Category Archives: tech

Fallout 3 Crashes all the Time – Solution

Fallout 3 is a great game but it can suffer very badly from crashes if you installed any codec packs. I recently bought the DLC pack “Operation Anchorage” and the game crashed all the time on me and was unplayable. This happened in the Orignal game as well but it wasnt as bad. Anyway after some searching i found this tip on a forum that has solved the problem for me;

Fallout 3 does seem to have a conflict with FFDShow codecs. You have to
either uninstall them from your system or add fallout3.exe to FFDShow
audio and video decoders exceptions list. Although you may not know it,
FFDShow codecs may be present on your system if you have installed
codec packs such as CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack).

How to add Fallout 3 to FFDShow decoder exceptions list

1. Launch the ffdshow video decoder configuration window. You may
access this through the start menu. If you have installed any codec
packs, check the start menu entries of those. If you can�t find it on
the start menu, right click the ffdshow video decoder (red) icon that
appears on the taskbar when a supported video file is playing, and
select �ffdshow video decoder� option from the menu. ffdshow_icon

2. Tick the �Dont use ffdshow in� checkbox if not already checked

3. Press the edit button that is next to the text field. A new dialog
box will pop up. Press the Add button. The �Add incompatible executable
file� dialog box will be displayed. Browse to the Fallout 3
installation directory and locate fallout3.exe file. Select it and
press open. Close all dialog boxes currently open by pressing ok.

(OR you can simply type fallout3.exe at the end of the text field next to �Dont use ffdshow in� checkbox)

4. Repeat steps 2-3 in ffdshow audio decoder configuration (the blue
icon in taskbar) window as well. It is important that you add
fallout3.exe to both ffdshow audio and video decoder�s expections list.

Source:

ATI Radeon 9.1 – Drivers Hugely Improves Performance in GTAIV and Saints Row 2

I had some serious problems with both the PC Versions of GTAIV and Saints Row 2 and ATI have released a new Graphics card drivers that solve most of the slow downs. Both games run very well now on my PC where as before they would hardly hit 15fps and were unplayable.

GTA IV looks incredable in high-resolutions like 1680*1050 plus of course you need a very good PC but its good to see that it was a Graphics card problem that sorted it all out in the end.

I might add that i run Windows Vista 64 bit as my main O.S and i was getting huge problems with both games until i also ran a Windows Update and installed every single Windows Update that i was missing.  It seems the combination of these sorted out the huge slow-down problems i was having.

Saints Row 2 now is playable at last but still makes we wonder if the Xbox 360 version is better.

Eircom And Record Labels go after Mp3 Downloaders

Well the news yesterday that Eircom and 4 major record labels are on the attack against illegal Mp3 downloaders came a bit out of the blue tbh.

Basically its a 3-strikes/warnings and you get disconnected. This is going to cause such a storm and how eircom are going to police it will remain to be see. I stopped downloading Mp3’s at least 2 years ago and joined the I-Tunes bandwagon as much i hate I-Tunes at least now there are going “DRM-Free” so you can play your “legally purchased music” on other Mp3 Players.

From what ive read on various forums it seems folks are going to be using there neighbours un-secured Wifi connection to download Mp3’s which is probably gonna end up with innocent folks getting wanring letters and maybe even disconnected.
It looks like its going to be a free-for-all so if you have a WiFi (Wireless Net Connection) make sure its secured.

Some links on the story;
Torrentfreak.com
boards.ie

“svchost.exe” Process takes up too much CPU time?

I recently installed the new Realtek audio Drivers for my Vista 64 installation only to notice that while i played Youtube videos there was a bit of slowdown during the videos.

Anyway to cut a long story short by downloading a tool called “procexp64.exe” (Process Explorer) i was able to find out that the problem came from the process “svchost.exe”. it was using up to 30-50% of the CPU time. Meaning that things were running way slower than normal.

