Finally Cleaned My Desktop PC After 4 Years!

posted in: pc, tech | 0

I finally cleaned my old desktop. Has been my main gaming rig for quite some time.

This build is really old, it is way back when RGB and Tempered Glass isn’t yet a thing. But this rig has served me well.

Quick specs:

CPU: Intel i5 – 2500k Sandy Bridge Overclocked to 4.6 GHz
GPU: Zotac GTX 970
RAM: G. Skill20 GB RAM (8+8+4 one of the slots is broken)
PSU: EVGA 500 Watts
Motherboard: Asus P8P67-LE
Cooling: CoolerMaster Seidon 240M
Case: Antec GX700

Has been around 4 years wheen I cleaned this PC up, the last time was when I upgraded the CPU cooler from Hyper 212 to the CM Seidon 240M.

Time for some photos!

Here’s a photo of before cleaning.


Let’s take a look at the radiator / cpu block.


That’s alot of dust!

Now the GPU. We will be dismantling the GPU for a cleaning and repaste.


Let’s clean everything up using these tools!  A detailing brush and a vacuum / blower.

All clean! (Clean enough)

Let’s clean the GPU for repasting. I will be using some Cooler Master X1 Extreme Fusion I have lying around.

Let’s put her back together!


I will be taping off the side fan area of the case. Unfortunately I do not have a fan to fill it with, I will put a fan in there once the one I ordered comes in.  Since my airflow is negative pressure, I want most air coming in in the front which is filtered.

I will also be sealing off the top part of the case where the radiator doesn’t quite meet the edges of the top fan area of the case.

And we are done! Time for some testing!

Testing performance

Before I tore down the PC, I did some benchmarks with the intent of comparing the results between the super dirty PC and a clean one.  Both will have the same configuration where the 2500K is overclocked to 4.6 GHz at +0.80V voltage offset.



Same CPU scores but higher FPS for the dusty PC?!? Probably just margin of error.



The results are pretty much the same in this one.

Uningine Heaven

Settings: D3D11 | Ultra Quality | Extreme Tesselation | 3440×1440 8xAA


Now there’s a clearer gap between the two.  Since the benchmark stresses the components more, generates more heat and lasts longer.

3DMark Firestrike


Similar story here.


Regularly clean your PC! Dust buildup will interfere with cooling, decreasing your thermal headroom and making you reach the throttling temperatures.



Macbook Pro (A1278) SSD and 16 GB RAM upgrade

posted in: mac, tech | 0

Old Mac

I’ve recently needed an iOS development machine for a couple of projects, and while I could use a hackintosh or a macOS inside a virtual machine (VM), I thought that I could use an old MacBook Pro we have lying around.  After updating the macOS X Lion to Sierra and installing XCode, the hardware started to show its age.

The device is a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) A1278.  It has the following:

CPU : 2.4 GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor with 3MB L3 cache

RAM : 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

Storage : 320 GB 5400 RPM SATA HDD


Time for an upgrade!

I considered getting a new one but for the cost and I generally just don’t like the newer macbook pros, it might be worthwhile to just upgrade this one.

Usually with these older laptops, you can easily get massive performance boost by upgrading the RAM and the storage device.  And its a no brainer since its one of the few user serviceable parts in a macbook pro.

I went to Lazada PH and checked if there’s RAM compatible for this old macbook pro, also looked for an SSD drive, and I found the following:

RAM : Gskill FA-1333C9D-16GSQ 16GB DDR3 1333 Mac Compatible Memory 2011 Series

SSD : SanDisk SDSSDA-480G 480GB SSD PLUS Solid State Drive


Upgrade Process

To proceed with the upgrade I needed two screwdriver types:

  • 00 Philips screwdriver
  • T6 Torx screwdriver

The following photos are the steps that it took me to replace both those components.

Here’s the RAM and SSD.

Turn it around and remove the screws using the philips screwdriver.

I arrange the screws the same way as I removed it as a practice so I do not forget.

