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Where Does All The Time Go?

I turn my back for one second, one miserable second, and suddenly it's May. I mean, May. It was only yesterday that it was February, for crying out loud. What's going on, here? Time seems to have started speeding up somewhere in my early teens, and it hasn't shown any sign of slowing down since. It's not like I've not been spending the same amount of hours and minutes around here, but somehow, it seems they've gotten shorter.

If there's one good thing about this time speeding up thing, it's that the good stuff gets here more quickly. X2 has now hit our screens (two days before it opened in the US), and it's barely two weeks until The Matrix Reloaded, as well as the Enter The Matrix computer/video game. I'm suddenly contemplating getting my hands on the latter; primarily because of the additional one hour of movie-quality footage shot for it by the Wachowski Brothers themselves and starring Jada Pinkett-Smith and Anthony Wong (not to mention the odd cameo from the Main Four from the movies [Reeves, Moss, Fishburne and Weaving]). Not only that, but Larry and Andy have been involved in the game's design from the word go. If there's one problem, it's that the in-game character models do look a little dodgy.

Anyway, I could carp on about it for a while, but I'd start sounding like some shill, and there are other sites that do a much better job of detailing the game's features. The only question that remains is: Xbox or PC? (I'm thinking the former; my Xbox hasn't really seen much action lately. Then again, the hacking minigame seems more suited to a keyboard.)

Dragging the topic back to movies: X2 is good. On a whim, I called Vickie on Thursday arvo and asked her whether she wanted to meet me in Hornsby to see it. We caught a six o'clock session, which only had about thirty other people there, and enjoyed the experience greatly. My thoughts of X-Men were "Good movie, but leaves one's stomach a little empty. Needs more substance." X2 has substance in spades. Sure the FX are better, but so are the characters.

Unfortunately, we missed the charity screening of Whale Rider last week. We arrived about five minutes before the scheduled start time, to discover that the session had sold out a while before.

With the hype engine for Homeworld2 revving up, I've decided to see if I can actually finish Homeworld. I kept getting stuck on one of the final missions, the one with the hyperspace inhibitor and the sphere of Ion Cannon Frigates. I'll have to see if I can get past it this time...

I'm going to be doing some handy-person stuff this weekend (under Vickie's expert tutelage, of course). I'm finally going to get the desk modification that I've been talking about for ages done. For those of you who don't know what I mean, my desk was designed more for writing than for computer use. The current surface is too high for comfortable keyboarding or mousing, so I'm going to cut it into two and lower the front half by a couple of inches. I'm also thinking of taking to Vickie's PC and cutting and drilling a proper mount in the front for an 8mm case fan.

I'm also going to start assembling the PC that we want to give to Vickie's granddaughter Brook today; as Jacqui and Phil are due up in two weeks' time, I want to have the completed package to give to them by then.

I have the horrible feeling that Dan's new PC is going to have to wait another month more. I've taken another look at the cost of parts, and thanks to a drop in general prices and a Socket 478 (P4/Celeron-compatible) motherboard that Cameron K donated to the cause (he threw in a network card as well), I've managed to knock about $300-$400 off the total price. It's still going to wind up costing around $900, and with me owing Vickie about $200 right now (yes, I'm broke again) and potentially more car-related costs on the near horizon (if Madam Lash keeps leaking, we're going to take her to a shop in Bobbin Head Road rather than brave Kmart again) I think I'll leave the upgrade until I know I can afford it, which should be my June payday.

At the moment, the Dan's Evil PC (and minor upgrade of our PCs) Plan looks a like this:

  • Buy the following parts:
    • Pentium Celeron 2.2GHz Processor
    • 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive
    • 1 stick of KingMax 512MB PC3200 DDR SDRAM
    • Leadtek A180 GeForce4 MX440 Video Card
    • OEM Copy of Windows XP Home Edition
    • Leadman LP-6100D 400-Watt Power Supply Unit
    • 2 sticks of KingMax 256MB PC2700 DDR SDRAM (from Cameron K)
  • Dan's PC will consist of the Celeron processor and mainboard, with the PC2100 RAM from Vickie's and my PCs and my GeForce3 video card and power supply. Cameron K's network card will also go in (if/when Dan goes Broadband). I have a 20GB hard drive that can be used in Dan's unit, and (I think) a spare CD-ROM that can go in (if not, I should be able to use the one from Dan's kaput PC). The hardware will be installed into Dan's server case (yes, I'm putting my evil case-modding plans aside). I'll build it with the copy of WinXP Home.
  • Vickie's and My PCs will be upgraded; Vickie will get Cameron K's sticks of PC2700 RAM, while I nab the stick of PC3200 RAM, the 400-watt PSU and the GeForce4. I'll be upping the front-side bus speeds on our motherboards to match the RAM, and possibly installing another case fan or two.
  • Come September, when Tron 2.0 hits shelves, I should have enough stashed away to get a newer video card, something in the realm of an ATI Radeon 9700 (possibly Pro, depending on the price); Vickie will then get the GeForce4.
I intend this round of upgrades to last us both for the next couple of years. My serious saving goal from September onward will be to get us tickets to the UK and the States for late next year, so I doubt I'll be touching our PCs hardware-wise again until sometime in '05 (at which point, I might consider Shuttle XPC kits for us both, or for Vickie at least).
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