Friday, August 31, 2012

PeerBlock not launching automatically at Windows 8 startup?

Peerblock will not run on Windows 8 at startup, even though it is listed in the startup items list. This could be because it requires UAC elevation.
If you don't know what Peerblock is, go to this link.
But there is a way to get it to launch at startup. You use Task Scheduler. There is a trigger to run a task at startup, and what's different about this and the normal startup routine is that you can run a task as an Admin. Hence the UAC elevation thingy does not become a problem in this case.
The exact steps are actually given on their website. There is no need to post this problem in the forums.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Windows 8 and DPC Latency

If you measure the DPC Latency using LatencyMon, Windows 8 has a very high DPC (Deferred Procedure Call ) latency. In Windows 7, the same PC would have had about 100us of DPC Latency. Is this a problem?

If you do not know what DPC latency is, read the part: "Background information: Why drop-outs occur", at the bottom of this link.

Basically, what it says is that if the DPC latency is high, you will get pauses in real-time operations, such as listening to music and playing a video. Lower the DPC latency, the better. Most of the time, a high DPC latency is caused by bad drivers which spend too much time in the DPC routines. The drivers have to wait for their DPC routine until the one before them finishes with its DPC routine. When these waits become too long, you will get pauses or drop-outs in real-time operations.

Creative X-Fi driver problems with Windows 8 and a fix

Edit:
The following problem does not exist anymore with the latest PAX drivers for X-Fi Titanium (Titanium HD too I suppose) cards. It's possible that the problem was fixed with the official drivers as well, because the modder only tweaks the official drivers rather than creating ones from scratch.

Get the PAX MASTER PCIe Titanium Driver Suite 2013 V1.00 Default Tweak Edition drivers from HERE (I mean, click the "HERE" link).

To the original post...

I’ve been using PAX drivers for my Creative X-Fi Titanium PCIe card. PAX drivers are official drivers modified and released by Robert McClelland on Hardware Heaven forums. They work great.

There is a problem with the current Windows 8 drivers for Creative X-Fi cards. I do not know if the other models are affected as well. The problems is this. Whenever you reboot into Windows, you will have no audio. You have to launch Console launcher and switch between the modes to get the audio to work.
Robert  says he cannot fix this on his own. Creative has to do something about it. But there is something you can do.

There is a tool called X-Fi Mode Changer which can be used to change the audio modes instead of using Console Launcher. It is pretty old too. What is great about this tool is that you can do it using the command-line. That means, you can simply run it at startup.

Now, if you don’t know where the heck the startup folder in Windows 8 is, type to following path in RUN and hit enter.

%appdata%\Microsoft\windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Also post any Creative X-Fi related problems here:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Disable the Metro nonsense

Forget the inefficiency of using Metro apps for a second. There are few other design issues on the Desktop. One of them is the moving the mouse to corners to pop-up certain things.

They are not only inefficient compared to menu items you would otherwise see on desktop apps, but also clash with the scrollbars and close buttons of full screen applications. That is a big design flaw IMO.
 
Since all those hidden “things” can be brought up by shortcut keys, (some might think that) it would be better to stick with the keyboard and remove the “things” from the UI. You can do that from the registry. (Yes, that dreaded registry is still there. Microsoft cannot think of a design without the registry.)
 
charm-bar-flip
 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Windows 8 might boot fast, but it is damn slow to load the System Tray apps

I had been having this problem from the Release Preview days, but I thought Microsoft would fix it in the RTM. Windows would bootup fast and quickly go into the Metro environment, but the legacy system tray apps would load very slowly. Much much slowly compared to Windows 7. I even disabled few to make it quicker.

Apparently they haven’t fixed it in the RTM either. Maybe they are transferring the blame onto the app makers.

Biggest issue is, AutoHotKey would not start quickly. That is what I use for shortcut keys to launch apps because I do not wanna visit the start screen.

Note: Did you notice there are hardly any Metro apps present in my PC? LOL

Sunday, August 26, 2012

iReboot: Select the OS you want to boot next


At work, I have two PCs. One for development. One for documentation work. (basically, non-development related work.) Since the displays that are connected to both of those PCs have pretty small resolution for today's standards - 1280x1024, I have connected both if them to the development PC. Thus the general purpose PC does not have a display.

You must be wondering, how do I do any work on the general purpose PC. I simply remote login to that PC from the development PC using inbuilt Remote Desktop Connection.
Now, I have two OSes in the general purpose PC. Windows 7 32bit and Windows 7 64bit. Why? Because sometimes I use it to test certain things, not just documentation related work. There are times that I need to switch between the OSes. I can switch between them from the boot menu alright, but without the display, I cannot really do that without making a mistake. Disconnecting a display from the development PC and connecting it to the general purpose PC and vise versa is not something you would have to do in the 21st century, right?
 
