Computer Land

So I’ve spent the weekend… well, I guess that could be extended to the past month, doing computer stuff. I placed the hardware order on December 31st (so I could include it in the business costs for 2008) and received them on the 7th or so.

From there on it’s been computers, computers, computers. I upgrade my own to free up a power supply and memory for my new Media PC for the living room. I took all the old stuff I had and got a brand new media pc case for it all. It’s about the size (amazingly close in size) to my receiver and now have it all nicely arranged in the new entertainment center.

The original order started with Jamie. Her computer was up to the gill in spyware and antivirus and she was looking for a way to record TV. Since the existing setup couldn’t quite pull that off I came up with a solution for her – a Media PC / desktop. That got me thinking about an actual media PC for myself and lead to me ordering the new case and replacement parts for my desktop so those old parts would be available for the Media PC.

In any case I came up with a really nice Thermaltake box case (like a shuttle case on steriods) and TV card arrangement. I waited on the TV card for myself until I could confirm if Comcast is QAM in my area. Per my experience with Jamie’s PC being plugged into my cabe I can confirm it is not. They give me one digital channel in high quality off the line and it’s always an add for a Wrestling PPV. So the only channels on my network are analog and most of those have that little known property that Comcast actually just got fined for – many of the channels say “this channel is still available on the digital teir” to try and entice the $13 a month-ers.

So I was working on 3 computers, more upgrading 1, making another from old parts in a new case and building a new system. Then Joe from Finishline called me. I haven’t done business with him in a while – over a year in fact. It got where I was spending a lot of time supporting him over the phone with questions and the like and not getting anything from it. I finally started charging him for phone support and he didn’t pay those invoices. I took the loss and moved on but he recently started calling me again when “his computer got stolen”. He had taken it to a local shop for repair and they closed up and took his computer with them. They didn’t return it and wouldn’t return his calls. He ended up getting it back but it had been in the middle of a system refresh and was apart all over the place. He was in a bind and I’m planning on charging full price, so I agreed – that made the 4th.

So here I am in the office all weekend, with multiple computers on a KVM going back and forth between them, installing, downloading drivers, tweaking, and loving it. Of course, my ADD (or so the pamphlets would have me believe) never lets me focus for very long so I’m in and out of the office as things format and download so I’m not completely holed up the whole time. As a matter of fact I even had dinner with my wife last night, then we watched the office (had to resort to Hulu due to the cable issues) and then caught up on the Kyle XY finale from last year (we’ll probably check out this season tonight). I then had Nicole try out Civ on the PS3. It’s a pretty good game, and she didn’t experience anywhere near the performance problems I had. She won via domination but to be fair she was building the United Nations… it just happened that Abraham Lincoln got his panties in a bunch before it could get completed.

So though I’ve been busy this weekend, but all in all it’s been fairly enjoyable. The only thing I might like more is if the office was clean, but I can get around to that once I’m not using it to build. I so need to sort through my stuff and throw out the old parts(PIII and under). As it is I could never receive purely professional customers.

Side note – found this while browsing: The Unwanted Blog
It’s got a lot of very cool general interest stuff as well as technological and historical items. A great blend of all things I’m interested in.

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