hankrules2011

Book reviews, health, hockey, publishing, music, tech

Cal State Long Beach: 13th Best School In America!!!

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 7, 2019

I have been meaning to brag on an alma mater of mine for a week. Now I’m finally doing so. Money Magazine just published “The 25 Best Colleges in America” (via 19,000 Data Points). (https://bit.ly/2Zi6mlP) Some schools are definitely surprises and the schools you would expect to find in the Top 10, let alone Top 25, really aren’t there, or not as high as many would think, including their administrations and alumni! Out of 750 schools, the top school was UC Irvine! That is very surprising, because it’s not a bad school, but as part of the UC (University of California) system, it’s one of … 10? … great universities making the very best public academic system in the world. And as most people know, UC Berkeley is typically the top ranked one, followed immediately by UCLA. I’d say the next two most “elite” would be UC San Diego and UC San Francisco. At that point, there’s sort of a mishmash of the rest, including UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and UC Riverside. There may be another now, but that’s basically the system. So Irvine is a great school, hard to get into, excellent programs, but they don’t nearly have the reputation as the usual top two. So to find it ranked Number One in America INCLUDING both public AND private is frankly quite stunning. Kudos to them though. That’s awesome.

 

The 25 Best Colleges in America

 

However, the one I’m most excited about and most proud of is that my second alma mater, where I got my first graduate degree — California State University Long Beach (CSULB)is actually ranked #13 in the damn country — over Harvard, Cal Tech, Yale, Duke and other “elite” schools! You have no idea how big this is, because while CSULB has been ranked very high for years by Princeton Review, US News, etc., CSU schools have often been snubbed by “elite” UC schools. So it’s great to see TWO CSU schools make the list! With #13 Long Beach, CSU Fullerton is #22! Congrats! I loved my time at Long Beach State! It was great. I experienced many opportunities, worked and played hard, taught, researched, published and finished as top graduate at California’s largest university. I have always thought the education I received there was far superior to where I received my undergrad degree, the University of Tennessee. But try telling a UT admin, faculty member, student or alumnus that, and be prepared for a beat down. That’s the point — they don’t know any better.

 

#13 California State University Long Beach, my alma mater, is mentioned by name with #14 Harvard. Exclusive club… LOL!

 

Besides California, only one state had multiple schools: Massachusetts with three. All of the other states had one or none at all. Meanwhile, six of the top 12 schools are UC schools, dashing notions that some “elite” private schools are better. (Not naming schools, but you all know which ones…) So California (where my heart remains), has 10 (TEN!) universities in the top 25! (The six UC schools, two CSU schools, Stanford and Cal Tech.) Wonder where the best schools are now? I guess you don’t have to anymore. They’re sure not on the East Coast!!!

And if I can stretch some things here while still being honest, I actually did pretty good. While my second degree is from #13 CSULB, I also spent four years at #4 UCLA pursuing a different degree I wasn’t able to complete as I had to relocate for work. I also did post-grad work at #8 Michigan and briefly studied at #6  Stanford. FOUR Top 13 schools! AND, to stretch things even further, I presented and published several academic papers at conferences at #22 Cal State Fullerton, and I went to #1 UC Irvine to do extensive graduate level research at their research library. That’s six Top 25 schools I was/am affiliated with. Awesome.

And interestingly, the vaunted Ivy League is poorly represented, with only one school in the Top 10 (#3 Princeton) and only two more schools on the list, both behind Cal State Long Beach (#14 Harvard and #17 Yale)!!! Most others on the list would include schools you’d expect, but I was very surprised by #2 and #25, and slightly less by #24. In any event, I’m proud as hell of my graduate alma mater, Long Beach State University (California State University Long Beach). Number 13 in America, over Harvard, Yale, Vandy, Duke, etc. Way to go Beach!!!

(Incidentally, among the other schools I studied at or attended, none of them were mentioned including two schools I received degrees from: the University of Tennessee and Queens University of Charlotte…)

 

America’s Top 25 Colleges & Universities

 

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SpaceX Goes Gonzo On ESA Satellite This Week!

