i want to build you a computer (posted on ocr)

as posted on ocr:

i build computers as a side business at college. i’d like to build you
a computer. if you’re within, like, six hours of where i live, i’ll
even drop the thing off for you.

why would you take me up on this offer?
>you probably don’t know enough about computers to build one yourself.
can build it for you for less than half of what you’d pay for a similar
computer through dell, lenovo (microsoft), hp, acer, etc.

>i can customize it for your specific needs easily. need twelve USB
ports? fine! need 4 terabytes of data storage? awesome! want the
biggest, most pimped out system using the best components? sounds good
to me!

here’s how it works.
>you pm me, and say ‘i want a computer!’
>i’ll contact you (skype, aim, phone…anything real-time is ideal)
and we’ll discuss what you want, and how much overhead you’ve got to
work with
>i’ll do a little research, and find out best costs and some timetable information, and get back to you
>if you agree, i’ll order the parts, assemble them, and probably
hand deliver the computer to your house. i’ll install any software you
want, and have it optimized for whatever you need.

i don’t use cut-rate components, or attempt to scam you. i’ve built
thirty-one computers in the last two years for people and i’ve not had
a problem that was caused by my handiwork with any of them. i’ll even overclock it (stablely) if you want me to.

what i don’t work with

>apple computers (not worth the time, IMO)

>laptops (definitely not worth the time, no matter what)

why am i doing this?

>i love building computers. the smell of a component fresh from the box is like ambrosia to my senses.

>i enjoy working with the hardware end of computing technology.

if anyone’s interested (i’m not planning on a lot of people being
interested, but it’s worth a shot), send me a pm and we’ll go from

it’s worth noting that i’ve already have three or four contracts for computers set up (including escariot), and another ten people who will be contacting me within the next few months as they get financial means together (including atma and arek).
i generally charge 10% of the cost of the parts for assembly and
handling – which generally winds up being around 50-70 dollars.

if you’re interested, either email me at bradleyDOTburrAThoughtonDOTedu, or pm me over at ocr, and we’ll go from there.

Guess Who’s Back… Commodore!

The company which brought us the best selling PC of the Twentieth Century, Commodore, is back. This time around, the company which practically created the demoscene will be focusing on top end gaming machines.
Commodore will unveil more details at CeBIT in Germany, so for now all we have is speculation. The comments on the article range from “Hooray!” to “Just riding on the coattails of nostalgia.” We’ll just have to see in another week’s time.


Hardware Review – Logitech RX300

I spent quite a while trying to come up with an idea for the first Hardware column. About a week ago my mouse pissed me off for the last time, and off to Newegg I went, ordering this $10.45 (before shipping) optical USB mouse. I have also ordered Personalized Mouse Pads to gain more interest. Expecting UPS to be slow as usual, I wasn’t planning on getting it until nearer the weekend, so a surprise came when the brown truck pulled up the street today. And there it was: A new mouse, and my hardware topic.
I didn’t really think too much about the features when I bought it; it was the cheapest USB optical mouse (at the time) that was of a brand I recognised, so into the cart it went.

The first thing I noticed when I pulled it out of the box was the excessive packaging. Newegg, in my experience, has always been stingy with padding the items they send, having received more than a few bumped and dented products from them (then again, this was my first time shipping UPS through Newegg, since apparently a while back they cancelled their deal with FedEx).

The box was large enough to ship a small mammal in, although I guess that’s what a mouse is. After getting it open (through that tape that scissors can’t cut but a well-placed pen can) I was showered in packing peanuts. Being near-winter in a temperate zone, I was already well-charged with static, so I’m still finding peanuts that stuck in untoward places, three hours later.

After digging through the peanuts, I pulled out a roll of bubble wrap. Somewhere in there was my mouse. Being OEM, it was just sitting in a bag inside the bubble wrap. Finally getting that open, I had my mouse out.

Logitech RX300 Optical Mouse 3D
Logitech RX300 Optical Mouse 3D

The first thing I noticed about the mouse was its weight. This thing is hefty. I didn’t pull out my postage scale and weigh it, mainly because I don’t have a postage scale anymore, but it’s definitely well-constructed. The shape takes a little getting used to, with the buttons wider than the bottom of the unit, but it works.