It took quite a few hours to figure out the problem and them i found it, by disabling the ATI HDMI outout in the “DEvice Manager” of the Control panel and restarting did the problem go away. Im Posting this this for future reference by anyone who finds this page. I was using ATi Catalyist 8.12 Drivers at the time with Vista 64 and a Ati Radeon 4870 512mb graphics card.

PSP Hacks and PSP new Firmware 5.0

Yesterday sony released a new PSP Firmware for the PSP just as i had dusted off my “Fat PSP” and updated the firmware to version 4 from 3.52. There are some really great features on the PSP at the moment with the “official firmware”.

However as usual the “custom firmware” by the PSP “Homebrew Scene” allows much more features in fact sony seem to be adding features to the PSP that the “Scene” had working as “Homebrew” programs months ago. The “internet radio” feature for example is one.

It seems theres no-limits to the tricks you can do with a PSP and some of the “Homebrew” applications available. If you have a PSP and have no idea what im talking about be sure to visit the usual PSP sites for info.

Way back in 2005 when i got my PSP after seeing the amazing things that you could do with the 1.50 firmware. Its a fantastic piece of kit really.

PSP homebrew links;

http://www.psp-hacks.com

http://psp.qj.net

Upgrade Your PSP From OE firmware to 3.52 M33

Breathe New Life into Your Aging i-Pod or MP3 Player with Rockbox

I found this site the other week and i found this superb program that replaces the “i-Pod” software with a program called “RockBox” which enables so many cool features thats its a must have.

Ive never really liked my I-Pod and its restrictive file system and of course I-Tunes but ive stuck with it since i got my I-Pod over 3 years ago.

At the moment im using rockbox as it means i can say goodbye to Itunes and manage the songs on my I-Pod myself via a simple copying task like in windows.
RockBox rocks

What is Rockbox? Why should I use it?

Rockbox is an open source firmware replacement for a growing number of digital audio players. It has been in development since 2001 and receives new features, tweaks and fixes every day to provide you with the best possible music listening experience. Rockbox aims to be considerably more functional and efficient than your device’s stock firmware while remaining easy to use and customizable. We believe that you should never need to go through a series of menus for an action you perform frequently. We also believe that you should be able to configure almost anything about Rockbox you could want, pertaining to functionality. It is written by users, for users.

Another top priority of Rockbox is audio playback quality. Rockbox, for most models, includes a wider range of sound settings than that device’s original firmware. A lot of work has been put into making Rockbox sound the best it can, and improvements are constantly being made. All models have access to a large number of plugins, including many games, applications, and graphical demos.

You can load different configurations quickly for different purposes (e.g. a large font for in your car, different sound settings for at home). You can even customize your While Playing Screen to display only and exactly what you want to see when your music is playing. In addition, Rockbox features a wide range of languages, and all supported models also have the ability to talk to you – menus can be voiced and filenames spelled out or spoken.



Key Features of Rockbox

Feature Archos models iriver models iPod models iAudio models Gigabeat models Sansa models
Support for over 15 Sound Codecs, including OGG and FLAC MP3 and WAV only DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Gapless playback DONE (with lame -nogap) DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
5-band fully-parametric equalizer, and crossfeed Not possible DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
High-resolution volume control, 64-100 levels (model-dependent) DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Abilty to create your own themes or use user-uploaded ones DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Advanced crossfading Not possible DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
ReplayGain support (volume normalization) Not yet implemented DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Cuesheet support DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Album Art Support Not possible DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
JPEG image and text-file viewing DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Doom! Not possible DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
MPEG video support Not possible, but
custom video playback
DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Real Time Clock (RTC) DONE (Recorders) DONE (H3x0, modded H1x0) DONE DONE (X5(L), M5(L)) DONE DONE
Customizable Tag Database DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Unicode support DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Advanced On-The-Go playlist creation DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Multilingual Interface – 30 supported languages and counting DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Optional spoken interface DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Many plugins – games, apps, and demos DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Open Source, so Rockbox is constantly improved DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE

A full feature comparison can be found here.



