Thursday, February 24, 2005

Picked up some new games | looking though baseball card collection

Hey, did you know I was a baseball card collector before I got my first videogame? Astonishing isn’t it? I had a quick look at my 4 books full of cards ranging from Upper Deck to Topps. Baseball cards aren’t worth anything now-a-days. They’re worth less than old videogames though. From my point of view baseball cards are colored cardboard that isn’t worth anything unless you sell them. I’m not going to sell my cards, but maybe hand them down instead. I was going to have a complete list of every baseball card online, but after typing every player in MS Word for three pages front and back I got tired of it and stopped. I know that I own have a few full baseball card sets. Half the collection I have is the more expensive Upper Deck kind. Upper Deck is the most expensive baseball brand and was that way for 15 years. My cousin had a baseball card collection too, but his is only half of mine. He has 2 books and I have 4 books plus a sealed package of 1996 Upper Deck MLB cards. All together I probably get $150 – I don’t know. I do know I was collecting cards from 1990 - 1996 so that’s 6 years. The cards were in the book the entire time; however, I can not prove that they were out of the book. Actually, I could sell all four books for at least $150, but I won’t because I have no need too.

I’ve installed my new hard drive in my computer today. The WinXP installation CD only could partition 133 GB of the 200 GB on the disc so I used Partition Magic 8 on it and it remade the master boot record so Windows could partition up to 187 GB and the hard drive properties dialog box thinks 60 GB used when my PC first booted up! That’s confusing. Now, I only have 125 GB to work with. I reserved 8.5 GB for a Linux partition by using Partition Magic 8. One possibility is the partition zero filled 60 GB of the hard drive! When I let Windows partition the hard drive, it partitioned the whole hard drive, but filled 32% with 0000000000.

I looked on the and saw that Sega’s upcoming 2D RPG; “Shining Tears” scored a 66% average. Yow! So instead of doing Shining Force now, I’m going to purchase Ys VI - The Ark of Napishtim that got a 77% average rating. It’s much like the old SNES role playing games, so it would most likely be bought by nostalgic gamers. There is one at Toyriffic that was talking about how he wants to own all the Japanese RPGs, and other rare videogames. I am not that nostalgic as him I am sure. They’re pricing Atari 2600 for $90! Sure, the store has good deals on current generation games, but I wouldn’t pay that much for old games even if it’s in high demand by collectors. Some of those games if the manuals are in good shape (like my N64 games), they’ll charge a ton of money of them.

So at 2:40 PM yesterday I went to get Gran Turismo 4 for $50 so I have that now. Then I went to the Toyriffic to pick up a Ys IV because I didn’t see it at Target. I don’t know if it was a rip off or not, but I bought Castlevania - Harmony of Dissonance for $40 same price as Ys. I liked Castlevania - Circle of Moon somewhat well so I bought the sequel. Circle of the Moon was my first Castlevania game. Harmony of Dissonance is my fourth Castlevania. I was thinking of getting Super Castlevania IV for Super NES, but I wasn’t too sure about it. It’s an old game and there are games I want for current generation. Although being able to own one of the most popular Super Nintendo games of all time in itself makes me want to own it someday. This game has Simon in it too. He’s been in 4 Castlevania games: Castlevania, Castlevania 2 - Simon’s Quest, Castlevania 3 – Dracula X, and Super Castlevania IV.

At home I got mad about not having friends admitting that they all alienated me. I remember in Calvin Academy I left there all those students were listening to rock music and I knew I didn’t like that stuff (until later when I started to listen to the heavy metal more often) so it took a long time to get to know some of those students. Then I left there in 10th grade and the point is I feel that everyone alienates me. But that’s a long time ago. Thinking of the past is not good. I also got a pack of 15 DVDR spindle for $11. I use them for data only unless I was going to make copies of DVDs, I don’t use them. For example for the last month it took me one month to fill up a CD with mp3s and programs. After a while I felt better about being in my room all day playing my games or doing homework.

Actually, there were some high school students that were going to play paint ball and they were in high school. I didn’t know why there were 4 cars parked by my house that’s why I was curious about it. The group left apparently.

Last night I played Castlevania - Harmony of Dissonance on the Game Boy player. You take the role of the grandson of Castlevania IV’s Simon Belmont, Juste Belmont. The guy looks dead because he’s as white as a ghost! Vampires are usually pale white which makes me think he was a vampire at one time. Ever seen the movie Blade? Sort of like Blade himself. This is my second 2D Castlevania since Circle of the Moon. So it plays like Circle of the Moon for the most part. I’m not too sure about the music, but the game play is there, and the game’s graphics even looks like Castlevania. IGN said the game play was outstanding and I agree with them a little bit otherwise I wouldn’t have purchased it. It was fun. The guy had the game beat and the boss was saved in one of the spots so I’ll just keep it that way. I have seen the end of Harmony of Dissonance. Apparently, Juste’s girlfriend got all the blood sucked out of her by the boss vampire, and Juste wants her to live again. I mean all that time he was trying to save the girl. I tried to beat the boss at the end and he kicked my ass the first time out of two tries and both times he hit me with his lace time and time again until I die. It took me 2 minutes to die, because ill-prepared and ill-skilled. His health gage was 10% depleted when I died. Like any final boss he’s hard. Apparently I can’t cheat neither because there are no codes for Harmony of Dissonance. It has a lot of color use. Looks like twice as much as Super Castlevania IV. On HoD got an average of 87%, but IGN (my most trusted review site) gave it a 92% and that’s good for a Gameboy Advance game. The graphics were a 9.0 for a GBA game.

