In the past week, I have made two investments in my new job.
The new job is technology support from home, and this role requires I have a lot of windows open at the same time. Web-based email (in addition to my personal work-oriented and personal-oriented email accounts), two lists of approved tools, a list of procedures, the procedure I'm currently working with, a softphone client, a phone status window, a call status window, two chat programs (one as backup in case the other fails), three chat sessions (team, supervisor, and tech advisor), and our combination ticketing/remote support program that is best run full-screen. Oh, and web pages researching any issue questions. Then you add my notes during basic training, break-fix training, and various policies and procedures.
In all, two monitors (one 24" 1920x1200 and one 22" 1680x1050) are completely full with overlapping windows.
So, last Thursday, I ordered a video card. A PCI card, since my computer only has one PCIe slot and cards that can handle more than three monitors are VERY expensive. (This one.) It's by Sparkle, a company known more for their power supplies, but with a lifetime warranty on their video cards if you register your purchase with them. It can handle full-HD and HDCP (copy protection normally used for things like Blu-ray movies). Unfortunately, PCI can't handle the bandwidth (simultaneous information) to support full-HD video (1920x1080 at 30fps). But it will do just fine for what I need. And besides, it's the best we had for years... Even better than most people had for years - it's got 256MB of DDR2 memory. Back when computers only had PCI for video, most computers had less than 256MB of main memory.
So, when the card came in yesterday, I installed it. I connected up a 17" CRT (conventional tube) monitor I had sitting around. And I found out that:
1 - the monitor only supports 1024x768 at higher than 60hz, and 60hz at high resolutions has visible flicker on a CRT. It'll do 1280x1024, but only at 60hz. And that gives me a headache almost instantly. So, I'm stuck with 1024x768.
2 - It puts out a lot of heat. I already have two LCD monitors on my desk, and a tower computer with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo (processor), 4 1GB DIMMs (memory modules), seven hard drives (RAID5 with 6 500GB drives installed three years ago and a separate boot drive) and a primary video card. So, I already have far more heat than I want.
So, another investment in the job. Today I ordered a monitor, after receiving an email from Buy/com. It's by AOC (this one), a 21.5" LCD display that supports 1920x1080 for $143.99 total. It will put off less heat than my CRT, and double the viewable area. And comes with 3-yr warranty on most, 1-yr on the actual display, and the first 90 days includes free shipping. It was actually from TigerDirect, but sold through Buy.com. The price was $149.99, less a $6 coupon (automatic with the link from the webpage) and free shipping. Interestingly, the direct price is $154.99 plus shipping. As a bonus, the reviews are very positive. Good color, good menus, good brightness (technically, it's pretty standard), good contrast (30000/1 static).
Anyway, I better make sure I work out with the job. I've got to pay for this stuff.
First and foremost, I am a Christian. That is to say, I strive to honor Christ in all I do.
This means that I strive to be upright and honest in all my dealings. If I say I will do something, I will do my utmost to follow through. This also means that if I am in error -- if I have a wrong attitude, if I have offended someone, if I have been unjust -- I want someone to clearly point this out to me, and I want the opportunity to correct my error.
Unfortunately, many are Christians "in name-only" because it serves their own purposes. Many complain about "Christians" for being hypocrites -- and they are right. I do not associate with individuals who say one thing and do another.
I attend and participate actively at Victory Baptist Church. This includes the choir and a van route for mobility-limited individuals and some kids (we have two buses, but these kids are not near the other routes).
The Victory Baptist Church television program can be seen Sundays at 6:30PM and 9:30PM on Living Faith Television. This is on WLFG in the TriCities, which is on channel 68 for both local broadcast and Dish Network. The station is also streamed online and services a number of other areas - see their website for details.
For more information on what a Christian is, see here for how one becomes a Christian, and here for the basics of what we believe.
I was trained in principles, standards which do not change even when society does.
Principles like, it's always right to do right -- because it is right, not just if it happens to be popular. And that it's never right to do wrong, even if you mean well.