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 5, 2019

Here’s one for all you SpaceX haters out there (and I know there are a lot, because many of them send me messages!). Monday, the ESA (European Space Agency) actually had to remotely maneuver one of its satellites out of the way of an oncoming SpaceX satellite that seemed well on its way to hitting the ESA one!

“A SpaceX spokesperson said a bug in its on-call operating system prevented the team from seeing that the risk of a collision with the ESA craft may have increased. ‘Had the Starlink operator seen the correspondence, we would have coordinated with ESA to determine best approach with their continuing with their manoeuvre or our performing a manoeuvre,’ the spokesperson said.”

I can already hear the Musk haters talking about letting “the professionals” do it. However, to put things in perspective, there are some 20,000 private craft orbiting the earth right now, so it’s probably unfair to place all the blame on SpaceX. Personally, I applaud their efforts in trying to accomplish things many states no longer do or can. Dream big!

Brief article here: “ESA re-routes satellite to avoid SpaceX collision risk.”

 

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Serious Quantum Excitement With Entanglement Transfer!

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 3, 2019

Okay, my quantum (and other physicist/scientist/researcher/etc.) friends and colleagues. I’m sure some of you know this and may already have read the paper, but if not, get ready! We all know that while people are working hard in/on quantum computers, there’s still a world of difference between that and a quantum Internet. Entanglement. Quantum information can’t be copied and transmitted over a traditional network. Quantum particles require a different interface, allegedly. However, Austrian researchers led by Ben Lanyon have successfully completed a documented unreal experiment: They were essentially able to transmit quantum entanglement 50 km over basic fiber!

The paper discussing this experiment was published August 27, 2019 and you can find it at “Light-matter entanglement over 50 km of optical fibre.”

 

Caveat: For those less familiar with quantum research, the paper might appear to be fairly technical, but not overly so for many, I believe. Graduate level and above quantum physics. Don’t get mad at me if I turn out to be wrong. Quantum’s not for everyone…

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Nuclear Proliferation Coming Down The Road…

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 3, 2019

(Non)proliferation. For the past 60+ years, the US has led the world in arguing for nonproliferation and with the NPT some decades ago and a lot of diplomacy to go with it, virtually every country in the world signed it. The few that didn’t were known or thought to have nuclear weapons and these were termed “illegal.” Many people know that. What some might not know is that leading Australian figures (I’ve meant to write about this for months.) are now suggesting the unthinkable: withdraw from the NPT and go nuclear. Bad enough, but now we also have India’s defense minister (who happens to be one of my contacts) publicly stating “that New Delhi might change its ‘no first use’ policy on nuclear weapons.” With the current geopolitical situation, I get it, I do. But in a very short time, we’re going from nine nuclear countries, some NFU, to potentially two more nuclear countries while one existing country debates changing their NFU policy. While not a total surprise, considering the efforts the US has made for over half a century, it’s a little surreal to see such things happening.

Feel free to read the following article: “India hints at changing ‘no first use’ nuclear policy.”

 

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Leaving LinkedIn. Hopefully Some New & Diverse Blog Posts Here…

