Monday, November 17, 2008

Like Husband, Like Wife...and a new PC

17th November 2008, Monday

After 2 days of drowning in extreme misery (don't try to empathize with me 'cos you'll just find me utterly silly), my life had a new sparkle...a blue luminous one as followed:

This baby tilted my expenditure on IT products to around 2.5K since the start of the year but it could be the most life-defying of them all....

The weekend began early when I beckoned TW who was fresh from his wretched ICT for a rendezvous at our old comic hide-out in Serene Center.
It merely took me less than 20 minutes to reach there from my workplace as traffic was smooth from Clementi to Bukit Timah Road.
My No. 4 uniform-wearing, short cropped buddy was already there browsing through Comic Mart for some reading material.
As the Mac which was the original plan was congested, I suggested to walk down to Adam Road Hawker Center for dinner.
We started whining and moaning about our misfortunes over the past weeks or so and I got a low down of what happened during the Russell Peter show.
Then it's only to get nostalgic on a breezy Friday evening as we cruised along the express way listening to endearing English pop songs from the 1990s as I suggested to hit a internet cafe to just to surf youtube for perhaps classic anime openings.

The only place I could think about these days would be at City Hall area..in the end we found this lan-gaming joint within Funan and did what we had intended for an hour or so, when CS who I had looked for in vain called to set an appointment with me to get the PC issue out of the way... which would really be the best remedy to make my mood back to the upswing.
He also disclosed a little recent update on our mutual friend BH which perked TW enough to meet us at Sim Lim the next day.
As I waited for the missus who was at a wedding banquet just down the road at Swissotel Westin Stamford and TW himself waiting to pick his lass from dinner at Liang Court down by Clarke Quay, we continued frollickin in our good old days including 1990s music, soccer and comic artists...sure were good times...

Saturday began with a frenzy...I had intended to start the day early by getting the purchase at Sim Lim less hassle and hesitation as possible.
The lads and I had arranged to meet by 10.30am but by 10 I was still at home as the missus insisted to tag along before heading off to her own affair.
So without much choice we hailed a cab down and got that slightly off the protracted time, then again the traffic congestion at CTE in AMK area was the main culprit of it.
We found CS taking his breakfast at Burger King in Burlington Square...after satisfying his caffeine urge, he gave us a low down on how BH finally got a girlfriend but the story wasn't as in depth as we had anticipated.
We wasted no time to head back to Sim Lim and more precisely Bell Systems Electronics to assemble my new PC.
Not wanting to really diagnose what's the real reason behind the failing of my original PC as CS stated as I am in dire need to get myself hook up online at home; we went ahead to do an overhaul retaining just the DVD Rom and salvaging the hard disk which hold some important data I wanted.

CS suggested to enquire with this guy by the name of Dave (whom he mistaken as Jave...er no one would call themselves Jave) who he mentioned is like the wise sage up on top on the computing mount and would impart us some knowledge on what parts would be most suitable for my computing needs.
After understanding that I'm not really into gaming but most for internet and multimedia entertainment, he suggested taking an AMD chip-mounted board with built in graphic card...
CS had his doubts on AMD being not as stable as Intel chips but Dave managed to win us over by his updated knowledge... Or he could be blowing his own horn..
However considering AMD is such cheaper alternative to Intel, it would really doesn't make sense why he wouldn't want to earn more money for his store (unless he just wanted to clear the AMD chip stock...yikes).
Without the need to purchase additional graphic card and the much lower price of the motherboard and the chip, my original budget of $1K seems to be much surplus when he included the power supply unit, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard disk & of course a new tower with more coolant fans and those psychedelic blue lighting.
With building up a new PC, we need an operating system to run on...and we had both insisted of getting Windows XP but wise sage Dave snubbed our request, saying I should go for Vista (which at that point I still wasn't convinced was a more superior OS by Microsoft than XP and reluctant to use it day in day out).
He hit the point on why we wanted to held on to old technology which would be obsolete in half a year's time....
Grand Ol' Sage hit the notion and I duly obliged with getting the Premium Home Edition of Windows Vista with the total bill much under $700...seriously home computing had really become so much cheaper than maybe 5 years ago.

