Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Broadband speed is optimum now!

Finally, after more than a year my DSL suffered slowliness due to lack of AT&T responsibility to fix it, now they've fixed it. I subscribe to their DSL Elite, so I am suppose d to get at least 4.5 Mbps download and 600 kbps upload. The recent test I performed gave a very close result:

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wii Transformation

While most games nowadays, either on PC, PS3 or XBox 360 tend to make people become coach-potatoes, Wii (and its new Wii Fit board) could make people being active. You may argue, there are some games (and require extra controllers) that try to imitate the innovation made by Nintendo, yes but they're not the same.

A few weeks ago I bought this Wii because I was trying to buy Wii Fit and it requires Wii Console. At the time of this writing, all Wii Fit boards are sold out in many brick-and-mortar stores. I saw some were available on the Net, but the price tag was scarying me (double or even 5 times more expensive that its MRP).

Although I paid overprice for the console ($340'ish instead of $250), I was satisfied with it. It comes with one remote motion-sensor controller (it uses Bluetooth and IR for connection) and a Nunchuck (some games require it) that can be connected at the end of the controller. The game that comes in the box is WiiSports consisting of Tennis, Baseball, Bowling, Golf and Boxing.
My favorite sport is Tennis, Bowling and Boxing. Playing tennis is almost like playing a real tennis game. The boxing requires nunchuck so your both hands can do jab (not many variations like overcut), but still it is fun. Unfortunately, the console comes with only one set of controller, so I had to spend money to buy second controller (and another sports game for kids).

After playing those games a few days, I've lost 3 pounds of weight and got sore in my arms. My daughter lost 2 lbs and more (wow!). After seeing how fun it is to play with, I bought another two games (Table Tennis and something, I forgot the name). Yes, they mostly require using arms and not much body or leg movements required, but somehow when we played them, we tend to to simulate the real games, like catching the ball, swing etc.

We then bought another one for our daughter. It is Hannah Montana dancing game. Yet it uses mostly hands to play, it looks so fun and our daughter was so excited and addicted to it (in a good way, because she now moves her body more. It's a good work out for her and even me!).

If you want to see a bleeding-edge graphic quality, Wii is not the thing you can compare against PC, XBox 360 or PS3. For PC (which currently is the highest quality graphic among them if we use the top NVidia card and the most expensive one), it is even far better than any consoles (with the downside ofcourse its price tag).

I cannot wait to get the Wii Fit. I saw the ads, it looks more fun. It comes with a CD for playing surfboard, yoga, dancing (now it requires our legs to do steps), hulla-hop, balancing and soccer goalie (and use our head to block ball coming to our goal gate). The official price tag is $89.99 (at least when I checked at Best Buy, Game Stop, Target even they didn't have in stock yet).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Burn CD with wodim


function getkey()
read yourentry

wodim dev=${DEV} -setdropts driveropts=singlesession
wodim dev=${DEV} -v -sao -dummy -data speed=18 $1
wodim dev=${DEV} -eject
wodim dev=${DEV} -load

Clone a CD in Linux with wodim

Here's the content of my ~/bin/copycd:

function getkey()
read yourentry
echo Please enter the CD/DVD to copy from ....

readom dev=${DEV} -nocorr f=${TMP_FILE}
echo Please enter a blank CD/DVD and press enter when ready ....

#readom dev=${DEV} -w -nocorr f=${TMP_FILE}
wodim dev=${DEV} -setdropts driveropts=singlesession
wodim dev=${DEV} -dao -v ${TMP_FILE}

wodim -eject

Friday, May 9, 2008

Why VirtualBox is better

I'd tried to load up QEMU or Xen with no success on my OpenSUSE 64-bit ver 10.3 (I am running kernel version 2.6.25).  I then tried VirtualBox OSE (Open Source Edition) downloadable from  After installing all the needed libraries as instructed and compiled this VB, it worked as charm!

With QEMU or Xen, there were problems I couldn't fix (this because my Linux is heavily customized and not running kernel from openSuSE anymore).  I also tried the pre-compiled (proprietary/non-OSE) version, and this actually even better.  As mentioned on the website, the proprietary version supports USB and file sharing between host and guest O/S.

So far, I am able to run my Windows XP Pro SP3 under this Linux 64-bit with no problem.  I could print, browse internet and even play games (eventhough it is slower than running in native/standalon XP).  With file sharing, I could install Microsoft Office in the guest O/S and share the doc/xls/ppt files.

For the networking, the VB provides a firewall and NAT.  The subnet it gives is in 10.x.x.x subnet, but work with no issues. 

I still have small issue though as the screen resolution under XP is limited to 1024x968, eventhough the host O/S (Linux) has nvidia driver and was running resolution 1680x1050.  But interestingly, on my MacBook running OSX 10.4 Tiger, I could set the screen resolution as much as 1680x1050 (which is even beyond my laptop resolution).  Why?

With Windows XP as host O/S, I initially tried Microsoft Virtual PC.  The interface is good, but when I installed Linux OpenSUSE 10.3 (32-bit), the network worked sporadically and took almost a week to download necessary modules from!   I tried installed offline, the same issue happened.

After this painful waiting, finally I managed to install it, but everytime I rebooted the guest O/S it never came up correctly (the screen stayed blank after the initial OpenSUSE login screen).  I eventually dumped this stupid Virtualization tool completely and install VirtualBox.  Yes, as you might guess, it works like a charm on Windows XP too.  

I still need to try on Windows Vista though.  Will report it later.

What a tool!