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Sunday, June 29, 2003

This really stinks...I think for the first time in my life I've spent too much time on my computer.

I estimate about 7 hours today. And I can feel it. My eyes huuuurt....

But I will try to give you summary of my day anyway, because I'm loyal to my readers (how ever many there really are). Today around 12, after church, my Grandparents came over, because their AC has gone out and they can't stand the high-90-degree Texas heat. They are also spending the night and leaving early tomorrow. Either than that, it's been a long day of many hours of Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. I'd give you the link to the game but I'm too tired...

Good night. My eyes are begging for me to close them...

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Saturday, June 28, 2003

Good evening folks! (< so I caved and put it back in)

Well, today was relatively uneventful. Although it was the first full day that Sarabeth and I have not had to share a computer. I have to say, it wasn't as sweet as I thought it would be. I'm more tired than usual. Ah well... But it feels good nonetheless!

A minor update on yesterday's overclocking story; I downloaded FutureMark's trademark benchmark, 3DMark2003 (don't you just love that sentence composition there? hehe). I did a few tests with my new supped-up configuration and managed to get a modest score of 2648. Now, if you compare that to a top-of-the-line Alienware's score, which is nearer to 5000, it's mediocre. But for my price range, it's d*** fine.

No TSS today, as it IS a weekend. So see me monday for the next TTGOTSS Update.

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Friday, June 27, 2003

Big day! Big day...

Well, for starters, my mom flew out of town to Tulsa this morning. She'll be staying there over the weekend with our aunt. So, my grandparents, who also live in Austin, came over for the day. They basically tended to the house and such while Sarabeth (my sister) and I vegged on my computer all day. But they made a GREAT fried fish dinner which I'm still tasting in my mouth. So their visit wasn't completely ceremonial.

And speaking of my computer... Today while browsing the web I got this sudden, overwhelming urge to overclock my computer. I don't what inspired it, but nevertheless I dove in. Not to be a fool, I consulted a friend of mine who had overclocked his system and knew a lot about it. He walked me through the basics, and after about 3 hours I had my system running at the performance of just over the equivilant of and AMD 2800+ (although the stock chip is a 2500+), and my Radeon 9500 Pro video card at a higher speed. All-in-all, I've calculated a relatively decent overall performance increase of around 25% for my entire system. And all without spending a single cent! I must admit, the overclocking bug has sunk its teeth deep into me, and I'm actually considering purchasing a water cooling system so I can push my system even further. But that's for another day. Right now I'm enjoying my supped-up hot rod the way it is. Ah, the pride is totally going to my head...

In other computer news, my dad was able to get Sarabeth's monitor exchanged today. We hooked it up, and shortly after she and I spent about half an hour visiting different Elite Force servers and fragging the heck outta the opposition. Most of the time we played on the same team (but I get the distinct feeling she kinda prefers fragging me instead of everyone else). Anyways, I'm just happy we no longer need to share our time on my rig. I just pray that monitor doesn't fail again.

And in this, the first edition of the TTGOTSS Update (Trying to get on The Screen Savers Update): I called in today with the same question as yesterday. I don't think Dan remembered me (cuz he didn't say anything about recognizing me or my question), and I didn't get on again. I am not discouraged, however! I WILL call as many times as it takes! Why? Because I am A FAN. And I AM.....persistent.
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Thursday, June 26, 2003

Good evening. (< notice my omission of the exclamation mark, it was getting old)

I have a couple of things to write about tonight. My first thing to bring up is Pixtudio. A couple of posts ago I linked to their website highly recommending it. Well, upon further exploration of their site, I discovered that Pixtudio has licensed a series of very nice and very appealing suites. These suites include skins, icons, bars, wallpapers, logons, cursors, etc all in one nice package (basically every you'd ever need to make your entire OS look like the suite). I had my eye on one of these gorious collections called "Pix OS", naturally the trademark creation of Pixtudio. However, I was disappointed to discover that it costs $9.95 to download. WHAT A RIP. I know, these people do this kinda work professionally blah blah blah, which is why it looks d*** fantastic but costs money. So my question of the day is, do you think $10 is worth it to basically redo your entire OS's look? (don't bother answering because there's no way for you to...yet)

