tisdag 14 mars 2017

Samsung BD-J5900 Freezes During Netflix Playback

After spending $100 too much on a shitty blu-ray player from Pioneer with a broken firmware that shouldn't even have been sold in Europe, I didn't feel like stumping up for another expensive unit when I needed an extra one. So instead I bought a used and very cheap Samsung BD-J5900. In summary, it's a decent player for your parents. If you're picky, it emits a pretty annoying sound when playing discs. But its main problem is that it basically freezes every time you use Netflix for a while.

There is no solution to the bahavior; Netflix blames Samsung because they have to push an update of the Netflix app, and Samsung blames Netflix because they apparently don't want customers to be happy with their Samsung products.

A part of the problem is that if you do use Netflix anyway, and the player does freeze, it will probably seem like you have to pull the power cord out and plug it in again to restart it. But here's the "quick fix":

  1. Hold the Power button on the unit for a few seconds until the screen goes completely black.
  2. Click the Open Tray button on the unit manically for a few seconds until something happens.

lördag 14 januari 2017

Datorn går i strömsparläge efter två minuters inaktivitet

Jag köpte nyligen en begagnad laptop som efter några veckor började sätta sig själv i strömsparläge så fort jag inte hade använt musen eller tangentbordet på ett par minuter.

I Windows Loggbok kunde jag läsa samma felmeddelande för varje oväntad nedsläckning:

"Datorns inbyggda programvara har ändrat processorns MTRR (Memory Type Range Registers) under en övergång till strömsparläget S4. Detta kan resultera i reducerade prestanda när datoranvändningen ska återupptas."

Det sade ju inte särskilt mycket. Kunde det bero på den nya RAM-stickan jag hade satt i? En BIOS-inställning? Den nya SSD-disken? Batteriet? Nej, faktiskt inget av det.

Öppna Kontrollpanelen > Maskinvara och ljud > Energialternativ.

Klicka på Ändra schemainställningar för det aktuella energischemat.

Tryck sedan på Ändra avancerade inställningar.

Under Strömsparläge i det nya fönstret finns det fem inställningar. Jo, faktiskt. En av dem är bara osynlig; Timeout för strömsparläge. Det är denna inställnings värde som ställer till det, så nu måste man på något vis få fram inställningen.

Öppna Anteckningar.

Skriv följande:

REG DELETE HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\238C9FA8-0AAD-41ED-83F4-97BE242C8F20\7bc4a2f9-d8fc-4469-b07b-33eb785aaca0 /v Attributes
REG ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\238C9FA8-0AAD-41ED-83F4-97BE242C8F20\7bc4a2f9-d8fc-4469-b07b-33eb785aaca0 /v Attributes /t REG_DWORD /d 00000002

Spara sedan texten på valfri plats som Powersave-fix.bat".bat" i slutet av filnamnet gör det möjligt för Windows att köra filen som en lista med kommandon som i detta fall tar bort en nyckel ur Windows-registret och lägger till den på nytt med ett annat värde.

Eftersom det gäller ändringar i Windows, kommer ingening att hända ifall man kör filen på vanligt vis genom att dubbelklicka på den. Istället måste man högerklicka på den och trycka Kör som administratör.

Kommandoprompten öppnas, och frågar "Delete the registry value Attributes (Yes/No)?"

Skriv "Yes" och tryck Enter.

Gå nu tillbaka till energischemats avancerade inställningar, och möts av den före detta välgömda inställningen. Höj värdet avsevärt, tryck Verkställ, och problemet försvinner!



Det finns teorier om att problemet grundas i misslyckade uppdateringar i Windows-registret vid uppgradering till Windows 8 eller Windows 10 från en tidigare version, vilket verkar rimligt. Att Microsoft ännu inte har inkluderat lösningen i någon uppdatering är underligt. Men som tur är, är det lätt fixat.
torsdag 15 december 2016

Stiga Re-Using Handle Designs

Anyone that has talked table tennis with me knows that Stiga is my go-to brand, but some things I can't defend. In my opinion their best era was the early-to-mid 2000s where the blade construction really suited the game of that age and you really could feel that you were holding a Stiga product. But then things changed. All of a sudden, some models felt like cheap Chinese imitations, and Stiga lost a lot of trust in the TT community which will probably take many years to regain (if ever). During this period, Stiga also showed signs of a poor upswing by re-using old handle designs.

Here's a picture of the old version of Stiga Hypertech CR, a pretty unique blade of its time with different hardness on the backhand/forehand sides. I bought this version when it was almost new, and loved it, although I couldn't feel a noticable difference between the two sides. It was made just for the sake of being made, but it was a great blade nevertheless.

