"A Tale Of Two Circuits" Or "Deep In The Heart Of Sci-Tech"

asus tyan transplant

At some point in my first or second year as a graduate student, the Spencer Research Group made a trek to Rochester to hear a talk by Senior HP Fellow Stan Williams. After some back-and-forth about the potential of nanotechnology to radically alter the development of computer chips to attain unheard of high speeds, someone in the audience piped up "Why do we need faster computers? How much faster do I need to run Word and Excel?" And this wasn't a witty uber/1337 poking fun at bloated Windows products. This was a serious, seemingly put-off at the prospects, 60-something-suit-and-tie with, I fear, his elbow firmly on the pulse of the technology budget for his division.

Seven years later, I'm practicing transplant surgery with motherboards too big for their cases. In case this is of use to anyone, I have been, in the last year or so, 8 for 14 on the first order for ASUS K8N-DL motherboards and 12 for 14 in total, meaning 2 sit here useless. These boards are fine once they're made to work, but the games played with installations and store return policies are far beyond the call of duty given all other time constraints. I am hoping these problems will be remedied with the beginning of a long line of Tyan Thunder K8WE purchases, with which I'm now 2 for 2 (and discovered that now I have to worry about defective MSI video cards).

And, please, never buy computer cases that come with power supplies if you intend on doing anything substantive with them (you should be fine running Excel and Word, of course). Often, you get what you pay for. Sometimes, they don't even give you that.


"Dangerous assumptions," he said.

Today in the elevator of my downtown Syracuse apartment building, a fourth floor tenant noticed the newly-arrived copy of Science in my hand.

"Sciiiience," he said. "That's some dangerous assumptions."

"Even fundamentalist third-world communities have overworked Red Cross tents," I replied.

The door opened and he walked out of the elevator, Bell plastic helmet box in hand. "Dangerous assumptions," he said.

Quite possibly the oddest conversation I've ever had with someone I wasn't dating. I was reminded, after shaking off the bewilderment on the ride up to my floor, of an interview prior to an MTV 10th Anniversary Special from my distant childhood, when Aerosmith performed "Dream On" with a full string orchestra (the great Michael Kamen presiding). The MTV crew had gone to several of the string players asking "Ever heard any Aerosmith?" The general consensus was No, even after 20-some-odd years of, well, you know, movin', groovin', you know, doin' it like a ah, like a sex machine. The look on Steven Tyler's face was classic. "It kinda humbles ya," he said.