Finally upgraded to Windows 8.1 (from 8.0)

Since Microsoft released Windows 8.1 I’ve tried to upgrade my 8.0 to 8.1. Without success though. Every upgrade ended just a little bit before 100% with a BSOD and after some automatic retries to remedy the situation it simply rolled back to 8.0. By looking at the log file produced it was obvious there is a problem with a driver. But which one?

After some retries I gave up. Until now. The reason for my retry was that I found a dead computer (motherboard) after my vacation. I’ve replaced dead motherboard with a newer model (simply because the old one isn’t available anymore) and retried upgrading to 8.1 (thinking it might have been motherboard related). And I succeeded. The upgrade went through without problems. Hura. But.

After a while a realized that I didn’t plug in all my USB devices yet. So I started plugging them in only to create a BSOD after BSOD. By trial and error I’ve found that USB devices that act like disks are causing this problem (I have two of those). Then I went examining the crash dump. And there it was the real culprit in all its glory: iaStorF.sys aka Intel’s disk driver:

Debugging Details:
------------------


POOL_ADDRESS:  ffffe0000040f160 Nonpaged pool

FREED_POOL_TAG:  RstF

BUGCHECK_STR:  0xc2_7_RstF

CUSTOMER_CRASH_COUNT:  1

DEFAULT_BUCKET_ID:  WIN8_DRIVER_FAULT

PROCESS_NAME:  System

CURRENT_IRQL:  0

ANALYSIS_VERSION: 6.3.9600.16384 (debuggers(dbg).130821-1623) amd64fre

LAST_CONTROL_TRANSFER:  from fffff800ed2af338 to fffff800ed16a0a0

STACK_TEXT:  
ffffd000`20737018 fffff800`ed2af338 : 00000000`000000c2 00000000`00000007 00000000`00001205 00000000`04070015 : nt!KeBugCheckEx
ffffd000`20737020 fffff800`0105131e : 00000000`00000000 ffffe000`0c4ddb01 ffffe000`0b2f8010 ffffe000`01a05630 : nt!ExDeferredFreePool+0xbb8
ffffd000`207370f0 00000000`00000000 : ffffe000`0c4ddb01 ffffe000`0b2f8010 ffffe000`01a05630 ffffe000`0041a870 : iaStorF+0x131e


STACK_COMMAND:  kb

FOLLOWUP_IP: 
iaStorF+131e
fffff800`0105131e ??              ???

SYMBOL_STACK_INDEX:  2

SYMBOL_NAME:  iaStorF+131e

FOLLOWUP_NAME:  MachineOwner

MODULE_NAME: iaStorF

IMAGE_NAME:  iaStorF.sys

DEBUG_FLR_IMAGE_TIMESTAMP:  4f7e1f6d

FAILURE_BUCKET_ID:  0xc2_7_RstF_iaStorF+131e

BUCKET_ID:  0xc2_7_RstF_iaStorF+131e

ANALYSIS_SOURCE:  KM

FAILURE_ID_HASH_STRING:  km:0xc2_7_rstf_iastorf+131e

FAILURE_ID_HASH:  {f7fa26b6-6e68-69b5-7668-84d625b41a69}

How does one fix that? Googling of course. Here is the solution from Hans-HermannKaas. It looks like Windows 8.1 changed something regarding drivers (see Herman’s explanation) and nor Intel nor Microsoft handle it when upgrading. Tough one to understand.

Basically you would want to copy iaStorF.sys from IRST driver’s package x64 folder into c:\windows\system32\drivers folder. For me – I had an outdated version there.

But because you can’t do that before upgrading you’ll have to detach all USB devices that act like disks, upgrade, fix this and only then reattach them.

There you go.

Getting proper OpenGL driver for older AMD(ex. ATI) graphics cards on Windows 8

I have a not so new laptop that features ATI Radeon HD 3650 Mobility graphics cards. Which is quite fine for the usual tasks. According to AMD website it features OpenGL 3.2 which is, again, good enough. Nothing spectacular but fine.

