Lunch Break Thoughts: Friends or Furiends

October 28th, 2008

Lunch Break Thoughts

Ya know.  When I think about it deeply, the human conscience can only really handle so many friends and acquaintances until you begin to start filtering people out.  Just think to when you had your first e-mail account. At first, you were dying to have someone to write to you or read what you had to say.  Heck, even an advertisement here and there wasn’t a big deal at all if not, welcomed.  Alas, years down the road, the innocence was abruptly destroyed and (fire)walls started forming all over the internet.  These very events are exactly parallel to what happens to us in our personal lives.  Think of the spam you get now a days in both e-mail and snail-mail.  You’ll  notice now a days, they try to disguise themselves as friends and acquaintances but altogether have an agenda besides hanging or chatting with someone they like and quite frankly, likes them back.

Nope, often if you find the time to dig deep into people like that, its often for another subtle or even blatant reason.  Fraud, sensationalism, deception, commercial, and even in its most blunt description, people looking for a one-night-stand. While some people are hurt and get all dramatic over someone who they think is a friend but won’t talk them, it’s really not all that surprising when you ponder on the very concept itself of who friends really are.

Furry isn’t really all that different when it comes to the fine line between creeps, acquaintances, and friends.  To me, honest “furiends” are acquaintances you met on-line or in person and it’s easy to talk about most anything related to the subject of furry and maybe something subrelated like games and smashing hardware that ticks you off.  After all is said and done though, they really have no idea what goes on deep inside of you or what your honest feelings and thoughts are regarding all things in life.

A real “friend”?  Well, they don’t know all those things either but they do know some or least enough to preemptively determine how you think when it comes to most situations.  Thus, you’re comfortable talking about life in general around them and some of the deeper issues.  As you get older and more experienced with life, you find your scope narrowing more and more. Though for what many people think its mean and unkind is meerly coming to terms with that really is human instinct: A human can only take in so much companionship and because we’re all different inside, the spectrum of who we determine as friends are filtered accordingly.

It has been ever so appearant in my past that whoever I had once sought as a friend, never happened. Rather, every true friend I have now has come completely out of the blue but I couldn’t be more happy now because they are good friends.  Therefor, if you’re caught up in a drama cycle because the friendships you’re chasing aren’t working out, just realize you’re just brushing against a wall you haven’t come to perceive yet.  Instead though, be patient and look up to the open and wide spectacle of the blue because more than likely, that where real friend are gonna come from.

I guess, if someone were to ask me of which is better: To have a lot of furiends or a few friends, my answer would be: Those who had ended up being both.

Crap Alert! ATi Sapphire HD 4870

October 16th, 2008

In most cases, I consider my roommate to be quite lucky. In fact, it wasn’t but a week ago when he came home from Blizzcon with not only box-fulls of swag, but also another high value item he had won further emphasizing his winning streak when it comes to large events like Blizzcon. In fact, his previous, at-the-time, high-end video card was also won at a convention.  What a lucky bastard… or is he?

In his box of goodies was the prize, an ATi Sapphire HD 4870.  At first I didn’t think too much of it in terms of previous experience with ATi based cards.  To be blunt, I had never liked them at all to begin with. Not because their cards aren’t capable but rather because they were always incompatible.  Then again, I’m always the one using multiple operating systems from Linux, to BSD, and back to Windows. What ATi makes for a horrible labrynth of support sites and forums, nVidia smoothes the way in one simple site and genium compatibility for most POSIX based operating system.

However, that is me and this my roommate we’re talking about.  He is just a student and not much of a power user beyond World of Warcraft and the animation programs he needs for class and therefore, we’re just dealing with plain ol 32bit Windows XP.  There is not a device in the world that doesn’t have genuine drivers for Windows XP so how hard could it be?

The first challenge was upgrading his power supply as the card required a 500W supply and two 6pin connectors going straight into the card.  A $99 trip to the computer store fixed that and we were ready to install the power supply and the video card. Though the card was very bulky, the physical installation was cake and we were ready to fire it up.

At first glance, things were looking fine. The system went straight into POST and we had already removed the old nVidia drivers from his previous card just to pave the way for the ATi.   The Windows XP logo and progress bar was already striding away and I was relieved to actually believe this was going to be a spotless install.  After the system booted, the logo dissapeared and I expected a mouse cursor to appear with the login screen to ensue. Neither of them ever came but did it freeze?  I pressed caps-lock to find out and it worked and after pressing escape a few times, the system beeped.  It would seem the system had loaded but the card wasn’t outputting any video yet the monitor did not loose signal or go to sleep. It was just outputting pure black.

VGA mode…. same thing.  Safe mode w/ Network… same thing… Safe Mode w/ nothing… same thing.  At that point, it was time to try the ultimate testing and diagnostic tool: Ubuntu 8.04 on a Corsair 4GB USB.  Booted just fine until it tried to go into the GUI (Xorg) and failed but it didn’t surprise me because the official drivers for new ATi cards (fglrx) were’t loaded.  I loaded in the ATi restricted drivers repository and installed the latest drivers possible, changed the settings, and I was back at it. If this doesn’t work, nothing will…   I guess nothing wins; same thing!  Starting from the top of the drivers, I went downward from the generic ATi drivers, to vesa, and finally some success when I finally hit rock bottom at vga16… VGA 16!!!?

I went online again to look for any solutions. Some users complained certain systems were picky when it came to DVI or Analog. Ok, I hauled my heavy-ass old monitor upstairs and pulled it in using a DVI 2 VGA adapter but all was for vanity… same thing!!

It was time for one more desperate try, I pulled the system back out and installed the old card and fired it up again. The display came up like it should have on the ATi. While I had a display, I put in the driver disk for the ATi and installed them. There! The drivers are installed so if it is a driver issue for a card that no longer understands basic vga compibility (which is stupid because what if this were a new install with no previous card to use to install the driver in the first place?),  this -SHOULD- work.  I lugged the system away again and set the new ATi card again and fired it up.  The verdict was final: ATi (still) SUCKS!!

After wasting 5 hours of my life on this POSIPB (piece o’ s*** in a pretty box), it was all a waste.  With all this intimate time wth ATi hoping AMD would have them turn around from their imcompatible ways as they said they would, it was the same agony I felt when trying to make a laptop with a Radeon Mobile understand the need to use its own driver and maybe even play a simpe game for once.  Im really starting to believe that games and software should have a Recommended and an UnRecommended section on their labels with ATi’s big fat logo right in that section

Luckily, only my time was wasted and my roommate only wasted $99 on the 600W power supply but obviously ATi still doesn’t give a darn about making sure their hardware is compatible with even the most basic hardware. Any card made should be able to work on any system made 2 years previous to the card itself yet anything ATi is still a labrynth of useless forums and support sites to find any remote solution.  Obviously, the only game you can play perfectly on an ATi is Hard-To-Get and because you have an ATi they must be doing you such a big favor for you that you have no choice but to play this game.

I’d say, “Game On!!…. but leave me out of it, ATi”

Hello world!

October 16th, 2008

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