January 30th, 2008


resurrected CompUSA order arrives--w00t!

At 10:50 a.m. yesterday, my order arrived, shipped from a warehouse in a suburb of Chicago. Elapsed time: almost exactly 71 hours from the placement of the order, and that includes a Sunday.

They haven't had time to get, or aren't bothering to make, special CompUSA boxes, not that I care.

So there's now a DVD and a hard drive sitting in the cute little Ultra Black Micro Fly case I ordered from Tiger Direct, with selected boards from Billie's current computer and Twiggy's motherboard and power supply soon to follow.

About that case...

First, Ultra is the manufacturer; it's not  "ultra black," though it is gloss black, which means fingerprints show really easily. Sigh.

Second, it suffers from some sharp edges, or rather I suffer from its sharp edges. (Ow!)

Third, the ordering of it was a bit of a saga. It happened in this wise: I saw the blurb for it on the Tiger Direct web site: $40 without a power supply, and it is said to take standard size ATX power supplies, so I can pull the one from the case Twiggy arrived in. The Antec Aria and its successors I'd seen criticized for heating issues (hard to avoid for the form factor Billie wants), but this case has an 80 mm fan sucking air in the front and across where the motherboard sits and a 120 mm fan blowing air out the back, not to mention the power supply's fan will do the same. Also unlike the Aria et seq, it has a slide-out tray for the motherboard, which should preserve my sanity. The discount on the price was instant, so I didn't have to worry about some of the complaints I'd read about Tiger Direct and rebates, not to mention that mail-in rebates suck in the first place, so into the web site I plunged to place an order...

...only to find that it wouldn't let me complete the order! It kept insisting I hadn't specified something--I forget what--despite repeated entry of that very thing.

I ended up calling their toll-free number, and was surprised. First, it didn't take forever to talk to a human. Second, he placed the order for me and set it up so that I didn't pay for shipping. It too arrived in two days, despite being sent UPS ground (it also was sent from a warehouse in the greater Chicago area).

If I have any complaints about the case, they're the aforementioned gloss finish and sharp edges, plus this is the version that has clear panels on three sides, so Billie can be a l337 d00d3773 at LAN parties, I guess. Also, I wouldn't trust the carrying handle on the front further than I could throw myself, even if it is a light aluminum case. That said, I'm happy with the deal I got, though I'll be happier once it's up and going if we see a nice low number on the temperature display on the front of the case.

P.S. One other thing about the case: you can't get away with one of those little toolkits that have a small handle into which various attachments fit. Taking out the piece that the hard drive(s) fit in absolutely requires a Philips head screwdriver with at least a five-inch shaft (shank?), because of the short distance from the front of the case to one side of that piece.
  • Current Music
    "Home Computer," Kraftwerk

Bring out... THE COMFY CHAIR!

I've been having chair problems lately. Actually, most recently they were stool problems (no, not that kind--euuuuw....) since a cheap weld on the fold-up chair I'd been using broke and I ended up sitting on a stool that saw use holding up a water cooler at Lilies War last year.

That started to change when my wife and sister went in on a nice comfy chair for me for Christmas. (Billie ended up ordering it and it arrived in my office at work before Christmas; Office Depot was too efficient, in a way.) There it stayed in its box until one evening when, before Billie arrived to pick me up, I assembled it. (All went easily save for placing the assembled chair on the base, which took some help because I couldn't see where things were going.)

Due to weather and cold and other stuff, in my cubicle the chair stayed until the night before last. Highs in the 50s (whee!), and Arctic air about to move in; if I was going to get it home before spring, that was the time. After much maneuvering, it went into place, and I sit on it as I type this.

  • Current Mood
    content content

"We have both kinds of music here... country AND western!"

OK... so, I'm at the point of putting the motherboard in the spiffy little Ultra Black Micro Fly case. The manual for it, such as it is, warns against mixing up the Firewire and USB connectors that go to the motherboard, which I can certainly understand. There are two photos of cables running to connectors, one cable labeled "USB", the other labeled "FIREWIRE".

So... here's the actual case. There are two cables that run to connectors. Both are labeled "FIREWIRE". Now, if you look at the connectors themselves, one says "1394", the other says "USB". Not to mention that one leads up to behind what on front is clearly a Firewire connector.

So I guess it's like Bob's Country Bunker in The Blues Brothers: "We have both kinds of Firewire here... 1394 and USB!"

P.S. I can see that there is another disadvantage to this case. When it comes time to add or remove cards, it looks like I get to either remove the power supply or disconnect the motherboard and slide it out. The power supply alternative looks like the easier one.
  • Current Music
    "Rubber Biscuit," The Blues Brothers