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Maybe Rory was Right? Missing my Xbox again.

Rory – in what was widely* hailed as the Worst Idea Ever – suggested that single-purpose well-optimized OSs might be an Interesting Idea.

I tried to gently shoot him down with a soft, loving nuke or two at the time, but now, I find myself wondering if he was actually clinically ill, or a prescient speaker of the future. See, I have this Xbox. Yeah, the same Xbox I’ve whined about on this blog before. It has a problem again, since the x64 upgrade. In a word: drivers. Yeah, I know an Xbox doesn’t use drivers, but to play one via a PC, you need video capture drivers.

Or do you…? The problem is mostly the Apple 20″ widescreen monitor I use. It has DVI only, because it’s built for use with an Apple only. A couple of friends picked up a Dell 24″ Wide 2405FPW for $AUD1500 (um, about $USD1100 or so, ish), which I thought was *amazingly* cheap, and they noted that it has DVI, S-Video, Composite, component in – generally everything you need to plug a non-PC device into it, plus picture-in-picture, picture-by-picture.

“Hahahaha”, they laugh, “Hahahaha! How much did you pay for yours again?”


“Hahahaha! No, really, I’m sure it’s wonderful.”



You know, you’re really not very good friends.


All of which got me thinking, while I was trying to find some lime with which to fill the pit – let’s review the current situation.

  • DVICo FusionHDTV card with TV input – no x64 drivers (and I really appreciate their being upfront about it).
  • Nvidia Geforce 6600GT w/ VIVO – no WDM Video Capture drivers for x64.
  • Monitor: no non-DVI inputs, so any solution pretty much has to go via the PC.

Which is rapidly leading me to an unpleasant choice:

  • Buy an $AUD900 (on special this week) Dell 2005FPW (all the same inputs as the 2405FPW), and give the Apple to my parents. Apple cost $2200 at the time. Retrospective economic pain may outweigh level of generosity.
  • Buy a small LCD TV for the Xbox – for more money than the Dell Flat Screen!? (are LCD TV makers insane!? How much can a tuner and a couple of speakers cost?) er – so while I tried to impulse-buy one this weekend, I was left upset and confused. I think it may have showed, the store people kept well away…

  • Buy a second hard drive and plonk a dedicated dual-boot copy of Windows XP, 32-bit with all the drivers I need on it for Xbox gaming only. Not allowed to use it for anything else.

See, Forza Motorsport just came out, and I’m hungry for a taste of the action. Plus, it solves my Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory problem neatly, by letting me get the Xbox (avec Live) version. Though it could be argued that with a 32-bit dual boot, I could just install it in that copy. But that defeats the purpose. It has to be a targeted, short-duration boot.

The buy-another-20-inch-monitor-and-give-the-current-one-away idea appeals to me, mainly on the basis that I could paint the bevel silver in a futile attempt to hide it from my girlfriend, before angrily accusing her of having problems with her short term memory, but I think I’ve played that card already this year.

Sigh. What would you do?