February 25, 2005

Busy Day!

Holy shit, it was busy today! I was down there at 7:30 am and I worked solid, no breaks, no lunch until about 5:30 pm. Now my big toe hurts. Funny how it only starts hurting when I'm done work. Got most of my deliveries done. Although there was this one delivery that was driving me crazy. It was going to Revenue Canada, which I assumed would be in the federal building, also known as the Harry Hays. I had to get all my bank stuff done first and for awhile there, things weren't looking good for this RevCan trip. But I booted over there after doing my banking, thinking it was a waste of time, they would be closed, but at least I could say I tried. Well I get there, and they're still open! Woohoo! So I pull out the envelope to enter it on my manifest, and I'm at the wrong building!!! Doh! It's way at the other end of town and when I get there I found out that address had closed an hour earlier. Damn, I was so excited about getting there while they were still open. And RevCan has always been at the Fed, for like the past 18 years anyhoo, but aparently they are doing some renovations so they moved a few offices to this new location until the work is done. The funny thing is, the girl who called me for this delivery made the same mistake and said it was going to the Harry Hays.

Posted by Fungii at 06:13 PM

February 17, 2005

PC to TV Video

I've had my computer hooked up to my stereo and TV for awhile now and there has always been a problem with the video that I attributed to the long cable run from my comp to TV. Kind of vertcal distortion in the picture, rather subtle, but still noticeable and irritating. Anyway, last night I was watching some Star Trek the Next Gen that I had recorded earlier with my tuner card and I noticed the video was "letterboxed" a bit on all four sides. I thought it was a problem with my video card [MSI Ti 4200] so I went into the video settings to try and correct the problem. I was unable to find a fix. And with good reason, the reason it was "letterboxed" like that was because the tuner card had recorded it that way for some reason. I'm not sure if it's just a quirk of that channel [Spike] or if I need to adjust something in my capture software.

Later I tried watching some video from my comp >> TV but the screen on my TV remained black. Yet there was a picture displayed on my PC. I'm using the "clone" option on my video card to drive both displays. This was at fullscreen. When I restored the video to a windowed display, my desktop was displayed on my TV, but the video window remained black on TV, fine on computer! Weird. Eventually found the problem on this screen:
Display Properties>Settings>Advanced>GeForce Ti 4200>Full Screen Video
I had set "Full Screen Device" to disabled. After resetting it to "Secondary Device", I was able to view video on my TV again. But a couple things were different.

One: I can keep the video in a window on my comp and it will be displayed in fullscreen on my TV. Way cool, I don't have to change resolution to watch video on my TV anymore! And I still get to see my desktop fine when video isn't running or doesn't have focus.

Two: even better, no more vertical line distortion! I guess it wasn't my long cables after all, just the way my video card was driving the secondary display. Yowsa!

Posted by Fungii at 06:21 PM

Can I help you?

The cord for the ir sensor that goes with my Hauppauge PVR-250 is too short. When I try to use the remote, half the time nothing happens because the signal can't reach the sensor. So I went to Radio Shack to get an extension cord so I could reposition the sensor to a more favorable location. I'm sure I could have found the hardware myself just fine, but this store employee came over and insisted on helping me. I told him what I needed, an extension cord for a 2.5 mm stereo mini-plug. He informed me they didn't have extension cords of that size, only cords with the 3.5 mm jacks. "Fine, give me two adapters for each end on one of those. I already have one at home." He went through the rack and handed me one for one end. I checked it out and it was the correct adapter. He came up with another one and for some reason I trusted him to have the right one. Doh! I guess I was just a little anxious to get home. Anyway, I get home and pull out the adapter and it's a stereo to MONO adapter! Totally useless to me. The funny thing is, I must have mentioned to him about five times that it was a stereo plug that I was using. Stereo, stereo, stereo! I wish people weren't so goddamn helpful.

Posted by Fungii at 05:53 PM

February 14, 2005

Trackback abusers

Had to turn off the trackback feature on my blog due to spammers hammering my site with their bogus pings. Fuck I hate those cunts. I might turn it back on if I find a reasonable solution, there seems to be a few ways to stop them out there.

