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Samsung UN65HU9000F “2nd day” review

We just bought ourselves Samsung’s 65 inch, Ultra High Def 4k 120hz Smart TV… Ooer.

This is a stunning piece of hardware. We picked the variant with the “one connect” external box. You plug everything into that rather than the TV itself. This has all kinds of advantages.

The display is HUGE. It really is a little bit of a home-theater experience. There are some fantastic presets for picture settings and some clever nuances like three settings for auto-levelling sound (off, standard and night).

For our first night of viewing we broke out an eclectic series of tests.

We plugged in the Xbox one and threw in a Pacific Rim bluray; we threw in a DVD of old 40s, black and white, Sherlock Homes, Heaven Can Wait on DVD and finally Rio on Blu Ray.

Then to streaming, Amazon Instant Video (AIV): The “One Connect” box that comes with our particular model has build in apps, so we tried AIV on both the Xbox and the TV.

I wrapped up the night with a short session of Thief on the Xbone.

Tonight I tried watching a few more shows using solely the TV – some HD YouTube videos, “The Pacific” on AIV and Falling Skies S04E01 on AIV on the TV and on the Xbox.

Austin

Came down to Austin yesterday with Gophur for the AGC. I realized last night that its very close to 20 years since I first (and last) met Richard Bartle so meeting him on as close to an anniversary as makes no difference was kinda cool. Best seminar of the day, IMHO, was Damion Schubert‘s “What Vegas can teach MMO designers”. He drew the comparison between slot machines and the grind, which brought to mind the analogy of MMORPG gaming and gambling. I think that MMO content generally drives players to work one “machine” until they get the jackpot instead of encouraging them to work the floor, so to speak. So I wanted to ask him if in his research he’d come across anything on how casinos plan their rewards. But I think he was just starting an interview and I sort of fluffed the question.

I’d love to hear his PvP version of the same talk :)

Finally got to meet Jessica Mulligan briefly, although before I could talk to her Gophur and Marty carted me off for lunch.

I know I was a little glassy-eyed finally meeting the mythic folks last year, but I didn’t think I earned the alarmed, need-to-be-elsewhere, look of recognition =) That’s what I call the look I saw on Damion when he got cornered by Doc (our Australian friend) at Maggie Maes.

Lum joined us upstairs at Maggie Maes for the last half of the evening which was a blast, we ran a gamut of topics – from nipples to nipples with visits to other topics like the perils of being an MMO server developer, breasts, the ultimate call-girl based MMO sales strategy and, ofcourse, Hot Coffee. Gophur briefly described the candle he carried from age 7 for an online Star Wars game, and the descration he assigns to Raph Koster.

Most novel of the ‘nars was the first, Jane Macgonical’s Alternate Reality Games, which covers things like The Ministry of Reshelving, Zombies and Massively-multiplayer thumb wrestling :)

Vexed

I’m trying to put the machine together. At first Abit made me believe they don’t support the 3700+. Turns out it’s a San Diego 3700+ which they do support (although they don’t actually recognize the right CPU settings).

Then it turns out my problem is memory timings. I get those resolved and then I discover my problem is ALSO a faulty ram stick. Grr.

So I pop a MemTest86 CD into the drive and power up. Whir whir, beep, whir whir whir chug chug … pause … beep. WTF? It rebooted.

I have a 1Gb usb flash drive, and I’m inclined to try and install memtest86 – a more recent version – onto that and see if it works.

Unfortunately, despite finding lots of sights remarking at how easy it is to do things like this, nobody actually bothers to describe how.

So…

Anyone here happen to know how to get a MemTest-86 booting USB Flash Drive? Can I burn an iso onto a flash drive somehow? Is there some kind of mini boot environment I can bootstrap onto my flash drive? Or … what?

Should I feel bad?

For just over $700 due to a pricing error.

Blog! (Huh?) What is it good for?

Well, apparently for finding lost friends. Jon spotted my mention of him and sent me an email :)

Ok, but what about the rest of this crap I’ve written? :)

(Plagiarized from Lum’s blog because it seemed so apropriate)


My blog is worth $0.00.
How much is your blog worth?

Strange day

Over the last 3 weeks I’ve been trying to read Iain M Bank’s latest sci-fi book, the Algebraist. It has that grand-overcomplexity of Fire upon the Deep combined say with a Brin Uplift book. I’ve been finding it kinda slow going. So when Terry Pratchett’s “Thud!” arrived I switched to that and read it across 3 days.

I woke up this, erm, afternoon, and decided it was too nice a day to waste infront of a computer. That worked well at first, a half hour sat on my patio with the cat eyeing me warily. I decided to go upstairs and shut the PC down from the night before. Of course I wound up infront of the computer most of the day.

For some reason I downloaded and installed VMWare 5.0. I’ve no idea why. I upgraded the Fedora install on my laptop from FC2 to FC4, I dunno why, as I haven’t booted it into Fedora for over 3 months. I also downloaded and ran 3DMark 05 – my machine scores a pitiful 1005, with a framerate not exceeding 1 for most of the tests.

I noticed EQ was taking up nearly 4gb of space, so I decided to patch it to the current version and burn it to DVD.

I’m tentatively considering uninstalling Norton — NOD32 is a zillion times less intrusive, less annoying and it hasn’t once, yet, caused anything else I was doing to slow to a crawl while norton grabs all available CPU. Norton, even with, allegedly, everything turned off and disabled, has managed to do it 8-10 times in the last 5 days.

Haven’t been able to try DAoC yet, hoping that I’ll get my username in the next day or so.

So it’s not quite the escape from the computer I wanted, but it was at least relaxing enough that my brain started bubbling with coding and game ideas. Which means it’s not been much of a day off after all :)

At least I have another C J Cherryh book to look forward to, Destroyer book 6 in the Foreigner series. CJ Cherryh’s books have a practicaly and earthiness to them. I loved the Chanur Saga and Downbelow Station and 40,000 in Gehenna are some of my favorite books :)

Who am I?

Missing in the free-re-trial email was: My username. Well, if I can’t figure it out by the end of today maybe I’ll brave the support line tomorrow.

Daunting

I need to get myself a post-it note pad at the office so I stop losing my train of thought so often.

This has been a scary week, because we’re working from the results of testing which means that codewise I’ve been all over the place. The various dorks testing their client hacks on the beta server were a pain in the butt, because apparently in open-beta configuration the servers ran a self-test to make sure that it wasn’t bad data on the host.

So maybe its the combination of tiredness and frazzled focus that makes the prospect of returning to DAoC quite intimidating. Corn called me earlier this week and asked me to hang out with him in EQ2, but I’m not quite ready a Sony game yet (uhm, I should really cancel my WoW account). I’m looking forward to DAoC but I wonder if I’ll have patience and time to refigure it before my 14 days are up :)

Scare Factor 5

Jaeger had one of those ask-another-coder moments today, which it’s always cool to be the other half of. Except these ones involved math. Evil words like “tan” and “pi” that I’ve managed to avoid for nearly 20 years.

I told him it must be to do with radians and left quickly.

If anyone needs me I’ll be hiding behind my flat panels.

Uhm. Mommy?

Today’s crappy code review.

The original.

static void _originalFn(arg1, arg2)
{
  if ( arg1.something && (arg2.something || arg2.somethingElse) )
  {
    ... lots of stuff to do ...
  }
}

This code works fine. But I need to beef up the originalFn to handle some additional cases. So, using the skillful art of “copy & paste” I re-organize the code thusly. I’m simplifying down because microscopic inspection confirms that I had not changed anything except the placement of the code.

