Hardware

Performing surgery on my Xbox One Kinect

Performing surgery on my Xbox One Kinect

My Xbox One Kinect has been acting strangely for a very long time. When the console first starts up from a cold boot the Kinect would work fine but shortly afterwards it would simply turn off, never to turn back on again (until the next full reboot). This appears to be a common problem online and seems to be related to the Kinect itself overheating. There are a number of theories as to why but most commonly this overheating seems to be caused by one of three things:

MiniDisc

So I was watching the excellent Techmoan YouTube channel the other day and as he discussed various interesting but now-dead technologies it got me thinking of one that I actually had owned: MiniDisc. What’s a MiniDisc? If you happen to not know or remember the MiniDisc I’m not surprised. While it did have a bit of a splash in the early ’90s and then again in the early ’00s it was never quite as ubiquitous as the other technologies available at that time.

Extend the life of your SSD on linux

This past year I purchased a laptop that came with two drives, a small 24GB SSD and a larger 1TB HDD. My configuration has placed the root filesystem (i.e. /) on the SSD and my home directory (i.e. /home) on the HDD so that I benefit from very fast system booting and application loading but still have loads of space for my personal files. The only downside to this configuration is that linux is sometimes not the best at ensuring your SSD lives a long life.

How to test hard drive for errors in Linux

I recently re-built an older PC from a laundry list of Frankenstein parts. However before installing anything to the hard drive I found I wanted to check it for physical errors and problems as I couldn’t remember why I wasn’t using this particular drive in any of my other systems. From an Ubuntu 12.04 live CD I used GParted to to delete the old partition on the drive. This let me start from a clean slate.

My 5 minute iOS 4 review

There has been far too much iPhone related news lately but I feel as though I should at least weigh in with my thoughts on the new iPhone OS. I have been running [iOS 4][1] on my [iPhone 3GS][2] since it was officially released about a week ago. Rather than write a lengthy review I figured I would simply add my short comments about the major new features. This should, hopefully, result in a very quick and informative review.

Why do we need 128bit CPU architecture?

With some ‘leaked’ information about Microsoft’s plan to include brand new IA-128 computer processor architecture in their next version of Windows (8 & 9) it got me thinking about the need for 128-bit CPUs. What’s the point? Memory Addressing This is often cited as the reason for needing to increase the number of bits in a CPU. With a 32bit register you can address approximately 2^32 bytes of RAM, or about 4GiB system wide.

One algorithm to rule them all?

In the world of computers interoperability is key. If I send you an e-mail from my machine I should hope that you’re e-mail client would be able to read it. This is why we have standards. Standards are a good thing. They allow people to focus on improving performance and driving down costs instead of splintering user base and polluting the world with… less than elegant designs. But what if relying on a single standard is not the correct way to do things either?