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Monday, July 21, 2003

What a shame...

Last week I requested a replacement BIOS chip for my motherboard, since I was convinced that was cause of the problem and that's what the tech support recommended. Well, it arrived today, I popped it in, and it didn't work. In fact, the problem is exactly the same as before. SO I am discussing the procedure of an RMA with the Epox tech support. Sending it in for repairs seems to be the only option left to me now...

In happier news, this past weekend was a very busy one, but in a good way. We had many many relatives over in sort of a family reunion on my dad's side. Everyone had a great time. My dad barbecued, there was lots of talking and playing of Pool, and I had my first beer. ^_^

Quite a week, quite a week...
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Thursday, July 17, 2003

I DID IT! (again!)

Yeah, I got on TSS again! This time the question was "Can I overclock my laptop?". I had this strange ping of inspiration as I was sitting with my old Toshiba Pentium 100mhz in my lap groaning to myself about how slow it was. Well, I guess they liked the question as much as I did, and I got on as the second caller again. You can watch the rerun tomorrow at 11 AM CST on TechTV or go to the TSS website and find the transcript in the show notes (cuz I'm too tired to dig up the link right now). I have to say, it wasn't as much of a rush this time, but it certainly was nice to see they recognized me.

Lately I've been sort of toying around with the idea of starting my own business. (Yeah, you heard me right!) I've always wanted to build computers for people who didn't have the knowledge or skills to do it themselves, but just recently I've actually started thinking about it seriously. I am currently reading through a very good free online course on starting my own business at MyOwnBusiness.org . They make it very easy to understand and give you an idea of what you need to do. I don't know if this could actually fly, but it would be very cool if it did. Imagine, a 15-year-old with his own computer consulting/building business! (I know, it boggles the mind)

Lemme know if I'm crazy, will ya?
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Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Many apologies for not blogging in the last few days. Allow me to explain...

As you know, I've recently been working on overclocking my system. Well, I found a website where I was able to get a BIOS revision for my motherboard, and I thought, "What the heck, might as well update it". So I flashed the BIOS using the revision and guess what? IT DIED. So now I'm waiting on the manufacturer to send me a new BIOS chip. In the meantime, I have no computer.

BUT, to make the best of the circumstances, I decided to do a thorough cleaning-up of the cables inside of my computer, which I had been putting off for far too long. You can see a pic of the cleaned-up inside here (copy the shortcut and paste it into your address bar to see it). Sorry that I don't have a "before" pic, but if you can imagine cables everywhere in no particular order, you've got a pretty good idea of what it looked like.

In other news, this past saturday we finally had that big get-together of my dad's old high school friends. Although it was only about eight people, it still felt very nice. I got to know a couple of them who were interested in consoles, so we had a LOT to talk about. I think I conviced one of them to get an Xbox. hehe...

I'll be posting every day on this other computer now until I get my main one back online. Cheerio!
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Thursday, July 10, 2003

Let's see, what happened today...

Well, this morning we had the first cleaning by a couple of hired cleaning ladies. They did a wonderful job around the house, and it looks much better. Plus, they used that cleaner that leaves a lemon smell everywhere. I like lemons...

In other news, the preparation for this weekend continues. (If I didn't mention it yet; my dad is having some old friends from Corpus Christi over to visit, and he's taking it very seriously). The cleaning was only the first step. Sarabeth and I went around emptying the trash cans, my mom sorted and organized, and my dad started the mowing of our 5-acre lot. Guess who gets to finish it? ;)

Night folks!
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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Well, just a couple of things to comment on today...

First off, last night my parents imposed a new restriction on the use of my computer, since they believe I've been on too much (is that really possible?). The deal is simple; I get 4 hours a day total, but only in 1-hour chunks that have to have an hour break between them. I'm realizing this isn't TOO big an adjustment to make. It just requires me to wear my watch and make use of its timer. I'm actually starting to feel this may have been an improvement, but the jury's still out for now.

In other news, just this evening my mom, dad, and I put in the first of two In-Wall speakers in our downstairs living room. As I write this they are putting in the second. I helped put in the speaker a bit, but my job was actually preparing and wiring the volume control. My heart deeply thanks the dude out there who invented splice caps. They make life SO much easier...

Goodnight!
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Monday, July 07, 2003

I DID IT! I REALLY REALLY DID IT!!! YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

I am speaking, of course, of getting on THE SCREEN SAVERS! I got on the show with my question about water cooling. Head over to TheScreenSavers.com, the transcript of my call is near the bottom. I'm the second caller. And you can watch the show when it is rerun tomorrow (July 8th) at 11 AM CST on TechTV (Channel 354 on DirecTV, Channel 191 on Dish Network, or whatever the channel is on your Digital Cable).