Model-Specific Features


Archos Studio or Player

Rockbox for the Archos Studio and Player models features MP3 playback that, to many users, sounds considerably better than the standard Archos firmware. In addition, there are a number of “plugins” (games, graphics demos and useful apps, such as a stopwatch and a text viewer), the menus are laid out in a more logical way, and you have access to a lot more information and configuration options than you ever had in the Archos firmware. You can even flash Rockbox to your player if you like it, which drastically reduces the boot time (Rockbox boots within a few seconds this way, versus around 10 seconds for the Archos firmware, before flashing).


Archos Recorder, FM Recorder or Ondio

Rockbox for the Archos Recorder, FM Recorder, and Ondio models features very high-quality, fine-tuned MP3 playback – along with many extra adjustments the Archos firmware doesn’t allow, including an automatic volume adjustment for files with uneven output levels, Micronas Dynamic Bass (MDB), a very configurable “bass boost on steroids”, and more! A very intuitive and organized menu system gets you where you want to be quickly, and quick access to common features is at your fingertips with the screen-specific context menus. Over fifty plugins (including games and apps) provide you with many useful tools and hours of entertainment – including a video playback plugin, with sound, and a JPEG viewer! You can even flash Rockbox to your player if you like it, which drastically reduces the boot time (Rockbox boots within a few seconds this way, versus around 10 seconds for the Archos firmware, before flashing). On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support, and recording with time-splitting and automatic triggering are just a few of many more features that Rockbox for Archos Recorder, FM Recorder, and Ondio provides.


iriver iHP1x0, H1x0, H3x0 or H10

Rockbox for the iriver iHP100 series, H100 series, H300 series, and H10 series features a large amount of plugins (games – many in full color on the H300 series – applications, and “demos”), which allow you to have some fun when you’re bored, or put one of our multiple applications to use: open files with the text viewer, time yourself with the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your iriver H300 or H10 into a desktop clock with the clock plugin. On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support, Recording and FM Recording with a variety of settings and features are more key points of Rockbox for the iriver iHP-1×0, H1x0 , H10, and H3x0 series.


iAudio X5, X5L, X5V, M5, M5L, M3

Rockbox for the iAudio X5 series features a large amount of plugins (games, applications and “demos”), which allow you to have some fun when you’re bored, or put one of our multiple applications to use: open files with the text viewer, time yourself with the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your X5 into a desktop clock with the clock plugin. On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support, Recording and FM Recording (X5/X5L/M3/M3L) with a variety of settings and features are more key points of Rockbox for the iAudio series.


iPod 1st through 5.5th Generation, Color/Photo, Mini, Nano or Video

Rockbox for the iPod models supports a large number of plugins, including games, applications, and “demos” – have some fun when you’ve got some free time to kill, open files with the text viewer, make use of the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your iPod into a desktop clock. Also enjoy On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support and much more.


Toshiba Gigabeat F & X series

Rockbox for the Toshiba Gigabeat F & X models supports a large number of plugins, including games, applications, and “demos” – have some fun when you’ve got some free time to kill, open files with the text viewer, make use of the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your Gigabeat into a desktop clock. Also enjoy On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support and much more.


SanDisk Sansa c200, e200 and e200R series

Rockbox for the SanDisk Sansa c200, e200, and e200R series features a large amount of plugins (games, applications and “demos”), which allow you to have some fun when you’re bored, or put one of our multiple applications to use: open files with the text viewer, time yourself with the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your Sansa into a desktop clock with the clock plugin. Support for microSDHC cards, On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support, and Recording with a variety of settings and features are more key points of Rockbox for the Sansa c200, e200, and e200R series.

Gmail is Awesome – Say goodbye to Spam and hello POP email Accounts!

I was messing around with my Gmail email account which i never really had any use for. For years i was using “mailwasher” to detect spam and it did a great job but i found out that you can setup Gmail to access your “POP” mail account and download the mail for you. So what you might ask? Well this is fantastic for a few reasons.

