Disclaimer

I am not responsible if your devices send you back in time, explodes, implodes, bricks or flies into space from the use of any software I put up.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Google Secure Socket Layer For Internet Explorer

SSL is a additional layer of encryption that protects your session with a Server that offers SSL as an option.

I am sure you guys heard about Google's New SSL for Firefox and Chrome, so how about Internet Explorer?

Simply go to Create a Search Provider for Internet Explorer then
Under "URL" Copy and Paste the following into the box:
https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&q=TEST&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
Under "Name" just label it Google (SSL) and you are done!

To remove this warning message:


Simply go to Internet Options -> Security -> Internet -> Custom Level and Choose Enable Display Mixed Content.


Thats all =).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Script to Install Driver Packages

This bat script is written by me to mass install drivers, activate OEM Windows as well as perform Disk Optimization to alleviate some of the repetitive actions.
You are free to use as you wish but no warranty is provided.
You just need to put the bat script in the same folder as the drivers and OEM Certificate and launch it with Administrative Permission as shown in the example below.


You will most likely need to make some minor changes to suit the script to your purpose.
REM indicates comments.
Start Copy below after this line:
__________________________________________________________________________________

    @echo off

    REM Script Originally Written by the Author of aspiregemstone.blogspot.com

    REM You are free to modify, share & use, completely Free of Charge.

    REM But kindly please acknowledge the source in the Spirit Of Sharing. Thanks =)

    FOR /D %%I IN (%0) DO CD /d %%~dpI

    cls

    echo Creating OEM Certificate Directory...

    mkdir "C:\Windows\system32\OEM"

    echo Copying OEM Certificate...

    copy "OEM.XRM-MS" "C:\Windows\system32\OEM"

    echo Activating Windows 7...

    echo Please wait...This might take a while...

    REM Rename the OEM Certificate to OEM.XRM-MS

    slmgr.vbs -ilc C:\Windows\System32\OEM\OEM.XRM-MS

    REM Replace XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX with the OEM Key

    slmgr -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

    echo Done!

    echo Installing Drivers...

    echo DO NOT RESTART THE COMPUTER!

    REM Rename the Driver Packages

    Chipset_Driver.exe

    Graphics_Driver.exe

    Ethernet_Driver.exe

    Wireless_Driver.exe

    Printer_Driver.exe

    WinTV_Driver.exe

    REM Below is how the script access extracted Drivers

    Audio_Driver\Setup.exe

    Web_Camera\Setup.exe

    Storage_Driver\Setup.exe

    echo All DRIVERS INSTALLED!

    echo Cleaning up TEMP Folders

    C:

    REM Remove Temp Folders created by HP and Intel Driver Packages

    del /S /Q /F C:\SWsetup

    del /S /Q /F C:\swsetup

    del /S /Q /F C:\Intel

    REM Manually invoke optimization

    Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

    echo You may restart the Computer now!

    pause
__________________________________________________________________________________

Save the script as Setup.bat and Right Click to launch it with Admin Rights.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Windows Essentials 2011 breaks SAMBA Shares

If you are a user of Windows Shares and you use SAMBA to connect to it from your GNU\Linux Machine, you will find after installing Windows Essentials 2011 on the host you break the SAMBA Share.
You will no longer be able to connect to Windows Share from your GNU\Linux Machine.

WORKAROUND 1 (Highly Recommended):

In Windows Live Essentials 2011, Windows Live Sign In Assistant exist as a Windows Service so we need to disable it.

Go to Control Panel, then Services.

Find a Service called "Windows Live Sign-in Assistant" as shown below:



Double Click on it and set it to "Disable"


Save, exit and reboot.

WORKAROUND 2:

Uninstall Windows Essentials 2011 COMPLETELY

You have to revert to the old Windows Live Essentials and uninstall the Live Sign In Assistant through the Control Panel .

Exit and reboot.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Improving your PowerPoint Slides

For users of Microsoft PowerPoint go to http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/ to download more aesthetically pleasing content slide design.
Then download the template you want to the desktop then copy to the folder below:
C:\Users\{your user profile here}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes

This is just something to get nice slides without spending too much time on designing however a great presentation still depends on the content and speaker.

Few simple rules:
Keep the wordings on the slide simple summaries, speak more and engage your audience.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fedora 14 Laughlin on Laptop


Firstly, to use Fedora you have to be quite comfortable with GNU\Linux Operating System in general.
What Fedora offers over other GNU\Linux
(Needless to say Mac OS X sucks with the price tag and the lack of new useful features):

1)It is cutting edge, new features are introduced into Fedora frequently unlike "Rock Solid" Distro like Debian Stable.

2)Fedora runs out of box rather nicely because it is updated, new hardware have a good chance of running smoothly without recompiling hardware kernel driver modules.

3)Fedora developers are the people working on GNOME hence if you like to use GNOME as the desktop manager, Fedora is a good choice.

4)Ubuntu IMO tends to be too hand-holding hence it is rather filled with GUI centric applications, in contrast Fedora runs fast and light.

5)Being a supported distro, it offloads the task of package recompiling to the people maintaining it hence you do not have to constantly recompile new packages when released like Gentoo.

Actually I did try to think of ways how to make a simple guide on how to install Fedora on the laptop but I did too many tricks to get it working such that I don't think it is suitable for the mostly GUI oriented users.

However I will share my observations on Fedora Laughlin.

There are a few small bugs regarding GNOME and the rendering of display IF YOU use the default GTK themes I had to use the Solaris Nimbus theme or the Nodoka theme as a workaround.

Next I recommend you use the Nvidia Developer Driver 260.19.14 for Linux instead of the WHQL because it provides very aggressive power saving settings I do notice a slightly improvement in battery life.

I am glad to say that suspend/resume works with the above combination.

You have to append nomodeset and vga=318 to the end of the kernel line to get a nice Plymouth splash and WITHOUT removing nouveau driver as a fallback.

To change cursor you have to edit the "default" text file in /usr/share/icons to point to the cursor theme you want to use.

You can use the same tweaks in the OpenSUSE Guide.

By default, all filesystems are now mounted with relatime enabled. To suppress this feature across an entire system, use the boot parameter default_relatime=0. If relatime is enabled on a system by default, you can suppress it for any particular file system by mounting that file system with the option norelatime. Finally, to vary the default length of time before which the system will update a file's atime data, use the relatime_interval= boot parameter, specifying the period in seconds. The default value is 86400.

The fact that the rpmfusion drivers sucks means that it is difficult for GUI people to install it therefore I gave up on writing a guide.

However those who are quite the superuser and wish to try Fedora can still ask me for some opinions (not a expert though).

For Users with Nvidia Graphics Adapters

1)Grab the install media, use unetbootin to convert the bootable iso to bootable thumbdrive.
For users with internet the Live CD x86 (32bit) or the x86_64(64bit) will do.
The full DVD includes package it is for users who do not have access to internet hence needs to install the packages by DVD Media.
2)Format the disk partition as instructed, make sure there is empty space on the harddisk to install Fedora to.

