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Evil Steve


F*cking Belkin. I used to think that Belkin were great; their products worked fine, and were pretty cheap. Well lately I've been finding out why they're cheap.

First, my friend's Belkin router died (Kept crashing every 10 mins or so), and then the replacement died too.
Secondly, their "Free international tech support" number isn't free - it's local rate. It used to be free apparently, but when I phoned up about a year or so ago (Probably nearer 6 months now I think about it), I was told to phone some other local rate number.
Third, when I installed a wireless USB adapter on my Vista media center, I had to download the driver from their site, because it wasn't on the disc or included with Windows. And that's the sort of thing that annoys me - having to look online for to fix the component of your PC that gets you online in the first place.
Fourth, I've just found out (The hard way) that Belkin STILL don't have any Vista x64 drivers for their wireless USB adapter. I mean come on - Vista x64 has been out for what? A year now?

So I spent two hours installing Vista x64 and windows updates (Via a wired connection), before realising that Vista x64 drivers don't exist for it, meaning that I have to either use the 32-bit version, or go and buy another wireless adapter. And that requires effort.

So... Vista Ultimate 32-bit is going on my dad's media center PC. I know Ultimate is overkill for a media center, but I can get it for $45 through the Microsoft Company Store with my MVP dollars [smile]
Anyone know if there's any amazing reason for me to stop what I'm doing and go for x64 after all?

Specifications are:
  • ASRock motherboard of some sort (I don't care what it is so long as it has 3 PCI slots and PCI-E :P)
  • AMD64 4000+
  • 1GB DDR2 800
  • ATI Sapphire HD 2600XT (Passive cooled)
  • SoundBlaster Audigy SE 7.1
  • Card reader
  • 500GB SATA drive
  • DVD-RW
  • Windows Media remote
  • Microsoft wireless Laser Desktop 5000

    One annoying thing is that the motherboard only has one USB header on it, and the card reader needs that. So the front two case USB ports aren't wired up. On the plus side, the card reader has one USB port on it, so that can be used for plugging in USB sticks and the like.

    Anyway, I'm off to continue installing crap
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    As you are only installing 1gig of ram 64bit would probably be overkill anyways; for less than 4gig of RAM in a machine (and here is debate even on that) you might as well stick with 32bit.

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    Original post by phantom
    As you are only installing 1gig of ram 64bit would probably be overkill anyways; for less than 4gig of RAM in a machine (and here is debate even on that) you might as well stick with 32bit.
    Well, I was considering upping it to 2GB, since Vista seems to be spluttering a little with some things, and another gig stick is pretty cheap. Originalyl I wanted a 64-bit OS on it so it could be upgraded pretty easily without needing to reinstall Windows on it, but then I suppose it's not going to be upgraded much, if at all anyway...

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    I've had some interesting experiences with Belkin myself.

    I have one of their USB Bluetooth adapters, which works with Vista without needing to dig out drivers manually. A slightly more up-to-date version of the same hardware, however, requires the installation of 10 or so unsigned drivers (one for each different Bluetooth device) which is more than a little tedious, and requires the use of a non-removable and barely-functional "My Bluetooth Places" control panel to transfer files.

    A USB 2 video capture cable of theirs (advertised as incompatible with Vista) works if you install the drivers in XP compatibility mode, then manually select the driver through device manager. Part of the reason Windows can't tell that the driver matches the hardware could be that whilst the cable is called a "Hi-Speed USB 2.0 DVD Creator" the driver package installs itself as "My USB Digital Still Camera".

    Against my better judgement I bought one of their wireless routers (reduced to £40 and came bundled with a USB WiFi adapter). The WiFi adapter didn't require any fiddling around with drivers, but does periodically occasionally cause the PC to completely lock up (usually when being inserted or removed, but sometimes when it feels like it).

    Suffice it to say that the router flatly refused to connect to our ISP until I'd reflashed its firmware.

    Sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised by cheap hardware, though. I bought myself one of these DVB-T tuners. Driver installation was a snap, and though the bundled software is pretty horrible the drivers are BDA compatible so should work with Windows Media Center.

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    Visat!? Run away! Having a 'fun' time with it myself.
    Just installed a linksys router (more fun) looks to be recommended by lots of people, and seems to do business, but you never know...

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