About Us
Name: Shawn "playafly187" Knight
Age: 29
Location: Horn Lake, MS.
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Duties: Owner, Operator, Reviewer/Article writer, etc...
Contact Info: Email = playafly187@ocia.net , AOL IM = playaflyy187
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I have been working with computers for over 12 years. I received my first computer, an AMD K6-2 333 MHz in 1998 as a Christmas gift. I later went on to purchase a 500MHz Slot A Athlon, with a 600MHz core, that overclocked to 800MHz. Of course this wasn't enough, so I sold the setup and got a 700MHz Slot A Athlon, with a 900MHz core, that successfully overclocked to 1GHz. As luck would have it, the processor fried on me, but not after nearly a year in operation. I then went through a few Socket A Athlon processors over the next few years before jumping ship to try some Intel chips. The specs of my current computer are listed below, along with a picture of my case, my workstation and myself. Enjoy!

Work System - Intel Core i3-2100, Noctua NH-D12 Heatsink, 8GB OCZ Flex EX DDR2, ASUS P8H67-M EVO, NVIDIA 7300 GT, OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD, Western Digital 2TB 7,200 RPM, 750 SilverStone PSU, SilverStone FT03 Case, two 22" and one 24" Widescreen LCDs, Logitech G700 mouse, Logitech G510 keyboard, Logitech G51 Speakers

Testing Hardware: Intel Sandy Bridge platform.

Yes, its me!

Name: Rutledge "IvyBat" Chin Feman
Age: 21
Location: Providence, RI
Occupation: Student
Duties: Reviewer/Article Writer
Contact Info: Email = rutledge@brown.edu, AOL IM = phuzzieLogick

Iím pretty young. In fact, Iím part of that generation: the generation that doesnít remember the specs of the first computer they ever used. It was HP, had a floppy drive (like, floppy disk, not floppy diskette), and played Snoopy games like nobodyís business. Even before that, my dad was bringing home d i g i t a l computers from work, so there have pretty much been monitors flashing in my house for my entire life. The first computer I consciously understood using was an HP Pavilion, rocking 600MHz PIII, an nVidia TNT2 8MB, 128MB RAM, and a 20GB HDD. That thing lasted a long time. From before I can remember until I was about 15 years old. From the day my brother taught me where to go to access a 1.44mb floppy, Iíve been toying with computers and poking around and learning as much as I can.

MSI X38 Platinum (BIOS 1.3), Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3.0 GHz, OCZ Vendetta 2 HSF, 2x VisionTek Radeon HD3870 in Crossfire, 3x 2GB OCZ Gold PC3-10666 9-9-9-20, WD 74GB Raptor, WD 500GB Caviar, PC Power & Cooling 750w Silencer Crossfire Edition, Lite-On 20x DVD SATA, Lian Li PC-V1110 Chassis, Vista Ultimate 64

Name: Zahn "funkZ" Funk
Age: 36
Location: Chambersburg, PA
Occupation: IT Manager
Duties: Reviewer/Article writer
Contact Info: Email = funkz@ocia.net, AOL IM = IMFunkZ

My very first computer was a Commodore64. Following some Apple II/c and II/e exposure in school I moved up to an NEC 386sx16 at home. My last Intel-based computer was a Gateway Pentium-Pro 200 which was also coincidentally my last OEM-built desktop computer. I moved to AMD with the Athlon 900 Thunderbird, and followed up a year or two later with an XP 2000+ Palomino, the first system I built strictly with overclocking in mind. I moved through several different configurations of XP-based hardware until making the jump to A64, and currently maintain four AMD-based computers in the house. Iíve been involved in Information Technology professionally since 1993. I began my career on IBM System36 and AS/400. With the growing popularity of twisted pair Ethernet and the advent of Windows 95 I made the switch to PC-based networking and havenít looked back. Following the natural progression of workstation to server to network administration in addition to many other aspects of IT such as telephony, security, routing and switching, Iíve had the opportunity to gain experience in a diverse range of technologies. Iíve held certifications in Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix and others over the years, and am currently employed as the IT Manager for a local internet-based print procurement company here in rural PA.

AMD 1090T Phenom-II X6, Swiftech H20-320 Edge, MSI 890FXA-GD70, 2x2Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer Red 1600, Asus EAH5870 v2, Zalman VF3000A, 128Gb Crucial C300 RealSSD, 1Tb WD Caviar Black, Hitachi 8x Blu-Ray DVD, OCZ Fatal1ty 750w, Cooler Master HAF 932 AMD Edition

Name: Jakob Barnard
Age: 28
Location: Jamestown, ND
Occupation: Business Advisor
Duties: Reviewer/Article Writer
Contact Info: Email = jake@ocia.net

My PC experience goes about as far back as I have been alive, though I don't generally count the picture of me at my Dad's Apple IIe. That did eventually become my first computer, followed by a Macintosh II when my Dad upgraded to a Performa.

My real PC experience and love of hardware came in the fall of '98 when a buddy (thanks compumaster - aka compy) helped me build my first PC with parts from a PC show at the state fair grounds. I was hooked after being stepped through the parts of the mainboard and what they all meant.

It was a cheap beige box with an AMD K6-2 266, Biostar mainboard, 128mb RAM, 6gb Quantum Fireball HDD, Diamond 2D card, Turtle Beach soundcard and later added a Voodoo 3dfx card to it. Ahhh like a first love.

Long story short, mid way through college I learned the difference between buying upgrade components and paying rent. So upgrades came fewer and further between and I pretty much got out of the "enthusiast" game for a while. Not entirely of course, but off the active path. Then a glorious day came when while working on freelance writing the opportunity came up to write for OCIA.net. So I jumped back in with a vengeance. The first thing to do was do a full re-build of "Olorin" in order to be able to test. Olorin has been my nick/handle since my first build, so it kind of stuck.

AMD PH II X4 955BE 3.2 AM3 OC'ed to 3.60, Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 770 R, G.Skill 4gb (2x2gb) DDR3 1600, Sentey Arvina GS-6400 Case, Raidmax HYBRID2 RX-730SS 730W, XFX Radeon HD 5770 1gb, HDD0: OCZ Solid 2 Solid State Drive 60gb, HDD1: Samsung Spinpoint 7200rpm 1TB, HDD2: Samsung Spinpoint 7200rpm 1TB, Asus Wireless NIC.

Name: Michael O'Neill
Age: 29
Location: Southaven, MS
Occupation: System Admin
Duties: Reviewer/Article Writer
Contact Info: Email = hgbugalou@gmail.com

My name is Michael and I have loved computers and technology pretty much since I was young. I have been a system admin for an entertainment company for over seven years now, and I really enjoy my job. It has been a truly amazing experience to watch how quickly technology has grown over the past decade. My first system was technically an Apple II, but since I was only about five at the time, I wonít count that. My real first system was a Compaq Presario with a Pentium 1 clocked at 166 MHz that I got back in 1996. My first system also brought me the experience of my first overclock when I switched a few jumpers around and made my little 166 MHz chip a blazing fast 200 MHz! I really started building systems around 2000 and have been building them ever since.

My job also introduced me to networking technology and storage technology and I am an enthusiast for both of those as well. I am currently sitting on an i7 platform attached to a file server rocking over 4TB of storage space. I even went so far as to build a ďserver roomĒ in my attic where all my gear sits in an environmentally-controlled closet.

When I am not being a total computer nerd, I also enjoy watching the weather. Meteorology is my other big passion and I follow it year round. I am a SKYWARN storm spotter, and hope to do my first tornado chase this spring. I also really love the outdoors, traveling, and Miami Dolphinís football.

Intel Core i7 930 @ 3.8 GHz, Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme HSF, ASUS P6X58D motherboard, Kingstong 6GB HyperX T1 Series DDR3 2000, EVGA GeForce GTX 260, 3x 64GB Intel X-25 Extreme SSDs in RAID-0, 1TB Samsung Spinpoint HDD, Rosewill 1000w PSU, Antec Nine Hundred Case

Name: Keith "XPTB" Hamilton
Age: 28
Location: Horn Lake, MS
Occupation: Network Administrator
Duties: Reviewer
Contact Info: Email = xptb@ocia.net

When I was younger, I never got into computers much. You could say I was a late bloomer. My dad came home one day with an old 486 Tandy running a menu driven DOS operating system. Later we upgraded it to Windows 3.1. I remember always playing Jetfighter 3 on it. My folks then got me a Compaq pushing an Intel Pentium I 200mhz with MMX. Back before I knew anything, we attempted to get a new video card and more RAM put into the machine. The local store we took it to managed to burn out the motherboard. Now that I know a thing or two, I can't believe they could have pulled that off unless they spilled something on it. After the Compaq got too old, we decided to get a Gateway with a Pentium II 233 mhz. I used that computer for a long time. It even outperformed a buddies K6-2 333 mhz machine. But that was before AMD knew what they were doing. That is probably when I got into building my own. I started building my computers with AMDs when the slot processors were out. I used that old Gateway case for as long as it would last, until I had to upgrade the PSU, which didn't fit.

Intel Core i3 530 @ 2.93 Ghz, EVGA H55 motherboard, Nvidia GTX 460 SE, OCZ 64 GB Vertex 2 SSD, Enermax 450w PSU

Name: Josh "Striker777" Maronde
Age: 30
Hometown: Olive Branch, MS
Occupation: IT Director
Duties: Photographer, Site Admin, Editor
Contact Info: Email = striker777@ocia.net, AOL IM = Strikr777

I started with computers back when I was 5 years old. A La Petite Daycare I went to had some Commodore 64s and no one knew how to operate them. The teachers found some manuals and disks which I used to figure out how to load games. I guess I got involved with computers due to my older brother owning an Epson 286 12Mhz(WOWZER!) I was interested in anything he did, so I sometimes sat for hours just watching him use the computer. He let me play games on it and showed me the infamous DOS commands "CD, DIR, CD.., etc" My brother was on the local BBSs at the time and I played some of the first multiplayer Door Games like Imperium, Trade Wars, etc. A few years later I got two Commodor 64s from my Uncle. Even though the Commodor 64 was outdated for its time I didn't care. Shortly after, my brother let me keep his 286 for almost a whole year. This is where I learned all kinds of stuff about the computer. As the years went by I didn't have a computer but was still involved with them at school and friend's houses. I got my first computer in 1996. It was an Gateway P5-133. I learned as much as I could about that PC and how it worked. I helped my High School alot with their computers and frustrated teachers. On January 19th, 2002 I became a CompTIA A+ Certified Service Professional.

Workstation: Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3, Intel 2nd Gen Core i5, 4GB DDR3 1600Mhz, 60GB Vertex 2 SSD, Samsung SH-222AB DVDRW, Windows 7 Pro 64bit

Main Gaming Rig / Multimedia Server (Store ALL my DVDís on this machine to have ďON DemandĒ Playback on Insignia 55Ē LED-LCD HDTV) -- Supermicro SC743T-645 Chassis, Supermicro H8DCE Motherboard, 2 X AMD Opteron 246 Socket 290 CPUs, 8GB PC-3200 ECC Registered Memory, PNY GTX 260, 8 X WD 250GB 7200 Black Edition SATA HDD in RAID 60 Array via Adaptec 3805 PCI-E Controller, Samsung SH-S162L DVDRW, Windows 7 Pro 64bit

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