Away from the stressful bit of the day…

My order from Performance-PC’s arrived today (the custom PSU, plus some fan grills, a custom floppy drive and new CPU/gfx card coolers). Everything arrived in top notch condition. The PSU was a breeze to install, as was the CPU cooler. The fan grills took a bit longer than they should have, due to them being a bit bigger than normal 80mm grills. The two on the front intake fans actually overlap each other. Ah well. Didn’t fit the new gfx cooler, cos a) I couldn’t be arsed and b) I think it might be better to mount it on the Northbridge chip anyway. Will need to get some thermal epoxy for that.

The PSU is fantastic. The braiding on the cables is top quality. Everything now looks a bit neater. Some cabling still needs tidying up, but that’s mainly minor stuff. As wierd as it may sound, all the LEDs in the case seem a bit brighter since installing the new PSU… could be just my imagination though!

The CPU cooler (a Coolermaster X-Dream) is also great. Spinning the fan at full power makes it a better cooler than my Thermalright SLK-800 (the king of heatsinks) and 80mm fan combo. Looks a lot better as well, even with the stock fan grill (which I’ve swapped for one of my new ones). Unfortunately, it’s loud.

The floppy drive has a black, anodised aluminium face plate, so it matches the finish of my case. Other than that, it’s a standard floppy – nothing exciting. It’s only there for the times when I need to flash the BIOS, personally, I’d consign all FDD’s to the scrapheap, if it wasn’t for their amazing ability to get you out’ve trouble when your machine fails… I do need to get a 3mm bl00 LED for it though. I will not tolerate non-bl00ness in my case!

All this new stuff means that there are only a few bits and bobs I need to do, before my PC is finished.

  • match the CD drive to my case
  • sort the lighting
  • tidy the wires at the bottom of my case (the front panel connector stuff and the LCD wire)
  • Replace the top mounted “blow-hole” fan, to match the other case fans

and that’s pretty much it! All the hard work will be done and I’ll have one sexhay PC

Change of Plan

I did have a big rant ready to be posted, but given the subject of it (solicitors and the saga of me trying to buy a flat), I’ve been advised to keep my mouth shut (for now).

Oh well, maybe another day…

Nothing to Report

Not got time to write anything tonight. Got to build a PC for my sister’s boyfriend. A nice little E-Cube system: Athlon 2100+, 512Mb DDR RAM, 30GB hard disk… If I didn’t already have a beast of a computer, I’d probably buy myself one of these things.

Anyway, got to go build

Minor Rant

Right, these new charity collection workers that are going about… How fricken’ annoying are they? You know the ones – there’s always about 20 of them in a 100 yard stretch of Union St, they wear blue vests with the logo of their charity of choice over their jackets and they carry clipboards.

Because there’s so many of them in a small area, you can’t avoid one of them latching onto you. If you make eye contact, then that’s it – prepare to spend the next 20 minutes trying to tell the do-gooder with the clipboard that you don’t want to give your bank details out in the street…

How stupid do they think people are? How many people are going to tell a complete stranger – in the middle of the busiest pedestrian street in Aberdeen – what their account number/sort code/credit card details are? Yet they still harrass you for your cash. I was unlucky enough to get ensnared by one the other day. At first I tried to be polite, I listened to the girl and when she asked whether I’d be interested, I politely said “can’t say right now, I’m a bit rushed (trying to emply that I needed to get away), can you give me one of the forms away and I’ll send it in if I decide to donate”. Did the girl get the hint? Did she fsck. Cue another lengthy bit of goody-goody rhetoric from her, some bizarre reason why she couldn’t give me a form away with me and then: “So, if you’d like to give me your name, address and bank details, we’ll set up the donation direct debit for you” (insert gormless charity worker “gimme money” smile here).

“Sorry lady, but fat chance,” or words to that effect was my reply. I could see her about to do an angsty “why not”, so I had to cut her off and get out’ve there before I wasted another 10 minutes. One curt, sarcastic and slightly biting explanation followed, explaining why I wasn’t going to give my bank details out in the street, that I hadn’t said that I was going to donate in the first place and that frankly I didn’t want to donate to a charity that uses such harrassing tactics to solicit donations. Moments later, I was free, leaving a confounded Little Miss Goody-Two-Shoes in my wake.

5 steps later and one of her collegues stepped in front of me to ask if I wanted to help the charity. He didn’t get off so lightly…

In other news, I received the bits today to build a PC for my sisters’ boyfriend. If I’d waited till today to order, I’d have quadrupled the size of hard disk I got with it (120GB instead of 30GB), for only a few quid more. Bah! Stupid “one day only” special offers..!

Looked at a flat tonight. (argh! only 4 weeks till I have to move out and I’ve still not got somewhere!) The owner, who showed us around, was quite frankly MAD! She started going on about asylum seekers, manners, the pointlessness in flying/exotic holidays and made sure she said my girlfriends name at the end of every sentence (despite it being me that was interested in the flat)… she kept going on for ages and we were only there for a quick view around the flat! Ye Gads! The flat wasn’t that great anyway. Big, but it needed more work than what it should, for the asking price (offers over £43K).

