Friday, November 30, 2012

Building a Box

My brother-in-law recently gave me a motherboard. He had been thinking about building a PC, but life got ahead of him and he decided he wasn't going to do it just yet. Since he was also moving to Australia, he decided it was something he didn't want to take with him.

It took me a while to decide what I was going to do with it. I've never built a complete PC all at once. I've replaced every part in more than one system, but that usually would take place over a couple of years. It's not that I didn't want to build a computer, but it was generally less expensive to buy something pre-made and then tweak it. But now I had this shiny new motherboard, and a pretty decent one at that. So I decided to take the plunge.

This seems like a great topic for a series of posts... walking through the process of obtaining the parts and software, putting it together, then testing and running benchmarks to see if it will perform as well as I hope.

I'll start with a post about the planned specs in the next day or so.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Early Christmas!

Had a little early Christmas yesterday... well, technically a late birthday. I got a Sony Vaio T-series ultrabook and a 64 GB Microsoft Surface RT. Playing with them now.

Quick first impressions of the Vaio: this thing is incredibly fast... from power off to using Office 2010 apps in under 20 seconds, including the time it takes to enter my password. Also, this is the kind of machine Windows 8 was made for.

Surface RT impressions: decent tablet, but quirky. System messages call it a PC, which makes me chuckle when I see them. Not seeing the speed issues I read about in the early reviews, but mine updated right when I got it. Office 2013 RT is the best tablet office suite I have used, and it integrates well with my SkyDrive.

I'm impressed with Microsoft's work on creating a seamless ecosystem... I upgraded my desktop when Windows 8 came out, and when I set up both systems, my settings (including wireless network settings) synced. I set the Surface up at the office, and when I got home I expected to have to set up my home wireless, but it was already connected. This concept feels like the future of computing (whether or not it is the MS version).


Monday, November 26, 2012

Welcome to Backside Bus!

Welcome to the Backside Bus blog

What is Backside Bus?

Backside Bus is a technology blog. I'll fill the pages with my opinions, experiences, reviews, tech tips, and other things I find interesting in the IT world as well as fun gadgets and other tech-related stuff. I'll cover projects, such as making a home built PC, coding a Web application, or setting up home automation. Hopefully I'll post something useful, and maybe I can help someone out.

Backside Bus is not striving to be anything more that a fun hobby written by a technology enthusiast. I don't expect to be Lockergnome or CNET or Endgadget any other tech blog (though it would be nice to eventually gain a loyal following). What I write can probably be found in hundreds of other blogs across the Web (my original name - Yet Another Tech Blog - was taken by several other blogs), but hopefully someone somewhere will like the way I say it better.

About Me

I'm a jack of all trades when it comes to technology. I serve as the tech support staff for family and circle of friends. I've set the clocks on hunderds of VCRs, set up home theater systems, recommended tech purchases, installed software, and provided free tech support for most of my life. I have been involved with computers since I received a Texas Instruments TI99-4a computer in 1984, and never looked back. I am an early adopter (when I can afford it), and enjoy poking at new technology to see what it can do. I've been the IT director at several small companies, and am currently a project director at a small company that provides various consulting services to Government and private sector clients. Many of my projects involve IT such as creating and maintaining complex Web applications.

I've always wanted to have a blog.  I've tried a few times, but they've faded away from lack of attention. I think the problem is that they were too general - I'd have too many competing subjects to choose from and end up finishing posts about none of them. I'm hoping that by writing about something as near and dear to my heart as technology, I'll break that chain and get something going.