Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Microsoft (not so) security essentials

Today I started being re-directed to random sites when using Google search. Immediately this started ringing alarm bells... I'm on a new Windows 7 install and previously was using Avast (paid for). As I hadn't got the license file off of my Dad and was being a bit lazy I just installed Microsoft security essentials which I had not had an issue with before.

I was running fine for about a week until these Google issues today.... I eventually found a strange program sitting in the startup section of msconfig. I tried to open MS security essentials but it kept closing immediately. I removed the AV and installed the free version of Avast. This picked up the virus straight away and dealt with it so I'm already impressed. Then started a boot time scan just to double check everything was sorted and it was.

Once back up I put back on the paid license and all was good.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Motorola Xoom and slow updates.

So Ice Cream Sandwhich has been out for the Xoom in the US for about a week now and still no sign of a worldwide / UK release. It's so frustrating when this happens. We live in global times....

Still for anyone looking to get ICS on there Xoom there are unofficial ROM's you can use although rooting your device will invalidate the warranty.

See link for the Team Eos ROM:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1400958

Thursday, 19 January 2012

IPv6 - The live date is set!

Google have a new article on IPv6 and a go live date for them here:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/ipv6-countdown-to-launch.html

To see the Internet societies dedicated page, visit: http://www.worldipv6launch.org/
It'll be nice to see what some of the major UK ISP's announce in the run up.

It'll be a good time to be a newly qualified CCNA / CCNP engineer I think.

Crucial M4 important firmware update

So there is appartly a critical update for Crucial M4 SSD's

For more info see:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5424/crucial-provides-a-firmware-update-for-m4-to-fix-the-bsod-issue

To get the update and for instructions on how to apply it, see here:

http://www.crucial.com/uk/support/firmware.aspx

Friday, 13 January 2012

Shuttle SP35P2 Bios and memory configuration

The Shuttle SP35P2 Bios and memory configuration isn't exactly easy if you want to use your memory at 1066Mhz. Mainly because the memory sticks are usually only tested to the 1600 speed, but built to slower 800Mhz specification at which the motherboard will recognise it!

Here is the description on my Kingston Hyper X memory:

DESCRIPTION
Kingston’s KHX8500D2K2/4G is a kit of two 256M x 64-bit 
2GB (2048MB) DDR2-1066 CL5 SDRAM (Synchronous 
DRAM) memory modules, based on sixteen 128M x 8-bit 
DDR2 FBGA components per module. Total kit capacity is 
4GB (4096MB). Each module pair has been tested to run at 
DDR2-1066MHz at a latency timing of 5-5-5-15 at 2.2V. The 
SPD is programmed to JEDEC standard latency 800Mhz 
timing of 5-5-5-18 at 1.8V. Each 240-pin DIMM uses gold 
contact fingers and requires +1.8V. The electrical and mechanical specifications are as follows  


So in the shuttle bios you need to up the voltage to 2.2v and set the values manually. I found the ratio to use was a 2:1 FSB with my Core 2 Duo Quad Q6700 (This will vary depending on your CPU and Rated FSB)

Monday, 9 January 2012

New freeware page!

I've created a new freeware page here where I'm going to list loads of useful programs I use. Given that I was doing a new install of the operating system, I've been having to load them all on my machine so I thought it'd be good to have a repository handy. It's not massively fleshed out yet but the core essentials are in there for now.

Enjoy!

Comments on my new gadgets!

So I've actually been busy with lots of new techy toys over the holiday period. My two favourites would have to be my new Sennheiser HD 558's which were totally unexpected from my girlfriend for Christmas. The second item being a solid-state drive
 
The headphones sound quality is immense! When I first realised they were open-backed I was a little worried about disturbing people but I don't actually listen to music that loudly it seems. Also I do like the fact that you can somewhat hear what's going on around you. I'll usually pick these if i'm listening to music and then switch to the Logitech G930's for gaming. 

The only negative I can think of for them is that they have a twist and lock cable release but it seems the only other cable you can buy is the

same one. As this comes with a 6.3mm jack and not a 3.5mm one it makes it very bulky for travelling (if you want to). I think I tried every Sennheiser parts dealer there is and those closest I got was part: '091581 - 1 x HD 200 Cable 3m jack 2.5mm to 3.5mm jack'. Unfortunately this 2.55mm jack does not fit and the sheath and metal base is too thick. The only real options I can think of are to make one or get someone like http://www.custom-cable.co.uk/ to make one for me (expensive).
I got the SSD because I'd been dying to get my hands on a performance one for ages! The results are impressive! Game load times are noticeably shorter and everything feels a lot more responsive. I've noticed it in only a few days going back and forth to work and using their PC's which are pretty new and decent spec workstation machines themselves. Make sure you have the latest firmware on the M4's as they give you a performance gain! 

With the Logitech items, The G510 keyboard, G930 headset and the G700 mouse. All are top notch and come with that accustomed Logitech quality feel. I like the palm rest on the G510 which is really understated as I saw no mention of it before purchase. I did have a issue with the apps for the display on the G510 at first. I seemed to have to install the legacy software first before the newer keyboard software which was a bit strange. 

The red light on the tip of the mic is really good on the G930's and I also like the desk stand / charger that comes with the G700, much better than Logitech's previous mouse charging methods!