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Multiple Monitors

21 Jan

Batman Uses Multiple Monitors

Multiple monitors

  • Inexpensive
  • Increased Productivity
  • Extremely easy set up

I made the switch to a multiple monitor set up a few years ago and never see myself going back. Research shows that having a second monitor increases productivity. It is frustrating having to switch and flip windows to read one document and type on another. However, most computer set ups still do no have a second monitor. People are intimidated and confused by the thought of having two monitors. My parents for example were very hesitant at the thought of a second monitor. So when they went away on vacation and gave me the go ahead to build them a new computer I instantly thought that this computer needs a second monitor. My father runs his own grassroots travel company out of the house and is constantly typing emails and gathering prices online so having two monitors would be a great asset.

The new computer has nothing special inside in order to create the dual monitor set up. It has an integrated graphics chip on the motherboard that is capable of playing HD content on both monitors simultaneously. It was as simple as buying the second monitor and plugging it into one of the three display ports on the IO panel.

They were still skeptical when they first saw it and began to use it but they have grown very attached in just a few days. My father mentioned that is has in fact increased his productivity and allows for both my mother and father to have their emails open on separate monitors. The monitor itself only cost $89+tax. It is a simple investment that people who are looking to increase productivity need to make.

Please note that AMD graphics cards are capable of powering two monitors. Computer set ups of three or more monitors will need an active display port adapter. Nvidia graphics cards will also display on two monitors. In order to display on more then two monitors you will need to purchase a second graphics card and run it in an SLI configuration.

Select graphics cards such as Sapphire’s Flex line of cards allows for three monitors natively without an active adapter.


Skynet 2.0

21 Jan

Skynet 2.0

I have finally finished my enthusiast gaming computer.

The parts I decided on are as follows;

Intel i5 2500k processor.

  • I picked this due to its performance to price ratio. Widely acclaimed as the best budget cpu on the market it delivers unlocked performance

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

  • A top rated cpu air cooler. I chose this cpu cooler because it delivers a performance not achievable by the stock cooler that the cpu comes with. I chose this route over the closed circuit liquid cooler due to the placement of the computer case fans. I would have been left with a 140mm fan that would not have been able to fit anywhere else.

Cooler Master Storm Trooper Case

  • Cooler Master continues to come out with industrial style cases with high air flow. This case has plenty of space for expansion and has complete control of the cases lights and fans. It also comes with 2 front usb 3.0 ports and is SSD ready.

XFX Radeon 6970

  • Again I chose this component due to its high performance to price comparison. XFX has a great warranty and has a strong reputation for making quality products. I decided not to wait until boxing day to buy a graphics card because this was on sale and boxing day is always a gamble when you are dealing with uber nerds at 3am in the cold.

Corsair 120GB SSD

  • Solid State Drives are the future of computing with their blazing speeds. I can now boot windows in under 6 seconds. I chose 120GB so that it wouldnt be a constant juggling of programs to create space.

ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe Gen3

  • Built in Bluetooth, Intel Smart Repsonse Technology, Plenty of SATA ports, PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0 header. This board had everything I was looking for. This board is so advanced that I can boost its performance with one button on my Bluetooth enabled phone.

GSkill Ram 16GB

  • In this category I simply chose what was in my opinion the best sale on throughout my researching period. I was able to get a full 16GB for $50. The frequencies can get quite complicated and the performance increase is marginal.

Some of the things I learned when building this latest computer.

  • Install the CPU cooler first. It is easier to access the hard to reach places when the motherboard is outside of its case.
  • Leave a little wiggle room in your budget. Subtotals can sneak up quick so pay close attention to the taxes, environmental taxes, shipping, insurance costs.
  • Leave yourself lots of time to install the components. Make it a weekend project.

Buying Guide

21 Jan

How I go about choosing the components for my new enthusiast computer.

Window shopping is a thing of the past. When faced with the daunting task of choosing the right components I turn to the Internet for guidance.

  • Research your needs. Ask yourself what you need this computer for and what primary functions you wish the computer to be optimal for.
  • So for my needs I will be looking for components intended for gaming and creating a HTPC. (Home Theatre Personal Computer)

Save time and effort by letting the Internet do the work for you.

