So, it turns out the lightning was even worse than we thought. We were at the mansion for another week after the strike and came back to realize that Mike W.'s TV's HDMI input was fried and Mon Rob's TV was totally fried. Somehow mine managed to escape unscathed. In addition, both Mike W.'s and my motherboards lost their Ethernet cards. On the plus side, my motherboard is six years old and didn't have gigabit LAN. The new card does, so my connection speed is much faster. Anyway, all that junk has been replaced except for the TVs, which are being inspected for repairs.
I decided to format my hard drive on Thursday night, which was a pain. I had trouble with a few of the drivers - particularly for my wireless card. Its driver caused my computer to hard lock while loading Windows, so I got pissed and pulled it out. Who needs wireless, anyway? I could have just installed an older driver that I know works, but I was too pissed. I eventually got everything working again and the performance is definitely better. So, I figured, "Let's get StarCraft II installed and get this party started." Let me tell you - there was no party.
So, the first install attempt didn't go well. My computer made it to about 7% and then unexpectedly turned off. When I powered it back on, my motherboard informed me that my CPU had been shut down because of a thermal alarm. What the hork? That has never happened to me before. So I gave it another shot and it worked, but the little intro thing it plays while it installs was choppy and the audio kept repeating at regular intervals. Not a good sign. The install process took roughly four hours. FOUR HORKING HOURS. What is this, World of Warcraft? Anyway, I attribute that to my ancient CPU (2004 Pentium 4 3.2 GHz).
So I fired the game up and even the menus were very slow. I immediately set all graphix settings to "low" and got started. The good news - my computer can run the game. The bad news - it looks awful and if more than 30ish units are on the screen, framerate drops below 20 FPS. It's pretty horking terrible. So now what the hork do I do? I don't want to drop $2000 on Newegg right now (waiting on Diablo III), but I also want to actually be able to play StarCraft II. Buying a new graphix card is not an option because the rest of my system (particularly the CPU) is so old that it won't even be properly utilized. So far, I have not arrived at a solution.
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