Wednesday, April 11, 2012

HTPC Build - Stage 5 - New parts

I ordered and received some new parts for my HTPC today. They are:

1) A small 2 row LCD screen from Sure Electronics. Don't get fooled by the fact that this is a chinese company, because the display arrived in one of the most coolest boxes i ever seen: black, with silver text, everything properly packed. At first i taught it is an iPhone :)
Here is the thingy :) (sorry but no pic with the box - throw it away)

The LCD Screen plugged in with a MicroUSB cable
and LCD Smartie running

The LCD Screen with size measures on sides

There is a software called LCD Smartie you can download from their website what will help you edit the infos displayed here. It has lots of pre-built stages like number of mail, cpu temperature, HDD free space or Winamp status.

2) I ordered a Card Reader - the same i saw at one of my friends. Why this big? Because only the box is big (like a floppy drive). The electonics inside are like 2cm in width only, and would perfectly fit in my casing :) Here are the pics:

It reads 6 types, plus has an USB connector so i can plug in a small drive anytime :)

3) A Bluetooth dongle. I think this is pretty straightforward but i do one comment: will have this inside the box, connected to an internal USB connector. Not visible, but my HTPC will have Bluetooth connection. Awesome!

Bluetooth dongle for internal use

4) I want the HTPC to be a fast booter in the end, so aquired a 40-pin dual compact flash to ide adapter. I had an 8GB CF card from an old digital camera, where the OS will fit nicely.

Compact flash to IDE adapter.
Your CF will be visible as a HDD by the PC and will be fast as hell!

How to achieve this as it is known that CF does not support too many write cycles? Simple: install and configure your system with a normal hard drive, than clone the drive to the CF, and use a program that restricts Windows to write temp files. Actually you freeze Windows. Learn more on this by reading small car PC builds - they all run on CF cards :)

Final words: at the end these all cost around 1 or  2 bucks each if ordered from Hong Kong, so a real bargain for a real piece of multimedia!

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