Bulldozed

And Begin! AMD,MSI major fail!

I bought an AMD 8 core for my wife to build her a rig for ebay.

This is a sad story and is going to take some time to tell.

The MSI board I bought couldn’t power the chip.

Even though It said FX on the box.

The chip itself was over heating internally according to AMD.

Finally after months of buying different hardware and black screens.

I called new egg and they gave me my money back out of warranty.

They whacked me a little ,but I was glad to get most of my money back.

The broshine on the phone said the only reason I was getting my money back-

is that I wasn’t the first caller today- with the black screen issue.

I then bought an older PHENOM 2 chip.

In fact I bought all the PHENOM 2 6 cores 1100T’s I could find.

I see MSI changed the spec for the mobo “only for lower wattage chips”

So I had to buy another chip the lower clocked -locked 2.6 I think It was.

MSI sucks for not saying some of it’s boards have power and heat issues,

even though I buy their boards ,Newegg sucks for stealing some of my money .

And AMD sucks for chips that have thermal issues and bad customer support.

Shipping the 8 core in a press kit with a cherry picked chip ,

water-cooler ,and a belt buckle.

Why did the first runs of the 8 core need a water-cooler,thermal issues.

What a waste of time and money,I love AMD ,but I will wait a while and see

if the next generation of this architecture is better.

Your humble narrator

August 2007 newsletter

Woops way late …sorry.
O.k. let’s keep it simple this month. My gripe this time is the mouse and keyboard and the keyboard and the touch pad on laptops.
They are where the rubber meets the road so to speak in computing and they have to go darn it.
The injuries these input devices cause are terrible. We have a whole slew of new maladies caused by these devices that should not even be happening.
The industry has had plenty of time to get voice recognition down and or touch screens to prevent these problems.
According to lance-vision people in Europe are getting hunch backs from using laptops. Makes it hard to drive the Saab or Volvo I guess…ha ha.
Or how about the epidemic of carpel tunnel syndrome.
To be fair the I-phone and the Microsoft touch desk? Are out or are just coming out and none to soon. We need to get voice recognition going on every computer.
Or touch screens…this has got to stop.
I’ll keep this one to the point and get on to next months…Ray

April 07 newsletter

Dell bashing and what time is it?

Dear Friends welcome to spring.
Turn your computer off and go outside you need the exercise. I know I do.
If you’re a computer barnacle like me you should follow the 20 min rule –
Get up and walk around every 20 min.
Go get a beer or a smoke..haha.
But seriously- computers don’t make you healthy (unless your researching health related issues).
They also don’t save any paper in fact they spew it out in reems.
They also put your personal info at risk.
You are tracked like a criminal, just in case you try anything or just in case you buy anything (for direct marketing purposes).

I just read Mike Dell is back at Dell-Dell appears to still suck-they appear to be an incompetent company.
Try as they may they could not get me a floppy drive for a customers new dell.
They sent me the wrong part twice –the last time the woman insulted me.
She asked me if I went to school like their tech Dave.
I had to tell her look it just doesn’t fit- the drive is a 1/8-inch to big for the opening.
I finally deduced the slot was for a camera card reader, and Dell never intended that space for a floppy as they offer an usb floppy for that model.
The numb nutz at Dell have no clue.
I would not buy a so much as a cable from them. Even though I bought my Mom a laptop from them before the tech wreck and Indianization of their tech support.
They are what are wrong with this country in a nutshell.
Don’t ever try and return a computer you just bought from them they charge a $200.00 restocking fee.

Who is the as*hole in congress that changed daylight savings time, now nobody knows what time it is-because nobody’s computer is telling the right time.
I’m told Mac made the change just fine (unless you run boot camp – then your apple never keeps time) something to do with universal time (Mac /Linux) and local time (Windows).
It seems to me it’s just to make the slaves work longer, now none of us have the right computer time.
I downloaded Microsoft’s clock fix.
When I installed it, it told me I had already installed/applied it.
When people say Microsoft sucks it’s time like these that I agree.
Who is the as*hole in charge of that update, he is a true as*hole.
According to Wikipedia the time change was part of the energy policy act of 2005.
Bush and Lobbyists for this provision included the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, and the National Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation Fighting Blindness; lobbyists against included the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the National Parent-Teacher Association, the Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Air Transport Association. April Fools I say.

August 06 newsletter

Intel strikes back!

Intel and the boys from Israel finally have beaten Amd in the new benchmarks.
After about three years of playing catch up to Amd. …Intel’s Core 2 extreme pounded Amd ‘s best into the ground.
All I can say is it’s about time. Also I notice Intel’s new design looks allot like Amd’s design Hmmm.
Amd also has not really responded to this new threat yet. They seem to be taking a slow and cautious approach. Recently Amd merged with Ati a really good move all around is what I hear. Oddly Amd’s stock is still slightly higher than Intel’s, but not by much.
Intel’s new chip is a dual core – the word on the street is quad core is just around the corner, so I would wait if I were you. There are still problems with dual core nobody really wants to talk about it, but I will.

From what I read the new chips seem have a sync problem (the cores are not working smoothly together) there are about three fixes that address this issue.
Amd’s new Am2 platform (socket 940 that runs Ddr 2 memory) is in place and ready to go.
This new platform and the chips they use are supposed to have reverse hypertheading where multiple cores show up as one core – easier for software developers…Strange, Intel and Amd won’t comment on this matter.
My guess is Amd will drop quad core early or jack up its conservative clock speeds.
If Amd puts out a chip that runs at 3.8 instead of 2.8 look out .It has been holding out slowly increasing clock speeds , but none faster than 2.8 so far.

As far as I know they are still well within thermal limits and they potentially could release some mind numbing fast chips.
I’ll say it again because it needs to be said.
For years lower clocked Amd chips have been compared too much higher clocked Intel chips never on an evenly matched gig for gig basis. Only recently has the field been leveled the clock speeds are very similar now hovering around 2.4 which seems like a thermal sweet spot for both companies.
Intel’s new chip is extremely cool in the temperature dept.
I guess the p4 heat issue became a company priority.
The p4 never really hit four gigs it had reached a thermal dead end.
Well this is a good thing for all of us I suppose and I can’t wait to see what Amd will drop next, this is exciting to watch, but I would also take a wait and see approach before buying any new hardware.
I myself was going to upgrade some of my own computers with a faster cpu maybe a dual core x2, but the single core 1.8 and 2.0 Amd athlon 64 work just fine, I don’t really seem to need a dual core cpu for anything. I’m sure they (dual cores) work fine, but I haven’t ever come close to taxing even the 1.8 single core 939 I’m running.
I cancelled the shopping cart I was working with and decided to just wait and see where this hardware thing is going.
Now it’s – Agp gone, parallel ata gone, sata 1.5 gone, secondary ide gone and its still changing.
It might be a good time to put an older spec box together.
But I would hold off till Vista drops supposedly sometime in Jan.
Thanks to all the major computer magazines for providing some of these sketchy details.
Amd’s media dept. never returned my email – I asked them what they had up their sleeve.

I guess it’s a secret…Oh well Ray.

Demudi Linux part 2

Demudi Linux part 2-open source rocks.

Lately I’ve been making great strides in Linux.
I suggest giving it a try ,if your up to it.
Find the Distro (the version) that will work for you.
I found Demudi to be the one that worked for me .
It saw my Sata hard drive, which I was worried about and had no problem running on a Amd 64 compatible machine…
But my Plextor drive spun so fast it damaged my first Iso (Cd) during install.
After the second attempt and a second Cd…
I was able to get it (Demudi) to install and see my sound card.
It was not easy, but works good.
I am able to multitrack and edit wave files in Linux- software cost zero, only my time and it does take a little of that.
It works so well-I’m pleased as pie with myself.
I was unable to get 64 Studio to load, so I’m sticking with Demudi.
Jack takes awhile to configure (the program that connects your apps to the sound card) .
I found some things wanted jack running some did not.
That will be your biggest headache if you want do audio.
If your not into sound- there are plenty of others (Distro’s) to choose from.
Give Linux a try….. use a fresh hard drive and give it a whirl.
Penguin Power, Ray

Demudi Linux

Thanks to 64 studio for the screen shot.

Is Linux ready for prime time ? It seems the answer is yes. For those of you who are brave enough.