While we waited for the PC to be hook up and tested by their staff, we roamed Sim Lim and I was very tempted to get the new version of Football Manager by SIGames, released just a day ago.
However the sole mission of my wife's presence was to kill off any idea I had to do that as she had such bad blood with this series of game which will see me transform into a angst-driven bastard...she said she disagreed for the sake of my health...
But what I want I must get (as long as it's within my ability to own it)..and after relentless persuasion and a few sad looks, I got my wish fulfilled though with a price of doing some health check next month...er...we'll see.

Not before long we went to collect my new PC while TW was tempted to upgrade himself but didn't even buy a new scanner as planned as the incumbent is now soaked with rain water after he had forgotten to close the windows on a rainy day.
The missus who had been distracted by the wide selection of laptop and portable PC so far was very much tempted to a model from Taiwan-based brand, ASUS.
More on that undying temptation in a while...

After bidding TW goodbye, we headed back home as CS managed embed the DVD Rom as well as the old hard disk and installed the OS and not before long my looming misery was erased though I had lost alot of bookmarks which we couldn't seemed to isolate.
I need some softwares as well but I had good source as well as generally those I can get online including Copy Trans which was my inaugural online purchase software as I wanted to backup the songs in my iPod with the correct playlist before a fix of the battery issue...the last piece of my IT expenditure puzzle.

With the exception of still not able to listen via headphones via the front jack as well as persistent sound from the rear fan which CS had salvaged from the old PC as well, everything is working great...and Vista ain't such a pain in the neck as I had expected.
I could now even clone the display to my LCD TV after we hook up with a VGA cable from the PC...so now I surely can play my FM while enjoying a show, without the need to sacrifice the monitor as seen below:

I also installed FM 2009 on that night itself and it surely wasn't any easy task with the whole tie up witb Steam which really infuriated many avid fans during activation which couldn't be highlighted enough on the forums. Fortunately in my case, it was just a mistaken "1" for "I" which as well documented as well together with the "0/O" issue.
With the whole patching, it took close to 2 hours to finally launch the bloody game.
Fortunately start up was relatively fast, so is processing, mainly due to the power of my CPU I guess.
The whole new 3D match interface was met with much skepticism (but the previous 2D pitch was also well scorned till it was finally embraced over the years).
I had a try at it as seen below:

The Tv view was quite nauseating at the start...it seem like aerial view by helicopter or something, not conventional viewing of a soccer match.
But after a while I got quite used to it and with some level of glitches as expected, it was actually quite smooth and didn't take long to load the match.
Then again you can switch to normal 2D if you can't get used to it.
Fortunately I could use tactics and training schedule file from previous editions, so no need to mind those areas which I usually don't give a hoot about.
It was pretty hard to score in this edition but perhaps just had to get the gist of it eventually...
All in all, as I always quote..even the worst effort from SIGames, it's still a darn good game to spend hours on it...with this and PES 2009, my life is sort of complete now.

As mentioned the missus had her eyes on a laptop and had strong desire to make it her own on Saturday itself till I came up with "you sure you have the cash for it" rebuff.
After further consideration over the course of the remaining few hours and some early hours on Sunday, she made up her mind to get it....
She also intended to trade her old one for some cash to supplement her purchase...
Such a nature which resembles so close to mine, really scared CS stiff for a while...perhaps despite our widening differences, this similar trait pulled us together somehow.
So in the end, she got what she yearned for and was perhaps a good choice since her 4 years old laptop is dying a slow death anyway with crazy background softwares which make it so slow to work with...

She also helped me get an official copy of Norton AntiVirus 2009 edition which CS advised me to invest on...
An enlightening quote from the horse's mouth on Saturday was "well I got by the fact that we need to pay for softwares now, maybe you should to"...wise words...perhaps...at least because we could afford it now rather than those ailing schooling era.

So plenty of refreshing computing experience for the household for the next week or so....

Japanese word of the day: 私はほしいと思う何が私は得なければならない(what I want I must get) Surely a frightening trait but at least we will fight for it....

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