I had to push all the stuff that's over a year old off the front page so I figured I'd use the last spot to let you know about an amazing contest. The top prize is one of GIGABYTE's G1.Killer Assassin2 motherboards valued at $399 US!
Futurelooks and MEGATechNews have teamed up with GIGABYTE Technology to give away their flagship INTEL X79 motherboard. This board is aimed directly at hardcore gamers looking for an easy to setup, reliable, and purpose oriented board for their pwning needs. With enhanced networking, audio, and the ability to run up to three high end graphics cards, this board is an easy choice for a very high end gaming system build. It'll be even better if you win it.
At CES 2011 this year, I did something that I didn't expect. I actually won the Build Your Own PC Race for Charity. Despite coming in second and fourth before in 2008 and 2007, I was never really a heavy weight contender to win. Nor did I feel that I would be able to repeat any of my past successes. It's a very Canadian way to think about things isn't it? But after thinking back to the things that transpired before the four minutes and nine seconds of racing, there were some key things that I did this year that might have created an opportunity for me to take the win this year.
No Pressure. No Panicking.
I arrived late to the event because I wasn't even sure I was going to go because I wanted to go with the rest of the Futurelooks Team to go race go-karts at another event put on by MSI Computer. So I casually strolled in, and was the last one to grab my number. I had actually panicked the organizers because I didn't correspond with them at all the week or so before the event. They even tried calling me minutes before I showed up right at the sign up. But of course, it was for charity and I had to make an appearance. I wasn't expecting to win. I just wanted to see if I could finish up quick enough to get in a race at the Go Kart track before the other event closed up.
I Did What I Was Good At
As many of you know, I like to eat. So the first thing I did was hit the buffet and stuff my pie hole. I took so many portions of the beef tenderloin that the lady carving recognized me and loaded me up. I was literally "mooing" by the time we were called for the racers meeting. Of course, I took another new plate of food to the racers meeting. You know. Just in case I was hungry.
I Tried To Listen
At the race meeting, everyone had their notes out. I shoved them in my back pocket so I didn't get au jus or lobster risotto on them. I also pocketed bread sticks and bread so that I could sop up the remaining au jus. Since this year's racers uniforms were BBQ aprons, there were some great front pockets to hide food for mid race snacking. I didn't hear a thing because I basically chewed through the whole meeting and the crunch of the bread sticks didn't help.
iJustine was actually behind me busy studying her instruction sheet in the above picture. The race attracts media celebs from all mediums.
I Went Back For More Food
Before they started introducing the racers, I B-Lined back to the buffet table, got another plate of food, and shoved more bread sticks into my handy BBQ racing apron. The links to the videos I'll be posting will show some strange lumps in my apron. No, it's not because I was excited. That's actually food 🙂
I Ate While Looking At The Instructions
Once I got to my station, I decided to look at the instructions, accompanied by my stash of bread sticks and a Corona. I figured that another plate of food would get in my way so I raided the bread stand. I had so many bread sticks it was actually hilarious. I think Kevin Pollack, the comedian they hired to entertain us before the race, actually looked over a few times to see where the hell I was hiding so many because I was always chewing on something.
The systems we were building were actually pretty decent for a charity event, sporting AMD Radeon HD 5830 video cards, 4GBs of DDR3 memory, a GIGABYTE AMD 880 series board, a Phenom X6 processor, and both an SSD and a platter based hard drive. In previous years, they used really crappy Thermaltake cases that must have been their bottom of the line because they were so thin. This year they used CoolerMaster HAF 912 cases and they were solid. Really enjoyed building in them and most importantly, everything fit properly inside and didn't bend like those other cases.
Kevin Pollack did his thing for 20 minutes, and I had enough food for 20 minutes. WIN!
Think About The Food
Throughout the race, I couldn't stop thinking about how good the beef tenderloin was and wondered if I would make it back to the buffet before they cleaned up. So naturally, I had to go as fast as I could and completed my build in four minutes and nine seconds. Second place was four forty four and it looked like my time was over two minutes faster than last year's winners. When I'm hungry I have to eat!
Unfortunately, because I won, I had to hang out and get pictures taken, and get interviewed by the organizers, and by BBC, and by any other news outlet that needed a statement or a picture. Didn't quite make it back to the buffet unfortunately.
What To Do For Next Year
So clearly, additional preparation and psyching myself out isn't the way I roll. I seem to do best completely winging it and with a full stomach, while showing up as late as possible, deciding only to come an hour before the event starts. I guess this is horrible advice for people looking for a secret strategy but it seems to be one that works for me. I guess that's why they had to make up a quote for me for the official press release:
“This was my third year participating in the race,” said Stephen Fung. “I came in with a strategy and was determined to build the computer in record time. I consider the Build Your Own PC Race a highlight at CES.”
I chuckle every time I read that. But I guess it sounds better than what I WOULD have told them 🙂
Here are a few videos that I found from the event including one from CMHD.TV, CoolerMaster's own in house channel:
I guess I'll be there again next year. But maybe I'll show up a bit earlier just to get my eat on. I hope the money I won and the computer I built goes to good use helping out the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
As some of you may be aware from my last random update post, I decided to head back to school to finish off a Marketing Management Diploma that I left behind ten years ago. Despite being extremely rusty at this whole academic thing, I managed to keep myself within the top five in both my classes this semester and even surprised myself with a top mid-term mark in my ever boring CRM (Customer Relationship Management) class. Not bad for an old fart! Do follow me on Twitter if you want to keep up to date on what sort of mischief I'm causing on campus. I've already been kicked off campus once 😉
Part of my success this time around I think has to do with the fact that I am paying for my own education. Since I'm invested financially, I'm just stupid to waste my own money. Overcoming my propensity to procrastinate has also been quite the challenge and with the importance of group projects, keeping in contact with other people that may not share the strange Dot Com Lifestyle Schedule has been interesting. That prompted me to hunt for an online collaboration tool that would allow me to keep in touch with everyone in my group and to share work and collaborate all without having to physically meet up. That search led me to Glasscubes.
Through the power of Twitter, I was approached, or rather, tweeted by Sophie Le Brozec of Glasscubes. I tweeted that I was looking for a web based CRM system that could support my group for collaborating on our term project for Marketing Strategy. She suggested that we try out their new online collaboration software that launched on October 13th of this year.
Glasscubes is an online collaboration tool that incorporates aspects of CRM and Intranet. The software is available exclusively on the web and unlike other more complex CRM solutions, does not require you to install it on a server, or download a client to access it. The clean and inviting interface encourages you to explore and become productive almost immediately.
Glasscubes has created a video that shows off the interface and some of the cool features...
After spending the last couple weeks using with one of my class project teams who is working on some marketing strategy for a winery, I've quickly fallen in love with this very useful and affordable tool. Here are few things that I love most about this online tool for sharing, communicating and collaborating.
Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been pretty busy in the last little while and now I'm at the E3 Expo in LA with the Futurelooks Team. The crew is staying at the Wilshire Plaza Hotel in LA and it was going great till we discovered that another media outlet, Area 5 (The CO-OP Video Game Show Guys on Revision3) decided to setup a Mac Pro in their room to upload their videos, sucking up all the available bandwidth. At one point, I saw about 10 MacBooks on the network, probably uploading and rendering video onto that thing. Luckily the connection is far better at the E3 Media Lounge.
Yesterday, we put together a quick video of the things we really want to see on the floor. Check it out:
This is definitely one of those times where the saying "If you ask for it, you just might get it" totally applies and then some. In this case, we asked for a small RAM upgrade to one of Futurelooks' servers (Futurelooks Apache One to be exact). The server has been acting all shades of weird over the last few weeks as traffic has been climbing steadily. After a while it became apparent that the problems were caused by not having enough RAM.
I gave our friends at Kingston Technology a shout to see if they could help us out. I totally expected to pay for the RAM since I would be getting some anyway. I was just hopping for a deal and a couple more gigabytes to keep the machine from dying. Our man over there, Dave, has always offered to help us out with whatever we needed. We've just never needed anything aside from the usual review products that we check out on occasion. Instead of giving us what we needed, he went above and beyond and made sure we'd never need RAM again...
So that means we're going from a measly 2GB of ECC DDR2 to a whopping 12GB's of ECC DDR2 RAM! Want to see what 12GB's of RAM looks like going into our DELL PowerEdge 1850 Server? Check out the video below...
Wayne Au from Auphan Software gave me a hand with the upgrade. Despite the fact that he's successful and busy as hell, he still took the time to help me out with the servers (at 1AM in the morning no less) so I'm really thankful for his generosity. His company builds some of the best restaurant software in the biz (way better than that expensive Squirrel or shady Profitek stuff). That's why his company has been doing extremely well, converting some huge chains over to his system including Blenz Coffee.
Wayne's a real standup guy and he only hires the best so if you're looking for a kick ass POS system for your restaurant, cafe or major restaurant chain and you want something that saves you time and money and stays running 24/7, make sure you check out his company. Also, if you're looking for some exceptional quality RAM, you have to give Kingston Technology a ring or just find it at your favourite store because it's everywhere. It's definitely good stuff and it wouldn't be in our mission critical servers if it wasn't. Big thanks to Dave at Kingston for the hook up once again. You guys rock!