NFS Carbon

This is how carbon looks with the new VGA.
it goes up to about 50FPS, but sometimes drops to ~17. So I tried with no Anti Aliasing. Have to test this thoroughly. No time since I'm busy with F.E.A.R and Mostwanted. F.E.A.R. Goes up to 100 FPS and drops only to around 60 FPS even with all the settings at 1024 is enabled and set to MAX. Even FSAA is at 2x. :D

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Upgrade Phase 2 [9600GT]

Its been a while since I did the first phase of the upgrades, which was the HDD. (Samsung HD501LJ)
This brought me the opportunity to install vista.

The second phase now comes a month after the first one, which is the coolest of the units that I have ever installed on my PC. Its the nVidia 9600GT (512MB) VGA by Foxconn. It supports PCIex16 and can run most of the games with full specs.

I was waiting for a shop named 'Nunet' to import them, but I got to know through Anusha, that Barclays had the card. So I got the thing from Barclays and bought it home. (that was a long way home for the card, from Unity Plaza to my Office and from there to Malith Aiya's Place and finally home, since we went to see Malith aiya's baby)

Since I forgot to take some decent pictures of the HDD, I decided to take the whole set of pics that would document most of the steps of the installation.

First of all, here goes the packaging:

Decent Look and I like that luminous outer glow. :)

Then after the cover was open, it looked like this. Jumping Jupitor!!! this thing is Huge compared to my old FX5200.!!! Compare the size in pictures below with the CDs.

Here are the stuff that was inside the box;

They include

  • Driver CD
  • Another Software CD (which has some disk utilities, not yet tried :D too busy with NFS)
  • DVI to Analog converter
  • TV cables (Cant remember what the heck they're called)
  • Power Adapter
  • Users (useless) Manual - It contains Chinese in most of it

You might remember from an earlier post that this thing needs 20A in the 12V rail, and I got a new power supply a month or so before. :D

So I checked the space in the casing, alas!! I had to remove the old HDD to install this. The card was so long, it did not have any room in behind. So I relocated the old Maxtor to a CD rack (no screws :S) and installed the VGA.

Notice the small gap between the RAM and the VGA. If I needed to remove the RAM for some reason, I'd have to move the 9600 out first.!!

So I installed the software and rebooted. First things first. Tried to get the resolution right!! No luck. So I went to the next step. Installing NFS MW (The only game I had with me at the time)

It runs with all options and full Anti-Aliasing under 1024x768 resolution at a Frame Rate between 30 and 60. Wow!!! thats cool enough for me.

Did some jugglery to get the resolution fixed again today, got it at last. But the monitor is a pain, the full 1152x864 can be achieved. So I had to put this into an awkward value of 1148x861 through the forceware.

The whole thing got my performance index from 3.3 to 4.8. The lowest is for the processor. The graphics section went from 3.3 to 5.9!!!

Until Anusha brings some games on Monday for me, "I am Rock, there ain't no breakin' me"....

NFS MW, here I come!!   
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Server Side Scripts

Trying to do some server side scripts to make the Disk catalog work. The blogger site does not allow external php requests. I'll have to solve the issue if I need to integrate the Tarantula to the blog...

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Its actually my new web based project. You might remember that I started off building a CD Catalog for the sake of preserving my CDs and making them easier to find. Well, Tarantula is the name that I gave to the system that keeps all that in track.

The former project that I did using VB 6, could keep in the database the details of each and every CD that I have with me including the CD number and the Description. It also keeps track of when and to whom the disks were lent or burrowed.

Tarantula will be all that and some additional features. Tarantula uses XML to keep track of all the files in the CDs too. So that when I want to find a file in the CD collection (specially backups) I only have to type the name of the file and the system gives me the disk stored and the location of the file. That's save me a lot of time I waste trying to find some old file.

There are several Softwares in the web that actually makes this function. But most of them are 30 day evaluations. I'll try to develop this to a user-friendly status and make this available as open source. (Thats right, I'm into the thing now that I have experienced Fedora too :) )

The only minus point of this software is that I'm making this web based, so the users will have to have a web server. But there are small web servers out there without the complexity of the big functions. The next step definitely will have to be integrating this to something like flash.

Keep checking here. I'll put the system and the code here as soon as I'm done developing it. So that you can re-touch and edit it to a better version.

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Fedora in the old Hard Drive

I've been waiting to install a version of linux to my old HDD. Since I did not copy all the stuff from the old Disk to the new one, I could not do it until now.

I checked all the backups and things and copied all the things from the old Disks to the new one. So I can remove the partition table for good. I had a Fedora Core 9 downloaded from the university during project times. I actually did that to test the system for 64 bit functionality coz the OS ran Live without installing.

So I installed it onto the old HDD. I have a whole 40GB to play with. I had a lot of problems at first. Even the Network adapter was not detected by the OS at first. So I had to do some juggling to get that fixed.

I removed the new HDD before doing anything. I still remember what GRUB does to OS's. So I didn't want any more trouble. Now it works with both HDDs plugged in.

Now its time to test all kinds of open source servers and stuff. If I cant get this to work, well, I always have other options for open source. Including the ol' Ubuntu :D

Wonder whether I can run OS-X in my PC!!! Looks like its going to be OS fantasy time :D

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ROFL...A three window keyboard

I got this at the CCNA class. It was just a plain old keyboard. But I noticed something different. LoL. There were two WIN keys in this thing. The left Control Key was missing and in its place was another WIN key.

Devinda made up some great story why its there. :S
According to him, one is for displaying the menu, the other for contracting it again. ROFL

So all in all, this keyboard has 3 WIN keys.

What a WINner. :P

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The Router...The IOS and a Bad day....!

