FAQ

Who are you?
Why are you doing this?
    Doesn't that cost a lot of money?
Cyber... what? What's a cyber roach?
What's the technical background of your site?
    Hardware?
    DSL Connection?
    Who is your ISP?
What's with all the video games?
    Do you trade video games?
What's so special about these movies TRON and M?
Dude, do you ever answer your email?
Madeira wine? Does that mix with video games?
What's with the Civil War Ironclads?
Something on your website offended me!
What do you have against Limp Bizkit and Eminem?

Who are you?
Me? I'm just a little roach in the vast emptyness of cyberspace... Naa, my real name is Hans Reutter and I run this website out of my basement. I've been living in the US for quite a few years now, first in Ohio (go Bucks!) and now in Seattle since 1997. Love the Pacific Northwest!

Why are you doing this?
You mean this website? I'm tempted to say "Because I can!" but it's really more a hobby of mine. Seriously, there are so many times when I'm looking for some information or some answers to a problem and typically I'll find it on the web. So at some point I figured I may as well give something back the "the Web" by putting up my own website. Voila CyberRoach.com.

Doesn't that cost a lot of money?
Yeah, sort of. But if you just want to do a little website (10 - 15 Megs or less) you can do it for free on MSN or Geocities or whatever. I used to do that too but I constantly ran into disk space problems and I finally decided to host it myself. It's not cheap, besides a low-end computer you'll need a DSL or cable modem with decent upload speeds. 384 kbit/s typically costs around $70 - $80, now I have 768 kbit/s which runs around $150 per month. Pricey but for a hobby that's not too bad...

Cyber... what? What's a cyber roach?
Long story... I've had that nickname since the early 90ies. I've always been fascinated by roaches, these pesky little survivalists. From there it was a small step to cyber roach or cyro. Unfortunately cyro.com was taken by an acrylics company so I opted for the longer cyberroach.com.

What's the technical background of your site?
Hardware?
CyberRoach.com runs on an old P160 (overclocked to 180 MHz) piece-of-shit Quantex PC. With much TLC I was able to get this thing running reliably despite Quantex' shitty no-name motherboard, components and non-existing customer-service :)  (if you haven't figured it out by now: Quantex SUCKS ASS and I'm not surprised that these crooks finally went bankrupt!)
180 MHz doesn't sound like much but is plenty for this purpose. Sound and video were top-notch in 1995 and still do the job :)
Anyway, the box has 128 Megs of RAM (standard, no EDO) and runs Win2K Server and IIS. Disk space consists of a hodgepodge of fast high-quality disks: a bunch of Seagate Cheetahs arranged in a RAID array, various WDs , a Quantum and another RAID array of Maxtor DiamondMax disks. RAID setup is with a converted Promise FastTrak66 IDE controller. Overall diskspace is just above 100 Gigs and that's plenty for now.
After a crash of one of the striped hard disks (that's a *bad* thing!) I decided to add a RAID 5 array as file server and another array as backup server for a total of about one terabyte. In addition there is an off-line backup disk for the really important stuff (like this website)
The Cheetah RAID array gets freaking hot - I had to put it into a separate box. Now the disks have two powerful fans blowing cold air into the box, the disks are mounted vertically in the air stream and two more fans suck out the hot air. Pretty heavy duty, a total of about 30 pounds.

disk2.jpg (38357 bytes)  disk3.jpg (48391 bytes)  disk1.jpg (40568 bytes)

The unpainted box (used from Vetco), the vertically mounted drives, the finished box (neon green).

DSL Connection?
Everything is connected through a firewall to a 768/768 DSL-line provided by GTE/Verizon. So far they're pretty decent - no major complaints. My current ISP is Isomedia and they rock! Before that it was CNW for two years before they dumped all their DSL customers in a hurry! Before that I had Blarg.net, also very good - just not for running a server in your basement. Originally CyberRoach.com was hosted by Active-Server.com which did a fine job at a fair price but I constantly had diskspace problems - that's when I decided to move the whole thing into my basement. 50 Megs just didn't cut it...

