There’s nothing to see

After posting several posts with quite sad and disturbing content, which actually increased the number of my audience (thanks, to all you disease horny bitches out there), I’ve got something more nerdy stuff to tell. Just as a side note, we have to get back to thread where everything started here. Actually, no, sarcasm still rules this blog and will do in the future.

So, here’s the thing. I’ve got my mobile back from the dead. As you may know from a post from the week before, my Motorola Defy passed away for a day. I was near giving it up, but I finally managed it to bring it back to living. A lot of weird, creepy key presses were needed to get into menus of the phone I’ve never seen before. But, anyhow, after almost a whole evening, I got it back, rooted it and installed the latest CyanogenMod. I will stay away a while from Ice Cream Sandwich. There’s too much development that has to be done and I’m currently not in the mood to act as an beta/alpha tester.

Here’s another nerdy thing to beat the boredom shit into you. I’ve filed my tax return this weekend. Exciting, isn’t it? And now? Well, nothing. Just wanted to mention it here and before I leave you with any high expectations. I’m not mentioning anything else about this very topic in the future. That’s it, my short excursion into the world of tax return and boring financial things and stuff. Period.

Anything else? Nope. Nothing. Spring has arrived and I can finally start wearing shorter trousers. I hate these long ones.

…and here we are, the end of the most uninspired blog entry in the whole history of this blog’s existence. Thanks for your patience. Maybe I’ll leave some rather depressing posts here in the future. Just to keep the audience that longs for it.

Murphy’s law

Imagine a giant explanation mark and a giant question mark right over my head these days, followed by a loud yell saying, “Seriously??!!??!!”

It’s nothing emotionally driven that bothers me nowadays, it’s the sodding technical devices that die like flies under my hands. First it was/is my MP3 player that decides to no longer make a data connection to my PC (or any other PC). That’s basically bad manner. I have to listen to the same songs and albums eternally because I can’t transfer new music to this damn thing. It’s just four years old and the generation of MP3 players that’s currently on the market is much of an improvement compared to the own I currently own.

Secondly, my outdoor phone, aka Motorola Defy, also decided to pass away the before. It ran with ICS alpha version for a couple of days. I found it very laggy so I switched back to CyanogenMod 7.2 RC1. Which worked fine. Totally. Until I had to a reboot. The phone hung on restart. I was able to get it into USB mode that I can install the stock ROM and set everything to default. The procedure worked totally fine as well, said “PASS” at the end without any error messages. The phone rebooted, and… NOTHING. Nothing was happening then… black screen of death, or whatever you like to call it.

This is two devices lost in one week. Well, my MP3 is still working and charging under some circumstances, but I guess, my phone is lost for good. And I just prepared it for some outdoor sports activities to get rid of some weight. Murphy’s law.

Dangerous life in the fast lane

As a hacker, and as a person who loves to modify electronic devices, I found myself very often in a situation where I was simply measuring my skills wrong. Or in other words, I wanted more than I could handle. Tragic, especially when you have an affinity for expensive electronic devices.

Yesterday I decided to update the radio on my HTC. A very, VERY simple progress. Just download a ZIP file. Copy the ZIP file on your SD card and reboot to bootloader. Piece of cake. Well, normally. My experience and my intuition told me that this will fail for some reason. And it did. Update ran totally fine, no error, nothing wrong. Except one thing, this sodding device just didn’t want to completely reboot. I watched the HTC logo screen for like fifteen minutes.

Normal procedure is to put out the battery, reboot again, try if it boots fine and if that fails, try to flash again and see if this finally works. As expected, it didn’t work. So I tried other radio files, tried to reflash the ROM, but nothing worked, except…

…well, sometimes it’s worth to have a backup. It was quite old, but it managed to get the device back on track. It was this tiny little option that says “Restore bootloader” that fixed it.

Apart from this, I’m currently experimenting a little bit with Android 4 on my Motorola Defy. Without a doubt, Android 4 is the best Android so far, but the whole changes that where made to the architecture and the driver handling is a bloody pain in the ass. Developers could have made so much more progress, but the most of them a stuck on problems like cameras that don’t work or LED flashlights that won’t flash.

One needs to be patient on the other hand. This step in development was necessary and even though a lot of people will complain about late update rollouts for their devices. It’s more than just important for the device generation that will follow and even more important, the Android operating systems that will follow.

