Windows is Back

Now that I’ve had some time back from vacation, I decided to do a full investigation into what could be causing my primary Windows machine to fail. After a few hours of experimentation, I’m quite certain that the power supply is what was causing the issues. I currently running it from another 500 watt power supply that was being used in a different machine. The old power supply works, but doesn’t seem to be able to output the same amount of power that it used to, thus causing the problem.

Since I enjoyed using Ubuntu with my flagship hardware, I instituted a dual boot setup on my primary machine, using different hard drives for each OS.

On a different front, I’m contemplating buying a decent video card for the Myth box so that I can get that up and running again with decent hardware. Looking at current prices, one of the fanless GeForce 7600 cards looks appealing. Depending on how the cash situation turns out (aka need a car), that may not happen anytime soon.

MythTV

I had bought a Hauppauge PVR-500 a few months ago with the plan to build a MythTV box.  My first attempt at this resulted in a 866MHz PIII with a 10GB hard drive running xubuntu being converted into my first MythTV machine.  As you can imagine, the computer was a bit too slow for it to work well and the hard drive was far too small to be useful for recording programs.

I’ve finally gotten around to making a good effort into the myth box, due primarily by this deal on Tiger Direct.  The price ($400, plus $24 shipping) was excellent, considering the AMD Athlon FX-60 processor alone is $399 at Tiger Direct, and $525 at Newegg.  The Tiger Direct package deal included an OEM Athlon FX-60, Ultra CPU cooler, Ultra V-series 500 watt power supply, Asus A8S-X motherboard, and Ultra X-blaster case.  My main desktop machine has an FX-55 chip in it currently, so I stuck the FX-60 into my main machine and am using the FX-55 for the MythTV box.  This just leaves me to buy RAM and another hard drive to have a very nice MythTV box.  The old MythTV box has been retired, and will most likely spend the rest of its days crunching SETI@home work units.  The case that came with the deal is useless to me since I have everything rackmounted… to ebay it goes!
The only snafu with the new FX-60 in my main machine is that my BIOS doesn’t know what processor it is.  I have a Asus A8N-SLI mainboard, which supports the chip.  Its not a significant issue, as the processor runs the way it’s susposed to, however the BIOS reports it as “AMD Athlon: Model Unknown”.  I checked for BIOS updates, but there are none… oh well.  Its a lot faster than the FX-55, so I’m pleased with the purchase.

The MythTV install on the new box is great, definitely runs better than with the old PIII machine.  Its running on Xubuntu and once I get a bigger hard drive, I’ll reinstall and do a more detailed analysis.