Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

America’s Army & Com21 cable modem

Monday, February 2nd, 2004

With this new computer, I’ve started playing America’s Army again. I had played it a little bit with the old computer, but it always kinda sucked. So I tried it out again.

I ran in to a strange issue where my cable modem would reset whenever I started the game, in both Windows and Linux. Did a little snooping around, and found out that it’s an issue that effects my cable modem – Com21 DoxPort 1100 I think it is. Seems to also effect the Motorola SB4200 and a certain Linksys router.

Since Com21 is out of business I couldn’t just download a new firmware like people with the Motorola unit can do. I dreaded having to visit the Comcast office. I had tons of troubles with Comcast when I first got service about 2.5 years ago, I figured it would be a nightmare visiting them again.

But I went anyways. And it was really quite painless. In and out in about 5 minutes. Came home, plugged it in, and I was good ta go!

Now to try America’s Army again…

New computer

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004

Got my new computer all put together. Ended up with:

  • Antec Sonata w/ 380W power supply
  • MSI K2N2 Delta L NFORCE2 Ultra 400 motherboard
  • AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton 333MHz FSB
  • Kingston HyperX PC3200 512MB (2×256) CAS 2-2-2 RAM
  • Western Digital 80GB 8MB Cache 7200RPM hard drive
  • Leadtek A350 GeForce FX 5900 128MB RAM video card
  • Speeze Falconrock CPU heatsink / fan

It’s perty fast! Really happy with it. Carried over the optical drives (DVD and CD-RW) from the old computer. Figure I’ll pick up a DVD burner in a few months when the dual format drives get a little cheaper.

Unfortunately, the video card hard to be returned because it had some problems playing full screen stuff — like games. I tried a game that was included with the card, 3D Mark 01SE and 03, and the dxdiag Direct3D tests under Windows. Under Linux, I tired to play RTCW: Enemy Territory and the glxgears test. All of them yielded the same results. I’m using my GeForce 2 MX from the old computer for right now. Heh, only got like 2900 on 3DMark 01SE.

Got everything up and running in Gentoo pretty quickly. It compiles stuff MUCH, MUCH faster than the old computer. Pretty rediculous. I used a binary version of KDE to get up and going quicker, and because KDE 3.2 is due to be released soon. I’ll just wait until then.

The Falconrock cooler does a pretty good job. Keeping my system at 34C idle, and around 44C loaded. Quiet too. Right now, I have the FSB up to 180, so just a mild overclock. I looked at the markings on my chip before I put the heatsink on, but didn’t bother to write them down so I’m not sure if I got an unlocked chip or not. I’ll have to play around with it.

The Antec Sonata case is really high quality. Nice rounded edges. Big 120MM fan in the back for exhaust. The hard drive cage is roatated 90 degrees compared to a normal one. Makes mounting the drives a little interesting, but not too bad. Seems pretty quiet too. I was kinda disappointed with the noise level when I first built the system. Then I swapped the video card and things got really quiet. Real nice for a change. When I get a new card, I may have to look in to quieter cooling methods.

Latest Desktop

Friday, January 2nd, 2004

screenshot

KDE 3.2 from CVS
SuperKaramba theme that I’ve kinda hacked up
KSmoothdock
Korilla 1.3.5 icons

djbdns local cache

Friday, December 12th, 2003

Just setup a local DNS cache using djbdns on my computer. Not really sure why, except that I was bored. It was really pretty easy. I just had to emerge djbdns which brought along a couple dependencies. Then ‘rc-update add svscan default’ for daemontools, ‘dnscache-setup’ for setting up djbdns. I chose most of the defaults… have it only listening on 127.0.0.1, forwarding lookups to my ISP’s DNS. It changed resolv.conf to point to 127.0.0.1, but I had to change /etc/conf.d/net.:

dhcpcd_eht0=” -R ”

That’s all that was needed. I can watch the cache hits by looking at the log in /service/dnscache/log/main/current. Pretty cool. Pretty easy.

