Mice and motherboards and keyboards

Well, I was wanting to build a computer last night but those plans got messed up. My shipment from Software and Stuff came in today, but instead of the lovely Socket A mobo I ordered, I got a Socket 7 board. My 1.1 GHz Athlon won’t like that very much. So I packaged that right back up. It would be a good board for building a supercheap computer, since it has video built in and Socket 7 CPUs often sell for less than $10, but I want something with a little more punch.
It’s the first time they’ve ever messed up one of my orders, so I’m not terribly worried about it. And if I were to end up being stuck with it, I’m sure I could come up with some use for a Socket 7 board with built-in video.

On the plus side, my new mouse works. I’ve never owned an optical mouse before, so it’s pretty neat. Between the USB interface and the optics, it’s a lot more precise than any other mouse I’ve had. (I have noticed my Logitech USB mouse is more precise than the PS/2 version I have–USB’s sample rate is higher.) I can’t stand modern keyboards but modern mice are very, very nice. An optical, USB version of the plain old 3-button Logitech Mouseman would be even nicer but I know that won’t happen. But there’s absolutely nothing to complain about a Microsoft optical mouse for 8 bucks.

As for keyboards, I really wish I’d bought a couple more IBM Model Ms when one of the surplus places had them cheap a couple of months back. I just didn’t feel like I could afford it at the time and it only took about a week for the supply to dry up.

12 thoughts on “Mice and motherboards and keyboards

  • September 19, 2003 at 2:36 pm
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    If the motherboard is a proper super7 board (that can accept a K6-2 up to 500 MHz or so) then those make excellent home servers. The K6-2 was never a good performer for games and such but for running operating systems and apps like mail, apache and such, they are great and definitely on par with a Pentium II at the same clock speed. Remember that the original Cobalt Qube contained a 450MHz K6-2 processor for doing all it could do. Pretty impressive in my opinion.

    Another good thing about the K6-2 is that it doesn’t have extreme power requirements which means that it can be used to build a quiet computer that doesn’t need a massive power supply.

    If the board also supports lower cpu voltages than what the K6-2 is rated at then you could buy yourself a K6-2+ processor on Ebay. Those are pretty decent CPU’s.

  • November 1, 2003 at 2:57 pm
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    Hi.
    Did you look into your sound options?
    I just bought a motherboard with an integrated “AC97 5.1” integrated sound chip. But I noticed that there is only one stereo minijack output. I figured that this standard would require several connectors to accomodate the analog signals from at least 2 pairs of audio data streams. But, that seems not to be the case.
    Now I already have a regular old 2 channel soundblaster which makes no 5.1 claims at all, and my 5.1 speakers (Altec Lansing) do a decent job of getting Dolby Pro Logic encoding off of it with movies and distributing a soundstage among the 5 speakers. So my big question:
    What is it that the board with the fancy 5.1 integrated audio coming out through the mere 2 channel jack bringing to the party?
    Is there some more sophisticated phase encoding described by the AC97 standard to create better channel separation than the original Pro Logic codec was able to achieve?

    One thing for sure was that when I needed explanation I hit a complete brick wall with the kid at my local clone seller’s place. And I have been unable to get any kind of cogent explaination on the web, anywhere.

    Lot’s of reviewers mention this AC97 5.1 stuff as a feature, but I’m beginning to wonder if any of them even knows what this signifies technically? Is this just a brillliant martketing strategy which creates the perception of something where there is nothing? What are we buying?

    🙁

  • November 1, 2003 at 10:40 pm
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    What motherboard did you get, mikeb?

  • November 2, 2003 at 6:25 pm
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    i have the same integrated audio. Check your motherboard box it shouldve came with a bracket (that attaches to the pci outlet thing) and jumper cables to connect the realtek audio. If it didnt then you got screwed.

    I’ve noticed that alot of you have slow shtuff yet have so much damn money.. I have 233 bucks in my account but you better believe that i have a system thats somewhere in the ghz range.

  • November 2, 2003 at 10:49 pm
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    There’s a reason we have so much “damn money.” It’s because we don’t spend it all on unnecessary computer upgrades. I happen to spend most of my money on things like a nice place to live, gourmet cuisine (trying to learn the fine art of cooking), and my fiancee – not the latest video card so I can brag to my friends like I’ve got the bigger di– err… budget like you obviously do.

    And what do you use your “somewhere in the ghz range” system for? I actually own a 3.06 GHz Intel Pentium 4 based system, but I haven’t played a single game on it. I use it to compile things for my slower machines. It’s really hard compiling the latest glibc on a 33 MHz i486.

