Mostly about my amusement

Month: July 2009 (page 1 of 2)

Installed Windows 7 RC

My Dell XPS720 has been locking up and staying dead for hours. The only thing that would bring it back was unplugging the PC from the power and wait till it forgave whatever offense I committed.

This week I backed up all the data on my PC onto my 1TB My Book and today I wiped out the PC and installed Windows 7 RC.

Just wiping and installing the OS from the burnt ISO image did not work. The Wndows 7 install DVD wanted to find a valid Microsoft OS on the PC before installing.

I had done this dance before so I did the following.

  1. Removed one bank of RAM to make my PC 2GB
  2. Began to install Windows XP MCE (it came with my PC)
  3. Aborted the installation during the file copy portion
  4. Booted up the Windows 7 DVD and installed a fresh copy
  5. Put back the 2nd bank of RAM to go back to 4 GB

What a pain in the ass. My next PC will come with Vista SP1 and a free Windows 7 when it’s released. Hopefully I will not have to go through so many hoops then.

I’m currently importing my 18,000+ photos into a fresh installation of PSE 7. I’ve installed Far Cry2 and the 1.03 patch (no DVD check!). Running Far Cry 2 lately cause my PC to crash and get become frozen for a couple of hours.

I’ll see if  Windows 7 on my PC is as unstable as my old Vista install was.

Ubuntu UNR 9.04 performance boost

My Acer Aspire One netbook is good but the 8GB SSD drive that it shipped with is still the biggest drawback.  When I want to view HQ or regular YouTube clip (forget about HD), the SSD gets accessed and performance takes a dive. Videos stutter and playback is horrible.

After looking at the ApireOne community documentation page again I came across two tweaks that really helps a lot.  These are covered here at the Geek Sheet.

The first tweak is to mount the SSD switching the option from “relatime to “noatime”.

From the article:

Tweak #3: Change the file system mount options on SSDs to “noatime”. On certain Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, the default is “relatime”. This tells the kernel to write the Last Accessed Time attribute on files. Conversely, “noatime” tells the kernel not to write them, which considerably improves performance. Linus himself suggests using it in circumstances such as this, so therefore, I consider it to be gospel.

The second tweek is on the kernel line in /boot/grub/menu.lst, right after splash, insert the option “elevator=noop”.  This will let you use the “noop” I/O scheduler.  The SSD is not a hard disk and there is no platter to optimize.

These combined reduces the amount of writes to the SSD and I am now able to view this whole episode of Gundam 00 in HQ. Before these changes I could not have done this.

Considering that my main desktop PC is dying and needs to be replaced, having an optimized netbook is not a bad thing at all.

Factually correct makes it fun reading

The best part of Frank Rich’s article is that his examples are dead on. Michael Steele’s words are just pure comedy gold.

The hearings were pure “Alice in Wonderland.” Reality was turned upside down. Southern senators who relate every question to race, ethnicity and gender just assumed that their unreconstructed obsessions are America’s and that the country would find them riveting.

via Op-Ed Columnist – They Got Some ’Splainin’ to Do –

Would there be an outcry if she said  “a wise experienced insert ethnic background here would be better than a robot”?

The idea of someone actually taking pride in her background (note: I’m also Puerto Rican) and using that background as a strength, why would that be a negative? She was obviously attempting to inspire and I think she succeeded. If that’s the most controversial statement that the opposition is focusing on, then they should have had the hearings in one day.

Judge Sotomayor will make a fine addition to the Supreme Court. The confirmation hearings turned into a farce many years ago.

MG Crossbone Gundam X-1


And the struggle to reduce my Gunpla backlog continues! I’ve just finished assembling the MG Crossbone Gundam X-1. It’s the pirate Gundam and it’s very cool.

Things to consider with this model:

  1. No poly caps! Cool since models are meant to be posed and not played with. The F91 is the same way.
  2. It’s very difficult to pose holding it’s weapons.
  3. It needs a stand.
  4. It cries out to be painted and touched up.

The stand I can buy and Stefan has a trick for holding the weapons. I don’t know when I can paint it, if ever.  Like most of the current MG and HG models the seam lines are in good locations and the assembly was not difficult.

Finished the MG Gyan


I’ve been trying to catch up on my back log of Gunpla and I assembled the MG Gyan. As master grades go, it was “Eh”.  The build was not particularly difficult and there were not many surprises.

It’s a heavy model and posing it is difficult.  The shield is huge. If I wanted to pose it like the box art, I would need to get another stand just for the shield. The beam sword lights up but I have not gotten the battery yet. Once I have it, I’ll post another picture.

I’m now moving onto the MG Crossbone Gundam X-1. Like the F91 before it, this one has no rubber joint parts so it should be an interesting build.