On Design, Rebuilding and Audio-Surfing

Author Attack!  (from Threadless)

Dieter Rams was director of design at Braun from 1962 to 1995. He designed watches, clock radios, cigarette lighters and countless other products, and all according to his own ten principles of design.

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design helps us to understand a product.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is durable.
Good design is consequent to the last detail.
Good design is concerned with the environment.
Good design is as little design as possible.

Simple. I think I’ll print this out and put it up at work.

Let’s see … what else is going on?

Spent part of the weekend with my hands in the maw of a PC case. As frustrating as the rebuild process can be, I believe still that doing it yourself is the smartest way to go. With just a few simple rules to remember, an understand of just what will and will not lead to disaster, piecing together your own box is a simple enough process. This weekend, what I did was less of an upgrade as a total conversion. The last build I did was good for the time, but not future-proof in the least. Within a year or so, the interface I used for my graphics card was nigh obsolete. The motherboard had bizarre memory restrictions that didn’t become apparent until much later. By then, the mobo’s manufacturer slowly morphed out of the motherboard business, then later became quietly notorious for bad capacitors.

Geek Factor is about to increase. You’ve been warned.

The new machine is Intel-based, not AMD. I’ve been a staunch AMD supporter for years, but Intel has made some great improvements in the last year or so. No longer is AMD the most efficient chip for the money, so going with the Core 2 Duo (E6750) was the best choice. The chip sits on an Intel P35 motherboard from Gigabyte. The board has enough SATA slots for not only the pair of drives I have (one old and one new), but for another couple should I decide to do such a thing. As with the previous build, on-board audio and networking eliminated the next for extra PCI cards. For video, I stuck with the NVidia chipset. The 8600 GTS from EVGA is not the fastest or burliest card on the market, but it is most definitely a grand step up from my old 5900 XT, particularly for just under $100 (less than half MSRP).

Basically, this machine is better, faster, smarter, more expandable and unlikely to become obsolete before the London Olympics in 2012. (Not that I or the computer will be competing in said Olympics, but I like a good temporal landmark when such is available.)

I’ve gone another week without posting an Obscuriosity tune. But now that I’ve a machine back up and running, I should be back in the music-slinging business in no time.

Speaking of music-slinging … a new little game is being offered via Steam (Valve’s software distribution system) called Audio-Surf. The accompanying catch phrase is “Ride your music.” And you can. Basically, it is a racing game where you speed along in a little rocket on tracks designed to match the characteristics of songs you select. Before racing, you can pick any audio file from your local machine, or pick a favorite song from the Orange Box soundtrack. Along the way, you pick up colored blocks to make clusters. Bigger clusters of brighter colors result in higher scores. And that’s it. The demo is free to try, though limited to only five songs, but the full version of the game is a mere $9.95.

Another thing … the new Threadless shirts are out today, as they are every week. And with them this week arrives the new pricing scheme, now based on the number of inks employed. While I’m going to miss the $15-for-anything pricing, I understand that more ink costs more money. And frankly, I don’t care how many inks it takes, I can’t wait for Attack Of Literacy — detail at top of post — to make the transition from “submission” to “product.”

Wait … just tried updating this entry and it looks like my site is hanging on Technorati‘s sidebar widget. Don’t tell me that old problem is back? I thought they’d fixed that issue, years ago. I don’t want to comment them out, but this is ridiculous.

Update: It’s not Technorati. It’s Lijit‘s search widgetr. Damn shame, because I like them well enough. Maybe they’ll get their act together shortly.

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One response to “On Design, Rebuilding and Audio-Surfing”

  1. Looks like a decent rig. I’m still struggling along with my Celeron D 3.33GHz, which will probably get me to a mere winter Olympiad, and that’s stretching it. Luckily, everything is so ludicrously cheap that I’ll probably upgrade most of it piecemeal by then.

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