My very first filling!

  Saturday - October 25th, 2008 by morphinex

I finally filled my first tooth today! It was #19 BO amalgam with slight cuspal coverage on the MB. I was able to take out the amalgam without much of a problem… and I found a lot of weird blackness underneath. Dr. Weinberg was the faculty who oversaw the whole thing and he was just a great asset during the entire procedure. I didn’t know what the dark staining were… at first I thought it was all decay, but upon poking it with probe, it was hard and not soft at all. Dr. W explained that it was just amalgam leaching out and staining the underlying structure.

In any case, I was able to do the IAN block without a problem (I did forget to leave a quarter of the carpule for the long buccal block though…). I was also able to sculpt out the buccal groove and a bit of a cusp without too much problem. Dr. W gave me some protip with using the prime&seal stick to manipulate the composite though, and that really helped. Did 3 layers with A3D initially, then finished with A3E and AE2 superficially. Though I thought the composite shade was off… the tooth might just be really dessicated. The biggest problem though, was getting the rubber dam in initially. That was really troublesome. I went with an alternative technique, and thought it went well!

All in all, it was a very exciting day of “1st” times – and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.

The End


  Wednesday - October 8th, 2008 by morphinex

Today is the first day that I used a high speed handpiece in someone’s mouth! Today’s patient has a cervical class 5 amalgam on #27 and I discovered that the inflammation on the tissue maybe due to a slight overhang. So, with permission, I scaled all the mandibular teeth and I smoothed out the amalgam! WOOT! It wasn’t really drilling into a tooth, but it’s close! I’m very ecstatic!

The End

Sarah Palin, your fifteen minutes are up — please step away from the podium

  Friday - October 3rd, 2008 by morphinex

When Senator McCain announced his running mate more than a month ago, the world was taken by surprise. News agency, tabloid writers, people like you and me, all started researching and Googling what Governor Palin is all about. Now, with more than 20 million hits under her name, we “know” her just a little better — and it’s scary to think she may be the 2nd in command of the most powerful nation in the world (and if actuary tables are to be believed, may very well become the first woman president of US).

There’s no doubt that many people at one point, had this thought in their mind, “I can run this country better than that guy in the White House right now.” But do you really think so? Think of the movie, “Bruce Almighty” where God gave his power to a common man. That’s the kind of power we as citizens, might be giving to Governor Palin if her party wins in November.

As Governor of Alaska, there’s numerous cases where she showered favoritism towards her family and friends. Is this acceptable? If we have someone in the White House who could be so easily swayed and lobbied for random causes because she hadn’t got a brain of her own except her desires and wants – what will happen to the country? One example from the aforementioned movie provides a good analogy — if God pulls the moon toward the Earth to woo a woman, disastrous calamities would befall the Earth. When Sarah Palin, a commoner like you and me, becomes the person in power, her short term insight and favoritism toward those who woo her would result in terrible consequences.

In the past couple of weeks, Palin was finally “prepared” enough by McCain’s camp advisers to be let out of the classroom and into newsrooms for interviews. I’m sure McCain regretted giving his stamp of approval to allow someone like Katie Couric talk to Palin on camera for the world to see. It’s evident that Palin have ZERO experience of how to respond to tough questions posed and it’s clear her teachers weren’t able to get her to see the world through the eyes of someone in power.

Couric: Have you ever been involved in any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

Palin: We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.

During last night’s debate, it’s evident that Palin was picking out choice topics that her trainers/handlers have taught her and reciting as memorized to the American public. It wasn’t a “debate” – it was just a presentation of what the GOP camp wanted us to hear, except through Palin’s mouth. Hell, presentation isn’t even really a good way to put it — more like it’s a huge 1.5 hour of presentation of why we should pick McCain, because “he is the great American hero!” *cough BS* She cannot think for herself in a national sense, period. And for McCain to pick her, is to shortchange the American people of who should be in the VP seat, a position of considerable power and influence over American’s policy — foreign and domestic. Palin pick was a political move to get himself into the White House, it’s obvious that he didn’t think much of the pick before he went for it. Now, I sincerely hope, it’d become a irreversible decision that would doom the party.

