Lightning Returns

So, in a bizarre coincidence, lightning hit the tree in front of our neighbor's house, jumped to his house, and from there the magic of telecommunications took over with a vengeance. Loyal readers will recall we faced a similar situation two years ago.

We fared much better this time. Two computers, the X-Box 360 NIC, a NAS power supply, and various and sundry pieces of AT&T hardware went out. Unfortunately, the two computers that fried were my primary desktop and the music server. So instead of thinking up deathless prose to post on the Internet, I've been shopping PC parts.

I'm making some possibly unfounded assumptions about which parts of the two boxes are bad. I have, arguendo, assumed death on the part of the motherboard and processor. The music server is a cheap box running a old AMD chip and mobo combo. I've had no problems with it, so I went with a cheap combo deal from Newegg. A mini ITX board and single core Sempron should do what I need that box to do. Sadly, the initial board had problems with the onboard video, so I RMA'd it and am eagerly awaiting the new board as we speak. If it works well, I may get a small ITX case and stick it downstairs to run a media client on, but that may be asking a bit too much out of it. I'll just have to see.

My primary desktop was more difficult. I don't mind using old stuff for the music server, because it's not doing a lot of processor intensive grunt. I'm enough of a geek that I need a bit more for my primary computer. So I had one simple requirement: go up in specifications. I figured that shouldn't be too difficult with a 2 year old box.

Of course, what I learned is that Intel has gotten awfully proud of their chips. I've been using Intel in my main boxes forever, since when I started doing this AMD wasn't an option. Replacing my old Intel processor with a comparable low-end quad-core Intel ended up being more than I was prepared to spend right now. Hmm. Let's see what AMD has to offer.

Long story short, for about what I would pay for a comparable Intel chip, I can get a faster AMD and a mobo. Of course, this requires a memory upgrade, but other than that, I should be golden. I'm assuming my hard and optical drives aren't fried, which is usually a pretty safe bet. They're more robust pieces of kit, I've found. In any event, I should be up and running as soon as parts get here. Yay me. Boo lightning.

Now all I need is a wireless NIC for the X-Box. I'm just not sufficiently motivated to go digging in the hardware guts of that particular equipment, since all my sources tell me the NIC is part of the board and requires board replacement.

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