Ergonomic Workplace / Gaming Mouse & Keyboard

Until a couple of months ago my main focus on buying input devices for computers was based on performance and price. I mean, in general that is how one goes about spending money, right? Check the spec sheet and see if it’s worth it. That’s how I always buy my things. I make up my mind that I need something and then I visit my preferred retailer websites and compare the prices. At my home desktop I am a bit more demanding than at work where I simply used (past tense) what came with the computer, but ergonomics never played a role. Boy has that changed.
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Intel Haswell-E Core i7-5820K vs. Ivy Bridge Core i5-5370

This one’s been bugging me for some time, mostly because I’m an enthusiast and even more so since I started transcoding my Blu-Rays to mp4. But I’ve never pulled the trigger. The reasons are simple:

  • The GPU is not fast enough.
  • It’ll only be good for this one thing, transcoding.
  • I reasoned myself into not needing one.
  • I am a penny-pincher.

Until recently…
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Windows 10: First Impressions (Preview Build 10041)

While I was grooming my unicorn on Crazy-Talk Island I read on the Internet about a thing called Windows 10. Curious as I am, I went out to watch the huge presentation on Jan, 21 where Microsoft officially unveiled the mobile version of Windows 10 and the cool hardware stuff. There’s also a very nice set of videos by Scott Hanselman on YouTube that show the changes from version to version.

Actually I’m very much aware of Windows 10 since the beginning, as a developer I’d be crazy not to, so I registered as a Windows Insider yesterday and downloaded the technical preview build 10041. Here’s a summary of my first impressions.
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Windows 8.1: One Year Later – I Get It Now

Windows 8 wasn’t all too well received, hardly a secret if you follow the tech press, neither by customers nor by businesses. There are a few folks who like it but they are, like those Windows Phone enthusiasts (that really do exist), a very minor minority (without report).

*Ahem*

About a year ago, I started using Windows 8.1 as my main operating system (which I’ve written about a few months later). Before, it was just a necessity to get the Soundblaster audio card to work. However, going through the same positional-sound problem again after upgrading from 8.0 to 8.1, I’m sure using Windows 8 fixed the problem by accident. Creative’s drivers are just a bulk load of crap, as they’ve always been. Had I not had the iMac as a work computer at that time, I’m not sure I would’ve installed Windows 8 instead of 7, but rather gotten rid of the Soundblaster Z. If you’ve read the post about the sound card, you know I was one of the many people that had an axe to grind with this OS.
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NVIDIA GTX 970 vs. AMD HD 7870 vs. NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti

My gaming PC is about two years old now (read this and this for more information) and although I didn’t really have any serious, permanent performance issues in games, I felt that it was about time to change something.

Here’s a short review and benchmark comparison of NVIDIA’s latest GTX 970 vs. the AMD Radeon HD 7870 (quite a mouthful) that I had installed before. The latter also had to show what it can do compared to an older NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti.
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ASRock P67 Pro3 BIOS Error Code 97

Recently I wanted to install a Gigabyte Radeon HD7870 in an older PC with an ASRock P67 Pro3 Mainboard. The surprise was big when the monitor didn’t show an image and the computer didn’t boot. Instead, the mainboard’s debug panel showed the error code 97. According to the manual this means “Console Output devices connect”. Not connectED but more likely in the process of initializing the graphics card and failing while doing that.

There’s an easy fix for that. Installing the latest BIOS version (3.30, installed at the time was 2.02) resolved the issue and the computer booted without problems.

Samsung R50 WVM 1730 Disassembled

In my second year as a trainee (nine long years ago) I bought myself a Samsung R50 notebook to replace my aging desktop PC and also take it with me to school (and play games on it – at home of course). At the time this computer was very efficient from a mobile perspective and also well suited to play serious games. Of course, at some point several years later its age became apparent and this year on April 8 the installed operating system, Windows XP, finally became officially obsolete. Since then the computer was sitting at my mother’s house, waiting for… well… a resurrection!Read More »