I also believe that the Bible is always true, even when we may not understand -- if there is a conflict, it's our understanding that lacks, not God's Word. We cannot pick and choose the parts you want to believe -- God wrote the entire Bible, not just the parts we may like.
Or as the late Larry Burkett said, "Do you trust God, or do you just say you trust God?"
I have supported computer users with both hardware and software, functioned as a network administrator, infrastructure administrator, network engineer, and programmer in several languages, and generally worked in almost all areas concerning information technology.
I enjoy work and I enjoy computers and technology, but as you can see here, it is not the whole of "my life".
I enjoy a variety of games, including board games, video games, card games, and casual sports.
I also like doing things with friends or my family. I am not married, but my parents live about 9 miles away and I try to do something with them weekly. (My three cats are my at-home family.)
I like getting good deals. Not "cheap", just paying a lot less than the item normally sells for. Things like HDMI cables for $5 that sell at Wal-Mart for $40 or an LG Blu-ray reader / DVD burner combo drive for $125 that was running $500 at the time.
I also like: • Transformers. The toys, the comic books, the animated TV shows (some are better than others...), the movies, etc. G.I. Joe is a closely related property; I like it, but I don't follow it as closely. The purple logo above is from a TF/Joe crossover comic.
• Video games. But not first person shooters - they make me nauseated. I like multiplayer games, but not with monthly payments. I prefer games with an element of strategy. And while I like games, I don't actually play that much. I usually either play as occasional downtime, or with others as a group activity (I can use a anti-nausea medication if needed :) ).
• Science fiction. I like Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Heroes, Doctor Who, and anything else that's written decently. Oh, and Transformers...
• Any other well-written fiction, or entertaining non-fiction for that matter.
I like "chick flicks", and I own "While You Were Sleeping", among others. "The Princess Bride" is probably my all-time favorite movie. I'm not so much for sitcoms though - they're usually mindless. I like "The Big Bang Theory" - it's a good show, despite using the name of a disproven idea. I don't like excess sexuality (with or without nudity) or juvenile humor (which is why I don't like most "comedy").
Give me a good storyline, and maybe have some reasonable technology (whether or not the theories have been proven, just not fully disproven), some action (the Mummy movies, X-Men, Lord of the Rings, or Chronicles of Narnia), and maybe some (clean) romance (While You Were Sleeping, The Net, any of Jane Austen's stuff). Hey, look - "The Princess Bride" covers all of these! Well, if you count "magic" as "experimental pharmacology"... :)
• Cats. I have two inside cats, a brother and a sister that somebody dropped off at church when they were about 5 weeks old, and two outside cats, a mom who just showed up, and her kitten from before she was sterilized, since she was pregnant when she showed up.
For the cat-haters: They don't cause a stink. I use an automatic litter box, a Litter Robot, that takes care of things. I just change a trash bag once a week and check the litter level every now and then. Since they're always inside, there's rarely any problem with fleas or anything (rarely, because they can come in on me). And my parents have several inside cats and over a half-dozen outside cats that they take care of without actually "owning."
• Spending time with friends (as indicated above under "Recreation", usually at church or in church-related activities.
I am not, so far as I know, related to Michael J. Pollard.
And I do not meet many of the "nerd" stereotypes - I live on my own, not with my parents and not in an apartment (I own my home, thankyouverymuch), and I don't play video games, much. Though I do like technology, have several computers, collect toys, read comic books... OK, the term "geek" might apply... but one who likes chick flicks too...
If you want to meet me, since as I hinted above, I am single, you can email me. But the best way is to come to church; that's what I'll recommend anyway. You can see me from a distance and decide if you still want to meet me closer up... And if you aren't willing to come to my church, things probably wouldn't work out anyway. The exception is if you are busy in yours as I am in mine.
If you're married or divorced (which is essentially married, according to Jesus in Matt 5, Matt 19, Mark 10, and Luke 16, and Paul in 1 Corinthians 7) forget about anything romantic. But I do have a lot of married friends of both genders, generally including both sides of the marriage.