Simming at Sea: A Tale of Heartbreak and Resurrection

by Chunx


Life aboard the ship.

Flashback to January, 2001

At home in the High Desert of California, I power up my first home-built computer.

Jeff, an old high school buddy of mine, lives and works at the same base I am stationed at and also happens to be quite a computer wiz (and gamer). I should hope so, since he writes the computer code that forms the operating systems for the U.S. military’s tactical aircraft! Over the course of late 2000 he helps me select and assemble the components I would need to build a new computer, a PC intended for a single purpose — to play high-end simulations. I am excited about the prospects. Assembled for the install are the following components:

  • Intel Pentium 3, 933MHz processor (Slot 1)
  • ABIT SH6 Motherboard
  • 384 MB of PC133 SDRAM
  • ATX 300W power supply
  • 2 x 40 GB IBM Ultra ATA 100 HD
  • Voodoo 5 5500 (a year later this was replaced with a GeForce 4 Ti 4400)
  • SB Live! Value
  • Sony 48x CD-ROM
  • Iomega 250 MB Zip Drive
  • US Robotics 56K Modem
  • Intel 10/100 Ethernet NIC
  • Windows 98SE

This PC rocks. Over the next two-and-a-half-years, I derive literally hundreds of hours of enjoyment from classic sims like Grand Prix Legends, MiG Alley, Falcon 4.0 and a new game called Ghost Recon in the glory of a new graphics technique called “Full Scene Anti-Aliasing” and love every minute of it. I also gain exposure to multiplayer gaming with this rig, and that adds a whole new dimension to my hobby. My wife, however, is less than enthusiastic about the new computer. Imagine that.

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