Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blender 2.5 Progress

Blender 2.5 has been slowly progressing, as more developers start focusing on bug fixing, and well rounding, instead of Sintel (which has enjoy lots of success). Blender 2.55 beta was released on November 4th, and continues to build on Blender's ever growing series of betas. Despite the seemingly never ending cycle, progress is being made. Hundreds of bug fixes have been made, in fact during the last month more than 300 bugs reports were closed. However there are still bugs in the program, and so about the same number have bugs have been reported. Still if you check out Letwory Interactive, which publishes status updates on the development of Blender, it would appear that we are starting to close more bugs then are being reported. According to the developers, we could be expecting the final release somewhere in the next three to five months.

Also having to do with Blender development is a cool post made over at BlenderGuru.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sintel Open Movie Released

Sintel is out.
Download it here.

A great animated short from a technical standpoint, and it lasts 14 minutes and 48 seconds too! Although as many people have pointed out, there are a couple of plot holes, I think that overall the short is very good. Although maybe not as good as the Blender Foundations previous short Big Buck Bunny, it is very close, and I would definitely recommend watching it.

As you might or might not know, this short was produced as an open movie, which means that almost all software used to produce the movie was open source. The main production tools included Blender, Gimp, MyPaint and some other software.

I look forward to the Blender Institutes next open movie project which could be in production in the next year. You can see an interview with Ton Roosendal (The Producer of Sintel as well as head of the Blender Institute.) over at BlenderGuru, where Ton talks about the Sintel project, as well as his plans for the next project, with a possible codename: "Mango".

Friday, September 10, 2010

Maya and Blender - Presets and Integration - And other keymap help

Lots of people have been wondering how they can easily switch between Maya and Blender, without having to worry a whole lot about different hot-keys and such. Well there are two easy solutions that I have come up with.


Blender now has a Maya key-map preset built right in! No need to go through the long lists of key-maps and change everything so that it is to your liking, instead right on the splash screen is a nice little drop down menu with presets (under the name Interaction Presets). Right now there are only two, Maya and Blender, however in the future it is possible that other 3D programs will have their own "interaction" presets built into Blender. Unfortunately for the die-hard Maya user, not every singe hot-key has been ported (Blender's features aren't all the same as Maya's - otherwise there would be no point in having it.), still it is supposed to be very helpful.

This change has been in Blender's Trunk since r31638 at least, so building the latest version of Blender will guarantee that you have the feature, however even if you are not a programmer, you can still have access to it! Download a fairly recent version of Blender for Windows (Complete with Installer!) from Letwory Interactive at this page, and enjoy!

Blender Guru just released the Free Blender 2.5 Cheat Sheet, a list of all the keyboard shortcuts in Blender, grouped by task (eg. Modelling, Sculpting, Fly Mode, etc.). Now you won't have to worry about knowing the shortcuts, just look them up!

Hope these ideas help you out with your Blender fun (and work)!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


If you're new to blender, still developing your skills or even are an expert at it the Blenderartists Weekend Challenge is a great way to hone your skills. I usually check back there every week or two to see what the theme of the contests is and if I like it and have the time then I'll enter. You can read up on the rules here and then you can start designing!

For last weekend's Weekend Challenge the theme was "Cityscape" so after some initial concept creation I made this:

I decided to make this a big learning experience as well so I split the scene up into layers and composited all the render layers together. There are 3 separate layers: the foreground (The buildings in the front and some of the water), the background (all the far off water and buildings) and the sky (moon, stars, etc.). I then applied some colouring effects (making everything a little blue) as well as giving some bloom and a little background bluring. I modeled all the buildings, platforms and bridges, then I lit it all (extremely hard work I must say.) and got everything the way I wanted it to be.

My final result was what you see below:

I used the .blend files from a Blender Guru tutorial to give me some hints on how to create my highrises, and from there I was on my own.

