Everything, Everything

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Bad Evening
Saturday 5th January, 2008 16:22 Comments: 1
Almost everything went wrong last night. It started off okay when I replaced a power supply with a nice Tagan one (voltages looked better, it ran quieter), although it put up a bit of a fight when I tried to screw it into place (most likely the fault of the case, as I don't remember having any problems with the other 2 Tagan supplies in Lian Li cases). The TV card was also detected, but I'd disconnected the DVD drives and the PC wasn't connected to the internet, so I wasn't able to install drivers for it yet. But it looks like it works okay.

Then I discovered that my parents' widescreen TV only supports 4:3 ratio VGA input, that the component input wasn't behaving properly (couldn't get the TV to display the right resolutions correctly, and most of the time the screen wanted to be blue - I still don't know why). That still leaves trying the HDMI interface sending 720p (which the TV claims to support with its HDMI input), but I don't have an HDMI cable and the ATI HD 2400 Pro graphics card didn't come with the ATI HDMI adaptor (has to be an ATI one to pass the onboard 5.1 audio through correctly, but I can use any DVI-HDMI adapter if I don't mind losing the audio/having to use another cable to hook up the soundcard to the TV). Of course, I can't use the HD 2400 Pro card yet because the card is PCI-E and until I switch the motherboard and CPU across from another system (which won't happen until Intel's new Penryn based chips arrive in about 3 months), the current motherboard only supports AGP. The current motherboard also doesn't support SATA - well it does, but it appears to only present the drive if it's configured as RAID (it may be possible to change that, but it doesn't look like the BIOS supports booting off it anyway, so that's another reason to wait until I switch motherboards) and I only have one big SATA drive, and I don't particularly care about redundancy for a "Media Center" PC. Worst case scenario, a few TV shows are lost.

So I gave up and decided to try my new webcam. It's a Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000 that was on offer at PC World (so the price wasn't bad). It's adjustable, has a built in microphone, and (most importantly) is meant to work on Vista. I had trouble getting the laptop's drive to read the supplied driver CD (it kept thinking it was a blank disk :S) so I plugged the webcam in anyway to see what happened, and Vista (admittedly it was running SP1 RC) has built in support for the latest software/drivers! And it works fine - although I may uninstall the software, as I'm not a fan of the button at automatically offering to start a video conversation, as it's too easy to hit the button when you're moving the cam around with a laptop, but it's probably fine if you're using it with a desktop PC. The image quality looked okay, once I'd focussed it, although I haven't played with it too much. Still, it was a nice ending to a pretty depressing evening.
Avatar Fab - Tuesday 8th January, 2008 11:09
We really must try to get you to visit Bristol. Plenty to do around here to cheer you up.
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