I was online playing LotR Conquest with a person in Japan. things were going decently, we were just about to get another achievement knocked out, and BAM. Disconnected. Annoyed, I tried to log back in. Denied. Ok, so I checked the router - good. The cable modem? Aha.
One blinkenlight is not good. Unplugged, replugged, same. Ok, unplugged, waited 5, same. Hm. Called in, "You're not in an outage, let our IVR guide you through..." Ugh. So I spent 30 mins unplugging and replugging the stupid thing until it finally let me talk to a human. His response was "Holy shit, there's a huge outage all over the place. From Block H to block T and Street B to street P." So I'm thinking "why don't you have your IVR stating there is a known outage then? If it's this big, shouldn't alarms be going off somewhere? And, come to think of it, it took you about 2.5 seconds to see it, so isn't anyone on staff looking for this sort of thing?"
Anyway, the weather had knocked the power out to some distribution station or something, so a decent chunk of the city was waiting for the equipment to reboot. I waited for a bit, then crashed early in an irritated mood.
And woke up around midnight. I wasn't very coherent, but I wasn't relaxed enough to get back to sleep, either. At least the cable modem was back to working, so I could browse. And browse I did - until about 5am. I'm not sure what all I looked at or did, but I do know one thing.
I ordered a new laptop. Heh.
Some backstory here, I have been frustrated with my current laptop's lack of graphics power. I'm trying to run some games, here, and it's just not working that well. It's a great machine for everything else, but I'm trying to get back into PC gaming a little bit (ok, it's mostly to boost gamerscore with PC games that stack, and also to allow my to keep my streak via PC instead of having to lug the 360 around) and it has to run games in an ugly low resolution to be playable. Also, I'm running XP and some of these game require (ugh) Vista.
The machine I'd been looking at was a nice Dell XPS with dual SLI graphics cards. Around $2K, which is less than what I paid for my current machine. I would price it now and then, but it has been hovering around $2K for the past few months.
I was browsing around, and saw that same machine for $1K starting. And a deal for a little bit off of that plus free shipping. So I did the config to what I wanted, and it came out to about $1300 after tax and everything. So I bought it. And then yesterday I checked on Dell's site, and the same config is now about $1600.
Here's the basics:
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T8300 (2.4GHz/800Mhz FSB/3MB cache)
System Color Sapphire Blue
Memory 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
LCD Panel 17 inch UltraSharp TrueLife Wide-screen WUXGA
Video Card NVIDIA® SLI™ Dual GeForce® 9800M GT 1GB GDDR3
Hard Drive Speed: 250GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive Free Fall Sensor
Operating System Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1
Combo or DVD+RW Drive CD / DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW Drive)
Sound Options High Definition Audio 2.0
Wireless Networking Intel® PRO/Wireless 4965a/g/n Mini Card
GAMING LCD Logitech® GamePanel Display
Primary Battery 85 WHr Lithium Ion Battery (9-cell)
Warranty & Service 1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis
Accident and Theft Protection LoJack for Laptops Theft Protection
Bluetooth and Wireless USB Built-in Bluetooth capability (2.0 EDR)
Physics Game Accelerator AGEIA PhysX™ 100M Processor
I'd been pricing a desktop system (the Valve specs) for around $2K, as well. So this laptop pretty much beats the desktop, too. Not quite on specs, but on price for sure.
I also picked up a new router last week, which has N.... So getting N built into this laptop is a nice bonus. The router also has gigabit ports, which I'd been wanting for awhile. now I have to get a couple satellite switches that do gigabit as well.
Other than that, more of the usual. I'm down to #6 in the challenge, but I'll fix that today, I believe. I'm breaking down and going the rental route, because I don't want to spend extra money on buying crap games when I can rent them for 1 day for $2.50. Talked to Haha and Nozomimaru, uh.... Grilled out the other day. Got the bike tires inflated, so I can ride. Thinking about picking Friday as my first commute day depending on weather.