Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanks Blizzard

Thanks to Blizzard for helping me deal with ATI sucking.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Needs more horn

This weekend I went to the auto show in Seattle. I didn't have my camera, so no pics of cars. It was nice to have just about every type of car at one place - with no sales people to hassle you.

One thing that I noticed on the way home from Seattle was a blue (with silver or white racing stripes) Ford Shelby GT. At least I'm pretty sure what it was, the Ford website doesn't have the right shade of blue listed, but I'd be able to ID it if I saw it. The Washington license plate "IMSWIFT" makes it pretty easy to recognize.

Well, between him and the 'buddy' he met on the interstate, driving a black car like a Lancer Evo, are a pair of retards. I don't give a crap if you want to rev your engine, good for you, fine, whatever. But actually racing on the busy interstate is a no go.

Worse than just racing, they were slowing down to 35-40 MPH, blocking traffic (which was really fun when there was a lane trying to merge), before launching in to a sprint.

I wish my horn had a 'toggle' mode so I could just hit the button and have it continue to make noise until I hit it again.

I was really surprised when I finally got up next to the Ford driver and discovered it wasn't some punk who took daddy's car out for a spin, but was actually some old white dude.

Old white dude, you're on notice! Endanger me while I'm driving home like that again, and I'll call 911 on your ass.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

And that was that

So, I made a blog post the other day when my Xbox 360 returned from its RRoD service in Texas. That, unfortunately, was really just part 1 of a 2 part tale of despair.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Return of my Xbox 360

I got my Xbox 360 back from the repair center today!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tripod parts combined

The head and legs both arrived last week. Some people don't seem to understand why I'd spend $1k on these bits, so I figured I'd take a couple pictures to show how it is different from my old $150 kit. Things like 'build quality', 'strength / stability', 'weight', 'speed of reset' are hard to take pictures of, so I had to pick a couple shots that seemed vaguely interesting.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's a lion get in the car!

By now everyone has seen the "Jesus Christ, it's a lion! Get in the fucking car!" picture. Well, this is an example of why you need to heed that little kitty's warning. (or not...)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


There are many fine sets of legs in France. Whether they were developed in France, or simply put on display in France.

Unfortunately our friend Audrey here has only two legs, which while great as a photography subject is not optimal as a photography platform. French company Gitzo (Le choix des professionels!) decided to fix that problem.

Monday, August 6, 2007

How to spend a lot of money and not actually buy anything

I love things that allow me to purchase accessories. Accessories allow you to differentiate, customize, and optimize your kit. They also allow you to buy things without getting yourself some whole new thing, becuase you know 'hey, this isn't some new thing, this goes with that thing I already bought!'

This weeks base product is my Canon 30D, and the accesory is a ball head.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Things I saw in Redmond

I saw two interesting things in Redmond today...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Seattle Lighting

I am not going to be able to give a positive review of Seattle Lighting.

On June 28, I gave these yahoos a couple hundreds bucks to order me a light, to be shipped to the Bellevue, Washington store. Several hours later I received a call on my cell phone with the sales person confirming that the warehouse had it in stock, so all was well. I was assured that even though the standard line for orders was 'several weeks' I would have no problem getting the fixture quickly, with plenty of time to install it prior to a July 24 deadline that I repeated several times.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Redmond Pictures

Over 4th of July week I took some pictures of downtown Redmond, Washington.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Holy crap!

Today is the day that cute was born.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Some pictures

I spent the day taking pictures of a cluster down in Tukwila. Getting their seriously sucked, the directions failed when half the local roads were closed for construction and their were no detours. It took 15 to 20 minutes to find the damn facility becuase of all the construction! The roads don't make a nice grid down there, rather they are all going at different angles, some turn in to highways, some curve around, basically not the kind of roads that make it easy to make your own detour if you've never been to your destination before. I saw several other cars driving back and forth over that period too, so clearly I wasn't the only person lost. Once I process the pictures I'll post a few of them, but mostly they are for promotional material at work.

For making it past the jump, you get a special treat. By popular demand (okay, only 2 people asked, but since I only have 4 people reading my blog that is a huge request!) more Lucy.
Alas, I did not take these pictures on my own.

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Toy

My trusty 18v Craftsman drill had its final battery die on Tuesday. A trip to Sears revealed that they no longer sell the battery I need in the store, it is only available via the special parts department. That's no good, my 1st battery had died a year ago so I had no backup, and I needed to screw some stuff in 'now'.
The 18v "limited anniversary edition" (I think it got the special name because it was the first 18v kit they had) drill & light kit was actually pretty nice. Adjustable angle light, two batteries, a smart charger with multiple status lights, a dual speed variable speed drill (there is a 2 speed switch on the top for either high speed or high torque, and you can also change the speed within the range set by the switch by how far you hold the trigger) with 18 levels of ratcheting action, a keyless chuck, and two slots to hold driver bits.

