Monthly Archives: October 2009

Non-Latin Characters To Be Allowed In Domain Names

According to just about everyone, ICANN is set to allow non-Latin characters in top-level domain names. Meaning that web surfing will get a lot easier for those who do not speak a Latin-based language.

From the comments that I have read, English speakers see this as a problem if they want to visit a site in say Japan, China or Russia. I am curious myself as to how this one will play out. Will ICANN have a Latin domain name translation for every non-Latin domain name? Yes? No? I don’t know? Bueller?


Borderlands PC Authentication Troubles

The PC version of the new “artsy” FPS coop game, Borderlands, was delayed for a week. This is fine and all but the problem, according to Ars Technica, is that because the “street date” was pushed back a week, those people who were able to buy copies of the game from stores have been screwed by the fact that the Authentication servers were not online. So, now people who have bought the game will have to wait until the game day the PC version of the game is actually released.

Another thing I wanted to point out in the article is the subject of software licensing and DRM. For a long time, we users have been under the impression that when we purchase a physical copy of software, it is ours. However, this is not the case at all. For example, when you buy a copy of Microsoft Word from the store you are only buying a license to use it. It’s like going to Filmtown here or Blockbuster in the States and renting a movie. The only difference being that you don’t have to return the Microsoft Word disc to the store after a certain period of time.

Both my wife and I are users of Steam. Personally, I enjoy the convenience of buying and downloading games from Steam right then and there without having to go to the store or ordering from Amazon UK, Play UK or CDON. However, I am worried about the day Steam servers go offline forever. While I have backup copies of the games, I am not entirely sure where it goes from there.


“I don’t speak any Finnish, will I manage?”

I was reading an article from a fellow American’s blog, Finland For Thought, about VisitFinland.com and I came across the question in the subject on the English version of the FAQs page. What made me do a double take was this statement in the answer: “Most Finns speak excellent English…”

Most? No. Excellent English? No.

Most Americans don’t even speak excellent English and neither does most of Finland’s 5 million + Finns. To be fair, a decent amount of Finns speak well-enough to good English. However, it’s definitely not “most Finns”. Finns find English to be just as hard as we immigrants find Finnish.

The subject of the Finland for Thought post was that Finnish was the first language someone sees on VisitFinland.com no matter where they are posting from. It seems that commentators had it narrowed down to OS and/or browser because some of them were posting from a location in Finland. When I visit the site title is in English but the rest of the page is in Finnish. I am using Windows 7 in English and Firefox in English.

Who knows what the hell is going on there…


Windows 7 Arrives At My Door

I was surprised by how small the size of the Windows 7 box was.

I was surprised by how small the size of the Windows 7 box was.

Back during the summer, I decided to build a big gaming system and use Windows 7 as it’s OS. Fortunately, I had the good sense to preorder Windows 7 Home Premium from Amazon U.K. Since then, the British Pound has run into trouble versus the Euro. I ordered Windows for £74. Back in the summer, that translated to 93€ and now it’s 81€!

I’m pointing out the price because I checked how much a local retailer, Mikropasi, is selling the Finnish version for: 199€. Ouch!

The reason why Amazon UK sent my copy of Windows 7 so early is according to Crave UK, Royal Mail workers are threatening to strike. So, Microsoft gave the go-ahead to retailers to mail out orders of Windows 7. The package was dispatched on October 20th and I received it on Oct 22nd. That was really fast!

The Windows 7 package generously comes with both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7. This is awesome for those with hardware in their systems that are not 64-bit compatable (ex. 64-bit processors) or those with less than 3GB of RAM.


Building A Custom System Using An Antec 1200 Part 2

Listing the specs

Current system configuration minus the DVD drive and the memory.

For a long time I have been wanting to build a high-end gaming system. I have built my own systems before but this is one serious build. The only thing missing is a liquid cooler and a non-stock heatsink! 😛

Note: I did not get all of the parts here in Finland. If dollars are listed first, I got the part in the States. If British Pounds are listed first, I received the part from a supplier in the U.K.

