More on HW

In trolling for HW suggestions, I forgot to mention what I’m planning on using the HW for. I’ve got a couple of things in mind:

  • Public facing web/media server. Family members are constantly asking for updated pictures of Patrick. I’ve gotten tired of regularly uploading pictures to a public website for them to download. I’ve got them all on my personal machine, so it would be much easier just to expose them directly. Similarly, between our camcorder, the video functions of our digital cameras and PhotoStory, I also have quite a bit of video media to make available to the rest of my family.
  • Experimental / development server. ASP.NET 2.0 is coming, so if I’m going to expose photos and/or video, I might as well take advantage of the new stuff to do it with. I’m also thinking about writing some apps for keeping track of my family tree along with my dad and cousin.
  • Movie making / 3D Rendering. I was working on my garage over the weekend and I came across my old copy of 3D Studio Max. It’s up to version 7 now, so my copy of version 1.0 is way behind the times. I’ve been interested in movie making for a long time and if (when?) I get back into it I know I’ll want to do some effects work – stuff like Matrix XP. This is where the Intel P4 HT vs. AMD Athlon 64 question really comes into play. Dual core vs. 64 bits?

One thing that’s not on this list is Media Center. I’m interested in MCE05, but then yesterday MSFT and Comcast announce that they are rolling out Microsoft TV Foundation Edition in Washington state starting next week. I think, in the end, I’ll want MCE since I’d like the ability to hack my TV but for now I think I want to try out the MSTV stuff. Also, the HDTV story around MCE doesn’t look clear yet – it works with “over-the-air” HDTV, but makes no mention of cable delivered HDTV. I think the HW in this area is pretty new, but I would guess that would change in the next 6-12 months.

Update: I just spoke to Comcast regarding the MSTV functionallity. Their PVR functionallity supports both HD and non-HD programs so I’m definitely going to give that a try. Only downside – they can’t come install for a week and a half. 😦