Monthly Archives: September 2011

Power inverter, with a quiet mind.

When the equipment is there, it’s necessary to protect it from all the threatening electric bothers. Micro-cuts, surges, voltage drops, etc. The electronics not likes… not at all 😀

 

There are two types of protections: inverter and surge protector.

Surge protector (or surge suppressor) protects the equipments of the surges (yep). They can additionally protect the lines of antennas or phone. We use them generally on electronic devices which badly support immediate stop (console, TV, DVD player or Blu Ray).

Inverters add to it a protection against voltage drops and the capacity to supply power to devices in case of complete cut. The autonomy depends on the capacity of the battery and in our case of the power consumed by the PC. It is better to consider however that this device is there to leave you the time to switch off the PC cleanly.

 

The main characteristic for an inverter is the capacity to supply power (in Watts) and the time it’s going to be able to maintain it. It is thus advisable to estimate the consumption of the device. This can be made by means of on-line simulators (as ” eXtreme Power Supply Calculator ” in free version, etc.).

The rest is more subjective or practises: how many grips are at the same time anti-cuts and anti-surges, how much are only anti-surges, which is the total number of grips, monitoring by USB, design and color of the device, the possibility of changing the battery easily rather than of changing all the system…

For my configuration (in 2009), I chose to turn to a French brand (Eaton) since the quality is there. After calculation of the consumption of my PC (450W power supply, but real consumption estimated in 320W), I said to myself that 400W would be enough (not to forget the screen!).

 

I opted for a Protection Center 650:

Onduleur Eaton (UPS) Protection Center

Onduleur Eaton (UPS) Protection Center

As its name does not indicate it supplies 400W, its black design is discreet, the pacquage is rather complete and the very correct price.

Next to it, I took two grips parasurtenseurs UPS Protection Box:

Parasurtenseur Eaton (UPS) - UPS Protection Box

Surge protector Eaton (UPS) – UPS Protection Box

More strong than the simple surge protectors which we find in hypermarkets, they are ideal to protect sensitive equipments as internet box (modem), phone line, TV, consoles, etc.

 

Conclusion:

Since the time, the inverter fills(performs) correctly its role. During the power cuts, he allows me to put out(switch off) cleanly the PC and to avoid the risks of breakdown.

It is better to spend some tens of euros to protect some hundreds from it, especially in a region where thunderstorms can be violent (foot from the CĂ©vennes). At least we have an easy conscience.

 

See you soon for new adventures 😉

 

PS: my wife makes me say that to connect a vacuum cleaner on an inverter, it is a false good idea 😉

My monitor, For My Eyes Only.

A PC it’s very nice, with a monitor (screen), it’s better 😀

 

To find a screen which corresponds to its needs maybe an interesting adventure!

As for a PC, it’s necessary to know what you want to do with. Word processing, internet, video, graphics, photo, games. Every domain will have its requirements.

There are some characteristics to be understood when you are interested in a screen. It is better to know their impact.

 

The size:

Although the official measure is the centimeter (cm), it is often expressed in inches (“, or 2,54 cms). It gives length of the diagonal of the screen. For games, it’s necessary to pay attention on the screens of more than 24 inches which have almost all a too important time of answer.

The resolution:

It express the number of lines (horizontal x vertical). It give one indication of sharpness of image which can be shown by the screen. It is necessary to know that for the LCD (liquid Crystal display), go out of their “standard” rĂ©solutions cause a fuzzy display.

The Format:

It express by a report between width and height. You find normalized formats 4:3, 16:10 and 16:9, each having the adapted resolutions. Nowadays, 4:3 and 16:10 screens tend to disappear for the benefit of 16:9.

The reaction time:

It express in millisecond. It’s about the shortest time so that a white pixel passes at a level of grey (time of rise) and return to the white (time of descent). The most reactive screens are between 2 and 4 ms (recommended for a better fluidity in games).

The technology of the “slab”:

There are four categories of slab (screen), TN, MVA, PVA and IPS. Every slab have its hown specificities, whether it’s in depiction of color, reactivity or angle of vision:

  • TN: the new generations, below 4 ms, are very reactive, but there is an itch during the reading of videos and the lower angle of vision is very reduced. The difference of fluidity sees itself in the naked eye with regard to the TN 5ms and more.
  • MVA: with a correct reactivity (equivalent to the TN 8 ms in the games), they teem less in video and have an average depiction of colors.
  • PVA: having a reactivity of 6 ms (equivalent to 8 ms MVA in the games), they have a better depiction of colors but teem more in movies.

Paving stones VA with a response time of more than 8 ms suffer from an effect of persistence.

  • IPS: suffer from an effect of persistence but possess a good angle of vision.

The luminosity:

Measured in candelas per square meter (cd / m2), an average value (less than 250) is recommended for the video (or the games in active 3D). For the office automation, or even for the graphics, a reduced value is recommended (110 even 90) to avoid the eye fatigue.

