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Creating my own blog

Well, as I am sure you have noticed, I am attempting to create my own blog. I hope to have the basics done soon, but for now you can at least view the 10 latest entries as I add them back in. This blog will be coded using ASP.NET 2.0 (in C#) using both the master pages and having a web service backend. For storage I have moved to Microsoft SQL Server 2005. I wasn't too happy about how dasBlog was performing, so instead of searching for yet another one (that'd make three that I've tried to use) I decided that I have learned enough to get me started. I have used many online resources, from google to codeproject to a new site I can't remember right now. All of this code is written by me, and you won't find any online examples that match my code (like you do with some projects when people find codeproject and whatnot.) Ok, so far you have only two pages: default.aspx, which you're probably viewing right now, and category.aspx, which I just got working this morning. Yes, that means you can click on the categories listed beneath the entries and it will show you all related entries (once again, that I have entered so far.) Well, it is early in the morning and I am quite tired. Keep an eye out for progress!

Yahoo! x64 Modem!

Wooo! I finally found the right directions on how to manually decorate an INF file for x64 (for Windows XP and Windows Vista) consumption! Now, this does break the signature and it does moan about not being able to verify the publisher and all that, but it works! Which now means that x64 is on my laptop to stay - no more using 32-bit only to use my PPC6700 as a modem. Yay! I have uploaded the file for all of you to download. Enjoy!

Once again, this is for the SPRINT PPC 6700 Windows XP/Vista 64-bit (x64) Wireless Modem Device Drivers for Windows Mobile 5 for Sprint PPC 6700 (Windows x64/64-bit).

PPC6700SP by Sprint.INF (50.4 KB)

(Shameless plugging so the search engines will pick it up for those few keywords (Hope!).

Tales of Vista, part one point one

As an update to the previous post, The tales of Vista, part one, I have noticed that if I turn off the Windows Aero (Glass) experience visual style, my laptop runs much faster. As promised, here are my laptops scores:



Memory (RAM):




Gaming Graphics:


primary hard disk:


It is really funny that my hard drive is the best performing part of my system, and that my ATi Radeon Xpress 200M is the slowest. Ah well, life goes on.

Coming up: Tales of Vista, part two (installing on an Intel Core Duo)

Imported Comments

Jordan on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 2:26 PM wrote:

Hey ummm your missing part two

The tales of Vista, part one

This is going to be a three part piece because I have installed Windows Vista on three different machines with three radically different results... go figure right?

The first machine I installed Windows Vista RC1 (build 5600) on was my personal laptop, an HP Pavilion zv6000 custom. (AMD Athlon 64 3200+, 512MB RAM, 40GB hard drive, ATI Radeon Express 200M 128MB). Because of how I am, I installed the 64-bit edition of Vista, and I have to say, while it isn't fast, it has yet to cause me any problems with that install... just the hard drive going almost constantly... but here in a few months I will be upgrading the RAM to somewhere in the 1.5GB range (new optical drive too - from a dvdrom/cd-rw to a dual layer dvd-rw/cd-rw).

Driver support for Vista x64 still bothers me a lot, you must have signed drivers to load, and they have to be written for Vista. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, aka. pressing F8 and selecting Disable Signed Drivers Policy (I think...). This holds true for my desktop too, we need to get signed drivers out there, or reallow the option of the bcdedit /set nointegritychecks ON command! Thankfully if I don't do that step the only thing that isn't loaded is my sound card. I did manage to use Windows XP x64 drivers for the built in card reader, and modem. Somehow those are signed and work fine in Vista with no problems at all. To get the ATi southbridge soundcard working I had to search for the file found somewhere on the site. I'll find a direct link and post it here for future reference.

I don't remember the rating of my machine, but it isn't too bad for its setup, the largest limiting factor being the amount and speed of the RAM followed by the 4200RPM speed of the hard drive. One feature I can attest to working is their new ReadyBoost feature. Using the built in memory card reader (SD, XD, MMC, MemoryStick, etc.) I can use my 1GB SD card as extra RAM for its cache file. Let me tell you, once you say it can use it, it will... almost every operation I can see that little light blinking, and after a few minutes of it being loaded, I noticed a performance increase. I kid you not, totally awesome!