I do wish I had gotten it a bit more complete, maybe added some people walking around, some more building variation and I was hoping to create some sort of transportation system (monorail or something.) however I am very happy with what I accomplished and learned in my latest foray into the world of 3D.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The title of a recent BlenderArtist thread, and then an email in the Blender Developers mailing list: Blenderstorm... Is Back. I haven't see it before, but then, I haven't seen a lot of things. However one thing is for sure, it has one slick website.

By now I'm sure you're going, "What is Blenderstorm anyway?" Well you can head over there and check it out, but I'll also give you a short summary as well.

Blenderstorm is essentially, a big, online brain storm of problems with Blender and (This is important) solutions to those problems. You must have a solution if you add a problem! The problems (or ideas as they are called by the website) are then put into the "Idea Sandbox", where users (you must create an account to use Blenderstorm) can comment on the ideas and provide other solutions as well.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blender 2.53 Beta Release

Although many Blender 2.5 Alphas have been release, everyone has been looking forward to the Beta, and now it is here! There has been a lot of changes since the last Alpha, including a whole new way of using add-ons (as well as including a lot of great ones), a lot more stabilizing of the python API, a whole host of improvements in sculpting, thanks in part to the Google Summer of Code, and many other great upgrades.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blender Guru - The Complete Weather Series

About a month ago Andrew Price, the man behind Blender Guru, was able to finally start working full time on making blender tutorials. And he has just finished his first month, after publishing five high quality tutorials on Blender Guru. All of them are relating to June's theme "Weather", if you want to know what next month's theme will be, visit his post here. The titles of the five tutorials he has published are:
I'm glad to say that Andrew is keeping an open standard and has written two of them up, instead of just using video for all of them. The Puddles and Heat Distortion tutorials are both available for browsing as soon as you get to their pages, no need to watch any videos. That along has made me check back at Blender Guru very often! The style of these tutorials are usually very easy to follow, and (surprisingly) I've actually learned more about blender through these tutorials. If you're interested in learning more about blender, check out Blender Guru!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fire in the Comptuer!

No, my computer is not on fire! (Otherwise I wouldn't be typing would I?) Instead I've been using myPaint to come up with another piece of art! I was
testing out some more brushes, and just in general playing around.

To create the backround I just stroked it a couple times with the default brush. I then used an oil-pastel like brush for the base of all the logs, and after that used the charcoal brush to give the wood a slight texture. I used the glow brush (with different colours) to create all the flames, and finally went over certain areas with the blur brush to give it the look of gas coming off the fire.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 - Experiences and Review

Well, I just installed Ubuntu 10.04, nicknamed "Lucid Lynx", and it definitely looks very lucid. I didn't even know what that word meant until I looked it up in the dictionary that accompanies 10.04, something very useful. The first thing I did after finishing the installation was reboot and login (obviously). Next I added the System Monitor to my top panel. Since I do lots of resource heavy tasks, I like to have a quick view of what I'm using. In case you are new to Linux--to do this just right click the top panel and select add to panel..., then scroll down and click on System Monitor. Done!

Next I went to restore my backed up data from Ubuntu 9.10. Unfortunately Maxtor encrypted drives do not work on Linux, so I had to boot to Windows XP (Luckily I have dual-booted) and unlock the drive. From there I restarted (DO NOT SHUTDOWN!) and logged back in to Linux. Once that was done I had access to all my data, it was a bit of a hassle, but not something that Ubuntu could do anything about. I double clicked on the icon of my external HDD on the desktop and waited for it to load.Nothing happened, so I double clicked again and voila, it worked. A little weird but at least I could get around it. Then I noticed the first major difference about Ubuntu. The minimize/maximize/exit buttons have been moved from the right side to the left, imitating a mac book. I'm still getting used to it, and I don't really see the point of the switch, however it is not going to kill my usage of Ubuntu. If you are really tired of using it however, you can change the theme.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I recently completed a piece entitled "Orbs in the Grass" done completely in Blender 2.5 r28678. A simple piece which used the new Cloud Generator script to create the clouds and a couple particles systems for the grass, and although it isn't perfect it's pretty good for me. You can see my BlenderArtists thread on it here.
I also just painted a little piece using MyPaint, a open-source painting program which is very simple but powerful. You can learn more about it (and download it) from their website here. It is very effective with a tablet, which sadly I lack, but you can still do amazing things with it using just a mouse. Allthough I wouldn't call my art amazing, I still think it's pretty cool. This is based on a concept sketch I did one day. I can truthfully say, it looks a lot better in the colour that you can get with MyPaint!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sintel Trailer Released

