To Our Fallen Servants


entropy : noun

• A thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.

• Figurative : Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.

Also known as: The death of Tiger’s stalwart companion machine

For Christmas, 2002, my parents bought me my first computer. It was some strange Gateway machine that had the computer built into a rounded module that connected to a monitor. It had a 10 gigabyte hard drive. I remember thinking that was a luxurious amount of space.

The computer didn’t last very long. A connection between the monitor and computer broke and the nice folks at the Gateway store kindly told us that it would likely cost more to fix the problem than my parents had paid for the machine in the first place. (I think they got it off e-bay)

Either way, an animation student needs a computer, so they decided to buy new. They went again with Gateway. At the time (early 2003) brick and mortar Gateway stores were dotted about the landscape. I attended college in the suburbs of Chicago, they figured there would be a Gateway store //somewhere// around. (There was, those suburbs are complete microcosms, it’s unreal) They bought me one of these:

Except my monitor was a CRT and my speakers not quite so fancy.

I’d like to tell you all, it was a fantastic machine. It has served me well ever since I got it until just this week.

You see, it’s now having some serious issues. We aren’t quite sure what the problem is, and are working to keep it breathing, but it’s definitely at death’s doorstep.  I’m currently able to browse the web and play ROMs, but that’s about it.

I’d like to propose a toast for a wonderful piece of machinery. You were a loyal friend. You put up with being hauled back and forth over 200 miles every other weekend. You performed admirably at my portfolio show (even though I dropped your monitor). You have accepted multiple hard drives and video cards without complaint. When fancy new video cards failed you were there with your on-board video card. You knew that “The Show Must Go On”. You toiled night and day to render ever more complex 3D scenes.

Hell, you even happily stood in as a butt-rest when my kitten wanted ear-scratches.

You were a wonderful machine, and even though I never even named you, you shall be sorely missed.

So what this means for everyone else who is not disturbingly emotionally attached to my ancient computing workhorse, is that the blog will likely be on hold until the new machine is up and running.  All I have left to purchase is a stick of RAM and then she’ll live! (hopefully) I would like to name this one.  I’m definitely thinking it’s going to be a ‘she’.  GLaDOS is a possibility, but if all of you tender readers have suggestions I would love to hear them!

Rest assured, however, that I should return before Halloween.

I wouldn’t miss the Mad King of Kryta for the world!

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  • Comments (4)
  1. Eve

    What kind of system are you getting?

      • Tigerfeet
      • September 29th, 2010

      I’m building a system around the AMD 890FX chipset (that’s the motherboard). It has support for the hex-core AMD chips, runs DDR3 memory, and has two 16-channel PCI Express slots.

      For now though, I’m only putting in an Athlon quad-core 2.6GHz and one Radeon HD 4850 video card. I’m building around the motherboard because I’d like the freedom to buy less expensive components right now (and get my computer now instead of another year from now) and still have the option to upgrade a year or more down the road.

    • aznj03
    • September 29th, 2010

    Assuming you haven’t already ordered it yet, might I suggest getting 2x2g ram instead of a 4g stick (which I believe you said you were getting). I’ve found that, generally speaking, using more sticks ups performance (though I will admit, I’m not completely up to date on new hardware). Also in the off chance that there is an issue in the future with one of the sticks, you will still have another to fall back on. If you’re worried about upgrade potential, chances are when you need 16gb of ram, it would be time to get a new system.

      • Tigerfeet
      • September 30th, 2010

      Thanks for the advice! If this were just a gaming computer I’d completely agree with you, I wouldn’t ever need 16g of ram. I’m planning on using this machine for some heavy 3D software and video editing though. I’m starting with one stick for now, but in a month or so I’ll have another stick, so the question of redundancy should be taken care of pretty quickly 🙂 Also, the 1 4gig stick was less expensive than 2 2gig sticks 😉

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