole to avoid air pressure loss as the hole was kinda big and I didn't want to circulate warm air back into it.

A quick connect to a power plug and I was back in business.

Once powered up the blue LED looked pretty cool and the sound isn't too much louder than before, even with them both running on high.

A quick check of my temperature readouts shows that my CPU core is now running at a nice and steady 44 degrees Celsius while the case temp is at 34 degrees Celsius.

Not a massive drop, but considering how cheap and easy the mod was to do, not a bad decision! And as any pc geek knows, cooler is better!

Sudhian Forums has a ton of posts about Shuttle issues and mods...while Modtown does their own mods on a SK41G system. Nice!

Adding a new XP system Theme...

Earlier this week Long Zheng at the istartedsomething Windows watch blog posted a link to Royale Noir: secret XP theme uncovered. Turns out this was an official Microsoft XP theme that never got finished. It looked pretty nice, but as it was in an unfinished state, I passed.

I've been on the record for a long time about absolutely despising the Candy-Land colored standard XP Luna themes. Ugh. I have always switched my themes to the "Classic" (aka Windows 2000/98ish) system themes instead. The blue and greens just really irritated me.

I have been very impressed with the darker Vista theme, however and really enjoy them in the Vista Beta releases I have been getting to know.

Imagine my delight then, when I found notice that Microsoft had released a new "Zune" theme for XP! Dwight Silverman has some more nice screenshots of it in action on the TechBlog.

I've since downloaded and installed it on all my XP home and work systems. It is very refined, but not too dark.

And switching from the "Classic" to this Zune XP theme, it feels (visually) like I've done an major OS upgrade! Funny how a little thing like that would work.

Anyway, if you are running XP, I encourage you to go and try it. You might like it!

Hopefully that will be the end of system mods for least until Vista gets released.....

See you in the skies,


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Texas Grilled Cheese Apple-pie Sandwich

I watch Food Network to wind down at the end of a stressful day.

I used to bake a lot when I was younger.

I still home-cook dinner almost every night for our family.

I have been known to have a creative-spurt going mad-scientist like in the kitchen, from time to time.

I don't really spend much time on the web following cooking...

Except for the blogs of two very talented ladies: Blue Lotus and Nicki's Kitchen. They inspire me. Really!

I do make a lot of good things, including the ever-classic, grilled cheese sandwich.

Then I created a masterpiece of Fall Delights: Claus's Texas Grilled Cheese Apple-pie Sandwich.

I'm not kidding.

Lavie was eating fresh apples (she's been on an apple-eating kick lately) and Alvis was begging for a grilled cheese.

The history....

The Bread:

Hearty thin-sliced. I prefer Pepperidge Farm: Hearty White but you are welcome to use whatever kind you prefer and can find. Just stay away from that air-filled fluff most people think of. You want something with weight to it.

The Cheese:

Sharp Cheddar. I like using shredded cheese but sliced is fine. Go with what your favorite is. Experiment.

The Apples:

Lavie's favorite is a variety called "Pink Lady." I've been partial lately to the "Winesap." Whichever kind you prefer, look for a variety with flavor and sweetness; the "Fuji" variety is in my opinion a very, very good choice for this sandwich.


Go with a quality, finely ground and fresh cinnamon--no "fake" cinnamon, please!


Yes! Just for fun, use some locally produced honey if you can find it! If that fails, just go with the classic bear!


Take your apples and peel and core them. I found that cutting them into thinner slices works best. Just watch your fingers. Leave them like thin-sliced donuts or half them. Either way, thin is good, but not deli thin!

Take your slices of bread and lightly butter both sides.

Place them over medium-high heat on a skillet or griddle, let the down-side lightly toast, then flip the slices over to brown on the other side as well. (This double-sided grilling trick was taught to be by our wonderful cafeteria lady at work. She is a true professional, and her tip makes for a crispier sandwich.)