I understand that there’s much truth stretching and bending last night. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter whose facts is straighter when it comes to the past of who voted for what. This post contains the entirety of the debate, and I have to say, in my opinion, that the future presented by Biden/Obama camp, is better than their opponent’s. The future is what matters, and McCain camp is headed for the wrong direction. On top of that, McCain got a VP pick that can’t do anything by herself. All night, I kept waiting for her to give a real answer to the question presented by Gwen Ifill, and it never really happened. It’s as if it wasn’t even a debate, but just another venue for Palin to give a speech in. It’s utterly ridiculous that some people actually said she did well! Are they even sane?! She didn’t listen except for tidbits that she could hook on in order to parrot off what’s she have been taught to repeat.

In 10 years since I’ve obtained the eligibility to vote, I have never been this politically aware (thanks in large to my roommates Mo and Ricky). I used to vote just because I could ~ and I didn’t know who and what I was voting for when I went to the poll booth. For this election, I am confident to say I have learned enough to hope, as much as I can, for Obama and Biden to win in November 2008. Sarah Palin, please go back to Alaska and continue to be the governor of that great state and a wonderful hockey mom for your 5 children. Your fifteen minutes of fame is up, we really have enough of your folksy idiosyncrasies.

The End

My very first patient

  Sunday - September 28th, 2008 by morphinex

A very nice middle aged man who is quadriplegic. It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t meet his scheduling needs and had to give him up to a 4th year… I would’ve liked to have continued with his treatment since he is missing bilaterally mandibular 2nd premolars. Ah well!

The End

Death is looming before me

  Wednesday - September 17th, 2008 by morphinex

As I rode the bus home today from Dr. G, I noticed the passenger sitting beside me was asleep. I watched him smiling softly as he bounced with the bus, and I couldn’t help but wondered what he dreamed about. All of the sudden, I thought “what if he isn’t dreaming of anything?” A deep and dark despair crept up on me, and I became afraid all of the sudden. I don’t want to die… I want to be alive with all my five senses, as sharp as they are today — forever.

I looked up into the bright blue sky through the darkened bus window and I breathed in deeply. Though the air stank slightly of human sweat and cheap perfume, I felt happy to be alive. I felt happy that my head can process and interpret all these information and allowing me to type them down now. I really want to stay alive… I don’t want to sink down to the darkness of a dreamless sleep. I want to keep playing games, listen to music, watch anime, eat food, and everything else that’s sweet and awesome in life. There’s so much I haven’t done, yet the despair that I don’t have enough time left in the world is already starting to overwhelm me.

I felt as if I’m wasting my life.


Well, time to get ready for school… need to get Paul’s radiograph interpreted by Dr. Gohel.

The End

Visiting US and Canada!

  Sunday - August 10th, 2008 by morphinex

During the short intersession break of 2nd to 3rd year of dental school, my parents and I went on L&L Bus Tour around US East Coast & Canada for 8 days and 7 nights. It’s not all inclusive ~ for the price of $1200, the three of us got a bus ride, hotel stay, and a tour guide that can talk in 3 languages with ease. It sounded like a great deal ~ but I would recommend to those interested NOT to do it. It’s NOT worth your time, your ass, your mental state, and your health! It’s rough, and not fun 80% of the time!

The trip begins in Boston ~ where we waited for the bus at Chinatown Gate. The ticket says to arrive at 10, the bus didn’t get there until 11 ~ yes, we weren’t happy. However, upon entering the bus, we got clued in to how the whole operation runs. It’s basically non-stop with a fleet of buses picking up new passenger and dropping off those that have went through the grueling 8 days. Soon as we got on, the tour guide started yapping away about the traffic and some historical facts about Boston in 3 languages. We first stopped at Quincy Market to get some lunch, and then went off toward NYC.

