Monday, May 12, 2008

Weekend Update

I spent part of my weekend building my computer. I discovered a problem with the motherboard. The audio plugs on the back dont work. At least, not for output. The board has a header for front audio plugs and my case has audio plugs on the top so that gives me a workaround. Ill keep an eye out for a cheap Vista-compatible sound card.

Speaking of Vista, I got it installed (dual boot with XP) and its actually pretty responsive. My biggest complaint before was that the system I had should have been able to easily handle Vista but it just bogged the system down. It seems to be running comfortably on 2GHz dual core and 2GB of RAM. Its not without its gotchas, though. I installed a sidebar gadget to monitor system performance and noticed the CPU was constantly running at 30-50% (thats a BAD sign). Upon further investigation, I determined the cause was a poorly written widget that was monitoring my hard drive space. I quickly found an alternative and now she idles at below 1% as she should. The system even passed the ultimate test. I installed and ran Doom 3 with no issues.

Whilst I was fiddling with the PC, I decided to work on straightening up my office. I spent some time under the desk installing some cable management and getting the rats nest off the floor (or, at least hidden in the corner of the desk). I still have a little bit of work to do but I have to find my good speaker wire first. The biggest accomplishment was to get the second CRT up on the desk and connected. I am running dual 19 Dell P990 Trinitron monitors. Flat screens would be nice but I cant beat the price I paid for what I have.

My mother in law has been staying with us while she recuperates from knee replacement surgery. I wasnt planning on hitting garage sales on Saturday but she wanted to and the wife wanted to so we spent a good 3 hours running around town. By the time all was said and done, my trunk was full. Most of it was not mine. The wife bought some framed art, a foot bath, and a few books. MIL bought books and a couple of other small items. I bought a gift for my sister (sorry, its a surprise but youll LOVE it) and a couple of computer games. The big bargain, however, was a $150 Dymo LabelWriter 400 Turbo label printer for $13. I came -| |- this close to buying a LaserJet 8000 printer for $5 but it was missing the network interface card and no cartridge. The NIC is $20-$30 off eBay but the cartridge is $50-$300 and Im not sure I really have a place to put it (it's big!).

I mowed the lawn, too. This may not sound like much but the grass was pushing a foot tall. Luckily my $7 garage sale special handled it with nary a problem. Yes, my lawn mower cost me $5 at a garage sale, I had to put a new pull rope on it for $2 and it starts and runs better than any thats right ANY mower I have ever owned. Its just so dang hard to push.

Another weekend activity involved assembling a set of shelves for the office. I already have one set and had been thinking about a second but when the back started to come off the first set (the back is what gives most of that type of furniture stability), that tipped the scale and pushed up the schedule. I was able to get the new set in place and repair the original set. And no, dont ask if my office is all clean and shiny now.

Oh, yeah. I got the iMac set up. I installed 512MB of RAM and a 40GB hard drive. I tried to load Mac OS 9.2.2 that I acquired from someone but it wouldnt load. I checked the system specs with a utility on the system disc and discovered it has a 350MHz processor. I think the best I can do is OS 9.1.something but some flavor of 8 or just 9.0 would probably do fine.

Wow, its actually been a busy weekend.

No comments: