Taking stock of my collection

After seeing Radiant’s write up on his collection, I felt inspired to do something I’d been putting off for a little while. It’d been awhile since I actually took stock of what was in my collection and collected it all in one place (read: never). For the most part, my figures are organized by series, character, and type. There are a couple shelves that I can only label as “miscellaneous” since they have figures that don’t really fit in with any others.

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August loot

Even though I’m going to be going to Japan next month, I couldn’t help myself and picked up a few gems from eBay. Last year, I’d discovered the wonders that was Live Cashback (now Bing Cashback) and found it an economical way of buying figures. If you’re not aware of how Cashback works, here’s a quick tutorial:

  1. Microsoft has teamed up with various internet merchants to offer rebates on products purchased via the Bing landing page. There are a few ways of discovering what stores are available, and a mostly complete listing is available at http://cashback.bing.com.
  2. As an alternative to the Cashback page, searching on bing.com will also net links. eBay, for example, works in this manner. By doing searches on strings like xbox, a link will often appear telling you what percentage you can get.
  3. Cashback on eBay is only valid on Buy it Now items and must be paid for using PayPal. Shipping charges don’t qualify for Cashback.
  4. Most eBay purchases now give you the rebate immediately after purchase in the form of PayPal credit. Most retailers require a 60 day waiting period before it is deposited.

At present, Bing Cashback for eBay is at 8%. Last week, it was at 10% and was at 16% a few weeks prior. Last year, it was as high as 35% (guess how much stuff I bought at that time…. >.<)

Enough plugging, on to the goods!

Loot!I went a bit crazy this week and picked up a few beauties. I’d been eyeing the Mikuru bunny for some time now, and finally decided to jump on getting one. I’d also been searching for the Max Factory Naru after seeing several reviews raving about her beauty. Unfortunately, the same search that found me that Naru also got me to an auction for the EPOCH Naru statue. For the price, I just couldn’t pass her up and put in a bid.

Continue reading “August loot”

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.