The Office


Ok, I’ve never seen the show, but I know all about offices, and desks and computers.

This weekend it was time to get a new office desk for Tracie since her corner desk ate an entire 1/4 of our home office.

It was also time for a long overdue computer overhaul for Tracie’s computer (And a new video card for mine), which also means her old desk got donated to Casey and Cody upstairs and her old computer parts got donated to the kids computer. Which means every project this weekend begat another project, which begat another.

It’s amazing how much bad furniture there is in the world, at amazingly high prices. I mean, $300 for a particle board desk with oak wallpaper glued to it?!? Really? Add another $200 and you can add a hutch to it, usually with a horrible arrangement of not real functional shelves.

Ikea is great. If you’re Willy Wonka and you’re furnishing the chocolate factory.

*Geek Alert… the next paragraph calls for a chance of unintelligible geek rambling with makes and models and such.*

Halfway through the day we took a “Break” from desk shopping to pickup a new ASUS Intel motherboard. It’s crossfire ready which means nothing since we decided to give NVidia another try after being an ATI household for the last 4 years. We went with the NVidia 8600GT PCI Express. 256 Megs of DDR3 and a whole buncha graphic pipelines (3x what our old ATI’s had).

Among the other parts on Tracie’s computer are:
– Intel Core2 Duo 6750 CPU @2.6ghz (Blazing fast compared to her old P4 @3.0ghz Hyperthreaded. (Intel decided Hyperthreading sucked… after we’d all bought them.)
– 600 watt Antec power supply. (This cost more than the video card, but power is the foundation of your computer, don’t skimp on this part.)
– Can’t recall the name of the RAM, but it’s the twin brother of the Corsair high end gamers memory. Heat sinks included. 1024 mhz clock speed.
– Western Digital 320 Gig SATA2 hard drive to top it off. (This sucker has 16 megs of cache on board! 4x what my first IBM PC had!)

To make the details fairly short, the chore list went like this:
– Gut/clean Tracie’s computer (Completely) and put in all the new parts.
– Disassemble her old desk after she cleans it all off. (And she does not have a small amount of stuff…)
– Haul old desk upstairs piece by piece to Casey/Cody’s room.
– While her new system is being formatted/software is installing we assemble her new desk. In the box it weighs more than any desk I’ve ever lifted. (It’s very tall)
– Hours pass. Still assembling.
– Hook up her old hard drive in place of her CD-ROM as it’s only got one old school IDE connection and begin to restore data. Desk is now completed and we fall into bed.
– Wake up… begin wiring and integrating her new computer into her new desk.
– Tracie gets a surprise call to go see a live performance of “Riverdance” with her Mom. (My Celtic soul weeps)
– Run upstairs and assemble old desk with the help of Casey, and setup their “New” iMac on it. They are SOOO happy to be able to watch DVD movies in their room!
– Run downstairs and begin to gut/clean the kids’ old computer.
– Kevin begins with his daily “We need an XBox 360”
– Install Tracie’s old parts into the kids computer and begin installing software/restoring their old data.
– Rip out my Video card and install my new one. (This went fairly smoothly I must admit)
– Run to Game Crazy to buy a used XBox and another copy of Halo 2 so we can play super-multiplayer (Up to 8 players) over the LAN with our old XBox. (When we get home we find to our endless excitement that the network interface on the XBox doesn’t work, and the manager at Game Crazy is gone for the day so we can’t return it until the following day.)
– Finish the data restore on the kids computer and install it on their desk.
– Junk out on EQ2 a little and check out the new video card while assisting with misc. technical post-upgrade issues. (Digital Vibrance btw is as advertised, a gorgeous feature!)
– Rent “Mr. Woodcock” on cable for $5 and sleep through it.

That’s our weekend in a nutshell!

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