January 2007 Archives

Wed Jan 17 00:15:30 CST 2007

H@x1nt0sh (or "Crossing Over with James Purlward")

Soon your transformation to the Dark Side will be complete!

With respect to computers, I am a tinkerer. My knowledge of various OSes comes mostly from self teaching through playing with it myself. I have limited experience with That OS by the Newtonian Falling Object company. Due to recent changes in architecture, there's arisen an underground of individuals running That OS by the Newtonian Falling Object company on rogue hardware. Not one to shy away from underground individuals, I decided to venture downward and tinker.

First, the particulars of what I chose. Wanting to come close to the experience of the genuine and legitimate, I chose thus:

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13 GHz)
  • MB: Asus P5W DH Deluxe (Intel 975X Chipset)
  • Video: BFG GeForce 6600 OC PCIe (already had)
  • RAM: Wintec 2x512 PC2 6400 (DDR2 800 - Cheapest at the time)
  • HD: WD 160 GB SATA (was on sale at the time)
  • Optical: LG LightScribe DL DVD+-RW
  • PSU: Antec SP-350 SmartPower (350W sounds low but only two drives)
  • Case: Bargain ATX tower with front USB
  • Misc: IOGear 2 port digital KVM
There will be pictures over in my gallery on www.familybanks.org

The case arrived during the day, but I had to wait until 7:30 pm for the remainder. I was certain the UPS guy was gonna stand me up, and I still had to go get the PSU after he left. It seemed the motherboard box was a bottomless pit of plastic baggies with parts in 'em. Asus is known to produce feature-rich boards, particularly the "Deluxe" ones. The board I chose was one touted as having high compatibility with That OS by the Newtonian Falling Object company (using underground hacks). I could've bought 2 and 1/2 of the boards I was originally considering before reading certain forums. I looked things over then ran to acquire the PSU. I grabbed a NetGear 8 port 10/100/1000 switch that was on rebate while I was there. I have 5 computers in our house that are 1000 mbps capable.

The installation of the PSU and MB into the case was straight-forward. A very nice "finishing touch" that this board has is the Quick Connect. This makes it easy to connect the wire connectors from the case for such things as Front USB ports, power light, hard-drive light, etc. You connect these wires to the quick connect, then the quick connect connects to the MB. It is a minor thing, but for fat fingers like mine--the 8 front USB wires were much easier to do with this connector. An interesting twist I was unaware of prior to my friend getting his Core 2 Duo was that there are no pins on the CPU.

The Graphics card I used was already in use as part of an SLi setup on my Athlon 64/nForce system. There is a dual sided card that plugs into the motherboard that tells the system if you are going SLi or not. It has a plastic pin that holds it in place. It took me 20 minutes and a cloud of profanity and farts to get this little card and pin in place as I thought it would be "quicker" to do it in my computer in place, rather than unhook all the cables and do it on my work table. Apologies to our dog Geordi, who thought all the loud expletives were for him. Of course Murphy's Law dictates that Intel go with ATI's Crossfire/Xfire technology rather than nVidia's SLi such that I'd have to buy two ATI cards to dual them up. This is very unlikely to happen in this house as ATI doesn't play as nicely with Linux as nVidia does. Or, as Sideshow Bob put it in The Simpsons episode "The Italian Bob", "not in THIS lifetime!" The wasted time on the SLI-enabling doohickey pushed me right up to halftime, and I ran to the gym against my geekish tendency to soldier on.

The second half began with the finishing touches of putting in the cards and a few of the motherboard add-ons: extra USB ports and an extra FireWire port. I put in the optical and magnetic drives and awaaaaaay I went to hook it up to my KVM. I wonder--Why is everything of reasonably small size nowadays imprisoned in hard plastic without any means to easily unlock it?! I had to spend angst-filled moments searching for scissors to pick the plastic lock and free my KVM. I hooked it up quickly, and made a grave error that had me scratching my head later through several installations... I have a wireless kit on my rig but I have replaced the mouse on that kit with a normal USB one. I forgot this fact and hooked up the non-functional wireless mouse to the KVM. This gave me the weirdness of mouse working on my rig, but not on the new one. I began to suspect that the PS/2 port was bad on either the new rig or the KVM. I cussed both Asus and IOGear right away (and thoroughly), and then even the UPS man caught a light hazing. I then rudely DID NOT apologize to them when I figured out it was my own dumb a$$ fault.

With the clock frowning on me as bedtime grew near, I attempted to install That OS by the Newtonian Falling Object company. It failed to even get to the Welcome screen. It scoffed at my attempts to install it on this "poor man's hardware from the Newtonian Falling Object company computer". It mocked me out loud telling me to hit the restart button, only to fail over and over and over. I disgustedly threw on a Fedora Core 6 (32-bit cuz I want to use browser plug-ins like flash) and looked that other DVD in its eye and said "So There!" I spent the remainder of the night reading forums. I found a specific version someone using my hardware had used and fired off a torrent. Oh goody, the torrent will only take 154 days to complete! I should probably go on to bed rather than wait for it.... Let me just say as I head to bed that when people take the time to post in forums that X worked for them, that they include pertinent settings (like BIOS options) they used to get it to work, even those settings they may consider the default just in case the default changes over time.

The next day I attempted to get the mock disk to install, by changing BIOS options people mentioned using other hardware. The torrent still had a ways to go, so much that it wasn't until the NEXT day that it finished. I quickly burned it, then found out that it booted, installed even, but didn't boot after the first reboot. I then found yet another "working" evaluation version, found a quicker way to obtain it than torrent, and waited it out. I finally got it, and got a working installation. Oh, the Joy! And now to do what I wanted to do with it all along. Create an HD-DVD on regular DVD using the AVC/H.264 format! Put it into my X-Box 360 and ... And..... And see: "Unable to play this content.... some hex code" NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This project was started on Sunday and it took me until Saturday to find out the X-Box 360 is a little beyotch that don't accept all the standards HD-DVD is supposed to accept!?! I've since calmed the fz down and decided to just archive my content (Over-The-Air HD television captured with my own hardware via my own cable and antennae) in H.264, but as file(s) on DVDs. All our TVs or TV-like devices are powered by computers anyways, so I should've just went with that from the beginning..... But then I wouldn't have a H@x1nt0sh :) More on the subject later....


Posted by james | Permanent link | File under: Geekdom