The Sky IS Actually Falling
Date: 8/12/2004
A good chunk of the tree in our back yard got tired and fell off last night. We didn't hear a thing, just woke up to a yard full of leaves. Man what a mess to clean up!

You can see this huge hole left in the foliage, although it's less apparent in the image than in person. This is the second major branch to come down in the last 12 months. We are beginning to wonder if the tree is sick. The branch that broke this time didn't appear to be damaged and their wasn't any wind to speak of last night. Really weird.

In other news I made my first video DVD this week with my brand spanking new dual layer DVD burner; A video mail to a buddy overseas. Man DVD authoring software sucks. Maya was sick 2 nights ago keeping us up from 2am on, so we're like walking zombies right now. My brother, Ben, took a trip up the coast on a yacht (40ft) which almost got sunk by a storm. So in light of more severe weather in the forecast we sent him some money to catch the train home instead of getting the same boat back.

Also I've been thinking of updating my development machine to something a little less flakey than my current Althon 1.4ghz. And the option of going back to a dual CPU config is very tempting. While doing my research into the AMD64 platform it seems that AMD have deliberately made the cost divide between the socket 939 (single CPU only) and socket 940 (possibly dual CPU) systems unfairly large. So to get a dual AMD64 system up and running you have to fork out way more than the cost of the extra CPU. The motherboard is more than twice as much, the RAM is ECC so twice as much and then you have to buy 2 CPU's as well. So the segment of the market looking for some dual action is going to be stuck with 2 slowish opteron's that are running on slower ECC ram instead of 2 faster clocked Althon FX's running on cheap commodity DDR400. I think there is a huge hole in the market for cheap dual CPU systems that AMD is ignoring. Unless there is some way of running socket 939 CPU's in dual format that I don't know about? Not likely.

I'm not really interested in the Intel line, as their foot dragging on 64bit has left them out of the game. I know they finally caved on AMD64 support and joined AMD instead of flogging their dead horse but too little too late I think.
08/12/2004 7:07am
I agree that DVD authoring software sucks. Out of the five or six authoring programs I tried, each made it more difficult than I thought it should be. I finally settled on DVD-Lab, because it was the only one that really allowed me to do what I wanted. If you haven't tried it yet, I recommend picking the trial over at
08/12/2004 10:02am
I ended up with DVD-Lab too, but it crashed a lot and the "hybrid" DVD mode didn't work at all. So all in all it looks way cool, but it's not ready for prime time yet. I eventually got it to compile the DVD to VOB files which I burnt with the addition hybrid files to DVD using Nero. Btw Nero express is just a pain, I had to use the "real" Nero to do what I wanted.

I seriously thought about doing a DVD authoring app after Scribe is "finished" (yeah right - it'll never be finished). But that would be in another life. Maybe if someone bought the rights to the Scribe source code or something.
08/12/2004 11:37am
No cubby house for you, then!
Time to buy a new house!
09/12/2004 9:53pm
Huh. I never had a problem with DVD-Lab. Maybe it's a XP SP2 related issue? I haven't authored a DVD since I installed SP2, so I can't comment on any difference

Heh, yeah, you'll never be done with Scribe. But then, it seems that good software is never really finished.
12/12/2004 12:23am
You're quite wrong with the opteron and memory..
An overclocked FX55 system can't even think to compete with the memory bandwith of a dual opteron system. The FX would do aprox 8000mb/s at 10@280mhz. The opterons easily go over 10000mb/s. You need registered modules, not the same as ECC, even though they come with the ECC function (wich is redundant since the cpu have internal error correction). Registered modules aren't more expensive than good unbuffered ones, and considering the money you have to pay to get good overclock the price is in favor for the Reg/ECC modules. On the other hand the Opteron system will have to have twice the amount of memory 2*512mb*2 for its memory managing system to be effective, but if you're going dual this shouldn't come as a suprise, this is what you should want (why else go dual?).
Mainboards don't have to come more expensive than socket939 but a good card will cost a bit, this is also something that should be quite obvious. With the recent introduction of nForce4 the prices should drop somewhat for a good 2-way card.
Lastly, Opterons isn't slow, but since there's nobody out there coding for smp you can't expect any wonders (but in applications that do, like maya, the performance increase is _huge_). Enough bla bla for tonight :)
12/12/2004 11:08pm
Tozz: But what sort of performance difference for single threaded applications will there be between a 1.6 ghz opteron and a 2.8 ghz fx55? (which are the same price really more or less)

PS I don't overclock anything, computers are unstable enough these days without pushing the limits.
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