Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Nerd post

I don't really claim to be a hardcore nerd, nor a particularly "gifted" nerd (as in being more skilled in nerd-related feats than other nerds), but every now and then I enjoy building a new computer. I can thank John Deng for instructing me and helping me build my first computer back in high school, and I feel pretty confident making hardware upgrades/swaps on my own. I am not intimidated by choosing between a "OZC GameXStream OZC600GXSSLI ATX12V 600W Power supply" versus a "Rosewill RP600V2-S-SL 600W SLI Ready-ATX12V V2.01 Power supply".

So, it was finally time for me to rebuild my computer, as my previous one was approaching 5 years old in some areas (processor, most significantly). I purchased for my new build:

* AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0Ghz processor
* 2GB (2 x 1GB) of Corsair 240-pin DDR2 800 SDRAM
* Sapphire Radeon X1950GT 512MB video card
* Samsung 500GB 7200RPM 16MB cache hard drive
* a new case (Cooler Master RC-690)
* the Rosewill power supply referenced earlier
* ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 motherboard

I received all of these parts from right before heading out of town for Caleb and Laura's wedding so I wasn't able to put it all together until returning to Greenville this week. I began building the system as usual and soon ran into a problem: my power supply seemed to be not working. I tested my motherboard with my old power supply to make sure it wasn't a MB issue. Frustrated, I RMAed my power supply to Newegg and purchased a new one at Best Buy. However, when I tried my new power supply out I still wasn't getting any juice to my motherboard.

Next, I did what any would-be nerd would have done: I googled it. After searching the internet for some time I was left feeling somewhat frustrated and at a loss for what to do - "could both my power supplies have been busted?" I wondered.

Eventually, I discovered that everything ran perfectly outside of my case (i.e. when my motherboard was touching no part of the metal case). This is more or less what my computer looked like at this point. Yes, my motherboard is sitting on top of a piece of cardboard. I figured the problem at this point was some kind of electrical issue between my motherboard and case, since both power supplies had been verified to work properly when my motherboard was not touching my case.

Last night, I had a sudden burst of inspiration while I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep: what if my my case screws used for mounting the motherboard were causing some kind of short! This afternoon I tested my theory, and sure enough the issue was two minor mounting screws I had screwed into holes on my case which did not line up with corresponding screw holes on my motherboard - thus these two brass mounting screws were directly touching the motherboard itself, causing the power circuit to short or something (I'm not an Electrical Engineer, so I don't really know). I removed the offending screws, mounted my board, made my wish, and flipped the power switch - success! The motherboard light came on!

And thus ends my saga - my new computer is now fully functional and residing within its case as it should, and I write this blog entry from it :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Reminders of Love

Sappy title I know... but today has been a good day. I am sick and as I have always loved to sing "all by myself..." as Eric is away at a wedding, so I've been feeling a little on the lonely side. But God always knows what we need, so he brought me these reminders today of people that I love:

7-UP: Having had the pukes, I have been drinking some 7-Up. While drinking some today, I suddenly thought of my grandma and grandpa who are the only people I know who drink 7-UP for fun. I have very fond memories of mixing the coke and OJ at their house for a fun drink... I love my grandparents.

Nice Girls Don't Cry: This is a book I have been trying to track down, and I was finally successful! My dear friend Bethany recommended it to me, and I enjoyed it. The book speaks of becoming a woman who lives life using the gifts that God has given her, fearlessly and without trying to be someone else than who God has created her to be... thanks for the truth reminder friend!

Chinese Barista: When ordering a drink at Starbucks today, my barista was teaching her coworkers Chinese (ni hao- hello and bu-yao- I don't want it)*. I asked if she was from China, and she said she was... I told her about my dear friend teaching English over there. It reminded me of Julie, Chase, Megs (my lovers of China) and of our flag football teams (I don't want it... want it).

African purse: When checking the mail today, I received a gift from my dear friend Sarah who recently returned from Sierra Leone. I love the purse, and I am inspired by your passion dear friend!