Fifteen minutes later, after giving it time to warm up to room temperature, I unplugged my cheapo no-name mouse bought from Newegg nearly two years ago, waited for Windows to recognise that a device was missing, and then plugged in my new pointing device. I had to go through two simple default driver installs (apparently Windows can tell the difference between different models of mice now) and finally got down to business.

The standard functions work like you’d expect them to. The left and right mouse buttons are large, and have just the right amount of resistance. My last few mice have either been too easy or too hard to click, resulting in extra or missed clicks at crucial moments. The wheel is a little loose, so you might end up scrolling a little farther than you’d want to in some cases.

The “tilting scroll wheel” is a nice feature. Rather than having the “traditional” back/forward buttons on the sides of the mouse, these are built into the wheel. Using these buttons requires the installation of Logitech’s 42 MB SetPoint software, which is a lot to download on a throttled connection (although I’m pretty sure the machines it came with had this preinstalled, and the boxed version probably came with a driver disc). Setting it up was easy; it asked for a reboot but it worked fine without one.

The software lets you assign different functions to each mouse button, and has a special “detect games” setting which lets you override assignments (or let the OS handle them) when you’re playing games. I haven’t tested this out yet, because I don’t have anything to test it with.

The buttons themselves do their function (I’ve assigned them to back/forward, which makes browsing much faster), but they’re once again too easy to click. The worst part of it is when attempting to middle-click or middle-drag (like when scrolling), because any slight tilt of the finger causes the browser to change pages.
Tracking-wise, it’s doing good, but once again I haven’t had a chance to test it out for games.

In conclusion, it’s a sturdy mouse with good features, but the tilt-wheel makes it too easy to accidentally do something you don’t want to. However, given the price, it’s a good general-purpose mouse. I give it a 4 out of 5. 4 out of 5

Sony Corp Turns 60, Looks for Innovation

As the inimitable Sony Corporation turns 60 years old this year, the new CEO, a foreigner named Howard Stringer [ed: Stringer was named CEO a year ago], is trying to reign the company away from esoteric hardware that costs much more than what the average consumer would consider paying for such as the 13,300 audio console which automatically centered the CD as the user tossed it about.  So far, his efforts have been paying off, especially because the primary focus is in growth, while downsizing much of the bloat which has been plaguing the company in recent years.

The first of Stringer’s cuts were to the Qualia line of luxury items, which there was a very very small niche market for, which did not make up for the costs associated with the products, which include the aforementioned audio console and a micro-sized digital camera.  The Japanese corporation has also sold off nearly $1 billion in assets, reduced its stake in a Japanese retail chain that deals in non-electronics, scrapped the Aibo electronic-pet division, and stopped the production of plasma television sets.

More recently, the company has decided to veer away from the traditional Japanese business practice of promoting former executives to advisory positions, and has done away with 45 of these symbolic advisors due to the costs related to their position in the company.  That is to say, of course, they were not really contributing, but were still draining the company dollar, especially with their individually chauffeured cars.

Analysts are optimistic but wary, as Sony tries to grasp at a future of prosperity as it had seen from the 1960s to the ’80s, with the transistor radio, the walkman, color television, and other pioneering products.

This past Thursday, Sony had posted the results of the first fiscal quarter, a $276 million profit which is being credited to strong sales of LCD television Sets, laptops, camcorders, and digital cameras.  This is good news for a company which hasn’t seen a full year profit since 2002.

Sony President, Ryoji Chubachi, has mentioned that TVs and portable music are the areas in which Sony must show itself as a winner, stating “If we lose in either category, it’s inevitable that people are going to have doubts about Sony.”

Sony has been slow to jump onto the portable music boat due to fears that they will be eating their own tail by thieving sales of compact discs.  To complicate this, Sony had at first used the ATRAC3 file format on their portable players to hinder piracy, although they are now seeing the genius behind using MP3 encoding for the basis of their player.

Sony’s new LCD Television sets are commanding the TV market of late, although Sony had to work with the South Korean Samsung Electronics in order to play “Catch Up” on the world market.  It had appeared that Sony had been too confident in the cathode-ray tube paradigm of television sets and had not given much thought to the newer, sleeker sets.

Copyright 2006 Garian Cashman.  All Rights Reserved.  This material may be re-broadcast, re-published, re-written, or re-distrubuted as the user sees fit provided this notice is retained in any and all copies.

source: www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/biztech/07/31/sonyat60.ap/index.html