Lately I’ve upgraded it to a SSD disk and at the same time I did a fresh Windows 8 install (previously it was Windows 7). Everything worked out very well. The laptop is usable again and quite fast now. Yesterday I tried to experiment with MonoGame, an open source implementation of, now legacy, XNA Framework – the framework that was supposed to run everywhere but Microsoft ditched it for some reason. Anyway, I’ve tried to run a sample MonoGame application and immediately faced a problem. First it was throwing an exception that OpenAL.dll is missing. Odd. I’ve found a standalone installation for OpenAL but the I run into another, more descriptive problem, something like: can’t find entry point for ‘glBindFramebuffer’ in OpenGL32.dll. That basically says that I had a pre-OpenGL 2.0 installed (MonoGame uses OpenTK which in turn requires minimum 2.0 version of OpenGL). How is that possible?

From what I understand the situation is that AMD isn’t supporting the Radeon Mobility HD 3xxx with Windows 8 and hence it doesn’t provide OpenGL drivers. So everything falls back to Microsoft provided OpenGL 1.1. That is nicely shown using GPU Caps Viewer application. This is ever more surprising because we had proper OpenGL drivers for it under Windows 7. If it was a desktop machine I’d consider changing the graphics card but that’s just not possible on the laptop. And I wasn’t quite happy to buy a newer laptop just for that, even more so because my laptop is doing just fine.

The solution

The solution is to install the latest drivers for Windows 7 manually. It is actually quick, easy and it works. You’ll find the procedure in Make Your Old Graphics Drivers Work in Windows 8article on Lockergnome. The only differences from article are that just right clicking on INF file doesn’t work nor the INF file is named exactly like the one in the article – it has higher number, probably because it is a newer one. Instead of the right click->install, which didn’t work, I had to go to Computer->right click->Manage->Device Manager->Display adapters->ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650->right click->Properties->Driver->Update Driver->Browser my computer for driver software->Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer->Select proper INF file.

And voila – now I have OpenGL 3.3 support and MonoGame runs like a charm. Happy OpenGLing!

SSD’s firmware version might be really important

I had a good old Asus EEE 1005HA netbook running Windows 7 just fine, albeit slow. The best way of speed it up was to upgrade it to a SSD. The I/O difference should speed it up considerably as the original disk was a 5400rpm one. The SSD prices are low enough, too.

So I went and bought a small, reasonably priced OCZ Vertex Plush 60GB SSD. The disk replacement process isn’t a very simple one because the disk is buried in the guts of the netbook. See one and two (there are more videos, just google them) and be careful with the connectors as they are really fragile.

I’ve replaced the disk, put everything back together and then booted Windows 8 x86 from an USB stick (the easiest way to burn an ISO to an USB stick is to use Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool). Everything went smooth until Windows finalized the setup. Bam. I’ve got an “Windows couldn’t configure hardware on this device” error (very helpful description, isn’t it). After restart the computer didn’t boot but rather complained about missing boot disk. Huh? That’s odd and when Windows install fails it has to do with hardware issues usually – this time it hinted some sort of problems related to the SSD. Perhaps the problem lies in the Intel Atom CPU or something other on my netbook. Hence I’ve tried installing Windows 7 x86 as I knew it works. Bam. The same error. Changing BIOS settings didn’t help either. Same error over and over again. I’ve also got odd errors during partition management. BTW I’d really like to know which genius at Microsoft thought of requiring the Windows license key before OS is installed (yes, yes, you have to retype it each try you make, very annoying in such cases). Just for fun I tried installing Ubuntu and, surprisingly, I had no problems and everything was really smooth. At this point I was tempted to leave it with Ubuntu but I had other requirements and had to have Windows.

Then I started googling around if somebody experienced similar problem and after a while I’ve come to a forum thread where they mentioned very faulty OCZ Vertex Plus firmware. According to that thread older (than the latest 3.55) firmware versions have fatal issues with Windows. Only the latest and newest 3.55 should work. Coming from HDD world I never thought that a disk firmware could create such havoc but it fitted the description of my problems. Note that there is no easy way to check the disk’s firmware version without the OS installed (and even then). Anyway, there is an ISO you have to burn to a CD and boot computer from there (beforehand make sure the SSD is in IDE, not AHCI mode). The ISO is linux based and you’d need an utility to burn it to USB stick (netbooks don’t have CD drives usually). Free UNetbootin does the work just fine.

