Part 9: goddamn DVD-RW installed! yeah!|
Dear lord! finally! the DVD-RW gets to me. In the end, I got it over ebay from Germany, which was more expensive than the supposed price of the "shop" i tried to get it from earlier. So yeah, it all arrived fine. This all happened almost a week ago. Since then ive had 3 concerts to do, had one case of relatively light food poisoning, and skipped an additional day of college (that was today). So ive been busy.
the installation of a DVD is quite easy if you know what youre doing... and by this point... I do..
First you have to take the core out, then remove the top plate from the core. This is always quite tricky, because of the touch sensitive power button that the cube has on it. You need to carefully fiddle around, and pull this off.
The top plate removed, you then slide off the front plate from the chassic, revealing the DVD drive. Simply pull all of the plugs out of the bottom, unscrew it at the sides, and pull it out of its slot. harder than it sounds, cos the Molex is harder to pull out that youd think, and the same for the IDE interface... Not to mention that theres not really enough room to get a decent amount of leverage... But I managed it once before, and i managed it this time too.
Anyway, assemble all the bits and bobs that make up the drive, the bracket and adapter, attach them together, and start sliding them in. Its at this point where you need to plug the IDE and molex (with adapter) in. Youll encounter two problems while doing this. First up, the IDE cable needs to be turned 180 degrees to get it to be on the right way, which means some crazy turning of the cable, which i really should have another look at soon. Secondly, the IDE cable and the mini molex are in a very small amount of space, and the IDE pushes on the molex like crazy... which means theres some bending of the Molex to be done, right at the base end of the cable *sigh*... its still not pretty but hey.
oh! one thing i nearly forgot is this. The Cube only has one IDE interface for the entire machine. Which means you can have one Master device, and one Slave device installed. Most modern computers, however, have more than one IDE interface, and so, because of this, most drives come set to master... This poses a problem in a cube, as being set to Master is a Firmware thing in an optical drive... Luckily, on Pioneer laptop drives, they can be set to Cable Select (which means that if theres a drive on the same IDE interface, and its set to Master, then the drive will automatically go to Slave). So, its a simple case of cutting the 28th spike on the IDE adapter to get it to go Cable Select... Contact me for a link and explanation about this.
put it all back together, and voila! new DVD drive installed. excellent!
Total Cost - around £100
Total Time - 20 minutes (30-40 for a newbie)
just a new HDD to go, which should be covered relatively soon (i hope)..
look out for a bunch of other Blog topics heading your way soon, including the finale of MacHeist, the morality behind the MDA, MH, MZ, MAAD, WAWE set of promotional marketing ideas, why I dont go in for Christmas (one sentence is all i need, but ill try fleshing it out for you), Mike, How great Freeverse is (listen to IMG Podcast 4 for more details), Hot Fuzz, the Clipboard wars, why I love to Zot, and how to get a Cube from Leeds to London in secure packaging, without taking up any additional space, on the train.
all ive got to do is find the time to write all these things...
Ciao for now.
Posted on December 13, 2006 at 9:18 am
Mac Heist, IMG podcast, and lessening frustrations|
OK, first up, our IMG podcast has been picked up! hurrah! we get a major record deal, and i imagine that soon enough well be getting access to the official firstname.lastname@example.org email address! hurrah! expect the first official podcast to be out some time next week. get ready for bitching about intel integrated graphics in Mac Books. gonna be great.
next up I want to go on about MacHeist. if you dont know what this thing is, and want an invite to it, then just leave me a message or PM and ill get back to you. Basically its a massive load of hype, followed by a frustrating puzzle which you can just completely skip, and then at the end you get some free apps. Already ive got American Lux, Notepad widget, Chat transcript manager, soulver (some english language maths thing), and assignment manager.... for free...
its free, right? so it must be good!
anyway, so far ive enjoyed it, despite how its slightly completely fustrating waiting around for the Heists (every wednesday) to start...
moving from something free to people giving me money back, the company i was trying to get that DVD-RW from got back in touch, and ive managed to get a full refund from them... Now, when my loan comes in, ill be getting the drive shipped to me from Germany. Slightly more expensive, but a million times less dubious...
so all in all, its been a good week so far.
Posted on November 9, 2006 at 6:07 am
frustating things about me, for me:|
-my voice sounds stupid when recorded
-I like macZot faaaar too much... i think ive bought almost all of their mystery zots and got 3 things id actually use regularly out of it
-Im far too trusting and am now down £40 for something, and maybe £60 for a DVD-RW... why do people keep trying to rip me off? why do I often fall for it? why are they redesigning their site and not responding to my email instead?
to all readers, do not create a site with stuff I want on it, which is not often available in this country, and pretend to be in this country... chances are, I might actually fall for it..
So ill give them till the site is back up, or a week. Then ill bombard them, and try and reclaim my money... chances are ive lost £60....
this is frustrating me.
Posted on November 2, 2006 at 3:41 pm
Part 8: wheres the ******* drive?|
As you may or may not realise, Ive been waiting for the DVD-RW which I bought for quite some time. Its a month now since I ordered it, but it should be here by the 30th (hurrah!). Now its an interesting (yeah, right) story, but first i want to quickly go over why i chose this particular drive..
