OT: geek stuff / discussion.

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Geek, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    I've made offers like this in the past and have had some take me up on them so I thought I'd offer again now in this thread with Windows 7 coming out...

    If any of you are looking to put together a new computer anytime soon, I'd like to extend the offer to discuss your purchase/answer questions before you make it and/or offer you upgrade advice if you are thinking about making your computer faster.

    I spent the last couple of weeks getting myself up to speed on the latest hardware for some clients and in the process got pretty excited about today's hottest stuff and ended up purchasing the stuff to build my own personal "next generation ultimate box" to put Windows 7 64 bit on; its been a couple of years since I built my last "no holds barred" box; my 2009 edition is now on the way.

    In the process of hunting around (very extensively) I managed to shave over $430 off the component pricing for my personal machine (!) by finding rebates & specials on various combination of parts (like getting a video card and psu combination for example... or case & cpu cooler together); and I pretty much bought exactly what I wanted without skimping (right down to the modular HX 1000W corsair PSU & the 12 gigs of DDR3-1600 ram) for significantly less than I could ever get a pre-manufactured machine.

    So an open invitation... if you are considering buying some hardware, feel free to speak up in this thread and we can talk about whether its the right solution for you.

    And for those of you who already know it all... how fast have you gotten your i7 clock up to? :lurk

    cheers,
    Ed

    (this offer is for free advice.. yes I own an IT company but no I don't sell hardware or product - just IT service. I'm just looking to help my fellow inmates :freaky).

    mods: if its ok, I'd rather this was a rockies discussion instead of a JM discussion. The reason being topics like this tend to go huge in JM and I'd rather just offer up help (if anyone even wants it) for my rockies inmates that I know, care about, and ride with. I don't have time for a JM thread. (pleeeeeeeeeeeease) :D
    #1
  2. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Sarcasm free11/11/10

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    I have a wrist watch. It's a Casio.
    #2
  3. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    p.s. This is a limited time offer. :ksteve

    Seriously though.. I get calls all the time asking for advice on current stuff and I usually decline to offer specific advice because it takes time to do the homework and see what is best today (which I tend to do to an obsessive compulsive level when I need to). As of this minute I'm current on what's hot and whats in the near-future pipe; the real question is will I forget what I know before its obsolete? Probably :D
    #3
  4. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    I got my first digital watch when I was 5 years old. It was one of those ones where you hit the button and the LEDs light up red. I can still remember how huge it felt on my arm.

    I had a crazy wealthy uncle who wasn't happy that I couldn't tell time on a regular clock so he dropped $500 (1976 money) on one for me... :eek1

    My parents took it away before I could destroy it :D

    I wish I still had it.. it'd be worth a bunch today...
    ...for that matter I wish I still had that crazy wealthy uncle...

    I remember it looking similar to this except the metal part was bigger and the numbers dimmer and smaller:

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Deadslow

    Deadslow The Whinging Pom....

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    This is sooooo very generous of you........I really need to put a new system together.......I just wish I could afford to take you up on your (free) offer.
    #5
  6. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie

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    Windows 7 is pretty cool.

    As it happens, I've been thinking about getting a new machine. I don't need the latest greatest, fastest. Even the cheapie machines scorch my current Thinkpad T30 (running 2GHz Pentium 4M with 1GB of RAM).

    Here's what I was playing around with...

    1) Sub $400 desktop machine, used fine running XP or maybe 7
    2) Costco 28" LCD Panel - $299
    3) Upgraded graphics card with HDMI output - $50
    4) Wireless Card/Adapter - $30
    5) Asus Netbook - sub $400

    All in - about $1300-$1400. New desktop, new netbook, large LCD panel, etc.

    Thoughts?
    :lurk
    #6
  7. mountain eagle

    mountain eagle terrorist

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    Your late....... most of my system, first time building a computer too, just showed up today...........

    So what do you know about tuner cards for linux, mythtv, and the like.........
    #7
  8. Hondo

    Hondo What if it's a Samsquamch?

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    If you're going to be using Linux, check the support forum for the distro that you are using- members there should be able to tell you which card worked for them.
    #8
  9. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
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    Geek:

    I could use some help. I'd like to find a way to extend the range of my wireless internet we have at a mountain property. I'd like to "extend" it to my neighbor who lives about 200' away so we can share it and he can stop using dial up. I have a wireless router in my house that reaches 1/2 way to his house but no further. Is there a device I can buy (or make) where I can "beam" my wireless signal his way? Just hypothetically.

    If yes, I'd be willing to offer you overnight accommodations there where you can experience it firsthand. Nice place to ride and great view. PM if you'd like.

    Thanks,

    Tom
    #9
  10. Junglerot

    Junglerot Hodor!

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    I really need a new system to encode video, solid linux support would be mandatory. However, like above, I have not the money currently to do so :cry...
    I keep spending too much money on motorcycles :lol3
    #10
  11. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    1) The computer is a refurb... just food for thought that brand new Dell's start at something like $279. I'd do an apple to apple comparison as you might be able to do just as well on new components. Buying from someone like Newegg or Dell gives you guaranteed problem free replacement if its DOA.

    2) Keep in mind that the 28" monitor is doing 1920x1200 resolution. That's the same resolution as a 24" monitor (i.e. bigger pixels i.e. grainier image).

    So don't think its going to look like the 30" monitors you see around (which are doing 2560x1380 pixels or whatnot).

