My window to the world
This has got to be one of funniest series on TV - cartoon or not. It's the longest run and someone had all the trouble to actually create a live "The Simpsons" opening. Enjoy "The Simpsons" as never seem before:
Ah... That's it. The easiest upgrade that can greatly speed up any computer is memory. Here in the Geekzone HQ I work on my desktop (Pentium 4 HT with 2GB RAM) and sometimes on my Tablet PC (a Toshiba M205 with 1GB RAM). But the machine servicing Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003 SP2,SQL Server and Newsgator Enterprise Server was running on a very limited 1GB RAM. But don't worry this is not the Geekzone live server, only the development and testing environment. I went to town and purchased 2x 1GB DDR400 RAM for this desktop, replacing 2x 512MB DDR333 RAM in the process. It is now running with 2.5GB RAM and it's so much happier... Not so much because of the Exchange Server - this is not a big deal, since it's only servicing 3 or 4 accounts, mainly for testing. But the Newsgator Enterprise Server manages a few hundred RSS feeds (about 600), dumping everything into a SQL Server database. And this is the same development server we use to test all the new Geekzone features, including this Geekzone Blog tool, so you can understand why I was really in need of speed on this box.
I bought a Viewsonic LCD monitor seven years ago (about 1999). It cost back then a small fortune, something like NZ$2500! The Viewsonic lasted for some good long time. It worked almost 24/7 (I leave my desktop on all the time) during these seven years. But I noticed the backlight flickering in the last few weeks, and this morning it died. Great... just when I am busy posting things on Geekzone, in the middle of a chat on MSN, trying to do some more testing on the Geekzone Blog tool, and on top of that, Saturday morning. My wife saw the old Viewsonic going away, so I immediately got an Ok for a new monitor. And off we went to check prices. I called a couple of friends and asked what brands they use. We then headed to a few tech stores to check prices. First stop was Harvey Norman. We saw a couple of LCD monitors there, some widescreen, with DVI and speakers, but the price were actually higher than expected. Next was a walk to Dick Smith. While testing a LCD monitor there (VMC brand, never heard of it before) I typed www.geekz... into the browser's address bar, and to my surprise it auto-completed to www.geekzone.co.nz! Nice to see someone visited Geekzone in that store, using the same PC I was testing the monitor. I also noticed a link to Nic Wise's blog while looking at the browser's history. Anyway, since I couldn't find information on pixel warranty for a specific model, we headed to Noel Leeming to get another view on this monitor market. While there I almost signed the cheque for a HP f2105 Wide Flat Panel Monitor at NZ$1500. Now if you haven't seen this one yet, look for it next time you are in a tech store. It's huge, at 21" widescreen, and beautiful. With a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 8ms, two speakers and two USB 2.0 port it's a cool looking monitor. But, it wouldn't fit on my desk! The space here is at premium rates, so that would be overkill, even though my wife told me to get it. I actually called a friend to check the prices direct from the distributor, but even so... At the end we settled on an AOC LM928 LCD monitor. It's a 19" LCD, with a 550:1 contrast ratio, and 8ms response time. Maximum resolution is 1280x1024, so it's quite bigger than my old 15" Viewsonic. And it's also DVI and VGA inputs. All this for NZ$560 (I got a discount when I showed the price for the same monitor through ascent.co.nz on my Telecom Apache. Ok, now that I have a monitor again, back to coding the Geekzone Blog features we have in the roadmap...