Remove the top cover, pull from the backside near the hinge for the screen.

Disconnect the battery to be on the safe side, I used a little plastic to push it up.

Now that the battery is disconnected, time to remove the RAM, push to the side those rounded notches.

First RAM stick popped out.

Here goes the second.

Forgot to take photos, but just slap in the new RAM where the old ones were.

Put the old RAM into the new RAM’s packaging just in case I need it in the future.

Next, the HDD to SDD upgrade.

Loosen those screws that secure that black plastic bar that secures the HDD in place.

Remove that.

Pull this plastic pull tab to remove the HDD. Note how you have to remove it this way, so you know how to put the new one in.  There are screws attached to the drive that goes in the notches of the drive bay

Here’s the old HDD.

Remove it from the SATA connector.

The old HDD has these screws.

Remove them with the T6 Torx screwdriver, picked this Torx screwdriver set at All Home hardware.

Here are the screws.

Transfer those screws to the new SSD drive, transfer the pull tab as well.

Reseat the new SSD and secure it in place.



Let’s Encrypt + Virtualmin + Ubuntu 14.04.4

posted in: tech | 0


SSL/TLS makes your website secure by ensuring that data travels to and from your website encrypted.  Good thing there is Let’s Encrypt to make things easier (no more pesky CRSs) and free!

I will also cover here how to get an “A” grade rating for your SSL where we do not have weak cipher suites, we have forward secrecy and we do not susceptible to attacks like POODLE.

This will be useful for people who host their own sites using Webmin + Virtualmin.


Getting Started

For this I have my WordPress website ( hosted on an Ubuntu 14.04.4 with latest version Virtualmin, standard configuration minus Bind DNS server and FTP.


Install Let’s Encrypt

Run the following commands to install Let’s Encrypt:

$ git clone
$ cd letsencrypt
$ ./letsencrypt-auto –help

You should see something like this:

letsencrypt installation

Optionally you may want to move lets encrypt to another location, I moved mine to /usr/local/bin


Add Let’s Encrypt to Webmin

Sign in to your Webmin Console

Go to Webmin > Webmin Configuration > SSL Encryption > Let’s Encrypt

let's encrypt virtualmin webmin

Click on Module Configuration

let's encrypt virtualmin webmin

Add the path of where letsencrypt-auto script in the text field given like so

let's encrypt virtualmin webmin


With that Webmin can now call letsencrypt-auto script from your web GUI.


Create and Install Certificates

Go to Virtualmin then select your virtual server where you want to install a certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

After that, proceed to Server Configuration > Manage SSL Certificate > Let’s Encrypt then click on Request Certificate

let's encrypt virtualmin webmin

That’s it! Your website should now be protected with an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.


Improving Security

For testing our SSL/TLS configuration, we will be using Qualys’ SSL Test. You can use that tool and it will grade your SSL/TLS configuration for your website free of charge.

If you use it now, you will get a grade of “C”. This is because you have weaker cipher suites enabled, SSL Compession enabled, or you have older versions of SSL (version 2 and 3) enabled, these are configurations will make you susceptible to vulnerabilities like CRIME, HEARTBLEED, POODLE and many more.


Disable Older Versions of SSL/TLS

For I will only enable TLS (all versions) and disable all versions of SSL (v2 and v3).

To do so, go to Services > Configure Website for SSL > SSL Options > tick TLSv1, TLSv1.1 and TLS1.2

let's encrypt virtualmin webmin


Disable Weaker Ciphersuites and Disable SSL Compression

We will now disable weaker cipher suites and SSL Compression

Go to Services > Configure Website for SSL > Edit Directives

Then add or edit the the following directives

SSLCompression off



Test your TLS Configuration

As I have previously mentioned we will use Qualys’ SSL Testing tool. Here are the results of where we got a score of “A”.

letsencrypt virtualmin webmin


There we go, we have used a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt for a website that is hosted using Virtualmin on Ubuntu 14.04.4. If you have questions, comments or violent reactions. Please leave them on the comment box below.