New System

I have *finally* been able, with considerable help from some great people, to put together a new desktop gaming machine. Not only that but it’s exceeded my expectations by quite a bit.

You see, I had been slowly, ever so slowly, saving money toward purchasing a new system. I had no illusions, I knew that even the best I could do would essentially be a Retail POS System. Not that there is anything basically wrong with a pre-built retail system . . . If you’re only going to use it for web browsing, shopping, balancing your checkbook and playing a few simple games.

However if you plan to use it, like I am, to play demanding games like Minecraft and to edit and render high definition video and detailed 3D models in Blender, then your basic off the shelf computer just isn’t going to cut it.

Oh, it’ll probably do ok, so long as you’re not in a hurry and don’t have a deadline. It would probably still render that high definition video, it will just take two to ten times as long to do it. Ditto for animated 3D models in Blender.

I’m kinda behind on posting my Minecraft videos here but as I get caught up you will no doubt notice a definite improvement in video quality and later, a similar improvement in audio quality by around episode 220 of the main world series.

Joey’s Christmas List

As the Christmas holidays draw closer more and more people are getting their Christmas “I want” lists in order. Joey B is no different in that respect. He’s made his list. Not only that he’s printed it out and sent copies of it to anyone that he thinks might give him a gift for Christmas.

I got a copy of that list in the mail and It’s an interesting list because the only thing on it is a list of samsung lcd tvs. A the top of the page is a brief paragraph in which he explains that he’s wanted a flat screen High Definition TV since they first came out. He goes on to say that he’s done a lot of research and has decided that the samsung models that he has listed are the best choices.

He also says that another reason he likes them is because the linkstick device that samsung sells will allow him to use the flat screen hi def tv as a computer monitor that will make browsing the interenet a stunning visual experience.

This may sound like an expensive Christmas list but believe me, around here that one is mild. I can’t wait to see Chucky’s list. Now there’s a guy with expensive tastes!

[tags]nutjob hills, christmas, christmas list, gifts[/tags]

Too Much Variety

Variety is a good thing but I think that when it comes to batteries there is actually entirely too much variety. I honestly long for the days when Batteries came in A, AA, AAA, AAAA, C, D, the big tall 1.5 (about 6 inches tall by 3inches diameter) volt dry cell batteries and car batteries instead of the literally thousands of battery designs currently available.

A good example is my camcorder’s battery. It’s almost shot, only holding a charge for about two to three minutes of recording time. It’s design is VERY simillar, with the same layout, as my cell phone battery. Since I *NEVER* use the cell phone I figured why not put it’s battery to use in something I do use.

Unfortunately, even though both batteries look exactly the same with the same connector shape, they’re not interchangeable because the body of the cell phone battery is *JUST* enough larger that it won’t fit in the camera.

Both batteries are 3.7 volts, have the same amp hour ratings and the same connectors on the end. The only difference is the size of the casing. I think that cell phone makers are doing this deliberately so that you have to buy the battery they specify (and are ultimately the only source for even if you find an “off brand” it’s still something they had made)

It’s the same thing with charger cords. most of them are just different enough that you have to buy a certain one or it won’t work. I don’t see why they don’t just all use a standard USB cable and be done with the crap.

Of course really I do see why. By having the special batteries or special cables, you have to go to them to get it and thus they squeeze you for more cash instead of letting you save money by using standardized parts & cables.

[tags]batteries, cables, charger, cell phone, camcorder, rip off, standardization, standard[/tags]

Why Are Laptop Speakers So Weak?

In the little over a year since I got this laptop I have been very satisfied with it’s performance. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it is easily the best, most powerful, computer I have ever owned. (it’s also my first dual core machine)

Yet there is one thing that I don’t care for and that is that I can’t get much in the way of volume out of it unless I plug in a set of external speakers. The sound from the built in speakers just can’t get loud enough in most circumstances to be really useful.

Now I realize that there isn’t room for the speakers to be physically bigger and there’s also the matter of how much power is available to drive ’em when the machine is running on batteries. On the other hand I almost always run on external power. I only use the batteries when I have to move the computer which is rare.

At the very least it would be nice to be able to pump more amplifier power to the speakers when running on external power.

[tags]laptop, speakers, sound, low sound volume[/tags]

New MacBook Pro – Gold Or Garbage?

There seems to be something of a difference of opinion on the matter. One the one hand, PC Magazine has featured a review in which the reviewer cannot sing the praises of the new machine loud enough. Reading his review I actually expected him to say that it was the best thing since sliced bread, though I suppose it’s fortunate that he didn’t actually say that.

Then on Computerworld there is a very critical piece talking about how this new machine with it’s $1800 base price (and you know almost nobody buys the base machine so most people will be paying a LOT more).

What they had to say about it was that it has some serious issues.

While disassembling a 15-in. MacBook Pro, iFixit.com — a site that regularly tears down electronics and publishes do-it-yourself repair guides — found several signs of substandard assembly.

We’re talking about everything from a stripped out screw to the fact that the infrared sensor’s ZIF socket was unlocked to an excessive amount of thermal heat sink paste applied to the CPU and the GPU which regardless of whether it may or may not do any harm it certainly shows some really sloppy workmanship.

All I can say is that, given this second report, I’m going to stick with my policy of not buying Apple computers newer than the Apple][e and steer well clear of this one. My recommendation is that you do the same.

[tags]apple, macbook pro, reviews, teardown, shoddy workmanship, sloppy assembly, potential problems, avoid[/tags]