The contrast:

The rate contrasts of a screen is the relationship (division) of the luminosity of a white pixel by that of a black pixel. To have a good rate of contrast insures deep blacks and a good restoration of the dark colors. The rate of contrast is correct above 800: 1 and voucher in 1000: 1. Attention, most of the time this indication is false on the description of screens, and it’s then necessary to consult tests to obtain the real values.

Finally the ergonomics:

  • The connections (VGA, DVI, HDMI);
  • The presence or not of high speakers, USB port;
  • The regulation of the foot, the access to the menus of regulations (OSD), etc.;
  • Additionally the electric consumption and the possible standards.

A screen can also propose of the active 3D (it have to support a 120 Hz frequency) or passive. Furthermore, “monitors” (screens dedicated to computers) are not very strong during the reading of movies (the manufacturers do not integrate specialized circuits). It is then necessary to count on the PC ( multimedia reader) to prepare correctly the media.

And all this come with a price! A single screen cant do everything, otherwise it wouldn’t be funny. It’s need to make compromises with all this 😉

 

What do we make with?

All parametrize, it is very beautiful, but it will be necessary to make all the same the tour of the tests on the Internet to have more information (Digital Versus, Tom Hardware, customer comments, etc.). These pushed tests often make use of probes and benefit from real comparative between the various screens. A small tour of the forums is also a good indicator to find some model problems.

A small tour in store can as well be interesting, to see screens in action, on the condition of finding screens and what they are correctly settled 😉

As for the size of screen, it is better to refer to the graphic card. It’s the card “optimal render size” which is going to determine the resolution to which it is the most effective. From there, we can deduct a size of screen according to its native resolution (contrary to a TV, where the size of that this is going to depend on the distance of comfort, thus on the distance between the sofa and said TV).

 

Having bought an Acer PC (for reminder in 2009 and Yes, sometimes I live dangerously), I continued on my thrown.

The card equipping my PC had an optimal efficiency on 22/23 inches screens (ATI HD 4850). I thus looked for a versatile screen and having a good value for money. Furthermore, I also looked for a size(format) 16:10, less crushed than the 16:9 (better for the “word processing”). A correct response time for the game was also needed.

My choice finally concerned to Acer – V223WBbd, a 22 inches LCD with affordable price ($180):

Acer - V223WBbd

LCD 22″ screen

Having a response time of 5 ms, an honorable contrast and correct colors, it also had options little common to the period for a screen of this category (as a guarantee of 3 years). Finally, it had a reduced energy consumption and respected a number of standards which were important for me.

 

In conclusion:

The screen performed his office, pleasant during the games, correct for videos, good for text dispay, it brought me a comfort that I did not know with my preassignors screens LCD or CRT (cathodic). And the visual comfort, when we spend time in front of a screen, it has no price 😉

If the budget had allowed it me, I would have straightaway chooses two screens: one having a good quality of image for the video and word processing and a reactive screen for the game.

 

It will be for later 🙂

My PC, my everyday tool!

Who says digital leisure, says computer. At some point, it is necessary to buy one, which constitutes an adventure 🙂

 

Welcome in a jungle of components populated with a hostile crowd of assemblers, big brands, hypermarkets, advertisements and I pass as it. The choice is not lacking and nobody simplifies you the task!

Generally, the first thing has to do is to identify needs (type of use), the budget and the evolution forecasts (replacement of certain parts). Then, it is necessary to inhale a big blow, to clench teeth and charge in 😀

 

Here I am thus two years ago (in 2009) in search of a PC of developer / gamer. At this level, it is the needs for the gamer PC that take it.

What does it mean? Mainly that it is going to hurt the wallet 😉 Then, that it is necessary to favor a “tower” (big case) which we can be open at the end of the guarantee and change some components to maintain acceptable performances.

For home computer (mainly internet, word processor and sometimes video), I would rather recommend a transportable laptop (16 to 18 inches of diagonal): everything is integrated, it can be transported easily in the house and to insure the maintenance is much easier 😉

 

Little technical tip for a laptop computer:

  • Buy a ventilated support, it increases the life expectancy(cycle);
  • Avoid fragile renowned brands!

Sources:http://www.ordifacil.com/blog/files/images/SquareTrade_laptop_reliability_1109.pdf

 

Having buid up my previous configurations from A to Z, I wanted for once to take a PC “from brand”. I did not want to complicate things to verify the compatibility of the various components, to choose quality / price on everything and I had in sights the release of Windows 7.

Certain manufacturers proposed the “free” migration for the purchase of a system under Vista a few months before the release of Windows 7, I thus peeled their catalogs first and foremost.

I also had in sights Intel i7 processors, because to buy a configuration, I wished that the basis (case + motherboard + memory + processor + DVD) lasts “to the end”, the rest being brought to evolve, but not before 2 years.

