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George Williams "Computer Expert" RSS Feed (Phoenix, AZ, US)
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Inferno
Inferno
by Dan Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.87
692 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book That Asks Serious Questions- Spoilers Ahead, August 8, 2013
This review is from: Inferno (Hardcover)
After having fully read and UNDERSTOOD (sorry for caps, but there is no formatting; there should be Amazon!) the book and reading some of these other reviews and the responses to those reviews it seems that too many people consider this wholly fiction. Well here is some news, it is not. Dan Brown does what he does well, presents historical and factual information within the context of a fictional story. Doing so does not make that factual information fictional.

Anyway we start out with an ominous passage from the main antagonist in this book, Bertrand Zobrist; a genius within the field of bioengineering. This statement reads,

"The darkest places in Hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."

It is attributed to Dante Alighieri whom also wrote the namesake of this book, Inferno. Throughout the book we learn much about the Divine Comedy, an epic poem that Dante wrote about his personal journey through Hell, purgatory, and eventually into paradise. Much of the time it is given in the Langdon-esque form that readers of Brown's books come to expect.

Throughout the story there are many plot twists though many of these are only truly revealed by the end of the book when the curtains are lifted to expose them and certain things begin to fall into place. The story starts with a female character with spiky hair whom is portrayed as an assassin. She has been ordered, for unknown reasons, to find Robert Langdon and to detain him although the writing manipulates your point of view to make it seem as through she really intends to kill him.

When we turn to Langdon we find him in a hospital not known where he is or what has happened for the past several days. He was brought in and diagnosed with retrograde amnesia, a condition which the brain cuts off the ability to access the hippocampus for a certain amount of time into the past in order to effectively erase traumatic events from memory. All that he knows is that, for some reason, he is in Florence, does not have any passport or luggage or any notion of why he is there. One of the doctors, Sienna Brooks, looking after Langdon becomes a main character within the story after our assassin tries to get to Langdon and a great chase ensues bringing up specters from past books in the way that Brown interweaves intense character interactions, puzzles, and history.

As the story progresses we learn that Zobrist is part of the Transhumanist movement and has been trying, unsuccessfully, for years to get the world's most powerful leaders and minds to accept the fact that the Human race is moving ever closer to an extinction event predicated by overpopulation. his ideology on the subject is very extreme, all but encouraging a culling of the Human herd; actually he states that is exactly what he is advising the World Health Organization to do, stop creating new ways to protect humans from diseases that used to cull our numbers. He even goes as far as to suggest that the Black Plague was a Godsend for humanity and not a horrific disease that brought intense suffering to Europe in the Middle Ages.

As the story progresses we also learn that Zobrist, not able to get anyone to take him seriously, has decided to act on his own and has engineered something that he calls, fittingly, Inferno; something that will change the world and cement him as a paragon or progenitor of the Human race of the future. Nearing the last quarter of the book Langdon learns about what has really been going on and the search is then on to find Zobrist's plague before it can be released unto the world.

Throughout the story some serious and deeply practical question are asked of the reader, such as Sienna asking Langdon, and by extension us, if we would sacrifice a portion of the population to save our species from extinction. We are also feed some harrowing facts about the statistical growth of our species and just how out of control we are with out reproduction; all facts of science and not conjecture.

At the end of the book we learn that this whole chase was nothing more than a game and that they are already too late. The Inferno has already been unleashed from the underground of Istanbul as early as a week before these events take place. Zobrist's plague has already been spread worldwide and has already carried out its work although here is the final twist; it is not a plague. What it is, is a virus that alters the human genome in such a way as to make every one in three people sterile. This is also a recessive gene meaning that it will be passed down to the future generations and one in three children born will also be sterile.

The book then asks us another question: if such an event were to happen would we undo this change and potentially unsettle our genome as a result but allow reproduction for everyone and face our overpopulation head on or will we accept the change, even welcome it, as a means to stop something that no one has been able to control in our history through non-invasive means?

I leave this review ending on that question and it is one that has been on my mind ever since I finished the book two weeks ago. The hallmark of a great persuasive work is that it asks a question that prompts serious introspective discussion and social discussion. In that regard, while this book is by no means grammatically perfect, it has accomplished its goal with respect to me personally 100%.


Logitech H330 USB Headset
Logitech H330 USB Headset
10 used & new from $14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job but some problems, May 29, 2013
Works well for the price. I have been using it for a few years now for game commentary on YouTube. However the background noise canceling thing is either a sham or my computer is noisier than expected, which could also be true. I find there is still a lot of background noise in my audio and the boom the mic is on is not very positionable.


ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Price: $303.99
77 used & new from $224.77

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocks, May 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This board is amazing, nuf said... lol no it deserves a more in depth review. Been an Asus guy for half a decade now and have no intentions of changing that with this latest helping of awesome sauce. The Sabertooth X79 is the best X79 board that Asus offers at the moment. It out preforms the RIVE but a small amount but has higher quality parts, costs much less, and has a longer warranty. While the board cannot support 4x1 Crossfire/SLI it can do 2x2 Crossfire/SLI. I would not recommend using the third pci-e port as it is half speed.

While the board also does not have all of the features that the fully kitted RIVE does it also has some improvements and much of the same technology build into it. I have not attempted to overclock with it yet as I want to break it in first with some stock system usage but I have read it is a very stable OC platform. It supports up to 32 GB of ram and has quad channel ram support. The rear IO and chipset have their own dedicated fans that do their job well (CS is usually 1C). Easy to install and easy to install stuff onto like many of Asus other motherboards (q-connectors = pwn).

With military grade parts that are put through heavy testing before being installed you know that this board will last quite a long time and also be able to take the heat, literally, from overclocking.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2013 11:43 PM PDT


OCZ Technology 120GB Agility 3 Series SATA 6Gb/s  2.5-Inch Midrange Performance Solid State Drive (SSD) with Max 525MB/s Read and  Max 85K IOPS- AGT3-25SAT3-120G
OCZ Technology 120GB Agility 3 Series SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-Inch Midrange Performance Solid State Drive (SSD) with Max 525MB/s Read and  Max 85K IOPS- AGT3-25SAT3-120G
3 used & new from $70.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Drive, May 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I use this drive for my W7 install and some programs that have to be installed to the system drive. This along with 16GB of PC3-1600 ram and a I7-3930K W7 starts up in as little as 12 seconds and shuts down in 4 or less. The packaging is misprinted a bit as far as the maximum iops (it says 50K but it is really 85K on a 6G port) but that does not really effect anything. No blue screens yet so looks like OCZ fixed their hardware problems.


Cooler Master Blade Master 120 - Sleeve Bearing 120mm PWM Cooling Fan for Computer Cases, CPU Coolers, and Radiators
Cooler Master Blade Master 120 - Sleeve Bearing 120mm PWM Cooling Fan for Computer Cases, CPU Coolers, and Radiators
Price: $9.85
21 used & new from $5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Fans, May 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought two of these to replace my H100 cooler radiator fans. With the rubber pads installed these things are dead silent and they push a lot of air. With the stock H100 fans my cpu at idle was 38C. With these installed the idle temp is at most 30C depending on the room temperature.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 26, 2012 9:27 PM PDT


Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack [Old Version]
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack [Old Version]
Offered by Platinum Micro, Inc.
Price: $199.95
10 used & new from $178.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Improvements, May 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Windows 7 is many times better then Vista. I had Vista Ult installed on my previous build and while I liked it, 7 brings way more to the table. That said Seven is not without its faults. There are several things that annoy me from the new way in which the task bar operates to the ability to drag and drop things into full screen mode. There are some other issues as well, no bounding box for gadgets for example, but overall 7 is an awesome operating system.


Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB DDR5 HDMI/DVI-I/Dual Mini DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 11197-01-40G
Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB DDR5 HDMI/DVI-I/Dual Mini DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 11197-01-40G
4 used & new from $237.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Monster, May 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This card really is a monster. It gives me much better performance then my old 4870X2 did for less heat and less watts pulled. The Dual-X cooling design helps keep the card a mild 30C idle and a maximum 54C under load in Saints Row 2/3. If you are going to be overclocking this beware for the time being, AMD's drivers are not optimized yet and you run the risk of blue screening or just having the game freeze period. I OC'ed it to 1Ghz gpu clock and it froze 8 minutes into mu SR3 test.

This combined with a I7-3930K is more then strong enough to play even the most demanding games, emulated games like Tales of Symphonia w/ LLE or Zone of the Enders, without much hassle.


Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor 3.2 Ghz 12 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73930K
Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor 3.2 Ghz 12 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73930K
Price: $569.99
88 used & new from $430.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very awesome cpu, May 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I upgraded to this cpu from a Q6600 and let me tell you that the difference is amazing. Even when this chip is under load while rendering video in Sony Vegas my computer is very responsive. I am running it at stock clocks for the time being just to break it in. This cpu is strong enough to even play almost any of the most demanding emulated games around (LLE sound Tales of Symphonia and Zone of the Enders) at playable frame rates. If you are thinking about getting the 3960X DON'T! It only has a very small boost in performance for nearly twice the price, stick with this one.

