Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The effect of Windows on computer prices

People scoff at the "Microsoft tax". Let me put it into perspective: the motherboard, CPU and memory are pretty much the heart of a computer. A retail copy of Windows costs more than those three items combined. You can throw in a video card and still have spent less on the hardware than on Windows, if you aren't building a gaming system. That's a pretty big chunk of a system's price going solely to the operating system.

Yes, I know, OEM copies of Windows are cheaper. But then, OEMs can get better prices on the hardware too.

Falling over

Bleh. Went for a nap last evening, planned for a half-hour or so just to refresh myself. Woke up at 2:30am long enough to use the bathroom, then crashed again until the alarm went off. I hate that.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Computer parts

Oy vey. Priced SATA hard drives. Hitachi, 500Gb is $55, 1Tb is $80. I expected good prices, but not that good. At those prices it literally isn't worth it to put less than a terabyte of storage in a new system. Geez.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I noticed yesterday that they've put in a Subway a few blocks down Adams from me. It's not Quiznos, but it's a decent alternative when I want something to munch on and don't feel like cooking.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Plans for the weekend

First, don't go anywhere. The Adams Avenue Street Fair will be running, so parking will be utterly insane.

Second, assemble the new gateway box. It's all sitting there except for the display, it's high time it got put together and gotten ready to go. If I do have to go out, I'm going to stop by Fry's and pick up the cheapest display I can lay my hands on. Otherwise I'll get the display Monday evening.

Third, start pricing parts and assembling a shopping list for the new computers. Priority #1 is getting 3 copies of XP SP3 before Newegg has to stop carrying them.

Tonight is Fire & Ice, followed hopefully by a shard instance or two.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Computer builds

OK, Newegg has AMD Athlon II and Phenom II 3.0GHz dual-core CPUs for about $100 each. That's pretty good. They're Socket AM3 chips. So, the plan is to get the best motherboard I can find in AM3 that'll support the highest-end quad-core chips. Then populate it with the dual-core chips with an eye towards upgrading to quad-core as prices fall. I want 3.0GHz because Everquest 2 is CPU-bound and needs all the clock cycles and memory it can get, so in the short term I'm better off trading cores for clock speed and more memory.

I've decided to go with the Antec 300 case for the systems. It's shorter so it'll fit better, it's got a bottom-mounted power supply, and it's cheaper. With a little appropriate arranging of where to put the boxes, the filters shouldn't be too hard to get at.

I also need a laptop. I've pretty well settled on the HP dv7, but desktop boxes are a higher priority. Now to start arranging the money.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction

Ye almighty gods, they're still obsessing over that. It was what, 5 years ago? Let it go already. I know the Religious Right like to scream about even the slightest hint of secondary sexual characteristics (at least female ones, male ones seem to be just fine by them), but it's high time to tell them to get a life.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Definition of gun control

Gun control: a 1-inch diameter group slightly above center-of-mass.