NYC (went to see Ground 0, Rockafeller Plaza, Empire state building *went to the top*, UN, Water Taxi to Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, and… some other Chinatown). That night, we ate at a place called Nam Son. The pho was super nasty and made me sick for two days. I was cramping up the 2nd day in Empire State Building and turning pale with cold sweats coming out of me… we almost stopped the tour right there!

From NYC, we went to Philly & DC. In Philadelphia, went to see liberty bell, and walked about the old congress house and senate building. Historical, but nothing special really. After, in DC, went to see all the different monument and memorials ~ Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Capitol Hill, etc… we stopped at each place for about an hour to take pictures. Nothing special really.

From DC, we went out to Corning NY, with a short stop at Hershey Chocolate World… both locations weren’t all that great. The glass place at Corning was sorta neat tho… the Chocolate world was okay too I guess, if you love chocolate. No need to make it a theme park tho.

From corning NY, we went to Niagara where we had the best time out of all 8 days. In fact, I’d recommend just going to Niagara Falls ~ do the Maid of the Mist and the Cave of the Wind and then you can go home. We also crossed over to Canada side and went up the Skylon tower. The salmon dish there is delicious =)

From Niagara, we went to Toronto where I went up the CN Tower and jumped on the glass floor! After Toronto, we went to Ottawa I think, then Montreal and finally Quebec City. Nothing special in each of these cities. I mean, we would go to the city hall, Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, and the Citadel of Quebec City – but they weren’t that WONDERFUL… natural sights are still the best. Man constructed architecture could only impress so much I think. After, we are back in Boston, thus ending the tour!

The End

I’m going to stop downloading/burning anime

  Sunday - August 10th, 2008 by morphinex

For the past 10 years, I’ve been amassing fansubbed anime. I don’t know why I started hoarding when I could have easily d/led, watched, then deleted. It’s not like I ever watch the same anime twice. Let’s see if this holds up because I’ve just freed up 10% of my waking time.

The End

File and Printer Sharing in Windows XP / Vista / Whatever

  Saturday - June 7th, 2008 by morphinex

In our household, we’ve always had multiple computers and a small network going. So compared to your average Joe, I believe I know a bit more about setting up a network share. However, when it comes to sharing a folder through network, I’ve always depended on a bit of luck whenever the logins for all computers involved aren’t the same. When the problem arises, I would depend on accessing the system shares of “\\NetComp\C$” which gave me full control of the networked HDD. Usually, it’d prompt me for an username and password – and that’d be the end of it. However, I’m not very happy to do this when someone visits and wants something off my computer because s/he could suck everything off my hdd including my personal data! Besides, it’s hardly secure if I had to give out my username and login every time.

So every since Windows 98, I’ve been operating under the assumption that there’s something really crazy that I need to learn in order to make a folder shared … and I never bothered to look deeply into it. … Well, no, I did look deeply into it and never discovered how! But a month or two ago, as I was messing around with sharing the printer in my apartment to Ricky and Mo – I finally discovered an article that gave me the answer to my headache over all these years. It’s like I discovered the holy grail in Windows Networking ~ wow! Power UP!

Password Protected Sharing

With password protected sharing enabled, other computers on your network will not be able to access your shared folders, including the Public folder, without a user name or password that corresponds to a user account on the computer with the shared folder. When a user on another computer tries to connect to the shared folder, they will send the user name and password of the account that they used to log on to their own computer. For example, if they logged on to their computer with the “Bob” account and a password, then the “Bob” name with its password is sent when connecting to a shared folder on another computer.

If there is a “Bob” account with its password on the computer that is sharing the folder, the shared folder connection will be successful (provided the “Bob” account is specified as one of the accounts that can access the share). However, if there is no “Bob” account on the computer that is sharing the folder, the shared folder connection will fail and the user on the other computer will be prompted with a dialog box to type in a user name and password. At this point, the user on the computer attempting to connect can type the name and password of an account on the computer sharing the folder that is specified as one of the accounts that can access the share.

