Upgrade? And if so, what?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Freewheeling, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
    and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
    like to use the system to watch DVDs because of the high resolution of
    the digital screen, and because I have the computer set up so I can see
    the screen when I do my indoor rowing. What had originally been some
    minor problems have lately become severe... though I'm not sure why.
    The video was never stunning, but it used to at least be watchable.
    I'll describe the problems below, but first here's how my system is
    composed:

    System parameters:

    Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
    Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
    RAM: 2GB
    Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
    memory)
    Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
    DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
    Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 768)

    (Note: Video, audio, USB, and wireless card all use IRQ 9. I have
    replaced all of the fans on the inside as well as the heatsink and the
    power supply, within the last year. Processor runs at about 47C. )

    Symptoms: When listening to sound alone it tends to periodically
    "stutter". This appeared to get worse after I installed the Belkin N1
    wireless card. Video, especially when using DVD (and to some extent in
    general) is irritatingly jerky. The jerkiness when watching a DVD movie
    on the Toshiba isn't just mild, but can make some movies nearly
    impossible to watch. And the jerkiness corresponds to sound
    interruptions that make it all but impossible to hear what's being said.
    I use Cyberlink PowerDVD software to watch DVDs. Whether I use
    Version 4 or Version 7 doesn't seem to make any difference to
    performance. As soon as the DVD starts to run and there's something on
    the screen besides a still image, I notice that the hard drive is
    accessed continuously, and the access seems directly related to the
    sound and video faltering.

    I normally run in 32-bit color mode, but switching to 16 doesn't smooth
    anything out. Just as jerky and stuttery either way.

    Question: Short of buying a completely new system, which changes would
    tend to produce adequate video/DVD performance? New sound and/or video
    card? Video memory? New DVD Player? Some adjustment to things
    assigned to IRQ9? Is there some way I can use that 2GB RAM to
    substitute for the hard drive access? Any other ideas?

    BTW, is it possible to upgrade the processor in this system, and would
    that help?
    Freewheeling, Aug 23, 2006
    #1
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  2. Freewheeling wrote:
    > Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
    > and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
    > like to use the system to watch DVDs because of the high resolution of
    > the digital screen, and because I have the computer set up so I can see
    > the screen when I do my indoor rowing. What had originally been some
    > minor problems have lately become severe... though I'm not sure why. The
    > video was never stunning, but it used to at least be watchable. I'll
    > describe the problems below, but first here's how my system is composed:
    >
    > System parameters:
    >
    > Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
    > Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
    > RAM: 2GB
    > Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
    > memory)
    > Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
    > DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
    > Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 768)
    >
    > (Note: Video, audio, USB, and wireless card all use IRQ 9. I have
    > replaced all of the fans on the inside as well as the heatsink and the
    > power supply, within the last year. Processor runs at about 47C. )
    >
    > Symptoms: When listening to sound alone it tends to periodically
    > "stutter". This appeared to get worse after I installed the Belkin N1
    > wireless card. Video, especially when using DVD (and to some extent in
    > general) is irritatingly jerky. The jerkiness when watching a DVD movie
    > on the Toshiba isn't just mild, but can make some movies nearly
    > impossible to watch. And the jerkiness corresponds to sound
    > interruptions that make it all but impossible to hear what's being said.
    > I use Cyberlink PowerDVD software to watch DVDs. Whether I use Version
    > 4 or Version 7 doesn't seem to make any difference to performance. As
    > soon as the DVD starts to run and there's something on the screen
    > besides a still image, I notice that the hard drive is accessed
    > continuously, and the access seems directly related to the sound and
    > video faltering.
    >
    > I normally run in 32-bit color mode, but switching to 16 doesn't smooth
    > anything out. Just as jerky and stuttery either way.
    >
    > Question: Short of buying a completely new system, which changes would
    > tend to produce adequate video/DVD performance? New sound and/or video
    > card? Video memory? New DVD Player? Some adjustment to things
    > assigned to IRQ9? Is there some way I can use that 2GB RAM to
    > substitute for the hard drive access? Any other ideas?
    >
    > BTW, is it possible to upgrade the processor in this system, and would
    > that help?



    I'm no expert by any means, but a couple things stand out for me:

    Is your DVD playback using software or hardware decoding? Hardware
    decoding would be preferable, and would use less of your system's
    resources. If your video card has no onboard memory, that would increase
    the burden on the rest of your computer to process the video data.

    What processes are running? Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and see what Task Manager
    shows you. You'd be amazed how many programs that aren't active will
    still have processes taking up resources. If you're unsure about the
    nature of a particular process, just type the complete name of the
    process into Google, and it will almost always point you to a
    description on the first page of results.

    Are you routinely checking your computer for adware/malware using Spybot
    Search&Destroy and Ad-Aware? Both programs are free, and can find and
    eliminate the vast majority of nasties that might have installed
    themselves on your system. Given the recent increase in the severity of
    your problem, I suspect this might be part of it.

    --
    --
    Well, whaddaya know? War WAS the answer, after all. Go figure.

    A lone Micronaut lost in a world of Star Wars action figures,
    (The Excessively Parenthetical) Geena-- Worrier Princess

    "Reciprocity... is the key to every relationship."
    --LAPD Capt. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell), in L.A. Confidential

    "Andy Warhol once said that everyone would be famous for fifteen
    minutes. The unfortunate corollary is that everyone will also appear in
    a Freddie Prinze, Jr. movie for fifteen minutes."
    --me

    "This is like driving a Rolls Royce, naked, in mink underpants."
    --Tony Bourdain

    "You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it
    helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons,
    but at the very least you need a beer."
    -- Frank Zappa

    "I'm not sayin' it's the best thing in the world FOR ya; I'm just sayin'
    it's the best thing in the world."
    -- Alton Brown

    "The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is
    that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes,
    wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their
    prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet
    this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all
    the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in
    all history."
    -- Robert Heinlein
    Geena Phillips, Aug 23, 2006
    #2
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  3. Freewheeling

    Wes Newell Guest

    On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:16:30 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

    > Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
    > and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
    > Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
    > Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
    > RAM: 2GB
    > Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
    > memory)
    > Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
    > DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
    > Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 768)
    >
    > Question: Short of buying a completely new system, which changes would
    > tend to produce adequate video/DVD performance? New sound and/or video
    > card? Video memory? New DVD Player? Some adjustment to things
    > assigned to IRQ9? Is there some way I can use that 2GB RAM to
    > substitute for the hard drive access? Any other ideas?
    >
    > BTW, is it possible to upgrade the processor in this system, and would
    > that help?


