Archive for August, 2005

Is it just me, or…

Posted: August 30, 2005 in Uncategorized
…did our summer party kinda suck this year? At least in comparison to last year. Earth Wind and Fire didn’t play, and I didn’t see anybody get faced. In fact, I saw a lot of people go back to work. The food was pretty awful…the chicken was too dry and the corn on the cob was too mushy. No after-party party, of course…people just went home or back to their offices. And it was a bit too hot. Stark contrast from last year’s extravaganza.

 
My aunt and uncle from Denver were in town this past weekend, got to visit with them for awhile early Saturday. Then we went to a community bar-b-q in Snoqualmie, and for a paltry contribution of $5, that food blew away what we got at the summer party. That evening, we visited with my wife’s aunt, who ALSO was from Denver. Long day…
 
Sunday was spent building my main machine…the cabling job is impeccable (this took the most time), you can hardly see any cables thru the side window. But my new EE proc was idling at 54C while running underclocked at 2.6G, which is considered way too high of a temperature. Didn’t know what the heck was going on, the Intel stock HSF came with a thin layer of thermal paste, and I cranked the external fan to max…which only brought the temp down to 52C and it was extremely loud. So Keith offered an extra Zalman 7000a HSF he had lying around to see if that would help…this thing is one heavy-ass mofo, made of copper all around, and looks gorgeous compared to the Intel stock HSF. It does a much better job of cooling than a stock HSF, no doubt, but I’m pretty certain the key difference was the thermal paste that was included. I used rubbing alchohol to remove the paste from the CPU that was pre-applied on the stock HSF, spread the new thermal paste, installed the Zalman (which was quite simple, and uninstalling this will be super-easy compared to the stock HSF), booted the machine, and SHAZAAM…my temp at 2.6G dropped all the way down to 29C!! I then increased the multiplier to 15, and with no overclocking (yet), my proc was finally running at the expected 3G!! And the temp only rose to 30C! Then I overclocked this puppy to 3.3G, and the temp only climbed to 31C at idle! And not only is the Zalman fan almost silent, I was also able to turn the speed of my external intake fan all the way down so it was almost silent as well, and saw no further increase in CPU temp. The only real noise now is my external exhaust fan, so I’ll likely replace that with another Thermaltake like I have for my intake.
 
I ran Sisoft Sandra 05, and compared to a Prescott 3.8G, my EE running at 3.3G beats it solid. Compared to a Northwood 3.2G, my EE blows it away. I ran 3DMark05, and scored almost 3800 (my nVidia 6800 has the additional four pipes unlocked, but it’s not yet overclocked). So far the machine looks stable…can’t wait to start gaming on this thing.

Seattle ball, 1st down!

Posted: August 29, 2005 in Uncategorized
Rams and Lions on MNF tonight. Rams forced a fumble during a pass play and recovered, and the official turned on his mic and said, "Seattle ball, first down". Of course, Madden and Michaels had a lot of fun with that. If only it were true LAST week…
 
Lions are absolutely sucking, btw…

Top 10 & a door sign

Posted: August 23, 2005 in Uncategorized
Assuming it was because of mistaken idea of ownership of the dogs shitting on a neighbor’s lawn, I taped the following sign on my front door this evening:
 
WE DON’T OWN DOGS
WE WERE NOT AMMUSED
NEXT TIME, SHIT ON THE CORRECT HOUSE
 
Hopefully, this will shame the a-hole enough to immediately scrounge around for a random pile of dogshit and hit the next door neighbor’s doorstep.
 
None of my submissions for last week’s Late Show Top 10 List Contest won, but at least the winning submissions were funny. Here are my submissions for this week’s topic, check in next week to see if one of them won…
 
Top Ten Things Overheard On President Bush’s Summer Vacation
  • How about we try selling tactical weapons at employee prices for everyone?
  • No, you are NOT getting me on another one of them damn Segways
  • Jenna! Barbara! Those beers you’re holding had better be for me!
  • "Hot enough for you?" You’re asking, HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU? I’m trying to run a damn war, pad daddy’s retirement fund with 250% increases in gasoline prices, and people keep asking why we still ain’t going after Osama! Yeah, it’s hot enough for me! On the other hand, I can’t get re-elected again if I wanted, so screw it…
  • Dammit, my Tivo maxed out before the season finale of King of the Hill
  • Steroids? No! Really? Well, that explains a lot, actually…
  • What a great film! Was Dukes of Hazzard based on a true story?
  • You think anyone would notice if I waxed my back?

