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Friday - June 30, 2006

New PC

Yesterday I assembled my newest PC creation. This is my 5th gound-up build (not including a couple I've done for friends). Here are the stats for the geeks that are interested.

Case: Antec P180B
Motherboard: Abi KN9 SLI
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+
CPU Heatsink: Arctic Cooling Alpine 64
Memory: Corsair XMS2 2GB DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s (Perpendicular Recording Technology)
Video Card: BFG Tech Geforce 7900GT

I used my old NEC DVD burner, floppy, and card reader from my previous PC. So far, I like it a lot. The case is extremely quiet, even with multiple fans installed. I also left a little room for upgrades down the road, since I can install a second video card in SLI mode, or upgrade to a faster, dual-core processor. I'm currently running Windows in 32-bit mode, as I don't have a license for Windows XP-64. I'll probably wait until Vista to upgrade to the 64-bit version.

Posted by jcraven at 1:08 PM | Comments (1) | Tech

Thursday - June 29, 2006

Superman Returns

Last night Lara, Scott, and myself went to watch Superman Returns at the new movie theater near our house. The movie was good, but not great. I did really enjoy Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, and I wish he would have had more screen time. I'll admit I'm not the biggest Superman guru, so I'm sure fanboy Scott will have more indepth review soon on his website. :)

IGN also has a review that pretty much sums up my opinions verbatim.

Posted by jcraven at 9:43 AM | Movies & Music

Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Strange pair

I used my Xbox Live Diamond card, to get 'Rent one, get one free' at Hollywood Video. The advantage to this is that I get to pick a movie, and so does Lara. My choice, Lord of War, and hers The Family Stone.

We enjoyed Lord of War, but it's not exactly a 'feel-good' kind of movie. Nick Cage is perfectly cast as a gun-runner that somehow can separate the morality and business of his profession. He even compares himself to car salesman. He rationalizes it by the fact that they're going to get their guns regardless, so he might as well sell them. Ethan Hawke plays the righteous 'hero' law enforcement that is constantly trying to arrest Cage. Finally, Eamonn Walker does a great job as he plays an African warlord, one of Cage's big clients. You may remember Walker from recent episodes of ER set in Darfur. Be sure to check out some of the trivia from IMDB. I really like the tidbit: "According to Andrew Niccol, the filmmakers worked with actual gunrunners in the making of the film. The tanks lined up for sale were owned by a gunrunner who had to have them back to sell to another country. They used a real stockpile of over 3,000 AK-47s because it was cheaper than getting prop guns. The gunrunners were more cooperative and efficient than the studio or the crew."

The Family Stone was actually much better than I anticipated, but again it's not a comedy. Sarah Jessica Parker's city-girl character goes to visit her boyfriend's family for Christmas. Most of the movie centers around the alienation she feels, and is effectively communicated to the viewer. Half of the movie you just feel bad for her. The evolution of the love story seems a little unlikely to me, but if you can let that go, it's a good movie... again as long as you're not expecting a comedy. As always, I enjoyed Luke Wilson, and the other cast members put in good performances, including Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, and Craig T. Nelson.

Posted by jcraven at 12:06 PM | Movies & Music

Monday - June 26, 2006

New pictures of Kate

Finally posted new pictures of my niece, Kate on shutterfly here.

Posted by jcraven at 12:10 PM | Misc

Friday - June 23, 2006

WoW patch 1.11

This week, Blizzard released the new 1.11 patch for World of Warcraft. There's lots of new content including a new 40-man raid dungeon named Naxxramas. The full patch release notes can be found here. If you have questions about the Scourge Invasion check out this nifty FAQ on their forums. For those of you that had trouble downloading the patch, you'll find the humor in this comic strip from Penny Arcade. I personally didn't have any issues once I opened up the appropriate firewall holes to allow their bittorrent-based client through.

Posted by jcraven at 1:37 PM | Video Games

Wednesday - June 21, 2006

Congrats to the Canes

I uploaded my pictures from Game 7 here. Yes, our seats were way up there, but I didn't mind. We still had a great time. We look forward to next year, which is right around the corner. Draft day is June 24th in Vancouver. You can get the pick order from the Avs' website (sorry couldn't find it on Carolina's site) Carolina's first pick is 63rd/round two.

Posted by jcraven at 1:46 PM | Sports

Tuesday - June 20, 2006

Go Canes!!!

