Tuesday, March 16, 2010

After a little rest...

...I am awake, and...Wait. A "little" rest? I slept most of the evening after that post, awoke only a few times through the night for drinks and calls of nature, made a few posts to GitP somewhere in there, but otherwise dozed and dozed. I didn't get a little rest...I got A LOT!

Anyway, I've been failing to mention that I have a new little bundle of joy in my home. No, it's not a baby. It's a new computer! (And there was much rejoicing.) This would not have been possible if I didn't live with a computer building fool, Cody. When I asked what he would like as payment for this, he replied, "Rob...when all the parts are here, I'm probably going to have a 'geekasm.' You don't have to get me anything, because I love this tech stuff." Mind you, his language was a little more colorful, but that was the gist of it.

The system he built for me surprised him. You see, I received my operating system, Windows 7, from a friend who works in IT. He was able to send me a perfectly legal copy of it, and Cody assumed that formatting my computer with its OS would take up to five hours. It took around one, and that was because he kept wandering away from it, thinking it would need time to upload its various functions. Had he sat here, it might have taken a half hour.

But we did have some fun try to get the computer started. Initially, after it was assembled, we'd hit the power button; things would light up; and that was it. Nothing was appearing on the screen. None of the common buzzes from inside the computer were forthcoming. Cody ended up disassembling the computer twice, with the last being the realization as to what was REALLY going on. (Since Ray reads this on occasion, I can't really tell you what it was. I made a promise. But according to Cody, it was Dumb, with a capital D.) There's also another part of this tale I can't reveal, as it speaks to the habits of my housemates that is none of the world's concern. But it's amazing what can bring clarity of thought to one's mind.

One of the best parts of this entire thing is a joke that was once made on GitP that has become reality. Way back when Stu was sick, and folks came together to muster the funds for me to get to him, I joked that the next fundraiser should be to buy me a large wise screen, HD television. While it's not enormous, I managed to find a 20" HD screen for the computer for a mere $124 at New Egg. No fundraiser required. =)

Here's the thing that gets me. I found a 20" HD screen for $124. If I get one twice the size, wouldn't that mean it should be twice the price? Shouldn't we ALL be able to buy a 40" HD television for $250? Apparently not. The one we have in the living room, which was a collective X-Mas gift to ourselves, cost around $400. (My contribution was a mere $100, as was Ray's. Cody owns most of that bad boy.)

Of course, when we got the new TV, I had a startlingly simple argument against it. "Guys, you want to replace our working television with another working television because the new one is the latest and greatest toy? When I was growing up, we didn't replace things unless they broke." I was outvoted on that one, and they needed my contribution to get it, so now we have an HD TV in the living room because we could get one.

Ah, but I am getting off track. New computer, remember?

The first thing I did was load City of Heroes onto it. Years ago, when I would update CoH, it would take hours. That was just the update. Last week, when we finally had the computer operational, the download from the server took two hours. The whole game, with all 16 updates, took two hours! That, my friends, is amazing. But then I tried to play, and the new widescreen didn't agree with the initial graphics settings of the game. Everything was stretched. Just a bunch of wide superheroes, running around, saving Paragon City. It looked silly. Thankfully, I was able to readjust the game to my 1200 x 900 resolution, and the game looks...

Well, my friend Zeb asked me if I'd noticed anything spectacular about the game, now that I had the latest in hardware and software. (Zeb was integral to building this beast, as I ran most of the parts purchases by him to get his opinion. Thanks Zeb!) I told him I didn't rally see anything spectacular, and blamed my recently healing eye on the lack of "Wow!" factor. Over the weekend, however, I was making some zombie characters for a story arc I'm making for CoH, and I peered rather closely at the zombie template the game has stored. I started to notice details that I'd never seen before. Like the skin stretch taut over the slightly more bony frame...and I can see the individual teeth on one of the face options. It was pretty nifty.

Anyway, folks...It's time for me to hobble off and do something else. I essentially demand that you all be well. =)

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