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Friday, February 27, 2009

uTorrent IPFilter Updater v1.5.4 Released

This new version address some changes to the download site.
A brief changelog:

  • license agreement detection (the license agreement page was removed again recently, but the Updater should still work if it is enabled again in the future)
  • support for the new ZIP downloads
  • -paranoid option (use if you want to grab the paranoid list instead)
  • fixed download limit detection bug

For the next release, I plan to add intelligent date detection so that the Updater will know if you have the latest version or not.

As usual, you can grab it from

Monday, February 23, 2009

Koreans turn Phenom II X3 into an X4

Turn a 3-Core AMD Phenom 2 into a 4-Core - Tom's Hardware

Just heard about this from a friend: a Korean hardware site has apparently
figured out a way to enable to fourth disabled core on a Phenom II X3 710.
The feat was accomplished using a Biostar board by turning Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) to the "Auto" setting.
Definitely is an awesome feat (if true), but I'm chalking this up to the forces of voodoo and black magic :)

El Cheapo – Building a Cheap, All-Digital Dual Tuner HTPC

Bargain-basement PCs are all the rage, something especially true given the pitiful state of the economy these days. From the likes of all the major OEMs – Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, for example – cheap machines can be had for a couple hundred or more after rebate. Even for the price, however, the hardware you get is simply abysmal. Media center/HTPC duties are simply out of the question. So what’s a cheap (or penny-pinching) person to do? Build your own, of course. And that is exactly what I did. Check out the specs and prices listed below (all parts came from Newegg):

Case + PSU Rosewill R103A ATX Mid-tower w/ 350W PSU $34.99
CPU AMD Athlon X2 4850e $57.00
Motherboard Gigabyte MA78GM-S2HP AMD 780G mATX $69.99 (AR)
Video card ATI Radeon HD 3200 (integrated) ---
Memory Corsair XMS2 2x1GB DDR2-800 $9.99 (AR)
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA 3.0GB/s $49.99
Optical Drive LG GH20NS15 $22.99
TV Tuner Hauppauge HVR-2250 Dual ATSC/QAM $109.99
    Total: $354.94
    *AR = after rebate

Rosewill R103A Case

There you go: a hard-hitting HTPC build for just over $350! Thanks to the excellent onboard GPU of the AMD 780G chipset, decoding for H.264 and VC-1 video is handled in hardware, drastically reducing CPU load. The dual tuners of the HVR-2250 can be leveraged to watch/record 2 HD shows at once and work great in Windows Vista Media Center (especially the TV Pack.) Gigabyte has done an excellent job on this low-cost, high-quality motherboard – a rear eSATA port can handle future storage needs. Overall, this is a system that has more than adequate power for running Vista, and Windows 7 later on.

The above system has been running 24/7 now for quite some time with full stability. The AMD 4850e CPU is actually overclocked slightly to 2.8GHz from its stock 2.5. The motherboard’s BIOS offers a subset of tweaking options usually seen on much higher-end boards.

Surely, you could not find anything with similar specs in a big-box store. It seems that the OEMs reserve TV tuner cards for much more expensive models in the >$800 range.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

calcGRADE 2008 Revision 2 Released (A Long Time Ago)

This really should be last year’s news, but here we go anyway since I’ve forgotten/neglected/been too lazy to announce this. The second, and hopefully final revision of the venerable calcGRADE 2008 personal gradebook software for TI-89 Titanium and Voyage 200 calculators.

A brief changelog:

  • new "View Category" feature shows stats for a single weight category
  • new, rewritten weighted average algorithm is up to 2x faster
  • reimplemented "undef" behavior (see manual)
  • updated Manual
  • slight tweaks to graphing function


About screen  Category Info Screen

Main info screen

Graph screen

It’s already been on for quite a while, so head on over:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Windows 7 will only have three versions


» Microsoft simplifies the Windows 7 lineup | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report |

Finally, Microsoft has pulled its head out of the sand and simplified the Windows 7 edition lineup (for those of us who don’t lived in a third-world country, at least). There will be 3 clear-cut and easy to understand editions: Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate (also called Enterprise for volume buyers). Unlike Vista, each edition will contain all features of the edition(s) below it: for example, Professional’s features are a superset of Home Premium’s features, and Ultimate will have all of Professional’s features. Yay! Now slack-off workers can play videos through Media Center will being connected to the corporate domain. Just what we need. But seriously, this is a much more elegant move on Microsoft’s part – no more confusion over what edition to get and heated discussions about which edition is most suitable. And no more hilarious parodies like this:

uTorrent IPFilter Updater v1.5.2 Released

It seems that is trying to make it even harder for people to download their lists - recently they implemented a license agreement (checkbox + button) that you have to agree to before it releases the download. The new Updater, v1.5.2, is capable of handling this silly little addition. As always, you may find more information and the download links at the main page: