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#1 2004-01-16 13:47:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Chaven's tower

As you enter the tower the first thing you notice are all the things you don't know. Strange contraptions of all kinds are everywhere.

This is the home of the local technogeeks. If you need any technology related advice, this is the place to get it. Most of the talk will probably be about computers, but you can always try us for other technologies. Who knows what geeky answers you might get.
This is also a place to brag about the latest gadgets you got your hands on, or would like to get your hands on.

All in all the place is filled with technobabble. Don't worry about a lack of knowledge, most of us revel in sharing our knowledge.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

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You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#2 2004-01-16 13:53:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

There! Our very own technobabble place.

And to start it off, I'll post the specs of my new compu (the one I get to pick up tomorrow).

Code:

 
Motherboard:   Asus A7N8X-X
CPU:           AMD Athlon XP 2600+ 2,08GHz
Memory:        Corsair 512MB DDR SDRAM PL270
Harddisk:      Western Digital Caviar Special Edition 80GB
Graphics card: Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9600 256MB
Case:          AOpen H500B
CD-rewriter:   AOpen Rewrit 52x32x52 IDE Ret
Mouse:         Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse
Keyboard:      Logitech Internet Keyboard
Floppydisk:    Sony 3,5" diskette station
OS:            MS Windows XP Home
Monitor:       Iiyama HM704UTC A

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#3 2004-01-18 01:52:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

My new compu is now working like a dream. :) After fetching it yesterday we went to fetch two nightstands (one of those thingies for beside the bed) to put our computers in. So beside the cables being cleaned up and the software installed I'm all done now. :)

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

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First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#4 2004-01-20 01:12:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

No other techies interested in chatting here?

I'll just assume they haven't had time yet and keep this alive by myself. :)

I hope to have time to install my games tonight. I wanted to do so yesterday, but after the cubscouts I was too tired.

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#5 2004-01-20 02:50:00

footle
Pilgrim
From: London, England
Registered: 2001-06-12
Posts: 3166
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

My computer:

Code:

 
Motherboard:   Asus A7N8X-X Deluxe
CPU:           AMD Athlon XP 2800+ (Aero 9 cooling)
Memory:        1GB Crucial (probably the 

wrong speed for the motherboard)
Harddisk:      Maxtor 120GB - though I'd be
 really tempted by a 320GB SATA Raid combination, 
if I had more than 20GB of data :)
Graphics card: Sapphire Radeon 9700 Pro 128MB
Case:          Antec Something. In Black, 

but not the Sonata case :(
CD-rewriter:   Lite-on Rewrit 52x32x52 IDE Ret
DVD:           Something cheap.
Mouse:         Microsoft cordless (rubbish) with an Intellimouse Explorer for backup
Keyboard:      Microsoft cordless
Floppydisk:    Not included :) -USB flash memory is where it is at, with another 

computer sitting nearby to be cannabilised in an emergency.
OS:            MS Windows XP Pro
Monitor:       Hitachi CW175(random extra
 figures) in Black - 17 inch TFT with 16ms
 refresh - this is where the money went.

Admittedly I overpaid for all the components, and I could do with a black DVD rewriter to match the rest of the chassis, but it is cute.

(weird formatting because CODE blocks do strange things in UBB)

[ January 20, 2004: Message edited by: footle ]


"The classic Mail headline which begins 'Is this the Most Evil/Depraved/Shocking...?' can almost always be answered 'actually, no'." - Andrew Marr

 

#6 2004-01-20 03:24:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

Pst, could you edit the post so it wouldn't be so wide? Thanks.

I deliberately chose not to buy a truly state of the art computer, since for only a slightly better computer I would probably have to pay twice as much. So I bought one that would suit me for a couple of years without bankrupting me. :)

yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#7 2004-01-20 04:32:00

Peter
Pilgrim
From: Austria
Registered: 2001-08-23
Posts: 39617
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

That's always the smart thing to do, Sahi. Buying good midrange components will give you a good price/lifetime ratio and you'll have a decent system for a while.

