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Sean Dahlberg
Works at Spiceworks
Attended Fredericksburg High School
Lived in Austin, Texas
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Sean Dahlberg

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Know of a charity that would appreciate some used desktops and laptops? Then check out our latest contest in the +Spiceworks  Community.
IT Best Practices, How-tos, Product Reviews, discussions, articles for IT Professionals in small and medium businesses
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Sean Dahlberg

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I copy pasted the below from my blog entry but if you like to see the purty pictures and hyperlinkes, go check out the original: http://wp.me/pp7T4-4R

If you just want the words, the below will more than work for you.

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As some may have seen a couple weeks back, I was whining about having some problems with my home PC. The short version is that, all of a sudden, my monitor wasn’t working and after diagnosing it in a few ways, it ended up that a power surge screwed up my motherboard. And, later I found out, my video card, too. The upside is that my main PC is fairly old and, while I’ve been upgrading some of the parts, it was fairly limited and I’ve been wanting to get a new one:

- Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
- RAM: OCZ Fatal1ty Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
- Motherboard:  ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5G41-M LX2/GB (LGA775)
- Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti (PNY)
- Storage: Crucial M500 CT240M500SSD1 2.5? 240GB SATA III MLC (SSD), 1397GB Seagate ST31500541AS ATA Device (SATA)
- Power Supply: 730W Power Supply – Raidmax RX730SS

So I was definitely ready for an upgrade. The downside is it was some months too early. Right now it is club volleyball season and my daughter has a tournament just about every other weekend for months. I try to keep that time of year on a tight budget due to all the various expenses associated with it — driving, flying, hotels, eating out, etc. Any other time of year, I’d go a little wild and get a PC that is going to last me for a while but, due to this, I have to keep it in check.

At first, I debated just buying a pre-built. This will just be a temporary PC that I’ll end up handing down to my daughter so it doesn’t have to be a powerhouse. And, at a cursory look, building my own and buying a pre-build seemed pretty comparable.

Then I started looking into the details. While I found some pre-builts that were in a good price range, I noticed the Power Supply (PSU) was generally pretty weak… 350w. Add in a few other factors such as the RAM wasn’t from a vendor I’d prefer, the motherboards were built more for a casual user, and I already had an SSD, HHD, and video card I wanted to use and didn’t need more of them (I have a stack of HHDs around here).

I put a laundry list together of parts I wanted to get and took off for my local Fry’s (oh Fry’s, my bane… I always want to buy more when I’m in there!). Unfortunately, most of the exact parts I wanted weren’t there and I was faced with the dilemma of buying it all via NewEgg and waiting, or building another configuration based off of the parts available at the store. Since I’d already been days without my PC and having withdrawals, I opted for building a set of parts but stayed within my budget. I ended up getting:

- NZXT S340 case
- Gigabyte GA-Z97M-DS3H motherboard
- Intel i5-4690 Processor
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
- Vengeance Low Profile — 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 (CML8GX3M2A1600C9)
- ThermalTake Smart M650W PSU

… and then add in my SSD, HHD, and video card I already had from my old system. I chose the S340 because I like the look of the case but, more so, it has some great cable management as you’ll see. The i5 I can upgrade later to an i7 if I feel the need and since this is a temporary PC, I don’t really need all the bells and whistles for the motherboard — and neither will my daughter, hehe. I did get a new PSU, though, because the fact that my motherboard went out makes me wonder how well my power supply aged. Better to be safe than sorry.

It’d been some years since I built a PC… not quite the same as upgrading one. But, luckily, it came back like riding a bike and I got all the pieces properly together and the system booted up fine (sad truth, the first PC I ever built back in like 1998, I fried the motherboard because I put the power supply on wrong).

My monitor popped on and then I realized it was on my integrated graphics chip so I popped it over to the external card… and nothing. I didn’t have a spare card on me so I went over to Discount Electronics and bought a cheapie to see if Murphy’s Law hit me (no matter how unlikely, it could of been the PCIE slot on the new motherboard) or the card. It ended up being the latter, the power issue fried both my old motherboard and my old video card.

