Tech update: the system that FTB built

On the PC thread below this one, boy, did I get a great response in comments and via email! I’m leaning toward going with this CPU and this MoBo that I linked last night, and scavenging the rest as I can. It would be good for me to catch up on technology, plus I have some nephews now that are old enough that they need to learn how to put a basic box together lest the tech world forever intimidate them.

I’m open on the OS, [Read more…]

Updated: tech PC windows question

Updated: see new thread … so a reader/friend has offered to give me this CPU and this MoBo. Which looks to my unprofessional eye like the start of a system that could exceed my wildest dreams. I have two monitors and a couple of keyboards and mice. What else would I need to assemble the “system that FTB built”? A box shell with a power supply, a video card, and an OS right? Anything else?

In the spirit of Black Friday, if I make enough or bleg enough in December, I’m going to get a new desktop PC. But when you’re as poor as I am, new is relative. Refurbished or used with a limited one year warranty is more like it. I can maybe spend up to 200 bucks on the box. I’d like a reliable PC with a reliable OS. Does anyone have any suggestions? Ebay or store, Dell or HP, AMD vs Intel, Windows 7 vs Windows 8?

It’s probably not realistic, but I happen to have two decent flat screen monitors. Having side-by-side dual monitors on one box would be ideal for writing and blogging. What does that entail these days? Feel to free to email me at DarkSydOthemoon at aol or leave a comment below, thanks!

ISON: something may have survived!


The streak at about ten o’clock


By this time yesterday I was absolutely certain ISON was cooked, literally. It was tiny to start with, even by comet nucleus standards, and within a million miles of the sun for hours where insolation would heat any normal material to several thousand degrees by any scale, plenty hot enough to boil most metals. Let alone ices and bits of rock. But right now it appears that something might — and we have to stress might — have survived that will slingshot back into cooler solar climes and be visible in December with a small scope.

One can almost picture the spirit of Engineer Scotty working to pull off the miraculous. Oh, and the UFO-alien conspiracy theorists are being oddly quiet, which is fine. Let’s not disturb them.


Comet ISON still alive & moving at about 200 miles/sec

ISON entering the sun’s outer plasma atmosphere on 27 Nov 2013 as seen by NASA’s SoHo spacecraft.
Reports of Comet ISON’s suicide by sun have been premature. The plucky little nucleus, now thought to be less than a mile across, is streaking closer to its perihelion tomorrow at about 1:37 EDT. The next two days are the time of greatest danger for ISON. If it survives there’s a chance residents in the northern hemisphere will have a clear view of the comet in the first half of December, stretching across as much as a degree or two of arc, as it passes above the earth’s orbital plane at warp speed on its way out of the solar system forever: [Read more…]

Supreme Court to decide on corporate personhood

You’ve probably read by now the US Supreme Court will hear a case with far reaching consequences for the power of a religious few over the diverse many. The case that will be soon be before the nation’s highest court pits a narrow sect of fundamentalist beliefs about birth control against the health and well being of millions. But it doesn’t stop at birth control. At issue is if a for-profit corporation can violate laws at will and inflict their views on employees and their families merely by claiming the law violates the religious beliefs of a single large shareholder or owner. If that doesn’t scare you enough, take a look at the healthcare … theology, of one of the clowns behind the scenes in this trainwreck: [Read more…]

IT/edu/developer question

I need some crowdsourcing-esque comments. You know how many companies, schools, etc., today provide online modules for teaching new stuff to employees or students? Everything from workplace harassment to upcoming new products? And they usually have a software package they use to present the info, graphics, and follow up with a knowledge check?

Does anyone know a little about the current state of that field from a developer or user angle and is it OK to contact you offline?


Face meets palm: Teaparty Thanksgiving email


Below is the obligatory, paranoid chain letter I got from a buddy, painting a dark picture of Thanksgiving a few years from now. It’s dripping with the kind of Big Brother sentiment that we all know scatters like dry leaves in the wind as soon as a conservative gets in the wheelhouse. Here’s a clip — as I would never want to inflict the full weight of this maniacal masterpiece in willful ignorance on any normal person:

No Link Available — His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism, or any of a number of other calamities were “just around the corner”, but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn’t help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13.

The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to “spur economic growth.” This time, they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement.

At least, he had his memories. He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life “fair for everyone” realized their full potential. Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn’t happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them. He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2012, when all the real nonsense began.


In reality of course, the current administration has overseen recovery from the Great Recession, closed down one ill-conceived trillion-dollar war and is working on ending another. Put together a coalition that ended Qadaffi’s reign in Libya, gave the order to whack bin Laden, and is well on the way to removing Syria’s chemical weapons stocks under international observation. All without a single US casualty.

Just in the last few weeks under this same “tyrannical bumbling yet-somehow-still-an evil-genius,” the Dow has hit 16000 for the first time in history having doubled in the last few years, the NASDAQ is at levels not seen since I was a well to do investment manager almost 15 years ago, and we are on the precipice of a deal with Iran to halt uranium enrichment that may bring that isolated land and people back into the community of nations, with fringe benefits that could spill over into everything from regional security to global energy prices. Beginning in 35 days millions of Americans like me will have access to affordable healthcare despite income, newtworth, and preexisting conditions.

That Kenyan bastard! Impeach!