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    <p><a href="http://www.andrewconnell.com/blog/Let-the-buildout-begin">In putting together my Media Center last night</a>, I encountered something I seen to hit every single time I am installing new hardware: the manuals/drawings/instructions almost always SUCK!</p>
    <p>I&rsquo;m a developer&hellip; and I know enough about hardware to get by.&nbsp; When I started looking at parts for my Media Center, the term &ldquo;PCI Express&rdquo; was brand new to me&hellip; so was &ldquo;SATA&rdquo;.&nbsp; No problem there, we can all do a bit of research and find out why it&rsquo;s so much better.&nbsp; Anyway, that&rsquo;s not the point of this post&hellip;</p>
    <p>When I <a href="http://www.andrewconnell.com/blog/Let-the-buildout-begin">opened up the case</a>, I saw quite a few wires coming from the front of the box (<a href="http://www.andrewconnell.com/blog/photos/417.aspx">as you can see</a>)&hellip; ok, no sweat&hellip; that&rsquo;s common as every case has lights and buttons on it.&nbsp; This case has even more than usual though because it&rsquo;s got a VFD/IR panel, a function knob, and audio buttons (forward/next/play/stop/pause/volume/etc).&nbsp; What goes with what?&nbsp; Of course, the manual didn&rsquo;t really explain it clearly.&nbsp; So I look at the motherboard map and it shows 2 pins for the power LED&hellip; but the cable has as 3&ndash;pin connector&hellip; arg!!!&nbsp; I&rsquo;ll just plug it in and see what happens.. I&rsquo;m sure some will have to be tweaked.</p>
    <p>The case has another feature.&nbsp; If you look at the <a href="http://www.andrewconnell.com/blog/photos/417.aspx">image</a>, you&rsquo;ll see a bundle of blue wires, a grey wire, and a black wire.&nbsp; What the heck is all that?&nbsp; Oh yeah, the case included a 3.5&rdquo; panel that fit the 3.5&rdquo; open slot on the front of the case that contains 4 USB2.0 ports, 1 Firewire port, audio out, and a mic port.&nbsp; Ah&hellip; all the blue ones are the USB&rsquo;s, the grey one is for audio, and the black is for Firewire.&nbsp; OK, maybe it wasn&rsquo;t that hard to figure that out as the female pin connections had &ldquo;USB&rdquo;, &ldquo;1394&rdquo; for Firewire, and something crazy that looked nothing like &ldquo;audio&rdquo;, but it matches perfectly with the available pins on the motherboard (I&rsquo;ll wait to see if the sound card has this as I would prefer to have it on the card and not the board).&nbsp; This was the first time I&rsquo;ve seen what internal onboard USB/FireWire ports looked like&hellip; pretty cool!&nbsp; </p>
    <p>Uh, one issue.&nbsp; This case has 4 USB2.0 ports in the 3.5&rdquo; panel, 1 USB2.0 for the VFD/IR, 1 USB2.0 for the function nob, and 1 USB2.0 for the audio buttons on the front.&nbsp; That totals 7&hellip; but the board only has 4 internal boards.&nbsp; Thankfully the VFD/IR is a the non-pin looking USB2.0 (the one that mice, memory sticks, keyboards have&hellip; sorry, don&rsquo;t know the technical term) so I can pop open one of the PCI slots in the back and just run it through to the back of the case to use one of the 4 USB2.0 slots on the back of the case.&nbsp; But what about the other two run-overs?&nbsp; I chose to not connect one of the USB ports on the expanded panel and the function knob (don&rsquo;t see using it all that much honestly).&nbsp; But it got me thinking&hellip; wonder if there&rsquo;s such a thing as an adapter converting the USB2.0 male/female connector (the type you have on the back of your laptop or PC) and the pin-based connection (the type you have on the motherboard)?&nbsp; I&rsquo;ll find out&hellip; have to run to the local computer store this afternoon to get a screw-set for a motherboard/case since mine didn&rsquo;t include them (not to mention screw sets for drives as none of them included screws&hellip; damn OEM purchase!).</p>
    <p>None of the manuals really explained any of this&hellip; it showed some tiny thumbnail, grainy, B&amp;W pictures.&nbsp; How hard is it to say &ldquo;the green &amp; white wire with XXXX on the connector&rdquo;, or &ldquo;all the blue shielded cables are USB2.0 from the ports&rdquo;.&nbsp; Oh, and with one of the SATA drives I got, it didn&rsquo;t have the legacy 4&ndash;pin power ports.&nbsp; It only had the SATA power port.&nbsp; Hey, no problem, but I hadn&rsquo;t seen that (remember, SATA is new to this developer).&nbsp; So, why in the heck did the manual tell me to plug in a 4&ndash;pin power cable into the drive when it&rsquo;s not even there?&nbsp; The model number on the box, drive, and manual are all the same!&nbsp; GRRR&hellip; </p>
    <p>So, in an open plea to hardware manufacturers&hellip; PLEASE provide some decent documentation.</p>
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