The game tonight was a flag-filled festival. We spent most of our time yelling at the refs. But certainly enjoyable, and the seats were great, we had a great vantage point whereas we could see the penalties happen without looking at the replay. Hasselbeck had a good night, but everybody else struggled once he left the field. Wallace has an uncanny ability to know when he’s about to get hit (and his offensive line made sure it would happen multiple times), so he was smart enough to just dump the ball at the last possible moment to avoid the sack or forced fumble, and he had a couple of really good scrambles. I can just imagine what Holmgren said to the team after the game, and that would be, "There is one bright spot about this game I can think of: it was a nationally televised game that was blacked out in your home town so that the majority of your fans didn’t have to watch that embarassing performance you guys think is a game of football." We started calling the third string "The Cut Team", or something like that. And jeezus, for a Monday night game, the stadium was practically half-empty!

Yup…it must be Monday

Posted: August 22, 2005 in Uncategorized

I open my front door this morning, and find a small, brown paper bag of dogshit on my doorstep. How sweet. At least the a-hole had the courtesy not to light it. Something like this usually means someone doesn’t like you very much, but we have a good relationship with everyone in our neighborhood except the jerks with the dogs next door…and we just ignore them, we don’t do anything to piss them off (tho’ they deserve it), so the wife and I tried to rationalize it. We figure it is most likely:

  • Just a stupid prank by some bored teenagers
  • Someone who thinks we own the dogs next door, and those dogs shit on their lawn (yes, the dogs escape on a semi-regular basis, and we’ve chased them down once or twice cuz the neighbors weren’t home, so it’s understandable someone would assume they are ours)
  • One of our neighbors called in a noise complaint about the dogs next door, and those jerks think it was us again and are trying to send us a message (tho’ considering they have three dogs, you’d think they would completely fill the bag to send a real message)
  • We have the greenest lawn in the neighborhood, and somebody is jealous

Well, the new mobo for my Gallatin proc didn’t work out. And I spent so much of my weekend ripping out computer parts and whatnot. The board was missing two fan headers, but newegg wasn’t willing to do a refund for that (even tho’ it’s not as advertised), so I set about installing it. Turns out it won’t run my 3.0G proc any faster than 2.4G…I tried everything, but Intel is infamous for locking their multiplier. So again, not as advertised, since this mobo is supposed to support the EE procs, which start at 3G. I got the RMA from newegg, and now I’m going for the tried-and-true Asus brand, and selected the P4P800-E Deluxe…which has more features, like Firewire, it’s a retail box as opposed to the Intel OEM, and actually costs a few bucks less. Intel mobos: never again.

 

Finally watched Batman Returns yesterday, I’ve had the unopened laserdisc for at least five years. Now I know why Keaton didn’t sign on to do the remaining sequels…that movie stunk. Michelle Pfeiffer had the only decent comedy lines, but once she transformed into Catwoman, it was all downhill from there. Christopher Walken didn’t play himself this time, which was a bummer. The plot was so over the top, it landed with a splat on the other side. Ehhh…it was something to have on while ripping apart computers.

 

Monday Night Football! Seahawks and the Cowboys! Yes, I was invited! OK, so it’s just pre-season, but we get to see the guys who are pressing to make the teams, so they’re gonna play hard, especially for a nationally-televised game that every other team is gonna see and potentially sign guys we cut from the roster. My friend sez he has incredible seats, but I’ve been to a couple of other games…I doubt he has seats 11 rows up directly on the 50 yard line 😉 but considering there isn’t a bad seat in the house, I ain’t one to complain. And they serve decent beer, so I’m tickled fvcking pink. Hopefully the ‘hawks don’t tank at 17 points up with 8 minutes left again, which is what happened the last time we played the Cowboys on MNF (yes, I was there, what a fantastic game). And as I had hoped and blogged about earlier, it looks like Seneca Wallace is our official #2 at QB. He had a great game last week, looking forward to seeing him live tonight!

