Why Xbox? This should explain why!
If anyone out there knows one thing about me it's my love for gadgets and computers. I have owned so many different computers I honestly could not even fathom how much I've spent on seemingly endless upgrades. What could have propelled me to spend so much time and money on this hobby? The short answer is 'Games'! I have always loved video games I owned a 'Vectrex' along with various 'Nintendo' consoles. The day my brother purchased an 'Adlib' music card for his computer was the day I decided Computers were the future of gaming. Consoles and computers have always played the game of leapfrog, the console was superior for a brief period and then the computer would surpass the console. I stuck with Computer gaming fairly exclusively for many years snubbing my nose at the console market. Computers offered so much more in terms of quantity and type of games offered.
Then something strange happened, I purchased the latest and greatest Video card an 'ATI 9800 Pro' it cost a whopping $500 (that's more than a whole damn X-box) and as I plugged the Power connector usually reserved for a hard-drive into the Video card (it draws so much power you need it) I paused and to marvel at the fact this Video card had twice the amount of transistors than the 3.0 gigahertz cpu it was running on! I was playing 'Prince of Persia' and the graphics were jaw-droppingly beautiful, I was happy.........
About a week later I'm visiting a friend who has an X-box and I mention my newest purchase and how great the graphics are. he says I know I've been playing 'Price of Persia' on my X-box. I automatically assumed his version would look different and not play as smoothly as my Computer based counterpart, boy was I mistaken! How could this puny console based on 2 year old technology (733mhz cpu) be displaying identical graphics with smooth gameplay! I started to realize what the X-box was all about. Games with out the hassle, no multi-cd install, no configuration issues, no minimum requirements to play, no driver updates and best of all no blue screen of death!
So I'm all set to play the finally released PC version of 'Halo', I install everything, update the required drivers etc.. off I go until I hit this room full of creatures, the framerate takes a nosedive to the realm of unplayable. Whoa not good, so I hit the internet to find an explanation, it turns out the game uses some sort of pixel shader for the active camouflage that can only be done a certain way on the PC causing slowdowns etc.. the simplest solution is to lower you resolution and remove some details to bring the framerate back up. Wait a dang minute here the version I tried on the X-box ran perfectly smooth with all the detail intact what gives?????
Short answer is that the X-box runs a special lite version of the Windows 2000 kernal that gives the game programmers direct access to the X-box's hardware. With a little work the game gets highly optimized for the platform and Bob's your uncle!
So I did some research and the X-box brings some really neat stuff to the table that makes my computer seem less desirable.
So Off I went and Purchased an 'X-box' I have not looked back, in fact I found this neat add-on that allows me to use the X-box with my existing LCD monitor I use for my PC Heck I can't tell which game is which, PC or Xbox, its sold by Neoya for $64.95 (US). The Video output is truly outstanding! If all of the above wasn't enough to persuade you to purchase one, the next section should clinch it.
Hacking the Xbox
One of the best things about the X-box is that once you get your box 'modded' a whole new world of possibilities opens (modding refers to the act of flashing the Xbox motherboard's Bios to a custom one with new features) modding costs $30 to $50 if you can find someone to do it for you or you can attempt to do your own TSOP Flash by reading this tutorial Here. You can also perform a 'softmod' which is easier for some individuals, read the tutorial Here.
So here is a Top 10 list of things you can do with a 'modded' X-box
If hope that this explains the allure of the X-boxMissing Icons in your Avalauch or other dashboard?
Then click Here to download the Icon pack, it contains hundred of icons for most games ,emulators and applications. Installation instructions are also included! Have fun.
Here are some links for tutorials, forums and advice.
The best site for X-box News, Tutorials and X-box Forums.
As usual I hope the information is helpful
Here are some pictures of its 'Guts' to stop anyone from having to open one up just to look
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