  • Antec Twelve Hundred ATX full tower case (185€)
  • ASUS P6T motherboard – Intel X58 Chipset, SLI 3-way and Quad ATI Crossfire support, max. 12GB DDR3 memory (226€)
  • Intel Core i7 920 processor LGA 1366 ($199/137€)
  • 6GB Corsair Dominator DDR3, 1600MHz (£174/173€)
  • EVGA GTX 275, 1792MB DDR3 RAM ($299/206€)
  • Corsair TX750 Power Supply (117€)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 3Gb/s, 32MB cache 7200 RPM ($114/78€)
  • Samsung DVD-RW (37€)

The parts that I bought in the States were from a Micro Center on Long Island, NY. I got lucky and showed up while they were having sales. I got $70 something off of the processor and the video card.

I also bought a Logitech G5 laser mouse for ($45/35€) from a store in Manhattan called B&H. A great many of its employees are Hasidic and “modern orthodox” Jews. The store has conveyor belts running through the entire store. You bring what you want to buy to a sales clerk. They put your information into a computer and sent the product on its way on the belt. You make your way through the store to the registers and pickup areas. It was an interesting experience!

Full version of Windows 7 Home Premium: 81€

Total spent/Summa: 1275€

Some thoughts

I had thought about replacing the Intel-provided thermal paste with Artic Silver. After thinking about it, I decided it might be overkill since I do not plan to OC this system.

I did not plan on getting LED lighted fans with the new system but the Antec 1200 comes with 6 LED fans. There’s a switch on the back of the case which turns off the light on the 200mm fan on the top of the case.

When turned on, the computer is not very loud. Not nearly as loud as my wife’s old Athlon XP system in a generic case. I would say the loudest part in the case is the EVGA GTX 275 fan.

When I got the Corsair power supply, it came wrapped in a velvet bag. It left me wondering, like everyone else who has received one, where’s the Crown Royal I ordered? There are a lot of wires and unfortunately I realized that I should have gotten the modular HX750 instead of the TX750. The Antec 1200 fortunately has space behind the motherboard to run wires from the power supply to most parts of the computer without having a web of wires hanging around the inside of the case, blocking airflow. The only wire completely hanging in the case is the 8-pin ATX 12V wire.

The Dominator memory comes with a story. I had originally planned to get 6GB of Corsiar XMS memory and I had some on reserve order with the Finnish webstore, Verkkokauppa. After a couple of weeks, I saw that they had 6GB kits of Corsair Dominators. I contacted Verkkokauppa and they changed my order to the Dominators. After a couple more weeks, they received 2 kits. Verkkokauppa lists how many items have been ordered from any certain product, they also have wait times listed. When they received the 2 kits – apparently I was not one of the fortunate souls to get the available memory – they changed the wait status from 1-3 weeks to 3-5 weeks and increased the price of the kit. I was pretty fed up with the wait time. I had already sent them an email voicing my concerns about the amount of time people have to wait to get any from there.

Being that I was fed up with the whole process, I turned to eBay Ireland and found computer parts suppliers with more than enough Dominator memory in stock. I ordered from a supplier in South Wales. They posted the order the same day I ordered from them and I received the memory one week later. Now, this was back on October 7th. Verkkokauppa finally received 11 more kits over one week later on the 16th.

I had Verkkokauppa cancel my order of memory and to send my Corsair power supply. They still took 2 days to post the order! A possible reason I got as to why the memory was taking so long to be shipped to Verkkkauppa was high global demand. While this is possible, the delay in sending my power supply makes me think otherwise.

In Part 3 I will discuss how the system runs under the retail version of Windows 7 and GPU temperatures and frame rates while gaming. I do know how the system runs under the RC version of Windows 7 Ultimate. I can tell you now that there has been a few bumps but other than that, the system is sexy! 😀