The Technical Exorcist

December 16th, 2009

A Mouse with Button Barf

Posted by The Editor in Hardware

An amazing number of people think that genius is doing something random and then marketing it. A perfect example of this is an 18 button gaming mouse. The Inquirer has an amusing review. Reminds me of Wes Peden’s juggling. . . It’s different, totally random, and completely unappealing.

December 1st, 2009

USB3 and SATA3 have arrived!

Posted by exorcist in Hardware

At last, Gigabyte has released a motherboard with integrated USB3 and SATA3 chipsets!

A decent article can be found on The Inquirer. Gigabyte’s website also has an overview. Only a couple hundred bucks on newegg. . . not bad for a new release.

For those not in the loop and desiring the overview, USB3 allows for 4.8Gbps transfer speeds for external peripherals, approximately 10x the current USB speed. It also does away with the irritating CPU polling that would cause USB devices to give your computer the hiccups.

SATA3 is twice the speed of your current SATA connections—6Gbps transfers speeds will be handy for faster internal flash drives in the near future.

These are both major speed choke points on modern computers, so the improvement should be more noticeable than your everyday technology advancements.

July 19th, 2009

From sand to packaging

Posted by exorcist in Hardware, Interesting

Intel has put an awesome pictorial tour of how modern computer processors are made—from sand to packaging. It is somewhat simplified so anyone non-technical can understand, but it is still a great education. I highly recommend you check it out.

Click Here for Intel’s tour

December 14th, 2008

Silence the Fans

Posted by exorcist in Cool Toys, Hardware

Finally, someone has come up with an improvement in the often-overlooked flaws in computer equipment—noise. La Cie has found a way to make quieter computer fans. They are only selling them on their server hardware it seems, but I hope the technology is adopted for home and office PC’s as well. Fan noise can be terribly irritating, especially when it’s high pitched.


December 8th, 2007

Western Digital's DRM Infected Hard Drive

Posted by exorcist in Hardware

Western Digital makes a huge Network-Ready hard drive that blocks all music formats from being shared with other users. This means you can pull music files off your hard drive, but you can’t let anyone else pull music files off your hard drive. There are legal, legitimate reasons why I could want to share my files with other users. I guess I’ll be preferring Seagates drives.

More information can be found on their website, or on this Register article.

The commentator Chronos is full of you-know-what when he says WD has to cover their asses due to Common Carrier laws. Common Carrier laws apply to “organizations that transport persons or goods”. Western digital does not transport data, they provide tools that may be used to transport data, so they are no more liable for what gets transported than a boat manufacturer.

March 3rd, 2007

Hosting Simultaneous Warcraft III Games

Posted by exorcist in Hardware, Mail, Software

The other day I received an e-mail along these lines:

“The reason I’m writing is thanks to me moving back home Femme and I will be
back to one computer. ShadowQ (the guy I work with) suggested a router, but
we’re not sure what kind. So how do you get two people playing Warcraft III side by side?
If you do use a router, make/model? And do you use a wireless connection at all in your set up?”

In my reply, I gave an overview of how I set up our computers for the Ethereal Land game players:

“I use a Linksys wired router. I can’t really recommend Linksys, though. I haven’t been totally happy with their routers, but then I haven’t been totally happy with any router. I’d just make sure you get a well-known brand, whether it be Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, or whatever. I have used a wireless router in the past, but Ethereal residents were both very unhappy trying to play Warcraft online with it. Missed packets are no big deal when you’re browsing the web, but if you’re playing a game, it can make you lag like crazy. I’d stay away from wireless if you can. If you have a little money to blow and really don’t want to run Cat 5 cables for a wired router, I’ve heard that the routers that transfer data over your home electrical system work pretty good now.

To get two people online playing Warcraft at the same time, I set up both PC’s with fixed IP addresses. I then went into Warcraft’s Game settings and changed the network port on the one PC to 6112, and the other to 6113. Then I went into the router settings and set up port forwarding for the first machine to use port 6112, and the second machine to use 6113. This was necessary because Port forwarding sends all packets for the specified port to the IP address you supply. This means two people can’t play on the same port. You also need two Warcraft CD keys, because two people can’t be online with the same key.”