Keeping Busy

One of my clients is about to move to a new location in the city. They just ordered some new Dell equipment to augment their existing IT infrastructure. The new equipment arrived on Saturday and I was able to get them up and running in a temporary location. I was able to get them to the point where I could remotely finish the work needed. I’m working on moving a large number of user directories to their new 3 Terabyte array. The array is attached to two servers and backed up by a LTO-3 tape library. Their existing server room has one rack in it and cannot accommodate the new equipment. Three new racks are going to be added to the new location at which point the new equipment will be placed in their permanent home. Working on the servers should keep me occupied all weekend with the occasional break to play some Ghost Recon 2.

Sick, Sick, Sick

Sorry that I haven’t posted anything in while, I was pretty sick. I had a sinus infection which had me laid out for several weeks. I usually get them at least once a year. The one I had this time was a real bad one. They gave me Cipro to knock it out, which is a pretty heavy Antibiotic. I felt a little better after a week but then my chest started acting up. This time I went back to the specialist that I usually see. He scoped my sinus cavity and saw the infection was still there. So he gave me some antibiotics which were stronger and a syrup with narcotics in it to suppress my coughing. I am starting to feel better now and hope this is the end of it all.

Crossing my fingers!

What Is This Thing Called Twitter?

After hearing so much about this website and its service, I decided to give it a try. When I first thought of the premise ‘What are you doing?’, I said who really cares. Well it seems like a lot do. So I will give it a try and let you know what my friends and I think of it. Hopefully I will have something put together in the next week or so.

BFG: Shameful Support

Ever since PCI express slots were available on motherboards, I have been running dual NVIDIA graphics cards for quad displays under Windows XP. When Vista arrived I decided to design a new rig with dual 8800GTXs at it’s core. The quad displays worked fine as they did before, however now under Vista Ultimate x64 albeit with questionable drivers. The system was shaky with blue screens left and right with no logical reasoning. The driver support from NVIDIA was abysmal for both their 8800 video chipset as well as their 680i motherboard chipset. In an earlier post you saw how I couldn’t stand it anymore and I dropped Vista for the time being and went back to XP.
Well after reinstalling XP Pro I could only get two monitors operational. I decided to give BFG tech support a call for some assistance. When I described the problem I was having they quick answer was “We don’t support more than two displays on a system”. I said the unit has 4 available ports with two cards why is there no support for this configuration. He was steadfast in his answer. I informed him I have been running quad configurations in this manner with both the 6800 and 7900 series of cards. I asked what was different about the 8800 series that it cannot support quad monitors. He couldn’t give me answer a straight answer. I then stated if it is not supported why it is not displayed on a FAQ on their site or on the box. I then asked him what I should do with $1200 worth of video cards. His answer was returning them. At that point there was a long pause on my end, as I tried to keep myself from blowing up on the technician. I guess he figured I was at that stage and asked if I would like to speak to a supervisor, which I agreed too.
Continue reading “BFG: Shameful Support”

Don't Count The PS3 Out Yet!

We’ll today I picked up my second game I felt worthy enough to play on a PS3, MotorStorm. I have always had a problem with the titles available for the PS3 and my biggest gripe was with the online playability of their titles. What I mean by that is that it is impossible to follow your friends around by what they are currently playing, unless you are playing the same title and have your friend listed in your buddy list for that particular game. Sony’s lack of a global friends list, as is available in Microsoft’s Xbox live is what has crippled the unit. I also thought this is what would put the final nail in Sony’s PS3s coffin.
A couple of days ago Kotaku broke a story regarding a rumor about Sony’s soon to be announced ‘Home’ service. The story soon had them him hot water with Sony, who eventuality blackballed the site. Sony reversed its stance shortly after the quite public and loud outcry for its strong arming of a news outlet. At today’s Game Developer Conference, Sony announced the ‘Home’ service. Below is the demo video of the service as well as a link to the Joystiq article describing the service and it’s availability. Continue reading “Don't Count The PS3 Out Yet!”

Throwing In The Towel

I am officially throwing in the towel on Vista. It just got to frustrating to handle, it was so unstable that anything could bring up a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). I cannot blame Microsoft entirely on this one. But what I can say without a question is that NVIDIA & Apple should be thrown in front of an oncoming bullet train. They were the two companies that made my life miserable the most with Vista. NVIDIA’s role in this nightmare was not being able to deliver stable drivers for their motherboard or video chipsets. It’s not like this new OS was sprung on them out of nowhere. The final shipping version of the OS has been available for enterprise customers since November. They have been receiving a lot of flack about the current state of their drivers from their faithful fans. I just couldn’t stand my system sitting idly and then all of a sudden *BOOM* blue screen. Or my raid array being broken every couple of days and having to wait for it to rebuild. Enough is enough, I’ll give it another 3 months or so before I attempt to install Vista again.

Now onto my gripe with Apple, can someone say iTunes? Is Steve Jobs insane enough to think that by holding back on a version of iTunes that works on Vista, it will make people jump ship for Macs? Enough already iTunes worked better on Beta versions of the OS than it did on the retail version. Their latest release of the software that supposedly fixes Vista compatibility still crawls like a dog and is still not recommended for x64 versions. God to import several MP3s took about 15 minutes for processing alone.

Last night when I had the latest crash for no reason whatsoever, I had to have a little reality check. Was there any benefit at the moment to running Vista over XP? The answer was a resounding ‘NO’, not even close. Besides all the eye candy there is not much else being offered as a benefit at the moment. I could however list all the negatives, the biggest one being lack of drivers. So back to XP I went and quite frankly my system runs faster under XP then it did with Vista.

Netflix: Watch Now

I logged into my Netflix account today to find that I am one of the lucky ones to get access to the new service early. The new service shows up as a new tab on your account webpage. I didn’t go thoroughly into the movie offerings, rather I chose one off the main page that I liked. My choice was ‘Black Rain’ and I wasn’t disappointed at all at least not with their service. I will get into what went wrong several times afterwards. The first time you launch a movie you are asked to install the Netflix software on your system, which is automatic once you agree. The movie is then queued up and you are asked to obtain the play rights for the file. After you hit yes and hit play the movie then queues up for play, which happens pretty quickly. I think from the time I hit play to the movie actually playing was a matter of 3-4 seconds. The image quality was excellent, better than I expected. I am fortunate enough to have a fat pipe (30mbs down) and thus could stream at the highest settings. You have options on the main page to select the level of quality for those who might be bandwidth challenged. Below are links to several articles that discuss the service in more detail.
Gizmodo: Hands On the Netflix Download Video Service: Thumbs Up
Hackin Netflix: Breaking: Netflix Launches “Watch Now” Downloads
I almost forgot, the problem I had was with Vista constantly crashing if I fast forwarded through the movie. I am not chalking that one up to Netflix rather to Vista and the lack of any really stable drivers for the hardware I am running. You would figure if you had top of the line components they would have stable drivers. Not so as many of the NVIDIA faithful have found out the hard way. Driver status for NVIDIA hardware is just plain pitiful at the moment.