Daily Archives: July 28, 2009

Meet The New Computer

Here it is, looking vaguely Darth Vadery. It’s a bit bigger than the previous computer, but not obnoxiously so, and while I specified not to have neon lighting jammed into it, they appear to have put it in for free. It’s not the minimalist package I would have preferred, but inasmuch as the whole thing is sitting behind the monitor, I won’t really notice one way or the other on a day-to-day basis.

Aside from the dead hard drive that shipped with this baby, everything is groovy, and it’s up and running. I’ve already played an inaugural round of Unreal Tournament 2004 on it, and am downloading Left 4 Dead even as we speak. I’m expecting many zombie fatalities tonight, my friends.

And Of Course

The new computer arrived damaged. Because why wouldn’t it be.

Update: Appears to be one of the hard drives was damaged in transit. Pulled one, the second seems to be working just fine. The computer maker is mailing me a replacement for the damaged one. Now to see how the rest of the computer is doing.

The Computer Situation

For those of you fascinated by the minutiae of my technological life, an update on these sorts of things:

1. The primary desktop computer is definitely dead, and I rather strongly suspect it’s the power plant. The plan at this point is to remove it from the desk, swap out the power supply and then hope it powers back up again because if it doesn’t it means the problem is likely the motherboard, and, well, then it truly is dead and off to be recycled. The good news is that a power source is a relatively cheap fix; the bad news is if it’s not the power source, then I’ve paid for a power source I don’t really have a use for. But, hey: I guess you never know when you’re going to need a spare power source. Heck, I could have used one yesterday, right?

2. The funny thing about it is in fact if my desktop could have chosen a time to give out, this really would have been it. One, I had just recently backed up all my data on archive drives. Two, I am currently between major projects, so I wasn’t really using the desktop for anything but cruising the Internet and playing games. Three, I had ordered a new computer anyway. Basically, it’s almost as if it said “my work here is done” and then died in its sleep (literally, since I was away for the weekend and Krissy had powered it down). Farewell, Mencken 6, we’ll miss you.

3. According to my FedEx tracking number, my new computer is on the truck and will be here by 4:30pm today, so it appears as if I’ll be spending my afternoon and/or early evening fiddling with the new computer, which, if you must know, is one of my favorite things to do. For you tech geeks, some stats on the new rig:

  • Intel® Core™ i7 950 Processor (4x 3.06GHz/8MB L3 Cache)
  • Motherboard: Asus P6T Intel X58 Chipset CrossFire and SLI Supported w/7.1 Sound, Triple-Channel DDR3, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, 3-Way SLI PCI-E MB – 3-Way SLI
  • Memory: 6 GB [2 GB X3] DDR3-1600 Triple Memory Module
  • Video Cards: ATI Radeon HD 4890 PCI-Express x16 – 1GB – CrossFire Mode (Dual Cards)

Plus two 1TB hard drives, Blu-Ray reader/DVD burner, Creative X-Fi sound card and so on, with a Windows 7 free upgrade when it comes along later in the year. Basically, it’s not the top of the line for desktops (which would have cost twice what I paid for this), but it’s close enough to the top that I can see blue sky from here. Which works for me.

4. I thinking of undertaking an experiment with this computer, which is basically seeing how few programs I can store on it and still do everything I need to do. The computer comes with Microsoft Office 2007 as a trial program, which I’ll keep and plug my registration key into because I actually use Office enough for it to make sense to have it (sorry, Open Office and Google Docs, MS Office is still the starter). Everything else, however, I want to see if I can offload. I’m not hugely optimistic this plan will work, given how much I use Photoshop (which, of course I still have, along with all my other programs, archived away), but it’s worth trying to see how it goes. And in any event it will leave by new hard drives free for the important stuff, namely, video games.

Incidental to this, I have to say that one of the reasons I’ve been sanguine about my computer crash is that these days I buy almost all my games off of Steam, or play them via GameTap, both of which function online. What this means is that when my rig goes kerplooey, I don’t have to worry about searching for the install discs for the games I want to re-install; I just go to Steam/GameTap and reload them from there. I really like living in the future.

5. I will say this: It’s amazing how much more quiet my office is without the desktop fans running all the time. It’s kind of nice.

Update, 11:44am: Ooooh, new computer’s here. Off to set it up.