Once I’ve booted from firmware upgrade USB stick I discovered that my SSD was running firmware version 3.50. Bingo. Update went smoothly and after yet another Windows 8 reinstall everything worked as it should.

Intel Smart Response Technology and not so smart UI technology

Due to some recent BSODs on my system where I couldn’t find out the source of the problems I’ve opted for a simple solution of replacing CPU, motherboard and RAM. I am not a huge believer in SSDs due to their problems (pricey, not exactly super reliable) but still, I decided to go with a SSD used for caching purposes – small and relatively inexpensive SSD required.

Currently I am running a pair of WD Velociraptor disks in a RAID array and a pair of Seagate’s 1.5TB disks in the second RAID array both controlled by Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST). On each of the RAID arrays I have two volumes – one in RAID 0 and the other in RAID 1 configuration (I use the zeros for speed and non critical data – mixing RAID modes on the same array is courtesy of IRST driver). SSD caching would improve the read time while I would keep the RAID benefits. The only downside to this approach is SSD wear time, but time will tell.

There are basically two SSD caching options I am aware of – either a SSD with bundled Dataplex caching software or motherboard that supports Intel Smart Response Technology (ISRT). Mind though they are both purely software solutions. Well, Intel is Intel and ISRT supports RAID arrays (probably just the ones based on their Rapid Storage Technology which I am using). One of the few motherboards supporting ISRT is Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 (there is even Z68XP-UD3-iSSD version with Intel 311 20GB SSD (<- Intel’s recommended SSD for caching) on the mainboard). However the later is hard to find in my country so I went with the former. ISRT is limited to max 64GB SSD size and thus I bought an OCZ Vertex 3 60GB SSD.

With all pieces at my disposal I built new hardware configuration, properly attached SSD to a shiny SATA III port, installed the EZ Smart Response drivers that come with motherboard (ISRT drivers are not downloadable from Intel’s Download Center for some reason) and restarted the computer. Once rebooted I went into Rapid Storage Technology control center (where ISRT UI feature is supposed to live) and nothing. No such option, nada.

image

There was no sign of Acceleration options. Nothing. Huh? EZ Smart Response drivers installed a shortcut in Start/Programs menu. Tried clicking that and received a very useless dialog box stating:

---------------------------
Warning
---------------------------
This hard drive can't be supported.
---------------------------
OK  
---------------------------

Whoa, what hard drive and why?

Updating motherboard BIOS to the latest F10 version didn’t produce results. At this point I turned to my best friend Google search but found no solutions nor explanations, just a bunch of people with similar problem. Since my friend failed (which is a rare occasion) I even read the instructions that came with motherboard – ISRT has its own booklet. Nothing. I suspected a problem with caching RAID arrays. Thus I quickly thrown in a blank disk as a standalone one thinking that it should le me cache at least this standalone one, restarted and … still nothing.

While poking in BIOS RAID settings I received warning “max number of  arrays created” or something like that. Hm, can it be that caching requires a volume on its own? Next step, since the second RAID array isn’t critical to the boot process I simply detached both Seagate’s and restarted. Booting the system with a single RAID array and a standalone disk finally produced some results. This time the acceleration option magically appeared for the standalone disk but not for the RAID array. But hey, that’s some progress and I was happy to see acceleration option. It is supposed to cache RAID arrays as well, why doesn’t it?

There was one option remaining. I had a suspicion that what was causing the missing caching option was the fact that I had two volumes (RAID 0, RAID 1) on the same array. Next step was elimination of the RAID 0 volume and leaving a single RAID 1 volume on the array (I resized the partitions extremely easily using Acronis Disk Director Suite). Rebooting, crossing fingers, and … a disappointment. Still couldn’t enable caching of the RAID array. However something else was going on at this point. Once during my many reboots I had to force the reboot using the hardware button. As a consequence IRST went into RAID array verification mode – a normal procedure, which takes some time. I just left it do its job and once RAID array was verified – success! The caching option just appeared for the RAID volume out of blue sky. Few more clicks and my boot RAID volume was SSD cached.

