Computer Knowledge. Gadget. Anime. Design. Dance. Hong Kong Life. Stuff like that.


Experience with Playstation VR

More personal experience on trying out Playstation VR: After playing for roughly 30 minutes, I found a few things:

1. I found sweat on my nose and around my head. The headset does put load on your head, and you really should only play it 30 minutes a burst.

2. The weight of the headset did left the tension on my head even after I took it off for 20+ minutes.

3. Some games are high in resolution while others look like watching Standard Quality TV (480p), but the 360 immersive experience was really good.

4. Use PS4 controller to take action, by slam on a rock with motion or press button to navigate, is GOOD. It reminds the sensation of how I felt when first tried WiiMote with WiiSports.

5. The setup is not cheap, but also not ultra expensive like Oculus Rift (with all the proper setup).

6. So far I heard that Playstation 4 (Pro) and Playstation VR have no region lock. I need to wait for the final confirmation from bloggers. But that is the case, then I will try making my decision again after Summer Lesson released.


Wonder if it's the problem of the dock or the harddisk ... seems like the dock

Let me start from the conclusion: it's always important to have backup gear in case of the running gear failed.

Here's the complete story that led me to make that conclusion: I have a series of USB 2.0 docks in my closet hooked up to a computer that I used as file server, and then share contents on my local network. Usually I will run files (like video files) directly from those shared folder with no performance issue.

But then since 2 days ago, I experienced problem access the W drive, which is connected to the front dock of the duo slot Cavalry USB 2.0 harddisk dock.  Eventually I started to wonder if there's something wrong, either there's problem on the harddisk, or there's problem on the dock.

Luckily, I have a USB 3.0 duo slot harddisk dock, so I yanked out the W drive harddisk from the USB 2.0 dock and put it in the USB 3.0 dock slot.  And things went back to normal.

With that, at least for now, I concluded that the harddisk itself has no problem, and strongly suspect that there's something wrong with the front slot of that USB 2.0 dock.


NVIDIA with Optimus on M6600 .... WTF

I just realized that there's an option on the BIOS of my Dell Precision M6600 laptop called "NVIDA with Optimus".  Out of curiosity, I turned it on, and that caused quite some pain to me, becuase the laptop has bitlocker turned on.  That means every minor change on the BIOS will force me to enter bitlocker passphrase again.  Also I experienced some system lagging and hanging every once in a while, and while I don't know if those were caused by the "NVIDA with Optimus" feature, that was the last thing I changed.  Plus after I turned it off, the lagging problem seems to go away, so yeah, the feature is dead to me now.


Why my Dell Precision M6600 becomes so slow ...

My office laptop has quad core processor, and used to run in a speedy performance.  Recently, however, I found that the machine becomes pretty darn slow.  After de-fragmented a few times, and the speed were improved at all.  So I started look into the issue.

I remembered that years ago I tried checking Windows Experience, and the value was around 5.9, with processor having 7.0 score.  So it surprised me to find out that when I tried the assessment a while ago, I got the total score 3.7, which process having 3.7 score!  I was totally puzzled.

I did the similar checking on my Core 2 Duo based MacMini 2009, and I found that the score was 5.2, with 5.9 being the processor score (Primary hard disk was 5.2, which is the reason why the total score being 5.2.

So something obvious slowing the processor performance down!  Eventually I found out this post.  I followed the instruction, turned off Intel SpeedStep on the BIOS.  And with that, I got the Windows Experience go back to 5.9, with Processor Score as 7.4, and Primary hard disk score as 5.9 (the lowest, and thus became the final score).  Problem solved.

I will get the real world performance when I use the system tomorrow, but just roughly using the system, and I  already sense that the system ran faster.  WTF with that damn SpeedStep thing.


Thinking of using S12 as daily use netbook again, but then ...

Now that I successfully resurrect ThinkPad X60T, I was thinking of using it as the Windows Media Center based DVR and use S12 to be my daily use computer.  But then merely by using S12 for less than a minutes, it's slowness reminds me all the frustration I had with S12.  That's right.  This piece of shit Lenovo S12 has almost no value except being a Windows Media Center DVR.

To be fair, ThinkPad X60T also gave me some pain today.  For instance, I was trying to set up Windows Media Center on the Windows 7 side, but I kept getting error when trying to download the TV Listing data.  Without TV Listing, WMC is a useless POC.  Fortunately, I also have Windows 8 with Windows Media Center, and the TV guide download on that one worked pretty well, so I just continue using it.

Even though X6oT has only 3Gb of memory (and in fact can NEVER go higher than that), I still find the experience of using X60T pleasant.  The speed of launching application is fast and way better all those so called netbooks.  DEfinitely way way way better than that shitty S12.


Fixing Lenovo X60T

My ThinkPad X60T was in the closet pending to be fixed for almost a year because of a problem: when I tried to start it up, the fan will tried to spin up a bit, but eventually stopped, and resulting a "Fan Error" message on the screen while the system eventually shut down.

I wasn't even thinking about it until today when I do my annual closet cleaning, and was decided to throw it away because it thought it probably wouldn't worthy of spending time to resurrect it.

However, somehow I felt like I should give it a try.  So I searched online and found that others have the same situation as I did.  It didn't provide me the answer, but it inspired me to keep looking, and then I found this site that talked about how to disassemble X60T.  I did and found that the fan indeed tried to spin but then stopped.

There's no way I will buy a new part to replace it, but maybe some WD40 can do the magic?  So I tried, and sure enough, the problem is now totally gone.  The only thing I need to do now is to leave the machine alone for a while and clean up the excessively applied WD40.  But at least now I have a spear laptop that I can use instead of having it thrown away.


Grab Flickr photos at ease

As much as I tried to trust the cloud to be there when I need to access content, there are situations when I prepare grabbing what I want to consume offline so that I know for sure that the content is there when I want it.

Thus I have this need of finding a good software to grab Flickr photos to view offline. Some apps that I used to use were no longer operating, thus I need to find some new apps to solve this problem.

I used to use an application called Downloadr, but the API no longer works.

Here's the application I tried:

- Bulkr: the application works fine, but all the necessary features (like donwload in full resolution) are locked until you pay the license fee.

- Flickr Downloadr: I tried but it failed to operate, so I gave up on it.

- Downloadair: It works ok, but requires me to log in to my account, and can only download content that links to my account thru Favorites or News.  So in order to download content that others post on Flickr, I have to first follow them, and then use the News feature to load the album.  It's doable, just seemed troublesome.

- JDownloader: I didn't even know that JDownloader can be used to download photos from Flickr until reading this site.  Unfortunately, it can't download the original images, as pointed out by the comment left by a reader on that web page.  It seems like the photos has to be upload in certain way in order to make original image download work.

- DownFlickr - Flickr Downloader Google Chrome extension:  This one is really interesting, because even though it seems to be a bit clunky by forcing me to keep pressing the "+30" button in order to add all photos into the download list, spreads everything in the download folder, this create a bit post download work. and the result seemed to have some duplication, it does something most other tools failed to do: it can download photos that are marked as "protected from downloading".  It is so far the best solution as of this moment.