3)Enable Sudo and add your user account as wheel.
Open Terminal:
#su
#visudo 
Press 'i' to enter insert mode.
Change 
#%wheel  ALL=(ALL)       ALL
To
%wheel  ALL=(ALL)       ALL
Press 'Esc" then ":wq" to save and exit.
Go to Main Menu -> System -> Administration -> Users & Groups
Select your User Account then Properties go to Group Tab then check "Wheel".

4)Adjust the boot entry in /boot/grub/menu.lst by opening terminal entering:
sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Comment out Hidden Menu
#hiddenmenu
Set Default to the default boot entry number (eg 0=First Boot Entry, 1=Second Boot Entry etc)
Add the following behind the kernel boot parameters:
rhgb quiet nomodeset default_relatime=0 vga=0x318

More VGA Settings can be found here, however the value above 0x318 which is for 1366X768 resolution is strangely not found in the site above.

You can edit the title of your Windows Boot Entry to
title Windows 7

Example (Highlighted Notable Changes in Blue):
default=1
timeout=3
splashimage=(hd0,4)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
#hiddenmenu
title Fedora (2.6.35.6-48.fc14.x86_64)
    root (hd0,4)
    kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.35.6-48.fc14.x86_64 ro root=UUID=0ee4372e-2c84-4238-b822-d83759547d4b rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM LANG=en_US.UTF-8 SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 KEYBOARDTYPE=pc KEYTABLE=us rhgb quiet nomodeset default_relatime=0 vga=0x34D
    initrd /initramfs-2.6.35.6-48.fc14.x86_64.img
title Windows 7
    rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    chainloader +
5)Run all updates
Go to Main Menu -> System -> Administration -> Software Updates
Reboot and boot into the latest Kernel

6)Managing Kernel Entries
Fedora dependency is good so to remove older kernels:
Go to Main Menu -> System -> Administration -> Add/Remove Software.
Search for Linux and uncheck the "Filter" "Show only Newest package"
Find the old kernel then uncheck and apply to uninstall it.

7)Installing the Nvidia Drivers
Download the latest Nvidia Driver For Linux from http://developer.nvidia.com/object/cuda_3_2_toolkit_rc.html

8)Install the development tools as follows:
You need to have the following installed

______________________________________________________________________________

Chapter 2. Minimum Software Requirements
______________________________________________________________________________



    Software Element         Min Requirement          Check With...
    ---------------------    ---------------------    ---------------------
    Linux kernel             2.4.7                    `cat /proc/version`
    XFree86/X.Org            4.0.1/6.7                'Xorg -version`                                                      
    Kernel modutils          2.1.121                  `insmod --version`


If you need to build the NVIDIA kernel module:

    Software Element         Min Requirement          Check With...
    ---------------------    ---------------------    ---------------------
    binutils                 2.9.5                    `size --version`
    GNU make                 3.77                     `make --version`
    gcc                      2.91.66                  `gcc --version`
    glibc                    2.0                      `ls /lib/libc.so.*` 
 
Use terminal to run the commands underlined if you are missing any packages 
you need to install it with root permission either using sudo or su.
Make sure you have the kernel headers required installed.
Run in terminal:
sudo yum install kernel-devel
9)Reboot upon seeing the grub entries scroll to the kernel press 'e' on it and append init 3 to it.
10)To install login in then type
$su
#cd Downloads
# sh devdriver_3.2_linux_64_260.19.14.run
The filename of the driver maybe different from the above.
Accept and press ok when you see ok.

To uninstall run:
$su
# sh devdriver_3.2_linux_64_260.19.14.run --uninstall

Reboot with the command
#init 6
11)Adjust the xorg.conf file by opening the terminal
$sudo gedit /etc/xorg.conf

Adjust to look like the below:

# nvidia-xconfig: X configuration file generated by nvidia-xconfig
# nvidia-xconfig:  version 260.19.14  (buildmeister@builder103.nvidia.com)  Mon Oct 18 21:52:42 PDT 2010

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Layout0"
    Screen      0  "Screen0"
    InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
EndSection

Section "Files"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/default/Type1"
    ModulePath    "/usr/lib64/xorg/modules/extension/nvidia"
    ModulePath    "/usr/lib64/xorg/modules"       
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
        Option      "AIGLX" "on"
EndSection


Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from default
    Identifier     "Mouse0"
    Driver         "mouse"
    Option         "Protocol" "auto"
    Option         "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
    Option         "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
    Option         "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from data in "/etc/sysconfig/keyboard"
    Identifier     "Keyboard0"
    Driver         "kbd"
    Option         "XkbLayout" "us"
    Option         "XkbModel" "pc105"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor0"
    VendorName     "Unknown"
    ModelName      "Unknown"
    HorizSync       28.0 - 33.0
    VertRefresh     43.0 - 72.0
    Option         "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    Option    "NoLogo"    "on"
    Option    "Coolbits"    "1"
    Option    "OnDemandVBlankInterrupts"    "on"

EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection
12)Install the Nimbus GTK Theme as a workaround to that lag bug:
$sudo yum install nimbus-theme-gnome
Change to the Nimbus theme

13)Install Cairo Dock:
$sudo yum install cairo-dock

14)Install Java
$sudo yum install java-1.6.0-openjdk-plugin

15)Change the cursor in Fedora 14

16)Remove icons from GNOME Desktop

17)Install Global Menu:
$sudo yum install gnome-applet-globalmenu

18)Install OpenOffice (let the dependencies resolve themselves):
$sudo yum install openoffice.org-calc openoffice.org-writer openoffice.org-draw openoffice.org-impress

19)Install GIMP (Powerful OpenSource Photoshop alternative)
$sudo yum install gimp

20)Adding tmpfs to /tmp
Add this line to /etc/fstab to make /tmp folder a RAMDisk so /tmp will be automatically cleared during shutdown.

tmp              /tmp            tmpfs    defaults   0 0
noatime is already implemented by the default_relatime=0 boot parameters.


21)Disable the scale when you move the cursor to the top right hand of the screen:
$sudo yum install ccsm compiz-backend-gconf
Then access compizconfig setting manager and disable the scale plugin -> initiate Window Picker

22)Install Chromium
Flash for Chromium

23)Install gsynaptics to enable 2 finger scroll. It works in Fedora 14! Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.
$sudo yum install gsynaptics

24)Install Systemd and switch to it instead of upstart.
$sudo yum install systemd
Then append init=/bin/systemd to the end of the kernel parameters.
I notice some speed up in suspend and resume operations but then it might just be me.

Once you get the hang of installing by terminal you are somewhere there
You may want the following software as well:
Adobe Flash
Skype
To fix the Skype Video you need to change the launcher command as shown below:

Change it to:
sh -c 'export XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1 && LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so /usr/bin/skype'

Windows Fonts

There you go! If you still need GUI for every step Fedora is probably not for you. You should try Ubuntu or Mint or OpenSUSE instead.
Feel Free to leave comments if you feel that something is omitted.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Nvidia Developer Driver 260.99 (WHQL)

LOL.
Looks like Nvidia screwed up.
New Nvidia Verde Driver (WHQL signed by Microsoft )  Version 260.99 within 2 weeks...

