Archive for the ‘Life’ category

Keeping a snippet journal

28/05/2013

3ulodk

I love working with technology. Every day you are treated to new and exciting challenges, and their solutions.

Lately, I have been keeping a snippet journal. As the name entails, it consists of short snippets that solve a specific task – anything from listing the content of a zip file to working with GeoIP in PHP.

I’m really enjoying the concept. It’s easy to make multiple posts per day and my recollection of the solutions has improved vastly – and if memory fails, there’s always that journal entry!

This blog will continue as is – slightly dormant. Larger announcements and news here will still be posted here, but for my day-to-day interactions with technology, I have the trusted snippet journal!

Have you been doing something similar? Leave a comment!

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DynDNS now aggressively removes active domains from their system

17/06/2012

A couple of days ago I noticed that some of my domains stopped working. A bit befuddled at first, I found that all of them were actually CNAME:s for a DynDNS domain I had set up back in 2006. It had always been a “set it and forget it” solution – until now. Still confused, I logged onto my account and found that the domains were gone. Checked the mail and confirmed my suspicion – the domains had been deleted due to inactivity:

What I found really poor about this email was how little warning you got – it’s five days, and then your domains are gone.

“But it’s not a problem”, I thought – I could just register the domains again!

Nope:

Apparently, at some point DynDNS decided that subdomains are a premium. (Unless you like really clunky domain names that start with dyndns.)

I want to clarify that I do not in any way feel entitled to the domains or DNS service I received from DynDNS. However, I do feel their business practice has become shadier and shadier over the years – starting off with limiting the number of domains per free account, cutting off access to domains and now apparently deleting active domains with just a few days notice.

The whole oredeal reminded me of an article which debated that people who do not own their domains are “second-class citizens” of the web. That is, if you rely on domains purchased by other companies or even other people (as with the free DNS service offered by afraid.org) you never know if these domains will be around tomorrow.

Mini computer parts review (Including Radeon HD5770!)

20/01/2010

I bought a new computer a few months ago (part list here) and thought that I would express my opinion about most of the individual parts in a small compiled blog post. If you came from Google or another search engine, just scroll down to the part you’re interested in for its own mini review.

The parts are assigned in three categories. Happy reading!

The good

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Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W
I’ve had absolutely zero issues with this power supply. It runs virtually fanless on low loads, and seems to do a great job under stress too. It even managed to power 2xHD5770 without issues.

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Corsair Hydro Series H50
I was a bit hesitant about this closed-loop water cooling system due to its steep price tag, but in the end it proved to be a great investment. I’m running my Intel i5 comfortably at 3.7GHz (Remember, the stock speed is 2.66GHz!) at about 50-55C or so at full load. Virtually 4 extra GHz for about a hundred dollars is not a bad bargain!

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Fractal Design Define R2
Quite frankly one of the best cases I’ve seen. Tons of HD slots, sleek design and very thick metal makes this a great investment both now and in the future.

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Intel Core i5 750 2,66GHz Socket 1156
It’s fast, it runs very cool with the Hydro H50 (Although I’ve heard the stock cooler is supposedly pretty bad.) and it gives mad overclocking abilities.

The bad

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Asus P7P55D
Aside from the horribly ugly crapware that Asus sends with this motherboard, it’s actually pretty decent. The only reason it’s in the “bad” category is that this motherboard does not support CrossfireX like stated. Since the second PCI-E port is of 4x (speed) you can not have a multi-GPU configuration with this board. Having bought two HD5770 cards and finding worse performance using Crossfire than without (15fps with Crossfire vs 60+fps without in Serious Sam HD) was an unpleasant surprise. Of course I only have myself to blame for being uninformed, but you’d think that having Crossfire stamped in big on the box seemed like a good indication of its support, but alas. So what kind of Crossfire does it support then? Apparently, multi-gpu on a single-card one. Thanks, Asus… Not.

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Corsair Dominator DDR3 PC12800/1600MHz CL9
They work just fine, but start to crash at >=1650MHz for me. Not much left to the imagination.

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Sapphire Radeon HD5770 Lite HDMI DisplayPort Dual-DVI 1GB
I really wish I could put this in the “good” pile, but unfortunately, not all is well. The card itself has exceptional performance for its price. A sub-200USD card that runs Crysis at very acceptable framerate is quite a feat. Unfortunately, the drivers are horrible. Remember that I wrote about my DXVA problems that solved themselves a few weeks ago? Well, they didn’t, as I’m having the same issues again in the 9.12 hotfix. Not only that, but who could forget the Saboteur fiasco? There’s also my recent Voddler issues and fullscreen video crashes. ATI do seem keen to fix their issues and they constantly release updated drivers, but they’re not anywhere near done yet, nor will they be in the foreseeable future.

