My new computer

Merlin admires the 25-inch monitor on my new computer

I finally got a new computer last week (and only now am I posting it on my blog). No, it wasn’t a Christmas gift. It is a long, unhappy story that began when I tried to order a computer from Dell back in mid-October. The happy ending has arrived and here is a picture of my new computer as installed on my computer desk:

Note the enormous monitor. :-) Incidentally, in this picture my computer desk is the neatest it is ever going to be.

Here are some details, for those who might be interested:

  • Manufacturer: PCs for Everyone
  • CPU: Intel quad-core i7, 3.06 GHz
  • RAM: 12 GB @1333 MHz
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce N250GTS OC 1GB
  • Monitor: 25″ LCD
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional
  • Price: Not at all cheap
Morgana inside a computer box

Morgana, being approximately invisible inside a large box.

It came in 3 boxes (one for the monitor, one for the computer itself, and a third for the uninterruptible power supply.

The cats, of course, were initially more excited by the boxes than by the computer. That changed once I started playing games on the big 25″ monitor and they had something at which to bat. Here’s a picture of Morgana enjoying the empty monitor box. Look carefully because she’s nigh invisible. Yes, she really is that cute.

Now, the 25″ monitor is huge, and a big improvement over my “old” 21″ LCD. It’s actually wide enough to open and edit two documents side by side. If only I had one of these at work. It’s also great for playing games, of course. But with this new computer, I’ve got something even better:

Civilization 4 on a 52-inch TV

Flat-screen TVs: They're not just for console games

How to Hook Up Your Computer to a Flat-Screen TV

Now, if you are brimming with envy at my ability to play Civilization IV on a 52″ TV, or if you just want to set this sort of thing up for yourself, here’s how:

  1. Get permission from your spouse. This may involve negotiation. Do not skip this step. :-)
  2. Acquire a video card with an HDMI output (preferably, two). You can also use a video card with DVI output if you buy a DVI-to-HDMI converter.
  3. Set up the TV and the computer in the same room.
  4. Buy the following components:
    • Wireless mouse
    • Wireless keyboard
    • A very long HDMI cable. You can get them reasonably cheap online: I found a 25-foot cable for about $30.
  5. Then just run the cable along the baseboard from your PC to the TV, and up (or through) the wall to an unused HDMI input. Alternatively, if all your HDMI inputs are already used up (or you just don’t want the hassle of snaking another cable through the wall) you can get an HDMI switch for about $20.

    HDMI cables are usually black. You might want to pick up a plastic cable track from your local hardware store so you can cover it up. You might win bonus points with your spouse if you paint the cable track to be the same color as the wall.