Building a HTPC Part 4

It has been a while since I have blogged about my HTPC project. I must say the project has progressed really well and I am happy with my HTPC. There have been a lot of enhancements done to my HTPC. Here are the ones I would like to mention:

Hardware

Blu-ray drive: My HTPC finally has a blu-ray drive, and it is rocking! Thanks to my generous girlfriend who bought me this for the Valentine’s Day. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151222

Computer Case: I also replaced the outer case with one that is more spacious and ventilated. The old case was too cramped to put a blu-ray drive and play blu-ray movies. Fortunately, I got a really good deal on newegg.com for a case that’s awesome! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147060

Solid-State Drive: Besides, the blu-ray drive and a new case, I also put a Solid State Hard Drive in the system and this has really boosted the performance of the system, especially the booting and shutdown. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005F30IJK/ref=oh_o01_s00_i00_details

USB3.0 Card: I had to replace the USB3.0 card as it had issues of intermittent connectivity losses. The one I have now works great. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UDCPEI/ref=oh_o02_s00_i00_details

PC Remote Control: The remote control finally arrived and works great with Windows Media Center, Boxee and XBMC.

Sound Bar: I got a cheap Vizio sound bar for less than 50 bucks at Goodwill. The model of  the sound bar surprisingly is fairly new and works great! http://www.vizio.com/vsb205.html

In all I have invested about $450 in my HTPC but I am satisfied with the results. What next would be to replace the replace the motherboard and processor, but that’s not until the end of this year.

Software

I have reverted back to Windows Media Center as the main system for my HTPC. The reason to choose it was that neither XBMC nor Boxee supports playing blu-ray movies off the disk. Windows Media Center though does not natively support blu-ray playback, an extension by ArcSoft can provide the functionality from within Windows Media Center.

Connectivity

This week I will be getting rid of my cable including cable internet replacing it with DSL. Why? Price! Time to fully embrace the HTPC 🙂


MBA, thoughts, etc.

I was thinking about the real benefit of being in an MBA school and then I remembered about my initial intention of joining the MBA program. My original intent was to get exposed to brilliant talent, team up and satiate my entrepreneurial self by doing out of the box stuff. Stuff, successful or unsuccessful, after graduation could make me not feel I have wasted my 2 years of grad school. In addition, I wanted to build on my tech savvy and take it to the next higher level. I feel the whole concept of switching careers somehow doesn’t work for me. I am just not built for something like that. Take for example, my initial urge to experiment with operations and marketing. After facing a few setbacks, I finally realized I can’t fit in to an area totally unrelated to my past experience. What I will do in future has to have some commonality with what I have done so far and most importantly should be an enjoyable experience. Each day at work has to be gratifying or kind of an orgasmic experience. Too many times I see my peers having come thus far still unsure of what they want from the program. They either are confused by the choices they have or have suffered so many disappointments in their job search that they have now become desperate and are trying to fit in wherever they can by choosing whatever concentration they could. I personally feel it is the lack of direction that is responsible for their fate. I am not saying I have been successful in my job search but at the least I have a set goal in my mind of what I want to do and where I want to be. This then means I have to sacrifice a lot of times. For example, Amazon a heavy recruiter at Krannert, is one of the companies I want to work for. However, the company, with its handsome compensation, has traditionally not recruited Krannert students from concentrations other than operations. As a result, students like me have to sacrifice simply because of misalignment of their goal with available opportunities. Just because they want to get into Amazon does not mean they should get through any route possible. Few would argue with me saying that there’s nothing wrong with that strategy. After all, one only has to work for a certain amount of time in the area they don’t like before they can move to an area of their liking. Point well taken. However, the initial period is what concerns me the most. Like the baby that has just started to take first few steps, you, when you get out of the MBA school are learning to walk (again). This is the most crucial and vulnerable moment in one’s career. If I don’t have a liking for what I do I would not be able to walk properly. Importantly, after those few years, when I finally switch over to what I like doing, I would have to go through the walking cycle again. And what if I am not allowed to switch? Then I am stuck. This whole idea, therefore, simply does not appeal to me. At this point, I should make it clear that I am in no way saying I am not flexible. Flexibility to me is the willingness to do subpar work but in the area of liking. For example, if I want become an IT Manager but do not get many job opportunities, I am willing to step down a little and take up the role of an IT developer. A typical case is a tech/e-commerce startup where a project manager is also a programmer and a business development manager. Such type of setting is what actually excites me; having ability to take the organization to where I want. Flexibility also means the willingness to move anywhere on the globe. I personally love travelling, and in my opinion any person who wants to grow quickly in a company should have an openness towards relocating nationally or internationally. One of the reasons I joined TATA Consultancy Services Limited was because of its reputation to send its associates on long term international assignments. Sure enough, within 3 years of my service I was sent to US to work for Eli Lilly at their headquarters in Indianapolis and it was a memorable experience for me. The point I am making through this post to all B school students is to pursue their passion while they are in the B school because really that is what you should be doing and trust me if you don’t, sometime in your life you will… but why wait? Why not now?

