My New Birthday Present

My brother is awesome and not only because he buys me the best geeky birthday present. For my birthday this year, he bought me a new DELL XPS desktop with the latest Intel Core i7 processor. The Core i7 is a quad-core processor with hyper-threading that appear as 8 separate processors to the operating system, giving the machine some serious processing horsepower.

My configuration is the Intel Core i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache 2.66GHz), 6GB of RAM (DDR3 SDRAM at 1067MHz), ATI RADEON HD4670 512MB video card and Serial ATA II RAID 0 With Dual640GB Hard Drives for a total of 1.2 TB onboard. The machine also came with combo Blu-Ray/DVD/CD reader and burner along with 64-bit Vista. Here are the complete tech specs for the geeks out there.

Qty Item Number Description
1 224-3607 Studio XPS 435MT
1 311-9770 Intel Core i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache 2.66GHz)
1 311-9800 6GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1067MHz
1 310-9731 Keyboard included in Dell Bluetooth Package
1 320-7771 ATI RADEON HD4670 512MB
1 341-8397 Serial ATA II RAID 0 With Dual640GB Hard Drives
1 421-0084 Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium 64-Bit
1 310-1966 Mouse included with Keyboard purchase
1 430-3347 Integrated 10/1000 Ethernet
1 313-7184 Blu-Ray, DVD+R/RW, CD-RW Drive
1 313-7186 Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
1 310-5408 Free Recycling Kit
1 310-9562 Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse
1 341-8296 Dell 19 in 1 Media Reader withBluetooth 2.0

Here are some screenshots from the computer with more geeky goodness 🙂

Windows Vista SP2 Beta – Initial impressions

So I just installed SP2 of Windows Vista which is out in beta on my computer yesterday – so it’s been about 24 hours and my computer is stable and all of the applications I’ve used so far have worked just fine. The only bizarre issue that I’ve noticed so far is the uninstall of .NET framework 3.5 SP1. I can’t really explain it and I’m not even sure if this was the SP2 beta install but Paint.NET stopped working with an error message that it needed .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. Paint.NET was working before the SP2 beta install and so I just reinstalled .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and everything worked. Not sure what happened there and as I said, could be completely unrelated but that’s the only strange thing that’s happened so far.

There is a list of new features and fixes at Microsoft and Mary-Jo’s blog. So far, the beta feels fairly solid and I hope this is a watershed release like Windows XP SP2 was for XP but I guess time will tell or Windows7 will be out and we won’t care about Vista. (Or we’ll be running Ubuntu or OS X and we won’t care about Windows 🙂 – Hope spring eternal!)

Here are some screen shots of Windows update on my machine doing the update for SP2.

If you want to try the beta yourself, Microsoft has a page on how to enable the download via Windows Update.

Upgraded my computer – Love the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT card

I have a couple of computers at home but my primary machine is a DELL desktop running Vista. This is a dual-core machine with 4 GB of RAM but it ran sloooooooooooowwwwww. So I just upgraded the machine with a new 500w power supply and a NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT video card. The NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT is an amazing video card that’s SLI ready with 112 stream processors and a 256-bit framebuffer interface running at 900MHz, DirectX 10, PCI Express 2.0 and the second generation NVIDIA PureVideo engine with full acceleration and post processing for HD DVD and Blu-ray movies.

Here are the screenshots of the Performance Information and Tools screen with the before and after Windows Experience Index number. Guess I need to upgrade the processor next.

The power supply I chose was the PC Power and Cooling PPCS500D Silencer.

Daily del.icio.us for August 6th through August 11th

Daily del.icio.us for July 20th through July 25th

Daily del.icio.us for June 24th through June 27th

Daily del.icio.us for May 29th through May 31st

  • A Look Inside JBoss Rules | Javalobby – JBoss Rules is the production release of the Drools project, an expert system for declarative programming based around the Rete algorithm. During this talk, Mark Proctor, the lead on JBoss Rules covered the Drools basics, as well as the new features in 4.
  • The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time : Rolling Stone – This is what makes a great rock & roll guitar sound: an irresistible riff; a solo or jam that takes you higher every time you hear it; the final power chord that pins you to the wall and makes you hit "play" again and again.
  • The Business Of IT: Gartner Reveals Top 10 Technologies – The good folks over at the Gartner Group have revealed the top 10 technologies that they believe will change the world over the next four years
  • David Card – No Way to Build an Operating System – MSFT has worked on WinFS for more than a decade without success in making it fast, reliable, and easy-to-use enough for release. The Longhorn "reset" in 2004 was in large part the realization that WinFS was still not ready for primetime.
  • My DebugBar | IETester / HomePage – IETester is a free WebBrowser that allows you to have the rendering and javascript engines of IE8 beta 1, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same process.
  • Oracle and BEA – Welcome, Dev2Dev and Arch2Arch Members – The Oracle Technology Network is happy to welcome members of the BEA Dev2Dev and Arch2Arch communities. The OTN team, which now includes some of the very same people behind those BEA communities, is hard at work merging the best of Dev2Dev and Arch2Arch
  • Ozzie: Open source is greatest threat to Microsoft | Tech news blog – CNET News.com – Ozzie, speaking at Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York on Wednesday, said that while Google is a "tremendously strong competitor…open source was much more potentially disruptive" to Microsoft's business model.
  • Ben Northrop – Does Programming to Interfaces Buy Us Anything? – In the end, I'm not saying that programming to interfaces and not implementations isn't a good thing, just that it's a good thing less often than we think – in other words, it can't just be dogmatically applied.
  • O’Reilly Media | Harnessing Hibernate – More than a reference, Harnessing Hibernate starts with basic configuration before moving on to demonstrate how to use Hibernate to accomplish practical goals. "If you follow along with the examples–which is easy–you'll have a working Hibernate-based pr
  • InfoQ: Top 5 Ways to Reduce Flex Application Startup Time – Jun Heider has an excellent piece on O’Reilly’s InsideRIA site discussing a number of the options for minimizing the startup time of Flex applications, in hopes of helping developers reduce the amount of time that users see the ugly "Loading" dialog.
  • Akamai Releases State of the Internet Report | CenterNetworks – Akamai is out today with their first "State of the Internet" report. The report is well worth a read as it covers a variety of topics including: security, connection speeds, geography, network access, and Internet penetration.