January Already

Well, the ongoing web coding/design implementation project is taking a little more time than initially expected (well, not necessarily true, but things are going along nicely now). The new HP LP2475w helps with coding and debugging, the extra screen real estate is nice–I’m literally surrounded by screen now. It is too bad that currently no two screens show the same color in my setup. By far my ancient Dell 1702FP shows the truest colors, though the HP LP2475w should be able to match it once calibrated properly. Only one stuck subpixel, naturally it had to be the green one, so on darker colors it sticks out, but on lighter ones is is not noticeable. Thanks to the small size of the pixels, one stuck subpixel is not really a problem. Gaming wise, my system is too weak to push the full resolution to the monitor on any modern games. However, Worms Armageddon supports the 1920×1200 resolution just fine, most maps fit within the screen, which is awesome.

The previously mentioned new plugin will be delayed slightly as, once again, it will use jQuery. Originally it was going to use jQuery, I could not get it to work correctly so I rewrote the JavaScript using MooTools, but I think I can get it to work in jQuery. That is all I will say about that plugin for now.

An update to Breadcrumb NavXT will come out late next week. This is a feature adding release, and so far three things have been improved. I’ll be looking into paged archive/post/page pages for this release, and probably qtranslate support as well (through a wrapper of sorts).

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Wood Hard Drive Case Mod Part Four

Now for the fourth set of images for this project. I finally found some stain that I liked, and hence went to town staining the wood case. The stain is a gell stain, which I’ve never worked with before. Since it was old (found it in a bunch of old wood working tools) I was surprised it was any good. It says to apply liberally and wipe off after 5 to 10 minutes. Due to it’s age, leaving it on that long would result in it drying too much, a very bad thing, but nothing a little water can’t take care of.

The case all fits together now, but the mounts for the hard drive are causing some problems that allow it to power up but Windows will not recognize it. What is happening is the little converter board that plugs into the hard drive gets tweaked and the data connector loses it’s connection. This will require redrilling mounting holes in the bottom aluminum plate, this time I’m going to use the drill press and hopefully that will be the end of the project.

-John Havlik

Wood Hard Drive Case Mod Part Three

Onto the third set of pictures for the wooden external hard drive case. As of now all that really needs to be done is to stain the wood. Since I don’t have the stain I want to use at hand, that part is not complete yet. Since the last set, the attachment mechanism was figured out. Turns out wood glue works good for tapping wood for M3 screws. The activity and power LEDs were mounted together, and the polycarbonate window for them was placed in the case.

-John Havlik

Vostro 1400’s 5.1 Surround Sound

Believe it or not the Vostro 1400 does have built in 5.1 Surround Sound and can drive analog outputs for such a setup. The plug-order from left to right on the front of the laptop is front (green plug), center/sub (orange plug), rear (black plug). After plugging into the ports, go to your control panel, and open up the SigmaTel Audio panel. Under the “Jack Setup” tab right click on each of the jacks (which each should have a green check mark over if you have plugged something into them). In the pop-up menu select the appropriate setting. Then back in Control Panel go to the Sound Panel select the Speakers/Headphones option/device and click on the configure button, select “5.1 Surround” in the Audio channels list. Continue on through the setup and when done everything should work in full 5.1 surround goodness. Naturally, the on board sound isn’t as good as the sound from my X-Fi, but I don’t have the 5.1 breakout box for the X-Fi yet. Dell’s choice to place the audio jacks on the front of the Vostro isn’t the best of design choices as they get in the way of the keyboard a little bit. However, it really isn’t that bad.

I really wish all laptop manufactures would standardize on a common docking station interface which would consist of a PCI Express x16 connector plus an express card interface located in the port (plus power of course), which in the base station would allow for full sized x16 graphics card to be installed and either a normal PCI, x1 card, or express card to be installed as well, plus 4 or so USB ports on the dock. That way you can game with the laptop when docked (Geforce 9800GT anyone?) yet get the power benefits of having an IGP while mobile (I really enjoy my 5+ hours of battery life with the normal 6 cell battery).

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]