Another Four Generations

I finally got a snapshot of my other side of the family, showing four generations all in the same place.  This time, on my dad’s side – my son and daughter, myself, my dad (and mom), and my grandma.  Four generations!  This was taken at a family reunion a few weeks ago.  I’m amazed at how well my 99-year-old (EDIT: She is now 100!) grandma gets around.


Four Generations – No More

This photo from 2007 shows my grandmother, mom, myself and my son – four generations of our family on my mom’s side.  Sadly, this photo is now a part of irreplaceable history as my grandmother passed away this past weekend.  She was a very strong woman who had gone in to a nursing home temporarily and by all indications was about to be cleared to go back to her home (unassisted) when she was felled by either a stroke or seizure of some sort.  It was very quick.

She had several hobbies, one of which was gardening.  As she got on in age she was less and less able to maintain the huge gardens she once did – but she always dabbled.  I think this year we are going to start a garden in our backyard to celebrate her life, and to help us keep her memory as vibrant as this picture.  I’ll post photos once I get it started…

Triple Threat – Triple Monitors

A quick post here, but one that I’d like to share.  I’ve bought a new computer, building it from new components purchased from my favorite online store,  My motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H.  I wanted to have 3 monitors, so I bought a dual-DVI video card (Powercolor 4870 PCI Express) but I was not sure how to connect the third monitor without buying a second video card.

The motherboard does have onboard video, but the documentation was a bit vague about whether I could run the onboard video in addition to the add-on video card.  This is one area that was pretty sparse with online help too.  It turns out that this motherboard has something called ATI Hybrid CrossfireX, which simply put allows both onboard video and add-on video to work at the same time as a team.  Thus, it was possible to have 3 monitors running at once.

The solution isn’t as nice as having 2 identical high-powered PCI Express cards in true crossfire mode, but it is perfect if you just want to put a spare monitor to work for simple tasks.  Since it isn’t very well documented in the manual I took this opportunity to put it out on the net.

So what do I use 3 monitors for?

Primary (center 22″ widescreen) monitor : Graphics and HTML editing, email management, movies

Right Flank (17″) : web browsing

Left Flank (17″) : IM windows, status indicators, Winamp, low-fi movies while doing other work on the big screen

Talking point:

Does this hybrid mode in any way tie the onboard video with the performance of the primary card?  I’d say no, because Crysis plays just fine with high video settings before and after I went to 3 monitors.  I can’t be certain there isn’t a downside somewhere though.

Kids of Today – Odd Thoughts While Biking

Earlier this week I was pushing the pedals up a big hill near my house and just thinking of random thoughts to pass the time. I wasn’t going very fast as I wasn’t in any hurry. I begin hearing a strange sound and look back over my shoulder to see a golf cart loaded with pre-teens chugging up the hill behind me. There were probably five of them, with a pair standing on the back like they were guarding the president or something. I’ve seen this cartload of kids driving all over our neighborhood and just have to wonder if these kids ever get any exercise.

Then, as if on cue, another little girl comes in off a side street riding a motorized razor scooter. For a minute we were all on the same street heading up this hill – and I couldn’t help but wonder if I was a kid today if I would also opt for the easy route of those fun rides or if I would have suffered up the hill riding a bike. “When I was a kid” we didn’t have anything but our muscles to get around town…

Looking at my watch I noted that I am officially “old” in the cosmic sense of the word. Our triad broke up, each to our destinations.