Finishing off the review.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
My attempt to explain how to tell if your graphic card is overheating with a few tests and observations.
Friday, November 27, 2009
The Logitech's feet scrapped my Razer mouse pad and the scroll wheel had a soft scroll and a loud clack when it complete a spin-click. Which means the wheel floats a bit before next next notch.
So what do I do? Cry about it? Blow another RM40 for a new mouse? F**k no! I buy some mouse feet/skates and fix the suckers on! Increased the spring tension on the wheel and of course greased the wheel with some Vaseline so that the spring did not get stuck on the notches. Not to mention it no longer makes a cluck sound when it is spun.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This problem with the sucker is that the keyboard is screwed. Now that wouldn't be a problem you say as we can just stick in a keyboard into the USB port. Well her brother, who was the previous owner, mangled both ports to the point that both are missing the plastic piece that the USB connectors sit on. And one port is missing a pin all together!
So I thought, "Why not just solder a USB cable to the pins?" So I bought a cable, stripped. Double checked pinoutsand soldered the wires to the pins. After a quick test and some insulation I hot glued the port for protection and strength. Here is the finished work.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Well let’s start with the basics, CPU are the brains of the PC while the Motherboard is the skeleton and nervous system. The make things fun desktop CPUs are either with pins or none. Those that still come with pins are the current AMD ones while Intel have implemented a pin-less route using circular connectors on the bottom of the CPU while the socket it plugs into has the pins. These pins are bent to provide some spring tension.
Naturally, the AMD CPUs are prone to pin damage from bad handling or just bad luck. But not to fear unless the pins break completely off you can very gently bend them back using a credit card. Make sure to use the other pins alignment as a guide. Intel CPUs do not suffer this hazard but should you damage the pins in the socket expect a much harder time getting them back into working condition.
Thankfully installing CPUs are a pain free task. Just align the marked of the CPU with the marked edge of the socket and drop it in. If done correctly there will be no resistance to the CPU going into socket. If there is resistance check your alignments again and see if there is anything in between the CPU and the socket.
Other that bent pins CPUs are pretty tough compared to the earlier generations. This is thanks to the hard caps all CPUs wear lovingly known as a heat spreader. The heat spreader does not only help spread the thermal waste from the small silicon die but also help spreads the weight placed on the CPU by the heatsink.
All CPUs nowadays have thermal protection should things get too hot. Motherboards will take preventive measures when CPUs reaching danger temperatures either by completely shutting down the PC or by throttling the speed of CPU down until the temperatures reach safe levels.
Another method of killing of a CPU is throwing tons of electrical power into it in hopes that it can clock at a higher speed. This overvolting will cause fatigue (electromigration) to the CPUs circuits which eventually will give. The life expectancy of any CPU really depends on the said CPU like overclocking gems a few will stand the pressure and give you years of service. Others will sometimes croak in less than a year. This also depends on how much you can cool it. The hotter the CPU is the more electromigration you incur.
Before we talk multi-core CPUs let quickly talk about Hyperthreading. Hyperthreading does not mean you have a free CPU core for each CPU core you bought. What Hyperthreading is, is that with the right OS your Intel CPU can use the unused instructions and idle clock cycles of your CPU core ran another set of calculations and instructions. This is done only if you have the free CPU resource for it. If a program is already occupying 80% of your CPU resource most likely the OS will not run any other instructions in parallel. AMD does not have Hyperthreading in their CPUs because they have designed their CPUs to run single operations more quickly compared to Intel’s CPUs. This has been the reason why Hyperthreading had disappeared from the Core Duo CPUs onwards. Hyperthreading was not as efficient as just having the CPU run one operation quickly since two operations on one CPU core sometimes trashed the Cache on it. Intel has now brought back Hyperthreading with their Core i7 lines and some of the CPUs in their Core i5 and Atom lines.
Last time when someone mentions ‘your CPU’ they meant the processor core on your silicon die. Nowadays, it is the other way round; the CPU now refers to the silicon die which can house anywhere from one core to six cores. These cores are the brains of the CPU where as the silicon die is the head. You may come across some CPU packages where there are two dies each with a single core on them that are connected to each other sharing the Cache such as the Pentium D.
Unfortunately, like Hyperthreading having multiple cores does not make your OS and the programs on it run twice as fast. All consumer grade OSes excluding Linux take very little advantage of a multi-core CPU. This has left programmers no choice but to optimise their own programs to take advantage of more than one core. Hence, you will notice not all programs will run four times faster just because you have a quad core CPU. A good example of this is games; only a few games currently take advantage of a multi-core CPU. One of them is Supreme Commander while the others will only benefit if you spend your money on a better graphic card, more RAM and RAID 0 your hard drives.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
But in other news; before I start on my Acer Aspire One Sata HDD mod I decided to rearm myself with some soldering hardware. So I got myself a new cheap iron, a battery powered iron, soldering wick, soldering paste and a solder sucker.
Before I kill my AOne's mobo I did some practicing on my ATI x1950 card since 2 of its supposed solid capacitor blew. Borrowed a few caps from a dead mobo. At first the card didn't want to boot. But after a while the caps charged up and I boot into a Live CD of Mint 7 and ran some videos.
Here are some pics:
I'll have a more detailed pic-documentary of the slaughter of my AOne. Wish me luck.
Friday, July 31, 2009
My friend Moggie drag over a busted Compaq laptop and asked me if I could do anything for it.
Well after looking through it there a few problems:
The battery is dead.
The 6GB hdd is dead.
The laptop plastic has gone brittle.
Bios battery is dead too. Cost: RM3.5
So we both looked into replacing the hdd which was more or less impossible to find being ide and all.
So I told another way is go Compact Flash. So I sourced a CF adapter to 44 pin ide. And a cheap CF card. The adapter was RM32 including postage and the CF card was a Kingston for RM56.
Whack the lot together and installed Windows 98SE cause his laptop gpu doesn't have a WinXP version.
So Moggie when you do come back from KL next week you can expect to see this :P
The Compaq with the dead battery and hdd pulled out. As you can see the small CF card in the adapter is plugged in.
The desktop after booting.
The Compaq playing a FLV file. Its a bit jerky but I guess you can watch YouTube on it if you can watch FLV videos.
The Compaq 1200 XL405 or 12XL405 specs:
700 MHz Intel Celeron processor (Coppermine core, 0.18 µm, 128 kB L2 cache)
64 MB on-board RAM
1 x SDRAM SO-DIMM slot with support for PC-133 SDRAM
6 GB hard drive
1 x Type II/III PCMCIA card slot
No CompactFlash slot as in the 1245
24x CDROM drive
Waiting for Moggie to come back so he can bring his USB Wifi adapter since this sucker has no LAN so we can test the interNETZ.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Media Player Classic settings
select view/options/External filters/
Add filter ....... Haali Media Splitter (AR), set merit 00900000, set prefer
Add Filter ........ ffdshow audio decoder, set merit 00700000
Add filter ....... cyberlink H.264/AVC Decoder or CoreAVC, set merit 00900400
Add Filter ........ Sonic Cinemaster Audio Decoder 4.3.0, set merit 00805000
Add Filter ........ ffdshow video decoder, set merit 00800000 (late fix to stop ffdshow taking over from cyberlink)
Add Filter ....... Sonic Cinemaster Video Decoder, set merit 00700000 (late fix to stop Cinemaster Video taking over from ffdshow video