Out with Klipsch, in with Altec Lansing

Fozzie got a new set of speakers. I’ve been wanting to upgrade Fozzie’s speakers for several years now, but year after year I had a lot of trouble trying to find a new set that I thought would be a good replacement for what I had. Fozzie’s old speakers were a Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 set, widely considered to be one of the best-sounding sound systems available for PCs. This set was starting to crackle when the volume was adjusted, which was annoying (and, from reading forums online, common for this set). Additionally, the satellites are rather large and take up significant desk space. Lastly, this was a 4.1 set, but in the entire time that I’ve had them, I’ve only ever used the 2.1 configuration (due to space constraints and not really needing surround sound on my PC), so I’ve always had an extra two satellites just taking up room in a box. So, I wanted to get a new set which addressed these three concerns.

I eventually decided on the Altec Lansing FX4021. This is a 2.1 setup, so it matches my desired configuration. The satellites are significantly smaller in every dimension than the Klipsch ones were. The subwoofer is smaller length and width-wise, but is taller — but that’s OK, at least it takes up less floor space. Sound quality is very good — it’s really hard to tell much of a difference between these and the Klipsch set.

One interesting note here is that the Klipsch speakers were the single oldest part of Fozzie, and in fact were the only component left that dates back to Fozzie’s original December 1999 configuration. So, this upgrade is historic in that Fozzie now shares nothing with that original Compaq Presario 5900Z I got for Christmas senior year of high school.

Another recent change — Waldorf has been decomissioned and replaced with a Dell Inspiron 530. Waldorf, for those that don’t know, was a computer who’s original goal was to be completely built out of parts cycled out of Fozzie. Originally Waldorf was my Linux computer. I didn’t use it much, though, and it eventually became my mother’s computer. For this transition, I dropped the “recycled-only” requirement, and began replacing its peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer) with new parts. The computer itself was still very old (700MHz Athlon CPU, for example) and was running very slowly. So, the decision was made to replace Waldorf with a new pre-built Dell, which I custom configured for my parents, and re-use the new peripherals from Waldorf. So, Waldorf is no more, but that’s OK — it was only ever intended as a transition computer anyways. The more significant fact is that this marks the end of the usable line for several old components in Waldorf — the aforementioned CPU, the motherboard, the TNT2 video card, and the Sound Blaster Live sound card.

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