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 3, 2019

I am coming to the conclusion I may finally terminate my LinkedIn account after 15 years there. There are a number of reasons and it both pains and saddens me, but I see no viable alternative. I’ve worked hard over 15 years to build the largest very high-quality network on the platform, and by most accounts, I did pretty well. I have 19,910 followers at the moment (really wanted to reach 20K very badly), of whom about 55% are senior execs and some 40% C-level execs, and in every industry that exists in over 160 countries, at the highest levels of commerce, government, military, science, etc. But for some reason — and I have my theories — after being a huge ambassador for LI for a decade and a half, they turned on me last year — and I’m a PAYING customer! — and started to arbitrarily and punitively harass and “punish” me for alleged rule violations that tens of millions of people do everyday but on a far worse basis than I ever did, and with the company’s full knowledge and blessing. And for a year, I’ve interacted with these customer service pukes and it’s like talking to a damn brick wall! They refuse to respond to anything I say, assert, allege, ask, to send me to colleagues or supervisors or even their Legal department, to defend their blatant hypocrisy in their absurdly inconsistent enforcement of alleged rules they continually cite, but which are not at all on one document they cite and it’s hidden beneath generic links on the other they cite, so no one could ever find it, and they just robotically intone the same idiot sentence or two repeatedly, regardless of my question, assertion, statement, topic, allegation, etc. It’s like they’re brain dead zombies! I have a lot more to say, but this wasn’t originally going to be my topic, so I’ll end this part. Suffice it to say though that I’ve NEVER been this stonewalled, this ignored, this shit on by any company in the world and I think it speaks very ill of them, especially since they’re lying hypocrites. I expected more from a company such as theirs. If I still had my health, time, energy, strength, stamina and the money I once had before my medical bills decimated it, I would literally sue them — and I would win! I’ve never lost a lawsuit and I’ve sworn to go to my grave with that record intact. I’m confident it wouldn’t be too hard to prove my allegations against them, and despite what their terms say in regards to litigation damage maximums, a good attorney will get around that, and I would be looking for millions….

In any event, I often post links to interesting articles on a variety of topics there, and I often add my own commentary or thoughts or opinion. And sometimes I’ll just write a much longer independent article, again about various topics. Some of my posts don’t get too many views, but many get quite a few, and some get a large number. I posted about the Capital One Hacker a few days ago and got about 650 views. Then I posted about how the DoD has banned military personnel from using CBD, even though it’s federally legal in all 50 states. That one got closer to 2,000 views. Some of my posts have exceeded 15,000, 20,000+ views, but those are rare. And it’s always hard to predict which ones people will find interesting.

The point of all of this rambling that as I take several days to extracate myself from LinkedIn, I may stop posting pieces there and start posting them here. I don’t have a fraction of the followers or readers, but that doesn’t matter. I post on things I find interesting and hope others will too. If they don’t, they don’t. If they do, they’re definitely welcome.

Cheers!

Scott

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An Asheville Vacation – Photos

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 3, 2019

Hi. We rarely get to take vacations and especially with my health disintegrating over the past year and a half especially, let alone the past four plus years, it’s just very hard for me to travel. I mean physically painful. But we had a chance to take a few days and go somewhere and we never get to take vacations and frankly, this may be the last one we get to take, and Gretchen really deserved one after a hellish year and a half for her, so we debated between St Simons Island, my former home, or Asheville, an eclectic little place with great B&Bs that we really love. Gretchen chose Asheville. I actually didn’t want to go very much because I knew it would be grueling, but again, Gretchen deserved it, so I thought any sacrifice would be well worth it. And it was grueling, incredibly so. It took me a week to recover upon our return.

Anyway, I don’t have the time, energy, stamina or ability to write a full, comprehensive blog post, but while I didn’t take a million pics, I did get some decent ones, so this blog will basically be a photo blog post. I may follow up with a second one in the near future with some additional photos. I hope you all are doing well out there. If you’ve contacted me and not gotten a response, it’s truly not personal. I just have a ton on my plate and small windows of opportunity most days to get anything done.

 

Scott & Gretchen’s Asheville 2019 Vacation — Photos

 

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Some Blog Site Changes

Posted by Scott Holstad on August 5, 2019

While I’m having a hard time finding the strength, energy, time, etc., to write many blogs, to write any articles, book reviews or much of anything, as well as rare new difficulties doing things I’ve always done and taken for granted my whole life, such as simply reading, playing computer games, watching shows or films, paying bills, walking, swallowing, and well the list is endless. And the time I spend online and using my computers has diminished by a shocking degree, which saddens me. Nonetheless, I am capable of making a few changes here and there, things that aren’t time intensive or brain taxing, such as edit or modify this blog, and make occasional changes at LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Discogs. So I wanted to briefly let you know about a few things I’ve done here.