An interesting factoid though, this and the 60X were originally 8 core cpus. Intel disabled two cores for some reason, probably because AMD is not pressuring them in the slightest to compete. I do not know if it is possible but Intel may enable these at a future date (hoping they do anyway).

This chip can handle nearly anything you throw at it and at reasonable temperatures. Under full load it maxes out at 58C using the Corsair H100 and idles at 26C to 30C. It has some massive over clocking potential, the highest stable clock I have read about was 4.75Ghz; some have made it to 5Ghz but not stably.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2012 7:54 PM PDT


Angels & Demons [Blu-ray]
Angels & Demons [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by Nickelflix SuperCenter
Price: $9.50
131 used & new from $0.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Another awesome adaptation from Ron Howard, February 23, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was fairly surprised by this movie, it is a lot less dry then The Da Vinci Code was. The plot was well thought out and the amount of research Dan Brown put into the book clearly translates to the movie in a very interesting way. I thought the plot was pretty good and it kept me on my toes right until the end. The "bad guy" aspect of the movie really threw me for a loop as I had always assumed the guy with the glasses that was killing the Cardinals was the one they were after, but the ending was shocking when we learn who was really behind it all.

I am not religious at all, I am an atheist actually, but I thought this video showed a side of the church that not many people get to see and also made some very appropriate points in its message. The explosion sequence was absolutely amazing, just hope we never really find out what an antimatter explosion would look like for real.


Rock Band 3 - Playstation 3 (Game)
Rock Band 3 - Playstation 3 (Game)
Offered by gamedynasty
Price: $129.99
58 used & new from $38.00

5.0 out of 5 stars RB3 is pretty good, its Pro Mode is an awesome Idea, February 21, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
So, Rock Band 3. I first heard about it on youtube while I was searching for videos of PowerGig in October, I was interested in buying PowerGig and I am glad I did not. I came to RB from a long standing history of being a Guitar Hero guy, one of those that didn't see the need for two similar rhythm games, but I am glad I was wrong. What appealed to me instantly about RB3 was the pro instrument mode and the Squier. I have been looking to learn guitar for years but have never had the time nor money to invest in a guitar AND instructor. Over the past couple of year I have been watching the instruction side of guitars and its presence online. You can find many videos from various sites now. So I decided to put the money down for Rock Band 3 and more recently for the Squier and a bunch of other stuff along with it (amp, picks, tuner, ect).

RB3's set list is awesome, pure awesome. There are tons of great songs like Rainbow in the Dar by Dio, Crazy Train by Ozzy, Centerfold by The J Giels Band, or Cold as Ice by Foreigner. This is expanded by RBN's over 2400 songs up for download, some are even free such as Still Alive; yes THAT Still Alive from Portal, and some Rock Band 2 songs.

I have not had a chance to play the Pro Mode yet as I did not want to buy a Mustang, the whole reason for the innovations in this game was to get off those plastic things. I will update this review with info on the Squier once I get in in March.

Anyway you progress through the game by beating road tours, set lists, and completing goals for your selected instrument. Each one has their own goals and you can even use the guitar to play three instruments; guitar, bass, and keys. You unlock parts of the road tour as you gain fame. One of the hardest goals you will do in Rock Band 3 is the endless set list where you play through all 83 songs. That took me three days, a total of around 4 to 5 hours.

I liked that I could use my Guitar Hero: Areosmith guitar to play this game, true I do not have the solo buttons, but I have never picked up a RB game before so this was new territory. The game is actually a lot more polished then the GH's and it felt like the note tracking was smoother.

The charting also seems superior over GH although there are a few songs I think Harm just put some random notes in for in Expert mode, not many of its 83 songs mind you, but a few.

One thing I did notice, don't know if it was intentional, is that the background scene tends to lag quite a bit. Again I don't know if that is intentional or not since the fretboard is not affected by this.

With the amount of content in-game and on RBN as well as Pro Mode you will have many weeks of use our of this game and it has a very high replay value, like most of the other rhythm games. I have not played online yet, and do not plan to so I can not comment on that.

All comments above pertain to playing the game solo, I do not know what kind of issues or quirks the game has for bands.

On the instruction side, again I have not had a chance to play pro mode, but I have watched an ungodly number of videos or rather the same videos many MANY times about pro mode. All signs point to that RB3 as an instructional aid is going to be where the butter is at for those looking to break into the field or those who already know some stuff but want to get their stuff together and round out their guitar-ology.

I would suggest that you take some basic online video courses to learn how to hold, play, and maintain the guitar before playing RB3 though. As far as I have seen the instruction mode assumes you know the most basics of basics and jumps right into single note strumming bypassing all those pesky technique lessons. There are several sites that have free video tuts for beginners, all you need to do is google for free beginner guitar video lessons.


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