New Nvidia Verde Driver (WHQL signed by Microsoft )  Version 260.81
Warning! I had 2 crash dumps and black screen hangs while using this 260.81 driver.
I can almost swear it is as buggy as it could be so use it at your own risk.
I can't believe Microsoft WHQLed this buggy driver...
  • Retains the PhysX Options for Nvidia G310M which is not supposed to be PhysX-able
  • Includes High Def Audio Driver
New Nvidia Developer Driver (WHQL signed by Nvidia) version 260.61
  • Retains the PhysX Options for Nvidia G310M which is not supposed to be PhysX-able
  • Doesn't Include NVIDIA High Def Audio Driver so you have to use the high-def audio driver from older Drivers
  • (If you are missing the NVIDIA High Def Audio Driver copy C:\NVIDIA\DisplayDriver\260.89\Vista 64-bit\International\HDAudio Folder to C:\NVIDIA\DisplayDriver\260.61\Vista 64-bit\International\HDAudio Folder) It will detect the HDAudio Driver and attempt to install it.
Take a look at the new screens:



 
Download links
Nvidia Signed 260.61 here
Microsoft Signed 260.99 here

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Checking Battery Capacity in Windows 7

Alternatively there is a Free software to measure power consumption by Microsoft Research.
It is called JouleMeter.
Find out more about it here.

A new feature in Windows 7 is the ability to check battery capacity.
Take a look at the following:

Open a Command Prompt Windows with Administrative Permission
Enter:
powercfg /Energy

It will create a report in
C:\Windows\system32\energy-report.html

There is one line like this
Battery:Battery Information
Battery ID 11121SANYOAS07A31
Manufacturer SANYO
Serial Number 11121
Chemistry LION
Long Term 1
Design Capacity 48840
Last Full Charge 41214
The amount of battery life left can be calculated by
eg. 41214/48840*100
Formula:  (Last Full Charge)/(Design Capacity) * 100
Which equates to 84.38% meaning my laptop battery has only 84.38% of charge left (because I didn't take good care of it. There was a few times when the battery was almost fully drain)

So make sure you switch off the laptop or connect it to an AC outlet when battery life reaches 10% and do not expose it to high temperatures.

Alternatively you can download the new HWMonitor as it reports the charge capacity directly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Audio Driver Matching

The reason for this new post is because I found out something interesting about MSI Release Audio Drivers.
Compared to Acer Default drivers they are richer in sound yet utilities the same audio chip.
However going by their filename I believe it is device id optimized.
So how do you find out the audio chip in your laptop desktop?
Go to Control Panel, open up Realtek Audio Driver Control Panel and check the audio chip used.


The Audio Codec will be listed.
Further proof that Audio Codec is dependent on Audio Chip installed and not device driver:


So which MSI driver to use?
Check the filename: ad_alc888s_vc2_6.0.1.6151_al00.zip
This indicates the driver is optimized for the ALC888S Audio Chip in the laptop.
I listed all the device driver on MSI by the Device ID just download & install!

ad_alc892_gr_6.0.1.6196_al00.zip

ad_alc892_gr_6.0.1.6194_al00.zip

"ASUS EAX 5.0 THX "Stealth Fighter" Laptop Audio Driver"

ad/ad_alc269_X_al00.zip (All I know is the Realtek Chip is ALC269 based)

"MSI THX Certified + 4 Premium Sound Speakers" Driver

ad_alc269q_vb5_gr_6.0.1.6267_w700.zip

ad/ad_alc269q_X_al00.zip

ad_alc269q_vb2_gr_6.0.1.6176_al00.zip

ad_alc269q_6.0.1.6128_al00.zip

ad/ad_alc269_X_al00.zip

"Sound by Dynaudio with DTS Surround" Driver

ad/ad_alc888s_X_al00.zip

ad/ad_alc888_X_al00.zip

ad/ad_alc662_X_al00.zip

ad_alc662_6.0.1.6093_al00.zip

ad/ad_alc882_6.0.1.5874_al00.zip

This entry will be updated from time to time just check the last modified entry.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just A Query From Readers.

Edit: I found this video which explains exactly what I was trying to say in a better more coherent sense. Thought I wanted to share this with you guys.


My opinion of the world today is rather negative.

I see people getting excited over silly devices like a iphone over more important matter like family, society, country and the world.

Superpower wage war over non-existent WMDs (even though the intelligence agency reported NO THREAT) and the leader got away with indirectly causing the death of the soldiers in his own country, in the country where in was fought burning away cash in the form of expensive weapons used. It is like mass murder in the public view of everyone and no one actually cares...

We also have filthy rich companies concern with saving money as a result causing pollution over the environment and putting a price tag on it. IMO money can never buy back the same state it was previously.

In the 21sth Century IMO mankind has sink to unprecedented depths again...but this is worse given that it was caused by apathy not by a single country but by people all over the world.

In my country (Singapore) a lot of parents are both working neglecting kids just to get a higher standard of living to purchase useless stuff like the iphone which almost cost a laptop not to mention the exorbitant monthly subscription.

People start engaging in trashy shows and useless advertising instead of reading useful materials like books.

In my country students study just to pass exams...

Does that happen all over the world or is it just my country? What is your opinion on this?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Linux Nvidia Driver OverClocking

A lot of people don't read "README"s hence they missed a lot of things.

It reflects on the laziness of people of this generation refusal to read, write and learn with the only desire to enjoy and relax. Can't really blame them since it is how the world markets success.
I am guilty of that sometimes as well.



Anyway today I read through the Nvidia Propriety Driver's README and found a number of Nvidia XConfig options usually neglected.

I will only list interesting ones below, the full list is here, Read through it for more information.

To add them simply add the entries under /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
Something like this (in red):
.............................................
Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Monitor0"
VendorName "Unknown"
ModelName "Unknown"
HorizSync 28.0 - 33.0
VertRefresh 43.0 - 72.0
Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "nvidia"
Option "NoLogo" "on"
Option "Coolbits" "1"
Option "OnDemandVBlankInterrupts" "on"
EndSection
....................................


Interesting Sections below.............

Option "NoLogo" "boolean"
Disable drawing of the NVIDIA logo splash screen at X startup. Default: the logo is drawn for screens with depth 24.
This skips the Nvidia Splash Screen during boot up.

Option "ThermalConfigurationCheck" "boolean"
The NVIDIA X driver will fail initialization on a GPU if it detects that the GPU has a bad thermal configuration. This may indicate a problem with how your graphics board was built, or simply a driver bug. It is recommended that you contact your graphics board vendor if you encounter this problem. This option can be set to False to bypass this test. Default: true (the thermal configuration test is performed).
Turn On Thermal Protection on GPU.



Option "Coolbits" "integer"
Enables various unsupported features, such as support for GPU clock manipulation in the NV-CONTROL X extension. This option accepts a bit mask of features to enable.

