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Thursday, July 10


Green Ring Of Death

After my Compaq Presario notebook coughed and died just weeks out of warranty, I went out and got a shiny new HP Pavilion notebook to replace it.  Which is basically the same thing, except shinier and newer.

One of the shiny new features was that it has a proper dedicated Nvidia 8400 graphics controller, instead of the embedded ATI graphics on the Presario.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:28 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Monday, July 07


The Only Thing More Screwed Up

Than Windows XP's networking is Windows Vista's networking, which at this point I deeply desire to punch in the face.

It's the usual Microsoft problem, of course: A dumbed-down user interface over what is actually a fairly powerful system, such that when you need to do something unusual, or something has gone wrong, you can't, because while the system is perfectly capable of doing what you need, the user interface designers didn't think of that.

So I somehow got myself into a situation where I couldn't disconnect from a VPN because my computer insisted that said VPN didn't exist - at the same time that it showed that I was connected to that VPN.

Disabling all network interfaces solved that problem.  Of course, if you do that, it forgets what your network is called.  I mean, no-one would ever want their computer to actually remember something trivial like that, right?

Also, once you've disabled the interface, that only half-registers in the user interface, so you can't enable it again.  You can disable it again, if you wish, though I hardly see the point.  You can also ask the system to diagnose your network problems, at which point it will highlight to you the fact that your network interface is disabled, and offer to enable it for you...  Secure in the comfortable knowledge that you can't punch a piece of software.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:16 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Friday, July 04


You Can't Get There From Here

Unusually, I have a little money in my pocket at the moment, so I wanted to finally upgrade my monitor, which is currently a 19" model a few years old.  It is a very nice 19" monitor, but it's still a 19" monitor.  And I blew up the DVI input for Christmas, so it's currently VGA only.

In shopping around, I discovered the new Samsung T series monitors.  The T240HD and T260HD in particular have exactly the features I want.  If I could buy two, today, I would.

I can't.  They aren't available in Australia at all.  None of the T series are.

The other thing I'd like is a good way to run some virtual servers.  VMWare Server was just that.  However, you can't run version 1 on Vista 64 - Vista 64 demands signed drivers, and VMWare Server doesn't have signed drivers - and while I could run it just fine on Linux, I couldn't access the remote console because you can't run it on Vista 64 and I can't connect my Linux box to my monitor because the DVI port is dead so I only have the one input and I can't get a new monitor because the one I actually want isn't available and if I buy one I don't want then the next day the one I want will show up and I'll be out four hundred bucks.

VMWare Server 2 beta runs on Vista 64.  VMWare Server 2 beta is a bloated piece of crap.  They replaced the very functional remote console with a hideous browser-based bit of crapware that requires you to install Apache and Tomcat just to administer your virtual machines.  Leading to a situation where the VMWare Server download is 25 times the size of the comparable VirtualBox installer.

On the other hand, VirtualBox crashes horribly when you try to run Centos 5.2 as a guest.

If I could get virtual servers running nicely on my Linux box, I'd quite like to upgrade it to 12GB of memory using the new 4GB DIMMs that are available, for instance, from Kingston.  They're a little pricey, but they allow me to put up to 16GB of memory on a $100 motherboard instead of needing a $700 motherboard.

You can't get them in Australia.  Not even from Kingston's Australian office.  Who aren't answering my emails.

I'd quite like to upgrade the server to 12GB of memory as well.  I can't get that either.  I'd have to do a server swap, which takes about 48 hours even if I spend two weeks planning it in advance.

And then there's semi-automated online stores.  Yes, I know it's the 3rd of July over there, but when I place an order for a downloadable software product, I don't expect the date or time to matter.  I expect instant fulfillment.  I can't rant about Digital Anarchy, though, because even though their ordering system requires human intervention, a human actually intervened and got my order shipped in a few minutes at 8pm their time.  So, um, good for them.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, my order for something - presumably either  Adobe Design Premium CS 3.3 or my new quad-core CPU - decided to arrive the moment I'm out of the office for four days.  Though I could pop into the city tomorrow if I really wanted to.  And I have the trial version of Photoshop to tide me over.

And OCZ have just announced the database-administrator-on-a-budget's wet dream: A 2.5" SATA flash-based SSD, boasting 120MB/s reads, 80MB/s writes, 0.3ms access times, MTBF of 1.5 million hours, and a price between $4 and $5 per GB.  32GB model is $169; 64GB model is $259; 128GB model is $479.  Again, if I could buy two of the 32GB models right this second, I would, but they aren't available in Australia.  Though again in this instance I can't complain too much, because they're apparently not going to be officially launched until next Monday.

Meh.  I think I'll go to lunch.

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