Friday, December 17, 2010

facebook friend in the hospital

I knew of Fran in high school. I was always odd man out so its not like we were friends back then. But he was always nice.

A couple weeks ago I find this awesome Map of Metal and share it with him on FB. I figured for sure I'd hear back that he loved it. Instead, nothing.

Looking at his wall I find he is in the hospital. Undiagnosable issue, put in a doctor induced comma because his organs shut down.  The latest, days later:

Update on Fran: Not a great day for Franny. He is really fighting right now. I hope we have some positive news soon. Still feeling the love, and hoping we can get him listening to music tomorrow, I am sure that will be a huge impact.


It so weird watching from this very distant vantage point. Everyday I expect the worst (undiagnosed issue, WTF is that?) but every day he is still there fighting it. Helpless I am.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

hybrids vs trucks comparing sales

Wow. Encouraging news.
Yearly truck sales have decreased by 57% since 2009, or, an average of -8.2% every year. In the same period, Hybrid sales in the United States have increased by an impressive 1,707,376%, or 165% each year. As the trends relate to the economy, neither category was affected much by the dot-bust recession from 2000-2002. Both categories show significant trending from 2003-2007, during which the U.S. average gas price rose sharply. During the recession of the last two years (during which gas prices dropped), Hybrids purchasing leveled off, while Truck purchases dropped drastically.
Check out MIKE KRUZENISKI's hybrids vs trucks post for more.

Friday, November 05, 2010

this is just the consumer grade stuff

This device is transmitting thousands of infrared light beams, and detecting your presence, movement, and your environment with them. Wow.

Imagine what the military or intelligence agencies can do?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

trying to stay relevant, Adobe embraces html5

Flash is best, flash is best, flash is best. It's all you'll ever need.

Wait, we better do some HTML5 stuff so we don't want to get left behind.

Nice of them to join the party.

Friday, October 22, 2010

buying the iPad, which is designed just to be good

Wired, which I usually think of as a PC magazine (I may have to rethink that), has a scathing take on HP's Slate.

HP has tried to justify the ridiculous price with a disclaimer in its press release, which says it is "designed specifically for business." The problem is, businesses are already buying the iPad, which is designed just to be good.
We're certainly looking forward to seeing some proper rivals to the iPad, with ten-inch screens running an OS designed for touch. The HP Slate, a netbook with the keyboard missing, ain't it.

Got it?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

simpler, more casual apps

From macrumors (emphasis mine):

"The Mac App Store also raises additional questions whether or not the so-called "race to the bottom" in prices will be duplicated on the Mac software side as well, and whether or not it will encourage simpler, more casual apps."

After experiencing years of continuous "improvement" (read it bloating) of software packages on the PC (take your pick of office suites for example), simpler, more casual apps sound good to me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

statistically speaking, I need to get a panasonic camera

As a math guy (geek? I hate that word), I find the numbers game on okcupid very interesting. And even though I'm not "on the market", I do find some interesting advice there. Like this bit which tells me to get a panasonic camera.

Statistically speaking that is.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Windows Phone 7 devices announced

CNN fails to mention that all these will be running Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset.

Said Steve Balmer:
We're excited to bring a new generation of Windows phones exclusively featuring Snapdragon mobile processors

I helped build that.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Seeing the whites of their eyes

I think I've heard in military lore the expression of being so close to an enemy the solders were able to "see the whites of their eyes."

Today I had a similar, but far less terrifying experience, motorcycling into work.

The setup: I'm on the freeway, 80MPH, same speed as everyone else in the left lane. Good spacing, 3-4 car lengths in front, but an annoying guy behind is about 2 away. Ignoring him, I'm looking front. Break lights in the right lane. A full size transit bus is breaking hard, the car behind too...

I ease off the throttle, gently press my foot on the break just enough to turn on the brake light (something I've practiced a lot while standing still). Drift towards the break down lane to my left and check it. It's clear up ahead. Good to know if I need it.

By this time I and everyone else in the left lane have caught up to the bus and now the two right-most lanes are braking hard. Still no brake lights in the two left-most lanes. Suddenly over the TOP of the bus a 2 foot by 1 foot object comes flying through the air. It's instantly obvious that this bit of plastic is heading my way and it is the top of a ice chest type cooler.

I decide to accelerate to make sure it lands behind me. It does, and at is it goes by, I clearly see two cup holders, like giant eye whites, staring right at me.

The truck behind me takes a cooler top in the grill. I keep going.

