HT|Omega Striker

My old SoundBlaster Live! was finally starting to show its age. I’m not sure whether it was a driver issue or hardware, but whenever I’d start up something with environmental audio (particularly games), I’d hear nothing but static–and maybe some of the game’s audio mixed in with it. Now, the unusual thing is that it would occasionally sound like a driver issue; there’d be a single sound, like the clicking of a menu button, that would repeat over and over again as if the system were playing whatever happened to be caught in the output buffer. Sometimes, it would genuinely try to do something, and you could hear whatever sounds were actually taking place–except that they were mixed in with awful static. While I once tried to uninstall/reinstall the SB Live! drivers, I couldn’t get this particular issue to go away this time around (it worked once before I re-imaged my system). Heck, not even reducing “hardware acceleration” would work. Not that I expect that setting really does a whole lot in the first place. Maybe it’s there to make people like me feel better that we have a slider to tweak. At least I have /proc and /dev in Linux to examine if something doesn’t work quite right…

So, I finally broke down and got myself an HT|Omega Striker. It’s a really impressive card that most certainly lives up to its expectations. Read more…

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Links of the Week: July 15th

Yeah, so I lied. Thursday didn’t happen. Friday didn’t happen. Hopefully today will. I’ve been pretty busy working on a few other things (Will knows) and will be unveiling a new layout either later tonight or tomorrow. I’m also planning on cleaning it up and releasing it as a free WordPress theme. If I get a few creative streaks, I might even make a few extra themes here and there.

Following along with a LotW layout I did about two weeks ago, I’m just going to write random rubbish about some of the things I stumbled upon in the last four or five days.

Programming/Scripting

Google’s progress on Unladen Swallow is moving ahead nicely.

Digging through my bookmarks, I came across this gem related to JavaScript arrays. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to create associative arrays (although they’re not technically associative arrays) in JS, look no further. It’s also a great reference if you happened to forget the exact syntax after playing around with a few other languages in the interim.

Khaled alHabache has an insightful write-up on Scala. I’ve been eyeing the language off for a couple of months now, but I think he’s convinced me to give it a try. It seems appealing.

Adrian Pelletier has an article that explains how to create a realistic hover effect using jQuery. I’m not sure what utility this would have for most sites, but I imagine flashy media sites that refuse to use Adobe Flash might find a use. (Note: This is a good example of JavaScript supplanting Flash in some cases; using Flash for menus and simple animations? Ridiculous.)

DIY

Did you know that simple and fairly common household items can make your old plastic hardware look new again? Surprised me, too!

Hardware

Speaking of hardware, I’ve finally decided to replace my ages old SoundBlaster Live! with this puppy. It should be coming in tomorrow afternoon sometime. I’ll take some pictures and write up a brief review.


Well, that’ll be it for now. I need to do some work on a new template!

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Python Gotchas: Class Attributes versus Instance Members

Links of the Week will be delayed until tomorrow or Friday.

Today, I’d like to share with you a real treat. It happened well into the evening last night when my coherent thought processes were lost in a semi-drunken stupor induced by lack of sleep (I don’t drink, but I do have slight insomnia sometimes). What was most ironic is that in the five or so years of writing in Python (off and on) I have never encountered this particular problem.

Click that fancy link (below) to read more. This is a fairly lengthy article, so make sure you have some free time! Read more…

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