I’m thinking I’ll be buying the videogame called Mercenaries tomorrow. Mercenaries is developed by Pandemic Studios, the same developer which made Full Spectrum Warrior for PC and Xbox. You play a Mercenary who gets paid and an arsenal of high tech weaponry to go to North Korea and doing some US SEAL’s missions except the US is paying mercenaries the cash instead of soldiers. I don’t think there are game retries; it’ll revert back to the last saved game. These ex-marines get the job done for money. They only hope to get rich by doing private missions, in this case killing General Song of the North Korean Militia. In the game, there is a lot of blowing up stuff sort of like it was in Far Cry. This game got 9.1 out of 10 with all 9s with IGN’s review. Gamespy gave Mercenaries a 100% or highest possible score

Games to add to list:

Castlevania - Harmony of Dissonance

· Mercenaries

Friday, February 18, 2005

WiMAX (802.16E) and next generation "wireless" consoles update

A virus found and asked me to close Anti-Vir so it could flood my PC with more viruses without detection. So if you see a screen like this doesn’t ever close it. It’s the virus lying to you! The most you can do is drag it under the start bar. Your antivirus didn’t crash like the dialog box is telling you.

This is the virus lying to you! Don’t do what it says or it’ll download more viruses and make matters worse. And whatever you do...don't close this window

It looks like the Xbox 360 will be backwards compatible with Xbox games. Microsoft is manufacturing a HD-DVD in it (which almost doubles the space of DL-DVD). What is also known about it is Microsoft is making a wireless or Bluetooth game controller that looks similar to “Xbox Controller S”, but losing the black & white buttons, therefore, better designed. The Xbox 360 is coming out at the end of this year, and will have both a 256 MB of RAM & 256-bit video card. The tri-core CPU will be clocking at 3.5 GHz. The console will be IEEE 802.11B wireless. Xbox 360 will not have an internal hard drive, however the other version called Xbox 360 HD will.

The PS3’s main processor will be over 4 GHz and 64-bit meaning it can do more calculations than any high end PC. The brand name of this processor is the IBM Cell. The console will have a PS2 like design, but smaller. It will support a blu-ray drive which will play blu-ray movies, and support games on CD, DVD, DL-DVD and BD. The controllers will look like the dual shock 2. The memory cards will look like PS2 memory cards, but hold more. The internal hard drive is not confirmed yet.

CELL: Yes a super computer on a chip

The Nintendo Revolution (also called the Nintendo 2 in 1) is coming out next year, and is the most shy to the digital press fearing that its ideas will be stolen by Sony and Microsoft. So far the online community knows that Revolution will be backwards compatible with Gamecube, has a Bluetooth “rubbing” grip handle and button able wireless gyroscope controller I call the Nintendo Gyro-Wavebird, and still support mini-discs (which formally has been called GOD or generic optimal disc) researched entirely by Panasonic. The latest news confirms that Revolution will be a wireless console using IEEE 802.11b technology which means it can connect to Dual Screen or another Revolution wirelessly. The wireless range is good enough for a couple rooms away (same range as NDS). The Revolution will have a decent graphics card made by ATI Technologies in Canada, but could be the least powerful console of the three next generation consoles. The CPU is not made by IBM this time around so NEC will take over. Revolution will hook up to any LCD TV or monitor with a double ended Super VGA cable.

There is something coming out called WiMAX which simple name for IEEE 802.16D and 802.16E. It’s basically a wireless Metropolitan Area Network that’ll appear around July in some parts of the world including Wisconsin. Basically the ISP puts up a huge broadcast antenna which can broadcast Internet packet-based Ethernet to a group of 30 or less people depending on each user’s subscribed through-put. It’s the least expensive wireless broadband Internet capable of 2 Megabits for each subscriber. The range is approximately 25 miles away from the source, and all the user has to do is put up an antenna similar to a UHF antenna, but much smaller. The technology is “Doppler resistant” and most likely being available for cities and towns a like. For this technology to have a longer distance there is a need for a repeater broadcast tower to enhance the signal. WiMAX greatest asset is avoiding the phone company’s problem of fixing ground cable if it’s cut. Most people can install the antenna themselves because it mounts on the inside of a garage or by a window for example. The antenna is 802.11B compatible which means there are no cables involved from the antenna to your PC or PowerPC. WiMAX is also known as “radio internet.”

New games: Xenosaga 2, Paper Mario 2, Metroid Zero Mission, Winning Eleven 8, XGRA, Street Fighter

On Tuesday, I bought a new Playstation 2 or “PStwo” instead of a PSP. My reason is I have 67 PS2 games in my collection so instead of not having a console to play it on – now I have two. I have bought a SCH31001 PS2 (NTSC v1.1) meaning it’s from the 2nd set which made it off the assembly line in early 2001. Anyways, I gathered the 150 dollars needed to buy it and $50 more needed to pay for Xenosaga Episode 2 – Beyond Good and Evil. I liked Xenosaga Episode 1, and I’ll play Episode 2 one of these days. It could be in my next entry or might not.

After I got back from Toyriffic and Target, I went to ShopKo in a different town in the same day. I don’t ever do that since it’s too time consuming. I was in Target and was looking around (the crazy part is I owned all the good games on the shelf) so I bought Street Fighter Anniversary Collection. The game comes with all the Street Fighter 2s ever made and Street Fighter 3 Third Strike (previously only for Sega Dreamcast) You know I own the Guilty Gear games so that made me want to buy more 2D fighting games. This game has been out for a while, and got to $29.99; 10 dollars less than last time I saw it over at Gamestop. Some people agree that Street Fighter is the greatest 2D fighter in existence. Me, I don’t know yet. I have to experience the game more. I wasn’t into those games until 2003. The other game I bought at Toyriffic for $20 (with tax) was Metroid – Zero Mission (a 32-bit remake of the 8-bit Metroid.) Two weeks ago, I played Metroid via Metroid Prime so I’ll beat this version. I’ve never made it far in Metroid, and was killed by jumping into the electric platforms 10 minutes in the game.

