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Today I placed an order for a Gateway computer. After tax and shipping, ironically, it cost exactly what I had into the Great Upgrade Project of 2007 before I took all the hardware back.
Anyone want to buy a copy of Vista Home Basic upgrade?
Gateway says it'll ship March 12. *sigh*
I had a moment of panic after the order was placed. It looked like the video card would require an LCD monitor...but looking it up, I see that it has VGA outputs as well as DVI outputs and TV outputs. This will significantly ease the process for making DVDs out of internet videos. Instead of laboriously converting them to MPEG-2, all I have to do is set up the DVD recorder and hit "play" on the computer...
But if the ship date is right it'll be a couple weeks before I even get to play with the thing. That's all right; I'll live.
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February only has a couple days left in it. I'm not sorry to see the month end; it's been a pretty disgusting month, all told, particularly last week. Hopefully March will be better.
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On the model railroading front, I bought a rather nice transformer early in February. It's a Model Rectifier Corporation unit, similar to the kind I've wanted for a long time. It has "momentum" circuitry; when the momentum is active, you can crank the throttle wide open and...nothing happens--for a moment. The locomotive slowly starts to move, and pick up speed; and it gradually winds up to whatever throttle setting you've selected.
When you want to slow down, you can "close" the throttle completely, and the locomotive will continue to move, losing speed all the while. A "brake" button allows you to realistically dump speed, just as if you'd applied the train's brakes.
It's really cool, and I first got to play with a transformer like that when I was about 13.
That's the nice thing about being an adult. You can actually do things; you don't have to wait for Christmas or birthdays. This transformer was not particularly expensive; it probably cost a lot more in 1981 than it did in 2007, both in terms of actual price and adjusted-for-inflation currency.
The layout itself has not progressed beyond the living room coffee table; I have been too busy with everything else even to think about it. But soon, soon...soon I will have more time to fiddle with things like that.