July, 2002

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Trying times

Tuesday, July 30th, 2002

Feeling a bit down after today’s bad news… Though it hardly came as a surprise; not just because of rumours I’d heard in the past few weeks, but my general sense that the PC market being a downwards trend and NVIDIA’s growth being an upwards one, the two curves would (nevermind the mixed metaphors) inevitably collide.

Anyway I take solace in the fact that it’s all unimportant in the grand scheme of things—the sun will still rise tomorrow, and life will go on. And when I think, “What’s the worst that could happen?” I find myself remarkably at peace… It’s all about not fearing change, I think: knowing that no matter what happens, I can deal with it—and come out the better for it.

There be dragons here

Wednesday, July 17th, 2002

It’s been a relatively unevent past couple weeks; my time has been mostly divided between work and Neverwinter Nights. Last night, my character killed her first dragon:

[Dyrennestyl and slain dragon]

Did a few upgrades on my computer systems… Got a GeForce4 Ti 4200 video card for my primary workstation, moved some drives over to my secondary machine.

While upgrading my secondary system (a 1200MHz AMD Athlon Thunderbird machine built out of inexpensive components), I discovered that the CPU cooling fan did not spin and had likely stopped spinning since the last BIOS upgrade a year ago. It turns out I had upgraded the system with the firmware for the wrong systemboard, as when I corrected that issue the CPU cooler started working normally once again. The most amazing thing is that the system has never shown any problems, despite the CPU and heatsink heating up to 80-90 degrees Celsius.

Happy Canada Day!

Monday, July 1st, 2002

[flag of Canada/drapeau du Canada]

I’m spending my third Canada Day south of the border at work as it is just a regular work day, but I’ll be proudly flying my flag outside my cubicle today. Seems only fair since Americans have recently become even more flag-obsessed than ever before, and it’s almost impossible to turn your head anywhere and not see the stars and stripes.

Bulletproof picture frames

Monday, July 1st, 2002

Spent a few hours this weekend framing some posters I’d gotten for my apartment: panoramic skylines of Toronto and Montréal; a photo of the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada; a shot of a beach with palm trees leaning over the ocean at Playa Buyé, Puerto Rico.

Got the frames cheap from Frames By Mail, and got the plexiglass and pressboard backing from a local Orchard Supply Hardware store. (Side note: Home Depot is really useless when it comes to customer service. Even if you can find someone who works there (and they’re surprisingly elusive considering they’re dressed in bright orange aprons) they’ll typically hardly lift a finger to help you.) At OSH, on the other hand, you have customer reps going out of their way to offer their help…)

Actually I ended up getting Lexan, a much stronger form of plastic glass than plexiglass. (Thick Lexan is used for “bulletproof” security applications.) It took the nice OSH rep who was helping me out almost an hour to cut the one sheet of Lexan into the custom-sized pieces I needed. Obviously Lexan is overkill for picture frames, but because the plexiglass and Lexan sheets were in the same “bin” I didn’t notice I was getting Lexan until well after they’d cut it. Lexan costs 2-3 times as much as regular plexiglass; luckily the OSH cashier also couldn’t see the difference, and charged me for ordinary plexiglass.