OBSIDIANLAKE

Writing down my thoughts once ince a while

New blog

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Not much content but since I got myself web hosting, there’s a new blog over at http://obsidianlake.org/blog/

I’m plan to create a free adventure game for the PC and I’ve set up http://obsidianlake.org/ to help me tell people about my idea.

UPDATE: I since lost the domain name, hosting is still there though. You can read my blog at http://obsidianlake.blogspot.com/

Sorry for any inconveniences.

Written by brokenthorn

May 24, 2009 at 12:26

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Omegle? What is it?

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Omegle is a fairly decent realisation of somebody’s original idea. The idea is to allow people to meet other people at random and start a conversation that might last between a couple of seconds and probably more than a couple of hours. I only just found out about it from a friend but now I’m thinking how could I have missed this.

Omegle uses Twisted and that means it’s rather easy to extend and very flexible. But I don’t like one thing about it: it’s got trolls. I tried having conversations with random people but more than 90% of them, I could say, were just spamming.

Then I tried A Nice Chat and surprisingly enough, I met a great person from the first attempt and we’re still chatting. I wonder how many other similar services are  out there; I haven’t searched, but the idea is just marvellous. I know it will pick up fast, just like Twitter. I just hope it won’t face that many problems with scalability and that trolls will be taken care of one way or another.

Good luck finding the right stranger to talk to! ;)

Written by brokenthorn

April 5, 2009 at 18:06

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Nodame Cantabile

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Nodame Cantabile is a new anime (2007-2008) I have been watching for the last  couple of weeks. Today I finished watching this anime and here is what I can tell you about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by brokenthorn

March 8, 2009 at 23:21

Posted in anime, music

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Keyboard Auto-Repeat disabled automatically with KDE 4.2 and X.org/X11/HAL

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I was having this problem all day and I think I found the culprit, finally –> me!
Running KDE 4.2 and HAL-configured keyboard and mouse.

I am posting this only to help others who might be having the same problem and have found nothing relevant after Googling all day (like I have).
You can share your different problems in the comments but I’m not sure I can provide you with any assistance in solving this or other problems.

If you ever went to your KDE 4.2 “System Settings” dialog, clicked on “Keyboard & Mouse” then selected “Enable keyboard repeat” but later decided to disable it (thinking it was only a way to customize your keyboard repeat rate and delay, not enable or disable it —  how embarrassing), after a reboot of your system, you will soon find that you don’t have auto-repeat turned on anymore. I didn’t notice this immediately after I turned off auto-repeat from withing the Settings dialog :/.

So all you have to do now is turn it back on. The default delay and rate should be 500 and 30 but you can now set them to whatever values you want.
I also had other problems when this was disabled, like Shift acting as Caps Lock but I later found out it was because Sticky Keys was on — be sure to disable that along with the Activation Gestures from the “Accessibility” dialog.

I wonder if starting KDE under a new user will still have this problem… but too lazy to test after I found my fix.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone.

EDIT: Check the user comments. The issue seems to be fixable in different ways.

Written by brokenthorn

February 15, 2009 at 02:46

Posted in KDE, Linux, Ubuntu

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The new Prosody Jabber Server

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A small group of 3 software developers (at the time of writing) have released a new Jabber server that they say will rival the current number one XMPP/Jabber server, ejabberd, in performance, extensibility and computer resource consumption regards, or pretty much every regard, according to the developers who have chosen to write the server in their favorite “scripting” language called Lua. While everyone knows that Lua is a very powerful language for embedding with your C or C++ applications, allowing easy runtime scripting and manipulation of data and code (Lua is often used to parse very large blocks of data without problems), it actually is very capable as a stand-alone language for your applications, with dozens of useful libraries and bindings that bring sockets to Lua, bit manipulation and more. If you don’t know about Lua, visit lua.org.

Another reason the developers have chosen Lua is that a Jabber server needs to parse varying amounts of text that get bigger and bigger as more users are being served by the server and this is where Lua excels. While there will be a physical limit on how many users Prosody can serve (if you haven’t figured it out already, Prosody is the name of the server), future releases are said to provide clustering capabilities built-in. Also, as Lua is an interpreted language, extending the server by adding new XEPs or protocols is easy because you don’t have to recompile the server, you don’t even need to restart the server, you can load arbitrary code at run-time.

That said, Prosody seems pretty sweet. Version 0.2.0 of the server has just been released today, just a month after the first 0.1.0 release and brings a load of new features and improvements. I’ve tried the latest version myself and I like it. Setting it up was trivial as the configuration file was easy to understand. It is actually also written in Lua but even if you don’t know the language, you can understand it right away as it’s pretty easy and there are a lot of helpful comments in the file.

The future looks promising with version 0.3.0 as they plan to bring MUC support allowing for multi-user chat conferences. The support has already been written according to the developers who hang around and discuss the development of the server on the Jabber chat room prosody [at] conference [dot] heavy-horse [dot] co [dot] uk. But as it was a late developement, it hasn’t been tested yet so it wasn’t included in the current release.

I am eagerly waiting in anticipation for the next release as adding new cool features to the chat rooms might be too easy. I’m thinking of a MOO world running on Prosody. ;-)

Written by brokenthorn

December 29, 2008 at 21:48

Disappointed for my lack of determination at learning guitar

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I guess that’s the real reason behind the fact that I abandoned trying to learn to play the guitar and I shouldn’t try and hide it.

Yes, I failed. But I’m not sad at all. Well, because… I’m now going to learn to play piano! :) — almost sounds like you’ve heard that before. Don’t even THINK “He’s not gonna learn it either. It’s just a phase he’s going through. He wants to learn an instrument be he’s completely blind of the fact that whatever instrument it might be, it’s pretty damn hard to learn to play it. Especially if you have no background whatsoever!”.

For those who know me, did I capture your thougths exactly? :)
I wouldn’t be surprised since I should know you too.
(Why am I laughing at the matter?)

First thing, I’m selling my guitar. I’ve already put it up for online auction. Several people have already showed interest in buying it. In return I want to get myself a really cool midi controller with a keyboard. Although I would have to empty my pockets a little bit too, because it seems that electronic instruments are more pricey than real instruments :/, I’m very inclined to buy an Axiom 61 by M-Audio. I was initially looking at a Keystation 88es just because it has more keys (but also less knobs and tweakers overall AND no aftertouch), but more octaves might not be what I really need for a starter. Ironically, the Axiom is priced higher so I don’t know for sure if I would be investing too much before I know for sure if the investment is worth something. But I just can’t resist the drum pads on the Axiom, the extra rotary encoders, faders and aftertouch. There’s another thing, I’ve read some bad reviews about the Keystation 88es saying the keys deteriorate soon after using it but not from a lot of people so I’m not sure… but in comparison, the Axiom seems to get a lot of good reviews.

If anyone gets to read this, tell me your opinions on the Axiom before I go buy it (it should be in January I hope, but maybe not).

Written by brokenthorn

December 23, 2008 at 17:22

How to make OCZ memory run better, joke

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First of all, this post should more completely have been entitled “How to make OCZ top performance memory run better by setting it at lower performance than the specs”.

ocztitanium Yesterday night I had a “revelation”. The new hard drive I have added to my computer several days ago supports AHCI and NCQ, but my chipset (Intel 82801, ICH9 family) doesn’t. Fortunately ASUS added an extra AHCI SATAII controller to the main board which provides one ATA interface and two SATA ports, one being the eSATA. It is the JMicron 20360 controller. I powered off and unplugged my PC, switched the hard-drive to the AHCI port, put everything back and booted up. Upon booting up, I was left scared like a chicken. I started wondering what I have done wrong. The monitor wasn’t powering up, there were no beeps coming out of the PC Speaker, hard drives weren’t busy…

I tried clearing the BIOS. It didn’t work. Very disappointed and heart-broken I started taking everything out and putting it back in one by one to test each component. Then I got to install just one of the DDR2 DIMMs and it finally booted up. Since yesterday I have been reading the OCZ forums for help regarding this issue. I learned a great deal of information about how they advertise their memory products but I am not sure I like what I found out. Pretty much you have to find out yourself the right configuration for your memory if you want it to work and last. This thread explains it.

My luck was that the system would boot up with just one module and that way I got inside the BIOS, upped the voltage on the DRAM to the maximum that they advertise (2.35v, for my 2 x Titanium Alpha VX2, P/N: OCZ2TA1000VX21G), set the timings to CAS 4-4-4-15 also as advertised and then test the RAM. If memtest worked then I would drop the voltage a notch and test again until I could find the best setting.

Bad news is that nothing worked at the max DDR2-1000. In the end I set it up as DDR2-800 with CAS 4-4-4-15 and DRAM voltage at 1.90v. Bandwidth as reported by memtest: 4234 MB/s. I tried other settings that worked but that didn’t provide any performance improvements (more bandwidth), for example: DDR2-1000, CAS 5-5-5-15, 2.10v.

I could have tried going for CAS 3-3-3-15 at the current DDR2-800 and slightly more voltage but I noticed the DIMMs heating up somewhat when they were run at 2.20v – 2.35v and I rather they last longer than give slightly better performance.

UPDATE – December 11, 2008 at 15:14 pm: I’m very annoyed. Two nights in a row since I posted this, my memory stopped working again. I did the same thing, remove the module that was causing the problem, booted, increased the voltage even more, shutdown, insert back the module, boot again and it worked for the day but not the next day. Very weird so I took it to the vendor I bought it from and they tested it and their PC didn’t boot. I will be expecting a replacement in 2 weeks tops. :-/

UPDATE – February 6, 2009 at 22:31 pm: I had the memory in warranty service for a month and it came back as non-faulty. It seems there are other factors that interfere, like good, stable and powerful power source unit, supporting (@native) motherboard…

I’m running both sticks at DDR2-1002 at the moment. Been running like that since end of January. Except, not at 4-4-4-15 as they are advertised but as 5-5-5-15. It’s stable as tested with memtest86+, one pass. Voltage for me is 2.2v to be stable. Other motherboards may need different settings (as power regulators differ in quality/stability, also depends on your PSU; good mobo and bad PSU can be a nuisance).

Written by brokenthorn

December 8, 2008 at 21:19

Posted in blogging, hardware

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