Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2003 > Long February Weekend Edition

Long February Weekend 2003 Edition

the blizzard

The horrible ice-and-snow storm that was supposed to hammer central Indiana passed by the area where I live on Friday. Evidently it waited until I got home before it gave vent. When I looked outside the next day, I found foot-tall snowdrifts and howling winds. I had to dig out my car before doing my Saturday chores.

The storm lasted through Sunday before settling down this morning. On Monday the winds were gentle and there was a light powdering of snow.

I am so glad I don't have to work this weekend. That gives me a three-day holiday instead of the usual two-and-a-half-day I normally get. Mary Jo must be forgetful this month. :)

valentine's day

Friday was Valentine's Day, when guys give chocolate and flowers to their babes. It has little meaning for me, though, for I don't have a babe. :(

At work we got our bonuses Friday. Mine is now resting comfortably in my Fairmount savings account, from which it is not easy for me to withdraw. My tax returns have come in, too; I will hold off until pay day to see if I will put that money into savings. I feed the need to pump up the savings account because of all those bigger bills coming in due to the more frigid winter, and the loan I just took out (more on that later).

I have already taken care of my car's internals; now it's time for mine.

I seemed to have developed a cavity in a lower left molar. It doesn't hurt so far unless it comes in contact with something cold. I will visit my dentist to learn what it really is.

The company's annual health screening is the last Tuesday of this month. I will see if the three weeks of eating that fake butter (Take Control™) has had an effect on my cholesterol.

new computer

A new computer is on its way.

Taking advantage of a little-known company benefit, I took out a no-interest loan and bought a customized Gateway 500X computer. This promises to be a really nice box:

This is much more powerful box than the homebrew system I have. I could build a new box from scratch, but I did not feel like doing so this time around.

I decided to buy from Gateway, where my company shops. This is especially true after Gateway's technical support helped us with repairing a set of forty-four PCs which had bad hard drives.

The base system had to be customized to get the same amount of RAM as my current system, plus a more powerful video card from nVIDIA, makers of the finest gaming cards.

This is the first time in years that I have bought or built a computer with an Intel processor. Intel has been nothing but trouble in recent years, esp. during its Rambus phase. Hopefully it has put the careers of some of its more troublesome managers to sleep, and got on with its processor work. Anyway, its Pentium 4 processor is currently the latest of its 80x86 line.

I have chosen half a gigabyte of the DDR type of SDRAM. Gateway has more powerful boxes, but they use Rambus DRAM. Apart from the notoriety of Rambus (a lawsuit-sappy company), RDRAM is very difficult to work with.

nVIDIA is wonderful for playing video-intensive games like RtCW and SimCity 4, but does not have DVD-decoding hardware on its cards as ATI does. I have learned, though, that nVIDIA sells separately a DVD player tweaked for their cards, so I will give nVIDIA another go.

As the GeForce 4 is the top-of-the-line nVIDIA product, so Audigy is the topmost product from Creative Labs. I have read that it is a little too powerful for most users. I will see for myself. The card comes with a Firewire port—a redundancy, because the new box has six USB 2.0 ports which are just about as fast and a lot more versatile.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 17 February 2003.