To prevent shared folder connection failures, you can do one of the following:

Add the same accounts and passwords to all of the computers on your network

For example, if you have three computers in your home and four family members that use them, add all four accounts with their passwords corresponding to your family members to all three computers. When this is done, each family member can access the shared folders of the other computers, regardless of which computer they are using. This is the recommended method, which provides protection of shared folders and prevents shared folder connection failures.

When you disable password protected sharing, the computer sharing the folder does not require a user account or password. Anyone on your network can access the shared folders of the computer (provided the folder was shared for the Guest or Everyone account). This behavior is equivalent to simple file sharing in Windows XP.

The End

Application of Dentistry in Life

  Saturday - June 7th, 2008 by morphinex

I’m a very forgetful man, and as such, I can’t remember life without dentistry anymore. Dentistry seems to integrate itself into every facet of my life, and it’s incredible just how useful it is! For example, I have new vocabularies to describe the location on an item to pinpoint exactly where I’m thinking about. Coronal third, mid third, or cervical third ~ buccal, or lingual, etc etc. It’s great!

Other application of dentistry in life include various carpentry skills. I often wonder why my dad suddenly become so handy at making stuff when he visits America, and that’s because he knows dentistry and dentistry is all about making stuff come together! A few days ago, I broke the paper holder on the printer. On the lateral sides of the paper holder were two little positive ledges that extends out into the negative voids in the printer. Both of the positive ledges broke off and I was only able to find one. Normally, this would have meant ordering a new one, but instead, I went into the lab, drilled an undercut into the side of the holder, stuffed composite in, and shaped it to look exactly like the ledge on the other side that I superglued back on. Amazing!

At the end of the day, I’m happy I picked dentistry as a profession, and though I look forward to retirement, I’m also looking forward to helping people and etc.

The End

Happy Food ~

  Saturday - March 15th, 2008 by morphinex

Azuki Cream from Japonaise
Pho from Pho So 1 (if this place isn’t in the ghetto, I’d go every week)
Fried shrimp+pork chop+squid from New Trend restaurant
Singapore Noodles from New China (well… not that great, but.. still)
Some kind of sushi [chutoro if they got it] + eel bowl from Seiyo
Almost everything from Wisteria in Super 88 – they even have Gua Bao!

Ah, life is good with food ~ walking about with blue sky, 15 C, music, and no immediate worries! A bucket of ice cream when it’s warmer makes me happy too.

The End

I’m already looking forward to retirement

  Friday - March 14th, 2008 by morphinex

Ever since I’ve gained self-awareness, I’ve been in school. When I graduate from dental school at the ripe age of 30, I’d be working for the Air Force for another 4 years. After that, I’d still be working somewhere for the next 20+ yrs ~ and all for what? I supposed for the occasional vacation and then retirement into VR gaming and non-stop anime.

Gradually, I’m gaining insight into how life kinda suck and there’s no helping it. No one can have fun all the time ~ even at the job that they love doing, there will be a time when you’d think, “shit, why did I decide to do what I’m doing now…? I should have done ???? instead!” Wife and kids are probably the same way I’m sure – that’s why there are so much infidelity going on in the world. I do hope tho, that life with the wife will be happy 99% of the time, instead of constant unhappiness and waiting for the occasional 1%.

So school is more fun now ~ 1.5 years into Dental School, and we’re doing the pre-clinic almost every single day of the week, getting ready to treat real living patients! But would the general public like knowing we have done less than 300 hours of simulation prior to treating them? I mean, we’re doing operative lab about 4 hours a week for 15 weeks, fixed, remo, endo, for about the same and then we’re treating living people! I really think there should be less academic bullshit about how growth hormones can affect fishies and weird mammals and much more about things that matter. Really – when you hear the course “oral biology” – you think of studying of oral bacteria flora that lives in the oral cavity right? WRONG! We’re learning about Fibroblast Growth Factors and how they affect oral development. Does the general public really care about their dentist knowing why they are the way they are? I mean, if a guy comes into my office with a severely deformed face, I seriously doubt he’d need me telling him what went wrong during embryological development ~ he’d probably have heard about it 9000+ times from his PCP! More time on simulation, less time on learning pointless shit that we’d purge from our brain within days after exam ~ plzthx.