Theres a few options when it comes to getting a internal DVD drive for the cube. The original DVD-ROM drive is a 5.25" drive, which has got a slot loading mechism which works with and against gravity to push and pull the disks about. However, the cibe was created with a complete one off kind of drive, which has lead to only one option... Using laptop drives. Now these are, of course a different shape and size to desktop drives... so you need a bracket in order to adapt the shape to fit. You also need to get a mini-IDE to IDE adapter.
now the previous method of creating this bracket thing was to cut it out of sheet metal. But this, of course, means you need a certain amount of skill with sheet metal. I dont have that...
Happily, theres a guy in America, on the cubeowner website, who has fashioned a bracket out of plastic or rubber. Now I bought one of these from him for $25, and theyre very good. The fact that they are made out of a rubbery type substance means that they cancel out a lot of the vibrations coming from the drive, which means its a bit quieter... and thats what im all about, quietness.
Now on to picking the actual drive, theres two ways I could go, and a very easy decision to be made... very very very easy. Theres the matsushita (AKA panasonic) drive, U-845 or something like that. And its an alright drive, but the firmware is encrypted, so theres no way to make it a slave drive (thats important for me, and ill explain in a second). Then theres the Pioneer K-06 (or K-05) drive, which is so very much like the panasonic, but not encrypted, and can read DVDs from any region, not to mention that it can be made to be a slave drive simply by modding the connector that you plug into it.
its also around half the price.
now the reason why Slave and Master is important is this. In the cube, the HDD and optical drive have to share the same IDE interface, so the cable, which has 2 ports on it, has to have one master and one slave, so it knows which one gets the priority. Usually this would be the HDD, but thats not vital unless you want to do one thing. Target Disk Mode. Thats it. Thats all that really matters to me.
Also I just prefer to have the HDD as the master purely because its the more important drive. The reason why most drives come hardware or software set to master these days is because almost all computers these days have got two IDE connections, so theres no need to give either priority. Sadly, not the case with the cube...
So then the K-06 can be found for £50
the mini-IDE to IDE adapter for about £10
and the bracket costs $25 or so thats around £15
Now, onto a quick summary of why my DVDRW has taken over a month to arrive...
Basically, theres only one online store that said it had the K-06 (which has marginal improvements in speed over the K-05) in the UK. So I pretty much had to buy from them. Not too big a deal.
But then there was nowhere to put my card details during ordering, which really confused me. After a few emails back and for (which took a while), I finally discovered I had to do it as a bank transfer, which I wasnt too happy about, but could accept it. It was either that or a cheque after all...
It turned out that they didnt have the drive in stock, and had to order it specially for ga ga land, whereupon their receiving of stock, they completely failed to send it out to me.
The final part of this story is the best, where yesterday (the 24th October) I email them and that evening get the response:
"We are happy to inform you that the order with Order ID - 1484 which you ordered on 25 Sep 2006 has been shipped out. It was shipped out on 25 Oct 2006 using Std Service. "
So it had been shipped tomorrow (in terms of it being yesterday). nice one.
it should arrive on monday at the latest, so look out for a new Part 9 then.
After that, the HDD should happen around christmas.
Posted on October 25, 2006 at 12:50 am
Part 7: while waiting for the DVD-RW|
While waiting for my Pioneer K06 to arrive (its taking its sweet time for sure), i had all of the parts ready, in addition to one extra thing. A new fan!
I know it doesnt sound like the most exciting thing that you could buy for your computer, but this is important in a cube. A desktop computer usually gives off a pretty loudish hum thanks to all the fans inside it. Thats the main reason why the Cube originally didnt have a fan, and had a 5400RPM Hard Disk, for the purpose of being really really quiet.
My cube, however, was bought in an upgraded form, and so it already had a base fan installed (apple put a place for one, they just didnt use it), so that the warranty on the CPU upgrade would be valid.
Now, most of the fans on the market are either loud and push a lot of air, or are quiet and dont push as much air. Not so of SilenX fans, which according to their specs are below what the human ear can hear, yet push as much air as one that is "whisper" quiet (Panaflo).
The install was quite simple (or would have been if id had a decent torx screwdriver). First take out the core, then remove the top panel, then the DVD drive, then the hard drive, then the fan. Put the new fan in, screw it down and reassemble everything... Compared to the CPU upgrade (which I had to do 3 times), it was pretty easy. Nowhere near as many screws, not as fiddley, and not as much to go wrong.
Since then, ive not noticed too much difference in the Decibels coming from the cube, mainly because the HDD is the noisiest component (I actually think it might be on its way out... something for Christmas?), and was always louder than the fan, but also cos im listening to music, the cube is half hidden behind the display, and ive not been paying it too much attention. Listening to it now, however, id say its about twice as loud as an iBook (and theyre almost silent), and about as loud as the old Pismo back home...
So was it worth it? well, not really, but at £7, it hasnt cost me much, and Ive now got the experience to do the switch in around 10 minutes, as opposed to 30+, if ever I want to try a different fan.
next up, in this month hopefully, the DVD-RW... now this upgrade should be a piece of cake!
Posted on October 11, 2006 at 1:16 pm
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Beta test 1
CPU Speed: 1.26 - 1.5 GHz
Memory: 1.5 GB
Video: NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 Ultra
Display: Generic Flat Panel
HD Space: 81 - 120 GB
CD: Generic 48x
DVD: Generic 12x
Details: G4 1.3Ghz 7457 with 2Mb of L3 cache
its a 6200, not a 5200, and theres a C-VRM in there too
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