Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Windows power schemes

you really can learn something new every day. i recently formatted my laptop a couple of times for a number of reasons - one of them being that i found that my processor was constantly operating at its maximum speed and this was running down its battery seriously. after a new install, i noticed once again that the processor had starting running at its maximum speed again without stepping. i'd just installed WiX, and thought that might be the cause - but WiX doesn't update any system components, so i dismissed the idea (also, i'd installed WiX before and the processor was still stepping then). i'd gotten tired of formatting by then, so i just decided to keep using the laptop and its internal "oven".

this morning, i decided to google power schemes. i then found that for a laptop, power schemes really do matter beyond timing for switching on/off hardware like the monitor and hard disks. get this: they also affect the way the operating system uses the processor. for instance, the difference between "Minimal Power Management" and "Max Battery" is only the timing for turning off the monitor, hard disks, and going into standby - but under the hood, the CPU is allowed to toggle its speed based on demand. there's no difference between "Home/Office Desk" and "Minimal Power Management" when the laptop is on battery. for more information, please look up this article on Orthogonal Thought.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

finally...finished Shounen Onmyouji!

Shounen Onmyouji is an awesome series, in my opinion. the opening song, Egao no Wake is wonderful (here it goes on my phone!), the story was great and flowed very well, and the end is awesome...(mostly). i was wondering what was going to happen in episode 26 when Masahiro kills Touda before the episode goes halfway. somehow, the end is rescued, and we get a believable ending...but why is the ending hinted at? if you - like me - rarely watch the end of an anime episode, you'd never find out that Akiko & Masahiro do go out to see the fireflies. ah well. in all, great series. pity i can't say if there'll be another great season.

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My phones and purpose

as i mentioned, i recently changed phones. i got a Nokia 7500 Prism to replace my 2600. One of the headaches of changing phones is migrating numbers. my SIM was full, and almost the same number of contacts were stored on my 2600. so i looked through my 2600, checking if the number was stored on the phone or on the SIM card, and then recording it in a text file - so i could transfer all my contacts to the new phone. i spent roughly an hour and a half doing this.

i can almost hear you say: fine, but what's this got to do with purpose? please bear with me - i can be a little long-winded when i'm trying to make a point. so i did that, then i put the SIM into my new phone and started using it - but the numbers stored on my old phone were still not on the new one. i went about for a day or so without having access to newer contacts. i then looked through my contacts (after finding out i wanted to contact someone, then seeing i didn't have their contact info), and found my 7500 had a function to move contacts from the SIM to phone memory. i did that, and emptied the SIM. i then checked the 2600 and found it could copy contacts from the phone to the SIM. so i did that too, and then moved all the contacts from the SIM to the 7500. if i'd only read the manual, i'd have saved myself about an hour and a half of typng out names and numbers.

i hope you get my point. some people might have spent another one and a half hours - or more - keying in the numbers into the new phone. but i decided that there was a better way. fortunately for me, i'm not as technically challenged as some folks, so i kind of figured out where to look pretty quickly.

let's imagine the time spent migrating contacts was your life. would you want to spend your life doing unnecessary things just to find out it was all unnecessary at - or after - its end? wouldn't you want your life to count for something? some people spend their whole lives doing things that won't count. there's Someone Who knows - much better than you - what you're meant to be doing. sadly, we usually think we - or worse off, other people - know exactly what we're meant to do. the person who best knows how my 2600 should have been used is its designer. God knows best what you're meant to do with your life. don't waste your life guessing what you're meant to do. ask Him! (James 1:5,6, New Living Translation, paraphrased: If you don't know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He'll gladly tell you...). i pray you walk this path. life isn't meant to be guesswork.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

i got me a new phone, praise God!

i have no idea how it happened, so don't ask me, but this is what happened: i rarely change phones. i'm a strong believer in KISS, so if it can send/receive calls and text messages, it's a phone. even when MTN was giving out free MMS messages, i just had a faint feeling of loss. you know, the kind you get when you "miss" someone you never really knew. so i use my phones. and i rarely replace them. each phone replacement i've got was because the old one was faulty, got stolen or missing, except for the second. i have no idea why, but my parents decided to get myself and my sister new phones then. even the first phone i got was a hand-me-down (which i eventually handed off to someone else).

anyway, after being through about 5 phones in about as many years, my faithful Nokia 2600 developed a quirk. from time to time, it would stop ringing out (even in General mode), until ringing out at all became a very rare occurrence. i merely complained about the phone and didn't try changing it (i'm sure my pocket also had a great deal to do with this :). i was really shocked one morning when Dad, a friend and i were going out, and my dad asked why i didn't pick up his call. i mentioned my phone didn't ring out (dude, forget vibrating - i rarely notice that when i'm about). he gave me some cash to buy a phone. for maybe 2 weeks or so i kept stalling over the phone, which made no sense, because phones are sold less than 30 meters from my office. yesterday, after having a very interesting day, i just got mad and went to buy the phone. i didn't see something i liked in the display case, so i went to the price list. i saw something costing exactly what my dad gave me (no, it's not that much - but it's a sizable chunk of my monthly salary). i don't know why i felt good about the phone. i requested for it, paid for it without knowing jack about it, and went to test it. when the guy who tested it was closing the box, i asked where the USB cable was. He said it wasn't included and it would cost me an additional NGN 2500. i had that much on me, but i wouldn't be able to get home without visiting the cash machine, so i decided not to buy it. after buying the phone, i began feeling guilty, but i shook off the feeling and went home. getting home, i found i really like the new phone, plus, it uses the same cable as my MP3 player, so i really feel blessed! later!

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Blender 2.46 out!

it's coming late, but Blender 2.46 is out, and the Big Buck Bunny movie is also out. personally, i downloaded Blender about a week back, but i haven't really don anything with it, since i'm doing a lot more programming than most anything else. and with the new release returns an old problem: i can't render with YafRay (no, not Yaf(a)Ray) as a plugin in the render window without Blender crashing. ah well. so i had to figure out workarounds - render into the 3d window, use YafRay from XML, or not use YafRay at all;)