Tag Archives: Help

Plea for Inquiry: PC versions of Blur and Split/Second NOT optimized

So I decided to send out the following as an e-mail to Kotaku’s tip line in hopes of someone taking a look into it… Continue reading Plea for Inquiry: PC versions of Blur and Split/Second NOT optimized

The Workbench Project: Operation Phoenix Down [iBook G4]

Every now and then at the hallowed office of ZeroXR 13mg, I do salvage projects. These things range from sterilizing computers with computer forensics tool kits to building full scale machines. This round… I wanted to do something charitable for my sister.

Alice has had a trustworthy iBook G4 that she’s had with her from entering college… Well, about a week ago… She’s reported it would get into a phase where the machine would be stuck on a white screen with a gray Apple logo and the spinning icon keeps going… No system boot-up at all. She is going to Florida to attend my cousin’s wedding and well… because she’s got no laptop… she won’t be able to sync and charge her iPod nano.

I felt bad and this evening… I took her iBook to my lab table. I tried resetting the PRAM and NV-RAM, resetting the PMU with no avail. My friend Tyler had suggested trying to boot from Single User Mode and to run the repair command… That worked… but on rebooting… same issue. I tried to reboot to safe mode and that failed. I tried a forced disk boot and the OS X Tiger disc reported the disk was ok… so I am at a loss…

I would hate to think it’s the logic board… but anyone else have possible ideas? Anything would be good… I’d like to help my sister out cause she’s got tons of valuable files on the machine to boot.

[Help/Technology] The Dark Side Beckons… With a Vengeance!

Alright… Most of you technologically wild folks know that the big tech shows are going on. Apple’s WWDC, E3, (I think) Computex etc… These are all industry breaking shows in which manufacturers and developers get to show off their works in progress or even finished products pending release. However… for me, things got interesting.

Almost 1 years ago, I had blogged about the iPhone 3G finally hitting all of the global carriers… yet that it was still flawed from not supporting things many basic features that even standard phones have supported for the last few years. Things like MMS (picture/video messaging), video recording, A2DP Bluetooth stereo streaming, encrypted e-mail were just some of the issues I had with the iPhone 3G being balked as the update the phone needed… Another thing later on when the iPod Touch revision came out was the support for the Nike+ system. Somehow… the iPhone missed out on that and it would basically hose any interest I had as I would love to track how much I run be it for classes or just working out. The final nail in the coffin would be that I had friends who noted iffy phone service on the iPhone via AT&T because I feel that BASIC functionality is very essential.

Yesterday and Monday’s updates on the gadget and tech blogs were quite an eye opener, however. Most of them had pointed to Apple’s new iPhone 3G [S] site and had noted that a lot of my grievances with the 3G version have been resolved. Phone calls seems to have gotten better with those who are using the leaked Developer version of the iPhone 3.0 software/firmware. The phone also has improved with things like faster processor, the addition of a compass with the GPS chips, and a few other features. The Nike+ system finally got added so it sweetens things a little bit more. Sure $200 – $300 for a phone is a bit steep… but at this moment… That’s basically the price point I am looking at for phones.

To thicken the plot… When I had left Commerce on dorm check-out on May 7th, my BlackBerry was showing I had weak T-Mobile service throughout all of Commerce. The few times I have been back in the past couple weeks, my signal has diminished to T-Mobile going to Roaming Mode on Cellular One’s backbone. This is rather crippling… The reasons for that being 1) When I am on roaming, I have asked my BlackBerry to kill my data functions to prevent roaming charges and 2) I get charged extra for taking calls while roaming. Point #1 is a killer because I have become really data centric with my BlackBerry especially when I am without my laptop. Point #2 is just murder for me as a college student, especially considering I got TONS of calls from classmates with AT&T during the day time hours with my already small minute pool.

AT&T seems to have a stranglehold for the area, as my friends have noticed. I have heard some hearsay of the Commerce area AT&T users mentioning that 3G service is unrolling soon or already present. On top of that, AT&T is killing the 2G towers in favor of the 3G revolution. Sadly, the only BlackBerry on AT&T that is 3G ready is the BlackBerry Bold and it’s not quite what I am looking for. T-Mobile’s signals are diminishing and sadly their BlackBerry devices are just rehashes of my Curve 8300 or the Pearl 8100 series. Call me odd but the fact that just about any smartphone supports Lexi-Comp, including the iPhone, is a huge impact to me as a pre-pharmacy student.