Below, the modern version of the Hypertech CR. To be honest, I'm surprised that this model survived long enough for there to be any new version. The general in-hand feel isn't as great as before, the letters by the neck are all upper-case so it all looks a little more flat and boring, and while they've chosen to pre-lacquer it, they haven't lacquered the lower part to maintain a clear visual difference in hue between the UV treated section of the blade and the rest. Which makes sense if you disregard the actual point of lacquering; protecting the blade from splintering.

Apart from that, the handle doesn't look the same. The old version definitely didn't look cool, but it was stylish and soothing which somehow suited the model perfectly. Now, it looks like this:

It doesn't really look as gray anymore, because they've used remaining parts from the production of the Allround Oversize that never seemed to become a big success. One of Stiga's dullest handle designs ever.

I'd also like to go a little bit off-topic and show the following picture that Stiga sent out to resellers to promote their new product at the time. Even back then I thought it looked ugly, and I can't imagine that anyone ordering it let the design be a vital reason...

Another example is the Stiga Defensive NCT. This is one of the modern Stiga blades that I like a lot thanks to its properties, but I'm having a hard time accepting the handle. Why? It slightly resembles a blade from the past...

...an early-to-mid 1990s beginner blade, only sold as part of a pre-assembled paddle. Most people probably won't have a clue since it was assumingly only released in Sweden, but the handle is exactly the same. I think that anyone that has removed rubbers from these old bastards, will associate their designs with frustration, hurting fingers, and acetone stench.

Re-using handle designs actually isn't a new thing at Stiga. In the 90s both Graphite Wood and Metal Wood shared a handle (gray with black outline) with a pre-assembled paddle named MP-9000...

...and a rare version of the Allround Evolution with a "Jean-Philippe Gatien" lens had the honor of wearing the same handle that Stiga put on a blade they released specially for the inauguration of their then new factory in 1992 (gray with red/white/blue inner-lines).

måndag 14 november 2016

FTP Server on Tvix M-6500A

  1. Set a Static IP in the Tvix settings.
    (FTP servers need a static IP.).
    Preferrably in the range 192.168.x.1 to 192.168.x.99
    (Routers usually want to use the range 192.168.x.100 to 192.168.x.999 for DHCP.)
  2. Set an FTP Password in the Tvix settings.
  3. Connect to host with username "tvixftp".
onsdag 7 september 2016

Why do Spruce Blades Break?

If there's anything I like to see when I read about a table tennis blade's composition, it's the word spruce. On paper, it doesn't seem very impressive. It's light and not too hard, which is the opposite of what most people want today with the new 40+ ball... But it's elastic, so even if many offensive blades can seem slower than random allround blades at first, it can speed things up when necessary. But the best part, I think, is that it makes the blade feel alive and manageable.

But there's a downside to spruce blades. Sometimes the plies want to go separate ways, which results in a broken blade.

On the picture below, a Stiga Diamond VPS, claimed to be completely new (source):

A Victas Koji Matsushita, seemingly well treated without dents:

That one looked the same on both sides. I also had a Stiga Offensive Classic Carbon with the same symptom.

These blades share one thing and you already know what: Spruce. (Maybe the same problem occurs on blades without it, but I sure haven't seen it.)

Then I remembered something I read on the adhesive manufacturer Great Plane's website:

"Some surfaces, such as plywood, spruce and balsa, have a natural acidic content which may blend with the acidic stabilizers in the CAs, overstabilizing them. This could cause CA to take longer to cure or to not cure at all. It is for this reason that Pro CA is a 'surface insensitive' CA. This makes the glue adhere well to all surfaces, especially balsa wood. Sometimes activator may be required to speed the glue's curing process and increase the strenth of the bond."

CA stands for cyanoacrylate, which is the subject that many thin, fast and extremely strong hobby and industrial adhesives are based on, like the Great Planes Pro CA mentioned above, or Loctite glues such as the incredible 406 or the more environmental 416, or the universal 420 that Loctite themselves suggested to me once.

Could it be that maybe the TT manufacturers simply have used the wrong type of CA glue when they've used up all the right one?
måndag 11 juli 2016

My Defensive Table Tennis Blades

There has been some defensive(/-ish) blades that I've wanted for a long time, so I decided to get...all of them. Here I'm listing them after their size, which might or might not be important to you.

Hallmark Ultra

I'm not really sure if this blade belongs on this list, as it has one defensive and one offensive side. But it's enormous, so I think it can be interesting for any player who's interested in the defensive play style. With the right rubbers, and also the right glue, the difference between the two sides can be noticed very clearly. Just for fun, I put a Yasaka Phantom 008 on the slow side with standard VOC free glue, and a Stiga Airoc M on the fast side with the most elastic TT Revolution glue. Usually, two different sides take eachother out a lot, but at least this combination made it feel like two completely different blades in one.

