I just tried to play a CD on this P3 tower. The good thing about this is it has
two optical drives, so I can use the first CDrom drive for linux live cd and the
second for a music CD. This is yet another good thing about older PCs.
If you come across a spare optical drive, install it in your older PC, then
you can use these to do various tasks. The CD I loaded is a piano solo from
the dollar store. It took well over 5 minutes to load and was very slow to start,
however, it is playing it now and is very relaxing. Need to explore this feature
more. The software for this is pMusic and is a part of puppy linux OS.
Edit: Wow, I am glad that I decided to play it safe and look at process info.
when the CD was playing. Almost all memory was being used and
CPU usage at 100% when the CD was playing. Appears this is too much
effort for this old PC. Best to rip the CD\DVD and then play it from file.
Don't want this PC crashing.
To rip this audio CD it took almost an hour on this P3 tower.
Also, the file is quite big in mp3 format.
Next time if I have to do this, will try using the ogg format,
these are smaller in size. However, it is playing quite well for now
and this is pleasing to listen, old PC zen.
I feel I will benefit from buying a 16 or 32G USB flash drive to use with this
PC. This will be more peaceful as I can have a variety of audio etc., to listen
on this. Will reserve this for the future.
On a different note, I have to use a USB hub with this PC as there are only
two USB ports on this one. The end of this is heavy and due to its
weight, specially when other devices are attached, seems to be damaging
the wire slowly and create loose contact. I got this from dollar plus store
for 2 bucks. Will have to try duct tape on it in the future to hold it secure
to see if this helps. Another project for the future.
Edit: Even if I learn a new software or a hardware feature on this PC once
a week or once a month, it will still be a good learning experience in a year.
I don't have to be at this all the time.
On the hardware note, the PSU fan is making noise. It will be wise to
clean and oil it down the road to avoid future issues.
My uptime has slowly increased after I started using this old PC.
All my learning, browsing no matter how demanding for the day is done in
about an hour to an hour and a half. However, when used as a media center
this PC got an uptime of even ten hours recently listening to mp3s
and also streaming radio.
Today, I had a very sad experience, this PC stopped working when I tried to
rip a CD. It stressed me so much that I overate and went to sleep. I reminded
myself later that all this is an exercise for fun and I can always use a better
PC if needed. So, I booted this PC fresh and tried to rip the CD to ogg format
and now it seems to be working. So the lesson learned is that for hard
tasks, best to reboot PC after some rest and use it for the hard task first
before trying out anything else on it. Will see how it finishes the rip, the
size of the ogg files and if they play on this PC later.
Wow, it ripped the CD very well in about 25 minutes for the ogg format !!
Quite impressed. However, the file sizes are still larger than expected.
Perhaps by setting lower values for the bitrate etc., I could have reduced
then further. Still it is too much to store on this small flash drive.
If use a 16G USB drive, I can covert this PC into an excellent media center.
Last week, they were on sale for 10 bucks each. A friend adviced me to grab
3 of them atleast and I decided not to. This week I see a real need for one of
them, however they cost 13 bucks a piece now. Will reflect on this more, for
now I have the last 100 Mb or so free on my 2Gb USB drive. If this PC
crashes and anything happens to the data on the drive, it will be a
horrible disaster. This will be one another good reason to get a 16Gb
USB drive and backup everything on this USB into that one.
Not backing data is one of the worst things one can do with an older
unreliable PC but I am guilty of it now.
For now, I will enjoy listening to wonderful vocal music by a sweet
talented lady on this PC. I got this CD on the kerb a few months ago,
decided to grab it before the garbage collectors took it.