Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cracking my spine, a nearly 4 hour CoH match and more

Last week I cracked my spine. Did you ever crack your spine before? I'm not talking about the Bane breaks Batman's back in Dark Knight Rises, it's just a simple cracking of the spine that was the most frightening sound I ever heard from within my body. Maybe for some people it's normal, but it really freaked me out. That's probably because of the circumstances of how it happened, and it happened when I was asleep. The nightmares have become more frequent lately and in earlier nights I would wake up in cold sweat or my breathing was too high, to the point when I cracked my spine, I woke up very suddenly and my stomach went skyward and I gasped for air quite loudly. That's when I heard the crack and I tell you, it's not a sound I want to hear again.

Thankfully, it wasn't serious. The first thing I remember doing was checking my limbs to see if I was paralyzed, and all seemed well. Now that it's been a few days, I noticed some strange things due to the cracking of my spine. For one thing, I've not had those aches and pains on my upper body, and because my right collar bone has almost no muscles linked to my neck (nearly my entire right shoulder is broken), I used to have severe neck pain but not anymore. One side effect I do see was my thinking had been erratic, there were times when the information flows too fast, and other times where I felt lost, as if I had to do something but felt no urge to do it. Some of you might have noticed my sudden increase in participation in the Vivid Red Operation thread at Animesuki over the weekend, which was linked to this. Searching online yields mixed results, to some it is a good thing, to others it is a warning sign, as much as it felt good, I don't really want to go through that again. I still can't think straight and I go to sleep paranoid of it happening again. Though I think it is unlikely, last week was too strange a week. The weather was a lot colder than I thought it would be, and I ran up a little cold, and my nose was stuffed for a few days, so that might have contributed to my inability to breathe properly.

As if my weekend wouldn't get any weirder, I was playing a casual game of Company of Heroes Skirmish, and if you ever wondered how scrambled my mind was during this time, this ought to give a clear picture:
That's a 3 hour 51 minute match right there against the AI. Sure, many folks will say the AI is easy to beat, but not when I played. For some reason, I was off my game, I could never hold my ground on the only road into my territory, and when the expert AI double teams you with 2 Airborne commanders, it's a miserable hell. They frequently did back-to-back bombing runs, they'd drop anti-tank guns as if it's all they got, and I had to use mortar fire strikes just to burn them out. That went on so long, I only wanted to play a simple session to see if my thinking power was affected by the spine cracking, but for more than 3 hours, I was totally embarrassed and I had enough.
I had to end it as quickly as possible, and with my AI buddy doing nothing but spawning StuH's and losing them, I had to Hummel smash the nearest enemy base as much as I could (above). The only other time I played a nearly 4 hours match was when I had my old Sony lappy, and it ended up that way partly due to the laggy graphics. Now I know I really ought to take it easy if my mind is muddy, and NO GAMING IF YOU HAD A SUDDEN HEALTH CHANGE XD

War against mosquitos

I don't like mosquitos. There are some bugs I like, and some that I don't like, but mosqy's are definitely in the "do not want" camp. And for some reason these guys just want to bite the heck out of me. There were jokes about these local mosqy's wanting some foreigner blood, but I've just about had enough of them. Armed with my trusty electric swatter and my hand, I set out on a holy war against these pests.

Even the committee in my neighborhood caught wind of the sudden rise in mosqy's, and they set out to gas the place. I don't know what it was they were gassing, but that stuff seemed to have worked. Unfortunately for me, the mosqy's sought refuge indoors where the gas was less. My swatter has no effect when I'm at my lappy, and in the magnified image above, that mosqy was killed when it invaded my personal space. What happened was business as usual for me, but that dude was buzzing around my hand. In my surprise I rolled my chair back a little and the dumb mosqy landed on my trackball mouse. In 1 or 2 seconds my mind was a speedy mess: I could make a break for my swatter for a sure kill, but it would notice my movement and fly away, or I could risk my already hurt right hand and hulk smash. The end result:
I had to smash it. I'm not sure how fast I am, I know for sure I'm a terrible fighting game player, but these mosqy's are smart and I wasn't going to take a chance, but what this particular mosquito did was freaky. It was the first time in my life I saw a mosquito walking. I mean it was walking with those dangly legs, desecrating my royal trackball with it's bendy legs, I was half furious, half awe struck at watching something walk for the first time in my life after having seen them be flyers for years. By the way I have been a trackball user for 13 years.

Let's go modding

I did mention in an earlier post about mods, so here goes one. HP designed some really bad laptops. Strangely, I only notice this in their AMD lappy's, I don't really see this particular design in Intel based machines, which did lead me at one point to speculate that perhaps there was a conspiracy where Intel paid off these manufacturers to cripple AMD machines with poor ventilation, because I seriously doubt a manufacturer would be this dumb to adopt this particular fan design that HP used for their DV7 AMD-based series.
What you see is a downward facing exhaust fan for one of life's most hottest mobile chips, the Turion 2 Ultra series. From this angle you can already see how stupid this design is for a chip that idles at 59c (800mhz) and gets as hot as 83c (2.5ghz). Explain to me how a chip this hot is supposed remain cool when the exhaust is not only thin, but pointing downward where, you know, the surface of where the laptop is sitting on. As you can see above, the grills are extremely fat as well, prompting me to cut off some of them, and then I proceeded to carve out from the chrome lined part to the rest of where the cut grills were connected to. I wish I did a before and after pic, but I was fed up with the heat this machine was spitting out, and with permission from the owner of this lappy I wasted no time in cutting it. It paid off too, heat is down at least -3c from the usual temps, and for the first time in my life with this machine I saw the green checkmark in Speedfan.
First time a green mark. It had always been a fire icon, indicating how hot the temps are.
I paid a price though: my hobby knife slipped on the first carving and drove deep into my finger. Till now this cut remains, and it hurts when I touch it.

I also have to clean the laptop regularly as dust gets trapped very easily in that exhaust vent. Before I cut the grills, I painstakingly pulled out big clumps of blackened dust that was caught behind the grills, very very poor design HP, and that time you were one of the biggest PC makers, I sure hope you didn't hurt AMD's sales by designing fan exhausts like this, AMD laptop reviews would always mention the heat. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if I have to replace the thermal!