The blade is both large to the surface and very thick. It's actually about twice as thick as most blades. Hallmark hasn't compensated for this by making the handle thinner. Instead they've let it feel as huge as the rest of the blade is. It could very possibly be uncomfortable for any player with small hands.

Yinhe/Galaxy LQ-2

The LQ-2 was actually a very random purchase. I honestly had very low expectations as the brand was unknown to me and I got it cheap. But when I received it, I was surprised by the respectable quality feel it had. As a Stiga nerd, I immediately felt familiar with this blade as it gives the impression of basically any old allround Stiga blade. The shape is absolutely perfect and the cork handle is very comfortable. Personally I don't mind that the cork isn't 100% solid. Some say that the cork handle kills a bit of power, and that the "real" wood handle on the big brother model LQ-1 can add to a slightly steadier feel.

Yinhe/Galaxy 980 Defensive

The cheapest blade in the list, available on Ebay for pocket money. It's definitely the one blade in my collection with the lowest quality feel, and the plies even look cheap. But if you look past that, it has the same head shape as the LQ-2, and one of the most comfortably shaped handles I know. The blade feels very light and hollow, but still allows for fast hits. A very different, but not necessarily bad, blade.

Butterfly Joo Saehyuk

There are two versions of this blade. The old version has "Joo Se Hyuk" printed on both the surface and on the lens. On the new version it says "Joo Saehyuk" instead.

The old version is exactly what you expect a defensive blade to be. It's heavy, the hit is almost depressingly heavy, everything about it is just heavy. I understand why some people love this blade, and I understand why some hate it.

The new version is just as heavy (mine is over 100 g) but not very alike the old version at all. I'd say that it's an offensive blade that is classified as defensive only because of its large size and weight. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, because the blade feels awesome and with an OX long pimple rubber you can use the power of the wood and have a lot of fun. No matter what your play style is, you can sum this blade up with one word and that is "quality".

Butterfly Grubba Pro ALL-

I have the most recent version of the Grubba ALL-. This was the first slow modern blade that I bought, and without really knowing anything about it. The first impression was alright (even though the design is pretty boring), but I found it difficult to use. It has a medium hollow feel, and hits very slowly. So there's no time for quick hits. I found myself backing up further and further away from the table just to be able to start my swing unreasonably earlier than usually. I wasn't able to learn much about this blade, as the handle was so smooth that it slipped out of my hand and crashed against the floor. But I kept thinking "Why was this made? Who can enjoy this?"

Yasaka Allround Oversize

I know, an "Allround" blade in a list of defensive blades, - what a disgrace! But let's not get too hung up on that. Honestly, who ever believed that allround players would use these things...?

Yasaka's Oversize blade seems to have only been available in Sweden. I've wanted it for a very long time, but somehow I never felt like paying up for it. Eventually I bought it cheap on a web sale. And waiting was the right choice. I think it can be decent with many different rubbers and also different types of rubbers, I think I can have fun with this blade, but still I wonder "Why?". Yasaka has made many appealing blades, and this just isn't one of them. Making an oversized "fun blade" just seems...pointless. The wood is alright, but was already slightly crooked when I received it. The handle is alright, but not properly shaped. The small plastic lens at the bottom of the handle had come off because it was glued badly. I can recommend this blade to anyone that likes blades that feel simple and doesn't have any hurry while playing. But anyone who wants a "wow" sensation should look elsewhere.

Joola Toni Hold White Spot

Exists in different versions. I have two of the modern version. I like it because it reminds me a little about the old Stiga Defensive Wood from the 80s. But it's larger, has a softer core, and a harder top ply. Which makes it a pretty strange blade! Bouncing a ball directly against the wood feels...wrong, but with rubbers on it turns into a very pleasant and flexible blade that follows your movements and performs well both during slow shots and attacks. 

The biggest disadvantage is that the core is so soft that it tends to get many thin cracks near the neck just with age.

Victas Koji Matsushita

A widely recommended model among defensive players, often compared to the Butterfly Joo Saehyuk, - and often the preferred choice.

At a first sight, it's a very pretty blade with lots of things going on at the surface and a nice-looking lens on each side of the handle. But there's something about the Koji that I don't agree with. It feels like an allround blade that's been assembled with thick wood glue. Obviously, it's a popular blade for chopping, but to me it feels more suitable for careful positioning of the ball with soft rubbers.

The handle looks a lot like the one on the Toni Hold White Spot, but wider and pointier at the sides, which makes this 75€ blade feel a lot cheaper than it is. With its price in mind, I'm not impressed.