Another fun ride into work. I never did see the rest of the cooler.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Get the most from your HTC Sense enabled phone

So you have a shiny new HTC Sense enabled phone (or any other recent Android phone)? Now what? Out of the box, after setting up exchange etc you'll see that the battery life is pretty poor. 

What to do? The #1 thing to do is change the update frequency of your apps. The default for exchange is to update in real time - this absolutely kills the battery. Changing that to 10 or 15 minutes fixes this. Same for twitter, facebook, weather apps etc. Extending the time between updates is the best way to get more up time from your device.

Essential apps? I'm repeating myself somewhat here, but I recommend you get :

  • audio manager 
    • way better than going into settings->Sound & Display
    • Bonus: it is the only way to turn down the phone dialer volume (at least on the Incredible)
  • battery snap
    • great historical graphs of battery usage (how much did watching that video kill it?)
  • realcalc - a sci/eng calculator, even has RPN mode!
  • Listen - for podcasts etc
  • Pandora, or whatever you use for streaming music
  • y5 Battery Saver – remembers wifi spots you connect to, manages waking up wifi, looking for those spots and keeping wifi off when those hotspots aren’t available. 
  • Weather Channel. Disable the HTC sense weather widget (by removing it from your home screen) and get the weather channel's app - it uses less battery, and can monitor more places more intuitively. It also has many more choices for home screen widgets. 
    • Bonus: it has weather maps in motion and you can set alert levels (and the method that alert is signaled) for severe weather.
  • Skyfire - an alternative browser with a neat trick for streaming Flash that the phone doesn't yet support (like
  • Traffic! - I know google maps supports traffic, but last I checked it doesn't give very good details on why a place is congested and how long the travel time is through the congestion. This app does that.
  • If you listen to music on the phone - get the Cubed Music Player - visually the best one I've seen. Functionally good too.
  • For the best outlook experience, if you don't mind spending the money, get TouchDown.
Got one to add to this list - put it in the comments!

Update: I just got a travel app called Kayak. This app (and web site) make all the other travel sites I've used (orbitz, etc) look like junk.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The myth that President Clinton reduced the US deficit

I hear this a lot, "the deficit came down during the Clinton years." Not so.

The data below comes from us treasury web site. The total debt has gone up every year since 1980 (and before that too). The only time it has fallen was during a couple periods in the 1800s.

DateDollar Amount

09/30/1985* 1,823,103,000,000.00
09/30/1984* 1,572,266,000,000.00
09/30/1983* 1,377,210,000,000.00
09/30/1982* 1,142,034,000,000.00
09/30/1981* 997,855,000,000.00
09/30/1980* 907,701,000,000.00

Here is a link that talks about debt as a percent of GDP. Indeed during the Clinton years this did go down. But that is only natural when GDP is so high during boom times for Debt to GDP ratio to fall.

Here is some interesting history on US debt, including an important graph showing how much we spend on interest alone (again as a percent of GDP).

In any case, the deficit did NOT come down at any time during the Clinton years.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Testing HTC Incredible Recharge Cycling Rumors

Rumors in forums state that when the phone is charged just one time, it reaches a full charge that is less than the battery's true potential full charge.

Using Battery Snap I measured battery voltage between charges. I did find that second and third charges increased the apparent charge level in the phone. To do this I followed the procedure:
  1. Charge with phone on until the indicator LED turns green.
  2. Turn the phone off, charge again until the indicator LED turns green again.
  3. Repeat #2.
The only thing I did different was to turn the phone on between each step and look at Battery Snap readings. When I was done, I had Battery Snap export its data (in CSV format) and I created the following graph:

From the data it does appear that the mV level of the battery can reach new highs with this procedure. Even as an electrical engineer, an employee of Qualcomm, and a member of the Snapdragon design team, I don't have a ready explanation for this. Not surprise there, I don't do batteries!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Must have Android Apps

Two weeks with Verizon's HTC Incredible.... here are some must have apps:

  • audio manager 
    • way better than going into settings->Sound & Display
    • Bonus: it is the only way to turn down the phone dialer volume
  • battery snap
    • great historical graphs of battery usage (how much did watching that video kill it?)
  • weather channel widget
  • realcalc (sci/eng calculator)
  • Listen
  • Pandora

What are your must have apps? I have urban spoon, but it isn’t must have.... So, what are your top 3 or 4 must have apps?

