In-Depth #6: Build-Up Brittney

Since my last post I have met with my mentor again, and we have ordered the parts for my own custom computer. Right now I have dubbed her “Build-Up Brittney” seeing as I’ll be taking a pile of parts and turning them into my own computer.

Now it took a while to fully conceive of Brittney, but I am looking forward to her arrival. It was surprisingly easy to come up with my build because I had already learned about what goes into a computer. I honestly think that choosing my graphics card (smooth gaming chip) was the hardest thing to do! At first it was quite simple to choose parts, I knew I wanted a sleek case, a decent ssd, one good ram stick, and a beast of a graphics card. When I initially finished just those parts it was already 1600$. Now, I still had to add the cpu, motherboard, fan and power supply. That was also under the assumption I would not want a official operating system as well!

This is where I significantly needed to alter my plan, as my budget was 1250$ at most. To start off, I made sure to get a cheap motherboard, fan and power supply as they don’t need to be as powerful in order to get a fast computer. A motherboard can make a difference, but for the most part it comes down to the quality of the other parts communicating with it. Now is when I needed to start making some serious cuts to the other parts I had selected. I had to switch from my first case idea to something a lot cheaper but, knowing every part can eventually be replaced it wasn’t too hard to see it go. After that it was just the questions of how cheap can I go without sacrificing what I wanted that part to be capable of. One of the ways my mentor saved me during this process was he reminded me that I still had a network adapter I bought for Sally, which saved me 75$ and a lot of hair pulling.

Unfortunately a couple of days after I ordered everything, I found out that my back-ordered graphics card was out of stock. Not only that but the manufacturer was no longer making them making it impossible to get my hands on one. They presented me with two alternatives, which amusingly enough were two different versions of the same card. The only difference other than 30$ was the fact that one of them had an additional 4 gigabytes of ram. Naturally I chose the more expensive board as I was certain I would not be getting a refund, but also that this card was actually a small upgrade on the one I had previously. Also the new card comes with a free installation of Doom :-) !

At the time I post this (Thursday April 13th 2017), some of the parts have already begun to come in. My case, hard-drive, cpu-cooler/heatsink, and thermal paste. The rest of it is scheduled to arrive before the next meeting with my mentor, but I am not entirely confident that it will. But nevertheless, my custom computer is within reach, and I am so excited to watch it all come together on In–Depth night!!

How Did Confederacy Affect Government Construction?

Background:

This topic is very different from my previous inquiry, which I feel will make me have a much more well rounded perspective on things. (You can find my previous inquiry here)

My character never really has a role in confederation, and thus I felt un-restricted on what topic I could choose.

Despite all the other disconnections, I feel that it still ties back to the topic I am currently exploring being human connections and principles. When I thought about why confederation was so successful, I felt a major component was the fear the fear that America would invade. So now while Canada didn’t form while under war, it was still under the chance of invasion.

Guiding Questions:

Did the time Canada have to form benefit its government?

How does Canada’s government compare to other countries?

Research:

When you look at Canada’s government, it was fairly well constructed. There is a definite power structure that represents the populous, but also has a less representative government that can provide a “sober second look” at any laws passed. There is a multi-party system so that everyone can have someone that represents their ideals, but unfortunately in recent years there has almost always been a majority government. Each province has their own matters where they can decide how to judge them, and only when granted more by the government do they get more.  Now most of this has remained the same since the days where it was originally formed, meaning that the time that Canada had to form their government benefited its structure.

Now lets look at another country that’s government was formed during war. For this paragraph we will be looking at the United States of America. Their government was formed during their rebellion against the British, and both of them were effectively at war during that time.  Now when you look at their government you can see an incredibly complex distribution of power within the different branches of government. You can also see a power struggle between the government and each states rights. This often leads to arguments between them, as each part will always want more power. Knowing that they were hard-pressed to form a government it seems that it did not happen without some flaws.

Now lets take a look at another country that formed during war. For this paragraph I would like to talk about the Dutch government. Their government was formed during war, but is arguably more functional than most. They have a multi-party system, but it was made so that no party would ever have a majority government. This ensures that multiple parties will need to all approve laws, meaning that they will be made so that it can benefit multiple kinds of people and not just the party in power. Now, with their multi-party system it also supports many parties ensuring that there will always be at least one party that shares your ideals. Despite having formed during war, it seems to have been formed well, and in my opinion, has significant benefits over both North American governments.

Conclusion:

When you look at those three government examples, its unclear whether or not its formation circumstances had a lasting impact on its structure. Regardless of circumstance it seems that each government was formed with that nation’s ideas of how it should be run, and was not changed significantly since their creation.

Sources:

http://www.expatica.com/nl/about/Political-parties-in-the-Netherlands_108098.html

http://www.quirksmode.org/politics/

https://www.usa.gov/branches-of-government

https://www.usa.gov/

https://www.canada.ca/en/government/system.html

http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/Education/OurCountryOurParliament/html_booklet/overview-canadian-parliamentary-system-e.html

 

In-Depth #5: Sandbox Sally

It has been a very long time since my last post, and I can happily say a lot has happened. Being over halfway through the project I can begin to see computers in a different light, and its quite thrilling. Where I saw nothing but funny looking gadgets before, now I can see the possibilities and functionality of countless different components. One of the key contributing factors to this is Sandbox Sally.

Sally has been dubbed due to her purpose, with “Sandbox Mode” being a gamer term for a repeatable experimental environment. So I have done any and everything I could imagine with Sally to see what makes her tick. My mentor had already given me a working understanding for how most of the parts worked, but without being truly able to toy with them it made it difficult to properly comprehend it all.

Sandbox Sally

However, being able to properly toy with ram, heat sinks and, hard drives has really deepened my knowledge of computers. While experimenting I feel that I learned the most about the differences between hard drives. As of right now there are two types of hard drives HDD’s and SSD’s. Now a hard disk drive (HDD) is the older of the two, whereas a Solid State Drive (SSD) is the younger.

Now as mentioned a HDD is older, but currently is the cheaper of the two. Now in order to store information it relies on writing information to a spinning disk. Now ordinarily this is fast and effective, but once the drive begins to fill up it needs to write items in multiple different places. With each piece of data needing to take a physical space on it, as time goes on more space is filled up. Then files will need to be “fragmented” into multiple different positions so that they can fit. This is where the term “Defragging” your hard drive into play. Its role is to move files around so that as many as possible can be in the same place, making it quicker to read. However without frequent defrag’s the disk will need to spin increasingly high amounts, and will eventually break due to the strain.side-b

Now the SSD is the younger sibling, but is far quicker and more efficient than a HDD. While a HDD requires a spinning disk to read data, an SSD functions much more like a flash drive with countless flash cards in conjunction that are used to store data. Another benefit is that an SSD lacks a read head (similar to a record player) , which is another reason why its harder to damage an SSD. Now, currently each card used to store memory can only be written, wiped and re-written a limited number of times. Thus it is almost certain that you would need to replace one of these drives every five to six years. However when looked at a HDD you would only need to replace it if you had used it to the point where fragmentation occurs.

side-a

From here, I’ll be looking a bit into computer servers and how to do operating system installs. But for right now I’m looking to practice taking Sally apart and putting her back together so that I can be more comfortable when it comes to constructing a computer. I’m happy with where my project is at this time, and I find myself fascinated knowing where it will go from here.

Growing Up a Newfie: 1853

Today was my first time out on the ice. Not only was it my first time working with my father, and it was also the first time I killed a seal. I’ve never felt so alive! It’s no secret that it has become a right of passage for the men in the community, but even so I never expected it to feel so invigorating. My father always said that “your first kill will be something you remember ’till the day you die”, and I am quite certain he was right. The rush that came from watching the life fade from that seal’s eyes is indescribable.

I know that this business is one that I can really pour my heart into, and I look forward to my future in it. I don’t know where this work will take me, but I am certain that it will be somewhere I want to go.