So I’ve been without internet for almost a week now. With without internet I mean that my normal home connection isn’t working, I still have my phone and a connection at work ofcourse.
So what happened? My modem just wouldn’t connect anymore. It had been dropping connections ocassionally and somehow screwing up dhcp transactions, which I could enforce through a simple ipconfig /release & ipconfig /renew. So I had my windows start up with a simple script that did just that and it was doable. Last sunday though.. nothing at all. Couldn’t get any dhcp lease at all, I ofcourse restarted the modem several times and tried to connect to it, wouldn’t work. I even tried my ps3 to see if it could be my pc, it was not.
I called my isp’s helpdesk which said the modem was online like normally. I told them that I couldn’t get any dhcp connection going and I had reset it 3 times already. So they decided to remote reset it again and.. it didn’t come up again. It just stayed offline so clearly it was broken. So they could install a new one on wednesday, not great but they didn’t have anybody who’d come earlier, mostly due to a heavy storm there had been some days ago.
So on wednesday they finally came and reinstalled a new modem, but I was still unable to get a dhcp lease. Strange thing was that their netbook did, over the same cable/modem. So it was something to do with the pc. After doing many tests(including live cd’s, hiren’s and other tools) and some resets later I had to conclude that my motherboard was at fault.
This fact didn’t surprise me too much as I had been getting some blue screens of death with random faultcodes. Sometimes it’d say that the ram was faulty, which had been running fine for ages in another machine, so I had already expected the motherboard to be at fault with regards to that. So essentially I figured that my options were A) Buy a new socket 775 motherboard and stick with the current processor/ram or B) Upgrade to socket 1366 and get an i7 with ddr3 ram.
I went with option B and am currently waiting for my parts to get delivered so I can build the machine again.
For those curious; I’ve added my system specs to the “About Me” page.
So I was reading slashdot.org and stumbled upon this article, which interested me.
I have just finished watching the pilot for Pioneer One and I must say that I’m intrigued, they did a great job especially considering what budget they were on. If I didn’t know they were on such a low budget I’d not really noticed much. I feel like I should chime in on the donating but considering the crazy amounts of money I’ve been spending on games lately.. I dunno, I’ll probably end up throwing in 5 or 10bucks. Innovation and a good story, sign me up.
In unrelated news, I have my holidays coming up so expect slightly more videos in the upcoming weeks. I can’t really go crazy with it as frankly, rendering and uploading these sets takes some real time. I also ordered Uncharted 2 for the PS3 so I can play through that in the holiday, very excited for that one. And I might have something special coming up, but I can’t say what it is just yet.
Ninja Edit: I just updated my iPhone to the iOS 4 and… my screen is just zooming in for some reason. A tap on the screen is supposed to make it go away but.. it isn’t. Neat…. I guess I’ll google a bit more, as for now it’s unworkable. Ninja Edit 2: The Zoom function in the Accessibility menu got turned on by the update, weird bug I’d say.
As a bonus I just have to share this concept art for “Demon Elaine” on Tales of Monkey Island, click for full size.
So, for those who’ve watched E3, I’m very curious on your opinion.
I really liked Sony’s and Nintendo’s conferences, EA would take the third spot. There has been some great titles announced and shown off and boy, do I want to play them! The problem with that actually is is that there’s simply that many, it’s easy to forget a huge title. Let’s go over the stuff that I liked in the conferences, starting from the one I liked least. I also won’t notice Ubisoft’s as… frankly I didn’t care about anything so I didn’t watch it and from what I’ve heard, it was a good decision. The only thing I could’ve cared about would be Beyond Good and Evil 2, but there was nothing.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops – It…. is Call of Duty. I think I’m really just done with that for a while.
- Fable 3 – This didn’t actually look that good, I was actually expecting a great looking cool game but I was sorely dissapointed, but there’s time to improve obviously.
- Kinect – So everything else pretty much was Kinect (new name for Project Natal) and it just didn’t look good. I also really don’t care about the whole motion deal but it still looked laggy.
- 360 Slim – It’s smaller, cooler and costs the same. Good deal if you’re going to get a 360, for sure.
- Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit – Many people seemed to love this but it looked really boring from the demo, it’s just bumping into eachother.
- Dead Space 2 – Dead Space 1 was a ton of fun to play, and dead space 2 looked like more of the same, except more action oriented.
- Medal of Honor – Seen Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield Bad Company 2? This is both, but seemingly without that extra edge.
- Crysis 2 – Underwhelmed, I can’t really say I remember too much from this, that’s how underwhelming it was to me. It seemed to add nothing.
- Bulletstorm – Looks like a fun game, extremely arcadey version of Necrovision with the crazy kicked up another level!
