Geeks in Phoenix

Geek Blog


Using Dual Monitors in Windows (Video)

A little while back, I wrote an article on using Dual Monitors. Here's a snippet:

"With newer computers having the ability to run multiple displays, here is a ‘Geek Tip’ for those of you thinking about using two monitors on one computer. There are various scenarios, and I am going to describe just a few. I currently have two systems here with dual monitor setups."

Here's a video showing the two different computer scenarios I have that use dual monitors in Windows.

Custom Cases: The Antec Skeleton

In my Geek Tips article outlining my Beta test of Microsoft Windows 7, I needed a computer to install it on. What I built is sweet, specification wise, but the case steals the show. Still, photos do not do this case justice, so here's a video. Check out the Geeks in Phoenix Windows 7 test system inside the Antec Skeleton!

Beta testing Windows 7 - Part5 (BIOS and installation)

I finished assembling the Windows 7 test system in about three hours. The wring for the Antec Skeleton case proved to be a challenge. But I was ready for it, like the Antec P-180 I have also has a unique wring layout (the power supply is located at the bottom of the case, instead of the top, as with most mid-tower designs).

Click here to see it in operation

I was a little taken away the first time I started it up. The 250mm multi-led fan on top does a great job of cooling and looks very cool when running. Still, photos just cannot capture the look of this system in operation. So I am creating a video of the system running and will post the link here to it on YouTube when it's finished. The first thing I did was go into the system BIOS.

Windows 7 test system BIOS screen 1

The Main screen shows that the Intel Core2 Quad Q8400 processor has a 64-bit architecture, and Core Multiplexing Technology is enabled.

Windows 7 test system BIOS screen 2

The Security screen shows that Intel VT and Intel VT for Directed I/O is enabled. We are ready to load up Windows 7 RC1. I booted to the installation DVD, started the install and had it done in about 20 minutes.

Windows 7 test system System Properties dialog box

The System properties dialog box shows the system type as the 64-bit version. I am ready to load some software.

Beta testing Windows 7 - Part4 (Antec cases)

Antec cases have always been great investments, as I have owned several. They range from ...

Antec AT Server Tower
an old Antec AT Server Tower, circa '97-98,
Antec Mid-tower
Antec Mid-tower
Fuax Stone and Chalkboard
of course, the Faux Stone and Chalkboard is one,
Antec P180
and my Antec P180, with dual air-flow chambers

I guess it won't be a surprise when I tell you I decided to go with Antec. Their designs are terrific. And the latest one is sweet. It's called the Skeleton. Click here to see it in operation.

Here are the specifications on it:

Case Type Open Case Design
Color Metallic Silver
Dimensions 13”(H) x 14.8”(W) x 16.5”(D)
33.02 (H) x 37.6 cm (W) x 41.9 cm (D)
Weight 15.5 lbs / 7 kg
Cooling 1 x Super Big Boy 250mm Multi-LED Fan
1 x 92mm Hard Drives Fan
Drive Bays 2 x Quick Release 5.25” Bays
2 x Quick Release 3.5” Bays
4 x Externally Mounted 3.5” Bays
Motherboard Size Mini-ITX, MicroATX, Standard ATX
Front I/O Panel 1 x IEEE 1394 Firewire
2 x USB 2.0
1 x eSATA
AC’97/HD Audio In and Out

It's build time.

Beta testing Windows 7 - Part3

Well, I went shopping, and here is what I came up with. I like to utilize local vendors whenever possible, but this system had a processor requirement that I could not find cheaply from my favorite vendor. I wanted a Quad-core processor that has Virtual Technology (VT). I also want to be able to assign programs to cores (very cool!). I did a little research and found the Intel Q8400 processor a good match. It has Quad cores, Virtual Technology, and was the cheapest I could find in-stock locally. My first stop was at Fry's Electronics, where I picked up a ...

Intel Q8400
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400

I then went over to my friends at Technology Partners Inc., where I picked up the rest of the components (less the case, that's coming). Here's the list of parts:

Intel DG41RQ Motherboard
Intel DG41RQ Motherboard
Buffalo DDR2 PC6400
Buffalo DDR2 PC6400 Memory (2gb x 2)
Microstar NX8400GS
Microstar NX8400GS Video Card
Western Digital 3200AAKS
Western Digital 320 GB Hard Drive
Liteon 24x DVD-RW
Liteon 24x DVD-RW
iMicro 500 watt Power Supply
iMicro 500 watt Power Supply

All these components have standard specifications, except for the motherboard. Considering that I am going to use a 64-bit operating system, I need to have a larger amount of memory. Using a 64-bit operating system, I am also getting past the 4 gigabyte memory limit that plaques 32-bit. The Intel DG41RQ has a maximum memory capacity of 8 GB (2 x 4GB). Since 2GB modules are relatively inexpensive, I decided to go with 4GB of memory (2 x 2GB) for right now.

Since Windows 7 is built on Windows Vista, finding drivers was simple. Intel and NVidia, both have Windows 7 32 and 64-bit drivers on their web sites.

I guess it's time to build this system. But I still need a case. I think I'll see what Antec has been up to.

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