I felt I needed to buy a Mario game so I have bought Paper Mario 2 – The Thousand Year Door, plus the front of the case said “Best Seller” on it, and thought maybe Paper Mario is worth a try. I know what you’re thinking; Paper Mario is a kid’s game. It’s hard to find a game you really want these days. Well, there is Gran Turismo 4 coming out on the 22nd, and Devil May Cry 3 coming out March 1st. I own the first installment in the series by the way.

Today is Saturday and I was on Carthaton Electronica for a good session of the morning. I played Street Fighter Third Strike on PS2 via Street Fighter Anniversary Collection very early in the morning. It was good fun! Randy would love this game! It’s better than Guilty Gear X2: Reloaded for Xbox. It’s strange because I own the other two Guilty Gears (I haven’t gotten to those two yet). And yes I worked more on the book in Visual Basic. Hyper Street Fighter II is a clean fighter with none of that all show no fight game play direction most 3D fighters play like these days and it started with Soul Caliber on Dreamcast.

I can do all my school work electronically so I have the assignment listed on a webpage on the Internet, and I’m suppose to do 3 or 4 steps in each assignment. WITC even has a forum I’m suppose to anticipate in where I suppose to post one assignment. I’m starting to know read how loops are possible.

About 8:20 AM I hauled in wood from outside near our basement door so that there would be wood stacked inside. I volunteered to make my dad happier, and it only took my dad and me 10 minutes to fill the wood box up. Wood is free where we live so it does best in the fireplace! Randy just woke up when I called him afterwards, and I told him I got Street Fighter Anniversary Collection because he likes Street Fighter games a lot. He wants to buy and play Gran Turismo 4 because he loves cars so I told him to meet me at Wal-Mart at mid-night on the 22nd. It’s going to have rally racing in it and I really like rally (FRA).

Game to add too list:

Metroid – Zero Mission

Extreme G Racing Association

Winning Eleven 8 (Pro Evolution Football 4 in Europe)

Paper Mario 2

Street Fighter Anniversary Collection

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

New info on Next Generation Consoles!

Hello, it’s me again. I’ve been busy with Visual Basic which is why I can’t blog as much as I use too. I’ve completed a final draft of my video card paper for technical writing, one of the reasons why I haven’t posted in 4 days. Will I ace that one as well? I found out that my friend Randy didn’t alienate me. Yeah, he’s loosing his friends too. I went to his house on Saturday and I tore the seal off with my fingernail (I have short fingernails), and opened my copies of Gradius V and Ace Combat 5. He hates 2D shooters like Gradius V. Randy used to be a big NES gamer when he was younger, and hasn’t bought a console since PS2. He has games like Rage Racer, Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros, Metal Gear 2, TMNT III – Manhattan Project. We’ve played that for 40 minutes, and he likes Winning Eleven Soccer 6 International the best. Randy must like the announcers because their Australian I bet. See, I tried to get him interested in other games, but he refused even the American football game I brought over. I won against him by a goalie shot at the Keeper shootout in the end. We’re not good enough to score a goal during the game. Randy and his girlfriend watch Adult Swim on Cartoon Network that night. I went home around midnight. It was fun. Most fun I had all week actually.

I didn’t mind Gradius V, it’s better than what I expected since I’ve played freeware equivalent of those games such as Ikaruga - Radiant Silvergun 2, and it’s a change for the better. Quintessentially, both games are made by Treasure which is known for their 2D shooting games on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Lately, I’ve been playing LaserAge, which is a Space Invaders rip-off that got decent reviews and advanced to the 14th level. I switched to Hacker (Tetris freeware game), and the background music is encoded in MP3, so it’s not those simplistic midis. Sadly, the game only came with 1 techno song during the main game.

Free Image Hosting at

About 68 degrees, a comfortable work space.

I’ve found out that Nintendo Revolution changed its name to Nintendo 21 meaning “two in one” or will play Gamecube discs too. The discs are still going to be 5 inch mini-discs, but are double-sided each side holds 5.9 GB! The Gamecube disc only holds 1.8 GB. It will hook up to the monitor, and be unrevealed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Sony confirmed the company will be unrevealing Playstation 3 at the end of next month. Microsoft confirmed Xbox 360 (formally Xenon) will launch between October & November in the United States, Mexico, and Canada (before Japan and Europe).

Surprisingly, I may seem like I’m a hardcore gamer, but that was true a long time ago. See, I hardly played anything other then that time at my friend’s house.

Earlier today I’ve grabbed my old PC and put it in my room left of my Dell. It’s running Redhat 9.1 Workstation. It was where my old TV is 3 months ago. Now, it servers as my parent’s Internet desktop. I might have to bring it take it back, but doesn’t it look cool with 3 computers in my room? I took a couple pictures and combined them seen below.

Tune in next time.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Adding to existing 'compiled' CD images yourself

About 2 days ago, I finished building a new template for the personal page at Angelfire. This new page featured some better textures than before. I got the months between October 2004 to February 2005 ported to it as well as the previous photo gallery, game collection, design, and biography sections. My personal webpage doesn’t get bigger than before, but more detailed most of the time. Hope everyone likes it.

