Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Several (Small) Updates

May 13, 2013

I haven’t posted to this blog in what feels like several years (but has only been several months). Since then, several admittedly small things have happened:

  • I’m no longer the fervent hater of Steam that I used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate the DRM behind Steam, although I haven’t been bitten by it in a long time (don’t worry, 15 minutes after I post this, something will happen). And, given the choice between purchasing a game on GoG or on Steam, I’ll choose GoG nearly every time because it’s DRM free, cheaper (unless a Steam sale is on) and is generally easier to mod. However, if I’m buying a game online, I’d much rather use Steam than some other client.
  • I purchased a domain and some hosting. I may very well create that site I promised years ago. I may very well indeed…

If You Have Everything, Search with Everything

May 4, 2010

I was looking for a new search utility a few days ago (the XP one just doesn’t cut it, and I don’t know how to revert back to the classic non Dog search in XP x64). While looking I found a small utlity (not even 500KB) that caught my interest. It’s name: Everything. It’s fast. No, I take that back. It’s very fast. The first time I ran it, it indexed everything on my C drive (131,492 objects, currently) in under 30 seconds. Its simple and dog-less interface does what it has to do, nothing more, nothing less.

If you want search that just works, download it. And no, I’m not the developer, just a newfound fan of it.

Yet Another Steam Rant

April 28, 2010

The “new and improved” Steam UI update was released today. The new user interface is too shiny and overly verbose. For a comparison:

Simple. Streamlined. Perhaps even a hint of elegance. And now we have:

As I said: Too glossy. Too verbose. And just plain “ugh”. Why is it that “News” is now a separate tab? Why was it that in the old UI I could look at updates for games in a secondary window but this is no longer the case with the new UI? I dare not complain on the Steam forums for fear of getting my head bitten off by the “gamers” who’ll consume whatever Valve PR tells them, like the obedient leashed dogs they are.

And then there’s the fact that they’re dropped support for Windows 2000. Don’t give me the “But it’s x years old” bullshit. The box said the game supported Windows 2000, and it had better support Windows 2000, should I decide to install and play it on a Windows 2000 machine. Don’t give me the EULA bullshit either. I could very well write an application that has an EULA that states that the users soul is now my property (much like that game retailer in the UK). But would it be legal?

As I’ve said many, many times prior, no DRM at all is “acceptable”. They are all just as horrible as the next one, but in different ways. They all restrict your rights to software you purchased (nee, rented or “subscribed” to). The only reason at all that I put up with Steam is because of Valve’s good games. Perhaps I should stop and no longer play such games.

Those of you whom have had bad experiences with Steam may speak your mind here. There is no corporate kool-aid around here, I’m afraid. Just an angry geek that’s about to snap at DRM bullshit.

UPDATE: There are also reports that the update created performance problems for several games (such as Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead [2]).

A Rant on Windows XP x64.

April 26, 2010

I can’t remember how many times I’ve discussed “upgrading to Windows 7” on the blog, but I do remember that I did that a lot (however I most likely will upgrade to 7 fairly soon). This post isn’t about that, but rather it’s about the operating system I use now: Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. When I tell people that I use it, they freak. “Why the hell are you using that? It’s not compatible with almost any software or hardware! Hell, Windows ME is more compatible!” They tell me, rather they almost demand me to upgrade to either Vista, 7 or even back to 32-bit XP. I’m going to be bold here and say this: Don’t tell me how the hell to run my system. If I wanted to (though, I doubt it would work) run Windows ME on an i7 980X system with 24GB of RAM, I can very well do that. If I want to use a Commodore 64 as my primary computer, I very well can do that. If I want to run an OS that gives me several benefits: Can use more than 4GB (most likely less) without kernel hacks, and has a familiar environment I very much like. I very well can.

And then there’s that “compatibility” thing they speak of. Let’s see.. Of all the systems I’ve run XP x64 on, I’ve only had one device not work, a KWorld TV tuner (that has since bitten the bucket). And you know the funny thing? It doesn’t work on Vista/7 x64 either. It might work on Linux x64, but I haven’t tried. The thing is: if you have somewhat modern hardware made by a decent company (which I would assume x64 users would want anyway), I see no reason why XP x64 shouldn’t work.