What apps are so good you paid for?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Maximize your Verizon HTC Incredible's Battery Life

Want your Android phone, such as the HTC Droid Incredible, to be usable all day? Too much to ask? Seems like it might be - what with reports that a hardly used Verizon HTC Droid Incredible is at 50% battery capacity after just 4 hours off the charger. This contrasts sharply with Laptop Magazine's assertion that they ran the phone from 9am to 11pm with no trouble.

From the Android Forums thread on the topic, here are some things you can do (that aren't the bunk about battery charging/cycling etc):
  1. Slow down widget update frequency. Stock widgets, weather widgets, twitter, facebook, email are doing what they do, keeping you informed. But you can save juice by making them update less often.
  2. Lower the screen brightness manually. Auto is nice, but it is very bright most of the time.
  3. Disable bluetooth and GPS.
  4. Try out battery optimizing software like Power Manager. Also try WISyncLocale or Toggle Settings.  These can turn off your network radios, saving power. Some can do things like turn them off for 14 minutes then on for one minute, or according to location, time of day etc.
  5. Read this guy's post on doubling his battery life.
Best post in the thread:
What is the point of having the device if everything needs to be turned off? 

Here are Most Wanted killers for battery life:

1. Sense 2.1
2. Widgets
3. 3G
4. Flash media -watch a few videos and check your battery status. No point in mentioning Flash games, since not many work correctly with touch-only anyways (no harm no foul). Should be much better with 10.1 and gpu support.
5. Pushing mail
6. Social apps running in background are killer- especially if they use GPS 

The main issue is manufacturers keep making thin devices that have to ship with wimpy batteries. I seem to also notice the main people that complain about battery life are some of the same ones that LOVE thin & light devices. Ironic.

The extended battery will be a must for anyone expecting to use many of the features.

If all else fails, get a bigger battery. Here is one that fits inside the existing battery door, adding 450 mAH over the stock battery  -  a 35% increase. (Note some say 1750 mAH is not what you get).

If you don't mind making the phone thicker, a I have seen mention of a 2150 mAh battery. I could not find a solid link to it though. Reports say is will be made available by VZW soon. These reports also claim that this battery will add about 1mm to the phone's thickness. Not bad.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HTC Incredible arrives at my office

Brad got his Incredible today. We took a photo of the guys:

The camera is very good.

The phone feels great in the hand, not as wide as an iPhone, less heavy than a Nexus One. The screen looks amazing - bright and crisp.

Setup was a breeze. I look forward to owning one of these.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sad truth about HDTVs

I saw this funny comment about HDTVs...

"well, I've got a PS3 hooked into a 1080p projector and a 106" screen. I find it hard to leave the house at times."

From gizmodo comments feed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Office 2007 help, someday maybe we can move beyond keyword matching

Type "edit background image" into Power Point's help and this is what you get:

Advent calendar, really?

There is a check box on the View ribbon that allows you to "hide background image" - so naturally when I click that and it makes the items I want to change disappear - I assume that it is a background image I need to change. Hence the chosen search terms.

But, alas it really isn't an image at all. It is a text box on the master sheet. Took me a few clicks and sorting out a red herring to get the text changed.

I wonder if help could be made smarter and see that I'm looking at the master sheet and I'm typing those search terms and .... well I think you see where I"m going. I'd like an AI help system so that it seems like I have a Power Point expert leaning over my shoulder. One who I can ask how do I do such-n-such? This "person" looks at what I'm trying to do and maybe through a mouse gesture and keypress combo, I'd get nearly human style help.

Sounds a bit like clippy - but smarter.

I'd like a video walk through of what I'm trying to do or a relevant help text to come up. Something that tells me the page I'm looking at doesn't have a background image, so unless I'm really looking to "add a background image", "edit background image" makes no sense.

Now that would be helpful.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HTC Incredible Simulator

Gotta try it before you pre-order it, but can't touch one yet? Try the simulator

Not really a simulator, but still fun to look at.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Engadget Droid Incredible review, plus it does tethering