- Star Wars: The Old Republic – I heard it was good but I didn’t get to see it at the show due to it being streamed late.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Despite the awkward moment on the conference, it actually plays really well. It looks interesting but also very gimmicky on the “You now have to slash vertical/horizontal” thing.
- Golden Sun: Dark Dawn – Hard to judge this from a trailer but if it’s anything like Golden Sun 1 & 2 – Awesome! I LOVED those games.
- Goldeneye 007 – A Remake or reimagining of the N64 classic. Do I think it’ll be good? No… it’ll be failed nostalgia most likely.
- Disney’s Epic Mickey – A good Mickey Mouse game? Doubt it. But it looked decent at least.
- Dragon Quest 9 – Good rpg’s for the DS? Yes Please!
- Donkey Kong Country Remake – I loved the Donkey Kong Country games for the SNES and thus this looked very much like that, great!
- Kid Icarus: Uprising – This seemed like a huge deal, a new kid icarus game since the NES one, which seemed…. to lack something.
- Nintendo 3DS – A new DS, this time with 3d screens. From what I’ve heard it seems to be decent. The 3d still seems imperfect but it’s early.
- Killzone 3 – Looked like.. a shooter. This didn’t do anything for me as I didn’t play the first 2 but maybe I should at some point.
- Sorcery – A Playstation Move game that seems to make excellent use of it, I really digged the combining of spells.
- Infamous 2 – Infamous + giant monsters and ice powers? I’unno, we’ll just have to see.
- Little Big Adventure 2 – They showed what you can do with the game, and that looked like a ton of fun! Crazy stuff there.
- Portal 2 – So portal on PS3.. good, the bigger news though is that it’ll have Steamworks and Steam Cloud opening up Valve stuff in general.
- Gran Turismo 5 – Is it actually coming? It looked absolutely mindblowing and it’s Gran Turismo, it’ll be great. But.. no European Release Date!? Come On!
- Playstation Move – This is by far my favorite motion control thing, it seems to really work and many reviewers agree with this. But… the price.
- Playstation Plus – So.. paying for Online stuff, that isn’t good… but if that includes “free” DLC and mappacks etc. It might be worth it.
All-in-all, Sony and Nintendo kicked ass here really, I especially enjoyed Sony’s even though it might not be apparent from what I typed here. It was just really amusing to watch, nice speed of announcements and good tempo all throughout.
So, Friday I decided it was time to grab those couple of updates windows update had amassed over the last couple of weeks. This because I absolutely hate it nagging me for any message related to it, I’ll decide for myself thank you. But that is a whole different matter. So Aeterna… what happened then?
Well, let me explain. The way PC let’s playing works is that you essentially play the game and have a program(FRAPS/Hypercam, etc) capture the screens that are being sent to the monitor and is writing them away on your harddisk. Now this requires a lot of work from your processor and harddrive. This is why you realistically never want to play the game from and record to the same harddisk, especially if you’re doing it at 1080p like I am. It really is stressful on the harddrive and you’ll wear it out rapidly. So it’s very important to maintain good writing speeds on the harddisks, keep that in mind.
So after the windows updates I tell it to bugger off after wanting me to reboot and I start recording to my Samsung harddrive. So on the saturday I want to record the 2nd set for the week and direct FRAPS to the appropriate folder. I start up Audacity, do a check, all is well. I set it to record, start up the game and watch FRAPS fps on my G15 display, turns out.. that wasn’t necessary. It was obviously hitching and giving me very unstable fps while record, about 7-24. Frankly I was really confused as to what caused this. Figured it was windows grabbing unnecessary memory or running some indexing in the background, so I reboot the pc and try again. Same result however. So I decide to try my samsung drive again and it works flawlessly, so I decide to simply record to that drive, although that limits me timewise as both these sets are currently taking up 550GB of space.
So today I decide to troubleshoot what’s going wrong, I first check if it’s still giving me issues, indeed it is. Next step? Check the writing speeds of my harddrive. I used Crystal Disk Mark for this purpose and ran the benchmarks and what do you know.. my writing speeds dropped by about 50%! No wonder it performed so poorly, it simply couldn’t keep up. So I saw my other drive was fine. So the next step was to look at the drivers for these drives, especially the sata controllers. I noticed that the driver had been changed at the time of the windows update.. Didn’t expect that one. So I uninstalled the old drivers and restarted to fall back on windows default drivers.
I checked the performance after the reboot and sadly, they were the same, a most curious result really. I figured I’d grab the latest chipset drivers for my motherboard again(The same as I had been using previously) and grab a Bios update to boot, it had been a year since the previous update. So after updating both the drivers and bios and returning to windows, I ran the benchmark again and Surprise, it worked as expected! I literally just did the in-game testing again and can say that Penumbra – Black Plague now records just fine in 1080p.