Monday, October 29, 2007

PC Buildoff

I finally have it. After months of research, driving cheap deals, inter-city purchases, I finally own a good enough machine to brag about. First of all, a big thanks to Abhishek Saigal, Abhijit Gupte, Hari Piparaiya and Sumant Gupta for sharing their very valuable comments and opinions with me. They helped me get back in sync with the murky world of PC Hardware. Here goes...

The pride of the configuration and the last item to be purchased is the above 19" wide screen black beauty. Viewsonic is slowly developing a repuation for making the most excellent of screens and this one is no different. Though you can get Viewsonic 19 inch widescreeners for less than 10k in the market, I spent a little bit extra to get one with a video response of 2ms and the option of both Digital (DVI-D) and Analog inputs.

Viewsonic VX1932wm - Rs. 10750/-

I picked up this wireless desktop beauty for scrap prices in Singapore. They must have had some problem with price labeling for sure. Despite a lot of negative feedback about battery problems with wireless systems, it's been two months now without any glitches.

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 4000 - 65s$ = Rs.1800

This Zebronics ATX cabinet is the perfect combination of beauty and price. I suspected that the inbuilt 400W might not be enough juice, but its still holding.

ATX Cabinet Zebronics Diana - Rs. 1750/-

AMD Athlon Dual Core 64 X2 running at 2.2 Ghz and 512KB L2 Cache each. This entry level dual core processor suffices the needs of a power user like me and as far as comparisons with Intel are concerned, the only thing going for Intel was longevity and with most systems being recycled in 3-4 years or so, the much cheaper AMD made more sense.

AMD 4200+ (For Pricing see next item)

Again an entry level motherboard. It comes with an onboard 100Mbps Ethernet card, Integrated Realtek Soundcard and Nvidia chipset for onboard graphics and other riff raff. Very small and very cheap.

ASUS M2N-MX SE - Rs. 7150/- (Processor and Motherboard combo)

Since the motherboard comes with only two memory slots, I went in for a single stick of 2gb ram to avoid future upgrade pains. It did turn out costlier than going in for two 1gb sticks.

Transcend 2GB RAM DDR2-667 (333Mhz) - Rs. 4950/-

The standard choice for most. I was tempted by the offerings of Western Digital but low stock availability at my vendor turned the tide in favor of Seagate.

Seagate Barracuda 250GB SATA (3gb/s, 8mb cache buffer) - Rs. 2800/-

The king of its kingdom. 20x DVD +R and -R, 8x DVD +R DL and -R DL Nuff said.

Liteon DVD RW LH20A1P - Rs. 1550/-

The second item I picked up from Singapore. The difference in picking the same from India is that it would be a thousand bucks costlier and a different brand. In hindsight I should have gotten it from India as I am missing out on the warranty in case something goes wrong. Since the 8600GTS is just an overclocked version with better cooling and I am not very big on FPS, this one made more sense. It comes with Dual DVI and TV out. Also, I no longer have to share video memory with my system.

Asus Nvidia EN8600GT (256MB DDR3) - 191S$ = Rs. 5304/-

Luminous UPS 750VA - Loan from uncle! - You Rock!

Total Damages = Rs. 36054/-

P.S. All prices are from august end and would surely have dropped further since then. If you avoid certain extravagances like the 19" WS, wireless desktop, graphics card, single 2gb ram stick, etc. a much cheaper and yet a contemporary system can be easily made.

The old mould:

Monitor: Samsung Samtron 55V 15" Colour CRT
Keyboard: TVS Gold PS/2 Mechanical Keyboard
Mouse: Logitech PS/2 Mechanical Scroll Mouse
Cabinet: Mercury ATX with 300W SMPS
Motherboard: Intel Desktop Board D845HV
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 1.5Ghz
RAM: 512MB SD RAM @ 133 Mhz
Display: Big 128MB Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 (1024 x 768 x 60 Hz)
N/W Adapter: Realtek RTL8139 PCI
Optical Drive 1: TSSTCorp CD/DVDTS-H552U
Optical Drive 2: Samsung CD-R/RW SW-252B
Hard Disk: Samsung SV4002H 40GB
UPS: Powersafe 600VA

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Chicken or the egg

Is darkness the absence of light or light the absence of darkness? I think, since the universe is natively dark, light would be the absence of darkness , think.

In the same vein, an excerpt from "Certainty of Uncertainty" an essay from "Mind Matters" by Jug Suraiya:

"Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based on our percepts. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality" What came first?

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Left Right Left

Look at the image and try to determine if the girl is rotating Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise.

If you see it change directions mid way and suspect that its an animated gif or some computer wizardry then gather a sample of three or four people around you and ask them to determine the direction of rotation. Don't be surprised if you find them arguing and exclaiming about each other's inherent blindness. I have done the same and at a given moment different people see the girl rotate in different directions, occasionally someone sees her change directions while another person thinks she is still going about in the same direction she was earlier.

The trick they say is in which part of the brain you use. If the image is processed by the left part of your brain you would see her go Anti Clockwise and if the image is processed by the right part of your brain you would see her go Clockwise. If you see the image change directions then its just the image flitting from one part of the brain to another.


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Sunday, October 14, 2007

No Regrets...Ever!

I don't believe in having regrets. Ever! By regrets I mean wishing that you had taken a past decision differently. When you do so, you insult your own intelligence. You took a decision in the past using all the information, intuition and intelligence at your disposal, if you wish now that you could have chosen differently, how do you know that you are taking your current decisions correctly and will not regret them in the future?

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

V.S.Naipaul has something to say

Like always its vitriolic. However, this time it can be of some use to us. His advice to writers:

VS Naipaul’s Rules for Beginners

1. Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words.

2. Each sentence should make a clear statement. It should add to the statement that went before. A good paragraph is a series of clear, linked statements.

3. Do not use big words. If your computer tells you that your average word is more than five letters long, there is something wrong. The use of small words compels you to think about what you are writing. Even difficult ideas can be broken down into small words.

4. Never use words whose meaning you are not sure of. If you break this rule you should look for other work.

5. The beginner should avoid using adjectives, except those of colour, size and number. Use as few adverbs as possible.

6. Avoid the abstract. Always go for the concrete.

7. Every day, for six months at least, practice writing in this way. Small words; short, clear, concrete sentences. It may be awkward, but it’s training you in the use of language. It may even be getting rid of the bad language habits you picked up at the university. You may go beyond these rules after you have thoroughly understood and mastered them.

From: India Uncut

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Friday, October 05, 2007


I am down and out with a bad Clavicle (Collar) bone fracture, owing to a bike accident. The bone has broken into three parts and have been named thus; Oooh...Aaah...Ouch. Nevertheless, should be back to speed as soon as I have the use of both my hands. In the meantime chew on this. Dog!

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