According to the tests and the forecasts, the duet i7 and Windows 7 was capable of a good energy management (” downclocking ” in low load, optimized setting in a stand-by mode, etc.). This aspect “energy saving” pleased me well.

 

At Acer (what did Isay for loptop?), I fell on a rather surprising configuration, Aspire M7720-8N7L:

Acer Aspire M7720-8N7L

My PC bought in 2009

  • Intel I7 920 (quadcore, hyperthread, 2,66 Ghz), seen as 8 cƓres, so, by rule : 1 Go of ram by core ;
  • 12 Go ram (ram DDR3) ;
  • 1To HDD (7200 rpm), an Itachi HDT721010SLA360 ;
  • Graphic card ATI HD 4850 (from Acer), good middle range GPU in 2009 ;
  • Audio HD 7.1 (Realtek) ;
  • Gigabits network card and Wifi antena ;
  • Windows Vista 64 bits (necessary to manage more than 4 Go ram) ;

And a lot of “gadgets”: two system stands to connect hard disks, panel of tactile control for Media Center, various card readers, USB everywhere, the whole in a sober, discreet case and silent in use.

All for a “reasonable” price for what there is inside… With more money I would have bought Asus.

You should not delude yourself, for a similar price, the economy was made on certain components: the graphics board, the motherboard (Acer FX58M), Ram, DVD engraver and power supply (LiteOn 450 watts, a little bit light and not certified 80 +, that is to say the power supply is always the weak point of PC “of brand”).

Finally, nothing surprising at Acer (and others). The important it’s to know it (searches on the Internet) and to say to himself that we shall never fire the “maximum” of a configuration “restrained” as that one.

 

On-line ordered PC in a hypermarket. The price of the configuration fell between the moment when I order it and the moment when I receive it. As a result, small e-mail in the store (polite and courteous) and here I am presented with a purchase voucher equivalent to the difference, it is always that 😉

 

I had three inconveniences in two years on this configuration:

The first one of them was the update towards Windows 7, Acer not having sent the good operating system (32 bits instead of 64 bits). A small complaint, a little follow-up and everything eventually settled. The migration towards Windows 7 passed well, that of the happiness!

The second comes from the graphics board which gave signs of fatigue at the end of 6 months (restart of the driver, the blocking in height games, etc.). Well, 6 months of Mass Effect, all the same 😉 There, the phone support Acer is a little bit heavy (as all, in the end) it ends systematically by a reinstallation of factory a series of questions then a return to the After-Sales Service… It is painful, but in the end rapids, the PC being back within a week.

Result: change of the graphics card. After tests, even new, this card warms far too much (it exceeds very fast 90 °C). Then, to avoid the breakage, I restrained the frequencies via the Catalyst Control Center. The second card held so far.

The third comes from the “constraint” of the guarantee not to open the case. Meanwhile, the dust accumulates and blocks the ventilations… Eventually damaging components (stoking) and silence (ventilators turn more)… Even air sprays are not sufficient. Return to normal at the end of guarantee.

 

In conclusion:

In the use, this PC has very good performances. For a “supermarket” PC, I am very satisfied with it. Connected to a screen 22 inches http://wp.me/p3sSjf-y, adapted to the HD 4850, I was able to take advantage of my preferred games with a certain comfort and to work in good conditions (Visual Studio is very greedy, but not enough for this configuration 😉 ). While I think of it, for a desktop PC, you should not forget the inverter against the small electricity concerns, especially when we are in a “stormy” region http://wp.me/p3sSjf-H

The most mattering, it is because for two years, the heart of the PC is always correct and widely above the average configurations (except the graphics card, this part move quickly).

 

See you soon for the continuation 🙂

A beginning is a very delicate moment.

Where to start…

Well, who am I?

In French, I’m an “informaticien”. It could be traduced as Computer Scientist. Most of the time, “informaticien” mean “Jack of all trade” for those who doesn’t know much more computers or new technologies. For them, we must know everything about computers, Smart-phones, TV, internet, word processor, etc. 😉

Is that true?

I’m a Software Developer with some experience, only that! Luckily, when I don’t have an information, I search it 😉

My interests are on .Net environment, as a professional or hobbyist (Microsoft, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox…)

Don’t panic, I’m not a “fan-boy”, nor a Microsoft evangelist, so I won’t preach blindly. For different reasons, it’s my interest working on those software and it’s cool 😉

Aside from that, I’ve a lot of free time activities, mostly numerical activities. Yes, when you live in the countryside, there’s not much to do (except family life, gardening, DIY or trip).

Why this blog?

While accumulating experiences and projects, I would like to share some of them and share some of my numerical “walk through”: good or bad experiences, problems, ideas, tips, projects, news, fulfillment, like and dislikes… It also seems to me a good exercise of writing.

This blog got many entries: hardware, software, leisure activities, news, culture, games, green it, etc.

My small introduction being done… See You soon for news adventures!

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