All the parts were spread in front of me on the table. They beckoned my name, but they felt disjointed; like they didn't belong where they were. They knew their place and were confused why they weren't there, and it's entirely my fault. On a slow Thursday at work, I took the plunge and began ordering computer parts online. Months of research had thrown me into analysis paralysis. It took one post - a recommended system - to snap me out of it into the purchasing mode. It was quick; it was furious; it was expensive. Twelve hours later my credit card would be locked, and I would spend twenty minutes on the phone taking quizzes about my credit history and my shopping habits over the past twenty four hours. My credit card company was staging a kind of pre-intervention before my habit spun out of control too quickly.
A few months ago Google shook things up a little by releasing the Chromecast upon us. It's a small streaming device that plugs directly into your television's HDMI port, and acts entirely wirelessly. Chromecast was a bit different than other streaming boxes in its simplicity: plug directly into HDMI, no inputs, just a single micro-USB port on it and it has no interface of its own. See, the Chromecast puts itself into a ready state, allowing other devices to send content to it. So anyone on my wireless network could theoretically open their YouTube app on their phone/tablet/computer and start playing it on the big screen. It's a rather simple device, but quite elegant, and at $35 it was exactly what I was looking for.
Do you recall when the first iPad came out and your thoughts/feelings on it? It wasn't that long ago - April 2010 in fact - that Jobs and Apple dropped this piece of tech on us. It was met with skepticism in part, probably due to one line of thought that it looked simply like a big iPhone, and that Apple was brash enough to tell how this device was going to fill a hole in our lives that we didn't know was there. It's bold, but in the end they were right of course. The iPad would take the poorly performing tablet market and redefine it, just as they did the portable music device and smart phones in general. But I still scoffed at it a bit: it was easy to do so while working in the tech industry. My coworkers and I didn't see how it fit into the corporate world, and to a degree we are still correct, although the app selection and evolution has made them more business and productivity friendly.
The president of our company wanted one, so we got him one, then the IT department got one as well so we would know how to support them - standard practice. But we never used the thing and it collected dust; that is, until I started taking it home on the weekends. I brought it home during my stint with Fallout 3, and it served as the perfect companion on my in-game journeys. The iPad sat propped up on a pillow next to me, open to a browser with various Fallout wiki articles and guides opened. The size was pretty ideal for that, but I didn't get into the tablet for much else. I thought about getting one, but didn't feel that the price of it was justified. This would continue for a while, especially as more tablets came out, and the tech evolved rapidly. I didn't want to be stuck with old tech or missing key features. You know what I mean.
The time finally came that my old Mediasonic enclosure had reached capacity, and it was time to look for either a new solution, or buy another box. In the two years since buying the original enclosure, I have purchased very few hard drives, but my method of consumption and computer use has changed a tiny bit. First, I decided to move away from having drives inside my tower computer. This computer, housed in an Antec P183 chassis, served as both home theatre PC (HTPC) and server. It performed magnificently, but times have changed. In July, I moved in with a friend, which brings us to the second change: multiple servers and HTPC boxes throughout the house. See, my friend had a similar setup, and it seemed senseless to duplicate media and purpose when one server/library could handle all of our needs.