Category Archives: computers - Page 2

strange latency

Maybe someone out there in blog-land can shed some light on this issue. For me. Let me start by listing some items:

  • My internet connection is via Sprint EVDO (wireless 3g data)
  • I play World of Warcraft
  • When I play WoW from Windows on my desktop machine, my average ping is around 500ms and frequently spikes to 1500-2000ms
  • When I play WoW from Linux via Wine, my average ping is ~300ms and is fairly solid.
  • I’ve run a full virus scan (via Clamwin) and a full malware scan (via Spybot). Nothing turned up.
  • I’ve tried running a TCP/IP optimizer on the windows install. I had no noticeable effect.

To me, this seems very weird. I’m going to try copying WoW to another windows machine and see how it behaves there. Beyond that, anyone have any ideas about why might have gone wrong?

Need to borrow

Hey, if anyone has a spare pci-express video card collecting dust, I’d love to borrow it for a few weeks. I need to send mine back to xfx soon for repair/replacement. I’m getting image corruption with mine, and it’s getting worse. Anyway, if you have a card I could borrow, I would pay for shipping, and ship it back when I’m done. Just let me know.

Good Service

The other day I had to put in a computer parts order at NewEgg. Since I was placing the order anyway, I decided to order an aftermarket heatsink/fan for my video card. I ended up choosing the Zerotherm GX710. I chose it because it was inexpensive, it supported my card, it was quiet, and it had decent reviews regarding performance.

It arrived, and I installed it. Unfortunately, it did not work well at all. My card kept getting into thermal shutdown. I tried removing it, recleaning the GPU, regreasing and reapplying the cooler. Still thermal shutdowns occurred. So I contacted Newegg via their web chat customer service line. I immediately got to talk to someone (or something; the page claimed it was a “liveperson”, but the answers where somewhat canned). Regardless of the humanity of the person I talked to however, with very little ado, he simply said that the item was not worth shipping back, and that I should see a refund in 2-3 business days.

Can’t argue with results like that.

quake3 stutter on a dual core system

I re-installed quake 3: arena on my system. It’s been a while since I’d played it. I’ve lost a lot of skill that I used to have at the game. I seem to have gained others, but it would take a while, if I wanted to get back to it. Anyway, the point of this post is that on my new system, the game was stuttering every couple seconds. Very regular, predictable.

Turns out, you have to force the game to use just one processor core. You can either set the affinity manually in the process list in task manager, or you can just tell windows to run it as though it were a win95 application (right click on quake3.exe, select properties. Click the compatibility tab, click the check box for “Run this program in compatibility mode” and select Windows 95.) That will ensure that q3a is only allowed to run on one core. Fixed the problem nicely.

Request for CSS/layout help

I’m working on a new layout for the blog. Unfortunately, it only “works” in IE at the moment. It’s supposed to have four tabs. Only one tab is supposed to be visible at one time. In IE7, this is the case. In Firefox 2.0.6, this is not the case (none of the tabs are visible without refreshing the tab that you’re on at any given time).

Anyone have any ideas about why this is happening?

$150 laptop

Edit: this is likely a scam. I removed the hotlink. I’ll keep an eye on this, in case it turns out to not be a scam.

The (http://www.medisoncelebrity.com/product.html) Medison Celebrity is a $150 laptop that I really like the looks of. Unlike the OLPC, this machine actually has standard hardware, so it will run windows and linux out of the box. It’s also a fairly standard form factor.

I’d like to get my hands on one of these, to find out if it’s worth recommending to family when they want web/email/picture computers.

Results of the windows-free period

I ended up not using windows for nearly three weeks. Using Ubuntu linux exclusively was a nice change of pace, and refreshing in several respects. Unfortunately, when I tried to re-install windows on its own partition, it tanked the entire partition table, so I’m now back to being Linux free (on that machine).

Things that were good about linux:

  • Having a package manager with tons of available software is great. Ubuntu’s aptitude package manager is wonderful, and being able to install new software without having to go find it and install it by hand is great.
  • WINE is a compatibility layer for running windows software within Linux. It’s gotten quite good in the last year or so. Graphic-wise, it can run any windows software you’d like. (I ran Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft without any graphical problems)
  • Tons of online help. The forums and other online communities for Ubuntu are extremely helpful for figuring out how to do things within Ubuntu and fixing problems that crop up (I didn’t have any problems with my main machine, but had a couple with some older machines)

Things that were bad about linux:

  • WINE’s sound support is not mature enough. This is an artifact of Linux’s currently ancient sound subsystem. When trying to play games, the sound generally lagged behind the events that generated the sound. This is frustrating, to say the least. Hopefully this will be addressed soon.
  • Poor NTFS R/W support. Makes it annoying to share files between operating systems. It’s frustrating to have to maintain a 3rd partition just for pushing files around safely.

I’m sure there were others. I’ll post this now and add to it later as I think of other issues.

Hi, my name is Dave, and I’ve been Windows free for a week

Eight days ago, the windows install on my machine mysteriously broke itself. At least I think it was eight days. I don’t recall the exact time this happened. Anyway, something happened to the machine, and windows no longer worked. Stuck in an infinite reboot cycle. So, after some poking around, I gave up on it and booted up the Ubuntu install that I had on another partition.

Since that time, I’ve had to fix on other machine with [apparently] the same problem. And I’ve been talking with guys at work, and apparently it’s not uncommon. All that being said, mine is broken worse that any I’ve heard about to date. It’s broken enough that nothing simple is fixing it. It’s going to require a reinstall to fix it.

The problem is, I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth the trouble. If I re-install, there are a number of unsavory tasks I’ll have to do:

  • update windows itself, including all the updates I can’t save, but have to get from windows update every time
  • install drivers for all the hardware
  • re-install all the software (cygwin, office, quicken, etc)
  • re-update all the software (virus defitions, spyware definitions, steam updates, etc etc etc)
  • copy all the non-install software back of the network share (WoW, war3, etc)

I’m starting to wonder if it’s even worth re-installing windows and going through the hassle of getting all right again. If my theory on what happened to it in the first place is right, then it could all just go down the tubes again at the drop of a hat. Really, the only motivation I have to put windows back in is that it will make gamefest a lot easier for me.

So this is no triumphant “I dropped Windows and never looked back” sort of post. This is a “Windows failed me, and now I’m trying to decide if I can do without it” sort of post.

ubuntu dev’s blog

Here is an interesting blog from one of the Ubuntu developers. By the by, Ubuntu just released their latest version, 7.04, today. I’m looking forward to upgrading to it when I get home.

Fear and loathing

#!/usr/bin/bash
for i in $(find -name *.xml); do (cat $i | (echo $i; grep -6 \”no)); (cat $i | (grep -6 \”error));done

Why am I parsing xml with a shell script? Because it has to be done *right now*, apparently, without time to produce a more elegant xml-based solution. So instead I treat it like the text that it is, and digest it into a tractable form. Such is the life of 300 megabyte piles of output logs. Regardless, I’m proud to have generated the above.