Who is your ISP?
Currently it's Isomedia and they rock! Great customer service, no red tape & bureaucracy, no annoying sales pitches. Just stable service and quick responses! Yeah, they are not a bargain-ISP but nowhere does the old "you get what you pay for"-slogan apply more than in the ISP space! Isomedia isn't cheap but they provide excellent value!

What's with all the video games?
I've always been fascinated by video games. Especially by early videogame and home computer technology: Atari, Commodore, Vectrex, Intellivision, Colecovision, Odyssey2/Videopac, stuff like that. It's utterly amazing to play a 3.5K Scramble game on a Commodore VIC that squeezes every bit of RAM and every clock cycle out of that box. Marvelous feats of engineering and artistic skill. The other thing I noticed the first time in front of a Bosconian arcade machine was what it meant to be in "the Zone". When your eyes stop to focus and you develop total peripheral vision while playing in a trance-like state of total concentration - what a rush! Many years later I started collecting these old things that I couldn't have/afford as a kid and I'm proud to say that I'm a collector that regularly plays his possessions/obsessions.

Do you trade video games?
Sure! Check out my trade-list (on the left), or just send me your want and have lists. Please don't bother with the common stuff, I've got plenty of that. Also: I'm not interested in any Nintendo, Sony or Sega items with the exception of stuff related to the Dreamcast and LaserActive systems.

What's so special about these movies TRON and M?
You are kidding, right? Have you seen TRON? It's only a major technological breakthrough with an innovative story to match! This was the first truly creative movie for Disney since Fantasia, IE since many decades! TRON single-handedly started a whole new genre of special effects and movie-making technology and for the first time brought a computer & cyberspace mythology to a mainstream audience. Yeah, these days with The Lawnmower Man and The Matrix we're all used to that but back then this was brand new stuff! You know computers, these ugly boxes with all the little buttons and lights on them!
And Fritz Lang's M is only the granddaddy of all psycho-killer movies, was one of the very first excellent talkies, has brilliant acting (Peter Lorre in his defining role!), brilliant camera work and a very rich and hard-driving story. Before you watch M educate yourself on the political background during that era and then enjoy it!

Dude, do you ever answer your email?
Guilty as charged! Sorry, between work, family time and hobbies (no order implied!) I sometimes go for weeks without checking my email and often just don't have the time and motivation to answer it. Please keep on trying, thanks!

Madeira wine? Does that mix with video games?
Don't drink and play! Naa, Madeira wine is my brother's hobby, I'm merely hosting his stuff. I'm not big on wine at all...

What's with the Civil War Ironclads?
Another sore spot... this will eventually contain a listing of all the Civil War ironclads, including a historical and technical background, some drawings, scans etc. someday...

Something on your website offended me!
Tough shit! The problem with many people is: they are too easily offended! You don't like my opinions? That's too fucking bad! I'm a very liberal and tolerant guy but I can't stand people who try to force their morals and convictions onto me. This typically includes fundamentalist bible-thumpers, $cientology cult members, good ole' rednecks and parents who don't want to take responsibility for their little angels and let them surf the web unsupervised.

What do you have against Limp Bizkit and Eminem?
I like all different kinds of music, in fact my musical tastes are so diverse it would fill a whole page to list them all. So let me tell you what I don't like: sleepy elevator music, gangsta-rap (you know every second word is either fuck, bitch or nigger) and this bullshit-my-truck-broke-down-my-wife-left-me-my-dog-died-music that's commonly know as modern country - yuck! And in general I can't stand all the shit that's being hyped as "against the establishment" but in reality is made up by the big media companies that are shoving it down our throat. You know what I'm talking about: Limp Bizkit, Eminem and all the other fake little MTV whores who are prostituting themselves for some quick cash.