Friday, June 20, 2008

Well, that was easy...

I finished my "quiet the living room" project. It was actually alot easier than I expected. As I noted before, my goal was to remove the somewhat noisy hard disk from my home theater PC and replace it with a silent compact flash card. I ended up choosing the Ridata 8GB 233x CF card as my drive. It seemed to get good reviews and I was impressed that the company took the time to respond to people's problems on the website.

Once I got the drive, I was pleased to find that my card reader that I had installed in the machine that used a USB connection was supported quite well as a boot device. I had also decided to change from Fedora Core to CentOS as my operating system. This was done mostly because Fedora is a quickly moving target of releases and updates while CentOS goes through less transformations. Since I don't update the OS of the PC often, this fit better in my plans. Other than that, they are nearly identical, having both stemmed from the venerable RedHat distribution.

Installing the OS was simple and I was again pleased to find that the 233x CF card performed nearly as well as my aging 10GB hard disk. With the OS installed, getting the drivers and applications reinstalled was simple (I've done it so many times now it's old hat). We watched two nights of So You Think You Can Dance in HD on it now, and haven't had any problems. The only question now is whether I can turn down the CPU fan any to reduce that noise. Maybe with less heat in the case from the drive that might work.

All in all, not a bad $40 upgrade. The only issue is that sometimes on boot, the drive isn't recognized or has some kind of error. I think this is due to the aforementioned USB reader not being initialized quick enough during the boot. I will probably end up buying a CF to IDE adapter so that the flash drive appears like a normal hard disk to the OS. This should eliminate that issue or at least remove that as a possibility and point me towards other possible causes.

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