Part of me wished it was the motherboard because, while I’d have to return it to the store, it is cheaper than buying a new video card. But it is what it is so I ended up grabbing an EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Superclocked ACX (02G-P4-3759-KB) video card. Close to the PNY I had but this one needed to get power via the PSU instead of just through the PCIe slot. Also, since it looks like my old one didn’t work, I grabbed a new battery backup (actually two but the other one is for my wifi and network drives): CyberPower 650VA Battery Back-Up System.

Put it all together and now it purrs like a cat. Actually, that’s a lie, my cats are much louder. This PC is running around a cool 29 °C but I can barely hear it make a sound. So I am back in business… can play some (real) games again (#PCMasterRace) and get back to video editing for my daughter’s volleyball.

See you all in-game!
As some may have seen a couple weeks back, I was whining about having some problems with my home PC. The short version is that, all of a sudden, my monitor wasn't working and after diagnosing it in...
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haha, the 900 would not have kept me in budget, especially since it was an unexpected purchase! That will be in the next rig I build later when I can be more frivolous.

As for the cooler, it's a lot quieter than the stock version and it was on sale so $20 for that was a steal.
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Even though it's been some time, I decided to opt to build my own. I came with a sheet of specific parts and ended up buying different ones because I wasn't patient enough to wait to order something. Luckily, I stayed in the same budget and have something pretty comparable.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/9kf6dC

I got it all together last night but made the rookie mistake of not testing everything before putting it all in the case. Everything appears to be working except my PCIEx16 slot... or both of the nVidia cards I tested the slot out with. At first, I began to think it is the motherboard and something is wrong with the slot. While fairly rare, when you add Murphy's Law to this and knowing I'm building it because my last mb went bad... well, then it could be it :)

But, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if its the card(s). Unfortunately, the only other systems I have in the house are laptops (so can't test on those) or an old slim desktop that I use as a file server... and unfortunately, too slim for either card to work in it.

I did some tests with different cards, different monitors, different cables (to include DVI, HDMI, etc), and even reset the BIOS but to no avail. That said, the integrated graphics chip works fine when I hook up to it, it's just not liking the external video card. So I can boot into my drive, Win8.1 loads properly but neither it nor the BIOS show anything in my PCIEx16 slot.

I'm thinking I might go buy a super cheapy vidcard tonight and see if that works in it. If it does, well, guess that means I need to go buy a new video card. If it doesn't, means I need to return my new motherboard.

Y U NO JUST WORK?!  ((yes, I am having PC withdrawals))
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Yeah, I checked that in the BIOS a few times to be on the safe side. It's enabled and it's also set as the default (vs the integrated). At this point, it's either the MB or the cards... not sure which is more likely, heh. I figure I'll grab a cheapie external tonight from Discount Electronics and see if that works.
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So, my monitor went out Thursday night or so I thought. Due to the track meet last night, didn't really get to tear into anything today. Tried my monitor on my old desktop and it worked fine but when I put it on my main PC, it just goes into sleep mode.

Due to upgrading some months ago (haven't made any changes recently), it's pretty quiet so I know it is starting up but not sure how far into the boot sequence it is getting... if its getting anywhere at all (what with the monitor not working on it). Based off of the sounds and lights, though, fairly sure it is getting to the Windows 8.1 login screen.

My current card only takes DVI and mini-HDMI cables and I'm having the same issue with any of my monitors I plug into it. So I know it's not the monitor and pretty sure its neither of the cords (although my old PC only takes VGA so I can't confirm that for sure).

I'll try swapping in my old video card but I have a bad feeling it is my motherboard. I've been putting off buying a new PC (was trying to hold out until the club volleyball season was done) but I have a bad feeling I'm going to have to do it sooner rather than later.
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I'm reposting this here but if you'd like the version with the pretty pictures and hyperlinks, you can get it here:

http://www.seandahlberg.com/i-backed-crowfall-but-have-you/

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TL;DR – In case you do not want to read my excessively long ramble, skip to the end and check out the Crowfall Kickstarter.

If you’re reading this shortly after I published it, there is less than 24 hours left in the Kickstarter Campaign for the upcoming MMO entitled Crowfall by ArtCraft Entertainment. They have, by far, exceeded the initial goal of $800,000 and may potentially double that by the time it ends so there are no concerns about them not having the funding. But I’m probably getting ahead of myself…. you may be wondering what Crowfall even is.

