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18 Dec 2008

Efficient IPTables PeerGuardian Blocklist

Mae's Days

I like being watched as little as the next girl. But so far, the only Linux-based automatic PeerGuardian blocklist updater I’ve seen has been horribly inefficient, using over 200,000 individual iptables rules. It takes forever to parse, and can seriously slow down a low-end system.

I thought to myself, “here has to be a better way.” And, of course… there is. Here’s how.

30 Jun 2008

VMware 6.5 Beta

Mae's Days

I got my hands on VMware Workstation 6.5 Beta 2 today. I’ve been using VMware for a while, mostly for running Windows programs on Linux. This new one, all I can say, “neat!”

Right from the start, the new installer was nice. Not a command-line thing needing enter hit a dozen times anymore. Once inside, I found it supports hardware 3D acceleration right in the settings now, something only very experimental in previous versions.

But my favourite feature is something they call “Unity”
VMware Unity
Full Screen Image

Yep, that’s right. Internet Exploder running in Linux, looking just like it belongs there. No virtualizer window. Not that Internet Exploder is an app I’d actually WANT to run in Linux, but it shows you what it can do. And you aren’t limited to just one virtual machine either, you can have several unified at once, each identified with its own colour.

Unfortunately being a beta it’s forced to run in debug mode, which means it’s HORRIBLY slow. But that’ll be all better once it’s released. Looking forward to it, VMware guys!

28 May 2008

SLI Requires No Special Code

Mae's Days

Being a MMO player, I run into a lot of people who honestly think they know what they’re talking about but really don’t. Today one such person claimed to have tested and proven SLI requires games to be specially written to use it, and most games get no benefit, just like multi-core CPUs.
Well, he’s right about multi-core CPUs. But completely wrong about SLI. To prove it, I grabbed a benchmark from before NVIDIA SLI was introduced (which was in 2004), 3DMark03.

These are my results with SLI disabled in the drivers (both cards still in the system):


And these are my results with SLI enabled, no other changes:


As you can see, there’s a HUGE benefit in every area where the 3D card applies, even something as simple as the fill rate tests. I strongly suspect the same applies to ATI’s Crossfire, but I can’t prove it, as I don’t have any of the hardware required.

However, this is the last time I spend over an hour jumping through hoops just to educate someone.

30 Mar 2008

No More than 5 Years — Guaranteed!

Mae's Days

How many Maes does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, and not only does the bulb get changed, a blog post comes out of it.

When changing a lightbulb today, I noticed the following written on the package:
Lasts up to 5 Years

Guaranteed to last up to 5 years. But not more than that! In fact, if it doesn’t blow within 5 years, they’ll replace it with one that did, no charge!

For the curious, the bulb in question is a Philips Marathon fluorescent bulb for standard light sockets. The light it makes is fairly good, especially considering it’s only 15W. But we’ll see how long it lasts… 😉

27 Dec 2007

Christmas Carols for the Mentally Disturbed

Mae's Days

This one’s been on the news around here lately. Some of you out there have probably heard about it too. Apparently some magazine or another has been publishing a list of Christmas Carols for the Mentally Disturbed.

Naturally, someone got all whiny about it — not an actual patient, but the daughter of one — and now everyone’s talking about it. A lot of people are split over this. Relatives and caregivers of people with mental illnesses are upset. Other people think they’re funny.

Those who know me already know this, but I myself have two of the listed illnesses, plus several unlisted ones.

I think they’re great. 😀

Christmas Carols for the Mentally Disturbed