Chaos Surprises us all

Chaos theory is generally a misunderstood and misused part of science. Essentially chaos theory tells us that some nonlinear systems* are inherently unpredictable even when we understand how the factors involved interact. The typical example used for this is weather prediction so I will stick with that example. We have a pretty sophisticated understanding of how our atmosphere works, yet short-term weather forecasts based on this understanding are generally pretty bad. This is because although we understand the dynamics (e.g., how temperature and pressure interact) really well, we don’t know the pressure, temperature, and everything else at every location on earth to infinite precision. In a nonlinear system these uncertainties can blow up to huge proportions, rendering any precise prediction** of the weather over Cape Town useless. So that takes care of nonlinear systems. Linear systems, on the other hand, are predictable… or are they?

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99 tips to improve Windows XP Performance

Our focus in this quick tips gallore is on making your WindowsXP computer perform faster, and better! Whether this means booting and shutting down quicker, achieving better 3D gaming performance, or just making your PC feel more ‘snappy,’ chances are there’s a tip or two in here to help you speed things up. There are so many useful tips and tweaks listed here that at some point in the future you’ll need to reference this guide and may not be able to remember the exact URL. Now, let’s begin.

Preparing Your System (1-8) Graphics Performance Tweaks (47-55)
  1. Use ‘whole system’ performance benchmarks
  2. Tweak insurance part 1: backing up and editing the registry
  3. Tweak Insurance part 2: Creating a system restore point
  4. Saving your hard drive space from the system restore utility
  5. Tweak insurance part 3: Restoring BIOS defaults
  6. Tweak insurance part 4: Use hardware profiles to experiment with system settings.
  7. Editing BIOS settings
  8. Editing registry settings without restarting

BIOS tweaks and Insight (9-13)

  1. Change memory Latency times
  2. Set the correct AGP mode
  3. Update your bios
  4. Disable unneeded ports
  5. Disable built-in features on your motherboard

Overclocking your processor and memory (14-16)

  1. Overclocking the memory/front side bus
  2. Changing the CPU multiplier
  3. Modify Processor and memory voltage

WindowsXP Software and Registry Performance Tweaks (17-46)

  1. Stop the ‘last access update’ stamp
  2. Disable the 8.3 naming convention
  3. Keep Windows operating data in main memory
  4. Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware
  5. Disable performance counters
  6. Move the page file from system drive
  7. Create a ‘permanent’ page file
  8. Optimize your page file size
  9. Defrag page file with PageDefrag utility
  10. Set priority for important programs
  11. Check your hard drives with scandisk
  12. Force XP to unload DLL files after closing a program
  13. Thaw out your desktop
  14. Speed up mouse movement, part 1
  15. Speed up mouse movement, part 2
  16. Create a RAID configuration
  17. Disable the themes service
  18. Remove the desktop picture
  19. Change to the NTFS file system
  20. Perform a manual Application and Boot file Defrag
  21. Disable the hibernation feature
  22. Disable automatic sensing on network cards
  23. Use the prefetch switch to load applications faster
  24. Verify DMA mode is set for all drives
  25. Do a windows repair install
  26. Stop hard disks spinning down
  27. Reduce recycling bin reserved space
  28. Enable write caching on hard disks
  29. Defragment your hard disk(s)
  30. Turn off the indexing service
  1. 3d game benchmarks
  2. Change your Monitor’s refresh rate (CRT monitors only)
  3. Fix the refresh rate for 3d games
  4. Enable AGP Master 1WS Write/Read
  5. Enable AGP Fast Write
  6. Set Video Memory Cache Mode
  7. Overclocking ATI video cards
  8. Overclocking Nvidia Video cards
  9. Disable VSYNC

Network and Internet Performance Tweaks (56-66)

  1. Increase maximum number of simultaneous connection in Internet Explorer
  2. b’ devices slow down 802.11g networks
  3. Proprietary modes for wireless networking
  4. Closer is better for wireless
  5. Enhance your Internet connection.
  6. Increase DNS cache size
  7. Disable DHCP with DSL connections
  8. Do not cache failed DNS entries
  9. Use CTRL+ENTER to speed up Internet address entering
  10. Get a faster network connection to Windows 9x/ME computers
  11. Remove the QoS Bandwidth Reserve Setting

WindowsXP User Interface Shortcuts and Hints (67-78)

