Before the Ides of March

Before the Ides of March

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
While not marked on most Roman calendars, March 13, two days before the Ides of March, is a significant historical event in its own right. It is, after all, my birthday. And while celebrating one's third 29th birthday may not seem like a big deal, it's a perfect excuse to highlight a special item or two on my wish list.

Sure, they're not the kind of things you'd find at the Sharper Image or Dell's Web site, but surfing the tech blogs today, I found (via Endaget) a giant 24-monitor setup at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute running Quake III, driven by 12 Linux servers.

Clearly, this must be matched with the Typhoon Personal Super Computer (via Gizmodo), which can handle up to four Intel Xeon processors or eight AMD Opteron HE processors. Sure, it's aimed at "science, research, and development applications," but imagine the benchmark scores.

For a more realistic birthday wish: in my jacket pocket, I'm still rocking that old fourth-gen iPod, a source of no small embarrassment, let me tell you. Sure, a new model comes out every few months, but I still wouldn't look down on one of the current-gen video iPods. I know the Zen Vision: M is great, too, but I'd probably just end up rubbing my thumb around it in circles in a vain attempt to change the volume.