As time progressed, and the WAF factor on the kitchen computer had time to slowly inch its way up, we slowly but surely upgraded the system.
We added a custom power button for the computer on the under side of the range hood tucked nicely into the corner. This was actually super easy to do. We just grabbed an old PC, ripped out the power button, extended the wires and pushed the button in place.
With the death of the second motherboard used for this system (an ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe which served very nicely for many years) we decided that we needed to add some better air filtration to the system. The problem was that the greasy kitchen air was being sucked into the cabinet by the exhaust fan we had cut into the top of the cabinet (needed to keep the system from overheating). By sealing off around the cupboard doors with some foam tape from our local Home Depot we made the cabinet more or less air tight. Adding a second cuttout in the top of the cabinet with a filter (a piece of a green scrubbing pad for doing dishes cut to size) made a new source for cool air which won't let all that grease into the cupboard.
We finally found good speaker set that had an adjustable sub. This way we could turn down the sub and get a nice well rounded sound from it all.
We added a TV tuner card (ATI All In Wonder Radeon 7500) which added the ability to watch TV on the system. The ATI software has a really neat feature which lets you have a thumbnail view of all of the channels at once.
We changed the motherboard mounting system to attach it directly to the back of the cabinet with screws in order to prevent it from moving around and added a large heat-sink to the top of the hard drive to help it dissipate heat.
Current parts include:
- ASUS P4P800 ATX motherboard
- Intel Pentium 4 2.6 GHz processor
- Gyration cordless desktop mouse and compact keyboard
This is by far the best wireless mouse / keyboard set there is.
The mouse can even be used in the air which is perfect for a kitchen.
The keyboard is tiny and can easily be tucked away in a drawer (where ours lives)
- Cambridge SoundWorks 4.1 speaker set with adjustable sub
- Samsung SyncMaster 712N 17" LCD monitor
- Creative Labs WebCam Live! Pro
An interesting aside about webcams: In order for a webcam to work with Vista (or other modern OSes) it must be a USB video class device. This one is not...
- Seagate 200 GB SATA hard drive (ST3200822AS)
- ASUS DVD drive (DVD-E616P2)
- Tripp-lite SMART 750 UPS