Memorial Weekend

Well, I figure I better post this before the the details of this weekend fade from my mind, blurry as they were… You know how time flies? Yeah, well it really flew this weekend.

Technically, I had a four day weekend. I was sick on Friday and didn’t go in to work, and I didn’t have to work on Monday because of Memorial Day. But somehow it seemed more like just one, single day.

In between all the various little projects that I had to accomplish this weekend (cleaning my apartment, fixing *more* problems with my computer, etc…), there were a couple of highlights:

1. I saw the movie, “Edward Scissorhands” with Johnny Depp. Not much to say about this movie besides the fact that it was very weird.

2. I saw the movie “Final Cut” with Robin Williams, an intruiging movie about what could happen if we had recording devices implanted in our heads as babies and then others could view our lives when we died. Or something like that. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364343/

3. One of Samantha’s best friends from Oklahoma came into town (along with her mother) and we all went to Applebees and had dinner. They had steak and shrimp, while Samantha and I split a Santa Fe Chicken Salad. Yum. After that, Samantha showed them her apartment. Then they all came and looked at mine. Random musing of the moment: I found out from them that Turner Falls is way over-hyped and sometimes the line of cars is backed all the way up to the highway. However, if Samantha and I ever decide to visit it, we can just call her friend (whose dad works there) and we can get in for free!

4. I discovered a new computer game. It is called “Far Cry” and it has thoroughly pleased me. Now, before I say anything else, let me just say this. I am *VERY* picky about my computer games and I have an extremely high standard. I have not been captivated by a single player game even once in the past three years. Every now and then you may catch me playing a game here and there with friends. But never will you see me playing a computer game off by myself, going level through level. I have always found this type of gameplay to be boring, repetitive, and altogether mundane. However, this game has accomplished the seemingly impossible. Amazing, life-like graphics combine with realistic physics and gameplay. You are put in an immersive world and given objectives. How you complete the objective doesn’t really matter. You can drive a vehicle into the enemy territory, guns blazing. Or you can sneak through the grass on your stomach and snipe at enemies undetected. Or let’s say you have to get from the top of a mountain to a lighthouse on the other side of the beach. You can go down the side of the mountain and creep across the beaches, encountering enemies. Or you could take a hang-glider and drop grenades on the enemies as you fly over them. Either way, you get the objective accomplished. It’s very rich. And I must say it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. Word of warning: Don’t even think about playing this game unless you have one of the latest video cards for your computer!

5. I went to a concert for Joe Nichols and Reba McEntire at the Choctaw Coliseum with Samantha and Leeann (One of our friends from the Baptist Student Ministry at Grayson who’s like 38 and has a wheelchair because she’s unable to walk. She’s really sweet and lots of fun and she bought us tickets!). Now, first of all, if you know anything about me you know that I hate country music. However, I discovered that I somehow knew some of the songs the artists were singing (although I have no idea how) so it wasn’t that bad. I actually enjoyed myself! Of course, most of the time I was oohing and aahhing over the special effects and stage lighting and wondering how they did it. The whole stage was literally lighting up like a giant tv screen. Even the ground that the singers were walking on! Best I can figure, it was all back-lit from underneath the stage or something. But I don’t know for sure. Hmm…

Power Supply

My new Nvidia 6800 GT video card came in the other day and it turned out that my 580 watt power supply wasn’t enough (even with the second 250 watt power supply taking up slack). I couldn’t believe it. I had to completely reconfigure the power layout of my computer case so that my 2 DVD burners, 5 hard drives, and various fans would run without problems. Now my 580 watt is powering the video card, mother board, fans, 2 DVD drives, and my primary hard drive, while my 250 is powering the remaining 4 hard drives.

I had to completely re-organize the way the drives were hooked up and everything, too (master/slave, what’s what and where, etc.)

Now, for basic use, I turn on my computer via it’s main power button and it will load up just the bare necessities.

But if I want to have tons of drive space or access the files on said drives, I flip the switch on the second power supply as well.

“wah hah hahaha” *satisfied grin*

On a side note, I was extremely disappointed with the Nvidia 6800 GT at first. All the tech demos and 3D tests I ran were getting horrible frame rates. I couldn’t even run the 3D demos from nvidia’s own web site that were made specifically for this card! I was fixing to box the thing up and send it back when I ran across a hidden setting in the display control panel.

Under “Performance & Quality Settings”, there’s an option for “Multi-Display Performance Mode”. When I saw this I realized what must be happening: My card was cutting my performance in half due to the fact that I have two computer monitors hooked up.
So I set it to “Single Display Performance” (who really runs 3D games across two monitors anyways??) and *tada!*

Problem solved.

Now I’m getting amazing framerates in everything I play.
Unreal Tournament(1280×1024 high quality mode with 4x antialiasing and 8x antistropic filtering): 120 fps
Doom 3(1280×1024 high quality mode with 4x antialiasing and 8x antistropic filtering): 60 fps

All right!