For now… I am in no rush really to convert or anything of that sort yet. I am roughly 2 weeks away from my current T-Mobile 1 year contract finally expiring and I also need to see where my own family stands as far as service goes. I know my own family is debating on if they may be switching carriers or staying and doing month-to-month with T-mobile. If they are switching, then it makes a little more of a big sell point for me to jump ship with them… If they stay, then I’ll really need to sit and talk with them.

Anyone who has insight on this… Post away and let me know!

Zero needs your help! Help me pick a new phone!

The Zero Corporate Communicator is due for an upgrade… My AT&T Tilt has taken quite the beating from me. For 7 months of loyal service, being subject to my drunken rages every now and then, but also being hacked to fit my needs… I am amazed it has last me 7 months. I mean with respect to things… Check out my phone chronology! (Disclaimer: Times are approximate…)

10/2004 – 10/2005: Nokia 3120 (1 Year)
10/2005 – 1/2006: Motorola RAZR V3 (3 Months)
1/2006 – 3/2006: Motorola SLVR L6 (2 Months)
3/2006 – 5/2006: Motorola MPx 220 (2 Months)
5/2006 – 7/2006: Sony Ericsson T637 (2 Months)
7/2006 – 10/2006: Motorola SLVR L7 Unbranded without iTunes (3 Months)
10/2006 – 1/2007: HTC Wizard as a T-mobile USA MDA (3 Months)
1/2007 – 5/2007: Nokia E62 (4 Months)
5/2007 – 10/2007: Palm Treo 680 (4 Months)
10/2007 – 4/2008: DUAL PHONES – Sony Ericsson P990i AND Sony Ericsson w300i (6 Months)
4/2008 – Present [12/2/2008] – HTC Kaiser as an AT&T Tilt 8925 (7 months onward…)

Lately, my phone is going through issues… The slider mechanism is getting loose, unless I lock it in the angular position if I somewhat slack with the screen angle. I am going through a RAM leak issue that my phones go through… So something like the phone’s alarm or an event reminder will lock up or even crash my phone. I have to reboot the phone every other day now rather than every 4 days to keep the phone functional. The worst part… I have tried almost EVERY cooked and stock OEM HTC TyTN II ROM possible to flash into my phone in hopes of having a functional phone that was stable since the maladies happened… But alas… even a bare stripped out BASE ROM that is on the original HTC TyTN II without the garbage still has my phone crashing and locking up.

So yeah… I have been looking at new phones. At the moment, I am eligible through T-Mobile to enjoy the same deals as new users from being eligible for an upgrade as long as I do the 2 year hitch. However, should I choose to hop back to the Death Star and be subject to their funny taxes, rollover minutes and etc… I’d have to wait until around until June of 2009. Time is not of the essence, yet… Unless my phone just purely becomes dysfunctional that it is unstable. I do need a smartphone, as the ability to see my calendar of events and keep my contacts at ready access. Messaging is highly important to me as I do a lot of mobile contact when voice is not an option. Internet plans are being considered, as e-mail and instant messages are my alternative lifelines other than texting and voice calls.

Here’s the line-up… so far that is:

BlackBerry Bold (To be unlocked…)
BlackBerry Javelin (aka 8900 Curve) [Unfortunately no official link yet, link from Boy Genius Report]
Nokia XpressMusic 5800 (The wicked touch screen music phone)
Palm Centro (Unlocked from Palm)
HTC/T-Mobile G1 by Google

My common themes seem to be phones with physical keyboards that are exposed, the only exceptions being the G1 and the Nokia Xpress Music 5800. The G1 has a slider keyboard like my Tilt, while the Nokia has a soft keyboard and it does support written input via stylus.

The issue of billing is not too bad… cause at the moment, I pay $70 for my current plan after taxes and such. However should I go with any device with the optional net plan (for the G1, the net plan is MANDATORY), the price totals out at $80. So it’s about 1 take out meal a month less. Not a big deal, cause I don’t have much time for that anyways. The only pressing issue would really be the $35 activation fee and the device prices.

The BlackBerry devices may be fun, but the Bold, for example is only available in the US as a locked AT&T phone and I would have to spend a little extra coin to get it unlocked for use. The Javelin is not known if it’s coming to T-Mobile USA, but there is already an AT&T unit under testing. For either the Bold or Javelin, this is probably the most expensive route ranging from sniping one off of craiglist at $450+ before any unlocking services.

