Sunday, November 28, 2010

Friends don't let friends use Quadrant...

Image courtesy cicada

You've heard my express my concerns over the benchmark tool Quadrant recently.

Well, I decided to put it to the test, and in doing so, I've set some records. Read on past the break!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Insights into the MicroSD card black markets...

Trust me, if China's hardware black market fascinates you like it does me, you'll find this blog post very interesting.

I've never read anything else by this guy, but apparently he's a production manager for the Chumby, which is a rather interesting piece of hardware itself, particularly if you're the kind that likes to tinker.

Essentially, his production line ran into a rash of quality control failures and upon investigation, he found that Kingston had sold him a large batch of MicroSD cards from a very questionable source.

He goes into great detail and even drops a bunch of chips into acid to find out where they actually originated from. I learned a lot reading this article, and will undoubtedly be looking much closer at the SD cards I purchase in the future...

Flaws in Quadrant demonstrate the need for care when analyzing benchmarks

Android benchmark enthusiasts, check out this article:

I'm not sure how I've missed this article, but it's quite interesting. I knew that the problem with the Quadrant I/O performance in the Galaxy S phones (causing them to score significantly below phones like the Droid X, which do not have as powerful a CPU or GPU) could be remedied on the I9000 Galaxy S and the Captivate using a fix from XDA developers.

The above article demonstrates however that the issue may go beyond the way the file system is set up in the Galaxy S. While the fix does produce actual performance gains on the hardware, phones like my Epic 4G apparently have no need for the fix. While Quadrant scores are still affected, Samsung appears to have made changes to the file system on the Epic 4G to allow for quicker loading of data from NAND flash instead of the SD card.

TL;DR - An I/O bug in other Galaxy S phones was rectified in the Epic 4G, but the performance gain is not reflected by Quadrant benchmarks.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How To: Manage an Active Directory directly from a remote PC.

The Active Directory Users and Computers MMC is commonly used to administer users in an Active Directory via the domain controller. The MMC snap-in is designed to be used by a user that exists on the domain that is being administered; it will determine your rights to make changes to accounts based upon your current login ID.

So let's assume you want to manage an Active Directory on a different domain than the one you are on. Not only do you need to log in as a user on that domain, but you also need to force the snap-in to connect to a seperate domain controller. To do this, you will want to create a .BAT file that employs a runas command. (NOTE: This method can also be used as an additional layer of security so that you can administer the Active Directory from a non-administrative account, avoiding the risks of a trojan or virus gaining access to Active Directory information.) Hit the Read link for details!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Poll Closed: Which Galaxy S Phone should I get?

NOTE: I won't be direct linking the polls any longer. It looks like Google reuses their poll IDs, so over time it'll just end up showing the results of someone else's poll anyhow. I will be posting the numeric results however.

Below are the results of the poll:

Verizon Fascinate 3 (13%)
Sprint Epic 4G 11 (50%)
AT&T Captivate 3 (13%)
T-Mobile Vibrant 5 (22%)
Votes so far: 22

FroYo on the Epic, coming Soon™

Report is in that Sprint has released Android 2.2 (FroYo) for the Epic in beta form to select Sprint employees. The FroYo build was leaked to XDA-Developer "noobnl", who has chosen not to leak it partly because the build is incomplete and buggy, and partly to protect the indentity of the Sprint employee who distributed it. He did however distribute the build to two other trusted developers who will use the code to prepare custom FroYo mods.

The FroYo build does not appear to contain USB TV-Out and FM tuner options that many Epic owners have been clamoring for, since it appears it's merely a software / firmware issue to enable these features. We may have to wait for XDA-Developers or Cyanogen to add these features. And, speaking of Cyanogen, it appears that they have been working on Cyanogen 6.1 for the Epic, which could end up being pretty... well... epic.

So, long story short, FroYo is coming to the Epic 4G as promised... so fellow owners, hang in there.

UPDATE, 11/13: It seems XDA-Developers has been working faster than expected. Only 1 day after I posted this, the following rooted leak of Android 2.2 was posted. This build is, for the most part, stable, though some applications will force close (however, this is quickly being rectified on a day-by-day basis). Stock browser performance is somewhat poor and there are a few other minor quirks. Quadrant performance is not stellar, but it is a beta build and we've already discussed why Quadrant scores should be taken with a grain of salt on Galaxy S phones.

I may load it onto my phone later today if I have time.

The Epic Experience

I finally got around to rooting my Epic 4G the other night, and after replacing the stock recovery boot software I proceeded to install the Phoenix kernel and the Epic Experience shell.

I have to say, I'm very impressed with the performance of the kernel and the features provided by the shell. In addition to some nice little tweaks offered by the shell (such as 270 degree rotation, performance tweaks, additional options, removal of ads, and all the software on the other Galaxy S phones), the kernel has managed to run my Epic for over 16 hours from full to empty, including 10 hours of standby, 1 hour of light use, 2 hours streaming Pandora via the speaker at nearly max volume, and about 3 hours of video playback with the screen brightness at max and speaker blaring. All with a boot sequence that takes about half as long and no loss of Android speed or performance.Very cool!