Archive for August, 2006

Pentium D CPUs are HOT!

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

My first impression of the Pentium D CPU is “wow, this is HOT!”

Literally I mean it. With the stock heatsink and fan (HS&F) , the CPU is running at 57 degree Celsius at idle! My previous Pentium 4 only goes up to 45 even at full load (with a Zalman HS&F).

I was scared by this high CPU temperature and did a google search right away. All I found is that everyone is complaining about that. Man, that’s why Intel made the Core 2 Duo chips, which consumes 40% less energy and yet performs 40% faster!

Anyway, I decided to get an aftermarket CPU HS&F and found this Cooler Master one. It is not as big as some popular ones, so I can easily fit it in the Antec case with the cool air intake tube attached.

The inital temperature drop was about 8 degrees at 49 degree at idle and 54 at full load. By pressing the heatsink several times after installing a new hard drive, magically the temperature dropped another 6 degrees to 43 idle. The reason I think comes from the thermal grease pre-applied on this heatsink. I suspect that if I change it to something better, the temperature would drop even more.

I heard a 10 degree drop in CPU temperature will double the CPU’s time span, so the investment in a good heatsink and fan is well worth it.

Talking about hot, I just found out that my PowerMac G5 CPUs are running at 85 degrees most of the time! Think about this, it is with liquid cooling! You can definitely boil eggs on them! :P

Source control using subversion on Apple Mac OS X Tiger

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Although I am not a programmer, in many occasions, I found myself in the position of writing all kinds of codes. Programming is actually quite fun, ‘coz making things work makes me happy :P

However, several months ago, my work computer had a power surge while a LABVIEW code was running. The program got trashed due to a bug in LABVIEW! I had a backup, but it was from several months earlier. This event made me think what I should do to prevent such things happen again. One thing is to do backups more often, and the other solution is to set up source code control, so that I can track all the changes, etc.

Anyway, I looked into setting up SVN on the Mac, and the following documentation from Apple’s website turns out to be very useful.

Float’s Mobile Agent 2

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

If you have a SONY-Ericsson cell phone, definitely you should take a look at this software: FMA.

With an USB bluetooth dongle, I managed to connect a T616 phone to my PC using FMA software. You should upload images or ringtones to the phone, and even games. Using this method, I have installed several JAVA games onto the T616, including a poker game :)

Anyway, another cool thing FMA can do is to use the joystick on your cell phone to control softwares running on your PC. Imagine your cell phone as a remote to pause a movie, or navigate through your PowerPoint presentations. It is way cool! Try it out. For me, the bluetooth wireless connection works quite well.

New PowerHouse for home

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Four years ago, I assembled my home computer with Pentium 4 1.8GHz CPU and MSI 845G MAX Motherboard. It is a great desktop which has put up with all my abuses during the years.
Although I love my aging computer, recently I found quite irritated by the time I need to wait for some new applications to launch and the slow response. With all the cheap dual-core CPUs out on the market, I figured it is time for an upgrade.
Considering that I need a CPU that can handle mostly everyday tasks from email to office, plus testing out several operation systems like the Mac OS X (x86), I decided to go with the Intel Pentium D, which has the intel virtualization technology (VT) built-in.

Here is the configuration of my new Powerhouse:

Pentium D 940 3.2GHz Dual Core
Intel D945GNT motherboard
1GB DDR2 4200 Memory
Onboard Intel GMA 950 Graphics
Onboard Sigmatel 9223 Audio
Onboard Gigabit LAN
Onboard 1394a Firewire
300GB ATA + 300GB SATA + 320GB ATA RAID 0
16x DVD+/-RW
Cooler Master UFO Bearing CPU Cooling Fan
Antec SLK1650B Case

Data migration from my old computer has now been finished, and as a test, I installed OS X 10.4.7 and it runs really fast. Woohoo! My toy for the next four years!