I AM SO PUMPED RIGHT NOW!!! I'm gonna go watch it again...
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Sunday, July 06, 2003

Due to a new rule, I'm gonna hafta type fast...

Today, we (as in the family) finished our cleaning and reorganizing of the garage. It looks MUCH better, and there is a ton of extra space now. Also today, we began the process of putting up our old signs in our game room. We have collected many old signs for things like Gulf Oil, Dr. Wells soda, and many others. They make a nice treatment for the walls.

D***! I'm running really short on time tonight. Goodbye!
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Saturday, July 05, 2003

At the movies...

For the first time since we got our permanant screen up, we watched a movie in the home theater. The whole family! The film was Star Trek Nemesis. Eh, in my opinion, it wasn't the best choice for a first movie. Now, granted, the story was very trek-ish and I enjoyed it almost as much as the first time I watched it in theaters. But the quality of the transfer was just not very good, and it showed. You could see visible grain in many places, and at times even stray artifacts like hair. This just shouldn't happen. The sound was good, but not incredible (Dolby Digital, without the EX. and no DTS ES either). But nevertheless, I enjoyed it, because it was the whole family watching a movie together...at home.

I tell ya, there isn't a better way to watch movies than in a home theater.
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Well, I wanna start by saying HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! (yes, I know it's 12:30 AM on July 5th, but you get the idea)

Today was totally unlike any 4th I've had before. No fireworks, no visitors, just lots and lots of work. We (as in the whole family) completely cleaned out our garage. Most of it involved taking stuff off shelves, wiping it down with Terry clothes, and putting it back on the shelves in an orderly fashion. And at the end of the day, it certainly looks much better, and more organized. I'm very satisfied, though incredibly sore...

Goodnight everyone!

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Thursday, July 03, 2003

Not much to talk about today, except for the...

TTGOTSS Update: Well, I ended up trying a different question than the one I told you about yesterday:

"I'd like to know if water cooling is an effective solution for the money."

This time, Dan said specifically "That's a great question." But, despite his "encouraging" words, I didn't get on the show...again. I will in call again monday (as Friday's show is a rerun) as well as tuesday with the same question, and hopefully get on. I'm crossing my fingers. If I don't get this question on in two more tries, I'm gonna try a new one on wednesday. I think three is a good limit to how many times I call in with any one single question. Now if only Dan could cut me a little slack...

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Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Such emotion...

Well, I went to that service today, this morning. I didn't cry, but I came close. It's hard to express what you feel at a funeral. You can go from laughter to tears in a heartbeat, so easily. You may find it easy to watch the friends and relatives of the deceased talk about her, but when you picture yourself in their shoes, you feel so different. It's like the pain is closer than ever. Like I said, I barely knew this woman. But after attending this service, I feel like I know her a little better. I am now sorry that I won't have the chance to know her even better than that.

Moving on, though...

TTGOTSS Update: Well, Dan finally recognized me today, the fourth time I've called. And yet again, I failed to get on the show. I think tomorrow I will change my question to something simpler, like this:

"I'd like to know if external FireWire or USB 2.0 drives are faster than internal IDE drives in terms of data rate."

I know this is stooping to the level of the loser newbies that call in and get on the show with simple questions. But maybe simpler is better, and quite frankly....I'm getting impatient with that man...

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Man, it's late. And I hafta get up early tomorrow... Sheesh

And why do I have to do that, you might ask? Well, my orthodontist's wife, Dr. Susan Hime, died recently in a hiking accident; and we are going to her "celebration of life". All I can say about her is that I only met her a couple of times, but I really liked her, and she will be missed by all who knew her.

In other news, this evening my Dad's home theater gear seller came over to help us install the permanent screen. I have to say, it was a job well done, and it looks fantastic. All 110" of it! Yes, it's big, but we have a specially-made room for it and it works out beautifully.

Also today, I had a couple of my friends over, and one of them brought his XBox. We hooked that up to the theater (this was before the screen went up), and played it for a few hours. That was fun! Even though we only did Halo the whole time, I wasn't disappointed at ALL. That game shines in so many ways; it never plays bad and I never get tired of it. I really should get an XBox...

TTGOTSS Update: Called in again today, submitted my question, didn't get on. I'm thinking after 10 rejections of my current question, I may try a different one. And in case you're wondering, this is what I'm asking right now:

*Dan asks what my questions is* I answer: "Yeah, I'd like to know why the refresh rate on my monitor changes (sometimes I add "from 85hz to 60hz") when I go between Windows and a (3D) game (like Medal of Honor), even though both are set at the same resolution." (I sometimes add that I can see the readout on my monitor tell me the about the change, and that's how I know)

Sometimes he asks me to repeat it (I think he writes slow) and then he takes my name, age, and number, and says a variation of "Okay, we'll call you if we use it on the show." And that's it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that man is quickly becoming my arch nemesis...
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