Okay, second item of the day is my attempt to get a question on The Screen Savers. I'm a huge fan, and this was going to be my way of finally contributing something to the show and being a bigger part of it than simply a viewer. Well, I called in around 90 minutes before the show, and Dan (a guy I've seen on the show before) answered the phone and asked me to hold. So I waited for about 3 minutes, whilst listening to TechTV's current broadcast of "RobotWars" (trust me, the audio is hilarious without the video. It's Brittish, nuff said). He came back on the line, took my question, my name, and number, and said he would call back if they were gonna use my question on the show. Well, I never got a call back. The show was great, as always (it was Patrick's birthday!). But (and I may be biased here) the callers who got in instead of me had pretty generic, mediocre questions. Not to be discouraged, however, I am planning to call in every day until I get on. Whatever it takes. THAT is the mark of a true fan. Rock on...

I'll keep you posted about that. And please, no suggestions about me putting together a "Calls-to-try-and-get-on-TSS" Counter. You'll just get this: =P
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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Good evening everyone!

I have some updates regarding my sis's computer. We got it up and running night before last, and it was running very smoothly. We tranferred over her files, installed some software, and got her online. Then, last night, right before we turned-in...the monitor stopped working. Now, basically, my dad had bought THE CHEAPEST LCD flat panel monitor in the store. Naturally, it was an off-brand ("Gem" is the name of the company, heh). Now, my position on computer part brands is that if I haven't heard of the company, it's probably s***. So of course, this came as no surprise to me. My dad took the monitor back to Fry's today to get it exchanged, only to discover that they had sold out of that model, and wouldn't be getting resupplied until the weekend.

So, my sister has to use my computer for at least another four days...

I am not happy.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Sorry, I don't have much time to post tonight. In fact, very little time.

So all I can say is, here is a game that I am very frustrated with and would like to know the solution to: Pearls Before Swine. If you can beat it, please e-mail the solution to me at starfalcon33@yahoo.com

Thanks!
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Monday, June 23, 2003

Quick note: Fixed the problem with links in my posts. I was using the wrong HTML tags. The links all work now!
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Good evening, folks, nice of you to drop in!

Today was a big day for my...sister. In fact, as I type this up, we are installing the wonderful Windows XP Pro on her NEW COMPUTER, built from the ground up by yours truly with parts purchased by yours truly's dad (hehe). I have to say her case is amazing! It has a multifuntion LED in the front that changes colors and displays relevant hardware information like the system temperature and time. You can read more and buy one here. Hopefully now that she has her own rig she'll stop using mine...

Well, I'm just about fed up with Hulk. You know, that hopelessly CGI-infused "movie" remake of the great comic strip "The Incredible Hulk". God, they should start calling that film "The Incredible HYPE". I'm seeing just about everything that could possibly be marketed turned into a Hulk hyping medium. Hulk Action Figures, Hulk Candy, even Hulk Cereal! Give my a break, people! I can understand the need to make as much dough as possible off of this movie, but PLEASE...

Eh, enough of my ranting on THAT subject...honestly, I could go on forever.

I discovered a very good skinning and GUI customization website today, through a link on Wincustomize's website. It's called Pixstudio, and it has a very good collection of high-quality skins and icons. I highly recommend both it and Wincustome.

Okay, that's all for tonight. I need to go check my sis's installation progress. Goodnight!
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Sunday, June 22, 2003

WHEW! What a weekend... Where shall I start?