Anyway, I think that’s a big enough update for one night… later

For the Second Time

Bah. My machine rebooted itself while I was typing this originally… Probably because of what I’ve been doing to it all night…

Spent all night tinkering with the BIOS, trying to overclock the CPU. When I was writing this before, it was up to 2GHz. Not bad for a chip that normally runs at 1.43GHz…
Alas, this setting turned out to be unstable in the end – i.e. the reboot, after running OK for about 35 minutes. So I’ve clocked it down to 1.9GHz, which hopefully will run fine. Until I work out what’s going wrong that is, so I can clock up to the target of 2.2GHz (which should be well within the reach of my CPU)…

Prior to tonights experiments, I’d been running the chip at 1.8GHz for about 3 months, without any adverse effects. Ah well.

Anyway, following on from the musi-orientated post a few days ago, St Anger was released today. I think it’s great. A lot of people don’t, but I expected that. It’s as heavy as a mofo, with a very… “dirty, ugly” feel to it.
Some of the songs are a bit too long, and the production is a bit suspect, but those are my only two criticisms at the moment.

Also bought the Evanesence album, “Fallen”, today. It’s gooooood. Very good. “Bring Me to Life” is probably the weakest track on it. The entire album is quite varied in the styles used for each song, but the whole thing flows together nicely. I definitely recommend it.

One for the Sony Net MD Users

Got a Net MD? Sick and tired of OpenMG Jukebox? I know I am – it sucks @$$… half my tracks don’t convert properly, so are just however many minutes of silence. Plus, it doesn’t properly support any form of MP3 and has that annoying “Check-In/Out” feature.

Anyway, I was searching around for an alternative method to OpenMG and stumbled across this little gem. You’ll need Nero Burning Rom + the Imagedrive function and Sony Simple Burner (should come with your Net MD). To enjoy a simple method of transferring MP3s or other music files onto your Net MD, follow these steps…

  1. Open Nero, select Audio CD from the presets and drag all the MP3’s you want into it. Nero is far less picky about formats and sample rates. I found this method foolproof.
  2. Save or ‘Burn’ your CD to your hard drive (not your burner). Nero will give you a default filename of ‘image.nrg’
  3. Use Nero’s Imagedrive (bundled with Nero) to mount the .nrg (CD-image) you just created. Lets say Drive ‘F’ for this example.
  4. Select your ‘virtual F’ CD drive in Simple Burner and burn it to Minidisc. When you are done, trash the large .nrg file sitting on your desktop.

Advantages of this Method:

  • You are using reliable software.
  • Check-in/check-out is avoided.
  • Unlike OpenMG, files aren’t left all over your hard drive.
  • You can delete and re-arrange the downloaded tracks on your MD without having to resort to connecting it back to your PC.
  • It is faster and doesn’t thrash your hard drive.

There you go… you should now be on the way to Net MD bliss…

Whew! Saved!

A quick check with the bank has saved me from buying that PSU tonight… (my mouse pointer was hovering over the “Checkout” button)

The money going to my credit card hasn’t cleared yet, so I can’t buy it. Yet.

It’ll probably be winging its way over the Atlantic by the end of the week though…

Gah! More Shiny Things!

I have a severe spending addiction. I really do. I can’t help myself buying stuff/desperately wanting to buy stuff.
As previously mentioned, I am building my uber-PC. A PC that is high-spec, high-quality, and damn well looks good too. It’s probably cost me way more than twice what I could buy a “normal”, similar spec machine for. All fine and dandy so far…

If you look down the page (or in the archives), you’ll see that part of my plan for the PC includes a top quality PSU, and tidying the mass of cabling inside the case. Well, today I found the answer to both these problems, that doesn’t involve any fiddly work sheathing cables or anything. Today I found one of these [Editor’s note – there was a link here which no longer works; it was a fancy PSU].

Now, the thing is, it costs. It costs £100, plus £50 just to ship the damn thing. It wouldn’t cost much more than that to buy one in the UK and do all the modding myself. I probably wouldn’t do as good a job, and it’d probably take me a long time to do though. sigh Sometimes, I just just can’t help myself…

I haven’t bought it yet, but I know I probably will. The PSU/cabling are the main pieces in finishing off my PC.

Ah well, they also have a few other bits and pieces that I was wanting…

Mmmmm… Shiny…

My new DVD player arrived today. It’s the shiznitz.
Next item on the list, is new, decent speakers…
And a decent, big screen TV…

My GeForce 4 Ti 4800 also arrived today. Unreal Tournament never looked so good! 1280*1024, with all detail levels set to highest… and it never once dropped below 38fps during an intense 12 bot deathmatch.

ph34r the p0w3r!

On the down-side, adding it to my case has pushed the average ambient temperature up 3-5 degrees, to about 35 degrees celcius…

Ah well, that’s the price you have to pay for m4x1mum UT2k3 3nj0ym3n7t!

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