This is a tribute to my greatest computer, Anubis, and some other tech-based rants.
Anubis, you had a troubled start to life. First was a troubled delivery. The store I was buying parts from did not send everything I had ordered, let alone paid for. I did get just enough to assemble a premature computer on my desk. This is how you undertook your first operations in the world, sitting exposed on my desk for all the world to see.
Your details: AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+, DFI Lanparty nF4 SLI-DR, Nvidia 7800GT, 1GiB Corsair RAM. You grew much, later in life, but this was your beginning.
It didn't take me long to get the remainder of my money back but you didn't get a case until my next break from university. Eventually I bought an Antec Titan Plus View II for you. Perhaps not the best looking of cases, even back then. I had really wanted the Coolermaster Stacker, but I couldn't really afford it. Looking back now I think I see that this may have been too impractical, especially for moving to and from uni every holiday.
So, I got you tucked away in a case that left some room to grow. I had already filled many of the HDD bays with your four 250GB hard drives. 1TB of space seemed so vast back in those days. There was space for two more, more still if I bought a 5.25-to-3.5 inch adapter. Anyway, this provided plenty of space for all the things we needed then. I filled most of that space with disc images of my Stargate DVDs with the intention of compressing them. You then accompanied me back to uni. This happens to also be where I got your name from and when I gave it to you.
There we had plenty of good times. We enjoyed playing games, surfing the web, and listening to music. We did get around to compressing Stargate. This is where you started developing a personality. You rapidly grew out of his childish Luna phase and went for a Classic look. I did see other outfits that I thought would look good on you but they were usually cast aside fairly quickly. However you did cosplay as Winamp Modern for quite some time.
I would find useful tools for us on the web. Tools to let you do jobs better and quicker. Tools like newer versions of x264 and Seti@Home. New ones like Einstein@Home. Tools to help with hobbies. New versions of Winamp on a fairly regular basis. Tools to protect you and I. I definitely remember Spybot S&D back then but what anti-virus did we use?
I also bought a few games for us to play. I remember the great advertising campaign for Civilization 4, Civilization Anonymous. I had fun playing Civilization 3 and Call To Power 2, and Civ4 looked great so I knew I would be buying it. I can still remember unpacking it when it arrived and being impressed with its manual. When you started it up, it was simply amazing. The opening titles, the music, the graphics, and the gameplay. We sure had fun playing it.
Time passed, we had fun, we matured and so did the tools. We dropped some, changed some for others, found new ones and so on. Winamp is one of the few we would still be using at the end. We went through a Linux phase but that faded away soon. We would try it again a few times over the years but we could never find the distribution or the software we wanted to give us an experience on par with Windows.
It wasn't until after I had been out of uni for some time that you got your first upgrade. If I recall correctly my brother had bought a pair of Nvidia 9500GTs in an attempt to do SLI. It wasn't successful. We were gifted with one of them. This would let you run some newer games and some older games faster but it also gave you a very useful hardware video decoder. We wouldn't come to appreciate this fully until later, good software was lacking for a while. It can't have been long after then when I bought you some new RAM. 1GB was showing its size by this time so I wanted to buy you 2. DDR RAM had become rather rare and expensive by this time. I think the latest and greatest had moved onto DDR3. Never the less I managed to get you a nice matched pair of OCZ Hyper RAM. This was great. I immediately noticed that you no longer had to swap out to the HDD when performing certain tasks.
This RAM upgrade also allowed me to push your clock speed up. At uni I had begun to tinker with overclocking and I think I had you running 2.2GHz for quite some time. I managed to push you to 2.4 after that but this last upgrade let you run a very quick 2.45 then 2.5. We worked on tightening your memory timings but you were at the limit here. You managed this pace almost continually up to the very end.
A couple of years later, not too long before the end, we got another graphics card from my brother. He had tried his hand at SLI, again, and failed, again. He passed one of the cards to my younger brother but he couldn't make it work in his computer. So it got passed to me and you got a rather monstrous GTX460. This required a rearrange of nearly everything in your case to accommodate it. I even had to run another SLI power cable. Luckily your power supply had an extra connector. But I got it in there and got you working again. Pretty quickly we encountered some issues with it and stability. Eventually I attributed this to lack of sheer wattage. The power supply was only rated at 500W but the GFX card box recommended 600W. I had the bright idea of underclocking it to reduce the power draw and hopefully make you rock stable again. It worked.
The 460 let you produce stunning images. Farcry became immaculate, as did Battlefield 2, more AA then would ever be necessary. Farcry 2 became playable, in terms of performance, so that I could discover just how unplayable it really is. The Witcher improved too but I never got around to playing much of it with you.
You met your end on one fairly warm morning in June. We were playing Battlefield 2 and I was getting a bit too into it when all of a sudden you cut out. I assumed you had buckled in the heat. So I switched off the power, opened the side of your case, set up a desk fan to blow on you, and then I left. I came back later and tried to turn you on. Almost nothing happened. There was a little spasm from all your fans but that was it. I tried various things in an attempt to isolate the problem. Swapping out RAM, GFX card, disconnecting disk drives. I even connected up an almost brand new power supply. Nothing. All this along with your diagnostic LEDs led me to think that a new CPU might bring you back to life.
Socket 939 CPUs are now so old that no local store had any. No online store, that I trusted, had any. Eventually I bought one for a mere €24. I eagerly put it in and restored you into your embryonic state. But when I flicked on the power, your fans jerked again then fell still. You were gone.
Good bye Anubis. I will never have another computer like you.