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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