Friday, May 30, 2008

:: Old skills, new challenges ::

Hey bart, thanks for re-inspiring me. Yes, seriously. At the beginning of this week I was talking to Udontknow (on IRC) and he told me a bit about NetBSD and OpenBSD; how "strong" they are, with more "seriousness" on the developing (compared to Linux), etc, etc. He even went as far as showing me some lines of a firewall script, which really made my mouth fall open. Yep, those firewall lines looked simplier than the ones we have in Linux (iptables).

Well, after all that chat I was thinking "what the hell? I have a damn powerful computer, why not testing that crap, just to see what happens?" So, there I was, on Tuesday, downloading NetBSD and OpenBSD CD images for a later try. Later that same day I fired up VirtualBox on my Bluewhite64 and tried installing NetBSD first. Well, I was not that happy or lucky. I got lots of errors when I reach the decompressing part of the installation. Since it was quite late, I decided to try it on the other day. I was not very lucky (nor happy) on Wednesday. I even got as far as really installing the OS. It was running, but something seemed a bit awkward. Plus, when I tried to download some other piece of software, I was disconnected from the server, EVERYTIME, after downloading about... 200KB. DAMN!

Try this, try that... and I decided to try google. There, on the first link I got my answer. Visiting this site, the fourth post, I found the solution. Beautiful! So now I reinstalled NetBSD on that VM, downloaded some more software without a single problem... and I have even installed OpenBSD too.

Why did I say bart re-inspired me? Because when I decided to install Net and OpenBSD I felt, again, the same feeling I got when I first installed Linux on my PC, back in 1997. The feeling of adventure, of the unknown territory! OK, it won't be THAT unknown, since now I have some strong grasp of the *nix way of doing things. Plus, now I won't need to reboot my computer to access another OS (which is working right and dandy), to access the internet and look for clues. Now I will have two (or more) OS running at the same time. I hope this time the learning will be faster. And it does need to be, because now I don't have that much spare time as when I was single and didn't have to work *LOL*

So, bart, I got the feeling of adventure and even thought about posting something. Then I saw that post on your blog... and decided "yes, I do need to post something!".

And I so agree with you, we need to get our skills "un-rusted". I go a bit further. We need our skills challenged! I DO understand you when you say your job is a bit boring. Things are quite the same here. Lots of "using windows" and really, really little challenge.

So, let the challenge begin!

Oh, in regards of your last comment here on my site... well, too bad I was in kind of a rush and I didn't bookmarked that forum where I got the "golden tip" about the drivers I had to download to make that friend's computer to work nicely with Windows XP. But if you decided going for XP instead of "suffering" with Vista, let me know and we might refind it ;) Yes, Vista runs with 1GB of RAM but... as you said, it's quite slow. IF you don't need Windows that much, it might not be a big issue for you. But since my friend ONLY uses windows.... *LOL*

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

:: PC - Supporting hardware ::

What for today? What about talking about companies who suck when it comes to giving decent support to their costumers? Ah, you've seen this "movie" before, right? We all did, unfortunately.

Let's begin by recalling the fact that I gave up on M$ Window$ Vi$ta 64 because some drivers, for the hardware I now own, simply SUCKED. The most important "sucker" of that moment was NVidia's driver for my 6800GT video card. After taking Vi$ta 64 off my comp and installing Vi$ta 32 bits, the comp is running fine. Oh, yes, remember that I only use Windows as my video game, because it has no other uses for me. In fact, once on my LILO (Linux Loader, that is the Boot manager) there were two options: Linux and Wintendo. Now it is Bluewhite64 and Vistendo *LOL* (and I think I am funny ;P )

Then today I took on the mission of helping a friend to rid his computer of the cumbersome M$ Window$ Vi$ta Home Ba$ic. "What's the problem with Vista, Mr. Kenjiro? You just said you run that crap on your computer!". Yes, I do. But then, ladies and gents, I have 4GB of memory. My friend's computer has only 512MB. Can ANYONE tell me why these damn computer assembly companies insist on pushing this kindda configuration on people? Please, Vista barely runs on 1GB of memory, let alone 512MB. So, his salvation would be to take Vista off and install Window$ XP. And that's exactly what I did. The installation went nice. His computer is a HP Pavillion a6220br (Pentium D, 512MB of RAM, 250GB HD, etc). Then the whole storm began. HP didn't give him (or the store where he bought the PC) the proper CDs. Yeah, no install CDs. "OK!" I thought "we can always download the drivers from their site..."


On HP site there are no drivers for that particular computer, for Windows XP. What a crap! OK, I understand M$ is pushing Vista down the throat of everyone. And then, the computer makers/assemblers are trying to push it down their customer's throats. I wouldn't bother that much, if they would try and push those craps... if the hardware they are selling is decent enough to support the demands of such an operating system. As I said, Vista barely runs decently on a 1GB computer... how they expect it to run on a 512MB PC? Man... the computer was sooooooooo slow. When I took that crap (Vista) off and put Windows XP... I swear I could almost hear the computer saying "Thanks, kind sir, for relieving me of such a burden" *ROTFL*

I had to use Everest to find out which was the motherboard's brand (Foxconn) and to identify all the rest of the hardware. Then my driver hunt began. On Foxconn site there are lots of drivers for that particular motherboard. They went as far as making the Video and audio card work. But then, the ethernet card would not work, not even by miracle. I had to do lots of searching on google, till I found a forum about hardware which led me to some obscure links and sites... but finally "I found the light!". Those links led me to the correct drivers.. and now my friend's computer is running really smoothly, WITHOUT THAT HEAVY WEIGHT VI$TA :D

So, here is the lesson of the day:

1- Check very carefully all the information about the computer you are about to buy;
2- NEVER, EVER, EVER, try to run Vi$ta on a PC with less than 2GB of RAM. You will only be try to add layers of patience to your life *LOL*

OK, enough for today. Damn, this driver hunt tired me! :(

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

:: Games - Assassin's Creed ::

OK, just a quick post about this very nice game. Got it last week and decided to give a try. Give a try? Yes, because the game is supposed to be played on a PC with a better Videocard than the one I have (6800GT). Anyway, since I was feeling brave, I tried. And damn it has been a good try :)

OK, I can run it with maximum graphics and effects, but even then the game is really beautiful. Never heard of this game? Well, try this: think of Prince of Persia (the latest so far), then picture it with lots of people walking around the city. Then picture a very big map, lots of streets, alleys, buildings (which you can climb, jump from one to another). OK, that's a very rough explanation of what the game is, but I think it's a working one ;) For a better idea of the game, try some trailer or even some video on YouTube.

So far I have been having fun with this game. Nice story, very good gameplay, graphics, sounds, etc. Ah, a little tip: the game is kindda hungry, so you better have at least 3GB of memory ;)

The only thing I didn't like on this game is the fact that the main character is an Assassin and he wears WHITE CLOTHES. Not very much usefull when you should be stealthy, rigth?

Give it a try! You won't regret ;)