April 14, 2005

Things don't go as planned

The new power supply came. None of my power adapters fit, so I went out and got a 12v one that looked like it'd fit. It didn't. I don't even know why. The diameter looks right, the inner diameter looks big enough to fit the pin. It just won't go. I chopped the adapter head off. I was a little frustrated. Maybe I'll find a use for that 12v plug later. Gotta stop by Radio Shack with the power supply and try out adapters until I find one that fits.

Koko won't work now anyway. Her memory has been pilfered for the benefit of Betty until Betty's new memory comes in. Betty had some kickass memory (first time I ever bought name-brand memory), but one of the sticks was bad and I had to RMA the whole set for an exchange.

Koko's also picked up the bad habit of blue screening all the time for no apparent reason. I suspect the bit tornado client. It didn't happen before I installed that.

Posted by kstroke at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2005

She lives!

Koko has been resurrected. Sort of. I got a cheapo power supply from Fry's, but it's super duper loud, so I just ordered a 'real' mini-itx power supply that will be silent. The software's been reinstalled. Her guts are spread out all over the floor. May put her into a new body since the new power supply is much smaller. Not looking forward to cutting out new holes and a smaller case might run hotter with all of the components right next to each other.

Posted by kstroke at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2004

Stage 1, Complete

Yay. "Finished up" koko over the weekend. Not totally done b/c I should still do the following:
- add holes for the power switch, air output, and firewire/usb ports
- replace the on-off switch with a momentary switch for the power
- add led for power and maybe for hard drive activity

Rather than let these little things keep the whole thing on hold (like I would normally do), I'm going ahead and putting her into commission. The pictures have been taken and will be posted soon. Since there's no hole for it, I'm letting the power switch hang outside. Haha, so ghetto.

Jocelyn figured out how to increase the font for most of the stuff so there isn't nearly as much eye strain involved. I also commandeered her wireless keyboard and mouse so that we can instruct koko from the couch. Ah, technology.

The Nero DVD playig software was acting slow, though... I'm sorta worried that the exposed power supply is having some strange effects on things. FMA played fine via Windows Media Player, though, so maybe it's just Nero's software acting funny. Might put in some aluminum foil to shield the other components.

Posted by kstroke at 10:43 AM | Comments (12)

September 28, 2004

The Beginning

I'm going to start a car computer project soonish. As a pre-cursor, I'm building a tiny htpc (home theater pc). We needed an extra place for file storage anyway. So this little machine is going to serve as both a file server and as the launching point for enjoying our music and video files.

Got a Mini-ITX board ($162) from Fry's last Saturday. A bit of drama with the memory. Settled with a 1 GB stick of generic DDR400 ($149). Caught a 200GB Seagate harddrive with a decent rebate ($70 after rebate). Had an extra power supply laying around. Temporarily pilfered a floppy drive and a CD drive from my other computer to install stuff. Later realized that I needed things like a power switch and some wires connected to jumpers ($10).

Jocelyn managed to get a cool metal moon cake box from Ranch 99. I went there the next day and got a whole ton - different brand, though. That lady is really nice. We're going to go to the Foster City Ranch 99 all the time now.

Sunday was spent installing stuff. Man, that was a pain. Windows 2000 Pro won't recognize the whole drive during install (only 128 GB). Using the CD that came with the drive, had to format the drive on my other computer first. But I couldn't figure out how to get the TV out to work.

Got that to work tonight, though. Didn't know what other ppl were talking about when they said "tab". I didn't see any special program installed with VIA drivers. To get it to work, you have to right click on the desktop, select the customize option, click on the settings tab, and click on advanced. Then click on the tabs until you see a screen with two monitor icons (Monitor and TV). It's obvious from there.

Watched an ep of FMA. Beautiful. The picture's great! Was afraid the output to the TV wouldn't be very good. Reading the regular sized text on the TV, like file names, is really difficult, though. Even at 640x480. I'm planning on writing up a quick and dirty app that let's you browse directories and launch programs. Big fonts and the ability to use a remote (after I add an IR receiver, mostly only needing up/down/left/right/enter to navigate) will be the key features around which everything else revolves.

Posted by kstroke at 12:28 AM | Comments (14)