    Yes, It's possible to upgrade the CPu, but I don't think that's your
    porblem unless it's the lack of SSE instructions on the Thunderbird 1400
    CPU. A newer video card (non MX) may help. Also, splitting those irq's up.
    But first, get a copy of one of those Linux distros that run from cd (like
    Knoppmyth) and boot it and play the DVD with it and see if it plays ok.
    That will verify it's not a hardware problem and I really don't suspect it
    is. It doesn't take much in the way of cpu power to play a dvd. I imagine
    you probably have some rouge software running, but it could be the irq
    sharing. those are the 2 spots I'd check first.

    --
    Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm
    Wes Newell, Aug 23, 2006
    #3
  4. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Wes Newell wrote:
    > On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:16:30 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    >> Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
    >> and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
    >> Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
    >> Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
    >> RAM: 2GB
    >> Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
    >> memory)
    >> Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
    >> DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
    >> Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 768)
    >>
    >> Question: Short of buying a completely new system, which changes would
    >> tend to produce adequate video/DVD performance? New sound and/or video
    >> card? Video memory? New DVD Player? Some adjustment to things
    >> assigned to IRQ9? Is there some way I can use that 2GB RAM to
    >> substitute for the hard drive access? Any other ideas?
    >>
    >> BTW, is it possible to upgrade the processor in this system, and would
    >> that help?


    First, regarding Geena's thoughts I scan for that pretty routinely using
    Adaware and Search&Destroy, and I just finished a scan using Trend
    Micro's online process, although that's the only time I've been online
    in months. However, my antivirus software (PCCillin2000) seems impacted
    by something. It might be that it just hasn't been updated with a new
    "engine" in several months, but I've been offline during that time so
    it's hard to see how a virus could have gotten in. The only contact
    with the outside has been through my thumb drive from work, and that's
    scanned pretty regularly. Plus, no virus problems at work. The
    background monitor for PCCillin still runs, but I can't open the main
    program. I'm going to try an installation of some new software from a
    CD, and if that gets halted or starts acting strange I'll know something
    is up.

    There are a lot of things running in the background, but I stopped most
    of them (except essential services) and it didn't seem to make a lot of
    difference. Far more likely that there's some IRQ interaction. Problem
    is I don't know how to reassign IRQs. I tried assigning one of them in
    the BIOS, and the computer wouldn't boot. It might also be time for a
    new video and even audio card, but I'll try the IRQs first since that's
    the cheapest. Well, actually the antivirus stuff is cheapest.

    Problem is, I don't have any idea how to reassign the IRQs. Is there an
    online tutorial, or something?

    I do have a Linux distribution, although it's a few years old: Lycos
    Desktop/LX, which is now defunct. But it won't play the CDs, possibly
    because it doesn't have the necessary codexes, and I can't update since
    Desktop/LX is now defunct. The one possibility left is that the DVD
    software in Linux has been assigned to the wrong region, so I might
    fiddle with that a bit.

    >
    > Yes, It's possible to upgrade the CPu, but I don't think that's your
    > porblem unless it's the lack of SSE instructions on the Thunderbird 1400
    > CPU.


    What are the limitations on upgrading with that MB? What are the
    options? Would I need to change my power supply? I think I recently
    went from 300 to 350 amps, so it's a little more robust than originally,
    but it supports all the necessary voltages.

    A newer video card (non MX) may help. Also, splitting those irq's up.
    > But first, get a copy of one of those Linux distros that run from cd (like
    > Knoppmyth) and boot it and play the DVD with it and see if it plays ok.
    > That will verify it's not a hardware problem and I really don't suspect it
    > is. It doesn't take much in the way of cpu power to play a dvd. I imagine
    > you probably have some rouge software running, but it could be the irq
    > sharing. those are the 2 spots I'd check first.


    Thanks, will let you know how it goes.

    One more thing, I noticed that with the DVD image reduced in size the
    faltering wasn't nearly as bad.
    Freewheeling, Aug 24, 2006
    #4
  5. Freewheeling

    Wes Newell Guest

    On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 08:59:15 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

    > Wes Newell wrote:
    >> On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:16:30 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >>
    >>> Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
    >>> and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
    >>> Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
    >>> Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
    >>> RAM: 2GB
    >>> Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
    >>> memory)
    >>> Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
    >>> DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
    >>> Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 768)
    >>>

    > Problem is, I don't have any idea how to reassign the IRQs. Is there an
    > online tutorial, or something?
    >

    Normally you can assign IRQ's via the bios somewhat. So start there. IRQ's
    are usually assitgned to the pci slots in the MB. Some bioses may or may
    not let you reasssign them. You'll have to check yours.

    > Desktop/LX is now defunct. The one possibility left is that the DVD
    > software in Linux has been assigned to the wrong region, so I might
    > fiddle with that a bit.
    >

    You can download about any versio you want and burn the cd, assuming you
    have a cd burner.

