I am in serious anticipation of an upgrade to the development systems on Centrale, the SOHO Network which is the local hub for all things nfoCentrale.
I am not ready to retire Scampo, the current workhorse desktop system.
Meanwhile, I need someplace to park my upgrade hunger. So, I named the next system.
Astraendo Is Its Name
Astraendo is the the name I appropriate from Italian to stand for “abstraction” or “abstracting.” What had me think of it here is that it comes from “astra,” which is about stars or the heavens. Since abstraction is a key aspect
of my examinations into fundamentals of computing
, and Astraendo will be the equivalent of a digital spaceship for my computational explorations, I figure it is a keeper, even if no one can pronounce it (including myself). [You can decide how much the sense of “taking away,” the origin of abstraction, applies here. This computer exists entirely in my dreams at the moment.]
Having chosen a name for the computer, I now have a blog category for it too. This is where I park my anticipation of this new system.
The Search Space
I am, by habit and inclination, a frugal acquirer of digital toys. I have one system, Compagno, still running that was acquired in 1998. Centro, my 1999 Windows 98 box was retired in 2008 or thereabouts. There are no smart phones here, and we drive a 1996-model vehicle. I confess that I am on my second Tablet PC computer, Quadro, and being an early adopter there provided mixed results (with my first Tablet PC cratering unrecoverably within days of its warranty expiration, an experience I have never had apart from that single off-brand purchase). Scampo was acquired in September 2005 as an emergency solution. I handle computer emergencies at Office Depot, which is where I confirm street prices for consumer-grade computer systems.
So you will now see why this is daunting as I look at moving far out onto the bleeding edge:
- Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit platform that will last to Windows 8 and beyond
- Full hardware Virtual Machine support
- Quad core performance if not Hex core
- Memory performance and capacities to go with this (say 12GB DDR3 tri-channeled)
- High-performance graphics adapter capable of supporting multi-monitors and 30” high-resolution combos
- Expansion capability for my current PCI-adapted peripherals
- Power supply and cooling that supports everything I can throw at it, with headroom to spare
Targets of Opportunity
I am watching price curves and the move toward commoditization at the current higher-end of home-/developer-system performance. At the moment, I am watching two systems that tend to be best-of-breed but not at the sweet spot for consumer computer upgrades: maxing out a Dell XPS 9100 or an Alienware Aurora. I have essentially the same configurations of each, with the pricier Alienware box noted for its greater capacity, liquid cooling, and durability.
These plus high-performance graphics adapters such as the ATI Radeon HD5970 command premiums and I don’t like that so much.
These are all borderline budget busters, but I have been careful in saving up for a new system and I hope to accomplish that before the end of 2010.
Speaking of budget busters, I have also been watching high-end monitors. The common “large” is 27 inches (I have 24 now), but my eye is on 30-inch monitors. It appears that products like the Dell U3011 with their Energy Star compliance and low wattage (e.g., not much over 100W) are coming within range of my net if not my pocketbook. I have assumed that actual display upgrade will wait while I figure out what to do with the 24” monitor I have or whether I can go dual-monitor.
Setbacks and Prerequisites
I have a personal goal to ramping up a development project to create reference implementations, test suites, and impressive documentation in areas important to me. The winding down of my extensive commitment during the development of OASIS ODF 1.2 specifications should provide the relief for turning this new page.
Meanwhile, there are significant prerequisites that I need to have dealt with in the time between now, the first of November 2010, and January 2011 when I will be laying out my work on reference implementations and accompanying collateral efforts, especially around testing, integration, and deployment lifecycle management. I expect to have a great deal of fun and also have the hardware/software fixtures that I need to support me in that.
Because the nfoCentrale sites and blogs are instruments of this future effort, I am dedicated to finally completing the revival of the nfoCentrale sites and their related blogs.
Astraendo is the carrot, preparing the sites is the stick. Wish me luck.