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Topics - JahT

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Users / Still on the fence need someone to push me off
« on: February 10, 2008, 01:32:52 am »
It all started in August 2007 when I heard of this wonderful and powerful software, that video demo pulled me in.
I think by October of 2007 I had actualy succeeded in loading it on my system dual booting with XP.
This, of course, is after wiping out the boot sector and loosing my partitions when I put in the install DVD and hit enter.
And then, after recovering the data/partitions, I had to overcome the ATI driver dance and general config.
Oh, but how exciting and satisfying to see the Flicker screensaver and UI2 (without alpha blending).

Here is my system I have now:
Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.40GHz
PCChips M950 Motherboard
1 GB RAM (2700 I think)
ATI All-in-Wonder X800XT 256MB
Vizio 37"LCD through RGB Analog

But that is where it ended, MythTV didn't support my capture card, I couldn't figure out how to get my Music (on external drives) to be accesible through the UI, and I thought..."I'll just have to build a new system with compatible components so I won't be so occupied with tweaking and can make it useable."  I don't think I'm afraid or lazy when it comes to tweaking, I am above average (modded my xbox w/ hard drive, repaired my cell phone flex cable), not Einstein but not Earl either.

For the last 3 months I have been trying (reading posts and wiki) to decide on the best components (I KNOW, HERE WE GO AGAIN)
Obviously if I got it to run on my older system, it should run pretty good on a newer system.  I am buying a house soon so when that happens there will be no money for LMCE and I'd like to have a basic system working before I move in so I just have to be concerned with wiring the house.  I was very close to giving up on my dream when I heard MAME integration was very close, and was pulled back in. 

So questions are:

Do I have to be concerned with video tearing, will it end up driving me nuts? (I put up with it on XBOX 360)
I'd like the option of alpha blended menus, do cards perform better than integrated graphics? (um, probably, but specifically w/ LMCE?)
Do you buy one NIC card and use the on board NIC on the Core, or two NICs? (will I have enough slots for two tuners too)
Has anyone else made the leap from Windows to do this, and where did you learn about general Kubuntu/Linux commands, etc?
I assume Fiire will sell you extra dongles, how much are they? (already thought I scored with the $59 Gyration version, not)

I eventually want it all, MAME, 2 Tuner DVR, Music, DVDs, Pictures, Home Automation (Z-Wave Lights, Security, HVAC, Window Shades)
Money and power consumtion are concerns, but not at the cost of performance.  I realize it is difficult to recommend a specific setup due to people's different needs and how fast components come and go, but it would be nice to have a gallery of posted user set-ups with parts listings, pictures, the story of their needs and challenges so they can share what they have accomplished.

Thank you, Tim

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