Monthly Archives: November 2007

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.

Time for a new job

Today was my last day with SAIC. I was two months short of the three year mark. On Monday, I’ll be starting my new job with JDS Uniphase in their Test and Measurement group. I’m going to be writing embedded software for a handheld test device. I’m excited for the change.

I left my old job for many reasons. Most of them are normal reasons for leaving a job. I’m open to discussing them privately, but no point in putting them all up on the internet to be archived for all time. Within a year, I’ll have forgotten most of the bad things anyway. (:

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.

Bad Service

I stopped into Best Buy (I need to stop doing that) Saturday night to grab a game that Melissa has been craving. I walked in, grabbed it, paid for it (cash), declined all the “free” offers that the cashier offered, and headed for the door. When I got to the door, the package set off the alarm. The door guard requested to see my receipt. I declined. I told him that I’d purchased my items, which he could verify with the cashier. He told me he wanted to inspect my bag. I asked if he was accusing me of theft. He said that he was not, and pointed to a small, easy to miss sign near the exit that stated “We reserve the right to inspect all packages”. I pointed out that since the sign was not posted at the entrance, it really had no bearing on the conversation. He reiterated that it was policy for him to inspect my bag if the alarm went off.

Eventually I caved and let him take the game over to the nearest register and disable the inventory control. I’m not sure why I bothered. Next time, I’m going to just leave.

Writer’s guild strike; Should engineers do the same?

The Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) is on strike. According to the AP snippet I heard this morning on the radio, this is largely about residual payments on television shows, especially shows that are being broadcast on the web. This got me to thinking.

What if engineers were paid the same way that television show writers are? Everytime you drive on a road or take advantage of some other piece of public construction, some residual amount goes to the Civil Engineer who designed it. Everytime you ride in your car, each of the people who designed that car get a little bit. Sort of a “job well done” reward. Everytime someone uses a device that I wrote the software for, a few pennies show up in my bank account. Sounds grand, no?

No. My gut feeling is that it’s silly to expect to be paid over and over and over again for the same work. The WGA feels differently though. What do you all think? Are engineers selling themselves short? Or is it just that the WGA, being attached to the entertainment hegomy, just feels more entitled than we do? Why is entertainment viewed like this: so different from everything else?