DharkXero

Male
from Sioux Falls, SD

    • DharkXero

      The Great Updating

      6 years ago

      If I said that it had been a long time since I updated this I guess that would be an understatement. I suppose that I owe everyone an update considering that it's been almost well over a year since I last posted anything and probably a hell of a lot longer than that since I actually gave any type of life update or anything. I'll try to keep this one brief but I suppose that those people who plan on reading it most likely will not mind a good read.

      I suppose the best place to begin would be last year. Last May I graduated college with a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics. I didn't really see myself pulling off a double major but somehow things always end up being surprising.

      I am still living in Sioux Falls and things have been going pretty well. I am currently employed with a local telecommunications company (Midcontinent Communications, a partner company of ComCast) as a telephony technician. I was hired on right out of school and have worked for them since. While programming dial tone and working on phone switches may not be what I went to school for it is definitely not a bad job and the paychecks prove it. I don't really see myself doing this as a career but thus far it has served as a good starting point to further my career and deepen my pocketbook.

      I currently live with my girlfriend and our dog in an upscale apartment on the city's west side and will with any luck be purchasing a house within the next 8-14 months. This whole recession thing has done wonders fro reducing prices of property. =)

      Since I have been working full time and no longer have school expenses I have been able to upgrade pretty much everything from my PC to my car. I am pretty pleased about where I am going and continue to look forward to what lies ahead. My constant stress and angst that seemed to dominate my life during college are pretty much gone and I have now been able to focus on living and not having to worry as much.

      I was able to replace my car back in November with a 2008 Chevy Malibu. Consequently this completed one of my life goals...which was to own a car during the year in which it was manufactured for. Additionally I was able to purchase it for $5000 below book....which is impressive considering that the book value was about $15,000.

      I have also made a mess of upgrades to my PCs over the last year and a half. Posted below is my current system configuration:

      AMD Phenom II X4 940
      Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3
      4Gb Corsair XMS2 PC2-6400
      Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX 768Mb
      2 X WD SATA II 200Gb
      OCZ GameXream 600W
      Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (Beta)

      Of the above components the 8800GTX is slated to be replaced in the next couple months. I haven't decided if I will be getting a Radeon 4870 1Gb or if I will cough up the extra cash for a Radeon 4870X2 2Gb.

      Well that is about all I can think of to update. I'm not sure how often I will update from here on out...if there is ever an update again. Lately I've been busy with work and other things and I'm sure it comes as no surprise that my presence here has been scarce at best. I suppose that's what happens when you "grow up" though. I'd like to thank everyone that I've talked to here, you helped make up a chapter of my life which I will never forget. My contact info has remained largely the same so anyone I gave it to is welcome to contact me....I'd love to hear from you.

      Until next time we meet.....

      -Dark

    • DharkXero

      Upgrades...

      8 years ago

      So I dumped my 3Mb DSL connection for cable and these are the results:

      Connection to my ISP sever:

      speed.jpg?t=1183472779

      This is what the speakeasy test had to say:

      speed2-2.jpg?t=1184204614

      I smiley12.gif my new connection...

    • DharkXero

      The Great Reformatting

      8 years ago

      As usual here is your monthly update on the doings of the Dark One. Once again I must apologize in advance if this gets lengthy. For some reason it always seems to take me like 3 weeks to kick out a new journal entry.

      The week of the 18th was finals week and I am glad that it is in the past. It feels good to be done with classes for a few months but it is hardly equal payment for the sheer insanity of this semester's finals. They were by far some of the hardest that I had taken but it all turned out good in the end, in fact out of 6 courses that I took, I ended up with A's in four of them. I had planned to take a night class over the summer but the course I wanted was canceled due to lack of enrollment. Also the registrar didn't notify me until it was too late to pick out a new course...not that there were any others that interested me/ wouldn't eat my whole day. So I guess for the fist time in a couple of years I have a course-free summer. Hopefully I can use the extra time to get more hours at work and subsequently make more cash. Although at the moment it seems like I can't get crap for hours at work...hopefully that changes because I really don't want to have to get a second job.

