Benjamin Wachman

Chief Tech Addict

I’ve been using computers since I was a kid — playing educational games and writing reports — initially on a Macintosh 512Ke and progressively newer Macs until high school.

I didn’t get into PCs or hardware until a friend gave me a box of random decomissioned computer parts from his dad’s office.

I learned how to fry and eventually how to build computers by essentially smashing parts together until something worked (motherboards don’t like it when you install them in a case without standoffs). I started off with an 800MHz Pentium III, realized that the 1000MHz Pentium III (both Coppermine IIRC) that was in the box of goodies would also work, and had my first upgrade right off the bat.

Through continued scavenging I was able to eventually upgrade to a low-end Athlon XP, then saved like crazy until I could pair it with an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. By messing around with this system, I quickly learned something that even today is important to PC Gamers — that even with a decent CPU and super beefy GPU — good average fps does not necessarily translate into a good gaming experience. Shelling out for a 1GB (2x512MB) kit of Corsair Value Select fixed my stuttering issues, and getting a really good deal on an Athlon XP 2400+ was icing on the cake.

Fast forward quite a few years and I picked up an Intel X25-M G2 80GB to check out the whole “SSD Thing”, and there was no going back. This was the single largest performance uplift for day-to-day performance I’d seen in my ever-continuing computer upgrade saga that included upgrading to one of the first dual-core consumer CPUs — a Socket 939 Athlon X2 3800+ — and a subsequent upgrade to a Socket AM2+ Phenom II X4 940 (early quad-core CPU).

Ever since that first Intel SSD, in every single computer I’ve spent any considerable time using I’ve shelled out for an SSD of some sort. When I began working for a small tech startup that was strapped for cash, I paid out of pocket to put an SSD in my work Macbook Pro 13” (MacBookPro5,5 FWIW). I’ve had low-end drives and high-end drives and everything in-between.

Now, whenever we get a new laptop in the office I try to get my hands on it for a few minutes to run some quick SSD tests on it to see how the (probably terrible) OEM drive performs.

I’m always looking forward to the next new thing to further my tech habit — a passion that I now hope to share with you.