WARNING: this may cause system damage and void warranties. This utility can run your computer system out of the manufacturer's design specifications, including, but not limited to: higher system voltages, above normal temperatures, excessive frequencies, and changes to BIOS that may corrupt the BIOS. Your computer's operating system may hang and result in data loss or corrupted images. Depending on the manufacturer of your computer system, the computer system, hardware and software warranties may be voided, and you may not receive any further manufacturer support. NVIDIA does not provide customer service support for the Coolbits option. It is for these reasons that absolutely no warranty or guarantee is either express or implied. Before enabling and using, you should determine the suitability of the utility for your intended use, and you shall assume all responsibility in connection therewith. When "1" (Bit 0) is set in the "Coolbits" option value, the nvidia-settings utility will contain a page labeled "Clock Frequencies" through which clock settings can be manipulated. On mobile GPUs, limited clock manipulation support is available when "1" is set in the "Coolbits" option value: clocks can be lowered relative to the default settings, but overclocking is not supported due to the thermal constraints of notebook designs.
When "2" (Bit 1) is set in the "Coolbits" option value, the NVIDIA driver will attempt to initialize SLI when using GPUs with different amounts of video memory.
When "4" (Bit 2) is set in the "Coolbits" option value, the nvidia-settings Thermal Monitor page will allow configuration of GPU fan speed, on graphics boards with programmable fan capability.
The default for this option is 0 (unsupported features are disabled).
In other word enable OverClocking of Nvidia GPU in Linux + SLI Mods.



Option "MultiGPU" "string"

This option controls the configuration of Multi-GPU rendering in supported configurations.
Value Behavior
0, no, off, false, Single Use only a single GPU when rendering
1, yes, on, true, Auto Enable Multi-GPU and allow the driver to automatically select the appropriate rendering mode.
AFR Enable Multi-GPU and use the Alternate Frame Rendering mode.
SFR Enable Multi-GPU and use the Split Frame Rendering mode.
AA Enable Multi-GPU and use antialiasing. Use this in conjunction with full scene antialiasing to improve visual quality.

Option "SLI" "string"

This option controls the configuration of SLI rendering in supported configurations.
Value Behavior
0, no, off, false, Single Use only a single GPU when rendering
1, yes, on, true, Auto Enable SLI and allow the driver to automatically select the appropriate rendering mode.
AFR Enable SLI and use the Alternate Frame Rendering mode.
SFR Enable SLI and use the Split Frame Rendering mode.
AA Enable SLI and use SLI Antialiasing. Use this in conjunction with full scene antialiasing to improve visual quality.
AFRofAA Enable SLI and use SLI Alternate Frame Rendering of Antialiasing mode. Use this in conjunction with full scene antialiasing to improve visual quality. This option is only valid for SLI configurations with 4 GPUs.
Mosaic Enable SLI and use SLI Mosaic Mode. Use this in conjunction with the MetaModes X configuration option to specify the combination of mode(s) used on each display.
SLI and Multirendering advance configuration.


Option "OnDemandVBlankInterrupts" "boolean"

Normally, VBlank interrupts are generated on every vertical refresh of every display device connected to the GPU(s) installed in a given system. This experimental option enables on-demand VBlank control, allowing the driver to enable VBlank interrupt generation only when it is required. This can help conserve power.

Default: off (on-demand VBlank control is disabled).

More power saving in Linux.

The rest are either enabled by default or nothing much interesting.

That is all.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

OpenSUSE on Aspire 4530

I took a switch to OpenSUSE because I could no longer stand the Brown and the fugly name Ubuntu.
Before I finally chose OpenSUSE I was deciding whether to try Fedora as well. However UI of Fedora was rather similar to Ubuntu so I tried OpenSUSE instead.
The Green Theme of OpenSUSE will match the Green Tag of Aspire 4530 (just below the keyboard) very well.  Owners of Aspire 4530 will know what I mean. LOL

Lets get started:

First go to OpenSUSE to download their Live CD for 32/64bit according to your needs.
The LiveCD is the size of a Normal CD and just what you need to install OpenSUSE, the DVD format is a waste of bandwidth and a overkill.

Everything works out of box except the display driver.

Things that need tweaking:
  • Nvidia Propriety Drivers.
OpenSUSE is interesting because Nvidia provides the driver updates from their own server.
Other Distro like Ubuntu has a 3rd party maintaining the driver but not OpenSUSE however due to licensing issues they cannnot include it in the default install.

After installing add the Nvidia Server to the repository
SYSTEM,  SYSTEM ,YAST
Software,Software Repo

Add
Protocol:HTTP
Server:download.nvidia.com (See Nvidia provides the direct package)
Directory on Server: /opensuse/11.2
Accept the Server Key (because you trust the server)
From the YAST Menu, Select Software Management search for the Nvidia Driver and install it.
The kicker is that OpenSUSE software updates is IRRITATINGLY SLOW.
So bear with it.

After installing and rebooting it will be automatically activated.


  • Restricted Formats
Due to licensing issues OpenSUSE doesn't have restricted format support out of box but they are downloadable here (Unfortunately the libraries broke the cheese webcam functionality).

Edit: To prevent breaking of the cheese webcam functionality do the following:

Add VLC to the software repository(Use VLC to play all your future videos)
Then use Fluedo Codec for Banshee
After this the webcam functionality will be preserved.

You might also want to do the following configuration of the conf files below.

Edit: /etc/sudoers
Append "DISPLAY" as shown below
Defaults env_keep = "LANG LC_ADDRESS LC_CTYPE LC_COLLATE LC_IDENTIFICATION LC_MEASUREMENT LC_MESSAGES LC_MONETARY LC_NAME LC_NUMERIC LC_PAPER LC_TELEPHONE LC_TIME LC_ALL LANGUAGE LINGUAS XDG_SESSION_COOKIE DISPLAY"

The reason so you can sudo something in GNOME Desktop Mode.

Edit /etc/fstab
Add noatime to the line of your main disk partition so it will not write last modified date to your Harddisk (Less unnnessary harddisk operations)

Add this line to /etc/fstab to make /tmp folder a RAMDisk so /tmp will be automatically cleared during shutdown.
tmp              /tmp            tmpfs    defaults,size=512m,noatime,nodiratime    0 0
The size allocated is 512MB.

Open YAST select bootloader
Rename the Windows 7 Entry to something you like.
Rename the OpenSUSE Entry to something you like. 
Set the default OS to something you use more often.
Add acpi_osi=Linux to the end of the OpenSUSE boot parameters (If you used my Modded BIOS with Linux in the ACPI)

Overall I like OpenSUSE a lot.
The fonts and themes are much better than Ubuntu.
The laptop is running cooler than Ubuntu for some reason I don't know.
WebCam runs as well with the default cheese application.
Adobe Flash runs well.
Batterylife is good as well (the same as Windows 7) previously on Ubuntu it had shorter batterylife.

Other Cool Features:
SYSTEM, YAST,Kernel Settings
You can adjust the CPU scheduling algo as shown below.


If you installed it on the same harddisk as your Windows OS, the Windows OS is accessible in the following folder
/windows/


For best Font Display use the following Settings in Appearance:
Select Detail




Select Slight Hinting instead of Full
In conclusion this is an awesome OS on Aspire 4530, you should try it!