The Open Movie project "Sintel", codenamed Durian, has just released it's trailer. After starting in August 2009 the Durian team has been hard at work, modeling, animating, coding, rendering and doing all sorts of things. Finally we get to see some of the fruits of their labor, but not just in picture form. A 52 second long trailer has been released which includes all sorts of cool action and adventure shots from the movie.

One of the shots, the one where Sintel is in the alley, has been followed for a while. We first saw it in some indirect lighting tests after that was implemented into blender, and now we get to see the final product.

Other scenes we have been following even further back since Durian decided to keep us involved in the first minute of the movie, that is the first couple shots including a bit of sintel's battle with the Gatekeepers and her talk with the Shaman.

All in all the movie is shaping up very well and looks very good, especially with Jan Morgensten's amazing music to add that mythical feel to it. Although there are a couple things with the hair (You have to look very closely) overall that issue seems to have been cleared up, especially when we look at this post about some wacky bugs in Blender 2.5 that the team discovered.
The new logo is featured right at the end and does look very good, especially compared to the previous 3d text.

Download the trailer here and enjoy it! I am especially looking forward to the movie after seeing this taste, and apparently it is supposed to come out sometime in June right before SIGGRAPH happens.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blender Guru and the Compositor

Blender Guru just released its latest tutorial: Introduction to the Compositor. It looks like a very interesting tutorial, especially judging by the comments on the page of the actual video. Also the cover art is very nice, however I know from experience that although the cover art usually looks very nice (A tribute to the mastermind behind blender guru) the user's finished product is vastly different, as you will see if you try Blender Guru's Introduction to Texture Nodes tutorial.

However despite differences I do recommend trying out the tutorial as well as various other ones on Blender Guru:

I only wish that the author would present each tutorial in multiple formats or text only such as in the Creating Volumetric Cloud tutorial. In that one he had a video tutorial as well as a written tutorial included on the page. Even if the written one is too long or costly (images) to put on the webpage, at least allow the pdf to be easily downloaded.

When I went to download the much talked about, and very interesting looking Creating Realistic Fire in Blender 2.5 I was surprised and disappointed at all I had to do to get to the pdf. I thought a simple download this link was in hand but instead I had to sign up for the Blender Guru mailing list (Maybe he wants to show off how many people signed up??) and then I found (to my dismay) that the website he used (for hosting? or maybe just for the mailing list thing) was blocked by my ISP. Maybe this is only something I am experiencing, but I couldn't even find another place to download.

Hopefully the rest of his wonderful tutorials will be text based and easily downloadable. I have really enjoyed the ones I've read and wish to read more, especially about things like the compositor or making realistic fire/grass/clouds/whatever... 

Thanks for what you've done Blender Gure, please make it accessible for the rest of us! (Or at least the "us" who have these problems)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Google Refurbishment

A couple of days ago Google unveiled their new search engine look. They have gotten rid of the old rounded logo with a shadow and now have a newer one (which I quite like!), also instead of the old rounded buttons they have changed to a more square and less glossy look.
Here is the old logo:

and here is the new logo, and buttons:

Google also has a new way of showing searches. Much like the old way of selecting whether to show images, news, ect, on the top bar now there is a ribbon on the side where you can select whether to show images, blogs, news, whatever. I'm not quite sure what the difference is since the ones on the top are still there, but they only change the same selection on the sidebar. Hopefully those will be take off so that there is less clutter.

