Thursday, December 27, 2012

Days, numbered.

My support for Windows xp will officially end sometime in 2013. Why? I will be acquiring a new keyboard. At which point WinXP mode will be uninstalled for my desktop and notebook PC's. The reason for needing XP? Yamaha's XG player only supports XP. The keyboard in question supports 7. In case you were wondering what I'm getting: a PSR-E433. Review coming as soon as I get it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lesson learned...

I found out tonight that dollar store batteries suck! Case in point: I have an old cassette player which I'm currently using to digitise my one and only audiocassette and after only 1, yes, 1 song the batteries said, and I quote, "screw this, we're done!" It seems that modern batteries are not designed to run older devices. I'll be right back, just gotta find where I put a 3 volt power adapter...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rant time!

I have a Hitachi-LG Blu-Ray-RE drive in my desktop. I was trying to install the utilities that came with the drive. Now, my drive was set to drive "F:". The friggin' software would not install. I installed them on my notebook no problem. I changed the drive letter to "D:". Installed properly. WHY THE FUCK CAN'T THE GODDAMN UTILITY DO A DRIVE SCAN TO INSTALL?!?! I was about to apply, with great force and much speed, my head onto my desk!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review time!

I got the Game Broadcaster HD a while ago and it works a treat. I digitized all of my VHSs with it. Now, all I have to do is get my switcher working, then I will have a complete A/V rig.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I shall call him...MiniMe

I got a new notebook for my birthday 8 days ago. Quite frankly, it. is. awesome. It is a Lenovo ThinkPad T400, Machine Type 2767AK4. This thing has all the bells and whistles I'd like on a notebook. Bluetooth, WiFi, and a whole gaggle of I/O to shake a stick at. What really makes this machine a real power house is my CardBus/ExpressCard combo slot. I can use whatever the hell I want to. About the Bluetooth, in my opinion, Bluetooth should be mandatory on a notebook. My old 3000 N100 did not. Storage: I plan on acquiring an adapter to put another hard drive into where my ODD is. My ODD happens to be SATA where as the N100 was PATA, so no adapters were available. I also plan on putting another stick of RAM into it to take it up to 4 GB from 2. What really caught my eye is the fingerprint scanner, a nifty feature to have in this day and age. All in all not a bad little machine. I think this computer will serve me well for about 4-5 years.

Friday, August 17, 2012


My projects calendar has been wiped clean. That bucket of stuff in my last post now this:
The Front

The back. Sorry about the blurrycam.

The bottom.
Now time to relax!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012


My switcher is finally done. The next step is testing and debugging.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back in business...

I just picked up a new soldering iron. Will resume work on the switcher shortly!


My soldering iron crapped out! Gotta wait until RadioShack opens to get a new one!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Goin' Oldschool...

My old wireless keyboard and mouse setup works all right, but since I will be building another PC around an older motherboard, I figured going with good old PS/2. Both PCs have PS/2 and the OS that's going on the older PC might not support USB HIDs, it makes sense that I go PS/2 and not worry about drivers.

From my dead fingers you will pry!

I got spoiled when listening to MIDIs on Yamaha XG hardware. When I moved to Win7 the softsynth drivers would not install. So, I remembered Win7 has the ability to install WinXP mode. That got me thinking, if I install the softsynth drivers in XP mode, and XP mode programs show themselves to Win7. Could I open my MIDI collection in 7 and send them to XP mode? How about, YES. I finally have my XG sounds under 7 and I am happy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

That was no fun!

I reinstalled Windows 7 on my PC after installing Windows 8 Preview. Let me tell you it SUXXoRD! I had to run certain programs either in compatibility mode or as administrator. If I installed BlueSoleil, the Gods forbid, would completely kill 8. So, I reinstalled 7, now my programs should in theory run better. Hope Microsoft kills the bugs in 8.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My findings

I originally planned on doing a YouTube video, but decided against it. So, here goes: This SuperSpeed USB panel connects to a PCIExpress slot via a cable.

Motherboard to device adapter

Cable end to adapter

Now how this device is PCIExpress compliant is something I don't know. I do not have access to the PCIExpress specifications. The four port "hub" is connected by the aforementioned cable. The ends of the cable strangely say "USB 3.0" as no USB signals travel over it.

The controller package says the manufacturer is "VLI" but according to my PC, the manufacturer is "VIA". I have not been able to find any datasheet for the USB controller. The part number is VL800-Q8. If someone finds any info about this controller, please let me know.

The card reader part uses an Alcor Micro AU6477 flash memory controller. I could not find a specific datasheet for it but found one for the '75. I assume the '77 is just a revision that supports SDXC, and the pinouts are the same between the two.

The card reader was transplanted from my old frame into the new, but I had to do some cutting of the front faceplate to put everything back into alignment
As for data transfer rates go, I shall see as soon as I get a SuperSpeed thumbdrive. Pardon the blurry images, as I was using my phone to take the images, I will be getting a proper camera sometime this year.

Friday, May 25, 2012


I just ordered a curious little device on the world's favourite internet superstore for cheap stuff DealExtreme. Now this thing totally confuses the finarkus out of me. Why? I'll tell you. A SuperSpeed USB controller card has 2 ports on it like my MoBo. You keen-eyed netizens will note that the device has 4. How the manufacturer managed to pull that off with 4 ports is beyond me. When it arrives, I shall summarily and without prejudice do a teardown video and post it on YouTube with my findings. Happy Hacking, folks. Keep your iron hot, and your solder leaded!

Friday, March 30, 2012


My switcher project has stalled way too long. I have an update after a long wait. I finally mounted the switch chips on headers for mounting onto some strip board I am yet to get. Progress is being made but very slowly.