    > What are the limitations on upgrading with that MB? What are the
    > options? Would I need to change my power supply? I think I recently
    > went from 300 to 350 amps, so it's a little more robust than originally,
    > but it supports all the necessary voltages.
    >

    You would not need a new PSU. 300W is plenty for any K7 cpu. The only
    limitation you have with that MB is the FSB speed. It's limited to 133MHz,
    so you can run any /266 model XP cpu. Even with an older board I had that
    was limited to 100MHz (Abit KT7) I ran a 2100+ clocked at 24x100 for
    2400MHz. When AMD started hard locking the multiplier it presented
    problems, so you need an older one that's not locked, an XP-M, or have to
    modify a newer XP to make it an XP-M. But off the shelf, any /266 model
    will work. If you have never upgraded the bios, you probaly should first
    to the latest. There's lots of info about upgrading the CPU in the My
    server link in my sigline. Another very informative link is this one.

    http://fab51.com/index-e.html

    > One more thing, I noticed that with the DVD image reduced in size the
    > faltering wasn't nearly as bad.


    Less pixel movement that way. Maybe a newer video card is needed, but I
    still think it's a software problem or irq conflict. it doesn't take that
    much cpu/video power to display a standard DVD image. HD is a different
    story. It takes a lot to decode an HD (1080i, 19200x1080) mpeg2 stream,
    but the DVD is only 480i (576x480 IIRC).

    --
    Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm
    Wes Newell, Aug 24, 2006
    #5
  6. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Wes Newell wrote:
    > On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 08:59:15 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    >> Wes Newell wrote:
    >>> On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:16:30 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
    >>>> and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
    >>>> Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
    >>>> Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
    >>>> RAM: 2GB
    >>>> Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
    >>>> memory)
    >>>> Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
    >>>> DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
    >>>> Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 768)
    >>>>

    >> Problem is, I don't have any idea how to reassign the IRQs. Is there an
    >> online tutorial, or something?
    >>

    > Normally you can assign IRQ's via the bios somewhat. So start there. IRQ's
    > are usually assitgned to the pci slots in the MB. Some bioses may or may
    > not let you reasssign them. You'll have to check yours.
    >
    >> Desktop/LX is now defunct. The one possibility left is that the DVD
    >> software in Linux has been assigned to the wrong region, so I might
    >> fiddle with that a bit.
    >>

    > You can download about any versio you want and burn the cd, assuming you
    > have a cd burner.


    Downloaded and burnt KnoppMyth R5C7. Not sure what to do with it. Can I
    just replace/overwrite Deskto/LX? That's not much good to me anymore.

    >
    >> What are the limitations on upgrading with that MB? What are the
    >> options? Would I need to change my power supply? I think I recently
    >> went from 300 to 350 amps, so it's a little more robust than originally,
    >> but it supports all the necessary voltages.
    >>

    > You would not need a new PSU. 300W is plenty for any K7 cpu. The only
    > limitation you have with that MB is the FSB speed. It's limited to 133MHz,
    > so you can run any /266 model XP cpu. Even with an older board I had that
    > was limited to 100MHz (Abit KT7) I ran a 2100+ clocked at 24x100 for
    > 2400MHz. When AMD started hard locking the multiplier it presented
    > problems, so you need an older one that's not locked, an XP-M, or have to
    > modify a newer XP to make it an XP-M. But off the shelf, any /266 model
    > will work. If you have never upgraded the bios, you probaly should first
    > to the latest. There's lots of info about upgrading the CPU in the My
    > server link in my sigline. Another very informative link is this one.
    >
    > http://fab51.com/index-e.html


    Thanks! The other thing I like about upgrading is that the tax charge
    for an "upgrade" is considerably less than for a new system. Just
    another way to stay ahead of the guhmint.
    >
    >> One more thing, I noticed that with the DVD image reduced in size the
    >> faltering wasn't nearly as bad.

    >
    > Less pixel movement that way. Maybe a newer video card is needed, but I
    > still think it's a software problem or irq conflict. it doesn't take that
    > much cpu/video power to display a standard DVD image. HD is a different
    > story. It takes a lot to decode an HD (1080i, 19200x1080) mpeg2 stream,
    > but the DVD is only 480i (576x480 IIRC).
    >
    Freewheeling, Aug 24, 2006
    #6
  7. Freewheeling

    Wes Newell Guest

    On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 16:40:04 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

    > Downloaded and burnt KnoppMyth R5C7. Not sure what to do with it. Can I
    > just replace/overwrite Deskto/LX? That's not much good to me anymore.
    >

    KnoppMyth? Is that what I said? I meant Knoppix. KnoppMyth is
    preconfigured to set up your system as a MythTV box. Don't run it unless
    you want to wipe out everything on your drive. Knoppix is linux that runs
    off the CD and doesn't use your HDD. With Knoppix, just set the CD as the
    first boot device and boot. KnoppMyth won't do you any good unless you
    have at least one TV tuner card and want to turn your PC into a HTPC. I
    sure am sorry about that. I use Knoppmyth for frontend clientsoff my
    mythtv server and just had it on the brain. It's Knoppix you want, or any
    of the other so called live CD that run completely from the CD and don't
    use your hard drive (unless you have a linux swap partition on it). If
    you've already installed Knoppmyth, you'll have to reinstall XP or
    whatever OS you were using. Knoppmyth won't play your dvd without
    another library installed unless it's an unrpotected dvd. if you have one
    of them it'll play it fine, or should. Wow, I'm really sorry for the
    screwup in names.

    --
    Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm
    Wes Newell, Aug 25, 2006
    #7
  8. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Wes Newell wrote:
    > On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 16:40:04 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    >> Downloaded and burnt KnoppMyth R5C7. Not sure what to do with it. Can I
    >> just replace/overwrite Deskto/LX? That's not much good to me anymore.
    >>

    > KnoppMyth? Is that what I said? I meant Knoppix. KnoppMyth is
    > preconfigured to set up your system as a MythTV box. Don't run it unless
    > you want to wipe out everything on your drive. Knoppix is linux that runs
    > off the CD and doesn't use your HDD. With Knoppix, just set the CD as the
    > first boot device and boot. KnoppMyth won't do you any good unless you
    > have at least one TV tuner card and want to turn your PC into a HTPC. I
    > sure am sorry about that. I use Knoppmyth for frontend clientsoff my
    > mythtv server and just had it on the brain. It's Knoppix you want, or any
    > of the other so called live CD that run completely from the CD and don't
    > use your hard drive (unless you have a linux swap partition on it). If
    > you've already installed Knoppmyth, you'll have to reinstall XP or
    > whatever OS you were using. Knoppmyth won't play your dvd without
    > another library installed unless it's an unrpotected dvd. if you have one
    > of them it'll play it fine, or should. Wow, I'm really sorry for the
    > screwup in names.


