Friday, July 18, 2008

Flash video player for Director 10 & 11

I've just finished a very basic flash video player that can be used in Director 10 & 11. This player is designed to get around the video start-up delay (or flash) you encounter when using the default FLV playback component.


As always feel free to ask for help if you get stuck or have a question :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

FishMark 08 Released

FishMark 08 is a benchmark designed to see how well your computer renders 2D animations in Director MX 2004 (10.1). It's currently still in Beta testing but don't let that scare you, it's quite stable.


To download FishMark 08 click here. FishMark 08 is compatible with Windows 2000, XP & Vista.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Windows Vista, Sleep to Shut Down

Ever wondered how to change the default behaviour of the Sleep button found in the Windows Start Menu to a Shut Down button? If so just follow these instructions...
  • Press the Windows key then type in 'pow' and press enter (this should open the power options control panel)
  • Click 'Change plan settings' on the power plan you currently have selected
  • Click 'Change advanced power settings'
  • Expand 'Power buttons and lid'
  • Expand 'Start menu power button'
  • Now change the setting 'sleep' to 'shut down'
  • Click 'Apply' and 'OK'

Now the yellowish sleep button in the start menu has become a red shut down button.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

CA Anti-virus + Windows Vista = Poor Performance

I've been meaning to post this information, but just haven't gotten around to it until now (slack I know). Anyway my point to this post is, don't run CA Anti-virus (formally Vet for some users) if you're running any version of Windows Vista (including SP1).

I've personally run into problems on both AMD and Intel based computers where the explorer process will start using 100% of the available CPU power (on the active core), which can last a few minutes at a time. I found this was caused by the CA Anti-virus real-time scanner and the only way to get around the problem is to disable it. BUT if you do disable the real-time scanner then you have to remember to manually scan every download and email attachment otherwise you could get infected (because nothing is being scanned automatically any more). Some good news is that CA Anti-virus still works perfectly fine if you are running 2000 or XP.

As an alternative to CA Anti-virus I'm now testing Avast! and I'm impressed (apart from the voice alerts). Some other anti-virus packages that I haven't yet tested on Windows Vista but I would still recommend are NOD32 and Kaspersky.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Scrollbar Behaviour for Director 10 & 11

I posted this on the Director Mailing List the other day but thought I should also get it online elsewhere so that everyone has access. What I've created is a scrollbar behaviour that emulates the scrollbar object found in the now dead OSControls Xtra. So all properties, methods and events from the old #OSscrollbar object are now supported by this new scrollbar behaviour. For more information see the following links...

View example movie (Shockwave 11 required)
Download example source code (Director 11 only)

Download the Scrollbar Behaviour for Director 10
Download the Scrollbar Behaviour for Director 11
Download the Scrollbar photoshop CS3 template

Current Version: 1.0b8-19Jun08

If you need help with the Scrollbar Behaviour just leave me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Friday, March 21, 2008

8800GT running on a DFI Lanpary UT nF4...

Yesterday my remaining XFX GeForce 7900GT (I was running two in SLI) started displaying graphical artefacts when using 3D applications. This meant I was in the market for a new video, but which one?

After some searching I found the best buy to be a GeForce 8800GT with a dual slot cooler. So I headed over to my local computer store and bought myself a Galaxy 8800GT. Athlough I did this knowing the card might not work with my current motherboard, a DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert. The reason being that it only has version 1.0a PCIe slots (from the information I've found).

Once I was back in front of my computer I removed the old nVidia video drivers, shut down the system and bagged the old XFX 7900GT. I then proceeded to installed the new Galaxy 8800GT in the first PCIe slot (which was running at 16x) and fired the system up. To my disappointment the only thing that happened was the sound of one long beep followed by three short beeps, informing me that the system had a video error. I double checked the connections of the two 6-pin PCIe power cables (which were fine) and made sure the video card was seated firmly in the PCIe slot (which it was). I then powered on the system again only to be greeted with the same sequence of error beeps. At this point I was thinking that a) it wasn't compatible with my system, b) my 535 watt Enermax power supply wasn't providing enough power or c) the card was DOA.

After checking the system would still boot with my old 7900GT I then tested the 8800GT again but this time using PCIe slot number 4, the second 16x slot (running at 2x). To my relief the system booted up and everything was working like normal. So it would seem that the first PCIe slot is incompatible with my 8800GT, but the fourth (second 16x slot) is fine. The only problem with this arrangement is that the fourth slot is limited to a maximum of 8x bandwidth, not the full 16x which the first PCIe slot provides (insert sad panda here).

So if you're have having problems running a GeForce 8800GT on a DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert, try installing it into the fourth PCIe slot (the second 16x). Just remember to set the bandwidth to SLI mode in the bios (8-0-4-8).

I've sent an email to DFI support detailing the problem. Hopefully they get back to me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Alternative 'nvstor32.sys' BSOD Fix

If you are having problems with the updated nForce drivers that I posted the other day (not that I'm expecting you to), have a look at the following alternative fix by a guy named David...
For some months now, I have had a persistent problem with my wife’s laptop, she has a HP Pavilion dv6000 (dv6231eu), which came with XP media centre, earlier this year I upgraded the OS to Vista Ultimate, and I used the Vista drivers downloaded from HPs Support Web site. Since then, she has had several BSOD much to MY pain, to make things more difficult, the BSOD screen was blurred and I couldn’t read the message. read more...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vista, nvstor32.sys and the BSOD!

I recently upgraded my computer with some larger hard drives, allowing me to run internal backups. My plan was to use the inbuilt Windows Vista backup tool to run both file and complete backups (I'm running Ultimate) and things were going great until about 80% of the way through a complete backup. At this stage my computer crashed to the dreaded BSOD (blue screen of death) and the error message listed a file called 'nvstor32.sys'. After a quick google search I found this file to be part of the nForce SATA drive for my motherboard (a DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert).

So I now knew what was causing the fault and assumed that a simple driver fix would solve the problem. I navigated my way over to the nVidia downloads section only to find that the current drivers found in the 15.01 nForce package were the ones already installed on my computer. This forced me on a journey through the series of tubes that is the internet to find some sort of magical updated driver.

After a while and with some random luck, I found a few threads where people were talking about a secret 5.10.2600.995 SATA & RAID driver. I was hoping that this was the key to fixing my problem and all I needed to do was find download link (which didn't take long). But the real great news only came after I had installed the updated driver and found that it did fix my problem. Allowing me to use the Vista's backup tool the way it was intended, with the added bonus of no crazy side effects.

If you are having problems with your nForce motherboard and would like to try out these updated SATA & RAID drivers, click on the appropriate download link below and extract the files do your desktop.

Download nForce SATA Driver 5.10.2600.995
Download nForce RAID Driver 5.10.2600.995

Then open up 'Device Manager' expand 'IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers' and repeat the following steps for all the items listed as 'NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller'.
  • Right click the 'NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller' item and select 'Update Driver Software'
  • Click 'Browse my computer for driver software'
  • Click 'Let me pick from a list of device divers on my computer'
  • Click 'Have Disk'
  • Now select the extract folder on your desktop and follow the rest of the on-screen instructions

Once you have completed the above for ALL listed 'NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller' items the properties of each one should look like the following....


and that's it, your done! If you have any questions just fire away and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.