Acer Aspire 4740G on OpenSUSE (Perfect Linux Machine)



As I said AS4740 works well with Linux but you still need to do some tweaking for full functionality.
A lot of things you do with AS4530 is done with AS4740 to achieve full multimedia capability.

Edit: As with the new release openSUSE there are some updates:
1)Multimedia configuration is as shown below still the same manual work due to GPL.
2)Edit Nvidia Driver Repo is up just add the server and install the drivers.
3)You no longer need acpi_vendor commandline...issue resolved
4)Touchpad still jumpy with 2 fingers...
5)Atheros Driver no compiling required since the drivers work pretty well out of box.

In conclusion it is a great release solving some of the issues above just that the nvidia delay is a show stopper. I always like openSUSE elegant way of pushing down Nvidia Driver by server repo too bad they didn't get it out the same time as the distro release.

Lets get started:

First go to OpenSUSE to download their Live CD for 32/64bit according to your needs.
The LiveCD is the size of a Normal CD and just what you need to install OpenSUSE, the DVD format is a waste of bandwidth and a overkill.

Everything works out of box except the display driver.

Things that need tweaking:
  • Nvidia Propriety Drivers.
OpenSUSE is interesting because Nvidia provides the driver updates from their own server.
Other Distro like Ubuntu has a 3rd party maintaining the driver but not OpenSUSE however due to licensing issues they cannnot include it in the default install.

After installing add the Nvidia Server to the repository
SYSTEM,  SYSTEM ,YAST
Software,Software Repo

Add
Protocol:HTTP
Server:download.nvidia.com (See Nvidia provides the direct package)
Directory on Server: /opensuse/11.2
Accept the Server Key (because you trust the server)
From the YAST Menu, Select Software Management search for the Nvidia Driver and install it.
The kicker is that OpenSUSE software updates is IRRITATINGLY SLOW.
So bear with it.

After installing and rebooting it will be automatically activated.


  • Restricted Formats
Due to licensing issues OpenSUSE doesn't have restricted format support out of box but they are downloadable here (Unfortunately the libraries broke the cheese webcam functionality).

Edit: To prevent breaking of the cheese webcam functionality do the following:

Add VLC to the software repository(Use VLC to play all your future videos)
Then use Fluedo Codec for Banshee
After this the webcam functionality will be preserved.

You might also want to do the following configuration of the conf files below.

Edit: /etc/sudoers
Append "DISPLAY" as shown below
Defaults env_keep = "LANG LC_ADDRESS LC_CTYPE LC_COLLATE LC_IDENTIFICATION LC_MEASUREMENT LC_MESSAGES LC_MONETARY LC_NAME LC_NUMERIC LC_PAPER LC_TELEPHONE LC_TIME LC_ALL LANGUAGE LINGUAS XDG_SESSION_COOKIE DISPLAY"

The reason so you can sudo something in GNOME Desktop Mode.

Edit /etc/fstab
Add noatime to the line of your main disk partition so it will not write last access date to your Harddisk (Less unnnessary harddisk operations)

Add this line to /etc/fstab to make /tmp folder a RAMDisk so /tmp will be automatically cleared during shutdown.
tmp              /tmp            tmpfs    defaults,size=512m,noatime,nodiratime    0 0
The size allocated is 512MB.
Open YAST select bootloader
Rename the Windows 7 Entry to something you like.
Rename the OpenSUSE Entry to something you like. 
Set the default OS to something you use more often.
Add acpi_osi=Linux to the end of the OpenSUSE boot parameters


Issue #1 Touchpad Multi-Touch (There is still a problem with jumping cursors with multi fingers so it is better to revert to Scroll Bar it should be fixed in the future) :

Create a config file using the data below.
Name it: 11-x11-synaptics.fdi
copy it to the following folder with root permission:/etc/hal/fdi/policy



The synaptics pad may not support true multitouch. However, we emulate multitouch when the width of the touch is greater than 6 units:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
  <device>
    <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.touchpad">
        <merge key="input.x11_driver" type="string">synaptics</merge>
        <merge key="input.x11_options.SHMConfig" type="string">On</merge>
        <merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateTwoFingerMinZ" type="string">50</merge>
        <merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateTwoFingerMinW" type="string">5</merge>
        <merge key="input.x11_options.VertTwoFingerScroll" type="string">1</merge>
        <merge key="input.x11_options.HorizTwoFingerScroll" type="string">1</merge>
        <merge key="input.x11_options.TapButton1" type="string">1</merge>
        <merge key="input.x11_options.TapButton2" type="string">3</merge>
        <merge key="input.x11_options.TapButton3" type="string">2</merge>
    </match>
  </device>
</deviceinfo>
 

Then enable 2 finger scroll as shown below

Issue 2: Brightness Control
Add the follow to the Boot Loader Command Line as shown below
: acpi_backlight=vendor
Issue 3: Weak Wireless Signal
Add Atheros Repository to YAST


Then go to the install software menu it will recommend you to install atheros driver and madwifi.
However this doesn't solve the issue as signal is still weak you must grab the latest driver from source and compile it.
Sounds tough? It is actually quite simple.

Compiling it yourself using the sources

  • Make sure you have installed those packages: gcc, gcc-g++, make, kernel-source, kernel-XXX-devel (where XXX is the type of your kernel, for example if you use kernel-desktop kernel install kernel-desktop-devel package). If not, please install them using YaST.
  • Download the current drivers directly from MadWifi Project.
  • Unpack the archive in a temporary folder.
  • Open up a terminal window.
  • Switch to the temporary folder, and type in,
$ sudo make 
$ sudo make install
 
To load the new driver modules simply restart if you do not want to load the driver module manually.

Issue 4 Microphone
This is simply just set as shown below

For best Font Display use the following Settings in Appearance:
Select Detail



Select Slight Hinting or None instead of Full

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Free Harddisk Cloning Solution

I am sure there are times you need to move all harddisk content over to another disk without the luxury of the time to reinstall.
Here is the free Home-Based solution just by using a <1GB Thumbdrive you can image your harddisk without buying software like Norton Ghost or Acronis.
Originally the software requires unetbootin to create a bootable thumbdrive but they have updated the tool to be able to self-create a bootable thumbdrive.
Download EASEUS Disk Copy from EASEUS.Unzip dc.zip to a location.
Then run to create the boot thumbdrive

After that plug in your source and destination harddisk, boot from thumbdrive then run disk copy and do a sector by sector imaging!

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Stuff I discovered regarding temperature control

Recently I updated all my drivers again but soon I realized that my laptop was running hotter than usual.
I mean really hot like 60 degrees on Idle.
I soon narrowed it down to the latest chipset driver I install so I reverted to the old driver and surprisingly it went down.
I took a look using HWMonitor and found that the latest chipset driver was working the processor really hard consuming 25watts constantly on idle.
I downgraded the chipset driver to the previous version and the problem disappeared immediately.
So the story of this lesson is do not assume anything and anything newer shiny != greater.

