Viewing posts for the category hardware

Next day means next week?

The Dell saga goes into second stage. Despite me having a priority XPS next day on-site warranty it took three days, one click-trough of on-line wizard, two emails and three phone calls to get the collection of my broken laptop going. And now it will only be collected on Monday. Doh!

Laptop down

A half an hour ago my brand new Dell XPS M1710 laptop stopped working. It just turned off and would not turn on again. I got my old HP lappie out and went to Dell site for debugging. After several quite nice debugging steps the fault fell into a generic "no idea what it is, but it sure is bad" category and I was told to contact the support, which I did - by email. Let's see how long it takes to get this thing fixed and how will they respect my Linux partitions if I will need to send it in.
Oh well, that means that I will go to bed early today - yay!

Dell Inpiron XPS M1710

Well, now I am a proud owner of a one of the most powerful laptops available under two grand. Core Duo 2.0 Ghz, 2 Gb RAM, 120 Gb HDD, 1900x1200 17" screen and NVidia 7900 GS. I am just loving it. It did come with Windows and lots of ther crap which I removed right away. I did reinstall Windows (XP Media Center) to see how it works (it's been a long time :P) and for some gaming (HL2: Episode One in particular, it's been a long time :P). I also installed Ubuntu Dapper as the primary workspace (as something stable, quick to set up and boringly non-experimental). Debian as the development platform and primary experimentation base and one more 5 Gb partition stayed free so that I can try out other stuff (like Gentoo) when I feel like it.
I must say that installing Ubuntu and Windows in quick succession was a very, very interesting experience. I am considering repeating that and writing down everything with plenty of unusual screenshots to trully compare the experience. I must say that Ubuntu fared the best and Windows being waaay behind on usability and installlability with all kinds of wierdness.
Note: I did not install Debian here yet - university presses to work.


Speaker break-in time myth or reality tries to debunk the myth of audio speakers needing time in orders of 30-50 hours to get to their best audio properties after purchase.
I bought a new set of Sennheiser HD 215 a few weeks ago. I unpacked them and connected to my laptop. I was blown away by their performance, but something at how the bass frequencies were "muddy" and not clean confused me. Then I read in the manual that I should play some music on the headphones for at least 30 hours to break them in and only then they would get to their best audio characteristics. So I left the headphones on the laptop and left some music playing in them overnight and only came to them after at least 20 more hours of breaking-in. I put the same music on as I did the first time and I was not disappointed - the bass was much more clean and instruments in the bass area were finally as distinct as they should be at this level of headphones. I did not listen to the music during the break-in time, so my brain did not adopt to the sound of these headphones - they actually sounded better.
I do not really care that a distinguished loudspeaker engineer can not find an explanation of how this break-in happens, but that does not change the fact - it exists.
Update - A few more links:

Protocol violated

I am offitially screwed. Last night I wanted to reinstall my laptop (which is also my only computer now), so I backuped the contents of my laptop's hard drive to an external usb hard drive as a 13 Gb tar.gz file and happily went on with a format and reinstall.

IPW2200 on HP nx6110

If you thought that sticking a supported miniPCI wireless card into a HP nx6110 notebook and getting it to work is trivial or fast or well documented, then you are quite wrong! Let me walk people trough the misery here...

Happy + sad + hectic all in one day

Left mouse

Firefox backing up.

Firefox backing up.
A bug is bugging me up, but it is unclear to me what is the cause, so no reporting or fixing is yet in sight - whenever I scroll up in Firefox using the mouse scroller there is ~10% chance that the "back" action will be executed. It has happened to me a lot of times now, and I haven't noticed similar symptoms in other programs.
Ubuntu Dapper, FF 1.5, USB mouse, HP nx6110 notebook. Any advise from the lazyweb?

We all know how over time our input devi...

We all know how over time our input devices get contaminated by particles from objects that tend to reside in our hands in between acts of data input. Basically I am speaking about those bread crumbles in the keyboard and that slightly sticky stuff that covers the buttons of a mouse after a few months of everyday usage. Today it got too much for me and I gave my mouse a bath - disassembled it and washed all non-electronic components with liquid hand soap. After a couple of minutes and drying with a paper towel, all the parts looked dry enough for a reassembly. The patient lived on, giving a much more pleasant tactile feedback to its user (me).

P.S. It looks like I botched the clicking feel that a wheel of a mouse makes when scrolled. I've heard that it is actually better so, let's try to find out by trying.

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