The Vista conversion is complete!

The two week upgrade process can't all be blamed on Microsoft. The last couple of days involved replacing cables and other hardware (who knew there were four different VGI cable formats? After ordering the wrong ones, now I do.)

In any case, the system is now honky dory. My objective was to have a single hardware and digital connection platform that could handle all my media, communications and entertainment software and services. It is done. The new system has rendered phone, cable TV, Tivo, DVD player, and stereo obsolete.

Several things remain to be upgraded. Hi-def audio cards are still not compatible with Vista. Hopefully Microsoft and the main card manufacturers will have that worked out by the summer. That said, the hi-def software in Vista today isn't bad at all. Upgrading to a sound card with its own chip is only really necessary if you're running a high end home theater sound system, which I'm not.

I didn't upgrade the DVD player to hi-def either. First, it's not clear which of the new hi-def DVD formats will win (HDDVD or Blueray). But also, my bet is that the DVD will go the way of the 45. I've been downloading all my movies for a couple of years now and I expect hi-def movies to start becoming available in the next couple of years. (By the way, check out the new MLB premium. Video quality is great.)

Finally, the internet link is still copper cable. I'm hoping that Verizon Fios (fiber to the home) will be available in South Carolina before the beach moves to Tennessee. If it does ever comes here, that will complete the circle. Fiber allows for video communications (due to similar upload/download speeds), which is the next big step.

The new computer is completely upgradeable. We built it with the best motherboard and duo core processor on the market today and and a big case so that things are easily added. But as it is, my business software (ASP), stock trading software, streaming video and Skype phone work simultaneously without a glitch. The peer-to-peer video stream I use for Fox News Channel doesn't hinder the system at all.

Now, if someone would just build a fast browser.



9:04 AM

Too bad your biz software demands you use Windows. Mac OS upgrades are infinitely simpler.