Tuesday, March 30, 2010

30 Mar 2010

Reflections from today:

1. Test went okay, however more of it was just luck. Studying efficiency can still be improved.

2. Try not to panic and watch your time, assumed the test was one hour and had one hell'a rush when the supervisor announced "five minutes left", four MCQs where also rushed through as a result, mind yourself


Spent the last two or three hours playing AoD as Germany in a vanilla N/N game, spent 36 to mid-38 whoring IC and the rest build up on troops, the new auto production control is so much better than the original, or any other mod that I have tried.

Ended up annexing Poland in 19 days, and by the start of November I was able to release puppet Scandinavia.

Verdict: Paradox can create good concept, however they screw up everything else. Yet they did write their own game engine but it is a pile of mess, the game already slows down in 37 and as far as I can see the "Ghost Fleet" issue is probably never getting sorted since it appears to be a bug hard-wired into some lower level naval algorithm. It took 3+ years to make HOI2 a game with acceptable OOBE and 7+ years for the good old Europa engine to reach its present state. By this trend I don't see myself playing HOI3 or any Clausewitz-based game till 2015 at the speed of 10min/month.


Back in reality, I will have a full day studying microbiology tomorrow, test on Thursday and I planned to stay behind to finish my lab report and hand it in. Projects for the next two weeks:

1. Cleanup! This usually comes up in the end but I will move it forward for a change.
2. Install the watercooling loop, that involves grinding up a CPU WB bracket and possibly some other dangerous and exciting ops. Looking very much forward to it.
3. Sell the expendable things that has been piling up since the end of last year, why have I not done this earlier is beyond me now, at least I had some excuse.....
4. At work, still aim to have website online by mid-April, but not too much work that I ran out of time to do the stuff above.

Monday, March 29, 2010

29 Mar 2010

Few changes effective from today:

1. This blog will get some proper formatting, no Helvetica yet but I am certain that Ariel look just as good. If you are not sure what I meant, go to youtube and type "font fight"

2. As per usual, study ahead of the actual test/exam is very counter-productive, the time could have been better spent gazing at clouds or removing sand at the beach with a perforated ladle.

3. Getting very low on my cash reserves, however the summer plan is alive and well

What gets written is less important, as long as the habit if forming

P.S. I have found and closed two other blogs that I thought have long been deleted, embarrassing especially since Miranda found out about both before I did.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

28 Mar 2010

Got up really early in the morning, in other words slept for less than 6 hours again. Went to chem tutition then home then to work and back. Average day overall. Must start studying for the tests this week.

Could not contact the frenchie selling the UPS, however no big deal.

More on the new motherboard:
1. SATA optical drive fixed, all you need to do is to enable "Extended Shadow RAM", must have been some kind of overflow with their AHCI BIOS, however I may never be able to tell the exact mechanism.

2. PSU situation seems beyond help, all I can do for now is to never disconnect from the mains.

3. Sent an email to supermicro support asking for more information on their 1.2a BIOS, let's see if they are bendable as their counterparts at MSI.

All out studying for the week, I will try to keep this journal updated at least daily. Expecting to receive 4GB DDR3 memory in mail tomorrow.

27 Mar 2010

Spent a whole day working on my beloved main workstation, finally got around for some time to be spent changing the motherboard and practice some basic case modding. The latter part was easy and took little time, however the new motherboard provided major headaches:

1. Intel Matrix RAID BIOS fails to start if a SATA optical drive is present, probably due to the super-fast AHCI BIOS . Thank goodness I am aware of this from the Japanese vendors, however the same information seems to be missing from anywhere else....Digging up the mess of Supermicro FAQs ended up with some information suggesting something to do with shadow ram, will find out if there is a cure. Short term solution: Make a shrouded PATA cable and swap for a PATA drive.

2. Some incompatibility with my VX450 PSU: boots up spontaneously exactly 2s after mains power switch flicked on; will not boot once shutdown, unless one cuts off mains power and let it stand for about a minute and it goes full circle again. Does not appear to have problems with any other power supply, however I am reluctant to pay for another right now....

(Update: Spontaneous boot was apparently my fault to have put some pins in the wrong place, however the blinking 5VSB problem returned)

3. Layout hell, too tired to take a photo now but word cannot explain how cramped my case has become, now every minor hardware change will result in a complete overhaul, since my hands are not exactly of the right size and dexterity of a midwife. Long term solution: buy a P193.

4. Supermicro BIOS: I really don't understand what they have been thinking, features they claimed did not exist, or existed in the source code but not actually turned on in any version of their BIOS updates. Speaking of which I am still running 1.0a, last board had to be replaced because it failed right after a seemingly successful BIOS flashing, well they did warn you right....

Note for Sunday: Chemistry tuition, pick-up the UPS, check server conditions and shutdown since I should be busy studying next week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

26 Mar 2010

Had some good sleep last night, woke up at 0615 feeling all good. The bus ride to town was exceptionally smooth that I actually arrived at 0835, settled down my usual seat and started reading last night's new posts off OCN. Lecture buddy showed up by 0855, quite late by her standards. Showed off the new server at work and got a good response.

The lecture itself was uneventful, since most content is directly carried over from MEDSCI202. (Someone stowed an apple under the lecturer's bench, hopefully not a copycat continuation of what I did yesterday) . Went to Queen street thereafter to the cinema. ow onto the movie "Alice in Wonderland"

First I have never had the chance to sit down and finish the book properly, last time I tried to read it the copy was ruined by some trisomic 21 kid (i.e. mentally retarded, literally). However I did receive enough spoilers from all kind of sources to figure out what is going on.

Plotline is predictable all along, well it is walt disney and what should you expect. Visual effect is pretty good, wish I could have watched in 3D. The main cast was disappointing, Alice is a detached feminist tomboyish late teen while Anne Hathaway's White Queen was more like a mechanical baboon coated in plaster of Paris. I was planning to finish watching the credits however thanks to the large bottle of vanilla coke I had to leave as soon as it appeared. Overall I could give it a 3.0/5.

The true highlight of the day is the arcade game at the cinema. It was mentioned in this week's Craccum and I had to give it a try. It was actually a good game. Downside: Right shoulder still hurts from the stress.

Afternoon lecture was either eventful, Peter is still doing a good job. Nonetheless the focus is the two BIOSCI tests tomorrow.

Oh and fresh figs after dinner, that does not always happen:)

Now that seemed like a lot but it was more of an exception, most days in my current life is boring, duh.

Post Alpha

So, I have started this and I shall keep this going as long as I can, especially considering my last blog perished without receiving a single update. While Miranda's blog remains uncomprehensible self-muttering, something important prompted me to restart blogging myself.

What will happen is that I shall keep several types of entries, some are for bookkeeping to aid my poor memory, some are more organised thoughts, all tailored to be understandable to every stalker out there.

All pictures will be linked from my photobucket album, lets hope still have enough bandwidth left.