Click on the image

To finish the topic about combining ISOs two entries ago, I found out that apparently I can extract the contents of any ISO image to a new folder using the well known compression program, WinRAR, and then repack the ISO with more files in Nero 6. Right now, I’ve collected a lot of mp3s so instead of wasting a whole CD on just Damn Small Linux 0.9.3, I’ll cleverly use the extra 650 MB for extra music and pictures because I’m smart like that. Right now, I only have 280 MB of miscellaneous files to put on it.

As for React OS, I wonder if someone can extract all the contents of the LIVECD on a USB thumb drive from Windows, and the OS will boot up from the thumb drive thinking it’s on CD. The problem is older BIOS have a hard time recognizing operating systems on USB thumb drives.

The past few days I wasn’t gaming, but working on homework from college. I have to write a report suggesting a particular hardware-related device over another, and had some ideas including “Xbox vs. PS2”, “Pentium 4 vs. Athlon 64”, “Apple PowerPC vs. IBM PC”, and “Geforce vs. Radeon”. I haven’t decided which one will make the best report.

I’ll take this one topic at a time. IBM PCs are better than Apple Power PCs because PCs make for better gaming than PowerPC (excluding the fact that next generation consoles will support PowerPC hardware). There are more PC games on store shelves for PC than PowerPC. All my programs I need to use only run on MS Windows, and I would hate using Virtual PC to emulate Windows so I could run Windows applications. If only I could have all my programs stream off DVD under React OS LiveCD. React OS is not at a stable build where it is able to run every Windows application in existence.

The 2nd argument is how Pentium 4s are better than Athlon 64s. Intel processors are always more expensive, but those last longer in your PC than Athlons traditionally. Athlon 64s run hotter, therefore, AMD’s CPUs don’t last as long which might stop working after 3 years or 10 years. Who knows? Historically, I’ve fried my CPUs before they get worn out. I had this happen to me before. Sometimes the PC shuts down immediately when the inside temperature gets above 72 degrees, or at least on mine it does.

The third argument would be Radeon 9200,9500, 9700, 9800 vs. Geforce 4 FX series. Both cards are very reliable, both do the exact same thing. What people should look for is the clock speed, texture bandwidth and amount of video RAM on the cards. Geforces are normally less expensive cards. I own both Radeon and Geforce cards. I get good frame rates from both my Radeon 9800 XT in my Dimension XPS and Geforce FX 5600 in my Athlon XP PC. Nvidia has brought out its Geforce 6600 GPU which is their answer to ATI’s Radeon 9800 series. The only GPU card that failed was my Geforce 256 when my PC got struck by lightning in 2001. I personally favor Radeon GPUs though.

About making friends, none yet came to my door step. I’ll be getting my hair cut today maybe I can scrounge around for conversation. It’s not icy or too cold outside so there’ll be a lot of traffic from place to place. I might be getting another videogame today, but I’m stumped whether I want to save it for Xenosaga 2 or not. I am spending a lot of money on outdated hardware these days, aren’t I?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Installing ReAct OS on a thumb drive possible?

Today, I got React OS to work on my USB thumb drive. The idea dawned on me when I saw the “Drive H” or USB thumb-stick on the monitor in Windows Installation when the OS was about to format a couple days ago when I attempted to install WinXP on my Athlon XP PC. So what I’m about to install on is only 128 MB, but that’s plenty of space since React OS is less than 30 MB. My particular PC has a dual boot partition so it probably couldn’t find where NTFS was on the master boot record (location table on the hard drive). I uploaded FreeDOS onto my USB thumb drive. The next step was installing MS-DOS 6.22, but I didn’t have the original floppies so I went the FreeDOS *open source* route by simply extract the contents of the FreeDOS zip archive to the thumb drive. Now, DOS is running on the USB thumb drive which can be activated by which device boots first from the BIOS menu. I’ve downloaded the ReactOS 0.25 ISO image, and burnt it onto a CDR. Afterwards, boot the CD from the BIOS boot, and went through the instructions until it asked me to partition which drive, and picked my USB thumb drive to format on. It installed about 30 MB worth of OS on it. The speed of the CD-ROM obviously increases the OS latency a lot, but this OS boots up very quickly. I’ve added small programs such as the new self-boot Mozilla Firefox 1.0 Final, Irfanview 3.95 and Winamp 2.95. Finally, Firefox loads in React OS whereas before it couldn’t have. I could hear tunes because I added 1 MP3 file onto the thumb drive as well.

My second idea I had with React OS is my own experiment trying to combine ISO images. That is making a Data CD ISO image with all the files I want to run in React OS made with Nero 6, and combine that with the existing React OS LiveCD ISO image to make a new ISO image. Unfortunately, I don’t know what program to download that’ll combine both ISO images…. I only know it exists somewhere on the web. In theory it shall extend the LiveCD with a bunch of extra programs for React OS. For some reason the WINE’s development team and React’s development team hadn’t yet uploaded a deluxe version of their Live CD for download. Anyways, I recommend someone who’s combining ISOs to download a unity called Daemon Tools (a CD emulator) that can look at the file system of an ISO before I burn to a CD.

On Thursday, the electricians came, and they installed flood lights in the basement as well as CAT5e (1 Gbit RJ-45). I guess the differences between CAT5e and CAT6 is pretty insignificant otherwise I would have CAT6 in my room. If you’re curious about the difference between the two, it’s because CAT6 is standardized at 500 MHz instead of 300 MHz Cat5e. CAT7 RJ-45 STP will be up there around 600 MHz Gigabit Ethernet. Yep, and on top of that – my house will be wireless for satellite Internet which goes up to 1.5 Mbps. I suspect all the satellites are capable of 4 Mbps when the time comes. Only $250 for installation costs: $39 for 386 kbps; $49 for 512 kbps; $59 for 1 Mbps; $69 for 1.5 Mbps, and probably $79 for 2 Mbps.

