Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Next PC


How many PCs do do you count?
Back in 2009, while building my current desktop, I tossed around the idea that unless I was teaching my future children how to do so, this machine would probably be my last complete build. Surprisingly that thought had absolutely nothing to do with us seemingly marching headfirst into the "Post-PC era," due to the rise of smartphones and tablets. I will always have a desktop machine, as long as that option is available to me. I'm an odd one in that I prefer the trappings of a desk and a large monitor or two, over the mobility and options a laptop offers, though I have a laptop too, of course.

One of the biggest reasons for that musing, was because I thought by the time I needed a new computer(now), I'd just buy an OEM rig, and upgrade key components, like the video card, memory and storage, as needed. For years the difference in prices between a self-built machine, and one from an OEM have been dwindling to the point that it's almost non-existent now. Excluding Apple, the price of an average desktop from an OEM is very close to that of the price of a home-build, and it's less work. And that less work part is the other main reason I hoped  thought I might be done. The process and all that comes with a new build isn't, nearly as enjoyable for me nowadays, as it was when I was a kid. Back then it was a thing to boast about, but now it feels less like a hobby I enjoy, and more like a chore. The selecting of components, reading of reviews, and compatibility checking, etc, can be a  boring grind, to be honest.

Having said that, I don't know what the heck I was thinking. I'm planning a new desktop, and there's no way in the world I could go with an off-the-shelf rig, when I can do it myself, with the exact parts I want. I'm also considering going the Hackintosh route this time around, with a small Windows installation, for gaming. I'm still undecided on that though, and SteamOS is right around the corner, throwing yet another ball into the mix, so it's still up in the air at this point. Side note: if you stumbled across this post randomly, and are wondering why I'm spreading what could be done in a single day over a few weeks to months, it's because I'm unemployed at the moment, and a new computer will have to wait.

I'll either update this post or make new ones as I go through the process, so be on the lookout for them some time later.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Book Review: Long Division by Kiese Laymon

Long DivisionLong Division by Kiese Laymon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a book is really good, I'm excited to get to the end to see what happens, but when a book is great, I'm most anticipating reading it again in the future.

In Long Division, Citoyen 'City' Coldson is a wave brush-toting, slick-talking high schooler, growing up in present day Mississippi. After getting into a bit of trouble at school, City somehow finds himself reading a book titled Long Division, in which the main character is also a teenager named 'City,' in 1984.

I absolutely loved this book, from the first page, and I don't think I've audibly laughed from a single book so many times in my life. It's told 1st person, from City's point of view, and he's hilarious in thought and voice. He's kinda wordy, which may turn some people off, but it makes his sentences seem oddly balanced, to me, as if at a certain word in the sentence, there's a pivot, and the second half drops. I doubt that I'm expressing that clearly, and it probably doesn't make much sense, but just know that it's a good thing. Another thing, I especially appreciated, is that this book doesn't get caught up in the magic of it's fantasy elements, and doesn't make that the story. It's less important why or how these things are happening, but that it's happening and how it affects the characters, that makes this book special. Long Division touches on everything from, love, to hate, from sexuality, to racism, and responsibility, but is only ever really about one of them. Give it a read, seriously.


This is one of those books that I know I'm going to read at least a few more times in my life. I picked up my copy at the library, but I know I'm going to buy it. All things considered, it's the least I can do...

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I Should Know Yours

My Dear Child,

     You'd be about about five months old, today. I can't tell you your exact birthday, but I can tell you we would've shared the birth month of March. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world, when I realized that. Your mother on the other hand, took it as a sign that you were already picking up your father's habits. Five months would be just old enough for me to convince myself it was fine to start passing on the hodgepodge of idiosyncrasies, that is your dad, and just young enough, that none of what I said would make a lick of sense to you. It would've been perfect. Today is Sunday, so we might have gone to church this morning, as I always wanted you to have the spiritual relationship with our maker, that I never did, at your age--or at mine, really. I would've figured that out for us. After church, we would've sat outside in the shade that the porch provides, enjoyed the breeze and watched as your older cousin struggled to ride his first big boy bike. He'd eventually get it, and then you'd know how to do it, when it was your time. We can be a little different like that. Your mother loved your grandmother's cooking almost more than I do, so we would've had family dinner today, I think. You wouldn't have struck me as the meat and potatoes type, just yet, so I would've mushed up some green beans, to give you a taste. I'd even have some mushy green beans myself, just so you wouldn't be alone. Just a little different.


     Sadly, we never got to spend today or any other days together. I never got to see you come into the world, the way I'd always hoped. I never caught your first tears in the lights of my most recent, or saw your first smile. You never looked on me with new eyes, and I didn't get time with you, in which to impart my seemingly nonsensical life lessons. We didn't watch your cousin struggle outside with his bike today, and I didn't have mushy green beans with you at dinner tonight. Reservations were already made for you. God had plans for all of us, really. Only God knew that I'd hoped for you two to be closer than he and I ever were. One year ago, today, he invited you to his house, to his dinner table, and then exactly one week from that day, he bought your mother home, to be with you. Though not here with me, there's no place I'd rather you two be more than Heaven. It's a much nicer home than I could have ever given us.

