Well, I had hoped to pre-order an iPhone 4 later this week, but it sounds like the first wave is completely spoken for already. Maybe I can get one in... August? Hrm. Any of you guys manage to secure a pre-order for guaranteed delivery on launch day?

On a totally separate note: thermal paste! I use the stuff constantly around Damage Labs, and frankly, paying ten bucks for a microscopic tube of Arctic Silver would substantially increase my yearly expenses. (I also hate the stuff because it's hard to clean off of fingers, chips, boards, and the like, but that's another story.) You're in for at least three bucks for nearly any little tube of premium thermal compound on Newegg, and larger quantities are rare.

Bottom line: thermal paste as it's sold to PC enthusiasts is kind of a raw deal.

My long-time solution has been a 5 oz. tube of cheap, white thermal paste that I picked up at MicroCenter for 14 bucks—and by "long-time" I mean at least three years, maybe more. The brand name is MG Chemicals Silicone Heat Transfer Compound, and it's just standard white thermal paste. The stuff works as well as anything else I've tried, and it's easier to spread on and clean off than more expensive solutions. Holds up pretty well over time, too.

No, it's not sold as specially designed overclocking juice, but if you think you need a witch doctor's poultice in order to squeeze more megahertz out of your CPU, I really can't help you.

Even after years, I've not used up all five ounces of the stuff yet, but the metal tube around it has started to crack. It's messy enough now that I decided yesterday to order another tube. Our local MicroCenter has ceased to stock it, as far as I can tell. Fortunately, I was able to hunt down more at an online store for $15.52. They've switched to a plastic tube, so it should last even longer. The only downside: this particular outlet wants 10 bucks to ship a 5 oz. tube of goo via UPS Ground, which is another kind of rip-off. Still, the total price is a steal compared to, say, a gross of $10 Arctic Silver tubes.

If you'd prefer to stick with vendors that don't charge a dowry for shipping, this 200-gram vat of Cooler Master paste at Newegg for 17 bucks might be a decent alternative, too, although I prefer the squeeze tube.

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