On Friday, I drove to Toyriffic in River Falls, Wisconsin, and looked around for good deals on above average software. That’s the point of going to Toyriffic…..having an idea what to look for. I wasn’t there to buy any retro games. I saw Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for PS2 for $50 on top of the shelf in the entrance. I’ve starred at it for a long while. 2D fans usually purchase these games either because they hate polygon driven videogames or they believe games have became too sophisticated for their own good. It’s just a 2D fighting game though, probably is worth less than what the store sells it for too. The first thought that came to mind was it’s a rip off deal, but when a game is priced that high, it’s in demand. Well, I like 2D games, but not THAT much. So I look closely at each game for each title. I know what games I own for Xbox which helped me choose which ones I would buy. Splinter Cell 2 - Pandora Tomorrow looked really good, and so did Metal Gear Solid 2 – Substance. It’s another excellent Xbox game made after a Tom Clancy thriller (book). My dad has the book you know. I made my final decision and I was out of there. Then I went to ShopKo and bought Suikoden IV. Suikoden III was very good, I’ve started playing about 5 hours, so I suspect Suikoden IV is also good, but not as good as Suikoden III. I trust IGN though, Suikoden III earned a 9.5/10 and Suikoden IV earned a 7.9/10. Suikoden IV was reduced $39 when I’ve bought it. Was it worth the purchase? I sure hope so because it is a 3D RPG which is my favorite genre or was at one time. That’s about 80 dollars I’ve spent on 3 games on Friday. The Splinter Cell 2 and MGS2 Xbox DVD cases look brand new which is good enough for me.

new games: Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance 2 (PS2), Suikoden IV (PS2), Splinter Cell 2 (XBOX), MGS2: Substance (Xbox), World of Warcraft (PC)

I’ve been playing Metroid via Metroid Prime by activating a code that’ll bypass the GBA link cable connection. The cheat is activated by R trigger + B during the menu screen and Metroid will automatically boot off the disc. The emulator lets me use the joystick + directional pad. I got pass the wasps where the platforms are. I kept hitting the moving platform and got zapped! After 25 minutes of retries, I’ve gotten frustrated, and stopped playing once and for all. Afterwards, I’ve played Metroid Prime because I was sick of dieing in Metroid, and I couldn’t find a way into the abandoned space pirate space station after that first room with the ejection pods. I’ve scanned everything with Samus’s visor for 40 minutes without luck. A game faq would have solved this problem, but I’ve wanted to figure out how to get out of the room myself. It’s my stubbornness. I’ve updated my game list to version 1.23 on this site.

Saturday, I was continuing working on Chapter 4 of Visual Basic .Net 2003 Standard the non-pirated version. This time the book is asking me to insert code into the graphical interface I’ve made. Some of the code has “Private btnCompute_Click” the name of a button or textbox. This is why it’s difficult to insert code since the book is instructing me to name every object in the program, and one typo would create errors, and could prevent everything from compiling. Thank God, I’ve got pass Chapter 3. Chapter 3 was horrible which took me two weeks to get pass reading and understanding it. Well, I wasn’t exactly working hard every day to finish chapter 3. That may be my fault. I’ve been on the gaming boards this week and today especially. My pleasure is conversation with other gamers about various topic including next generation consoles.

Later today, I am going to get out of this dungeon of a room, and expose myself more to the outside world by conversation. I like conversation if it’s fair. Maybe I shall go to the local state park, and walk around and enjoy the scenery? Perhaps play Frisbee Golf? The truth is I’m too lazy to do any of those! I haven’t the slightest what shall happen today. These pass days I continue pondering about my college life and what videogames I shall pursue playing in my room. I’m thinking I’ve done enough pondering. The NFL Super Bowl XXXIX is on today too. I’ll be glued to the TV for that event. Now, that’s a huge event in America, watching the Super Bowl is like watching the FIFA World Cup in Europe. Seriously! I hope the New England Patriots win.

On Monday, I am driving over to WITC to get my custom PC back. It’s a hard drive problem; the master boot record is gone. The BIOS detects the hard drive though which means there must be a possibility to run a low-level format on it. The other PC (650 MHz Athlon Thunderbird) I brought over (thinking the motherboards shot) just to make sure. The CPU fan is getting an adequate power supply for the motherboard being fried – that’s for certain. The Athlon XP PC may not be the fastest computer in my room, but it does do basic 2D-based applications very well. Yeah, it also has a Geforce 5600 FX in it so it can do recently released computer games if I wanted it too.

If I made a new friend I would try to play videogames with him/her. Yeah, but that’s just me. I have a whole bunch of Game Informer Mags, and it would be nice if we could just chat about the reviews. A movie or pepperoni pizza would be fine. Any sort of multiplayer is preferred. Extensive game collecting would be appreciated. Remembering back to those endless nights of Diablo 2 online play on Battlenet USEAST, that’s what I bought World of Warcraft for (to play on Battlenet USEAST again). I imagine an online account as a place to make new friends and well as new foes. If this is as good as Neverwinter Nights which had few legacy (modem) issues along with it, I would be happier than a lark. It’s supposed to be better than Diablo 2 which is shocking because Diablo 2 was just right in terms of difficulty. I still need to get my hands on a credit card so I can pay the monthly fee. I wanted to do this with Final Fantasy XI a year ago. Yets see here, it’s Final Fantasy…the top notch RPG franchise that won the world over from Playstation (and NES, SNES) to it’s 3rd installment on PC. Well, most of the world. I almost forgot about that game. Today, I was looking at the 140 page thick game manual that came with the box. The book gives a lengthy description of all the characters in the game as well as all the hints a noob like me can hope to grasp. Yeah, all I know about the game is from Internet reviews. I hear it’s huge when playing on foot.