Whoa…this ain’t no Prescott

Posted: August 15, 2005 in Uncategorized
My wife’s cousin kindly offered to send me a 3.06G Northwood CPU to replace my old 1.6A that’s been running overclocked at 2.4G for almost four years. The 3.06 is the fastest proc my mobo can take, and like I said awhile back, I don’t want to do a complete system upgrade yet…so this would be a very nice incremental upgrade. He also offered to send me a 3G Prescott processor as well, otherwise that CPU would just end up in the trash anyway, so I said, "Great! I’ll take it!" This way I could also upgrade the CPU in my MCE machine as well.
 
The procs arrived Saturday, and I figured since the Prescotts run hotter than Northwoods I would put the Prescott in my main machine, and the Northwood in my MCE machine (my main machine has additional cooling for the CPU). But once I dropped it in, the automatic speed detection by the BIOS had set the speed to 1.06G. WTF? So I figured I would have to manually set the CPU speed, but my machine wouldn’t even post if I set it to 2.6G. Did I get a bum CPU? So I downloaded a nifty freeware utility called CPU-Z that gives you info on all the core system components, such as mobo, BIOS version, RAM timings, and everything you ever wanted to know about your processor.
 
I was shocked…CPU-Z told me I have a Gallatin processor, NOT a Prescott. For those unfamiliar, the Gallatin core is only used for the Extreme Edition processor. The uber proc. The ultimate gamer’s proc. The proc that most people would love to have, but it’s waaaaaay too expensive.
 
OK, so I broke down and bought a new mobo and memory for this puppy…benchmarks by the end of the week.

More Top10 list submissions

Posted: August 9, 2005 in Uncategorized
Once again, I’m hoping to win a worthless prize on Letterman’s Top10 contest. These are my entries for this week’s topic:
 
Top Ten Signs You’re On A Bad Summer Vacation
  • Seems that the entire hive takes offense when you whack just a single bee

  • Bad news: you’re out of gas. Good news: the desert seems cooler at night

  • At every state line, your wife has to inform you that it’s illegal to drop the kids off on the side of the freeway and continue driving

  • Wishing you’d taken that left turn at Albuquerque

  • Three days later, the local sheriff stops by to tell you that you set up camp on a former toxic waste dump

  • Chevy Chase points at you and laughs

  • Is that a sunburn, a rash, or…worse?

  • All the soap in the world can’t seem to get the sand out of the crack of your ass

  • Goofy starts spanking your kids because you won’t

  • You end up on an episode of COPS: Summer Edition

  • Continental breakfast comes with complimentary daily hurricane forecasts

C’mon kidz, leave your submissions, too!

We’re EVEN!

Posted: August 2, 2005 in Uncategorized
Eleven years ago, my girlfriend wanted to buy a house, primarily because paying rent was financially wasteful. Unfortunately, she couldn’t get a loan approval that was enough for even a small condo. We’d been dating for three years, and I figured I was going to marry her anyway (she didn’t know that at the time), so I offered to join in and pool our meager resources together, which resulted in a whopping $125K loan that we could afford to sign our lives away for. We got very lucky with the house we ended up buying, cuz everything else we looked at in our price range sucked.
 
Ten years later, we rushed into buying a new house…OK, so the real story is that I pushed her into buying a new house on the East Side asap, she really didn’t want to get a new place or move away from the "big city". She absolutely hates change. And this time we got extremely lucky, since it was my wife’s best friend selling her house to us for less than list, no escalation clause needed due to other offers, nice neighborhood, we already knew the condition of the house inside and out, etc. Probably the most painless house purchase anyone has ever made.
 
But still, my wife took a long time to get used to living in our new home. However, prices for (the dwindling) available homes in our neighborhood have recently exploded…houses similar to ours are now selling for $75K more than what we paid just a year ago. So she sez we’re even now: she pushed to get into a house 11 years ago that ended up as an excellent investment, then I pushed to get into a new house that also turned out to be an excellent investment.
 
Well, it’s actually better than that: she recently got a tech job just down the street, less than 10 minutes away, so she will never experience the daily 40-60 minute 520 shuffle that I suffered thru for 14 years. Of course, my commute time and gas consumption was cut by more than half. We have a sky when we look up from our back yard now, a much larger master bedroom with more closet space, a fantastic master bathroom, and other huge positives over our first house. And now that we live on the East Side, we’re just minutes away from most of the people we like to hang out with…no more leaving early just cuz we have a long drive home ahead of us.
 
Yeah, our second house was a nice investment…but not just for the financial part of it.