Well, the untimely death of my backup battery and the lack of battery at Sears meant it was time to upgrade. It is really hard to find a nice cordless drill/driver! They are either low power, really heavy, or have some other weird reason that I didn't like them.

I finally found the DeWalt DC759 18v cordless 'heavy duty' drill/driver. It was smaller (lengthwise and weightwise) than the 18v Makita I was looking at, and seems like a great little kit. It is actually shorter (lengthwise) than the Craftsman, so that will help in some weird spots I've had to drill. I don't like that it only has one slot to hold a screwdriver bit though. It holds a reversible straight/Philips bit rather than separate ones. This is a problem because the separate ones my Craftsman could hold were the type that I could lock in to the quick-change adaptor I mount in the chuck (allows quick swapping between various bits without unlocking and aligning). I'll replace the dual-sided bit with a single Philips quick change bit and if I need to do straight slots I'll just have to hold it separately. It also didn't come with a wrist strap, though it has a slot for one so I'll need to add one. It is very handy to be able to let the drill dangle from your wrist while you are manipulating something on top of a ladder.

The 18v battery system is compatible with a number of different DeWalt cordless tools, so I'm not going to be stuck with dozens of different types of batteries - so that's good. I do have a small cordless screwdriver that uses a separate battery, but it is a very small unit, so there is no chance for something like that to share a battery with everything else anyway.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kung Fu Panda

The title says it all... There is a movie about a panda that learns Kung Fu.

The panda is Jack Black.
Jack Black in Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny

I don't understand why you aren't already trying to pre-order this.

Jackie Chan is the Kung Fu master.
Mr. Jackie Chan!

Why are you still reading this instead of searching the internet for it?

Angelina Jolie is the tiger.
Hot and Crazy Angelina Jolie

I don't see this on your Amazon Wish List yet.

Lucy Liu is the snake.
Mysterious Lucy Liu, who is not the same person as Lisa Ling

Why are you still here?

Here is the plot description from the IMDb:
A CG-animated comedy about a lazy, irreverent slacker panda, Po (Voiced by Jack Black), who must somehow become a Kung Fu Master in order to save the Valley of Peace from a villainous snow leopard, Tai Lung. Set in the legendary world of ancient China, this is the story of Po, our unlikely hero, who enters the rigid world of Kung Fu and turning it upside down. Po ultimately becomes a Kung Fu hero by learning that if he believes in himself, he can do anything.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Starcraft 2

As every person in the world should know by now, Blizzard recently announced Starcraft 2.

Starcraft, especially with the Brood War expansion, was an excellent game. How many computer games do you know of that are a decade old, is still being sold in stores, and still has tournaments?

I've had a wishlist for SC:2 for a long time. It looks like almost every thing on it has been delivered too!

My list of things I wanted in Starcraft 2 was always pretty short:


1) Support higher resolutions - even when SC2 came out I didn’t have any friend who only had 640x480 monitors so the ‘don’t want to give unfair advantage’ reason Blizzard gave sucked.

This is clearly provided in SC:2

2) Updated sounds - the sounds were good for the time, but limited in diversity. It was a couple years after SC released that I got a dolby digital out on my Mac, but nowadays multi-channel audio is much more common. Increase the sound resolution, increase the number of clips, and provide directional audio

New sounds are definitely in SC:2, can't tell if individual units have more variety or not

3) Updated graphics - this goes along with ‘support higher resolutions’


4) Camera control - zooming in and out would be helpful for grabbing units, and being able to tilt/pan would sometimes be helpful too. Tilt & pan would generally imply going 3D too

Well, it is a 3D game now, so the camera is definitely controllable

5) Smarter AI - being able to click out a route is great, but I shouldn’t have to route around a rock, or micromanage units within a group because 2 of them decided to take a different path

Now the AI is smarter and newer, but is it as smart as I want it? If I assign an attack group with ground troops and flying (or the new jumping/climbing units) will they take the same path or will they split in to two groups? Assuming everyone in the group is stuck on the ground, and starting from the same point, will one of them still wander off on his own?

Nice to have

6) Enhanced groupings - I found the small group size, and the limited # groups to be restrictive in my game play. I’d often not even bother making certain types of units because I wouldn’t be able to group them usefully.