This is Ian Signing off.

Networking PC Report : Final Version | No graphics

By Ian
January 30, 2005
Technical Writing
Microsoft Word 2003 Professional
Rev 1.1

Networking PCs

- Table of Contents -

Chapter 1: Creating Ethernet or LAN

- Finding materials
- Setting up
- Using generic hubs
- Using user Interface – Control panel
- NIC is recognizing the network connection
- Internet Protocol TCP/IP dialog box
- Selecting connection method

Chapter 2: Manually overriding IP Addresses

- host pcs / host servers
- New Connection Wizard
- find your IP address by the command prompt
- using ipconfig
- using ping

Chapter 3: Installing Network Interface Card

- Step 1
- Step 2
- Step 3
- Step 4

Chapter 4: Bus Topology

- introduction
- Setting up
- Using generic hubs
- Using user Interface – Control panel
- NIC is recognizing the network connection
- Internet Protocol TCP/IP dialog box
- Selecting connection method

Chapter 5: Creating Straight-through or Cross-over Cable

- introduction
- Step 1 (finding cable)
- Step 2 (stripping rubber jacket)
- Step 3 (using RJ-45 diagram)
- Step 4 ( slipping wires in connector)
- Step 5 (finishing cable)
- Step 6 (cable testing)

Chapter 1: Creating Ethernet or LAN

A LAN stands for local area network and it’s all about hooking many computers up to a network in a room. I haven’t had experience with fiber-based Ethernet yet, so I am going to have to stay with ground based; wire called RJ45. Second, the category I’m using is CAT5e, which is 1000 Megabits bandwidth for the length of the cable. For cable longer than this there’s a need for an Ethernet closet. For now, omit though we’re hooking up straight-through cable from the PC to the switchboard (what is recommended these days) or Cat5 layer 1 hub according to the OSI model. Third, the person involved with networking all the computers together will need to gather all the supplies for it including an IEEE 802.3 switch board, a IEEE 802.3 router, two to four RJ-45 straight-through cables (100 meters recommended) Now, I’ll first explain how to set up a network using a hub.

The hub is the most primitive gateway to networking because it’s a layer 1 device. With technology progressing - few people use Cat5 hubs any more unlike 1990 thru 1999 - in other words they’re an older technology. Be sure each computer has at least CAT4 network interface cards working properly. The NIC has a female port which the RJ-45 will fit into perfectly. Your hub will have 5 or 8 ports on it so plug-in the straight-through cable from the first port of the hub (left to right) to the PC’s NIC card the user is working with.

If the user has a second PC, hook another RJ-45 from the PC to the Hub. Make sure it’s a straight-through cable or it won’t work. Plug in the opposite end to the 2nd port of the hub. If the reader has a 3rd PC then do the same to the way until all 5 or 8 ports of the hub are plugged in. Now, MS Windows has a funny way of trying to do everything for the computer user. Sometimes we’ll need to step in and take control of it before it takes control of us.

Step 1: Control Panel from start menu

Step 2: Control Panel:

Step 3: Click on Network and Internet Connections.

Step 4: Check and see if the NIC is recognizing the network connection via router / hub connection.

Step 5: Next you can either change the (I)nternet (P)rotocol Address by going into Properties, Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in the properties dialog box. I’ll tell the user how to do this in the next chapter. On my computer there is an “X” on Local Area Connection since that NIC either doesn’t have a driver or more likely aren’t connected by a cable to an existing network. This problem is most likely to be solved by hooking a RJ-45 cable up to the NIC. As the user may realize - it’s never a good idea to have two cables hooked up to one PC even if there is more than one network available. The reason is because an IEEE 802.3 switch board, and IEEE 802.3 router are better at solving this problem. Routers are also known as intelligent hubs.

Step 6: The fifth step of this procedure is to use the New Connection Wizard to connect all the PCs to each other via star topology or extended Star topology. The 2nd dialog box of New Connection Wizard is seen below. The administrator wants to click on the Set up a home or small office network.

Step 7: Windows XP will automatically go into Network Setup Wizard. Click on Next twice. The 2nd dialog box only tells you what NIC cards are not connected. As the user can now see I checked Ignore disconnected network hardware. This is an example of my computer:

Step 8: Windows XP will ask you to “select a connection method”. What this means is when the user’s host PC is connected to the Internet you check the first option. Otherwise, the reader will check the other option for all other PCs. The third option is only there if the user doesn’t want a network connection, but ignore that because nothing bad happens when the current computer isn’t connected to ISP when set to “this computer connects to the Internet through another computer”.

Step 9: Windows XP will go through more windows, but I’d ignore them until the 2nd to last dialog box asks you to prompt for installation CD. The administrator does not want to insert any CD in the CD/DVD-ROM drive. So click no on that.

Step 10: If you have done steps 1 through 8, then the user shall have a fully operational network. This procedure should be done with any type of ground cable including multi-mode fiber-optic cable. Since none of us are rich enough to afford multi-mode fiber-optic cable it shouldn’t be a concern.

Chapter 2: Manually overriding IP Addresses

Step 1: To manually override IP addresses means giving the computer an IP address just for OFFLINE Local area networks. Only a couple numbers will be allowed, and the user shall use only use the “192.168.?.? way” because these bits are guaranteed to work if you have a working NIC. Shall we start? Good. The user will to go back into Network connections window, and right click on the NIC connection as seen below to get to the properties dialog box.