Firebird 0.7

Friday, October 17th, 2003

So the new Firebird is out. In case you don’t know, it’s essentially a stripped down version of Mozilla. A lot less bloat. There’s no real new features that I use. The Options menu has been reworked a bit, that’s about the only visual difference that I see. Doesn’t really seem faster to me, not as fast as Konqueror feels at least. The only reason I don’t use Konq all the time is because I’ve gotten to used to the way Mozilla/Phoenix/Firebird feels. Can’t quite get Konq configured to be exactly the way I like it. Oh well. Firebird on Windows is speedy though, and is really worth using over IE.

And while I’m writing, I got my new MS Natural Keyboard this week. After using a wireless Logitech keyboard for about 6 months, I’m glad to be back to the Natural-ness. Much more comfortable.

Silly rules

Saturday, October 11th, 2003

I spilled a Diet Coke on my keyboard last night, and it wouldn’t work this morning.. poor little keyboard. It was the wireless one that I got for free from Logitech.. So I went to Best Buy to buy me a new one. They wanted $50 for the cheapest Microsoft Natural Keyboard.. no thanks! So I bought the cheapest one — GE Power Keyboard for $10! Come back home to buy get me one online. Newegg has a OEM Natural Keyboard for $17, but check it out.. it requires a hardware purchase! Piece of hardware requires a hardware purchase. But they’re nice enough to sell a power cable splitter for $5 and it has a $5 combo saving dealio on it; free. How silly. I’ll just keep this little GE hunk of junk around as a spare, for the next time I spill something..

And this is the second keyboard I’ve ruined this year. Broke my old Natural keyboard when I was trying to clean it.

MS has really screwed up their new keyboards as far as the insert/home/pgeup/pgedown/etc keys are concerned. They’re in two columns, home and end on the first row. Delete on the left column taking up two rows, and page up and down on the right column. The insert key is gone. The one from newegg has the keys in columns, but the insert key is still there.

Linux is just passing through…

Tuesday, July 1st, 2003

According to Bill Gates, Linux is just passing through. Not really threatening to competition. It’ll be gone shortly folks, don’t worry… Linux is dieing!

Whatever you say, Billy Boy.

Some notes on lirc, bttv, and my Leadtek Winfast card

Sunday, May 4th, 2003

I’ve helped a couple folks on the Gentoo forum with their Leadtek Winfast TV2000 XP TV tuner card. Here are some notes on getting the remote to work. I guess I’ll work backwards.. I’ll put up some info on the getting the tv tuner itself to work later.
(more…)

Horde

Tuesday, March 25th, 2003

I’ve recently setup the Horde suite on my computer. I’m using the latest CVS version because of some problems with PEAR modules and kronolith. After figuring out that I should use CVS, I really didn’t have any issues getting it going.

I’m using a MySQL backend so that all my preferences are saved. My IMAP server is courier-imap, and I use fetchmail to pull down mail to be processed by procmail and placed into the proper maildirs that I have setup.

I still have some tweaking to do with procmail, and some mail to move over from Evolution, otherwise, everything is peachy. Now I’ll be able to check all my email accounts from any web browser, have all my addresses and appointments in one place, and it’ll all be secure because of SSL. Pretty nifty package and not too difficult to setup.

Watch TV on windows

Tuesday, January 21st, 2003

Watch TV on windows. No, not Windows, but windows. Andersen Windows has shown off a new product that allows you to use a large bay window as an entertainment center. It sends a current through the window when you want the window to be clear, as in a normal window, but turning the current off makes the window opaque so that it can be used as a projection screen for watching TV or DVDs.

renice

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

This thead on the Gentoo forums has some neat info for improving desktop performance in X. I think I’ll give it a try over the weekend…

Ordering parts

Sunday, January 12th, 2003

I’ve been gathering parts for a new/upgraded computer. I picked up a 256MB stick of Crucial PC2100 RAM at Best Buy this past week for $35 after rebates. I’ve also ordered a new heat sink, fan, and rounded IDE and floppy cables. The fan I ordered is a Vantec Stealth fan, should be nice and quiet.
(more…)