    Oy. I got about halfway through the installation to where it had
    apparently saved the configuration information and backed out. I
    couldn't "quit" or even "go back" so the whole thing looked pretty
    shakey to me and I just re-booted everything. I was afraid that my XP
    box had been compromised, but it seems to work OK. Even the Desktop/LX
    seems to still work... so far.

    I'm not sure what KnoppMyth did though, so am still a bit worried. It
    may have found a section of my main drive that was free and partitioned
    it for the installation, possibly wiping out some data or something.
    I'd like to repartition everything so that I can wipe out that Lycos
    installation and use that for XP, but there isn't even a Lycos user
    group any more. Whoever bought them out just killed everything, and
    left all the users hanging. Bunch of jerks. Anyway, as a result I'm
    not to friendly anymore to Linux.

    BTW, I tried to update my BIOS but I apparently need to create a
    "bootable floppy" to do it, and don't think I can with any of the later
    Windows distributions. I'm not sure how to update, but the latest
    version for the A7M is 1007 and I have 1004 installed, so it'd be a good
    idea to update (if I can figure out how to do it).
    Freewheeling, Aug 25, 2006
    #8
  9. Freewheeling

    Wes Newell Guest

    On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 08:48:53 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:


    > Oy. I got about halfway through the installation to where it had
    > apparently saved the configuration information and backed out. I
    > couldn't "quit" or even "go back" so the whole thing looked pretty
    > shakey to me and I just re-booted everything. I was afraid that my XP
    > box had been compromised, but it seems to work OK. Even the Desktop/LX
    > seems to still work... so far.
    >

    It ask if it can wipe your disk and wrans you even after that before it
    starts. So if you didn't tell it to, it didn't. You are safe.:)

    > I'm not sure what KnoppMyth did though, so am still a bit worried. It
    > may have found a section of my main drive that was free and partitioned
    > it for the installation, possibly wiping out some data or something. I'd
    > like to repartition everything so that I can wipe out that Lycos
    > installation and use that for XP, but there isn't even a Lycos user
    > group any more.


    if you already got a linux distro install, it should have what you need to
    watch a dvd. Linux programs for that include mplayer, xine, totem, and
    a few more. Check the multimedia menu. the only difference in Linux
    distros is manily packaging. They all use the same base linux kernel.
    AKAIK, WXP can delete the linux partitions.

    > Whoever bought them out just killed everything, and
    > left all the users hanging. Bunch of jerks. Anyway, as a result I'm
    > not to friendly anymore to Linux.
    >

    You can always overwrite that distro with another. just download the one
    of your choice, burn the cd's or dvd and install the new one right over
    the old one. Mandriva 2006 would be a good choice.

    > BTW, I tried to update my BIOS but I apparently need to create a
    > "bootable floppy" to do it, and don't think I can with any of the later
    > Windows distributions. I'm not sure how to update, but the latest
    > version for the A7M is 1007 and I have 1004 installed, so it'd be a good
    > idea to update (if I can figure out how to do it).


    Download Freedos.

    --
    Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm
    Wes Newell, Aug 25, 2006
    #9
  10. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Wes Newell wrote:
    > On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 08:48:53 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Oy. I got about halfway through the installation to where it had
    >> apparently saved the configuration information and backed out. I
    >> couldn't "quit" or even "go back" so the whole thing looked pretty
    >> shakey to me and I just re-booted everything. I was afraid that my XP
    >> box had been compromised, but it seems to work OK. Even the Desktop/LX
    >> seems to still work... so far.
    >>

    > It ask if it can wipe your disk and wrans you even after that before it
    > starts. So if you didn't tell it to, it didn't. You are safe.:)
    >
    >> I'm not sure what KnoppMyth did though, so am still a bit worried. It
    >> may have found a section of my main drive that was free and partitioned
    >> it for the installation, possibly wiping out some data or something. I'd
    >> like to repartition everything so that I can wipe out that Lycos
    >> installation and use that for XP, but there isn't even a Lycos user
    >> group any more.

    >
    > if you already got a linux distro install, it should have what you need to
    > watch a dvd. Linux programs for that include mplayer, xine, totem, and
    > a few more. Check the multimedia menu. the only difference in Linux
    > distros is manily packaging. They all use the same base linux kernel.
    > AKAIK, WXP can delete the linux partitions.
    >
    >> Whoever bought them out just killed everything, and
    >> left all the users hanging. Bunch of jerks. Anyway, as a result I'm
    >> not to friendly anymore to Linux.
    >>

    > You can always overwrite that distro with another. just download the one
    > of your choice, burn the cd's or dvd and install the new one right over
    > the old one. Mandriva 2006 would be a good choice.
    >
    >> BTW, I tried to update my BIOS but I apparently need to create a
    >> "bootable floppy" to do it, and don't think I can with any of the later
    >> Windows distributions. I'm not sure how to update, but the latest
    >> version for the A7M is 1007 and I have 1004 installed, so it'd be a good
    >> idea to update (if I can figure out how to do it).

    >
    > Download Freedos.
    >

    Thanks. I downloaded the "disk image" but have no idea what to do with
    it. Do I need to run some Linux program that actually creates the disk
    from the image? It's funny how a lot of these sites leave out the most
    fundamental stuff. I guess I'm just supposed to know that... and I
    probably once did, but have forgotten.
    Freewheeling, Aug 25, 2006
    #10
  11. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Freewheeling wrote:
    > Wes Newell wrote:
    >> On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 08:48:53 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Oy. I got about halfway through the installation to where it had
    >>> apparently saved the configuration information and backed out. I
    >>> couldn't "quit" or even "go back" so the whole thing looked pretty
    >>> shakey to me and I just re-booted everything. I was afraid that my
    >>> XP box had been compromised, but it seems to work OK. Even the
    >>> Desktop/LX seems to still work... so far.
    >>>

    >> It ask if it can wipe your disk and wrans you even after that before it
    >> starts. So if you didn't tell it to, it didn't. You are safe.:)
    >>
    >>> I'm not sure what KnoppMyth did though, so am still a bit worried. It
    >>> may have found a section of my main drive that was free and partitioned
    >>> it for the installation, possibly wiping out some data or something. I'd
    >>> like to repartition everything so that I can wipe out that Lycos
    >>> installation and use that for XP, but there isn't even a Lycos user
    >>> group any more.

    >>
    >> if you already got a linux distro install, it should have what you
    >> need to
    >> watch a dvd. Linux programs for that include mplayer, xine, totem, and
    >> a few more. Check the multimedia menu. the only difference in Linux
    >> distros is manily packaging. They all use the same base linux kernel.
    >> AKAIK, WXP can delete the linux partitions.
    >>> Whoever bought them out just killed everything, and
    >>> left all the users hanging. Bunch of jerks. Anyway, as a result I'm
    >>> not to friendly anymore to Linux.
    >>>

    >> You can always overwrite that distro with another. just download the one
    >> of your choice, burn the cd's or dvd and install the new one right over
    >> the old one. Mandriva 2006 would be a good choice.
    >>
    >>> BTW, I tried to update my BIOS but I apparently need to create a
    >>> "bootable floppy" to do it, and don't think I can with any of the later
    >>> Windows distributions. I'm not sure how to update, but the latest
    >>> version for the A7M is 1007 and I have 1004 installed, so it'd be a good
    >>> idea to update (if I can figure out how to do it).

    >>
    >> Download Freedos.
    >>

    > Thanks. I downloaded the "disk image" but have no idea what to do with
    > it. Do I need to run some Linux program that actually creates the disk
    > from the image? It's funny how a lot of these sites leave out the most
    > fundamental stuff. I guess I'm just supposed to know that... and I
    > probably once did, but have forgotten.

    Never mind, I did a little search engine research and found a utility.
    I even found a disk image specifically designed for flashing the bios!
    Freewheeling, Aug 25, 2006
    #11
  12. Freewheeling

    Wes Newell Guest

    On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 14:29:50 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

    > Wes Newell wrote:
    >> Download Freedos.
    >>

    > Thanks. I downloaded the "disk image" but have no idea what to do with
    > it. Do I need to run some Linux program that actually creates the disk
    > from the image? It's funny how a lot of these sites leave out the most
    > fundamental stuff. I guess I'm just supposed to know that... and I
    > probably once did, but have forgotten.


    Everything you need is here.

    http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/distributions/old/beta9sr2/

    fdos1440.img 30-Nov-2005 17:26 1.4M
    rawrite.exe 30-Nov-2005 16:03 14k
    readme.html 30-Nov-2005 16:03 6k
    readme.txt 30-Nov-2005 16:03 27k

    ---
    Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm
    Wes Newell, Aug 26, 2006
    #12
  13. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Wes Newell wrote:
    > On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 14:29:50 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    >> Wes Newell wrote:
    >>> Download Freedos.
    >>>

    >> Thanks. I downloaded the "disk image" but have no idea what to do with
    >> it. Do I need to run some Linux program that actually creates the disk
    >> from the image? It's funny how a lot of these sites leave out the most
    >> fundamental stuff. I guess I'm just supposed to know that... and I
    >> probably once did, but have forgotten.

    >
    > Everything you need is here.
    >
    > http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/distributions/old/beta9sr2/
    >
    > fdos1440.img 30-Nov-2005 17:26 1.4M
    > rawrite.exe 30-Nov-2005 16:03 14k
    > readme.html 30-Nov-2005 16:03 6k
    > readme.txt 30-Nov-2005 16:03 27k
    >
    > ---
    > Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    > http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    > My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    > HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm
    >

    Well, Knoppix didn't work. It gets to the end of the installation, and
    just starts intermittently "flashing" some stuff on the screen. I let
    it go for close to an hour, and it just kept flashing. Tried both
    version 4 and version 5, with the same result.

    Again, if I wanted to set up a system to play HDTV off of
    cable/internet/phone what would I need to get? A new hard drive
    probably, right? (I currently have 2 40 GB drives, but they'd obviously
    be unsufficient for TIVO.) A new CPU probably, also? And a new video card?

    I wonder why Knoppix behaves this way? Perhaps it's the same problem
    that I have with video? Some sort of intermittent problem? Some
    hardware conflict?
    Freewheeling, Aug 27, 2006
    #13
  14. Freewheeling

    Wes Newell Guest

    On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 20:08:25 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

    > Well, Knoppix didn't work. It gets to the end of the installation, and
    > just starts intermittently "flashing" some stuff on the screen. I let
    > it go for close to an hour, and it just kept flashing. Tried both
    > version 4 and version 5, with the same result.
    >

    That's strange.

    > Again, if I wanted to set up a system to play HDTV off of
    > cable/internet/phone what would I need to get? A new hard drive
    > probably, right? (I currently have 2 40 GB drives, but they'd obviously
    > be unsufficient for TIVO.) A new CPU probably, also? And a new video card?
    >

    For cable, you'll need a QAM capable tuner. Phone? (Fios maybe, don't
    know). Internet, you can forget for HDTV. 1080i broadcast take about 7GB
    per hour. 720p about 4GB per hour. SD only takes about 1GB per hour.

    > I wonder why Knoppix behaves this way? Perhaps it's the same problem
    > that I have with video? Some sort of intermittent problem? Some
    > hardware conflict?