Step 2: Once step 1 is competed and you’re in the Properties dialog box, go over one tab into Internet Protocol TCP/IP Properties. The user will want to copy the 2nd picture exactly. The default gateway is the hosts PC’s IP address. Your information comes from his/her PC since it’s the Server. All LANs need a host PC or host server. All the other PCs are known as nodes or sometimes referred to as workstations in commercial situations. Remember, keep the Default Gateway the same for every node or the LAN will partially work or not work at all. Either way, it spells trouble when not done correctly. If this happens to the administrator than it’s not very fun checking every computer again, and tying in the correct default gateway for each one.

Step 3: Once Step 2 is completed find your IP address by the command prompt by Start, Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt. Or you can do Start, Run. In the Run Prompt dialog box type in “Command” than press Enter.

Step 4: The fourth step is to type in “ipconfig” at the underscore in the command prompt. The NIC will give you the IP address of the existing computer node from the NIC card. If there isn’t one assigned then the user has to assign it him/herself. If the reader’s NIC works - he/she will have an IP address. If the coder doesn’t have an IP address - replace the NIC card. I’ll show the reader how to do that which I’ll explain in the 3rd chapter. Let’s say the PC NIC card works. We’ll proceed to Step 5.

Step 5: Now type in “ping” into the command prompt, and you’ll get a result similar to this if not exactly due to the different administrator settings.

Chapter 3: Installing NIC Card

Step 1: Make sure the reader who so happens to also be a computer user has a screw driver, an electro-static discharge wrist band, and the power cable connected from the PC to the wall socket or power strip. A hardware installer must sure he/she is wearing shoes, has a T-shirt on with no extra clothing, and hands aren’t wet so all of this. All of these precautions will l minimize electrostatic discharge on the motherboard. It is highly recommended for the installer to have an electrostatic wrist band. Finally, hook the wrist band end (should be a clip) to the power box fan. If the power box is not an option for any reason - hook the end piece to the grounding hole of a wall socket. All wrist bands should have two parts: a clip and an end which fits inside the grounding hole of a wall socket.

Step 2: Now, it is necessary to take out the filling metal plates and replace it with the NIC card.

Step 3: Next, snap the NIC card in place make sure it’s good and tight. Finally, screw it down enough so you can unscrew it when there is a need too.

Step 4: Install the software from the CD or floppy which came with the PCI NIC card. Windows XP plug and play feature will probably identify any new NIC cards installed on a cold boot without a specific driver, so don’t feel bad if reader in question can’t find the CD. The same goes for IEEE 802.11B or IEEE 802.11G wireless PCI NIC cards because they’ll install the same way as normal NIC cards. To guarantee a LAN turning out….do Chapter 1 Steps 1 – 8 over again.

Chapter 4: Creating an Old Fashioned Bus Topology

The point of Chapter 4 is that it’s done exactly the way as Chapter 1 did with straight-through RJ-45 cable. Make sure there is a cross-over RJ-45 cable connected before you go to Step 1.

Step 1: Control Panel from start menu

Step 2: Control Panel:

Step 3: Click on Network and Internet Connections

Step 4: Check and see if the NIC is recognizing the network connection via router / hub connection.

Step 5: Next, the computer user can either change the IP Address by going into Properties, Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in the properties dialog box. I’ll tell the user how to do this in the next chapter. For example, on my computer there is an “X” on Local Area Connection, since that NIC either doesn’t have a driver or more likely is not connected by a cable to an existing network. This problem is most likely to be solved by hooking a cross-over RJ-45 cable up to two NICs for two PCs. As the user may realize it’s never a good idea to have two cables hooked up to one PC even if there is more than one network available. The reason is because an IEEE 802.3 switch board and IEEE 802.3 router are better at solving this problem as a Cisco standard.

Step 6: The fifth step of this procedure is to use the New Connection Wizard to connect all the PCs to each other via bus topology. The 2nd dialog box of New Connection Wizard is seen below. The computer user will want to click on the Set up a home or small office network option.

Step 7: Windows XP will automatically continue with Network Setup Wizard. Click on the Next button twice. The 2nd dialog box only tells you what NIC cards are not connected. As the user can now see, I checked Ignore disconnected network hardware. This is an example of my computer:

Step 8: Windows XP will ask the administrator to select a connection method. What this means is that when the administrator’s host PC is connected to the Internet, the check the first option; otherwise, you check the other option for all other PCs. The third option is only there if the computer user doesn’t want an Internet connection, but I’ll ignore that because nothing bad happens when a computer isn’t connected to the Internet once set to option 2.

Step 9: Windows XP will go through more windows, but I’d ignore those ones until the 2nd to last dialog box asks you to prompt for installation CD. You do not want to insert any CD in the CD/DVD-ROM drive. So click the No button on that one.

Step 10: If the user has done steps 1 through 8, then you shall have a fully operational network. This procedure shall be done with any type of ground cable, including multi-mode fiber-optic cable. Since none of us are rich enough to afford multi-mode fiber-optic cable, it shall not be a concern.

Chapter 5: Creating Straight-Through & Crossover Cable

• Cable to split
• RJ-45 connectors
• Cable splitter
• RJ-45 clamper
• Cat 5e/Cat 6 compatible wire tester

Introduction – This is for people who don’t need excess cable. They can cut some existing RJ-45 cable they bought or maybe have a spindle of cable they can cut to length.

Step 1: Find some straight-through cable and cut approximately 10 feet of it.