    That said, I've been considering upgrading my secondary monitor to that particular monitor too for watching movies/playing games on while I work :D I'm interested to see how The 800:1 contrast ratio looks in real life; my 24" monitor has an ACR of 20000:1 (or about 1000:1).

    So hurry up & buy it so I can come over and check it out :ksteve

    3) HDMI output - what are you planning on doing with it?

    4) I have a client in Boulder with that exact netbook. It's a nice little unit. The biggest thing with netbooks is to physically play with it first and see how it works for *YOU*. Some of them have odd keyboard layouts or keysizes, etc that would drive me bananas but other people don't mind. The other issue is trying the screen in the various resolutions and see how well it works for YOUR eyes. I've had clients return netbooks because they can't read the screen.

    The other thing to keep in mind with Netbooks is which Atom processor it has in it. The N280 just started shipping in February of this year.. so if the netbook has been on the shelf for a while (or is a refurb) it'll likely have the older N270 processor. Make sure the one you get is new stock.


    :freaky
    #11
  12. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    MythTV's website & user forums have extensive discussion on the topic.. that's your best place to read-up.

    One thing to note: sometimes various cards of the same model have different firmware - some of which are more myth compatible than others. Make sure if you get one of these "borderline" models, it has the correct firmware.

    Digging into the forums you'll often find there are user generated "beta drivers" that can make some "non-supported" cards work. My experience has been they are more hassle then they are worth and I've put more hours into dicking with drivers than it would have cost me to buy a compatible card several times over.
    #12
  13. Junglerot

    Junglerot Hodor!

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    BTW, mountain eagle, I have been running Myth for 3+ years now. I may not be able to answer all your hardware questions, but if you have Myth specific questions I may be able to help
    #13
  14. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    there are a few different things you can try; but I don't know if you'll be able to get it that far (many variables) with 802.11.

    first things to consider:

    is it 802.11 b, g or n? If you are using b its signal strength is a lot weaker than g or n.

    Second thing.. if you have power available, you can buy a range extender box (usually for about 30 or 40 bucks). It needs just a power outlet and it takes the wi-fi signal and repeats it full strength. Whether that is viable in your outside layout is a different issue...
    If you do buy a repeater, I strongly suggest buying one that is the same brand as your router to maximize compatibility. i.e. a linkysys with a linksys for example.

    Another thing if you are feeling hacker'ish - do a search on "Pringles Can Wi-Fi antenna" - you'd be amazed how far you can extend the range of your reception with a properly wire wrapped pringles can :D

    Some fun reading on home-brew antennas: http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/has.html

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

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    Geek:

    1. b and g. No n.
    2. We have power there. No issue.
    3. Will look into the pringles can if I can build it myself. Sounds like fun.

    My blackberry can sense my network 1/2 way to his house out in the yard. My wireless router is inside the house and sort of down low and out of sight. I guess I could try putting it near the closest window to see if that helps but still think it's too far.

    Thanks,

    Tom



    #15
  16. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Tom: I added a link to the above post.

    Upgrade the B card to a G so you have G on both ends - I assume its in a laptop.. you can go get a USB G card in a dongle format for around $30.


    Also note: Try moving it around. Depending on interference in the walls & such you'd be amazed how much it can vary.

    I recently did a similar thing for two clients who's houses were back to back. They had put the router in the closest window and it wouldn't reach.

    I went and stood in the yard with my iphone's wi-fi signal app running and had the client move the router all around in the back room of the house.

    The strongest signal turned out to be in one certain location up high on a book shelf.. no where near the window :dunno
    #16
  17. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

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    Geek:

    Thanks. Is it possible to just plug in an Ethernet cable and run it under or over the ground to his house? I could run it along the fence over to his property. I'm just not sure how long you can run cable w/o losing all the signal.

    If it wasn't for the fact that: 1) He's a great guy, 2) He has a backhoe, and 3) He's my plumber... :evil I wouldn't help him out. But it seems like it's a great idea to split the cost as we're not there all that much.

    Oh, BTW, we don't even encrypt. So we're a free hotspot.

    Tom


    #17
  18. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Assuming you are using 100mb basic 10baseT on a twisted pair it should do 100 meters (300 feet).

    You can buy range extenders that make it go significantly further but I'd imagine that's plenty for your project.

    You'll want to get an "outdoor friendly" cable...
    #18
  19. Wannabeeuro

    Wannabeeuro Tuner chic

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    My new iphone 3Gs shows up tomorrow, I may bug you for tricks.
    #19
  20. Hondo

    Hondo What if it's a Samsquamch?

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    I used to be an AMD guy...

    [​IMG]

    My Current rig that I built -

    Gigabyte GA-965p Mobo
    Intel 2.4 ghz Dual core CPU, overclocked to 3.2 ghz
    2gb mem
    Fanless Gigabyte 8600 GT 256 mb video card
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 sound
    Sony SATA DVD RW drive
    WD Raptor 76 gb OS hard drive
    4 other hard drives
    Antec Nine Hundred Case

    [​IMG]

    802.11G wireless network
    Asus VW266H Black 25.5" LCD Monitor

    [​IMG]

    I'll be going to new mobo, cpu, mem and drives when I transition to Windows 7 (I'm a Beta tester too).

    XP works so dang good though, going to be tough move for me.

    If you are looking for a great forum for hardware geekness, I recommend, Hard Forums or Overclockers.com Forums.

    Want PCLInuxOS? Here's a guide I wrote a few years back, still has some great info -

    http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=453522
    #20