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.

Good Headphones Are Hard To Find

About eight months ago I pulled a really klutzy move. Without realizing it I had managed to get my foot tangled up in the cord to my headphones. When I got up and left the computer I managed to pull the cord right out of the plugs that goe into the computer’s mic and speaker jacks. This essentially destroyed the headphones.

I couldn’t just try to wire new plugs in place because the headphones had a very small circuit wired into the volume control on the cord and the wires were also pulled out of it in the process.

Since I used that headset a lot for part of my video making it needed to be replaced a.s.a.p. The problem is that my local stores somehow managed to not carry decent headphones that also have a good boom microphone and I had no desire to *just* get a microphone. I used the headphones even more than the mic and needed both.

So I started reading headphone reviews on sites all over the place, trying to find one that would both do the jobs I needed it for and not cost an arm and a leg.

I can’t say exactly why but it took me a week to finally find a decent logitech unit for a good price. Yeah, I tried putting “cheap microphone headset” and similar variations into search engines and still came up with stuff that cost over $60 when my budget was less than half of that.

I realize that good equipment is going to cost more but really, some of us don’t have deep enough pockets for anything but the least expensive thing that will actually do the job.

[tags]microphone, headphone, headset, boom mic, accident, trip on wires, tangled wires[/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]

The Free Google Tv That Wasn’t

Not long ago, as part of a promotion, Google had this contest on youtube where they were giving away a “Google Tv” to a hundred people. It ran for a month or more and a boatload of people got involved in it.

The thing is once the contest was over that’s when it became obvious that this “free” tv wasn’t *quite* free. Oh, granted, the unit itself was free. But it was still necessary for the winners to get a high def tv, tv mounts, and all the other assorted little doodads that are needed to make such a setup work.

Then of course, since this thing basically puts the internet on your tv, there is also the consideration of how much bandwidth it’s using. I haven’t seen any numbers but I’ll just bet that people in areas that don’t have the faster broadband access available will end up finding that the Google tv eats up most, if not all, of their bandwidth really quickly. After all, High Def streaming video takes a LOT of bytes.

[tags]tv, google, google tv, contest, youtube[/tags]

How Much Storage Is There?

I’m talking about digital storage of course. Specifically, if you were to add up the capacity of every individual piece of digital storage media how much would the total be?

I’m talking about the capacity of every magnetic tape, cassette tape, CD-Rom, DVD, sd and micro sd cards, flash memory sticks, all of it. How many billions of gigabytes would that total? Or would it be more?

Perhaps not a useful bit of information, but interesting just the same.

[tags]memory, digital storage, capacity[/tags]