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jethro's picture

Mission: build a HiFi media centre PC

Objective - build a Media Centre PC that out put HD sound and video utilising the HDMI digital format. Must be able to record 2 channels simultaneously (the Olympics is coming up!)

Budget - there wasn’t one – though there's only so much you can spend doing this.


  • Zalman HD160XT Plus Home Theatre Case Black
  • Zalman 500W Noiseless Power Supply with Heatpipe
  • Zalman CNPS9500 LED CPU Heatsink
  • Intel S775 Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz CPU
  • ASUS S775 P5Q Core 2 Motherboard
  • Integrated HD Sound Card
  • Integrated Gigabit Network Connection
  • DDR2 4GB Geil 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 Kit
  • 1TB Seagate 7200rpm 32M Serial ATA HDD
  • 1TB Seagate 7200rpm 32M Serial ATA HDD
  • Pioneer BDC-S02BK Blu-Ray Reader/DVD Writer Combo
  • ASUS ATI 3850 256M PCIe HDMI Video Card
  • Hauppauge HVR-2200 Dual HDTV + Analog Tuner PCIe
  • Microsoft Media Centre Keyboard and Remote
  • Logitech Cordless Mouse
  • Powerware 5110/500VA Line Interactive UPS
  • Vista Ultimate 32 bit


jethro's picture

Major Security Vulnerability in DNS - patch your PC

It was announced today that there was a major DNS security flaw that could allow attackers easily to compromise any name server; it also affects clients.

Here are some specific news articles about this (for techies only)

What does this mean for you?

Patch your Windows XP PC using Microsoft Update or Windows Update. If you have a MAC use Software Update to patch it. I am not sure if they have released patches yet for MAC but will update this when I find out.

I have full instructions and screenshots for Windows XP and Vista below – also a couple of screenshots for Server 2003 / SBS 2003, though server owners SHOULD know how and when to patch their servers.


jethro's picture

Vista 64 bit program compatibility

The following is a list of applications I installed on Vista business 64 bit in the last 2 days (my must install list). These were all successful (after in some cases downloading the latest version).

  • Office 2007
  • Dreamweaver MX
  • CuteFTP
  • Firefox
  • Windows Live - messenger, writer, live photo gallery
  • Adobe Photoshop v7
  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Air
  • MS Sync Toy 2
  • Twhirl
  • Yahoo Messenger
  • Skype
  • Winamp
  • Streamripper for winamp
  • DoPDF
  • Azureus
  • Batch Renamer
  • Daemon tools
  • DVD Fab HD Decryptor
  • Java
  • Irfanview
  • Klite Codecs
  • Lansafe (UPS monitoring software)
  • Office live
  • Picasa2
  • Quickbooks
  • Rescue Time
  • VLC
  • Winrar
  • Nokia PC Suite


The following software would not install or doesn't work properly on Vista 64 bit.

  • Power ISO 3
  • Adobe pdf previewer in Outlook 2007
  • Send to One Note doesn't work in Vista 64 (known issue)
  • Clone CD
jethro's picture

Ultimate PC

The Vista team at Microsoft have built a website called UltimatePC beta. Unfortunately its a flash site so while it looks sexy its hard to get around it and even harder to find the links leading out of it. So we have done that for you here.

They are promoting the New HP Blackbird Gaming PC as the ultimate PC. I had a rig like this 2 years ago and my current rig is almost exactly the same. I think of it now as pretty ordinary and am waiting for the next step up in system performance, but I suppose for most people its pretty good - and dang expensive. Basic specs, Quad core extreme CPU, 2 GB RAM (not enough!), 2 8800GTX video cards, Raptor hard drive, sexy case with some excellent thermal cooling solutions and Vista ultimate. starts from around USD$5K, though with the USD fallen in a hole lately that's good for the rest of the world.