      My project for the last few days has been performing a full reformat on my main machine. While I end up doing this once a year or so I loath doing it. In fact if I hadn't started running into issues with my windows install I wouldn't have done it at all. With any of my other systems it's not usually that bad...the master machine on the other had is a different story. In addition to the descent chunk of media that needs to be backed up there are also more game and program installs on it than any other machine I own, not to mention the fact that I tweak the configuration for most every program I install. To condense a long explanation a "Master Reformat" is a three day process and involves the installation and tweaking of roughly 50 games and programs. I spent much of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week getting the machine back to where I needed it to be...so now it is gaming ready, much to my relief. I also cleaned my case and vacuumed all the dust out of it...a task which troyBORG should learn to do more often.

      While I was busy for a good chunk of my first week of summer I did get to play a good chunk of WoW. I finally got my Hunter to level 40 the other day and got my mount. Needless to say I am pleased...after all my hunter is my first character to reach lvl 40. Now I need to work on some of my other characters...and getting my Hunter to 60.

      Tonight I am going to see Static-X with some of my friends here in Sioux Falls. It should be a good show...especially since I didn't get to see them the last time they were in town.

      I suppose that is really all I have to update on. Hopefully a month won't pass before my next entry.

      -Dark

    • DharkXero

      Holy Crap an Update!

      8 years ago

      Seems like never get a chance to update this anymore. I guess that's what happens when you juggle school and work though. Anyways here's my best attempt at a recap of the last month or so.

      Starting with the most recent event, I went to see Stone Sour in Omaha last night. By far it was the best concert I have ever been to...and I've been to a few concerts. I suppose part of it was that I finally got to see my favorite band but even beyond that they played one hell of a show. Anyone who had the chance to go but opted not to has no clue what they missed. I think I may still have an adrenaline high...12+ hours later. I can't wait for the next time they play somewhere nearby.

      Last weekend I picked up a new monitor, a LG L1933TR-SF. It's a 19", with a 2ms response time, and a 3000:1 contrast ratio. Thus far I am pleased. In fact about the only thing I can complain about is that the monitor's max refresh is 60Hz. Usually even on an LCD I use 75Hz as a refresh rate so this is a bit different...but I can live with it. The best part about this whole thing is that I got to offload one of my 17" Samsungs for $106, thus reducing the out-of-pocket cost of the new LCD significantly.

      Last week I turned 21 and have been having a good time since. It's nice to be able to finally go out to the bar with some friends and enjoy a few pints. Also being 21 means that I can now go to the good pool halls in town. For those of you wondering I did go out on my 21st...and there was lots and lots of beer...then sleep.

      About two months ago I posted a journal about finally getting a laptop. The laptop I referenced in the journal quickly revealed itself to not be a powerful enough system...even for my mobile computing needs. To cut a long story short I brought the crappy laptop back and shelled out $100 more for a system that was a little more my caliber. The new lappy is an Everex XT500T, which even though it isn't a mainstream brand is still a little powerhouse.

      Here are the Specs for those of you who are curious:
      AMD Turion64 X2 TL-50
      1024MB DDR2 533
      Nvidia GeForce Go 7600
      17" Widescreen LCD
      100GB SATA HDD

      The machine originally came with Vista Home Premium but due to a number of my favorite programs and utilities not working properly with Vista, I wiped the disk and installed a copy of XP Pro SP2.

      I also had to give a lengthy research presentation to the natural science department last friday. My topic, which I had spent a good deal of working on, was Intel Core Microarchitecture. To cut a long story short I gave a good presentation and got an A for the class which is cool because the profs grade it hard and most people only get a B or a C. Needless to say I am pretty pleased with this outcome.

      Well I do belive that I covered a good chunk of what has been up with me recently. I really need to start updating more often...if for no other reason than to spare those of you who read my stuff the hassle of reading a book every time I update.

      Later,
      -Dark

    • DharkXero

      21...

      8 years ago

      Woo7 Happy Birthday to me....I'm finally 21!

      Hopefully later this week I will actually get an update off. Until then you guys will just have to wait.

      Later,
      -Dark

    • DharkXero

      3.14

      8 years ago

      Since yesterday was Pi day this somehow seemed appropriate:

      There was a young woman named Bright
      Whose speed was much faster than light.
      She set out one day
      In a relative way,
      And returned on the previous night.

      That's all for now, hopefully I'll get an update off before too long.

      -Dark

    • DharkXero

      Enter the Lappy...

