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HP, HP, Hooray!!! First recording in more than a year.

Posted by fiddlepogo on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Well, whichever two of you read my blog will know by now that my old computer died... well, almost.  It just got very unreliable and would shut down completely at weird times.

So I bought another one from the computer recyclers, a Hewlett-Packard.   And then, last week, I see this guy I've known since like 1984, and mention that I'd gotten this HP computer.... and he says:

"You should have asked us first- we have three or four in the garage!"  He worked for a corporation that at some point just gave him a few excess ones, all HP's, but he's a Mac guy, and so he hardly used them.

So he still wanted to get rid of them, and I wanted one for the bedroom to record with.

So I picked them up Saturday.

To keep them straight (since they are all HPs) I could nickname them Papa Bear (tower) Mama Bear (mid-sized tower) and Baby Bear (mini tower)

"Papa Bear" is a workstation from 2003 that at that time cost $3,000!!!!   Definitely well made.  And it was so fast for it's time that it's still not too bad as far as speed.  Pentium 4.  It was the hardest to get working since it had a dead CMOS battery, a RAM stick that popped a little loose, and was making a series of beeps that the manual said was a video card that need reseating.  I was ALMOST ready to give up on it when I finally got it to boot!  It also had a weird video connector.  Just on a hunch I went to the thrift store down the street and got the right adaptor for a buck, brand new in the package! 

"Mama Bear", the mid-tower,  is a Pavilion Media Center, about 3 GHz in speed, and 3 Gigs RAM... and it's an IntelVIIV, a 64 bit computer with two processors.  It's got Linux Mint Cinnamon on it.

"Baby Bear" is a Pavilion Slimline also with two processors, but AMDs, only 2 Gigs of RAM,  with each processor running at 2,5 GHz.

"Mama Bear" will probably make the best recording computer, although I'm going to try out Baby Bear first.

I also got a wide screen monitor and an old laser printer, both HPs.

I've got Linux Mint MATE on the one I bought and "Baby Bear", Linux Mint Cinnamon on "Mama Bear" and right now I have the MATE edition of Fedora on it. on Papa Bear, but that might change.

I'll probably use Papa Bear for storage of old stuff since it has more space for drives and autosenses new drives really well.  But it's kind of noisy, and that's not good for recording- the other two are much quieter.

Anyway, it's kind of a hobby of mine, I'm not really a full fledged computer geek, but I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what these old computers can do and then setting them up the way I want them.   And the HP's are much easier to work on- drives slide in and out, stuff like that.

I had been hoping that since they are all HP's, they would have compatible RAM specs, so I could move the RAM to the one with the fastest processor, but no such luck.

The downside of course is that I've been messing around so much with the computers, that I haven't practiced fiddle much at all this past week.  But at least I once again have a computer ready to record in my bedroom.


And, for the 8th of January and the Virtual Fiddle Festival, I actually recorded and posted something for the first time in more than a year.

First, I tried a condenser.... hopeless in this place- the traffic noise is ridiculous. 

Then I tried the Heil PR 35 on the top, and the Heil PR30 down and to the left.  Better, but still no cigar.

I got better sound when I raised the PR35 to five feet, and lowered the PR30 to about 2 feet.

That cut the edginess of the top sound and reduced the big low end peaks coming from underneath the fiddle.

1 comment on “HP, HP, Hooray!!! First recording in more than a year.”

ChickenMan Says:
Friday, January 9, 2015 @8:50:00 PM

Sounds like you scored! I look forward to some new recordings.

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