# Wednesday, 03 July 2013

“The site isn’t working with Internet Explorer 10!!!” yells my client through the IM window, to which I gave a WTF expression since I developed it under IE10 and it worked beautifully.

Wondering what kind of problem it could be I got him to open up a remote session so I could see what the problem was, sure enough the site was a mess, layouts were wrong, backgrounds were missing, it was as if the browser forgotten to download a few CSS files, so I hit F12 to bring up the developer tools and then I saw the problem.

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For some reason his IE10 was in IE7 mode, which was outside of the support scope of the project (Thankfully!). So I switched it back to IE10, and everything looked and worked fine again.

So if someone is complaining that the site looks and works horribly in IE10 when it shouldn’t be, you might want to check if any of these compatibility settings are in effect!


Wednesday, 03 July 2013 00:13:12 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 25 June 2013

I was having some problems getting audio out from my ATI 5700’s HDMI port. While a friend suggested that I do a clean install of the ATI Catalyst drivers, a final search before doing that revealed that I might just need to install the ATI HDMI Audio Device drivers from the Realtek website

http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/

Go to the website above, click on the High Definition Audio Codecs link, answer YES to the EULA, then find the ATI HDMI Audio Device file from the list.

After installing the driver, I was able to finally get audio piping through the HDMI connection!


Tuesday, 25 June 2013 23:42:12 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 22 June 2013

You know how when you go to someone’s wedding that they like to have photo montages of how the couple were from when they were babies to the present day? Do you realize that with the rise of digital photography, people will no longer have mere dozens of photos when they were babies, they would probably have dozens of photos for every WEEK.. at MINIMUM! Hence it’d be quite possible to have HOUR long photo montages during wedding.

Hence as a parent it is my responsibility to ensure that my children’s embarrassing baby photos are well kept to prepare for montage creation and blackmail purposes!

Since we're talking about digital media here, a simple shoebox or photo album ain’t going to cut it. You’ll need backups and redundant backups. In the past month I’ve seen friends post about not knowing how to deal with their children’s photos, and also the lost of a hard disk holding such photos. I guess now is a good time to talk about my children photo backup strategy. Here’s the component diagram.

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All photos and videos of the children are primarily taken on one camera, my Sony NEX-3. The first step is to use Robocopy and copy the files into the main Home PC, the cool thing about using Robocopy to do this is that.

  1. It’s pretty fast and copying stuff
  2. It ignores empty subfolders when copying, this is a god send when dealing with cameras like the NEX-3 which create an empty sub folder for each day which is supposed to be containing videos even though you didn’t take any videos that day. This saves on sorting time.

If you haven’t set your camera to make a new folder per day, you probably should, I find it helps immensely with organization of the photos afterwards.

So after the RAW copy I’ll end up with a bunch of folders for the images taken in the camera like this

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The 30520 type number in the end is actually the last digit of the year, month then day. Organization wise this would start to get confusing once you have photos for 2003 and 2013. Therefore when I copy the photos into my RAID 1 NAS (For the non technical readers, a NAS means it’s a storage devices ie. hard drive connected through the network instead of USB, the RAID 1 means that the device has 2 hard disk in them and the data is automatically copied between the hard disk so that unless both hard drives die at the same time, data can be recovered) I undergo one extra step of sorting and break out the photos into the following structure

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I create a folder for the year, and then for every month, then I toss the photos inside the month folder. If there’re any important events during that month, they’re given their own folder again for easier cherry picking when looking for photos.

Even though the data is considered to be doubly backed up between the Home PC and the NAS (TRIPLE if you consider that the NAS has 2 hard disk inside of it) I must be ever vigilant of the worst case scenario in which everything fries at the same time. Therefore, once a month the data from the NAS is copied onto an external hard drive, this is designated as the LOCAL BACKUP DRIVE in the image above.

But as most data protection specialist will tell you, that is STILL not enough! That’s why I’ve recently obtained yet another external hard drive, this one is designated as the Remote Located Backup Drive this is the hard drive which sits in my office so that in case anything happens to my house, I still have a copy in the office.

Some would call this overkill, my wife wonders why I go through all this work when ‘It’s just some photos.’ But I know that if anything were to go wrong, she would be the one that would feel the worst over it. It is still overkill in the fact that I don’t even protect my work PC data with a NAS or an offsite backup! :P


Saturday, 22 June 2013 23:30:06 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 25 May 2013

This is my Nintendo 3DS XL

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The amount of games I play on it is quite surprising considering it’s a portable dinky little console, in fact the only reason I upgraded from my original Nintendo 3DS to this XL one was because not only did I wanted WZ to be able to see me playing properly on it but also because the fantastic, funky, hot games coming out for it in the next few months are just too much!

But even with all this love for the Nintendo 3DS, one thing that Nintendo managed to do both right and wrong at the same time is their implementation of a digital purchases, their Nintedo e-Shop.

So what do they manage to get right? Let’s take a look at the stuff which I bought from the e-Shop (Using the prepaid cards purchased from Play Asia, since it’s almost I haven’t been able to attach a Malaysian CC to the account)

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Everything after the 3rd column are downloads from the e-Shop, and everything without the word DEMO on it are things I bought from the e-Shop. And this is what Nintendo get’s right, in addition to e-Shop only mini games like Liberation Maiden and Starship Damrey, retail games like Adventure Time and Art Academy 2 can also be purchased on LAUNCH DAY. Nintendo seems to be quite committed to selling games in both retail and digital form, and that’s great!

But then in typical Nintendo form, for all the good which they’re doing they just HAD to go screw up the platform some how. It’s goes like this, all those games you saw just now, and also the balance in my e-Shop account?

