Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Two days ago I picked up my first totally personal laptop/notebook/netbook/whatever-you-wanna-call-a-pc-you-carry-around. I wanted something that was small and light(relatively) with enough performance to allow some simple (non-graphics-related) coding and doodling. Also, since I was sure I’d be running Linux on it compatibility was a big issue.

After doing tons of research that really wasn’t to much good, I decided to go for the Lenovo Ideapad u150. Mostly because it was cheap and I always had confidence (= good experience) with Lenovo machines in the past. Also, before reading further keep in mind that it’s a Japanese config, so there might be differences from the machines sold under the same name in Europe and the US.

Since it came without any form of optical drive, installation of Linux would have to be done using a USB stick. No problem, though, just format a large enough stick, grab the latest syslinux and write a MBR onto it, copy the files from your distro-iso and setup the correct files in the root dir.

I decided to go with Ubuntu for this machine. Normally I would have run Debian Testing, but I figured I could spoil myself with some support-wheels. Installing Ubuntu 9.10 was a breeze. Really, the whole thing went so smooth it was almost scary (=boring? ;) ).

A reboot confirmed that grub had recognized the win7 partition, which I’ll leave around for a while for the Lenovo diagnostics apps. Booting into the Ubuntu Gnome desktop I was pleasantly surprised that all the hardware (including fn-keys, wifi, bluetooth …) had been recognized and setup properly’ (except for one little detail, see below). Again, almost to easy to be all together comfortable…

The only thing that needs to be fixed is that sometimes the screen-brightness fn-keys wont actually change the brightness of the screen *lol*. Pressing them displays the nice little gui feedback and everything but sometimes the actual screen brightness just stays the same.. this I will have to look into.

The verdict: A very very nice experience indeed. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a decent, easy to handle and very portable PC.

Update 1:

Fixed the brightness keys issue with the solution described here:


Everyone get your crowbars ready! No seriously….


Are all over the place these days, but why is it so hard to find a good old 1600×1200 matte monitor??? Is there really no market for good old 4:3 screens any more?? If you have any recommendations, please let me know! (My trusty old dell has got one too many burns now….)












Posted on: July 29, 2009

Most of it may be old, but it was very nice reading it in this form.


[Secrets of the Little Blue Box]

Really makes you wonder what all these people are up to today, and how much damage this article did to their scene….


Posted on: May 16, 2009

I was seeing some rather high temperatures on the CPU so I decided to get a new fan. After doing some research I ended up (as always) at zalman’s page, where this little beauty caught my eye:



Not only does it look awesome, it is really really cool. The CPU temp dropped instantly by ~25 degrees compared to the standard out-of-the-box cooler. It was a little bit pricey, but both me and S have burned out machines before using insufficient cooling, so we both agreed that it would be worth it.

It was a pain to install, but now it’s mounted and spinning happily.

The Rig (now even cooler)

The Rig (now even cooler)

Also, did I mention it glows :)

Everyone should have them!!


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Visual Studio 2008 Prof / NUnit / Gallio / csUnit / STools (ExactMagic) / doxygen / dxCore / TypeMock / TestDriven.net / SequenceViz / CLRProfiler / Snoop / Reflector / Mole / FxCop / Subversion / TortoiseSVN / SlikSVN / CruiseControl.net / msbuild / nant

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