      8 years ago

      I'd been putting it off for a couple of years now but I finally ended up getting a laptop. Since even desktop replacement laptops are weak compared to what I am used to I decided to go with a slightly weaker laptop in the interest of cost. I ended up with an Acer 5100 series, which, after a nice bit of help from my parents, only ended up costing me about $350 out of pocket. It was cheap to begin with though...only $599.99.

      IMG_0408.jpg?t=1173070077

      Lap1024.jpg?t=1173070123

      For those of you who are curious, here are the system specs:

      AMD Turion 64 MK-36 (2.0ghz)
      1024 MB DDR2 533
      100 GB HD
      ATI Radeon X1100 320 MB
      15.4" Widescreen
      Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium

      I have yet to determine whether I like Vista anymore or not. I suppose it will just take some getting used to, though i have no desire to go out and get vista for my other PCs. My major gripe right now is windows defender. I am about 5 mins from shutting it down. I swear to god it's like: "you moved your mouse 57 pixels, is this action ok?". Seriously it's annoying as hell. I am pleased that Avast Antivirus works flawlessly and is able to monitored my Vista. I am irritated that my precious Kerio firewall doesn't work with vista. I t looks like windows firewall, as crappy as it is, will have to do for now.

      While the video chipset in my laptop is not the greatest it is capable of running WoW at 1280 x 800 with decent framerates. It can also play Oblivion on Ultra Low with average FPS around 50. I do think that my system needs more RAM though. When I upgrade 2 GB will run me about $170.

      Well that's about all that I have for now. I will update later as more things of interest occur.

      Later,

      -Dark

    • DharkXero

      The Snowy Road...

      8 years ago

      As usual it would appear that it has been a month or so since my last update. Seriously I'm about ready to give up on trying to update any more often than this. Anyways here is an overview of the relatively interesting stuff that has happened in the last month or so. Hopefully this won't get too long.

      This time I'm going to revert back to some old habits and do this starting with the most recent events and move backwards. Wednesday night I went to a Concert down in Omaha with MiddlWstWndr. I was excited about the show because Nickelback, Breaking Benjamin, and Three Days Grace were playing. Though the concert was good; in the end it felt like a watered down experience. First off we really didn't even get to see Breaking Benjamin. We ended up getting a slight bit lost en route to the Qwest Center but thre real problem came in the fact that we had to wait in line for the better part of an hour to park. Seriously of all the venues I have been to, this one had the worst parking solution I had ever seen, bar none. Another thing that added to the watered down effect was that we had to get seats instead of floor tickets. For some reason I just don't get the enjoyment out of a concert from the second tier of seats as I do from being on the floor. With the exception of missing Breaking Benjamin the rest of the concert was good. Nickelback and Three Days Grace played a good show, not the best I'd ever seen but good nonetheless. Getting out of the place afterwards was about as bad as getting in. Instead of opening the gates on the side of the lot for cars to easily get out, be had to go out the way we came in, resulting in one hell of a bottleneck.

      Another good thing about the trip was that we were able to get a free hotel room, at the Ameristar no less. I won't really go into detail as to how but we got a $300 a night room for free. While the room was great the fact that we stayed in Omaha instead of driving back up to Sioux Falls that night was not. We had planned on leaving Omaha around 9am in order to dodge a blizzard in Sioux Falls around noon. As you may have guessed, it didn't work that way. We awoke shortly after 8am to less than stellar snow conditions. Thus we had to drive about 35mph on I29 from Omaha to the South Dakota state line. This took forever and was tedious as hell due to the mass amounts of blowing snow and the fact that apparently Iowa doesn't know how to plow it's interstates. Seriously there was a two mile stretch where there may as well have not been a road. Luckily we got to follow some plows for a good chunk of the last stretch in Iowa. Once we sit SD the roads were actually plowed and he only big problem was low viability due to blowing snow. In fact, once we reached the Vermilion exit we were able to drive closer to the speed limit, like 60mph in some spots. We made it into Sioux Falls around 2:40pm. So we spent six hours driving from Omaha to Sioux Falls. For those of you not familiar with what the travel time should have been, it usually takes about 2.5 hours to make the trip normally.

      Originally I had planned on missing my Thursday classes as well as my Wednesday night class for the trip but much to my surprise they got canceled. My Friday classes were also canceled, meaning that the only class I actually missed was my 1 pm on Wednesday and one of my classmates already sent me the notes I needed. Thus I went on an adventure in the middle of a school week and have nothing to make up.....hells yes.

