Building a New Computer – Part 3: Setting it Up

So you’ve picked out the parts you want, and put the computer together… so now we need to power it on and start setting things up. Sure, you could drop your install cd in the drive, but you’ll have better luck if you check a few BIOS settings and run some tests first, both of which we’ll cover here.

Daemon Tools Lite For CD / DVD ROM Emulation

CD / DVD ROM emulation is a good thing especially if you only have one optical ROM drive.  The other benefit of a virtual ROM drive is the ability to run programs on your local hard drive which means less changing in and out discs and the programs actually seem to run faster.

Home Recording – Sonic Maximizer

One of my favorite VST commercial plug-ins for recording guitar is the BBE Sonic Maximizer.  This plug-in emulates the actual BBE Sonic Maximizer hardware.  It adds a lot of meat and more punch to your recorded guitar tone.  I will use it a lot if I am quickly recording some ideas for riffs.  If my tone is weak during the recording (which it probably is because I just want to get the musical idea down) I will use this plug in to beef it up. You can also use it in real time if you have a properly set up computer with no latency.

A Quick Look at gOS – But Don’t Call It Google

I thought I would take a break from Microsoft and cover the much talked about gOS. This is the Operating System included on Wal-Mart’s $199 PC’s. Although there are a lot of Google applications included, gOS is actually based on Ubuntu Linux and stands for GreenOS. This is a very light weight OS which can run on lower powered systems. To maximize all the features included you will need a High Speed Ethernet connection.

XP: Adjust Screen Flickering On CRT Monitors

Let’s face it … CRT monitors are still out there in the office environment.  Where I work we are slowly phasing them out as our budget allows.  The other day I was troubleshooting an issue with an older computer with a CRT monitor and when I looked at it I almost got sick from the flickering screen.  Fixing that issue is easy, here is how.

Easily Add OpenDNS To Your Router

OpenDNS is an incredible alternative to your ISP DNS server.  Simply put DNS (Domain Name System) translates IP address to easy to remember hostname’s. Not only will OpenDNS make your browsing faster, there are a lot of additional features provided by this free service. 

The Classics

Technology in our world is constantly evolving at an incredibly rapid rate.  The consensus in the IT industry is to stay ahead of the curve.  If you misstep the IT bus leaves you behind with the Pentium II’s.  It leaves  you stuck, trying to achieve the unachievable… stuck in a horrifying downward spiral… a desolate void… or a classic?

Remove Old Drivers After Upgrading to New Hardware

If you are experiencing weird issues after upgrading your hardware, or you’ve just upgraded to the latest hardware device and aren’t seeing the performance you’d like, you might want to remove the old drivers which are still installed for the old hardware, even though you can’t normally see them in device manager.

Green Computing: Switch To LCD Flat Screen Monitors

I don’t know about you but anytime I have to use a CRT monitor anymore I just cringe. Yes there are still high quality CRT monitors out there, but they are such dinosaurs. CRT’s are so huge, clunky, and in the way. I am a huge fan of saving space in my computing work area and flat screens certainly accomplish that. Not to mention the other important benefit of LCD monitors which is power consumption.

NVIDIA GeFORCE 8600 GTS

With older versions of Windows and still through XP I tend to be a graphical minimalist geek. I would always use the most minimal graphics effects possible. Now that I have finally moved to Vista I have gone to the other extreme. I don’t have the worlds most powerful system but definitely great for running Vista. An AMD Athlon 64 x2 4200+ CPU, 4GB of DDR2 SDRAM, and now the NVIDIA GeFORCE 8600 GTS graphics card. I have the full on Aero features going on and it’s all snappy and extremely crisp! I got the PNY version of this card which only put me out $199. This is the largest and heaviest card I think I have ever used and it is extremely quiet. I would be very interested in hearing what kind of systems you the readers have. What you think is important component in your computing. Are you a graphics freak or a graphical minimalist as I used to be?

Use Your Mac Mini as a Media Server Part 1

Apple has been pushing the use of the Macintosh as the heart of one’s media center for a long time now, but more specifically since the release of the Mac Mini. With its compact size, low price and FrontRow, it’s the perfect computer to plug into your TV and watch some of those “archived” Lost episodes.

Install TrueCrypt on Ubuntu Edgy

TrueCrypt is a phenomenal open-source disk encryption software that runs on Windows or Linux. Unfortunately, the installer doesn’t work so well on Ubuntu Edgy, so I’ve created this article to help walk you through the process.