Posted tagged ‘cpu’

Make any computer run faster – the cool way!


24360-vb_progress_bar_activex__ocx_-copy1Just wait until I try a multiplication!

Many people are familiar with the fact that their computer becomes more sluggish and less responsive over time, but few people know that this is caused by quarks (a sort of microscopic dust) gathering in the internal pathways of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of the computer as shown in the image below. What happens when you reinstall your operating system is that the pathways are cleared during the first cold boot after reinstallation. Luckily, new research has found that there is another way of clearing the pathways, one that will make your computer feel pretty much as fast when you started it the very first time. Keep reading for instructions.

cpu_schematic2Some of the pathways most prone to clogging
include the 4-channel DMA bus.

Let’s do it – the cool way
The original research made by the HCDE university in Washington shows that the dust-quarks are highly susceptible to cold temperatures and fall apart into smaller particles when exposed for a prolonged amount of time. You might have felt this effect if you have a laptop and brought it in from a cold day outside, but cold itself is not the answer. Due to the way that a modern-day CPU is placed into a socket, the pathways become exposed only when the processor is put upside-down, which is why you  might not have felt a tremendous difference – the computer has to be placed so that the CPU is pointing downwards.

Testing time!
I was very interested in trying this out – here are the instructions:

  • Cover laptop in a plastic bag to avoid any moist from the freezer. (Optional, I had no problems without it)
  • Put laptop or stationary computer upside-down in  the freezer. I tried it for twenty minutes and got a fantastic  speed improvement!

I ran SuperPi both before and after, calculating pi to 1M decimals. The result:
Before: Calculation took 43 seconds
After: Calculation took 36 seconds

This is a fantastic increase (Seven seconds!) , and I urge you all to try this fantastic new find out! Go ahead and let me know how much you managed to improve in the comments!

In other news…
I’m gonna be making the “In other news” section a permanent addition to my posts. That’d be all, folks!

A final note…
In case you haven’t noticed yet, this was my April fool’s joke for 2009! Although putting your computer in the freezer for a few minutes probably won’t kill it, it won’t make it go very much faster either! Cheers everyone!

Adding subtitles in MediaPortal (or any video player) by piping CoreAVC through ffdshow



Like I have mentioned previously, subtitle support in MediaPortal is still pretty much broken, and so I thought I’d share my ideas on how to bypass this problem for now and still get subtitles for your favorite series and movies. (Or permanently, the ffdshow subtitles are pretty nice!) I was googling for a solution and found this interesting post on the topic. The entire idea is pretty simple – you let CoreAVC handle the decoding  and then when you’re down to raw video – ffdshow takes over and just adds the subtitles on top before showing the entire video on screen. The best thing is that you’ll still get the speed of CoreAVC! The process can be summarized in just a few steps.

Install ffdshow tryouts
I am assuming you already have CoreAVC installed, but if not you should start with that. After you’re done with that, download and install ffdshow tryouts. I’ve included a link to the exact version I used, but the newest release should also work wonderfully.

Configure ffdshow
Start up the ffdshow configurator and start at the “Codecs” tab, make sure you scroll all the way down to “Raw video“, and select “all supported” – also make sure that the H.264/AVC decoding is set to “disabled“.
Now go to the Subtitles tab and enable them. The default configuration should work, but you can increase the size, font and colour to your liking.

Configure MediaPortal
MediaPortal does not allow DirectShow by default, and we want that to show the subtitles properly. Go to the options followed by Videos -> Video Player and make sure to enable “Automatic Decoder Settings” and that should be it. Similar procedures apply to other players that do not default to the DirectShow configuration. Something I noticed was that for some reason my video got brighter when piping through ffdshow, although only in MediaPortal. I tried to find some sort of setting that would magically change that but eventually just settled with reducing the brightness somewhat in the CoreAVC preferences.

And that’s all folks!

What, you thought it would be longer?