While the other sides are grilling, pick one slice on the grill and apply a thin layer of cheese, then your sliced apples.

Next, dust lightly with cinnamon, and drizzle a very light amount of honey evenly over the apples.

Finally, top with a second thin layer of cheese.

Add the top slice of bread you have been grilling and gently compress to set the ingredients together. Press too hard and it might slide apart and will compress the bread; ick!

Carefully flip your sandwich over to continue grilling the second side.

Flip back and forth until you are satisfied with the browning on the bread.

Remove to a cutting board and let cool for just a minute before slicing. I enjoy cutting mine into finger-sized strips.


Lavie and Alvis were a bit skeptical of this at first. But soon had eaten almost an entire half of my sandwich with happy faces!

There is something wonderfully comforting in the mix of flavors: the sharp cheddar, the crisp apples, the high-points of cinnamon and the subtle sweetness of honey.

It might take a while to find your proper proportions of the ingredients...some like more spice, others more sweet. Have fun working it out.



Election Movies....

As we grind slowly closer to Election Day here Stateside, I've been thinking about the electoral process.

Alvis's Disney/Nick channels have been running a steady stream of election-focused items.

Lavie and I have been discussing our local and state issues and who we may be voting for this year...

A few nights ago, I dropped in, mid-show on PBS's airing "By the People: Democracy in the Wild" which provided a fascinating view of just how an election is run--from the officials point of view. It gave me new respect for poll-workers and the county election clerk's duties. Wish I could have seen the whole thing.

So here are some other (more or less) Election themed movies (in no particular order)...feel free to add your own suggestions:

Wag the Dog,


The American President,

All the President's Men,

Napoleon Dynamite,


The Candidate,

Primary Colors,


Bob Roberts,

Anytown, USA,

Welcome to Mooseport,

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and

You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown.

Go vote!


Houston...the Shuttle had a problem

Back in my October 29th post, I alluded to our home desktop system failing.

Bad. No boot. No post. Nada.

It's true.

I cried. I moped. Lavie considered running me out of the house.

My "baby" was dead. I felt like I lost a child. I know it is just a stupid pc, but it hurt in a personal way. Seriously!

Some background first.

Our very first (home) pc was a Gateway system we ordered at the Gateway Country store down by the Baybrook mall. That was back in the day when Gateway systems were one of the premier builders and were known for their rocking customer service....yes...a long time ago. I cleverly got a full-tower unit, had a smashing 10GB hard drive, and a blistering 350MHz Intel Processor. RAM? I think it was a ridiculously large 256KB. Windows 98 baby! It rocked!

Eventually time went on, and I eventually began a career in the IT industry. Sweet. One of the first things I did was to decide that Gateway was ready to be retired to the pasture...Bluebell style.

So after quite a bit of research I decided to build my own system this time. Eventually I decided on a small-form factor. Expansion would be limited, but if I was very choosy on the components, I could probably be quite happy. Size-wise it was about as big as, well, a toaster and 1/4 the size of my tower unit. Shuttle systems had burst on the scene with their systems and had been getting good reviews.

I ended up settling on the Shuttle SK41G system. It had a 4x AGP slot, used Socket A AMD processors (a better bang for the buck at the time), and supported USB 2.0. All in all a very nice system. And the small size would be a plus as it (then) would be located in the living room. I picked up a mid-range Radeon graphics card, Crucial memory sticks (2x256MB) and a AMD Athlon XP 2400+ processor. And grabbed a Seagate Barracuda 120GB HDD. I salvaged the CD-ROM and floppy drives from the Gateway and saved a few dollars.

So I ordered it up from NewEgg (the world's best on-line technology merchant!) along with a XP Home retail software upgrade. Something like four days later it was delivered and that weekend I build it.

It rocked! Installation was a breeze.

It lasted for about 4 weeks before dying. No boot. No post. Nada. (Sound familiar?)

I RMA'ed the unit back to NewEgg and they shipped a new barebones system. No hassles, no questions. Awesome service!