The demo video showed groups larger than 8 units being controller. Not sure if you have more hotkeys to assign groups to or not though.

7) Cross-platform voice chat

There has been no mention of voice chat so far.

8) New units - Broodwars brought some cool new units, new units are fun

Yep, some new units. A couple of them are strategy breakers - ground units that can jump over cliffs dramatically changes some base building strategies.

9) New race - being able to play the hybrid race could be interesting

Nope. Can't find the quote, but somewhere they said it would just be the original three.

10) Battle formations - In Myth you could tell a group to assume a formation (straight line, staggered, etc) rather than just having your guys rush in randomly

The demo videos do not show any formations, they just show the old 'everyone run in as close as necessary to attack and surround' pattern. One can hope they'll be added though.

11) Unit loaning - If I want to loan my Protoss teammate some Mutalisks, I should be able to do so. He’d be able to put them in his group and command them.

No mention of this yet. Though apparently there is a feature in Starcraft that allows teammates to control friendly units anyway. It is an all-or-nothing and it combines your resource allotment though, so it isn't quite what I had in mind. 

12) Combined bases - Terrain and Protoss can do it, but since you can’t build on a creep foundation a teammate can not supplement your defenses easily. I’m not sure what the solution is, whether it is simply allowing a pylon to be built on creep would break certain strategies, maybe a way for a drone to eat a spot of creep?

Nothing has been mentioned or shown about this yet.

There were some other things that I’ve thought of over the years, but the point is it was already a great game that only needed some ‘minor’ tweaks to bring it modern.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The rise and fall, and return of Spazzo

Once upon a time there was a little Mediterranean restaurant in the heart of Bellevue, WA at the top of one of the tall buildings. There weren't really a lot of skyscrapers in Bellevue back-in-the-day, like being on the 15th floor was plenty to get a decent view all the way to Seattle. It was a great little restaurant, with a good chef, a good view, and decent ambience. One of its specialties was having a wide variety of 'tapas', which is really just a fancy word for appetizer but they were small amounts (compared to current fat-America restaurants where appetizers end up containing more food than necessary for an entree!) great for getting a whole bunch and sharing - or as I'd like to do, purchasing 2 or 3 and eating them as a main course.

This restaurant was one of several owned by the Schwartz Brothers. Other SB properties include Daniel's Broiler and Chandler's Crabhouse. Neither of these are 5-star dining experiences, but they are upscale and quiet good. I'd go so far as to say that the filet at Daniel's is one of the best steaks I've had. (I hear the El Gaucho and Metropolitan crowd reving up their keyboards... Let me throw some fuel on the fire, El Gaucho was really good, but the Metropolitan's New York Strip would have been disappointing for $10 and was simply tragic for its real price) And Spazzos, I used to love going there, there sangria was fruity and great.

Then... then something happened. The Schwartz Brothers changed it from Spazzo (subtitle:Mediterranean Grill) to Spazzo (subtitle: Italian Grill). This change was very quiet, no one really knew until they went there. And when they went there, they were kicked in the mouth and that is when the discovered the truth. A little bit of sleuthing on review sites will reveal exactly when the change happened. Just look for the spot in the reviews where they go from 4-5 star "Loved it", "Great", "Good for family or wooing customers" to getting 1-3 star "Crap, WTF?", "Not worth the time" and my favorite (paraphrased, but I really did read it a few years ago) "I'd been raving about this restaurant to some East Coast business reps, so I took them here for dinner after one of their trips. I have never been so embarrassed in my life."

I can attest to those reviews. I went there one night and it was a train wreck. Even if I just reviewed that service on the "do-over" after the first failed attempt at cooking the food, it still would have only garnered a 2-star rating.

Not long after the restaurant went away. The Scwartz Brothers put up a press release claiming that the bank building decided they didn't want a restaurant in it anymore. That's their story, they are sticking by it, and I'm not going to call B.S. on it. I will say that it seems awfully suspicious that once everyone started saying it was nothing more than an expensive Cucina Cucina / Olive Garden riding on the name of a once-nice restaurant that it went out of business. It was also interesting to note that the formerly prominent Scwartz Brothers logo wasn't prominent on the "v2" restaurant. I, and some other people I talked with, thought that the Brothers had actually sold the restaurant.

So, when I saw a sign in late 2006 that Spazzos was going to re-open, with a giant Scwartz Brothers logo, and really really close to my house I was very excited. Not only because I'm tired of the restaurants near me, but also that it had the SB logo on it making me think it was going to be restored to its former glory (minus the Seattle view).

