Tuesday, December 22, 2009

HTC Touch2 hands on review part 2.


Finishing off the review.

HTC Touch2 hands on review.


First part of the HTC Touch2 review, the second part will feature me rambling on so enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Overheating a GC.

You I promise I would show you what a graphic card looks like when it overheated. Well am crap out of luck. The X1950 my friend lent me refuses to go checker box on me instead it just rebooted the pc or hanged win7. Which goes to show just how tough GCs are nowadays and how hard it is to frag them. None the less I will be still on the quest for the overheated and thermally scarred GC, it is just I can't kill my friend's X1950 since that won't be cricket.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review of the Nvida GT 240 from Galaxy.


Review of the Galaxy Nvidia GT 240 512MB DDR5 card which competes against the ATI 4670 in the performance arena but loses against the ATI 4850 in the price arena.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How to tell if your graphic is overheating from a flu ridden geek.


My attempt to explain how to tell if your graphic card is overheating with a few tests and observations.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Modding a crappy USD7 Logitech mouse for a little better performance.

So I had a budget for a mouse for general usage: RM30. So I bought this Logitech Mouse for RM25 or USD7.3 approx. The damn thing terrible. I broke my rule of test first before I buy when concerning mice and keyboards.

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

Fixing my Mom's friend Laptop.

Most of the people who I had to repair stuff for usually bring me their gear when it's about to die.In this case my mom's friend Lisa brought to me again her Dell Inspiration 500M laptop.
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!

Naturally, she was using an USB PCMCIA card for the keyboard but on boot you can't use the keyboard until windows loaded. Which was the problem. Her XP bit it too. So I thought I just desolder those dead USB ports and solder in some used ones from my spare motherboards. After 20 screws later I decided I didn't want to strip the Dell Laptop just to solder in the USB ports since I most likely will spend another 2 hours more trying to screw the 60 screws back (well I don't know how many but it's a hell lot).
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.

X-Mini 2 and X-Mini Max 2 Video Review.

My review of the X-Mini 2 and my impressions of the Max 2.






Naturally, YouTube doesn't like 20 min videos so I had to cut it up. Yeah, annoying.

Monday, October 26, 2009

All you ever want to know about PCs: CPUs

CPUs

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.

Protection

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.

Hyperthreading

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.

Multi-Cores

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

Acer Aspire One SATA HDD Mod.

Well it was one of those days. After preparing to mod my AOne, the SATA socket I was desoldering from external 2.5" case fell to pieces. Another wonderful product from China. So I stripped a SATA data and power cable to use instead.

After 20 minutes of trying to desolder the solder on the AOne SATA solder points I decided to take the motherboard to a handphone shop and see if they would desolder for me. Unfortunately, after one look at those small solder points they decline.

So back home I was in a 'Fuck it' attitude and decided 'come heaven or hell' I was gonna solder those damn SATA sockets in. Which led to me spending 3 hours straight doing this project hence no documentation.

Anyway here is the video and below the links to the images in it.


http://www.theacerguy.com/2009/01/aspire-one-a110-25-sata/
http://radikal.ru/F/s50.radikal.ru/i129/0811/06/7a38d568617b.jpg.html
http://www.theacerguy.com/wp-content/uploads//2009/01/p1251495.jpg

Friday, September 11, 2009

Promises are made to be broken!!

Yeah, yeah. I know, I know. The how to videos will come when I get the screencapture program installed and a virual box ready.

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

Compaq 12XL405

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 ┬Ám, 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

My workspace.

Ever wonder what my desktop looks like? Take a gander.

Howto: Installing HD codes for playback of Blu-Ray and HD DVD files.

Here is the second part of the Howto Guide of Installing HD Codecs.

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

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Howto: Installing HD codes for playback of MKV files.

Ok, did a voice over a screencast basically so don't shoot me.

video

For a larger video:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ok I am back.

I swear I am. After dealing with my father's stroke the end game is near. So I will have video tutorial guides up for just any topic you can think of in a week. The first guide is a step by step to get HD to run on your Atom system be it an Acer Aspire One laptop or any Nettop PC. Stay tuned.