Notes from the Domicile
Pragmatic Domicile Home  |  Notes (Blog)

Friday, March 08, 2019

The X19

It has been seven years since I built my last home PC ... and seven years since my last blog post.

For this build, I used and published the build:

Processor - AMD - Ryzen 5 2600X 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor

Motherboard - Gigabyte - X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING ATX AM4 Motherboard

Memory - G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory

Graphics - Asus - GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB STRIX GAMING OC Video Card

Storage - Crucial - MX500 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive

Case - Fractal Design - Define R6 USB-C Black ATX Mid Tower Case

Power - EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

Optical - Asus - DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer

Operating System - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The X12

It has been 7 years since I built my last home PC ... and five years since my last blog post. Both are overdue for an update. For the new PC I decided to use the TechReport web site's System Guide as a blueprint. The final product merged the primary infrastructure of The Sweet Spot with the storage components of The Editor's Choice:

Processor - Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz - I considered getting an i7, but could not justify the return on investment.

Motherboard - Asus P8Z68-V LE - Motherboards are so much more user friendly than they used to be.

Memory - Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 - Still two slots remaining for more RAM.

Graphics - EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Superclocked - This should do everything I want for a couple years.

Audio - Asus Xonar DG - I have never invested in a sound card before. Experts say that a dedicated card is better than on-board audio. For this low price, it's worth a try.

Case - NZXT H2 - Like motherboards, cases have come a long way the past few years.

Power - Seasonic M12II 520W - Ah ... hummm ... well, it's power. It works.

Operating System Storage - Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD - I love the solid state drive. Power-on to full boot in 20 seconds.

Data Storage - Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.D 750GB - This should be enough room for a while.

Optical - LG WH12LS39 Blu-ray burner - This is an OEM drive, and it looks like buying software to play Blu Ray movies is $50 minimum. Plus, the software is buggy due to all the different encryption schemes. It should not be this difficult to play Blu Ray discs on a computer.

Operating System - Windows 7 64-bit - I know Windows 8 will be released in a few months, but it is really nice to install a mature operating system that has quality drivers for all components.

The build took four evenings to complete. (Free time is not exactly free.)

1) Assemble the Hardware and get the build to POST.
2) Install Windows 7 and updates.
3) Install programs and updates.
4) Copy data from the old machine to the new machine.

It is nice to turn off the computer when finished, and not leave it on for hours so that I don't have to wait 5 minutes for it to boot if I happen to need it later.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Every year I try to take a week of Vacation Time to work on/around the house. As a tribute to cheesy back-to-school assignments, here's an overview of my summer vacation.

  • Several months ago, I received a classic phone message from my wife. It said something like: "The good news is that the firemen just left and everyone is OK ... the bad news is the stairway banister is broken." Apparently my one-year-old son successfully inserted his head between the stairway banister spindles, and could not extract it. The firemen extracted it for him ... after breaking a spindle. So, After removing the old splintered spindle, purchasing a new spindle, painting it, and cutting it to size, my father and I were able to break the rules of geometry and insert the replacement spindle.

  • I have a storage room that measures about 15' x 15'. After we moved into the house, this room became the wasteland of stuff we'll rarely use. (Holiday decor, children's crafts, old clothes, antiquated technology stuff, etc.) In a preemptive strike against insect and varmint infestation, I emptied the storage room, and replaced all cardboard storage boxes with plastic storage boxes. Then I built shelving along the wall to house most of the boxes. Thus, the box I need should no longer be the box on the bottom of a 5-box stack.

  • One morning, I decided to take a break and go fishing with my father. At our old farm, there is a 1.5 acre farm pond which houses an array of bluegill, bass and channel catfish. We often take a small tin-can two-man fishing boat onto the pond. Sitting in this little boat, we each caught about 30 fish. I mention this activity because in the midst of catching bluegill and small-medium sized bass, I happened to hook a 7.5 lb channel catfish. After several minutes of having our boat dragged around the pond, the fish finally wore out, and my father was able to wrestle him into the boat. (Someone neglected to bring the net.) It's officially the largest fish I have ever caught.

  • The big project for the week was to remove all the mulch in our yard's landscaping, and replace it with decorative rock. The builder of the house did a great job in simply planting a few bushes, and then throwing some mulch around the bushes to look good long enough to sell the house. Of course, minutes after purchasing the house, weeds grew through the mulch, the mulch got kicked all over the yard, etc. After three years, I grew tired of the eyesore. I removed all the mulch. Then I dug trenches and installed plastic edging. Next I installed a weed mat. Finally, I moved three tons of decorative rock. It took about 30 hours (in July) to finish, but it looks great (for now).

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas 2006

Christmas Greetings!

We hope this year has been a good one, treating your family well.