It all started when I was asked to change the IOS of a 7301 router at Kotikawatte. I've done a similar thing on a smaller 871 router but this was diffrent. I was ready with the IOS on a Flash drive. But when I went there I realised that the 7301 did not have a USB port. So I went to the initial plan of a tftp server.

It all went well until I decided to reboot the router after copying the new files and deleting the old ones. Damn..!!! The thing did not reboot properly. Gave some crappy output and stopped in the middle of nowhere. I went nuts. There wasn't and prompt and I had no idea what to do. Then I realised that I did not set the boot parameters to the router. :P


So I called Gayan and inquired what to do. He did not have an idea so he referred me to Naveen 'The router' Warnakula :D
He told me that I've totally wrecked it up and leave the thing alone till he can fix it. And he also said that I've powered a working router down by moving the power adapters :S
So I had to check that and recover that too.

I went back to the office with all hope lost. Another damn router down!!! and its all my fault!!

I asked from the guys what to do about it. Ranil came up with some google hits and even Gayan Aiya told me that it can be fixed. Sameera Aiya told me that "If you're going to let Naveen fix it, you'll never learn it, so go and try it"

My luck turned when my boss Mr. Malith arrived. When I asked him whether it is possible to do permanent software damage to the router, he said it cannot be possible. All problems could be fixed by those crappy commands he said.

So I went to KOT, armed with the printouts of the google hits by Ranil and my searches from Cisco's site.

Sat there with all the stuff, and started typing to the rommon mode the router was in (I was able to get the break sequence to stop it from stopping nowhere)....

 rommon 1> set
Some garbage appears

rommon 2> tftpdnld
 :S no such command

DAMN!!! I was half dead. The command set that I have brought was from another router type and this stupid 7301 did not have that tftp option to boot.

 And I realised I had also deleted a second file that was in the flash of the router, which was a boot config. It was needed to boot the router. This router is different from the rest I've worked with, there were two files, one; boots the router up, and the other; is the IOS. :S
For heavens sake, who knows ?

I went back upstairs to the office room at KOT, presented the problem to Upul Aiya till I also searched more in the internet for similar problems or guides.
It was my bad luck. Nobody was stupid enough to delete the bootup config :S

So After Mr. Upul went home, I had an idea.... The rommon supported a command called boot, and it took a path as the argument, maybe if I can put the bootup config into the PCMCIA flash, hmmm.....

I had the config files with me. I copied them to the PC before I deleted them..

So I went back to the server room, turned the rotuer off and removed the PCMCIA memory and brought it upstairs. There was a router lying there (another type) that wasn't even turned on or plugged. I turned it on and checked what was in the flash of that router.

One more step..I thought. I removed the memory card of that router and plugged in the one from the 7301...and plugged in the USB drive. (It luckily had the port)

Copied the file to the memory and turned the router off. I hurried to the server room again and put the card in....

rommon 1>boot disk0:somestupidfilename

YIPEEEEE!!!!! System booted......

So I went to the IOS prompt. From there, it was easy to copy the file to the bootup config and then rebooted again.

But there was a small error again..the router was in a mode called 'boot'. I called Naveen again. He told me that there was a mistake in my command that was given to boot the IOS

it was like this:

boot system flash
boot system flash disk0:filename.bin

the error? I haven't put a '/' after the ":" in the second line and the first line was not needed. :P

so here goes:
conf ter

no boot system flash
no boot system flash disk0:filename.bin

boot system flash disk0:/filename.bin

the damn thing booted properly at last....

I plugged in all the cables, gave a no shut to a interface that Gayan needed to be up...And came back home....

This is a day to remember...!!!

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Nero Eating CPU time

I normally check what processes run in the task manager and what are actually needed. But after installing Vista, I'm still getting used to the processes that are critical and non-critical. So when I checked the startup entries I found an indexing service starting every time which did not belong to Vista.

And I saw this was the useless search bar that Nero Installs on the taskbar when its setup. I removed the process. Its an add-on for stupid people with no sense of what their processor is doing. :P

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Damn cold at kala!

Now at kala to test some links. The air conditioning makes this place feel like antarctica! No wonder, even the display on the ac says 20C.

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New Power Supply for the PC

Coz I'm going to get a new VGA, hopefully the 9600GT, I'd need a power supply that gives a lot of wattage than the one I have.
After walking hours in the unity plaza, we did not find an adequate supply for Lasitha on the BIT day. But he found one from Unity the other day he went alone. So I also went to the same shop to get the supply.

Its rated 550W and the main requirement for the VGA was 20A in the 12V rail. This baby says 22A for the 12V rail on the sticker. But you never know whether the sticker is correct. So I have 2A margin for error. Anusha runs his GT on 18A so I think I dont have to worry too much on power issues now.

When I installed the new power supply I noticed that there was too much dust on the CPU heatsink. So I removed the fan and then cleaned it up a bit too. Look at all this dust on the sink.

Had to clean all that up.

And gave the ol' mainboard a new BIOS today too. Either I didn't notice before or the new BIOS gave a setting called HDD boot priority in the BIOS system settings. I noticed this today since the BIOS was upgraded, the system started booting XP :S

So I restarted and checked what happened. There I found out about this menu. This must have been there since the system booted Vista only after I removed the ATA disk and booted once from the SATA. It might have put the SATA on top of the list so that all the time the SATA booted. The upgrade changed this, and it was a good thing, I noticed the menu. Now I can boot XP anytime I want :D

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Time under the KOT tower

I'm now under the KOT tower. Gayan and Chamil went to the Kala side to check the connectivity of a fibre link. I had to be here ve manage this side. Since its damn cold inside the server room. I came outside under the tower.
Reminds me of the time we spent here as trainees. Those were good old times. Hope those guys were also here with me. It would have been fun.

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