So, back in ’93 or ’94 I got myself a x486…

…because I needed a real computer, by gum; and since student loans were paying for this anyway I might as well go live a little, right?  So I get the computer, and a bit later I need to add some hardware.  I figured, hey, let me just install it myself, right?  How hard could it be?  Three hours later, I stopped trying to figure out where all the cords that I had disconnected were supposed to go and just called in a computer technician.  I mention this because I looked at my new memory, looked at my new video card, and said “How hard could it be?”  Bear in mind that I’m married to an engineer, so I figured that I would at least have a tech person at hand; also, hey, Youtube videos.

And the heck of it was, it wasn’t very hard. I mean, even I could figure out where the power cord was supposed to go, and it was just a matter of unplugging and plugging and listening for the clicks.  And it worked. And the PC could handle things with a bare-bones video driver until I could update with the latest NVIDIA ones. And it all just worked.  My video games run much more smoothly now, thanks.  And I’m very bemused, because my first computer hardware experiences happened in an era when mouse drivers were an hour-long pain in the ass. I shouldn’t be shocked that technology has jumped so in the last twenty years, yet here we are.

Moe Lane

PS: When I mentioned this to my wife, she chuckled and pointed out that computers were first put together by engineers, who always assumed that the people doing the repairs would of course have access to basic tools, like… well, ‘soldering irons’ was the only one I recognized.  Something ‘box.’

Need to walk through some computer upgrade stuff.

Basically, here are the relevant specs:

  • 1 x AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz(4.2GHz Turbo) CPU and AMD 760G Chipset Motherboard Combo
  • 1 x AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB Video Card (Require Min. 600W Power Supply)
  • 1 x CYBERPOWERPC 600 Watt 80+ Power Supply
  • 1 x 8GB DDR3 1600MHZ (2 X 4GB)
  • 1 x Major Brand 1TB 7200 RPM SATA III 6.0
  • 1 x AMD CPU Cooler
  • 1 x 12X Blu-ray Player & DVD-Rewriter Combo Drive

My priorities for upgrades are as follows:

  1. Switch out the video card for, probably, a GTX 780 (cheaper on Newegg than Amazon).
  2. Get my RAM up to 16GB.
  3. Add or switch my hard drive to 2TB or above.

Continue reading Need to walk through some computer upgrade stuff.

Ohio inmates MacGyver their way into Ohio prison computer network.

Somebody call Hollywood.  There’s a movie here:

The inspector general’s report found that [Ohio’s Marion Correctional Institute] inmates “took two computers that should have been disassembled, placed hard drives into the computers, installed a network card, transported the computers across the institution for approximately 1,100 feet, through the security check point without being searched or challenged by staff, accessed an elevator to the third floor and placed the two computers in the ceiling of the P3 training room.” The report added that “they also ran wire, cable, and power cords to connect the devices undetected onto the ODRC (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction) network.”

Continue reading Ohio inmates MacGyver their way into Ohio prison computer network.

…So, of course, my old computer has died.

Won’t recognize the monitor, is now shutting itself off when I try to turn it on. Thank God for Chromebooks, that’s all I can say.  Guess I got that computer pledge drive in just in time, eh?

This is an annoyance, not a disaster: after all, I have a new computer coming (hopefully by the end of the week). And most of my save games are on Steam and/or Origins.  Still… lighter posting, folks.

[UPDATE] Yeah, it’s the monitor: we have a spare old one floating around that I know works – only it didn’t work in my current machine. Guess I better hope that the trained pigeons put together my new machine quickly, huh?

Somebody’s mucking around with Sharyl Attkisson’s computers?

It’s so nice when they update the classics.

Well.  Isn’t this a thing:

Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation.

“I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I’m not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I’ve been patient and methodical about this matter,” Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. “I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public.”

Of course, one shouldn’t jump to any kind of conclusions: after all, it would be the height of stupidity for, say, executive branch officials to order an illegal, politically-motivated break-in against an opponent in order to glean confidential information oh wait.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

Need some advice on a new desktop.

My current desktop is three years old, more or less: more to the point, the case is a total piece of garbage and pretty much all of my USB ports are totally shot.  I’m starting to get to the point where I’ll be actively planning to replace the blessed thing, but: with what?  It’s gonna be a PC – I use this rig for games, with a side order of video editing (yes, I know that Macs are good for the latter; they kind of suck for the former) – but beyond that, I dunno.  I don’t want to have to replace it again any time soon, and I’m not down with spending insane cash money on this.

This isn’t a pledge drive, by the way*. I’m just a little out of touch when it comes to the state of the art right now.

Moe Lane

*Although the button’s on the sidebar, of course: ———–>