    Maybe that IRQ sharing you have.

    --
    Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm
    Wes Newell, Aug 27, 2006
    #14
  15. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Wes Newell wrote:
    > On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 20:08:25 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    >> Well, Knoppix didn't work. It gets to the end of the installation, and
    >> just starts intermittently "flashing" some stuff on the screen. I let
    >> it go for close to an hour, and it just kept flashing. Tried both
    >> version 4 and version 5, with the same result.
    >>

    > That's strange.
    >
    >> Again, if I wanted to set up a system to play HDTV off of
    >> cable/internet/phone what would I need to get? A new hard drive
    >> probably, right? (I currently have 2 40 GB drives, but they'd obviously
    >> be unsufficient for TIVO.) A new CPU probably, also? And a new video card?
    >>

    > For cable, you'll need a QAM capable tuner. Phone? (Fios maybe, don't
    > know). Internet, you can forget for HDTV. 1080i broadcast take about 7GB
    > per hour. 720p about 4GB per hour. SD only takes about 1GB per hour.


    I'm getting the Cable TV "triple play", with phone, TV and internet.
    I've ordered two converter boxes for regular TV, but thought I'd give
    HDTV a try. So all I need is a tuner card? Can I get that with video,
    and kill two birds?

    >
    >> I wonder why Knoppix behaves this way? Perhaps it's the same problem
    >> that I have with video? Some sort of intermittent problem? Some
    >> hardware conflict?

    >
    > Maybe that IRQ sharing you have.
    >
    Freewheeling, Aug 27, 2006
    #15
  16. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Wes Newell wrote:
    > On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 20:08:25 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    >> Well, Knoppix didn't work. It gets to the end of the installation, and
    >> just starts intermittently "flashing" some stuff on the screen. I let
    >> it go for close to an hour, and it just kept flashing. Tried both
    >> version 4 and version 5, with the same result.
    >>

    > That's strange.
    >
    >> Again, if I wanted to set up a system to play HDTV off of
    >> cable/internet/phone what would I need to get? A new hard drive
    >> probably, right? (I currently have 2 40 GB drives, but they'd obviously
    >> be unsufficient for TIVO.) A new CPU probably, also? And a new video card?
    >>

    > For cable, you'll need a QAM capable tuner. Phone? (Fios maybe, don't
    > know). Internet, you can forget for HDTV. 1080i broadcast take about 7GB
    > per hour. 720p about 4GB per hour. SD only takes about 1GB per hour.
    >
    >> I wonder why Knoppix behaves this way? Perhaps it's the same problem
    >> that I have with video? Some sort of intermittent problem? Some
    >> hardware conflict?

    >
    > Maybe that IRQ sharing you have.
    >

    I got this creature:

    http://tinyurl.com/rvoaf

    (Used http://www.tinyurl.com to resolve wrap problem for long URLs)

    It will at least solve my DVD playback, although it didn't actually say
    it was QAM tuner capable. If not, I suppose I can bring it back for an
    exchange. But they only had three TV/Video AGP cards available, and
    this was the cheapest.

    Now, I suppose I'll need to upgrade the HD (if I intend to use TIVO) and
    the processor, in that order. I'd still like a more substancial hint on
    what to use as a processor. I just can't figure out what all the
    nomenclature is about. Can you just suggest something in the $60-$70 range?

    Thanks for all your help, BTW. Usenet is fantastic, as are you!
    Freewheeling, Aug 27, 2006
    #16
  17. Freewheeling

    Wes Newell Guest

    On Sun, 27 Aug 2006 12:44:03 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

    > I'm getting the Cable TV "triple play", with phone, TV and internet.
    > I've ordered two converter boxes for regular TV, but thought I'd give
    > HDTV a try. So all I need is a tuner card? Can I get that with video,
    > and kill two birds?


    For regular cable, you don't want or need cable boxes for clear QAM. Just
    plug the cablke from the cable company into a QAM capable tuner card. you
    can get all cable channels except the encrypted ones. For those, and
    HD, you need a cable box that has a firewire output and you'll need a
    firewire input into the PC to record it. Since I've never had cable or
    sat (and never intend to), that's about the extent of my knowledge on it.
    If you just want OTA HDTV, all you need is a $25 HDTV (ATSC) tuner card.
    Your setup is going to be at least 10-20 times that.

    --
    Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm
    Wes Newell, Aug 28, 2006
    #17
  18. Freewheeling

    Wes Newell Guest

    On Sun, 27 Aug 2006 14:34:45 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

    > Wes Newell wrote:
    >> On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 20:08:25 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >>
    >>> Well, Knoppix didn't work. It gets to the end of the installation, and
    >>> just starts intermittently "flashing" some stuff on the screen. I let
    >>> it go for close to an hour, and it just kept flashing. Tried both
    >>> version 4 and version 5, with the same result.
    >>>

    >> That's strange.
    >>
    >>> Again, if I wanted to set up a system to play HDTV off of
    >>> cable/internet/phone what would I need to get? A new hard drive
    >>> probably, right? (I currently have 2 40 GB drives, but they'd obviously
    >>> be unsufficient for TIVO.) A new CPU probably, also? And a new video card?
    >>>

    >> For cable, you'll need a QAM capable tuner. Phone? (Fios maybe, don't
    >> know). Internet, you can forget for HDTV. 1080i broadcast take about 7GB
    >> per hour. 720p about 4GB per hour. SD only takes about 1GB per hour.
    >>
    >>> I wonder why Knoppix behaves this way? Perhaps it's the same problem
    >>> that I have with video? Some sort of intermittent problem? Some
    >>> hardware conflict?