Engadget gives the Incredible a generally very positive review. Particularly the Sense UI. They did not review:
  • Tethering
  • Friend view
  • Footprints
  • FM Radio
Here are some notable comments:
HTC has included a handful of its own widgets alongside some of the familiar stock ones which Google offers. Of course, the widgets (and their corresponding apps) which HTC offers generally offer far more functionality than Google's options, and they're also tied together with Sense in way that makes the experience of using them within the OS feel complete -- something notably missing from the Google-only experience. To say that this UI is competitive with something like iPhone OS 3.1 (or 4 for that matter), or Palm's webOS is an understatement; in many ways it's superior to what Apple and Palm are offering.
Besides just the cosmetic stuff, HTC has also done seriously heavy lifting in the details department, continuing to improve the music, video, and photo browsing options on their devices, as well as making their fantastic on-screen keyboard even better in this higher resolution version. We found finger tracking and typing speed to be considerably improved, as well as word prediction and correction. Apple, watch your back... HTC has done a damn good job of sneaking up on your tech, and maybe improving on it. We can't stress this enough: HTC has made a really good OS (Android) into a truly amazing and competitive OS.
Overall the experience with 2.1 and Sense was a complete pleasure -- using the phone felt fast and efficient. We'd like to point out that we've been running the Incredible without any third party task managers, and without manually killing any applications. Android is designed to multitask without the need for utilities of the sort, and based on Steve Jobs' words from the recent iPhone OS 4 event, we were extra curious to see how this brand new build of the software would fare. We can tell you this -- it hasn't let us down yet, and we're not seeing any sluggish behavior or force closes on apps. If this OS has a need for management of its processes, we haven't experienced it yet.
Still no official word on cost (or lack of cost) for tethering, but it is something the phone can do and Verizon is saying so publicly.

Friday, April 16, 2010

ID theft lecture today

A representative from the NC DOJ was on site to day discussing ID theft. I took some notes. Enjoy.

  • Get a single free credit report 3 times a year rather than all 3 at once. So go to the site Jan. April, and Oct.
  • Credit security freeze is free in NC, good thing to do. Should do it. Reduces the need to check the credit report. A credit freeze can be unfrozen in 30 minutes with a phone call and a pin number.
    • note - can't get instant credit at the register... you know for the 10% off at the register, so if that is your thing.....
  • Even with a freeze a thief can use your Social Security number to gain employment. Check your yearly Social Security statements - to see if income is higher than expected.
  • don't carry Social Security card in your wallet, who does that?
  • don't carry your Medicare card - it has the Social Security number. 
    • Try this: carry a xerox copy with the number partially blacked out, you know the rest.
    • More important to carry list of meds and primary care provider's name and number. Hospital staff can treat you more appropriately with this information.
  • Destroy documents you don't need - keep stuff around for 7 years (broad rule of thumb)
    • See -> events, shred-a-thon! These are industrial shredders - fast and no need to worry about staples binders etc. Paper is recycled.
And finally, one long running debate put to rest:
  • Of cash, check, debit, or credit card, the credit card is safest for all purchases. Reasons:
    • Cash and check can be stolen - $$ is gone
    • Using a debit card means that if the number is stolen, the thief is spending your actual cash.
    • If you use a credit card, you're risking the credit card companies money not yours. 

I learned something, did you?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tidbits from HTC Incredible User Guide

There are many sites listing the Incredible's most important specs. However, it seems there are some tidbits in the 206 page manual that I haven't seen reported. For one, the phone supports pinch to zoom. But there is more, much more.

Mobile Broadband Connect: When you do not have Internet connection on your computer, you can select this mode to share your phone’s mobile data connection with your computer. For more information, see “Using Your Phone as a Modem” in the Internet chapter.
VPN support:

Depending on the type of VPN you are using at work, you may be required to enter your login credentials and/or install security certificates before you can connect to your company’s local network. You can get this information from your network administrator.  Also, your phone must first establish a Wi-Fi or data connection before you can initiate a VPN connection. For information about setting up and using these connections on your phone, see “Data connection” and “Wi-Fi” in this chapter.
FM radio:

FM Radio lets you listen to FM radio stations on your phone.  You need to connect a headset first to the audio jack of your phone to use FM Radio. FM Radio uses  the stereo headset as the FM radio antenna.
In addition to PDF support, there is support for Office (just not the new 2007 formats):

Quickoffice lets you view Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint files on your phone. Quickoffice supports viewing of Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 Word (.doc), Excel (.xls), PowerPoint (.ppt) and text (.txt) files.
HTC Footprints:

HTC Footprints™ provides an easy way to record favorite places and revisit those places. A footprint consists of a photo you take of a location such as a restaurant, a sightseeing destination, etc., stored together with a precise GPS position and other information about that location such as the street address and phone number. The next time you want to visit the same place, simply access the footprint. You can then dial the phone number or view the location in Google Maps
Any song can be a ring-tone:

You can select a song from the Music application’s Library and set it as your phone’s ringtone or a ringtone for a certain contact.
Flicker reduction (I've never heard of this, it's under the Video section):
When taking indoor shots under fluorescent lighting, keep this setting on Auto or change
it to the proper frequency (50Hz or 60Hz) of the power in your country to reduce flicker
Well that is enough for now. I think this phone is a winner, even without a front facing camera.

