★ Guys Weekend in LA

Spent the weekend in LA. Went to Kabuki Sushi at The Promenade at Howard Hughes. The Standard in Downtown LA. LMU. Brunch at De Neve Commons. Driving around Westwood and Hollywood Hills. The Grove and running into Jon Lovitz. Then finally Bennigan’s in Glendale.


★ RAM Nerdery

So Rochelle fetched me another 256 MB stick of Samsung DDR 333. I can now benefit from Dual Channel DDR. Instead of the normal 64 bit single channel mode, using two sticks of memory, I can utilize the Dual DDR feature of my nForce2 and enable the 128 bit mode, effectively doubling the bandwidth for my RAM. This is important in my computer since I’m using integrated video. Yea, yea, integrated video has a bad reputation, but the onboard on the nForce2, shoot, even the original nForce, is way better than what I’m upgrading from, a 3dfx Voodoo3. So after plugging in that 2nd stick of RAM, I got a 40% increase in my 3DMark scores. I’m quite satisfied with the performance gain. Since the RAM came from the computer show, I was a little scared about the quality. I’ve heard of vendors taking slower RAM and overclocking it and passing it as faster RAM. But after some benchmarking, I’m convinced that the RAM is good.

The moral of the story: $35 for DDR333 is a bargain, and integrated video isn’t so bad.

★ Winter Quarter Final Stretch

So the only “midterm” I had was on Thursday. For the past six weeks, 3 other students and I have been working with ARI to see if we could somehow improve their CV axle remanufacturing line. For our midterm design review, we had to present, to some big people in the company, what we had discovered in the past 6 weeks. We proposed our design solutions, and we presented our thoughts on the best one. During the hour long presentation, they asked questions about each design, and they asked for clarification if the numbers didn’t make sense. But in the end they agreed with our selections. Our professors, who made the drive out to Anaheim, congratulated us for getting past the biggest hurdle of the class. For the final 4 weeks, we will continue working on the solutions they chose, and come to a final design proposal for ARI.

On Friday, Rochelle and I went up to the Getty Center. I always wondered what was up there on that hill. Who knew that that stuff was free? Once I have the time, I’ll post pictures from our little get away.

After the design review for the Mini Baja, and the midterm presentation at ARI, this three day weekend was something I was looking forward to. Now it’s 7th week and the home stretch until finals.

★ Weapons

Is it just me, or are you just as tired of hearing the phrase “weapons of mass destruction”? Anytime a news story comes up about Iraq or Al Queda, there has to be one mention of those highly destructive weapons. Why do newscasters keep using the now cliche phrase? I now propose alternative expressions for the term “weapons of mass destruction”.

  • Highly destructive weapons
  • Weapons of widespread destruction
  • Weapons that do a lot of damage
  • Weapons that kill a lot of people
  • Weapons
  • Lethal weapons
  • Nuclear bombs
  • Nuclear weapons….

★ Upgrades

Rochelle and I splurged and upgraded our computers. Here’s what we got.

Rochelle’s rig

  • Athlon XP 1700+
  • ASUS A7N266-VM nForce
  • Crucial 256 MB PC2100
  • Raidmax case w/ 2 case fans and window

My rig

  • Athlon XP 2000+
  • Leadtek K7NCR18 nForce2
  • Samsung 256 MB PC2700

Dual monitors, here I come…

Update: Mark let me borrow his old 15″