And indeed, I didn't have a look around the neighbourhood so far. I assume this is your new neighbourhood home?


"hitting the snooze button is totally an act of worship and not laziness"  -Magpie, slightly out of context

 

#8 2004-01-20 04:38:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

Nope, this is the home of all the techies. That is if more of them come to play over here. I noticed that a topic like this could be useful (considering the rather large number of topics about computer-related questions and stuff).

I still have the Greenhouse (which rather needs my attention).

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#9 2004-01-20 05:02:00

Peter
Pilgrim
From: Austria
Registered: 2001-08-23
Posts: 39617
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

Current Computer Specs:

Athlon XP2500+ (Barton, 1.8GHz, FSB333) @FSB380/~2.1GHz
Asus A7N8X Deluxe V2.0 (nForce 2 400 Ultra)
2x256MB Kingston Value RAM DDR266 CL 2, @DDR380 CL2.5

Asus GeForce 4 Ti4200, 128MB
Maxtor HDD 80GB 5400RPM
Maxtor HDD 120GB 7200RPM

Toshiba SDM1502 (ok, I'm not 100% sure about the model number...) DVD drive
Pioneer DVR-A05 DVD-RW drive
Floppy drive (Mitsumi, the last I'll have to use, or so I hope)

Chieftech Dragon DA-01 beige, full tower
Enermax 300W power supply

21" Sony F500 CRT screen


I recently upgraded the system, which is why the memory isn't exactly ideal. It does a surprisingly good job at keeping up though (and running *way* out of spec ;) ).

I got a 5.1 surround sound system in April, and was using it with my SB Live for a while, which is only 4.0 capable. Since the surround system is built around a surround receiver and home cinema speakers (actually hi-fi shelf speakers...), it is not capable of deriving the subwoofer signal from the 4 satellite signals. Thus I kept using stereo sound (which the receiver can handle, subwoofer and all...).

For christmas I got a Audigy 2, which is 5.1 capable and tried to set up the system. With no success whatsoever. The subwoofer channel would only work in the THX setup console, but not even in the speaker settings using the test function.

Great.
Just Great.

Turns out to be a driver bug that hasn't been fixed since the SB Live 5.1 days. I returned the soundcard and bought an nForce based mainboard instead, which isn't that much more expensive then the sound card... (~70 => 110). As an added bonus, the new board supports Barton CPU's, so I replaced my aging Athlon XP2000 with an 2500 (for ~30), which has quite a bit of overclocking headroom (the XP2000 had none, still being the 0.18 version).

So now I have a ~30% faster system for ~130 and finally working 5.1 surround sound... The Dolby Digital output of the nForce APU is by far the easiest solution if you have a home cinema receiver.

Of course I'll have the same problem again, when it's time to move on to a new platform. The CPU upgrade should definitly make this computer last till the end of the year though, so there's hope that decent sound cards will be available by then.... or so I hope :(


"hitting the snooze button is totally an act of worship and not laziness"  -Magpie, slightly out of context

 

#10 2004-01-20 05:03:00

Peter
Pilgrim
From: Austria
Registered: 2001-08-23
Posts: 39617
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

Ahh... ok :)
*waves at Sahi*
*vanishes to do some work type stuff*


"hitting the snooze button is totally an act of worship and not laziness"  -Magpie, slightly out of context

 

#11 2004-01-20 05:05:00

Wolfshade
Pilgrim
From: Warwick, RI
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 3468
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

*tries to imagine Chaven at a computer*

:)


"The rhythm is broken by continuous illumination, continuous darkness, or by decapitation." M.Morita and J.B.Best. The Journal of Experimental Zoology. 231: 273-282 (1984)

http://twitter.com/wolfshade
http://www.fullcastpodcast.com

 

#12 2004-01-20 06:32:00

footle
Pilgrim
From: London, England
Registered: 2001-06-12
Posts: 3166
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

Peter - do you just connect a coaxial cable to the spdif connector on rear of the motherboard?

