W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

This page is full of non-facts and bullsh!t, (just like the internet and especially forums and other blogs), please do not believe entirely without exercising your intellect. Any resemblance to real things in reality is purely coincidental. You are free to interpret/misinterpret the content however you like, most likely for entertainment, but in no case is the text written on this blog the absolute truth. The blog owner and Blogger are not responsible for any misunderstanding of ASCII characters as facts. *cough* As I was saying, you are free to interpret however you like. *cough*

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sandboxie: Open virus-infected keygens/malware-abundant porn sites with no worries of any infection to your system watsoever

I've been using this nifty useful little program for a while now, might as well share it with the peeps out there that didn't know it yet. It's so useful that it's now part of the programs I'll install first in a reformat. (In comparison, Photoshop isn't) It's small, and takes up little memory. And best of all, it's free.

The concept here is sandboxing. Now, more of you guys would have heard of this. For those who haven't, it means running the program in it's own isolated version of the system. The environment is emulated (though it's essential a copy of your OS) and seperated from the actual OS, and hence any changes to the system will only happen to the emulated system and not your real OS, although the program will be thinking so. While you can't use this with installers, for keygens it's very useful, since all you need is that one key it generates.

But, usually sandboxes comes as part of an Antivirus suite, which tend to be very slow, memory consuming, and not free.

So comes Sandboxie.

This program, (please read the first paragraph).

To use it, just drag the program into the main window and there you go.

Did I mention prawn sites? That's coz you can use Internet Explorer with this too, albeit at a speed penalty due to the sandboxing. So any shitz the scripts usually do to the computer will do nothing at all. And the even better part is, since it did do something to the program and its emulated OS, you can get past those protection and download the premium contents since the script will be fooled that it has done something to the system.

No user guide for this since it's so easy to use. No screenshots of this since it's so easy to get so just try it out.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An update to the various ways to improve Anime watching on the computer

1. I was searching the net for other asharp parameter combinations. Aside from the default 2-4-1 and the standard (and recommended by the programmer) 2-2-1, I read that some people wrote that 4-6-1 yields much better results both in sharpness and low noise for them. So I tried that out, and...

4-6-1 is terrible. Really. Lots of jagged edges even for high quality source and even worse for low quality ones. Any macroblock previously unseen is obvious also.

But, one thing to praise, is that the details are really, really, clear now. If the source is high quality enough. Else the only extra details you're going to see are jagged microblocks.

For simpler understanding, a good analogy would be SRS WOW effect at the max on a low-quality MP3, or, less accurately, turning up the treble/bass till it distorts into boominess and high-harsh. It's good, but unatural.

So the moral of the story is, always experiment and get something to your own liking.

Even 2-2-1 gives visible noise. But this is the best compromise I've tried, just that slight little increase in noise for that subtle but relatively significant increase in sharpness.

2. I refer to the guide where I change the resolution to that of the screen such that the subtitles will appear in the black bar area. Turns out there is a much simpler way to do this. And hence I apologize for the less correct method in my guide.

Under FFDShow's decoder settings, there is this Subtitles settings. Just check Letterbox and set the aspect ratio to the same as that of your screen. Done.

3. You can use CoreAVC/RealAlternative/watever thing in conjunction with FFDShow/CCCP's filters. Just enable Raw Video under the codecs. Thanks to simplyadvanced (VRZ) for pointing that out.

4. Aside from Lanczos, try Spline resize if you're upscaling by large multiples. It's supposed to be better than Lanczos for its lower ringing especially when upscaling by large multiples, and yes it is indeed better than Lanczos in this aspect. But the speed impact may make it unusable for normal playback. Use at personal preference.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

ARIA The ORIGINATION: Afterthoughts

Guess there's no need to review this show... since it should be famous by now. Not many series get 3 seperate (as opposed to continuous, like... *cough cough*) seasons and cover the entire manga storyline, that's what I heard.

The third season... while I originally once thought near the end of the first season and somewhere near the start of the second season, that the show will reach the limit of creation* and should just stop at around the 13th episode of The Natural season, or 26 total episodes, which is just about nice for many series. In the end... wrong. I previously thought that there was only 13 eps for Natural. Turned out there was 26. Yes I was tricked by some unreliable source. But by the end of the first half, I already changed my mind, and even at the end of The Natural, I was craving for more. It was right around then I read news of an OVA and the final season. It felt good, but kinda sad too, when I realize that the series, including the manga, will come to a definite end.

*Limit of creation - Another term I coined, to describe the scenario in a story when there's nothing more to add on without being redundant, long-winded, loopy, or make the story worse in general. All storylines will eventually reach this point and should stop, else it will feel very draggy, off the story, and stupid in general. Take a look around you, how many series should have stopped while ahead but didn't?

But the most important thing about the final season, is how it really differed from normal slice-of-life way of ending, as well as many other storys' way of ending. It actually has an ending, a definite one such that after this, any possible continuation will be in a different scenario. Plus, although this is a slice-of-life, the ending part (which was 5 episode long actually) was really climatic even though... it's a slice-of-life. I know I used two thoughs in the previous sentence but that's just to emphasize something. Something that's so common and we experience so many times in our lives and yet we feel nothing about, can be almost tear-jerking in this series. Ok, maybe I felt nothing, but the girls sure were crying rivers. Yes, it's the parting. To be specific, the inevitable parting that came as the result of progress and completion of a part of our journey in life. This marked the definite end of this story. And is something that happens to everyone, more often than living happily every after. After watching The Origination, it feels wierd that other stories don't extend all the way to this stage. But that's ok, since it would've been boring. However, ARIA made it all good. And that's what's so good about this series, and hence makes it the best slice-of-life series, ever.

