5/02/2009

05-02-09 - Are you fucking kidding me -

I finally got my HTPC working with S3 sleep. It's pretty easy actually, you just set it in the BIOS, and then there's a Windows setting you have to do. I kept it simple and just disabled all USB-wake options, which can apparently cause some problems.

For those out of the loop S3 Sleep for desktops is just like the good way that laptops have been sleeping forever - it turns off everything except your RAM. The normal S1 Sleep for desktops is pretty retarded because fans and disks and such keep running; what's the point of that?

Anyway, everything was working fine and I was all happy, until I noticed my volume control stops working after a sleep. So I went to the M-Audio web page and found :

Sleep (Hibernation) Mode
Text size [-] [+]

Q: Can I use sleep or hibernation mode with my M-Audio device?

A: M-Audio does not support sleep mode with any of its devices. The ability to re-establish a connection with a 3rd party device driver after waking from sleep or hibernation mode is system dependent. Because of this, M-Audio recommends setting your computer to never go to sleep. Instead, it is recommended that you turn off your monitor, or completely power off the computer. If your M-Audio device is not working after waking from sleep mode, restart your computer to re-establish a connection with the device.

!? WTF !? Friggle frack fucking douchebag morons. It just blows my mind how so many people think it's okay to be like "oh yeah our stuff is totally broken, that's a known feature and we're not going to fix it". WTF. How can you sleep at night? (See also 1 , 2 , 3 )


In better news on the HTPC front, I finally got the AMD Cool & Quiet working, and it's actually pretty awesome. You have to install the latest AMD Processor Driver, and then set your power scheme to "Minimal" and it automatically kicks in. You can also run the AMD Processor Monitor to watch your MHz go up and down.

That on its own doesn't do a whole lot for you, but I also got the variable fan speeds working. I'm running two 120 mm Scythe quiet fans that are supposed to run super slow. I had one of them plugged in the "NB Fan" power plug, and I had another plugged directly to the power supply, dunno why I did that. Turns out on my Gigabyte mobo, it does fan speed stepping if you plug them in to "CPU Fan" and "SYS Fan" power plugs on the mobo. Now both of them are running super slow all the time and the whole thing is super quiet.

I still have a slight whir from the machine, which I think is the PSU fan, so some day I may have to replace that. I also noticed while I was in there that the whole machine is absolutely jammed full of dust even though its only 6 months old. A computer sitting in a living room with fans running all the time is basically an air filter, it's sucking all the dust in the room right through its central cavity. Then it gets stuck in the fans and they get loud.

... oh and I also finally took care of the damn "alt key getting stuck" problem. I just wrote a program to look for alt being down and to send an alt-up-down itself. It just uses GetAsyncKeyState to check for keys being down then uses SendInput to toggle them. BTW while I was in there I discovered VkKeyScan, MapVirtualKey, and ToAscii which I somehow didn't know about and can be useful for eg. converting between ascii and VK codes.


In other news I was thinking about playing another action-RPG video game. I can't run anything newer than like 2005 or so, nor can I run any console games. I tried Morrowind a while ago, but the graphics just look like ass to me. I really find 3d unbearably ugly 99% of the time, I'd much rather have painted backgrounds. I've played all the old Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate games; ideally I'd find something like that.

I might try Dungeon Siege again; I played it when it came out and thought it was ass. Also there's this new one "Titan Quest" but it might push the graphics too hard for my old lappy.

7 comments:

Tom Forsyth said...

You almost certainly want to play Fallout 3.

Tom Forsyth said...

Oh, wait - I missed the bit where your computer was powered by gerbils and twine. Never mind.

cbloom said...

BTW I don't even use the fast computer at work. It compiles like 5X faster than my lappy, but it's just not worth it. Having all my settings and all my installed apps and hotkeys and all the files I want and everything on this old lappy is way more valuable than anything new hardware could give me.

ryan said...

So let me see... You want to play games. But not on a console, and not on a modern computer... I'm not sure I know of any games that run on an abacus.

blackpawn said...

the game you're looking for is 'guild wars'. ill give you a copy if you're strapped for cash. :)

guardian said...

welcome to the club!

I'm a happy(?) owner of an EMU1212M audio card (not exactly the cheapo one at the time I bought it)

I discovered there were issues with S3 suspend under Vista so I contacted their technical support and here is the lovely answer I got:

"Please understand that we don't just update
our drivers or PatchMix simply because a few people have issues or just because a few months have gone by. Any further driver development will not likely include any fix for sleep or hibernate issues as they not considered a priority of engineering resources"

The damn driver has been released on 5/16/2008 and is certainly holding handles to threads (ProcessExplorer hint hint) which makes it impossible to be killed. So when the computer comes back from sleep mode, there is no sound anymore, I just have to reboot. Anyway...

Seth Godin wrote "The only reason to answer the phone when a customer calls is to make the customer happy." -- I definitely think it applies to customer support of any sort. The answer I got from the EMU support guy mostly translates to "Look, if it's not in the FAQ or if the driver hasn't been updated yet, there is not way I'm going to do something about it because it means I actually have to work beyond tweaking the template to answer your email. Sincerely, the lazy clueless guy at tech support" :)

cbloom said...

Yeah, it's a totally outrageous attitude. I encourage everyone to boycott M-Audio, though it's not a rare attitude these days.

All I want is stereo sound output with low noise that *works*. In general with everything I buy I generally want very basic functionality, and I'm willing to pay a premium for things that are quality and just work with no trouble. It doesn't seem to exist. Everything is jam packed with features I don't want, the basic quality is poor, and then they just don't work.

BTW blackpawn, I actually bought guild wars just to spite WoW ; it's pretty terrible IMO. Technically it's fine, but the world is just really boring and the whole game felt like pointless exp gathering. It has no vision, no soul.

old rants