(From where I come from, this is called "Thread Necromancy".)
My name is Rory Buszka. I'm a 21-year-old student at Purdue University in Indiana, in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. My two primary interests at this time are computer hardware and high-fidelity audio. I've never been particularly popular, though I do have a few close friends. If you met me in person, you'd likely think me somewhat awkward. I'm typically quiet and reserved. Proper introductions are a bit hard for me.
My first computer was a 1994-model Macintosh Performa, with a 33MHz Motorola chip that was like the Motorola version of the Intel 486. The machine also boasted an expansive 250MB hard drive (which was periodically backed up to over 200 floppy diskettes), and 8MB of ram, which was later upgraded to 32MB. It shipped with System 7.1, which we upgraded to System 7.5 and then Mac OS 8. My first computer was an old 486-based laptop with a broken screen, though I connected an external monitor and 33.6K modem. In 2000, I built my first machine, with a 433MHz Intel Celeron processor on an ABIT BM-6 motherboard, with 64MB of SDRAM, a 32MB 3DFX Voodoo3 2000 AGP video card, and an 8GB hard drive. The machine ran Windows 98, and the case was the blue model from the Antec Gemstone series. I've got lots of happy memories from that machine, and some not-so-happy memories (such as the time my case fan failed, and my video card began to give Windows Protection Errors. It was replaced with an NVidia Riva TNT2 32MB.) All in all, it served me well until 2002, when I upgraded. My second machine used a 1GHz AMD Duron on an ASUS A7V-266. In May of 2003, I upgraded my case to a charcoal-colored Chieftec Dragon case (same as Antec SX1040B), and upgraded to dual 80GB hard drives and an ATI Radeon 9500 Pro 128MB. And Windows XP. In the fall of 2003 (my freshman year at Purdue), I invested in special cooling components in order to make my machine run silently, including low-speed fans by Panaflo, a Zalman heatpipe passive cooler for the video card, and the first power supply with a 120mm fan. I made this hardware last as long as I possibly could, eventually resorting to a small overclock to 1200MHz, until April of 2006 when I purchased my current machine, a Gateway NX560P laptop with a Core Duo T2300 (dual 1.6GHz) processor and 1GB of dual-channel DDR2 memory.
In 2001, I built my first powered subwoofer after purchasing a book at Radio Shack, and assembled a small stereo system with a pair of my parents' old Fried Products Co. Model Q speakers from the 1970s, which were pretty good for their day. However, before long the old adhesives in the woofers and tweeters began to come apart, so I replaced the drivers. From then on, I was hooked on the world of DIY audio. I discovered a large online community of people like me, who were also into designing and building their own speakers. I went on to build four subwoofers and four sets of high-quality full-range main speakers, some of which were for myself, and others were for friends and relatives. During this period, I also purchased and read a vast array of high-end audio magazines, interested in reading the reviews of components and loudspeakers. I learned how to listen critically and evaluate the performance of my own projects based on various subjective performance criteria, though I lack the sophisticated data acquisition equipment that would be needed to take measurements of my speaker designs. I also spent the summer of 2006 in Philadelphia, PA working for a company called Community Professional Loudspeakers, Inc. developing quality control systems to test passive circuitry networks (the "crossovers" which divide the appropriate frequency ranges of the musical signal to the appropriate drivers) which were used in the loudspeakers. I have never received the impression that they were anything other than satisfied with my work. The experience and knowledge gained from that opportunity has been invaluable to me in my later technical undertakings, including a small model of a hydroelectric generator for a class project. I love working with my hands and putting things together, and finally watching them work at last. I also consider myself a fairly talented writer, and many others have told me the same.
In late 2006, I posted a reply in the companion forum thread to a review of the Altec Lansing FX4021 speakers, explaining the technical advantages of the system's Isobaric driver loading system in the subwoofer. It occurred to me that I might be able to lend my technical insights to the staff of TechGage, so I contacted Rob Williams about the possibility of guest-writing a review. The product I selected was the Altec Lansing PT6021 system, and I had great fun testing the product and writing the review. Rob and others were pleased with the quality of my work, and thus began my long-term relationship with the TechGage organization. My next review (of a case for a Home Theater PC) is in the works, and I'm looking forward to many more review opportunities in the future. I see each review I write as an opportunity to broaden my own technical understanding of the product category, so I work hard to do my due diligence in learning about how to most effectively test a product, and how to present the information most clearly and satisfyingly in the review. Here's to TechGage, and Rob Williams, for giving me the chance to become a published writer.