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12/02/2018 11:18am
Indeed! [LINK]
08/02/2018 4:07pm
The advert video for @iros_2018 is really good! I wish robots really served coffee at the conference [LINK]
07/02/2018 10:10am
RT @NatureEcoEvo: Cockroach and termite genomes reveal molecular basis of termite eusociality [LINK] [LINK]
06/02/2018 1:29pm
Robotics for Nuclear Environments - a really cool website for a really cool project that I am currently a part of a… [LINK]
02/02/2018 8:09pm
RT @RIFBristol: Everything you need to know about Bristol’s sci-tech scene [LINK] via @siliconrepublic [LINK]

[A Quest for a Better PC]

Added on 16/02/2013
Tags: games


Since Starcraft II : Heart of the Swarm and the new Simcity are soon to be released, I have decided to finally upgrade my PC. I decided to go crazy and ordered the AMD FX 8350 (yes, it's an 8-core processor!) and 16GB RAM to support the madness. Of course getting it running took much more effort that I could have guessed.

Looking forward to my new PC, I kept watching videos of the new Simcity game play, drooling over the great graphics and the totally agent-based game engine. When my new parts arrived, I just couldn't wait to put them together. With help over Skype from a friend, I connected all the wires when I realised the CPU just wouldn't go in and I noticed some pins were bent. Disappointed, I realised I wouldn't see my new PC running just yet.

Next day I called the supplier and requested a swap. The guy on the phone suggested I bent the pins myself while installing, even though I tried to explain that I simply unboxed the damn thing and it didn't fit. Luckily, I bough insurance against damage during installation - £8 well spent! Without it, I would have had to buy a whole new processor!

I awaited in anticipation the arrival of the delivery man. No matter that he woke me up this morning. I had a new and healthy CPU! After a long fight with a stubborn heatsink, my breathing was heavy as I plugged in the power cable and pushed the power button and - nothing happened. After exhausting all my ideas, I surrendered to the hellish hardware and took the computer to a repair shop.

On the way there, the cab driver got lost. I was pretty frustrated already so I kept calm, took away my phone and used Google Maps to navigate him to the destination. And this was when my luck turned (for a while). When I tried to pay, he couldn't give me any change back so he let me go for a lower value of all my coins. In the shop, the guy looked at the cabling, unplugged one and the PC worked! I thought of banging my head against a wall as if that could destroy my stupidity, but I was in a company of another being, so I decided not to. I could go home now, and the guy even gave me some free screws for better fitting of my motherboard!

Excited about life again, I put the video and other cables in and pushed the power button. And - no display. The DVI output was not working! Luckily, I had a VGA-DVI converter and could use a VGA cable to at least see something, although blurred and weirdly stretched. It took me another 3 hours to figure out that it was a BIOS setting that turned on the graphics card slot properly. Yes, next time I will read the manual first.

So after this exhausting day, my PC is finally running. And I have a pair of red LEDs to make it even more cool. Technology disappointed me somewhat on this quest, but humans surprised me with their kindness. I will remember it for some time until my games finish installing and I can again dive into the virtual world again.



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