New System Set Up And Running

The parts I ordered from, which is the best online store to shop at for computer and electronics, had arrived Thursday. Since then, I’ve been benchmarking and overclocking my system over the weekends. I have been able to overclock my processor substantially. A $200 deal gave me $600 speed without having to pay the $400 difference.

The beauty of this, not only am I going to be able to play the upcoming Half-Life 2 spectacularly, but all my current games run so much better. For example, a favorite game of mine, Rome: Total War, was a total stutterfest at high details, on the old system. Now on the new, faster system, I can play everything with the highest details and with no stutter at all, whatsoever. It brought a tear to my eye.

More details in this forum thread at 3DGPU.

Sony WEGA TV Adventures (Or I Hate Sony)

You may remember I got my 27″ Sony WEGA flat screen TV for free over a month ago. Unfortunately it only worked for about 24 hours, and then it wouldn’t power up anymore, whatsoever. We didn’t have any power outages, and the TV has been treated with care when setting it up. Therefore it was DOA.

I had to call Sony’s Customer Support, and tell them that I got a dead TV acting as a paperweight in my living room, and could they please send me a new one and I’ll return them the dead one. They said no way, they gave me some numbers to call to have people come out and repair the TV since it was on warranty. I was flabbergasted, but I said fine, it’s not like these people will be able to fix a dead TV. I called the numbers, but none of the shops would come out and repair my TV.

Keep in mind that Hurricane Jeanne came around, and caused a delay in me getting this situation cleared up. It didn’t help at all that Sony wasn’t cooperating very well. After the hurricane passed and life settled down a bit more, I called Sony up again and said that they are wasting my time, which is valuable, and to please get me a new TV because I don’t like having a large paperweight in my living room. They said they will hire a new repair man nearby to come out. The guy came over 2 days later, and I asked him, “Would you want a repaired brand new TV?” He was understanding. He fiddled with the TV, but he couldn’t get it to work. He said he’d call Sony and tell them to send me a new TV.

A week later, I haven’t heard anything from the repairman nor Sony. I called up Sony, and they said they haven’t heard anything from the repairman, and they would call both him and me the next day. They called me, and said they wanted proof that I own the TV. I faxed them the invoice. It has been two weeks since I faxed them the invoice, and still nothing. No word from Sony, no new TV sitting in my living room, nada. Keep in mind that everytime I call Sony, I’m put on hold at least 15 minutes, and at one point, 2 hours. This is a lot of wasted time, which makes me wonder if it was worth spending a mere $2.50 for this TV, because I’m paying out the ass in time with Sony giving me the run-around.

Now here is where it gets confusing. Yesterday my roommate’s brother grabs a remote control to turn on the old TV, but grabbed the wrong remote. It was the remote for the Sony TV that wouldn’t work. He pressed the Power button, and the Sony TV turned on. I tried to see if it would work a week ago on a whim, and it wouldn’t. So suddenly the Sony TV wants to work, which leaves me with the conclusion that it is a female TV — only works when it wants to. What makes a TV not work for a month, then suddenly decide to work? I’m still waiting for the new TV from Sony, I don’t want a flaky TV that decides to not work for months at a time, and then work for a few days again. In any case, I don’t plan on buying a Sony TV in my future, ever. Not with this kind of support they’ve been giving me.

Computer Upgrade Coming

I just got done spending $850 on computer upgrades. My current computer has been acting flaky lately; BSOD‘ing often, freezing up, or just running slow. Since I’m heavily into PC gaming, and the impending release of Half-Life 2, a top-of-the-line computer upgrade is in order. Here’s my current system specifications:

  • Pentium 4 2GHz
  • ASUS P4T-E
  • 512MB PC800 RDRAM
  • PNY GeForce 6800GT 256MB
  • Soundblaster Live 5.1
  • Antec 350w

Of course, 180GB of hard drive space, which I won’t need to upgrade, and a crappy full-tower case I got real cheap. Here’s what I ended up ordering:

  • AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Winchester 90nm)
  • Gigabyte 3D Rocket HSF
  • MSI K8T Neo2-FIR
  • Corsair XMS PC3200 1GB DDR400
  • Thermaltake Tsunami Dream Mid-Tower
  • Thermaltake 480w Silent Purepower Xaser Edition
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS
  • Optorite 8X DVD+RW/-RW Drive

It should serve me well for quite a while, especially if I can overclock the processor to 3500+ levels. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited.

Free 64MB USB Hard Drive

Bellsouth is promoting their new Metro Ethernet Service, and they’re giving away a free 64MB USB flash drive. You don’t have to buy anything from them, just enter your name, address, and email.

I’m not sure if it’s a guarantee you’ll get it, but it’s Bellsouth, a reputable company (and good service when I had their phone plan while living in Jacksonville, FL.)

I have a 128MB one that NVIDIA sent me for Christmas last year, and it has proven to be very handy on many occasions. Think of it as 128 floppy disks that is a little smaller than a cigarette lighter. No setup is required if you use Windows 2000 or XP, just plug it into an available USB port, and it recognizes it as a regular hard drive that you can store data on. I’ve used it to store documents, photos, and music. I used it to backup data before I reformatted my hard drive, and I also use it to store programs to install at friends or family’s house. I’ve got my favorite web browser on it, as well as all my personal FTP settings, so I can update any webpage that I like to work on, anywhere. Definitely a cool little gadget to have, especially when you can get one for free.

Update: This never came in. Bleh.