I rebuilt the new one and it was rolling.

Except sometimes it refused to power on. I could--by mashing the power button long enough--eventually get it to kick on, however.

So I came up with these really crazy "superstitious" behaviors. It seemed worse when plugged into the UPS, so I got a new UPS...that helped for a while. Then it didn't. So I stopped using the UPS. Then it seemed to happen when I was running the clothes dryer I always booted the pc before starting the dryer on wash-days. Then it seemed to happen worse when Lavie plugged the clothes iron into the same room the pc was now in. New rule. Then I swore it ALWAYS would balk at powering on if I turned on the desk lamp that was plugged into the surge-strip the pc was also plugged into. See what I mean? I was really thinking crazy-thoughts here.

Realistically the issue was one of two things...a bad on-off switch or a demon-possessed power-supply unit. But denial is a beautiful mistress.

So two weeks ago I came home from work (very-late) and went to power the Shuttle on and....nothing.

Depending on your personality type (and your spouse's), building your own pc can be a dangerous thing. This pc is very personal to me. Not only is it special for the time and energy I invested in building it, but it is almost an extension of my self-confidence as an IT professional. When it works, I feel pride and confidence. When it doesn't? Self-doubt creeps in. So when problems happen on our home pc, I take them personally. Thus my melancholy and sadness when it died.

And wouldn't you know, while I was in the middle of troubleshooting the failed system with its parts scattered about the floor and desk...a dear friend who I provide family-pc tech-support to called because his DSL connection wasn't working and needed my help. (Sigh)

Crisis Assessment...

Having watched Apollo 13 more than a few times, I knew that it was critical I keep a cool head. So I began to assess the situation.

Nahh. Honestly? I had a pity-party. There was no way I would be able to find parts... It was almost six years old! It uses a not-quite-standard power supply and system board. I'd just have to buy a new system. Darn! And with the way I was acting, no way Lavie would let me build a new one. Period.

The next morning dawned early. Now that my initial disappointment had run its course, I could wear my technician's hat again and not my parental one. What did I know?

1) Even though the system had been powered off all day, the PSU was hot to the touch. Not warm, hot. Fresh McDonald's coffee hot.

2) My system board still had lights, even though it wouldn't boot. (VERY GOOD SIGN!)

3) No fan running on the PSU.

So I unplugged EVERYTHING outside and in and reseated all the connectors. That met with a soft "Pop" when I lastly plugged the power plug back into the PSU. (Ummm. Not good?) Now where I had a very bright green system board LED light, I had a very dim and fading LED...I yanked the cord out and prayed quickly to the motherboard saints it hadn't been called home.

So, my wicked-smart tech sensor was telling me my PSU had probably failed.

I removed it from the case and went to work (where I collect my paycheck).

Research time....

In the magical world of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger seems to believe that the answer to every problem can be found in a book in the school's library. I generally relate, feeling that most any problem can be uncovered with some careful Google searches.

I soon learned this:

1) There are a large number of early Shuttle system owners who are running into problems with their Shuttle SFF systems not booting and not powering on. Dead Shuttle systems. Shuttle users who have found that they are having to repeatedly mash, press and hold the power button on to get it to boot. Lots of forum posts. So if you are visiting after running into this problem on your are not alone!

2) In many cases, these failures were caused by bad capacitors supplied to the tech industry (see Capacitor plague-Wikipedia, or

3) The capacitors on my Shuttle system board all looked nice and pretty.

4) I (carefully--as they can still carry a charge) opened up the PSU and....surprise, surprise, found three fully top-blown capacitors with gunk spilling out the top. Also there were an additional three capacitors that had bulging tops, but had not "blown out" yet.

So, despite not being an electrical engineer after spending many years as a youth working on Radio Shack 500-in-1 electronics kits, I felt pretty certain I understood the true issue now with that constant mashing the power button to get it to boot. It seems that as the capacitors continued to slowly fail, powering on demanded a longer start current be apply to overcome the failing capacitors. Once it happened, the Shuttle would finally kick on.

