22 March 2007

Vista modems

The saga continues...
I have an old 'green frog' Speedtouch ADSL modem that is not going to have Vista drivers as part of the 'throw away your old junk, buy our new junk' drive. So I bought a cheap Zoom ADSL and downloaded their just out of Beta Vista driver. The install notes were long and if followed exactly worked.
Except that the line kept dropping. I tried this and that and the other, until one day I plugged into a different USB port... and the dropouts stopped.
I poked around in Device Manager. There are two USB Hubs on my machine, one 'full speed' the other 'high speed'. That must mean 1.1 and 2.0 USB. I'd switched to 1.1 - the slower connection!
The Data Rate meter says I'm not losing out, so I plain don't understand this one. I have the current Speedtouch modem on its way and its Beta driver ready and waiting, but I may have wasted my cash on it.

So all I need now is... more memory. 1Mb plainly isn't enough, Civ IV and Vista start to fight over memory around 1950 game time. Eve isn't bothered, it used to memory leak but this has been stamped out.

14 March 2007


My power supply fried my motherboard. This was a sign from God, or possibly Bill Gates. I bought a Vista PC (Athlon Dual 3800, Nvidia 7300).

It's been a fun week. Vista is still in Gamma and I had some retro Blue Screens of Death and one total panic - I mean Vista panicked and wanted to System Restore, but I knew all it needed was a reboot.

Nvidia has a way to go. The current driver is slow, and DirX 10 has only reached the 8300. Setting for other than max Performance causes upsets. The Creative Vista sound driver stutters now and then but doesn't crash, and it can't cope with Direct Sound in a window at all.
There are no Vista modem drivers in the UK. I had to download... oh. I had to phone my sister and talk her through downloading one for me. "The one with the logo and the three green lights at the front please". Thank you Wendy, you were as always a treasure.

Some old peripherals are junk - Zip drive, scanner. One new buy I can recommend, an external USB hard drive case from X Craft. It whirred away transferring all my old data into the new machine very quickly.

On the software side, most XP programs just have mildly annoying bugs. AVG won't scan Emails, Firefox crashes now and then, Winamp won't Drag n Drop.

The big test was Eve Online. I went for the full 631Mb download, crossed fingers, and it ran first time. FPS are better but nothing exciting, and it seems stable. Full marks for the Devs there, though I gather it's pot luck with graphics cards still.

The GUI I'm just tinkering with, it is of course prettier but 430Mb???