Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Feb 2007 17:29 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems was so kind to send me the Dell w1700, a 17" widescreen multi-purpose monitor (by lack of a better term). It can serve as a television and a computer monitor at the same time, and the amount of connection possibilities is just scary. Read on for a review.
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Booting your computer to play a CD *would* be stupid, and I don't know why you insist that's how it has to be.

My desktop gets turned off. My laptop gets turned off. My entertainment center server is always on. Boot time is NOT a factor. No one is suggesting that you use your desktop computer in your entertainment center.

I don't want to search for a CD and load it into my player. I just select the album, song, or playlist and it plays. Right now, faster than I could find the CD on my shelves. In my living room, in my bedroom, or in my computer room. It's faster and easier than using my old player.

I don't doubt that you've seen bad interfaces on some applications. So have I. And I've seen bad interfaces on some components. Bad interfaces are not inherent in either approach, and neither are good interfaces.

If I were to apply your complaints about computers in entertainment systems to components, I'd say that components take too long to play a CD because of the time it takes to plug in the cables, decipher the confusing connector labels, find the CD in the box of random stuff in the other room, clean the CD, unwrap the shrinkwrap, and replace the batteries in the remote control. All of those issues can happen, but all of them are either one-time issues or are avoided in well-configured systems. So are the issues you raise.

A proper computer-based entertainment system can be fast and easy to use. Your desktop is not a proper entertainment system, it's designed for other uses. Try a dedicated entertainment system someday, preferably before dismissing the idea again.

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