Of course, there are only a couple worthless classes like Oral Biology and IPPM ~ most are pretty darn important like oral diagnosis, pharmacology, endo, perio, operative, etc. But let’s look at IPPM – or integrated practice … whatever whatever. It’s the most useless class and we’re wasting away 3 hours of our Friday mornings for the next several weeks because of it! WHY?! Do we really need someone to tell us about ethics? If we have bad ethics, no class is going to change us from shortchanging our patient. If we’re going to do what’s right for the patient, that’s exactly what we’d do, period! Oo, let’s look at Ozar’s model of ethical decision making and think about what we should do from there ~~ give me a break! Ethical decisions are usually made within a split second and our nature will win ~ 100% of the time. I doubt we can convince the administrators to get rid of IPPM, but we really done need it.

Alright, so Monday, we have our first Pharmacology test. I should be studying for it – but .. meh. Earlier this month, I bought a new phone: Sprint Mogul. It’s a really nice smartphone (I doubt it’d be that smart 10 yrs from now, but it’s pretty dang smart now). The biggest problem with the phone is the lack of RAM and associated memory leakage… probably due to all the crazy program I got installed on it. I also got a nice plan to go with it: 500 anytime minute, 7 pm nights & weekends, unlimited text + unlimited data ~ all for $30! Including Total Equipment Protection $7, it’s about $40 per month includin tax.

My newly build AMD computer broke late last month too. Sent the MB back to Gigabyte (3 weeks turnaround), advanced RMAed the Corsair RAM, and sent the AMD chip back for repair. I also got Antec earthWatt 380 PSU, and got Po to send me a nice 1000 watt APC BackUPS. Hope it all works well in the end. The lack of perm-on computer is kinda weird sometimes… ah well.

That’s about it – think I gotta get back to studying now. Oh, Clannad is starting to suck ~ I hope the next episode makes the whole dang thing worth it. Kanon is much better.

The End

The really long & brown week

  Sunday - January 20th, 2008 by morphinex

About 6 days ago, I discovered the ribeye steaks I bought a while ago when I went shopping with Ricky. For two pieces, the price was extraordinarily low – for I said to Ricky, “this is Super 88 – meat is cheaper here!” The package been frozen since and I haven’t touched it until I decided I wanted some meat to supplement my daily spaghetti meal.

After a day of defrosting, I marinated the ribeye ~ with one, I rubbed down with A1 steak sauce, and the other just plain oil, salt, and pepper. After putting them back in the fridge for 30 minutes, I went ahead and cooked just one because two wouldn’t fit in the small sauce pan I had. It didn’t turn out nearly as delicious as my brother’s grilled steaks, but I didn’t really care — it was protein, and my spaghetti this time around didn’t have that much meat in them. I didn’t cook the other piece, and left it soaking in the bag of marinade.

On the morning of Tuesday, I felt a little weirder with slight aches here and possibly elevated temperature. When I got out my Vicks temperature gauge, I wasn’t sure how to use it, so just stuck it in my mouth and it popped out with perfect temperature of 98.6 ~ I couldn’t complain and went to work as usual after Monday’s snowstorm. The tree lined avenues were white with snow, and I thought Boston was as beautiful as any city I’ve ever been in or have seen in the movies. The particular morning at work wasn’t different but near 9 am, Dr. G called out to me and said a patient of ours was getting all four wisdoms pulled at OMS doctor up the street, and if I’d like to observe, I should go right then. Wearing my jacket, I jogged a few blocks up to Dr. F’s office and saw IV sedation and just straight elevation/mobility acquisition/extraction for all four teeth.