So if you encounter heat issues you might also wish to try revert to old version.
Also for Windows 7 compatible machines setting the processor cooling management to passive means the fan will spin less (quieter) but it will operate at generally higher temperatures. In contrast setting it to passive mode means it will spin more (noisier) but keep temperatures lower.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The 100MB Partition in Windows 7

As you might already know Windows 7 default installation creates a 100MB partition during Setup.
The function is not really documented on the Internet, however reading this you should already know what it is for.


The partition in question is the System Reserved Partition.

So lets compare the Windows 7 installation with and without the 100MB System Reserve Partition.

Firstly lets take a look at the root drive of the Windows 7 with the 100MB:


Next lets take a look at the root drive of the Windows 7 without the 100MB:


So what is the the difference? It is the presence of file and folder required for booting like bootmgr etc...

Open up the 100MB partition and what do you know we are right!


So what does this means?
It means in actual fact the extra partition is optional has 0 effects on system operation.

So lets take a logical approach and think of possible reasons for this change.

1)Prevent Noobs from accidentally killing their Windows Installation by moving the boot files off C:\ to a partition they can't touch? Possible Very Likely
2)Optimize boot performance by moving boot files to the first partition(front part of the drive)? Possible as well.
3)Modularize the OS file layout? Very possible a much more elegant solution than cramping all the files into C:\.In fact it could mean you could multiboot multiple Windows OS on volumes without having repeated Boot files in each and every installation.

What does this means to end user? It means for those Dual Booters like me it is 4 - 2 primary partition left instead of 4 - 1.
Does it matter? No because you can create logical/extended partition to bypass the 4 primary partition limit in legacy Master Boot Record (MBR).
It doesn't affect GUID Partition Tables (GPT) on EFI systems.
Unfortunately Windows 7 doesn't do GPT volume installation.

So remember the 100MB is just a rearrangement of boot files. Period.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fuss Free Computing

I hear a lot of stories regarding the state of Windows users find themselves.
However you can be certain that 90% of the time it is the users' fault.
I have another article on how to maintain the longevity of the hardware but this post specifically aims to teach you how to maintain the state of your operating system.
It is tried and tested on my system therefore I don't see how it is not applicable to anyone else.
Ok here goes

Rule 1: Don't install any software you don't know

I know it is difficult since they let you download for FREE right? No.
Only download reputable software from reputable sources.
Do not install software that forces you to download and run it to access certain resources.
A lot of freeware advertised in banners are either spyware or malware in their own rights.
Good software spreads by the word of mouth. Ask your IT-Savy friends for advice on Freeware.


Rule 2: Do Not Download & Run Files not expected from friends

Do not assume that mail coming from friends are safe. Some Malware do spread from contact list so unless you are expecting the mail and or attachments from friends just trash the mail. You can tell whether the mail is genuine from the way the text is phrase as well.

Rule 3: Less is more

Contrary to freebies in computing more software = less performance.
If we take a logical approach, more software = more code/data to be executed.
Assuming processing is constant,  performance drops. Logical?
So install what you actually will use and software that brings real benefits to your computing experience, avoid programs that tries runs itself on startup because it brings delay to boot time execution.

Rule 4: Only Optimization is Windows Optimization

Out of the so many Windows optimization the only real optimization is the Windows built in ones.(You can find the optimization below documented in documents published in WHDC (Windows Hardware Developer Central).
Open Command Prompt with Elevated Rights & type the following:
C:\Windows\System32)Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks
You will see harddisk lights light up as Windows started optimizing itself.
It is safe to assume that it is completed once Harddisk Activity lights ceases.
Next run Windows Defragmenter 
Open Command Prompt with Elevated Rights & type the following:
C:\Windows\System32)Defrag C:\ /v /u
The /v /u flags will inform you about the status of completion.
Finally Open Command Prompt with Elevated Rights & type the following:
C:\Windows\System32)Defrag C:\ /v /u /b
The /b flag will tell Windows to perform an optimization known as boot optimization to reduce boot time.
Some other Optimization does the same optimization as documented by Microsoft so installing them is like doubling the work so you actually do not need to install any third party software optimizer.
However Windows Defragmenter is a necessary evil inherent because of the way NTFS, Microsoft File System allocates Disk space, defragmentation is the only solution to defragment non-contiguous files especially after a lot of reinstalls and uninstalls.

Rule 5: Delete the "Setup.exe" after installing

Whenever you download and install a software like Firefox you get a installer called Setup.exe. If I were to use an analogy it is like the packaging whenever you buy a product after you take out the product you can throw the box away. Over time these EXEs built up when you install software wasting unnessary space on the harddisk. Just like your real house do some house keeping on your harddisk.

Rule 6: Do Not Install Toolbars

This is a fair new occurrence you see many software publishers offering toolbars for Web Browsers some come bundled with "freeware". In any case Do Not install them.
Why? Because the Web Browsers Authors do not specifically test the toolbars to work properly alongside the browsers. There is no guarantee it will not affect your browser in any negative manner.

Rule 7: Disable AutoRun & AutoPlay

 Even though Microsoft beefed up Windows Security with UAC and malware that auto launches itself from the thumbdrive can still cause some unnecessary damage. If you need to launch an executable just launch it manually and save yourself the unnecessary risk of a malware attack. To disable it just access Control Panel click on AutoPlay and disable it for all devices. If autoplay is disable NO MALWARE can attempt to launch itself into your system unless you launch it manually.


Lastly to get a free and good anti-virus look no further than Microsoft Security Essentials.
Why do I recommend this software because it is free for every Genuine Windows, and updates are tested before release.
I believe you heard horror stories of 3rd party Anti-Virus killing your Operating Systems.
1)I believe that Microsoft test their definition files and patches before release.
2)A good anti-virus isn't overly suspicious. Microsoft Security Essentials have good detection rate but at the same time it isn't overly zealous like a suspicious policeman thinking every citizen is a potential criminal like some other 3rd party OS.
3)I have tried MSE and it plays nice on Windows Vista and  above Operating System without being a resource hog. Some people believe that a Security Software should protect us against all know threats even drive by sites but I believe an Anti-Virus software is the last line of defense against malware, users safe surfing and computer usage habits is the FIRST defence. Just following the few simple rules should guarantee a fuss free computing even on Windows. Paying more for Macs isn't the solution, sure using a less common OS might reduce the chance of encountering malware since the malware programmers tend to target the majority but ultimately it is the usage habits that matters.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Acer Aspire 4740G Review

There is 1 confirmed bug on the Acer Aspire 4740/4740G Insyde EFI Firmware.
Bug 1:
DEP is disabled due to firmware bug.
This will have potential security implications on this laptop.
Update: Acer has already fixed it with a firmware update.


Bug 2:
They didn't remap the memory properly resulting in not all 4GB fully utilised. By rights if they are not going to utilise Intel HD Graphics they should have allocated 0MB to the Intel Graphics DVMT(or let user decide by enabling the menu in EFI setup menu).

