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The Broker
Sunday 1st January, 2006 23:22 Comments: 0
I just finished reading the latest book from John Grisham, The Broker, not bad considering I only picked it up this afternoon. Well written, exciting, with a fairly decent conclusion too. Quite a good Christmas present from my grandparents.

I've also been listening to Kelly Clarkson again, such a good album. Currently listening to Walk Away. Until this album, I'd never listened to her music before. I spent most of last year listening to old bands and artists, I used to know all the new/up and coming bands a decade ago, even if I didn't like them; nowadays I can barely recognise those in the top 10. I think that's partly because there are very few new artists that hang around, it's mostly catchy tunes, your one hit wonders, the type of band that might have an album or two if they're lucky. There doesn't seem to be your Blur, Oasis, Radiohead, Take That, Manic Street Preachers band from this decade, and none of your Madonna, Robbie, Kylie type solo artists. With most of them getting on a bit, and many bands falling apart, and people just downloading singles from places like iTunes, it's getting harder to find an artist to fall in love with, whose music will constantly deliver, a "dependable brand" so to speak. I think Radiohead have a new album out this year though, hopefully it won't take as long to grow on me as their last couple did.

I've also been looking at processors for this year. It looks like Intel's next generation desktop chip, Conroe, will have a low thermal rating (that's good) and will be about twice as fast as AMD's current chips (that's very good). If they can price it properly, and release it in July as predicted, they should regain their crown. AMD should bring in DDR2 support, which will definitely help, when they bring out their M2 socket in Q2 2006, but unless they can ramp up the speeds too, it'll only be the price (and the fact that M2 should support quad-core in 2007) that keeps them in the game. I'll probably look at buying a decent value Conroe based system, maybe even buy it as a new system, at some point this year (maybe around October?) as my main computer is starting to feel a bit old (the new fileserver is far more powerful). The current processor is an AMD 2800+ Barton that has served me well for nearly 3 years now (I used to get through a CPU every 9-12 months, so it's done very well, partly because over the past 3 years processors have just got a lot hotter without getting much faster - until dual core appeared a few months back). The graphics card, an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, has lasted something like 2 years (I don't play that many games with it, and it seems to cope fine at 1680x1050 with games like SWAT4). All of the other parts must be over 3 years old, with the exception of the new motherboard when it died a little while back. I think it's time for a major upgrade sometime. I wouldn't mind a 65W TDP Conroe with dual cores running at 3GHz with a stupidly large cache. Mmmm.

I somehow seem to have no plans for tomorrow.
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