Listen anywhere … even in the sewer

Screenshot of the Nvidia NVMixer application
Screenshot of the Nvidia NVMixer application

Well… okay, so the half-reinstalling the NVidia chipset drivers didn’t exactly fix the problem. My system clock has kept good time for the rest of the day, but I couldn’t get Skype to recognise the NVidia soundcard that it was plugged into. So I had to uninstall the drivers and reinstall them. There’s always something, isn’t there! Anyway, it worked fine. My two soundcards are working perfectly now: Creative SB X-Fi for music playback and NVidia nForce for Skype.

The only thing I’m puzzling over now is the built-in Environments in the NVmixer application (above). Don’t get me wrong, I admire the technological skills of the programmers at NVidia who are able to offer 28 different simulated reverb effects, but why? WHY?! Why would anybody ever need to listen to a piece of music as though he was listening to it in a padded cell (option 18)? Or in a forest (option 12)?! Or a Sewer Pipe (option 24)?!!

Dave: Hey, Gareth! I’ve got the new Opeth album, let’s crawl into a local sewer pipe with a ghetto-blaster and rock out…

Gareth: (with a knowing glint in his eye) No need! I have a simulated Sewer Pipe environment effect on my NVmixer control panel.

Dave: (with awe) Co-o-o-o-o-o-o-l! I don’t suppose you have the ability to pretend that we’re listening to it in a Stone Room, too, do you?

Gareth: I do. It’s option 23. And Underwater (option 24)

Dave: Underwater?! What possible use is that?! How stupid…

Oddly, it doesn’t have a church or cathedral reverb setting. However, I’ve also just discovered that I can additionally pretend that the room is made from metal, plastic or cloth. Where shall I pretend to listen to the latest Metallica album? How about in a tupperware box in a Parking Lot (option 19).

Madness! Utter madness! Next they’ll be telling us that Santa is too scary for children!

Grace and Gratitude

Steve Lawson with two bass guitars

My wife Jane was away overnight at a residential meeting, at Carberry Tower, for members of her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award New Start Project. She got back a few minutes ago, exhausted.

Last night, returning to her room she switched on her laptop and listened to Steve Lawson‘s excellent Grace and Gratitude album to relax after a busy day of meetings.

Long-time readers of this blog will remember that Steve and Cathy came to stay with us during the festival this year. His friendship is uplifting, his music beautiful, and his humour side-splitting. Jane sent a text to Steve last night to thank him for such beautiful music. I was on MSN Messenger at the time:

Steve: Jane’s lovely. She just sent me a text thanking me for making lovely music. She’s the best.

Gareth: She’s away from home just now. She must be listening to you on CD.

Steve: Either that or she’s so stoned she’s having gig flashbacks!

That made me laugh. A lot. But what a great example of grace and gratitude in action!

Grace and Gratitude is indeed a wonderful album. It was the first album I played on my new Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum soundcard. The bass sounds so rich, woody and mellow. Buy it for someone you love this Christmas.

Not that Christmas is all about buying presents, you understand.

Tempus fugit

A wall clock
Time flies by when I’m the driver of an Nvidia2 chipset…

Grrr…! (That’s an indication that I’m slightly irritated, and not my name — Jane and her family call me “Grrr” — with three Rs, if you please.) My PC clock is running fast again.

Although, oddly, not all the time. Sometimes it will gain 8-10 seconds every minute, then I’ll reboot and it’s fine. I’ve had this problem before, and as far as I can recall I had to do a full Windows reinstallation to fix it.

I ran Windows’ System File Checker (sfc /scannow) which restored a few DLLs. But that didn’t fix the problem.

I suspect that it has something to do with my chipset drivers (the software that makes my motherboard work properly with Windows XP) but I have the latest ones installed … so I went to the land of the Internet forums and user groups and investigated.

After much searching on Google I discovered this thread on the Nvidia HQ forum which suggests that the problem may have something to do with the NForce2 chipset (Tom’s Hardware explains it nicely: if the CPU (processor) is the brain of the PC system, then the chipset is its heart).

One suggestion was to disable APIC in my BIOS but my PC wouldn’t even boot up after that, so I restored it. (For Dummies translation: One suggestion was to change a setting on the computer’s secret settings panel, but it didn’t work.)

I tried reinstalling the chipset drivers for my system … but because I was lazy I didn’t uninstall the old ones first and tried to install them over-the-top of the current installation. I got as far as installing the audio drivers when the screen clicked off as the system was involuntarily rebooting itself. Anyway, it seems to have done the trick. Or at least, my system clock is working fine now.

Or it could have something to do with my having modified the Internet Time Synchronization settings in the Registry.

But I think it’s the drivers.

GP visit

Pills, a pill bottle and a hand with 2 tablets
One to be taken three times a day … but there wasn’t a photo with just one. (Photo from stock.xchng.)

I saw the GP this morning at the East Craigs Medical Practice, a Dr S. Abushal who was lovely. He listened to my symptoms (dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sore ears) and told me that there is a viral bug going around just now with symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and sore ears. Sounds like I have that, then.

Sounds like I have that now!

I’ve been prescribed Prochlorperazine which according to the Drug Digest website:

PROCHLORPERAZINE helps to control nausea and vomiting that can occur after surgery, or with the treatment of cancer (chemotherapy). Prochlorperazine also treats psychological or mental disorders. Another use of prochlorperazine is the treatment of non-psychotic anxiety (nervousness). Generic prochlorperazine tablets are available.

Sounds … like a delightful drug. I was told that it would help with the dizziness. And now obviously also with my latent psychological and mental disorders!

I’ve been told to take things easy for a week and get as much rest and sleep as I can. Good timing! Well done me.