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.

Slightly getting back to basics

There’s something wrong in the state of Denmark… not that I know, but I just wanted to start the post with a sentence that does not start with “I was blabla…”

Actually, I’m a little pissed by myself because I simply don’t feel like I should. No, I’m sick in any kinda way, but it’s my whole condition that bothers me. I’ve got a hell too much weight hanging on my bones, I’m once again unsatisfied with my job and I haven’t found the time to actually follow up some of my hobbies. But first things first. The whole weight thing is going to change, definately. I just ordered new tires and flexible tubes for my bicycle to get mobile again, because I’m so nerved of walking. Getting me back on the road also means that I personally will get a little bit more “sportish”. I just love to cruise around with my bike around the city without any specific destination. Most importantly, I’m going to grab my photo camera to catch some fine moments while being on the road. I miss shooting with my and even though I don’t have the real talent to be a great photographer I’ll keep on doing this, because this is giving the relaxation I actually need in my daily life.

Over the last couple of days and weeks I had to struggle with lots of system and hardware crashes at home (that’s the curse of having so many PCs) that I had to fix that I had a massive lack of free time actually. First it was my gaming system that died while upgrading to Windows 7 SP1. I fixed this issue to about 90 per cent. After having solved this particular problem, the raid system in my HTPC started having issues as well and one hard drive wasn’t running as stable as I would like it to be. I replaced the hard drives, cloned the whole system, rescued the data and installed a fresh, new system which isn’t finished yet already. I’m not in a hurry with that one and I’m not going to stress me with that one. As long as the XBMC is running, everything is fine.


There’s a trip to London coming up within the next two weeks and right after that I’ll restart doing early sessions at the gym again. I’m stressed and nerved and bothered with the packed gym right after work and I’m sure to gain much more when I’ll go to gym pretty early. I’ll also change my nutrition as well and get back to the healthy way of life. To get the facts straight, I’m going back the roots of my personal straight edge project. It’s clear for me, that I don’t want to live the way how I live at the moment because it’s simply not good for me. I’m doing fine when it comes to points like stamina but I completely fail meanwhile due to things like pure strength.

Anyhow, it’s curious to see how everything goes down the drain when my bike’s broke. It’s always the same, the tires burst and I gain pounds and pounds and pounds. There seems to be some kind of an invisible band between me and my bike. Like it was between Elliot and E.T. in the movie of the same title. If my bike’s doing well, I’m doing well. If my bike’s getting sick, I’m doing sick.

Till my short vacation I’ll keep my gym schedule as it is now and I’ll do some slight changes to my nutrition. The tough break is going to be right after the vacation which leads me back to no sweets and candy. I’ll also reduce the amount of coffee per day, which is now at an average of four to five huge cups a day. I’ll also reduce the consumption of Diet Coke for one simple reason, Diet Coke causes hunger and hunger finally leads me to eating and eating causes weight. Well, there are tons of things that will change all with this one particular goal to get back to a healthier nutrition, but one the other hand I’m not going to live like monk in a monastery. I still want to get a little bit of fun out of life.

PS: If you want to ask about the pic in this post, well, I just thought “Sex Sells”

My media centre – A field report

It’s been nearly 9 month since living with a media centre PC in my living room and it has become a regular part of my daily life. The balance between the simple watching of TV broadcasts and the common use of a PC, like surfing the internet, playing games has changed. Nowadays I do watch more and more content that is streamed and published via the internet and old school TV makes only a minor part in my daily life. The point actually is, that I don’t have the time nor the will to watch specific contents on TV at a special time and nor do I have the will to spend like half an hour to setup the HDD recorder that I don’t miss a show on TV. This is old-fashioned in my opinion, especially by regarding the fact that if I use the media centre I can watch whatever I want and what I subscriped to at any time I want. If I watch TV I’m bound to a fixed schedule and like I previously said, I’m not going to waste my rare free time to TV programs.

Another, and in my opinion, very important point that the media centre has become so popular for me is, that the content it offers is mainly customized to my needs and interests. As you may know, I’m a gamer and I love to watch broadcasts with videogame content, so I watch like GameTrailers.com, GiantBomb or GameSpot contents any time I want. If I’m more in the mood to get a little relaxation and enjoy earth’s beauty I lay back and watch the marvellous shows of Earth-Touch.com. I’ve also got tons of subscriptions on Youtube, mainly gaming content but also channels with subjects like sports, news , photography or simply comedy. As you can see, I’ve got this large variety of things to watch at any time I want, I’m near the point to think about cancelling my cable provider subscribtion because it makes barely sense.