But there is hope.
 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Windows 8 RTM thoughts

Finally Windows 8 RTM came out on 15th of August on the dev channels, and ,to everyone’s surprise, along with a downloadable public trial of Enterprise version. Too bad you cannot simply upgrade it when the retail versions hit the market. Doesn’t really matter to me because I managed to grab the Pro version and got myself activated. :)

TBH, I was expecting a much larger change from Release Preview, other than disabling of Aero transparency and smaller text/larger icon of Metro apps. I’m sure there are a lot of under the hood changes, but in the end of the day, we only can see what we only can see.

Just to try out my new USB drive, I went around installing it via the USB drive. I used the tool that was meant for Windows 7. It went in pretty well. Installed pretty quickly too. Activated fine. But, just like OSX Mountain Lion, it didn’t have the oomph factor which was there from Windows XP to Windows Vista. Instead, I felt as if it came with a lot of bloat-ware that I would not use, but could not get rid of either.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How to install Logitech C910 drivers on Windows 8

Edit: 
Logitech now has Windows 8 drivers for C910 webcam. You don't have to follow the guide any more. You can download the Windows 8 drivers from HERE.

To the original post then...

If you have a Logitech C910 webcam (maybe it applies to other Logitech models as well) and if you are trying out Windows 8, be it Release Preview or RTM, you might be having trouble getting your webcam to work. Logitech does not yet have a driver for Windows 8. (You can check for C910 drivers here.)
Sorry, this software is not compatible with your operating system. Please visit the Logitech website to download a compatible version.
Never fear, there is a workaround. (There always is ;))

Workaround

Go to Logitech website and download the full Windows 7 drivers first. (You can either download the “Full Installer” or the “Smart Installer”. Now you can simply run the installer under Windows XP SP3 compatibility mode. (Windows 7) The drivers will install just fine.

Here is a video if you are unsure about anything.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ninite: A faster way to install apps after reinstalling the OS

After reinstalling Windows, I usually download and install the latest versions of the software that I usually install. I only keep the installation files of the large software, such as Microsoft Office and Visual Studio in the hard drive. Everything else I download from the internet. This is one of the perks of having a darn good internet connection.
 
Up until now, I manually searched and downloaded the latest versions of the software, either from the official website or filehippo. But it takes time, not only to search and download the installation files, but also to install them one by one.
 
But you don’t have to worry about this any longer. There is a website called ninite.com where they let you download a setup file which automatically download and install the latest versions of the apps that you select.
 

Windows 8 Pro RTM Bootup

I remember Microsoft promising near instantaneous bootup times back from Windows XP days. But we all know how they didn’t live up their promises – especially when your installation got few days old. Microsoft is promising the same thing again. Let’s see what happens this time.
 
Just captured a video showing how fast a fresh copy of Windows 8 Pro (RTM) boots up on my PC. BTW, fast start is disabled because I don’t feel like having a 10GB+ hiberfil.sys (12.7GB in fact in my PC) on the SSD just to shave off a couple of seconds from the boot up time. I’m sure with fast start enabled, I can do better.
 
Note: Fast start only kicks in if you shutdown the PC, and hit the start button again. Directly restarting from Windows does not give better restart times.
 
 

 

Enabling or disabling fast start

 
Here is where you enable or disable fast start. Only if you have hibernation enabled, you can enable or disable fast boot option.
 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pathetic 3G performance of iPhone 4S on SoftBank

My iPhone 4S's 3G browsing performance is very slow and this has been the case with my previous iPhone 3GS as well. I don't know who actually is the culprit; whether it is Softbank's crappy 3G network or Apple's crappy (i.e. form over function) antenna/software design. It is possible that the crappiness of both parties get together to make it as bad as it is.
 
This is what I get with Speedtest on my 4S. It doesn't even break 1Mbps. (I cannot test it on my wife's phone because it doesn't have unlimited internet.)
 
facepalm
 
 
 
 
 
 
Looks pathetic, doesn't it? So much for "almost 4G" like 3G performance. Apple's BS marketing yet again fools the community. 
 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Went to see Amazing Spiderman in 3D

 
The summer vacation is here but since Ama fell ill few days ago, we couldn't go on the trip to Mt. Fuji with the others. On Wednesday we are having a BBQ for Sameera’s farewell. Since the wife was getting OK, we thought of going to the movies tonight. We picked The Amazing Spiderman. Wanted to see it in 3D, all because Ama hadn't seen a full movie in 3D. Just the short stuff at amusement parks. I don't like 3D because my nose aches when I wear the specs.
 
