Friday, November 25, 2011

photobucket email fail

photobucket fail 

A fail email from photobucket to my hotmail account. They included a picture in their email hosted on their site and its down.

I submitted this to fail blog.

the end

Thursday, November 24, 2011

smart bro power plugit types

Smart bro power plugit guide.

You've probably heard of smart bro's power plugit.

 Well, did you know there are at least 2 kinds of power plugit? The 2 modems are almost indistinguishable but the box has some changes. For simplicity's sake, I'll call them "new" and "old". Here's a picture of the new one.

And here's a pic of the old one.

From the front the distinguishing feature of the box is the sticker in the middle. In the old one, its square and white. And it says Php 1245 and 120 hours valid for 5 days. The new one has a round blue and yellow sticker that says Php 1245 and 240 hours valid for 10 days.

So now you know one advantage of the new one, you get more free surfing hours when you buy the new one.

Now lets look at the top of the box. Unfortunately, I dont have a shot of the old box.

With the old box you would have had a big green holographic sticker sealing the top flap of the box. Here you only have a small clear sticker sealing the box. It covers the right half of the right sticker, above the text November 2012. The sticker on the left is the important one. It gives the manufacturer or brand of the modem, ZTE. IT also gives the model, MF 190.

Here's a shot of the back of the new modem. Again you see the ZTE and MF 190 text. Again, the new and old modem are very similar visually so you would need to look for the model number. The old modem is model MF 180.

The software dashboard of both new and old are almost identical and to most users both are pretty much identical. However, there is one important difference.

ZTE MF180 USB Modem Details:

Transmission Rate: 3.6 Mbps
Color: White/Black
3G Frequency Band: HSDPA/UMTS 2100MHz
2G Frequency Band: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900MHz

ZTE MF190 USB Modem Details:

GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Support HSDPA up to 7.2Mbps, HSUPA up to 2Mbps

The 190 is theoretically faster. However, actual speeds are still governed by the speed of your internet plan and by the congestion of your local smart bro network. So It might not matter. But still, one can hope that smart will upgrade its network so one could fully utilize the new modem's higher speed.

Aside from that, AFAIK there are no other significant differences between the new and old modem.

the end

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

lenovo ideapad z470 review - part 2: CPU benchmarks

OK welcome to part 2 of my review. I'll do several synthetic and real world benchmarks comparing my new laptop to my 2 year old desktop pc.

My new laptop's specs are listed in part 1 of the review.

I will have nvidia optimus on, using the NVIDIA GPU for 3d and cuda. At all times I will be using the laptop's own monitor at its native resolution, 1366 x 768. The laptop will be connected by wifi to the router and the desktop will use the LAN and the DSL modem will be on but no programs will be downloading. The laptop will first use balanced and high performance power settings. If no difference is found, I'll use balanced.

Both laptop and desktop will use the usual startup programs that I commonly use. Athough they dont use the same startup programs, I wanted this test to be like the way I use a PC, so I will accept the slight loss in accuracy due to not being able to control this factor. Plus the effect should be small anyway.

Oh and I updated my geforce drivers from 267.x to 285.x

My old desktop's specs are as follows:
  • win 7 64 bit
  • 1280x1024 LCD monitor
  • Intel c2d e8200 @ 2.66 mhz
  • inno 3d geforce 560ti
  • 4 gigs ddr2 ram
  • 1 terabyte WDC black hard drive

Lets start with pcmark 7 v104 trial, all default settings. Since this is a trial version, you really cant change many settings. I'll try both high performance and balanced settings.

  • laptop balanced : 1157 pcmarks
  • laptop high performance : 1770 pcmarks
  • desktop : 2215 pcmarks

Ok thats significant. Lets go ahead to the 3d benchmarks and try a 3d benchmark first. unigene heaven 2.1 dx11 all default settings to see  if we need to change the laptop's power profile.

  • desktop : ave FPS = 54.9, score = 1383
  • laptop high performance : ave FPS = 13.8, score = 399
  • laptop balanced :  ave FPS = 13.8 , score = 349

Hmm. I guess that the GPU is bottlenecking the test so even if the balanced plan lowers the CPU speed a bit, it wont matter. OK, so from now on we stay with the high performance plan.

