An Update on lgpOnTheMove

Taking an ENTIRE YEAR OFF WORK, for the majority of folks out there today, may seem indeed like a grand luxury and a rarity. Yet this is exactly what I have done here on lgpOnTheMove. 2015 turned out to be quite a different series of events with several big changes that now continue into 2016. What has happened over the last 12 months and what I intend to carry on with here will be the focus of this short article.

A brief Recap of 2015 

My X305 replacement
Following my trip to CES 2015 back in January, and even prior to that in late 2014, I had already began to make changes that would impact the work done here on lgpOnTheMove. The biggest of those was the purchase of my next major work system called The SHELBY. This is a custom-assembled, 8-core, quad-SLI, 12-drive, fully water-cooled workstation that I had intended to replace not just my aging Toshiba Qosmio X305 notebook, but for the next several years get me back into the desktop PC space which I had moved away from so long ago.

More details of The SHELBY will be coming shortly, but the fact that this system took a good 12 months to assemble and test preceded by another 12 months of intricate planning should give you an idea of the magnitude of what went into this. And no, the photo shown here is far from the finished (and extensively modified) product.

Along with the creation of The SHELBY, I had also discovered another hidden skill of mine - modding. Several of the features incorporated in The SHELBY are specially modified parts done either to overcome the shortcomings of the CaseLabs case or to enhance the functionality/practicality of the system. The changes made were so extensive that they just cannot fit in a normal build log. Instead, I will be introducing another category here on lgpOnTheMove where I will list each of these special modifications along with the detailed steps taken to do each one.

Does The SHELBY mean that I'm saying goodbye to notebooks for good? Not really. True, notebook innovation has been dragging, and while there have been some advancements in 2015, I will continue to keep them in my radar. But for replacing my X305, I could not find any suitable 17" candidate, leading me to the purchase and assembly of a custom desktop system.

Say hello to my little friend
Actually, I also ended up replacing my aging HP 210 Mini netbook. You won't find a bigger fan of the netbook than me so it was a tough search looking for something small. My choice came down to the Dell XPS 13. This 13" ultrabook comes in not much bigger than the 11.6" netbooks I've looked at in the past, yet has a user-replaceable M.2 SSD along with Core i7 performance, a stunning ultra-high pixel thin-bezel IPS display and an external power pack for extended use. Most importantly though, I was able to install Windows 7 on it, a stickler for me which I will elaborate on in a later article.

Changes in my other gadgets

My current smartphone of choice
It was a sad farewell, but in 2015 I ended up letting go of my HTC Touch Pro 2 and picked up an iPhone 5S. Many would think I would be the last person to endorse Apple and get serious use out of iOS, but it has worked surprisingly well and much better than HTC's dinosaur. I only have a few apps installed on the 32GB handset, but they do what I need and let me get the maximum out of my unlimited data plan (more on that later as well).

Adding to the iPhone 5S, I also now have a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus in my hardware arsenal, allowing me to taste Android for the first time on a smartphone too. Although purchased for work purposes, this smartphone complements my new work tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0" 4G LTE model.

I also have a brand-new HP OfficeJet Pro 8620 all-in-one that comes in handy for direct wireless printing from my iPhone. This new purchase was helped by the fact that (a) my ancient OfficeJet V40 all-in-one finally broke down and (b) I picked this one up for only $149 thanks to a ridiculous Staples discount.

Changes in benchmarks and software

I have now moved away from DVD's and jumped onto the Blu-ray bandwagon, ironically right at the time when 4K is gaining foothold. But while 4K optical media is still nowhere to be found, we are stuck with 1080p content distributed on BD-DL. That means new software to rip and burn media, new file formats to convert and read (MKV) and a new set of benchmarks to use for performance numbers. I'll get into more of these details later when it comes time to test actual hardware.

Gaming should see a monumental leap too as I now have a quartet of GTX 980Ti's to evaluate titles and a roomy 2TB RAID0 array to host my Steam and Origin libraries. All the while my LG 34UM95 is pushing all that sweet eye candy like a champ.

More hardware incoming

I've been planning some hardware purchases for future articles as well, and these should be coming in the next few months, but I cannot reveal more at this stage.

Sponsorship and donations

lgpOnTheMove is still a project that I do in my free time and do not get paid for. I am actively seeking sponsors to step in and help with funding in exchange for ad placement. I encourage interested companies to contact me directly.

Similarly, I will be pushing for donations in my future articles. This is not a money-grab tactic or click-bait trick, rather a genuine request to help me out in my work and keep the quality articles coming. A small donation from you will go a long way for me.

Will I be doing videos??? The problem I have with many current tech YouTubers is that they lack credibility, merely seeking a fast buck from ad revenue and injecting personal bias into their recommendations due to a lack of thorough product knowledge. My goal is and always has been to provide detailed, critical reviews... and skip the notoriety. There is a limit to the information you can convey in a 5 minute video, and very few go to the lengths to record a 30 or 45 minute one. In that sense, written content still has it's place, and in many ways will be considered the more professional medium.

While my twitter account has been dormant too, I plan to be more active on there as well. So if you have not subscribed already, or unsubscribed earlier, you should definitely watch for activity happening in the future as I move things along.