I know…..

It’s been too long – but I’ve been busy!

Work is hectic, I’ve booked a round the world trip (more info to come soon on that…), and there’s just generally been a lot going on …..

I’ve been playing with U3 and the Portable Apps suite in the last couple of weeks – and Portable Apps has won the battle – my Sandisk Cruzer Micro 8Gb U3 drive has been formatted and Portable Apps installed – it’s mostly the same applications – but it’s less “intrusive” 🙂

My Home Server is a little more stable now – but I guess I’m going to have to save up and buy a “proper” one at some point (I like these), the mix and match approach doesn’t really seem to be conducive to a stable server and a happy backup database…. thankfully I’ve not had to try and restore any data recently!

Another bonus is that the “XBox360 as a Media Centre Extender” concept that I introduced to the house 6 months ago is finally gaining some traction, Becs is getting the hang of streaming DVD’s (converted to HD-WMV and stored on the Server) and I’m giving serious thought to getting an “Arcade” for the other TV in the Kitchen / Diner to allow us to stream to there as well…more for music admittedly, but with HDMI it’s as capable as my Elite for video 🙂 I’m just waiting for a black version to appear now…..

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Home Server coming…. home?

Having been in the beta since it first went public, and absolutely loved the product, to say I was very excited when the announcement was made that Windows Home Server (WHS) had RTM’d would be something of an understatement!! 

Now that it’s available in the UK for a reasonable price…. I’ve ordered my copy 🙂

Novatech are selling it for £86.95 inc. VAT – considerably less that some other resellers in the UK, which is nice…… 🙂

In addition to this, I’ve ordered up some big (500Gb) SATA disks and USB caddies for them. The disks are lovely and cheap from SVP and they are supplying the caddies as well – USB 2.0 ones that support SATA / IDE / eSATA so I’m future proofed for a while at least….The plan is to rebuild the server “properly” – this will involve wiping all the data and starting again – so there’s some BIG backups to run once it’s complete…. the only downside at the moment is that I only have USB 1.1 on my old server chassis 🙁  so I’m looking for a supported PCI card with USB2.0 ports now.

I suspect it’ll be a week or so before I have all the bits and I’m ready to start – but I’ll post my first impressions of the finished product once I have it built. I’ll also be posting some stuff on the fun and games I’ve had trying to get a reliable wireless connection for my XBox 360 so I can use it as a Media Centre Extender – 802.11a might be more “reliable” but it’s not easy to find hardware (at least not here in the UK) – that’s all I’ll say for now…..

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Finally…..

I’ve got myself an XBox360! I waited for the Elite version to come out here before I bit the bullet… so I now have 1080i gaming on the 42″ flat screen in the lounge 🙂 🙂 🙂

They were released the day before my birthday in the UK – and I figured that turning 30 was a good enough excuse for going for it…. I have to say, I’m VERY impressed all in all, it’s a well joined up process, and moving my gamertag over from the old XBox to the 360 was a doddle (once I remembered all my login details heheh)

One fun thing I’ve found that ties in is that you can get your 360 to blog – it’s all automated, and you can see my consoles’ blog here …. I’ll be intrigued to see how this develops as I game more and play around with the Video Marketplace etc.

So far I have to say that my favourite games are Bioshock and Forza Motorsport 2 – both very different, but excellent in their own ways.

More to come as I delve further into the games etc. If you fancy a game then please feel free to ad me – gamertag is jackeales

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