New Computer

I Purchased a new computer last week, with the major justification been experimenting with the new SQL Server tools like Integration Services.

As we have been saving for a house for ages, I have been resisting buying a new computer, so my goal was to spend the least I could, but still have a good home dev machine. I was going to reuse my 17” monitor and keyboard/mouse and CD burner. Thus my purchase list was…

AMD Sempron (754) 2800+ CPU with Cooler $125.00
Gigabyte GA-K8NS Motherboard $135.00
2x 512Mb Adata PC3200 DDR400 Memory $160.00
80Gb Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Drive $110.00
Raidmax Elite 208B ATX Tower Case, 400w PSU $70.00
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (OEM CD with SP2) $150.00

I ordered all this from TasTech, who I had not realised was a home run “shop”. (He lived/works three houses down the round from where my school friend Michael McDonnell lived). I had originally ordered DVD Rom as my current Samsung was a piece of junk and would get upset when reading from the second layer. But he could not source one. I got all this stuff home, started building and found that I was missing the SATA power cable. Gordon saved the day, by answering my email. I went to and got one from him (where he informed me of secret news that even Mark does not know) and I returned home to complete my machine. I now had a built machine.

When ordering the parts I had not noticed that my current Modem was an ISA bus card, and the new motherboard was only PCI. So a extra $40.00 for a new (non-WinModem). The Samsung lived up to my expectations and would not read CDs or DVDs. Matt ordered me a CDR/DVD Rom drive from Dove, but when I turned up to get it. They could not find the order. But they did have plan DVD Rom’s, so for $58.50 I got a new 16 speed drive.

Grand Total Cost: $848.50 NZD

I then spent a few nights coping/pruning data from my old hard drives (which had an old-pc directory on it (which also had an old-pc directory)), re-installing software, and playing games (mainly emulators) and been happy that they run so smooth.

The only problem I’ve found so far is that SQL 2005 CTP will not install on top of VS 2005 RC. It says there are SQL components installed, but the remove components tool says all SQL bits have been removed. This is annoying as I’m really enjoying developing SSIS components at work.

On Monday night I got my Subversion installation working. Last time I moved things around I had a lot of pain getting my development folders back in sync with the new repository location. This time a noticed an option to move repository (must be a dynamic feature, as I cannot see it now), and hay pesto it now points to my new repository.

So in VS 2003 my COAB game take ~5 seconds to build compared to the ~2 minutes for my old machine, It’s great. I stayed up till 3am due to removing warnings was so much fun. I could make small changes rebuild and keep going. Where-as before I’d notice how tired I was while doing builds and go to bed at a more sensible time (~1am).

So last night was a TopCoder SRM which had a prize purse of $5,000 USD but it was starting at 1am. I was too tired to stay up to compete. Reading Marks post it sounds as if it was easy, because he did well, so I now know I made a mistake going to bed.

Other things that now work great due to the new machine:
“Microsoft Code Named Acrylic” I’d downloaded this a while back after seeing some really cool panoramic pictures done with the photo stitching. I did some runs at home and at the office, and the wired thing is I look at the pictures and they look normal as expect. Which I realised was just the fact that you normally see so much of a room/area that is lost by a camera.

TV Capture card. I had purchased a TV capture card a few years ago when I first heard about PVRs with the desire to build one. The new machine can capture at full rate and MPEG2 encode with only a 20% CPU hit. Now I just need to get a better than rabbit ears aerial to my machine. But I’m still really keen to buy a PVR.

So with been busy working with SSIS at work and the new PC at home, I’ve got behind on sleep, blog reading and writing and book reading.