Working with node dblite module on Windows

If you get an error with dblite module on Node JS on Windows, it could be caused by missing SQLite binaries in the system path. So make sure you download the sqlite binaries and add it to the system path so that it can be found by dblite when it is running on Node. Happy days!

I encountered this error while working on a clean install of Windows 10 on a brand new machine.

Photoshop on Atom 330 Dual Core machine

this machine is not as bad as it’s been cracked up to be. Photoshop launch seems to be quite snappy and AfterEffects seems to run just fine (takes just as long to launch on my MacBook)

In the interest of being green, I have been looking at the idea of building a lightweight machine with a reasonably low power consumption to do simple tasks computing tasks, like updating a blog, writing documents and simple editing of multimedia projects and occasionally running software for art exhibitions. When I first looked around the market, the obvious choice was a computer built around Intel’s Atom processor. It has all the right lows, such as low price and low wattage, but unfortunately it also has a low in performance as well. There are also solutions available from vendors such as VIA, but having owned an HP 2133 that was built around the Via Nanobook platform, I am not convinced that it will be one that can easily run multiple operating systems without a major effort to find drivers, etc.

For the sake of simplicity, I decided to just build around a motherboard from Foxconn with an Intel Atom processor 330 (dual core) built-in, or rather soldered onto the board. The model number for the board is 45CSX and it has 1 slot for DDR2 RAM with a 2GB ceiling. To house the board I also bought a Foxconn RS-338 case which comes with a 150W PSU and enough space for a 3.5″ HDD and a DVDRW drive. Since RAM is so cheap these days, I bought the maximum 2GB size for $40. All up, the rig cost a little under $300 and I decided to mate it to a 24″ widescreen 1920×1080 ¬†LCD from ViewSonic.

After installing Windows XP SP3 (yes, I know I should have installed Linux, but I wanted to test the performance of the CS3 suite on this rig), I installed the Adobe CS3 suite to test the machine and see how it performs. Upon running Photoshop CS3 and even together with AfterEffects CS3, I came to the conclusion that this machine is not as bad as it’s been cracked up to be. Photoshop launch seems to be quite snappy and AfterEffects seems to run just fine (takes just as long to launch on my MacBook).

Everything seems to work fine and yes, there was a performance difference compared to my MacBook with a C2D 2.16Ghz processor, but for something that costs a little over a quarter the price I think it is a quite acceptable trade off. So unless you work with Photoshop and AfterEffects in a heavy-duty production, I can recommend this setup as a secondary machine.

In case you are interested, I tested Photoshop on this machine with a file that has 134 layers, each with a mask of its own. AfterEffects was tested with a six layer 1:30:00 length animation.

Google Chrome OS will open new doors (and close windows)

With the recent announcement of the development of the Google Chrome OS, the possibilities for the end user has opened even wider in terms of choice of operating system for desktops, notebooks and especially netbooks. An OS with the Chrome browser as its centrepiece will certainly open interesting possibilities for the holy grail of ubiquitous availability of data which is the central tenet in the concept of cloud computing. No longer will the user need to carry their data with them, but the data will come to them wherever they could have an internet connection. This will certainly change how we work, in much the same way as working with Microsoft Word compared to working with Google Documents.

I suspect the new OS will be based on one of the pre-existing Linux distro (Ubuntu?) with the Google layer built on top to enable constant synchronising of data when online and caching mode when offline (ala Google Gears?). When it is released, hopefully it will free us all from having to worry what or which computer we are working on at any given time. To a certain extent, I have already implemented some of the ideas of cloud computing by using Google services to synchronise my calendar on my notebooks and phones. I guess the only other thing that I would like with the Google Chrome OS is cheaper data rates. This issue of data charges is what prevent a lot of people from utlising cloud-based services more often on their wireless devices (phones).

When software update is a downer

I have been spending a lot of time on the computer these days. Virtually everything I do these days involve the use of the browser and an internet connection. What has caught my attention recently, though, is that many software has followed Google’s lead in releasing perpetual Betas. I use Aptana, Thunderbird and Firefox regularly and they all regularly ask to be updated so instead of getting something done in two minutes you have to spend ten or even fifteen minutes while the software you want to use is updating. I am not opposed to updates, but isn’t there a better way or time to update the software than at start up (usually in the ” I have two minutes to do this thing” mode)?

Found webcams

Recently while I was upgrading a hard drive on one of my servers, I found a webcam that I purchased around 18 months ago. It was one of those cheap webcams that I bought,installed for a test then I just promptly forgot about. Somehow I must have stored it on the top of the server case (under a desk) and then I somehow must have pushed it to the back of the case and guess what happened next? It fell off to the back of the server.

Not remembering what I had done with the camera box and the driver disc, I tried to search for a driver online. Since there was hardly any marking on the camera itself, except the word “kinstone” on the front of the clip that forms the base of the camera. Well, lo and behold, I found a website called kinstone.net. I quickly found the download section and before I knew it I had downloaded a driver to my desktop.

After decompressing the file, I found a folder called kinstone_xxx_xxx on my desktop. I opened the folder and found a sub folder called “setup”. After I double-clicked the installer file (setup.exe) it installed all the files and created shortcuts. However, using this method, the camera was not recognised and therefore was not working. I attempted to install the driver through the “found new hardware” wizard and it was still no go.

When I tried to find the instaleld files in “Program Files” directory I found a folder called “vimicro” which the installer had created. So when multiple attempts to get windows to install the driver for the camera failed, I put vimicro into Google and then voila! I found out that vimicro was a company that made the chipset for the kinstone webcams. So I downloaded a driver from their website and there was even a tool which will tell you which driver to download (can identify the chipset of the camera). The driver downloaded from vimicro works flawlessly.

So if you have a Kinstone USB webcam it might be best to head straight to the vimicro website.