1) Gmail will detect the spam emails you get
2) You can access up to 5 POP mail accounts at once
3) Your Emails are all stored in the one place, no more messing with Outlook Express etc and moving your email archive around, its all online in the one place.

Firefox 3 – Not so good

Im using Firefox 3 at the moment and 2 things really annoy me about it.

1) Realplayer Recorder Plugin
Not Compatable with Firefox 3 yet. Not being able to say youtube vidoes anymore really really sucks.

2) Videos dont play somes times
Dont know why this keeps happening maybe its a Flash Player problem with again its annoying. Only Fix is to restart the browser.

Im trying to find an old up-to-date version of Firefox 2 cant seem to find one. Im going back to firefox 2 i cant do with those 2 features really.

Im back to firefox 2.0.17 at the moment by only because of the “Realplayer Video Recorder Plugin”. I hope they make it compatable with Firefox 3 ASAP.

PC Upgrade Hell- Gigabyte MA790FX-DS5 And AMD Phenom 9850 Black Editon

Almost 2 weeks after getting a new motherboard and CPU which have left me in the red money wise, i still havnt got the bloody motherboard to work with a “Proper” decent power supply.

I had thought for some strange unknown reason that when i build my new PC and nothing powered up when i turned it on that the motherboard was dead and the CPU dead too. Then i wracked my brains and took everything out and finnaly tried out to see if it was the power supply which i paid a small fortune for back in march the “Corsair HX 620watt”. Anyway i put in an old “dodgy” Jeantech 420 watt PSU to see if was the power supply. By some unknown miracle the bloody thing decided to boot up.

And its been running for about 2 weeks now although its not as stable as the previous set up i had.

So today i went back to basics and took the whole fracking lot apart again and put in the PSU “Corsair Hx 620”. And nothing the PC wouldnt boot, took everything out the 4 ram DIMMs,graphics card discoonected fans etc. Tried the 4pin 12V slot on the motherboard, tried the 8 pin slot and nothing. The motherboard just wont power up with the 2 600watt powersupplies i have. For some unknown reason it will with the oldish 420 watt power supply i have.

Ive no idea what to do, to make matters worse i paid a lot for the motherboard and it doesnt list the CPU “AMD Phenom 9850 Black Editon” as a support CPU even though the mother board supports AM2+ CPU’s. Ive the latest BIOS installed and nothing.

I had the expensive Power Supply ready to return as an RMA but the after trying out the PSU on a old PC it works so ive no idea what to do now.

Computer Upgrade From Hell-Corsair Hx620 PSU Failure

I normally enjoy upgrading my PC when its time to do so but yesterday just about everything seemed to go wrong. After getting all the parts sorted out and connected up to the power supply and turning it on nothing happened. I thought i had the Front panel power switch connected wrong but it i totaly forgot and missed the fact that the Power Supply fan wasnt spinning.

Anway i continued in a state of complete frustration and failed to realised that the PSU fan not running was a big fucking “Neon SIGN” saying “Hey its the PSU”. I took out each part one by one and eventually after everything was out the bloody thing still would start.

So almost in complete agony after 5 hours on my feet wrecked tired and sweating like a fat geek i thought “Fuck, it must be the PSU”. So i tried out one the old “PSU”‘s i had from “PC World” that was the second one form the same manufacturer that “fracked Up”. When is say “Fracked up” i mean that it was plugged in it just went into a kinda “on-state” that you needed to press the “On Button” for it to work and wouldnt shut down properly.

Anyways i knew then it was the Expensive PSU that was the problem.  Today i just went about getting an RMA on the PSU and well it turns out payed a lot for the PSU, way more than i would normally only due to the fact that the last previous 2 ones i had failed. The PSU as i write is 110 Euro but back in march it was 130-160 Euro.  You would think after spending that kinda money that you get better lifespan than that.

Anyway after 5 hours of complete shitness and sweating and having my nextdoor neighbours throw a party while im trying to fix the bastard thing i got the Motherboard and CPU to work. Bloody Ironic how an PC World PSU could help.