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Even more hardware

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 22:07


So, Peter en Tinneke dropped by. It's always nice to have friends pay you a visit, bringing a piece of home to your home. Among other things, we dropped by the Razzmatazz on Friday evening to see Soulwax - the Nite versions. We had to queue for an hour even though we had tickets. It made Peter even more happy though than before, go figure !

Soulwax was disappointing. I had read rave reviews about their rebuilt remixed album and their live performances based on them. I hardly recognized anything except for a few shards of lyrics, there was almost no singing, everything sounded the same... I guess I'm just destined to be a regular rock kid.

Saturday, among other things, Peter and I went window-shopping for hardware. I wanted to show him the block that has all the computer stores. I think he liked it - we went to more than ten stores. I realized I hadn't been to more than three or four myself, not realizing the difference between the stores. I guess I don't have a hardware buddy round here the way Peter was back in Belgium :) Each store seems to have taken up some specialty. We were especially hunting for an acceptable case, but it seems a lot of stores specialize in butt-ugly cases to attract gamers. We only found one reasonably acceptable Asus case at first. When we had decided to finally give up and go back to meet the girls, we passed by a store that had cases from brands we found on the internet. We spent another half hour looking over the store, they specialized in HTPC components, and were willing to order whatever we found on the internet that they weren't selling.

The weekend after that, I played around with an old Epia board I had lying around. It was one of the first out there, it has a 500 Mhz Samuel CPU. After quite a bit of fiddling, I got it to net-boot various distros, and a very optimized MPlayer seems to almost be able to keep a constant framerate going for playback. One of the nice things about this board is that TV-out just works right from the start - even the BIOS shows up. Another nice thing is that it can operate completely fanless and driveless. So I'm seriously considering redoing my home setup with a server stashed somewhere, and one or more clients netbooting off the server. While the noise in the living room wasn't terrible, it was noticeable, even from the bedroom.

So I am now browsing for nice cases that I would consider using in either setup.

Some of the cases I've been looking at:

If anyone knows about more decent HTPC case producers, or has any first-hand experience, feel free to share and drop me a line at thomas at apestaart dot org

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