Sunday, April 01, 2007

My article published in Packet Magazine

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

1 - 0.9 - 0.1

Google calculator flaw...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bought an ATI Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition display card

Ordered a X850XT Platinum Ed. from Cheapest deal you can find for 366$ inclusive of shipping. Awaiting the arrival of the card in the next one day or so...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Trip to Canada

Recent trip to Canada - Pic showing the route-map

Friday, August 12, 2005

Latest add on to my Gadgets - Casio Exilim

Yet another add on to my gadget collection - a Casio 5.0 MP, Exilim camera - almost as thin as 10 credit cards stuck together. The performance of the camera is excellent, can take pictures at resolutions as high as 2568 * 1920 with movies at 640*480 MPEG. A 1 gig memory card can give storage space for movies upto 1 hour long. Good thing abt the memory cards is that it will take either SD or MMC, unlike Sony who makes good cameras, but have to rely on using Sony proprietary memory cards (Memory sticks). Check out some of the pictures below.

This camera is an excellent choice for the money you pay less than 400 $...Slim, compact and still use point and shoot with 3x optical and 4x digital zoom. Also has a built in Anti shake DSP which prevents shaky/blurry images. Bought this camera from Norman Camera in Michigan - an excellent store to buy your cameras online. Shipping was cheap and was right on time.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Finally modded my Xbox after 3 yrs of owning it

After 3 yrs of owning an Xbox 1.0 (newly released versions have reached version 1.6). The Xbox is nothing but a P3 733 Mhz processor with 64 Mb ram and 8 gb hard disk and a DVD rom drive. The GPU is from Nvidia with 32 MB of VRAM ( i think) and DRAM is also built on board. Check this link for more pictures associated with my Xbox Mods.

Approximate cost of the project = 70 - 80 $.

Some caveats, if you have recently bought the Xbox, and is still under warranty from Microsoft or a retail shop, dont mod it as you will lose warranty. You have to remove two hidden screws underneath the warranty and disclaimer sticker to open the xbox. The Xbox uses a special screw called Torx bit screw, which have a Star shape on the surface of the screw. You cannot use regular screw drivers to unscrew them, so I had to get a Torx screw driver for 10 $ from a local Home Depot store. I also bought a Xenium SP ICE chip for 62 + shipping online. Got the chip 2 days after I ordered it and after 2 days of reading various documents on the Internet , on how to mod an Xbox with Xenium chip...I still couldnt figure out where the Xenium chip goes into the motherboard of my Xbox. All this was because most documents on the Internet talks about installing Xenium chip on V 1.6 Xboxes. My version was a 1.0. Microsoft obviously used different chips for each versions on the mobo and hence all this confusion...I finally realised that some of the components that shipped with the Xenium SP ICE chip is not required for my Xbox (v 1.0's). Started this project on a Friday evening, and finally by Monday evening, I successfully installed my first mod chip on my Xbox. Also ugraded the stock hard drive on the Xbox (which is a 8 gb) to a massive 200 gb Ultra ATA disk from Seagate. Note that you have to buy a Hard drive that canbe locked and unlocked. Upgraded the hard disk to the new one and copied all the old hard drive contents (my save files, game profiles etc) from Old disk to New disk. At this point my modded xbox was ready to be installed with a new dashboard so that I can load applications, rip games to hard disc, rip dvds to hard disks etc....

The next part is the hard part...trying to find a dashboard (like Evolution X or Avalaunch) which are pirated versions of Microsoft original Xbox code. So its illegal to distribute such code. You got to rely on bit torrent files to download this software. After a day of searching I was finally able to locate the software which could be burned into a CDRW or DVD (no CDRs as Xbox doesnt read from most CDRs)...and all you got to do is boot the Xbox from this disc. Rest if piece of Cake.

My Modded Xbox can,

a. Now run two dashboards - EvoX and Avalaunch as well as the original Microsoft dashboard
b. Rip games to local HDD
c. Rip DVD movies to local HDD
d. Massive 200 gb storage
e. XBMP - Xbox media player - playes mpeg video as well as audio - mp3
f. XBMC - Xbox media center - streams video from a Media center edition XP PC with a tv tuner card built in...
g. Take backup copies of games that you own to a DVD (blank disc)
h. Has built in emulators that can play old Nintendo, Sega, Mame, Atari rom based video games
i. Downloadable skins
and lots more.....

More projects on the way...

a. installing win 98 on Xbox
b. installing Linux on Xbox
c. installing Windows CE on Xbox..

Until then..i will keep this blog posted with more fun stuff that I am gonna do with my Xbox...

Monday, May 09, 2005

New Plasma TV

After two months of anticipation and lot of research time put into reviewing plasma tv's i finally made the decision. Bought a new plasma tv..err..i should not call this a tv, but a panel. Now whats the diff between a tv and a panel. A tv has a built in tuner, while the panel does not. The panels are usually a lot cheaper than tv's due to the above reason. I got mine for 3700$ plus shipping, which is a very nice deal on one of the top selling plasma panels in the market today. Check out the pics below - Click the thumbnails for a bigger picture.

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Lazy dood

Three months, thats a long break from blogging...I cant believe i did that. I was so enthu. when i started blogging, but then I guess I got lazy as usual..Finally my college mate's comments made me start all over again..Its a good thing, coz so many things have happened in the past 3 months, that there is lot to tell..

