November 30, 2006

Motherboard Woes

You see, all along here, my secret fear is that my motherboard just hasn't been set correctly. It should be noted that the ASUS Crosshair is a fine piece of electronics and machinery and that it makes me happy.... but it's a finnicky piece of work, owing largely to its complex overclocking system and recent release. To make a long story short, it's much more designed for you to configure it than for it to configure itself, because that's what overclockers typically want to do. I mean, who wants stock settings... honestly?

So, I called up ASUS, hoping that my settings wouldn't be jacked and, if they were, someone would correct me.

Step 1: "If you have internet, go to ... it's way faster.

This sounded like a good idea... until I went to and noted that while the open hours said: "5:30am-9pm (pst)" and it was clearly 11 am central (which is 9 am pacific), the little box said "Live Chat is CLOSED."

Stupid ASUS... and back to the phones.

Step 2: Wait on hold... where an "average of 10 minutes" becomes 30

Seriously... how the hell is the average 10 minutes? Do they take the average over the course of the year or what?

And when I did get ahold of someone, he informed me that they were really swamped and if I took a number, I'd get a call back. I informed him that I'd only be at work for another 3 hours and asked him where they should call me. He estimated that it might take them longer than 3 hours to reach me.

"So when should I hear from you guys?"
Response: "Sometime today?"

That was 2 pm. It's now 5 minutes until their 11 pm central close time. And I still haven't heard from them. You know... with Wilson no longer policing me... I think I will say that I hate the bastards at ASUS. I'd be using stronger language, but little old ladies read this blog.

Tomorrow, it's war.

Oh... yeah, step 3?

Step 3: Send an email to tech support

Response time is typically 48 hours... they closed my case after 4 with no resolution. Go figure. I'm so pissed right now that I'm inarticulate.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 10:58 AM | TrackBack


The drama of my computer building continues. After bringing the other computer here at work online (I'll tell the story about that sometime when I'm not angry already), I swapped video cards... and, lo and behold, my video card works in the other system and its video card (which works in other computers) doesn't work in mine. The plot thickens.

I'm pretty sure it's my motherboard at this point (as I'm mostly out of other things it COULD be) and thus, it's time to call ASUS.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 10:12 AM | TrackBack

November 29, 2006


Yesterday and this morning, the weasels at EVGA failed to inform me that even after I paid money for the cross-shipping service, actually getting the RMA number for the next-day cross-shipping takes 2-3 business days. Stupid telephone monkeys. Well, it's ordered now.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:14 PM | TrackBack

Suspect #1

Well, after a night of memtest-ing, it would appear that the ram and the cpu are fine. As a resul of this, it was decided (by me, of course) that it's time to call EVGA.

The guy was pretty helpful and very impressed that I'd actually gone to all of this work diagnosing my system. Apparently, most people who build systems just call up and say "hurk... gimme an rma, I think my video card's done broke itself."

In any event, I've paid for the Advanced RMA stuff and after I spend the rest of the day diagnosing this thing, I'll be on the RMA like white on rice.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 09:17 AM | TrackBack

November 28, 2006

Trouble in Paradise

World of Warcraft stays up for between 3 and 5 minutes before crashing down. It would appear that other graphically-intensive stuff follows suit. I've spent all day fiddling with settings and to no avail.

My current theory is that my video card is jacked up... I will be contacting EVGA in the morning for RMA stuffs. For now, I'm considering purchasing the Advanced RMA insurance so that I can get the video card cross-shipped in the even that I need it. (Ends up being about $3 more than the shipping costs, allows next-day air, and I don't have to pay any shipping.)

Oh... and my motherboard doesn't clock my ram correctly and there are reports that it does the same thing with CPU's, so I've spent most of the evening hunting down ram and motherboard timings and voltages in the fleeting hopes that setting those would fix my problems. It hasn't.