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Image from http://engrjhez.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/crossroads/

 

MBA – thoughts and etc.

I was thinking about the real benefit of being in an MBA school and then I remembered about my initial intention of joining the MBA program. My original intent was to get exposed to brilliant talent, team up and satiate my entrepreneurial self by doing out of the box stuff. Stuff, successful or unsuccessful, after graduation could make me not feel I have wasted my 2 years of grad school. In addition, I wanted to build on my tech savvy and take it to the next higher level. I feel the whole concept of switching careers somehow doesn’t work for me. I am just not built for something like that. Take for example, my initial urge to experiment with operations and marketing. After facing a few setbacks, I finally realized I can’t fit in to an area totally unrelated to my past experience. What I will do in future has to have some commonality with what I have done so far and most importantly should be an enjoyable experience. Each day at work has to be gratifying or kind of an orgasmic experience. Too many times I see my peers having come thus far still unsure of what they want from the program. They either are confused by the choices they have or have suffered so many disappointments in their job search that they have now become desperate and are trying to fit in wherever they can by choosing whatever concentration they could. I personally feel it is the lack of direction that is responsible for their fate. I am not saying I have been successful in my job search but at the least I have a set goal in my mind of what I want to do and where I want to be. This then means I have to sacrifice a lot of times. For example, Amazon a heavy recruiter at Krannert, is one of the companies I want to work for. However, the company, with its handsome compensation, has traditionally not recruited Krannert students from concentrations other than operations. As a result, students like me have to sacrifice simply because of misalignment of their goal with available opportunities. Just because they want to get into Amazon does not mean they should get through any route possible. Few would argue with me saying that there’s nothing wrong with that strategy. After all, one only has to work for a certain amount of time in the area they don’t like before they can move to an area of their liking. Point well taken. However, the initial period is what concerns me the most. Like the baby that has just started to take first few steps, you, when you get out of the MBA school are learning to walk (again). This is the most crucial and vulnerable moment in one’s career. If I don’t have a liking for what I do I would not be able to walk properly. Importantly, after those few years, when I finally switch over to what I like doing, I would have to go through the walking cycle again. And what if I am not allowed to switch? Then I am stuck. This whole idea, therefore, simply does not appeal to me. At this point, I should make it clear that I am in no way saying I am not flexible. Flexibility to me is the willingness to do subpar work but in the area of liking. For example, if I want become an IT Manager but do not get many job opportunities, I am willing to step down a little and take up the role of an IT developer. A typical case is a tech/e-commerce startup where a project manager is also a programmer and a business development manager. Such type of setting is what actually excites me; having ability to take the organization to where I want. Flexibility also means the willingness to move anywhere on the globe. I personally love travelling, and in my opinion any person who wants to grow quickly in a company should have an openness towards relocating nationally or internationally. One of the reasons I joined TATA Consultancy Services Limited was because of its reputation to send its associates on long term international assignments. Sure enough, within 3 years of my service I was sent to US to work for Eli Lilly at their headquarters in Indianapolis and it was a memorable experience to me. The point I am making through this post to all B school students is to pursue their passion while they are in the B school because really that is what you should be doing and trust me if you don’t, sometime in your life you will… but why wait? Why not now?