Saturday, April 06, 2013

1 year later, has it changed for the better? My new computer, my health & more

Almost a year ago, my left eye was shot by some glue. That was a life changing moment as I was in the midst of saving up for a new laptop. After that, everything seemed to have fallen apart, my laptop plans were changed, then ultimately scrapped, then my 1TB hard drive went down, perhaps the most shocking thing to happen as I calculated it to be the least likely thing to break on me, especially considering I didn't keep it plugged 24/7. The glue thing had a higher chance of happening since I use almost one pack a month for my hobby, but after that hdd died, I had to change a lot of things. I put Anime aside, I tried to focus on keeping my health in check, and just when I thought it was okay, my left eye actually isn't, and now I can't cry without pain. That's when I decided I had to get myself back up again, and an idea I had for Android eventually happened, and I did it.

During that time I was also focusing on work, and I managed to complete 2 primary objectives in helping the company. That led to me being able to get my first new hdd, the 750GB. And thanks to some donations, I was able to finally get a new computer.

Specs are AMD A4-3400 2.7Ghz, 4GB DDRIII RAM, 600W PSU. I don't think I'm missing any details, it's my first time using a desktop since February 2006 so I'm just going by how cheap this thing is. A little over $100 USD, which is not including a hard drive, monitor or optical drive. Those were assembled from other areas, the monitor provided as the last solution in exchange for me to return the laptop I was borrowing, the hard drives I am surprised to be able to use my 2.5 inch drives, and the optical drive ripped out of an external ODD unit. Hm, technically, my desktop isn't really a desktop, I am using laptop drives and an external optical drive :P

I am surprised at how much this computer flies. Maybe it's not so much to some people, but I had just come off years of laptops, my most recent experience being an AMD Turion X2 Ultra 2.5 Ghz with 4GB DDRII RAM, which was slow apparently because of the hard drive. Or maybe it isn't, I think so because my 750GB has a nearly 80MB/s write speed, and that's a 5400 RPM drive. Of course, this being my first time with a Desktop in a long time, I've already encountered some problems that seasoned desktop builders would know about before hand: My 750GB, it parks. Er, I'm not sure how to explain it, but I know what the reviewers meant when they say "my hard drive parks", and I believe that is when the hard drive makes clicking sounds as if it is going idle, in this case it is "parking". Which made me realize I'm probably not supposed to be using it as a boot drive. So currently I am in the process of clearing my old external 250GB 3.5inch drive and shoving that into my desktop, even though its SMART health is at 2% and several files cannot be copied, I've become too paranoid to risk my hard drives for anything, and this 750GB wasn't easy to come by so I am going to put my all into using a dead drive for what its worth. Hopefully that will hold up.
Seagate FreeAgent 250GB 7200RPM Barracuda, if it was healthier I would consider myself lucky >_<

The other thing I hadn't known about, well, searching online, it's not even common knowledge, is that in order to overclock, I need a DVI cable. Which I don't have, it would explain why I tried to overclock, and while the desktop was booting, I didn't see anything on screen. I had no idea a simple change in video displaying could affect overclocking. Back when I last had a desktop, all I had to do was up the FSB in the BIOS and boom, higher temperatures :P Well, at least temperatures aren't a problem here, as this APU runs surprisingly cool (remember, I had just come from a AMD Turion which burns on load at over 80c). As for gaming, I would say it was considerably better than the Mobility Radeon 4530 that was in that laptop, but I'm not entirely sure as I was only throwing old titles at it (CoH, Crysis 1). I sure would like to try the newer titles, but that's for a later money happy time :P
AMD A4 WEI versus AMD Turion M620 WEI

Overall, the only thing left that perplexes me greatly is why did I not think of this earlier? I had been so fixated on bringing my work everywhere I go, that only a laptop would do, but I hadn't realized a desktop can also use a 2.5Inch drive, so if I need to jet, just put the drives back into their enclosures and away I go. And for less than $200, what else do I have to lose? I honestly wouldn't have thought of this desktop idea if I wasn't in such terrible shape last year. It's funny but, last year I learned that, a large amount of money doesn't solve the simplest of problems, it was only when I had my back to a wall with a wall right at my nose did I realize was, if I ultimately have to move around, my hard drives were more important than the computer itself. The computer can be replaced with just $100, but the hard drive not only has a price, it contains priceless information that cannot be bought. So I'm not all regrettable about how crappy my year was for 2012, because I have lived my life knowing that "only through pain are the most important of lessons learned for life", and this was a lesson I am glad to have learned. (to get an idea of my "grand" plan, it was to spend $300 on a laptop and import it over at the cost of almost $200, bringing that to $500. Yup, great plan >_>)

I also wanted to personally thank the donators for their contributions. I... would like to thank you by name, but I don't share people's real names without their consent and I have no idea who is who as I contribute to several fields at several forums, so I don't even know for sure, but you know who you are, and you have my gratitude. I look forward to continuing requests left over from last year, and hopefully I can fully get back into the swing of things. This year I have more glasses than I have eyes, and every time I use glue I am sure to have at least something covering my eyes :D