      Well that would be the extent of things of relative interest that happened since I last updated. Alas things are routine. If I think of anything else later I will update this entry, otherwise I will leave a new one as soon as I can.

      Later,

      -Dark

    • DharkXero

      Waking States

      8 years ago

      It's been awhile since I last updated. Alas I try to keep this thing up to date but usually end up getting to it only monthly. Anyways here is a recap of the last month or so. Warning: pending on how much I decide to write, this could get long.

      Usually I would begin with recent events and move backwards but this time I think that I will go in chronological order. Last semester's finals turned out not being as bad as I had feared. I ended up doing well in my classes an to say the least was quite happy to see it end as it was by far one of the toughest semesters I had to face yet. But as I said before I survived and am all the stronger for doing so.

      In my last journal I had been debating what my "gift to myself' would be this year. I ended up breaking down and getting a 360 about 20 minutes after my last exam let out. I picked it up with Gears of War and GRAW. As I had originally thought GoW was one of the best game experiences ever, and in my opinion worth buying the system for. I like how CD ripping is improved over the original Xbox. Since the system automatically references the CDDB the days of spending a half hour inputting track names are gone. Also while not quick by PC standards the 360 rips a disc about 10 times quicker than the original. This combined with the ability to download demos and videos have helped reassure me that I made a good buy.

      x360.jpg?t=1169922417

      Christmas break was decently busy for me this time around. I had two friends back from the military so someone always wanted me somewhere. If I wasn't at work I was out partying or hanging out with friends. I think in a week's time I only got to sleep in my bed maybe 2 or 3 nights. I had a good time hanging out with friends, although there was no bid Halo LAN this year smiley2.gif . Also one of my friends turned 21 over the break so there were some interesting times...especially the day after Christmas....yeah I don't remember that whole night but we had a blast. It was a short bout of fun though...considering that everyone had to leave on like the 1st or 2nd of January. It was fun while it lasted though.

      With the start of the new year came this year's interim or J-Term (whichever term you prefer) where one class is taken for four weeks. It is always a nice cool down from the semester. This year I took psychology and it was a snooze. Don't get me wrong I enjoy psych but considering that I took it in high school this entire class was merely a refresher of what I already knew...resulting in boredom. Friday marked the last day of the course and a final as easy as any of the previous pathetic exams in that class. I can't complain too much though as I essentially got 3 credits of A without trying. Also as I mentioned previously it was a nice cooldown...since I really didn't have to do any work outside of class.

      Outside of school I had a few new occurrences. I had to change out the power supply in my PC again for the second time in 6 months. My PS had started causing occasional random restarts and the like. I didn't let the problem get bad this time though. I caught it early in its dying. I most likely killed the 12V rail on the one I had....though my system shouldn't have been drawing enough power to do that. Anyways I replaced my old PS, which was a RaidMax, with my new PS, which is an OCZ. I spent a little more than I had been planning on it but at least this one will do its job. I was also able to make the cabling in my case less cluttered due to the new PS having long sheathed cabling. It also has dual PCIe connectors in case I get a second graphics card or if the next one I buy needs dual connectors (like the new NVIDIA 8 series).

      I also sold my soul again. That's right I began to play World of WarCraft again. I am actually enjoying it this round though since I have friends that are playing as well. I also got the Burning Crusade expansion and as I mentioned before am having a good time with it. Although like last time I began to play I haven't let it eat my soul....I still get some Oblivion and other game time in along side WoW. I am currently playing on the Hakkar PvP server so if anyone wants to play I can be found there.

      ______________________________________________________________
      Since this journal got so long a second entry was required click here to continue
      ______________________________________________________________

    • DharkXero

      Waking States II

      8 years ago

      ___________________________________________________________________
      This is the second part of a 2 part journal, if you haven't read part 1, click here to do so.
      ___________________________________________________________________

      Another interesting recent development would be that I finally convinced the computer center at the school to let me build a new machine for the CC work study. When we were sorting through some parts we managed to dig up an Athlon 64 4000+. Since we had plenty of RAM available all that was required was a mobo and a graphics card, each of which I had extras of. So I brought in my old 9600XT and my old mobo and managed to build a machine capable of gaming (quite possible the only one of its kind on campus). So now if I have some down time on campus I have the following system to play with: AMD Athlon 64 4000+, 1GB RAM (expandable), and an ATI Radeon 9600XT. The machine is pretty weak compared to what's sitting on my desk at home but it's better than nothing and is capable of running Oblivion.

