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2007-03-31 - 9:54 p.m.

1.5 Life

I spent a good chunk of the day researching desktop computers so that I may one day play Second Life. (Hopefully before 2010 when it's laughed over like Betamax or internet stocks).

I want to roll over on my back in frustration and squiggle my limbs in the air like a bug. A very nasty bug.

Basically what I have discovered is that it's quite the bitch to find a new system that doesn't come with Windows Vista preloaded (SL isn't compatible with Vista yet -- like just about everything else, I'm hearing). Even Dell refurbs have upgraded to Fista Vista across the board.

I finally had some luck scoping out systems with XP at places like New Egg, but with the kick-ass processor, memory and graphics requirements I'm looking for, it's pushing into 'SPENSIVE territory. And that's not including getting a widescreen 22"+ monitor, which is what the SLeeks (my word for techie SL geeks) recommend on the user forums. Do I really need a monitor that big? Heck no, but that doesn't mean I don't WANT one.

For awhile, I toyed with the idea of buying the components and building a system myself.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Hee hoo. I'm sure I could figure it out (somehow), yet I don't think I really want to invest that kind of money, time and energy into something I could very easily fuck up. The other alternative is buying a lower-end system with some of the requirements (i.e. the CPU and XP), then purchasing the upgrades (video card, more memory) separately and installing that myself, or getting someone else to do it. I just dunno yet. Not sure if that would really save money in the long run. If anyone's got any advice, lemme know.

In the meantime, I decided to try to log onto SL again now that I'm back in Lexington. It's still dial-up (I'm ordering DSL next week), but I've noticed the connection is bit faster here. Figured if I could look around a little (few minutes here and there) on "Orientation Island" without the damn program crashing or freezing, I might at least have a better idea if I really want to jump into this investment.

Amazingly, I've actually been able to connect, even with my inferior (technically "untested" but most likely unsupported) video card, and slow-mo connection. On one short attempt I was able to turn (!) and look around (!) (at a bunch of gray hills) before it froze up. On a few other tries, I was able to click around on the menu buttons and take a looky loo at tools and such. My last attempt, after tweaking some of the graphics preferences (post login, pre-connection to grid) landed me on a dock and I could see water, a plant and a little orange and gray (buggy/golfcart looking) vehicle. Oh my goodness!

Certainly not much thus far, but considering what I'm working with here, I was encouraged. Perhaps with a DSL connection, an installation of Windows Service Pack 2 (I know, I'm terrible about doing computer updates), some system tweaking for better performance, and double-checking my video card has the latest drivers, I MIGHT be able to squeak by enough to get a good idea if SL is indeed for me, before I plunk down a grand or more on a new machine.

It's funny, because from what I've read, even folks with fantastic systems still have trouble with performance in SL due to server issues/bugs/glitches. So in a weird way, I may not be THAT far behind the curve.

And here's a big thanks to Doodle Zenovka, my new blog buddy who has already sent me some great advice. Since we share the same last name in SL, I already see her as "kin."

Now, I realize that most of you guys couldn't care less about SL, my mother(board) and computer specs, or hell, if I fly around in a virtual world as a two-headed squirrel (a SEXY squirrel!), much less whether or not I'm able to "connect to the grid." My quick descent into SLeekocity may have you concerned.

Have no fear, little ones. In between all this nerd shit today, I managed to sleep in till 9, knit five rows on my hunter green scarf, drink a pot of coffee (my first java since Monday morning!), re-organize the spice cupboard using my handy dandy step-shelf from BB&B, walk the dogs four times, (almost) finish unloading the car, take a shower, unpack my big suitcase, catch up on some D-land reading, locate a new fave song on Rhapsody, run the dishwasher, vacuum the bedroom, watch a couple "Six Feet Under" episodes I missed before the final two, and view the director's cut DVD of "Natural Born Killers" ($5.99 at Target! Mom almost bought it too, even though I warned her of the violence. She was intrigued. And it was cheap. In the end, she put her copy down at the register, near the gum. "We'll watch yours" she said. GOOD THING WE DIDN'T. I hadn't seen it in awhile, but I knew it was a shitload different that "The Omen.")

So all in all, I had a pretty FULL day, wouldn't ya say?

And last night (I can't even believe I'm about to tell you this), I surfed the web looking for...


I was merely curious, you see. I ran across a really NEATO-sounding one at Thoroughbred publication company that's down the road from me. Which is where I was planning to apply anyhoo. It's related to the online version of the main magazine, which is even better, because my background is web shit. The only problem is that there's QUITE a bit of required knowledge that I don't know (video editing, desktop publishing software) or only have a VAGUE idea about (Javascript, Flash).

On the other paddy, there's quite a bit I DO know, and I'm sure I could pick up the other stuff in no time. And I have a feeling that my background working in the office of a horse farm, knowing the industry from that angle, might give me a leg up (pun richly intended). Then there's the fact I've been a volunteer and board member of a well-respected horse charity for 4 years...and that ONE DAY SOON, I will be able to fly/teleport/make passionate virtual love.

Probably best to leave out those details though (i.e. "You see, in my other life, my lover is a fish and I am a squirrel. How do we make a nest, you wonder? Well, the home we built is the now-famous SLide(tm)...half in a tree, half in the water. We own an island, too. Traqua. We make loads of money renting land. But sometimes I need a break, you know? So I thought helping you people with this, how you say? 'value-added content' sounded...interesting. How many Lindens, er, dollars, does it pay again?")

Maybe I should focus on getting the job first, perhaps. *sigh...staring at nails*

That's not to say I want to start working anywhere this soon (dear GOD!) but I suppose, I should shoot over a resume. I may not have the required chops to get an interview, but at least I can say "Well, la la LA. I tried. Whatevs. Ooohhhh...SwordfishStud Magoo just logged on!"

And you know, I probably ought to update my resume now that I think of it. Pesky details!

When I'm dragging around a battered grocery store cart filled with 1) two sweaters, 2) a half-eaten package of stale animal crackers from the Kroger dumpster, 3) an envelope with the dogs' photos, and 4) my sweet-ass wireless-capable desktop, to every Starbucks I enter, hoping for "a good five minutes" before the manager notices, it might be a good idea for me to revisit this entry to see just WHERE I went wrong.

Bookmark, bookmark, bookmark.

Then again, who's to say I won't blow Sears away with my vinyl siding sales skills?

I'm gonna rough up the softer side and it won't be pretty. But goddammit, it WILL be affordable.

Listening to: "Victory" by Yolanda Adams. I'm not religious, but this is fabulously awesome R&B gospel song. I heard it on a DVD movie trailer for a film called, oddly, "The Gospel." Call me open-minded, call me quirky, but I like what I like. And if they kicked it like this in church when I was young, maybe I'd be BFF with Jesus now. Then again, God does work in mysterious ways...(There's really no easy way to squiggle out of that line of thinking, is there?)

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