How I found my lost graphics card

Once upon a time … a friend of mine gave me his graphics card for development purposes. After a while he needed it, because his card died in a thermal inferno. So I had to give it back – and ordered a new one. Meanwhile I wanted to use my old card, but I wasn’t able to find it anywhere in my room. Then I remembered that another friend of mine wanted to test a mulithead environment with the card. Ok, I thought by my self, I will call him later and ask him to give me my graphics card back.

A few days later … I was just updating my Gentoo (Linux). I looked up the system configuration with lsusb and lspci. I was very surprised to read the following line:

03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Matrox Graphics, Inc. G400/G450 (rev 82).

Ok, now I know where my graphics card is :-)

The Cup Warmer Investigation (Part #2)

Welcome to the next chapter of the cup warmer investigation. Unfortunately, this is another one which is rather sad. In the first part, I mentioned my idea to put more heat-conductive paste on the lower side of the heating plate. That’s exactly what I tried this time. I don’t want to sound like Marvin the robot from the Guide, but somehow I think the cup warmer doesn’t respect my needs. It just lets me sit here at my desk working all the time without giving me a chance to prove my cleverness by drinking hot coffee.

In fact, my experiment didn’t turn out to help in any way at all. The plate is still cold at its borders. But hmmm, someone here in the office suggested plugging the device into a standard power outlet…

Trying to repair the audio jack of an Acer notebook … (Part II)

Finally the audio jack was replaced with the line-in jack. The picture below shows the result. As you may notice there is only one jack left.

replaced audio jack

Btw, thanks to Mario “The master of circuits” W.

So the reassembling process could be started. I was very suprised that the whole process took only 45 minutes and that the damn thing worked afterwords. The next picture should supply evidence:

reassembled notebook

But as in every reassembling process there was one part left. A damn little screw :-)


Trying to repair the audio jack of an Acer notebook … (Part I)

On a journey to spain I destroyed the audio jack of my Acer notebook. Hence, I can’t plug the notebook to the sound system of my car anymore. So I decided to repair it by my self. The easiest way to do this is to replace the audio jack with the line-in jack (which I don’t need). So I had to disassemble the notebook. You can see the result of the disassembling on the first picture shown below. The second shows the destroyed audio jack. Read more about the repairing process in part II :-)

Notebook partsaudio jack

Brain Maintenance

Programming all day is nice, but sometimes it’s necessary to turn off your brain. In order to do so, I started doing fitness sport again. Running, to be more specific. Although it often seems that the tight schedule does not allow such things, I think one has to take that time off. It’s a great opportunity to leave one’s brain with itself for a while so that it can recharge for the next programming session. And no hehe, it’s not that I just want to do something again a certain cliché.

Somehow, it’s a miracle that after running for an hour or so, when you are zapped and your body is toast, your brain starts being creative again. Problems you’ve been bugging around with for hours are solved in just a few minutes and you’re fully motivated to hack some code.

Off topic: Potato chips are definitely one of the greatest inventions of mankind.

In Memoriam: The good old coffee machine

Yes. It’s true. The good old coffee machine died a few days ago. Every morning it woke me up with some fresh brewed coffee. Every morning in the past months if not years. Actually, it gave all team members some caffeine rushing through their veins to survive all the dev-times. Finally, after 14699 cups (not a joke, the machine has a counter) it decided not to heat water anymore.

Somehow this seems a little suspicious to me. First, I got these problems (grml and grrr) with my cup warmer, but now even the coffee machine refuses to heat water for my coffee. There is something cooking…

Touching old code…

…oh I hate it. Especially if it was written in a great hurry back then. Do you know the surprise when you look at old and dirty code, asking yourself if you were the one who wrote that crap? I’m currently in the situation of improving some things of pre-alpha stage software I wrote last year.

First, when you start reviewing the code and playing with it, no danger seems to emerge from it besides a strange feeling of uncertainty. Then, however, when you alter the first line of it, all hell breaks loose. The requested features for the new version depend on changing a lot of stuff in the old code, or updating the third party libraries results in messing up the whole thing. Or even worse, your own code just breaks apart and stops working and you have no idea why.

That’s the point where you start thinking of rewriting it from scratch, but then end up in just doing some patchwork to get it up and running again. For at least another year or until the next feature requests arrive.

For those of you thinking something like “oh no, we’re never gonna play a game by this guy” – no worries, I wasn’t talking about game related software this time, but of one of the software projects I had to work on during my studies at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences.