Friday, April 5, 2013

An Exciting Retirement?!

If you saw this post title in a feed somewhere, never fear -- I am NOT retiring from fansubbing or anything else. However, I am retiring something. Back in March 2005, I did something wrong to blow up, short out, or fry the motherboard of the aging HP Pavillion PC I'd had since September 2000. As memories go, it provided a platform for most of my college schoolwork, and the first downloaded anime I ever watched -- old .avis of Trigun, Chrono Crusade, Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), and others, all watched via CD-Rs borrowed or copied from friends.

Luckily, I salvaged relevant files off its 10 GB HDD and transferred them to my new purchase, a Gateway 504-GR. With its blazing 1-core 3 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB of RAM, and 1024x768 CRT display, it has mostly served me well for the past 8 years and 1 month, including:

* 2 relocations
* 1 anime convention viewing room use (because who was going to steal it?)
* 2 employment paradigm changes (graduate school -> fast food -> informal economy)
* 2 reformat/reinstalls due to viruses/malware, in June 2007 and October 2009
* 1 HDD corruption and replacement (in wake of 2nd r&r, 200 GB -> 500 GB)
* An embarrassing number of repeated playthroughs of certain campaign missions of Warcraft 2 and Starcraft 1
* Thousands of anime episodes watched, and hundreds? of episodes released
* Outlived 3 external HDDs

Sadly, there were some things it hasn't weathered as well, such as attempts to add more RAM or upgrade to Windows XP SP3. And in the anime world, the transitions from SD to HD and more recently 8-bit to 10-bit, have taken their toll. I'm the type who resists change, and at first it was easy to do -- HD-only releases were the exception, not the rule, and many of the early HDTV releases used hardsubbed karaoke/signs or were 100% hardsubbed, and bitrates were lower. And before Blu-Ray took hold in mid-2009, the definitive/uncensored archive-quality releases were almost always DVD source. But as Blu-Ray gained traction, SD release became scarcer or limited to TV-rips, and the 10-bit transition meant that even low-res releases were at risk of playback issues.

So, having made a short story long, the point is: after scraping together enough cash and credit, I FINALLY HAS A NEW PC!!!1!! While not top-of-the-line by any means (because I don't play modern PC games and because money), preliminary tests show it to be a massive improvement over the current desktop. It's an Asus A8-5500, with an AMD 3.2 GHz quadcore, 12 GB RAM, Radeon graphics card, and a 1 TB HDD. Along with it, I picked up a 20"/1600x900 LCD monitor, though I will take my own advice and keep the old CRT around as a secondary monitor for older/LQ files.

Because despite this upgrade, I don't intend to go "HD or bust" by any means. Rest assured that I will still keep the same commitment to re-releasing older/hardsubbed/DVD-only shows, to keeping rare old TV-fansubs available, and to making BakaBT more complete with SD option uploads. I plan to continue mostly DLing SD releases where possible and prudent. It's more size-efficient, and the size/distance of my HDTV are such that there's not much difference between 480p and 720p. (So please, groups doing 480p BD releases, don't stop on my account!) I'm not about to replace my existing collection either, as that would mean tons of time, bandwidth, space, and tracker ratio hits. Lastly, old habits are hard to break -- whenever I see "1280x720" or "1080p," my first instinct is to think "laggy/unwatchable, skip."

However, I'm not using the new PC just yet, as I first want to: (1) find my WinXP Recovery DVD (2) add my old main 500 GB HDD to the new PC (3) install XP on my old 200 GB secondary internal, and use it to keep the old tower active. Let's hope I can do all that without shorting a drive and losing data.

And that concludes this heavily tl;dr screed. A blog entry on a blog, imagine that!


  1. The monitor I'm using right now is an 22-inch bought from a charity shop and it's doing 1680x1050 at the moment. Great for watching 720p releases.

  2. It's always a great feeling to get new equipment! :)