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To Core i7 or Not? Just Go for a Core2 Quad Q9550 April 29, 2009

Posted by fvter in Hardware, Technology.
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Today, I started to notice some weird fan noises coming from my Home PC that we use for general all around work and also for playing PC based games. So it made me realize that my want to move to better hardware may just have to be done sooner rather than later. Now as much as I would prefer to move to something like a MacBook Pro, I don’ t have the budget to undertake that kind of move.

Thus I started to investigate the possibilities of upgrading the Hardware to move to either a Core2 Quad platform or even a Core i7 platform. To be honest, the upgrade which ever way I go would require a motherboard and RAM upgrade on top of the CPU. Also I more interested in going the Quad way to be able to better multitask :- i want to be able to watch or even edit multimedai all the while playing World of Warcraft.

Visting my favorit parts supplier in France, I noticed that the price of the Core2 Quad vs. Core i7 was not that much different (around €50 to 75) but the killer price impact is the motherboard and the need to use DDR3 RAM. The comparison that was done involved trying to get the same basic hardware infrastructre with only the CPU changing. That means that whichever direction was taken, the number of ports, memory (going for 8Gb), I/O support, audio, etc would be an almost 1:1 comparison. References to the different parts are attached in the links section of this article.

Truth be told, I would much rather go with the Core i7 option as it would have a longer life span. Unfortunately it’s still an expensive option to go for and for the same price or less even, I could essentially walk away with not only the CPU/motherboard upgrade but also a brand new ATI 4890 graphics card. There is a whopping €225 to €275 difference which is not negligible an can’ t be ignored.

You got to hate having to make these kinds of decisions! Seriously, I wish that I had cash to spare…

Let me know you thoughts and/or comments through this article or via my Seesmic Profile

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«Sign-In with Twitter»: Should we be Scared? April 22, 2009

Posted by fvter in Rants, Security, Technology, Web.
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Last week, Twitter opened up it’s «sign-in with Twitter» open authentication or OAuth service under the radar. To be fair to Twitter, the news last week was more focused on the one million follower story and the arrival of big media names onto the service. Now, I’ve always been an advocate of using OAuth type services (I personally use OpenID as much as possible) to both simplify a user’s life and to avoid the problem of password re-use.

It also goes to Twitter‘s credit to move in this direction and to provide this type of service to ease the integration of external applications as well as make it easier for user’s to provide their Twitter information.

Disclaimer: I have not had the time and that’s not likely to change in the near future to fully investigate and examine the security of the Twitter OAuth service. The following rant is purely about Twitter‘s current public track record…

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/7802/412971&tbid=k_16&premium=false&height=334&width=319]

Twitter‘s public track record of securing and making a reliable service is less than top par. My top 3 frontal issues that have been discussed, re-discussed and overall made serious news for Twitter can be summed up with this list:

  • The service has a huge history of availability issues, well rather non-availability in times of high traffic although this hasn’t occurred in a while it’s bound to happen again seeing the growth patterns of late;
  • The security has a number of times criticized the continued use of basic-authentication (inc. accepting base64 password encoding) to use the service. The problem being that this is an easy way to grab the user’s password which would break or poke serious holes in the OAuth service;
  • There have been a repeat number of XSS attacks and worms including the most recent mikkey work which last over two weeks in its different iterartions.

These three points push me to think on whether or not I would be able to really trust such a service. Will I be able to use it at all times? Am I sure the authentication might not lead to a password leak? Am I sure that the OAuth won’t be replayable? Can I be sure that the OAuth session isn’t being misdirected or stolen somehow in XSS or via a worm? Makes me wonder if the service will actually provide a decent and safe mechanism for authentication and whether or not my credentials are going to be safe :- scary……

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To Vista or Not? Need a 64bit OS but Linux not an Option – Your Thoughts April 7, 2009

Posted by fvter in Hardware, OS, Rants.
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So I am planning on moving my home PC to a 6Gb memory base (and also moving to a Core i7). Because of limitations in a 32bit system for supporting memory over 4Gb, I am going to have to move to a 64bit platform. So the question becomes which OS should I use on this new hardware configuration?
The machine in question is used extensively for gaming and other «productivity» usages by all the members of my family. Let’s just say that Linux is not an option on this machine for many different reasons including the fact that a lot of games and apps that I use just don’t work properly…

So I need advice on which way to take the platform:

  • Should I move to Vista Home Premium? or,
  • Should I stick with Windows XP 64bit?

