Thursday, January 30, 2014

#pcmasterrace_1


PART ONE 

"It´s never too late to learn new stuff"


When I turned 18, my parents promised that they will pay me driver´s licence if I haven´t bought it myself before I turn 21. Being a piss- poor student, I waited nicely - until I forgot the whole thing- just to remember it again when I turned 22... but alas, my mom got worried in the end AGAIN and started squirming about me still being too reckless and all sorts of stuff moms say and worry about. (I guess at 35 she´d still like to see me as that chubby kid who was afraid ot the Muppet Show) So my parents suggested that “what it they would get me a computer with proper music hard- and software for the same amount of money?”
Loving making music and computers, I swallowed the bait as whole and took the generous offer of getting myself a computer instead of that driver´s licence. Which, was pretty much the best decision I´ve ever made for obvious reasons. So I moved from using a four- tracker into the world of digital recording and spent days and night doing any kind of music, realizing quickly that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life instead of being a hired- gun piano/ keyboard player. And I´m still wandering that road 13 years and tons of burnt- down PC´s later.

Remember when you got your first computer? You could probably turn it on and off, play some game but that was it. If there was a problem, you asked your brother or dad to fix it. Needless to say, that was pretty much the only thing I could do as well at the time I got that machine. So I grew increasingly frustrated having to call my stepfather all the time I had some problems (this was before I had internet, and mind you- the internet wasn´t quite the same it is today in the year 2000) and decided that I will learn this myself or die trying. Getting help from him and various friends (e.g. Marko from Moonsorrow) and destroying a couple of OS´s in the process, little by little I figured out what´s hidden in the settings, how to make things work and what´s inside that black box and why. Later I became good friends with my workplace´s IT- guy who also taught me a lot, and suddenly I realized building and tweaking PC´s like there´s no tomorrow.
And all because of I just wanted to make music without suffering from technical flaws.

Enter 2013. We have five (!!) self- built PC´s and three laptops (+ tons of different Android- based devices and a Raspberry PI - server running Ubuntu) at home, computers and tweaking them have become my dearest hobby after music and I´m married to a woman who works with them daily.
In 9 cases (pun intended) out of 10 I always build my computers myself with carefully selected - or, “whatever I can get” - depending on the use of the setup- parts and run all the machines anally barebone and clean. Meaning that all the power can be squeezed into the things I really need it for- which also explains why I´ve basically always managed to achieve everything needed with the setups I´ve been having (more on that in the upcoming second part). 
Only minor upgrades have been enough up to the point the motherboard or processor finally calls it quits and it's time for a fresh start.

Naturally, not all my components are good. In fact, most of them are mid- hi at best with some rare exceptions. Many bought second- hand or got for free and tweaked for my purposes. But it´s all about the thrill of the hunt, really, and not so much about the actual soon- to- become- old- technology- ├╝berness. Or, as it was said by @mariieneige
I love self-built desktops PC. Made from parts of older ones & born at home. They are cute like mix breed dogs ♥
Like I find no use for getting a Nvidia Titan for my audio workstation (yes, I would find much use for it in my gaming PC but as we all regular folks, our wallets find many other use for that amount of money :D) I wouldn´t waste money for an Intel i7 processor either for a computer which is running as a media center in the living room. And most importantly- I also do not throw working shit away and tend not to buy stuff I don´t need. My views on tech are extremely eco- (and wallet, to be honest) friendly despite of my enthusiasm, and this is something I have taught to my next generation as well. Computers are shut down, put to sleep when not in use and the rule of the house is that only the computer you´re using is allowed to be on.
When things become useless, replaced or obsolete they are sold or given away- or recycled properly. With this amount of technology we are using in an increasing pace with no slowing down in the horizon, we need to make sure it doesn´t bring us more harm in the future. Besides, it´s against my nature to just throw anything functioning and usable away - be it technology, clothing or food...which might also explain my overweight and holey socks. :D

In the next chapter I will talk more about why and how my gaming setup got a huge facelift and why it is so important for a grown man to have an alternative reality to sink on. With pictures! So, stay tuned for #pcmasterrace_2 if you´re interested!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

GG NO RE

It seems that 2013 finally ended.

It didn't end me as far as I can tell, but it was near. So near I could smell it's foul stench and hear the cold breath pushing it's invisible tentacles down my neck, strangling me pale from inside. 

In that one year I lost my job* and the safety it brought I had for nine years, moved into a house with more work and responsibility than ever, spent probably more nights awake than sleeping (combination of a non- sleeping baby and extreme stress FTW), and learned how to be a CEO/ customer service/ worker of my own business in the same package, got finally a new and way more demanding job by sending one casual non-work application email at a right time to the right person....and most importantly- got a valuable reminder that you can be prepared for anything but you still cannot predict the future. 

*For the record, the thing I do for living is quite a rare job and thus the obviously most fucked- up thing was that there simply weren´t any places open, which made the situation a bit more "demanding" to say the least.
 

Despite of my overweight, I usually tend to fall on my feet. Or, maybe it's because of that? So- lucky for me, in the end I ended up with things better than they used to be but the stress, worry and work meanwhile was nearly killing me in the process. And still does a bit, to be honest. Not even mentioning the gloomy option to having to sell our newly- bought house for probably less we paid for it if I hadn´t got any work. But somehow I could always believe that things will go fine at some point. Why? Because I will not submit. And in some brain cortex I must be a positive- thinking person after all. :D 
Part luck, part very careful strategizing and preparing and mostly because of the primitive "fuck you"- attitude towards the fate, is how I see my strategy for fighting the mishaps that dare to drift in front of me. I simply refuse to give up and force myself to beat the game with another tactics and laugh on it afterwards. GG NO RE, thank you.




“GG NO RE” stands for "good game, no rematch". It's mostly used in multiplayer shooter games where you greet your opponent for the match and state your wish not to have another one. Funny how that´s exactly how I feel about last year.


Lok´ tar Awesome,

H

 






PS: As New Year´s resolutions are for silly people, I will make statements instead.

1. Moonsorrow will finish writing the new album, which we have already started.
2. There will be more blog posts in the future (but don´t blame me if you don´t like them though :D )
3. I will double- check the files I overwrite so I don´t end up accidentally destroying half of the text I wrote earlier like on this one.