I got my hands on one of the newer Acer Laptop: Acer Aspire 4740G
This is a rather cheap laptop with rather good specifications.
I won't be posting any picture of this laptop as you can google how it looks yourself.
To me performance is a more vital information source.
The specifications are as follows:

Operating System
Processor & Chipset
  • Intel® Core i3-330M processor (2.26 GHz, DDR3 1066 MHz, 3 MB L3 cache), supporting Intel® 64 architecture, Intel® Smart Cache
  • Mobile Intel® HM55 Express Chipset
Memory
  • Up to 4 GB of DDR3 memory
Optical media drive
  • 8X DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive
Storage
  • Up to 640GB hard disk drive
  • Multi-in-1 card reader, supporting Secure Digital™ (SD), MultiMediaCard (MMC), Memory Stick® (MS), Memory Stick PRO™ (MS PRO), xD-Picture Card™ (xD)
Display
  • 14" HD 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, Acer CineCrystal™ LED-backlit TFT LCD, supporting simultaneous multi-window viewing via Acer GridVista™
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 8 ms response time
Graphics
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® 310M with 512 MB of dedicated DDR3 VRAM, supporting NVIDIA® CUDA™, PhysX™, PureVideo® HD technology, OpenEXR High Dynamic-Range (HDR) technology, Shader Model 4.0, Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1
  • Dual independent display support
  • 16.7 million colors
  • MPEG-2/DVD decoding
  • WMV9 (VC-1) and H.264 (AVC) decoding
  • HDMI™ (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) with HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) support
Audio
  • Dolby®-optimized surround sound system with two built-in stereo speakers
  • Optimized 3rd Generation Dolby Home Theater®7 audio enhancement, featuring Dolby® Digital Live, Dolby® Pro Logic® IIx, Dolby® Headphone, Dolby® Natural Bass and Dolby® Sound Space Expander, Dolby® Audio Optimization, Dolby® High Frequency Enhancer technologies
  • True5.1-channel surround sound output
  • High-definition audio support
  • S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) support for digital speakers
  • MS-Sound compatible
  • Acer PureZone technology with two built-in stereo microphones, featuring beam forming, echo cancellation, dynamic gain control (TBC), and noise suppression technologies
Communication
  • Acer Video Conference1, featuring:
    • Acer Crystal Eye webcam with 640 x 480 resolution
    • Acer PureZone technology
  • Acer InviLink™ Nplify™3 802.11b/g/Draft-N Wi-Fi CERTIFIED® network connection, supporting Acer SignalUp™ wireless technology or
  • Intel® Centrino® Advance-N 6200 a/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ network connection with Acer Nplify™, supporting Acer SignalUp™ wireless technology, and featuring MIMO technology
  • Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
  • Gigabit Ethernet, Wake-on-LAN ready
  • 56K ITU V.92 with PTT approval12, Wake-on-Ring ready
I/O Interfaces
  • Multi-in-1 card reader (SD™, MMC, MS, MS PRO, xD)
  • HDMI™ port with HDCP support
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • External display (VGA) port
  • Headphone/speaker/line-out jack with S/PDIF support
  • Microphone-in jack
  • Line-in jack
  • Ethernet (RJ-45) port
  • Modem (RJ-11) port
  • DC-in jack for AC adapter
Security
  • Acer Bio-Protection fingerprint solution, featuring Windows® logon, computer protection, FingerLaunch, ProfileLaunch, MusicLaunch, Password Bank, MyLaunch, FingerNav
  • BIOS user, supervisor, HDD passwords
  • Kensington lock slot
Power supply and battery
  • ACPI 3.0 CPU power management standard: supports Standby and Hibernation power-saving modes
  • 48.8 W 4400 mAh 6-cell Li-ion battery pack: • 3-hour battery life
  • 3-pin 65 W AC adapter
  • Energy Star®
Keyboard & Special Controls
  • 86-/87-/91-key keyboard, with inverted "T" cursor layout
  • Multi-gesture touchpad pointing device supporting:
    •Circular-motion scrolling •Pinch-action zoom •Page flip
  • 10 function keys, four cursor keys, two Windows® keys, hotkey controls, independent standard numeric keypad, international language support,
  • Easy-launch buttons: WLAN, Bluetooth®, programmable key, file backup, volume up, volume down, touchpad lock
  • Media control keys (printed on keyboard): play/pause, stop, previous, next
Weight and dimensions
  • 342 (W) x 239 (D) x 23/38.6 (H) mm (13.4 x 9.4 x 0.9/1.5 inches)
  • 2.3 kg with 6-cell battery
Software
  • Acer Arcade™ Deluxe featuring Cinema, Album, Music, HomeMedia, Online Media
  • Acer Bio-Protection
  • Acer Crystal Eye
  • Acer GridVista™
  • Acer GameZone
  • Acer Game Console
  • Acer Launch Manager
  • Acer Backup Management
  • Acer ePower Management
  • Acer Recovery Management
  • Adobe® Reader®
  • Adobe Flash® Player
  • Google Toolbar™
  • Google Desktop™
  • McAfee® Internet Security Suite Trial
  • NTI Media Maker™
  • Microsoft® Works with Office Home and Student 2007 Trial
  • Microsoft® Windows Live™ Essentials
Warranty
  • One-year International Travelers Warranty (ITW)
Here is a more detailed specification from probing the hardware with Everest:

CPU Properties:



CPU Type   2x , 2133 MHz



Instruction Set   x86, x86-64, MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2



Original Clock   2133 MHz



L2 Cache   256 KB (Asynchronous)
 


Multi CPU (HyperThreading, Actual No. of Cores:2):



CPU #1   Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU M 330 @ 2.13GHz, 2128 MHz



CPU #2   Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU M 330 @ 2.13GHz, 2128 MHz



CPU #3   Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU M 330 @ 2.13GHz, 2128 MHz



CPU #4   Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU M 330 @ 2.13GHz, 2128 MHz




Video Adapter Properties:



Device Description   NVIDIA GeForce 310M



Adapter String   GeForce 310M



BIOS String   Version 70.18.3f.0.a



Chip Type   GeForce 310M



DAC Type   Integrated RAMDAC



Driver Date   16/3/2010



Driver Version   8.17.11.9716 - nVIDIA ForceWare 197.16



Driver Provider   NVIDIA



Memory Size   512 MB
Monitor Properties:



Monitor Name   Generic PnP Monitor [NoDB]



Monitor ID   AUO183C



Manufacturer   B140XW01 V8



Manufacture Date   Week 1 / 2009



Serial Number   None



Max. Visible Display Size   31 cm x 17 cm (13.9")



Picture Aspect Ratio   17:9



Gamma   2.20



DPMS Mode Support   None
Harddisk Controller:



Driver Description   Intel(R) 5 Series 4 Port SATA AHCI Controller



Driver Date   3/3/2010



Driver Version   9.6.0.1014



Driver Provider   Intel



INF File   oem8.inf
Windows Experience Index

Note: The harddisk is a upgraded WD BEKT 7200RPM 16MB Buffer Drive the default 5K500 Hitachi Drive doesn't give as much performance
3D Mark 06 Scores


CPU
The New Arrandale CPU i330 M330 (the lowest end)
The Throttling States is as follows:
Lowest Frequency: 1200MHZ Multiplier: x9.0  
(In between Multiplier changes from x9.0 to x16.0 depending on CPU Usage thus conserving power,
however sometimes it hits x7.0 Multiplier could be a bug,
QPI is fixed and no more Front Side Bus)
Maximium Frequency: 2100MHZ Multiplier: x16.0

It is Physically a Dual Core CPU with 2 Hyperthreading Cores so 4 Logical Cores in Total

Graphics SubSystem
Note: 
There maybe some errors regarding PhysX. Official Statement about PhysX is only 32 CUDA Cores GPUs are supported however G 310M only has 16 CUDA Cores. But I have tested AS4740G and it DOES support PhysX using the latest Nvidia 257.21 driver but I wouldn't count on the performance.
 
