thefrozencoder

Programming and Technology blog

USB Flash Drives ...

Here in Canada Best Buy is selling 8GB USB Flash Drives from Duracell (who knew they made USB drives) for $19.99. Now I have seen drives of this size cheaper but to come from a "known" name brand like this made me wonder how good the drive actually was.

When I got home I tested the Read/Write speed using the USB Flash Drive Tester (found here). I also tested my 4GB ScanDisk Cruzer Micro as a simple control. While I am not sure if having two drives of different size matters the results were:
  • Duracell
    • Write: Tested total 7645.999MB in 0:11:52 with 10.741MB/s
    • Read: Tested total 7645.999MB in 0:08:59 with 14.177MB/s
  • ScanDisk
    1. Write: Tested total 3919.840MB in 0:14:46 with 4.431MB/s
    2. Read: Tested total 3919.840MB in 0:07:56 with 8.234MB/s
While I am not sure how acurate my tests were but it does make you wonder just because it is cheaper is it really cheap?

Been a long time running

Seems like during the summer time I have nothing to say, or rather I don’t usually do much blogging or coding. It is after all summer time.

Except for this weekend or rather today in general. As of lately I have been immersing myself in the world of the ASP.NET MVC bits (preview 4). I never really bothered with the earlier previews since I figured that they would be changing the framework so anything you learned in Preview 1 would probably be obsolete by Preview 5 and I was pretty much right based on some of the samples that I had downloaded.

My main interest is the idea of a pluggable view engine especially a Xml/Xsl transform view engine. A couple of searches via Google and viola I was redirected to the MvcContrib page on Codeplex. After downloading the source and samples I soon realized (probably like others to their amazement) there were no samples for the MvcContrib.XsltViewEngine. There wasn't even a documents page on the site.

So off I went again searching for any kind of help. I ended up finding one post on Google Groups for the MvcContrib that pointed to a blog post (link didn’t work of course). I ended up finding the actual person who created the actual library and the blog post about it and how to get it working (created in Dec '07 - oh boy this was not looking good already). In the end I did manage to get it working after updating the code to work with preview 4 and realized I would probably be writing my own.

And so I did, today actually (rather yesterday now).

More on that later, plus a sample working site with code. But I am tired now.

Windows 2008 Install Tip for HP Laptops

If you are going to do a manual install of Windows 2008 and or Vista on any HP laptop you probably want to burn the c:SwSetup folder to a DVD/USB Key before you begin. This folder contains all of the original software installed as well as all of the drivers. Once you have installed the OS you can copy the folder back to your C: drive.

Here is a little trick to make the install process easer, create a text file in the c:SwSetup folder and rename it to install.inf. If you are missing drivers for some of your hardware (audio, network lan and wireless) are the usual MIA drivers. Just use the Update Driver feature and make sure you browse for a location and select the c:SwSetup folder, because the *.inf file is present you can do this. The update driver feature will search all subfolders for *.inf files to find a matching hardware device id and install the drivers for it. I do this so that I don’t have to pick each folder separately.

Windows 2008 and Me No More

So I decided that the disappearing mouse issue bothers me to much and went back to Windows XP (but not before making an image of the partition incase I wanted to go back after SP1 is released).

Of course before that I had to try the Vista image that came with the laptop, so I reinstalled it and BOOM, same problem.

Ahh Crap...

Oh wait maybe I’ll install SP1 for Vista and see it that helps. So after several reboots and a half an hour later I came to the conclusion that Yay! The disappearing mouse problem on my HP Laptop with an Nvida chipset using Dual Display is fixed (in my case) by installing Vista SP1. Sorry if that felt a bit wordy but search engines love wordy.

Windows 2008 and Me

So I decided to install Windows 2008 on my HP dv9000 series laptop and use this guide to create a better than Vista experience using a more solid OS than the POS that is Vista. The install went as expected and I was able to update the missing drivers using the Vista ones that came with my laptop (yeah I know Vista drivers on Win2k8 so sue me)

So far so good, oops I spoke to soon…

Seems that I have inherited the disappearing mouse pointer syndrome. First I don’t have the computer set up to hibernate, second I don’t have the computer setup to go into screen saver first then turn off the monitor and third this behavior tends to happen every time the monitor either comes out of screensaver or from turned off. Searching Google has made me believe that this is a HP/Nvidia/Vista/Dual Monitor issue as there are a lot of HP/Nvidia/Vista/ Dual Monitor owners suffering from this behavior. The lame solution is to enable pointer trails and set the visibility to short when this happens. Of course this causes a performance drop with the speed of the mouse.

I am going to try and install Vista this weekend and see if I have the same problems with that OS and driver combination. If so it’s back to XP Pro for me.