Sound Bites


Sound Bites

Not being a Mac owner, I don’t really feel the need to wax lyrical about every minute upgrade or new piece of software I get for my computer. (Unlike some! (o; ). However, this time I’m going to make an exception.

On Wednesday night I wanted to use Wave Studio – a piece of software that comes with Creative Labs’ Soundblaster audio cards. As it wasn’t installed, I had to find the disk (okay, Fliss found the disk) and then install it. By default the installation program installed a set of drivers for the sound card into the bargain – these were very old drivers, but I thought nothing of it. On that night, up until I shut the computer down, everything was fine and dandy.

Of course, replacement software drivers don’t always come into effect until you restart.

The following night when Fliss was using the machine it suddenly slowed to a crawl, and despite my best efforts to undo whatever I’d done, it looked like there was no going back with the aged sound card I had. It hasn’t worked very well with recent games like Battlefield 1942 and as it isn’t getting any younger I decided that replacing it would cure the ills of my PC.

Along to PC World I went – not a place of choice for an uber-geek like myself, but it’s all that’s available in my neck of the woods. I picked up an ultra cheap Philips sound card – only ?24.99 (?30 on the box for some reason) and waited until today to try it out. This is when I realised why I didn’t know Philips made sound cards. It sucked – that and it just would not install – and despite an hour and a half downloading the latest drivers, the sound card and the PC would not talk to one another.

I raced back to PC world just before closing time, primed for a confrontation as I prepared to berate a spotty teenage shop assistant into giving me a refund. What I found, however, was something quite different. I was served by a man who not only knew what he was doing, but gave me the full refund for the card (taking it off the Soundblaster Live! that I opted for) without question. I was in and out in less than five minutes.

This kind of changes my opinion of PC World drastically. It’s always nice when you get that kind of service when you’re expecting a lot less.

Anyhow – back home and within ten minutes my PC is singing a happier tune with its new card installed and working without trouble. I almost feel like I should be using the card to do more than just listen to the odd MP3 now… need to think of something.