Once cache is enabled the system becomes much faster of course, well, the loading from disk is faster. It might be significant or not, depends on your typical work scenario. I don’t often start new programs thus the benefits aren’t stellar in my case but speeding things up doesn’t hurt, eh.

The bottom line

  1. Intel Smart Response Technology user interface is bad beyond explanation (the same goes to IRST). Instead of telling me why it can’t enable caching on a volume the options are just missing. And if it starts doing this right after installation one is left to wonder what’s wrong, where is the problem and whether the thing even works. Much much better approach would be to have acceleration option always present with a clear explanation in the case of the problem.
  2. Intel Smart Response Technology documentation is poor as well.
  3. If it doesn’t work is either because you reached the maximum RAID volume number (4 in my case), because IRST is doing RAID array verification or because there is more than one volume on the array.
  4. Once it works it speeds things considerably up. I am using read-only cache mode at this point (there is maximized mode that features caching writes as well)
  5. It produces near-pure-SSD experience for considerably less price.
  6. The caching algorithm is a black box and cache utilization and other metrics aren’t exposed thus I have no idea what it does and how it does.
  7. SSD might wear off sooner, no idea on this, time will tell.

Hope this will help others venturing into Intel Smart Response Technology. You know, the brave fools Smile

Mounting Samsung Galaxy S on the bicycle

The challenge of mounting your smartphone on the bicycle is much bigger than one would assume. There is one rule though – avoid cheap mounting solutions otherwise the Gorilla glass will have to show its strength. There are few solutions, one of those is using RAM Mount holders which are supposed to be of a great quality and strength. They have a zillion of various combinations of these.

The proper one for my phone and the bicycle is called RAM Mount Adjustable Rugged Universal Finger Grip Holder Cradle for Cell Phone and Smartphone Mobile Devices (product number RAM-HOL-UN4U). What a name, huh? Note that’s just the cradle and it is universal. To mount it on the bicycle you’ll need the proper bicycle mount which goes by name of RAM EZ-ON/OFF™ Bicycle Mount with Dual Strap Base and Swivel Diamond Base Adapter (product name RAP-274-1U). Or even better, buy those two together as RAM EZ-ON/OFF™ Handlebar Mount (product name RAP-274-1-UN4U) to save a few bucks. I bought it from Ram-mount Slovenia.

After assembling and mounting it on the bicycle I have these observations.

The good

  • both cradle and mount are strong, good quality
  • assembling and mounting is straightforward
  • it rotates 360 degrees (albeit nor freely, it has predefined positions)
  • it would fit a variety of smartphones and other devices
  • interchangeable pieces
  • grips doesn’t interfere with phone buttons (not tested yet on the move)

The bad

  • looks big and not too aesthetic
  • due to the mounting mechanism it might not align (alignment might be off by a bit, but that’s can be adjusted I think)
  • it is not water proof (no protection) – but it wasn’t meant to be
  • expensive
  • a bit too high for Galaxy S. However this shouldn’t be an issue as lateral “fingers” won’t let it move anyway.

That said I didn’t yet take a ride with it due to the bad weather conditions (rain, rain and rain) but it certainly looks to me a very solid solution. The phone won’t fall off the bike, that’s for sure.

Here are few photos of the mounted phone next to the excellent Exposure Strada Mk.3 front light on my Cannondale M700. Now just waiting for the rainy period to finish as I am looking forward to test it.

 

RAM Mount for smart phoneRAM Mount for smart phone

RAM Mount for smart phoneRAM Mount for smart phone

RAM Mount for smart phoneRAM Mount for smart phone

RAM Mount for smart phone

Slides from my .NET Micro Framework and Netduino (using also XBee Pro and C328R camera) talk at Študent je car

Today I’ve presented .NET Micro Framework to the students of Nova Gorica. I demonstrated running the C# code on Netduino by taking photos (on demand from client) using C328R camera, sending the JPG bytes over the wireless PAN provided by the two XBee Pros and showing the image within the WPF application running on the desktop. It was my first semi-hardware talk and it went fairly well I assume.

