Sunday, October 28, 2007

Building A Computer Part 1

Ok, I would be the first to admit that I have been lackadaisical about blogging. So many things have happened over the past three weeks that I just have not had the time to post some new things. Although, that could be a good thing because I have a lot to write about now. Here's a list of things that I would like to post (not necessarily in this order):

1) Building a new computer
2) Steam engine project
3) Career fairs
4) My new GT I-Drive 1.0 bike

So, without further ado, let's talk about how to build a computer. As a side note, other people may have their own opinions about how to build a rig.

So, generally, choosing a CPU (central processing unit) is the first thing that one should do. The two main companies that manufacture these processors are AMD and Intel of course. I will mainly talk about AMD since I tend to be loyal to that. So after choosing either one of those, you need to think about what you will be using your computer for. A computer that will not be used for high-end gaming does not need a dual -core processor like AMD X2's or FX's. So, a lower end processor like AMD Athlon 3200+, 3000+, etc will do. However, if you are into gaming like I am, one would require a higher-end processor as well. Luckily, processors nowadays are becoming cheaper and cheaper. An AMD X2 6000 about a year ago would cost a fortune, but nowadays, I was able to get one for about $170. Really, it is an awesome processor, even though it's very power hungry. With the stock fan, I am able to overclock it up to 5% making it better. The 6000 comes at 3.0Ghz and it can be overclocked to 3.15Ghz. Some processors are shipped with their overclocking capabilities unlocked like the AMD FX's which are quite good as well. Now, if you want to compare different processors as it performs with different games and programs, it can be checked easily on different websites like

Really, there's much more to choosing a CPU than games and programs. After choosing that processor, we can then choose a motherboard.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gmail Manager

Just a quick post, but an important one. For those of you who have trouble managing multiple gmail accounts, this post is for you. I came across a program that allows you to manage multiple gmail accounts on firefox. I'm not sure if it will work with internet explorer or a mac but both are crap anyways.

Here's the link:

Peace, Love and Basketball,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Steam Engine Part 3

So, I've been putting it off for a few days. I actually wanted to post several things but I just didn't have the time to. Like I said before, I wanted to post something about building a new computer. So, at this point, my blogging goals are: 1) process of building a new computer system 2) continue posting about the steam engine project 3) getting an internship/job during or after college Number 2 would be the quickest. Does anybody remember my very first post about this steam engine project? It was a failure so it shouldn't be too hard to remember. Basically, it turned out all lopsided and deformed because we had too much water in the sand and really, we were rushing it. Anyways, we were able to find some that were in a lot better condition, but still not in top form. So that's when the milling process came in. Vertical mill was the type that we used to cut the deformities off the aluminum frames. My friendly neighborhood Wikipedia explains it better:
A milling machine is a machine tool used for the complex shaping of metal and other solid materials. Its basic form is that of a rotating cutter or endmill which rotates about the spindle axis (similar to a drill), and a movable table to which the workpiece is affixed. That is to say, the cutting tool generally remains stationary (except for its rotation) while the workpiece moves to accomplish the cutting action.
Source: Wikipedia-Milling Machine
So the entire process was cool. In a matter of seconds, your material can be smooth and polished. To me, the advantage of using a milling machine over a lathe is that parts of the mills (endmills, etc) in a milling machine don't have to be switched out during th process. Instead, the actual part that you want to mill is moved (rotated, etc). However, this is not true for the lathe. When using a lathe, the part is stationary while the different drills,etc. are replaced. So which one would be more efficient in the end? Well, I believe that the milling machine would be a little bit more efficient because one doesn't need to switch out the different endmills, etc. However, it is said that a lathe is able to do ALL of the functions of other machines. But why would you want to do that if there are faster ways?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

New Rig Installation

Ya, I know I'm supposed to talk about my new system which I have not forgotten yet. However, I am extremely busy right now-work and a sh$%load of school work including an engineering statistics midterm that I am going to take on Monday. I promise to post pictures sometime in the week and possibly start that series of computer building articles. Anyways, the whole building and installation process took nine hours-yes, nine fr$#king hours. You read that correctly. Nine hours because I made dumb mistakes which everybody should learn to watch out for in the future. I'll post more information next time.

Just a thought, lucky working men and women get their days off on Monday for Columbus Day.For us however, that is not the case....hmmm.

Peace, Love and Basketball,

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thursday Hodgepodge

While still waiting for the slow delivery of my system parts by UPS, I became aware of a sad incident. Some 30 yr-old lady was caught downloading music and was being sued by about 24 companies for a total of around $220,000. Reading this news article should send chills up some people's spines....

The jury ordered Jammie Thomas, 30, to pay the six record companies that sued her $9,250 for each of 24 songs they focused on in the case. They had alleged she shared 1,702 songs in all.

The companies accused Thomas, 30, of Brainerd, of offering the songs online through a Kazaa file-sharing account. She denied wrongdoing and testified that she didn't have a Kazaa account.

