# Sunday, 22 January 2012

There I was trying to setup a Dell Latitude ST Slate (more on this later) for use as a OneNote note taking PC. The idea was to have it sync to a OneNote notebook that was sitting up in the cloud on SkyDrive. Everything was working out until I actually opened the OneNote notebook on Skydrive. The Windows Live Login popped up and I was greeted with this.

blanklive

A totally black screen instead of the typical Windows Live login window. Using the ever so useful ProcessMonitor I was able to figure out that the Windows Live login window was running using the .Net WPF runtime. WPF is a neat set of technologies, but relied on the fact that your video drivers are doing what they’re supposed to be doing properly.

Search on the Internet enough and you’ll realize that Intel DOESN’T exactly do what you call a good job in the video driver aspect.

I first tried the obvious approach which was to install the latest video drivers for the GMA 600 on the Latitude ST, but I was ALREADY running on the latest video drivers.

So I tried to disable WPF’s use of hardware acceleration but turning it off in the registry as mentioned here.  But that still didn’t work. Again using ProcessMonitor to look into how the program was accessing the registry I could see that the program wasn’t even LOOKING at the disable hardware acceleration setting!

I was about to throw in the towel over this issue when I decided to switch ProcessMonitor to see what "WindowsLive" related items where being opened by the program. And then I saw IT! The Windows Live login window tried to look for a very interestingly named registry key.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\UX\LayerManagerSoftwareRendering

Software rendering? OH YES PLEASE!! I quickly edited/inserted the value into the registry to the most sensible value of 1

livereg

And then finally..

fulllive

So much work because of a farked up driver… BAD INTEL, BAD!

If you're facing the same problems and don't know how to edit the registry, here's a link to the exported registry key. Just download and open it to merge it with your registry.

Registry File To Enable Software Rendering For Window Live Client


Sunday, 22 January 2012 17:26:05 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 04 January 2012

When I wrote the article chronicling the evolution of toy lightsabers, I would have never guessed that one year later today I'll be writing another article about what I think is.. the ULTIMATE lightsaber toy... this is IT!

 DSC01110

Savy readers would have already know that this is Luke Skywalkers lightsaber from Return Of The Jedi, you can clearly see that this is nothing more than the hilt of a plastic toy with it's seams and everything. Let's pull the camera back a bit.

DSC01111

Look at that blade, it's a solid one piece tube... in fact it looks just like the blades they have on those cool nifty replica lightsabers...

DSC01113

ZOMFG!! The collectors in you would say Hey... that looks just like the FX replica lightsabers! Well... that's because IT IS the same basic design technology that powers the FX lightsabers! Hasbro got the license to make them super expensive replica lightsabers, and in true profit oriented form, they reapplied the tech into an cheaper, affordable package, retaining the BEST factors of a replica lightsaber: The glowing blade, the awesome motion based effects. And then giving it a lightweight plastic body, along with a PRETTY sturdy blade, and you have the ULTIMATE LIGHTSABER TOY!!

Why is this the ULTIMATE LIGHTSABER TOY? What.. glowing blade not good enough for you? Have another look!

DSC01114

The price of this Ultimate FX Lightsaber is a fraction of a Replica Lightsaber at RM159. Since it's plastic, it's also very light. These 2 factors combined means you will have no reservations trying to practice twirling the thing around, if you drop it while you're playing with it, you'll just pick it up from the floor instead of going "Oh my god!!! I scratched my limited edition hilt!! Oh my god!!! I cracked my tiles!! Oh my god!!! My wife is going to kill me!!"

If you ever wanted to buy a replica lightsaber JUST for the cool blade effect, get this instead, it has the same effect AND you can actually play with it! How about a commercial to boil the blood a bit more?

It's tons of fun!

DSC03540


Wednesday, 04 January 2012 23:02:45 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |