Sunday, December 16, 2012

A touch of nerdery.

Mild to moderate nerdiness follows.

I decided I was going to build my own PVR using a computer and Mythbuntu, a Linux distro specifically geared towards such an endeavour. Problem is, the spare desktop I had kicking around wasn't going to be fast enough to adequately handle HD video... so I shopped around and found a refurbished HP at Factory Direct for a cool 129 bones; decent processor, 2 GB of RAM, smallish hard drive (but that's easily remedied).

I went out and got it, but when I brought it home I felt like an idiot: the expansion slots weren't tall enough to accommodate my TV tuner card or the video card I have with an HDMI output. JEEZ.

Faced with this dilemma, I had the semi-brilliant idea of making the HP my regular desktop comp and using my former desktop box as the PVR, swapping hard drives in the process. But if you yank a hard drive out of one comp and throw it into another, it's going to freak out on me because all the hardware is different, right?

Wrong.

With much trepidation, I pulled the hard drive out of my old desktop, put it in the new one, plugged everything in, and hit the power button. I fully expected there to be beeps and bloops and error messages and possibly smoke flying out of the thing, but here's what actually happened:
  1. "Hey, you have a different video card. Start in safe graphics mode this time?" (Clicked OK, logged in fine.)
  2. Started up the video card utility... "Hey, you don't have an Nvidia video card anymore. Type the following and restart your machine." (Typed the thing, restarted.)
  3. Absolutely everything works fine now.
There's no way this goes well with Windows... so, thank the powers above that Linux (specifically Ubuntu) is so goddamn smart: it found all my new hardware, didn't complain much, and life carried on as normal.

And that's my story.

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