On my way back, I lingered a bit and played with the snow on top of the bare bushes. I grabbed at the snow, and tried to pack it into little snow balls and hurled them at the nearby tree. The lightness of the snow balls surprised me, so did the way it flew true and splattered on the tree like I expected them to. I then noticed a rather large courtyard with untouched snow, and disregarding the angel on my shoulder beckoning me to return to the office post-haste, I went into the courtyard and started packing together a snowball. I wanted to make a snowman, and though I knew I probably didn’t have enough time to make one completely, I at least wanted to make a ball big enough to be the head of a snowman. After packing in a big snow ball, I started rolling it around, and pushing it to the snow as it rolled. The ball grew, but not as fast as I liked. I didn’t know the tendencies of snow, and after a bit, I just sat down in front of the ball and stared. Chuckling at my own childishness, I abandoned the attempt and hurried back to the office.

At around 11 am, I had my first aberrant bowel movement. If I had to describe it, it was slightly watery, but nothing to write home about. The session in the restroom left me more disoriented and more achy. I thought it could be the return of the BPPV symptoms, but for the most part, ignored all symptoms and just went back to work like normal. For lunch, I had a cheeseburger club sandwich, and a piece of Dr. G’s lamb chop. The lamb chop was really delicious ~ one of the best I’ve had. Soon after lunch, the heat of the office, and the stench of the enzymatic cleaners started to wear on me more and more, and I went into the restroom once again for another BM. Though it was the second time in the day, I didn’t think much of it, but rather focused on the reason behind my malaise. I said to Mary later that I may be coming down with something ~ ah, how true my words were. *chuckles cynically*

After the last designated patient on the schedule left, I wanted to just go home and rest then. The world wasn’t spinning, but I was feeling hot and really nauseous. I was happy that Lily offered to take me home, and when I got home, I had another small BM that I didn’t really think much about. Later that night, I took out my Vicks temperature gauge once more, and decided to leave it in my mouth even after it displayed the normal temperature to see if it might change. I wasn’t surprised to see 102.3 displayed. I took hold of my cell and texted Lily that I’d be missing work the next day as I expected the symptoms of flu to explode that night with feverishly fury.

I was wrong ~ the fever and malaise continued, but that was it. My throat didn’t hurt, nor did other normal symptoms of flu happen. The curious little bowel movements continued, but nothing too major to signify that my problem was of the abdominal in origin and not of the respiratory. I even though that diarrhea might be a symptom of normal cold/flu! Ha, how wrong I was. That night, I boiled up my pot of spaghetti, and heated up the sauce. To make the dinner more nutritious, I diced up the last piece of marinated ribeye and some onion to make onion steak stir fry. After it was done, I took a bite into a piece of the steak and realized immediately the whole thing was bad. I immediately spat out the piece in my mouth and rinsed my mouth out; but it might have been too late and compounded my existing problem.

I slept through most of Wednesday, slipping in and out of feverish dreams that made little sense. Trapped in boxes, and then cutting out of them. Trying to save boxes, but end up being swallowed by boxes. I was only sure that I’m alive, and boxes shouldn’t be moving. I took Tylenol since Tuesday night to reduce the fever, but like the marinade the covered up the smell of the bad ribeye, the Tylenol covered up the actions of the bug that resided within me. I still wasn’t sure if the flu was of the stomach kind until Wednesday afternoon, when I went in after a rough movement in the tummy to signify the urgency for me to visit the porcelain.

I wasn’t in pain when I first sat down, I didn’t feel much of anything to be honest and I would attribute the painlessness to the Tylenol. However, the moment my brief and pant was in the clear, the resulting explosion that caused a tidal wave in the water made me realize immediately I’m feverish because of an entero-virus/bacteria. The brown water flowed like Niagara Fall, and the splashes made me take alternative approach to cleanup of both my cheeks and of the bowel. While I was sitting there, pondering the reason why I kept eating left overs even when I didn’t need to – I remembered of the time when I drank bad tap water and the pain I went through. Ah, how stupid could I be?

