Bits & Bytes...
I'm so conflicted. I love the new Puddle of Mudd songs and the latest Eminem tune is as "toe tapping" as they come. But I'm trying very hard to stay committed to not purchasing any more music CD's while this whole "copy protect your music CD's by inserting pops and clicks so it sounds like an FM broadcast when you rip it to PC" thing is going on. The problem is that I love music and always have. I heard some of the songs off of that new "Animated Horse Movie" soundtrack from Brian Adams that I thought were good easy-listening tunes and immediately thought "I should go buy that!" However, my brain kicked in and said "Be strong, man." So now I'm sitting here lamenting the state of the record industry. RIAA boneheads. Argh!
So, to keep it simple, I'll stick with my “Pre-FM CD” Track of the Week and go with a single song.
Pre-FM CD Track Of The Week - “Emotions in Motion” from Billy Squier
Let us all hope that these lame record companies get the message when people stop buying their garbage and demand a return to the clear, unhampered 44.1 full stereo digital sound that we have grown accustomed to. We have learned our lesson, Napster is gone, it is time to lighten up, ok? After all, Eminem, even as crude and angry as he is, is a master with lyrics and I'm all about supporting the first amendment for a pasty rapper that has trouble with the law. His rapid-fire lyrics are pretty incredible when you filter out all the profanity. All I'm asking for is the ability to rip these tracks to MP3's so I can do that very filtering. Is that so much to ask for my 18 bucks?
CD Copying Redux
Speaking of music, I have been keeping up on the reviews of CD-R drives on a few sites and was pleased to learn that the new Lite-On 48x burner can mount some of the copy protected CD's out there, so at least you can rip the ones that do sound decent.
Remember the info on the Lite-On 24x burner that I discussed earlier? The OEM product? As it turns out, the 32x, 40x and 48x Lite-On drives all seem to be able to copy Safe Disk 2 drives with no problem at all. In fact, the Lite-On is becoming a major force in the industry. From the reviews I have read, the newish TDK VeloCD 40x12x48x internal is based on the Lite-On hardware, which means it too should be able to do full Safe Disk 2 backups and mount copy protected music CD's. Be sure to check out CDR-Info and CDR Labs for more details on these lightning fast burners.
I'm very pleased with my AMD XP 2000+ processor. It is very fast, very stable and thanks to the Volcano 7 heat sink, runs quite cool (for an Athlon). The MSI K7T266 Pro-2 board was a bit twitchy at first, at least until the 3.5 BIOS upgrade came out. There were troubles with the USB 2.0 implementation and the onboard sound still sucking up system resources even when you disabled it. But now, since that BIOS update and the inclusion of the latest Via 4-in-1 beta's, things are running much smoother. I know other people that have KT266A boards from other manufacturers, and only the MSI board that I have seems to have had even a slight hiccup. That is what you get for getting a board with so much stuff crammed into it. I don't think I'll ever get onboard audio again. What a pain. But I wanted USB 2.0 and RAID, so here we are.
Speaking of AMD, it looks like their 2200+ is barely an improvement over their 1900+, 2000+ or their 2100+, even with the .13 micron change. Maybe it is a little cooler and pulls less power, but that is about it. But regardless of all the FUD being pushed out by Intel Fanboys, as long as you have a good quality heat sink and fan combo with thermal compound between it and the surface of the chip, and you are careful strapping it down to the motherboard, the Athlon chips are as solid and reliable as they come. Yes, my next system will probably be a Pentium 4 with a 533 mhz FSB, but that is more because I like to mix my platforms for hardware compatibility testing than anything else. Of course, the Pentium 4 is the fastest, but it costs more, and I don't like the idea of supporting Rambus in any way, shape or form. Still, when you make part of your living based upon your knowledge of hardware, it would be irresponsible not to invest in the Pentium 4 platform so you can have hands-on experience with the 850 chipset and the new architecture. Plus, I will have bragging rights with they guys at the pizza joint who will be drooling over the massive FPS scores I'll get in Quake 3 Arena...