On the weekend, I was talking to someone whom I know in the local video game industry. This person works for a company that suffered some layoffs recently. Given the sad state of the industry here in Vancouver, that could describe a lot of companies so my desire to keep things somewhat anonymous won’t be too difficult.
Anyways, my friend told me the recent headcount reduction meant his company had many computers left lying around. Management had decided it wasn’t worth trying to sell the computers so they’d just give the surplus away. I was told if I wanted one of these I should just send my friend an e-mail. Who doesn’t want a free computer? Now you might be thinking these might be crap computers but in my experience and I’ve worked at many a game company, the workstations that are in use by game developers usually are pretty damn good. Slow computers means less productivity so getting cheap computers for your employees doesn’t make a lot of sense. Now I know the remaining workers probably got the cream of the crop computers with the eight cores but I was hoping for something pretty good in any case.
Today my friend e-mailed me to say he was able to procure for me a quad core machine with a 750 Gb hard drive, 8 Gb of RAM, and an Nvidia 9800 video card. Now that’s not the top of the line hardware at the bleeding edge but it’s still better than what I’m using to type this post out on. For comparison, I currently have a dual core machine with a 350 Gb hard drive, 6 Gb of RAM, and an ATI 3850 video card. My computer is about four years old.
I’m super happy that my friend was able to get this computer but then I quickly realized I’m not sure how to get it home. As most of you know, I don’t own a car. My friend’s studio is located about two blocks from a Skytrain station. I suppose I could lug the thing two blocks to the Skytrain station and then heave it up a long flight of stairs but it would suck. Computers are heavy. Try lifting your computer case right now. The other thing is I have to get the computer during normal business hours and I usually work later than the guys in the other studio.
I’m thinking I might grab the computer during lunch and utilize the fact my mother works fairly close to my friend’s workplace. I can either drive my car there, put the computer in her car, and then drive it back to her. Or, I could just take a quick cab ride to her parking lot and drop it off there. She can take it home and I’d pick up at my parents’ place on the weekend or something.
It’s a small hassle I suppose but hey, free computer.