It may not be apparent that I’ve done anything, which is understandable since I haven’t changed the theme or general layout. That said, I actually HAVE made some changes to the layout, or more precisely, I’ve eliminated some of the sideboard items (Twitter and Instagram feeds), edited my blogroll, added to my right side “Music” category with a few other minor additions or deletions in various sections on the sidebars. I’ve also updated and added some Pages, which are the topical tabs at the top of my blog (“About,” “Contact,” “Favorite Books” and so on). I’ve been trying to modify and lessen my digital footprints for several reasons and dating back to last year and before. Some of the actions I’ve taken have been to delete my Facebook account, the most important of them all. Followed by the termination of two Twitter accounts, two Instagram accounts, a few others that were somewhat similar, and most recently, and at a painfully slow pace, trying to get away from Google’s clutches! I feel strongly about this and have for a number of years. There are many variables, but ultimately I’ve known for a long time that Facebook’s business model consists entirely of data mining their users’ personal information and using this to attract advertisers or selling it to various highest bidders. They offer no products, make nothing tangible, are essentially useless as a commodity — except for the massive amount of personal data they’ve constantly harvested from every user (and even non-users!) to sell to those willing to pay. And as the world found out, adversarial states are more than willing to pay insane amounts in efforts to destabilize other countries, their governments and organizations such as NATO, the EU, etc. And everyone has jumped on that bandwagon right after that. I’ve stopped using any Chrome or Chromium-based web browsers, terminated my Blogger account, my YouTube account, two Gmail/Google accounts (with one more major one to go), no longer use Google Maps or even its search engine, among other things. There are alternatives to all that don’t involve any known data mining, spying, storing, analyzing, and selling ALL of your personal data, which until recently, was the exact same business model of Facebook’s.

(For those of you with their heads in the sand the past few years and you’re unaware of the dangers posed by Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, and sadly Amazon, among others, I encourage you to research this. I’m going to provide you with a few helpful links for those of you who wish to avoid Google as much as possible. Not perfect, a little rough around the edges, some of these, but sometimes you have to sacrifice things like convenience to save and salvage your privacy, etc. For starters, here’s an article on Google and privacy dangers, another on 20 alternative Windows web browsers to help you get away from the major norms, a basic article titled “How to leave Google behind,” and a similar one called “Drop Google” with more links to more Google alternatives that I’ve found pretty helpful.)

OK, the last half of this post was not intended to be the tangent it turned out to be. Just mentioning some changes, start giving a seminar. Sorry.

The main change is this: I belong to literally dozens of various professional associations and organizations for many different reasons. Indeed, I’ve also belonged to a number of other, different ones at various times in the past. And when people see this list of over three dozen active organizations in which I’m a member, most express a great deal of surprise at the variety and diversity of career fields, specific professional categories, and more seen there. So I decided to post these here, with links to each one’s website, preceded by an explanation, of sorts, attempting to provide a partial story that might help make sense of it. And I created this, not as a blog Post, but as a permanent Page as one of the tabs at the top of this blog, beside the ones I mentioned earlier, and others. As it is the newest Page, it’s located on the right end of the row of Pages at the top of the blog and is easily accessible. It’s simply titled “Professional Organizations” and I encourage everyone to check it out as it borders on being truly bizarre. Look at it and you’ll see why!