Technocracy of retards

Like almost every year did I pilgrim to this giant exposition in Hanover called CeBit. And like almost every year before was I not expecting much. Just to avoid the frustrating moment of pure disappointment about the things I’ve seen and/or not seen. And my assumptions were proven to be correctly.

It was by far the most boring and most uninspired exposition I’ve visited for years. A majority of the booths were the same. No real innovations were to be seen and a lot of things I’ve seen were simply displaced. I mean, why can I visit halls and halls of senseless gadget stuff and accessories on an exposition that was once mainly focused on the “big business”?

This big business is almost gone. Big manufacturers just appear on CeBit just to be there because people expect them to be there. No matter if there’s something worth to present or not. The amount of young kids storming the CeBit is another weird point that summons my dislike. I was once a young kid to that stroke on CeBit, but I was also a technology-phile kid that was interested in the stuff that could be seen there. These days, young kids just get there to get a day off school and collect useless crap.

On the other hand, and without a doubt, the time for real innovations in computer science is gone and over. The standard that we’ve reached in technology these days has reached such a high level, that it’s almost impossible to place a product on the market that makes people jaws drop. The last product that has gained such a high attention was the iPod and the iPhone. Even though those two weren’t actually real innovations. More a demonstration of how to do a perfectly initiated marketing campaign for a product that lacks of true innovations and improvement and to some degree already exist on the market. For e.g. multi tasking was one of the features that came with one iPhone, highly branded as THE new innovation, where BlackBerry and even Android users were just sitting there face palming.

But one of the main problems these days is also that a wide majority is simply too dumb to understand today’s technology even though they are using it each and every day. A problem case that I seriously cannot understand. It’s like driving a car without knowing what the steering wheel is good for. One can also notice this problem when you take a closer look at some students and apprentices these days. Most of just swallow facts without understanding how things match together. More and more do I get the impression that the world is drowning in a huge idiocracy.

What’s the conclusion for all these things mentioned? Well, finally, there’s no conclusion. The exposition was boring. Innovation time is over. The youth leads us into a dark and progressively stupid future.

Draft N odyssey

A while ago, four month to be exact, I had the fine idea to upgrade my network. I wanted to switch my WiFi to Draft N and my LAN should be 1000 MBps. That was the plan. My old setup was a Netgear FVS338 in combination with two Linksys WRT-54G. This was a dream setup and actually no good reason to upgrade, despite the WiFi bandwidth was at its limits. I sync music and videos via wireless LAN connection and a copy progress that lasts for like 10 hours is not acceptable.

On last year’s Black Friday I bought two Buffalo WHR-HP-G300N. I wanted to replace all my devices I had in use with these two. One should work as router, switch and access point. Tasks that were shared by the Netgear router and the Linksys access point. So far so good, this setup worked. The second Buffalo router should work as a client bridge. Bummer!

It’s almost impossible to get this router into a working or at least stable client bridge mode. Sometimes the router wasn’t able to connect to the current WiFi. Sometimes I had a WiFi connection but no access to anything else. After a long time of research, I finally found one firmware version that offered a stable client bridge mode. But after all I’ve experienced, it seem to depend on the weather and the current moon phase. In good times I was able to have stable connections for days and in bad times it crashed after almost five minutes. I replaced this stupid devices with my old Linksys access point and everything was fine.

Another problem left, I couldn’t get a stable connection for my HTC smart phone. I connected, had WAN access for like 10 minutes and then it dropped for good. I had to reboot the phone to get back on the track. I replaced the Buffalo router with a TP-Link TL-WR1043ND. It was a good device, though. But finally, it was based on WRT firmware and had the same Draft N issues like the Buffalo router. Retoure.

Last but not least, I got back to the roots and bought a D-Link router. D-Link has been a good companion in the good old days, when I had my first broadband connection and it was one of the most stable devices I can remember, beside the Netgear FVS338, which is an absolute killer device.

So, I got this D-Link DIR-655 and set up my net again and after a long period of pure despair, WiFi was running perfectly fine. For one reason did my broadband modem start to play some tricks on me by crashing and reconnecting randomly. I was near to return the D-Link router, but I gladly noticed those weird blinking LEDs on my modem. Culprit found.

I’m still trying to get the Buffalo working in client bridge mode when I find the time to set this stupid thing up and can do some research on this particular problem, but no real solution so far. The devices uses to crash whenever possible.

