Saturday, September 26, 2009

Work Hard Today To Be Lazy Tomorrow

The Sun did not shine.

It was too wet to play.

So we sat in the house

All that cold, cold wet day.

So I've had this old, beat up, cast-off PC hanging around for awhile with no real plan in mind. I just hate seeing old stuff like that go to the dump when it could be useful to someone. In its day (like, several years ago), it was a pretty powerful machine. And while it's still more than capable of surfing the Innertubes and doing some light-duty office work, it's worthless by today's standards.

Getting tired of seeing it sit in the corner all by its lonesome, I spent the afternoon dusting it off and seeing if I could hook it up to the flat-screen TV in the family room. I like this PC because it's very small and very quiet - perfect as an 'Internet terminal' component for the family TV!

It took some fussing and slightly creative cabling, but I finally got it to work pretty well. I had hoped to keep Ubuntu Linux on the box, but I couldn't find drivers that would support a high enough video refresh rate. So, I had to swallow my pride and install a stripped down Double Secret Probation version of Windows XP (made for 'legacy' hardware). It did the trick, and I can use the PC in 42 inches of wide-screen LCD goodness!

Phase 2 of the project will be to install a cheapo wireless adaptor for network access and a cheapo wireless keybpard/mousepad combo for sitting in my comfy chair while I surf. If it all works properly, we'll be able to surf the Net and stream audio/video from the Big PC downstairs.

Is all this really necessary? Probably not. But it's a minimal investment for a bit of fun on a rainy afternoon. And if it all works out well enough, maybe I'll put together a real HTPC down the road. Not that Osmos on a big screen would kick-ass or anything.