OK, I’m done. I’m worn out. I promised Gretchen I would go to bed tonight, but I didn’t/haven’t, instead staying up to post something on LinkedIn and to write this. It takes me much longer to do anything these days, especially writing, which is one of the reasons I write so very little now. I started at 12:30 AM and it’s now 4:30 AM. Not going to bed now. And I’ll be very fatigued tomorrow/today, as I am typically every day now and I’ve also been sick for quite awhile, which has really worn me out. As I think I recently mentioned, I stopped blogging a couple of years ago for one year because I went through such an insanely nightmarish year regarding my health. Up til that point, I had accumulated a decent number of followers, many of whom commented and interacted with me. However, in the year since I returned, I’ve only been able to post sporadically and even though I basically still have the same number of followers, even on days I post something, I no longer get virtually any hits, likes or comments. It was discouraging, but I feel I understand why and I don’t blame anyone or hold it against anyone. So this huge amount of time I just spent writing this was likely a complete waste of time energy and resulted in a complete lack of sleep, and virtually no one will see or read this and no one will comment, so I’ve been asking myself Should I Continue when I’m only writing for myself and I think I’ve concluded Yes. I’ve been blogging since 2003, generally enjoy it, and if nothing else, I can treat it as my own public occasional diary for future reference of what I was doing or thinking at a certain point in time. And that’s good enough. So, if anyone sees this, thanks for reading and have a great day. For those of you who do not see this, there’s obviously no need to say anything, so I’ve alerted you all to my new Page. I hope at least one person will eventually see it and find it interesting. Thanks and cheers!

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My New Custom Designed and Built Falcon Northwest Mach V PC

Posted by Scott Holstad on August 2, 2019

Hello all. It’s been awhile. Those of you still with me know the last four years have been really rough, but this one is topping even last year, which I didn’t think could be done. The point, though, is that I used to post regularly for years, decades actually, but the past few years, I haven’t been able to because of my extremely poor health. I feel bad about that, not only because I enjoyed it and miss it, but because I feel like I let you down, and while I still have about the same number of followers I did several years ago, apparently very few read the rare blogs I post, probably because they’re so darn rare! It’s frustrating, and I’m sorry. So much has happened this year, I would never have sufficient time, strength, energy, anything to be able to relate even half of it. So I won’t. Instead I’m going to do what I’ve been doing, and that’s writing some nonsensical unimportant post few will read or care about, but I’ll like it, as it’s become sort of like my own online journaling experiment now, in terms of helping me remember what I was doing, thinking, undergoing, purchasing, reading on any given day, and I’m grateful for that.

So with that intro, I’m going to proceed to post a new blog that utterly no one but myself will find remotely interesting, but a guy’s gotta show off his new car/house/boat/computer/audio system/etc, and I have no one to do so with, so I’m just posting this here in the unlikely chance someone might read it at pause to ponder it for a mere moment.

 

My new custom designed, custom built high-end “gaming” computer

Falcon Northwest Mach V Icon2

 

Desiring to replace my 2.5-year-old custom designed, custom built Xidax X8 Glacier because I wanted more power, speed and other various reasons, I embarked on an intensive two month search for the right “high quality/reasonable cost” combo machine that wouldn’t be exactly what I wanted, due to unfortunate financial considerations at the time, but which would still be very high-end and would remain so for a decent period of time.

I spent time designing a huge variety of configurations with over 35 PC makers, and ultimately over 200 unique configurations. I decided early that I wanted to go with an established, proven “elite” high-end boutique custom PC company, and while one will find various companies listed in any Top 10 lists of these types of companies, there are generally four that have stood out to me for many years, one of which I had already purchased two rigs from in the past. These are OriginPC, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest and Maingear. All have several desktop models, many starting at very low prices, but are basically barren, so one is forced to upgrade components as they build their potential machines. While I had a price range in mind, which (naturally) increased as time went by, I tried very hard to put together configurations that I would view as compromises, sacrificing components to save money, such as storage capacity and brand, memory brand and speed, audio cards, etc. However, there were certain things I was determined NOT to sacrifice on. These included getting the top of the line Intel X299 processor, at least 10TB of storage, a minimum of 64GB of RAM, and a very solid motherboard, ideally an ASUS ROG RAMPAGE VI EXTREME OMEGA, which is what I currently have, as well as the storage and RAM. I wanted to change some other things though with the new system though.