Stiga Allround Oversize

Yes, another "Allround" blade on the list!

Stiga were the first ones using the phrase "oversize" when they released four different new blades after some uneventful years. At the time these blades seemed pretty pointless. But now, they...well they still seem pretty pointless, as it's one of the smallest blades on this list. At least the Allround Oversize is what it claims to be; an allround blade that's oversized. I'm just not sure who needs that, other than beginners/slightly advanced players that don't need more speed. (And who decided about the design?!)

However: It's Stiga, it's solid, and therefore it's OK.

Stiga Defensive Wood NCT

For a while, Stiga made some bad choices and released a few blades that gave the brand a bad reputation outside of Sweden. But it's important to note that far from all modern Stiga blades are of low quality. Some are actually impressive, and some are just in line with whatever Stiga has always done. Defensive Wood NCT belongs to the latter category. This model isn't huge (same size as Stiga Allround Oversize), it isn't heavy, it isn't powerful. But it feels exactly like I wanted a modern defensive Stiga blade to feel like; old-skool. (The handle really is old-skool, as the same design was used for pre-assembled beginners paddles in the early 90s.)

The Defensive Wood NCT is very light, but solid. It's slow, but you feel that it wants to get the job done by having a low dwell time and by being very consistent. I can imagine it being difficult to find a pair of rubbers that suits both you and the blade, but I don't think anyone with experience of Stiga will be disappointed in the blade.

DHS Magic D01 (M-D01)

This blade is the second cheapest one on the list, but it actually doesn't say much about its quality. I assumed the worst when I ordered it, but it turned out to be well built and - lo and behold - qualifies as a true budget alternative to the Victas Koji Matsushita! Basically, it feels like I expected the Koji to feel. A little chippier, a little more user-friendly. It sounds bit "hollow" and loud, and it isn't much larger than any standard blade, but it should definitely be worth 23 € for any player that wants to set foot in the defensive world of table tennis. Shortly: If you're curious about the Koji but can't afford it - consider the D01.

onsdag 16 mars 2016

Upp till säljaren att paketera ordentligt

Jag köpte en kamera på Tradera här för leden. Paketet som jag hämtade ut hos postombudet var ganska illa tilltygat, och det både syntes och kändes att paketeringen var usel. Kameran som låg inuti skallrade när jag plockade upp den, för en spegel inuti den hade slagits sönder. På grund av detta gick det för övrigt inte att fälla upp/ihop kameran ordentligt. Allt på grund av att säljaren hade inställningen att en försäljning bara ska innebära att pengar ska byta ägare utan att köparen ska kunna förvänta sig någon vettig motprestation över huvud taget.

Jag hörde naturligtvis av mig till säljaren och begärde pengarna tillbaka, med eller utan en retur av den trasiga varan. Men hon hänvisade bara till Posten, som inte tar ansvar för dåligt paketerade försändelser.

PostNord själva skriver t.ex. på sin webbplats:
För att det du skickar ska komma fram utan skador är det viktigt att du packar det rätt. Alla paket hanteras med hjälp av maskiner, fraktas med bil och lastas tillsammans med gods av varierade storlek, form och vikt. Förpacka därför paketet ordentligt så att det klarar stötar, vibrationer och tryck.
Vidare skriver de i sina allmänna villkor att:
PostNord är fri från ansvar i den mån förlusten, minskningen, skadan eller förseningen har orsakats av [...] olämplig eller bristfällig förpackning av innehållet.
Det är alltså upp till säljaren att paketera ordentligt.

Jag tog kontakt med Tradera via deras chatt, och skickade därigenom denna bild som visar den sen tidigare trasiga kartongen och det "emballage" som användes:

Tradera skickade då ut ett mail till oss båda med en direkt uppmaning om retur av vara och pengar. I detta användes förstås en standardmall, men tjejen i supporten hade manuellt lagt till:
Vi har tagit del av material från köparen som tydligt visar att varan är undermåligt packad, emballaget är alldeles för brett för varan som skickades och den var inte tillräckligt skyddad med stötdämpande material. Varan stack även upp en bit ur själva kartongen vilket har lett till en fraktskada som orsakats av felaktigt packad vara. Detta kan alltså inte speditören ansvara för. 
Har säljaren hört av sig efter detta? Nej, så klart inte. Det var ju uppenbart redan från början att hon inte var intresserad av att göra affärer, utan bara att roffa åt sig pengar. Och nu har hon tilldelats en varning i Traderas system på grund av sitt beteende. I mitt fall förlorade jag 220 kr - inte hela världen - men även om det bara handlade om en krona hade jag likställt henne med en tjuv.