tech support

Most streamers would rather suffer shitty wifi

This is a bit of a rant— mostly cos in the past few weeks we’ve seen some of the streamers we follow get hit with Internet issues and they’ll usually blame their ISP. Yeah comcast and charter/spectrum fucken suck but the vast majority of the time they’re not going to be the entity at fault. If you are a “professional” streamer, i.e. you have income from your streams, you owe it to yourself to ensure your Internet connection is actually functional at all times. So this here is for you. Why? Cos all the time we see people spend thousands of dollars on computer hardware (their gaming/streaming rig plus accessories, monitors, lighting, camera, microphone/headset, etc etc) and yet… they still connect their computer to the Internet via wifi.

Then they wonder why they’re lagging in fucken fortnite or why the audio is running half a second behind video on twitch. Bitch pls.

Particularly egregious when it’s people who know better but they just choose not to do it for whatever reason, chief among them that “landlord won’t allow it”. Run that Ethernet cable with command hooks if your have to, gawdamn, but do something.

We’re not a streamer but we do work in IT. A proper, trouble-free setup would replicate what we have right now here at home.

  1. Get a power-efficient computer. Doesn’t have to be expensive, we’re using one of these we bought for $30 USD.
  2. Install an extra network card on that computer (another $10 USD). If you get something like this it already has an extra LAN interface and they even throw in one year of tech support. If you’re cheap just go download pfsense and install it yourself, it’s free.
  3. Get a decent switch like this one with built-in PoE and gigabit ports all around.
  4. Get one or two wifi access points like these to handle phones, tablets and streaming boxes.

You plug the wifi access points into the switch (they get power via Ethernet), then the switch into the “router”. Turn everything on, then follow the instructions for setting up pfsense. If you’ve ever installed Windows on a computer this all works at the same level of tech skill.

With everything set up (and it isn’t that hard if you’re even somewhat technically inclined and you follow a youtube tutorial like this one) you now have a better network setup that most small businesses out there. Speaking of business… most places do know they need constant Internet connectivity to actually stay open and yet they still choose to have a $25 USD wifi router that reached end-of-life back in 2016 run their stuff, and then they wonder why their Internet fucken sucks.

Feeling fancy and want to take it easy? Go with a Ubiquiti Unifi setup. It’s nice and slick and they also have decent tech support if you have no idea what you’re fucken doing. It will cost you a pretty penny… but their setup is basically flawless and will last you a long time without having issues. If and when you have issues the system itself will tell you what’s wrong. Slick, like we said.

Once all of the things are connected and working, then you connect your computers and phones and streaming boxes and tables to that new network equipment. If you’re a streamer it is very likely there are one or two technically-inclined people who watch your streams and would help out if you ask. But that’s the thing, you have to ask.

If you’re making more than $1000 USD a month from streaming you can certainly afford to pay someone to do this for you. Hire someone, get them on retainer, and now when somethin breaks right before an important stream they’ll be able to help you figure out what the fuck is going on.

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Fixing a seemingly dead HP DV7 4060us

The Symptoms:
System is a laptop, namely a HP Pavilion dv7-4060us Entertainment Notebook PC. Upon pressing the power button, CPU fan spins up, then spins down to nominal speeds, caps lock light blinks once per second, WLAN light is a solid yellow/amber, and the LCD screen does not power on at all (as opposed to powering up but being blank) so there is no indication of POST.

This points right away to some sort of hardware failure, since the computer is by this point an eight pound paperweight.

The Diagnosis
Removed battery, HDD, RAM, CMOS battery for 15 minutes.
Reinstalled CMOS battery, RAM, battery. Connected AC adapter, same symptoms occur.

Checking HP’s support site for the DV7 gave no indication of HP even acknowledging the issue even exists.

A quick Google search gives various articles but the first two are the most relevant. This is from the first forum post:

“I’m on my sister’s laptop right now because when I went downstairs earlier my own computer decided to ‘check-out.’ Came back, black screen, flashing caps lock, tried to reboot, tried the hard reboot, nothing.

“Found a forum where some whack job with the same problem wrapped theirs in a sweater for 30 minutes and it fixed the problem. Click to the next page, tons of people swearing it works. Apparently, the intentional overheating causes it to power down appropriately then reboots. We’ll see if that works.”

While the second post appears to shed a little more light on the problem:

So I take it home, try usb bios reflash, no go. Capslock light blinks, no other lights, sounds, nothing.

Ok. So I open it, get my harborfreight heating gun and heat up both the video chips. The AMD one and the ATi one. As shown in picture below.

As soon as I put it all together and plug it in, it starts working and has been, constantly since two weeks ago. This laptop has not been turned off, standby nothing. Works perfectly. Sound, video, HDMI port all alive. Still switches video cards when you unplug the power adapter.

Hope this helps.

Also, this same solution worked for a Compaq Presario CQ60. That laptop didnt pickup the bios reflash either no matter what I tried. Turned on immediately after heating the video chip.

This reminded me of the Xbox 36’s Red Ring of Death (There’s even a wikipedia article for all the issues it had!) and the first solution people found for it: The towel method. iFixit later came up with a more elaborate method that, like the post on Notebook Review, targets the culprit component: the video chipset.

The Fix

The DV7 was turned on, wrapped in a blanket, and left alone for half an hour. When the time was up, the laptop was turned off and let cool down for fifteen minutes. Powering it gave the symptoms. Laptop was turned on again, wrapped in a blanket, and then in another blanket, and left alone for two hours. When time was up again, laptop had powered off by itself. Unwrapped it, let it cool down for fifteen minutes. Power on gave POST, along with a helpful error message from the BIOS complaining about there being no hard drive installed in the system.

Hard drive was reinstalled. Powering on gave POST, then Windows boot. Windows didn’t seem to have any problems apart from having the wrong datetime, but that was expected since the CMOS battery was taken out. Device Manager reported no hardware issues

Since the hardware is now suspect, I told the owner of the laptop to better start saving for a replacement. At least now the whole thing turned from an unexpected monetary outlay into an expected expense. What gives me pause is that the DV7, like the Xbox 360, also has an AMD Radeon video chipset, so it could indicate an issue with AMD’s fabrication processes and that other laptops that have come out with the same chipset or components from the same AMD manufacturing lines will have the issue as well.

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nullrend: a mi nunca me toco eso. Estaba batallando con Mac OS y Windows :p
nullrend: eh, siempre me ha gustado el soporte tecnico, asi que esas dos plataformas son las que mas chamba me han dado
animalito: esop si
animalito: mas el windows, es una maravilla para el trabajo de soporte
animalito: siempre le falla algo

Maravillas Read More »

Teh usual

OK, so:

  • No Sync: When the customer has some kind of issue preventing neurons from processing basic information and gaining insight into problems. Example: I ask customer to connect phone cable to phone jack. Customer doesn’t know how.
  • No Route: When the connection between brain and extremities fail. The brain is thus unable to send commands or, if such commands are actually sent, they arrive at the extremity corrupted. Example: I ask customer to close all open windows. Customer then restarts computer.
  • Slow Throughput: When the brain processes commands in an extremely slow fashion. Also applicable when said commands take a long time to be transmitted from brain to extremity. Example: I ask customer we need to restart the computer. It then takes 10 minutes of explanation for customer to realize we need to shut the computer down and then turn it back on.

Sorry, but I just had to get it out.

Teh usual Read More »