Another Ebay Auction

I am placing my HIS Radeon 6950 HD video card on ebay for sale. It has been firmware upgraded to a 6970 HD.

This was in the wood case computer. The original goal was to swap in a Nvidia 660 or 670 card when they come out in a month or so. Having second thoughts on that. This computer is hooked up to one of my LED projectors that is only capable of 720p/1080i resolution. You don’t need much of a video card to drive pixels to that kind of display. I put in a Radeon 4670 HD as a place holder. That card may be enough for this kind of set up and may become permanent.

We’ll see where my head is at in a month when the new cards come out. You will know my emotions will have gotten the best of me if I get a new card. I am one of the kings of rationalizing frivolous geek purchases.

Ubuntu retry

Trying the latest release of Ubuntu (Precise Pangolin, 12.04 LTS). Not happy with it still. The problems this time around are 1) Suspend doesn’t work. 2) CIFS mounts are buggy. 3) Mouse doesn’t work correctly after boot up.

I suspend the machine, the fans stop and the screen goes black as expected. I hit the power to button to bring the system back, the fans fire up, but nothing after that. Screen remains black. Have to do a hard reset.

My NAS is hooked up to a windows box. I set up fstab to mount this windows share – that works well. I can’t stream videos properly. About once every 30 seconds, the video stops for a couple seconds. If I copy the video over into the linux filesystem, works fine.

I reach desktop after a fresh boot, and the mouse is able to select things in the side menu. Start any app, and my mouse can no longer select things. I hit ctrl-alt-del to log-off. Then log back in, and things are fine after that.

The one thing that did impress me is wifi hook-up. I have had all sorts of problems connecting to wifi with previous versions. With 12.04, connecting to my wifi router was really easy.

I am getting used to the Unity desktop. Although I suspect my mouse problems are related Unity. My main gripe is Unity is poor on discovery. It took a lot of exploring to figure out how to get a terminal up, for example. Then more exploring to figure out how to bring up multiple terminals.

But the above problems are show-stoppers that I don’t have the patience to debug. I will try the latest Mint distro when that comes out in about a month.


Taking a break from my Levothyroxine. That’s my synthetic thyroid pills. The last time my TSH levels were checked, I was hyperthyroid. Doctor didn’t change my dosage. Lately I have been feeling like crap. Part of the reason is spring allergies, but the main reason is my eczema is the worst it has ever been. Plus I have been really anxious and frazzled lately. So I am going to take a couple weeks off from Levothyroxine and see what happens. This has not been a fun spring, even with the nice weather.

Achieving goals makes you sad

Below is graphic of the emotional rollercoaster of gamer playing a video game. Lots of anger with brief moments of happiness. At the end, sadness. The sadness at the end didn’t make much sense to me when I first read the article. But then I read this quote from this article.

Kartheiser: With success comes a level of sadness. You think, “I’ll reach this goal, and then I’ll feel a sense of completeness, of wholeness. I’ll feel that I have accomplished something. I will see myself as a worthy man.” And it doesn’t really exist.

Now it makes sense. Playing a game is very equivalent to life’s goals. I wonder if it is best not to have goals, and just be in a constant state of striving.


In an attempt to get more players, I am posting this well done review and example play through of Rio Grande’s Dominion. Like the reviewer says, this board/card game is relatively simple for all ages, games are short and lots of fun. I have the base game with all expansions, and looking for a road trip.

Visual Pinball

I downloaded Visual Pinball about 3 or 4 years ago. I attempted to install it back then, and failed. I made another attempt today and succeeded. I have no idea what the difference is between now and then. But anyway, I have emulated pinball goodness on my Mame PC setup. Watch the video for more of a visual explanation.

I don’t understand “black edition” video cards.

I purchased a HIS 7850 HD video card that was set to the AMD reference specs. XFX released a “black edition” of the 7850. The only difference I can see is that they have overclocked the graphics core (from 860 to 975 MHz) and the memory timings (from 1200 to 1250 MHZ). The Tech Report benchmarked the black edition cards and were underwhelmed. I just overclocked my stock card to the black edition timings, and I received a nice 10% bump on the Alien vs Predator benchmark (from 38 to 42 fps).

I don’t have much respect for XFX and other companies that sell these pre-overclocked cards. They are just taking advantage of the naivety of their customers.

In other news, the new AMD drivers have finally fixed the display problems in Rage. After installing the 12.3 Catalyst drivers and running Rage on my new card, I was able to play the game without tearing or artifacts. How long did this take?