Step 2: Strip the rubber jacket about a couple inches (just enough to fit in the connector piece) Do it for both ends. If the reader accidentally cuts off the cable all together, strip more off, which is why I’m giving the extra length of RJ-45 so mistakes can happen without throwing the whole piece away.

Step 3: Untwist the wires on the first end.

Straight-through RJ-45 from left to right:

Orange White,
Green White,
Blue White,
Brown White,

Crossover Cable

Green White,
Yellow White,
Blue White,
Brown White,

Step 4: Slip each wire in the holes of the connector gently. If the wires get crunched try it again unless the wire won’t work because it’s no good. When this happens the user must strip more jacket off, and cut all the color coded wires evenly. Make sure the wires reach the end of the connector and are all even. The connectors are transparent.

Step 5: Once everything looks good clamp it down by fitting the end piece correctly in the RJ-45 clamper. The connector can only go in one way. Clamp it down all the way.

Step 6: Get a Cat 5e or Cat6 cable tester and usually all you need to do is connect the two ends of the cable to the two parts of the tester and press Test button. The user should get a lot of Oks or Passes. If there happens to be any Failures or Not Passes on the LCD screen than do all the steps in Chapter 5 over again until successful.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Bought first DL-DVD Burner on Tuesday & it arrived.

The European Space Agency had success with Huygens which is a space probe that on Saturn’s Moon, Titan. The Huygens space craft is equipped with a microphone. Hagans sends its signal to the Saturn’s satellite, Cassaini, which spends a signal to Earth’s satellite. This is officially the ESA’s 3rd spacecraft, yet its biggest project. The Huygens space craft can photograph 20 meters of Titan’s terrain. Titan is the only moon with an atmosphere. The Huygens space craft will be the only time in our lifetime that scientists will get to see Titan up close. It may unravel secrets of the Milky Way Galaxy. Saturn is a really cold planet so the climate is -200 degrees Celsius. Saturn was only discovered 4 centuries ago by Galileo Galilei (a famous astronomer). ESA launched the Mars Express to Mars, and the Smart1 to orbit the moon which are their previous successes. Huygens will transmit data to Saturn’s first modern satellite, Cassini. Huygens-Cassini Spacecraft was the 3rd heaviest spacecraft (attached to a rocket) in history. During the Cassini journey, Cassini used it’s largest of 3 antennas to shield its instruments from the Sun’s gamma and ultra violet rays. ESA scientists will soon know if life existed on Titan…if ever. Titan has a thick atmosphere is rich in organic compounds. If life did exist on Titan, that means aliens lived on Titan in this solar system 100 million years ago.

Today, I’ve just ordered a state-of-the-art speed dual-layer DVD burner that’s twice as fast as the installed DVD burner now. For CDR burning it’s 48X burning speed. DVDR+ is 16X, DVDR- is 16x. The dual-layer speed is 4X. Well, dual layer DL-DVDR+ are 150% more expensive than DVDRs now. I have over 120 DVDRs to burn on because I got a 50 pack of them on Christmas day. It normally took me 4 minutes to burn a CDR, and 1 hr 15 minutes to burn a DVD. That time will soon be halved thanks reduced prices on new hardware.

When I looked on, I saw that USB thumb drives have gone way down in price! The truth is I’ve never bought one for 10 months and already TD sells 1 GB thumb sticks for $80. Maybe I should wait 6 months a get a great deal on a 512 MB USB thumb stick? Yes, this is really great, but I chose to buy a DVD burner over a 1 GB USB thumb stick. A DVD stores 4.487 GB of data compared to 1.018 GB on flash memory. Flash memory is used in many digital cameras, it’s unmatched for lithium battery powered devices.

I’ve been being lazy for a long time – 5 days there about. It looks like I won’t have to worry about that Technical Writing class since I’m acing it! Tomorrow, I’ll drive to school, and work out issues in the book.

I found a unity that can rip PS2 music or video off the disc. This is possible since PS2 file systems can be seen via PC DVD-ROM. Cube Media Player 2 can do this by scanning the DVD and allow you to listen to it. If you have DivX or Xvid installed than there’s an efficient way to compress the video the user ripped for storage on CD or DVD. Cube Media Player Homepage . I haven’t got mine to work yet for whatever reason.

I have some fantastic news (can you sense the sarcasm?)! My custom (Athlon XP 2600) PC’s 120 GB Serial ATA HD went compooie. Before I had some bugs in the OS, and as a result the BIOS beeped at me during usage (which means the motherboard is giving CPU errors on my BIOS) so I try to boot Knoppix 3.6 LiveCD, and was able to burn some remaining Xvid movies from the hard drive onto CD-ROM. This event happened on February 01, 2004 before I installed the DVD +/- RW from my Dell PC into this computer’s IDE bay. Now, I have reason to believe when I deleted the partition, therefore, the bios won’t detect it. Luckily, I have a secondary 40GB Serial-ATA hard drive to work with until I can do a low-level format to reconstruct the master boot record thus readying the hard drive for OS re-installation.

I am happy that Iraqis got to elect a president for their country. There was some corruption in Saddam Hussein’s Dictatorship; now all they have to do is create a constriction and stable Democratic government that won’t be corrupted. Saddam was good at asking for money he never returned. We’ve fought a war for about 2 years there, and unlike most wars we’ve lost fewer American lives than any war except for Operation Desert Storm in 1991 which wasn’t really a War as it was clearing our way through the desert clearing the way to Baghdad. Now, Iraq can start importing oil to us which is what the USA is looking for, because OPEC is not happy with George W. Bush’s decision to reduce oil prices for all Americans. The point of selling oil is to make a profit which OPEC wants more of. It’s already $2 a gallon of gas here in Wisconsin.

This is Ian signing off.