I tried to go on opening night, but was not interested in the wait since I had not planned ahead with a call. We did end up there during opening week.

The restaurant took the place of a Cucina Cucina, and upon entering you would be hard-pressed to figure out why it took months to remodel the place. The seating in the bar area was different, and there was a fresh coat of paint on the walls, but other than that it was virtually identical. Going in to the bathroom I don't think they even repainted (I rarely went to Cucina Cucina, it had probably been over a year so maybe my memory betrayed me).

Looking over the menu it was clear that something was not right. It looked like the menu from Cucina Cucina, not the menu from the 'real' Spazzo. The restaurant was also still called Spazzo Italian Grill (the name of the inferior version recall).

When the food was delivered, I immediately knew that I would never be back. It was not the 'good' Spazzo as I had hoped, it was the Olive Garden clone that I feared it would be. The spaghetti & meatballs was better than what you would get at a cafeteria. The second steak they brought me (I'm giving them a pass on serving me a medium rare steak the first time, chalking it up to opening week jitters) was slightly better than what you would expect out of a modern Outback Steakhouse. (which is not so much)

Iced Tea for $3, my medium-well filet for $32, and Rebecca's spaghetti for $16 put the total around $55. You can get a much better meal at many restaurants for that price - hell you can get an average (and therefore better) meal at one of the chain restaurants in Redmond for less than that.

In short? Pass on this restaurant, unless you are a fan of over-priced sub-par chain-style Italian food.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Super Mario World: Hell

The word 'schadenfreude' is a German one that basically means that it is awesome to watch someone fail.

Watch this video to get your daily dose:

Thursday, April 5, 2007

More power!

In preparation for my Adobe CS3 bundle arriving, I juiced up my Mac. I'm not sitting happy at 5 gigs of fully buffered DDR2 667MHz ECC PC5300 RAM. That is just shy of 1/3rd the amount of memory I can slap in this box (by putting 8x 2 gig modules in).

This memory exceeds the JEDEC specs. Memory that only meets the minimum requirements for heat disapation will run too hot for the low (and quiet) fan speed that the Mac Pro can use. So, this ram (and the modules I've bought previously) all conform to the additional specs put forth by Apple.

Mac Pro Air Flow for FB-DIMMs
The Mac Pro controls the air flow for FB-DIMMs and regulates the maximum permitted memory bandwidth to maintain a safe operating temperature for the FB-DIMMs.

To minimize acoustic noise and maximize memory bandwidth, FB-DIMMs are recommended to be equipped with sufficient thermal dissipation capabilities, to maintain a safe operating temperature on the FB-DIMM components, while with an air flow of 0.5 meters per second and at an ambient temperature of 25° C, during maximum memory bandwidth utilization.

The Mac Pro will ensure FB-DIMMs maintain a safe operating temperature by raising fan speeds to increase air flow, up to a maximum of 2 meters per second. If needed, the Mac Pro will also lower the maximum permitted memory bandwidth.

Note: To maintain a safe operating temperature at an ambient temperature of 35°C on FB-DIMMs using a JEDEC standard heat spreader requires an air-flow of approximately 3 to 6 meters per second. Therefore, designing adequate thermal dissipation capabilities on FB-DIMMs for the Mac Pro is strongly recommended to avoid raised fan speeds and lowered bandwidth during user operation.

I recently read that Apple is pushing for their additional thermal spec to be an optional addendum to the 'official' JEDEC specs.

Oh, and before you ask... 'Yes'. Yes, it does indeed suck that this 2 gigs was half the price of the 2 gigs I bought in Sept. 06

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Go Gators!

Well, there you have it folks. The University of Florida now has the only sports program in history to hold both the NCAA football and basketball championships at the same time.

Yesterday was the Ohio State Buckeyes / UF Gators basketball championship. No, that is not a typo. Yes, it is the exact same pair of teams that competed for the football title.

This game hit 84-75, which is a closer defeat than the amazing football upset where UF went 41-14.

I don't really give a crap about basketball, but I do care about being able to make fun of a couple of my coworkers. Hell, UF could have beat Ohio State at lacrosse or bocce ball and I'd still pick on them.

Here's a short article on the NCAA website.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Eject key

Extremely basic blog entry...

Have a Mac that suddenly started giving you serious trouble with the on-keyboard eject key? You are not alone.

Apparently the most recent system update changed how the eject key works. Rather than immediately ejecting/injecting the tray when you hit it nothing happens! You actually have to hold the eject key down now, 2 seconds in fact. This is a new protective feature put in because laptop users were ejecting their DVDs on accident all the time due to the layout of the keyboard.

