The similarity of cars and computers

On my quest to build the perfect home theatre PC I have stumbled upon several interesting areas of perfection. And on my way, one thing suddenly became very clear: there are two quite obvious similarities between cars and computers.

1. Trimming cars and overclocking computers.
The art of making something go faster without actually buying a bigger engine or processor.


2. Styling cars and modding computers
The art of adding huge amounts of stuff that is supposed to make something look better.

In addition to this, you have some not so obvious similarities:
3. The fanatic and passionate Alfa Romeo owner and the fanatic and passionate Apple owner
4. The idealistic electric car owner and the idealistic linux user
5. The safety freak driving a Volvo and the safety freak running two hardware and three software firewalls

More suggestions? Comments are welcome!

The similarity of cars and computers

Why you do not want to show static information on a Plasma screen!

I snapped this picture at the train station at Stansted. One of the worst cases of burn-in I have ever seen. Click the picture for a closer look. This is why a Plasma screen is totally out of the question for my HTPC!

I wonder what the sales persons told the people at the train station when they sold these screens?

“We have these new fantastic flat screens for your train tables. They are only £ 10 000,- a piece and will last for at least two years.”

Why you do not want to show static information on a Plasma screen!

Silencing an XFX GeForce 6600 GT AGP with a Zalman VF700 Cu

Recently, I bought a new screen card to be able to run Win MCE 2005. I went for an XFX GeForce 6600 GT AGP. Mainly because the GeForce 6600 GT supports NVidia PureVideo and because the XFX Card had two DVI connectors.

I knew that I had to remove the original fan and mount something more silent, so at the same time I ordered a Zalman VF700 Cu.

I followed the instructions and the VF700 is quite simple to install. However, I encountered one problem on my particular card. The instructions tell you to mount the RAM heatsinks, then mount the GPU heatsink. Well, guess what – the RAM chips are too close to the GPU on this card, so the GPU heatsink will not fit if you mount the RAM heatsinks. It is close to impossible to remove the RAM heatsinks when they are properly in place.

A couple of minutes with some cutting pliers, and the problem was solved. You can see the result in the pictures.

After the modification everything went smooth. From a very noisy card to a dead silent one and a 10 degrees lower GPU temp!

Just thought it could be interesting for people to read this if they plan to buy the same combination.

GeForce 6600 GT GPU

Silencing an XFX GeForce 6600 GT AGP with a Zalman VF700 Cu

The touch screen is now mounted in the kitchen

I have not found a suitable front cover, so it still looks like
something I found laying around in a space shuttle… But, it works!

I have set it up with Meedio to give me music, weather, news, web radio, Skype IP-phone and X10-control from our kitchen.

Click here for the original picture

The telephone on top of the machine is connected to a PhoneConnector USB-device and works quite well directly through Skype.

I will come back with more info on details about the setup. Both about the software and the silent cooling of the kiosk-PC inside the home made cabinet on the wall.

Sent from: Eirik Solheim

The touch screen is now mounted in the kitchen

Home made HD silencer

I am building a computer of some left overs after all my experiments. Of course it has to be silent. To make it cheap I built the HD silencer myself. It was inspired by a clever colleague that has done this with his hard drives for a long time.

All you need is some rubber bands and four pins of some kind.

It works very well!

Home made HD silencer