Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Asus Xonar DX Dolby Digital Live (DDL) SPDIF popping noise

I have a Asus Xonar DX which I got for the very specific reason that it has Dolby Digital Live (DDL). DDL is the real-time conversion of your PC audio to a Dolby 5.1 signal. Yes, I know DD is compressed. Yes, I know it lowers audio quality. MEH. It lets me use my old PC speaker 5.1 set which has a DD input. Deal with it.

Anyway, there is an obnoxious issue with the Asus card (and I believe other Asus cards with DDL) where, when using DDL, there is a delay between when a sound is played on the PC and the activation of the DD signal. This results in a distorted popping noise when your receiver first gets the signal. It's especially annoying if your PC is playing short sounds, like it's beeping because then the DD signal is basically going on and off, and results in many popping noises.

The solution is this: Go into the Asus traybar application, go to the mixer, click record, click the eyeball (monitoring) under the mic, and turn the mic volume all the way down. This will keep the DD signal on at all times and fix the popping issue. It may also work to monitor the line-in or aux-in, if the mic doesn't work for you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fixing the STOP 0x7B error when upgrading motherboards and cpu, in Windows 7

I recently upgraded my motherboard and, not wanting to have to re-install Windows completely, I tried simply swapping out the motherboard, cpu and ram. MANY people on the internet will tell you that this is impossible and you will have to do a complete re-install. THEY ARE WRONG.

I went from a Core 2 Duo e6600 with a Gigabyte GA-G31M-E2SL to an Ivy Bridge i5- 3570k with a Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H.

If you simply do the swap as I did, you will very likely encounter the dreaded BSOD with the STOP 0x7B error. This is due to the hard drive controller being different between the two boards. The fix I did is here. I cannot take credit for this fix, it was originally posted by dcoetzee here.

1) Make sure you know if your old bios had your hard drives running in IDE or AHCI. It should be set the same when you install the new board.

2) Burn a copy of Hiren's boot CD. here

3) Go into Control Panel > Device Manager, and write down all drivers that are named with your chipset. For example, under your IDE Controllers, you might have Intel Series 6 Serial ATA Controller. Update these drivers to a "standard" controller or driver. It should be an available compatible driver type when you try to update the driver.

4) Install your new motherboard/cpu. It's probably best to keep the parts to a minimum for the moment (just your OS harddrives, no unnecessary peripherals).

5) Start up, make sure the IDE/AHCI setting in the bios is the same on the new board.

6) Boot into Hiren's boot CD

7) Select miniXP

8) Open up Hiren's BootCD program launcher

9) Programs > Registry > Fix hard disk controller

10) enter in your windows directory. If Hiren's isn't detecting your drive, make sure the IDE/AHCI setting is the same!

11) run it

12) That shoud be it! Reboot, and you should be able to get into Windows 7. I would immediately put in your motherboard drivers CD and update all the drivers. Also update all the drivers you changed in Step 3. The "Standard" drivers will likely work, but it's nice to have the ones optimal for your mobo.

I spent hours trying to find this very simple fix. I hope this helps someone on the internet find a solution.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Setting up OSX Time Machine on a Windows 7 Shared Folder

I have a home server that I built originally with the intention of just recording TV. But I've recently realized there's a great deal of cool things that can be done with your own always-on server. I picked up a new WD1500EARS drive and put it in my server with the intention of having it serve as, not only more media storage space, but also a networked backup location for my main PC and laptop. I also figured I could set aside some space to use as a Time Machine backup location for my hackintosh. I won't go into detail describing how to do this, instead I'll just point you to this excellent guide by Hupio:


No other guide I found on the web mentions the critical step at the end, that you have to create a sparsebundle and put it on the shared folder for it to work.

A problem that may pop up is that Windows 7 is not really setup to act as a file server. The result is that OSX will disconnect from Windows due to some memory allocation error. This can be fixed with a couple of registry edits, described here:


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hackintosh setup...

Ugh. Just realized I never finished the Hackintosh setup guide... I'll hopefully get around to it one day. The information to setup osx on a non-mac is available all around the web, it's just that the information is generally very poorly consolidated. Given the huge variety of system configurations, this is understandable. I was just hoping I could help those folks out that have similar configurations to my own. Anyway, like I said, hopefully I'll get back to it later on.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thunderbird 3 already is beginning to piss me off

Search sucks. I search for "waters" and everything with "water" shows up. I put "waters" in quotes, and STILL everything with "water" in the text shows up. WTF. The default search results page sucks. Who the fuck thought it was a good idea?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Honda Civic Sales Chart

I'm currently looking to buy a Honda Civic Sedan LX. I was trying to predict whether Honda will extend certain incentives they have in place, so I made this chart of Honda Total Car Sales and Civic sales over time. Maybe someone'll find this useful...

All data is from here:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hackintosh setup Part 1 - Introduction

edit: apologies for the constantly updating pages. I keep thinking of how to format this so it's easiest to follow.

Hackintosh Install Guide Contents

Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - What You'll Need
Part 3 - Installing OSX
Part 4 - Additional Notes

I've recently been messing around with trying to install OSX on my PC. There's a ton of information on the internet, however, the problem I ran into is that this information isn't easy to sort through. There's a huge number of forum posts dealing with the various hardware combinations that people have, and it can be pretty overwhelming. An additional problem is that many of the people at the forefront of hackintosh developement are based in Asia or Europe and english is definitely not their first language.