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The USD43.07 balance? They’re not tied to any form of online ID, they’re tied to the CONSOLE ITSELF!!!

To put it simply, when you loose an iPod, or a phone, you can just sign in to your account and redownload you apps and stuff.

Nintendo in their effort to make it easy (probably) and user friendly decided that creating an account was too much of a hassle an just linked everything to your 3DS. I’m gonna guess that all the people in the team who came to this decision

  • Don’t have children
  • Never broke a device by dropping it
  • Never lost a device

It’s RIDICULOUS to assume that a person is never gonna have any accidents with the 3DS which results in ALL the e-Shop downloads AS WELL as e-Shop balances being lost. It also means that a heavy e-Shop user’s 3DS might be worth a LOT!

After coming to this realization, I have decided that any retail games that I would want to play all the time (Animal Crossing) and games which WZ might play I’ll buy the e-Shop version (cause I don’t trust WZ to swap cartridges properly!) Everything else I’ll buy the physical cartridge except when I can’t… like.. Ace Attorney…

God damnit Nintendo, get your act together!


Saturday, 25 May 2013 16:50:25 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 19 May 2013

After months of staring at the box and wondering Why the heck does this mouse look so weird? I finally bought a MadCatz Cyborg R.A.T. 7 mouse.

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At first glance the mouse already screams that it is not your conventional mouse and of course it isn’t, it’s main claim to fame is it’s ability to be customized to fit your grip so you won’t be able to complain that the mouse isn’t comfortable to use because the mouse doesn’t fit your hand. How does it do that? The magic begins from the tail end of the mouse.

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This grooved object is actually a small hex bit

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It is the key to unlocking the customization features of the mouse, let’s take it easy and start off from the right side of the mouse.

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See the little hex bolt there? Using the hex bit you can unscrew and remove the conventional side panel and replace it with one of these 2

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The one on the left is basically the normal plate with an additional rubber surface for extra grip, but what’s more interesting is the extra large one on the right.

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It gives the right side of your hand (usually the pinkie) something to rest on while you’re moving the mouse. It’s AMAZING how well it feels to rest your pinkie on it while you’re moving the mouse!

Next we’ll move to the left wing, first of all you can adjust the position of the platform between

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and

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For about 9MM of distance, doesn’t look like much on paper but you can feel the slight distance effect the ability to reach the side buttons, this ability allows me for the first time to reach BOTH side buttons without reaching awkwardly. You can also tweak the angle of the platform from

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To

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Again, this basically affects the ability to reach the side buttons of the mouse so you can adjust it to your liking.

Next up is the palm rest portion of the mouse which you can extend from it’s zero position to

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For a total of 3 stops, this affects the length of the mouse and then you can also remove the palm rest and replace it with one of the other two palm rests

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Again the left one is just like the standard one but with a rubber surface for extra grip, the one on the right looks like the normal one but is actually 4MM higher is you want your mouse back raised.

Then we move to the bottom of the mouse where we can find this near the tail of the mouse.

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After you remove the retaining nut you can slide off the weigh discs.

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Each of the discs weigh about 6 grams so you can customize the mouse weight to your liking.

With the physical customization out of the way let’s talk about the actual gaming mouse features of the RAT, I don’t actually use these features personally so here’s a quick summary. The mouse has a tracking resolution of 6400 dpi, using the rocker switch located behind the mouse wheel.

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You can switch back and forth between four settings which you can customize via the control software of the RAT. You can get a visual indication of the current settings via a four segment light display on the side of the mouse.

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There's a horizontal scrolling thumb wheel in the body of the mouse, positioned near the side buttons.

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Once again using the profiling software you can customize what the side buttons and turning the horizontal wheel does. There’s also a red Percision Aim button near the front of the side wing. That’s basically a brake for the mouse speed so while you’re holding the button down it scrolls at a slower speed to make it easier to aim.

Like all good gaming mice the RAT 7 is able to store three profiles, with each profile having it’s own DPI and button settings. The button to toggle between profiles is located on the inside tip of the top fin near the mouse wheel.

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It has 3 colors to indicate which mode it’s in. I find it funny how every other thing on the mouse is designed to be used by a right hander and thus all the indicators are on the left side of the mouse except for this one, which there’s no quick way to see what mode you’re in since you won’t be able to see the light. Although the light is strong enough to cast an image on your index finger…

One thing to note about the profiling software, when I was using it in Windows 8. You MUST INSTALL THE MOUSE DRIVER FOR THE RAT in order to get it to work! Before I installed the driver the profiling software just didn’t want to work!

There’s also one flaw in the RAT, which is the fact that the shortcut keys activated by the horizontal wheel and side buttons can only be used if you have the profiling software installed, it’s kind of a bummer but I suppose it makes the mouse cheaper to manufacture without having to deal with key mapping on the mouse… but then again the RAT ISN’T CHEAP

Closing Summary

As a mouse with a customizable grip so that you can tweak it to be most comfortable for you to use the R.A.T. 7 is fantastic and does stand up to the name of a customizable mouse well.

For me the only real gripe on this aspect was the fact that since I’m using the mouse at it’s shortest setting, the hex wrench bites ever so slightly into my palm. The problem is easily solved by removing the wrench from the tail of course, I just hope I don’t lose the darn thing!

As for a gaming mouse.. I don’t actually play PC games so I don’t know how good the RAT is compared to say.. other Razer products, but I do suppose the fact that you need to keep it’s profiling software running for customizations to work might be a turn off for some.


Sunday, 19 May 2013 23:20:42 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |