Realtek HD + Mic (aka Intel Integrated Audio on ICH8)

I bought a low-end Logitech headset recently and it works perfectly in Linux but for some reason in Windows the volume was terrible. To make matters worse, it seemed like the drivers don't support mic boost and only the main "capture" slider is changable… The others such as line-in are locked!

After a bit of Googleing I came to relatively simple fix to the problem. If you're looking for a way to bring up your mic's volume, follow these steps:

  1. Update to the lastest drivers available from the Realtek website.
  2. Browse to C:\Program Files\Realtek\Audio\InstallShield and run the program named MicCal.exe
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions and when promted with a slider, bring it down to zero, leave it there for a few seconds. Raise it to 100% and be sure to click Next right away. Continue with the on-screen instructions to finish the wizard.
  4. Open up Realtek HD Sound Effect Manager from the Sounds, Speech & Audio Devices control panel category. You'll notice under the Playback knob on the left, you have a litte wrench/tool icon; click it and make sure Rear Pink In is checked off.
  5. Now, (use the arrows as needed) click the small button labeled .. (the Advanced button) under Rear Pink In. There, hidden, are the options for Mic Boost!

Reference: johnnygoodface's post at techspot forums

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Future of fwbackups: What features do you like?

I've been thinking about the future of fwbackups, and the engines are causing me a bit of trouble. TimeVault is pretty cool and I'd like to implement something similar, but to do that I have to scrap the tar and tar+gz engines. I could also forget the TimeVault-like features for now and implement incremental backups. So, what do you think? I've got a poll running so you can vote for your preferred option on the left.

On another note, 1.43.2rc1 will include a minimize to system tray function so that fwbackups can stay in the tray as an applet :)

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Welcome to the Matrix.

I like the Matrix trilogy more every time I watch it... There's some pretty interesting ideas in the movie. With the capabilities of technology growing every day, I don't believe we are going to be imprisoned by machines anytime soon but I do believe that the idea of a computer-generated "reality" will become, well, a reality pretty soon.

What is real? It's going to be interesting to see how reality (both the sense of the word's meaning and the experiences we all retain from this "reality"), will change. If computers can interact with the nervous system, how will we be able to tell the difference between the current and computer-projected realities? In theory, the two would be indistinguishable and as with all other digital technology, chances are the digital projection of reality would be even better than the real thing. Either way, linking human brains to machines is going to bring about both new possibilities and vulnerabilities... Ad-hock networks of brains would be something very cool - imagine swapping digitized memories, complete with a sense of smell, touch, etc that you could replay any number of times. Work experience/skills could be transferred as well, which would make education easier and quicker. The gaming industry would be revolutionalized... You wouldn't play games anymore, you'd experience them. Interact with them.

On the other hand, I bet it won't be long before brain-malware (brain32.mydoom O_o) appears too. But that's a whole other topic...

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Favourite Freeware Apps for Windows

Well, as usual, it's been a while... I'll start by saying happy new year! Better late than never I guess ;)

Anyways, ever since I started developing fwbackups for Windows I've had to use it a lot more often than I used to. Here's a list of some (free) Windows apps I've found to be very useful:

  • iTunes: As much trouble as I've had in the past with Apple products, I've yet to see a better media player that's as easy to use, configure and has equivalent features. The only thing I wish is that I could import with lame directly from iTunes.
    • iTunes Lyrics Importer searches lyricswiki.org for song lyrics and automatically updates your iTunes library
    • iTunes Library Updater (iTLU) makes it a breeze to manage your library when it comes to updating track info, adding new songs or removing the dead links in your library.
  • Notepad++: One of the best text editors I've seen when it comes to programming or just general-purpose text. Of course, nothing beats good old GEdit though ;)
  • MediaCoder is a free audio and video transcoder. It supports almost any format you can imagine, has a nice interface, huge amount of features, and even some presets for various devices like the PSP or iPod.
  • WinSCP for all your secure file copying needs.
  • PuTTY for all your SSH needs.
  • 7-zip: Finally, open bz2 archives and a whole lot more without any annoying "trial" and "upgrade now" messages!

All these programs are free to download & use, and most are open source. Enjoy!

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iPod touch

I have to say, I'm impressed. I'm typing this from an iPod while listening to citizen cope... You can even type with two fingers! ;)

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obsethryl's lab

I came accross obsethryl's lab the other day. It's the website of Freenode's #labchat IRC channel where you can talk about GNU/Linux, software mediated automation, development on opensource platforms, automation, and anything concerning else cross-platform FOSS software. Besides being a great idea the site looks really neat! (read: resize your window and watch the background Wink)

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Join the team

Because of time constrains, it's getting tougher to upkeep every one of my open source projects - If you'd like to help out developing one of them, please let me know.

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Web coding tutorial

I realized that I had made this web coding tutorial a while ago but forgot to publish it officially... It covers some common HTML skills and tags (including tables and frames) and introduces some basic CSS.

It's still not complete, but I promise I'll get a new revision online soon. Enjoy!

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Werewolf

Fedora 8 (Werewolf) is here! I've been using it as my primary OS since Test 2 came out, and it's been rock stable ever since RC2 in my case (though I heard there may have been a few bug in NetworkManager concerning certain types of wireless networks; That will be fixed in a zero-day update). Be sure to check out Werewolf's downloads and the release notes, as well as the updated collection of Fedora 8 howtos!

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I'm tired of this (rev3)

Apple has been in my good books for a long time because as their computers have no problems. Nearly no viruses, popups or adware at all. No additional software needed. Their computers 'just worked', right out of the box. I'm seeing more and more things in Apple that I don't like, things that I stopped using Microsoft's products for. Apple's products work wonderfully, but in many cases only with other Apple-based products. iPhone. iPod. iLife. iMac. And even then I find they don't work that well all the time.

A perfect example is recently when I was creating a slideshow using music purchased from iTunes. The iTunes Plus tracks worked flawlessly - Drag & drop, that was it. I'm happy Steve Jobs supports it and I really hope the industry moves DRM free... But I'm getting off track. I try the regular iTunes tracks (DRM encumbered) and turns out they refused to be added to the iMovie slideshow claiming the computer wasn't authorized. I entered my password, authorizing from iMovie which didn't work so then from iTunes too. I even deauthorized and reauthorized the Macbook in iTunes to make sure. Then I tried playing the tracks in iTunes - It worked. I switched to iMovie and what d'ya you know, same results. In the end I burnt all the songs to two CDs and then ripped them. Another two hours of my time wasted. Apple's FairPlay doesn't seem too fair at all - I couldn't use it on the very same computer I had purchased the songs from, and forget even trying to play them on another computer. I don't even know if you can put songs purchased from iTunes onto non-iPod players without having to break the DRM first (which is illegal in the US).

This time, Apple has added encrypted firmware and hashes in the database which makes it near impossible to use a new iPod with 3rd party tools (see the article I posted at the beginning of this entry). To make it worse, the encrypted firmware makes you unable to run Linux (aka Rockbox) on it to workaround the database issue. One could say otherwise, but I don't see the advantage of encrypted firmware or hashes in the database to users... What do the 3rd party tools change from Apple point of view? Users have still purchased their iPods, and whether people update iPods from iTunes or GtkPod doesn't make a difference to Apple whatsoever.

Considering one can't use an iPod with Linux anymore, I'll have to use iTunes from Windows or Mac OS X. And considering what happened the last time I used iTunes, I won't be buying the new iPod everyone's talking about either.

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