Recently I got fed up with Xp and Vista was/is still nowhere to be seen, so I decided to try Linux again. It seems every few years I load a distro (release) to see how it’s coming. Well this time I put in “Linux for audio” in Google and came up with Demudi Linux a free -yes free download . I burnt a bootable disc from the iso file and loaded Demudi. It was not all fun and games . My first copy would not load and almost exploded in my new plextor. I burnt a second copy which worked better and was able to format the hard disc in ext3 file system and bang Demudi came on. An old fm radio from the 70’s appears with your log on screen. It was very cool and loaded with audio apps.It’s background for the desktop is a record and needle implying a Dj friendly OS.

What discouraged me in the past was Linux’s problem with hardware (we really take that for granted under XP and OSX). Normally I have a problem with the mouse or the video drivers- well this time that was not the case. The only hardware issue I had after install was…no audio on an audio workstation .Doh! I could not get the AC97 onboard audio to work ,I could not get my M-audio revolution card to work either. I put an old sound blaster card in there and finally got it going on… after that I got some confidence and installed my multi channel sound card from Maudio the delta 1010. Most everything I was able to get to work on the sound blaster, I was able to get to work on the delta 1010. I lost one synth plug in, which was never to strong to begin with, but it sounded cool- when it worked.

I was also able to get midi going on with the most excellent Hydrogen drum machine a very easy to use, great sounding drum module, similar to Steinbergs lm 4 etc. Audacity (another winner) is a poor mans Wavelab/Soundforge, it works pretty good. The included K3B CD/DVD burning software is the most simple effortless burning software I have ever used.I was able to burn a CD of wave files- no prob . I was also able to multitrack in Ardour- Linux’s Pro-tools/Cubase/Cakewalk/Sonar alternative . I have a few issues with that one, like the cursor won’t work right, but more importantly it sees all my audio ins and outs on the soundcard .

Jack- Demudi’s audio connection panel is a little confusing ,but as long as it’s running most apps can access the sound card. Not to shabby for free.

Would I track a band in it? Probably not yet, but I have only had it running a few days.

Would I use it for a rocking free drum machine or media server or for surfing? You betcha.

Three groups are trying very hard to make this fly and I’m behind them 1000% Agnula(Demudi)- Alsa (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture)-the 64 studio guys and probably many others I have not discoved yet. I never realized how far these pioneers had come to bring high end 32/64 bit audio to Linux .

I love Linux’s guilt free- cash free approach.. I realize I have just scratched the surface of all this……. while writing this(checking spelling etc.) I found a bunch of drivers for onboard AC97 soundcards on Amd’s site and some Delta 1010 drivers on the Alsa site.I have no idea how to install them or even see if I have some of them installed already- I can see I have my work cut out for me .

It’s not the turn the key experience like Windows or Mac, but it’s getting damn close.

Not for the squeamish though.

Look for my reviews of XP pro x64(Windows) – I have it loaded, but have not tracked with it yet.

Also look for my review of 64 studio(Linux)-if I can load it-a fully 64bit OS for Pc. Thanks for reading , Ray

April 06 newsletter

Pet veeve’s
Let me start off with a follow up on an embarrassing situation.
Last month I discussed the Rma return of an Asus k8v se deluxe motherboard.
I received the replacement board -installed it and got the same error- a cmos real time clock error.
After some head scratching it dawned on me that the only time the motherboard produced the error or any error for that matter was after I ran the test software.
The test had created the problem….there was absolutely nothing wrong with the motherboard or the motherboard I originally sent back to have Rma’ed.
What would happen was when you ran the hardware test it would pass the first two or three passes than would fail and eventually reset the date in the bios.
The test was randomly writing information to the limited amount of memory allocated for bios info such as the date etc.
Originally when the board failed or I thought it failed ,I bought a Gigabyte board to replace it. That board really did have a problem ..an intermittent boot problem.
Months went by of testing hardware, buying new parts, swapping parts ,etc.
I thought maybe the case had a ground issue.
What a nightmare all because I was trying to be thorough in my diagnostics.
Thank God the customer was a friend if mine and wasn’t upset at how long this was taking.
I upgraded the processor, and memory for him so all this was not for nothing .
Well the computer is up and running and I figure this little exercise in computer building cost me $1500.00 in parts and time, maybe more ,now that I think of it.
I have a saying” computer building is not for the squeamish”.
Sure all you need is a Phillips screwdriver ,but you can do a lot of damage with one of those.
Gigabyte said they replaced the bios chip on the board and that it was repaired,but it looks like the same chip to me with a new sticker on it.I have yet to test it.