Posted by Fungii at 05:57 PM

February 13, 2005

Mission: Failed

My attempt to silence my noisy PC has failed, utterly. It is as irritating as ever. I bought a Zalman 7000B heatsink/fan combo, but when I went to install it, I ran into a problem. It needs two holes in the motherboard to install the mounting plate. And my MB does not have those two holes. I guess I should have checked beforehand, but I thought even if I didn't have those holes, I could drill some myself. No can do, there's too many traces cluttering the board, drilling holes would surely ruin it. :(

4200 disassembledI did get my video card heat pipe installed tho. It took a long time, mostly because I was meticulously following the instructions to be sure I wouldn't screw up. I was going to install the optional fan that goes with it, but they didn't have it at the computer store. It hasn't made much of a difference noise-wise tho, I guess it's my CPU fan that's making the majority of the racket.Installed in case

After installing all this crap, I was rebooting my computer, and it kept locking up at the "choose your operating system" screen. I was freaking out for awhile, but after going into the BIOS, I noticed the "SMART hard-drive" option had been disabled. Which was weird cause I certainly hadn't gone in there and disabled it! My CPU speed had also been set back to a lower speed. I guess the BIOS had gotten reset to its defaults somewhere along the line as I was working on the thing. My comp was running cooler at the slower speed tho. Before doing this stuff, she was running at about 35 C for the case temp and 55 C for the CPU. With the lower speeds when I first booted up, it was running around 45 C. Now back up to normal speeds, I'm getting around 50 C and the case is still around 35 C.Closeup

Since I can't install my new heatsink on this board, I'm going to try mounting a large [hopefully quiet] fan over the CPU heatsink and remove the old, whiny original fan. I've heard of people doing this with good results. And of course, I'll be monitoring the CPU temps to make sure it's not getting fried. Don't feel like doing this today tho.
Before After
I also added an extension to my desk to hold my scanner. My scanner was sitting atop my pc case, but I want to mount a fan at the top of the inside of my case to exhaust heat straight up outta there and my scanner was in the way. This actually went well, the scanner sitting higher up and on a more stable surface is good. Now I just need to install the additional fan in the case. It's probably going to take a lot of Dremelling as bot the inner frame and outer shell are in the way.

But that's not all! I threw in my new Hauppauge PVR-250 card while I had her open. It seems to work well, although the software included in the package is rather crap. I was editing the iremote.ini file earlier, it's pretty kewl. You can use the included IR remote to control any application you want. The video files saved by the WinTV program seem to be pretty good quality. Big, but good quality. It'll be nice to be able to record shows again, my VCR has been broken for years. Too bad it can't record the digital channels through the tuner, which leaves out the movie channels I'm subscribed to. Although I can leave my set-top box set to a specific channel and route the output to my PVR card for recording. I just need some new [very long!] cables for the video and sound.

The front fan wasn't getting much suckage, so I drilled the holes bigger and removed the grill on the inside. New fan, too.

Posted by Fungii at 05:36 PM

February 11, 2005

Down Time

My website will be down for awhile tomorrow as I'm going to do some work on my comp. I got a TV tuner card I want to install and I got a buncha new fans & shit for the internals. Make it quieter I hope.

Posted by Fungii at 06:49 PM

February 01, 2005

My Noisy PC

I keep my PC just off my apartment's living room, what's supposed to be my dining room I suppose. And the damn thing is noisy, some times I'm trying to doze off but the constant whine keeps me up. Some day I hope to build another PC to hook up to my home entertainment system, a HTPC as they call them. And the damn thing better be quiet cause one noisy PC is driving me batty as it is. [I would also like to retrofit the one I have now to make it quieter as well] So I found this article to be of interest as it talks of making PC's quieter. And it led me to Silent PC Review, a site that might help me in my quest. Anyway, back to my billing, it's so much fun. :(

The Silent PC
Posted by Fungii at 06:49 PM


Yesterday, I was supposed to do my billing but I was feeling a little tired so I thought I would take a little nap first. Woke up at 4:30am. Some nap! Too late to do billing, so I have to do it today for sure. I must have been really tired. I usually sleep in a lot on the weekends, but I didn't this weekend cause I had so much stuff to do. Guess that lack of sleep thing catches up to you eventually.

Posted by Fungii at 06:11 PM