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Computer Tour 2006

Stardate May 2, 2006

It's been a while since my computer pictures actually worked.  It's been even longer since I published anything recent.  The last time this page was updated, I was using a GeForce3 Ti500.  Now I have an X800XT Platinum Edition...so there's been quite a gap.  Picturing my computer isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world to do, because of its location.  It's also not easily portable due to my external nine-bay vertical hard drive rack.  In any case, here is my system as of May 2, 2006.


This first image is my complete setup, as full viewing as I can make it.  I've got a crappy little desk setup in the corner of a crappy little room with a crappy tacky-ass tack board tacked full of tacked-on tackable stuff.  My computer case is the same classic one I've had since my first AMD processor--the 1.2GHz Thunderbird I used to have.  The keyboard is a regular Microsoft Internet Keyboard--from back when they were new (not the new ones with lots of buttons, I'm talking about the original ones).  The monitor is new though.  It's a ViewSonic VP2030b, which is a 20.1" 4:3 aspect 8ms LCD.  It's been pretty cool so far and as you can see, it shows my computer as I am authoring this page's visual layout aspect.

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My tower is an interesting item.  It's from an era that few people seem to remember...the first assumption is always that it is a piece of crap.  I may still have an Athlon XP sticker on it, but that's just because I was too lazy to replace it with the Athlon 64 one...or I never got one...or something.  Anyway, it isn't important.  What is important is that inside, it's got some really nice stuff going on.  And by inside, I mean outside.

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Yeah, that's a big-ass array of hard drives, wouldn't you say?  Total storage in this machine is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.3TB, currently.  I suspect that this will be increasing over the next few years.  This next shot is a (now) rare glimpse into the innards of my computer.  Ever since my computer mutated and grew that big vertical aluminum hard drive rack, seeing the "normal" stuff inside of my computer has become seldom.  At the top of this picture (inside), you can see the end of my X800XT Platinum Edition with its massively overkill cooling.  Below that is the SATA controller that provides the RAID-1 "Mirror" volume for my Windows XP boot volume.  Below that card is my latest internal hardware addition (or swap-out in my case).  The card is one of those crappy Sound Blaster Audigy SE sound cards that you can pick up from Wal-Mart.  My onboard was malfunctioning and driving me crazy...so I kinda had to.  Sorry.  Below that card is my trusty 3ware Escalade 7500-8 true hardware RAID controller.  Now, when I say true, I mean that it doesn't rely on the OS to maintain its arrays, has onboard memory, and a dedicated XOR processor allowing RAID-3 and RAID-5 support that won't leech off of the system's resources.

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Some of the true unsung heroes of any computer system are the input peripherals.  In this picture's case (first of three), that means my ancient Microsoft Internet Keyboard, manufactured by Keytronics in Mexico I do believe.  Don't trust me on that one, however.  It is this keyboard that refuses to die, even with a broken prop support and millions upon millions of keystrokes.  This is the keyboard that saw the creation of Particle's Custom RPG from the beginning.  You should at this point be kneeling.  =P

Click the image to bring up a full resolution version.

More often appreciated, but often still neglected is the mouse.  I recently replaced my Logitech Dual Optical (a mouse that shortly after making they quickly stopped acknowledging) with this Logitech G5 "true laser" mouse.  A lot of people mistakenly assume that optical mice are all lasers because they are red.  If that were true, they'd be the most poorly focused lasers in all of modern history.  They use simple red LEDs and detect the reflected light to determine movement.  This mouse truly does user a laser, though, and you can barely even see it.  A nice bonus is the ability to adjust a pop-out weight cartridge where there battery pack would be on the G7--the G5's wireless brother.  After a few months, I think I liked my Dual Optical mouse better.  All that I said was that the mouse disappeared from Logitech's collective intelligence shortly after it was made.  I never said it wasn't a totally rock-awesome mouse.

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I picked up this Logitech Force 3D Pro joystick around Christmas time of 2005.  I intended to use it a lot for Battlefield 2, a game that not only I had been playing a lot, but even upgraded my video card for.  Ever since the holiday season, I haven't played any Battlefield 2 to speak of, so this device has seen little action.  All I remember from trying it out is that it's harder to fly a chopper with this thing than a keyboard and mouse for me without any practice on the stick.

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This is my laptop's replacement.  With a luminous 4" transflective LCD, 128MB of RAM, and a 624MHz Intel XScale CPU, this PocketPC is truly a blast to use.  It's faster than my 1.13GHz P3 laptop and more portable to boot.  You might argue that I can't play many games on this thing, but to be honest--I can't do that on my laptop, either.  My laptop is from a time back before there was really any 3D acceleration to speak of in portable computers.  Oddly enough, this thing will play Quake 1 faster than my laptop will.

Click the image to bring up a full resolution version.

This picture isn't really related to the rest of the images, but I thought it would be worth showing.  Have you ever wondered what really would happen to your laptop if you shot it with a 9mm?  Neither did I, but I found out anyway.  The correct answer, of course, is that the laptop's hard drive (if hit) might just stop the round.  Don't assume this as a scientific fact, though.  If you're getting shot at, don't hold up your laptop and smile with a grin of impervious glee.  Run...fucking run.

Click the image to bring up a full resolution version.

Warning, this page is very picture heavy.  (Heh, now he tells me!)  I hope you enjoyed this photo montage of doom.  (term borrowed)  I've shown you mine.  Now it's your turn.

You should totally email me now and sign with lots of X's and O's.  Sorry that I can't make this address a link and for the goofy image, but I have to deter spam bots some how.

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