Thursday, November 25, 2021

Why is my hard drive making noises?

Now that I've built my computer to the specifications outlined in my previous article, I am ready to write a series of articles reflecting on the experience. Spoiler: This was the most frustrating build of my life. These articles will outline specific hardware problems and their solutions (if any).

This first article will discuss issues with hard drives. My next article will review the Fractal case I used. I might also prepare some benchmark figures. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Essential books on sound art

This is a reading list of essential books in the field of sound art. The term is provisionally defined to include non-narrative, non-performative works in a gallery context. This definition excludes experimental music in the main, since that field is well-served by a century of robust literature. 

As a term, sound art is only as old as 1990, though it has been applied retroactively to a body of prior work. Further debates on categories will be deferred to the following volumes, each of which deals with this thorny issue in its own way.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Video editing computer build 2021

In my previous article I outlined my computer purchases over the last decade. During that time I used the same Fractal Design case and upgraded the motherboard, CPU, and GPU exactly once.

But now my video work requires more computing power than I have available. Over a year ago I decided to build a new system from scratch. This ill-timed decision corresponded with the worldwide GPU shortage. It is only now that I've been able to act on this requirement. The upside is that I've had plenty of time to research and document my choices. This article outlines the rationale for my purchases, so that you can benefit from my research.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Computer purchase history to date

I thought it would be interesting to review my computer purchase history. Partial motivation for this exercise is to refute the consumerist idea that one must continuously advance to the "latest greatest" thing. I've only ever bought computer components in order to achieve immediate, necessary goals. In each case I've determined where the "weakest link" in my system resided, then replaced that component. 

While many YouTube builders put together new systems monthly, I re-use old parts and "make do" for sometimes years at a time. This is a necessary process for anyone on a budget.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

The computer as a tool: a prelude to hardware specifications

Being a digital media artist, the computer is my primary tool, quite unlike other tools, being general-purpose machines that require modification and configuration before they are fit for purpose. It's easy to buy a hammer to hammer, a toaster to toast. It's somewhat more involved to buy paints to paint, paper on which to print, and so on. But it's definitively a non-trivial matter to buy and configure a computer... at least for anyone who wishes to deeply engage with their working process.