Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Testing... Webhooks

This is a test. A test of my reading comprehension, mostly... but also of my application competency.

If successful, a notification will auto-post in my Discord's #they-set-us-up-the-blog channel that the Gamer Reverie Blog has a new post. So, you know, feel free to disregard this post. It does not have any juicy content about games, Extra Life, or my soon-to-be-built PC. Sorry, not sorry.

(But if you're in the ASF kinship, the success of this test means I can do similar things for the First Age Fun server. So swish your pom-poms for me!)


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Building a New PC, Part 1

After serving me well for 9 years, I decided to put my Dell Studio XPS out to pasture when the power supply gave out. Now I embark on a most exciting adventure: building my own PC!

I open with this caveat: I have never built my own PC before. I have been a PC gamer for over a decade, however, and when you try to keep your machine up to par to play the newest games, you tend to learn a few things. With some decent knowledge already in my head, I decided to go looking for information on how to build my own PC. Why? As any computer savvy person will tell you, you will save a lot of money by building your own computer as long as you do it right -- and you have the luxury of deciding what goes into it while avoiding anything unnecessary like cheap parts or bloatware. (See? I told you I knew a few things.)

After some web surfing, I washed up on this site which does a really great job of walking through the different essential components of a computer, and then offering builds that meet specific budgets. I can also tell you, after having looked at this site for a couple months, that they update the builds on a regular basis to make sure you're looking at the best possible options that fit the given price range.

Knowing what I wanted the PC to be able to handle, and knowing what I'd be able to afford, I set my sights on the $700 build and expected to pay more by the time I had everything I wanted and needed. The builds provided on the site don't include any CD drives or extra fans or general peripherals, nor do they include costs for any warranties you may want to invest in. If I've already lost you, the site also provides a ranked list of their favorite PC builders who will put together a computer for you. For the rest of you, I hope you'll enjoy this journey with me!

I have been sitting on some Amazon gift card money since Christmas (at one point, I almost spent $100 on Tolkien books, but I talked myself out of it -- I am now glad that I did!), and have been putting away extra money into a separate bank account for longer than that. This meant I had a good chunk of change to invest in my components, and as luck would have it -- Prime day was coming.

The Build List

  • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor
  • XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy - 1580MHz, OC+, 8GB
  • Patriot Elite VIPER 4 16GB Series 3000MHz
  • Seagate BarraCuda 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 1TB
  • Kingston 240GB A400 SSD
  • EVGA 550W Bronze Fully Modular PSU
  • MSI Performance Gaming B450M PRO M2 Micro-ATX Motherboard
  • Cougar MX330 Mid Tower Case

After having my husband OK the build's list of components (he is awesome and I love him to pieces for supporting me in doing this!), I set about finding the best options between Amazon and NeweggIf you have the option, I recommend always going with Newegg. I have always had phenomenal service and products from them. I currently use an ASUS monitor that came from them, and my Dell had a lovely little factory overclocked graphics card that made you think I'd done more than change out the graphics card and RAM! The best benefit of Newegg is that they back the quality of their products and offer warranties you won't likely find when purchasing from Amazon.

That said, sometimes there are exceptions on Amazon and it's good to look for what is going to work best for you. A good example was the Ryzen processor in this build -- it was $200 on Amazon, but $450 on Newegg. At the same time, the case was going to take a full month to ship from Amazon even though it was in stock (something about its weight), but ships immediately from Newegg.

I ended up getting my processor, power supply, thermal paste and a tool kit (with anti-static wristband) from Amazon. Everything else was ordered from Newegg, and most of it had 3- or 4-year warranties I was able to add on. I have also since additionally ordered a new gaming mouse from Amazon because my Logitech G400s has lost the functionality of its scroll wheel sensor. And, you know, Prime day deal on a newer Logitech mouse.

I'm not entirely sure what cables come with which components, so that will be another shopping list after the first round of packages arrive. I also plan on purchasing a CD drive, and I will (sadly) be leaving behind my beloved Windows 7 for Windows 10. I know if I want to get the most out of my new build that I'll want the most recent OS. And hey, at least it isn't the train wreck that was Windows 8... Then there's getting an adapter cable to access my old hard drive...

Look for Part 2 of this series when I show off my components like a happy kid on Christmas Day! Until then...

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

2018 Milestone: Letting It Go for $700

If you know me in any capacity, you know that I hate the movie Frozen. I have, in past years, done things like play the entire soundtrack in the game Melody's Escape. For 2018, I upped the ante and said I would sing "Let It Go" if I reached $700.

This is the part where I tell you I did no such thing.

Not because I don't care about your donations, but because I found something that was way worse and still in theme. Long story short, one of the places my husband and I took our church youth last month was the WonderWorks museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. They have a little nook in the visual arts/illusions corner of the building where they will take a picture of you and edit it into a famous picture or personality.

I will forever hate myself for sharing this on the internet, but I think this more than fulfills my obligation. (And I paid a good chunk of change to get it, so I'm not even sorry you aren't getting a recording of me singing!)

It's horrible, I know. You're welcome. 

If you want to see more things like this, to laugh at my expense, please consider becoming my patron on Patreon and/or making a donation on my Extra Life page!