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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

T'is the season

Hello all. It has been hard for me to get around to the updates lately. Not really sure why. This has just kind of been a back burner project anyhow. Well, here is the updated scoop.

Erin and I have been scurrying around to do our Christmas shopping. It is a bit of a different atmosphere here in Huntsville. Most people are long done shopping, the shelves are a bit slim, and there isn't a crazy rush at the mall. Weird. Normally we are just getting rolling on the shopping front instead of finishing up. The house is decorated, but not to extremes. The tree does look a bit silly since decorations start about 3" out of Faith's reach. We have some lights strung outside, but again pretty easy display. Christmas should be interesting without all of the running around to family gatherings. Of course we will have to entertain at a higher level to make up for the lacking business.

Erin and the kids have all been fighting one thing or another for the last few weeks. Austin is looking like he does still have some asthma issues due to his preemie arrival, but he is doing a lot better now that he is on some medication targeting it. Faith has been a snot nosed little kid for the last week. She is super cute, but boy is she a stinker. Recently she has taken to arguing and yelling. Good times there. I will have to take some video of that to share.

What have I been up to?
I have crammed in a couple of rides since my flat fiasco a couple of weeks back. I finally got around to checking out some of the trails out on the Arsenal. They are low traffic and a bit of a mess with the Fall leaves and downed trees. Definitely going to require some more scout work, but it does look like lunch rides will be an option again. This weekend I got a short ride in at Monte Sano. I am feeling the effects of not riding much. I am going to have to work on that more. Surprisingly I made a couple of switchbacks and a climb that I have not previously been able to clean. Guess my slower pace was saving energy that is usefull for those sections. The Sultan is still kicking ass. I love that bike. The Raleigh on the other hand is not nearly as much fun as I remember. Guess getting back onto longer travel and suspension has made me soft.

I am just completing some home computer upgrades. With the increased demands of web browsing and streaming content the 10 year old Pentium II 450MHz just couldn't keep up. The Diamond Viper V770 AGP card that Eddie gave has been beyond support for years. The Sony Viao that Rebecca gave us never did work quite right. After many attempts at getting the correct drivers for the proprietary motherboard I tore it apart and yanked the CPU, RAM, and HDD out of it. I took these components and dove into a crash course in computer updating. It was a lot of reading and searching for what would be compatible and what wouldn't. The upgrade required a new motherboard and a new video card. I decided to replace the ATX mid case and monitor while I was at it. The old case has been around since 1997 and the monitor since 2001. Again compatibility was watched as close as possible. Add in some new speakers, keyboard, an extra stick of RAM, and it is a done deal for now.

Here is the outcome:
CPU: P4 2.8GHZ, 533MHz FSB, 512 L2 Cache
Motherboard: MSI 848P Neo-V motherboard, SATA, USB2.0, IDE 133/100/66, socket 478, 800/533MHz FSB, LAN & Audio onboard
ATX mid Case: Antec Sonata III with 500w power supply
Graphics Card: XFX GeForce 6200 256mb, AGP 8X
RAM: 2 x 512MB, PC2700, DDR333
HDD: Maxtor 40GB, don't know where I got it but it works
OS: Windows 2K SP4, I didn't feel like fighting XP authorization any more
Monitor: Acer 22in widescreen LCD, 1680x1050 native
I may snap a picture, but that might just be off the charts for geek points.

Not screaming fast or ultra whistles and bells, but it should get us by for a while. It didn't break the bank and has many features to aid in transition to newer hardware like SATA. The MB is capable of clocking the CPU a bit faster too. The new case is much quieter and cooler. I don't hardly know what to do with all the extra room on the monitor. I would call it a success. I could also blame it somewhat for my distraction from riding and obsessing on bikes. Heck, it is Christmas and I don't even have any bike parts on my wish list. Weird.

I may not post again before Christmas. So if I don't talk to you, have a Merry Christmas. I wish you all the best for the Holiday season.

Oh, and for those who read through all of the MB's and GHz's thanks for reading this far. Eddie is probably the only person who might even care about that stuff. But since I have to claim a success somewhere you guys have to suffer through it ;-)

1 comment:

mudward said...

ahaha, I can't believe that comp lasted so long. Honestly amazing. That system you built up should be an amazing difference, and pretty cheap I'd imagine. Nice.

I know what you mean about the lack of bike parts on the xmas list though... it somehow feels empty without it.

<3 you guys