Attached are Power Point slides (in Slovene) and the demo code.

Note about demo: The client code requires PostSharp (if you compile it) for creating and implementing INotifyPropertyChanged. If you don’t have PostSharp then remove the references to it and NotifyPropertyChangedAttribute class. Then implement it manually for MainViewModel class.

mf.rar (13.00 mb)

ASUS Support? Who cares.

Not long ago I’ve purchased an ASUS Transformer (Eee pad) Honeycomb tablet. Good specs, great price. I’d buy it even sooner if it weren’t for ASUS’ blunder with not providing enough units to the market (for some reason they released this great tablet in ultra-low quantities and it took almost a quarter of the year to provide enough units to satisfy market demands – first ASUS fail – what were they thinking?).

Transformer is really a great tablet, nothing to complain about and ASUS is really taking care of updating the OS in timely fashion. In fact it is the best combination out there right now (for Honeycomb tablets AFAIK) – others should follow their example. Anyway, I was a happy user for a month or so until I’ve come across Kendo UI – an optimized javascript/HTML5 library for UI components. Curiosity took over and I’ve tried few demos just to realize that they are running abnormally slow on a tablet that is supposed to perform very fast. My initial though was that Kendo UI is crap but later I’ve found that I was totally wrong on this assumption. Just to be sure I’ve tried Kendo UI on my Samsung Galaxy S phone and wonders, it runs much faster on my phone (supposedly much slower device) than on my (supposed to be) faster tablet. Makes sense? Not really.

So I started investigating by comparing the two devices. The most objective way of comparison are of course benchmark tests. I started with SunSpider (javascript benchmark – Kendo UI is all about javascript). I’ve got a result that is twice as slower compared to what others are getting on the same tablet. Even my phone scores better. I’ve also run Antutu and Quadrant. The results are below (expected results are from a fellow Transformer owner and from results from various web sites).

SunSpider

Expected

Actual

Difference (the factor of slowness)

lower is better

 

2291

4550

1,99

Note that running a different browser doesn’t change the results significantly.

 

Antutu

Expected

Actual

Difference (the factor of slowness)

lower is better

RAM

806

363

2,22

CPU Integer

1152

519

2,22

CPU floating-point

1014

453

2,24

2D graphics

298

302

0,99

3D graphics

859

725

1,18

Database IO

270

165

1,64

SD card write

189

174

1,09

SD card read

126

119

1,06

Overall

4714

2820

1,67

 

Quadrant

Expected

Actual

Difference (the factor of slowness)

lower is better

 

2399

1005

2,39

What can I gather from results is that there is a problem with CPU but not with GPU (factor is about 2 or more for CPU related tests which means twice as slower as it should be).

I even performed a factory reset and still got the same results. This is the first time I saw a device underperforming and I had no idea why. I’ve contacted Asus UK (I’ve bought it from UK because there is cheaper and it was the only EU country actually selling them) and they suggested a RMA (sending it in for a repair). The ASUS’ response was pretty quick in less than a day. I was supposed to contact a local Slovene company which I did and they dispatched an express courier to pick my tablet up (which was a pleasant surprise, something I am not used to). Slovene guys also warned me that they are not a repair shop, they will just forward it to designated repair service (supposedly in Czech republic) and that it might take a couple of weeks or even three weeks until I get it back. At least I’ll get a properly functioning tablet back I thought at the moment, even though I was getting used to the tablet.

The fail of the ASUS service logistics

So the tablet is gone for a service and after three weeks there was no sign of it – even though I’ve waited eagerly outside the house for the postal courier every day (just kidding). Hence I called the local Slovene company to ask how is it going with my tablet and when I might expect it back. The answer was by far the one I didn’t expect: “hey, in a day or two we will finally send it to the service”. “Errr, what? I think I didn’t understood that sentence, can you repeat it for me?” And the repeated answer was horribly the same. “So, you are telling me that you’ve spent three weeks or so just to prepare for sending my transformer to the service?” “Yes, but that doesn’t depend on us, you know. The Czechs (service) are supposed to organize the physical transfer, they are working on it, we are just the messenger, it doesn’t depend on us. We just (magically) open a case on our application and that’s it as far as we are concerned.”. WTF? ASUS could replace the device immediately without even sending it to the repair service if you care about your customers. But no, everything has to be by the internal rules, which involves stupid internal logistic problems or who knows what.

