(function() { (function(){function c(a){this.t={};this.tick=function(a,c,b){var d=void 0!=b?b:(new Date).getTime();this.t[a]=[d,c];if(void 0==b)try{window.console.timeStamp("CSI/"+a)}catch(l){}};this.tick("start",null,a)}var a;if(window.performance)var e=(a=window.performance.timing)&&a.responseStart;var h=0=b&&(window.jstiming.srt=e-b)}if(a){var d=window.jstiming.load;0=b&&(d.tick("_wtsrt",void 0,b),d.tick("wtsrt_","_wtsrt", e),d.tick("tbsd_","wtsrt_"))}try{a=null,window.chrome&&window.chrome.csi&&(a=Math.floor(window.chrome.csi().pageT),d&&0=c&&window.jstiming.load.tick("aft")};var f=!1;function g(){f||(f=!0,window.jstiming.load.tick("firstScrollTime"))}window.addEventListener?window.addEventListener("scroll",g,!1):window.attachEvent("onscroll",g); })();

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bum PSU’s and The Atomic Testing Museum

I have been trying to avoid political topics lately, mostly because I get so worked up about things I can barley see straight. I knew I had to step back when last week, I berated a table full of my co-workers, just trying to enjoy their smoke-break, for voting for communists and accusing them of collaborating with Hezbollah and the CPUSA.

As mentioned in a previous post, I had a new system built for me this September (mostly because I was too lazy to do it myself) by Cyberpower, INC. I bought my first gaming computer from them many years ago when they had a 2 page black and white ad in the now defunct Computer Shopper. That system was HOT! I bought it just so I could play Everquest with my Earthlink 56k dial-up connection. I was ecstatic when the boxes arrived! A full tower case with a revolutionary AMD K6-III 450MHz processor, 128 Megs of EDO RAM, 32x CD-ROM, and a 32 bit Voodoo 3 card! Bam! I was very satisfied with it, and recommended purchasing a Cyberpower-built machine to no less than 3 people (including my father) which they did, and were just as satisfied as I.

That company (they also go by Ibuypower.com) has grown so much that they are now taking out two 4-page fold out ads in all the main-stream PC magazines, so I went back to them when my CPU got fried in a few months ago. I had problems from the get go with them this time around. They were out of the RAM I wanted (Corsair duel-channel) and so they refunded me the difference for chepo PC-3200 400MHz. O.k. I can live with that; I can upgrade later after all. The box arrives, 2 ½ weeks late, without my Saitek Eclipse keyboard or Razor gaming mouse. I sent them an email, and they replied the next day saying that they were out of stock and would ship them later, and gave me a time frame for when I would get the keyboard and mouse. They gave me a discount, so I rolled with it. The box was just as I ordered, the wiring was all professionally tied up, and I had the motherboard, processor and video card I ordered, the extra fans and blue LED lights… nice. I could wait a couple weeks for the fluff.

I started having problems almost immediately when I tried to run any games at full resolution (1650X1080), I was getting blue screens of death, programs would crash to windows, and my system would restart with no warning. I started turning down the options on games and this helped somewhat, but the crashes kept occurring, and I was trying to figure out what the problem is. Bum video card? Overheating? Bum RAM? Bum hard drive? It was driving me crazy. At one point my hard drive became so corrupted that I had to reformat and do a clean install of XP. After the new install, the crashes kept on coming, so I started poking around some NVIDIA and AMD forums and saw that my problems were symptomatic of a bad power supply. I took a peek at what my stock case PSU pulled, and sure enough, it didn’t throw enough Amps on the 12V rail to power my card. Rookie mistake on my part, but as the MOD (PBUH) pointed out:

“Cyberpower has techs that either are incompetent or don’t care. They should have known that the stock PSU was underpowered, and they didn’t replace it, or contacted you saying you needed to pay for an upgrade.”