Source: -Record companies win music sharing trial

So what's the moral of the story? Don't download and if you do, be careful. For the sake of this being a public blog, I am not going to say anything more.

-> On to better news, those of us who think that writing a bibliography is a pain in the hiney, cry no more. I discovered this site called Son of Citation Machine which pretty much makes your bibliography for you. All you have to do is type in the author's name(s), date, etc. And yes, it does have APA and Chicago styles.

Peace, Love and Basketball,

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Some Wednesday Hodgepodge

In the spirit of engineering and technology, I was planning on talking about the new computer system that I was about to assemble. Really, I wanted to talk about the performance and value of having a Crossfire system setup as opposed to having a single card as well as the AMD Athlon X2 6000+. I did a lot of research regarding the two video cards that I got for the Crossfire system-ATI X2600 XT, which are GDDR4 and should be compatible with Direct X10. From the research itself, I obtained a motley of information which did not satisfy me much even though it was leaning more towards the positive reviews. Still I really want to see for myself whether the FPS (frames per second) really are much better with a Crossfire setup.

All was going according to plan, at least until UPS ruined everything. Good ol' UPS screwed up my shipment so I will not be getting it until tomorrow; I'm not going to blame Newegg for this one since this is really UPS's fault even though Newegg did sell me a backordered item which made this whole process longer (they gave me a $10 coupon for next purchase) =]. So, I guess the discussion and pictures will have to come tomorrow or a few days after that.

Also, a friend of mine wanted to "know" how to build a computer. I put the quotation marks around the word know, because I think that building a computer will require more than a common know-how. Experience is much more preferred because it will help you make the right choices when choosing a processor, video cards, ram, etc. So before building a computer, one should probably have an idea of the differences between processors, video cards, and such. Luckily, this being a technological blog and all, I can discuss that in small details later on starting from processors and all the way to the proper casing. That would have to wait till later though.

Anyways, I promised some hodgepodge so without further ado...

-> Isiah Thomas is owing money to Browne, I was very surprised (sarcastically). Really, did Isiah Thomas deserved what he got? I think so, but I think Browne Sanders wasn't very professional anyway. There's a saying, "It takes two to tango". No doubt it will apply to this situation.
Source: -Thomas says his mind 'never left basketball' during trial

-> I'm just gonna come out and say it: I want an iPhone for Christmas. I'm sure you all do too and with good reason. An iPhone is much more a phone, it's also a mini-computer that can connect to the internet and do a bunch of stuff. It really is a huge, huge, huge step up from my current smartphone. Although, one similarity is the ability to hack into the iPhone mainframe and install third-party programs (meaning non-Apple programs). Sadly, Steve Jobs decided to put a restriction to this because he felt that it may ruin ATT (that's loosely what he said). Well, a website seems to be dedicated to hacking the iPhone and with good results.
Source: iPhone

Peace, Love and Basketball,

Photo courtesy of:

Monday, October 1, 2007

Basketball Facility Closes Because of One Bitter Person

It's a known fact that some people just have too much pride. Some people in this world are just bitter. Some people will make use of that bitterness just to destroy things that are important to the community. Charles Colton put it best, "There is a paradox in pride: it makes some men ridiculous, but prevents others from becoming so".

I consider myself a pretty amiable person; yet, I cannot bring myself to understand the action of this one disabled individual. Apparently, this individual was upset that he missed his nephew's birthday party and felt that his rights were violated since the facility did not have an elevator. So he sued Basketball Town facility; Basketball Town, not being able to afford more than $100,000 in lawyer fees, had to be shut down. Is there something wrong here?

So, whose fault exactly was it that the disabled gentleman missed his nephew's party? I'm not trying to be insensitive to the gentleman's feelings but it would seem to me that it is the responsibility of that gentleman's family to inquire about the facility before even deciding to hold the party there. Through careful planning, they would have been able to determine that the facility was lacking an elevator - unless having an elevator was not too important to them. So why sue the facility?

Countless games were played on the basketball courts since the facility opened back in 2002. Its purpose was to provide kids with a safe place to play.

It's clear that the kids who practiced their dribbling and shooting skills will missing playing on the courts. "It's sad you know, this is the place to come play basketball with my friends and everything," said Damien Trujillo.

Parents are also sad to see the place go. "Pretty devastating, disappointing that they are not going to have the opportunity to play," said parent Mark Lucero.

Source: KCRA 3 - Basketball Town Forced To Close

From the gentleman's point of view, it's not easy being disabled. However, there are things that can be done to make life easier - like planning! There's no reason to close an entire facility just because you disagree with the management or the way its built. So maybe the facility does need an upgrade. There are ways to handle this matter. America is already a sue-happy country as it is. Having worked first-hand with children at Boys and Girls Club as well as a boys' group home, I know how important these facilities are. I feel sorry for those kids but remember that there's always hope. CS Lewis said, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you.”



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