    >>
    >> Maybe that IRQ sharing you have.
    >>

    > I got this creature:
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/rvoaf
    >
    > (Used http://www.tinyurl.com to resolve wrap problem for long URLs)
    >
    > It will at least solve my DVD playback, although it didn't actually say
    > it was QAM tuner capable. If not, I suppose I can bring it back for an
    > exchange. But they only had three TV/Video AGP cards available, and
    > this was the cheapest.
    >

    IMO, you're wasting your money on crap like that. And no, it won't do QAM.
    And when NTSC is disconbtinued in Feb. 2009, it won't do much of anything
    except be a video card.

    > Now, I suppose I'll need to upgrade the HD (if I intend to use TIVO) and
    > the processor, in that order.



    What Tivo? I don't understand what you're saying. I dumped my Tivo and all
    my DVR's over 6 months ago. They won't record digital broadcast.

    > I'd still like a more substancial hint on
    > what to use as a processor. I just can't figure out what all the
    > nomenclature is about. Can you just suggest something in the $60-$70
    > range?
    >

    AMD 754 Sempron 3100+.

    > Thanks for all your help, BTW. Usenet is fantastic, as are you!


    I think you're jumping into this too fast. Their are many many things to
    consider before buying anything. If you've definately settled on regular
    or HD cable, then that All in wonder probably won't even work for you to
    record. And there aren't any Tivos that will record cable HDTV. The S3
    should work if you can afford it whenever it's released. See last line in
    sig.

    --
    Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm
    Wes Newell, Aug 28, 2006
    #18
  19. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Wes Newell wrote:
    > On Sun, 27 Aug 2006 14:34:45 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    >> Wes Newell wrote:
    >>> On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 20:08:25 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Well, Knoppix didn't work. It gets to the end of the installation, and
    >>>> just starts intermittently "flashing" some stuff on the screen. I let
    >>>> it go for close to an hour, and it just kept flashing. Tried both
    >>>> version 4 and version 5, with the same result.
    >>>>
    >>> That's strange.
    >>>
    >>>> Again, if I wanted to set up a system to play HDTV off of
    >>>> cable/internet/phone what would I need to get? A new hard drive
    >>>> probably, right? (I currently have 2 40 GB drives, but they'd obviously
    >>>> be unsufficient for TIVO.) A new CPU probably, also? And a new video card?
    >>>>
    >>> For cable, you'll need a QAM capable tuner. Phone? (Fios maybe, don't
    >>> know). Internet, you can forget for HDTV. 1080i broadcast take about 7GB
    >>> per hour. 720p about 4GB per hour. SD only takes about 1GB per hour.
    >>>
    >>>> I wonder why Knoppix behaves this way? Perhaps it's the same problem
    >>>> that I have with video? Some sort of intermittent problem? Some
    >>>> hardware conflict?
    >>> Maybe that IRQ sharing you have.
    >>>

    >> I got this creature:
    >>
    >> http://tinyurl.com/rvoaf
    >>
    >> (Used http://www.tinyurl.com to resolve wrap problem for long URLs)
    >>
    >> It will at least solve my DVD playback, although it didn't actually say
    >> it was QAM tuner capable. If not, I suppose I can bring it back for an
    >> exchange. But they only had three TV/Video AGP cards available, and
    >> this was the cheapest.
    >>

    > IMO, you're wasting your money on crap like that. And no, it won't do QAM.
    > And when NTSC is disconbtinued in Feb. 2009, it won't do much of anything
    > except be a video card.
    >
    >> Now, I suppose I'll need to upgrade the HD (if I intend to use TIVO) and
    >> the processor, in that order.

    >
    >
    > What Tivo? I don't understand what you're saying. I dumped my Tivo and all
    > my DVR's over 6 months ago. They won't record digital broadcast.
    >
    >> I'd still like a more substancial hint on
    >> what to use as a processor. I just can't figure out what all the
    >> nomenclature is about. Can you just suggest something in the $60-$70
    >> range?
    >>

    > AMD 754 Sempron 3100+.
    >
    >> Thanks for all your help, BTW. Usenet is fantastic, as are you!

    >
    > I think you're jumping into this too fast. Their are many many things to
    > consider before buying anything. If you've definately settled on regular
    > or HD cable, then that All in wonder probably won't even work for you to
    > record. And there aren't any Tivos that will record cable HDTV. The S3
    > should work if you can afford it whenever it's released. See last line in
    > sig.
    >

    I have a bit of a problem, I think. The video went all haywire as soon
    as I logged on to XP, so I went into safe mode and disabled the video
    adapter, thinking XP would substitute something generic. But it didn't,
    it just blanked the display, so now I can't boot into safe mode.

    And to make matters worse, I got in to boot into regular mode for awhile
    before the screen when haywire, so I used the time to uninstall the ATI
    drivers, so now nothing works. Not sure what I can do. I'm pretty sure
    the device is booting to the logon screen, but I can't see anything. I
    figured that when I get the home network set up in a week or so I can
    Remote Desktop to the XP box, where the display will be governed by the
    second computer's video parameters. I've also installed XP on the other
    hard drive, so I have access to the files... if I knew what to do to
    change things so that the video works.

    That video card is a turkey.

    As for the cable connection, that hasn't started yet so strictly
    speaking I could cancel. But it's actually not a bad deal in comparison
    to the alternatives. Verizon's internet charges are way cheaper, but
    its phone rates are more expensive... so ends up costing the same for
    those two services. And, of course, if I did that I'd have no TV.
    Speakeasy is about the same as Verizon (more expensive internet, but
    cheaper phone).

    But the first order of business is to get my main XP box bootable, and
    then take back that video card. Maybe get a regular video card and
    worry about the tuner later.

    Anyway, it could be a lot worse. I didn't lose any data, and I
    installed that 2nd XP box on the partition that had the useless Lycos
    distribution, so didn't lose anything in terms of space. I may not be
    able to register it, though, with Gates' restrictions. Will they also
    balk at a new CPU?