Too bad I don’t hardly ever even play computer games these days. Hmm… what was I thinking anyways?

My Weekend

Last night I went over to a friend’s house in Pottsboro (about 20 minutes away), where we hooked up like 5 XBOX systems over the network and we all played till around 4:00 in the morning.

When I got home I crashed on my bed and slept till 12:30 in the afternoon.

I woke up to my phone ringing and it turns out a bunch more of my friends wanted to come over and go swimming in my pool.
So Zach, Harmon, Corban, Michelle, Josh, and Teresa all came over and we swam and just generally lounged around.

Around 3:30, we ordered some chinese and all sat around in my living room watching some movie or another on TV.

Now it’s almost 5:00 and I have absolutely nothing to show for today, but I can’t really say that I care.

I love relaxing weekends with friends.

Star wars 3

Oh yeah! I almost forgot to mention that I went and saw Star Wars 3 last night.

I got there an hour early and bought 3 tickets. One for me, one for Samantha (my girlfriend), and one for my best friend Zach.

The idea was that I would go in at the beginning of the line and hold seats for everyone.

However, I failed to realize that once I got in the theater and was holding the seats, I would have to walk outside and give the tickets to my companions when they arrived. The result: I would lose the seats I had worked so hard to obtain.

Fortunately, nobody stole the seats, but still… I should have thought that through a little better.

Cold

Yeah so I’ve had this massive cold lately and today I think it’s reached it’s peak.

I took two tylenol and a single cold medicine pill this morning as soon as I woke up, then promptly headed to work.

I don’t feel very productive.

Good thing it’s Friday.

Lawyers and spyware

Ok so I went and fixed a lawyer’s computer at his house the other night and then today I went and optimized his computer at his office. It’s weird how almost all my business is lawyers, doctors, and retired older people… Maybe it has to do with the fact that it’s all by word of mouth?

You know, I hate those spyware creators and what not, but I have to give them credit for about half my business. The irony of it is that I only know how to remove the stuff because of the fact that I used to be all into hacking when I was like 13. I would make trojans that used the same techniques that the spyware these days use to hide on people’s computers. So naturally, I usually know how to get rid of it as well…

Here’s how my average repair job goes:
1. Download Spybot Search and Destroy from http://www.spybot.info (a completely free, donation supported tool)
2. Download the latest spyware definitions
3. Reboot the computer into safe mode
4. Scan and remove spyware using Spybot, then Immunize it.
5. Look through registry using regedit and msconfig for any abnormal things that are starting up needlessly and disable them
6. Look through the Administrative Tools > Services console for abnormal services that are starting up automatically and disable them
7. Go into Internet Explorer brower options > Settings > View Objects and remove all foreign ActiveX controls
8. Reboot computer into normal mode
9. Install Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/) as an alternative to Internet Explorer that is less susceptible to spyware.
10. Show person how to use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer

Now, of course there are many variations to that whole scenario, but you get the general gist of the idea.

Rescued

I am pleased to write that near sundown this evening, my camp fire was spotted by a passing cargo ship and I have been rescued.
Although somewhat disappointed that I will be unable to amuse my readers with my island adventures, I am glad to be back on my way home where I will resume my life as a panhandler.

I decided to leave George behind on the island with a tub of peanut butter as his punishment. I think it fitting, do you not?

Day Four

After going over the entire island twice without finding the knapsack culprit, I happened to glance over at George and I swear I saw an amused smirk on his face. However, the moment he noticed me staring at him he instantly put on an innocent expression and started examining a nearby leaf.

Upon closer inspection (and much to my dismay), I discovered traces of peanut butter on his lips. There is no doubt in my mind now. George did it. Either that, or he’s in cahoots with whoever did.

An appropriate punishment will be decided tomorrow.
Methinks that voting him off the island would teach him a thing or two.

Or maybe some turtle soup is in order?

On a side note, I appear to be running out of fresh water. My cache of Evian water bottles is dwindling rapidly and I sincerely doubt that a supply plane will be coming soon. Time to kick in my plethora of boy scout skills.

Oh wait. I didn’t go to boy scouts…

Third day on the island

I woke up at noon today to the sun beating down on my face and realized something. I’m sunburnt badly. Looking around for my knapsack in hopes of finding some sunscreen, I found it torn to pieces and the contents scattered all over the island. Who could have caused this act of extreme vandalism? I honestly didn’t know that George disliked me so! Could it be that a third character is a participant to the same plight as George and I?

I think I will spend the rest of the day searching for this character and give it a piece of my mind.

Second day on the island

I have explored the island in it’s entirety. Yes. The island is that small. I didn’t find much of interest except for a small turtle that I have decided to name George. He doesn’t seem to agree, and refuses to come when called.

I have also decided to write “SOS” in the sand on the beach in the odd chance a wayward bird may observe it. I do not know what “SOS” means, but I have the strange presumption that it may be related to how long I stay on this island. Either that, or maybe a shipment of small, square aluminum wire pads dipped in soap will fall from the sky.