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Posted By MrPerlishells

VLC 1.1.1 and Catalyst 10.7 have been out for a few days now. I've got it installed and trying it out. The biggest change is the use of graphics card to play videos which should offload the demand off the processor. I've tried it out and this is the result. I used Big Buck Bunny 1080p h264. They both run smooth with or without the acceleration but with acceleration the demand on the CPU is much less.

No Acceleration
Without Acceleration CPU utilization starts out at 45% and goes between 15 to 25 at times jumping to 35% throughtout the movie.

With Acceleration
With Acceleration the CPU utilization goes from 6% to 12% throughout the movie.

You can find BBB at and VLC at and Catalyst at

Posted By MrPerlishells

The following are some technologies I miss of the last decade. Some of it can be found on the first computer that I put together, an Athlon 800 MHz. Even earlier was my first packaged computer was an IBM Aptiva 486 SX2 50 MHz. These technologies not found on newer computers like the one I'm using right now which is an Athlon 64 X2. Parallel Port or Printer port. My new computer doesn't come with this port. I had a 10 year old Vision Paperport 3000 scanner that I couldn't use on the new computer. One of our project in College used the parallel port for a Cellphone Charging Machine. Everything seems to USB now.

Serial Port. I never really used this much. One way to use it is for Null Modem Cable. It's a way to transfer files from one computer to another. Using the same Null Modem Cable we played Total Annihilation on two computers. Computers didn't usually come with network cards and this was the easiest and cheapest way to connect two computers.

Joystick/Midi port. This is a port smaller than the parallel port but bigger than a serial port. I had a few joysticks or gamepad that plug use these. Though computer games rarely use joystick, Flight simulator games works great when played with a joystick.

Zip Drive. I never owned this but I know some people who used to use this a lot. It's like a 100 MB floppy drive. It's slow but holds much more than a 3.5" floppy. Nowadays USB drive have taken over. They are faster, cheaper, has more capacity, and more convenient since there are no special drive and media to buy.

Floppy Drive. My first computer had a 3.5" floppy. 5.25" inch floppy disk was on its way out even back in those days. School projects were sometimes submitted on floppies though floppies have a reputation of getting corrupted causing students to get lower grades or to fail unnecessarily. Some would remember AOL disk come to their door and have a collection.

LS 120 Optical or Super Floppies. This never became popular. It was expensive and prices never came down. The only advantage was that it read 1.44 MB floppies and 120 MB Supper Floppies.

Parallel ATA. This is still found on my computer but only one ribbon for two drives. AMD tends to hold on to older technologies while Intel tend be the first to phase them out. It's great for using older CD-ROM drives. Newer Intel motherboards are completely devoid of this interface.

CRT Monitors. I'm still using two hand-me-down CRT monitors in dual screen mode. I had to use two DVI to VGA converter to connect them. Looking around it seems you can't even buy CRTs anymore. Everything seems to be LCDs. And just recently I notice only wide screen are being made. I'm waiting for the new Multi-touch screen to become more available and cheaper. Acer has just release one. I'll get one of those when these CRTs give out.

AGP port. I can't find these anymore. PCI express is the current standard. I remember you had to get a motherboard this port for the best graphics card around.

ISA port. This was being phased out when I assembled my first computer some 10 years ago. Some motherboard had PCI/ISA convertible slots which you can physically plug in a PCI or an ISA but not both. My sound blaster card used ISA.

Ball Mouse. Yeah. These things do get dirty and are hard to clean. It's a ball inside the mouse which rolls and cause two rollers to move left or right and up and down on the screen. Don't know if they make them anymore.

Dial Up Modems. Yeah everybody has got broadband now it seems. My SEGA Dreamcast came with a 56K modem, thanks to those engineers which pushed to have it included in the North American version of the console. I used this to order most of my computer parts to assemble my first computer. An Athlon 800 mhz. This computer was fast. I could download and play MP3 on the computer. 20 GB was feeling spacious.

Next post will be some software missed.


Posted By MrPerlishells

Recent upgrade is two pairs of 2 GB memory for 8 GB of DDR2 1066 mhz total memory from an old pair of Kingston 1 GB sticks for 2 GB total. The new memory is running at 800 mhz for now because of the limit of the memory controller on my Athlon 64 X2 5000+ AM2 to 800. My computer is running a lot smoother. Before this I thought the RAID setup was ineffective but now I can see that it is with shorter load times.

The next upgrade I'm planning on getting is the new Phenom II 1055T (HDT55TWFK6DGR, HDT55TWFGRBOX) 95W version. Motherboard is limited to 95W TDP processors. I also updated the BIOS so it should be ready to install. This will be great for when I am rendering my 3D videos on Blender. From what I read on the internet is has made available in Japan but not anywhere else.

Also sometime in the future maybe I'll get some new LCD monitors. Still using two 17" CRT monitor in a dual display mode. It's a hand me down monitor. I'll replace it when it breaks down.

Previous upgrade I did was RAID 0 to a pair of 500 GB Western Digital Black and RAID 1 to a pair of Western Digital Green. I put my system on RAID 0 and my data on RAID 1. It's not an SSD but runs pretty fast.

The Video Card is a Radeon HD 4650 which I won as part of AMD's 40th anniversary contest on YouTube. Would have been satisfied with the onboard graphics but free is free. Not a heavy gamer anyways.




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