      Back to the 360 side of things, I received a couple of emails this last week detailing that I had been chosen to participate in the Halo 3 online beta. I had signed up on the website awhile back and really didn’t think that I would get in. I am kind of exited to see what Bungie has pulled off this time. This also means that I will have to switch my XBL account back to a gold membership instead of silver. Also my new gamertag is Darkv1, in case anyone was interested.

      Most recently I have been doing a good deal of research into Windows Vista. I've gotten to play with a live version at work, since we got Vista PCs in before we can sell them. There is a bit to get used to but most everything is still there, including everyone’s favorite tweaking tool MSCONFIG. I've been tossing around the idea of which version to get for awhile now but it is still giving me trouble. On one hand I could probably live with Home Premium, since it is essentially like Windows Media Center edition. On the opposite end of the spectrum I think that I would be better off with Ultimate since there are several tools in it that interest me. One of these is the ability to run virtual machines. IE if I wanted to emulate Windows 98 to play a DOS game I would theoretically be able to. Also I could use Vista business edition to get the virtual machines, lose some media functionality, but get a lower price. Price has been the big concern for me thus far, considering that Ultimate costs $400 to buy a boxed copy. The OEM copies are only $199 but are a limited license and can’t be transferred between machines. Even the amount of system modification that can be done without needing a new key is finite. Since I mod my systems regularly I am leery about whether an OEM copy would be a good idea at this point. Either way I plan on sitting back for a couple of months so see how this unfolds. Also it will give me more time to play with the Vista machines at work to see which version I like better.

      This next week I get a short break from school, a whopping 3 days or so. Hopefully the textbooks I ordered show up on time, even if they don’t the trouble it will cause me is well worth the $150 I saved on books this year. Usually I don’t get a chance to order before the semester begins. Well hopefully a few days off will yield at least some relaxation for me…though I am not getting my hopes up too high.

      Well that’s all I have to update on at this time. Hopefully I can keep this updated more often in the future.

      Later,

      -Dark

  • About Me

    Work that Shovel like a Hoe! Work that Hoe like a Shovel!

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  • Comments (69)

    • troyBORG

      troyBORG

      7 years ago

      Remember I live in IOWA. We have crap for internet.

    • Squirrly

      Squirrly

      7 years ago

      Holy... Hello!

      How's life?

    • Squirrly

      Squirrly

      7 years ago

      Hey buddy!

    • troyBORG

      troyBORG

      7 years ago

      Have you ever heard the 360 make this noise?

      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7125410900729460037

      That what it does.

    • Squirrly

      Squirrly

      7 years ago

      Sorry I suck with keeping in contact. Things should settle down once I get back from Ohio.. it's FINALLY relaxation time. Minus the work and 2 classes over Win-term

    • Squirrly

      Squirrly

      7 years ago

      promise i'll find time to call-- my sleep schedule is FUCKED!!!

    • Squirrly

      Squirrly

      7 years ago

      Lost my phone a bit back. I have no numbers.. so i haven't called.

      hope all is well.

    • Squirrly

      Squirrly

      7 years ago

      Been Busy.. very busy. Sorry.. no phone calls.. but people don't answer phones when I call anyways... AHEM.. EJ...

      Saturday class... no fun :(. Class for at least another hour.. BOO.
      and I'm working 30 hours a week on top of 20 credits... Yes, I'm slightly insane.. but people seem to dig crazies.

    • troyBORG

      troyBORG

      8 years ago

      yeah this would be my 3rd 360 I've had to send in:

      1st one: Launch console, (Microsoft sent me a refurbished one back)
      2nd one: Nyko Inner cooler melted into power slot system won't power on. (Nyko Replaced it for free)
      3rd one: 3red light for no reason.


      And what is werid it seemed like every 6-8month of me getting the 360 it would die. And when I told the tech guy that he said that was actually a common tend he was noticing.

      But with this I should hopefully get the new GPU HeatSink

    • TheAlbacor

      TheAlbacor

      8 years ago

      As figured out as it will be for now anyways.