For those of you wondering, the Vista Aero theme (previously known as Glass) does run on the ATi Radeon Xpress 200M video card, but be prepared to wait for a bit. I will post an update to let you know if upgrading the hard drive to a faster speed will help, because I am sure that limits it as well. A few things I have tested with it are Visual Studio 2005 which runs flawlessly and Guild Wars which runs just like it did in XP. Guild Wars was always a little jumpy in areas, once again I am sure this is tied to my RAM so that will be the first component I upgrade.

The next time I use my laptop I will post its score, so you can see how it compares to other machines out there.

To wrap part one up, I am very impressed with Vista working on my laptop. The only problems I have had is it not going to Sleep or it not successfully resuming from Hibernate. Things that worry me include the lack of driver support, and the requirement to sign them... I don't know if this is a good move or not! HP isn't known for releasing new drivers (hell, the pricks don't provide drivers for my HP Color LaserJet 2600 for x64 edition! what the hell?) and I won't be surprised to need to hit f8 everytime my laptop boots to enable unsafe drivers.

Updated Blog

Well, some of you might have noticed that the site was down for a few hours today. I finally downloaded the SVN version of dasBlog and finally, after a few hours, managed to get it working. What doesn't matter to you (but does to me) is I now have the source code sitting on my desktop here so I can add, change, and update the code as I see fit. This will make it much easier to create my own modules and other things because I compile the website myself instead of using a precompiled download. This also allows me to update to the latest SVN version as they commit changes. Another change I have made to the website is the addition of the /media directory, simple theme images and required images will now be in the /images folder and any other media (music, movies, pictures) that I post to the website will now appear under /media. I have already gone through my last few posts and updated the tags to point to the new location, if you find any let me know.

As it stands, I am liking this new theme that was supplied and I was thinking of modifying it, but I'm not sure how. So keep an eye out. Oh yeah! Captcha images should also work now for comment posting.

Hauppauge Win-PVR-350

It came today, my Hauppauge Win-PVR-350! It was quite a hassle to get it working, as the directions for installing the ivtv driver under linux wasn't that clear. It only took me about an hour and a half to get that part working. So my linux system recognizes it and I am able to pipe video from its input (/dev/video0) to its output (/dev/video16). To watch TV "live" (there is a 3 second delay after all) all I have to do is:

% dd if=/dev/video0 of=/dev/video16 bs=64k

and if I want it recorded I type

% dd if=/dev/video0 of=/var/some/path/file.mpg bs=64k

To play it back

% dd if=/var/some/path/file.mpg of=/dev/video16 bs=64k

Pretty neat isn't it?

Unfortunately I haven't gotten everything working, for some reason Xorg (the window display system) refuses to compile its driver to show on the output of the card. I was running 7.1 (the latest stable) but I have heard that going back to 6.9 should fix the problem. Once I can get X showing on the TV all I have to do then is recompile the libraries that pointed to Xorg 7.1, including Qt, and then compile and install MythTV. Once that goes off, I should be done... or at least have it usable.

On an entirely AWESOME note, I found out last night that the remote that came with the PVR-350 CAN be used to control MythTV! How awesome is that? Wooo!

Well, wish me luck!

Pipe Dream

Right well, it's not really a pipe dream... not even close, but it was a cool name anyways because I've learned how to use named pipes! Woohoo! I'm sure none of you know what those even are. Since using sockets is unbelieveably hard (for me at least, haven't found enough good information yet) in programming I turned towards another network aware system. They are called named pipes which programs access (and provide) them using the style of \\.\pipe\pipename or \\computer\pipe\pipname. Kind of neat isn't it? Once I got down transfering some basic text down the pipe, it stepped it up one notch... without using any tutorals this time - just pure knowledge and frustration. I have taught myelf how to transfer structs between programs. A struct is variable that groups together other variables (simple definiton). If you want a more comprehensive definition just visit this wiki article. What's really neat is it lets me pass just one variable that holds others inside... and I can also write functions inside of the structs to manipulate their data (not usually necessary). I guess something notable is that a struct can hold many different datatypes inside of them. Here is an example:

typedef struct tagSample {
    int nValue;
    TCHAR szString[100];
    DWORD dwFlags;
    BOOL bReadyToSend;

In that example the struct SAMPLESTRUCT defined four different data types: a number (int), a string (TCHAR), another number (DWORD), and a true/false (BOOL). To other functions that accept a struct (usually will accept anything) I can just pass a samplestruct. This makes life easier since I can connect and send once rather than connecting and sending four different things. My only worry right now is that I don't know if named pipes will work on {li,u}nix machines.