Falcon Northwest, established in 1992, is the “father” of custom gaming PCs, known for their elite quality and historically insanely high prices. And while that has held true all these years, other companies have risen to their heights in many ways, and a few have surpassed Falcon in price insanity. I posted an example of a Digital Storm configuration a few days ago on LinkedIn that exceeded $40,000. I’ve put together configurations of several machines that exceeded $100,000! All four named companies can go pretty high, along with a few others. However, the most costly configuration I was able to put together for Falcon was just under $30,000. That doesn’t take into account, however, their famous hand crafted, hand painted (with several layers of high quality automotive paint) rigs that can be designed for anything anyone wants, ranging from corporate logos to clouds to actual representations of Picasso paintings, and just about anything one can think of. And when you start talking about those features, the prices jump very high.

Finally, after two months, and after getting an Origin and Digital Storm both under $8,000 and a Falcon slightly under $10,000 (I could not at all get a Maingear under $11,500), and while I amused myself a few times by putting together configurations of rigs that would cost more than some houses, I felt like I had 3-4 solid finalists, and I was ready to make a decision. I actually had an Origin Genesis tied with a Digital Storm Velox, but on the final day I felt nervous, so I quickly did some last minute research and dug up quite a few complaints all over the Net about both companies, largely in their post-sale customer service/tech support and problems having warranties honored. While both companies have excellent reputations with the pros, hundreds of one-star customer reviews said something to me, so I quickly decided to give Falcon another chance. They’re incredibly famous for the highest quality, most stable bad ass rigs around, and for virtually perfect service/support and an excellent warranty that other companies charge extra for if you want to add years, etc. My beef with the company had been the lack of very many options at all with most of the components, and the fact that they only offered one motherboard, and IMO, not the best, for their expensive flagship rig, just as an example. In fact, I was very unhappy about this, because the RAM options couldn’t compete with those at other companies, the storage couldn’t compete, etc., yet they were in the same price range as the others – higher, actually – largely based on reputation, I felt. However, fast but thorough last-minute digging found ample reviews remarking on their high quality, their reliability, their computers’ speed and power, their excellent warranty, etc. So I just started pumping out configs, tweaking each just a bit to get an acceptable price with the most acceptable components I could live with. And I finally felt like I had found one. So a few days ago, I called the company (PST), and spent nearly three hours on the phone with a very knowledgeable, intelligent, friendly, experienced, helpful sales rep named Ben. I voiced some complaints I had, particularly about their RAM’s speed, their audio cards, their motherboard options, etc., and demanded both explanations as to their offerings and a reason to choose his company over the others. And he didn’t hard sell me, and didn’t really try to sell me at all. Which makes a big difference to me. He took the time to explain the reason for each component choice, their commitment to what they view as the most stable high-quality computers that can be built, and in some cases, he said he thought he might be able to accommodate a custom request of mine on a couple of components I hassled him about, saying he thought they might have a couple of “unofficial” (typically not available for sale) versions of what I specifically wanted, and he did. So we made a few tweaks over the phone and then I went through the purchase process, spending much more than I originally intended or wanted, but doing so after having found out that my standards were simply going to cost more than I had hoped for. Yeah, I felt some anxiety about that purchase and the charge I’ll be seeing on my credit card next month. (This comes at a time when I just configured and had built a custom PC for my wife, due to arrive today AND buying a new Apple iPhone XS MAX, 512GB to replace my Samsung Galaxy S8+ I’ve grown disenchanted with. It’s been a very expensive week!).

So I made the decision, bought the computer, the ship date is supposed to be August 19th, but due to some custom paintwork I’m getting, it will probably take about two weeks longer. So I’m going to stop wasting all this time blabbing and list the specs followed by a picture or two. I don’t really have anyone around me to tell such things to, here and in person, or at least anyone who would care or appreciate such things – which is why I’m writing this idiocy! You know how most guys like to show off their new car, gun, motorcycle, house, girlfriend, hot PC, great audio system, etc. Well, call me a superficial twit, but sometimes I want to do that and have no one to really turn to, so today, this is my outlet! And now for some specs. Thanks!

