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Topics - DarkAngel

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Everything Else / New Motherboards Confuse Me [hardware topic]
« on: May 07, 2007, 11:03:45 pm »
It's been a while since I've upgraded a PC, but I've been looking at some new motherboards and they all seem to only have 1 IDE port (and 6 SATA ports).

Can anyone tell me how I can connect IDE devices to a SATA plugs? (I have 3 HDDs and 1 DVD drive on IDE  cables at the moment).

Everything Else / Stupid tech writers
« on: December 12, 2006, 08:00:39 pm »
Tech writers for newspapers should know more about technology...

Check out this quote from the SMH newspaper
A rare problem with plasmas is that one or several pixels can fail, emitting no light or a solid colour that doesn't change. This creates a tiny, permanent dot on the screen. This pixel burnout most often happens as a result of mishandling during shipping.

I sent them some feedback on this, stating that dead pixels are a real problem for LCD screens, not just plasma screens. I even gave them some wikipedia links for good measure.

This is the response I got:
Dear Bill,

Recently you contacted ReaderLink. Your interest in the newspaper is

The following information outlines the Herald's response:
Thank you for your comments about the review, "A lighter shade of
pale". Pixel drop out occurs only in plasmas, not in LCDs, so Wikipedia has
it exactly 180 degrees wrong. Source: Just about anyone you speak to in
the industry, most notably Fujitsu's white paper comparing plasma and

Your interest in Herald Publications is appreciated and has provided us
with valuable feedback.
Please quote 00107552 if you wish to contact ReaderLink again.

Penny, Thea & Josh

Contact us:
02 9282 1569
9.00 am - 5.00 pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays)

The information contained in this e-mail message and any accompanying
files is or may be confidential. If you are not the intended recipient,
any use, dissemination, reliance, forwarding, printing or copying of
this e-mail or any attached files is unauthorised. This e-mail is subject
to copyright. No part of it should be reproduced, adapted or
communicated without the written consent of the copyright owner. If you have
received this e-mail in error please advise the sender immediately by
return e-mail or telephone and delete all copies. Fairfax does not guarantee
the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in this
e-mail or attached files. Internet communications are not secure, therefore
Fairfax does not accept legal responsibility for the contents of this
message or attached files.

So basically, their reply was:
Sorry, but you're wrong about LCDs having dead pixels. Wikipedia is also wrong. Dead pixels only occur in plasma screens. Buy a fujitsu LCD. Ask anyone who knows anything about screens and they will agree with me.

Console Games / Mastering Wii bowling
« on: December 06, 2006, 11:18:27 pm »
    This thread is dedicated to the scientific investigation of the control mechanisms used in this fun game.
    If you want to learn how to stop bowling curve-balls, read on!

    I've been having lots of fun with Wii Sports, but... It seems I am totally unable to control the spin in Wii Bowling! I've looked at a few forum discussions about this, but most seem to have degraded into a flame war with ppl arguing that everyone who complains simply needs to practice more in RL...

    Whenever I bowl, it always spins the the left, no matter what I try... I've tried spinning the controller to the left/right, flicking it sideways as I let go, twisting it at the start of the backswing, shaking it randomly as I'm throwing the ball, etc... but no matter what I try, it always spins to the left.

    The best explanation for this that I could find was this picture that some guy drew:

    According to this theory the direction of the spin is decided by the game, its only the magnitude of the spin that you can control.
    For a right-handed Mii: (the opposite is true for a left-handed Mii)
    • If all the pins are on the right of your aim-line, it will curve right.
    • If all the pins are on the left of your aim-line, it will curve left.
    • If there are pins on both sides, it will curve the opposite of your handedness (e.g. for right handed Mii's it will spin left).

    If this theory is true, then I'm still not quite sure how it decides the magnitude of the spin (how fast it spins in the pre-determined direction).
    Some people have suggested it works like in tennis/baseball where releasing the button too early or late will cause spin, or like in golf where bowling too fast will cause spin...
    Other people have suggested it works off how much you twist the controller when bowling...

    [edit] After testing, I have found that you can minimise the amount of spin be releasing the ball as late as possible. Releasing earlier results in more spin.
    Further testing is required to determine if twisting the controller has any effect on the spin magnitude (it has already been determined that it is impossible to control the spin direction). [/edit]

    If you disagree with the above diagram and bullet points, please test your theory first, then post it here along with a repeatable method that we can use to confirm your theories. Please do not just post saying the theory is incorrect without specifying how or why. Constructive criticism of all theories is of course welcomed.[/list]

    Everything Else / JavaScript Fun!
    « on: November 07, 2006, 02:30:26 pm »
    I recently started using JavaScript for work, but I came across this fun snippet today that I have to share.

    Navigate to any web-page (this forum is fun, but google images is better!), the paste this line into the address bar and hit enter:

    javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.getElementsByTagName("img"); DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=(Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5)+"px";*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5)+"px"}R++}setInterval('A()',5); void(0);

    In case anyones scared im posting malicious code (which is pretty hard to do in JS), heres a break down:
    It makes a bunch of numbers: R, x1, y1, x2, y2, x3, y3, x4, y4, x5, y5
    It gets a list of images on the page: DI
    It gets the number of images on the page: DIL
    And creates a function that loops through the "DI" list, setting each I's position on a sine and cosine wave.

    Everything Else / Distance = Speed * Time (Maths question)
    « on: October 19, 2006, 11:08:24 pm »
    I got this question wrong on an IQ test and its been bugging me ever since...

    Two people, Bob and Alice, Set off in a race from point A to B to C.
    A to B is 50km, B to C is also 50km. So the whole race is over 100km.

    Bob drives at 1km/h from A to B, and then at 99km/h from B to C.
    Alice drives at 50km/h the entire time.

    Who wins the race?

    The first answer that comes to mind is to average it out-
    1km/h + 99km/h = an overall speed of 50km/h for the whole trip.
    So if they both have an average speed of 50km/h over the 100km track, they both finish at the same time - 2 hours later.

    Apparently this is wrong though...

    Going 50km/h it takes Alice 1 hour to get from A to B, and 1 hour from B to C.
    Alice finishes after 2 hours.

    But Bob, going at 1km/h takes 50 hours to get from A to B, and then going at 99km/h takes a little under half an hour to get from B to C.
    Bob finishes after about 50.5 hours.

    Does anyone know how to do this question correctly using the first (averaging) method?

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