A big blue watery road

Sakura trees near Hiratsuka
My legs near Hiratsuka
Wordpress sucks donkeyballs

Cycled to the beach today. I changed the mounting point of my bicycle computer and now it finally works like it's supposed to, and it doesn't rattle to bits any more whenever I take a choppy road instead of a smooth one.  I can't believe how cold it is. It has consistently been warmer around this time of year in Japan, for all four years that I've been here. I'm cycling with gloves, winter hat and coat on cause the wind just freezes you down to the bone in a couple of minutes.

On a tech note, I've spent four hours last night trying to update the damn graphics card drivers of my Asus 1101HA netbook. The Intel GMA 500 drivers provided by Asus are notoriously bad, and we all know that we shouldn't expect any quality tech support from Asus. Intel does provide beta drivers for developers, which are supposed to work better. Installing those would have been easy, but during the uninstallation of the previous drivers something messed up the windows registry, and I spent two hours discovering and fixing the registry problem instead. Not sure if Asus or Intel is to blame for that. In any case, after three hours I could finally upgrade my drivers, and things did improve. Slightly. Games are now twice as fast: instead of 5 frames per second it will do 10 frames per second. I'm talking about very low-spec games here: Trackmania Nations and Audiosurf, which work perfectly on almost any PC, even 10-year old PCs. Need for Speed 5 still refuses to even start, and I'm starting to give up hope. Either the hardware is shit or the software is shit. Or both. In any case, there's nothing I can do about it, except complain about it on my blog. Then other people will at least know what to expect if they get an Asus netbook. Don't expect to run any games made in the last 10 years. Except Worms 3, that works. Worms 3 is awesome.

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Asus Eee PC update

I finally got a happy nice and stable version of  English WinXP up and running. BartPE  can boot from SD card, and I can run Norton Ghost from within there to backup my primary partition. Except... the keyboard doesn't work. Don't ask me why, it seems too silly to be even possible, but the keyboard simply does not work from within BartPE. Of all the hardware to support, how difficult can it be to support a keyboard? Damn. Well, I could still backup my partition, but I had to copypaste the characters of the backup file with my mouse. Now that's hard-core.

I ordered a 2GB SODIMM last weekend, and it arrived yesterday. After installing it, I found I could no longer use the highest performance mode in the power settings. I already knew that, because that's apparently a known problem. Many articles online speak about this problem: when you update the memory, you can only use memory modules that Asus has certified, otherwise the overclocking option is not available. The solution is simple: download the latest BIOS. Installation is simple: just press Alt+F2 on startup and the BIOS flash tool will start. Then just insert the SD card containing the new BIOS, and it installs automatically. Brilliant.

Oh wait. No it isn't! After installing the latest BIOS I can no longer boot from my SD card! In other words, it's now once again impossible for me to restore the backups that I finally managed to create with Norton Ghost. For other people who might get this problem: the BIOS version 0323 from 12/30/2009 for the Asus 1101HA cannot boot from SD card!

Incredible. New hardware doesn't work properly with old software, and new software disables some of the stuff that used to work before. Thank god these people don't build airplanes.

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