 

Specs:  Falcon Northwest Mach V – Designed by and built for Scott Holstad – July/August 2019

  1. Exotix Paint: Mach V

  2. Exotix Paint: Custom

  3. Exotix Color: Red Rain

  4. Exotix Logo: Rain Falcon Northwest Logo

  5. Chassis: Mach V – Icon2

  6. Chassis Parts: Mach V

  7. Chassis Logo: Light-White

  8. Power Supply: EVGA P2 1200W – Platinum Modular ATX

  9. Motherboard: ASUS Prime X299 Deluxe II – ATX

  10. CPU: Intel Core i9-9980XE 18-Core, 36 Threads – 4.5GHz (OC)

  11. Overclock Processor – Extra Testing

  12. Liquid Cooler: Asetek – 650LX 120MM

  13. Liquid Cooler Retention Ring: Socket 2011/2066

  14. Memory: 4 16GB DDR4 3000MHz G.Skill – Ripjaw V – 64GB

  15. Video Card: Two (2) NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti 11GB – Founders Edition

  16. Video Card Part: Aluminum Extender Fin – RTX 2080-Series

  17. Chassis Part: Mach V – Video Card Retention Bar

  18. SLI Bridge: NVIDIA – 3 Slot – NVLINK RTX 2000-Series

  19. Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound BlasterX AE-5

  20. MB-Networking: Networking: On-Board (Ethernet)

  21. SSD: Two (2) M.2 2TB Samsung 970 EVO PLUS PCI Express SSD

  22. HDD: 8TB Western Digital Red Pro HDD 7200 RPM 256MB Cache

  23. Optical Drive: ASUS – DVD Rewriter – SATA Black

  24. Software Label: Microsoft Genuine Label

  25. Software License: Windows 10 Home

  26. Software Media: Windows 10

  27. USB Rescue Drive

  28. Warranty: Free Parts/Labor – 3 Year

  29. Tech Support: Free Lifetime

  30. Shipping: Falcon Two Way Overnight Free Service – 1 Year; Free Two-Way Shipping – 2 Year

 

 

 

 

Falcon Northwest Mach V

 

 

Falcon Northwest Mach V

 

 

 

Falcon Northwest Mach V

 

Front view of my computer with the color and design I chose

 

 

 

Mach V chassis

 

The overall aesthetic custom design look of my new computer demonstrated on an older Mach V chassis. No two custom paint jobs Falcon does are identical. Each is unique.

 

 

 

And I guess that’s it! Not my ideal rig if I had the money, but still pretty good overall, and should be quite good for awhile to come, especially with that CPU. And of course, most components are expandable, meaning I can double the RAM, more than double the number of drives and drastically increase storage, upgrade the video cards, etc. Which is always one of my requirements. Price? Not saying!

Cheers!

 

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A New Book Review: Has the West Lost It?: A Provocation

Posted by Scott Holstad on July 9, 2019

Hi All. Sorry I haven’t been posting and I don’t have time to explain now, but my schedules and the degree of my responsibilities and overall business have radically changed, my health is rapidly deteriorating, and we’ve been EXTREMELY busy house hunting, which looks like it’s finally going to pay off after over seven long, grueling months of hellish work.

In any event, I wrote a new book review today and published it on Medium, an excellent combo online magazine/writing community/source of extremely diverse information and ideas. I’ve published a couple of things there before. They publish writers from newbies to writers for The Atlantic, NY Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, etc. In order to read their content, you’re supposed to be a member, which involved a very small fee. However, not everyone wants to be a member, but some people still want to access specific articles. Fortunately, Medium’s cool enough so that they provide a “Friend Link,” so non-members can access a specific article. Thus, I’m going to post that link here and invite anyone to go read it. It’s a little over 800 words, so not too long, and it’s on a very interesting book discussing the deterioration of the West as world power shifts to the East — a subject I’ve read a ton of things on, but nearly all by American/Western writers — and the thing that makes this book very unique is it provides analysis, commentary, critiques, and suggestions regarding the West from a presumably Eastern world citizen who is quite astute and who wants the West to hold strong and make a comeback. I thought it provided an interesting perspective. I hope you are all doing well, and here’s the link. Feel free to comment. Thanks!

