Remote Gaming Console Idea

Gaming Laptop

I like to play games, like millions of the rest of us. And I have several machines to do that, unlike many of us. But my career was software engineering, so that’s to be expected.

But I have a problem that millions of the rest of us have too. Gaming laptops don’t work very well for serious gaming, and gaming desktops work great, but are cumbersome to sit next to.

I’d much rather be sitting in my recliner with my 15 inch gaming laptop while I play my MMO, or Black Ops, or whatever, than propped up in an office, or gaming chair, in front of my big screen gaming desktop.

Continue reading “Remote Gaming Console Idea”

Jetway Atom D525 System Works

Thermaltake SD100 Case

The Jetway Atom D525 based system is running with Ubuntu 10.04.

The goals for the system are:

  1. Employ an Intel Atom D525 processor – a high performance dual processor system.
  2. Employ an Nvidia ION2 graphics processor designed for high performance netbooks / nettops. With DVI and HDMI display outputs.
  3. Support DDR2 memory, so that I could use memory parts I already have rather than purchasing new DDR3 SODIMM memory.
  4. Have a nice case with an internal power supply rather than an external power supply.
  5. Run Ubuntu.

Continue reading “Jetway Atom D525 System Works”

Ubuntu 10.04 – Problem playing DVDs


  1. Use regionset to set the region code if it’s not set.
  2. Use gxine, which is a more robust dvd player application.
  3. Now it plays most protected DVDs as well as unprotected ones.

Just installed Ubuntu 10.04 x64 on a mini-ITX system and would like to play DVDs. I’d like to use this as an entertainment system.

It plays non-protected DVDs just fine.

I have followed instructions here:

Including the part about chmod chgrp in the trouble shooting part.

But protected DVDs give me this error:

MoviePlayer Error

Here’s the package manager showing what’s installed that might be relevant:

DVD_Packages_installed (click for larger)

Any clues about what might be wrong?



AlienFX Software – Bugs / Workarounds

AlienFX Fusion Woops

Based on a forum post, the AlienFX hardware now works, but if you use this software on Win 7 x64, there appears to be a problem.

It was indicated that the Alien Fusion component would not work, but the problem is that there is a memory leak or other problem that causes the program to apparently grow without bound. After several hours, I found that the AlienFusionController.exe was 1.7GB image size in memory. Clearly a problem. Continue reading “AlienFX Software – Bugs / Workarounds”

AlienFX – Software Found

AlienFX Head

I assume you have been following the continuing saga of the non-working AlienFX under Win7 / Vista x64.

OMG.. A fellow from the UK had a solution for his Alienware ALX-58 system. So I got his private download and it works just fine.

Here is a post that contains the downloads in a later reply that I used.

So no board to make, no more hassles and it even supports the animation of the zones that I have.


I can’t believe that Alienware support were completely out to lunch that they had a solution all the time.

– w

AlienFX Static Lighting Refined

Board with Programming

After considering the previous design for an AlienFX static lighting board, I have come up with a new design that simplifies the layout and the programming of the board. The previous design used pin headers and jumpers and required resistors on the board. This design uses socket headers and is programmed by inserting resistors and wires. Continue reading “AlienFX Static Lighting Refined”

AlienFX Static Lighting Solution

AlienFX Side Light

The AlienFX Lighting feature of older Alienware desktop systems – 2006-2008 – is not supported by Alienware for Vista x64 or Windows 7 x64. These operating systems are required to support memory beyond 2.7GB or 3.x GB depending on the motherboard of the system. This means that any system that has been upgraded does not have a working AlienFX lighting feature. This was discussed this in detail in a previous post.

Since I plan to get another decade or so of use from my Alienware P2 case, I’m designing a static lighting solution for my system. By static I mean a board that mates with the existing connectors for power and LEDs, and allows setting the colors, but does not support animation, and does not require any drivers, or USB connection. Anyone with this case and a recent version of Windows or Linux, will benefit from a lighting solution. Continue reading “AlienFX Static Lighting Solution”

Alienware System Gone Dark

AlienFX Side Panel

Since May 2007 I have had an Alienware 7500-R4 system. Here is the configuration. At the time Alienware shipped systems with 4GB or more, but only supported Vista x86, which meant in my case that I only had access to 2.7GB of the 4GB that I purchased.

Lights Did Work

The AlienFX software worked for about 2 years after I upgraded to Vista x64, apparently because a flash memory on the ELC board – Electronic Lighting Control?  – saved the settings. But when I upgraded the system to 8GB recently, the system came up dark, and the lights have never re-appeared. My case is now permanently dark. Continue reading “Alienware System Gone Dark”

Build a Mini-Desktop

Thermaltake SD100

Modern components make it easy and inexpensive to build a mini-desktop system. This case looks more like a somewhat large DVD player than a computer but it is a very high quality – completely steel – case made for home theater systems. I’ve put together a configuration for a modern desktop using this case. The total price is less than $600 including a monitor, wireless keyboard/ mouse and about $450 without a monitor, kb/mouse.

Continue reading “Build a Mini-Desktop”