Lost and Found

It’s been a whirlwind of activity here at Kardos Manor over the past few months.  If it seemed as though I’d pulled a D.B. Cooper on you, I apologize.  The good news is I was never lost and the pages keep churning out, I just haven’t had much to post here for a while.

Thing is, I’m not really a blogger.  Nor was that ever the intention for this site.  I’m a writer – one with varying degrees of aptitude perhaps, but a writer nonetheless.  Draft, revise, finalize, submit.  As long as that cycle keeps happening, all is right with the world.

Still, I do intend to keep the website current from time to time.  There are announcements to make, occasional posts to update, and I still check traffic to see how people are finding their way here.  For me, this website was a place for people to land if they get curious after reading my work elsewhere, not vice versa.  I suppose there’s more potential behind it all, but amassing thousands of followers isn’t what interests me.  I’d rather put my attention and focus on continuing to write good fiction.  (Some would argue that has yet to happen, zing!)

One exciting update to make is to remind everyone that The Innocent Sink is being published on January 1, 2019 by the Coffin Bell Journal.  I’m really excited about this one, because I think the story is a great match for that particular publication.  (It is extremely helpful that the editors at Coffin Bell agree.)

Short stories are a fun way to get the little ideas that don’t have enough “umph” to find their way into a novel out of your head and make way for bigger things.  Once a draft is on the screen, I rarely find the motivation to go back and make it publishable.  It’s more of an exorcism than anything else.  Still, it is quite gratifying when one comes together and polishes up nicely.  Which is exactly what happened with The Innocent Sink.  I’ll drop another reminder here when it goes live in a few weeks.

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A bit of a side hobby of mine at the moment is building my next PC from scratch.  Over the last decade, work travel necessitated purchasing laptops for the portability.  Although I typically bought top of the line models, there are some compromises that come with the territory.

Most important to me, I don’t care for the feel and layout of a laptop keyboard.  The keys don’t have “weight” and, in some cases, are actually sized down from a regular, full-sized keyboard.  You adapt, but the words per minute certainly suffers, and missed strokes make the backspace key one of the most used.  From a technical standpoint, laptops have integrated GPUs, lower overclocking space, and heat issues which throttle performance.  That significantly limits the computer’s abilities when compared to a powerful desktop.

Now that I don’t have to travel as much as I used to, I’ve decided to go back to having a desktop PC as my primary computer.  I looked into pre-built, but fairly early on it occurred to me that building my own would give me the opportunity to customize everything without compromise, while also being a fun learning experience to boot.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The last time I built a computer from the ground up was back in the early 1990’s.  The basic configurations haven’t changed – motherboard, power supply, case, memory, CPU, etc.  But the computing scene overall has changed a lot since then, and today there are so many more options and performance-related factors to consider.  Intel or AMD?  nVidia or AMD?  Asus, MSI, EVGA, or Founders Edition?  Air or liquid cooling?  Hyperthreads or more cores?  Overclocking?  Every manufacturer has multiple models, and every model has multiple subsets.

There’s a lot of research to be done for every part, right down to the case.  You could spend two days dissecting fans for a particular build.  Thermals, decibels, clock speeds…it all matters.  Pick the wrong configurations and you have a system that works, but not to optimum.  I use my computer a lot, so it’s important to me to get it right.

There’s a lot to catch up on from the past 20-30 years, but it’s every bit of fun as I’d hoped.  I’ve learned more about motherboards over the past two weeks than any one sane person should probably know (thanks, buildzoid!).  Somehow, it all continues to make sense; I suspect my fascination with technology back in the 80’s and 90’s gave me a good foundation.  There’s a lot more information out there today, but the basic fundamentals remain the same.

My goal is to finalize the part selection and begin the build sometime around the first of the new year.  I might even update this site with a build post for those who might be interested.  I doubt things will go smoothly, but that’s half the fun.  And my trustworthy five year old MSI laptop will be close by just in case I need to chat with a few experts.

As usual, thanks for stopping by.  Based on how things are progressing, I expect some big news for my latest project sometime mid-2019.  It never goes as quickly as I’d like, but somehow I always manage to cross the finish line…

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