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About me:

Stats:  6'2", 180lbs, 24.5" head circumference, OMIS grad

Homepage: www.thefrost.net

Want but cant get right now:  Hardees Texas Toothpicks

Favorite artists:  Phish, Nas, Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, The Band, Bob Dylan

 

My computing history:

My father worked for CMS, a shipping company out of Schaumburg, IL.  He quickly elevated his status in the company by getting them to switch from a paper/phone system to a computer integrated shipping system.  This saved the company quite a bit of time, money, and headaches.  Because of this he got a Toshiba laptop in 1991.  Though it contained no hard disk and only 512k of memory it was an excellent introduction to computers for me.

In 1992 we got our first home PC, a Gateway 2000 25mhz computer with 4 megabytes of RAM, and most importantly a color filled windows 3.1 interface.  I enjoyed understanding how the computer worked, and by the time I was able to put together some lemonade stand money I purchased a CDRom and sound card for the old beast.  Setup was not very easy, and required me to begin to understand how the hardware in a computer worked.  Enthralled, though a little afraid at first, I opened things up and started making things work.  Then began overclocking the processor, adding a newer modem, and turning a $2,500 piece of amazing junk into something that was worth its gall. 

In 1999 I finally got my mother to purchase a new computer.  Against my recommendation she purchased an IBM K6-2 450 with a spiffy CDR drive and a 20 gig hard drive.  Though not that bad of a machine, it had only 96 megabytes of ram, 8 of which was shared by the video card.  I began seeing the bottlenecks in the system, and by Christmas the next year I had saved up enough and learned enough to build my own system to overcome everything the IBM lacked.

This time I did things right.  An AMD Athlon Processor, 512mb of RAM, 60 gig hard drive, and a GeForce 2 video card.  Of course I overclocked the computer and modified just about everything I could.  It was at this point that I began to see my love for big toys, and decided that I had learned enough to sell that computer and build an ultimate computing machine for the time period.

My extreme system consisted of an Abit VP6 motherboard, dual Pentium III 700mhz run safely at 933mhz, and later at over 1.1 gigahertz for extreme gaming/processing conditions.  It had 1408 mb of CL2 PC133 RAM, RAID configured IDE hard drives, a DVD Rom, and the quickest Plextor CDRW drive at the time.  I also began to require a faster internet connection, and convinced my parents to allow me to get an IDSL (144k/144k) connection, the fastest available for under $150/mo where I lived.  I started routing the connection, and began to learn about windows networking.  I also began to run FreeBSD on an old junk box and used this as a server.

Right now I run gigabit Ethernet throughout my house paired with 802.11G wireless.  This allows me to play movies/music stored on any computer in the house from 2 X Boxes and a home theater PC.  Very useful for a projection TV situation.  A Powerbook 12" 866 is my workhorse.  Being UNIX based it allows me to interface with machines and do any open source activities with ease.  I also have a Pentium 4 2.8E with 2 gigs of dual channel ram, SATA RAID, and a Radeon x800 XT as my gaming / windows function computer.  Its newest addition is a Dell 2405 FPW 24" widescreen LCD.  Though I still have my 18", I am trying to sell it because it just doesn't compare!  The main screen is hooked up as a second screen for the Powerbook and a KVM allows me to control the laptop and computer from the same keyboard/mouse.

Along with my other computers I run a m0n0wall firewall out of a Compaq small form factor PC.  This allows me to integrate packet prioritization in my house so that "mission critical" (web browsing, FTP, MS terminal services) packets take priority over P2P downloads.  I tested pfSense as an upgrade for the firewall, but this development chain is still a little buggy, much more of a resource hog, and takes about 6x as long to boot.

The powerbook could use an upgrade, but I'm very interested in building a carputer with integrated touch screen GPS.  This will this will allow me to be able to tune my car on the fly, play music, movies, and run wireless internet for wardriving.    I also have a Linux box to mess around on, and a media center PC as most video cards can do better output to a projector than $500 DVD players.


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