Vanity Fair: Once upon a time, some Aggie girls and I were going to do a book club over this book... haha, it never happened! Our club ended the same night it began, though the time we did it was fun! I finally broke down today and rented the movie... having never gone farther than chapter 10. This one is for Liz and Lindsay!

These may seem silly, but these reminders were a blessing from God today of good times and good friends.

*I apologize for any butchering of Chinese spelling or meaning

Sunday, September 16, 2007

In Need of Nashville

This week, Eric and I were in need of a "get-away-now" kind of weekend, so Thursday night we got out the map and decided which BIG city we would be traveling to. Yes, big.... being children of suburbia we needed to find a place where we could relax and where no one would know who we were and also wouldn't care. We looked south- there were storms, so turning our eyes north, we saw Birmingham, Atlanta, and Nashville. Birmingham was too Alabama and what's in Atlanta (???), so Nashville it was. After work on Friday, we headed out with one goal in mind- Relaxation. We stopped in Nashville at Panera Bread (mmm) and arrived late into our nice hotel in Nashville. On Saturday, we saw the Parthenon replica and enjoyed absolutely gorgeous weather in a beautiful park (this may have been the best part to me)! We also made a stop at the country music hall of fame, which was actually quite interesting with lots of neat replicas and enjoyed some time downtown. After an early dinner, we headed back since Eric has to work on Sundays, feeling very relaxed. Thanks, Nashville.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Recent Activity

Nicole tells me that I should blog more. In no particular order, here are some things that have been going on recently.

* We got a new A/C unit, which is working just fine so far. An unexpected benefit is that it seems to be creating lass rattling noise in the air vents as well.

* I'm about 1/5 of the way through Harry Potter #7. Yes, I know, I'm months behind everybody else, but I hadn't yet read the 4th, 5th, and 6th books (the last time I touched Harry Potter being on a family car trip when only the first three had come out), and I've had to make time to read/ re-read the first 6 before I could start #7. I didn't enjoy the books very much when I originally read them, but I've really liked #'s 5, 6, and 7 (so far). I think this is for two reasons: 1) Because I was still an adolescent myself when I originally started reading them and thus was unable to appreciate the humor with which Rowling deals with adolescence in her books. 2) The second half of her series seem to be in general more complex and entertaining to read. Both when I originally read #1 and #2, and the second time I re-read them more recently, I got the distinct feeling that I was reading the same book twice with slight variations. As a side note, I've managed to keep myself free from any sort of book 7 spoilers thus far, and am hoping to keep it that way. Unfortunately, I had the ending of book 6 ruined for me some time ago (and it would have happened at least 2 or 3 times more I can think of between then and now anyway).

* I've begun participating in a mentoring program at Greenville Middle school. On Wednesdays I will have lunch with a handful of "high-risk" students. I'm looking forward to this and think it will be both enjoyable and a great time to try and develop some meaningful relationships with these students.

* Nicole and I had our first "small-town" High school football game experience when we went to the Fort Dale Academy season opener a couple Friday nights ago. I found it to be pretty enjoyable, but it was distinctly different from my own memories of High school football games. They have no band so they just played the fight song, "Hey song", and others through the PA system. There were lots and lots of little children and families there, which was also different. The game itself, however, was just about how I remember it: lots of options, outside pitches, and lobs to the sideline. High school football is pretty scrappy, but I enjoyed watching the game nonetheless. One of our youth is the kicker for the team (previous soccer player) and he had a couple of great looking fieldgoals. I'm hoping to get to go to a Greenville HS game here pretty soon (it will be different, I know).

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ahhh Education

I was browsing the internet on my day off and found some interesting articles.

Read this in light of the fact that all my students are African-American

(and check out the demographics of Greenville)

Read this about the nationwide teacher shortage.

(I know my teacher friends can agree.)

Many people probably see this post as irrelevant... but what happens in education now will affect our children (regardless of how we will choose to educate them). Vote wisely :)