Setting up 3 or more monitors

Last week, I talked about the physical aspect of putting together my triple monitor setup. Since then, I’ve had a few questions around the hardware and software setup that lets me drive the three screens. The setup itself is not that complicated, however I did learn a few things that weren’t totally obvious.

IMG_2579

Continue reading “Setting up 3 or more monitors”

Setting up a monitor stand

Recently, I went from a two monitor setup to a three screen setup using a set of Samsung 2343bwx panels. This presented a problem since my dual monitor stand no longer fully met my needs. Enter Tyke Supply! They have a large selection of stands and mounts to fit different configurations, from a single monitor to six monitor (3×2) configurations!

IMG_2556

Before

The existing dual stand is in the left corner holding the center and left monitors. The right monitor is sitting on the original base and a few volumes of manga. XD

Continue reading “Setting up a monitor stand”

Amusing spam

Spam sushi

For the most part, spam comments on my blog are uninteresting or just plain gibberish. Most aren’t worth anything more than just emptying out the folder and moving on. Every once in awhile though, something comes along and just makes me laugh…

Oh jesus you’ll not belief this. Our stupid puppy actually farted on my ankle!? I mean what’s the matter with this!? I nourish this thing and I end up with that in exchange. I even now can not really belief that. Anyway, you have several useful facts there in your posting. I knew Yahoo are going to take me to a few fascinating stuff today :) . Alright should search for that pet now! Have a good evening you all!

It’s still a bunch of gibberish, but it’s funny gibberish. Kinda like that picture of spam musubi. Makes me want to go to Hawaii…

Home network upgrades

After a recent conversation with a certain Austrian Otaku about Home Theater stuffs, I decided it was about time to do an update of what I’m using at home. Since my last overview, I’ve made a couple changes and upgrades through the house. Some have already been talked about (like the TV upgrade) but others haven’t. Here we go…

The biggest change of late has been that I’ve finally retired Belldandy from service. After nearly 7 years of duties ranging from gaming machine to media PC to home server, it was time for her to be sent to greener pastures. The day I parted with her was pretty emotional, though I know someone will put her to good use.

In her place, I welcome Tsukasa into my home network as the bedroom HTPC. Sporting the same case used by Konata, her beginnings were conceived when I bought an Athlon x2 7750BE from someone at the office for $20.

IMG_3416

After pairing the CPU with a Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H motherboard, 2GB of RAM, and a Lite-on Blu-ray reader, she was ready to go into service serving up movies, music, and high definition content.

Continue reading “Home network upgrades”

Odds, ends, and upgrades

The past few months have been pretty eventful, though nothing in terms of figure acquisitions. I am, however, expecting a couple things in the near future, including a set of Summer Uniform Lucky Star Figma (Kagami, Tsukasa, and Miyuki), Yoko Real Image ver., and a bunch of BDs and DVDs from RightStuf’s 12+ Days of Christmas sale.

Black Friday also came and went, and while I didn’t actually go out, I did score a couple interesting items. The first of which came in the week before Thanksgiving…

TV

Yes, that is a brand new DLP television in my living room. Just how big is it and how much did I pay? Keep reading…

Continue reading “Odds, ends, and upgrades”

It’s over 10,000!

Blogging?

I never thought I’d do it, but here I am. Checking on my blog’s stats tonight, I realized I hit a nice milestone of 10,000 hits since moving to WordPress in April. Here are some stats:

  • Average of 61 hits per day
  • Busiest day was Sunday, May 3rd, when I posted “Completing my otaku lounge
  • Incidentally, that’s been the most popular post to date, with 393 views
  • Second place went to “L4D x Lucky Star Win!” with 350 views (kind of curious about this one)
  • Of all the Tokyo entries, Day 2 – TGS surpassed all others
  • Not surprisingly, posts that were originally made on Live Spaces that were migrated to WordPress didn’t see much activity
  • Also not surprising was that most visitors arrived here via DannyChoo. Thanks Danny!

Here’s to much more content in the years to come, I don’t have any plans to stop any time soon. Thanks to all you loyal readers out there!

Buying figures on eBay (with Bing Cashback)

Since older items are hard to find in normal retail channels, I’ve had to resort to using eBay for quite a few of my purchases over the past year. Most recently, Naru, Naru, and Mikuru came from eBay, as had Konata and Rin Figma, Lena Sayers, and a whole mess of others. There are a lot of things to be cautious of when buying from an auction site, as it can be difficult to ensure you’re getting a new and authentic product. There are plenty of rules of thumb out there (including the age-old “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” adage), though once you do find something you want to buy, why not try to save a little extra?

Last year, Microsoft launched a shopping and price comparison site, along the same lines as Froogle. Initially called Live Shopping (and now branded as Bing Shopping), the site offered incentives for purchasing in the form of rebates. The rebate would be a percentage of an item’s purchase price and would be delivered to you 60 days after purchase. Lots of popular retailers joined this program, from Newegg to Barnes and Noble. The amount ranged from as little as 1% all the way up to 50% in rare cases, usually during a promotional period.

