ThinkComputers Staff Holiday 2009 Wish List

Frank Stroupe
So you might wonder what a guy that gets processors, motherboards, memory, and video cards might wish for. If you are thinking elaborate, ubergeek stuff, you’d be wrong. My tastes are relatively simple and practical, stuff that I actually need and will use daily. Since I am wishing, I may as well wish for higher-end stuff, but practical stuff nonetheless. The last item is a little much, but one of those “I gotta” items.

QNAP TS-239 Pro


I’ve had the need a long time for network storage. I still use a single external drive shared between the different rigs on my network and it has become somewhat of a pain. The QNAP TS-239 Pro is probably overkill for me, but I like the fact it’s a Linux box, runs an Atom processor, and has two bays. It sells for $500.

Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB


And with that new NAS, I’ll need some drives to fill those empty bays. One or two Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Deskstar 7K2000 2TB 3.5” SATA drives would definitely fit the bill. I’ve been using Hitachi drives for years and really like them. A pair of 2TB drives would take care of my storage needs for a long time. They are around $170 each.

Samsung 2433BW 24” Monitor


It’s kind of a bummer reviewing today’s new video cards on my 19” monitors. I had a 20” at one time, but it didn’t even have a DVI connector. I’ve always loved Samsung’s LCDs, both monitors and televisions, they always looked the best when I’ve done side by side comparisons in stores. I’ve never owned one though. The Samsung 2433BW 24” monitor has a resolution of 1920 x 1200, and would go a long way towards doing justice on a review of an upper-end video card. They run around $300.

I use my rig for listening to music, actually 99% of my music listening is done at my workstation. I also occasionally record and mix songs, and I have yet to find a “computer speaker” that suits my purpose, I need higher quality speakers than what you generally find designed for PCs. My JBL model 4311 studio monitors still sound great, but I’ve had them since 1979 and have moved at least a dozen times since then, so they are the worse for wear. They are a little large too, nearly 2’ tall. I will probably miss the thought of 12” speakers, but JBL’s ES30CH has 6.5” woofers and have excellent sound. They run about $270 each.

Jolida JD707A


Finally, for the past years I have really wanted to replace my solid state stereo amp that I run my rig through with a vacuum tube stereo amp. Yeah, I know, connecting a computer to an amp using nearly 100 year old technology is anachronistic, but I love that tube sound. Tube stereo amplifiers have a wide range of prices, there is actually a kit for one for under $200, and the best of the best cost over $10,000. The Jolida JD707A has exceptional styling but is reasonably priced at $1200.

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