Recently I switched from Fiber Internet connection to VSDL. As a geek I of course have my own Linux gateway machine (I’m using Fit-PC2i from CompuLab). I had everything working fine before the switchover. I foolishly thought I would be fine by just disconnecting the cable from ISP Ethernet socket and plugging it in to VDSL modem in bridged mode. Things didn’t quite go that way.
I noticed soon that almost everything worked. Except few things. Some webcams were not showing anything, speedtest.net was barfing out, as were some web-based TV channel videos via flash delivery. Most notably, however, Windows Update was giving the less widely known 80072EE2 error. I’m running Windows 7 on my PC and Debian Stable on the gateway machine. I’m naturally not using any Microsoft WSUS technologies in the middle or anything.
Back in the days I made a small study on audio compression. It’s far from scientific quality, but I nonetheless want to post it, so here we go. (I have edited out some of the blatant errors I have found.)
Sound is usually compressed in order to save space. Audio space conservation is an important issue in transmission and storage. We may for example want to store audio in such vast amounts that without compression it would take way too much storage space. We might also want to transmit audio data over transmission path having only limited capacity, for example receive a MP3 file through slow modem connection. There are also other constraints regarding compression, much of which is discussed later.
(This piece was originally written in 2011 as a Facebook note)
About one and a half months back I was browsing the games shelf in a local department store. I happened to come upon a copy of Alan Wake. The price had been considerably lowered. I think the original cost was 50+ EUR, but now it was only 19,95 EUR. Needless to say I bought it.
I remember that the game received high scores on the gaming press, however, I was not sure about the sales. Definitively not the figures of, say Modern Warfare 2, but not a disaster either. Alan Wake was “No. 1 video game of 2010” on Time Magazine. And I can fully understand, why.
Now this thing is an oddball. The TV series Pasadena from 2001. Many times a year I go to check whether it is available as DVD. It is not. But it really should be.
Pasadena was a TV series by Columbia TriStar Television/Sony Pictures Television. It was shown on FOX in 2001 in USA until it was cancelled. It was shown in Finland in 2002. 12 years ago. Actually, Finland was one of the lucky nations where it was possible to watch the whole series on national TV. Lets get one thing straight. Pasadena was an excellent show. It was also critically acclaimed according to Wikipedia. I personally liked the dark atmosphere and suspense of the show. I think there was a bit of a love story involved also, but my memory has faded on that point. It has been, after all, 12 years without a reunion of any kind.
Recently I discovered I was running out of resources on my old VMware ESXi host, a Lenovo Thinkpad X201. Because of some security concerns I don’t keep swap enabled. Therefore I need lots of real RAM on the host machine. I also prefer small form factor (as the earlier laptop is).
After a while googling around I came across Zotac Zbox ID90. It’s one of those small form factor PC’s. Relevant specs are: CPU: Intel Core i7 3770T; Chipset: Intel H61 Express; Maximum memory: 16GB. Looks sufficient, I thought. There were, however 2 concerns. I had no idea whether the on-board LAN chips were compatible with ESXi 5.5.0. One would think that if the chipset was from Intel, it would include Intel LAN chips, right? Right? Another issue was support for Intel VT-d technology. There was no way to determine this from the specs provided. I tried asking Zotac support, but they were unable to assist. I don’t blame them, since the only real-world way to determine setup support is to actually install ESXi and see if DirectPath I/O is supported. I decided to take my chances and order Zbox ID90.
About a month back or so I got to the office in the morning as usual. I sat down on my office chair. For a while things were as any other morning. Then I started to hear eerie music with a weird male voice-over. I had difficulties locating the source first. I checked under the laptop, behind it, under the table. Then I noticed that the sound came from bottom of my chair.
I took a look and.. just whoa! You cannot make this up. My workmates had rigged my office chair. Ingenious! They had used some USB powered promotional video board to play the weird video file. Then they had removed the power cords, soldered them to a micro switch and attached it to the base of my chair with electrical tape. They told me they had used quite a while in fine-tuning this installation. Good work, it actually worked very nice.
A few years back I ran into a problem with a Xerox 7700 laser printer. The print quality had been OK, but suddenly the printer reported that a toner cartridge had to be changed and refused to print anymore. After checking up on prices it seemed like we needed to spend 200 EUR to buy a new cartridge.
I googled around a bit and found out interesting piece of information. It seemed like the toner cartridges had some kind of memory units regarding print counts. Once the counter reaches zero, the cartridge stops printing. At this point I decided to hack the cartridge back to a working state.
1. First I removed the toner cartridge from the printer.
Usually a the big music corporations accuse people downloading music thieves and such. I want to present you a different story with reversed roles.
Payday is a game a bit similar to Left 4 Dead 2. It includes 4 players, a lot of guns and plenty targets to shoot. The object of the game is not to shoot zombies, but to make big buck heists, bank jobs, HVT extraction, and stuff like that. All in all, very nice game (the sequel, Payday 2 has been released and it is doing great).
Seriously Electronic Arts / DICE. I should be saying this nicely, but I can’t and I don’t care anymore. What the fuck is going on with Battlefield 3? How have you managed to make playing the game online such a pain in the ass? Today I decided to play BF3 because it has been a while. I launched EA Origin. Oh, new update, okay. Boom, my credentials were gone from the login screen of Origin. What sense it makes to have a “remember me” box in the client if it actually constantly forgets you?
Another issue, the stupid game launcher. Working on a web browser. Except it mostly is not working. Today it announced I had to install updated plugin to play. I installed. I reinstalled. No dice. I rebooted. Did it work? Nah. Reboot again, reinstall plugin, test Campaign mode. Finally.