Sunday, May 25, 2008

Random Thoughts

Life is good. Well OK. I think we all want for more or different--don't we?

Anyway I have 3 and a half days off work this memorial day holiday. Already I've gotten in a mtb ride, edited a video, watched 2 movies and of course ate way too damn much!

The Golden Compass I thought was pretty much of a mess. And a creepy story. Did the director even tell us why the kids are getting stolen? The new Indiana Jones on the other hand was fresh. As good as the 1st 3 Indy movies?--probably not--probably not even as good as the Mummy movies, instead more on the order of Sahara (a Clive Cussler novel adaptation). In other words a lot of good, hokey fun (in this instance alien and Karen Allen fun). I viewed it at the new Market Heights Cinema. I thought the auditoriums, sound and picture average. The semi-self/serve concession area is cool and I loved the fact they had Nathan's hot dogs.

The ride was at BLORA yesterday with screen names Joraff, armyrider,perlinger,and another guy whose name escapes me. Anyway it has been hot and humid lately. This tuned out to be the better of my last 3 rides, none of which has been outstanding. But al least through the 1st half or so I rode fairly strong.

The video I made was culled from footage of our ride out at Rocky Hill Ranch last Sunday. It can be found at I really love the new computer I built; I am still discovering minor tweaks, but everything works above expectations.

The new Whitesnake album rocks. I've been listening to it again as I type this. SummerRain is playing now and so far it's the weakest of the bunch. As always remember to pick up tunes for less on the Internet MP3 places that choose to provide value.

The Mi Casa Su Casa restaurant along the US190 frontage Rd in Harker Heights has a good buffet on Sunday mornings from 10 to 2. Armyrider told me about it and I'll say he was right. And the price is right too. They even had some brisket and bbq sauce!

Can you see I'm bored? I'd rather be in Austin riding; I thought I'd go to Austin and ride the 'nut tomorrow and then eat 'q at this place called Ruby;s that I've never been too--but the wife's having company from noon til 3 and I dont wanna go alone. Oh well, in all it's been a swell weekend. Maybe I'll read a book or something.....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Build to completion--with pics!

The "nekkid case". The mother board tray slid out pretty easily.

Tools of the trade.

The chip is an Intel Quad Core 6600. It inserted in the slot with no problem.

The CPU cooler fan. This is a little more delicate. When the pastic retaining pins go through the motherboard, a sickening sound ensues; they ought to warn a person about that!

Another close up of the CPU chiller.

The Asus motherboard takes the new style DDR3 memory.

The power supply easily installs. Corasair makes great power and memory devices.

At this point the motherboard is back in the case. This is a little more delicate of an operation. Be careful the grounding tabs on the input/output shield stay where they need to be. The next two pictures are just of the wiring bundles.

Getting ready to install the drives.

3 250GB Sata Western Digitals.

Card reader and Lite-on DVD writer installed. The only hard thing here was figuring out where the card reader connected to on the mother board. A quick google search and I realized the connector was just a UBS style and went straight to a USB header.

All wired up. Sata connectors are extremely easy to maneuver. I didn't due to messy of a job. The 3 case fans and the front panel connectors were also easy to hook up. The mother board manual is your friend.

Pretty much ready for the first "POST".

POST and BIOS and boot processes all went without too much confusion.

Just a picture of the case. Telstar-X by Apevia. Very nice indeed.

Windows XP Professional installation. Success! At first I didn't see my other two hard drives, then realized I had to go into DiskManager and partition them. Then motherboard chip set, monitor, and graphics card driver updates ensued. Only thing to be careful for here is when doing the motherboard chip update. Don't select "all" or it will try and make you create a floppy "raid driver for XP" utility. If I decide to RAID later there are options. If you want to RAID and don't have a floppy drive (and who'd want such antiquity anyway!), then you can slipstream the drivers onto a copied XP disc that you make--instructions on the web!

Finally a few hours of installing programs and the like. It helps to have install executables installed to an external HD. The final step was getting on to the Internet. That was a no brainer. Very rapidly after installing the chip driver update, the built in wireless "saw" my home network and asked if I wanted to connect. Even sent a document right to my printer on the other computer--outstanding. Now all I have left to do is move the setup to its permanent location, hook up the speakers to the hi-def audio ports, and download my document files off my external drive.

This was all easy and painless. And I'm normally a klutz--ya know the type that has trouble drawing a straight line, or boilng water or hammering a nail. So I'll recommend building if ya want the experience and want to select the parts on your own. There are custom builds out there that companies will do for you at very similar price to what I paid to get all my stuff from New Egg (approx 1300$), BUT you miss the CHOICE in parts (and New Egg has a vast choice) and the experience and fun in putting it all together.