The MOD (PBUH) is absolutely right. I assumed, and therefore made an ass out of me and Cyberpower, that they would not have used a PSU that was underpowered for my system. Well I fixed that the day I figured out what happened. I installed a good 600W PSU, and upgraded the RAM to boot. It voided my warranty, but I don’t care. I could have sent the machine back (fronting the $100 2-way shipping charge) and maybe had it returned by the New Year. Gaming bliss now… I have been running all my games with full graphic options without even a burp.

On to the Las Vegas Atomic Testing Museum

I recommend the Atomic Testing Museum to all those whom find themselves in Las Vegas. It’s a nice respite from the whores, crack-heads, and casinos. After you pay the clipped-haired czarina the $10 admission, you are lectured that camera and cell-phone use is strictly prohibited. When she is done, you’re given a wrist band like the ones you receive at concerts to show you’re 21 or over, and the door opens and you are free to roam around.

I was floored by the first exhibit. It contained the typed letter that Einstein wrote to President Roosevelt in 1939 telling him an atomic bomb was possible and urging research. I had seen copies of this letters in dozens of books and History and Discovery channel specials, and there it was. Below it was a piece of Trininite about the diameter of a U.S. Quarter. As you proceed, you find various videos and time line of nuclear testing in Nevada until you come to a small theater that resembles a bomb shelter complete with red wire-rimmed industrial lights. Every 15 minutes, when everybody is seated, the screen comes down and the red lights go out. The place is completely dark. Radio chatter and a countdown sound through the speakers. When the countdown reaches 1, the entire theater is glaring bright white light, and after a few seconds you see the orange and black mushroom cloud rising on the screen, there is no sound…yet. You see an obvious shock-wave moving at the camera throwing up dust, and when it hits the camera, they blow compressed air into the theater and sound the deafening explosion through the speakers! Very cool, I sat through it twice.

As you continue, they have various scientific equipment, videos, and diagrams that go on to explain the history of nuclear testing, standard museum fair, really. They DID have the original atomic rocket engine, complete with the original Radioactive Trefoil symbols plastered on it.


At the end of the museum they had an exhibit dedicated to nuclear terrorism that included a 1 meter piece of I-beam from WTC 1. I thought that was rather odd.

After you exit, they have an all-purpose room for roaming exhibits. When I went, they had artifacts from Hiroshima…wow. They had things like tea cups and saucers that had been fused by the heat, and a piece of a concrete wall that had a shadow “burned” into it. All of the items were marked with how far they were found from ground zero. The whole exhibit was very somber, and the artifacts had an almost spiritual reverence about them. Everybody that was in there was speaking in sotto voice, and even I found myself whispering. There were again things in there that I have seen in books and on the History Channel. What stuck me most was an exhibit that had a charred and distorted lunch box of a school-girl that still contained carbonized rice (I had seen this thing on the History Channel as well). The plaque said this was 1500m from ground zero I think...


I was very pleased with the exhibit, until I saw this tree in the corner with construction paper notes with multi-colored yarn tied to it. I walked over and saw a station with a stack of cards and pens. The purpose of this was for children (there were several high school and younger kids there) to write a message to the people of Hiroshima, explaining how they felt about what they saw. Fuck me.

I of course read them, and invariably they all said some variation of: “I am sorry America killed so many of your people”, “America should be tried for war-crimes”, “Ban nuclear weapons”, and other liberal platitudes. The writing was obviously that of children, but some were written by adults. I was infuriated, and almost marched up to the ticket booth and demanded my money back. I stopped myself and remembered that these kids don’t know any better, they are taught by liberal educators to hate themselves, America, and our history.

I agree; I’m sorry we had to nuke Japan too. I am not sorry that doing so saved 500,000 Americans. I’m not sorry that we made Japan surrender for the first time in their history. Is there an exhibit over in Japan where pieces of the USS Arizona and video of the US soldiers Japan executed are shown? Where is the bonzi tree with rice-paper messages attached from Japan to my family and country for starting WWII?

Of course I had to leave my own notes, so I wrote on one card "This is what happens when you attack the USA... don't forget", and on another "I am sorry our scientists were better than yours." Insensitive? Yup. Funny? You know it!

-Tommy Masterson

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home