Dell to Acquire Alienware?

VoodooPC main man, Rahul believes it may be true. Why? Alienware is regarded almost everywhere as the best mainstream Gaming PC manufacturer. Dell has had some success with their XPS systems, but the truth of the matter is that the XPS systems are lacking in some areas, such as choices and style. Michael Dell knows that his company needs to grow and appear to be a bleeding-edge company.

Currently, Dell can’t market the Dell brand as ‘cool’ because it really hasn’t worked yet–they have eliminated the Dell DJ, because it couldn’t make a dent into Apple’s iPod sales. What Rahul fails to mention is that currently Dell can offer you a more powerful laptop than Alienware, by what do I mean? You can get an Intel Core Duo 2.16Ghz processor with nVidia GeForce Go 7800GTX (today it isn’t available for some reason but the 7800 variant is), plus Dell doesn’t make you pay extra for it to be a Centrino Laptop with the built in wireless. If I had to buy a laptop for college today I’d buy a Dell, even though I hate all the crap they pre-install onto your system. The choices they offer aren’t touched by the competition (Alienware only offers the GeForce Go 6800).

Murmurs in the rumor mill claim Dell is considering selling some AMD desktops. This could fall in line with acquiring Alienware and continuing their AMD line of products. Others have seen this as a ‘problem’ but I see it as a disguised motive. Think what ever you want, I’ll still take the Dell laptop, dual monitor out (three monitors, including 1 DVI and 1 VGA and the built in LCD), 6 USB ports (Alienware only has two), 7800 vs 6800, and the list goes on…

-John Havlik

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Gentoo 2006.0, Hip Hip Hooray!

Now that pesky, fast running Linux distribution finally has a proper installation program and LiveCD. I had tested the 2005.1 LiveCD installer, which always seemed to forget to compile everything, but it did a nice job at doing some little stupid things, like USE flags, which I used to get mtekktux up and running with the aid of the Gentoo Handbook and an ‘install’ CD. I will be testing 2006.0 on mtekktux2 (same hardware as mtekktux but a 866Mhz instead of a 800Mhz) and mtekktux3 (my old system, well a combination of various ones but will have 512Mb ram, 1Ghz P3, and dedicated graphics), in doing so I’ll set up a DistCC compiler farm to aid the compilation of software such as KDE and Open Office which take forever to compile on a single 800Mhz box. Mtekktux may end up running with MythTV on top of Gentoo for a media center computer mod that I am planning. Mtekktux2 is mainly for NAT and will serve as my RADIUS server.

I am also working on a mockup web 2.0 style layout for the Weblogs.us main page, just to see what it could look like, I’m planning to send it to JD once I get it completed, probably a week of work left, since I’m fairly busy right now.

Here is the link: Gentoo Linux

-John Havlik

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Advertisements on Your Vista Welcome Center?

According to Softpeida Microsoft is planning to release Windows Vista with dynamic advertisements on the Welcome Center, with no way around viewing them. Supposedly Microsoft ‘haggled’ several PC manufacturers including HP and Dell, whom are supposedly not pleased by some of the ‘features’ in the Welcome Screen. If Microsoft includes advertisements in the Welcome Screen this could not only piss off every PC user, but also get the lawmakers, and lawyers scrambling to dig up anti-trust evidence.

My biggest grudge against advertisements in Vista is that, as a consumer, I will have to pay something on the lines of 300 USD for a full version of Windows Vista. Beyond that 300 USD initial payment, I will have to pay with advertisements flashing in front of my face for no particular reason, other than lining Billy G’s pockets. If the best version of Windows Vista was distributed for under 80 USD then I would have no problem with forced advertisements, but for a 300 USD piece of software that is beyond doubt abusing the consumer. If this is true I’ll just use Gentoo as my primary OS and buy an Apple MacBook pro for college instead of an Alienware laptop. If you are going to burden the consumer with ridiculously high prices don’t force advertisements upon them, it just is beyond cruelty, *cough* RIAA/MPAA/Microsoft *cough*.

Here is the link: Softpedia: Vista Antitrust Case in the Making?

-John Havlik

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Playful One: An ACID Experiment

After playing around with Sony ACID 5.0 and the freely available loops, I came up with this track. It run for about 6 minutes and 12 seconds; it is encoded in Ogg Vorbis and is about 5MiB in file size. For some reason, there isn’t a MP3 encoder included in ACID, or at least the version I have. So I’ll have to somehow get LAME up and running with ACID.

Here is the link: Playful One

-John Havlik

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Stability Issues

Well mtekkxpathlon is having stability issues, or at least had some yesterday. I think I found the problem this morning. At first I though it might have been the driver for the built in ATA RAID, but this morning I couldn’t get XP to boot so I tried to reinstall it, I thought the MBR on the hard drive could have corrupted itself during the several crashes. After XP would lock up during the first phases of installation, still in no situation to make choices on the drive path, etc. I removed one of the sticks of DDR ram, happened to the older stick that I was suspicious of, and windows booted, faster than before, windows said that the crashes were caused by a RAM issue, so that is solved. Now I have six sticks of RAM, five SDRAM, one DDR RAM with Micron Technologies chips on them that have gone bad. This particular one was made only weeks after my original Micron PC133 stick in mtekkxp. I have had nothing but bad luck with some of this micron memory, which is a shame since they used to be an excellent company.

I know this is an illegitimate update, I promise a review of Songbird .1 sometime this weekend, that is once I am sure my computer is stable.

-John Havlik

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