[ The only problem I've had with the Asus, so far, is that the NVidia LAN connection doesn't seem to work properly - which would be annoying, if I actually needed both ports to work... I'm assuming it's some kind of driver issue ]


"The classic Mail headline which begins 'Is this the Most Evil/Depraved/Shocking...?' can almost always be answered 'actually, no'." - Andrew Marr

 

#13 2004-01-20 06:41:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

Wolfshade wrote:

*tries to imagine Chaven at a computer*

:)

Try imagining him inventing that computer. :)

Yalahii


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#14 2004-01-20 11:39:00

Peter
Pilgrim
From: Austria
Registered: 2001-08-23
Posts: 39617
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

Yes, all I have to do is to connect a normal audio cable (which is sufficient for the SPDIF signal) to the nForce digital out, connect the other end to the receiver and configure the soundcard for 4 channel ouput (works a bit better for games and the receiver can derive the subwoofer channel just fine from a digital source).

The nForce APU is the only PC audio card out there (at least in consumer space), that does Dolby Digital encoding in real time. And without encoding only 2 channels can be transferred over a SPDIF connection...

And most home cinema receivers don't perform a lot of processing on the analog 6 channel input. If they have such an input at all...

So if the soundcard doesn't calculate the subwoofer channel correctly, you'll need nice, large hifi speakers or you're in trouble (or a PC speaker set, which have integrated bass management, but are not usually suitable for listening to music...).


"hitting the snooze button is totally an act of worship and not laziness"  -Magpie, slightly out of context

 

#15 2004-01-20 11:57:00

fangler
Pilgrim
From: New Oldtown
Registered: 2001-09-30
Posts: 11452

Re: Chaven's tower

yay. technobable. i like.

i noticed you guys tend to use athlon instead of intel. any reason?

I, myself, have an imac 1gig g4 with 1 gig ram and a 17" screen as my primary 'puter and an old Dell P3 700 running XP pro with 512 ram as my backup/secondary computer. for those times when the mac can't do what i need it to do. Seeing as how i don't ever use the computer for games, that is rare.

 

#16 2004-01-20 12:07:00

Hiragana
Pilgrim
Registered: 2003-02-07
Posts: 9136

Re: Chaven's tower

*admires posted specs*

I'm one of those people who only change `puters every 3-4 years or so, and I never buy the latest stuff, but I like to drool :)

 

#17 2004-01-21 00:15:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

Heh, Anita, my last compu was bought over SEVEN years ago. :) So it was about time I stopped drooling.

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#18 2004-01-21 01:07:00

Hiragana
Pilgrim
Registered: 2003-02-07
Posts: 9136

Re: Chaven's tower

Wow, seven years! You have more willpower than me :) I'm going to drool a bit longer, until I find a decent job and can afford to deck out my preciousss here

 

#19 2004-01-21 01:21:00

wiggin
Pilgrim
From: Behind you. Boo!
Registered: 2002-11-13
Posts: 817
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

I run through a computer about every two years.  I'm sure I'll pick up a laptop for my next installment (in about 18 months, when I go to grad school).  I'll probably upgrade the ol' desktop a year after that.  I don't have any really heavy demands on my comp, but I have them well-distributed over a wide range of things, so I can get away with a midrange system - but I can't let it get too far out of date.  :(

*winces at fangler*  Son, here's a nickel.  Go buy yourself a better computer. :)

In actuality, I'm sure your decision to buy an iMac over a PowerMac (G4 or G5, depending on the time) was based on cost.  G5s are hideously expensive.  But... an iMac?  At least you get that nifty monitor.  When I need to use a Mac, I avoid anything with an i as a prefix like the plague.  Powerbooks for me, thank you very much... or one of those little supercomputers they call the G5.  ;)

Shall we take up a collection?  The "help fangler get a real computer, even if he wants a Mac" fund.

