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Pump up your PC 3

LAST week we talked about motherboards, so this time we'll talk about the other components that are key to the perfect overclock: memory, a power supply unit and a chassis.

The de facto standard for the motherboard and processor we've talked about is DDR2 memory. Some of the more expensive motherboards let you use DDR3 instead, but with this level of hardware, it's too expensive to justify the minor performance increase. Instead, look to get at least 2GB of DDR2 memory rated at 800 MHz at least. This'll set you back about 3200/= if you're buying around the time I'm writing this, and you should always get a name brand like Transcend. If your pocket feels too heavy to handle, look for Corsair Dominator memory, but be warned that premium memory is certainly not cheap. We've chosen DDR2-800 to allow us headroom to overclock our processor as much as 100% if need be, though we'll probably hit a wall somewhere before we get that far. In either case, it doesn't hurt to have a margin.

The other component that you need, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is a quality name-brand power supply unit. These are expensive, but are absolutely indispensable not only for overclocking, but for running the superior graphics card you're aiming to get. Currently the only place I know of that carries these is United Computers at BCS Computer city. They carry Thermaltake Toughpower PSUs ranging from 420W (3500/=) to 850W (16000/=). Toughpower PSUs are brilliant, and will power you through most gaming needs without the slightest flutter; the only other PSU I've seen in BCS worth looking at is a Thermaltake TR2 500, which costs 5000/=. Do not skimp here, because this will stop your computer from frying itself when you're dominating in Unreal Tournament or FIFA. The most important point to look at isn't the total wattage though, but the current output rating on the 12V rail which should be in excess of 25A.

Somewhat relevant in this context is the issue of getting a decent chassis, i.e. a casing for your computer. This may seem like an afterthought at first, but your choice of chassis is actually fairly significant. You're looking to invest a sizable amount of money into some rather premium hardware that uses a fair amount of power and generates a decent amount of heat, so you don't really want it all to bake, do you? Accordingly. When selecting a casing. Look for one with as much ventilation as possible. Extra case fans are nice to have, you ideally want at least two: one at the bottom of the front as an intake, and one at the top of the back, near the CPU, as an exhaust. The Thermaltake PSUs come with a large fan to cool the PSU that can additionally draw some warm air from out of the system and remove heat too. If you really want to burn money, you can do it in style by getting either a Gigabyte 3D Aurora (I've heard it quoted at 22000/=, yes, three zeros, not two) or a Thermaltake Armor+ (when in stock, about 16000/=) which are casings that will certainly keep your components cool, and will look good doing it, to boot. The Armor+, in particular, has some rather funky cold-cathode lighting down the front and sides, and is generally an impressive behemoth any gamer can proudly boast about.


The Circle of Life

MOHAMMED JAFAR IQBAL once wrote in a book of his, Tuki O Jhaa-er (pray) Dushshahoshik Ovijaan, of a planet where the alleged social positions of men and women were switched, i.e. men were the ones staying at home and cooking, looking after the kids and even being Adam-teased [I suppose that is the opposite of being eve-teased]. It was all good fun and laughter and spoke heaps on behalf of feminism. Recently, an Indian mobile phone ad triggered that same funny bone in me. A few girls were standing before the flat of a guy and one of the girls had a guitar and she was singing “Pehla Nashaa”, apparently to woo the guy. But it also got me thinking. What goes around, comes around. Are men, unwittingly perhaps, sliding into the image of women?

Now I'm not being stereotypical here. I love the idea of women being independent and equal to men. In many cases, you ladies have surpassed us, and considering the amount of pressure on you, that is an extraordinary achievement. And I hold nothing against you. This is for the guys. Can you not feel the slight change in the air? Yes, it is the perfume of metrosexuality, the newest branch in the male Homo sapiens' fashion sense.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good. Maintaining a nice haircut, wearing nice clothes and being the proud owner of clean nails - it's a grand idea. Once a month at the barber, once a week with the nail cutter and occasional visits to nice shops and tailors - whenever your wallet permits it - gives you all those things. But all this fuss about facials and manicures and pedicures is just…weird. It's ok for a certain faction of the male populace you guys go ahead but the rest, the supposedly straight ones, never cease to astonish.

