Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Perfect Sub $350 Home Theater PC

If you ask my friends, they’ll tell you that I am always searching for the perfect home theater pc and the cheaper the better. I’ve tried Mini-ITX mother boards, slim-line PCs, Fancy full-sized theater cases and a whole host of other systems. But, as you’d guess all of them have their short comings; under powered, too expensive, too big or too loud. I really haven’t been able to find the perfect low-cost system with enough power to play back High Definition MPEG-4 Video that is small and quiet enough to put in my entertainment center. That was until I happened to find the Acer Aspire Revo AR1600-U910H Desktop PC this past weekend at Fry’s Electronics. This system is based on the Atom N230 processor and the NVIDIA ION LE-Graphics processor giving you the ability to tackle any type of video playback all for under $200.


Below are the Acer Aspire Revo Specifications:

  • Box Contents – Acer AR1600-U910H Desktop PC, USB Keyboard, USB Mouse; Software Bundle – Windows XP Home with Service Pack 3, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition 2007 Trial, McAfee Internet Security Suite 2008 60-Day Trial
  • Intel Atom Processor 230 1.6GHz
  • NVIDIA ION LE Graphics
  • 1024MB DDR2 RAM
  • 160GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
  • 512K L2 Cache, 533MHz FSB
  • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN
  • Back ports – 4 x USB, RJ-45 (LAN), VGA, HDMI
  • Dimensions – 7.1 (H) x 1.2 (W) x 7.1 (L) inches
  • EnergyStar Compliance
  • Expansion slot – Mini PCI Express
  • Front ports – 2 x USB, High Definition Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack
  • High-Definition Audio Support
  • Multi-in-One Digital Media Card Reader MMC, SD, MS, xD Picture Card
  • Ultimate Small-Form Factor Design Case
  • Weight – 9 lbs.

Add a Windows Media Center Wireless Remote for around $50 and a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade for around $100 and you’ll have the perfect Home Theater PC setup for around $300.

So Long! And Thanks for all the Fish!


I want to thank you all for making the last 9 years at Sabre/EDS/HP an experience that I will never forget. It has been a whirl wind of activity which lately has seemed to be a blur as we have taken the Transportation SOA from a concept and turned it into reality.

Several memories stand out, which I’d like to share and hopefully give those of you who worked with me a chuckle as you remember the good ole times

  1. No, BAASIC was not responsible for the baggage debacle in the new Denver Airport when it opened.
  2. There is no room for weekends and Holidays when you are working a pursuit.
  3. Phoenix AZ is really hot, no matter what time of year you are there, especially when you are trying to merge two airlines and meet an unbelievable deadline.
  4. It is always hard to shove an Elephant down a 16K network connection.
  5. Yes, I always love to name my projects after annoying cartoon characters.

To all the developers, remember my motto “Make it work, Make it work right, Make it fast, Make it pretty and Make it maintainable” following it will always remind you to take things in small steps, which I have found to be the key to tackling anything in the development world.

To all the managers, look for the developers who are excited to dive in, work hard and take on new technology, for there you’ll find the next group of developers who will always make you successful.

Again, I want to thank everyone, without you I’d still just be coding in a cubicle and not the success I am today! I’ll miss you all and I hope our paths will cross again in the future!

Best Regards,

Jim Lavin