Friday, May 28, 2004

Make your own Computer....in 21 days 

I spent the weekend (ok..only sunday) scouting for PC parts to make my PC. Alternatively, a good PC deal by any vendor would also have done just fine.

The current price in Bangalore comes to about 19k (INR/about USD 435) for a PIV 2.4Ghz Prescott/Intel 845GVL chipset/256MB RAM(333Mhz)/Seagate 80 GB HDD/1.44 FDD/17" LG/Microsoft Kbd.

Now, what configuration do you think is the most suitable (economical and reasonably time-proof) for my needs, namely gaming, watching movies and listening to music considering that I already have an optical mouse, CD-ROM drive, a NIC card, a DVD writer, ATI Radeon 9600 (256MB VRAM) video card with TV out and a Creative Audigy soundcard. (Venky, thanks a lot :) )

Also, I am budgeting for a Creative 5.1 speaker setup. Problem is, I have not heard these yet. I have experienced the 2.1 at Venky's place and that was quite impressive. What are your views on the Creative and Altec Lansing 5.1/2.1 sets?

Feel free to use the comment section to "advise" :)



Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Da Vinci Code: Utter Tripe triple sundae 

Brij, getting a book endorsed by you was always the mark of a true masterpiece. Remember Ice Station Zebra? Remember H2G2? Remember Zen and the Art..?
Then how could you do this to me?


I borrowed DVC and finished it over the weekend. How do you say "trash" in Francois? First up, the clues left a lot to be desired.
Mirrored words? Kindergarten stuff! In fact there was a mystery book for primary students in my school library which had this very concept of mirrored words. (and also a brooch which contained the words MAY written in circular fashion which was being argued over by 2 eldery sisters (AMY and Marge) as belonging to one of them.) Basic premise: See the picture and solve the puzzle.

And the clues for APPLE were so obvious after it was revealed that Issac Newton was the knight that I was painfully waiting for the penny to "drop". The "gravity" of the situation was not evident to anyone else. oh well, bad puns apart, what the f*** was the deal with Teabing? Especially the part in which the Teacher walks to the back seat of the stretch limo after "polishing off" Remy presumably to finish Teabing and later it is revealed that Teabing had gone to the back seat to 'keep things in order'. Huh!?!?! JUVENILE!!!!

I had expected a good book and got Hardy Boys (Chapter 20? ok, ok..I am the Villain) teamed up with Three Investigators (JJ, take a bow and then scoot). I cringed at the silly attempts to include more information which was otherwise totally irrelevant to the story (Lion King DVD, Disney's Little Mermaid).

Consolation factor? For a book claiming to be aimed at the "intellectual", none whatsoever!.

Read it at your own risk.



Friday, May 07, 2004

Is your CD safe? 

From an article in cnn.com via slashdot.org :

Most people believe that it's the clear underside of the CD that is fragile, when in fact it's the side with the label. Scratches on the underside have to be fairly deep to cause skipping, while scratches on the top can easily penetrate to the aluminum layer. Even the pressure of a pen on the label side can dent the aluminum, rendering the CD unreadable.

whoa!!! so that's what I have been doing wrong all these years!
I deem this a total betrayal of all that I believed in (as far as CDs go).

For maximum longevity, discs should be stored vertically and only be handled by the edges. Don't stick labels on them, and in the case of write-once CDs, don't write on them with anything but soft water-based or alcohol-based markers.

Kind of makes you think of what ELSE could be so wrong in our lives that we do not have the good sense (or knowledge) to realise.



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