Lets try more CPU benchies

winrar 64bit v 3.93 trial
  • laptop: 1885 KB/s
  • desktop: 1289 KB/s

Passmark performance test 7 build 1025

  • desktop: 1262.8, cpumark = 2203.7, 3d = 2469.6, disk = 735.6
  • laptop : 1152.7, cpumark = 2943.2, 3d = 555.2, disk = 623.5

    Cinebench 64 bit 11.5 CPU test
    • desktop: 1.37
    • laptop: 2.03

    coresmark 2010
    • desktop: 567.15447 secs, worldwide rank #3425
    • laptop: 251.67977 secs, worldwide rank #2705
    Quite a big difference. This is a multi core benchmark so I expect the hyperthreading in the core i3 to make itself known

    So in summary, the core i3 is the faster CPU. Lets try video transcoding. All tests will be converting a 128 mb 640x480 mpeg-2 movie to iphone format, H 2.64

    Badaboom TRIAL v2.0.0.128
    • desktop: 245 fps, 0:32
    • desktop no CUDA: 96 fps, 1:22
    • laptop: 83 fps, 1:33
    • laptop no CUDA: 129 fps, 1:01

    Freemake v2403, convert to iphone 4. CUDA hardware acceleration set to auto detect
    • desktop: 1:19
    • laptop: 0:59

    Arcsoft media converter trial
    • desktop CUDA: 2:24
    • desktop CPU only : 1:23
    • laptop CUDA: 2:41
    • laptop CPU only: 0:41
    • laptop quicksync: 0:36

    Its puzzling that the CUDA actually DECELLERATED the conversion on the laptop and the desktop. Must be something wrong with the coding. Tried it again with the same results. Also take note that quicksync does give a small improvement.

    Movavi video converter 11.0.1 trial
    • desktop: 43
    • laptop: 50

    Interesting. the faster GPU can compensate. Lets try that again with CUDA off
    • desktop: 1:46
    • laptop: 1:40

    Wondershare video converter ultimate 5.6.1, convert to H.264 iphone 3 format

    CUDA on
    • desktop: 1:03
    • laptop: 0:51
    CUDA off
    • desktop: 3:09
    • laptop: 2:15

      ConvertXtoDVD free, convert to DVD, burn to ISO after conversion
      • desktop: 110 fps, 1:17, 1:43 including burning ISO (0:26 for the burning only)
      • laptop: 140 fps, 0:58, 1:24 including burning ISO (0:26 for the burning only)
      This software AFAIK doesnt use CUDA so its pretty much pure CPU

        Results pretty much mirror the pure CPU tests. The core i3 is faster. But if we put CUDA in the picture, results are dependent on how each video transcoding program uses CUDA. Some use it so well that the desktop's faster GPU compensates for the slower CPU, some dont. Special mention to media converter since CUDA decellerated conversion and quicksync only made a small difference. I'm kinda disappointed to tell the truth. I was expecting a bigger speed increase going from c2d to core i3 second gen.

        OK thats it. Watch out for more parts to this review in the future. I plan 3d benchmarks, hard drive benchmarks and network benchmarks.

        NEXT to Part 3, 3D benchmarks.

        UPDATE: Added pictures and links to the software makers

        the end

        Tuesday, November 22, 2011

        Smart Bro - Per minute charging

        Smart bro prepaid internet normally costs 10 pesos per half hour. But if you dont plan on using the entire half hour slot you can change to per minute charging. It costs exactly the same.

        There are 3 packages:
        • PhP 60 = 3 hours, valid for 2 days
        • PHP 100 = 5 yours, valid for 4 days
        • PHP 150 = 7.5 hours, valid for 7 days
        To register, Text MINUTE AMOUNT to 2200. You use the software dashboard to text.

        the end

        sidewinder gaming mouse - crazy sale

        DISCLAIMER: I am in no way connected to microsoft or any other company or any store. I just found this sale in my local SM so I'm blogging about it.

        This is the sidewinder gaming mouse, by microsoft.

        According to wikipedia, its a 2007 vintage design.

        I've seen this mouse before and according to my notes (I was shopping around for a mouse at the time so I made notes of the prices and models of mice available in my local SM mall using the notes app of my smartphone) this mouse cost PHP 3790  several months ago.  Now, I saw this in another shop in my local SM mall. I'm not really in the market for a wired mouse for my desktop. I was just browsing for wireless mice for my new laptop in case the old one dies.

        Then I saw this mouse in one shop. Around 5 pieces left. There was a small sticker that says 4500 pesos. I'm thinking, ok thats a bit high but still within the possible price range. Then I read the sign stuck on the box. It says it was on sale. But when I read the price, I thought NO WAY!!, A ZERO IS MISSING!! But I did confirm it from the saleslady, yes the price is correct. php 349.00. Three hundred and fourty nine pesos. Thats a 77.x% discount!!

        I agonized over whether to buy it or not and I decided to just blog about it and do more research. It turns out that there are some disadvantages. This is an old model. The MS website doesn't show it, instead showing the sidewinder X3, its descendant with a cheaper price and what seem to be less features and buttons. There are some negative reviews out there on the net which criticize the buttons and the overall ergonomics. So I'm a bit glad I didnt buy it.

        But if you're in the market for a gaming mouse, you might want to try to consider this. But dont blame me if its not perfect for you.

        Oh yes, I forgot. The name of the shop is silicon valley . Its a well known shop in the philippines with several branches.

        UPDATE: I've gotten a lot of queries as to which SM branch I am talking about. Well, look again. The first sentence of this post has a link to the facbook account of the branch in question. And if you can't see it due to the popup, well, the popup has  a close button.

        the end

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