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spare computer.... the possibilities?


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i've just gotten a new computer, so now i have a spare computer. the spare isnt very powerful, it has just enough power to download and listen to music. and run the internet. i dont have any room in my room to keep it as a second computer, so i was thinking i can make it a meddia center computer or something in my living room? the hard drive in that computer is more then enough to hold all my music and most of my movies, and id love to have all ofmy movies and music hooked up to my tv (i have a nice entertainment center and a nice tv) so i dont have to use cds or dvds anymore. any other suggestions/ help with this?

-mike-

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How old a system are we talking about here?

A ~400mhz PentiumII with a video card that can do hardware video acceleration will do basic video playback & music, but wouldn't be an ideal choice as a media center.

At a minimum, i'd suggest something like a P3/Athlon 1ghz+, 512mb of ram and a reasonable video card (a Geforce4 MX or better) with outputs to suit your tv (composite, svideo, component, vga, dvi or hdmi). If you're into HD video, you'll be wanting something like a P4 3.0ghz or Athlon XP 3000+ at least.

As far as software goes, you dont necessarily need anything special. If you're prepared to have a cordless keyboard and mouse/trackball sitting on your coffee table, then Windows 2000/XP with something like media player classic or VLC will do the job, as would a recent flavor of linux with xine or similar.

An IR remote & reciever will make controlling it a bit nicer, but ideally you'd combine it with some sort of media center front end, like Windows XP MCE or MythTV for linux.

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"]i've just gotten a new computer, so now i have a spare computer. the spare isnt very powerful, it has just enough power to download and listen to music. and run the internet. i dont have any room in my room to keep it as a second computer, so i was thinking i can make it a meddia center computer or something in my living room? the hard drive in that computer is more then enough to hold all my music and most of my movies, and id love to have all ofmy movies and music hooked up to my tv (i have a nice entertainment center and a nice tv) so i dont have to use cds or dvds anymore. any other suggestions/ help with this?

-mike-

use it as a firewall :twisted: , better than the old cheap one you get from your ISP

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How old a system are we talking about here?

A ~400mhz PentiumII with a video card that can do hardware video acceleration will do basic video playback & music, but wouldn't be an ideal choice as a media center.

At a minimum, i'd suggest something like a P3/Athlon 1ghz+, 512mb of ram and a reasonable video card (a Geforce4 MX or better) with outputs to suit your tv (composite, svideo, component, vga, dvi or hdmi). If you're into HD video, you'll be wanting something like a P4 3.0ghz or Athlon XP 3000+ at least.

As far as software goes, you dont necessarily need anything special. If you're prepared to have a cordless keyboard and mouse/trackball sitting on your coffee table, then Windows 2000/XP with something like media player classic or VLC will do the job, as would a recent flavor of linux with xine or similar.

An IR remote & reciever will make controlling it a bit nicer, but ideally you'd combine it with some sort of media center front end, like Windows XP MCE or MythTV for linux.

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haha. the computer is... a little less then 4 years old. but about 2 years ago, the m.b. shorted out and everything except the hard drive (thank god) waas fried in it, so now everythign in it is pretty basic. the only thing i knonw about it now is that it has two 128 rimms for memory and taht it has the original harddrive. everythign else is pretty much what you would find in a basic school computer. so its nothing great, but it is enough to play music lol. and the key board and mouse on my table is how id prefer it, because i still plan on using it to download music and use the internet, but im just trying to set it up so that i can use the tv as a moniter i guess.

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so all you'd need is a graphics card with a composite out or s-video if you can hook it to the tv you could find one online for 30 bucks nothing fancy but i'd work

exatly what i was thinking. but im wondering if, like i heard them say in an earlier ep. for running a computer 24/7, i should do anything to prepare it? such as putting a panty hose over the fan grill to keep dust out?,anything like that really, and like some good programs tha ti could have to run things (such as a good video player, that will run many, if nto all, types of video).

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You say running music is what it does best. My dad came up with a plan to do with something like that. Purchase a new hard drive and load it up with music. Then put speakers all over your house and just run music through your house. I wouldn't take the time to do so much with it; I'd much rather hook something new up to a television. This way it's rather inexpensive. Unless of course you're already conetempt with your stuff.

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You say running music is what it does best. My dad came up with a plan to do with something like that. Purchase a new hard drive and load it up with music. Then put speakers all over your house and just run music through your house. I wouldn't take the time to do so much with it; I'd much rather hook something new up to a television. This way it's rather inexpensive. Unless of course you're already conetempt with your stuff.

im planning on getting a harddrive just for music and videos anyway, this is just untill i can get that. also, i already have my tv and everything hooked up so that anything on that tv, be it music (radio, cd polayer, etc.) movies (dvd player, vcr), and anything else (computer) will go through out the house. the only thing i really need is a video card, and rimms of memory (idk why my computer guy put that in, its expensive memory) and some time to get the computer all cleaned up. (im prolly going to do it, or start anyway, this weekend).

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