Monday, 30 July 2007

Characters encoding in HTML / PHP

In some cases, you could try whatever you like, it is impossible to change the default character encoding selection of a page. Why ? After almost 1h, I found out that the problem lies on the configuration of PHP, in the php.ini file where the default encoding character set was set to a different to the one I wanted to use.

To solve the problem, I have created a .htaccess file with the following line:

php_value default_charset "iso-8859-1"

This force the encoding to be iso=8859-1 when loading the PHP pages. I hope this might help you!

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Builing my new PC

I've been looking around in Nova (Taipei) to get the Intel Quadcore Q6600 G0 (95W). Unfortunately, they only got the Q6600 B3 (105W), using the previous stepping, meaning running hoter and less overclockable.

If you are looking for the Q6600 Go, ensure that the product code on the box finished with SLACR as you can see about. If it doesn't finish with this code, then you will get a B3 stepping.

It was very interesting to compare the price here in Taiwan with the price in north America and Europe. Here, the Q6600 cost $NT 8950, which is £137 / €198 ! I get in touch with a supplier name Senfu, they will call me back this week to let me know about if this product is available to order.

In the meantimes, I received my Zalman Clip Support ZM-CS1 to install the Zalman 9700NT on my Gigabyte P35-DQ6, keeping the backplate on the back of the motherboard. I like the blue Zalman used on the anodized aluminum clip, it will look very nice with the rest of the config.

More in the next episode...

PS3: Heavenly Sword - Review

Heavenly Sword's demo in available to download on the Playstation Newtork. This demo weights almost 900Mb.

To start, I was really impressed with the quality of the graphics, they are absolutely sharp, full of colour and contrast. The all enviroment is very well detailled as expected on the next generation console.

The controls are easy, simply press Triangle and Square in combinaison with R1 and L1 to produce increadible attacks. The demo is a bit short, about 5 min, but I played it 4 times as I really enjoyed it!

This game sounds like heaven ! The sound atmosphere is very good, the voice well choosen too.

Playing this game reminded me God of War 2 as in some situation you have to press quickly the button displayed on the screen to achieve the right action. This is vey nice and add an extra plus to the game as the graphic and interaction with the player demonstrate the power of real time 3D of very high quality.

Finally, i would like to say that the character Nariko reminds me a lot of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, and obviously Angelina Jolie: Nariko is simply gorgeous !

Enjoy this game, you will definitly love it !!!

PS3: The Darkness - Review

I've spent all day downloading the new demos from the Playstation Network. First, I'm going to speak about The Darkness. The demo weights a little bit more than 1400Mb, so be patient... it took me about 5h to download it.

I was very existed to test this game, I read many reviews on the web and I though it was a new orignal FPS with an interesting concept. Well, to start, the graphics are not that smooth, I feel that the programers behind this game are not trying too hard especially when you know what the PS3 got to offer.

The all ambiance of the game is creepy, but creepy a way that it makes you feel uneasy. The controls are average, and I find the movement very slow, like it takes for ever for the hero to move in every levels. The targetting system is simply poor. A couple of red dots show you where you gonna shoot. Nothing fancy, just poor.

The sound and the music are much better than the rest of the game! I really enjoy the heavy metal tracks and the all sound engineering involved in this demo.

To conclude, I am very sad to say that this game is simply not for me, and not for many people who enjoy real experience FPS, like Resistance Fall of Men, Call of Duty 3 and Fear.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Playstation 3 - Firmware 1.90

The new PS3's firmware is out !!! The firmware 1.90 is available for donwload

Here is the official line from Sony:

Customization is one new feature: you can now personalize the wallpaper on your XMB with a photo. This was one of the top three requests we received via the blog’s contact form. When viewing a photo, simply bring up the options screen by pressing the triangle button and selecting “set as wallpaper” from the options displayed. Additionally, you can now change the order of the games displayed under the game icon on the XMB.

Another new feature focuses on added communication elements: When you’re sending messages to friends on PLAYSTATION Network, you can now use emoticons. We’ve added a bunch of emoticons that can be easily accessed from the virtual keyboard. Also, another cool addition is, when an avatar is displayed during voice/video chat, the avatar will move in response to audio.