Posted by jcraven at 12:32 AM | Sports

Saturday - June 17, 2006

Welcome back Erik

Erik Cole is supposed to play tonight. He hasn't played since he was injured in March. Hopefully he'll stay safe, and this will give the boost the team needs to bring home the Cup.

Posted by jcraven at 8:09 PM | Sports

Tuesday - June 13, 2006

Go Canes!

Canes take a 3-1 series lead after last night's win. They could win the Cup Wednesday night in Raleigh. ESPN has a good writeup of last night here (even if they credit the wrong Kaberle...sigh).

Posted by jcraven at 9:10 AM | Sports

Monday - June 12, 2006

Dogs on IRC

A comic that only geeks can appreciate, courtesy of Joy of Tech.

Posted by jcraven at 11:53 AM | Tech

WoW weekend

Since Lara was at the beach this weekend, I spent a fair amount of time play World of Warcraft. I finally hit Level 60, which is the level cap until the expansion pack comes out. I also did my first real Guild runs to Dire Maul. Since it was a Guild event, I got Teamspeak up and running for the first time also, which is a little bit like using Xbox Live's voicechat features. Surprisingly the 4 guildmates that I went with were all older than myself. Two of them were married, and the remaining two were a guy and his father-in-law. I got a couple quests out of the way, but didn't really get any cool loot.

After that, I decided to solo the first boss in Blackrock Depths, which was another new location for me. It took two tries, but I made it to the boss, and got the drop I needed, Idol of Ferocity, on the first kill.

Finally, on Sunday, I was just doing random quests when a Priest invited me to make a run to Scholomance. This makes the 3rd new dungeon of the weekend. We cleared the place out, included all 13 or so bosses. I got some great drops, including Death's Clutch and Frostbite Girdle which both dropped from the same boss. Overall it was a very productive weekend in WoW.

Posted by jcraven at 11:13 AM | Video Games

Thursday - June 8, 2006

Kitty vs Mac

Awwwww. Check out this video from Gizmodo. And just an FYI, the kitty didn't scratch up the screen.....

Posted by jcraven at 4:10 PM | Tech

Windows Vista Beta 2 available for download

You can get it legally from Micrososft's website here. It's time limited, but may still be worth trying out.

Currently I'm getting the error:

Thank you for your interest in Windows Vista Beta 2. We are currently experiencing a high level of demand and cannot process your request at this time. Please check back later for availability. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Posted by jcraven at 3:13 PM | Comments (1) | Tech


The Canes played much better last night in their 5-0 win in Game 2. They still had a couple dumb penalties, but their passing and defense was much better this time around. The Edmonton backup goalie, Jussi Markkanen, played pretty well but his team gave up too many power plays and odd-man rushes. Near the end, the game started getting ugly, especially with some cheap hits from Georges Laraque. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a 1 game suspension for the hit on Ladd near the end of the game. The next game will be in Edmonton on Saturday night. ESPN and TSN have the game summary.

Posted by jcraven at 11:59 AM | Sports

Tuesday - June 6, 2006

Xbox update coming today

According to their press release, Microsoft will be pushing out the new dashboard updates for the 360 starting today. A list of all the new features, including Download manager and Boot to Dashboard, can be found here.

Posted by jcraven at 1:11 PM | Video Games


We definitely got our money's worth for Game 1. Then Canes came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the Game 5-4. Even with the win, the Canes didn't look pretty the first 2 periods. I lost count of the number of turnovers in their own zone, and won't even comment about the 3 simultaneous penalties. I don't care, it was still a blast. We've got some pictures here, and a video here. You can get the full details of the game here and here. It's unfortunate that the Oilers goalie was injured, but at least the fault seems to be mostly on his teammate Bergeron. The next game is Wednesday night, and hopefully we'll see the Canes take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Posted by jcraven at 11:53 AM | Sports

Monday - June 5, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

I'll leave her age off, but just wanted to wish her a Happy Birthday.

Posted by jcraven at 4:19 PM | Misc

Thursday - June 1, 2006

Bring on the Finals!

After 7 games, the Canes advance to the Stanley Cup finals by beating Buffalo in the final game 4-2. The first game of the finals will be Monday night in Raleigh. Hopefully we'll be able to buy a pair of tickets when they go on sale..... Go Canes!

UPDATE: We got tickets to Game 1 and 7 in Raleigh. Woo!

Posted by jcraven at 10:29 PM | Sports