I am not an expert on setting up a hackintosh, but I figure if I put up the setup procedure that I used for my system, someone out there might find it useful. Something that drove me crazy is that there are a bunch of tiny details that need to be paid attention to, but is hardly ever mentioned in other hackintosh guides. I'll try to highlight the ones that gave me trouble.

Hackintoshes are notoriously picky about what hardware and what drivers are used. This contributes to the fragmented nature of install guides on the web. What may work for one person's hardware may not for another. The process I used here should be applicable to a wide range of hardware, but will be the most help to those that have my same motherboard. I will be posting the kexts and boot files I used.

My hardware:
Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2 motherboard
2x2GB DDR2-800
ATI Radeon HD4850
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value
PS/2 Microsoft Internet Keyboard
USB Microsoft Intellimouse
Maxtor 80GB IDE HD

To start, here are the resources I used:
insanelymac.com - A lot of info here, but the forums are a pain because it isn't easy to find. The best you can do is use the forum search and read the stickied posts in the relevant sections. The wiki there is not really up to date or written well, so don't expect much from that.

menoob Hackintosh tutorial - This is the process that I basically followed.

bassheadtech tutorial - Another similar tutorial which was also helpful.

google.com - Yeah, I know should be obvious, but unfortunately people are lazy and need reminding. Don't underestimate how useful google can be to help you solve your install problems. If you're getting an error, chances are high someone else has experienced that same error already. The two guides posted above were found with google, and the solutions a number of driver problems I had were also found via google.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I work with this guy who is a total slacker. Now, although I generally find lazy people contemptible, that in and of itself is not enough to seriously annoy me. What frustrates me is that I actually have to work with this douche. To this dumbass, I just want to say: I understand what we're doing is not the most glorious project ever, and I'm sorry your career isn't going as swimmingly as you would like, but tough shit man. It's not like you're the only person with a lame job. You don't have to be a dick about it and talk over me every time I say something. And even when I'm not even fucking talking to you, you try to talk over me. Fuck you man.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Buffered java.io.RandomAccessFile

Now for some total randomness. I'm posting this because I know someday, someone, somewhere out there, will come across this exact same problem and will google for it. The solutions I found via google were meh, and I know I would've liked to have this. So I post this for the children of the future (unless Sun gets its act together).

*  A subclass of RandomAccessFile to enable basic buffering to a byte array
*  Copyright (C) 2009 minddumped.blogspot.com

*  This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
*  it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
*  the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
*  (at your option) any later version.

*  This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
*  but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
*  GNU General Public License for more details.

*  You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
*  along with this program.  If not, see .

package ed.javatools;

import java.io.RandomAccessFile;
import java.io.FileNotFoundException;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.IOException;

* @author minddumped.blogspot.com
public class BufferedRaf extends RandomAccessFile {

 public BufferedRaf(File file, String mode) throws FileNotFoundException {
  super(file, mode);
  bufferlength = 65536;
  bytebuffer = new byte[bufferlength];
  maxread = 0;
  buffpos = 0;
  sb = new StringBuilder("0");

 private byte[] bytebuffer;
 private int bufferlength;
 private int maxread;
 private int buffpos;
 private StringBuilder sb;

 public int getbuffpos() {
  return buffpos;

 public int read() throws IOException {
  if (buffpos >= maxread) {
   maxread = readchunk();
   if (maxread == -1) {
    return -1;
  return bytebuffer[buffpos - 1] & 0xFF;

 public String readLine2() throws IOException {
  sb.delete(0, sb.length());
  int c = -1;
  boolean eol = false;
  while (!eol) {
   switch (c = read()) {
   case -1:
   case '\n':
    eol = true;
   case '\r':
    eol = true;
    long cur = getFilePointer();
    if ((read()) != '\n') {
    sb.append((char) c);

  if ((c == -1) && (sb.length() == 0)) {
   return null;
  return sb.toString();

 public long getFilePointer() throws IOException {
  return super.getFilePointer() + buffpos;

 public void seek(long pos) throws IOException {
  if (maxread != -1 && pos < (super.getFilePointer() + maxread) && pos > super.getFilePointer()) {
   Long diff = (pos - super.getFilePointer());
   if (diff < Integer.MAX_VALUE) {
    buffpos = diff.intValue();
   } else {
    throw new IOException("something wrong w/ seek");
  } else {
   buffpos = 0;
   maxread = readchunk();

 private int readchunk() throws IOException {
  long pos = super.getFilePointer() + buffpos;
  int read = super.read(bytebuffer);
  buffpos = 0;
  return read;

Some notes:
1) This is only for buffered reading.

2) Most read type methods in RAF end up calling read(), so read() is the only method that really needs to be overridden. The exceptions are the read(byte b[]), read(byte b[], int off, int len), readFully(byte b[]) and readFully(byte b[], int off, int len) methods. They end up calling a private readBytes method. It's probably not a big deal, since in those methods you're asking for a byte array anyway, but it will throw off the buffpos file pointer!

3) If you're calling lots of readLine(), the readLine() in the original RAF sucks. It constantly creates a new StringBuffer object which is unnecessary and can really slow things down. In my class, I reuse a StringBuilder and just delete the contents. Unfortunately, for some dumbass reason, readLine() is final, so my method is readLine2(). From a simple test of reading through a file using readline, I find the performance is nearly the same as using BufferedReader.

4) people on the Sun Forums are total fucking douchebags. Don't ever go there looking for help.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

still here

I feel like I should post something, since it's been over a month since the last post. Although there's still way more in the Democracy is Overrated series, I think I'll put that on hold for a bit.