The first attempt:

static void _newFn1(arg1, arg2)
{
  ... lots of stuff to do ...  lifted directly from originalFn 
}

static void _newFn2(arg1, arg2)
{
   empty for now 
}

static void _originalFn(arg1, arg2)
{
  if ( arg1.something && (arg2.something || arg2.somethingElse) )
    _newFn1(arg1, arg2) ;
  else if ( arg1.somethingElse )
    _newFn2(arg1, arg2) ;
}

Again I scrutinized this very carefully, used a diff checker, and nothing changed except code placement and the creation of the two new functions.

Result? Now the application crashes several calls down from within newFn1.

So I re-lift the code from _newFn1 back into originalFn.

static void _newFn1(arg1, arg2)
{
  ... lots of stuff to do ...  lifted directly from originalFn 
}

static void _newFn2(arg1, arg2)
{
   empty for now 
}

static void _originalFn(arg1, arg2)
{
  if ( arg1.something && (arg2.something || arg2.somethingElse) )
  {
    ... lots of stuff to do ...  lifted directly from originalFn 
  }
  else if ( arg1.somethingElse )
    _newFn2(arg1, arg2) ;
}

And now the application stops crashing again.

My conclusion: The stack is being trashed just far enough away that “originalFn” gets away unscathed. But add in the extra overhead of a function call to the stuff-to-do and now we’re being trampled.

I want my mommy… Speaking of which, today’s OED word of the day is “Grandmother”.

grandmother, n.
SECOND EDITION 1989

({sm}grændm{revv}{edh}{schwa}(r), {sm}grænm{revv}{edh}{schwa}(r)) Also 5 graunt(e)moder, 6 graundemoder, -mother, 7 gran-mother. [See GRAND a. 12b.]

1. a. The mother of one’s father or mother.
1424 [Implied in GRANDMOTHERLESS]. 1483 CAXTON Gold. Leg. 429/1 The graunte moder of Saynt aldebaulte. 1496 Plumpton Corr. (Camden) p. c, Sir Robert Babthorp, kt. or Dame Elizabeth his wife, grauntfeder & grauntmoder to the said Elizabeth. 1535 COVERDALE 2 Tim. i. 5 The vnfayned faith..which dwelt first in thy graundemother Lois, and in thy mother Eunica. c1645 HOWELL Lett. I. II. VI. ii. 182, I made another Latin Speech to the Duke, touching his Gran-Mothers death. 1671 LADY M. BERTIE in 12th Rep. Hist. MSS. Comm. App. v. 23 Her grandmother sent a chaire for her. 1788 H. WALPOLE Remin. ii. 18 It was the portrait of her grandmother. 1860-1 F. NIGHTINGALE Nursing 26 A great-grandmother, who was a tower of physical strength, descending into a grandmother, perhaps a little less strong.

b. Phrases. this beats my grandmother: said of something that excites astonishment. teach your grandmother to suck eggs (see EGG n. 4b). your grandmother!: said of something with which one disagrees. (Cf. GRANNY 1c.)
1870 ‘MARK TWAIN’ Screamers (1871) 50 ‘Shake the tree{em}’ ‘Shake your grandmother! Turnips don’t grow on trees!’ 1874 TROLLOPE Phineas Redux II. xiii. 111 ‘Did you see her?’ said Ned… ‘See your grandmother.’ 1883 Harper’s Mag. 889/2 Well, this does beat my grandmother, I must say! 1909 GALSWORTHY Joy 1, Mrs. Hope. You’ll just attend to what I say and look into that mine! Colonel. Look into your grandmother! 1911 G. B. SHAW Getting Married 268 Lesbia. I hate..sentimental people. Mrs. George. Oh, sentimental your grandmother! 1934 E. WAUGH Handful of Dust ii. 22 ‘I think she [sc. a horse] put in a short step.’ ‘Short step my grandmother.’