A taste of ice cream sandwich

According to the fact that there are no impressive game releases these days and I have a small amount of time left in my spare time, I was digging a little the Android scene. My main intention was to get some hands on on the latest Android – Codename “Ice Cream Sandwich” – and see how it works in my phones. The HTC Desire S and the Motorola Defy.

I tried the Virtuous Quattro RC3 and the CyanogenMod 9 Alpha builds for the HTC Desire. The Defy got stuffed with the experimental builds of CyanogenMod 9 as  well.

At first glance, for all devices, ICS looks amazing and the overall redesign looks very homogenic and a lot of obstacles in the menu structure has been ridden. When you’re used to Android and use it for quite a long time, you’ll find yourself in a re-orientation situation. But ICS is very user friendly and now, in my opinion, on the same level with Apple’s iOS.

Virtuous Quattro RC3 was one of the first ROMs I installed and my impression was, ‘Yeah, looking gooood.’ But in the end, the speed and smoothness of this ROM was terrible. And even though it was an RC it felt more like a fast pushed alpha version. It had several bugs like the clock crashing and syncs that did not sync. All in all, it looked cool, but it felt awful.

CyanogenMod 9 for the Defy was, because it was alpha, the same buggy experience, but it felt usable, except for the camera, but that’s a problem on lot of devices. I was expecting that this ROM would not work completely fine and that it would be another first look thing. Anyhow, despite the slow performance can I say, that the CM team is definitely on the right way and without a doubt, the old Defy is capable running ICS.

Last but not least, I installed the alpha build of CyanogenMod 9 on my Desire S. I tried the builds from January 27 and 30. The first one had almost the same low performance like the Quattro ROM, but the nightly build of January 30 runs almost smoothly and came pretty close to what you are used to with CyanogenMod 7.x

Only one camera is currently working on the Desire S. With the latest release I got some issue with syncing Facebook to my contact list. This ROM still’s got the issue that WiFi is not running fine with certain router/access points and various encryptions. The issue is well known in many bug reports, even for stock ROMs and I was hoping for a final fix. Bummer!

As a summarization can I say, the AOSP ICS developers have done a great job so far and I’m so dead certain that CyanogenMod 9 will be a giant hit. On the other hand, there’s still a long road to walk till it’s time to announce the first beta releases and it’s even further more away to announce a real release candidate. Lots of RCs that you can find these days for many devices are quick born, badly supported ROMs that you should only use when you like to do some bug fixing or if you’re just interested in Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

I personally switched back to CyanogenMod 7.2 on my Defy and will also switch back to Reaper (CM7 derivate) on my Desire S.

Current changes

A few weeks ago I started upgrading and changing several things on my media centre PC. Most importantly, I’ve exchanged the mainboard and the RAM. Another component that’s changed was the graphics card. I switched from a common GeForce GTX 560ti to a GeForce GTX 560ti 448.

The “old” graphics card was a SuperClocked version by EVGA, which had a lot of power but the EVGA Classified Edition of the GeForce 560ti 448 was too intriguing to be resisted to. The EVGA CE uses six power phases and is more a 570 than a 560. The big issue with the 570 is the lack power phases – four instead of five. One of my previous 570 cards died due to this fact during an overclocking session and a slight voltage increase.

I also exchanged the chassis, which looks much more elegant than the old chassis I’ve used and is a little quieter. The only noisy thing that is currently inside is the graphics card, but the cooling components will be exchanged in the very nearby future.

The CPU that was once working in my work PC wandered into the media centre giving me much more core horse power. The CPU is now overclocked but does not cause too much heat, thanks to a stock voltage.

After setting up the system and installing all the things I actually need (tons of games and XBMC) I’m very satisfied with the final result. Everything feels much smoother and the overall gamin performance has increased a lot. The only thing that bothers me currently is the noise level of the system during gaming sessions. But like I said, this is going to be solved.

The reason why I actually did those changes to the system was mainly the new Batman video game. And my plan worked perfectly well. The game’s now finished and I did not notice any weird performance issues, except the rumble with the Joker and his henchmen and the Catwoman fight in the strong room. Those were more PhysX related and my dedicated 9800GT had a little struggle with these fights.

Whatever the case, I’ve finally got a “debugged” system where everything finally works, which was not the case on the old system. For instance, ‘L.A. Noire’ did not even start. XBMC is working smoothly and I had no issues with exporting and importing the media library data.