GPU is soldered to the board as VGA BIOS/Firmware cannot be read by GPUZ the normal way. Also Soldered GPUs can reduce the pricing of the laptop therefore this can explain the cheap price of Acer Aspire 4740G.
Below is a picture of the GPU and CPU
Note GPU is soldered onto the mainboard therefore NOT UPGRADEABLE.
CPU is a PGA Socket hence UPGRADEABLE.



Although the laptop has Intel HD Graphics onboard the CPU (see the 2 die above?), it is not activated or detected, you can pray that Acer will release a BIOS, no sorry EFI Firmware that will unlock Optimus or Switchable Graphics BUT from my past experience with Acer chances are as good as striking lottery...
New:
IRONLAKE-MOBILEd.0.Ä.C.0...................BIOS_DATA_BLOCK ˜...”.þê..d....1914Intel(R)Ironlake Mobile PCI Accelerated SVGA BIOS..Build Number: 1914 PC 14.34  10/15/2009  11:37:51..DECOMPILATION OR DISASSEMBLY PROHIBITED..............Co
I found the above VGA ROM (IRONLAKE is the Intel Code Name for Intel HD Graphics onboard the Intel Core iX CPU) data inside the BIOS dump which indicate Acer Aspire 4740G CAN ACTUALLY SUPPORT switchable except Acer disabled the ability in the EFI/BIOS.

Temperature Dissipation Test
This is a new Test I devised to measure how well the unit dissipate heat it can produce at maximium performance:

My opinion on this result is that this Acer Aspire 4740G handles heat pretty decently.
Considering that Acer uses Thermal pad on the GPU this is a very good result.
I estimate if the thermal pad is replaced by a Copper Shim temperature will fall by a good 10 degrees.
Only real Tests like the one I conducted can accurately determine if a particular model potentially has thermal issues, not old grandmother stories like how my Acer from 10 years ago overheat therefore all Acer overheat(This is a flawed argument by the way).
Anyway a computer that cannot dissipate the heat it produces is as good as a man who can't wipe his own backside (Acer Aspire 4530), so this laptop does pretty well.


Kombustor rate of temperature rise graph:


3 PowerMizer States are as shown below:

CUDA Capabilities as shown below:
It seems to indicates a decent CUDA Device.


Power Consumption Max Load Mode (Using JouleMeter from Microsoft Research)

 Power Consumption Idle Mode(JouleMeter from Microsoft Research)


So there you go all the information you need to consider this laptop for usage.

If you know how to reinstall an Operating System, always do a clean install for better performance.
Why, because if you go Windows Hardware Developer Central there is a report that stated over 80% of OEM Imaged Computers has lousier performance than a Clean Windows Installation. 
I believe this is due to OEM Crap pre-installed in the computers.
Remember to run idle task and defragment the harddisk so AFTER installing all drivers to ensure optimal performance.
If you want to do a clean install you can use the list below as a driver checklist.
Or click here for links to latest greatest driver. 
  1. Intel Chipset Driver
  2. Intel Rapid Storage Driver
  3. Intel Management Engine
  4. Nvidia Graphics Driver
  5. Nvidia High Definition Audio Driver
  6. Realtek High Definition Audio Driver
  7. Acer Launch Manager
  8. BroadCom Bluetooth Driver
  9. Finger Print Driver (Available from Windows Updates)
  10. SuYin/Chicony WebCam Driver
  11. Conexant Modem Driver
  12. Synaptics/ALP Touchpad Driver
  13. Intel Management Engine Controller
  14. BroadCom NetLink LAN Driver
  15. Atheros/Intel Wireless Driver
  16. Realtek Card Reader Driver
  17. Acer Smart Power Manager & Optical Driver Power Manager
Conclusion about whats great and what sucks
What's Great:
1)This laptop although armed with the lowest end Core i3 Processor can even outmuscle any AMD Turion II Mobile Processor so you might want to reconsider buying any Turion II laptops.
It says something when you find a Turion II M 660 Flagship Processor can't beat the lowest end Intel Core i3 330M Processor. It says even more when the Turion II equiped laptop (4540G) cost more than this laptop (4740G).
2)The Audio is fantastic: Subwoofer + Bass on a 14 inch laptop (5.1 Surround Sound See Below)
You need to use MSI Audio Drivers to get the real potential. It comes with a 5 Ohm 2 Watt speaker instead of the usual 4 Ohm 2 Watt. New Realtek Driver Audio Mod for Better Sound


3)Solid hinge from older Gemstone.
4)Cheap price for a Intel/Nvidia combo laptop.
Remember Nvidia Always has better drivers than ATi on both Linux and Windows.
5)Awesome heat vent much better than previous designs.
6)Easy to access bottom panel for fast component upgrades
7)Ultra Slient Exhaust Fan even when spinning at Full Speed.

What Sucks
1)The touchpad looks silly because when you use 2 finger scroll, the etches for the Touchpad 1 Finger slide seems pointless
2)Sound is not so good maybe because the drivers have not yet been stably corrected.
3)Fingerprint Magnet Monitor bezel.
4)WebCam driver image quality not quite there, needs better drivers.

What's Controversial
1)The new 14 inch form factor has lower height but broader breath, personally I like it as this gives it a more compact look like a 13 inch which give better mobility but the total screen area is conserved.
2)Keyboard needs some getting use to (Sort of VAIO/Macbook style keyboard I am too used to the old Acer Style)
3)Battery life is around 3 hrs on the default battery but I know it is possible to buy 12 Cell Batteries on Ebay to equip this laptop.
4)RW-Everything reported this laptop can support up to 16GB after BIOS data analysis but only 2 Physical Slots are available so it should take a Max of 8GB only.

Bottomline:
I don't think anyone can find an Arrandale Based Laptop with decent Nvidia Graphics for the same price Acer placed on this laptop so yea this is it.

If you already own this laptop you might be interested in Optimizing the System Disk & Touchpad Configuration and installing OpenSUSE on AS4740

Changing the BackUp Button to open other applications (Using Zune as an Example)
Note: This will only work if you install the LauchManager from Acer Aspire 4540G.
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Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Compal\LManager\Settings\Buttons\Backup]
"Command"="C:\\Program Files\\Zune\\Zune.exe"
"Command Type"="1"
"Label"="Zune"
"Remote Code"="C008"
"Description"="Zune Media Player"
"Configable"="1"
<---------------------(Stop Copying Before this line)------------------------->