I’ve very rarely had software compatibility issues with XP x64. One of the times was a 16-bit (DOS & Win16 apps aren’t supported on x64 Windows) installer for a mid-90’s 32-bit video game, all I did was install the game in a 9x based Virtual machine and copied the files over. The game worked fine after that. Another time was when setup thought XP x64 was Server 2003 (which it is. They are both NT version 5.2.3790) and would not install. Most likely because the developer had an “enterprise class” version of the software for Server 2003. And there are times where you can just use compatibility mode. Nearly all the apps I used in XP 32-bit work in XP 64-bit (Microsoft Security Essentials, aside. Probably because Forfront works on Windows 2000/Server 2003/XP x64 and because it costs money).

All in all, XP x64 compatibility is not as bad as people say it is.

Technology is Grand. Or is it?

April 24, 2010

A few days ago I was having a discussion with a fellow geek on IPv6. I asked “Why do we need so many IP addresses?” Wikipedia states: “The very large IPv6 address space supports a total of 2128 (about 3.4×1038) addresses—or approximately 5×1028 (roughly 295) addresses for each of the roughly 6.5 billion (6.5×109) people alive in 2006.”

He told me that “with so many addresses, each and every device that you own can be connected to the Internet!” At first I thought it sounded kind of cool. But, after a while I got to thinking “Is that really such a great idea? To have every device you own connected to the Internet?” I got to thinking about a lowly refrigerator, but now connected to the Internet. Imagine a hacker/script kiddie somewhere rooting your refrigerator, and then disabling it, thus spoiling your food. Also imagine having to install firmware to fix a bug that allowed it in the first place. This might sound like a crazy thing, but I helped set up a new 42″ television for someone and I spotted an option for “Firmware updates”, and my old DVD player actually had firmware updates out for it. I could updates for those types of products to be (somewhat) acceptable. But imagine A Russian script kiddie turning on your washing machine at 3:30 in the morning while you were trying to sleep. It’s a wild world out there, and it’s only going to get more wild.

Windows 7 Works with a VIA C7.. well somewhat

May 14, 2009

Since my default machine (an Athlon 64) decided to go get fried, I’ve had to use my fallback machine, which is a Via C7. This C7 in paticular is 1500MHz, has 128KB of L2 cache, and features the MMX,SSE,SSE2, and SSE3 instruction extentions, while my Athlon 64 was 1800MHz, had 512KB of L2 machine and featured all the instruction additions that the C7 does plus 3dnow and x86_64.

Compared to that machine.. this thing is slow. My old CPU counted PI to 1 million digits in around 40 seconds. This bad boy? Over 360 seconds. Now that I’ve got the fact that is slow drilled into your head, you probably wonder if this CPU’ll handle 7. It does. But not extrodinarily so. It seems XP is the best [Microsoft] OS for this beast.

Ubuntu Linux. It changes my views on Linux.

January 4, 2009

Last month I posted that I was thinking about switching to Linux before 2009, later I then decided to not switch, and that has pretty much been my opinion on it until today. Earlier this morning (around 3:30), I felt like taking Ubuntu for a spin, again. As you know, I’m not a big fan of eye candy. But when I first booted up the 8.04 LiveCD I just HAD to say “Wow”. The interface was just that good, plus it’s based on GNOME, which I just CAN NOT stand, so it amazing me even more. The color scheme. The desktop background. It just all comes together. Plus the LiveCD is faster then Windows XP, and actually rivals my 2000 installation in speed. This is nothing short of amazing. I may actually eat my words and install Ubuntu.

Here’s a screenie of the blog using FF3 on Ubuntu:
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

I enabled the subpixel smoothing option, so it probably won’t look as great on CRT’s.

2009: Year of the Linux Desktop (or not)?

January 2, 2009

I’m getting kinda sick of writing rants about how Windows 2000 is great or about the 1984-ish DRM schemes Holywood and software publishers think up, so I’ve decided to do something a bit different. As you know, I talk about Linux alot. Deep down inside I actually would love to use it as my operating system of choice, but due to my needs I can’t, just yet anyway. But others with much less complex needs can, and probably should. You might ask, why. Stability? Nope. Price. Due to the economic recession happening, people want things for as cheap as possible. People don’t want to have to spend $200, or even $100, on an operating system. And because of this, I feel that more people will be switching to Linux. 2009 may actually BE the year of the Linux desktop.