The plan right now is to run memtest overnight to check for cpu and memory errors, and failing that, it looks like the video card is going to ge the good ol' RMA. As of right now, I've run 5 cycles of memtest and everything looks good.... but a night of good burn-in testing can't hurt, can it?

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:03 PM | TrackBack

November 27, 2006

Coming to You Live

From the Tower of Doom. Fear the Thermaltake Armor with 25 cm side fan. Currently installing Windows... all is well thus far. I plan to lug the monster with me to work tomorrow and get WoW up and running.

Earlier on Anna said to me, "Please tell me the case isn't as big as the box makes it look."

I could tell her no such thing, for it is stinking huge.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 10:48 PM | TrackBack

The Computer is Here!

I just got a call from my wife informing me that all of the parts for the computer that I ordered last week are here. Oh happy days, it's computer building time... and then I can give my current computer some upgrades (a DVD-RW drive, a new case, some cleaning, better fans) and it become's my wife's. Maybe now she'll be able to raid properly. Hopefully even by this friday.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:26 PM | TrackBack

November 16, 2006

The Dread Forums

For those of you who have had the chance to visit video game forums (especially of the MMORPG variety), this article on the identifying and classification of forum whiners should amuse you.

For those of you who have never had the oppurtunity, read the article and go away with the knowledge that you are better for never having gone to such a forum. Unless you're Ardith... and then you're probably sad that there's a whole classification of forums out there that you haven't trolled.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 08:52 AM | TrackBack

November 13, 2006

Lead-Up to The Big Game

As many of you know, I am from Ohio... and at this time of year, that origin gives me a certain amount of responsibility with regards to spreading disdain for Michigan and awaiting the Big Game. This becomes especially important in years such as this one. I will explain all of that in further installments, and for now I leave you with some perspective.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:13 AM | TrackBack

Customer Interaction

It's not often that you see a company representative crack back on an idiot customer in the company forums, so I figured that I would highlight one such instance.

A warning: the game is World of Warcraft... one which many of you have been fastidiously avoiding the very mention of. That said, the referenced interaction is so peripherally involved that you really don't even need to understand anything about the game. It makes a little bit more sense if you understand that the game as it stands only allows land-bound movement (i.e. walking, riding a horse) and while the new expansion will include flying abilities, these abilities will only be allowed in a new area as existing areas weren't created with the additional requirements that non-land-bound movement imposes. Oh... the quotation?

You're right, we could completely half ass the entire thing and put invisible walls everywhere breaking immersion, making flight in Azeroth counter-intuitive, and even less useful than if we hadn't even spent the time in the first place.

If you want to pretend you know how to design a game, or more importantly, you know the design of this game including the personnel, tools, and logistics involved, you can go right ahead, but I would appreciate it if you didn't call me a liar when my statements don't match up with your armchair musings. Thank you.
- Drysc - Blizzard World of Warcraft Community Manager

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 08:07 AM | TrackBack

November 10, 2006

Pithy Election Analysis

I don't think I can say it any better than this:


Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 10:12 AM | TrackBack

Robot Insurrection

A while ago, I read about a robot sommelier that can scan bottles of wine and identify the contents without opening the bottle. Apparently said robot can do the same thing with meat and cheese, leading a reporter to insert his own finger for identification. The result? Bacon. I, for one, welcome our new finger-eating overlords.

In other signs of the coming apocalypse, outgoing MS co-president Jim Allchin is so confident in the security of Windows Vista that he has his son running it without an anti-virus. I think this should instead be filed under 101 signs that MS Execs are retards... right next to the Zune. Speaking of, the New York Times has a review up of the Zune... which indicates that it's just like the iPod except that it's bigger, heavier, harder to use, and brown. Oh, and the much-anticipated wireless antenna knocks a whole hour off of the battery life on each charge.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 09:36 AM | TrackBack

November 08, 2006

Post-Election Drama

For those of you irritated that the election isn't already dealt with and who are sick of the drama, maybe this will cheer you up. Turns out that some people just can't handle the stress of electronic voting.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 09:34 AM | TrackBack

November 07, 2006

Get Out And Vote

Seriously. If you haven't voted yet, get out there and get to it.