I also finally got a response from Abit on the board that had leaky caps(class action lawsuit) they said my model was discontinued, but offered me a choice of 9 different boards to chose from four Amd socket A’s or five early p4 boards.
Kinda neat… I get to shop without it costing me any money.
Abit was forced to do this, but they are taking responsibility for their products.

Just one more thing this month…. Intel’s new marketing slogan is V I I V, some magazines said it rhymes with” peeve” other magazines said it rhymes with” thrive”.
My uncle pointed out the obvious that I missed, they are roman numerals ,it’s pronounced 64.
Well I’ve never been the brightest bulb on the tree.
Enjoy the spring .Ray2

December 05 slammer newsletter

Problems, problems, and more problems.
Some things I have to get off my chest,
First the bad capacitor issue… during the late 90,s till about 2003ish poorly made capacitors snuck their way onto many motherboards and some consumer products.
My first problematic computer may very well be one of these models, how can I put this- it just never worked right.
I have other boards from that time period that just stink out loud, just not working right.
This is a huge problem and the manufacture’s of these turds are only fessing up under court orders shame on them, sham on us.
We suffered with those miserable boards thinking the whole time that maybe we were missing something …yeah it was quality control.
Motherboard makers get off too easy, they have less than spectacular support and scant misspelled confusing manuals, I understand the language barrier, but have you ever looked at a bios… even experienced brainstorming mega nerds don’t know what some of those settings mean.

 

Next nforce3 chipset/ide/raid issues, I’m running into some compatibility problems with various boards…Most disturbing was a compatibility issue with one model of lite-on dvd drive #SHOW-1693s.
I just won’t work on ide 2 on the nforce driver, it will work with a usb external ,and the windows driver, go figure, even their beta firmware update did nothing for this incompatibility.
Maxtor drives also have issues with the nforce drivers there is a firmware update from maxtor, but it slows the drives down.Western Digitals seem a little better.
Also I have had to replace some Syncrosoft usb key (software security) dongle’s with ones that are nforce3 compatible (although they seem like they don’t like any chipsets I’ve used with them.)
The nforce is kind of like a work in progress and has some usb issues.
It is fast and being adopted by the industry, let’s hope they are ironing out these issues with the next rollout of nforce 4.
Last word on nforce3 study the memory requirements for your motherboard, you might find memory limitations of 2 to 3 gig and strange dimm configurations.
Remember Xp pro supposedly has a memory limitation of 2.5 gig.
Last one, I came across an old gateway built in their hey day it had a Pentium processor 250mhz I believe, 32 meg of ram an a and b drive, Cd etc.
It was running win 95 …What a well made, still working10 year old, fast computer it’s menus opened as fast or faster than some of the hot rods I have seen, what does that say about the industry today …slow is what we want! The machines we run now are giants compared to that old gateway yet the computer environment is eating up all that horsepower, computer’s today should be a blink, a flash compared to that Gateway, but alas they are not.
I heard gateway has a lot of repairs nowadays according to consumer reports and the Ups guy, focusing on big TV’s rather than, computers that last 10 years.
As a starting point, good hardware is what it’s all about, if that never happens ,then all other problems (software) are suspect.
This industry has a lot of spainin to do Lucy.
Love, Ricky

 

