Wow. I feel like I haven't come up for air in months, with the epic procession of video cards, Sandy Bridge, and the new site all compressed into the time since the end of August. Since finishing the GTX 560 Ti review, I've been trying to catch up on a bunch of miscellaneous things I've neglected while on deadline—including a vast stack of email, silly things like running Windows updates and rebooting my computer, ordering a Bluetooth headset that should actually work right with my iPhone 4, and so on. My car was hit while parked in August, and I'm finally getting the damage looked at today. Tomorrow, I might take down our Christmas lights outside. Crazy stuff like that.
One project I tackled last night: finally picking up a Logitech Harmony 650 Remote to manage our TV, HTPC, stereo system, and cable box. We've had four remotes laying out and in use simultaneously for over a year now, which is lunacy. The Harmony successfully cuts that number to one. I need to tweak a few of the key mappings for Media Center, but it's already an improvement. And hey, I used a Best Buy gift card from 2009 finally!
I'm still in the market for an HTPC keyboard-and-touchpad combo or something along those lines. Right now, I have a Microsoft IR keyboard with an awful, unusable eraser-tip/nubbin pointer and an old Logitech wireless keyboard-and-mouse set whose range doesn't extend reliably to the couch. Lots of hardware in the living room, but none of it works well. A single RF wireless device that handles these things well would be a very nice upgrade. Recommendations would be welcome.
A new keyboard-touchpad combo would complete my rolling HTPC peripheral upgrade, which began at Christmas when I bought an Xbox 360 USB wireless controller hub and a pair of Xbox 360 controllers with a charging base. We'd been using a pair of Logitech Cordless Rumblepads for years, and the kids had to call me in to fiddle with them, get them to connect, and swap in new batteries nearly every time they wanted to play Lego Star Wars or whatever. Getting them to sync with the computer was always a dicey proposition. The things were junk. Happily, the replacements work as they should and are better supported in newer games. Also, hey, dad gets to play Shank after the kids are down to bed.
You'll know I'm really caught up on things when I upgrade my main PC to Sandy Bridge... or Bulldozer, Ivy Bridge, Project Denver, or whatever it turns out to be.. someday.
Work-wise, I'm hesitant to start up a new project here in Damage Labs until next week, but I have several pressing ones that need my attention. Among them: possibly some more work with the latest video cards, including multi-GPU and overclocking tests; a pair of Mini-ITX mobos, one based on AMD's Brazos and another on the Pine Trail Atom D525, with an interesting twist; and an amazing Nehalem-EX based server that's languished too long here, partially tested. All are good and pressing projects, and I may work on a couple at once, starting next week.
For now, though, I need to think up a Friday Night Topic. Hmmmm.....
|Team Group Cardea SSDs are ready to handle the heat||0|
|In the lab: HyperX's Alloy FPS mechanical gaming keyboard||0|
|Gigabyte's Ryzen motherboards are home, home on the range||3|
|Zotac molds GTX 1050s into low-profile tiny terrors||0|
|TR forums spotlight: krazyredboy's crazy simulator PC||5|
|Deals of the week: a high-end Mini-ITX mobo, fast RAM, storage, and more||19|
|Steam Audio SDK promises better surround sound gratis||12|
|Asus lets its Ryzen-ready mobos roam||31|
|ASRock gathers its herd of AM4 motherboards||36|
|Best part of the article? We're flying home with Ryzen review samples as of this writing.||+42|