The expanses of WolfWings' land
scratched on the wall for all to see

March 21st, 2002
March 21st, 2002
March 21st, 2002
March 21st, 2002
March 21st, 2002

[User Picture]12:45 pm - Gah... I just wasted... $400?!?
On an upgrade... Now the 'proud' owner of a Tiger MP motherboard, currently a single 1.4Ghz Athlon MP (1600 in non-Ghz speak), and 256MB of ECC Registered DDR memory.

An improvement in every category, right?

So why am I wondering why the hell I spent the money on it, now?

I mean, I can AFFORD to, for once in my life, so I'm NOT hurting from it. But, what made me realize I'm running race... was when I happened to be at CostCo, and found a 24/10/40 E-IDE CD-RW drive for... $90. And bought it. Good deal, right?

About 2 YEARS ago, it would have been useful. I had over 5GB of MP3's I'd collected, and numerous stacks of data I didn't want to lose.

I lost it all, in a HD crash. And among all that... I realized I'd found peace with less. Minimizing myself. Making sure, literally and figuratively, I could keep my life in a carpet-bag. Albeit a LARGE carpet-bag with the size of my current computer case, but still a carpet-bag.

I... I know I'm rambling, but it's just random connections, trying to ferment. And I've found, among everything, that when I try to explain something here on LJ, it helps somehow. Crank up a playlist of MP3's, fire up Mozilla, and let er' rip.

So now I'm using this BEAST of a machine, which could be made just plain UNGODLY with another $400... (`Nother CPU, up RAM to 1GB total.) And wondering why I got it in the first place?

It's not for +60FPS in Q3A. I tried that. I still prefer running it 800x600 4xFSAA, capped to 30. Now I just get to turn on all the lighting and turn up the sound quality.

It's not to render massive POVray renders. I don't do those. I make stacks of short animation web-clips. Hell, I've got a really cute little 'bouncing blob' animation that I figured out how to make an MNG for the sole sake of finishing the damn animation. Yeah, it rendered in a day instead of a week now, but was it worth $400?

Yes, it was. But it's lost it's glimmer for me. I think that happened years ago. But... I realized it when, on this new machine, I sat down to code... and the realization hit me that, no matter how many hours I looked on-line, even though I knew this CPU had SSE1 and the newest 3DNow support in it, I couldn't find any information ANYWHERE on how to program with it. I couldn't write one line of Assembly-language that I couldn't before. Net gain from a standpoint more important to me, knowledge... was zero. A first, in all my years of computer upgrades. As I buy something new, I code for it, I learn it, I understand it. I learn from it...

And that didn't happen this time. I spent $400 on a toy.

A toy I patently don't need right now.

Sock. Underware. Savings for an apartment and eventually a home loan. Those would be useful to me. Not a $400 overgrown calculator upgrade.

Waiting 2 years plus for this upgrade... I learned to enjoy the limitations I had. The problems I had, I enjoyed. I had to find ways to make things work. I had to work at making things as fast on my system as the 800 and 1.0Ghz machines that had more than twice the raw muscle of mine. And I succeeded. Being behind the curve, I found my strengths, and exploited them shamelessly.

Now... I feel like I'm standing in front of the front lines of a war... Staring at the oncoming line of tanks and cavalry... And realizing all I know how to do, all the knowledge I'd gained behind the front lines, DEEP behind them, poking at this and that... All the weapons in the world around my feet are useless to me. Because all I know how to use it a screwdriver, not a knife. Give me a week, those machines would all be down for repairs, thrown pistons, blown gaskets, cracked heads. But give me a bazooka? I'm useless, even dangerous to myself.

I'm not here to play with the big boys, I gave that up years ago when =HH= disbanded, a story of it's own to tell some day.

And yet... I'll survive. If ever I needed this lesson, it was now, when I could afford to pay for it. So things are okay, just... odd. :-)1 commentLeave a comment

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