Friday, February 5, 2010

Deathbed #fridayflash

She was dying and there was nothing I could do. All of the experts agreed. What had started as just a mild problem quickly became the end of the road. And here, in the moments before her death, I was unsure how we had gotten here so quickly. How could I continue without her, my most reliable companion? I was supposed to help her, support her, and I had failed utterly.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do without you," I told her. She didn't respond--couldn't respond, really. I didn't expect anything out of her now but the last few gasps and then the end of the wheezing sound she had taken the past three days. This was a horrible way to go.

The best thing to do, everyone said, was to pull the plug and let her go quickly. I had been putting it off, prolonging her suffering, trying to steal every moment before she was gone. But she was completely unresponsive. There would be no happy ending in the 11th hour. All that was left was to make it official.

"I'm sorry," I said. It felt cold, knowing that I was going to make the decision that was going to cause it all to end. I wasn't sure whether to feel compassion or crushing guilt. There had been so much promise, but now ... now it was gone.

When I had finally done it, pulled the plug and saw her die, I walked out of the room. My friend was there, waiting for me. When he saw the look on my face, he shook his head, trying to be sympathetic. But he didn't understand. Who could?

"I'm sorry. I know how much she meant to you. But don't worry, we'll get you set up with something new as soon as you're ready."

"How could you talk about replacing her at a time like this?" I said, collapsing numbly into the chair.

"Can't go through life with no computer. Come on, get up and we'll find a new one. You'll feel right as rain. It's like ... like a pet. The best way to get over one is to get another."

"That's horrible."

"It might be turbulent, but it gives you something to focus your energy on. Don't grieve, nurture."

"If you say so. I miss her."

"I understand. But you'll move on, to new experiences with a new companion. C'mon, let's go shopping."

Together we left, the dead left behind, soon to be replaced by the working. Such was the cycle of life.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fruits of Labor

So, I know I've been pretty neglectful of the blog and fridayflash and all the other things I should have been doing the past few weeks. The problem was/is, that my day job workplace imploded due to a suddenly unexpected rush of work, plus one of my co-workers being out for a month, leaving us drowning and shorthanded. I've always been the kind of person who needed a lot of down time, but when I was working 60 hours a week, 7 days a week, I essentially had the energy to exist and work and sleep and not much else.

Thankfully, it looks like it's all settling down finally, and it's time to get down to business. The first order of business is what to do with the MESS of overtime I got. The most obvious choice, because it's the one thing in my life I'm least satisfied with, was replacing my older, not-so-awesome computer with something truly epic.

So I decided to set out to build my first computer, with the help of one of my friends (because work is slowing down a bit, but I really don't have time to do all the research on equipment right now within anything resembling a reasonable time frame). My needs were many, in part because I'm making a transition from being primarily a console gamer to splitting my free gaming time between PC and console.

Anyway, because I'm proud of the rig that's about to be put together (hopefully at the end of this week), I figured I'd post all the components here, both to say "look at what I've got!" because secretly I'm just a bouncing 8 year old about some things still, and in part to keep some record of what I did and why.

Case: Raidmax Smilodon
Motherboard: ASUS M4A79 Deluxe AMD
Processor: AMD Phenom II 3.2 GHz Dual Core
Video Card: GeForce GTS 250
HDD: 250 GB Western Digital drive
Other Junk: Card Reader, DVD Drive, 4 GB of Ram, 560W Power Supply
OS: Windows 7 Professional

Now I'll admit that there are some concessions made. That hard drive isn't NEARLY enough, but it was the easiest place to cut corners on my budget because I can slap in a TB drive next month and keep going like nothing ever happened. But otherwise, it's pretty solid. 4 GB of RAM will work for now, though I think I might go more sooner or later.

Windows 7 was easily the most expensive part of this rig, but that's because A) I need Virtual XP due to some of my game tastes. How am I going to mount virtual drives in DOSBOX to play Daggerfall otherwise? (No, I don't actually do this. Though I have before.) and B) I wanted support in case something breaks, so I wasn't going to go out on a limb with the OEM. If I'm spending the money anyway, why dick around with half measures?

Anyway, that's the computer. As of this morning, all three shipments are out and slowly making their way towards me. I can't wait to assemble this, but right now I'm playing the 'move everything out of my old computer to the safe haven of my external HDD. This is probably the last time I'll mention this computer on the blog, but I'll be tweeting about it this weekend, I'm sure.

And that's all the update I have for today. I swear swear swear swear I'll have fiction up for fridayflash this week, so look for that at the end of the week. Otherwise, be excellent to each other.