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Checkpoint: Minor PC Upgrades Edition


After cleaning out the hardware, consolidating hardware and updating to Windows 7, one thing became clear. I had to spend money on some upgrades and fixes including:

  1. 90 mm side panel fan
  2. New TV tuner
  3. More memory

The side panel fan which came with my ThermalTake Soprano case began to go into overdrive and needed to be replaced before I sold it. So instead of delaying the sale, I took the working 90 mm fan from the Tsunami case and threw it in.

Then I searched for a replacement.

Fans typically come in 80 mm and 120 mm sizes so finding a 90 mm was a tough task. I looked through all the usual stores and came up empty. They were either overpriced to begin with or charging a kidney’s worth for shipping. I eventually found one on Ebay. Protip: Never buy a case with 90 mm fans.

The next piece of hardware I had to replace was the TV tuner. My MSI TV@nywhere’s software support never made it beyond Windows XP and thus Windows 7 was completely unaware of it. Searching for a replacement for this was easier than expected. I chose the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 with remote control. I settled for a PCI card because it could eventually live within my Shuttle PC as well.

Installing this thing was easier than expected. Being Media Center certified had its benefits as Windows Update provided the driver and Media Center itself configured the whole Program Guide. It couldn’t be easier. The only downside? The remote did not work. Not with Windows Media Center because it’s not supported. And not with the official WinTV application because… Well I don’t know why; it just isn’t working. I’m not too bothered by it though. The tuner itself was only a mere $118 after everything.

The memory situation is funny because at 2 GB, Windows 7 RC is happy as a clam. I could spend $54 (so cheap!) on 2 x 2GB sticks, but then what would I do with the current 2 GB have? I can’t use it together because the motherboard will not support over PC5400 with more than 4 GB of memory. And honestly, that’s what’s holding me back: the waste of perfectly good memory as I upgrade.

I’m such a environmentalist.

Our quest to max out Call of Duty 4’s prestige levels is not going so well. It’s a real grind. The lack of consistent servers isn’t helping either. So we’ve been spending time with other games as well.

Wipeout HD’s Fury expansion provided 80 more reasons to love Wipeout. It’s so deliciously good that I feel guilty for paying only $9.99. My only complaint with it is the fact that there’s more screen tearing with the new content. They’ve upped the visuals and performance took a hit. It’s a damn shame, but not enough to ruin the experience.

I’ve also purchased Shatter for $7.99 — another steal! It’s what Space Invaders Extreme did to the Space Invaders series, but for Brick Breaker. So good.

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