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So Nvidia finally released a new WHQL driver version for Vista today: 97.46

I haven't really noticed much in the way of a performance gain over previous drivers. However, I had a ton of trouble installing the driver from that page and was forced to go grab the international version of the driver (which worked flawlessly by the way). This is the first time I've ever had to do that. I understand that Canada is technically international, but usually the implication is such that international often means outside of North America. This of course doesn't necessarily mean that the localization is what caused my problems with installing the driver, but it is odd that the international version worked while the US version didn't. Perhaps they messed up.

New toys
So since I'm using Vista as my primary OS I figured the time was right to make my beast a little more Vista friendly. I feel I should point out that I'm not a hardware nut. I'm not one of those people that MUST have the latest in powerhouse graphics cards, high quality audio systems, and the other things that compensate for penis size in the nerd world. But since my only other hobby is recording music I found out quickly that one of the caveats of having Vista was the awful support for my old SB Live! card.

I got my SB Live! 7 years ago, it's served me well, but since Creative is NOT making Vista drivers for it, I'm forced to upgrade. I couldn't record for the first little while, but then I figured out how to make that work, then I realized MIDI output was not working. Makes me a sad panda, but that's the price of progress and I hold no ill will towards Creative or Microsoft (just in case someone wants to go on and on and on about how those respective companies are evil and so forth). So, I picked up a SB X-Fi MusicXtreme (God, I HATE 'xtreme' or 'extreme', seriously punch to the face for the marketing asshat who thought this was a good idea). Plugged the thing in, downloaded the beta vista drivers and HOLY SHIT it worked. And the sound quality is amazing. I do notice that once in a while there's some crackling or what have you when the CPU load is high. I assume that's a driver thing, but I had heard reports of problems with the NForce 4 chipset (which I have), so it could be that too. For the most part however it runs like a champ and the quality is just awesome to the max xtreme mountain dew frosted tips (seriously, punch to the face)! I've never had anything good to say about Creative since the whole VIA-Creative debacle when XP appeared, but this time I'm impressed and while I'm very cautious, I commend Creative on a decent job. Let's hope they don't fuck it up x-treme surf's up XXX riced up mazda with power snowboards (and a swift kick to the nuts)!

When purchasing said sound card I also picked up two 1 GB modules to up my computer manliness to 3GB. And sadly, I got a rude surprise when one of my modules was flawed. Thankfully Memory Express is pretty cool about that sort of thing and I managed to replace it. Now I have 3GB of glory and a slightly bigger penis. I was running Vista on 2GB and it was pretty smooth, but with 3GB it just seems to run a lot better. It probably doesn't and I'm probably just trying to justify my expense to myself, but hey, the perception is what counts. Sadly, again, this is when I discovered a flaw with the Vista NForce drivers and that much memory: USB 2.0 doesn't work properly. This of course is corrected by merely downgrading to USB 1.0, however that is pretty slow. I'm sure NVidia will fix this issue eventually (they've acknowledged this was a nforce 4 issue).

Since I was mad with power and just entirely spend happy I decided "what the hell, it's time to up my graphics penis size too". And so I did and got myself a shiny new GeForce 7900 GT. It is 10 different levels of awesome, behold:

It's crazy fast. I'm pretty pleased.

I have to say I haven't bothered touching Gorgon in the last month or so, mostly because for the last 2 weeks in December before XMas holidays I'd been working roughly 10 hour days, and 10 hours in front of a computer in a sterile Office-Space environment kind of kills you a little bit on the inside for every hour. Thus the motivation to sit here and code in the evening was at a new low. And the last two weeks (yes, I got two weeks off for xmas vacation, rock) I've been purposely avoiding programming and enjoying my time off. Hopefully before the end of January I can get back into it. All I've really got left to do is add the GUI system and make some utilities for it. After that I'll release it to an unwitting populace and watch the destruction.
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