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A new computer! And a request for names...
blaisepascal
I ordered a new computer last night from Newegg -- some assembly required.

To answer a query from when I mentioned getting a computer last time, the only times I've bought an ix86-based computer premade were either 2nd hand or made in a shop where I could watch and help (my first XT clone). Every other machine I've built and/or upgraded from parts. I once had a used 386sx machine that I had upgraded so often I came to realize that the only part that remained from the original machine was a floppy-drive ribbon cable! So I've no problem assembling a machine.

All the parts I bought are new, but they aren't top-of-the-line bleeding-edge parts. I try to get good technology that's been able to have the price fall substantially, but isn't obsolete yet.

Here's what I went with:



Motherboard: Asus M3A78-EM

It's a MicroATX board, meaning it's small which might make things a bit cramped. It's been around for a year or so, so the price has fallen to well under $100. I'm planning on using the onboard audio and video, but the board does have 4 slots, including a PCIe 2.0x16 slot and a PCIe 1 slot, so upgrading audio and video isn't a big problem. It'll take my chosen processor, and even newer ones, so if I choose to upgrade (soon!) I should be able to. I doubt that I'll really need to upgrade soon, though. It'll take up to 8GB of fairly fast memory, as well. I'm interested in finding out if the HDMI output from the motherboard will end up being the only cable I need to run from it to my monitor.

The audio is Realtek ACL1200, which probably isn't all that great, but probably better than I need. The video is ATI Radeon 3200, which is much, much, much better than I currently have and is well supported under Linux.

CPU: AMD Phenom 9950 Agena 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Retail

For my needs... overkill, overkill, overkill. But it has the promise of allowing me to expand my horizons somewhat. My current CPU is much slower, 32bit, single core, etc. It was fairly top-of-the-line when I bought it, 7ish years ago. I expect that with the new machine I'll be I/O bound a lot more than I am now, and I expect that CPU-expensive operations will be much faster.

I've not run a quad-core machine before, but I have run a dual-core 64bit CPU at work. Not as fast as this one, though.

Memory: two 2GB DDR2 1066 sticks, G.SKILL brand.

My current system has 1GB of PC133 memory, and I occasionally run into paging issues. 4GB will be glorious.

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s

To a large degree, a drive's a drive. As time goes on, they get bigger and faster. This is thrice the size of my current drive, and possibly thrice the speed.

Case: Athenatech MicroATX miniTower

This case includes a 400W supply, but is otherwise just another assemblage of bent sheet metal. It got good reviews, though.

Network Card: Asus WL-138g V2 PCI.

While I could get 50ft of Cat-5 and run a wire around my living room between my router and my box, I'd rather do it wireless. This also allows me to set up the box upstairs if I wished to do, say, catalog my library via library thing. Before I ordered, I checked to see if it had Linux support. It appears to have good Linux support.

I might not have everything I need. I've got a SATA DVD player I'm going to move over, but I don't know about the situation with cables, screws, etc.

The big question is the CPU heat sink fan. Retail boxed CPUs traditionally come with CPU fans, but the "Black Edition" series is aimed at DIY/overclockers. Unlike the regular retail CPUs their chipspeed isn't locked, making it easy to tweak. Serious overclockers want/need better cooling than standard heat sink fans provide, so there's a lot of aftermarket HSFs out there. Some say the Black Edition CPUs don't ship with fans, others say theirs came with one. I didn't get a good answer. I'll find out when I open the box. If it doesn't, I'll need to get one before I can build.



What I need help on is a name. The current naming scheme is diacriticals. The first machine in the series was umlaut, followed by the two laptops cedilla and macron, and my current box is hacek. Does anyone have any interesting diacriticals to suggest?

Update: The suggestions so far are:

  • jcgbigler with diëresis, a pair of dots written over a vowel to indicate that the vowel should be pronounced separately and not as part of a diphthong.

  • cawfetalk with circumflex, a bend line pointing upwards over a vowel to indicate a rather wide variety of things, including a missing, but silent "ugh" set of letters (as in brôt instead of brought

  • acelightning with tilde, a squiggle placed above the letter n in Spanish words indicating that the n should be pronounced more like "ny" instead of "n".

  • acelightning with breve, a cup-like symbol placed over vowels to indicate a short vowel. In modern-day orthography of classical latin, macron and breve are opposites, one indicates a metrically long vowel, the other a metrically short vowel.



Thanks for all your suggestions.

Any others?

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is a schwa a diacritical?

k. i guess i just don't know what they are, but are seeing other's posts to find out.

Diacritic marks are marks added to letters to indicate a change in pronunciation or meaning. Examples include an umlaut (as in schön to indicate a shift in vowel sound), a cedilla (as in façadeto indicate the c sounds like an s), a macron (as in kōtsū to indicate a "long" vowel), and a háček (as in háček to indicates a palatization of the sound in some languages, including Slavic ones).


Circumflex? the hat over the o in Hôtel :)

The diëresis is one of my favorites, partly because it's one of the few diacritics we use in English. I also like it because the word "diëresis" may be correctly written with one, though it's not often written that way.

The diëresis is visually indistinguishable from the umlaut, but the meanings & usages are different.


Fancy meeting you here! I don't know if you remember me from That Gathering We Don't Name In Public, but I'm the one who always dresses entirely in purple (and I now dye my hair dark purple as well - see userpic), and I usually wear an ear-cuff with a lightning-bolt dangle. It's been a long while since we've seen each other in person!


Of course I remember you! I just added you to my friends list.

Nice to bump into you. Maybe we'll make it back to that Gathering one of these years.

And I have reciprocated. I don't post to my own LJ very often, actually - I seem to communicate by leaving comments in everyone else's. But you'll find quite a few familiar faces around here, including a certain frizzy-haired physicist (try saying that three times, fast!) and his ladies. And the Gathering still takes place every year, with the same culinary bodhisattva in the kitchen ;-)


You could use either tilde or breve... although I think "breve" would work better as a name for a laptop ;-)


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