Kaitlyn is 15, almost 16. She is turning into a nice young lady. She has been busy as usual. She ran JV and Varsity Track last spring where she excels at sprints and hurdles. She went to Young Life camp this summer in Minnesota. She had a blast getting to parasail and much more. She is still involved in Student Council and FCA. She also went to cheerleader camp at MU. Kaitlyn made the Varsity Cheer squad at Oak Park High School and has not had any major injuries yet. Kaitlyn is also part of Krista’s preschool experience, as Krista attends preschool at Kaitlyn’s High School, which is operated by the Child Development class that Kaitlyn attends.

Which brings us to Krista … she is 3½ and loves to go to school to play with “A Lot of Sissy’s Friends!” She loves it so much she often cries on the way home. One time the teacher had to carry her to the car kicking and screaming. (Embarrassing mommy greatly.) She is also in Cubbies and Kid’s Choir at church. Krista is enthusiastic and loves everybody. She enjoys her pink bedroom and girly things, however, she is asking for a Choo Choo Train and Dinosaurs for Christmas. She is always surprising us with the cute and smart things that she says.

Conversely, we would be thrilled if Alex would say something besides “UGHH!” Actually, his vocabulary is slowly expanding. He loves to say “Grandpa” and “MEOW!” like a kitty cat. Alex is 21 Months old. While Mommy and Daddy were out celebrating their 5th Wedding Anniversary, he (with Krista’s help) got the wheels of a toy truck caught in his hair. Kaitlyn had to give him his first haircut. The day after he learned to climb out of his crib, our adventurous son got his head stuck between the spindles of our stairway banister. Rescue 911! In Krista’s words, “Firefighters Saved Alex!” (And broke the banister.) Alex is very mechanical and loves to wrestle, although Krista does not always share his interest of wrestling. He loves his sisters very much. (Right now.)

David had quite the project this summer building a patio under our deck. (Thanks to his Dad and our brothers for their help.) He is playing his bass guitar at Church, and he recently beat the “Insane” difficulty level on some video game. (Whatever that means.)

Laura is enjoying being with the children, watching them grow and learn. Although, we’re not sure about Kaitlyn learning to drive.J Laura is working three days a week, and running Kaitlyn around. The other kids have her running also.

On the good side we have been pretty healthy. We gained another adorable niece, Kayla, born to David’s sister Julie. However, we are missing David’s Grandpa and Laura’s Grandma as they have gone to be with the Lord this year. We thank God for the memories and family and friends that He has given us. We wish you all the peace He has to offer in the good and bad times.

Merry Christmas and may you have a wonderful year!

Monday, October 16, 2006


Yesterday I finished Gran Turismo 4. The whole thing. 100%. All Gold licenses. Victory in every race. What am I talking about?

I've played sports and games my entire life, usually at a level of mediocrity. Baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, golf, football (flag), volleyball, etc ... they're fun. I play for comraderie more than victory. I've also spent a fair number of hours playing video games. For the past 2 years, Halo 2 has been my demonstration of "Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly."

A few things are a little different. Racquetball, that's my sport. Racing, that's my game.

I remember about 10 years ago at Best Buy spotting a child playing Gran Turismo (1) at the in-store Playstation kiosk. It was by far the most realistic racing game I'd ever seen. In fact, the word "game" wasn't on it. It was a simulator. Awesome. Problem: I didn't own a playstation. Problem solved: My girlfriend did. So, I bought a game and a controller without owning a Playstation.

It took me a few months of dog-sitting, house-sitting, and hanging out, but I finished the game. I loved every minute of it. In 2001, when Gran Turismo 3 was released as the flagship game of the new Playstation 2, I bought them both. It took me a year to finish GT 3. In early 2005 they released GT 4. It took me 20 months, but now I have finished it also. I eagerly anticipate the Playstation 3 and Gran Turismo 5. (I'll need to invest in the HDTV first.)

At this moment of history, I reflect on some other questionable investments of time:

Doom: I finished Doom1, 2, and 3. Bring on 4 !! Doom 2 required two years to beat the last level. I don't believe in cheat codes.

Civilization: The original. This was the game of my college years. I finally declared victory over the game when I beat Level 5 opponents to Alpha Centauri. (Sadly, that was about 8 years after I graduated from college.)

X-Wing: The original. This was another game that required a few years because of a couple levels that I found challenging. I especially enjoy the irony of the level that you can only win by running (flying as fast as possible) from the enemy. Any attempt to engage the enemy would slow you down and allow more enemy to engage you. That level was fun. I'd destroy a hundred tie fighters before they'd get me.

Halo: I am terrible at FPS games. All of them. But, I like to play. Thus I bought an X-Box solely for the opportunity to play Halo 2. My X-Box Live "kill/killed" ratio is terrible, but I keep returning for more punishment.

There have been others ... numerous others ... too many for a single blog entry.