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Speeding Ticket

Havent got one in a while. Tonight a cop pulled me over for speeding at 48 mph on a 35 mph speed limit road. And this will be my 6th speeding ticket in the past 4 yrs. Felt weird that I got a speeding ticket only for 48 mph, when I usually speed at 60-65 mph on 35 mph limit roads. Atleast for the next few weeks my speeding will be under control for some time.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

DSL versus Cable

I dont mean to use this blog as a board to review which is faster - DSL versus Cable. But definitely I did do some benchmark tests to find out which is faster DSL or Cable. And I could not resist blurting that out at my blog. I have been a SBC DSL customer for the past 1+ year. I had a promotional rate of 26 dollars + hidden taxes for the first one year. Since November I have been paying almost 60 dollars for my internet and phone bills...basic phone service with caller ID and SBC DSL (1.5 Mbps down and 256kbps upload). As a move towards reducing my internet costs, i decided to order cable internet and finally got basic cable TV + high speed internet from Comcast (local cable provider). The free cable modem (leased from Comcast for 3 dollars per month) didnt seem to work properly (long story) and Comcast was ready to send a technician to fix it for 50 dollars. I told them to "scr3w y0urs3lf" and went ahead and bought a cable modem from a local store.
The new cable modem from the local store did an awesome job and tonight i am a proud owner of two internet connections - Comcast Cable and SBC Yahoo DSL. I decided to use some bandwidth testers to measure download and upload speeds. Here are the test results..
Test Setup:
  • 3.4 Ghz Intel CPU running Windows Media Center edition 2005
  • 1 Gig ram
  • 10/100 nic connected back to back to Cable modem for Cable speed tests
  • 10/100 nic connected back to back to DSL modem for DSL speed tests
Test Results:
Test no 1: SBC Yahoo DSL has a online tester. I used the service to test both my DSL and Cable internet connection.
Download speed - 1111 kbps
Upload speed - 306.98 kbps
Cable -
Download speed - 1669 kbps
Upload speed - 367.81 kbps
It looked like there is not much difference between both the flavours. So I decided to use another website and after much googling found a website which seem to perform much better with bandwidth measurements. Read more about it at Test no:2.
Test no 2: Download /Upload tests at
Visit "" website to perform Upload as well as Download measurements. The unique feature with this website is that they measure bandwidth with different file sizes.
Cable : Download tests (Speed of connection/File Downloaded at)
Test 1: 3098 kbps/378 KBPS (Kilo Bytes per second)
Test 2: 2737 kbps/334 KBPS
Test 3: 2474 kbps/302 KBPS
Cable : Upload tests (Speed of connection/File Uploaded at)
Test 1: 361 kbps /44 KBPS
Test 2: 362 kbps / 44 KBPS
Test 3: 361 kbps / 43 KBPS
Conclusion : Cable seems to have an average Download speed of 2.5-3 Mbps and Upload speed of 364 kbps
DSL : Download tests (Speed of connection/File Downloaded at)
Test1: 1306 kbps / 159 KBPS
Test2: 1210 kbps / 148 KBPS
Test3: 1302 kbps / 159 KBPS
DSL : Upload tests (Speed of connection/File Uploaded at)
Test 1: 284 kbps / 35 KBPS
Test 2: 286 kbps / 35 KBPS
Test 3: 284 kbps / 35 KBPS
Conclusion: DSL seems to have an average Download speed of 1.2-1.3 Mbps and Upload speed of 284 kbps.
Test no 3:
A simple file download of 8 mb in size took 18 seconds on an average (based on 3 successive tests) via Cable modem.
The same file download (8 mb) took 50 seconds on an average via DSL modem(based on 3 successive tests)
Definitely Comcast cable is outperforming SBC DSL in download speeds. Upload speeds are failry the same. After all this blog did become a benchmarking arena for Cable vs DSL.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Pianist

I missed watching this Oscar winner back in 2002, until yesterday when i finally got a chance to rest my bu** to watch this movie!! The movie has a li'l drag but over all I would admit that this movie is definitely worth watching. The movie revolves around a pianist from Poland who has to suffer the discrimination from Nazis for being a Jew and how he survives through 4 years (the movie is dated back to 1945 - WW time). This movie is the true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman who in 1930 was known to be the most accomplished pianist in Poland. Note that this movie will add to your hate list for Germans, for what they did to the rest of the world during Hitler's rule!!

I am not all surprised why this movie got the Oscar award!! The same reason why I always like Roman Polanski's films.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

GCF Scape

Ever since I started playing Half-Life2, I have been interested in some how ripping the background music of the game ..I knew Valve had come out with a OST audio Cd for some odd 20 bucks a piece!! I wasnt that crazy enough behind Half-life2 like I was behind Halo and Halo2 ( I actually bought the OST of Halo and Halo2)...After considerable amount of time spent behind this, I finally was able to find a tool (This might not be new to you) called GCF Scape. FYI, Steam users of Half-Life2 should know very well that most of Half-Life contents are stored as GCF files. GCF Scape is a tool that parses through a GCF file and extracts the contents for you. After playing with this tool for some time, I was able to extract all OST tracks of Half-life2. FYI Valve stores these files as mp3 (not a safe way to store these files huh!!)
Picture attached below!

GCFScape used to rip HL2 OST files. Posted by Hello

Modded case

My P4 has been screaming hot (with no OC). I already have installed 2 80 mm fans and a Gigabyte 3D Cooler PRO wth adjustable fan speeds (upto 4000 rpm) I think its my case , that its small, that it has bad ventilation thats causing all these problems. Finally decided to get a 120 mm fan - got one from Aerocool for 18 bucks...The case and system idle temps are now down to 37-38 deg C and under load conditions 50 deg C...I remember Intel had mentioned that Prescotts run so hot that they can run pretty good upto 65 deg C.
Also added two Dragon grills to the 80 mm fans on my case (one on top and one on bottom). Post your thoughs. Pictures attached below

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Thats the Dragon grill on the 80 mm fans.. Posted by Hello