The following article is the 'official' reference to this. It is nice to know that my Mac Pro isn't busted.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Friday fun redux

Watch in amazement as I finish the week on a positive note, laughing in the face of all those (people and things) that have pissed me off this week.

  1. If you see 'owlet' and think it is some kind of exotic omelette, then shame on you! In reality it is a tiny owl. An owl so tiny that they don't even call it an owl. An owl so tiny, it has its own genus! (kings play chess on fat girls stomachs... a genus is one step up from a species). An article with words about owlets lives here. While an article with hot owl-on-hand action is here.
  2. Owlets are cute, but they are no Red Panda. Red pandas are related to the big black and white pandas you normally think of, even though they look like little cat sized racoon-fox-bears. (Note: do not confuse a racoon-fox-bear with a manbearpig! One is extremely cute and cuddly, the other is Al Gore.)
  3. What could possibly be cuter than a Red Panda and an Owlet? A mini red panda! Sorry for sending you to an msn video page, but it is all I have. It is worth it though. Note that these are very endangered animals, they have a death rate of nearly 90%. If you think zoos are bad and horrible and evil, well fuck you, I'd rather have some red pandas living in spaces smaller than their natural habitat, then to not have any red pandas in the world.
And for things not cute, but still fun nevertheless
  1. Want to try out a Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 without spending $2500+? Well, check out, where you could let that bad boy live with you for 2 weeks for the low price of $130. Other lens have different prices, like the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro that I want to try which would only put me out $50 for two weeks.
  2. Kaleidescape won its fight with the DVD Copy Control Association. Kaleidescape makes a set of 'computers'/'consumer electronic devices' that let you rip your entire DVD library, and then access any DVD from your TV using a fancy menu system. In a nutshell the DVD CCA is a bunch of freaking lunatics (along with the RIAA, the MPAA, and the rest of the bunch) who think that now is a good time to try to overturn fair use / personal copy / VCR rulings that were made back in the 70s.
  3. Kwik-E-Marts.

Adobe CS3 Lust

I'm lusting after Photoshop CS3 Extended. I have been using the PS CS3 (standard) beta for a long time and it is a great improvement over even the CS2 version.

PS CS3 Extended wasn't available for me to beta, but I have seen that it has rotoscoping capabilities - and if you don't know what that means, 'rotoscoping' roughly translates to 'awesomeness'.

Official pricing hasn't been up very long, I finally got around to checking it out today (I think it may only have been up this week) and decided I didn't like how I had to flip between pages on the Adobe site to see what all the bundles are, so I made my own. Maybe this is handy for someone else so I'll post it. Oh, and yea I'm pissed that Lightroom isn't part of a bundles - that removes one of the reasons I was going to go with it instead of Aperture. (really I don't care about you, but posting it here means I'll find it in a month when I want it again)

Production PremiumDesign Prem.Design StdWeb Prem.Web StdMaster
After EffectsYY
Device CentralYYYYYY
Stock PhotosYYYYY

I really hope that when I bought CS2 I got a Suite, and not just Photoshop and Illustrator as individual pieces... I know I have an older (pre-cs2) Suite but it doesn't give as good of an upgrade pricing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New toy...

Quick post. I do have things to bitch about, but I hurt my hand and it is hard to type today.

I am now the proud owner of excessive toolage. A DeWalt D55168 15-gallon 200 PSI electric air compressor lives in my garage. Putting out 5.4 SCFM ('standard' cubic feet per minute, which apparently is different than just a 'non-standard' CFM) at 100 PSI it is twice as powerful as some of the other compressors in this physical size range (<4ft tall, and <2ft wide)

The 78 dB rating puts it in the OSHA 'full day' safety category (well it puts it outside of what OSHA restricts technically), about twice as loud as normal conversation but not as loud as a telephone ringer. Those 78dB also makes it almost half as quiet as the other units that were available. (most of which were at 85dB, and a 10dB change is a perceptual doubling)

The downside is that it was more expensive than the other options. The other options also came with hoses, and in some cases tools. But, it a generator can come with a hose and a set of 6 tools for less than the price of this generator (and not much more than a seperately purchased nail gun) it is probably junk that is just going to break down that I don't want to be involved with.

(oh, and yea I know the gamercard display is currently 'broken'. Xbox Live service is down for maintenance 3/27/07 per Major Nelson)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

What looks like a salad, but is not?

Question: What looks like a salad, costs the same price as a salad, is in the salad section, but is not a salad?
Answer: Whatever the hell this is that I bought for lunch.