Underneath the information type, you can also select dates and times, such as "Past 24 hours", "Past Month", ect. And farther on down you can select other ways of narrowing (Or widening) searches down such as "Fewer Shopping Sites" or "Sites with Images".

Farther on down Google gives you some suggestions on "Something Different". These are related items, completely non related items, antonyms, and other things. For example when I searched "technology", related searches were "information technologies", "education", "agriculture", "infastructure" and "health". When searching for "funny" the different things were: "scary", "lol", "silly", "weird" and "cute".

Hopefully everyone will take these changes in hand and adjust quickly, because I don't think there's any going back.

Have fun with the new google!

Anim8or Scripting Tutorials

,So, you've started using Anim8or and now you're wondering (after seeing all those cool scripts here), how do I get into Anim8or Scripting?

Anim8or Scripting Language (or ASL) is a very easy to learn scripting language which is based on C and is very simple. If you haven't yet you should definitely check out the language specifications. ASL supports most major data types such as ints, floats, longs, strings, ect. There are a couple different types of scripts as well. You can make scripts to generate objects or materials while you can also write scripts which will move objects around in a scene. Because the Anim8or workspace is divided into 4 separate places to either model, skeletonize (If that's a word), animate and render, each script has to can only do certain things in certain areas. For example you can't generate a cube in the animation workspace.

There is a list of tutorials on ASL scripting which I compiled on the Anim8or forum. There are, sadly, only five tutorials that I have seen on this language all over the web, so it is important to tell as many people as possible about them all. I have written two myself, one based (in part) on another scripting tutorial I read and the other is a continuation to expand. You can find those in the list of tutorials or here in a separate thread.

One of my tutorials was also published in the March 2010 issue of DotAn8 Magazine, a magazine which publishes in spurts depending on the amount of articles written. You can download that issue and others on the issues page of the website (

Hope this helps you in your exploration for more knowledge (or just learning ASL).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day against DRM

May 4th is Day against DRM, if you don't know what DRM is check out the Defective By Design website and this link. Basically DRM, or Digital Rights Managment, allows software to block the user's ability to access certain things such as movies, music, ect. Most Mac and Windows software have DRM, as well as things like DVDs (Most DVDs are encrypted so only certain software can access it). Defective by Design is a part (or related to) the Free Software Foundation and their fight for digital rights.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS released!

Well the newest Ubuntu version was just released, Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support(LTS), codenamed "Lucid Lynx". You can download it here and check it out. I've heard lots of good things about this latest version, especially the groovy updates to the look, namely the change from the orange/brown look of 9.** to the slick purple we see in 10.04. Although a still a little dark for my tastes, I'm sure that there are plenty of other themes and backrounds with the latest version.

Ubuntu 10.04 does not include the GIMP anymore as it has been called to "professional" and the "simple photo editor" job has been taken over by F-Spot (which is also included in 9.10). F-Spot is alright, although a bit confusing seeing as you can't do "simple" things like go into edit mode from the F-Spot photo viewer, instead you must open the separate F-Spot photo editor.

Lucid Lynx also includes the Ubuntu One service, which gives you 2gb of online storage space. You can access this anywhere (from a computer running Ubuntu One). Another features is the Ubuntu music store now included as a default link in Rythmbox, where you can download DRM free music. (If you don't know what DRM free means check out this)

Although I have yet to install it on my normal computer, I am looking forward to seeing it in action with all my routine work.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Security Course

I recently took an "course" on network security which you can sign up for here. I first found it from another website which lists interesting sources for free computer technology education:

To use the "course" you simple sign up for the "newsletter" then, every day you recieve the next part of the "course". Each part has a couple pages on various things relating to networking and keeping you computer secure. It talks about the TCP/IP protocol, viruses, worms, trojans, firewalls, antivirus programs and more. If you don't know what any one of those words mean, I suggest you take the "course". Even if you do consider yourself a little bit of an expert, it can still be slightly informative.

There are a total of 10 parts, and after each you can take a small quiz. At the end you can take an "exam" which tests you on everything you have learned (or not) throughout the "course".

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Christmas Blend

I thought I'd show the "Blender Render" I did over Christmas, which I'm hoping to, along with the spring render, turn into a seasons series. I am expecting to do a render for summer and fall, and then have a complete collection. The blend itself was fairly simple, I used some reflective spheres for the ornaments and used a beveled curve with a cloth modifier applied for the two strings which are resting on the floor. The one moving had no modifier applied.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Before I started using Blender as my main 3D program I used a program called Anim8or. Anim8or is a small 3d modeling suite written by R. Steven Glandvill. Although it is not open source it is provided for free. The latest supported version is v0.95 although you can get the "preview" of v0.97d which is the latest released development build. In v0.97d you can use three renderers the openGL renderer, a Scanline renderer, and the newly added Anim8or Ray Tracer(ART) which allows reflections, ray traced transparency and other cool features.

Anim8or also has an animation system which allows you to make an armature(skeleton) and then animate it. As well as a scene system where you can place your cameras, lights, animated models, stationary models, ect.

Anim8or has a friendly forum on the main website, as well as an external one called Animators Anonymous(AnimAnon).

On the website there are a number of galleries showing work from as far back as v0.1 all the way to the latest v0.97d. The two best(IMHO) are here and here.

You can download the program and learn more about it's features here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Story of Building a Computer(Part 2)

I had asked my friend to help me because he knew a lot more about computers then me, so he came over when I had all my components. He was also the one who gave me the motherboard and the power supply. Then we were ready to put it together. First we UNPLUGGED THE COMPUTER!(Don't forget otherwise you may get a shock..) We had cleared the desk, so we had lots of room, then we started taking out all the frontal components like the floppy drive, the dvd drive and the two hard drives. After we had gotten those components out of the way we were able to get the fans out, since they were very loud we put some WD-40(A type of oil) in them, this however was only temporary and for a more solid oil it was suggested to put sewing machine oil in.

We also took out the power supply to make it easier to get everything else out. Then we took out all the pci/agp cards, like the modem card, network card and GFX card. Next the CPU(The fan was already off), and finally we took out the motherboard itself. Then we had to put everything in.

We put in the motherboard first, screwing it down tightly to the case. Then we put in the heart, the CPU. It looked much newer than the old one (for good reason), and the fan also looked much nicer, it was all round and smooth instead of square. The one thing to be careful of when putting the CPU fan on is the amount of pressure you put on. It can take a lot of pressure to push the "clips" through but you have to be careful not to break the motherboard, my board for example was bending a lot, so we put a screwdriver or two underneath to help support it.

After that we put in the HDD and DVD Drives, the HDD, almost the same size as my old one, contained more than 20x as much space. Technology has improved a lot. Once those were in we hooked up the GFX card. Everything was in place once we put the power supply in. Then we hooked up all the wires. Plugged the power supply into the motherboard, the DVD and HDD Drive, and plugged the fans into various places. We also hooked the HDD's new SATA cable into the motherboard and with a sleek, new, black IDE cable hooked up the DVD.

Finally we had to figure out where to put all the front panel cables. There was about 8 to 12 of them and they all looked identical except for little text at their side saying things like, "usb0(-)","usb1(+)","pwr sw(+)" and so on. We had no clue where to put them, but after a bit of trial and error (on the Internet) we found the correct manual (my friend hadn't brought his with him), and then we were able to plug it all in. Finally the computer was built! I plugged in the monitor and the power chords, and then pressed the button.

It didn't work.

I pressed it again.
It still didn't work.

I pressed it a couple times in quick succesion.
It still didn't want to work.

I got down on my knees and pleaded. (well not really...)
It didn't work.

We rechecked the power switch and other cables from the front panel, they all seemed fine. Finally my friend touched the screwdriver to the two power switch pieces and it started to start up!
Then it died.

We finally figured, either the switches were broken, which it didn't look like, or something else was broken, like the power supply. We got a couple tools to check the power supply, where you plug the plugs in(no pun intended), and test to see the voltage. With it we determined that the power supply was either dead, or had some dead cables(we saw one), so we got a new one(my friend had 2 spares). We took out the old supply and put in the new one, then plugged it all in. This time the computer booted fine.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Blender is a free(as in Open Source) 3D Modelling suite, written in C with some C++ extensions and Python as a embeded(I believe) scripting language. Although many people are put off by its interface there are many tutorials out there to get you started. Blender is, in some people's minds, almost as advanced as some commercial programs out there such as lightwave, Maya or 3D Studio Max. It has many cool features such as:
  • Fluid Simulation: Not very good for large scale sims but very good at small scale
  • Particle Animations: Lots of cool particle effects from boids, to strands(hair/grass/...)
  • Mesh modeling: This may be one of the weaker features as there are no n-gons(multi vertex faces) and things like boolean subtraction are very weak, but still a solid system.
  • Sculpting: Along with multires it allows you to create some stunning images
  • Sophisticated Rendering and Materials/Textures: A variety of procedural textures, and quite customizable materials, including Ray-traced reflection, ray-traced and other transparency, sub-surface scattering, Ambient Occlusion(Approximate and Ray-trace), ect.
  • UV-Editing: A very comprehensive UV-Editing tool as well as texturing painting( even directly onto the mesh).
Blender includes many other cool features as well which can help you do things like make games( a game enging), edit video(A non-linear video editor) and more. A new version is being developed and is just leaving the alpha stage, this includes many new features like better/faster sculpting, a new mesh api(this means better modeling and n-gon support), A new Python Script API, many internal changes, Volume Rendering, Smoke Simulation and even more advanced fluid simulation. This new version is called 2.5(the development) and 2.6(the release). You can check out the latest version of 2.5 here:
2.52 Download Page
And look at the development process by joining the mailing list, or checking out which shows the latest builds/commits/ect. To get involved in development poke around the development tab on

I started using Blender after hearing a couple comparisons between it and a much smaller(but still lovable) 3D Package called Anim8or. At first I thought the comparisons were unfair, but though they may have been slightly stacked the comparisons did show that blender was a far more advanced program. I mucked around in it, quite confused, for a while until I found The Essential Blender. A book(which you can download the text of and browse on the web), made by the Blender Foundation to introduce Blender 2.48(much different from 2.5). The text alone was invaluable, and when I bought the book much later it helped me to understand Blender a lot! I would definitely recommend this book to beginners.

Also just surfing the web for tutorials will help you come up with all sorts of stuff. A very good site that started a while back is Blender-Tuts which is a listing of many tutorials around the web. BlenderCookie is another website which has very comprehensive tutorials, although they are all video which can be a show stopper for low bandwidth users...

I hope this has helped you all to understand blender a little better. :D

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Render

Here is a spring render I did for a weekend competition on BlenderArtists forum. I used a particle simulation to get the grass, then a colourband with alpha to make it look nice.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cloud 1

I am really into 3D as you'll soon find out, and I thought I'd share my latest "adventure". I called this piece "Cloud 1" for the obvious reason that there are a lot of clouds in it. I started off following a point-density texture tutorial using a 3D graphics program called Blender, which I'll tell you more about later. If you want to try it you can download the free(and only) version here:

Here is the render:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Story of Building a Computer

Well today, with the a bit of help I was able to start on the journey of building my own computer for the first time. I have always loved computer but have thought of myself as more of a software guy than hardware, now I see how close these two really are. I hope all my next systems will be self build(except laptops). So here goes:

My original system had these specs:

Motherboard: Intel D845EPI Desktop Board
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.0 ghz processor
Cooler: stock
RAM: (x1) 256mb DDR1
Graphics Card: GeForce MX 440 (AGP slot)
Modem Card: Conexant?
Network Card: D-Link
HDD 1: 40gb Maxtor
HDD 2: 14gb Maxtor
6 USB ports
Sony DVD-rom drive
Floppy Disk Drive (FDD)

Both of my fans were dead, the fan on the graphics card was dead, and my hard drives were all full. Finally my motherboard crashed which required me to either buy a new computer, upgrade, or replace the motherboard. I chose to upgrade, although I intended to use a lot of the parts I found out later why this would not work out. First of all I used DDR 1 ram which for the most part is a no show on motherboards even in a remote place like where I live. Second my CPU used a LGA478 socket instead of the more modern LGA775(for low end processors). Another problem was my obselete graphics card which worked for an AGP port instead of the newer PCI Express.

So I was going to have to upgrade at least 4 of my components unless I chose a really old motherboard, which probably wasn't even worth it. I figured I might as well upgrade the hard drives to while I was at it. My goal was to get a workable system, which was much faster than my original(not hard) as well as being very cheap. I decided I'd stick with my case and PSU and upgrade everything else.

I received my motherboard as a gift from a friend who had a spare, this really cut down my cost, but forced me to get new ram(DDR2), a new gfx card(PCIe) and a new CPU(LGA775). I soon found out however that my power supply did not have enough pins to support the motherboard so I would need a new one, my friend also provided me with one further lowering my cost. My budget, I decided, was going to be around $200-$250.

For a cpu I wanted an improvement over the previous but didn't need it to be fancy. I looked around at the stores and I was able to see to categories, the Intel core duo or the Intel Pentium cpus. The Core Duos were just a little expensive for me(being at around $140 instead of the $65 for a Pentium) so I opted to get a Pentium. I could choose the E5200 or the E5400 the '200 was $15 cheaper and .2 ghz slower, but I went for price over performance and wrote that down in the list.

For a Graphics card there were a couple options, all of them Nvidia. There was a GeForce 8400GS 512mb, a GF 9300GT 512mb and a GF 9400GT 1gb. The 8400 was $53 whereas the 9300 was $75 and the 9400 $85. I again opted for the cheaper 8400 which after a little research looked as if it would serve me well for my needs(3D Design and Programming).

For RAM I wanted a big improvement over my previous 256mb, which wasn't to hard. I went for (x2) 1gb DDR2 sticks. My friend told me that having two sticks instead of ram would boost my performance by 2 since the computer could then write to both at one time, so thats a tip for anyone else building a computer, get 2 smaller instead of one bigger. The RAM cost me $50 total.

Finally I decided I would upgrade my 40gb hard drive to something much larger. I selected a 320gb Western Digital HD that would more up my space by 10x. This cost $65 which was $2 more expensive than a 250gb HD I'd seen at another store, so that it was definitely a good deal.

Once I had compiled my list (of chosen components, it took a while) I was ready to go out and buy. I stopped at the first store to complete my successful purchase of my gfx card. I then went to the next store to buy my CPU (The E5200) only to find that they were out of stock, this was a disappointment, but not a major problem with my journey. I stopped back at the first store to buy the E5400 in the end I got 0.2ghz more speed! My final stop at a third store was for buying the HDD and the RAM. The RAM was there(luckily) but unfortunately they were out of the 320gb HDD. So I again went for the more expensive 640gb (for $100 instead of $65) since I figured I'd probably be able to use the space. Now with all my components I was ready to build...

Wait till my next post to see how it turns out.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First Blog

This is my first blog at jaydez-tech! Yay! Hope there will be a lot more to come. I'll be focusing on upgrading/building a computer in the near future as I go through that experience myself, so "stay tuned".