My previous Creative SLIX SFF (small form factor) PC was used specially to record TV. Now that it's sold, I switched over the card to my other Intel PC. For a few days, it refused to work, and kept crashing when I ran the software. Today, I finally found the fix, a configuration file different from the installation CD which was fortunately still available for download at the product website. The moment I replaced the config file, my TV card became useful again.

That's the problem with many of these old computer products. They generally work, but the only reason for its failure is the lack of updated software or drivers and the advancement of Operating Systems. In this case, I was lucky that I can still find the updated driver for this almost-2-year old product. Would you believe I still have a 4-year old Aztech USB modem? And the good thing is that this product has its model number printed on the base, and it took me just a while to locate the driver, if not, the modem will never work. I also have this Kinstone-brand webcam that I bought in China 2 years back. The webcam does not plug-and-play and I cannot find this driver online, so if I had lost the installation CD, this webcam is a goner.

In any case, with Windows Vista, I would not expect these old devices to work at all. So you can bet that I will not upgrade my OS unless I decide to dispose these items.

By the way, my Intel-based PC is now running remotely without any input (keyboard) or output (monitor) devices attached to it. How I access it is via a free VPN application. In layman terms, I am able to login to the Intel PC remotely and do everything as if the PC is online. The only issue is the screen display is laggy, and I actually cannot watch TV via this application.

Another way to access the PC is using the Windows XP's Remote Desktop Connection. This is a more integrated application which provides a better screen response. With this, I can see actual TV images, but it's still very jagged. The Remote Desktop Connection even allows you to copy files from the remote PC to your local PC, and even transfers sound to your PC. However, this application only works with XP.