Through the package you couldn't tell that this wasn't really a salad. The plastic lids on the pre-made salads available in our cafeteria are often fogged from condensation/etc. It was placed with all the rest of the salads, it was in the same container as a salad, and it cost $5.99 like the other salads. Looks decent enough from afar. Didn't seem like a risk.

So, I bought what I thought was a salad that had tomato cubes, shreded cheese, crumbled bacon, crumbled egg, cubes of turkey, and chunks of blue cheese (which I was planning on pushing off, I only really like blue cheese dressing with spicy stuff, not a fan of it 'raw').

The pictures below show the truth. They are taken with my camera phone so they aren't very good, but you'll get the point.

First, the Reality of The Cheese. What should have been yummy shredded cheese was actually some sort of tasteless slimy mess. I have no idea what it is. Three people polled were also at a loss. Yes, it was as 'moist' as the picture makes it look. (note: the blue tint was due to my cameraphone not dealing with white LED light).

On one side of the "cheese" the cubed tomatoes were living. I saw 'living' and I mean it. Upon closer inspection it was not so much 'cubed tomatoes' as it was a 'semi-gelatinous tomato-based entity'.

Another thing that the fogged cover hid was that the yellow crumbled egg yolks were not evenly yellow. There were some sections that were bright yellow, but there were also some real tasty looking brown areas. This picture doesn't really work very well - oh and the liquid isn't some weird decompsed egg, it was the oil/vinegar salad dressing.

I didn't take a picture of the 'bacon'. I was tired of having this 'food' in my office. The picture would not have revealed that the crumbled bacon was actually made out of fetid weasel meat.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Installing a Microsoft Razer Habu mouse

How to install your Razer Habu / Microsoft gaming mouse.

If you're reading this, you've probably already found yourself in a quagmire. Let me just say I know exactly how you feel. I actually went back to the store and exchanged a Habu that I thought was defective!
Razer says they don't support the mouse (even though the software is very clearly Razer-derived) and Microsoft's support site is less than stellar. I have installed 2 of these mice, so hopefully you find these instructions useful on your own system.

I'm going to cover 3 topics here:

  1. Installing the mouse for the first time under XP or XP x64
  2. Installing the mouse if you've already tried and failed
  3. Using the mouse under Mac OS X.

Installing the mouse for the first time

The most important thing for you to do, is to not read the 'quick start guide', the 'Important' addendum sheet, or the 'little tag taped over the USB connector'. There are directions that don't work in there, as well as directions that conflict with other parts ofthe written docs and parts of the web page!

1) Get the mouse and set it on your desk, do not plug it in

2) Get the Habu Driver Disc out of the box and place it next to the mouse, do not use it yet.

3) Go to the Razer Support site ( and download the latest Habu software. You can unzip it, but don't start using anything in there yet.
  • Click 'Downloads', then in the middle of the page there is a link to 'Microsoft Habu Driver/Firmware v2.01'

4) Figure out which USB port you are going to want to use the mouse on. There are a couple places with dire warnings about the mouse not working if you change USB ports, I don't know if that is true but given how frail the rest of the setup is I'm taking it for truth.

5) Plug the mouse in to that port. Notice that we haven't installed anything yet, we're throwing the included directions to the wind baby!
  • You should hear the XP 'found new hardware' sound, and see some popups near your notification area (that's the little area with the clock and all the other random little icons like Volume Control in your task bar, lots of people incorrectly call it the 'tray'). Don't worry if you see something called the 'Habu Mouse' pop up and then disappear being replaced by a 'Generic HID Device', that is expected.

6) At this point you should actually be able to move the mouse cursor around the screen with the Habu. Don't claim victory yet, in this mode the mouse is no better than the free mouse that came with your system.
  • Do not disconnect your original mouse yet, you're going to need to keep using it for the remainer of the process. I'll note when it is safe to remove it.

7) Put the CD in the drive, and run the setup program (it will launch itself if you have autoplay aka 'security hole' enabled on your system). When it tells you to reboot, let it.
  • If you are on an XP x64 machine you'll get a warning about unsigned drivers, and asking if you should continue or abort. Go ahead and click 'continue'. I can not explain why Microsoft would brand a product that didn't have signed drivers.

8) Now that your computer is back you should see a Razer logo icon in your note area. If you do, congratulations you are halfway there, continue to the next step. if you don't see it, do not dispare it isn't game over yet, jump down to the 'Oh no!' section below, and follow those steps before you jump back up here to continue.

