2011 — 20 December: Tuesday

One doesn't want to get too geeky about this1 but — before I turn in for a few hours of sleep — I've just found a neat little graphic contrasting my three most recent power CPUs. It gives some idea of the relative performance of the new BlackBeast (with its Intel i7 2600K), the original BlackBeast (with its six-core AMD Phenom II) and the dinky laptop I bought yesterday (with its Intel i5 2430M):

Performance 1


It had crossed...

... my mind yesterday to put Ubuntu on to the laptop. However, following some of the links from the overnight Ubuntu newsletter (and bearing in mind the wrangles I had had with some of the laptop's hardware drivers2 for Win7 Pro) I think I may have dodged a bullet or two. (Random example.)

Time (08:25) for my next pre-breakfast cuppa, methinks. [Pause] And to skim this fascinating book review on how NASA spacesuits were made.

Before you know it...

... I've nipped out on a supplies run, popped the Yaris back on its snug nest (not that my garage is particularly snug), had me some "lemonses" and now await a flying visit from Brian to get a 10m hdmi lead and to return a CD tribute to the great Humph. I shall delay lunch until he's been. Meanwhile, I think yesterday's laptop PC is now just about fully populated with the minimal set of programs I want on it. Its performance is actually quite respectable:

Performance 2

I've just tried out a DVD on it — I note the VideoLan VLC player currently sports an Xmas festive hat atop the traffic cone icon.

I only realised...

... how long it had been since I last bought a DVD when I also realised that I had not yet re-installed the Invelos DVD Profiler software that I use to populate the collection you can find here. So, another short game of "hunt the licence key" preceded, in this case, by the ever-popular "what user name did I give them when I registered?" and the perennial "what password did I use?" There are times when the online world can be very aggravating.

A chap needs music

"Boom" may lack a random / shuffle play facility, but it's so easy to use and navigate, who's complaining?

A chap needs video, too

But, so far, all attempts to connect BlackBeast to the A/V system with my lovely new 10m hdmi lead have yielded only audio, not video.3 Unless you count the tasteful bright green screen that I've learned the hard way is how the Kuro plasma seems to respond to input it doesn't like. I'm still blaming the horrible hdcp somewhere along the signal chain.

While I've got the hdmi lead plugged into the graphics card, the 'Screen Resolution' subsection of the Control Panel shows me both the Dell 24" screen and the presence of another device identified as IAG repeater which (I'm fairly sure) is the AudioLab's spare hdmi input, but the video is obviously not getting as far as the plasma display. Nor does connecting the lead into a spare input directly on the screen produce any better result, though it does at least manage to identify it as "Pioneer". But it also upsets the desktop back at BlackBeast.

Convergence of hi-def TV and PC? Don't make me laugh!



1  It could damage my reputation, after all.
2  The network adapter, the wireless gubbins, and the display capabilities were all deficient after the initial Win7 Pro had settled into its new home. Since I've never previously contended with a separate CD stuffed full of drivers it wasn't until I examined the little yellow warning flags in the device manager display that I realised the Win7 SP1 DVD-ROM was missing some of the code needed. I had obviously been lulled into a false sense of security by the initial install I did of the 'Ultimate' edition a year ago. There hadn't been a single h/w issue on BlackBeast and, of course, the re-install by Novatech a couple of weeks ago concealed any such from me. I'm guessing laptop h/w is still not quite so mainstream.
3  Oddly, when I eventually got my desktop back, all the windows that had been full height were reset to a height that suggested they were now 1,080 pixels rather than 1,200 pixels.