 

Has the West Lost It?: A Provocation : A Book Review

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Read My New Article on LinkedIn’s New Breed of Spammers

Posted by Scott Holstad on July 2, 2019

Hi! I hope you have all been doing well. I’ve been both ill and insanely busy, which is a rough combination.

I don’t know how many of you are on LinkedIn, but I have been for 14 years, building a 20,000 person network over that time. Today I published an article there titled “Several Words on LinkedIn Spammers (with a Modifiable Pitch Response Template).” The preview description I used for it on LI was generally “My feelings (shared by many) on LinkedIn’s new breed who send unwelcome pitches or outright spam. Contains a modifiable pitch response template…. There once was something called “LinkedIn etiquette.” It seems to have disappeared ….”

If you ARE on LI and this interests you at all, you can read it at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/several-words-linkedin-spammers-modifiable-pitch-response-holstad or https://bit.ly/2FMbO4w. Naturally, I appreciate both Likes and comments, so one or both are welcome, though no one is obligated.

Meanwhile, LI was once partially to largely open to anyone to view profiles. Apparently that is a thing of the past, which doesn’t make me or many others very happy. Meanwhile I recently opened on account with Medium, an interesting, intriguing online publication that focuses on high quality writing in many different categories while still presenting a publishing platform for anyone who is willing to pay the small fee to become a member. And while many of the pieces on the front “Wall” originally appeared in places like The New Yorker, Washington Post, NY Times, etc., technically anyone who writes something deemed good enough is eligible to have their work featured on the main Wall, which is then marketed and distributed to a wide array of sources. The site is growing and while similar to a blog in a few ways, it’s really probably the best “independent” quality writing I’ve ever seen online.

So, there are several cool features I particularly appreciate about it in addition to others. One is, you can obviously import articles that have previously appeared elsewhere, provided you have reprint permission, and can “count” as an original publication as long as you were indeed the author. This means, I can import blog posts, stories and articles I have published in various areas, and best of all, select LinkedIn articles no one who’s not a member would not be able to access. Well, now they can!!! Wait, you say! You said Medium was a paid service, so is their content free to all? Unfortunately, the answer is No. You have to be a member in order to get behind THEIR wall and read the content inside. Which I find rather bothersome and seems to defeat the purpose. Except for one thing… They provide, upon request, not only the URL for the article so you can let any friends who are on Medium know about it and read it, but they also provide a “Friend Link” for you to provide anyone at all so anyone, regardless of membership status, can access and read that piece! Which I’ve never done, but I’m about to try. And BTW, for those of you who ARE on Medium — the site pays for “member engagement” with each visit to your article by members, so if you ARE a member and you read this, I’d be very grateful if you gave me a Clap or even a comment, no matter how brief! Thanks. So I’m going to provide both the Medium link for those already members AND the Friend Link so the rest of you can go read it, should you want to. And I’d be very grateful if anyone did, but by no means feel obligated. While this topic may deeply interest some, I can see why certain people out there wouldn’t care at all about the topic of this piece. No problem, I understand. In any event,

 

Medium LinkedIn article URL:  https://medium.com/@qbitsof/several-words-on-linkedin-spammers-with-a-modifiable-pitch-response-template-61909f1b8038

 

Medium LinkedIn article’s “Friend Link”:  https://medium.com/@qbitsof/several-words-on-linkedin-spammers-with-a-modifiable-pitch-response-template-61909f1b8038?source=friends_link&sk=b0119c36f81089d4c8ef4d507e587f14

 

Incidentally, you can find my Medium profile at: https://medium.com/@qbitsof and my LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottholstad/.

 

Cheers! — Scott

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