Besides simple watching of different contents the media centre also offers another ability to serve me well, it’s a gaming platform. I had to make a compromise between ultra silent media centre PC and gaming PC. This PC serves in both ways and is not as quiet as a media centre usually used to be, but this doesn’t really matter, because while watching movies or anything else like this, you can barely here the PC and it’s not as disturbingly load as a regular gaming PC. This case, where the hardware was built in, is a silent case and I also avoided the use of unnessecary fans the gain a low noise level and I’m pretty happy with the final result. I can’t deny that there’s still some room for tweaking the system to gain a little less noise, but it’s fine the way it is.

Anyhow, the media centre is a well balanced and efficient gaming PC as well and I use this PC very often for some relaxed gaming sessions. I used to play a lot of games that are played console style (with a gamepad) on the media centre PC and left the FPS and RPG to my main game system. It’s way more fun to play a soccer or a basketball game on the couch watching the stuff on a giant TV instead of seeing this on a small 24inch PC monitor. It also fulfills some social aspects because I personally play much more games with friends visiting me as I’ve done before by just having the “normal, regular” gaming PC. Another important point for me is, I don’t have to waste money on an expensive console, even though I would like to have a PS3.

As a final conclusion can I say, that the media centre was a good investment. Ordinary TV becomes less and less important for me and like I said, I’m near the point cancelling my cable provider subscription. I gain more information in a much smaller space of time and most importantly information that I actually need instead of getting tons and tons of crap information, e.g. celebrity stuff. Some of my “gaming habits” have changed too because I’m more willing to play “casual games” like sports games and games regularly played with a gamepad. Yap, I like the media centre, everyone should have one.

Motorola for the meantime

Since that very that I’ve first seen Bishop in “Aliens” I’ve got this affinity for androids and now that Android is a kind of established on the market I decided to get an android on my own. The attentive reader of this blog might have noticed it, that I’m playing with the thought, well, it’s no longer playing, it’s more a fixed decision, to buy me the HTC Desire HD as soon as it’s got released on the European market. As some you might also have noticed, the HTC Desire HD is going to be released somewhere around calendar week 44 or 45. That’s a looong period of waiting, but luckily have I been able to extend my cell phone contract and was able to grab the good old Motorola Backflip with Android 1.5.

I use two Sony Ericsson cell phone at the moment and both of them do have broken plugs so that charging is a pure game of hazard and transfering data becomes a desperate act. Especially the last check is something pretty weird because one of the phones is a walkman phone and I’m no longer able to listen to music on that one. Long story told short, the Motorola will become my second phone in the nearby future and is more the dedicated to remote administrative things than the HTC phone. I tried to find some applications for XBMC on the iPad but I failed. I’ve found some but I had to pay for them and I don’t want to bloody pay for an application on a toy like the iPad.

Reporting for duty

Nothing really special happened within the last few days except some nerdy things. The holy equipment for my paladin in WoW is nearly completely epic and I look forward to my first instances as a holy paladin though I have no idea how it actually works because I am a tank since level 25 or something. Probably will I use some non-hero instances to learn before I kick the real shit (yap, yap, yap… the overheal will shine over my healing failures). On the other hand I am busy in WoW with some crafting things that I left on the way while hardcore leveling my paladin. Damn, I hate it when a game turns to a work like thing. I used to start a priest and a warrior for some twinking. The priest plays a little bit lame in low level but the warrior totally rocks and I guess I will play it more often from time to time.

Besides all this were I working on my media center again and it’s in a kind of RC state now. Windows 7 was by far the better choice compared to Linux Mint, though Linux has had a fine performance but due to some screen tearing issues and the complexity that comes into play when using a dual-boot system as a media center, it had to leave the hall. The media center choice itself fell on XBMC. The Windows Media Center is a kind of a rude joke from Microsoft which is absolutely useless in all kinds of ways. The third choice was Moovida but I finally missed some customization features so I switched to XBMC which is more complex in the beginning but very easy to use in the end. I finally made to import all my TV shows correctly to the media library and my movies were found and tagged as well. It’s pretty easy to use and it looks great. I use the standard theme but I guess I’ll give some of the other themes a try in the future.

If you’ll ask yourself what’s up in project “Straight Edge 2.0” can I tell that I follow every rule except the sports rule. Unfortunately. I don’t know when I will do some sport again, probably next week or if everything works perfectly well this week, maybe this weekend. Gladfully am I stuck on a weight around 97kg and it does not increase (Yeah!). So, that’s it for now…