Ender

[ January 21, 2004: Message edited by: wiggin ]


"Tipol aleyhem aimata vafachad.  Lahem... v'lo lachem."
Precursor to something cool

 

#20 2004-01-21 01:40:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

*LOL*

Yesterday I installed all my games. And all installed just fine, except for Dungeon Keeper. After some searching on the net and finding out about the "Win95 compatibility" wizard it installed as well. Now all I have to do is install my Deeper Dungeons. I WILL get that up and running!

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#21 2004-01-21 01:57:00

Hiragana
Pilgrim
Registered: 2003-02-07
Posts: 9136

Re: Chaven's tower

Had to use an imac for work once upon a time *shudders*. Used a Mac PowerPC too at one point. Didn't seem to be *that* much of an improvement. Heh. But the G4 Powerbooks are gorgeous indeed. Played with one at a shop doing a demo. Way beyond what I'm willing to pay, though :( so will probably just upgrade both my desktop and notebook at some point this year. The notebook first because it's older.

 

#22 2004-01-21 05:20:00

rimses
Pilgrim
From: Austria
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 5424

Re: Chaven's tower

hey, the mint is no longer haunted with tech talk...

you want to know my specs?

well, on the monitor is printed "Fujitsu"...

;)


If the subjective character of experience is fully comprehensible only from one point of view, then any shift to greater objectivity-that is, less attachement to a specific viewpoint-does not take us nearer to the real nature of the phenomenon: it takes us farther away from it

-Thomas Nagel, What is it like to be a bat?

 

#23 2004-01-21 05:27:00

Peter
Pilgrim
From: Austria
Registered: 2001-08-23
Posts: 39617
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

You do have your own computer? ;)


"hitting the snooze button is totally an act of worship and not laziness"  -Magpie, slightly out of context

 

#24 2004-01-21 05:43:00

Peter
Pilgrim
From: Austria
Registered: 2001-08-23
Posts: 39617
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

fangler wrote:

i noticed you guys tend to use athlon instead of intel. any reason?

I guess most of us want good performance at a decent price.

Intel has been leading the high end for at least a year now, which is only now changing with the Athlon 64.

In the value/mainstream segment, Intel offers the Celeron which is SLOW. Horribly slow. The slowest P4 chips are still ~200, whereas you can get Athlon XP chips starting at 70 and the XP2500 at ~90 already offers pretty decent performance. About 50-100% faster than an equally priced Celeron I'd say.

Took a look at the price list:
The 2.8GHz Pentium 4 seems to be available at ~200 and is pretty good value. The Athlon XP line can't really compete in that price range, especially if you intend to overclock the P4. The Athlon 64 3000+ DOES comptete *very* well, but there aren't that many mainboards available right now.

If I would by a new system from the ground up right now, possible choices would be:

Extreme value: Duron 1.6GHz, 40
Already faster than the fastest Celeron, but much cheaper than the cheapest Celeron out there...

Value: Athlon XP 2500+/2600+, ~90
Half the price of the P4 2.4GHz, yet in the same performance range. Doesn't overclock quite as well though. Very, very good price/performance. Same price as the midrange Celerons but 50-100% faster (I am not joking).

Mainstream/Performance:
P4 2.8GHz C (800MHz FSB) ~200
Good performance, overclocks well too.
The 3.0 and 3.2 aren't worth the price premium. Tons of stable mainboards available.

or

Athlon 64 3000+ ~250
Smallest Athlon 64 out there, but already faster than the P4 3.2G in most games. The selection of mainboards isn't nearly as large, though it should be sufficient. Might be a bit picky about the memory used. For gaming it's probably the best choice out there.


"hitting the snooze button is totally an act of worship and not laziness"  -Magpie, slightly out of context

 

#25 2004-01-21 06:26:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44992
Website

Re: Chaven's tower

*is starting to loathe javascript*

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

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