New PC Hardware

I'm in the middle of the Great Hardware Purchase of 2003. It's the end of the year and for people on contract, it's time to take advantage of the tax breaks on hardware depreciation. If i was really stingy, I would wait until after Christmas to get hardware at Boxing Day prices, but oh well.
Originally, I was just going to buy new power supplies for my existing dusty, old cases, but Iain pointed out that getting a new case with new power supply and fans already installed would be more cost-effective. So, I bought a new case.
Oh, all the pictures in this can be clicked on to see bigger versions, okay?

It's a pretty nice case, an Antec SLK3700AMB. Iain likes the Antec brand and thought its cooling fans were nice I think.
Once you have the case, next up is the motherboard! I chose the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe.

Here you can see the box and all the goodies it came with. It has Serial ATA, FireWire, Dolby sound, and is nice and fast.

Just look at all those connectors! Wow.

You can see the Serial ATA (S-ATA) connectors at the bottom left of the left hand picture, and there are the goold old Ultra ATA 133 (or is it ATA Ultra 133?) old-fashioned Parallel ATA (P-ATA) connectors at the bottom of the right picture.

Here we have the DVD burner and 160 Gig hard drive.

And of course the CPU. This is my very first CPU over a GHz. I'm very excited to see what it can do.

The video card is “only” a Radeon 9200, which for this first PC should be fine. This will be our “Media Machine” PC you see, not a gaming box. I will write more about building and — more importantly — installing and configuring this machine in a later article.

This will also be the first machine in the house with DDR RAM. Not one to go for half-measuers, I've gotten DDR433 RAM. I only really need DDR333 RAM, but one was $108 and the other was $109 so I splurged. Ye Gods, RAM has gotten dirt cheap, even for really, really, really *fast* RAM.

Well, that's it for now. I won't be able to post digital pics for a while (unless someone comes for a visit (hint, hint). Our digital camera is being sent “back to the shop” for a $100 repair that will heopfully allow it to use the flash and handle bright exposures again.

Saft — Daft Name for a Cool Tool

Saft is a very cool utility for Mac users. It gives Safari a bunch of capabilities previously only seen in Camino, plus some that eve Camino doesn't have.
The Camino feature it adds is that of using keywords in the location area to search websites for specific strings. For instance, you can type “vt icq” to seach Version Tracker for ICQ utilities. Way cool.
The bonus feature is full-screen browsing. Woah! Way nice! Just hit shift-cmmand-F and you're completely surfing. No menu bar, no window widgets — just pure browser, baby.
It's nice the way it installs, because it's easy to uninstall if you have any problems with it. It all ends up in a folder under “/Library/Application Support”, so you can just toss the folder and you're back to living without it..
Check it out!

Hydra 1.1.1

A new version of Hydra is out. Hydra is a way-cool multi-user text editor. Caroline and I used it to work on a source file together, and it was a blast! You can see other users moving around, selecting text and typing in changes.
Apparently this new version is making use of the new web library that gets installed as part of Safari 1.0, so you have to have that installed to use it. This means Hydra now has a really good HTML preview. Wooo!
Go download Hydra now!