The next few visits to the brown speckled porcelain didn’t have such spectacular results, but the highly pressured gaseous content did cause the brown to fly in radical directions. Lily came by with a care package on Wednesday night, and I took more Tylenol and went to bed with fever of about 103 still. By Thursday afternoon, the fever was gone, but the visitation to the bathroom continued every 2 to 3 hours. I thought I was okay then, and said to Lily over the phone that I might feel well enough to go into work the next morning! That night, I told my parents I was not feverish anymore, but still having visits to the bathroom – and was told then to take antibiotic. Like a dutiful child, I listened to the command, and took 2 cephalexin. The antibiotic might be the mistake which triggered the red in the brown that night. I wasn’t passing a lot of brown then, and at times, it was more mucus than liquid/solid combination. I didn’t like the sight of red, and decided I need to see the doctor the next morning.

At 8:00 Friday morning, I called up Lily and updated her on my situation. She understood fully and supported my decision to visit the doctor, and Dr. G even recommended going to the hospital and skip out on the PCP. Looking at my insurance card and deciding ER might be able to give me better care, I went to see them first. Though the nurse was sympathetic, but told me the wait was 2 hours to see the doctor. I instead went to my PCP as I had planned, but he wasn’t there! Instead, I got another doc who recommended more rest, Imodium, lots of fluids, and to stop taking the cephalexin.

I went home then, after getting more Gatorade, Imodium, and went back to the resting pattern. Gradually, Bowel Movement Time extended, and life was getting better. And just two hours ago, I finally baked up a brown solid! Hallelujah! Thus, ending the really brown week ~!

The End

I’m sorry Vista, you’re not the bad apple

  Thursday - January 10th, 2008 by morphinex

It’s ****ing Gigabyte to blame for the 10+ hours lost at troubleshooting their broken product!

Started out with Vista not setting up properly ~ ie, taking forever. Then it became, “is it Vista’s fault or Lite-On’s fault or motherboard’s fault for the DVD drive not working?” After an entire night of trouble shooting by swapping out parts, I eliminated Vista as the cause, and Lite-On. When I plugged in a HDD IDE device, it wouldn’t read kept freezing up the startup process. With this discovery, came the idea that … maybe they have a bios update to fix the IDE controller!

Well, they didn’t have such. So I started looking at PCI IDE controllers, knowing that’s where the problem lies. I didn’t want to go through RMA the motherboard, and possibly having to call MS to reinstall Vista on another MB… and besides, putting all the crap in that little case was hard enough the first time! Anyway… after much soul searching, I came across a forum that said these magical words, “maybe you should try replacing the IDE cable… a bad IDE cable makes crazy things happen!” So I thought about all the crazy things that I’ve done to test the IDE port including downloading Knoppix in believing Vista was causing the issues. I mean, this wasn’t a normal error ~ drive detected at startup fine, driver was fine, it loads some part of the DVD/CD fine (ie, Linux bootloader and Vista bootldr)… so, I was thoroughly confused.

Anyway, I had decided I would go get another DVD drive tomorrow ~ it would have new IDE cable, and new DVD drive for me to test with. But then, the idea came to me… “there are three prongs to the IDE cable! What if it’s just the distant one that’s not connected properly but the two close ones are?!” I immediately stopped brushing my teeth then, and went and tried that out and boom, everything started flyin! Even Vista loaded faster! WOW!

So much time spent because one little wire within the IDE cable was broken and there was no way to diagnose it without having good spare parts ready. Ah, computers are such pain in the ass sometimes!

The End

Vista should not take more than 10 minutes to install

  Wednesday - January 9th, 2008 by morphinex

Apparently, there are a lot of stupid people posting answers on the net, and I’m even dumber for believing them. I waited 30 minutes to the first window to come up during clean setup of Vista – this is not right ~ the problem lies with the LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Model LH-20A1P that I got. Vista doesn’t like it, dunno why. I burned hundreds of DVDs on it since Sept on nit with XP, and hadn’t a single problem, but Vista hates it during install!