ASUS, is this the way of treating your customers? Is it really? I mean I had plenty of confidence in ASUS that they will make it right with their excellent tablet. I understand that the tablet might malfunction for a reason or another. But not dealing with failures in timely manner is the second and by far their worst failure (first one is failure to provide enough units at the start). And one wonders why iPad is still reigning the tablet market? It is because Taiwanese companies just don’t get it (nor does Motorola). They don’t get the whole picture nor they take care to provide customer friendly service in every aspect. At this point what is “pushing” the repair is the Slovene law which says that the warranty repair has to be done within 45 days (otherwise they have to replace it with a new device). Same on ASUS of even considering this time limitation.

If I know all this I’d just plan a family vacation somewhere in Czech republic near the repair service.

16.9.2011 Breaking update: A month after I sent my tablet for repair and a week after it was actually sent to the service (and after a week I've wrote this rant) I've got a replacement back - or at least the attached document says so. It is working as expected now. I am again a happy Honeycomb user.

SAZAS, država in računalništvo prvič, v1.1 (slovene)

Par novih dejstev glede SAZAS, država in računalništvo, prvič, predvsem po zaslugi @Bekstejdz –a.

1. SAZAS ne prejme ves znesek iz nadomestil temveč “le” 32-40%. Drugo si razdelijo Zavod IPF in rezervacije (karkoli že to pomeni). Letno poročilo Zavoda IPF za 2009.

2. Zgleda, da to nadomestilo ne pobira država, kot sem prvotno mislil, ampak pooblaščenec (pooblastilo da Urad RS za intelektualno lastnino) – do konec leta 2009 je bil to Zavod IPF, potem pa mu je potekla začasna licenca. Po preteku pa Urad ni izdal več začasne ali stalnega dovoljenja za pobiranja. Oba, SAZAS in Zavod IPF sta hotela pridobiti dovoljenje, vendar:

Po mnenju sodišča (sodbi opr. št. I U 1080/2010 in I U 1111/21010) mora za izdajo stalnega dovoljenja vložnik izkazati, da združuje vse raznovrstne upravičence do nadomestila. Za izdajo stalnega dovoljenja je prav tako nujno, da se v pravilih delitve nadomestila (ki morajo biti vsebovana v statutu kolektivne organizacije) določijo natančnejša merila za delitev nadomestila med posamezne upravičence.

Skratka, ni problem, da bi si država premislila ali kaj takega, problem je le ključ delitve in dejstvo, da noben posamezno ne zastopa vseh. Očitno je denarja dovolj “samo za enega” in za nas je dobro, dokler se kregajo sami med seboj. Zanimivo pa je še, da Urada ti dve dejstvi nista motili pri izdraji prve začasne odločbe Zavodu IPF - je takrat predstavljal vse in je imel jasen ključ deliteve?

3. Posledica točke 2. je ta, da od začetka 2010 noben ne izvršuje uredbe in pobira nadomestila. Vsaj tako zgleda.

4. Bistvo originalnega zapisa seveda ostaja, to, da se začasno ne znajo zmeniti kdo nas bo odiral ne spremeni praktično nič, prav tako ne spremeni dejstvo, da ne dobi vsega zneska SAZAS (potrebno je vprašati uvoznike, da se ugotovi, kaj se z nadomestili dogaja – pozna kdo kakšnega?).

SAZAS, država in računalništvo, prvič (slovene)

Ljudje se pritožujemo nad višino vseh možnih davkov, a ne. Redko kdo pa ve, da obstaja še ena zla dajatev, ki je še bistveno bolj prikrita in se ji strokovno reče nadomestilo. In to so nadomestila za privatno in drugo lastno repoduciranje - SAZASu na (računalniško) strojno opremo in medije.

Dejmo si takoj pogledat ekstremni, praktičen primer. Za 500GB trdi disk, ki se ga kupi v prosti prodaji ali že vgrajenega bo uvoznik plačal SAZASu 50% (petdeset procentov, ali z drugimi besedami POLOVICO). Sliši se neverjetno, ampak je žal resnično: 500GB disk stane nekje okrog 40€, odštejmo DDV in dobimo 33,3€. Od teh 33,3€ bo uvoznik odštel 16,7€ (polovica od 33,3€) za nadomestilo in ta del tega prejme SAZAS. In da smo si na jasnem, tale postavka na računu, ki ga prejme kupec, nikakor ni navedena.

 

Dejstva

NI mogoče? O, pa je. In to od dne 6.10.2006 naprej, ko je vlada evropskega svetilnika oz. njen vladar podpisal odredbo “o zneskih nadomestil za privatno in drugo lastno reproduciranje”. Tam piše takole, v 2. b) točki 2. člena:

Nadomestilo za tonsko ali vizualno snemanje varovanih del, ki se plačuje pri prvi prodaji ali uvozu novih praznih nosilcev zvoka ali slike, znaša za posamezen prazni nosilec zvoka in/ali slike, ki po deklaraciji proizvajalca omogoča:

2. digitalni zapis avdio in/ali vizualnih ter pisanih del, in sicer:

b) nosilec, ki ni izključno namenjen reproduciranju avdio in/ali vizualnih del:

– podatkovni CD,
– podatkovni DVD,
računalniški trdi disk,
– spominska kartica (na primer: CF, SD, SDHC),
– nosilec z integrirano spominsko enoto in predvajalnikom, ki ni izključno
namenjen reproduciranju digitalnih avdio in/ali vizualnih del (na primer:
mobilni telefon, dlančnik), in
– drug podoben nosilec
za vsakih začetih 1 GB zmogljivosti 8 SIT, vendar ne več kot 4000 SIT.

4.000 bivših SIT je natančno 16,691704223001168419295610081789€ ali 16.7€ na kratko. Ker je znesek (na srečno) navzgor omejen pride najbolj do izraza pri nakupu zgoraj omenjenega 500GB diska. Vendar odredba ni omejena na trde diske, kje pa, vse živo se plača, vključno z spominskimi karticami, ki jih imate v fotoaparatih. Kolikor je meni jasno, se ta denar delno steka v SAZAS (glej spodaj razpredelnico o delitvi prilivov).

Novost: Zgleda, da se uredba trenutno ne izvaja, zaradi kregarij, kdo bo pobiral denar. Več v posodobitvi 1.1.

Implikacije

 

 

Vsi smo krivi

Tale odredba je vsekakor nastala pod vplivom oslovske sodbe v Višnji gori. Predpostavlja namreč, da smo vsi krivi prepisovanja SAZASovih in drugih vsebin, prav vsi, ki kupimo poljubno napravo ali medij iz Odredbe in vse nelegalne vsebine bomo zapisovali na vse kupljene medije z uporabo vseh kupljenih naprav. Brez izjeme. Ko kupiš, si kriv. In ker si kriv, potem plačaj pavšal. Ni ti pa potrebno vedeti, da si kriv in da plačaš, zato pa postavka ni nikjer navedena. Plačilo naj opravi kar zlodej (uvoznik), ki take stvari prodaja. Seveda z denarjem kupcev. Človek se seveda vpraša, če sem že avtomatično kriv in za to še plačam (čeprav nevede) a potem lahko dejansko legalno prepisujem to vsebino? Ne. Namreč, če se prepiše zaščiteno vsebino in storilca policaj dobi med delom, se plača kazen. Plača se nekaj, kar se je že plačalo ob nakupu zločinskega medija in naprav. Pa še kartoteko se dobi. Le, da se tokrat zavedno plača za storjeni zločin (in ne nevedno za možni zločin). Torej sodeč po odredbi smo vsi krivi vnaprej in zato plačamo, če smo pa res krivi, potem pa še enkrat plačamo.

Toda krog plačil se tukaj ne konča. Evropsko združenje SAZASov (med njimi tudi naš preljubi) sedaj zahteva, da bi se pavšal plačeval še pri ponudnikih interneta (SIOL, T-2, etc.), spet pavšalno, ker se pač preko njih pretaka nelegalna vsebina. Hočeš nočeš, bi vsi ponudniki morali plačevat pavšal, ker se preko njih lahko pretaka nelegalna vsebina.

