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Episode 13: Optical Drives – Show Notes

CD – 650 to 700 MB
DVD – 4.3 to 4.7 GB  or 8.5GB
Blu-Ray – 25 to 50 GB (single layer) or 50 to 100 GB (dual layer) Gained its name for its blue-violet laser at 405nmTypically in all 3 standards there are some common features and specifications

  1. Read Speed
  2. Write Speed
  3. PATA
  4. SATA
  5. Media - Single Layer or Dual Layer

Grebog’s thoughts on media


Posted in Hardware, Optical Drive, Show Notes.

Episode 13: Optical Drives

Times change and so do optical drives. Grebog and Malkor talk about the various optical drives and the media they use. After that we discuss the trend of what was and what likely will be for optical media and most media.




Posted in Hardware, Optical Drive, Podcast.

Episode 12: Soundcards – Show Notes

Typically a sound card is designed for the best output possible at the price range they are designing it for. If you are looking for a good sound card for recording quality input audio, you will likely need to buy a special card for that or find another means.


PCI – still the most common version of sound cards
PCIex1 – A handful and typically these have the 7.1 surround sound, and likely need the higher bandwidth of PCIe to give quality 7.1 or greater
External – Firewire or USB – If you don’t have a slot available, don’t worry, you can get quality audio too

Channels (out)

2 – Left and Right
4 – Front Left/Right and Back Left/Right
5.1 – Front Left/Right/Center, Subwoofer, Back Left/Right
7.1 Front – Front Left/Right/Center, Subwoofer, Back Left/Right, Front Left of Center, Front Right of Center
7.1 Surround -Front Left/Right/Center, Subwoofer, Back Left/Right, Side Left/Right
9.1 Surround – (not seeing this yet on sound cards) – Front Left/Right/Center, Subwoofer, Back Left/Right, Side Left/Right, (or Front Left of Center, Front Right of Center,) Front Left Height, Front Right Height

There are also standards for 10.2, and 22 Channel surround sound and are typically used in theater setups, so if you are going for a home theater and have the room for the speakers, look for something with these.

If you are wondering what the .1 or .2 mean, those denote subwoofers. Since a subwoofer does not produce a primary audio channel, ie front left or front right.
Connections (outputs) - 3.5mm TRS (Tip, Ring, Sleeve), S/PDIF Optical, RCA, HDMI

Specialty sound cards designed for their inputs.

Connections (inputs) -XLR, 1/4″ analog I/O, optical and coaxial S/PDIF I/O, RCA, and MIDI I/O


Posted in Hardware, Show Notes, Soundcards.

Episode 12: Soundcards

Soundcards bring the experience to you and surrounds you. Grebog and Malkor talk about various aspects about soundcards and what makes up some of the settings for them. At the end Grebog discusses the audio input cards designed for recording.




Posted in Hardware, Podcast, Soundcards.

Episode 11: Geeking out on Hard Drives – Show Notes

Platter Drives – Also known as spindle drives and was first invented back in 1954 by IBM.

As time went a more standardized setup developed and popularity of PCs increased this standardization.

  1. 8″ – 1979 started by Shugart Associates
  2. 5.25″ – 1980  started by Seagate
  3. 3.5″ – 1984 by Rodime
  4. 2.5″ – 1988 by PrairieTek
  5. 1.8″ – 1993 by Integral Peripherals
  6. 1″ – 1999 by IBM’s Microdrive to CF Type II slot
  7. 0.85″ – 2004 by Toshiba – currently holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest hard disk
Boosting Performance
  • Defrag – When adding/removing programs and files, eventually your spindle hard drive (spindle only see performance drops) will become fragmented
SSD – Solid State Drive – Simplest way to describe it, they work very much like RAM, but really are EEPROM – Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory.
Hard Drive Repair
  • Paying someone to do it: Gillware: personally used, very happy with my experience with them.
  • Freezing the hard drive
  • Replacing the controller board

Posted in Hard Drive, Hardware, Show Notes.

Episode 11: Geeking out on Hard Drives

If you ever wanted to know some of the core mechanics and history of computer hard drives, then this is the episode for you. Malkor and Grebog also talk about how to short stroke your spindle hard drive and answer the question of what you can or may have to do if you have a hard drive failure.




Posted in Hard Drive, Hardware, Podcast.

New Microphones for everyone!

Okay, maybe not everyone. If you may have noticed, Malkor sounded much more awesome in quality in Episode 10 than he has before. That is because, I could not stand it any more, the line noise in his sound was making it fun to edit. Needless to say in editing I did my best, but it was making it quite a bit of work. But, Malkor now has a Samson C01U that I had shipped to him. And because I like toys too, I purchased myself a new microphone as well. Mine is still cooler, er I mean…you may be able to hear a better quality of sound from me as well, but it may not be as big of a difference as it was for Malkor’s sound.


Posted in Status Update.

Episode 10: Hard Drive Basics – Show Notes

Common Specifications:
  1. Interface – This basically refers to the form and architecture of the communications link between the hard drive and the rest of the computer
    1. PATA – Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment
    2. SATA – Serial ATA
    3. SCSI – Small Computer System Interface
    4. SAS – Serial Attached SCSI
    5. CF Compatible – Compact Flash
  2. Capacity – size matters!
  3. Cache
  4. RPM – Revolutions Per Minute
  5. Average Latency
  6. Physical Spec./Form Factor – Form factor generally comes in three flavors:  3.5″, 2.5″ and 1″ (more detail on this in next episode)
    1. S.M.A.R.T. – Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology HDD Health is nice and simple
    RAID configurations – RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks
    1. RAID 0 – “Striping”
    2. RAID 1 – “Mirrored”
    3. RAID 2
    4. RAID 3 or 4
    5. RAID 5
    6. RAID 6
    7. RAID 10 – This is also known as RAID 1+0
    8. RAID 01 – This is also known as RAID 0+1

    Links Mentioned in Episode:

    HDD Health


    Posted in Hard Drive, Hardware, Show Notes.

    Episode 10: Hard Drive Basics

    Learn the basics about what to look for in hard drives. Malkor and Grebog discuss the different communication protocols and the other various specifications on hard drives and what pertains to a spindle hard drive and a solid state hard drive. We also let you know what you need to look for to get an apples to apples type of comparison between a solid state hard drive and a spindle hard drive.




    Posted in Hard Drive, Hardware, Podcast.

    Episode 9: Videocards Part 2 – Show Notes

    1. Crossfire
    2. EyeFinity
    1. SLI – Scalable Linked Interface
    2. News: April 13, 2010




    Samsung gears some monitors for Eyefinity6

    PC Perspective’s article on the Ostendo curved monitor setup


    Posted in Hardware, Show Notes, Video Cards.