Anyways, this was the first time I booked the tickets online on my own. When we checked the prices, they were at JPY2200 per head. Yes, it is pretty steep. (No wonder people pirate stuff, and they even tell us not to capture the movies or illegally download them before starting the movie.) Anyways, there was another option for the married couples. JPY1400 per head. Pretty good deal considering the other option. But I wasn't sure if that was what it actually meant. I mean, it's Japanese, for crying out loud. Translation always doesn’t work well with Japanese.

Recommended Highend Gaming Rig

So Saman wanted to know what I would call a highend gaming rig, so here goes.

Component Suggested part Price (US$)
CPU Intel Core i7 3770K 339.99
CPU Cooler Thermalright Silver Arrow 84.09
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH 249.99
RAM Samsung MV-3V4G3D 2x4GB kit (x2) 89.98
Video Card Gigabyte GTX670 2GB Windforce3 399.99
Sound Card Asus Xonar Phoebus 199.99
Hard Drives Samsung 830 series 256GB 229.99
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB (data) 179.99
Western Digital Caviar Red 3TB (backup) 219.00
Case Coolermaster Storm Trooper 139.99
Power Supply Corsair AX750 169.99
Total 2302.99
Peripherals
Display Samsung 27” S27A950D 609.99
Mouse Logitech G500 57.99
Mouse Pad Razer Sphex 14.99
Keyboard Logitech G510 64.99
Headset Corsair Vengeance 2000 (wireless) 119.99
Speakers Corsair SP2500 199.99
Webcam Logitech C910 87.99
Total 1155.93


Ok, I do agree that is a looooot of money. Where can we improve on?
From the above list, I would keep the following components.
  • imageCPU (pretty much the highest-end gaming CPU)
  • CPU Cooler (pretty much the highest-end air cooler)
  • RAM (yes they are CL11, but you can overclock and overvolt the heck out of them)
  • Video Card (pretty much the best graphics card with best bang for buck in the higher end)
  • Case (pretty much the best, feature rich case for the price)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Going from a Antec Kuhler 620 to Zalman CNPS9900MAX

Summer arrived. Kuhler 620 couldn’t cut it with fans running low. Running the fan at 3000RPM all the time, or even when gaming, was not an option. So I had to look for a new cooler, an air cooler to be pkuhler620arecise, because they could cool pretty much same as a AIO water cooler, while screaming much less.

Note: I did say I won’t add anything new to this PC, but mother nature had other plans! I cannot help that, right?

One problem though. The best in the class air coolers could not fit. There was the limitation of clearance inside the case, but more importantly, the dreaded Corsair Vengeance RAM made it impossible for any cooler to clear their height. So I had to look for something that did not protrude  into the RAM slots.
There are very little options. I found the Zalman CNPS9900 MAX, not only did exactly THAT and also performed better than the Kuhler 620!!! Victory!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Overclocking the Palit GTX 670 JetStream

 
Couple of months ago, I bought a GTX 670 made by Palit. I did not buy the regular version. I bought the factory overclocked card in their JetStream series.
 
Why did I buy a factory overclocked card? Answer is simple. I knew my overclocking mileage would not be great. With the 100MHz or so stock overclock, I would not have felt bad if I could not overclock it at all.
 
Then, why did I choose this particular card? Again, the answer is simple. This was the cheapest factory overclocked card I could find. GTX670_Jetstream
 
 
Regular GTX670
Palit GTX670 JetStream
Core clock
915 MHz
1006 MHz
Boost clock
980 MHz
1085 MHz
Memory clock
1502 MHz
1527 MHz
 
 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Intel® Rapid Storage Technology is trying to connect to the service

If you have installed Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers in Windows 8 (doesn’t have to be RTM I suppose) or any other Windows version and you are getting the following error message when you try to launch the RST control panel, you have come to the right place. Because there is a FIX.

Intel Rapid Storage Technology is trying to connect to the service.

You get this error message because the Intel RST DM Service wasn’t created when you installed the driver. You have to register the service and start it before you can launch the control panel. Apparently the current drivers are not completely compatible with Windows 8.

Edit: Intel have come up with a new driver (version 11.6.0.1030) which is compatible with Windows 8. You can grab it from here. You don’t have to go through the following fix. Thanks Rich.

Here’s how you add the service to the services list.

First launch command prompt as Admin and change current directory to “C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology”.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...