Mind the gap

It’s a new bloody year and the old one, system wise, ended terribly. I wanted to use the weekend to do some changes on my media centre and I got stuck right at that point, where I wanted to put the motherboard inside the chassis.

The motherboard itself fit, but I wasn’t able to connect all the SATA plugs because there’s simply not enough room for them. One slope and the lack of holes where you actually need them refused to let me rebuild my media centre. We’re talking about an issue with the size of almost a quarter inch.

Without a doubt, replacement for the chassis was needed. To be honest, I wasn’t very satisfied with the chassis since buying it. The fan system was rubbish and too noisy. Too much plastic and not enough room inside. Which is now again to be proven as correct.

I ordered an anidées AI-6 chassis, which looks very plain and elegant. It’s a solid build with more metal elements and less plastic. I’ve also got a USB3.0 connector includes and the cable management looks even more logical. The fans aren’t to be seen at first glance. Mainly hidden but air can get in and outside through well designed vents.

Whatever the case (!), I’m looking forward to get this chassis as soon as possible to rebuild my media centre. I also go by and do a complete new setup of the Windows system, which hopefully will not waste too much time.

Of RipJaws and Eden

Previously, I’ve told you guys about my GeForce upgrade on my media centre. The performance boost was, well, kind of okay, but at last I felt it was time for an overall upgrade on the system. I’ ve got this AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition in my PC that I usually use for some work on photos and on the other hand it’s simply a machine I use to manage my mails, websites and these kind of things.

It finally turns out that the processor plugged into this machine gets a little bored so I’ll do an exchange and my AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition moves from my media centre to this working machine. Both system still run on the AMD 7xx chipset and the media centre will now get the upgrade to the AMD 990FX chipset in form of an Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 board.

I’ll put 16GB DDR3 12800 G.Skill RipJaw modules on this system, so that I finally do not have to suffer on a memory bottleneck. I personally think that this is a good foundation for my EVGA GeForce GTX 560ti 448 Cores Classified. I was able to get a performance increase on games like “Batman Arkham City” but the overall system performance became pretty bad during the last year and a half so it’s time to make an upgrade and most importantly get a fresh and new installment of Windows 7.


I’ve exchanged graphics and sound card drivers a lot in the past and I also had to struggle with several hardware and software issues that also caused new bugs, if you know what I’m saying.

Anyhow, I don’t expect a performance boost of 200 per cent but I’m certain that the overall system performance and feel of smoothness will increase and a lot of crashes and bugs will get fixed with this new setup.

In preparation for this did I also give the new XBMC version (called “Eden”) a try, which is currently out as a beta release. I was a little disappointed. I did a fresh installment and imported my old library to get everything as clean as I could. The movie library did not work as expected. I was missing movie posters. I wasn’t able to get movie information. The new skin itself is not a thing I’m going to be friend with because all the items are drawn much smaller and it looks like as if there’s something missing on the GUI.

I also tried several video add-ons and most of them did not work properly as well. To summarize, this is still a beta version and it does not represent the final product, but I will wait for a long time until I’ll finally do the update from “Dharma” to “Eden”. I’m fine and comfortable with my current media centre software. So why changing a good and running system?

I hope I can get everything done within the next 5-7 days and I’ll keep you informed.

The Upper-Classified

You may remember a post I published by the beginning of December where I stated that totally, totally, totally want the EVGA GeForce 560ti 448 Cores Classified. It finally happened. The card has been shipped and will probably be here with in like one or two days.

I’m totally excited about the abilities of the card. Things like temperature, stability and most importantly overclocking capabilities. I remember the EVGA GeForce 570 DS HD with a pretty similar cooling design, but this one was a pure noise terror. Those very, very few reviews that do exist about the  EVGA GeForce 560ti 448 Cores Classified say, that the noise level is pretty low actually and the temperatures are moderate, too.

This is exactly what I need for my media centre. Silence and undisputed, raw GPU power. To be honest, I buy this graphics card just to be able to play Batman Arkham City on almost maximum details fluently. Yes, there you got him, video game  freak buying hardware for just one game.

Whatever the case, Mrs EVGA GeForce 560ti 448 Cores Classified is on her way to Mr Hardware Freak and as soon as this romance gets hot and wet I’ll leave some details right here in this blog.

(By far the worst final sentence I’ve written here 😀 )