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01
Jan
10

Lenovo 联想 Thinkpad SL410 Ownership Review and Comments

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Specifications as ordered

  • SL410 (Model type 2842-CTO)
  • 14.1 in LCD 1366×768
  • Intel Core2Duo T6670
  • 4GB DDR3 1066 MHz Dual Channel (came with 1 stick of 2GB)
  • 6 cell
  • Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
  • USB ports x4 (1 back, 1 left combined with eSATA, 2 right)
  • eSATA port x1
  • DVD writer
  • HDMI x1
  • VGA x1
  • SDHC slot x1
  • Integrated webcam
  • Express card slot x1

 

$580 + 50 CAD taxes included

Ownership ~1 week

 

Comments

Thermals

  • CPU runs cool enough for fan to be off most of the time, in the range of 39-45 degrees Celsius during normal operation.
  • Temperatures do not exceed 55 degrees Celsius under load after undervolting.
  • Not uncomfortable to keep on lap even under operation.

Performance

  • Boot time into functional Windows 7 x64 is approximately 1 minute.

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Build Quality

  • Chassis is plastic and rigid, but does move and creek slightly under pressure. LCD hinge opens to maximum of about 140 degrees.
  • LCD screen is gloss with decent viewing angles. High range of brightness control available.
  • LCD hinge feels solid, and screen experiences almost no flex
  • No latch on LCD  lid, but laptop with screen closed is firm not
  • Plastic feels a bit cheap to touch, does not feel like a quality product
  • Chassis is a hollow, leading to good thermals but could really have been made thinner
  • Big power plug that secures well to the laptop
  • No key flex, but keys feel mushy

Acoustics

  • Keyboard is quiet to type on
  • Some hard drive chatter can be heard even with fan off, but is relatively quiet during seek
  • Fan is off most of the time
  • Fan is loud even at lowest setting, but it is rarely on

Gallery

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17
Nov
09

Windows 7 Aero Glass Streak Tweak

This small tweak removes the faint glass steaklines in Windows Aero in all glassed areas including the taskbar.

Expected Results

Before

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After

image 

How

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Go to your registry and edit the DWORD32-bit entry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM\

ColorizationGlassReflectionIntensity

Set the value to “0”, then restart your Aero. (Default hex value 32, decimal value 50)

To do that, I switched to Vista basic and switch back to my Aero theme. Alternately type these run the following lines in a command prompt (not case sensitive):

NET STOP UxSms
NET START UxSms

Other Notes

My window color sliders

image

From reading comments at AskVG:

http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-window-borders-blur-in-windows-7/

01
Nov
09

Nanami Themepack for Windows 7 (+ Corrected Version)

There has been a moe themepack for Windows 7 floating around featuring various Windows sound effects.

The theme originates from a limited edition of Windows 7 sold in Japan. This pack includes 3 wallpapers, and most of the sound effects as voiced by Mizuki Nana (水樹奈々). More information about the pack itself in Wikipedia, and on Akiba blog.

Here’s preview of all the sounds on Youtube. This was mirrored from NicoNico:

Well I tried it out for a while now, but then today realized that the one being distributed actually has a mistake in it. The person who packaged the themepack swapped the USB connect and disconnect sounds. To fix this, you can either modify your downloaded themepack.

Download a repackaged version here (expires 1 year from last download).

If you want a manual fix, you have to do is swap the filenames of ‘device disconnect.wav’ and ‘device connect.wav’ under the themepack’s folder under your local user folder.

After the fix:
Device (USB) Disconnnect is supposed to be:
ぁ、つながったよ (a, tsunagatta yo) -> a, it’s connected
Device (USB) Connnect is supposed to be:
ヌいても大丈夫だよ (nuite mo daijoubu da yo) -> it’s okay to disconnect

If this link does expire, you can most likely just download it from a Google search for "nanami themepack"

 

More resources:

http://ascii.jp/elem/000/000/470/470187/

31
Oct
09

Fixing MP3 Metadata (id3 tags) on Windows

I have had a lot of issues with MP3 metadata (title, artist, album) not displaying properly in Foobar2000 and Windows XP. Either it would not read at all, or the tag would be unreadable characters (in the case of alternate language MP3 tags such as Japanese tags on my English Windows installation). For example, sometimes it turns weird like this (Foobar2000 screwed this up in my case):

image

 

This ‘metadata’ stored in id3 format. From Wikipedia:

ID3 is a metadata container most often used in conjunction with the MP3 audio file format. It allows information such as the title, artist, album, track number, and other information about the file to be stored in the file itself.

Windows (even Windows 7) and Window Media Player don’t handle id3v2.4 tags. If you have any MP3 that is written in 2.4, Windows has troubles reading it. More information on Wikipedia here. You also have different encodings you can save the tag in, which messes with tags saved in different languages.

 

To fix the problem of MP3 metadata not displaying properly, download MP3tag to rewrite the mp3 ID3 tags. MP3tag is a MP3 metadata editor that does this very well.

