Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ordered a second hard drive

As I think I said before I am constantly installing and re-installing operating systems. In the last week and a half I've re-installed Windows and Linux at least three times. Every time I end up losing data on my hard drive.

So I just bought a second drive -- a small one of just 80 GB, just for operating systems. So from now on I can keep my files safe on their 750GB drive and play musical chairs with operating systems on the 80 GB drive.

I should have done this from the start.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Everything works!

I'm posting this long after the fact.

The stuff arrived last Wednesday, but I had obligations that kept me from working on it. Thursday it all came together and booted up on the first try!

I booted to a Linux pen drive before I installed the hard drive. Worked fine, so I finished the build.

The next day I bought the monitor -- a ViewSonic 22" LCD flat screen. How did I live without it for so long?

I also bought some Altec Lansing surround sound speakers. You don't just hear them. You feel them! I've only connected the subwoofer and the front speakers, since the PC is in a temporary location for now.

I'm using a wireless keyboard and mouse, to keep wire clutter down.

I installed Win XP first, because I wanted a native install, just in case I ever need it. I put it on a 25 GB partition, so it is pretty limited. I booted to it only once. Then came Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon. It works very well indeed! Then I installed VirtualBox and a new Win XP install in a virtual machine. I use it quite a bit. Sometimes you just need Windows (sorry Linus T.)

My original plan was for 4 GB of RAM, but I started out with only two because of a rebate I wanted to take advantage of. So far the PC runs so fast that I can't imagine more memory making a difference.

I can run two operating systems at once, watch a video, while ripping a DVD, all at impressive speeds. Ripping DVDs took hours on my old 1.2 GHz machine. It takes minutes now!

With the great sound, great graphics, and awesome speed, I'm totally set!

Still needed:

  • TV tuner card
  • Internal card reader
  • Maybe a second DVD burner to speed up the burn/rip process
  • Maybe headphones

I haven't installed MythTV yet, because (obviously) I don't have the TV tuner. MythTV with a remote will make it a true media PC.