The Palm is a rather nice and pint sized little smartphone and at roughly $300 unlocked from Palm is a great deal. The sad selection of white only is a little sobering… Though the final issue is compatibility with the T-Mobile mobile web… I am highly considering mobile web, so it puts the Centro on a very thin edge. The Nokia XpressMusic 5800 ($500+) is also on that same thin edge with the mobile web compatibility… Though the XpressMusic is more media centric rather than a corporate looking communicator.

The T-Mobile G1 is probably the underdog of them all… Priced at $180 with a 2 year renewal, fully Linux and open source, and quickly becoming versatile. It’s made by HTC, so I am not too afraid of build issues. Sure, it looks a little caddish and far from corporate professional… But to know that it can basically give me near remote control over my own site is damn near staggering, especially when there are times I’d kill to blog something but only to find that I have to pay for a wireless LAN at Starbucks for an hour I may not use entirely.

I digress…

If anyone has an opinion, feel free to comment and let me know! If you have a recommendation, tell me your reasoning why! Any reasonable insight is welcome and encouraged!

Plea of Prayer – Save Me!

Some of you who have been part of the novel that is my life do remember that my ex used to communally share an apartment with me and on parting ways, we were instructed by our complex to pay our according due of $1,086 for breaking our 1 year lease contract. I was still in the balancing act of paying off some of my credit card debt, so I was only able to spare $25 a month to stave away the bill collectors… I had assumed the ex was being a responsible adult and paying $25 or however much she could pay them. I would find today that was not the case…

On journeying to the leasing office of my old home, I would be hit with a horrid shock… my complex no longer accepts segmented payments for lease termination penalties and this was a command that was from their corporate office. There was $572 left on the balance and that had to be paid before Sunday, October 5th of 2008. My face went a deathly and sickly pale white. For a sanguine guy like myself, that’s a grave sign… The leasing agent pulled up the dossier for my old home and she went through the billing records. It had shown that right after we moved out, we both were paying on time, but it wasn’t until October that I basically became the sole payer of the apartment breakage fees. I had pleaded with the agent if there was anything that could be done, because at this rate, I have basically paid right at 50% of the breakage fees. They had asked if I had anyone who could assist me and I told them I had exhausted all of my financial options. The next question was “Have you attempted to collect payment from her?” and ever since she moved off to NYC, she had refused to have anything to do with the communal debt. The agent then pondered one last long shot option before the bill would have us both in collections…

“We do have records that you have been accountable for all of your payments and with them totaling near 50%, I can try to talk to the property manager and have her try to ask our corporate to basically nullify your paid portion of the bill. You would then have your remaining portion to pay which isn’t too much more. The remaining half then would be sent to collections and penned to her name, so that your credit is no longer tied to her delinquency.”

From this dialog with the agent… It gives me a chance to finally have things fair, ’cause the ex refused to do the adult thing and take care of her portion of the bill. It’s one thing to beg others for money to fund lavish habits and swindle others… but it’s another to be reprehensible and not pay for one’s one fair share of debt.

I ask you, my readers, my friends, my family, hell… even the world… If you could give me a prayer, it would be much appreciated. I want things to be fair so the closure with my ex can finally come to a complete end. It’s bad enough that her portion of the lease breakage is there, even worse that it haunts me months after she dumped me. I am happy for myself for once and I simply want justice for fairness sake. Spread the word if you wish, because I definitely don’t mind!

[Prayer Request] Suzaku puked and my 160GB external Obelisk may potentially be dead

I swear, sometimes I think Suzaku’s dance of death is happening now sometimes… About a week ago, a stress fracture appeared on the left corner of my laptop around (ironically) the hard drive and left speaker. Then yesterday, I somehow tracted a zombie-like virus on my computer that basically tore my C:\ in Windows to shreds in real time, while I was trying to make a hasty attempt to back-up my essential data.

I managed to redo another clean install of Windows XP Media Center Edition and reconfigure Suzaku to it’s proper specification, so that’s no issue. The issue is, somehow my 160GB external hard drive named “Obelisk” has a corrupted partition table and that’s quite the predicament ’cause I cannot read a damn thing on there.

Maczimus was more than kind enough to help me as much as he could, but ultimately that would lead to one prognosis… Crack off the plastic encasing using “blunt force trauma”, plug it to a computer desktop tower, use chkdisk and other tools to try to force a repair on the partition table, salvage as much possible data as can be gotten, then reimage the drive with NTFS or EXT3, and lastly to retoss the data back on to the drive.