Android for Intel Atom devices spells trouble for ARM - Really?

"Android scored another victory this week, as chip-giant Intel announced at its Developer Forum in Beijing it had ported Google's OS to its Atom microproccesors, the latest move to ensure the tiny chip supports a plethora of operating systems."
via Android for Intel Atom devices spells trouble for ARM - RCR Wireless News.

Yawn, I'd be more worried if Intel came out with a ~1ghz Atom chipset that used less than 2+ watts of power

Monday, April 12, 2010

Microsoft gets it - KIN equals win

KIN is Microsoft's second new phone system this year after Windows Phone 7.

Best described by this short quote:

Windows Phone 7 is the "generic" smartphone platform to target a broad audience, Kin is for a specific subset of super-connected kids.
I think Microsoft gets it. The Facebook, MySpace, Twitter generation. They may be coming in later than Apple and Google, but their new stuff is very compelling. And the target audience is going to eat this stuff up. I bet the data plans will be cheaper too, as in less than the current $30 a month. We'll see when Verizon makes an announcement.

As for KIN itself, you can watch the UI videos on Engadget explaining how it works. If you only watch one, watch the fourth one on photo sharing. All photos are automatically backed up to the cloud - so now you don't have to worry about losing the phone or how much memory is on the phone (well not as much anyway). A great concept - I love it.

I believe KIN, along with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, will bring Microsoft's phone business back from the brink.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The bicycle with bionic assist

Were you ever biking along when you see a huge hill looming ahead and just felt like turning around? I have. I'm not an avid get-out-there-with-pro-bicycle-shorts biker. I get out on the weekend and tool around with the kids.

This past weekend at Carrboro's Earth Action DayI visited Cycle 9's booth. They had the most amazing thing there and better yet they let me try it in the parking lot! (Not too smart of them....)

What I got to try is called the BionX assist system. I was going to say it is like riding a bike with someone jogging next to you occasionally pushing, but after reading their description I have to agree it is more like "riding your bike with Bionc legs."

Let me explain. I went in the booth thinking that what they had were bikes with motors where you have a throttle you twist or push to make it move the bicycle. Instead this thing requires you to only pedal. When it senses the pedals are being pushed hard, like when you stand on them to get up that nasty hill, the motor turns on and gives you a bit of a nudge. Help if you will. Help that is surprisingly strong and effective.

How does it know you need help? Who cares - it just works (if you really want to know check out the BionX web site for details). 

The system is totally adjustable for things like amount of assist and the threshold for when it determines to give assist. There is even an engine breaking mode for that long downhill - yep it will recharge the battery on the way down the hill.

Just amazing. Try one out for yourself at Cycle 9 - you'll be amazed too.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Kudos to Lee Brimelow - Adobe Evangelist

Apple's mobile products do not do flash. Apple's CEO has said that flash is a buggy CPU hog and a security risk.

Lee Brimelow works for Adobe - the company behind flash. In his latest blog post the comments are tuned off because "I’m not interested in hearing from the Cupertino Comment SPAM bots"

Nicely put, kudos to you Mr. Brimelow.

5 guys do it right

You've heard the expression, to be successful, take one thing and do it right. 5 Guys Burgers do just that.

Great story about a family owned business with smart management and great decisions from the start.

Hats off to them.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

50% of households pay no tax is a misleading headline

Recent news reports, including our own News and Observer printed an AP story by Stephen Ohlemacher with the headline:

For half of U.S., tax bill is $0

Ouch, sounds like we need to re-arrange things, pronto. But wait, put the pitch forks down for a minute. Not paying income tax is not the same as a tax bill of "$0".

Why did I say income tax?  They said "tax bill."

There it is, that is how they misled you. With the scary, newspaper-selling, web-site-click-generating, headline. Mr. Ohlemacher got the numbers for his story from the Tax Policy Center which two days earlier published: 5 Myths about your taxes.

The first myth? It is this: "The poorest and the richest Americans pay no taxes." Turns out that, even the poorest of the working poor pay "Social Security and Medicare taxes when they work, sales taxes when they buy things and property taxes on their homes."

Should we get all worked up about our taxes - sure we should. But let's not let the shouting people in the world tell us what to think.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Watch where you put the ejector seat button

Jeff Attwood explains, as only he can, Fitts Law.

What I like about this post is that he uses Google's Gmail and's post editor as examples. The former as bad and the latter as good. Both of these I use regularly.

While what Jeff says about these interfaces is correct according to Fitts Law, I would ask him - why so clumsy with the mouse? Click what you mean to click... I kid of course.

In defense of gmail, the buttons are all large and clearly marked. Though I can see where having Archive as a button and Report spam as a smaller less easy to click text link would make miss clicks harder.'s counter example of the Publish button vs. Move to trash illustrates this point beautifully.

Having said all that, I'm sure I'll miss click for weeks on end now.

Monday, March 22, 2010

199 out of 200 programmers can't program?

Can it be that 199 out of 200 programmers can't program?
"Like me, the author is having trouble with the fact that 199 out of 200 applicants for every programming job can't write code at all. I repeat: they can't write any code whatsoever."
Maybe so. What if you could screen them by watching them type a program over the web? Now you can with See[Mike]Code (not this Mike). Use this while you talk to the candidate over the phone... Nice.

Jeff Atwood explains how this works. The recommendation is to keep it short - the program you ask for should be about 10 lines long. You'll be amazed how many are stumped.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

finding aging disk hogs in a linux environment

Here's a common problem - I'm working along running tests and bam, disk is full - all running tests fail when the simulator can no longer write to disk. I won't get into the cost benefit analysis of simply adding more disks to the project - that's not my thing. I'm going to talk about how to find old directories so that the owners of those directories can be prompted to delete stuff they don't need.

In this case, I've decided to find directories in two categories:

  • directories older than 60 days
  • directories older than 30 but less than 60 days.

Looking through the interwebs I found that there are many examples of how to do some of this but no full example. Here is what I came up with:

find <start path> -mtime +60 -type d -maxdepth 1
  | grep <directory of interest> | xargs du -bs |
  sort -rn"

The above uses find to look for directories under "start path" whose age is 60 days or more (technically counting from yesterday). Note that mtime is "modified time", which for directories is loosely the time it was created. This is especially true when that directory is at the top of a large tree. The find result is piped through grep to narrow it down to directories I know contain lots of data. This in turn is piped to du to count how much data and finally to sort to reverse order the list.

To find data between 30 and 60 days, simply replace the -mtime 60 with:
 -mtime +30 -mtime -60

In projects that take many months, like ones I work on, there are many people who, for whatever reason, some legitimate some less so, keep data around for what seems like long after it is useful. These commands, which stand on other find examples I came across, help me determine who owns the oldest and largest data.

Now if only this was actually my job!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

computer build parts list circa 2010

Doing a "build" for a friend. Looking for good price/performance trade offs. Also, "come in around $700" was the request. To save $$$ went with a core i3 instead of core i5 and put that savings back into an SSD.

Here is the build:
$125 Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor (link
$125 ASUS P7H55D-M EVO LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard (link)
$195 Crucial CT64M225 2.5" 64GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)  (link) - OMG blazing fast, good price
$15   StarTech BRACKET25 Adapter Kit to Mount 2.5" HDD in 3.5" Drive Bay - required adapter for SSD (link)
$121 Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600  (link)
$85   Thermaltake TR2 TRX-650M 650W ATX 12V  (link)
$40   COOLER MASTER Elite 341 RC-341C-KKN1-GP Black (link)
$109 LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA (link<

WIFI card: $34
2nd HD   : $39  Good for storing your personal (non Operating system) data, rather than using your primary HD for that. This keeps the PC fast longer.

You told me about an old drive you wanted to transfer data off of from a different computer. Get one of these to do that: Bonus: you get to use this enclosure to do backups!

Since you said you might want to hook it up to your TV, I changed the drive from just DVD to a Bluray/DVD drive. It costs more, but plays Bluray HD disks as well as being able to burn DVDs and of course read DVDs/CDs. You could save $75 by switching back to the just DVD drive.... Note that the case chosen is not exactly ideal for living room use...

Finally, you said you might want a new screen. Here is a reasonable screen for $160. What I like about this one is that it has built in speakers - one less thing on your desk!

I think this would be a pretty good machine for windows7 or linux. What do you think?