Installing goodies…

Finally got to installing the stuff I bought a couple of days ago. The shuttle box looks really slick now with the CD-ROM and keyboard all black to match the rest of the case. One thing I didn’t notice is that the model I bought is a ‘QuietTrack’ model designed to be extra quiet during operation, and I’ll say they did a good job at it. That combined with the quiet power supply and variable speed fan means the box is really really quiet. I’m almost tempted to make it my desktop and turn my current desktop into a fileserver. I’d need to upgrade to an AGP video card though.

The mouse is really nice as well. I exaggerated a bit in the previous post claiming it has 20 buttons. It’s only actually got 7, but that’s more than twice what I’m used to. Besides the standard left, right and middle/wheel buttons, it has two buttons on the side that by default do forward and back in your web browser. Above and below the wheel are ‘cruise up’ and ‘cruise down’ buttons that let you go up and down a page at a time or you can hold it down to scroll up and down really fast. And below that there is a button that by default lets you jump between apps quickly, but I reprogrammed it to do a copy instead. And on top of all the buttons, it also feels more responsive and smooth than my old mouse.

I had my new headset for Skype hooked up to the headphone jack on my speaker system and the microphone port on my sound card via an extension cable, but this left me having to plug in the headphone jack before answering a Skype call. Today I realized, duh, I have a sound card on my motherboard that I had disabled when I installed my add-in sound card (M-Audio Revolution 7.1, great sounding board). The sound quality of the built-in sound card is pretty mediocre, but for Skype it’s more than adequate. So I went into my BIOS and re-enabled the built in sound card, rebooted, reinstalled drivers, then made sure the default sound card was the M-Audio one but that Skype was set to use the internal sound card. Voila, it all works, and now I can use my headset with Skype independently from the rest of the system which uses the good sound card. In fact earlier I was talking to my friend Greg in Vienna using Skype with the headset at the same time Emily was watching Dora The Explorer on the main speakers. Pretty nifty.

Today I got my ticket to see Dreams Come True in concert in Nagoya. My sister-in-law’s friend in Tokyo helped me get it. I was hoping for the February 22 date since that would be more convenient, but it’s February 23 instead. Now I have to figure out how to get from Kyoto where I’ll be for the APRICOT 2005 conference to Nagoya for the concert. 🙂

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