Posts Tagged 'gaming computers'

Taking Another Step Away

I treated myself and bought a new computer. It arrived yesterday – a Lenovo Yoga 730. I got the active pen as well, about which I know nothing. 🙂 I gather it lets me draw on the screen. IMG_9869How can someone be so ignorant about their new computer? I don’t pick my own computers. I (like Blanche DuBois) often depend on the kindness of others, in this case coworkers, not strangers.

Way back at the end of the summer I asked a former coworker for advice on a new computer. He’d given me great advice when I was searching for a hard-core gaming computer to handle Second Life and Open Sim. That was all the way back in 2010 and I got an Alienware. I still have that Alienware and it is still going, but I can’t upgrade it and USB ports are a bit different now, and so are operating systems.

Somewhere between then and now I bought myself another computer that could handle gaming and virtual realities. That one was the same machine that we’d bought our son, with a few enhancements added.IMG_9871 I never got a chance to use it. First my son broke his, so I gave him mine. Once it returned to me, my sister’s computer ceased to run her programs so I lent her mine. Permanently. 🙂 I love my sister. So here I am, without a modern functioning computer. I back up all my iThings to the Alienware, but I’ve discovered that I cannot write from it to the iThings. I had to do my last phone update by using my work Mac. It’s time already for a new machine.

I took the list of suggestions from the first coworker and showed it to my former teammates, whose opinions I have ALWAYS sought and trusted. I told them all that the only thing I do anymore is read mail, blog, social media, and process photos. They all agreed on the Yoga 730 and they all told me “buy the pen, you’ll like it”. Okay, I did. IMG_9872I haven’t even opened the box yet, *grin*, but I’m sure one of these days I’ll figure it out.

So why “another step away”? Because I suspect this machine will NOT run Second Life. I loved my time in SL. I’ve written about how much fun I had, how it challenged me, changed me, shaped me. I’ve written about the friendships I made that exist today and moved from virtual reality to RL reality. I still, foolishly, maintain my premium membership, although I have surrendered all my land. I want to go back, but there is no “back” – we have all moved on. Some of my friends are virtually dead, others have passed away in physical reality. Buying a non-gaming computer is yet another step away from the past.

You can take the woman out of SL, but you cannot take the SL out of the woman. No matter WHICH computer she buys.

Red Hardware Blues

I’ve stated many times that I love Friday evenings in SL. I love winding down the week with good friends and good music late at night at TriBeCa, with Calli spinning an eclectic mix for us. THIS Friday was going to be even more fun. The 1st Question was going to be on FRIDAY this week. *grin* I never did ask why, but my assumption was that some sporting event or other was interfering with the usual Sunday night time slot. Pooky Asterdam always finds the wittiest, smartest, most pleasant folks to be contestants on the show. This week the guests were StupidFun Will, Widget Whiteberry and Alem Theas. Oh? You don’t recognize them? Perhaps you know them better in a different life. Will is Will Wright, creator of The Sims and new member of the Linden Lab board. Widget is the co-producer of Virtually Speaking, conversations on politics, media, economics, science and more, hosted before live audiences in SL. Alem is Grady Booch, known internationally for his ground-breaking work in software architecture and engineering, and collaborative development environments. You can see why I was eager to catch this edition!

I’ve mentioned my love for red. I’ve mentioned my love for beautiful wonderful red Alienware M17x (all the lights glow red). I may have mentioned that my beautiful red laptop has been having a few difficulties with the video card. We’re not exactly sure why, but I will say support has been wonderful. The tech was due Friday morning to replace the cards and the fans and a cable. A very pleasant young man showed up, opened up my beloved machine, took out nearly every part, cleaned them, put in new ones, closed it up. He plugs in the cord and ….. nothing. My heart stops. He unplugs the cord, replugs. Nothing. It’s 1:30 on Friday afternoon. My gaming computer is….. omg….. It’s dead, Jim. You might have thought that I’d kill the tech, since my machine WAS working before he touched it. As badly as I felt – that poor child was ashen. Besides, I had no time to lose in hysterics or anger. I HAD to get a working computer. FAST.

My Thinkpad T61p has not been able to handle virtual worlds in over 8 months. My husband needed his gaming computer (oh sure, ‘needed’ it. as if…) When we upgrade, we don’t discard. There was my old Dell Latitude somewhere in the house (the one that I used 4 years ago when I first came to SL), my husband’s old Dell Inspiron, and my sister’s laptop that I used at her house. There IS hope. I grabbed the Inspiron (please understand that poor tech was still at the table working on my Alienware, on the phone with HIS support crew). It is so out of date I have to hardwire to our network because the wireless isn’t working. I stare at the unfamiliar setup. The tech looks over and I kind of wail: where do I START??? He points out that in the lower corner of the screen is the auto-update icon. Oh. Good idea. Well, it ended up taking about 2 hours, and 78 updates, and a new video driver but whoo-eee, that Inspiron was up and running. Doing a fairly decent job. I downloaded V3.2.8, the development viewer. Then I headed inworld to try it out. I started at home, went to Fogbound to check music and motion, visited Honour and her horses. So far, so good.

That Inspiron is the little-laptop-that-could. It isn’t my Alienware. And yeah, I crashed right before The 1st Question – some media plugin failure because I was trying to take pictures. I was pushing the machine too – I’d set the graphics to High. It was a very ugly crash – the kind where you have to power down the machine to get yourself back. I got back just in time to hear my friend Jessica saying “I think Ahuva crashed”. *grin* Oh so true. I didn’t dare take any more pics, so I can’t show you the adorable skit beforehand from the Tinies. But I did make it. The show was GREAT! Another fantastic job by Pooky, her co-host Hydra Shaftoe and the incredible crew, including the unflappable Petlove Petshop. There was an over-flow crowd, and folks participating via the chat bridge from the streaming url. The audience is as much a part of the show as the hosts and panelists. As always, I am astounded at how SMART these people are and how FAST. As always I said to myself – why am I not here EVERY week???? Afterwards Pooky and I were talking and she mentioned a championship round. Oh wow. Can you imagine? Pooky and I talked about how many smart people are in SL, how many people all love the science, the tech talk. We agreed that we all have a bit of a geek side. Which led me to suggest a new slogan for SL: Second Life – Let Your Inner Geek Out. *grin*

After the show, I headed over to Fogbound to relax a bit before Tribeca-Time. Evanrude Anton was DJ’ing, and lots of friends were there dancing. Gregg Torgeson was behind the bar. He’d been there earlier on my trial run and he asked how the machine was doing. That led into a discussion of hardware, plugin failures, graphics cards, mac vs pc, asus, alienware and more. Which is when Kalanite Bluestar uttered the phrase that needs to be printed on tee-shirts for the “Fogettes”: Hardware Chicks of the Fogbound. *grin*

The little-laptop-that-could was still going strong, so it was off to TriBeCa where we enjoyed LOTS of new Leonard Cohen.

Yet again, another wonderful evening spent with friends: smart, witty, talented, musical.


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