Additional Hardware

I talked myself into needing (ok, severely wanting) a VFD display for my PC- and I noticed some Matrix Orbital units at MicroCenter when I visitited on Friday; I decided to go have a look at the other site out in Marietta and I found a MX6 (actually one of their discontinued PLED dislapys) for about $90- which is less expensive than online. I have been playing around with the different plugs for the LCDC Software (the software that drives the display) at PlasticRandom- but it looks like I need to install the ATI control panel to get the GPU stats up.

I also picked up a ThermalTake fan controller- but I am still experimenting with if I can use he MX6 to control the fans (there are three headers on the back, but so far they only appear to be for power and speed monitoring of the attached fans).

Another note: I was trying some CPU monitoring softwares (MBM5, SpeedFan, or some other one) shut my systems fans off completely- my CPU was up to 74c before I noticed! After a reboot all was good.

On a different tangent, I purchased a Linksys Skype iPhone (model CIT200) and I am thoroughly impressed with the sound quality! There is USB receiver that plugs into my PC and it makes a 1.9Ghz wireless link to the phone. There is a piece of CIT200 software that sits in the system tray and maintains a connection between Skype and the phone; Skype's extra features and low cost (about $45 year for unlimited land-line in/out calls to anyone within the US- or worldwide if they are a Skype user!) makes this so much more appealing (and portable) than a normal landline/cell phone!

VoIP is the way that it all is going in the next few years- I keep trying to tell people that, but everyone is 'yea, right'. Once WiFi gets cheap (free?) and the urban coverage is there I think we will see an end to the 'charge-per-minute' monarchies. (maybe they can do WiFi like they do satellite TV/Radio?)

Engadet had a review, but I didn't see it until after I bought the unit.

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