One of my female friends said, “What is with these guys who have to go to Gent's parlours? I mean, honestly, there are some that complain when their nail is broken [that was her ex]. What's next?” And I'm sure there are plenty of women out there that harbour the complete opposite of her sentiment. “What's wrong with a man who likes to take care of himself? It's a nice change,” said another of my female friends in a different conversation. That's the opinions of the opposite sex. As for men, there are also two parties. One who hold the metrosexuals in complete and utter ridicule and contempt; the others agree so much with metrosexuality, that they are metrosexuals.

“For the past few millennia, women and men have held the two opposite poles of the social magnet. Now, as the magnet shortens and the poles draw closer, we seem to be diverging again, for better or for worse. There can be no isolated North or South Pole, except in theory, and I wish to God it wasn't so,” this is another quote, this one from a male friend of mine who delivered it with a sigh. I hate to sound like a male chauvinistic pig, and I realize that people are free to do whatever they will with themselves, and this is entirely my own opinion, but we are lost in the sea of Fair and Handsome and Gent's Parlours. I once went to the barbershop and there was this guy there with his wife and really cute young daughter. He was having a facial. The daughter was staring wide-eyed at her dad for some time and then she asked her mum, “What's daddy doing?” I mean, come on!

Eh, don't mind me. I'm just old fashioned. I'm part of a dying breed. Whatever people want to do with themselves, it's their life, their choice. And it was bound to happen someday. After all that time we were impatient with our significant others about taking too long to get ready, maybe it's their turn. Maybe there is such a thing as Karma. Metrosexuality is here to stay. So I guess there is nothing to do but sigh, admit defeat and make a choice. I've already made mine. No points for being able to guess what I chose.

By Kazim Ibn Sadique

Book review

The Road

IN the novel Children of Men, we were introduced to a bleak world without a future, where, with the human race poised for extinction, the old are hopelessly awaiting the inevitable, and the young are cruel and merciless.

In Stephen King's Dark Tower series, we see Roland the Gunslinger travel strange and often barren lands, the child Jake in tow.

We are reminded of both in Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer-winning novel, The Road. The story revolves around an unnamed father and sun, travelling across a ravaged and dying America, following a mysterious cataclysm that has very likely almost annihilated the world population. As the weather turns chill, the duo strike out over the highways, seeking warmth in the southern lands.

The road is fraught with danger from the elements, as the sun and moon are blotted out by ash, and there is constant rainfall, which suggests a nuclear winter, or the fallout of some major explosion. Flora and fauna are all but completely wiped out, so the father and son are left to forage for canned food from the ghost towns they pass through. Just as dangerous are the bands of cannibals who roam the country, seeking hapless refugees to devour. The pair encounter such grisly scenes as bound captives, whose limbs are harvested for the flesh, a decapitated baby roasting on a spit, and more.

As the story progresses, we learn that the boy's mother had committed suicide at the onset of whatever the great disaster had been, and that the man himself is slowly dying. Despite this knowledge, the two soldier on towards an uncertain destination, "each the other's world entire". In fact, the father's fierce and desperate love for his son stands out like a beacon against the dystopian premises of the story. Will they make it to wherever they are headed? You'll have to read the book to find out.

McCarthy employs a rough, simplistic style, relying only on commas and full stops, to the point of forgetting apostrophes. His descriptions are detailed, almost poetic and each new paragraph embodies a fresh scene entire. If you've seen the movie No Country for Old Men, which is also another gem by the same author, you'll be familiar with the slow pace, the sparseness of the dialogue.

The Road has been adapted into a movie starring Viggo Mortenson and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

By Sabrina F Ahmad

Foto Feature

THE children of Bangladesh are always irresistible, busy in their own realm. This was shot at Mirjapur, Tangail from a typical village of the rurals. I got these toddlers chasing a rickshaw van and on catching up to it, they remained hanging behind it. Oh, the carefree childhood! Each of us are blessed with precious memories from our early ages. A time not bound to rules and responsibilities! Years flowing with freedom and joy! The wonders of the innocent age are myriad reflections on the streets of every locale of Bangladesh. This shot is just another celebration of the cheerful memories from the golden age.

By Ishtiaque



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