just another web log
27 Apr 2004 21:56 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
my light show ! http://www4.alzado.net/pages/eD7185.html make your own and see it in reality !
Finally completed Splinter Cell so I had to download the three add on levels and boy were they hard but now its all finished :(
I was talking to someone who completed a while ago and asked him if he was looking forward to the second one, Pandoras tomorrow, expecting him to excitedly say yes I was surprised to hear that he had been burnt out by the first one and would not get the sequel !!
Me ? I have switched focus to Unreal Championship single player until i am good enough to go online, short wait then ??

20 Apr 2004 21:42 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
I have finished reading two books, first up is Nietzsche's "Beyond good and evil" which was hardly readable and had nothing much to offer other than the use of the word "hitherto" on most pages, not recommended.
The other is Karin Slaughter's title "kisscut" which is just as good as "a faint cold fear" but much much more nasty and unpleasant, if you can stumoch the subject then this is heartedly recommended and i will look out for the first book "blindsighted".
After my DVD debarcal I thought my Linux system was totally up to date, but alas I found that the sound was not good.
Any application in or out of X11 would play music/sounds but at the merest hint of CPU activity would stutter and splert I perfected this by running some of the GFX heavy openGL hacks that come with xscreensaver, it was like being in a time warp ....
After hours of searching and finding next to nothing that covered my problem I found an odd note about a BIOS setting, with nothing else to try I went into the BIOS and changed the SDRAM sync from 3 o 2 and now sound works perfectly regardless of what the system is doing !!
Oh and just a quick note, Sarah took me to the IMAX theatre to see Matrix Revolutions and it KICKED ARSE !! only way to see it!!

19 Apr 20040 5:31 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
What's so special about this XBox game then ? I hear you ask. Well first off it is a sequel to a game I missed the chance of owning and was going for a minimum of £500 on eBay and its more than a game, more of an inverted commas experience !
Why did it command a such a high price and why does it not now ? I preordered the game in December 2003 and got it the day it was released at the end of March and was very surprised to find the box not only contained the items necessary to play the sequel but also the complete original game !
The large box over a foot square contained "Steel Battalion : Line of Contact" with the necessary hardware comprising of four large parts.
It took me a while to reconfigure my office to set the damn thing up, assembled the controller is only just shy of a meter wide ! and that does not take into too account the large foot pedal base !
Originally Capcom (he guys who brought us Street Fighter and many other well games) were asked by Microsoft to create a kick ass product for the new XBox, anything goes no holds barred. What they came up with was "Steel Battalion", limited to 40,000 copies world wide and commanding a price tag of three normal games it came with a one of a kind controller, completely useless with any other game and of a very high build quality.
"Steel Battalion" is a vertical tank combat simulator where realism is the put before anything else, don't believe me ? fail to flip open the eject button during combat and eject before your mech is destroyed and your saved game is wiped !
Just trying to start the game is nightmare or dream depending which way you look at it, first off you must close the cockpit, start the ignition, oxygen supply, fuel, shields and a few other things before you can hit the start button and begin, oh and each of those steps is a different button or switch on the controller (there are over forty buttons/switches).
The first thing you notice is the game play window is about a quarter of the overall screen, as you are viewing the inside of your cockpit and there is a lot to see in your cockpit from additional monitors, ammo, warnings and much more.
Controlling the mech or VT is done with the pedals and two joysticks, the pedals having accelerate, break and clutch, oh did forget to mention the console also has a seven point gear stick ?! The left large joystick rotating the angle you are facing, the right large joystick angling the weapons and the small joystick on the left large joystick controlling the cockpit, this simply means you can walk in one direction, have cockpit facing another and your weapons face a third independent direction, needles to say it can be a bit confusing at first !!
But once you have control the graphics are second to none, you really feel you are controlling this huge monster and just to catch you out, trying to turn hard left or right WILL result in you tipping the mech over !
This covers nothing about the involved missions or even the online play that "Line of Contact" has, easy it is not, and I will not venture online until I can complete the single player original !

18 Apr 2004 23:39 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
What is nice about the ASROCK K7VT2 motherboard is it supports both SDRAM and DDR memory, meaning I could reuse my existing Simms !
As well as picking up the motherboard I also bought an anti-static mat, so that was where it spent a few hours while I got it hooked up and tested. Works, left is running all night and it was fine, few hours later and the mother board was in the case and everything was neat and tidy.
Job done ? fat chance, although this motherboard has built in LAN I like my PCI card so disabled the on board LAN in the BIOS, no problem, as it also came with on board AC97 sound I decided to let ALSA try and find / use it. Nope, not wanting to spend any time on it I shoved back in my creative labs PCI sound card, hmmm no ALSA refuse to recognise anything in the machine, disabled on board sound in the BIOS and ...still nothing, running alsaconf finds nothing, but after a lot of research I simply ran
alsactl restore
woohoo sound again !!
Now DVDs will not play, turns out my link from /dev/dvd -> /dev/cdrom did not work but a new link from /dev/dvd -> /dev/hdc worked perfectly.
Everything looks good except KDE now takes 17 minutes to start up :(
I other news I finally beat splinter cell on the XBox and did the easter egg on the training mission ;) just downloading the extra levels from XBox live !
Of course I have not let you know about my other XBox purchase ....
continued later

17 Apr 2004 22:13 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
I am a alive ! and my machine breathes once again !!
And no I have not been alive recently, all week to be exact, which is odd because illness to me is rare and if it comes its only 24hrs.
And as you may have guessed the machine was not alive the week before or before that, what was wrong you ask ...
I finally ordered a water cooling kit from http://www.overclockers.co.uk got it in no time and went to work straight away. After some time sorting out the components and getting the lengths I wanted for the pipes I tried to remove the fan on my graphics card, after some swearing I finally had it off, after more swearing I managed to attach the water cooling block.
Next up was removing my infamous Zalman flower heat sink from the CPU, I put a small amount of pressure on the bar securing it to the CPU, nothing I tried applying reasonable pressure, nada, I tried really hard, still nothing, hardly budged a millimetre, I lent on the damn thing with all my force and after a brief pause it finally shifted enough to be removed, phew !
About an hour later I had the block in place and was running the water through using my handy test PSU, it was taking along time but the air was being removed from the blocks. another hour passed and I give the system a hand be carefully tilting the case to better allow the small air pockets to reach the outlet tubes, I decide to leave it over night.
Next day all the air was gone, switch the PSU back and setup the case ready to go, nothing no power, realising I must have cracked my lovely AMD 1.4MHz Athlon thunderbird I popped down to http://www.maplin.co.uk in my lunch hour and picked up an AMD 2000xp which I though was rated at 1.6MHz (but I have seen since rated as 1.8MHz).
Spent hours draining the system, removing all components so I could get at the back of the mother board and very carefully swapped the CPUs.
Having had the previous experience I quickly go the water through the system and once most of the air was gone switched on, oh joy ! power and the system was booting ! System hung before Linux could even get to starting X11, slightly worried I rebooted and tried again, same thing happened this time after X11 had started but only just!
Worried that it was my Linux 2.6.2 kernel that had been built against the old CPU I booted off a Morphix DVD I had lying around, had fun with the GFX card not being supported then just left it in text mode, after about an hour it had hung.
Due to the TIME factor in each cases of these hangs I checked the BIOS for CPU/SYSTEM temperatures and they seemed very low, I then tried swapping the GFX card with an old one, which was fun because the main one was still all piped up and I was not about to spend hours unhooking it and draining the system, no luck.
Next day went to http://www.maplin.co.uk and bought a ASROCK motherboard.

continued tomorrow .......



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