Quote for Today, apparently

Found this gem this evening on CNN, where coverage of their favorite cover girl Sarah Palin continues ad nauseum:

“I think that Americans would elect a ham sandwich for president if it would promise them jobs and a higher income. What I mean by that is people are looking for new ideas and they’re looking for the change that hasn’t happened yet,” [Republican strategist Ron Bonjean] said.

No way, Ron.  This American is holding out for pizza.

Reality

I would rather be tossed by a hurricane and empowered to deal with it, than be faced with one and told “that’s just the way it is”.

The computer carpenter strikes again

I last put together a new workstation several years ago, and although I have steadily upgraded it (CPU, sound, video, drive capacity) its technology has fallen too far behind my needs.

Besides, my wife just started musing about a new sewing machine and that was my cue.

My current beast is a Silverstone Temjin TJ06 case housing an ASUS K8N-DL dual 2.6 Ghz AMD Opteron motherboard, an ATI HD 2600 video card and an Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 HiFi soundcard.  I’ll be keeping the beautiful monster case (it’s just flat awesome) and the soundcard, but everything else will be relegated to a media server I’ll be building alongside my next workstation (again using a Silverstone case, this time a Lascala LC17).  I’ve got an old Soundblaster X-Fi XtremeGamer audio card I was about to auction but I’ll probably keep it for the media server.

So far I’m looking at AMD Phenom II X4 processors, probably the 620 (3.2 Ghz).  For the motherboard I’m leaning toward the ASUS M4A78-E.  Ram will be at least 3 GB and likely gaming-grade from Kingston or Corsair.  My next video card will undoubtedly be the ATI 5870— if I can afford it!  Fortunately the ASUS motherboard comes with a decent onboard GPU (ATI 3300).

Lacking any sort of credit card, I usually research for the best components, scrounge around for the best deals on them, and start buying a piece at a time.  It makes sense then to acquire the LC17 case first and move my existing setup into it, then buy the new motherboard and take it from there.

Odds are I will be building a Windows 7 machine since my development needs still dwell largely in that world– but I plan to also make room for Ubuntu and begin learning more about Linux.  Thankfully there are so many easy ways to achieve multi-OS environments now, I could even go with any of a number of lightweight operating systems run from thumb drives if I wish.

Along with the core PC stuff I really need to upgrade my entire computing ecosystem.  My old Sony CRT failed so it’s definitely new monitor time (I’m currently using a 19 inch backup CRT) and I’m looking at Samsung 24 inchers, especially any with a TV tuner.  My beloved Logitech G15 keyboard has some sticky keys but maybe a good cleaning will restore it to decent use.  On the other hand, my Logitech MX518 mouse has developed attitude so I may teach it a lesson by moving to one of its newer descendents.

Bottom line I need to maintain the ability to perform 3d solid modeling work as well as support my musical ventures.  The current dual Opteron setup isn’t cutting it; certain audio mixing operations peg the CPUs and overload the software.  Hopefully a quad CPU system will suffice.

I’m like a kid in a candy store when I build a new machine so please bear with me as each piece arrives.  I’m going to be going nuts until I first power it up.  I’ll journal the process here.

Part suggestions welcome!  Just note I’m fairly committed to AMD… 😉

Rant for October 22, 2009: the little things

Maybe it’s the typical Autumn flooding we got yesterday in our town, or the seasonal illness steadily creeping up on me, but I’m a little cranky today.  And crankiness leads to rantiness.

Today’s rant is themed around common sense.

One thing that’s always irritated me is the state of US regional calls.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s long distance or not.  Many times if I omit our country code (1) on a long-distance call, I get a message that “You must first dial a 1 or 0 before placing a call to this number” or somesuch.  On the other hand if I include the country code I’ll often get the pointless “You do not need to dial a 1 to reach this number”.

If the software is smart enough to figure that out, why can’t it simply say “You do not need to dial a 1 to reach this number; we will proceed to strip the 1 off and place the call anyway for you.  Have a nice day!”.

Of course this sort of inanity can get much worse.  There’s the recent case of the woman who let go of her baby carriage at an Australian train station.  Fortunate for her and the baby, divine intervention or pure luck amazingly kept the kid from serious harm when a train struck the stroller.  The woman was of course negligent in not hanging on to the cart– but government bureaucrats earn the prize for even greater stupidity.  Officials are well aware there’s a problem here and have had a campaign for some time to warn people to hang on to the carriages.  But if they know the things can easily roll off the platform and into megatons of fast-charging locomotive, why don’t they have the sense to install a bumper strip at the platform’s edge?  Not enough to prevent wheels from being forced over, but enough to stop a drifting stroller?

I’m sure I could spend the rest of this rainy afternoon coming up with more, but instead I’ll open it up to the peanut gallery.  Rant away!

Falling off the memory train

I decided a while back that fragmenting my thoughts across a few dedicated blogs made more sense than relying on categories and tags to organize things.  The approach certainly suits my scatterbrained processes.

But the main drawback to running on a brain in constant flux is losing many of the sparks that pop up at the worst possible time… i.e., when I can’t capture them.

So the gaps in posts here represent lost ideas for earth-shattering articles where I would have solved something on the scale of global warming, world peace or cell phone battery life.

Okay, so that’s an exaggeration.

Continue reading

Yikes

Wow, no postings since June!  What the heck have I been up to?  Note to self: more garbage here, more useful content on tabula crypticum.

Make it so!

As warned/threatened/promised, I have decided to activate this blog.  The intent is to use it for more personal stuff that has no business on tabulacrypticum.

There will be little to no structure here.  I may not even use tags or categories.  This will be the de facto dumping ground for my mental effluvium.  Expect rampant randomness and neverending non sequiters.  “Family Guy” on steroids.  Or crack.  Or both.

Brace yourselves.  Ahead, warp factor 7!

Hello world!

Please visit tabulacrypticum.wordpress.com for my recent blogging.  I may or may not use this for anything…