c. fig.
1626 Will of Carew (Somerset Ho.), My body to my grand~mother the Earth. 1650 B. Discolliminium 15 Ignorance is the Grand-mother of mistaken Necessity. 1774 J. ADAMS in Fam. Lett. (1876) 46, I strolled away to mother church, or rather to grandmother church. I mean the Romish chapel. 1870 E. A. FREEMAN in W. R. W. Stephens Life & Lett. (1895) II. 9 Atholl..built himself the grandmother of pews. 1879 B. TAYLOR Stud. Germ. Lit. 5 If the Gothic language be the legitimate mother of the Old German, it must also be, through the Saxon, the grandmother of English. 1959 Woman 24 Oct. 12/1 My mother and Laura Simmonds, who had lived in each other’s pockets since the age of five, had the very grandmother of a row.

d. Grandmother’s (Foot)steps, name of a children’s game in which one player stands with his back turned to the rest and the others try to approach him in a stealthy manner and touch his back without his seeing them move. The person in front is allowed to turn round often and without warning and any player caught moving is sent back to the starting-line.
1937 ‘N. BLAKE’ There’s Trouble Brewing i. 30 The children’s game called ‘Grandmother’s Steps’. 1945 E. WAUGH Brideshead Revisited 122 She took hold of her subject in a feminine, flirtatious way… She played ‘grandmother’s steps’ with it, getting nearer the real point imperceptibly while one’s back was turned, standing rooted when she was observed. 1956 L. MCINTOSH Oxford Folly 204 We were playing grandmother’s footsteps. 1966 J. BETJEMAN High & Low 37 A game of Grandmother’s Steps on the vicarage grass.

2. A female ancestor.
1526 Pilgr. Perf. (W. de W. 1531) 76 The fourth thynge that is dispraysed in our graundmother Eue, was that she was curyous. 1588 SHAKES. L.L.L. I. i. 266 With a childe of our Grandmother Eue, a female. 1606 HIERON Truth’s Purchase Wks. (1613) I. 61 Our grand-mother Heuah. 1642 FULLER Holy & Prof. St. V. iii. 366 Satan tempted our grandmother Eve.

3. attrib. (quasi-adj.)
a1649 DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN Cypress Grove Wks. (1711) 119 What excellency is there in it, for which he should..repine to be at rest, and return to his old grandmother dust? 1649 E. SPARKE in J. Shute Sarah & Hagar Pref. A3a, Our grave Author..was..master of those three Grandmother-Languages inscribed on the Cross of Christ, besides some others of their progeny. 1814 Prophetess III. iii, I held him here with these grandmother hands.

4. grandmother clock, a clock resembling a grandfather clock, but with a smaller case. Also ellipt.
1922 H. S. BARRETT A.B.C. Hist. Antique Eng. Furnit. 86 By Grandmother clocks I refer to clocks not exceeding about 5 ft. to 6 ft. in height. 1927 Daily Tel. 6 Dec. 3/7 A grandmother clock with brass dial. 1930 Aberdeen Press & Jrnl. 31 May 8/3 The gift to ex-Constable Jamie was a beautiful grandmother clock. 1931 H. SUTCLIFFE Persons Unknown i. 11 The quieter pendulum-swing of the slim clocks known as ‘grandmothers’. 1965 E. TUNIS Colonial Craftsmen vi. 145 In addition to the taller clocks, there were also ‘grandmother’ clocks about five feet high, controlled by shorter, half-second pendulums. 1967 B. PALMER Treasury Amer. Clocks 23 Grandmother clocks are diminutive editions of grandfather clocks, standing four feet or less in height.

Hence {sm}grandmotherhood, the condition or fact of being a grandmother; {sm}grandmotherism, the relation of being a grandmother; {sm}grandmotherless a., without a grandmother.
1424 E.E. Wills (1882) 57 {Th}an shall he be left..graunt~moderles. 1806 A. SEWARD Lett. (1811) VI. 324 The apparent grandmotherism seems now reversed between us. 1846 DE QUINCEY Sophocles’ Antigone Wks. 1860 XIV. 201 Surely..she will command that reverence from you, by means of her grandmotherhood, which by means of her ethics she might not.