Whew. So my system wasn't demon possessed...just capacitor plagued.

Now what?

I discussed the issue at work with my crack team of fellow IT shop experts and got some great tips: 1) get a new PSU or, 2) get a new case and PSU.

Still thinking finding a non-standard PSU for this system would be an issue, I investigated looking into a new case (Option 2). This would likely boost the air-flow and I would be able to secure a standard ATX PSU inside.

So, more research. The Shuttle main boards use what is known as a flex-ATX system board design. Simplifying a bit, system boards commonly come in AXT, micro-ATX and flex-ATX sizes (bigger to smaller). Turns out a flex-ATX system board will use the same mounting points as a micro-ATX board in most all cases. Sweet!

So I started doing research, but kept noticing a problem where the holes were lining up on the Shuttle flex-ATX board and the micro-ATX cases. What gives?

Eventually I found the site form that had a PDF document showing the actual industry specs on case mount points for the different systems.

Turns out that Shuttle has orientated it's board outputs on the long/narrow end of their flex-ATX board and not the short/wide side as most industry standards have for the flex-ATX boards.

So...if I got a new case, I would have to be very careful and do some serious mods to get the board mounted. Not a great option.

Back to Option One.

I found lots of good links like this one on XoxideForums on picking out a quality PSU. But the problem was that a standard ATX PSU just doesn't fit in a Shuttle case.

That left me with the real possibility of getting my system up and running again, but looking like a Franken-computer. No thanks just yet. Though this poor bloke took a number of great pictures of the Shuttle SK41G power issue that mirror my experience perfectly (text in Japanese)!

More searching...

Finally I came across the Web retailer Power-On. Imagine my delight when I found they offered a full range of non-standard replacement PSU's including those for Shuttle flex-ATX PSU-using systems like mine! And they are based in good old Missouri, USA!

I reviewed the choices and found I had an option for either the replacement 200 watt unit like I had, or I could go with a 250 watt unit....Hmmmm.

I instantly decided on the 250 watt unit so I could have the extra headroom on power.

I placed my order last Saturday, choose standard UPS shipping and it arrived Thursday. Wow! That was fast!

The Rebuild: we can make it better, stronger, faster....

Only I now had two new issues that I hadn't planned on.

When I got it I realized I failed to check one thing! The PSU dimensions! See, the 250W unit was about an inch and a half longer than the 200W unit. Ooops! And secondly, the PSU air-intake slots for the 250W unit are right against the solid case side, not like the 200W unit. Doh!

I was fortunate, however. Shuttle wisely left enough clearance on the side where the PSU mounts to handle the extra length with room to spare. I did have to bend the original top chassis mounting bracket out of the way. Once that was done, I unscrewed two mounting screws (shared with the PSU fan) and mounted the PSU. The 250W model has a really beefy fan and uses long, heavy screws to secure it, so those two screws along with a third from the case securely held the beefier PSU just fine, even without use of the original mounting bracket. If you choose to stick with the 200W unit, just remove the 2nd mounting bracket off the old PSU and attach to the replacement and you will have a perfect, standard re-fit.

As for air-flow to the PSU, some more work with careful layout on the aluminum case and some drill work to add in a series of new 1/4 holes and critical cool-air flow into the PSU has been restored. I strongly don't recommend mounting the 250W unit in there without the addition of the breather holes. You don't want your new PSU to overheat!

Once everything was plugged in, attached and rechecked, I fired it up.

Success! It booted immediately and is running awesome!

"Houston, were coming home!"

I'm so happy.

Our precious little Shuttle SK41G is running with new life again.

And I've found a new friend in Power-On. They rock.

And if any of my IT team-members stumble across this page and discover my secret identity...well...shhhhh! I appreciate you guys and your advice!