Month: April 2019

Should You Keep A Brand New AM4 Mainboard With A “Damaged” Socket?

Last month I posted a video on how I installed the AMD Athlon 200GE processor into the AM4 socket of the Asrock B450M Pro4 MATX mainboard with a little bit of pressure. Despite the clicking sound from the socket, the processor worked fine after extensive tests at stock and overclock speeds. Should you keep a brand new AM4 mainboard with a “damaged” socket?

While switching out heatsinks to lower overclocking temperatures, I made an attempt to remove the processor from the socket. I lifted up the lever and heard a clicking sound when the socket was fully opened. I was able to pull out and drop in the processor without any pressure, and press down on the lever to close the socket without a clicking sound. After repeating that a half dozen times, the clicking sound went away and the processor still works fine.

The AM4 socket is a Zero Insertion Force, or ZIF, socket, which does not make clicking sounds or require pressure to insert a processor. Something funky about the socket on the mainboard that now works fine.

  • If you are a new or less experienced PC builder, you might find it safer to return the mainboard for another one with a working socket.
  • If you are an experienced PC builder, the risk of something going wrong might be less than the hassle of returning the mainboard to the store during the return period.

Let me know in the comments below if you would have kept a mainboard with a “damaged” socket.

20 Years Between Star Wars Trailers

I got goosebumps from watching the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that came out last week. The last time a Star Wars trailer gave me the goosebumps was the teaser trailer for The Phantom Menace in November 1998. That was over 20 years ago. Before the dark times, before Jar-Jar Binks. A very different time for the Internet and movie theaters than it is today.

The online teaser trailer for The Phantom Menace downloaded — not streamed — over 10 million times, a record for the Internet at that time. Most home users had a 56K dial-up connection, and DSL that was much faster than dial-up was becoming more widely available. With a faster Internet connection at work or university, you still had to download the video file for best performance on late 1990’s computers.

The teaser trailer appeared in theaters before The Waterboy, Meet Joe Black, and The Siege. People paid $7 USD to see the two-minute trailer and then leave without seeing the movie. I wouldn’t witness that until the trailer appeared before Wing Commander in March 1999, where 90% of the audience left without seeing the movie. If you enjoy really bad science fiction, Wing Commander was great. Freddie Prinzer Jr., who co-starred in Wing Commander, would later voice Kanan Jarrus in the animated TV series, Star Wars Rebels.

I was as a video game tester at Accolade when The Phantom Menace came out in May 1999. Our HR person pulled off the impossible by having the entire company of 100+ people see the 1:30PM showing on opening day at the Winchester Century 22 movie theater. The same theater that I saw the original Star Wars in 1977 when I was a seven-year-old kid.

We left the office at 10AM to stand in line for three hours before the movie started. The HR staff handed out sandwiches and soda for lunch in line. Other people in line wondered why we were getting the VIP treatment. Besides being hardcore gamers, we were hardcore Star Wars fans.

Like many people who saw The Phantom Menace, the movie itself did not live up to expectations of the teaser trailer. We will not speak of the evil known as Jar-Jar Binks.

Twenty years later…

  • You can stream The Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer on your cellphone or PC, as everyone has enough bandwidth and hardware performance.
  • I very much doubt anyone will pay $20 USD just to see the teaser trailer and walk out without seeing the movie, which I think might be Avengers: Endgame opening next week.
  • With reserved seating for Dolby and IMAX movies these days, no one stands in line for hours to see a Star Wars movie, or any movie for that matter.

Will The Rise of Skywalker live up to expectations of the teaser trailer? We will have to wait and see.

James & Oliver Phelps (Harry Potter) Coming to SVCC 2019

The organizers for Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019 posted on Facebook last week that a new guest announcement would be made 24 hours later. With three lightning bolt emojis in the Facebook post, there were several possibilities as to who the mystery guest could be. Based on the timing and the use of the lightning bolt emoji, Zachery Levi was the most obvious choice as Shazam opened last week. Other possibilities included Brie Larson from Captain Marvel, Chris Hemsworth from Avengers Endgame, or David Harbour from Hellboy.

Whom did the organizers announced with great fanfare 24 hours later?

James and Oliver Phelps, the twin brothers who played Fred and George Weasley in Harry Potter.

With Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019 just four months away, the guest announcements have been few and far between. The guest list prior to new announcement was Jason Momoa of Aquaman, Morena Baccarin of Deadpool, and Ben McKenzie of Gotham. You can watch my Jason Momoa video to catch up on the announcement misfires from last year that cast doubts on the organizers’ ability to put together a half-way decent guest list.

The impromptu timing and buildup for the Weasley Twins was just another announcement misfire by the organizers. You don’t drop three lightning bolt emojis in a Facebook post just before Shazam opens and then announced actors from a completely different franchise.

The announcement also didn’t coincide with any major Harry Potter news for that week.

Unless you counted the Polish priest who apologized for burning Harry Potter books and other “evil items” that promoted sorcery in society. His book burning campaign was against sorcery in general, and not against Harry Potter and non-Western religions in particular. An anti-smog group filed a complaint against the priest for illegal burning of garbage in public.

