Dysmey Blog Archives  >  thanksgiving holiday

thanksgiving holiday

I did a lot of stuff during my four-day holiday, and let it seems that the time has flown by fast.

The four-day weekend saw me eat turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn and pumpkin pie with the folks, sisters, and nieces. And I brought something home for my cat Isis. As I do not have external reception on my TV, I watched no parades. I kind of lost interest in parades during the long years I have gone without network television.

new tv

I then stayed up all night in order to visit Wal-Mart/Marion at 5:30 a.m. in the morning. I was aware in my head that mobs of people crowd stores in the wee hours of the morning on the day after Thanksgiving to take advantage of the first XMas sales. But, sleepy as I was and focused on my driving, I was still amazed at the crowded parking lot and the store beyond. I did get my new television set as an early XMas gift from the folks. It is just like those of my folks and my sisters, except that it is smaller. I hooked up the TV to the new DVD player, made sure (with Vickie's help) that the player was properly set, and was able to watch some Doctor Who in native format. I am impressed.

computer boost

My sister the editor told me about two things that I could do this weekend. One was to boost the folks' computer, which (as a Gateway as old as my own former home box) I have found had only 256 megabytes of core memory and a video card that used that core memory for its video work. I rummaged through my spare parts and found an nVIDIA GeForce Ti 4200 with lots of its own memory and a 512-megabyte module that matches the slot type on the folks' box. Now the folks' computer works much faster than it did before.

more memory

The other thing my editor sister wants is more memory for her computer. She, too, has only 256 megabytes in her box; and as part of her work she is running heavier-duty programs on her box than the folks are. It is getting to be such, that she cannot get the USB ports to work anymore. That means no external hard drive and no printers. For her, as an XMas gift, I have just ordered one gigabyte of memory in two modules. When the package comes in this week or next, I will install the modules on her computer at once.

Personally I would rather my sister the editor ditch this paranoia aversion to Windows XP and its authentication crap. Windows XP runs much better than Windows 2000. Or, barring that, she can get Windows Server 2003, which has a 2000-like visual interface and has no authentication.


I cut out some of the foam that padded the janovac case. Then I carved out a depression in the foam to put the case daughterboard, and put more foam on top, and sealed both with tape. Then I put the padding in a priority-mail box, sealed the box, put address and return-authorization labels on the box, and mailed it back to iDOTpc. I will be waiting until the end of the year for a new board after the next shipment of pico-cases comes to iDOTpc. The fact that iDOTpc customer service got me an RMA number and willingly advised me that a replacement will be delayed until the end of the year speaks well of its customer service.

But to tell you the truth, I expected something like this from being on the bleeding edge of such a trend as pico-ITX boards. None of the other companies that service mini-ITX and nano-ITX boards and cases have anything like cases for pico-ITX. There is only one supplier of pico-cases right now (Shenzhen Championsail/Serener) for both iDOTpc and Logic Supply. The latter is getting all the Web press on the pico-case right now, even though iDOTpc came out with it first. And speaking of the latter, I sent a cautionary note to its blog.

I got my hands on a Serener case a couple of weeks ago. I had no trouble at all installing the motherboard nor attaching a hard disk to its bracket. I did have trouble with with the clasps on the port daughterboard and front-panel board: Those things are fragile; they will break if you are not careful. And I have found that a SATA cable with a 90-degree bend at the hard disk end is best, since there is hardly any room in front of the power supply. Perhaps Serener could include a 90-bend SATA cable in its kit to make life a little easier.

Silverstone is still working on its pico-cases, but they will be available only to retailers. Vesalia, a German company, is also has a pico-case of its own, but with the exchange rates so awful right now, it is probably not a good idea to contact them.


I wanted to get a Puchi-Puchi bubble-wrap toy for my nieces. But it seems the toy is too popular: There are few sites that sell it, and on them the toys are all sold out. Foo!


This weekend I was focused on Bioshock, the new first-person shooter that forces you to make moral choices.  No, I don't have the game yet, but I have been reading a lot about it on the Web.

And no, I don't mean whether or not to shoot the self-mutated humans who come after you. Anyone foolish enough to think that they will find fortune and glory in an underwater city, that nobody else in the world knows is there; and then up-ends a bottle of sea-slug mutagen juice; deserves to be awarded a free trip to the afterlife courtesy of you.

But those little girls, who are conditioned to process for their mutagen juice the folks you dispatch, did not ask for their lot in life — in fact, some of them were conned from their parents. You should not punish them for it, no matter how desperate you are for juice. For whatever else you think of the fool who founded this city and then watched it fall apart under his heavy hand, he is right in saying that you do have a choice, and by your choice you will be made.

Of course, it is not like Bioshock is unique. id Software tried something like it in Doom 3, although the choice of whether to send an encrypted transmission to the UAC fleet changes only the responses of two of the main characters of the game. The ending is still the same.

Posted on the Dysmey Blog on 26 December 2007.