Your thoughts and opinions very much appreciate, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post or video replies to this Seesmic thread!

Change of Plans September 16, 2008

Posted by fvter in General, Technology.
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So, I was supposed to be in Houston right now but the damage caused by hurricane Ike has put a hold on that. Now the thing is I was hoping to get some tech shopping in ( before all my Euros are gobbled up by the tax collector) while over there giving me a significant savings. Maybe this will happen next month!

So in the mean time, I am thinking of passing the time by either getting a Dell Inspirion mini9 or upgrading my home PC a bit with the following components:

  • ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro – 45 CFM
  • ASUS P5Q Deluxe – Chipset Intel P45 / ICH10R
  • CRUCIAL Ballistix – 4 Go ( 2*2G ) – PC6400 – 800MHz
  • INTEL ® Core™2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz FSB 1333MHz 6Mo cache socket 775

This upgrade would give a nice all purpose machine good enough for some good gaming. Money wise, this would cost roughly the same.

What’s your vote?

Update 20080921: Looks like if I buy the kit in the US I’d be saving anywhere between 20% to 30% – so going to wait.

My Thoughts on Xobni May 9, 2008

Posted by fvter in Technology.
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I’ve been using Xobni for a few weeks now even before the public beta. I must admit that so far I’ve only activated on my personal accounts [I’m still on medical leave and can only run it on the remote connection if I choose to enable it on the company Exchange solution] and I am finding it a good helpful utility.

Xobni is an Outlook plug-in that claims to be able to help you organize, search and navigate your e-mail and other outlook content in an easier way; more info. I’ve even seen some commentaries calling it a next step in social networking.

After a few weeks of usage, I am starting to find the tool indeed very useful. Some of the features that I am starting to appreciate: is the ability to see the frequency of e-mailing as well as the time statistics [most of e-mail activity is between 10:00-11:30 & around18:00] as it gives me an idea when the best time to contact a person is versus when I might get a reply; the tracking of all conversations stored in the account giving me the ability to quickly locate previous e-mails. The feature that I am starting to find of some interest (but more likely will be better in the work environment) is the contact network feature which gives you a crossed list of other contacts; it is of course limited to what is in the e-mail addresses in your accounts but still interesting.

I would, however, like to see this directly inside gMail and also maybe a Thunderbird plug-in… then I will truly be happy!

What Tech This Month? May 6, 2008

Posted by fvter in Technology.
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No tech purchases last month mostly cause we had to buy a new oven [you should see the oven, its got a full computer to control cooking!] and eye glasses for the kid & wife.

So time to do some catching up this month as if you remember, I decided this year to buy a tech gadget or game every month. The primary cause being the lack of commitment or want of my wife to quite smoking & I figure if she can «literally» burn @€150/month – I might as well give myself something.

So I have a dilemma this month between the following:

  • WiiFit: not sure it will do my diet any but I really like the concept and it looks like a good change of pace;
  • Mario Kart Wii;
  • A XiNCOM Twin WAN Router: I am looking at this to be able to aggregate/load-balance my two DSL links or I could do this with a cheap PC, 3 network cards and a good linux distro;
  • Logitech Squeezebox Duet: The interest here is to be able to stream all my digital music as well as access Internet Radio (French stations bore us, they talk too much and play the same songs every 2 hours). In theory the Squeezebox would allow me to do this directly to my stereo without having to use the computer.

Tough call. I could always but the money aside this month and prepare a small wad of cash to be able to buy some of the possible new Apple products to arrive around WWDC or summer. What do you think?

Why So Little Tech News… November 23, 2007

Posted by fvter in Technology.
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So postings have been sparse on my blog unfortunately. There are a number of reasons for this sparsity which includes just a complete lack of time. I have had too many things to do and issues to resolve both at home and work. Plus my son has been racking up the hours on World of Warcraft barring my access to the computer.

To be fair though, I am not convinced that me rewrite technology articles is really useful or relevant. I use Google Reader as an RSS aggregator and reader. It allows me to share articles that I am interested in or find relevant. I decided a few months ago to use that as my platform for sharing articles I feel merit highlighting in technology (and other) news. [OK I’ m sorry forgot to mention this before…]

So If you want my hot items on technology either look at my Google Reader Share page or subscribe to the feed.