Friday, May 24, 2013

RAMdrive upgrade for OIL

Decided to fill up the last two RAM slots in my mobo. I’ve had issues with different types of RAM before so this time I’m getting exactly the same so that they are compatible and all run at 1600mhz. I probably should have got them in my new PC first when they were cheaper but meh. It may be the only upgrade I do to this PC.
But what to do with 16GB of rRAM when I don’t even use 8GB? I spent a week checking and 2GB is normal with 4GB spikes when running games simultaneously. GW2 seems to be the one program that needs the most to run. I also found that my mobo has RAMdrive software already, so I trialled that and ran into problems with only 4GB remaining for the system. Since I don’t have any pagefiles allocated when I used all the RAM GW2 just crashed. GW2 seems to be fine with 7GB of RAM.
But when I tried allocating 4GB to the ram drive 2/3 of it was filled with temporary files, when I shrank the drive this went down to 1/5th. So I’m supposing that the RAMdrive will never get filled up by temporary files.
Been running with a 1GB RAM drive for a week or so now, while it may have made things faster (probably on startup) the only really noticable change is that the ASRock RAM drive process stalls the chutdown sequens, occasionally taking an extra five min to finish whats its doing, saving and emptying the cach I suppose.

The setup had me confused at the start:
Readyboost: Sets up a file that improves random read/write access to a HDD. But I have my OS on a SSD so this is irrelevant.
Pagefile: rather than this I should turn the RAM disk off J
System Temp: dunno what this is or if they are real files, but anyway.
Internet Temp (FF&IE): sounds good to me. Then I can lose it on purpose as well
Backup: may as well, when the RAM arrives will test running LOL and WF from a copy here to see if the load times are better. I imagine this would work better for skyrim though, or anything with loading screens.

The helpful forum posts were:
Incidentally Ramon Zarat seems to have said the same thing on every forum that I have looked at. Maybe he built it? Maybe he could actually explain how to use it?
Also found the Thing King game rather interesting;

Will try to remember to add some futuremark scores here when the extra ram actually arrives. So I've lost my rezults again but seems I can get the basic version from Steam so DL that now.

In the mean time this is what the RAMdriver config looks like
Not that people get confused how to use it (including me) you have to click stop in the bottom right then do the changes then restart the PC. Then click where stop was to start the program then restart the PC again.
Makes sense when you think of it as physically changing a HDD, of course you need to power down to allow the bios to recognise the new hardware.

So I cant find my futuremark results from when I got this PC. and couldn't get the steam installation of #DMark to work

Then I find that despite my best efforts I have different RAM from previous. Though other than the name I'm not actually sure what the difference is.
 This picture was on my phone and is unrelated.
 The old RAM on the packet with the new RAM
 Product code for Blue, has an extra B1. Banannas seem to be everywhere this week.
 Product code for Genesis
 Blue is hidden under the HDD
Genesis is surrounded by Blue

The difference between the RAM sticks is the latency of the memory timing.

Quick test with running dues Ex, I loaded a game and went into a new area, then tried again in the other installation. Did this twice with inconclusive results.
load 11 10
area 5 13

load 30 15
area 7 12

Found the unoficial ASRock support forums. Seems the backup option doesnt work and we are not really sure what it is supposed to do.
Also Whirlpool usually has an up to date discussion

Friday, May 10, 2013

Smitten by who?

Took me a while to find again but there was an interesting forum discussion here. One of the questions raised was, “If the Christian God was in a computer game what would he be like?”

Some of the other gods are pretty easy to determine, like Zeus, Ra, Thor & Wukong. They could fairly easily be incorporated in to Xmen for example and nothing would be amiss. Then in Buddhism and Tao there isn’t really a god you can work with. The Christian God the Father is a bit like that, an omnipresent all powerful authority figure who wont act in a way that definitively proves he exists, (apart from maintaining gravity and DNA replication and stuff). Thirdly is the Spirit who has two avatars “like a dove” and “tongues of fire” Luke3:22 and Acts2:3 respectively. So then you have a bit to work with, there isn’t really a physical form so immunity to physical damage makes sense. The Spirit is also multilingual and can live within people, making them hear and see better. Then there is Jesus who has a nice physical avatar which is easy to relate to, so totally human with all the normal squishiness (unlike Thor). Jesus also has heaps of miracles, turning water into wine, calming a storm, walking on water and lots of healing, even bringing Lazarus back from the dead. Defiantly a support healer. All in all the Christian Deity has a rather dull and practical set of abilities. Compared to Zeus who is responsible for lightning, Ra kind of is the sun, Thor’s hammer is faster/harder/heavier than everything and Wukong has a staff multitool, flies on a cloud and didn’t get hurt when a mountain was dropped on him.

Whats your take? hase Smite gone too far? Would Jesus fit in a computer game? Should Kali be dressed more modestly?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Something about the esoteric knowledge of a linux sailor

Some days at work I feel like a sailor returning home. I know what I’ve done but nobody else seems to.

It was a hectic day on the sea, I had to cry for buoy room because a cleat gave way whilst we were on starboard tack, the jib luffed until I could reef the sheet back on but by then we were in irons and had to get close hauled again before attacking the buoy.