9) Double click the icon, and the horrible Razer UI should pop up, and you should -not- see any error/warning messages displayed. If you see error messages cancel out of them all, and jump to the 'Oh no!' section before continuing. (re: bad ui. I love dark interfaces, but this one is a travesty. Try setting your desktop color to black and then using the UI with some error messages popped up, it all blends in to each other. Even a 1 pixel 25% gray border would have helped)

10) To make sure things are really working part 1: look at the top of the Habu config window and you should see a line that says Driver Ver: 1.00, Firmware Ver: 1.00. If the 'firmware' number shows 'n/a' then skip to the 'Oh no!' section before continuing.

11) To make sure things are really working part 2: Underneath the picture of the mouse you should see 'Light-options' (which apparently is a compound word nowadays?) Click on one of the 'on' icons until the illumination behind it goes off, then click the 'Apply' button. You should see the associated light turn off on the real-world mouse. If it doesn't, the 'Oh no!' section is where you need to be.
  • On my x64 system this change was really slow, be patient. Shaking the mouse actually helps, it seems to wake it up and then it realizes it needs to do something.

12) Assuming both of those steps worked, close the configuration app (don't waste time tweaking settings yet, we're not done)

13) Find the v2.01 folder you got from the website, open it, and then open up the 'Firmware' folder. Close all other open apps. Do not plan on doing anything (even typing instant messages) while the next steps are happening (normally I think that is stupid, but as I said before this is a frail setup, better safe than sorry)

14) Launch the 'Update' application. You'll probably get a warning about it being a non-verified app, go ahead and click 'Run'. (Again, don't ask me why Microsoft is letting this crap fly)

15) If all goes well you'll get a success message that tells you to unplug the mouse. Unplug it, wait for the XP 'hardware removed' sound to finish, then plug it back in -to the same USB port it was just in-. and you should hear the 'hardware inserted' sound. A few seconds later you should be able to hit the 'Exit' button on the firmware upgrade dialog.

16) Go back to the v2.01 folder you got from the website, this time go in to the 'Software' folder, and run the 'setup' application. This should 'just work' if you follow the on-screen directions and reboot when it wants you to.

17) Claim victory, but do not laugh at the other Habu forum posters who are still fruitlessly begging their mouse to work.

Oh no!

1) Make sure that the software actually got installed to the hard drive. Do a start:run:'%programfiles%\razer\habu' (without the quotes) and there should be a bunch of stuff in that folder. If you only see a 'Driver' and 'Driver64' folder that is not good enough! You'll need to re-run the setup app on the original CD, and reboot.

2) If you see the tray icon, and can launch it with no error message, return where you started.

3) If the software was there, make sure the device is actually showing up. Click the start button, point to 'My Computer', right-click, and select 'Manage'. This will launch the Computer Management console. Click on 'Device Manager' and then in the right pane expand the 'Mice...' section.

3a) You should see 1 (or more) 'HID-compliant mouse' entries. Double-click the first one, then go to the 'Details' tab in the window that opens. Set the drop-down to 'Device Instance Id' if it isn't already, and then look to see if it says HID\VID_1532... If it says 1532, than you have found the Habu, if not move on to the next one.

3b) If you don't have a '1532' HID-compliant entry, then your computer isn't seeing the mouse. Try a different USB port.

4) Once you find the right one, go to its 'Driver' tab and click the 'Uninstall' button, then click 'ok' to all the popups. Once the 'uninstall' is done, reboot the computer.

5) If you see the tray icon, and can launch it with no error message, return where you started.

6) Okay, something's messed up let's start all the way over.

7) Run the setup program on the CD and it should do an 'uninstall'. At the end it will ask you to reboot -do not do it yet-.

8) Do a start:run:'%programfiles%\razer\habu' (without the quotes) and see what is there. If there are a bunch of files, then the uninstall didn't work, you'll need to do it again. if there are only a 'Driver' and 'Driver64' folder that is good. Go up a directory level and move the 'habu' folder to the trash.

9) Find the '1532' HID-compliant entry again and 'uninstall' it (steps 3-4, and the reboot at the end of step 4 will take care of the one that the setup program in step 7 wanted)

10) Now you should have a fairly fresh slate so you can start the main directions over from the beginning.

Installing when you're already failed

1) There are any number of ways you could have gotten yourself in to this situation - you could have tried using the software from the internet to install your mouse, you could have randomly mashed keys while doing the install, or you could have followed the direction provided in the Habu box, either way these steps should get you back up and running

2) Get the mouse and plug it in to the USB port you want to use

3) Get the Habu Driver Disc out of the box and place it next to the mouse, do not use it yet.

4) Go to the Razer Support site ( and download the latest Habu software. You can unzip it, but don't start using anything in there yet.
  • Click 'Downloads', then in the middle of the page there is a link to 'Microsoft Habu Driver/Firmware v2.01'

5) If you have installed the software and haven't uninstalled it yet run the setup program on the CD and it should do an 'uninstall'. At the end it will ask you to reboot -do not do it yet-.

6) Do a start:run:'%programfiles%\razer\habu' (without the quotes) and see what is there. If there are a bunch of files, then the uninstall didn't work, you'll need to do it again. if there are only a 'Driver' and 'Driver64' folder that is good. Go up a directory level and move the 'habu' folder to the trash.

7) Click the start button, point to 'My Computer', right-click, and select 'Manage'. This will launch the Computer Management console. Click on 'Device Manager' and then in the right pane expand the 'Mice...' section.

7a) You should see 1 (or more) 'HID-compliant mouse' entries. Double-click the first one, then go to the 'Details' tab in the window that opens. Set the drop-down to 'Device Instance Id' if it isn't already, and then look to see if it says HID\VID_1532... If it says 1532, than you have found the Habu, if not move on to the next one.

7b) If you don't have a '1532' HID-compliant entry, then your computer isn't seeing the mouse. Try a different USB port.

8) Once you find the right one, go to its 'Driver' tab and click the 'Uninstall' button, then click 'ok' to all the popups. Once the 'uninstall' is done, reboot the computer.

9) Now your system should be clean, so you can follow in the 'installing the mouse for the first time' section, starting at step 2

Using the mouse under Mac OS X

1) Why is this here? Mice are plug & play on the Mac right? Yes, they are. But, someone decided to pre-program the mouse buttons, making use of the on-board memory in the Habu. By default buttons 6 & 7 are set to dynamically change mouse speed. If you use software on the Mac to configure your buttons, you'll find the buttons do what you want - plus randomly changing your mouse speed!

2) The Habu software only works on Windows, so you'll need access to it. If you have access to a Windows XP machine, then follow the 'installing the mouse for the first time' directions, then come back here to step 4

3) If you use Parallels then do the following

3a) Plug the Habu in to your Mac

3b) Launch Parallels, and when your virtual window opens click the USB icon and click the 'Habu Mouse' entry, so that a check mark appears beside it.

3c) If you got that done before Windows got to the desktop then proceed to the 'installing the mouse for the first time' directions

3d) If you didn't, reboot your Windows install and then proceed to the 'installing the mouse for the first time' directions
  • You will probably not be able to do the firmware update via Parallels, at least the version-of-the-day doesn't allow it to work. I assume it is becuase of how the USB proxy/emulation stuff works conflicting with how the firmware updated wants to access the mouse. If you can't do the firmware update part, don't do the version 2 software update part either. This doens't really matter becuase you won't be using this software anyway. The updated firmware does fix some bugs that occur when you are moving hte mouse really fast, so if you have access to an XP machine and you flail the mouse around a lot you may want to do it.

4) Double-click the icon to launch the Habu configuration window

5) Click the box next to the '6' (which will default to DPI up or down) and set it to 'Click', do the same for the box next to the '7'

6) At the bottom of the configuration window there is a 'Profile' line with the '1' illuminated. Switch to profile 2, and repeat step 5. Repeat for all 5 profiles.

7) Click 'OK' to save the changes to the mouse.

8) Return to your Mac (i.e. quit Parallels if you were using it, bring the mouse back to the Mac if you had a separate computer)

9) Configure the mouse buttons as you wish without worrying about random speed changes. I'll post a seperate blog in a few days on configuring input devices with an awesome piece of software I recently found.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Snow pics...

I posted a few pictures over on Flickr of the snow.

I've got a really cool panorama too, it is an 11 meg jpeg so I don't think I can put it on my Flickr page. It is just sitting in a temporary folder at the moment, so if you're reading this a month from now and that link is broken, sorry.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Snow redux

It has done it again... Snow has gripped the city and turned the normally poor drivers in to complete disasters. Emboldened by the 'All Wheel Drive' logo on their silly little SUVs, people are flying down the ice covered roads at 60 miles an hour, not only failing to slow down for yellow lights, but also completely ignoring red lights and stop signs.

I took a few pictures when I was home yesterday but didn't have time to upload them - I slipped on the ice and fell flat on my back, the palm of my hand was swollen twice its normal size and holy crap is my back sore today. I'll get the pics compressed and uploaded tonight hopefully.