Archive for January 2011

A Commentary: PC Builder’s Final Showdown

Earlier this day at around 1PM, I arrived at SM Megamall to witness PC Buyer’s Guide: ICT Roadshow 2010 and to support a friend representing our school to the PC Builder’s Final Showdown wherein 12 participants from different universities and colleges are to compete. A mini symposium on over-clocking was presented, the same one they did in their campus tour at our University. Raffles were given, and again, the same one’s they gave at their tour that of a Canon Pixma Printer, a myPhone and a stuffed toy.

Before the showdown began, they were taught on-the-spot how to connect the power LED in the USB slot in the CPU they were to assemble. Not being a pain in the ass but in a computer science student’s perspective, this is quite unethical to begin with. Why do you need such an indicator? To see if the CPU is actually working? What if the said LED cannot carry the voltage regulated? It may result to an  overcurrent should there be an abnormal low-resistance connection between the nodes of the LED due to different voltages regulated. Anyhow, that’s only my point of view and it’s their contest, their policy and I am simply stating my opinion.

The power LED occurrence was no biggie at all. The thing that caught my attention is that of how 12 participants’ finishing times will be recorded. I saw only one representative from PC Buyer’s Guide holding a timer and to be exact, it’s a smartphone and they’re using a split timer. When one shouts “I am MSI” with their screw driver held up high, this signifies that they are finish and that one-man timer goes to the place of the participant and records his time through that smartphone’s timer. This is where all it gets screwed up. I was expecting to see those devices that you have to tap and a buzzer gets ringing like those you see in game shows but I was totally wrong. It’s manually done by one man. How accurate can that recording be? Here are some instances, what if two raised their hands at the same time and nobody saw who finished first? What if one contestant was overlooked? Don’t tell me it’s impossible, it just happened earlier wherein our representative should have placed third or fourth instead of fifth. But that’s not the issue, it’s how the recording of time was done. Where’s the ever-changing technology in that?

Second is the inconsistency in the parts given. Some participants were given a structure with a VGA slot and the others a HDMI slot. Personally speaking, I do believe that there’s no difference whether it’s that slot or the other but hey, you’re in a contest and you should provide consistency in each of the participants. I also saw two contestants who lack screws and have to ask the marshals on the duration of the building contest for one. And oh, did I say that the marshals inspected the parts before the event began? Yes, they did and overlooked the screws and each screw and or parts missing corresponds to ten seconds penalty to the total time of the participant.

No cash prizes, no certificates, no consolations.

Well, in my view, I believe that this is a so-so event which needs further amplifications and when I say further, I mean A LOT. Anyhow, congratulations to AMA for being the champion this year with 4 minutes and 6 seconds of total time, St. Paul University for being the 1st runner-up and Ateneo for placing 2nd runner-up.

Friday, January 14, 2011
Posted by Dave Tan
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