  • By utilizing websites such as you will be alerted of new sales and deals that are conducted online and in store throughout Canada. By creating RSS feeds you can specify what you are looking for and potential components will be delivered straight you your Google Reader account.
  • If you are looking for a specific component the Canada Post Comparison Shopper is a great resource that will compare the prices of the chosen item throughout Canadian websites and stores.
  • These websites also work with non-electronics items and are a great way to save money on upcoming purchases.

Before purchasing any items be sure to read the reviews of previous buyers and from expert reviewing websites such as

Check out the warranties on your potentials items. Most tech companies are headquartered in California. However, there are companies whose headquarters are overseas. If you were to have issues and were forced to redeem the warranty and submit a RMA request your components will have to be shipped to their Asian headquarters that increases downtime and shipping costs.

These are a couple of the items on my checklist as I pick components. Do not be hasty in your decisions and spend a couple weeks or months figuring out how much you are willing to spend and watching the prices. Sales are conducted on a regular basis so you shouldn’t need to buy most of the items at the MSRP.

My Beef With Apple

21 Jan

I do not like Apple. I do not hide my feelings about Apple. Apple is the pinnacle of money grubbing fat cat corporations. From a public relations standpoint Apple is an anomaly that would never work for any other company.

Why I dislike Apple?

  • Overpriced – Often referred to as Apple Tax where consumers pay an arm and a leg for monitors/laptops/computers
  • Steve Jobs was a dick – I know he is dead but it doesn’t excuse the way he treated people and consumers. When the iPhone 4 was released and everyone was rightfully up in arms about the antenna issues the iPhone 4 possessed. Steve Job reacted by telling consumers that they were holding their phone wrong.
  • Consumers are lazy/uneducated and will buy what appears to be popular at the moment. This continues to perpetuate this Apple problem.
  • Consumers are buying these Apple laptops that do not suit their needs. They are overpaying/under utilizing the hardware capabilities that these macbook pros posses. You do not need a $1000+ laptop to surf facebook.

The world does not run on Apple. Apple possess a mere 3.38% of the world market share. Yet they garner so much attention.

“Apple computers do not get virus’” A brilliant marketing tactic but will become disastrous. Viruses are not written with Apple in mind because they posses such a minute market share and therefore would not be worth the effort for hackers. Microsoft is prone to attacks because the world runs on windows. Therefore, Microsoft’s way of defending itself is to be upfront and honest with consumers about the threats to their systems. Where as Apple tends to try and cover up any sort of publication about potential threats. For example in which a hacker is able to overcharge the battery to where it can explode or set fire. This is irresponsible, yet Apple somehow continues to be invincible to criticism. Apple consumers will continue to believe that they are impervious to attacks and will continue to click on mysterious links instead of using common sense and further spread malware and viruses.

“Apple one of Americas most innovative companies ever!” Not true.
Apple has been lucky time and time again. They took the interactive user interface and mouse from Xerox. The resurgence of Apple can be traced back to the introduction of the ipod. If their had not been such an influx of music pirating the ipod would not have been so influential on society.

  • Apple has been bankrupt more then once. Apple would have permanently closed its doors if Microsoft did not buy $150 million dollars worth of shares in 1997.

Apples inclusive formats that exclude other computer formats. Making it difficult to synchronize files across multiple platforms.

The list could continue but I need to wrap up this blog post by saying. I am a hypocrite because I just bought an Apple Tv for my parents. However, I will not be using it as it was meant to be used and am simply buying it for the hardware inside at the great price point of $89.

Budget PC not buildable until 2013?

21 Jan

If you havent heard yet Thailand is going through some devastating floods that are effecting the major manufacturing industries that reside within. One of these major industries is the manufacturing of hard drives. Seagate and Western Digital both use Thailand as their mecca for the manufacturing of hard drives and are the top two suppliers worldwide. By putting all their eggs in one basket that have perhaps saved money over their years by concentrating in one location. However, when disaster strikes such as these floods it effectively shuts down the worldwide supply and distribution of quality, reliable hard drives.

What this means?

For consumers this means dramatically higher prices. Hard drives are now reaching 3x the price that they were a few weeks earlier.

For large corporations who have started to make the switch to cloud computing this news has effectively stopped the transition in its place. Cloud computing is no longer affordable. The largest of tech companies Google and Apple have both been promoting their upcoming cloud storage abilities and will continue to operate. However, this may definitely throw a wrench in Googles upcoming endeavors such as Google Music and the Google Chrome OS which both rely on cloud storage to operate.
Posted by Matt at 15:06 0 comments