 

One of the retailers offering incentives is eBay. Unlike most other stores in the Cashback program, eBay isn’t accessible through the main landing page. Instead, it was triggered by specific searches in Live. The amount also tended to fluctuate, depending on if there was a promotion going on. It is currently at 8%, however it has also been as high as 35%. Since not too many people in the figure community seem to be aware of the program, here’s a quick guide on how to take advantage and save a little bit in the process!

Continue reading “Buying figures on eBay (with Bing Cashback)”

A few computer upgrades

It’s been a big week for figure acquisitions and computer parts! To take stock, here are just a few things that arrived…

1/4 scale Mikuru Bunny by FREEing

1/8 scale Narusegawa Naru by EPOCH

1.5TB Seagate Barracuda Hard drive

300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor

I’m still waiting on a few things, including some wireless networking equipment (finally taking the plunge and upgrading things to N) as well as this little gem. Most of the latter half of the week involved rebuilding my computer and setting up the new equipment. Photos of figures will be forthcoming, once I get in that last item.

My first order of business was to install the 1.5TB drive into my home server. It replaced one of the existing 750GB drives, bringing total storage spaces to 4.78TB:

WHS

The slight upgrade leaves me with a bit more space to store DVDs, and also frees up a drive for use in my main machine. At some point, I’ll be replacing the last 750GB drive, though I’ll likely wait for prices to drop on the 2TB drives prior to making that move. It may also let me wait until the next version of WHS is released as replacing that drive will require a server rebuild.

With the spare 750GB drive in hand, I set on my next series of upgrades. Up until now, Chikane was the last machine I had that wasn’t running the Windows 7 RTM bits. While the post-RC build was mostly fine (build 7201), it was time for me to move forward. In anticipation of the upgrade, I’d also replaced the video card with something that is still supported by ATi. Now sporting a Radeon HD4830, Chikane was ready to rock and roll.

To complete the upgrades, I went ahead and installed both the 750GB Samsung drive and the VelociRaptor. Since I already had an equivalent 750GB drive in the system already, I placed the two in a RAID0 array for a bit extra performance. The OS and programs, however, would be handled by the VelociRaptor.

Performance rating

Sadly, even though the VelociRaptor is a 10kRPM drive, it’s still the bottleneck in my system. I just can’t win! Finally, however, I come to the capstone of my upgrades for the week. Thanks to my friends at Costco, I now have a pair of Samsung SyncMaster 2343BWX LCD monitors!

Lots of desktop real space

It turns out that my local store was clearing these screens out. I grabbed the last new display and the display model for $175 each. I’ll have to say though, when I first got them hooked up, it took some getting used to. I was actually feeling a bit motion sick from having to move my head around to see everything. Now that I’ve resituated my sitting position and had some time to adjust, it’s actually pretty natural. I’m just wondering how I can go back to such little real estate at work tomorrow…

Desktop wallpaper was found here. I’d also modified it to have a mirror image on the other screen, giving a nice symmetric effect.

Home media setup

Every so often, I’m asked about how I have my home entertainment center set up. Usually, I grab the nearest whiteboard and marker and then diagram it out, because it can be somewhat difficult to explain just by speaking… I think, however, I should be able to jot it down in text with the aid of some pictures!

First of all, meet Kagami, the hub of my home network…

Kagami, the WHS

Some of you may be wondering “What? That’s it? That doesn’t look like anything special…” and on appearance alone, you would be correct. Kagami is the only off-the-shelf desktop computer I own (and in fact the first one I’ve owned in many many years) and is a Dell PowerEdge SC440. The base machine cost me about $250 to purchase from Dell without an OS and I’ve pretty much left her stock. There are, however, a few major additions, namely in the area of storage. At present, Kagami carries 4 hard drives: 2 750GB Samsung Spinpoint F1s and 2 1.5TB Seagate Barracudas. Judging by the manufacturers’ capacity figures, she carries 4.25TB worth of storage space (the “real” number is actually around 4.1TB, using computer interpretation of the number of bytes in a kilobyte).

Continue reading “Home media setup”

My computer area (AKA Otaku Lounge pt. 2)

Due to the compliments I received from the last post and all the questions asking about other areas in my house, I was encouraged to clean up the computer area that is next to my otaku lounge. After sorting away some papers, tidying up the desk, and removing the junk from the floor, the area was finally photo worthy.

IMG_3067

From this angle, you can see how the upstairs area is completely open. This was actually the thing that sold me on this house and I’d always envisioned making this area my little haven. Typically, if I’m entertaining guests, they’ll be downstairs as that is where the TV, XBOX, and kitchen are. Occasionally, I’ll bring people upstairs just to give them the tour. Sadly, most of the people that come over aren’t terribly otaku, so most of the decor is lost on them…

IMG_3072IMG_3100

Here’s a better view of the desk area itself. Not too much here to talk about except for the couple of interesting decorative items I have. Above the desk are three posters from the MegaTokyo webcomic (all available from the Megagear store): Polesitting, Kimiko, and Ph34r teh Cut3 Ones. I also have the .N1T3Z poster, though that is hanging on the wall of my cubicle at work. I also keep a shelf of Figmas above the monitor (shelf is a LJUSDAL from IKEA) and they’re lit by a set of LACK LED pendants.

Continue reading “My computer area (AKA Otaku Lounge pt. 2)”