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Scaleo: end of the road - John C. Kirk

Mar. 15th, 2009

08:40 pm - Scaleo: end of the road

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Back in October 2007, I bought a Scaleo EVI2535. In Feb 2008, I mentioned that I was having a lot of trouble with it. In the last year, I haven't used it much; several months ago, I tried to install some upgrades from Windows Update but it got stuck half-way through, so I tried to reboot it, and it hasn't worked since. The current status is that it has power, but nothing appears on the screen (TV or monitor). Since I have to hold down the power button for several seconds before it turns off, I think this means that it's hanging at startup. I've used the motherboard jumper to clear the CMOS settings, but that didn't help. In theory, I could figure out what the problem is by taking it completely apart and then swapping components around. However, this could be expensive; for instance, it uses half-height cards, so the graphics card from my desktop PC won't fit in there. The most likely solution is to buy a new BIOS chip (as per this forum post for a different Scaleo model), but there's still no guarantee of success there.

Anyway, I've now had enough. I was planning to use the recovery CD to restore it to factory settings, then stick it on Ebay (starting price of £1 + postage), but that's not really practical in it's current state. Instead, I'm going to write this off as an expensive mistake, and treat it as a sunk cost. My new priority is simply to get rid of the thing, so that it's not taking up space.

So, I'm now offering this free of charge to anyone who wants it. (Full spec.) If you're interested, let me know; if not then I'll stick it on Freecycle, and if nobody bites there then I'll just take it to the recycling depot.

Comments:

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From:sammoore
Date:March 16th, 2009 09:36 am (UTC)
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A brave but wise decision...
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From:karne_k
Date:March 16th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
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Why not break the machine up and scavenge the parts? It looks like it has good RAM, CPU and harddrive at the least. All three could be mounted on a cheap all-in-one motherboard and a new DVD drive for about £70. Sounds like a good way to get a decent new PC to me?
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From:karne_k
Date:March 16th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
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e.g. CCL prices
Asus P5N73-AM (SATA, video, audio, so775, DDR 2) - £43.16
LG GH22LP20 22x DVDRW - £16.50

Scavenge a case and perhaps an OEM intel heatsink (I have many spares..) and you have a working PC again.

Got to be better than chucking it :)
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From:johnckirk
Date:March 16th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
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Thanks - that's a good idea. I don't really need a second desktop PC, but I've been thinking about upgrading my mobo (to get proper Vista compatibility), and my main concern was that I'd have to replace CPU, RAM, etc. at the same time, so this could make the process a bit cheaper.
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From:gaspodog
Date:March 16th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
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If you were to throw in a cheap (£30 maybe at a guess) TV card, and put Linux and some TV software on it, you'd basically have a functioning PVR/media center, which was, I believe, the original intent :-)
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From:karne_k
Date:March 16th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
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Having tried this under both Linux and Windows I've come to the conclusion that even when these PVR systems work, they suck :) I personally wouldn't bother.

A divx box now, that's more useful ;)
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From:gaspodog
Date:March 16th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
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I found the software that came with my tv tuner was pretty good - it did timed recordings, the timeshifting worked as well as any TiVo, and it transcoded to more helpful formats later if you wanted it to. I've never actually tried MythTV though, so I can't speak for it in particular - I guess steve would be the person to ask about the best options if you wanted to explore this route ;)
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From:johnckirk
Date:March 17th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
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I've basically lost my enthusiasm for that now. Also, I don't watch much broadcast TV nowadays, and someone from Sky claimed that you can use a Sky+ box to record stuff without paying the extra monthly charge (i.e. the extra charge is for two simultaneous channels rather than the recording), so I'll try to chase that up next week.
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From:shuripentu
Date:March 16th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
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And if you still don't want it, I'll take it. ;)

*hides from gaspodog* >.>
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From:gaspodog
Date:March 16th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
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Not hiding very well...
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