    Dearest ones, I love you, more than a simple blog post could ever express. I wasn't blessed with the gift of the written word, as much as I hope I am with that of thought, and you two are ever in mine. Truly, I do not know what it's like to want something as much as I want you...want us. Although I'm not privy to it, and I don't claim to understand it, I promise there's a plan, and that we'll be together eventually. There has to be. I've lived on that truth, almost exclusively, since you left...it's a  real thing. One day we'll see who's been picking up whose habits. We'll be together.


Lovingly,
Marvin

P.S. You should also know my smile. :)




Friday, July 12, 2013

Games from the Motherland


While I do still play them, often enough, it's only by the loosest definition of the word, that I feel comfortable thinking of myself as a gamer, these days. I do, however, still like to keep up on what's going on with them. This article on the current up and coming cadre of African game developers was one of the more interesting and promising things I read last week, and shout out to Polygon for shining the spotlight on them. Their games aren't exactly up to Western standards, from a technical standpoint, but I think we'll be surprised at how quickly they'll advance on that front. When you couple that with their unique perspectives, both culturally and individually, you can't help but be excited for the games coming out of Africa in a few years.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tales of a 5th Grade Everything

An Afro American article about us in Annapolis. I'm 3rd from the left.
We all have at least one teacher from when we were growing up, that we look back on, and remember fondly as the most amazing person in our admittedly, small worlds. From a few conversations I've had with close friends and family, these were usually teachers that you just wanted to impress so badly with your school work and comprehension of their lessons, that you almost always shot your hand up to answer a question they asked. If you're like me, you dreaded seeing a substitute teacher filling in for them. I hope we all have at least one, because I was blessed to have two of them in elementary school.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2D or Bust

I was born on March 28th, 1981. That' makes me 31 as of this post and relatively old as far as things on the internet go. One good thing about growing older is that as time passes, you gain an appreciation for just how far any number of things, from technology, to equality have progressed. It's an amazing thing to consider that my parent's generation can recall seeing the transition from black and white television  to the age of color TV, and their parent's before them, are of a time when they could remember the first time they saw the magic box. The generation that I'll be part of producing, won't know a time when they can't hop online--by computer or phone--to see whatever video they desire, almost instantly. Advances such as these are acceptable and to be expected, but there are some things I'd like to never see go away.

Friday, February 8, 2013

6 Movies in 6 Months

Watching movies in theaters takes up a lot of time in my life, and it has for a very long time. So much so, that an appreciation of movies, ranks very high on my list of preferable traits in a girlfriend, even more so than that of music, which is a little weird, now that I'm writing it down. That's not to say said woman has to have the same opinion or tastes that I do when it comes to films, just a healthy appreciation for them, in general, is all I look for. In a normal year, I see on average between 30 to 40 movies in theater, and that doesn't include the films I see multiple times (I'm looking at you Avengers). From 2004 until 2010, I only worked Friday through Sunday, so you might think most of my theater visits took place during the week, and many of them did, but I'd also see the first showing, the day they opened. Fridays I worked at night, so I would spend the afternoon before my shift either at the theater, or sometimes the barbershop, when necessary.

Suffice it to say, I've seen a lot of movies solo. I don't say that begrudgingly, with a sense of shame, or even as a point of discussion, really. In fact, I'd say it's the exact opposite, for me. I actually really enjoy being in movie theaters by myself (I enjoy going with others just as much). For me, a dark and relatively empty theater, with comfortable seating and a gigantic screen, has always offered me a place of relaxation, and escape, that I think we all need from time to time. For me, it's less about the actual movie, and more about the atmosphere. If I know what I'm getting beforehand, I have no problem watching awful movies in theater, though I do prefer to enjoy them, of course. I've noticed that I'm more likely to pay money to watch a film I know I'm not going to enjoy, in theater, than I am to watch that same movie, at home for free. Home doesn't offer me that same sense of immersion that the theater does. As we're essentially at the start of a new year, here's a list of 6 movies, I'd like to immerse myself in for the first 6 months of 2013. They're listed in order by release date.

Friday, February 1, 2013

What's in Your Bag, Marvin?

I'm a huge fan of The Verge, on every level. It's a toss-up as to whether it's more because it's a good source of credible and relevant tech coverage, or because it's a beautifully designed site, that draws me in, with its bold colors and irregular structure. Regardless, I visit the site multiple times, daily to keep up on things around the net. Two regular pieces featured on the site, that I particularly enjoy are the '90 Seconds on The Verge', in which a Verge staffer dispenses the day's headlines in a video, in well, 90 seconds. The other is the 'What's in Your Bag'  segment, where a Verge staffer or guest, photographs and discuss the various things he or she carries around with them on a regular day. I like those posts so much, I decided to steal the idea, and do one of my own. Hit the jump to see what I carry around with me in my bag. I'll try to provide a link where applicable.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Change is Gonna Come to a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

I'm a firm believer that in order for two people to have a proper argument (meaning productive), at least one person involved needs to be receptive to change. If there's no give, they're no different than two cubes of ice in an otherwise empty glass. They won't come together until one or both begin to melt. In this way Star Wars and I have sat forever, always together but never mixing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Patient Zero as a Muse



I've been infected again.

No doubt about it, I'm sick. This particular bug comes around every few years, like primary elections and bad horror reboots. Similar to those two things, it tends to strike when the weather makes a turn for the colder. A little self-diagnosis, has lead me to believe it's a particularly virulent strain, this time around. Most of the time I never know exactly where or from whom I contract it, but this time, I know exactly who the carrier was; my patient zero, so to speak.