  1. Create shortcut keys
  2. Create a custom shortcuts toolbar
  3. Using ALT+TAB to switch between applications
  4. Add the address taskbar to desktop
  5. Disable error reporting
  6. Reduce menu delays
  7. Restore the Quick launch bar
  8. Increase desktop graphic performance
  9. Make ‘my computer’ open faster
  10. Remove the need to enter a password to login to XP (be careful!)
  11. Sort out spam
  12. Keyboard shortcuts using the Win Key (ÿ)

Improving Windows XP boot speed (79-94)

  1. Disable floppy drive seek
  2. Set primary display adaptor
  3. Enable quick POST/memory test
  4. Eliminate unwanted programs from boot up
  5. Scan your PC for spyware and Adware
  6. Disable boot virus detection
  7. Change boot sequence.
  8. Disable the XP loading screen
  9. Eliminate unwanted fonts to increase boot speed
  10. Turn off bios disk detection
  11. Use the Bootvis utility
  12. Use the Intel application accelerator
  13. Disable unnecessary services
  14. Disable unneeded devices in device manager
  15. Disable auto detection for empty IDE slots
  16. Reduce wait time after XP boots

Increasing XP shutdown speed (95-99)

  1. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 1
  2. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 2
  3. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 3
  4. Disable the Nvidia driver helper service
  5. Auto kill tasks on shutdown

2007 Infiniti G35 to Get In-Dash Storage

What can’t we do with hard drives?

This week at the 2006 New York International Automobile Show Nissan’s Infiniti division is showing off its upcoming 2007 G35 sedan and coupe models which have some new techno-gear on top of the already updated performance specs and a slightly more curvacious body style, according to Edmunds


Image courtesy Edmunds.com

Infiniti’s 2007 G35 models will feature a hard drive built into the dash which will provide storage space for music files. The idea expands on current features like MP3 capabilities read from CDs or DVDs and Ipod docks built into some Volkswagen and BMW vehicles. In the 2007 G35’s case it will store music on to the hard drive and the model will also feature a compact flash slot according to some sources.The press release from Nissan last week does not go into detail about the hard drive part of things, which is typical of a car maker, but it does spit out some details about the audio system. According to Nissan’s press release, the G35 will feature “a touch screen navigation system with available real-time traffic and the audiophile-quality Infiniti Studio on Wheels by Bose, combining the industry

ATI’s Single-PCB Dual-GPU Plans

ATI’s upcoming RV560 and RV570 will find its way into single-board, dual-GPU CrossFire configurations. Since the GPU cores have integrated composite engines, the cards are capable of Crossfire support directly on the card.

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HIS X1600 Gemini Courtesy of HKEPC

ATI is recommending to its AIB partners that the new 80nm mainstream and value parts will be joined together on a single PCB with a PLX Technology ExpressLane PEX 8532 PCI Express bridge chip. This bridge chip is currently used on ATI Gemini graphics cards such as the GeCube dual X1600 graphics card. The bridge chip itself is nearly the same size as the GPU but only draws approximately 7.38 watts. Preliminary boards show the PEX 8532 heatsink-less which isn’t surprising considering its low power draw. On Gemini graphics boards the PEX 8532 bridge chip (PDF) takes one PCI Express x16 interface and divides the bandwidth in half. This allocates eight PCI Express lanes to each GPU similar to how some motherboards divide sixteen PCI Express lanes across two slots on Intel, lower end SLI and CrossFire motherboards. As the PEX 8532 is a generic PCI Express switch it can be used for other implementations besides graphics switching also. DailyTech has learned Hightech Information Systems (HIS) has dual RV570 products in the pipeline using the PEX 8352 bridge chip. Although RV570 won’t necessarily offer as much horsepower as a Radeon X1900XT, Gemini variants will be able to dedicate one RV570 GPU to physics processing; essentially one GPU can be used for graphics while the second can be used for physics or graphics. Additionally, up to four DVI outputs can be used per card with the help of twin DMS59 interfaces. ATI’s 80nm RV560 and RV570 are expected to arrive in August and September.

A better wall plug

plug_in.jpg

This is just brilliant: A new plug design, angled out from the wall to make it easier to plug things in or out. It was created by University of Notre Dame student Julia Burke, and won an IDSA award this year:

The PLUG-IN’s upward-angled faceplate allows users to better orient themselves and a cord’s prongs before bending over or reaching behind furniture. This creates a direct sightline from the human eye to the faceplate and minimizes the distance necessary for a person to extend. It also provides additional leverage when removing of a difficult plug.

Technically, Burke invented this for the elderly — who have trouble bending far enough down to shove a 90-degree plug into the wall. But the ergonomics here are so dementedly superior to normal wall sockets that I want a full set of these for my household. Right. Now.