Monthly Archives: July 2005

New Computer '05

I finally got my computer, and have the weekend to spend setting everything up.

Let’s talk geek.

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 (Dual-Core) 4400+

Thumbnail: Large CPU heatsink

The sexiest stock heatsink I’ve ever seen. Notice the dense fins, and the symmetrical copper heat pipes. I didn’t dare take it off the cpu for a picture. One time, after I pulled the heatsink off a P4, I noticed that the processor was stuck to the bottom while the processor lock was still in place. The thermal paste had caked and turned to glue. The edges of the cpu were chipped and a few pins were bent, but I carefully put them back in place and it still worked.

This one is an AMD though. It’s clocked at 2.2 GHz, with two megs of level 2 cache (one per core). Even though it can almost be considered unreasonably expensive, I went with a dual-core processor because I wanted something that could handle both single-threaded and multi-threaded apps. All the reviews I read said that the Pentium Extreme Edition chips were slightly better for the latter but much worse for the former, so this marks my first foray into the use of an Advanced Micro Devices processor, at work or at home.

Continue reading “New Computer ’05″…

I Bought A New Computer

The last part came in from back order today and they’re running the burn overnight, so it’ll be ready for me to pick up before the weekend.

It’s the most expensive system that I’ve ever bought, but also the most guilt-free. At home, I spend the majority of my time at the computer — I use it to write, manipulate photos, render video, play games, communicate with friends, watch movies, listen to music. I could survive on my current system, but I could also take advantage of an even better setup.

Some of the parts may be a little excessive, but why not go all out? I only know a few people, such as Trolley, who could appreciate a top-of-the-line system in the same way. Ever since Intel announced their lineup of dual-core processors in the first quarter, I’ve been saving my money, keeping track of the parts I’ve wanted. By the time AMD announced their own dual-core architecture, I had a complete list of components for my dream system. Most stores couldn’t even get their hands on the chips, so for two months I would periodically check for availability. Eventually, I ended up going through a corporate contact, who has his own direct contact to AMD. To boot, he gave me a discount (ranging on 15%, which is insane, considering the tiny margin on computer systems) since I’m a business client as well.

The kicker is that my work just happens to need a computer capable of handling some heavy graphics editing. The computer most adequate to handle this usage is mine, since it’s also the fastest in the office, so I get to give up my already adequate system for a better one. I got approval to order the same system that I bought myself personally. The same system that I’ve been dreaming of, planning for, and drooling over since February.

The Next Level, Part 2

It’s getting easier to write again. Ideas are coming a little more fluidly, and aren’t quite as straining to develop anymore. Perhaps there’s been an excess of inspiration in the last while, from the music that keeps me moving, to the people I interact with, to the temperature of the season, to the words in the books that I’ve been reading with relish.

Life is a series of sensations that galvanize, encourage, provoke, and teach.

I can never seem to get it all down.

Zone

Thumbnail: Kitchen gadgets
Thumbnail: Bowls and placemats
Thumbnail: Brushed aluminum goodies
Thumbnail: Clocks and vases
Thumbnail: Coloured glass
Thumbnail: Desk clocks
Thumbnail: Stir sticks
Thumbnail: Plants with lights
Thumbnail: Salt and pepper shakers
Thumbnail: Shower curtains
Thumbnail: Wall clocks

Every time I’m in there, I want to buy something, anything. I want uneven, hand-made chopsticks, and wine glass identifiers. Transparent coasters that form designs when stacked. Milk frothers. Sushi rolling mats. Designer vegetable brushes. Hand-crafted Italian martini glasses. Retro wind-up desk toys.

Slave to the Ikea nesting instinct.

Christie Had A Speech Impediment

Her unwitting nickname in high school was Fudd (as in Elmer), because her “r”s came out as babyish “w”s.

This was partially due to the fact that she would imitate her older brother in admiration during childhood, after he developed his own impediment from an orofacial sports injury. The other, and much more severe, aspect of her impediment was a random and sudden inability to speak. No stutter, no slur.

As her speech therapist explained, it was a short-circuit in the brain, causing her to believe that a sentence was finished when she was only half-way through saying it. The only problem was that she would get stuck on a word. On good days she simply couldn’t repeat it, on bad days she couldn’t speak at all. Most people thought it was brought on by a rather traumatic series of events brought on by her supposed friends in high school. The wascals.

I always found it endearing, but she never cared for it. One of the tricks she used to get by was to take her time in saying a word. E-nun-ci-ate. It was like massaging the tension from a muscle, and slowly, she would be able to speak again. Another trick was to imagine being in a comfort zone, which was her room, to relax when she was flustered.

I’ve always found that girls share some intrinsic bond with their rooms. It’s almost as if they’re following an evolutionary nesting instinct, and their rooms become their homes. A place to grow and be safe. Along with the carefully lined-up books and the random pieces of jewellery, the hidden cache of photos and the purposefully placed candles (some of which must never be lit), are the characteristic quirks.

Christie could never fall asleep if one of her dozen stuffed animals were facing her. Her bedtime ritual was to make sure that each one was turned away.

In time, Christie’s comfort zone became the walk-in-closet of my room. She was old enough to make love, but simultaneously too young to stay overnight, so we would spend most of our time in there, the place where we could reach out and feel the walls around us, confined to the intimacy of the enclosure. We spread out the blanket, lit the candles, and closed the door.

After a while, the humidity would build up, and this was no more apparent than in the winter when we would crack open the door and tangibly feel the chill on our skin. Opening the sun she called it, as the daylight sharply spilled on the blanket that covered us. It was the only place where we could shut out the world, the only place that felt like night.

In a relationship, sharing the night is more important than sharing fluids. Falling asleep with someone is an acceptance of trust, a way of saying that we’re comfortable enough to drift into our subconscious minds. Perhaps it was the unavailability of such a ritual that’s given the night so much significance.

Having no night of our own, we had to make due. I covered one side of a cardboard panel with glow-in-the-dark stars and suspended it from the top of the room. The panel was large enough to fill the vision, and in the darkness the closet became a microcosm of the starry sky. Even in the middle of day it was near blackness, and we’d lose track of time, huddled under the blankets with her sleeping at my chest, or lying there face-to-face, talking while I ran my fingers through her hair. Sometimes, all we would do was get together and nap.

And eventually, Christie didn’t have much trouble speaking anymore.