I have to admit I am proud of myself for figuring this out. It only took a few hours of compiling and fixing the bugs.

Step 1 Done!

Woohoo! Well, after working on the linux system for three days (off and on), I finally built the kernel to my system. You know, the last step in the LFS book? ( I booted the system after compile and for the first time ever - it booted successfully on the first run! That has never happened in my time using LFS! WOO! The whole thing boots in less than a minute - which is surprising since it is only a 366MHz machine. Now I have the bare minimums, just the absoulte CORE of a linux system. No fancy stuff, no remote stuff, just the basics to get it loaded and have a shell running. My next step tomorrow will be to boot off of Knoppix again and download and compile the tools and programs needed for me to get SSH running (in fact, other than the inital boot and using samba to get the packages copied over, the entire system was built through SSH, it was headless that entire time). Once SSH is going, the next few are (in no particular order) Samba, FTP, Apache, X, Audio Libraries (oo crap, need to find an ISA modem/sound card for my anime... if it can handle it), codecs for all different types of files, MythTV, and a few other things I can't think of yet. When I am done, this little thing is going to be maxed out! Here are its specs:

  • Genuine Intel Celeron 366MHz

  • 256MB PC100 RAM

  • 8GB Primary Hard Drive (installed as root)

  • 250GB Secondary Hard Drive (installed as /var/mythtv - for the recordings/live tv)

  • SMC EtherPowerII 10/100 NIC

  • ATI Radeon 7000 32MB (which runs the console at 1600x1200@85Hz by default - woo!)

  • Serial port adapter to communicate with the D10-200 receiver

  • (Pending) Parallel port adapter to use with an IR receiver for remote control

  • (Pending) Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-350 for video capture/output

  • (Pending) ISA Modem/Sound Card for CallerID and potential anime playing

Well, that brings you up to date on this little box, I just realized that I don't think the PVR-350 can play native linux sounds... only what is passed through it. Also I don't think its little CPU can handle playing of .mkv and .ogm files... but time will tell!

Oh yeah, my blog

It has been almost a month now since my last post... I almost forgot I even had a website here... A lot has happened believe it or not. At work we are implenting a Windows 2003 Active Directory (finally moving towards an all Windows environment! Wee!) and that has been going quite roughly. We seem to have most of the teachers logging on with a generic account until we can figure out a way to export the users from Oracle and import them into Active Directory. Student computers are now getting recloned and attached to the domain as well.

I have a few projects going on here at home as well. Well just one right now really... I am using the guide from (not the first time either!) I am building a dedicated system to run the open source MythTV program. For my tuner I hope to get my hands on a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-350 for its MPEG2 encoding and decoding for TV out. Using this system my puny (donated) system of 256MB RAM and Intel Celeron 366MHz will be able to do its thing without much hassle (reported that its CPU usage will be around 5%-10% while watching live tv). To take care of the recording/live tv bit, I bought a cable (didn't have the parts available to make it myself) from to be able to control my DirecTV D10-200 receiver from the computer! That way I can disable all on screen information and do recordings/live tv from MythTV!

I am back, but wow...

Well, I did manage to fly in on Tuesday morning... at 3:30, got home about 4AM... woo! I did have an awesome time, got some pictures, had a few drinks... ton of fun! I honestly didn't want to come home on Monday night, but here I am. Work has been hell too for me, from our master clone machine (from Dell... we order GX620s... we have FIVE DIFFERENT CONFIGURATIONS!!! WHAT THE HELL?!) failing it's hard drive right before the clone was finished to things slowly coming along with Active Directory. We're almost there, but we're cutting it really close. I still need to write an AutoIt script that can find out what group you are in and map the appropriate drives for you. Ugh we're really close to blowing this whole thing... really. I do have more to talk about that, but I need my rest - badly... still haven't recovered from my time back at work... I will soon, almost there.