I'll definitely be looking forward to the next work by Amano Kozue.

More afterthoughts... perhaps the best addition to the manga storyline in the Anime is the first part of the Arietta OVA plus the additional ending part of the Anime, which is essentially the same thing. Yes, the previous journey has ended, a new journey has began, and the cycle repeats again. Eventually, there will be another parting, but new fun times and precious memories will be created before that. Also, without a parting, there won't be a new encounter, right?

But... one big complaint about the Anime ending, is that AKARI'S NEW HAIRSTYLE SUCKS. While it is supposed to make her look more mature (since she is now the senior), they could have just used long flowing hair or tie it near the bottom. But they just had to keep the pigtails. Fringes I mean, pigtails are from Marimite (hope you get what I mean '',). Didn't anybody tell them that long fringes without long flowing hair is still a kiddish hairstyle?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Looks like Pantone Huey isn't enough

I mean my calibrator. It is the cheapest display calibrator I know. And today, I realize that it just simply isn't enough.

While I already know that its color sensing isn't accurate, today I discovered that its brightness/contrast aren't perfect either. I was calibrating my reinstalled com when I thought that I should calibrate it with a higher monitor brightness so that I can get a higher maximum white and thus more vivid colors from the bigger color range (which I remembered later that increasing brightness actually reduces the color range in imaging, but is that really the case for monitors?). Strangely, the color came out to be slightly washed-out. Wierd, shouldn't it due to the bigger color range that it would be giving more dynamic colors, if not the same colors as in an ideal situation?

What's even worse is, since this brightness strains my eyes after a while, I have to switch back to the lower brightness that I always use, and after calibration this brightness setting results in very pale colors. Not to mention too dark.

In the end, still calibrated the screen to the lower brightness.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What a f'ed-up week(end)... plus a lesson to be learnt

My DIY DAC really gave me a whole lot of problem so much so that I really should've gotten a 2nd-hand Go-Vibe DAC or a premade DIY DAC or something. Paying more for the power cleaning circuit, better finish, CASING, SIZE, SOUND QUALITY (from the op-amp), and most importantly...


...is definitely worth it.

It was thursday (Labour Day) morning after I finished building my Power-Booted USB Cable and I wanted to test it out. Fearing it might kill the amp, I tested it with my USB card reader cum hub. My com froze and it refused to load past the starting Windows screen ever again. Thinking it was some sort of file system corruption that XP is famous for, I tried the setup disc, and it hung at Setup is starting Windows. Fearing that the cable might have taken out the mainboard or worse, the harddisk with loads of my irrecoverable precious data, I immediately took out the HDD to test with the IDE/SATA-USB converter with my bro's laptop (and played a bit of The Typing of The Dead while at it). It works. So it might be the SATA controller that's dead. I tried the IDE HDD. It works. Backed up the data onto the backup HDD, tried formatting the HDD. Couldn't reformat due to some program monitoring the HDD. Tried Ultimate Boot CD. Cannot format NTFS. Tried with my bro's laptop. Program monitoring. Entered Computer Management -> Drive Management. Forced the format from there.

Lesson 1: You can force a format of a HDD through Drive Management
Lesson 2: If possible, keep the OS and data on seperate physicak HDDs. This also boosts performance.

I can't do that because I'm an SPCR forummer i.e. I like my PC silent.

It's all okay until after the install that I forgot I had forgotten to backup a file.

Lesson 3: Always backup the entire part of a partition/disk you're going to format

Usually I do that. But this time I'm really, really short of HDD space.

So I spent the next day or more trying to get back that file. No I won't be able to get it again off the internet, because it's a song that I wrote. And by song, I don't mean just the text file, but the midi script. Which takes a long time to make.

In the end, I gave up and proceeded with another reformat. Why? Because I have installed too many unformat softwares, plus I was afraid that I might have gotten a virus from a possibly infected ATi Southbridge Driver setup file.

Lesson 4: Always scan suspicious files

Right after the 2nd reinstall I decided to try my luck with the Power-Boosted USB Cable again, because it worked with the USB DAC. But this time, with the USB hub cum card reader. And guess what, it froze the com again. Same thing as last time. Except this time I also couldn't setup the IDE HDD.

Now I'm totally stranded; without a HDD I could work with and now without my bro's laptop, I have to live for a week before my brother probably comes back with his laptop. Luckily, my pop had installed a KVM set-up with another computer (my trusty old Pentium II 350Mhz) and I could use it to search the internet for solutions to this problem of setup hanging at "Setup is starting Windows".

And this, was after I tried many many many many ways to play with the file system using the Ultimate Boot CD.

Apparently the usual cause for this is Setup being unable to identify a hardware. So I tried by disconnecting the USB hub cum card reader. Didn't work. Removed the IDE/SATA-USB adaptor too and viola!

And I'm guessing that Windows and Setup (and BartPE) hung because of these two devices. (Windows can work with the IDE/SATA-USB adaptor so it was the USB hub cum card reader that hung it)

Lesson 5: A bad hardware (or ACPI or BIOS setting) can hang your com and make it impossible to load or setup

Good lord, I reformatted my com, lost a piece of my music, and wasted 3 whole days, over a stupid USB DAC, a Power-Boosted USB Cable, and because I didn't bother to to a skeletal boot!?

This is so fucking dumb...