Will the Internet Die Nov 8?

Some Internet security companies are warning of a major Internet failure on Nov 8th as some state sponsored entities may try to block USA voting results information, i.e., exit polls and such. No one knows if such outages will or won’t happen. But, there is a significant probability some actors will try to take down parts of the Internet. Thus security companies are warnings to their clients.

NSLOOKUP

NSLOOKUP

Some of the security companies are recommending mission critical sites setup secondary DNS services to survive DDoS attacks on the primary DNS system. So, I’ll provide some steps you can take for free.  Continue reading

Hardware: Picking a New CPU for Second Life

The skeleton and brain of a computer is the motherboard and CPU.  A CPU is the Central Processing Unit. This is most like our brain.

The mother or main board is like out nervous system or skeleton. It is the large circuit board that every part of the computer plugs into, including the CPU. It holds everything together.

For detailed information on CPU’s see the video: (jump to TM 6:07 to skip the explanations and see the benchmarks.

There is a lot of jargon in the video, I’ll get the important stuff explained.

First the TL:DW, the video shows there is very little difference between the various CPU’s. When it comes to frames per second. The three tested CPU’s are about equal. However, if you are going to use Intel’s HD Graphics without a dedicated graphics card, he shows there is a difference and the 6th generation CPU wins. So, laptop people… go for 6th gen CPU or a dedicated video chip. Continue reading

Hardware: Data Storage – What is the Best Buy?

As I built my new computer and researched hardware I realized I was falling behind in my technical knowledge. I had to sort out a number of things to be able to intelligently decide which was best technically and for the money. This article is on the aspects of storage devices and proves a lot of information on SSD’s.

SSD M.2 Connectors

SSD M.2 Connectors

I wrote Hardware: Disk Performance Compared to provide just performance information. I was concerned with performance of Second Life™ an OpenGL based game/virtual world. Here I’ll get into the complications behind getting good performance, cover how to make comparisons for the best buy, and provide information on how it affects Second Life performance.

Numbers

To get the most for your money you are going to have to be able to see through the advertising hype. So, as you read specs and try to make comparisons you’ll run into a variety of designators for data transfer rates and storage volume. They are all worded to make a product sound good.

Let’s start with the upper case ‘B’ and the lower case ‘b’, which have specific meanings. In the simplest use 1B = 8b, or 1 byte equals 8 bits. A bit is a 0 or 1. A byte is a total of eight 0’s and 1’s. (For more on this see Online Conversion, a tutorial.)

In some places we see 6GBps used to mean 600Mbps. This can look like B = 10b. Here because they are talking about data moving from storage devices through the transfer path they add in the data overhead of 2b (bits) for error correction and 1B does equal 10b in THEIR math. They are taking some liberties in their ad copy. One often has to CAREFULLY look at the numbers and determine the context intended to understand the size of a ‘byte’ being discussed.

In some ways the B’s, G’s, and M’s are misleading in how they are used. It is easy to make a case for that being deliberate. The actual data being moved is 8b/10b = 0.8 * 6000Mb raw data = 4,800Mbps actual usable by you data. But, manufactures like the bigger number and they are literally moving 6Gbps. It just isn’t all your data that is getting reported. They assume the knowledgeable user will infer their true meaning. I suspect they know a whole bunch of people won’t.

Unless you are comparing devices and protocols on a way technical level thinking in terms of data rates as 6GBps verses 4.8GBps doesn’t matter much. Consider. Is 6GBps SATA III faster than 3GBps SATA II? Yes. Is 4.8GBps faster than 2.4GBps? Yes. The difference wouldn’t change the take away that SATA III is faster than SATA II regardless of which numbers you use. Nor when comparing prices does it really change what we decide.

The take away here is to be sure you use the same measures for your comparisons. Also understand these are the THEORETICAL values of maximum performance which is seldom achieved.

More pages, links below…

Second Life: Introduction/Beginner Tutorials

I like to have a collection of tutorials to which I can send new Second Life™ users. Every so often I update my in-world note card list. I give that to new players I meet.

Strawberry Singh has a series of introductory(?) videos and she is adding to and updating her collection. Her post Introduction to Second Life is pretty much an outline of those videos. She has done a good job of answering questions new users have. Including signup, downloading, and installing the viewer, something often missed by tutorial makers.

I find 1 or 2 posts a month in the Second Life Forum asking how to get into SL. These are people that signed up but somehow didn’t realize they needed to download the viewer. It has been a while since I signed up a new avatar. So, I don’t really understand how they miss understanding they need to download the ‘game’. I just know they do. And these are people that write well when posing their question. So, they aren’t mentally handicapped or simpletons. Continue reading

New User Blender Tutorial on a Card

Blender has a reputation for being hard to learn. After using it for 10±  years I have say hard isn’t the word, never-ending is more like it.

In Second Life™ bloggers don’t take on training Blender noobies. We send them to YouTube and point them at various online tutorials. But, Blender changes fast enough that the noobie tutorials fall out of date quickly. Updates are slow coming. So… Learn Blender with a Poster: massive restyling is a handy new reference for beginners…

Blender Poster 2016

Blender Poster 2016

If I use it, does that mean I’m a beginner? Sometimes I think so. Whatever it makes me, I like the card and plan to keep it handy. I may even print it out on 11×17 for my wall.

Jump to the article for a link to the Hi-Rez copy of the image. I started with a smaller image and WordPress shrinks it some more in the upload. So, if you plan to print it, get the good source.

The Novice Computer Upgrade Series: Memory

Regular readers will know I am in the process of building a new computer capable of handling VR, Sansar, Obduction (from the makers of Myst), and Second Life. I mostly deal with web tech and repair or upgrade of old computers. I do a lot of repair and upgrading of Core2 vintage machines.

So, when I decided to upgrade I started looking for what is best, fast, and cheap. In the process I realized I haven’t been keeping up with the tech. Helping people in the SL Forum I realize there are a lot of people also unaware of the changes in tech. A lot of bad advice is handed out in the forum. So, I am starting a series of articles on the current state of computer technology. Starting with a tutorial on computer memory.

Memory

Computer memory is called: RAM – Random Access Memory.

DDR4 Top - DDR2 Bottom

DDR4 Top – DDR2 Bottom

Memory chips like all other tech advances. Memory gets better, meaning faster and using less power. So, can you put faster memory in your existing computer? May be.  Continue reading

Second Life: Windlight Tutorial

Daeberethwen Arbenlow has a 20 minute video (3/27/2016) on controlling your Windlight settings for photography in Second Life. She uses the Firestorm Viewer and the Photo Tools feature it has. Those using the basic Linden viewer can accomplish the same changes to Windlight, just not as easily nor will the video help you learn how to use the Linden viewer, just the Firestorm viewer.

Daeberethwen does a good job of explaining all the settings and what they do. Along with the verbal description is the video example allowing you to see the changes.

Firestorm has the best set of features for photographers and machinigraphers (or is that machinamists?).  Continue reading