I believe that this public service announcement is the first I've made in a while, so I've got some other public services to offer. Namely, as Thanksgiving approaches and the hunters among us go out to hunt, check out Season Shot. It truly boggles the mind.

Oh, and lastly... vote Kinky. Why the Hell Not?

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 08:38 AM | TrackBack

November 06, 2006

Our Loss

I've suspected for some time that it would come down to this. Citing professional concerns, time considerations and personal reasons, our most popular, regular and vocal blogger is shutting down. Jonathan Wilson is closing up his own little spot in the blogosphere... a sad day in the life of The Shadow Council.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 09:00 AM | TrackBack

November 03, 2006

Joe Sighting

Joe writes that he's managed to get on a computer in Iowa and is preparing for his strike against Ma Hoyt. I wish him all of the success in the world and am doing due diligence to protect my rodent allies by performing some reconaissance of my own. Keep an eye here and an eye on Joe's Blog for future updates.

Vive la resistance!

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:24 PM | TrackBack

Bad Reasoning 101

Typically, I stay away from the Rap Scene. This is due in no small part to the fact that, while a great deal of rap amuses me, my wife hates almost all rap with a passion that burns. Oh... and with actual regards to the Rap Scene, there is the small matter of my disdain for the Urban Sub-Culture, but that's a discussion for another time.

In any event, for those of you not in the know, we have just passed the epic annual event known as the MTV Europe Music Awards. Yeah, I know, it just sneaks up on me every year too. Anyways, apparently Kanye West thought he had the Best Video Award locked in and the shock of not winning it went to his head. So much so that he sat in stunned silence for a while before responding.

But when West did respond, he rushed the stage, seized a microphone and cut loose with a profanity-laden tirade, criticizing those who failed to seize upon his greatness and reward it. In chastising them, West noted that his video for "Touch the Sky should have won because it "cost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons." Continuing, West proclaimed, "If I don't win, the awards show loses credibility."

You know, with stuff like that going on, maybe I'll be watching more of these award shows. It's hard to justify missing them when you know that if West doesn't win, you'll be treated to such pearls of wisdom.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:00 PM | TrackBack

November 01, 2006

On Behalf of Joe

As some of you may remember, about a year ago, I befriended a guy named Joe. As others will recall, Joe is a mouse... a mouse who my wife attempted to kill (using me as her unwilling proxy) several times. While many of Joe's cousins have fallen by the wayside, Joe lives to fight for the rights and lives of mice and even the cause of all rodents.

It was with a heavy heart that Joe came to me over the weekend to inform me that a friend of mine had again taken up her jihadi ways against his people. Appparently the notorious Ma Hoyt has again taken to heartlessly murdering mice, including Joe's cousin Jeremy. Joe has since informed me that his attempts at rendering peace with Ma were met with terroristic threats, including the use of spring-loaded WMD's and toxins that make anthrax seem tame.

Even as we attempt to take action through the UN and Department of Homeland Security (hey, mice have rights too), I am urging passive resistance and economic sanctions against Ma "The Hammer" Hoyt. To that end, please refrain from trading any chocolate or other sugar-laden luxuries to this despotic regime. Also, no mouse-traps, poison, or any kind of item that could be used in the production of WMD's should be traded with her at this time. I have reports that she is using apple sauce to bribe some of our weaker-minded allies, but take heart... her apple sauce is filled with poison and you don't want it anyways.

Lastly, take encouragement and boldness from the actions of Comrade Joe, who is even today moving his headquarters to Iowa so that he may better coordinate actions against the evil Hoyt. I will close in his immortal words: "cheeze 4 every1!!"

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 08:22 AM | TrackBack