Oh wait, I also forgot this ATI Overdrive bug. Now I don’t feel so guilty for putting this in the “bad” pile anymore.

PS. People in the ATI support forum are really unhelpful. Doesn’t work? Buy more hardware! DS.

The ugly
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Kingston SSDNow V Series 64GB
This disk has some serious stutter issues. Simultaneous read/writes go very slow, and the cache does a poor job of keeping up. It –is- faster than a regular hard-drive if you’re running games, but if you’re updating Windows, downloading a couple of files and browsing the web all at once, expect up to 5-10 seconds of freezing, and expect it often.

It also doesn’t support the TRIM command. (You want that, or else your speeds will diminish with time.) And no, not even the 40GB model that has a compatible Intel chipset and simply needs a firmware update. Well done, Kingston.

Next time…
I’ll definitely look more into multi-GPU configurations. If you’re looking to buy a computer, read reviews and performance tests carefully before building! Very few motherboards today support true 16x/16x Crossfire support.

In other news…
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I’m going to become a Samba God – watch me shake!

Drug Usage (Comic)

01/01/2010

Something that feels this good shouldn't be legal. I swear, by the time I turn thirty my ears will fall off!

(Thanks to NCES for the graph tool!)

In other news…
And the prize for weirdest game ever goes to… Seaman!

ATI Catalyst 9.12 fixes DXVA flicker issue on Radeon cards, improves performance!

19/12/2009

sean_mcnamara Sean McNamara, now with 100% less annoying flicker.

When I first tried DXVA (DirectX Video Acceleration, a technology to offload the CPU by letting the video card render videos.) on my ATI Radeon HD 5770 I noticed a weird issue that would seem to change the brightness of whatever I was watching in-between shots. An angle change would often mean that the brightness would either hop up or go down a few notches. It’s very hard to explain this phenomenon but it was highly disturbing. I didn’t bother looking into it more so I don’t know if only specific software/OS’es were affected, but what I do know is that after installing the Catalyst 9.12 update I have watched an entire episode of Nip/Tuck without any issues, and so it seems resolved. 🙂 (At least in MPC Home Cinema.)

The 9.12 update also boosts an impressive (“up to”) 9% performance increase in 3DMark Vantage and OpenGL 3.2 extension support.

However, they forgot to fix this.

In other news…
You shall listen to this song, because it be awesome.

Windows Live Writer

16/12/2009

wlw

Currently writing this blog post using a new tool I found called Windows Live Writer. It’s a program that combines the same WYSIWYG-type editing you’d find online, with all the benefits of a local program (Like pasting pictures and screenshots). I was a bit hesitant regarding their blog integration but the setup went smoothly, I just entered my account credentials and Writer took care of the rest.  – very neat. Unless I find some obvious flaw later on this will definitely be my new editor. The one WordPress uses is very good, but it’s heavy and tends to get slow when editing. (Adding pictures isn’t much fun.) I’ll leave you with a picture of the software and some cool shadow effects added on by Writer! 🙂

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In other news…
Check this out if you’ve ever wondered about apostrophe rules. Helped me a lot! Dont use the’m incorrectly!

“Assembling the Rolig IKEA chair” or “Web Detective Extravaganza”

08/12/2009

This might seem a very odd topic for a technical blog, but I just had to pass on this knowledge, for the sake of humanity.

We have in our possession one of these weird puffy arm-chair pictured above, and decided it was time to get it washed. But underneath the cover there’s a myriad of cushion-like components which have to be placed in a correct fashion if the chair is to contain its original form. When we were supposed to stuff the cover again we ran into a pickle, how exactly do you fit these things in? Mother mentioned it had been bought at IKEA, and the assembly instructions were long lost, and so …

…detective work begins!
I noticed the cushions were branded with SoftAir, which apparently is something as simple as a company that makes furniture out of air-filled bags. So far so good. The chair was no longer in the sortiment, but I managed to find this forum post from IKEAfans.com which had a link to the manual.

Conclusion
I hope that someone stumbles upon this page through a search engine one day and managed to find the manual in a simpler fashion than I had to go through. Also, this is a little reminder for me the next time we wash this thing. xD

Oh yeah…
…almost forgot the manual.

In other news…
Our dog peed on our “Rolig” IKEA arm-chair.