Today I was stumped by a genie, seems each component in most of the BGA screens has been manually configured and grouped together. Nobody has updated them since 5 so the variables are in an old format. They still work but it’s worth replacing them whenever you find one. But the main reason the genies don’t function is that the tag nomenclature has changed and I’m used to using Units to describe Loops, but in BGA it seems the boiler title is used instead. I cant even show what I’m talking about because it’s a dynamic system and only a few things are visible at any one time. For the most part the changes I’ve don’t are invisible and if I do a really good job nobody will notice any difference at all.

Despite how much I dislike jargon in church I seem to use a lot of it at work and around the place. Then occasionally somebody will make the joke about knowing a second language and its called C++. I’m not sure that really counts.

Five Basic Tastes

Bitterness, Saltiness, Sourness, Sweetness and Umami. Doesn’t include spicy, I wonder why? I like spicy foods, we used to grow our own birds eyes chillies and used them in a lot of cooking (Scoville 50k-100k). Now I have some plants of Habanero but I find them too hot at 100-350k Scoville units.

I remember one time I made a curry for the Bowes and it mostly had cinnamon and cumin as the spices, nothing I’d consider remotely hot. I’d actually though t the meal was a bit sweet. But Cameron in particular didn’t like it because it was too spicy. I had to take this to mean too many flavours.

Needless to say I rarely make something as hot as I like and then add a bit of perri perri sauce or something at the end. Never as good when its not mixed through but a decent compromise to be able to share my cooking.

I don’t quite follow the Umami taste category, apparently it’s the reason to add cabbage to chicken soup and the reason parmesan cheese goes well with tomatoes and mushrooms. The chemicals pertaining to it produce a long lasting meaty or brothy flavour. It also seems to require combination with another source of umami flavour in order to be pleasant.

Coincidentally Sun Tsu also mentions five basic tastes near the end of chapter five. I wonder if he includes spicy? Or maybe Acid is the last taste he considers?

Friday, May 3, 2013

12: Tao Te Ching

I am reminded by my Beta testing post the Tao Tea Ching verse #12.
It’s about desensitisation. The more we seek something, especially where it is the primary goal of life we can never be satisfied. If I aim to eat nice food and am always trying new things and going to far away places to taste local delectable delicacies. But my tastebuds will never be satisfied. Even if I take the flavours and textures home I will only be able to temporarily sate my hunger. The more sweeter and enjoyable the things we find the greater out demands become, it’s a logarithmic progression.

Same goes for other desires, anything with goal setting or continual improvement. Be wary that the search for fulfilment doesn’t overtake your life. The only exception I can think of is Z loan where this continual search keeps you human. In all other occasions the Sage would advocate “everything in moderation”, don’t desensitise yourself to the pleasures of life but allow them to be pleasant surprises along the way.

The beautiful colours make people's eyes blind,
The appealing music makes people's ears deaf,
The delicious flavours make people's mouth numb,
To indulge in hunting makes people's heart wild,
To pursue rare treasures makes people's behavior improper.
So, as the sage attends to the inner world, not the outer world,
Throw away the latter and adopt the former.

Always be a Beta tester

Recent upgrades at work have highlighted the fact that I deal quite well with broken computer systems and a lack of support. But that’s because I’ve been beta testing games for a while. But in the workplace programs really should work the first time, be reliable and give informative errors.

For example:
Programmer sitting at PC with Win7, running Citect HMI on primary monitor.
Second monitor running windows remote desktop to a factory PC, also running Win7 and the new Citect HMI 7.20.
The programming PC is working fine and Citect properly communication between the two PCs.
The factory PC showing all local variables, but nothing that is being passed from the Programming PC.
Using the windows remote desktop opened command prompt on factory PC to ping programming PC.
No response, this computer is not on the network

Refinery PC sending steam usage data back to the boilers station.
Of the 4 boilers PC’s this data is visible on the 3 where it is not usually used.
The one where we want steam usage occasionally shows the correct value/ #COMS / #BAD
This was due to a security patch, blocking offsite use of the refinery data. The patch failed 3.5 times out of 4.
Workaround is to create individual login data for each of the 4 boilers PC and hardcode it into the Refinery PC.
Thereby allowing the boilers PC’s to see the data from the Refinery PC.

Nearly all the settings from the ini file are now options within Citect
Conversely nearly everything that was a option is now defined in the ini file.

Everything with an icon now has a new icon, nothing looks quite the same as it used to. For no apparent reason.

I go away on the weekend and shutdown my PC when leaving.
Come back monday morning to see a notice "this program has stopped responding do you want  to close it anyway?"
Well, no, not anymore now that I am back. I click cancel.
PC shuts down to spite me...

While win7 is new for the factory PC’s its not new software and this version of Citect was released in 2010. The reason for the update is the supposed lack of support and security on the XP machines. While its not supposed to be a downgrade there doesn’t seem to be many improvements as yet, just a lot of changes.

Thus I’m happy to go home and play with RazerComms and assume it will break but not be too worried if it does. Mostly though I’m pleasantly surprised how smoothly RazerComms runs. I hope I can always be a beta test and am always looking for ways to improve and acknowledging defects. This also gets back to my enjoyment of learning.

Another recent one is Warframe, its nice to see the game developing from player suggestions. Seems every week there is a UI tweak that makes it easier to use and they usually add more ingame items. Though the ingame items are where they make their cash.

Also turns out that I was an Alpha tester for Hawken, though we haven’t been really keen on that game. I like MWO better, but I;m biased from putting some cash into that one.