 

Slabo za razvoj

Se še spomnite megalomanskih stavkov o svetilniku Evrope (iste vlade in vladarja podpisanega pod uredbo), kako bomo postali oh in sploh napredni. Seveda, ni boljšega načina kot obesiti pijavke na računalniške naprave in medije (ne pozabiti, 50% za 500GB disk), denar preusmeriti izven tehnoloških voda, in tehnološki napredek je zagotovljen.

Denarni tok

Kam točno gre denar, ki se ga na zgornji način pobira? Očitno gre tretjina SAZASu (glej spodaj razpredelnico o delitvi prilivov), ki je “neprofitna” organizacija. In ta “neprofitna” organizacija prejema od države (od kupcev strojne opreme in medijev) na tone denarja, če vse to drži. Koliko denarja? Kdo bi vedel. Komu točno gre ta denar in po kakšnem ključu? Kdo bi vedel, SAZAS takih in podobnih podatkov ne daje, vlado pa očitno tudi ne zanima.  In to koristi tehnološkemu preboju Slovenije kako?

Zaključek prvega dela

Če na kratko povzame, naša država lupi kupce strojne opreme in medijev za zločine, ki bi jih le-ti lahko storili, to očitno prikriva (kupec se ne zaveda tega) in pobran denar namenja neki neprofitni organizaciji, kjer le-ta ponikne. Film Minority report je vsaj temeljil na nekih specifičnih domnevah jasnovidcev, tukaj je pa vlada posplošeno jasnovidna.

Dopuščam možnost, da se motim, vendar amaterski pogled na to odredbo kaže tako. Popravki so zaželeni in dobrodošli.

Zgodba se nadaljuje.

Novost: Razpredelnice delitve prilivov iz Odredbe za 2009. SAZAS dobi "samo" 32%, ostalo si razdelijo drugi. Nič bolj ni jasno, komu gre koliko denarja. Sem malo prilagodil zgornji tekst temu dejstvu. Torej ne dobi samo SAZAS, ampak tudi drugi, bistvo zgodbe ostaja isto.

Posodobitev - v1.1

Migrating a Windows Home Server guest machine from VMWare Virtual Server 2.x to Hyper-V

I was running a Windows Home Server under VMWare Virtual Server as a guest machine. It had a dedicated 750GB hard disk to host a fixed size virtual disk spanning entire hard disk.

These days I am migrating this and other virtual machine to the Hyper-V 2008 R2 free server and here is how I did migrate it.

  1. Uninstall Virtual Server Tools from guest machine (this is important at this point in time because later it can’t be done easily through add/remove programs).
  2. Shut down guest.
  3. Copy all VMDK files to a spare (new) 1.5 TB Seagate disk. This step isn’t strictly necessary but it was for me because the source disk had troubles reading some sectors – if I wanted to proceed I had to have all the files on a good disk. This step took something like 4 hours over 1Gb LAN.
  4. Download and run VMDK to VHD Converter.
  5. Convert VMDK files (as input select the one without numbers if your virtual disk is partitioned across many files, i.e. SomeDisk.vmdk). I converted to the same hard disk (it barely fits) and it took something like 7 hours.
  6. Copy the resulting VHD to the Hyper-V server (I could pick the server as target location in step 5. but I felt more comfortable doing conversion locally). This step again took something like 4 hours.
  7. Create a new Virtual Machine on Hyper-V server, attach the resulting VHD file as its disk.
  8. Run the machine, activate OS (it will detect “huge” hardware change and it will require activation).
  9. Install Integration Services (Action/Insert Integration Services Setup Disk on connection window) and that’s it.

Lessons learned:

  • Hard disks are growing fast in size but network speed doesn’t. Thus such transfers will be slower and slower due to the sheer amount of data to transfer between disks.
  • Such operation might take whole day
  • If you use an external disk like I am then you should really stick with e-Sata instead of USB 2 or firmware (it is up to 4x faster)
  • Have enough free space on hard disks