    Anyway, it's irksome but it'll get sorted out.
    Freewheeling, Aug 28, 2006
    #19
  20. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Freewheeling wrote:
    > Wes Newell wrote:
    >> On Sun, 27 Aug 2006 14:34:45 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >>
    >>> Wes Newell wrote:
    >>>> On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 20:08:25 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Well, Knoppix didn't work. It gets to the end of the installation,
    >>>>> and just starts intermittently "flashing" some stuff on the
    >>>>> screen. I let it go for close to an hour, and it just kept
    >>>>> flashing. Tried both version 4 and version 5, with the same result.
    >>>>>
    >>>> That's strange.
    >>>>
    >>>>> Again, if I wanted to set up a system to play HDTV off of
    >>>>> cable/internet/phone what would I need to get? A new hard drive
    >>>>> probably, right? (I currently have 2 40 GB drives, but they'd
    >>>>> obviously be unsufficient for TIVO.) A new CPU probably, also?
    >>>>> And a new video card?
    >>>>>
    >>>> For cable, you'll need a QAM capable tuner. Phone? (Fios maybe, don't
    >>>> know). Internet, you can forget for HDTV. 1080i broadcast take about
    >>>> 7GB
    >>>> per hour. 720p about 4GB per hour. SD only takes about 1GB per hour.
    >>>>
    >>>>> I wonder why Knoppix behaves this way? Perhaps it's the same problem
    >>>>> that I have with video? Some sort of intermittent problem? Some
    >>>>> hardware conflict?
    >>>> Maybe that IRQ sharing you have.
    >>>>
    >>> I got this creature:
    >>>
    >>> http://tinyurl.com/rvoaf
    >>>
    >>> (Used http://www.tinyurl.com to resolve wrap problem for long URLs)
    >>>
    >>> It will at least solve my DVD playback, although it didn't actually
    >>> say it was QAM tuner capable. If not, I suppose I can bring it back
    >>> for an exchange. But they only had three TV/Video AGP cards
    >>> available, and this was the cheapest.
    >>>

    >> IMO, you're wasting your money on crap like that. And no, it won't do
    >> QAM.
    >> And when NTSC is disconbtinued in Feb. 2009, it won't do much of anything
    >> except be a video card.
    >>
    >>> Now, I suppose I'll need to upgrade the HD (if I intend to use TIVO) and
    >>> the processor, in that order.

    >>
    >>
    >> What Tivo? I don't understand what you're saying. I dumped my Tivo and
    >> all
    >> my DVR's over 6 months ago. They won't record digital broadcast.
    >>
    >>> I'd still like a more substancial hint on
    >>> what to use as a processor. I just can't figure out what all the
    >>> nomenclature is about. Can you just suggest something in the $60-$70
    >>> range?
    >>>

    >> AMD 754 Sempron 3100+.
    >>
    >>> Thanks for all your help, BTW. Usenet is fantastic, as are you!

    >>
    >> I think you're jumping into this too fast. Their are many many things to
    >> consider before buying anything. If you've definately settled on regular
    >> or HD cable, then that All in wonder probably won't even work for you to
    >> record. And there aren't any Tivos that will record cable HDTV. The S3
    >> should work if you can afford it whenever it's released. See last line in
    >> sig.
    >>

    > I have a bit of a problem, I think. The video went all haywire as soon
    > as I logged on to XP, so I went into safe mode and disabled the video
    > adapter, thinking XP would substitute something generic. But it didn't,
    > it just blanked the display, so now I can't boot into safe mode.
    >
    > And to make matters worse, I got in to boot into regular mode for awhile
    > before the screen when haywire, so I used the time to uninstall the ATI
    > drivers, so now nothing works. Not sure what I can do. I'm pretty sure
    > the device is booting to the logon screen, but I can't see anything. I
    > figured that when I get the home network set up in a week or so I can
    > Remote Desktop to the XP box, where the display will be governed by the
    > second computer's video parameters. I've also installed XP on the other
    > hard drive, so I have access to the files... if I knew what to do to
    > change things so that the video works.
    >
    > That video card is a turkey.
    >
    > As for the cable connection, that hasn't started yet so strictly
    > speaking I could cancel. But it's actually not a bad deal in comparison
    > to the alternatives. Verizon's internet charges are way cheaper, but
    > its phone rates are more expensive... so ends up costing the same for
    > those two services. And, of course, if I did that I'd have no TV.
    > Speakeasy is about the same as Verizon (more expensive internet, but
    > cheaper phone).
    >
    > But the first order of business is to get my main XP box bootable, and
    > then take back that video card. Maybe get a regular video card and
    > worry about the tuner later.
    >
    > Anyway, it could be a lot worse. I didn't lose any data, and I
    > installed that 2nd XP box on the partition that had the useless Lycos
    > distribution, so didn't lose anything in terms of space. I may not be
    > able to register it, though, with Gates' restrictions. Will they also
    > balk at a new CPU?
    >
    > Anyway, it's irksome but it'll get sorted out.

    I'm not actually as stupid as this scenario makes me look. I just got a
    little P-Oed that the stupid card was screwing up the display, and chose
    the wrong thing to uninstall. I should have just uninstalled the
    software itself, instead of the drivers. I'm fairly sure it was the
    software that was screwing things up, mandating some really nifty fade
    effects no doubt.

    I talked to the ATI folks who told me that the board is probably bad,
    and I should take it back. Fine with me.

    BTW, if I get a new hard drive will Gates allow me to register my
    operating system on it? Also, what if I change the CPU? With the way
    hard drives crash I can't imagine that it'd be a problem, but you never
    know with those guys.

    Oh yes, there a fan on the motherboard that seems to be going south. It
    just barely turns. I wonder if that might be causing problems. It's
    not the processor fan, so I'm not sure what it does, but I'd better
    replace it (a second time). I usually hear them squeaking, but this one
    is just silently dying.

    Learning a lot, the hard way. Problem is, the technology will probably
    have changed by the time I figure this out. I used to program EProms in
    Assembly Language, believe it or not.
    Freewheeling, Aug 28, 2006
    #20
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