How did I know this? Well, from my last post, I was waiting for it to “Expand” @ 19% for about 50 minutes or so… and it didn’t go through and gave me a stupid error of driver can’t be found or some crap. I looked up online, and people says, “oh! yeah, that happens! install via USB key!” Good thing I had 4 gb USB lying around, or else I’d still be stuck! Still, it wasn’t all smooth sailing… after I copied Vista onto USB Key, it wouldn’t boot! I had to stick Vista back into Lite-On DVD to boot, then eject it (since it’d get stuck… soon as Vista ejects from tray, the dang thing loads), rescan, and install from USB key. Works perfectly now! Yay!

The End

New Computer for New Years!

  Wednesday - January 9th, 2008 by morphinex

I’ve been using the school assigned IBM T60 for the past year and half as output to my Samsung 42″ DLP. The problem with the IBM T60 lies in its Intel 945GM Express Chipset integrated graphics ~ it does not output to 1280×720 properly. After a lot of searching and reading, I found that a similar graphics device driver could be used to output 1280×720 – embedded device! The problem with embedded devices is that it’s unconfigurable to a layman like me, and I had to use software to override the vertical/horizontal sync problem that the device had with outputting. To make long story short, it worked well… up to a point. With frequent crashes and unexplainable death screens, I didn’t much appreciate the T60… but I made way.

Around middle of last year, I started thinking about replacing the laptop… with a new one, from Alienwares or something… any laptop really, with a decent graphics card! But, everything was so dang expensive. I also looked at desktop solution, but I wasn’t quite ready and decided my T60 will work still, and I shouldn’t change it just because I feel like it.

The problem came when I went back to Orlando for break and came back to find that Power Strip was not working anymore, and after hours of tweaking, I can’t the display to sync properly! The lower part of screen would get cut off, and it was annoying as hell! I decided it IS time for new computer, and after much research, I found a great new motherboard — GA-MA69GM-S2H ($75) from Gigabyte. It’s my very first AMD board… probably first AMD in the whole Tsen family! I got a great deal on Vista Ultimate + Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor ($310), rebate on Corsair XMS2 2×1GB DDR2-800 for ($37 AR), rebate on Apevia Case ($60 AR), and WD 500gb SATA ($105)! I especially like the motherboard with HDMI out from the onboard VGA, and the possibility to expand with PCI-Ex16 if I want to in the future.

Well, I started putting it all together earlier tonight… took me about 2 hours to get it all setup and ready for Vista, then the problem came… the installation itself. At first, it started okay ~ the installation file copies from DVD, and it seem to be running. Then, it just froze! I was supposed to get to the screen that prompts me for “What language do you wanna install” and “where is your KB from?” etc, but it doesn’t go there! I was like, WTF is wrong with this POS?! I went online, and did some search and found that Vista doesn’t like USB stuff plugged in while setting up, so I unplugged everything. But it didn’t help… it was still frozen! I then saw an article that stated, “don’t worry if it’s seems stuck, it’s not! Wait like 30 minutes!”

So basically, I started the waiting game after resetting about 10 times and trying different things. At last, after giving up and going to wash my face and getting ready to sleep, I came back to find the “What language you wanna install” window waiting for me. After staring at the blank screen for like 15 minutes, something finally happened with Vista.

MS, your shit is failing because no one likes to install Vista! IT people want to see progress bar! Percentage going up and stuff! When it’s just a blank colorful screen with the DVD spinning up every 5 minute and the HDD not doing jack, we think shit ain’t working and try to find problem that’s not there!

So, after getting through that, it’s finally installation with a percentage bar… There are 5 steps…

1) Copying Windows files
2) Expanding files (19% after like 30 minutes)
3) Installing features
4) Installing updates
5) Completing installation.

If I was installing XP on this computer, I would be downloading anime by now and watching anime… but nooo, with Vista, the installation is going to take 6 hours! Piece of crap!

The End