Finally, on the more technical side, you can now play AVCHD videos saved on a Memory Stick or digital video camera, and we’ve added the ability to upscale audio CD output from your PS3. Now, there are two requirements for this feature: the device you’re outputting to must support a sampling frequency of 88.2 kHz or 176.4 kHz, and your PS3 must be connected to that device with an HDMI cable or digital optical cable.

Oh, and one more thing: you can now eject discs using your controller by selecting “Eject Disc” in the options menu after you push the PS button.

Several other minor options will be included in 1.90 including a few new display options that will allow you to adjust your display while playing PlayStation, PlayStation2 and Blu-ray movies. More info on these options as well as detailed info on the rest of the 1.90 additions will be available later this week. We’ll update this post with a link to that info when it’s available.

We’re working on additional features for our next update that will incorporate more of your feedback, so as always thanks for all of your support, and please keep those suggestions coming!

A very interesting page to download some nice background images for your PS3 >here<

Sunday, 15 July 2007

How to install a Zalman 9700 on a P35-DQ6

The Gigabyte P35-DQ6 is one of the best motherboard actually on the market. It is highly overclockable and stays very cool because of its super sized heat sink. The "Crazy-Cool" is the heat sink located on the back of the motherboard, behind the processor to help dessipating as much heat as possible.

The problem of the Crazy-Cool is that it does not allow the installation of CPU fans using a back plate, such as the famous Zalman 9700NT.

The solution would be to remove the Crazy-Cool, as advised on many sites. If Gigabyte decided to add this heat sink it to help reducing the temperature of the CPU, and I think it is important to keep it to ensure the maximum dissipation of energy. Also, I have found a review of a person who managed to keep the Crazy-Cool with his Zalman 9700. The solution is to use the Zalman ZM-CS1 clip support.

I couldn't find this clip support in Taiwan, so I ordered it in France and will explain in details how to use it to install the Zalman 9700NT on a P35-DQ6 keeping the Crazy-Cool on the back of the motherboard.

New mouse and keyboard

Today I went to one of my favorite geek place in Taiwan: Nova. Nova, is the best place to get all kind of computer components, from super high tech to super weird. I usually go there to compare the price of products I want to buy.

Also, I need a new keyboard for the computer I will build shortly. I fully trust Logitech for the high quality of their products (even if the MX mouse was a real disaster!), so I choose the combo keyboard / mouse MX3200. The keyboard is very quiet and super comfortable! It offers a lot of interesting shortcuts such as media player shotcuts, Skype, calculator, Outlook, etc. The mouse is almost the same as my MX620 without the chat and email button.
The price is very interesting, in America, this set costs $100. Online, in Taiwan, it cost $3600NT, so about 100$. In Nova, it costed me $2650NT, so about $75! A real bargain!

Saturday, 14 July 2007

How to fix a blurry screens

When installing my Acer 19'' (AL1916W) on my wife computer as a dual screen, I noticed that the text wa blurry on both screens (both the same). I have updated the video card driver (a 7800GS AGP) but some areas where still not right.

Then, I pressed the Auto button on both screen and I saw an improvement. So, I decided to open full screen a document containing text on both screen and press again the Auto button: Problem fixed !! I was quite simple but it took me 45 minutes to solve it properly.

This is a picture of the video card, using AGP technology:
And this is the set

New screen - Acer AL2216W

I am building a new computer next month, and I just received the screen that will join my Acer AL1916W on my desk: an Acer AL2216W. I ordered it online on a site called The price is very good, 7990 NT$, corresponding to 177€, for a 22 inches, that's pretty sweet !!!

The screen looks great and the image quality is simply very good! The colour, contrast and luminosity are all perfect for my use, mostly internet development and web design. Here is the configuration of the config I am building:
  • Intel Q6600
  • Zalman CNPS9700 LED
  • (Zalman ZM-CS1 clip support to keep the cray cool on the motherboard)
  • 2 x G.SKILL 2GB(1GB*2) DDR2 1066HK (4 Gb in total)
  • Sparkle 8800GTX
  • 2 x Seagate 250GB 3.5 SATAII 16Mb (Raid 1)
  • Panasonic SW-9588 SuperMuti DVD - SATA
  • Logitech MX3200 Laser
  • XClio GREATPOWER X14S4P4 650W
  • Lian Li PC-B20B
I will post some pictures to show you !