Okay, I guess it starts Saturday. My dad's friend from college, Jim, showed up and stayed with us for the weekend. He's REALLY cool. Why? Well, he used to work for Compaq; more specifically, choosing the games that would be bundled with Compaq's systems. Incidentally, he got to play a LOT of cool games, and has copies of many of them. Lucky for me, he brought a SACK FULL of them when he came and LEFT THEM WITH ME. As you can imagine, I flipped...many times. Sure, these games are a few years old, but they all KICK A**. Especially "Expendable", a fast-action arcade-style third-person shoot em' up (made by the now bankrupt game company, Rage Software)(you can read about their history here: Overview of Rage Software)

But anyway, his big thing this weekend and pretty much all of saturday was cooking a brisket on our barbecue. I now know pretty much ever step and secret to making one. And lemme tell you, IT WAS INCREDIBLE. It was moist, tender, juicy, and VERY tasty. I won't go into details, because there are many, but it was GREAT.

Sunday was spent actually eating the brisket (because it wasn't ready until about 11:00 PM Saturday night, although I did have a piece then, hehe). My grandparents, who live near us in Georgetown, came over and we had a wonderful brisket lunch. After which Jim left, and I spent the rest of the day watching recorded episodes of "The Screen Savers", which is a show I HIGHLY recommend to all geeks and tech lovers. And now it's late and I'm just about to turn in after checking my favorite websites and posting at UP Forums.

Goodnight everyone, I hope you enjoyed my catching-up post! I should have more time now to keep regular updates, so check back frequently. And please, if you enjoy this blog, please recommend it to your friends. I should have some forums or a comments section up soon, but I'm not gonna guarentee anything.

Later!
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Monday, June 16, 2003

Just letting you know that everything went great. The ladies took a tour of the house and loved everything.
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Sorry about not posting yesterday. I was REALLY busy all day and by the time I was able to sit down at my computer, it was very late.

So, I'll make this an update for yesterday and today...

Yesterday was busy because my dad and I were doing a lot of home improvement work around our house. We started by tacking down some ground wire going down the outside of the house. It had been hanging in a pretty random way and wasn't particularly pleasing to the eye. But we fixed that! Next, we attempted to install the first set of outdoor speakers in our porch area. We wired up the volume control on a nearby wall and even positioned the templates exactly where we wanted to cut through the cieling. Then, my dad fired up the spindle saw and...burned out two sheetrock bits trying to cut through concrete board. So, we're pretty much at a halt on that project until we can get by Home Depot to buy the right bit. We spent the last three hours of the day mounting our Sony projector to the ceiling in our home theater. And after that, we sat back and watched the Spurs win their second NBA Championship. All in all, a good day.

Right now, I'm sitting at my desk typing this post while my mom shows the members of her stitchery guild around our house. She was up late last night making scones and this morning we were frantically cleaning the house in preparation. (I had to get up at 9:00 this morning! Can you believe that? Ug...)

I'll keep in touch and let you know how this goes.
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Sunday, June 15, 2003

You know, as I'm writing this, my clock says 12:00 AM Sunday. Although, technically, I'd like it to appear on the record as VERY late, Saturday.

Well, I watched the Stargate SG-1 Premiere extravaganza tonight until just about half an hour ago. And all I can say is...

...I'm tired.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna walk five feet over to my bed now and crash...

ZZZZzzzzz
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Friday, June 13, 2003

Man, this is freaky. I'm posting my first blog message on Friday the Thirteenth. I hope that doesn't mean this site will be cursed...

Nah!

But anyways, hello everyone! I'm Mark Smith, and...this is my blog! Alright, I know, you want personal info, blah blah blah...

My real name is classified. But I will tell you just about everything else about me. I'm 15, I live in Austin, Texas, with a younger sister and two of the best parents in the world. I have been using computers since I learned to read (which was on the computer, thanks to my good buddy, Reader Rabbit). Ever since, I have gotten quite comfortable with the PC, and have experience in many aspects of computing. Frankly, I love computers. It's as simple as that.

I'll be posting various anecdotes about my life, and I hope they will entertain you and provide a welcome diversion from the real world.

But now, I must sleep. Busy day tomorrow...

Goodnight, folks!
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