If the organizers waited until this week, they could have announced the Weasley Twins to coincide with premiere of the Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. With the mainstream media covering that event, the Weasley Twins announcement could have benefited from the renewed interest in Harry Potter.

Somewhat ironic that a priest burned Harry Potter books for promoting sorcery last week when Hollywood is promoting sorcery at the Harry Potter theme park this week.

The organizers should have simply announced the Weasley Twins without fanfare and let the announcement speak for itself. Like Lou Ferringo, who played the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk TV series, and David Harbour from Stranger Things and Hellboy announced this week. With Hellboy opening at the movies this weekend, the organizers should have promoted the heck out announcing David Harbour.

Prepare Your Bladder For Avengers Endgame

Avengers Endgame clocks in at 183 minutes or three hours and three minutes. If you are like most hardcore Marvel fans, you plan to sit through the credits to see the final button scene. If you are not careful about what you eat and drink during this long movie, you might have to leave the theater to use the restroom. Either just before Stan Lee’s reportedly last cameo or the button scene after the credits. If your bladder is ready to burst, you may find it uncomfortable to pee for 15 minutes straight.

I have an epic bladder buster story to tell you from personal experience.

The third movie of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of The Ring, The Return of The King, came out in theaters on December 17, 2003. Selected theaters around the United States were showing the extended versions of the first two movies, The Fellowship of The Ring and The Two Towers, in the two weeks before the new movie. Each extended movie was over three hours long.

A coworker and I drove up from Silicon Valley to San Francisco after work on a Friday night to watch the first movie at the AMC Metreon Theaters. We each got a large Coke and a bucket of popcorn. Sat spellbound through The Fellowship of The Ring, drinking our Cokes and munching our popcorn. When the theater lights came on, we ran to the men restroom, stood in line with aching bladders, and wondered when the peeing will ever stop once we started peeing.

I thought pissing a kidney stone with a full bladder of blood, pus and urine for five minutes was bad in 1995. Pissing a full bladder of urine for 15 minutes was much, much worse. You would think that we learned our lessons after watching The Fellowship of The Ring.

Oh, hell no.

We did the same thing the following Friday night for The Two Towers. Large coke, bucket of popcorn, and a never ending piss. No doubt our bladders suffered permanent scarring from watching those two extended movies.

As for non-extended version of The Return of The King, which clocked in at 200 minutes or three hours and 20 minutes, I followed these three tips to avoid bursting my bladder.

TIP #1 – EMPTY YOUR BLADDER TWICE

You want to empty your bladder before the movie. Not once but twice. I recommend peeing before you leave home and peeing after you arrive at the movie theater.

  • If you are young and stupid, you may skip this tip and hope for the best.
  • If you are slightly older and less stupider, you can go once and hope for the best.
  • If you are much older and more wiser, going twice isn’t really an option.

I recently made the mistake of not going to the restroom prior to seeing Captain Marvel and missed the second button because I was in the restroom. So I saw Captain Marvel a second time to see the second button scene and confirm my theory that Brie Larson’s character was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

TIP #2 – MODERATE EATING AND DRINKING

Be careful about what you eat and drink during the movie.

I avoid eating at the movie theater because concession food is expensive and unhealthy. I find it cheaper and healthier to eat something light at home before leaving for the movie theater. Remember to pee before you leave if you do eat at home.

If you do buy concession food, avoid the large bucket of popcorn and large soda combo. Salt, sugar and fat is the magic combination that make you eat and drink more than what you need. If you find yourself eating half the popcorn and drinking half the soda during the trailers, you really need to ditch the popcorn.

If you cannot go through a three-hour movie without drinking something, I strongly suggest a bottle of water. If paying $7 USD for a bottle of water is too much for you, get a large cup filled with ice and fill that with soda. Or get an Icee. For half of the movie you are drinking soda and the other half melted ice water.

Avoid alcoholic beverages altogether if your theater has a bar. Alcohol will cause your kidney to produce more urine and fill up your bladder.

Avoid eating and drinking all at once by taking small bites and sips throughout the movie.

TIP #3 – KNOW YOUR MOVIE THEATER

Consider what format the movie is in, what kind of seating is available, and where to sit in the theater.

  • Dolby has powered recliner seats that can take the pressure off of your bladder with your feet up.
  • IMAX seats are comfortable but you have to position yourself in such a way to avoid putting pressure on your bladder.
  • Regular seating will put pressure on your bladder when sitting upright for an extended period of time.

If you have a hair-triggered bladder, sitting near the exits or on the aisle might be a good idea. And, finally, if you can wait until the movie is over and the house lights are back on, the lines to the restroom are much shorter.

Unless you are sitting with a hardcore group of Marvel fans. I saw Captain Marvel twice a week apart and 90% of the audience for each showing stayed for the two button scenes. I’m used to seeing a half-dozen to two dozen people stick around for the button scenes. Never a nearly full theater.