For once, (pardon my crude language) I am holding cooler than I normally would with a situation like this… Normally, I’d go into a bit of a panick… but at the same time, I am not scared at the moment. It’d be nice to salvage the data, but I won’t be too upset if I can’t. The good news is that my tiny window got a little bigger ’cause HDTune says the drive is in good health as far as sectors go. The only problem is the damned partition tables.

If anyone could, send me a prayer or drop a comment in hopes that I do have a chance to salvage the data.

[For Sale] PSP and DS packages!

If you have read some of my recent posts or spoken to me personally… You will know that I am going through some hard financial times. This has caused me to start looking into pawning two of my most cherished items… my Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. I have loved the great times I have had when friends or my ex bailed on me that I burned on it, but with working, fighting with my family, and having to finance my own automotive repairs… I have little alternative but to try this.

I’ll leave this post up for a while before I update again and possibly take it to Craigslist and/or Facebook Marketplace. Anyone who wants to prop me or spread the word would be greatly appreciated.

I do not wish to break the packages apart, it’s so that I don’t have a game or system laying around. Please just humor a poor guy and don’t inquire if I am selling a game or system alone. These are great for someone who wants one or the other but doesn’t want to wonder which games are good versus which games just flat out suck.

Pictures can be furnished on request, but bear in mind… I just have my phone as a camera so they may not be the best looking images.

Package 1: Sony PSP

  • System: Piano black Sony PSP Slim with Firmware 3.71
  • System has no dead pixels and screen has had a protector since day 1.
  • Premium zipper case with strap and bag clip
  • 512mb Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • Official Sony PSP HD TV Output Cables
  • Game: Final Fantasy VII – Crisis Core
  • Game: Patapon
  • Game: Castlevania – Dracula X Chronicles
  • Game: Metal Slug Anthology
  • Game: Guilty Gear Judgment
  • Game: Need for Speed – Carbon – “Own the City”
  • Price – $300 or best offer

Package 2: Nintendo DS

  • System: Black Nintendo DS
  • System has minor cosmetic scratches, screens have a little bit of scratches, fully functional.
  • Official Nintendo premium black leather zip-up case
  • Game: Big Brain Academy
  • Game: Cooking Mama
  • Game: Tetris DS
  • Game: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
  • Game: The Legend of Zelda – Phantom Hourglass
  • Price: $220 or best offer

Seeking Assistance – Anyone good with laptop processor temps?

So I have been expressing my concerns with my processor temps… With the help of Maczimus, I would try to analyze things from the Windows side with how much gaming I have been up to lately. (Blame cousin Sol and people bailing on plans with me for that…) I downloaded CPU-Z and CPUID Hardware monitor to do some data logging on temperatures.

I will establish some base lines and update this post later today with new data I can find.

Baseline measurements will be from the initial start-up temperature of 40C. Hardware fans not active unless indicated.

With the Cooler Master Notepal running
Idle: 47C
Minimal Activity (Web, IM): 51C
Heavy Load (Games, YouTube): 59C – 60C with hardware fan finally kicking on low speed.

Without the Notepal on, but on the cooler
Idle: 49C
Minimal Activity: 55C, but reduced to 44C for a short time when hardware fan kicks up on low speed (2,900rpm)
Heavy Load: 59C with fan running at 2,900rpm

3 Hours

So my personal life is eroding my sleep again. I hit the hay ’round 3am and well… I couldn’t sleep around 6am. Something very serious and important to me happened which has almost drained the life force out of me. I don’t think I am in the healthiest state of mind to be humanly functioning. I try not to share too much of my personal matters save for my health and training here, as I don’t think people would care much…

Some of you who read regularly, you may already know what’s going on…

For those who wish to help, drop me a line and maybe I can muster the strength to talk.

All I can say is that I am putting up a plea of help here. Everything is turning into a blur with my personal life and I just can’t put a hand on it. I could use encouraging words, advice, or even just a kind and listening ear right now. Be it a phone call, text message, e-mail, instant message… I could just use something to try to help me power through my day today.

I try not to ask for so much from my friends, because I fear that I am a bother… For once, I could really use some help, strength, and support. I just don’t think that I can rationally function at all currently and I am willing to take whatever help anyone is willing to provide.