I recently acquired a Sylvania -G Netbook. I would never say that this machine is without flaws, but for the price tag it is a worthy competitor. I picked mine up on sale at Tigerdirect for $299 + Shipping. This price puts it a full bracket beneath Asus’s competition EeePc. Is the EeePc a better machine? In a word, yes. They have released nearly a dozen models and worked out alot of the flaws and challenges of building a machine this tiny. However, their price tag clearly displays their market domination. So I’m going to discuss why, for the right person, the Netbook is a great deal. [And hopefully warn the “wrong person” that this is not the netbook for them]
Recently I bought a new wireless router – a Linksys WRT54GL. Interestingly, there are numerous open-source, Linux-based firmwares available for this router that unlock new features. Once can commonly hear it described as “turning a $60 router into a $600 router for free” just by upgrading the firmware.
I haven’t attempted this yet, but perhaps I will soon. Presumably, by upgrading the firmware one can boost the wireless signal, turn of SSH access, prioritize bandwidth allotment for certain computers and/or programs, and allow static DHCP, among other options.
My new router is working just fine right now with its stock firmware, but perhaps I’ll be daring and put Linux on it some weekend.
The motherboard on my main machine (P4 2.66, Intel 865PE) started going south a week ago. I experienced a few hard locks and infamous blue screens (the stop errors of which are impossible to decipher). The biggest problem was that after a reboot, the mother board would start its POST procedure, count the RAM, and freeze. After a few minutes, it would reboot on its own and repeat the procedure. When the planets aligned correctly, it would boot perfectly and run for several hours before crashing again.
I need to use this machine every day for graduate work in music composition, so this kind of behavior is unacceptable. So, I decided to upgrade a few key parts. My first option was to purchase another socket 478 motherboard, but along with dwindling availablility, it did not seem to make sense to invest in such “old” tech. Also, I’d been out of the hardware loop for a while, so I had some research to do. Read more