December 06 newsletter

Vistacuffs

Microsoft’s Vista is said to only allow a couple of installs (one upgrade)- than the license is no good.
What the…. they are going to have a hard time selling that one.
Microsoft is very unclear as to what justifies an upgrade; so DIY and independent system builders who upgrade allot are possibly going to be the losers.
Let’s say you upgrade your motherboard or your computer gets infected with malware.
Two loads is nothing, heck, sometimes during an install-security software (or any software for that matter) or hardware drivers can damage a registry and require a reload.
This will hurt the enthusiast market already under attack/ being bought up and beat up by big companies. {HP just bought Voodoo computers; Dell acquired Alienware a while ago}.
God I hope Steve Jobs has one of his I pod pep rally’s and tells the world leopard will run on IBM /Dell style peecees.
That would take some wind out of Microsoft’s “sales”- they (Microsoft) are still very arrogant if nothing else.
Vista is said to cost from $200 to $400 dollars.
OSX tiger is under $140.00. Leopard is not out yet as far as I know and the price has yet to be announced.
Next topic, Mac and Windows sh*tty video performance…
Microsoft and Apple should be ashamed…at the lack luster video performance of Apples Quick time and Windows Media player.
Both are bloated programs that barely work right.
First they are choked with DRM (digital rights management).
Second they have trouble with even the most basic media files.
It wasn’t till I loaded the free Quick time alternative that I finally got allot of files to play right. To be fair this issue was on a Windows machine. Hats off to Bernie for finding it online.
We suspect the files that won’t play are probably DRM free and that’s possibly why they won’t work right. They have to have their hooks in everything at all costs.
Lastly, Dell is already selling computers saying they are Vista ready, but not including enough graphics power or memory (ram) to handle Vistas new Aero GUI.
256 MB on the graphics card or shared and 2-gig memory is what I recommend.
Something’s never change.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas
Bad elf.

 

Creepy Companies ?

O.k. It’s October and time for the October newsletter.
This month’s topic will also be on CPU’s and wild Mac rumors.
Here’s what’s supposedly in the pipeline.
I read an article that said Intel might actually buy Apple, not just make their chips.
Intel is reportedly unhappy with Microsoft for some reason, some say it’s a lack of innovation and endless foot dragging on their (Microsoft’s) new OS “Windows Vista”.

I myself am under-whelmed by Win Xp’s performance (Microsoft’s current offering), I prefer Win 2000 Sp 4 for less strenuous tasks and service pack 2 for Xp is a clunker for sure.

I read in the Economist that Al Gore is on the board of Apple.
Apple is not such a small company anymore now…is it.
Apples OS X is supposed to be ready for the Intel PC platform= Mac OS X on your Windows box ?,still a big maybe.
To see PC’s supposedly running O SX click on this link!
I have never been blown away by the Macs crappy interface (just try and find something on the hard drive or a basic list of applications), I guess OS X’s spotlight has helped this problem a little.
The good thing about OS X is it’s Unix command line that the Mac shell sits on, I’m told it allows you to run Linux/Unix style apps, like Open office and a plethora of others right from your Mac.

 

A quick unrelated note:
I want so much for the Linux platform to evolve into the Win/Mac killer but for now its hardware and multimedia support are not so great. {Linux freaks don’t email me and tell
me what your Linux computer can do, I believe you.}

Intel engineer Jonathan Douglas supposedly admitted Intel rushed the dual core chip out the door, where as Amd designed it’s 64 chips for dual core right from the get go. I remember reading an article that had a quote from a pompous Intel spokesman saying the AMD 64 chip offered no significant architecture change and they were not threatened, this was all happening while the 64-chip release date was being pushed back and the p4 was king.
Well things have changed and Intel is playing catch up.
Oh how I love to see a pompous snooty company eat their words.
Bon appetite Sintel. at least for now.

Remember kids, right now dual core is like hyper-threading, most of the time it slows you down!!
It is supposed to be good for multi-taskers (where have I heard this before?)….
I read crap like” surf and burn cd’s at the same time”, we can do that now, but I would never do that myself. (I’m a big fan of not disturbing a burn), I have heard this bullsh*t before from Intel and other writers.
This one is killing me-“When the software writers eventually write for this it will be great”. -Yeah well right now it ain’t sh*t.
The benchmarks prove it!
Dual core, hyperthreading and dual CPU’s slow down single application performance..
Case closed till further notice.

And by the way no I don’t work for Amd and have a bone to pick with them on a few issues,
but over all my biggest complaint with both manufactures is raw clock speeds seem to be getting slower .The new chips are more efficient but slower in raw speed.1.8 and 2.0ghz come on where’s the balls?
The industry was promising 5 and 12 gig chips by now.
A matter of fact all hardware seems stalled right now, I know that’s not true, but sure seems that way.

Well that’s all folks ..And stay tuned, I’ll be flame throwing at a few software company’s soon and I ain’t gonna be nice (am I ever?)…. Not this time.
I have had it with these company’s not doing their job and not taking care of their loyal customers.
I will be fair but merciless. Boo! Happy Halloween… Ray

Special thanks to Maximum pc, Smart computing and the Economist for some of this hot gossip.