Just make sure to do plenty of Internet research and ask knowledgeable acquaintances. You'll want to make sure you get the parts to make YOUR dream system and you'll want to be sure you're getting compatible parts. Not all memory and chips will go on all motherboards, for example. Some of the sites I visited: (I'll let you google for the exact URLs-NSTAFL-no such thing as a free lunch:-))----MySuperPC, The Video Guys, New Egg, Maximum PC, and Mechbgon.

This was immensely fun; I'm let down it's over. But the computing will be happier. Just think those videos I make once or twice a year are going to render blazingly fast now. hooha!

Me happy with the final build.

Typing this from the new build !!

The drives are formatted, the chip devices updated, many programs installed--all is well. This really was too incredibly easy. All that's left is to install stuff from my external hard drive and move this all over to the main desk and connect the speakers and printer. The wireless on this Asus mother board is so good it zipped a document right to my printer on the other computer without me even connecting the external antennae!

Time to take some lysiene and eat and catch up on sleep; I'm feeling run down the last few days and need to be 100% by next weekend. Big 20 mile mtb ride coming up next Sunday that the club's doing at Rocky Hill Ranch.

More later!

OS INSTALL--SUCCESS !!! New comp about ready

So after two late evenings with the computer parts, I have a fresh new computer with a virgin edition of windows XP Pro successfully installed. Really I didn't run into many glitches or much puzzlement at all. It went amazingly smooth for my premiere build. Now all that's left to do is install the monitor, motherboard chipset drivers, and graphics card drivers to gain full functionality. Then install MSN premium and its free virus protection suite, run windows update, install software (luckily I saved most of my software setup executables to an external HD), then transfer over the data in my documents from the same external HD.

I'm ecstatic about this. And now about to have a let down. It went too easy. Well if I get bored I can crack the case and make the wiring look even more organized I suppose. Not.

Today's ride was HUMID--620 PM start time at BLORA with a few riding pals. 85 degrees and 70%+ humidity; it was a miserable ride--but usually any ride's better than no ride.

I saw on a forum that Mellow Johnny's (Lance's Austin Bike Shop) opened today. One of these days I'll have to check it.

Damn I'm hungry. It's 2 AM--enough of this late nite sh&% already. Maybe I'll just stay up a few mo hours and go to Dennys or IHOP for Mother's Day.

Oh pictures. This blogger always hard to use. I wished I had the patience to format the layout better. I'll post up some pics of the build in progress and the final product soon.

Oh a name for the new machine--can you tell I think Al Gore's Internet is the best invention EVER? haha--after all without the Internet the computer would just be a silly number cruncher and word processor. It's named just simply Telstar-Home after the case model name. Maybe later on I'll change it to Al'sStartel--pronounced Al's Star Tell. By the way, I think Al got ripped off by that cheating ho during the Florida recount. His consolation--a peace prize.

It's time for food or sleep so I'm out.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Computer Build Time!

Yeah the title is what this will be about. But first, wow---it's May and this is my first blog post of the year! What the heck?

I guess life has been busy. The unit that was up at North Ft Hood caused lots of grief but is gone now. Bunch of Buckeye, Spartan, and Wolverine lovers. I had some 80 hour work weeks for a couple months almost!

Things still are somewhat "tough" at work---well when you're a top dog, that's how things roll.

Speaking of rolling, I have been on the Stumpjumper much more the last two months. And I'm really enjoying it. Road biking on the other hand has been painful. lol. Too many fast people. Being humbled on the road sucks. On a mountain bike I can handle it.

Read several good novels. That Follet sequel was tops and the latest Cussler wasn't bad.

Also for Christmas I upgraded the home theater. Maybe I'll update that section on my main website someday. But it's got a great top of the line Z-line rack, a new Onkyo receiver, and a new playstation 3. Blu ray is really nice. Said all that I'm still not one to turn on the TV much; I'd rather browse computer and biking sites all evening on the "Internets".

So I've been thinking of building a computer for a few years; I always thought it would be prohibitively expensive...but 1500$ and 4 boxes from new egg, and a few late nights of Internet research on builds later---and I'm about ready to get started. It's a Intel based quad core rig with DDR3 ram, ATI graphics, several hard drives, a DVD Burner etc etc. Should make any video rendering I do less painful. But mainly I'm doing it to say I can and a custom built computer is damn fine-lol.

Here's d gear: