For anyone that “really” knows me, computers and technology have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Hours of transposing, character after character of code, grade eight science fair projects on computer animation, to Bulletin Boards Systems (BBMing) and some of the original MMORPG gaming such as Trade Wars, or my first UNIX based internet account (good old Lynx and fighting for a dialup connection), it is no wonder I co-signed a bank loan to upgrade my computer at the age of 15 From my roots with a Commodore Vic-20, Tandy Coco and Coco 2, through to my first DOS-based computer with the Tandy 1000 EX (Intel x86). The world of personal computers has changed a lot since 1981 and the Vic-20’s f 5 KB of RAM, a whopping 16 colours and 160×160 pixels resolution (25,600 pixels).
Today, I am equally as amazed by computers and technology, and even more amazed by our digital world. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, we are all virtually connected, even movies such as Chef starring Jon Favreau goes to show the power of Twitter; the power of trending, and the inter-connectedness, and more significantly how instantaneous and reactionary the world has become.
A Museum of Technology
I think every techie has a rubber maid, or two, of used computer parts and electronic gadgets. I was looking for a spare SATA cable the other day and coincidently, I pulled out a retired ATI (AMD) Rage 128 video card (circa 1995-1999), and supporting infinite jump in processing power from my Vic-20 days, offering a dedicated 16 MB SDRAM. My how technology leapfrogs – who here remembers Pong?
AMD R9 285 Graphics Card
In celebration of AMD’s 30th Birthday, the CPU and GPU legend recently launched its Radeon R9 285 performance-segment graphics card during an August 23, 2014 press event. To view the event, check out AMD’s YouTube Channel. Receiving rave reviews across the internet, the new R9 285 and available across all AMD’s partners including Asus, Gigabyte, and Sapphire, and will become a force to reckon with in the graphics card market. What was even more incredible was the price point, at an unbelievable $249, the R9 285 features 1792 stream processors, 2GB of GDDR5 memory and runs on a 256-bit memory bus designed to knock Nvidia’s GTX 760 off its feet, and allow gamers to play PC games at maximum detail better than any card in its class.
Packed with AMD’s lineup of features, the Radeon R9 285 graphics card is noted to be loaded with the latest technologies AMD has to offer from Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, including mixed screen resolution for AMD Eyefinity technology (up to 5 screens) and support for DirectX®12, and AMD’s groundbreaking Mantle API.
A small step away from the Commodore Vic-20
Remember the Vic-20? Putting processing power aside, and consider memory alone how does the 5 kB (of which 1.2 kB was for the operating system and processing) of the Vic-20 stand up in comparison? Even if the processing power of computers today was equatable, imagine processing 400,000 times more information at one time then the Vic-20?
|Video Card||RAM (kB)||
or in other words ...
|Vic-20 (CPU and GPU)||
|ATI Rage 128||
|AMD R9 285||
The Gaming Rig and the Big Win
To celebrate AMD’s 30th birthday and the new R9 285 series of video cards John Byrne, Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at AMD announced he would be giving away his Personal Gaming PC to a deserving Ultimate AMD Fan. In addition to being AMD red, the rig shown to the side featured:
- AMD FX 9590 CPU (4.7 GHz; Octa core)
- 16 GB AMD Radeon Memory
- 2 X AMD R9 285 Graphics Cards
Truthfully a dream setup for any AMD fan. So what was the catch? Well, as simple as tweeting to John Byrne why you thought you were the ultimate AMD fan to win, what was touted as his personal computer. The system looked even more impressive on an incredible three-screen, mixed resolution Eyefinity stretching across 8560 X 1440 pixel resolution or over 12 million pixels.
So why does one deserve to win a new AMD gaming rig? What makes you the ultimate AMD fan? Are you an ultimate gamer? Think RED, is a kick-ass colour? Or, are you simply self entitle enough to think, you simply “deserve” to win? For me, it has to do with history. From my first custom build, and every component upgrade in-between, whether it was the ATI Rage 128, AMD Athlon A7 processor, to my countless Radeon cards, and AMD CPU’s, All in Wonder graphic cards, and even my ATI TV Wonder Cards, an AMD CPU or GPU has powered every custom-built PC I have pulled together over the last 22 years. So off my tweet went, and I waited ……..
Every Contest has a Winner
I admit my twitter feed is relatively quiet — I tweet when I am inspired, and follow those that are worthy. However this afternoon at around, 4:45 PM EST I noticed that I had a Twitter notification. Humm ….. what random person followed me today? So this is where I come full circle to my rant about how instantaneous and reactionary the world has become. That tweet I mentioned at 4:45? Well it was from no other then @JohnByrneCSO, who wrote the following :
“Congratulations to @Mark_Hanlon who is the lucky winner! We appreciate your loyalty.”
Wow, wait, did I say wow? Truthfully, the nervous, kid on Christmas morning, excitement has passed, however, the idea of winning still seems a little surreal, even a few hours later. However, what was equally as incredible was the snowball, of tweets, forwards, mentions, and favourites that have flooded in since Mr. Byrnes tweeted this afternoon. I admit, nothing as viral as #IceBucketChallenges, yet I am very appreciative to the countless words of kudos and congratulations for my incredible win, so with that, I will finally hit send on this crazy post. However, before I go, I once again wanted to thank for this incredible prize that awaits me, and to which I tweeted:
@JohnByrneCSO #WOW – I admit I am near speechless, super stoked, and completely excited. Thank you to @AMD30Live!”