Archive for August, 2008

Quad Core Rig

Last September I wrote a blog post in which I predicted that my next system build project would center around Intel instead of AMD. Well I took that plunge this weekend.

Several months back I purchased the Nvidia 9800 GX2 graphics card only to discover that it would not work in my existing system (PCI Express 1.0 vs 2.0). So rather than just return the card, I started thinking about my next gaming rig. I even considered off-the-shelf systems from Alienware and Falcon Northwest, but there was just no affordable way to work in my existing graphics card to a stock system. So one trip to Fry’s Electronics, and my new system is up and running …

EVGA 790i Ultra SLI specs pic
Intel Core2 Quad Q9450 specs
Corsair 4GB DDR3 1600 specs
BFG Nvidia 9800 GX2 specs pic
WD VelociRaptor 10K RPM 300GB specs pic
BFG ES-800 Power Supply specs pic
Antec 900 Ultimate Gamer Case specs pic

Benchmark data to follow, but my subjective opinion is this machine is super fast. I am also giving Vista Ultimate x64 another shot. I got the OS loaded and patched last night, and today I’ve been downloading all the latest nForce and GeForce drivers from Nvidia. Any thoughts on the best benchmarking tools out there these days?


Sabino Canyon

We took the tram up Sabino Canyon this morning.  On our way up, we passed this rattlesnake that was just crawling across the road.  More photos from Sabino Canyon on my Flickr photostream (click through the image below if you are interested in seeing more).


Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Today we made the treck to the desert museum.  Click through to see additional pictures in my Flicr photostream from today.

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Paint Yourself Silly

Today we ventured out to a business called “Paint Yourself Silly“.  It is pretty simple really.  Pick the item you want to paint.  Choose your colors and get started.  They will fire the piece for you (which usually takes about 7 to 10 days).  I chose a duck bank – the finished colors will be far more vibrant than what you see in the picture below.  Click through for the full size pictures on Flickr.



Titan Missile Museum Pictures

This is a one-of-a-kind museum. This former Titan II missile silo (one of 18 that circled Tucson, AZ) was converted into a museum around 1986. Your tour is both above and below ground. You can sit in the missile commander’s chair and even turn the “little brass keys” in a simulated launch scenario. Our tour guide was a retired air force commander who worked in these silos in the early 1980’s (just before the Titan II missiles were taken out of service as ICBMs). These are the same rockets that launched the NASA Gemeni missions.



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Sunset in Tucson

Weather has been great – swimming every day.  I’ve uploaded my first vacation picture to Flickr.  Check out the sunset we had tonight.  More pics to come.  Stay tuned.

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Waiting in ABQ

What a strange (small) airport. This must be the layover capital of the world – everyone here looks like they are waiting to connect to somewhere else. I won’t bore you with airport stories … okay just one. Family of 5 sitting next to me. Mom, dad, two teenage boys, and a younger daughter. The dad (in conversation with his sons) just used the phrase “titty twister” as they sit here playing Blackjack. Truly strange – moving on.

My final destination this week is Tucson, AZ. The funny thing is nobody in Texas seems to know anything about the weather in Tucson. All week long (as people asked me where I was going) all I got was “sure will be hot there”. And that statement would always be followed by me explaining the difference in elevation between places like Phoenix and Tucson (higher elevation = cooler temperature). So for the record, here are elevations …

Dallas 430
Phoenix 1086
Tucson 2389

I’m looking forward to the Tucson weather. Today’s high will be 90 (compared to 96 in Dallas and 100 in Phoenix). Stay tuned to the blog for vacation pictures – I’m shooting with my new Canon Powershot G9 this trip.


85°F at 6AM – It’s a heat wave

On the weather … Yep, it’s summer.  Every year I ask myself why I still live in this state.  I don’t like the heat – okay, I don’t like the cold either.  This weekend is going to be particularly bad.  It is 6AM, it is already 85°F, and it is forecasted to hit 104°F this afternoon.  Sunday will be 106°F, and Monday will be 107°F!!!  Get me out of here.

On work … One week after the big move – horray we made it!!  People are starting to settle in now, and the first week was fairly uneventful.  It is strange to sit back and think that over 20 months of meetings, conference calls, site visits, and vendor management have just abruptly concluded.  As much as I was ready for this project to end, now I’m a bit sad that it is over.  This week wasn’t slow, but it was strange to see how open my calendar looked.  Trying to enjoy the calm before the next storm.

On the weekend … Quakecon has come again (one perk of living in Dallas is that it is here every year).  Christian, Matt, and I are headed over Saturday morning to browse through the BYOC and vendor areas.  After that we plan to grab some lunch and then get out of the heat for a few hours.  Tonight we are going to a co-worker’s home for a Texas Hold’em / pool party.  So it should be a pretty fun day all around.

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