Monday, February 28, 2011

It's alive ... IT'S ALIVE!!!

It is that time of the year again. Well ... half decade, you could say. Roughly every 3 to 3.5 years I have been upgrading my home PC system. Mainly to play games, but also mainly to have a machine that isn't a sloth at certain tasks (e.g. video editing). The last time I did this it was in preparation for games like Crysis and UT3 which the system handled amiably at the time. However, while the system is still competent in many regards, it is starting to show its wrinkles here and there, as well as lacking many of the current gen shinies (e.g. DX11).

This time I decided to take a chance and buy components that I thought to be even more cost efficient and powerful than before. This required me to buy components from approximately five stores from around the country to get the stuff I wanted. Three were from Brisbane, one from Sydney and the other was from eBay, shipped from Melbourne. It sounds ridiculous but there is simply no one store in Australia that stocks only the best of the best.

The list of components were as follows:

- G.SKILL Ripjaws-X 8GB (4GB x 2) PC3 17000 (DDR3-2133)
- Antec ATX TruePower 750W
- Intel Core i7 2600
- Gigabyte ATI 6970
- Kingston 128G SSD V-Series SATA2 G3
- Random assortment of other minor parts

I also bought an additional case for the retiring computer with the intention for it to be used as a media/guest/LAN computer should the situation arise.

So what did I learn from this experience? Simply put: never do it again. Ordering parts from around the country is fine, especially if you do your research and figure out the credibility of the sources. The problem is Brisbane's courier service. Would you believe that one package that I ordered from Brisbane (online store only) took 6 days longer to deliver than the package I ordered from Melbourne? I'm sorry, but there is no excuse for that level of service. It's just bad, and my faith in Brisbane's courier ability has dropped considerably.

Anyways, this computer (which will incidentally be 'Predator Mk V') should get me through Shogun 2, Crysis 2, FEAR 3 and Rage without so much as a hiccup and probably last me another 3.5 years at least. Lets hope the games during this time will actually have be worth upgrading for :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Let the Doves Free!!!

When I was growing up, there was but one cartoon that my sister and I would actively try to watch. Before it was banned from commercial television in Australia, that is. It was Ren and Stimpy and it is probably the cause of my demented sense of humour nowadays.

Why am I bringing it up? Well, when you are a kid you sometimes notice the brilliance of things without even consciously being aware of it. Although your parents and surrounding environment have a tremendous affect on your upbringing, you begin to develop your own interests and hobbies that diverge from your parents and siblings perspectives. Playing computer games is but one of mine.

But before computer games there was cartoons, and although our parents didn't necessarily disapprove of them, they found some (such as Ren and Stimpy) to be a little extreme. With good reason too. Watching some of these episodes back now with a greater understanding of the world gives me an even greater appreciation for the material I grew up on. Ren and Stimpy was much more than the insane adventures of a chihuahua and a cornish rex. It was an introduction to some very adult themes which are hidden subliminally underneath the madness, and an appreciation for brilliant classical music, such as Habanera from Bizet's Carmen. Laugh as you may, but you cannot deny the genius gone into scenes such as the following:

Wilbur Cobb, the old senile gheezer in this scene, is probably my favourite character from the series and even now someone I see myself acting like from time to time. Particularly talking in malapropisms and general 'eggcorn' (eye sea, egg sell lent, hell oh etc). Hell, when I grow old I hope my body falls apart and uncontrollable disgusting things happen. Especially in the presence of my friends and family so I can lean over to them and say...

"You know what I just did? I just pissed myself. You deal with it." - Dylan Moran