My new PC

As the refurbished Dell PC I bought about four years ago was getting to be a bit slow, I decided that I wanted to build myself a new PC this summer. I don't game as much on my PC as I used to, but with my current favorite, Sid Meier's Civilization V, being dog slow on my Inspiron 531, and Diablo III being just around the corner, now seemed like a good time for an update. My last three PCs were built by companies, Dell, iBuyPower, and Dell again. My Dell boxes were rock solid, my iBuyPower box had some issues pop up after a couple years, but on the whole, they worked. I'd gotten out of the habit of building my own PCs, because I'd gotten fed up with compatibility problems, flaky parts, and unstable and loud machines. Fortunately, the parts available to the PC enthusiast market have come a long ways in the last decade, and building my new PC wasn't hard at all. In fact, it passed the POST on the first try, and everything has worked well, other than the optical drive I forgot to connect to the motherboard at first. Oops.

So, here's what's inside my new PC:

  • Intel Core i5-2500K Processor 3.3GHz 6 MB Cache Socket LGA1155
  • Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case
  • ASUS LGA 1155 Intel Z68 Chipset Motherboard P8Z68-V PRO
  • HIS Radeon 6870 Video Card (H687F1G2M)
  • Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive ST95005620AS
  • PNY Optima 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) PC3-10666 1333MHz DDR3 RAM
  • Lite-On iHAP422 22x DVD±RW Drive with LightScribe
  • Antec 620W Neo Eco Power Supply
  • So that's the parts list. I'll write more tomorrow about why I chose some of those components, how it turned out, and what I'd do differently, as well as break down the cost of building a gaming rig like this.

    Doc Fynskov

    Our family veterinarian, Dr. Paul Fynskov, died this week. Being a farm family with livestock, we saw a lot more of the vet than the average person does. Doc Fynskov was good-humored, kind, and really seemed to enjoy his work. I always enjoyed the days that we would work cattle as a kid, because I got to hang out with Doc all day. Every time I smell whatever antiseptic was used to clean his office, it instantly reminds me of him, and now it will make me miss him...

    Help Wanted

    We're hiring someone to run our student computer labs:

    Support Services Coordinator/User Consultant

    ITS – User Services

    Provides primary support for fifteen general student computer centers (labs) including servers and workstations; oversees operations and student staffing; provides software consulting and support to centers and to University faculty and staff; interfaces with faculty regarding software needs for curriculum; creates and maintains software documentation; and provides secondary support for faculty and staff servers and workstations. Bachelor's degree plus at least one year of experience in server administration and computer applications as applied to computer support or related field required. Interpersonal communication and organizational skills also required. Experience in supervision, computer communications, networking, as well as experience with Active Directory and Group Policy preferred. Experience with a package management system like SMS, SCCM, or Altiris also preferred. Student experience will be considered. Criminal and other relevant background checks required. Application materials received by November 17, 2008 will be given first consideration. Additional information provided upon request (319) 273-3424. Send cover letter, resume, and names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references to: Support Services Coordinator Search Chair, Human Resources, 027 Gilchrist, UNI, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0034. Fax 319-273-2927. Email: URL: UNI is a smoke free campus.

    NetBackup Forum 2008

    I've registered to attend NetBackup Forum 2008, which is taking place in Roseville, MN in October. I attended the Forum last year, and found it to be a fantastic venue for learning more about NetBackup, if that happens to be as large a part of your job as it is mine. The forum is free, and meals are provided, though you have to pay for your own room & transportation.

    Oscar Thoughts

    Holly & I watched The Oscars last night, which were largely uneventful. Jon Stewart did a a decent job, but I don't think he (and his writers) had enough time to craft jokes, due to the recently-ended strike. Probably my favorite moment of the night was the duo of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova winning for "Falling Slowly" from Once. I rented this disc a few weeks ago from Netflix, and absolutely loved that song the first time I heard it. I went and found it on iTunes to buy shortly thereafter. I was ready to be mad when Marketa didn't have a chance to speak at the microphone, considering Glen had barely spoken for 10 seconds, so they should have had plenty of allotted time for her to say something. Major kudos to Jon Stewart for bringing her back out after the commercial to get her piece in. Note to the Academy: Stop playing people off who aren't rambling. Seriously, and if you are going to do it, bring in the music slowly. A few times they opened with a cymbal crash, which is rather rude, though I know it was because they were playing the theme to whatever movie the person was nominated for. Really, double the amount of time people have to give acceptance speeches, and I bet it wouldn't add 10 minutes to the show. Most of the time is spent presenting, in commercials, in retrospectives, and waiting for the recipients of the "little" awards to make their way up from the cheap seats in the back. They should have at least as long to speak as it takes to make the trek from their seat to the front.

    I also couldn't help but notice how International the Oscars were this year. All four of the acting awards went to Europeans, as did almost everything else, though most of the roles they played were in American studio pictures. I've only seen one of the five Best Picture-nominated films this year, guess I've been slacking...

    Bonne fête to Holly!

    Today is my wife's birthday, and we're celebrating it in Montreal. She didn't know we were coming here until a few days ago, but was happily surprised (I hope). We had numerous delays on the trip here, arriving about 8 hours later than we were supposed to, due to delayed and cancelled flights due to weather, but we made it, and spent yesterday shopping in the Underground City, ice skating, eating copious amounts of meat at Le Milsa, and finished the day off with a pint of cider at Hurley's, before collapsing into our beds. On today's agenda: The Montreal Biodome, and the fine art musuem.