Geek Meditation

Just For Fun!

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Plex Media Center

Hey sorry I haven’t posted anything in so long. I’ve been meaning to post things that I think are awesome if they aren’t things that I $. I mean do free things count? Hmm perhaps.

Anyways for all of you mediaphiles out there – take a look at this.

Plex Media Center for OS X – Plex bridges the gap between your Mac and your home theater, doing so with a visually appealing user interface that provides instant access to your media. Plex can play a wide range of video, audio and photo formats as well as online streaming audio and video. The real power of Plex is found in its library features: Organize your media into versatile libraries, automatically retrieve metadata from the Internet, and display your libraries using one of the visually stunning skins.

Plex Media Server – Access over 100 popular online video and image sources. Allows you to effortlessly connect all of your favorite local/online content.

So if you have a Mac Mini hooked up to your TV I suggest you jailbreak it, install Plex Media Server on it, hook it up to Hulu+ and the other things you like. You can then watch it on your TV, iPad, iPhone, laptop, Windows or Mac!

Life is getting better – just hope you have unlimited data on your high speed internet access.

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Building a low budget PC

AMD 785G Socket, AM2+, MicroATX, HDMI, USB 2.0, PCIeSo as it would go I was asked to help build a PC for around $400 that was decent.

I started to look at motherboards and decided on going with the ASUS M4A785-M. Its a very nice motherboard for the price $68.

“It supports both Hybrid CrossFireX and HyperTransport 3.0 for insanely fast gaming and multitasking. The ASUS M4A785-M Motherboard offers full connectivity for PCI Express, USB and HDMI!”

I’m very happy with the on-board video & audio plus it’s support for over clocked RAM.

Next I wanted an AMD dual core + CPU that was fast but affordable. I bought the AMD Phenom X4 9850 Quad Core. Which is 2.5GHZ, 4MB Cache, 2000MHz (4000 MT/s) FSB, blah blah. For $56 it’s a bargain! It will keep the system running along at a good pace and doesn’t break the bank.

For the CPU Cooler I got the Cooler Master Vortex Plus RR-VTPS-28PK-R1. I have to say it looks cool but installing it wasRR-VTPS-28PK-R1IMPOSSIBLE! It has this retention piece that slips on to a longer piece which was always sliding off when trying to get it snapped on the connectors. It definitely place too much tension down and should have been a lot easier to install. This product with the AMD AM2+ connectors gets a big fat F. Maybe it’s better with other CPUs.

RAM – the more the merrier. Well when working on a budget I’m going to stick with what’s standard for today and thats 4GB. I wanted it to be reasonably fast since this is only DDR2 so I bought RAM that was on ASUS’s certified vendor list, or whatever that was called. It is the OCZ OCZ2P10664GK DDR2 PC2-8500 1066 MHz Platinum Series 4 GB Dual Channel Memory Kit. This was a bit expensive at $94 🙁 so it better perform!

The HD isn’t anything special, its just a Western Digital 1.5TB SATA-3G for $56. Same for the DVD writer, it’s a Samsung DVD+R 22X for $16.

For the computer case I wanted something simple with no glowing colored LEDs inside or see thru panels. I picked up the Raygo R12-40835 ATX Mid-Tower case with 450W PSU included for $38.  I really like the thumb screws for the side panels. It makes it so much easier and nicer to work on this case then grabbing for a screw driver. Its also simple looking with no clear panels and the price is definitely right at $38!!

For the price this is a nice PC. Quad Core, 4GB, 1.5 TB HD – fits the needs and the the price point just right!

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