Monday, July 27, 2009

Fried Monitor + Testing Out Blogger Buddy

Right now, I'm sitting on a 15" Sony Trinitron CRT. Very old, this monitor is easily going into it's late teens. I'm also sitting here testing out a new gadget called Blogger Buddy, for Windows Vista and Windows 7. What Blogger Buddy does, is it allows you to post to your blog, from the gadget, a complete writer, and blog monitor. Fairly impressed with it, you can find it from the link below.

Blogger Buddy

Some HTML knowledge might be required to get around the link posting bits, but it shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back up and running

The card finally arrived Monday and I was able to install it and get my PC up with little fuss, thank goodness it was the video card.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fried Graphics Card

Well about a week ago, I was sitting at my PC, playing Counter-Strike Source, when all of a sudden, poof. Poof in a non-descriptive term, as the events that unfolded in front of my ever widening eyes was a nice colorful flash of polygons screaming as they run away from my character model as other polygons thrash about in a spiked explosive glory. In all my years of playing PC games, I never once had a graphics card die on me with such velocity. This is due to my almost OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), of PC maintenance behavior. Dusting once every two weeks, temperature monitoring, keeping up to date on my drivers and so on. I guess it was just meant to be, although the polygons leaving my character model, leaving a wire frame skeleton underneath was entertaining, the card completely fried, leaving Windows 7 running happily along in the background as if nothing happened, even to the point of still playing my music in Winamp.

So over the next few days I looked over my options, tried to get ahold of Brainwave, they happily told me that my warranty is out of date, and there was nothing they could do, but possibly contact the manufacturer (eVGA) for a replacement as they usually go out of their way to help their customers. So I call evga, the guy was very friendly, he told me my options, and even though the card was out of date, and I never registered at their website, he set me up for a one time replacement warranty, and initiated an RMA. I walk up to the local Ship-It store, and send the card, adorned with bubble wrap, for a whole $13.00 over to eVGA in their Californian based company. Took five days to reach them, so with constant watching of the Fedex tracker, I waited patiently, even though they are pretty lax about updating their shipping tracker.

Thankfully, due to my OCDness, my 10 year old PC runs perfectly fine, and I can use that to listen to music, browse the web, and chat. As well as post to my blog, which I will do right up to the point where I can get my hands on Windows 7 RTM and post my little review on that as I did with Vista. Time will tell when I can actually get my PC up and running, it's just sitting there, looking all sad and pathetic, if a computer can look as such, with a gaping hole where it's GPU is supposed to be, poor thing.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Windows 7

This might be my first pro-Microsoft post in a long time, that’s because for a long time I was disappointed with the Windows Operating System. Well, disappointed no longer, I really love what Microsoft has done with Windows 7. The OS as a whole appears very light, and agile, with comparative speeds to Windows XP, and for a new OS to have comparative speeds to an almost nine year old OS is speechless to say the least. While I still have a few remaining disappointments with Windows 7, it likely will not change my decision to get the OS and upgrade to it full time, as I already am running it full time and at this point, look forward to installing the final product.

What I’ll clear out of the way right here, I run the latest leaked builds, and I believe the best feedback for Microsoft and part of the reason Microsoft’s been able to refine their product down to this little beauty, is the blogosphere, the Windows Enthusiast Forums, and constant feedback from fans of the OS. The build I’m running is 7264, which is on the RTM branch headed towards gold code.

I’m sure anyone who has been following closely knows what the UI looks like, new taskbar, with the familiar Aero effects with minor tweaks here and there. I won’t cover much of the basic desktop UI changes, so I’ll head right to the main reason why I love this OS, it’s performance.

The above picture is of my remote desktop session into my older machine running Windows 7 7264, basic ram usage is incredible, and lower than that of it’s predecessor, Windows Vista. It scales the ram cache to ensure peak performance, but does it within reason to the maximum amount of ram found on the OS. So performance on older machines usually isn’t a worry. I set this up as a backup system allowing me to access the machine remotely in order to perform backup of system files to a dedicated partition in the computer, independent from the OS.

Another thing that really gets me, and I know this was available in previous versions, but this is my first encounter with it. Remote Desktop’s aero effects. As you can see in the above screenshot, there is no graphics card installed, as there are no S3ProSavage drivers available for Windows 7, another testament to how old the PC in question is. However, despite this setback, Remote Desktop brings in the graphics processing power of the machine viewing the Remote Desktop Connection to draw full blurred but shadowless aero effects, which is an added plus to usability of the remote connection. This remote connection was made on a local wired LAN and will surely differ for other people using Wireless or connecting via the internet.

I honestly and truly believe that Microsoft is attempting to make up for it’s past mistakes with Vista and does it quite well with Windows 7, this OS can run on such a large number of hardware configurations that any PC with at least 1GB of RAM should upgrade to this OS to take advantage of the latest Microsoft has to offer, even if you don’t get the fancy Aero effects, because let’s face it guys, XP is starting to age to the point were it’s nearly obsolete.