There is of course a description on the official site that you can read but my quick take on Crowfall is that it is an MMO that is blending MOBA and RTS experiences with the persistence of a traditional MMO. You have your character who lives in the “Eternal Kingdoms” which don’t go away (MMO) but you have these other worlds that are like a mix of a RTS and a MOBA which are not permanent but like an extended campaign or raid. If you play League of Legends, for example, your “Summoner” is your main character while the match you’re playing is more like the campaign. Sorta. The RTS side of things comes in more with the world building and sieging. You know what, instead of me failing at describing the game, I’d recommend checking out their overview video for the Kickstarter:

Now that I have that out of the way, back to my point. So I backed Crowfall. I did it early on (within the first few days) at the Bronze Patron level but after a few weeks, increased that to the Amber Patron level. If you look on my Kickstarter account, you’ll see I don’t back much and, when I do, I generally back it around the price of what I’d pay for the game at retail. Basically I keep my investment where I show support of the game but wouldn’t really lose more than I would if I bought a game at the store, played it, and realized I didn’t like it.

Anyone who knows me, knows I can be a little jaded and grumpy. I’ve sat on both sides of the fence as a gamer and a game developer and it’d be fair to say I have become a casual MMO’er. I haven’t really found one that has caught my attention long-term in the same way the Ultima Online, or Everquest, or Shadowbane did. Not to say I haven’t played a ton of them, but usually it is a few months here and there and then I drop out for a while or permanently. But there is something about Crowfall that is making the fanboi in me get a little sunshine which is why I increased my backing.

I will point out I’m biased. I’ve worked with some of the developers at ArtCraft on other projects. Gordon I just worked with while at BioWare for Star Wars: The Old Republic (and yes, I still italicize that… hard habit to break!) and Todd actually is the one who gave me my break into the game industry at Wolfpack Studios on Shadowbane almost 15 years ago (where does the time go?!).

For me, Crowfall goes a bit deeper than just wanting to support my friends and colleagues, though. You can see more than a little bit of influence of Shadowbane in Crowfall and I spent 8 years of my life on that game. Actually more if you count the time I built a guild (The Fallen) for it and worked on a fan site (anyone remember SBVault) before getting the job offer. I loved the concept of Shadowbane and wanted to see it become a reality so I have a lot of blood, sweat, and tears wrapped up in that.

Crowfall_ResourceMapConcept

But Crowfall isn’t Shadowbane nor is it Shadowbane 2. It is Crowfall. And as a game by itself, I think it has a lot to offer both MMO players and the industry. I’ve become bored with a lot of MMOs because most of them are very themepark oriented and, the truth of the matter is, I’d rather play an RPG with multiplayer and some friends than a themepark MMO. When it comes to an MMO, I want something where I can leave my mark on the world. Where my actions have influenced it and when I come onto someone’s radar, it is generally a “whew, thank goodness” or “crap, it’s that damn Ashen Temper”. Y’know, like Cheers. But with swords and sorcery. And fighting. For me, it is all about the social dynamics and I want an MMO that supports that.

I would love for the industry to learn that making a cookie cutter of the “king of MMOs” isn’t necessary and that competitive player-vs-player combat (for a reason) in an open world can be successful when done right. Currently, the only MMO that truly shows that is Eve Online although there are various graves of MMOs that tried and didn’t have the longevity for one reason or another. And I know at least back when I was assisting with game design pitches, investors and publishers were wary of PvP games… they wanted a WoW-killer. In my opinion, you don’t have to be a WoW-killer to be successful.

So why am I writing this long post (and thank you for anyone who actually made it this far… we all know I can ramble)? Crowfall has made its initial goal and many stretch goals. The stretch goal I really wanted they have already met (the Caravan system) although I will admit, it would be nice to get another rule-set (the Infected) and the Tournament system. But I’m here hoping to bring some last minute visibility to those of you who may not have been keeping up with the game or you haven’t even heard of it and it is something up your alley that you’d like to see succeed. And, let’s be frank, making an MMO is not cheap. So while they have met their goals, it’s not like the support won’t help in multiple ways.

