Sharpening the Axe (part 1)

The other day I was at my friend Jon’s house helping chop up some trees with my chain saw. Even though the season is coming to an end it’s never too soon to start collecting firewood. After about an hour I realized that my chain saw blade had gotten quite dull making it a chore to cut through anything thicker than my wrist. So I changed gears and worked more on clearing off the small branches while Jon came behind me and chopped up the big stuff. Just yesterday I dropped the chain off at another friends so that he could sharpen the blade for the next time I’m out cutting wood.

Now I suppose that I could leave the chain as it is and simply muscle my way through the task of cutting wood, but I’ll be able to move a lot faster and get a lot more done if I simply take the time to sharpen things up. For the last few months I’ve become increasingly convicted of my need to sharpen things up in my work life, so I’ve identified three major areas in my life that need sharpening: 1) Tools (computers, phones, etc.), 2) Digital Resources (facebook contacts, computer files, e-mail, etc., 3) Physical Resources (books, paper filing, etc.). I’m happy to report that I’ve already managed to sharpen the first of these areas to a fine point but the second two still have a ways to go.

The first area that I wanted to focus on was Tools, specifically my computer. I got a new phone (iPhone 5) several months ago and it has definitely improved my productivity significantly but the computer I was using was getting to be a problem, so it was time to sharpen the axe.

IMG_2623Now not everyone can build their own computer, because it does take a certain degree of patience and know how, but for me it really is the only way to go. I ended up spending around $1,100 (way less than a Mac and much more powerful) and built the computer of my dreams (I call it “Beast”). In case you’re interested here is the parts list for “Beast”, keep in mind that I spent a lot of time watching neweggs sales, which helped keep the costs down significantly.

HDD – 1TB Seagate

Case – NZXT Phantom 410

PowerSupply – Corsair CX750

DVD Drive – ASUS

Mouse – Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse

Video Card – MSI N660

RAM – 32 GB Corsair

SSD – 128GB Kingston

Chip – i5-3570k

Motherboard – ASUS P8Z77-V

The only thing that I feel like I compromised on with “Beast” was her SSD, but given how expensive those things are right now I’m still very satisfied with how she ended up. I’m already noticing a boost in my productivity and to be honest I just love using this machine Smile. Hopefully the next two sharpening projects (Digital Resources & Physical Resources) go as well as this one did.

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April 08 2013 04:00 am | Blog

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