Archive for August, 2008

120Hz LCDs

August 28, 2008

why are they making them? are they trying to compensate for the downsides of LCDs? 120 is nice but LCDs still have response times (don’t give me that 2ms crap, those mean nothing, it’s still there.)

why the jump from 60/75 to 120? what happened to 85 and 100? are manufacturers doing it just because they can?

sorry, but my 0ms 60/75/85/100/120 Hz every-resolution CRT is still better.

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asus eee 900 woes

August 13, 2008

“so that’s why it was so slow..”

turns out the 16G version has the slow and crappy 16gb SSD that’s included in the 20G (fast 4gb for OS + slow 16gb for data) version of the eee 900.

what a mistake. that’s the only downside to it.. and it makes the thing half unusable.

looks like i’m going to just return it when I can. the return period ends sep 16 which is a day or two after I get back from my NY trip.. which was “half” the reason of buying it. which reminds me, my sister’s coming with me on the trip, and she has a laptop… wtf? I think I just owned myself and never needed one to begin with. (edit: never mind, she isn’t, i got confused)

and by the time I return it, the MSI Wind in white 6-cell linux form should be available =D

now to use the hell out of it before I return it, or just return it in good condition..

“external cd-rom drive”

August 13, 2008

never had one, but i do have this USB to IDE cable as well as a DC to molex power adapter. it doesn’t connect very well (its too fat) for a cd-rom drive.. but hell, i tried anyways. set the BIOS to boot USB then CD then SSD but nothing happened so i thought it didn’t work. should’ve tried it on my computer.. it does indeed work, even though the USB cable is for “hard drives”.

so I spent 6 hours making a WinXP install on a USB drive, then installing it, while killing my flash drive.. for almost nothing. pretty much just experience.

maybe Windows detects it but the BIOS doesn’t.

.. yeah, never mind. I was right. works inside windows because of the usb controller interface.. BIOS doesn’t see the drive at all.

.. I really don’t want to install another OS from a flash drive.. ever..

rockbox’ed sandisk sansa e280

August 12, 2008

a little while ago i got a beat up sansa e280 (unit only, no accessories) for free. the default firmware didn’t support unicode (or was it the font? everything was all squares) so i decided that I have to use the open source firmware RockBox. I was reading the manual for a while and then got interrupted for a week or so before I finally got back to it yesterday.

the install was pretty straightforward. dump the firmware on the device, then use a program with special privileges to install the rockbox bootloader. the sansa loader now immediately loads the rockbox bootloader and dualbooting back into the default firmware is doable.

i then tried putting some music on and listening, but two things irked me: non-working Unicode and atrocious sound quality. the RockBox menu interface is very tricky to navigate, but that just takes time getting used to, and I’m sure this great piece of open-source software was designed with thought.

apparently you have to use a Unicode-supporting font on the device to see those characters – contrary to what i first thought, the fonts were already installed (waste of space?) and I just needed to select it. it took me a while to find out that it was in “Theme Settings”. there are several Unicode-supporting fonts and I found one with a size and type that I liked.

as for the sound quality, I really don’t know, but it managed to fix itself.

now I’m ready to sell my great like-new (even after 15 months) condition Creative Zen Sleek Photo 20gb.. since I can still get good money for it.

there are still a few quirks with this firmware.

  • I normally listen to music on Shuffle and Repeat All (basically endless shuffled songs) but there is a “Repeat Shuffle” option whose behavior appears to be undefined to me. anyways I think Shuffle On + Repeat All works, but the “Next Song:” feature of RockBox is not providing accurate data half the time. (it’s either wrong or just blank.) hopefully I can find the working solution to this.
  • the icons at the bottom override some random (and probably non-important) text that I can’t see.
  • I tend to power it off while playing, and resume by powering it on later. but when I power it on, I have to click “resume playback” to actually resume.. this wouldn’t be a big deal if it was one after another, but I have to wait for the device/firmware to boot in between powering it on and hitting resume. annoying because I use that feature in the car a lot..
  • I prefer transferring to the device using MTP through Winamp the most, and can’t seem to do that.. yet.

hopefully I can get around these things..

for the most part I am happy to get my money back for my Zen and use a free device that works, is open-source, and a lot smaller (flash-based, not hard-drive based!)

creative zen sleek photo

August 11, 2008

wow, it just turns off when i turn it on.. usually it displays a “low battery” message, but I guess I let it sit around so long (a few weeks to a month?) that the low battery just completely drained out..

so i plugged it in and tried to turn it on, but it kept doing that.. got scared for a long time! i went to recovery mode by holding play/pause while putting a paper clip into the reset.. and hit reboot.. and it had enough power to say “low battery” and turn itself off less than a second later (usually it stays there until i power it off.) weird.

now it had enough power to dock. phew! i thought it may have died.. i would’ve been so mad since i’ve had it for .. 1 year and 3 months?

the best part is that one paper clip was too fat so i had to get a skinnier one!

foxit reader

August 11, 2008

adobe reader was okay (a little bloated), then i installed adobe acrobat to edit PDFs (which I never did) and it felt nice using the official Adobe PDF printer. but that thing is SUPER bloated. i was so glad to reformat.. then i wanted even cleaner so I decided to try Foxit Reader instead of Adobe Reader. it’s really light and great.

… so light that I really don’t mind using it instead of the “real” adobe pdf reader. the lightness beats anything that it lacks (the only thing I’ve cared about so far is that it’s not Adobe. lol.) and a great part of it is that it supports tabbed viewing of PDFs.

canon powershot sd450 e18 lens error

August 9, 2008

infamous camera dropping happened again. i remember Richard helped me fix (with steady hands) one that my dad dropped. simply putting the lens back into the tumbler but externally.

this time, it was at louis’s party over the weekend with plenty of well-intoxicated people.. except myself, of course. even then, you can’t keep everything to reasonable levels.. and i was not able to prevent Teresa’s camera from dropping. lenses smashed in and can’t go in and out..

Canon said repair for $99 or a discounted SD850 for $150, so me and Christian said screw that and decided to go on a little endeavor with the camera. it wouldn’t budge no matter the quantity or type of force applied to it so we opened it up for 1-2 hours. got pretty deep before we gave up (spent most of ping pong friday cleaning and doing this.. and setting up for/watching olympics… there goes my fun), but eric took it home and was able to dig deeper than we did on his time, and it was simply putting something back on track.. once you opened it enough.

may everyone take this as a lesson that this is REALLY easy to fix..

finally bought my UMPC

August 9, 2008

the debate between the $380 acer aspire one and the $513 msi wind white xp 3-cell (when i wanted white linux 6-cell) compromised me to a $400 asus eee 900.

i really liked the Wind’s design, and liked the 10″, but i wanted it this week. got a Amazon Prime free trial from Peter.. apparently you need that to get 3 day shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BYB60W

hopefully I can take care of it and resell it when the Wind comes out, or just be happy with this one.

MSI Wind woes

August 6, 2008

stupid POS needs to be in stock. white, linux, 6-cell.

the acer aspire one was $370 free tax/shipping and i was very tempted to just go for it. but I decided to keep waiting for the Wind.

better be worth it..