I don’t understand “black edition” video cards.

I purchased a HIS 7850 HD video card that was set to the AMD reference specs. XFX released a “black edition” of the 7850. The only difference I can see is that they have overclocked the graphics core (from 860 to 975 MHz) and the memory timings (from 1200 to 1250 MHZ). The Tech Report benchmarked the black edition cards and were underwhelmed. I just overclocked my stock card to the black edition timings, and I received a nice 10% bump on the Alien vs Predator benchmark (from 38 to 42 fps).

I don’t have much respect for XFX and other companies that sell these pre-overclocked cards. They are just taking advantage of the naivety of their customers.

In other news, the new AMD drivers have finally fixed the display problems in Rage. After installing the 12.3 Catalyst drivers and running Rage on my new card, I was able to play the game without tearing or artifacts. How long did this take?

Arcade Jamma Project update

My 60-1 Jamma arcade project is essentially done. One problem, I don’t like the joystick. The one installed is an 8-way Happ Ultimate joystick. Too easy to hit the diagonals, so control in these classic arcade games isn’t what it’s supposed to be. Most of the games from the era were built for 4 way joysticks. So I have a 4 way, ball topped joystick on order. That will be swapped in some time next week.

Other than that, looks pretty sweet. Additional modifications will likely be made. For instance, the wheels may come off and replaced with feet. Wheels seem like a good idea, until you get into the heat of battle. These wheels lock, but that isn’t enough.

Also needs a beer holder.

New Video Card

I installed my newly arrived 7850 HD video card, replacing the 5770 HD. I made a video of the momentous occasion. I am experimenting with monetizing this video through Google. Please view while I await my truckload of internet money.

New Cord

I swapped out the electrical cord on my Mr. Do arcade machine with a new one. A pretty simple project, actually. Really puzzling as to why the previous owners let it go so long. They probably just didn’t care. Picture of the old cord below.

Brushes with Fame

My brush with fame this evening. A Jesse Thorn (http://www.maximumfun.org/) tweet-up. Below is Jesse holding court. The best story of the evening involved Nazi POWs attempting to escape a camp in Arizona.

He also shared some gossip. I told him I was going to blog about it and I am true to my word. So this is what I am allowed to say publicly…

After the tweet-up, I went to Pizza Luce downtown. Ian Rans (http://www.drinkingwithian.com/) was hosting Triviasco. I ate an appetizer while he barked out the occasional Irish themed question. None of which I knew the answer to without lycosing.

Whine Post

I haven’t posted in awhile because of a combination of being busy and being in an ugly mood. The main things I have been busy with is applying for jobs, completing my Security+ certification and buying/selling arcade machines. So yeah, that’s the good news in my life, obtaining that CompTIA Securty+ certification.

My list of reasons I am surly:

1) Cerave doesn’t work, sorry.  Three days after that earlier post praising Cerave, my finger tips started peeling, cracking and bleeding. I am in the middle of one of my worst eczema episodes. I’m still using it – I still hope that the next episode won’t be as severe. Not to hopeful, however, but I don’t have anything else to try right now.

2) The NWS is contracting. Being in a contracting organization isn’t fun. Morale takes a dive, along with your ambition. Especially when the first target for cuts is the position you are striving for.

3) Not much movement on the sale of my house.

4) My computer cluster in my basement isn’t working at the moment. One of the nodes doesn’t boot. First thing I am going to try is swap out the power supply.

5) I sold my Track & Field arcade game. While moving it, I tweaked my back. Stiffening as I type this, so I can’t straighten up. This will be a good thing in the end though. I purchased a Mr. Do machine (below), and selling the Track and Field keeps me clutter neutral.

6) Tron Guy blocked me on Google+. It involved a post in which Judge Judy “nails” a black guy for not using his social program money appropriately. I made a comment that Tron Guy had all sorts of hate for a black guy who “games” a social program, but when a rich white guy is guilty of fraud, he should get a free pass. I think the insinuated racism made him angry, so he brought out his Baninnator. Which is probably for the best, I really shouldn’t associate myself with his ilk. He is proof that there are bad nerds.

Windows 8 “Storage Spaces”

I purchased a Drobo a three years ago. I am using it as a personal NAS. Very slick… I have three 750 GB hard drives in my Drobo. If one drive fails, there is a copy of every file that was on the failed drive, on the two remaining drives. So there is a graceful fail-over to the two healthy drives with no loss of data.

Looks like a new feature in Windows 8 will render my Drobo obsolete. “Storage spaces” allows you to combine multiple physical drives into one virtual drive, or volume. And you can also enable mirroring or parity, which brings the aforementioned graceful fail-over into play. This would actually be better because now I could have the drives inside of the computer case, instead of this external USB device. You would lose some portability, but the trade-off is worth it. Anandtech has a nice write-up on it.


I’m Busy

No time to post to my blog. I have higher callings. Job interview to prep for, Security+ certification exam to study for and I got an Atari Lynx off of Ebay.

In the meantime, an old picture of me. Let’s see here…

  • Acid-washed jeans
  • Mullet
  • Homemade tie-die (actually spray paint)
  • Hacky-sack

So very 1989. Taken while I was living in Rapid City, in the SDSM&T dorm room. What you see here is the male bonding ritual of the time. I am pretty sure I still have that shirt.