Do I have concerns? Of course I do. I already said I’m jaded and grumpy. I listen to a few podcasts about the game and when they get a little overly fanboi, I do cringe a bit (shout-out to Crowns And Crows and Gold And Glory). But I also know Todd and Gordon and other members of the team and I give them more than the benefit of the doubt. And I’m biased. Someday when my daughter is off to college and I can be more frivolous with my money, I want to get back into game design. And my dream has always been to create an MMO where player actions matter. So having more than one MMO out there that proves they can be successful is great because it gives me something to play and shows it can be done when done right.

So my long ramble made short is this — go check out Crowfall and if it looks like something you’d buy, go ahead and back it. The $36 or $40 backings are actually great because they are cheaper than the base game ($50). And since they have already met the 13K Backer stretch goal, you’ll get a free month of VIP Membership which, going by industry standards now is about $15. So for $36, you are getting a $65 value. And that doesn’t count the extra land parcels for those of you who like city building (the 14.5 Backer stretch goal). And if you’re someone who likes to help out in testing, the $100 backing gets you into Alpha 3 where your efforts and voice may hold more weight. Anyways, check it out!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/crowfall/crowfall-throne-war-pc-mmo
TL;DR - In case you do not want to read my excessively long ramble, go check out the Crowfall Kickstarter. - - - - - - - - - If you're reading this shortly after I published it, there is less than ...
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I have! ;)
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Sean Dahlberg

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Sad news indeed... #LiveLongAndProsper ‬, Leonard. You will be missed!
In addition to acting, Mr. Nimoy directed films; published poetry, autobiographies and books of photography; and recorded music.
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I think it's safe to say he actually did both.
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Sean Dahlberg

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Okay, I have to admit that I had my doubts about an #AntMan movie but this trailer looks pretty awesome! #Marvel  
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+Grey H if it was made for ants then id better watch where i step when i go to the movies
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Crowfall is funded! Thank you all so much! 
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Just ran across this t-shirt in the Spiceworks Community and HAD to buy one... #ConanTheBarbarian   #CrushYourEnemies   #Spiceworks  
** Limited Time Offer ** After March 25th, the campaign will be done and the shirts will ship. Don't miss out!Trouble ordering? Call: 1-855-833-7774
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It has been an interesting 24 hours or so at work but one of our SpiceHeads just sent us free pizza and brownies... WIN!
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That's an interesting dichotomy (and I'm not talking about the food)
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It's Friday so that means Community Team Happy Happy Fun Time (aka lunch). Today we had a special guest, SpiceHead Doughnut Destroyer! #Spiceworks   #TorchysTacos  
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Have him in circles
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Wesley Miller's profile photo
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Work
Occupation
Community Manager - Over a decade of experience in the creating and managing of online communities.
Employment
  • Spiceworks
    Community Manager, 2011 - present
  • UTV Ignition Games
    Senior Game Systems Designer, 2010 - 2011
  • BioWare
    Senior Community Manager, 2008 - 2010
  • Stray Bullet Games, LLC
    Senior Game Systems Designer, Lead Designer, Community Manager, 2006 - 2008
  • Ubisoft Entertainment
    Game Systems Designer, Community Manager, Event Team Lead, 2003 - 2006
  • Wolfpack Studios
    Community Manager, 2000 - 2003
  • Catalyst Development
    Webmaster / Customer Support Specialist, 1998 - 2000
  • U.S. Marine Corps
    Sergeant (E5), 1992 - 1998
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Austin, Texas - Round Rock, Texas - Twentynine Palms, CA - Fredericksburg, Texas - Medina, Texas - Bandera, Texas - Milano, Texas - Malaeimi, American Samoa - Pago Pago, American Samoa - Waianae, Hawaii - Makaha, Hi - Raiatea, French Polynesia - Pflugerville, Texas - Crystal Lake, IL - Chicago, IL
Story
Introduction
I like moonlight walks on the bea... oh, wait, it isn't that kind of profile. Um... A game industry veteran with over ten years of experience in the design, development, and management of Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games.
Education
  • Fredericksburg High School
    GED, 1991 - 1992
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Looking for
Networking
Birthday
September 8
Other names
Ashen Temper
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