MP3Tag Usage and Settings

You have to make sure you have the following settings in MP3tag Options:

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After applying these settings, navigate to the directory with the MP3s with the bad ID3 tags. You will then see something similar to the following screen:

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Now you simply need to save over the tags for every file. You can either do it one by one, or just hit ‘Edit –> Select All’ (Ctrl-A)

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Notice that the save icon on the left of the toolbar (just below the File menu) is now clickable. Click it (keyboard Ctrl-S) to save the tags. Now you can see the tags in Windows and most of your other applications. Here is everything working in Windows Explorer and Foobar2000:

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(Demonstrated under Windows XP English with Foobar2000 v0.9.6.9 and MP3tag 2.4.4)

28
Oct
09

Enabling AHCI On Windows 7 Post Install

Enabling AHCI enables NCQ (Native command queuing) and faster multi-tasking response. See this article describing why you should use AHCI instead.

So when you do get a chance in do a fresh install of Windows 7, check your BIOS to make sure that AHCI is enabled to save yourself the headache of having to play around with it later.

Manually Enabling AHCI

This is for people who forget to enable AHCI on their Windows 7 install and want to enable it after to improve hard drive performance.

If you enable AHCI in bios after installing your Windows 7 in IDE mode, it wont boot. Since Windows 7 already has the drivers built in, you have tell it to enable the drivers since they will be off if you installed in IDE mode.

These are values exported from directly from my registry. Windows 7 RTM 64 bit only. Copy into text file and import, then restart computer and enable AHCI in BIOS before Windows boots. This is supposed to enable the built in Windows 7 AHCI driver.

To modify this for a 32 bit install, change the value of “DriverPackageID” to “mshdc.inf_x86_neutral_3f3676f4c0e7d884”

Source: Windows 7 Forums and my own Windows 7 install
Relevant Microsoft KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

BELOW IS THE CONTENTS OF THE EXPORTED REG FILE:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci]
"Start"=dword:00000000
"Type"=dword:00000001
"ErrorControl"=dword:00000003
"ImagePath"=hex(2):73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,44,00,\
52,00,49,00,56,00,45,00,52,00,53,00,5c,00,6d,00,73,00,61,00,68,00,63,00,69,\
00,2e,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,00,00
"Group"="SCSI Miniport"
"DriverPackageId"="mshdc.inf_amd64_neutral_a69a58a4286f0b22"
"Tag"=dword:00000040

26
Oct
09

Running Alternate Language Apps Using pAppLocale on Windows

Confirmed to work on Windows Seven 64-bit! Should work for WIndows Vista and XP too.

You’d figure that Microsoft would have ironed out these language issues by now. But the program is still in Windows Seven.

You can use a patched version of AppLocale located here:

piaip at ntu csie (In Chinese)

If you don’t know Chinese, the direct link to the modified AppLocale is located here:
http://www.csie.ntu.edu.tw/%7Epiaip/papploc.msi
(I didn’t want to directly link to the file. Link works as of Oct 26, 2009)

Anyways just install it like you would any other MSI file, and use it exactly like the official AppLocale from your WIndows XP install.

Now you can launch AppLocale from your start menu and make a shortcut to run the application in your selected language. Sorry for the Chinese screens, but your screens will be identical anyways:

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Manual Method

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My original Japanese language program was located at:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\SmileDownloader\SmileDownloader.exe"
The modified shortcut link is now:
C:\Windows\AppPatch\AppLoc.exe "C:\Program Files (x86)\SmileDownloader\SmileDownloader.exe" "/L0411"
You can replace the file path with your target file. The 4 digit number (0411) after the “/L” switch is the language key.
0411 – Japanese

0412 – Korean

0404 – Traditional Chinese

0804 – Simplified Chinese
Of course, the location of AppLoc.exe may differ if your Windows was not installed on C: drive.

Result

Before

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After

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Right Click Context Menus Addon

There are also guides to add this to your right-click context menu. Here are some guides for this (as well as additional information about this method):

http://www.hongfire.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1485430&postcount=1

http://alcahest.perso.sfr.fr/perso/apploc/applocale.html

Or just Google “Applocale right click context menus” for more help.

Cheers

24
Oct
09

Playing Around FLStudio – Two Songs

Made 2 songs using FLStudio. Took a while. Fun program. Still couldn’t get it to sound like what I wanted. I though I was going to make happy songs.

Both songs loop quite well too. I have the encoded MP3s on my computer…

Detrimental


Started playing around with a complicated drum beat then added instruments. Very difficult to time because my drum pattern was too complicated. Violin is actually not perfectly on timing but it is pretty close. Turned out pretty depressing. Wrote rap lyrics to boot:

Why this boy’s stirring up all these emotions
Well he’s just overthinking about his condition
About this ugly mess he got himself in
Like how he don’t like his life this situation he’s in

Still he\s just sitting here, n he’s still not movin’
In front of the computer pointlessly staring
Detrimental behavior he make no progress
He’ll soon feel regret, I’ll sure suggest

Right now he’s taking on the path of abolition
But he knows that this leads to his destruction
Awaken now from your disillusion
And work for the good of your salvation

Drizzling Rain


Try to do more of a rock beat this time. It worked to some extent.
Started with a drum beat and built it up. Added rain effects to it too




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