Search Site
Friday
Mar072014

New PC Build

Several weeks ago I built a new PC from components.  This is essentially my "dream machine" and I was able to spec it out to get the best performance per dollar.  My old PC I built back in 2008 and is a dual-core, so this is a significant upgrade to the Intel i7 Ivy bridge.  After some price comparison I discovered that my old source for components, New Egg, was just as competitive as ever so that is where I picked up everything.  Here is a list of the components I selected.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GH
Motherboard:GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Case: Fractal Design Core 3000ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Power Supply: EVGA 600W 100-B1-0600-KR Power Supply
Video Card: EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 650 2GB 128-bit Video Card
Hard Drive: Crucial M500 240GB SATA Internal Solid State Drive
CPU Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler 

The build was complete success, posting on the very first power up.  I installed windows to the SSD in less than 30 minutes, very nice.  I did have some trouble with drivers for my old wireless adapter, but that was mainly my lack of foresight.  It is fast, and barely ever even uses more than 50% CPU at any given time.  I was able to transcode a 1 hour 30 minute video at full 1080p with Handbrake in about 35 minutes -- a task which would take 5-6 hours on my old PC.

I was a bit concerned that the CPU heatsink i choose was so large that it wouldn't fit in the case.  All the measurements seemed good, and in the end there was about 1cm of clearance between it and the case.

Eventually I plan to experiment with overclocking, so on my second screen I setup some real-time monitors to view things like CPU %, RAM usage, CPU Temp and so on.  I'm seeing that the CPU temps even when working hard, are never even getting close to dangerous levels.  This is a good sign for overclocking these things, something which I made sure the motherboard I chose will support. 

The Doctor likes it.

The only task I have left to do is getting the rest of my data backed up off some old HDs I plan to retire.  Once that's set, one of the internal drives will be a dedicated backup which will insure that so long as only one drive fails at a time, no important data will be lost. 

I'm very happy with how everything turned out.  This PC should last me at least a good 5 years, but who knows how technology will change during that time!

-FB

Tuesday
Feb182014

Google Glass

Google Glass is something that I've been excited about for some time on both a personal and professional level.  I recently received an invite to become a Glass Explorer, the timing was right so I jumped at the chance to give it a try. I've had them for almost a week now and it's time to share a bit of what I learned.

First, they took me quite some time go get adjusted and "used" to having them on.  It was about 2-3 full days of experimenting with them before I was truly comfortable with using and operating the device.  Some of that may be due to the fact that I declined to visit Google for an in-person fitting and did this step on my own with their website and videos as a guide.  The videos were OK, but I found myself experimenting to find  a good balance of comfort and viewability.  

I don't know if this is just me, but I found that with the 30 degree head tilt angle to wake the device up my Glass was waking up often -- every time I sat back, thought to myself, etc.  Maybe I just tilt my head up a lot, I don't know.  I tried adjusting the setting on the angle to something larger, but then I felt that I was looking up to high when I did desire to wake up my Glass.  You can always tap to turn it on, and this works OK too. 

For myself, I found Glass at it's most useful when performing any task 2-handed that I would still want a computer available for.  Cooking is a great example.  A few weeks ago I was making some bread from scratch and my phone rang when I was knuckle-deep in the kneading step.  With glass, I could take the call, send a message, take a video or photo, all without stopping my bread making.  I can see the application for this for anyone who spends a great deal of time working with their hands and still wants to stay connected.

Here's a sample of some of the video and photo's I've taken so far.

More to come!  

-FB

Instant translation from English to Portuguese with World LensMy kitty. The internet loves cats I hear.I built a PC wearing Glass. After a while I forgot I even had it on.

 

 

Friday
Feb072014

Done with Godaddy

I transferred my domain away from Godaddy this past week. They had been frustrating me for years and this time I had enough.

This all started when I went to their site to renew my domain. I logged in, navigated several windows to get to the correct place, then went through the process for a simple renewal. When it came time to pay, the site simply would not take my card although they'd be happy to help me if I called their support line. There's nothing wrong with my card. I used it earlier that day. I had a suspicion they just wanted me to talk to a sales person through this "support line" so they could up-sell me something I didn't want or need. No thanks Godaddy, this was the last straw!

Click to read more ...