    Go away, troll.

  • November 3, 2003 at 6:26 pm
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    Hey I found something out!
    First, Dustin, it’s an ASRock K7VM4 motherboard.
    I would recommend this board if just for the awesome DIY video they bundle on the driver CD, hosted by an incredibly adorable Chinese girl in a silver glitter half shirt and mini skirt, buck-rogers knee high platform boots, and the ASRock logo tattooed across her sublimely perfect abdomen, and navel ringed by sparkles! But I digress…

    Once I installed the drivers and began configuring the card it became clear that the three jacks on the back were not permamnently dedicated AUX, MIC, and OUT. Rather they can be re-configured in software to be Stereo Front, Stero Rear, and Cnter/Subwoofer.
    Of course, when they’re configured that way there are no inputs. But the board contains pins to connect front-panel audio connections (which my cheap case with the LOUD power supply does not support).

    So I can indeed decode a fairly sucking version of 6 descrete dolby digital audio streams.

    Some day I’ll get a nice external re-sampling 96dB S/N isolted amplifier like the Exigy. After I have a house a car a girlfriend, lot’s of food and three years to live.

  • November 3, 2003 at 9:28 pm
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    After I have a house a car a girlfriend, lot’s of food and three years to live.

    I totally agree. There are so many more important things than fast computers or flashy technologies.

  • November 3, 2003 at 10:29 pm
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    This is my last posting. I stumbled upon this website on accident and I will now leave. As you notice, those pins on your motherboard are to connect to a bracket that your motherboard manufacturer should’ve supplied you with.

    i’m not an advocate of extremely fast pcs just ones that work and are conforming for modern age computing!

    Peace…

  • November 3, 2003 at 11:38 pm
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    Actually, Dia, you’re wrong (again), those pins are to connect to the fronts of some cases, which Mike happens not to have, but happens to have figured out. Mike may not be the world’s foremost expert on everything like you are, but I do note Mike’s mastery of English grammar is better than yours.

    And from what I can tell from his most recent comment, Mike’s computer is working pretty well–within the capabilities of his motherboard’s onboard sound hardware. Some boards are better in that department than others.

    I don’t mind you (or anyone else for that matter) reading and even commenting, but make sure you have something intelligent to say. If your messages of the past two days are indicative of the things you have to say, I know I speak for more than just myself when I say good riddance.

  • November 5, 2003 at 12:59 pm
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    In defense of D, quite a few motherboards with the AC97 audio chipset come with an optional audio bracket that mounts in the place of a PCI card.

    Usually in the form of a A73 5.1 Channel Bracket.

  • November 6, 2003 at 12:52 pm
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    “Mike’s mastery of English grammar “

    Ahh, I am momentarily proud to have exceeded a very low standard! Would it be ethical to request that posters comments be …uhhh… smart and interesting?

    I do have an actual question.

    The kid in the store said that this power supply was really quiet. Alas, it’s noise disturbs me even when I’m upstars taking a shower. Would it be foolish to try and replace only the fan? This, just to save $40 replacing the whole power supply? I sure don’t want to spend $150 on a tricked-out quiet case.

    And for that matter, what about having no fan but have the whole motherboard open to a large space like a (AV) closet?

    Here’s an old demo of a song called troll. (it’s a big 2,4MB mp3 so be carefull) I think it really captures a valid -if slightly abusive- sentiment.

    http://www.madmadscience.com/troll_demo__by_birdbrain.mp3

  • November 7, 2003 at 10:05 am
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    Hey, even if you were the Sears Tower, you’d still qualify as the tallest building in Topeka. And I think it’s ethical to request that people be smart and interesting but that doesn’t mean we’ll get it.

    I have replaced fans in power supplies before but it’s not something I’m comfortable doing. There are voltages inside that will shake your hand, even if you unplug the unit beforehand. (Voice of experience.) You might pop it open and see how much work it’s going to be. If the fan plugs in (rather than being hard-wired) and the plug is reasonably accessible, you might give it a go, but use a great deal of caution. I’d sleep better if you just bought a $35 Enermax from Newegg.com though. Or, bring the unit into the store and ask him if that was what he meant by quiet. Maybe the fan is defective and they’ll replace the unit for free. Defective fans happen sometimes.

    Cooling via convection cooling is possible and some people do it, and I’ve done it when testing lots of new components, but it’s not how the components were designed to operate long-term. Better to just get a power supply that lets you adjust the speed on your fans, such as an Enermax. I think they cost around $43 at Newegg.com.

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