Category Archives: Tech News

DVI De-Mystified – Dual-Link DVI versus Single-Link DVI Explained!

DVI Dual vs SingleToday I was doing some spec hunting for my PC, trying to track down exactly what make, model and frequency were supported by the Wi-Fi card that came with my machine. As I was doing so, and eyeballing the rest of the specs, I ran across the information for my video card. One thing that caught my eye was the description of the video or DVI port. Specifically it mentioned that the DVI port was a ‘dual-link’ DVI port. Well now, I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about computers, including hardware, but I hadn’t heard of a ‘dual-link’ DVI port before. Now, in my defense, I have spent the last many years concentrating on hardware by Sun, Hitachi, NetApp and the like. Things you will find in a full up data center, not at home in your desktop PC. I haven’t been knee deep in PC tech for a while, but I have kept up with most things.

So, naturally, I had to find out what ‘dual-link’ meant. I did some searching and found a wonderful article that explains what ‘dual-link’ is, what ‘single-link’ is, the differences between them and more. I am going to give you a brief summary (I don’t want to keep everyone in suspense), but I am also including a link to the original article, go read it and really get learned up.

Basically, the way I see it (the quick version) is like this:

  • Dual-Link DVI
    • Has 24 pins in the plug instead of 18
    • It uses two TMDS digital signal transmitters instead of one
    • It can transmit data faster using 8 wires instead of 4
    • It can support much higher resolutions up to 2560×1600
    • There is an increase in signal quality and refresh rates

 

  • Single-Link DVI –
    • Has 18 pins in the plug instead of 24
    • It has one TMDS digital signal transmitter
    • It transmits data of 4 wires instead of 8
    • It cannot support resolutions beyond 1920×1200
    • Basic signal quality and refresh rates are observed

And there you have it, a run down of the basic differences between ‘dual-link’ and ‘single-link’ DVI. I think finding out and learning information like this is way cool. I love to learn new things and figure out how stuff works, it’s a lot of fun in my book – but then, more than a few people have called me crazy because a day of fun to me is sitting and coding all day! LOL

DVI All Types
DVI Plugs
All Types
(Click to enlarge)
DVI - All Types of Plugs
DVI Plugs
All Types
(Click to enlarge)

Now, for the sake of completeness, even though this doesn’t really apply to the dual-link or single-link question, I wanted to include another image or two that show other versions of the DVI plug. Since you are likely to run into one or all of these plugs out there somewhere, I figured you might want to know what you are looking at. These two pictures (click to enlarge), show you that aside from the digital DVI-D plugs, there are also DVI-I plugs that are analog and digital, plus some other older plugs. Of these older plugs, the Super-VGA there on the bottom is very common and one that you probably will see a lot. It was used for many years before the DVI option became common. I have seen many video cards that have DVI and VGA on the same card.

Check out the article on DVI dual-link versus single-link here.

More Hacking Without The Slashing

Blizzard Ninja ProtectionIt seems that earlier this week (8/5/2012 –  8/11/2012) the network and I am sure some servers at Blizzard, the game company behind most notably World of Warcraft got hacked. A list of games that are either played or are accessible online are at the end of this post for your reference in order to help determine if this company is behind a game that you play/like.

At this time, Blizzard “security experts”, and law enforcement are investigating what happened. They are working to find out how someone managed to get into parts of Blizzard’s network where they didn’t belong, but also what information might have been lifted before the nefarious access could be cut off Go Here. So far, Blizzard claims that at this time there is no evidence that any financial information such as credit cards, billing addresses, or real names were compromised. Their work is far from over, but they have found nothing to suggest that these pieces of information have been accessed.

The only information that they can confirm was illegally accessed include a list of email addresses for global Battle.net users, outside of China. Players on North American servers (which include players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) had information regarding the answers to personal security questions accessed, and even information about Dial-in and Mobile Authenticators was gotten too. However, based on what Blizzard currently knows, this information alone is not enough for anyone to gain access to players Battle.net accounts.

It appears too that some encrypted passwords were taken as well, however, Blizzard is confident that their encryption methods and use of SRP (Secure Remote Password protocol) to protect these passwords, will make it extremely difficult to extract the actual passwords themselves. They do recommend that all Battle.net users change their passwords for good measure, and take care if the password used here is or was used anywhere else, for any other services, and recommend changing that password also.

All in all, this is a bad way to end the week for Blizzard. I expect that a great effort will go into finding whoever did this, catching them, and using them as a bright and shiny example of not messing around with Blizzard. Just my 2cp worth.

*Notes: Other games that Blizzard is known for and currently active with include World of Warcraft, Diablo II, Diablo III, StarCraft II and more. However, these are the most relevant and Internet connected of them.

A little history for all us starnix guys (and gals) out there

<a href="http://www.solarum weight reduction pills.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/ken-and-den-1024.jpg” target=”_blank”>Ken Thompson (seated) and Dennis RitchieIf you spend any amount of time working with or administering UNIX and/or Linux servers, especially UNIX, you should be familiar with the text editor ‘vi’ and some commands like ‘sed’ and ‘awk’. If you have been around a while, or had the good(?) fortune of working on some old(er) systems, you might even remember the line editor ‘ed’. I’ll show my age here and recall fond memories of using ‘ed’ to write code many years back.

OK, on to the point, I was looking through Wikipedia for something entirely un-related, but ran across a tidbit of information that I thought was really cool, and that I knew I had to share with Solarum’s readers. It gives a bit of history about some of the tools that we use and love today.

From Wikipedia:

“ed is a line editor for the Unix operating system. It was one of the first end-user programs hosted on the system and has been standard in Unix-based systems ever since. ed was originally written in PDP-11/20 assembler by Ken Thompson in 1971. Ken Thompson was very familiar with an earlier editor known as qed from University of California at Berkeley, Ken Thompson’s alma mater; he reimplemented qed on the CTSS and Multics systems, so it is natural that he carried many features of qed forward into ed. Ken Thompson’s versions of qed were the first to implement regular expressions, an idea that had previously been formalized in a mathematical paper, which Ken Thompson had read. The implementation of regular expressions in ed is considerably less general than the implementation in qed.

ed went on to influence ex, which in turn spawned vi. The non-interactive Unix command grep was inspired by a common special use of qed and later ed, where the command g/re/p means globally search for the regular expression re and print the lines containing it. The Unix stream editor, sed implemented many of the scripting features of qed that were not supported by ed on Unix; sed, in turn, influenced the design of the programming language AWK, which in turn inspired aspects of Perl.”

It’s pretty cool how stuff flows and comes together. Who knew or would have thought that a couple simple commands or programs would turn into what we have today.

*Note: starnix refers to the combination of UNIX, Linux and any other ix/ux OS that we work with.

Google Drive Creates Mountains Of Buzz

Google has now released to the world knowledge of it’s online file storage service called Google drive. From what I can see this has caused a ton of buzz and discussion all over the ‘net, some good and some bad, slamming Google and saying they just copied Dropbox. Well, let’s face it, Dropbox didn’t have the idea first, and Google’s big thing going for them with the Google Drive is it’s integration with Google Docs, Google+, Gmail and more. It’s a storage platform that works for anyone but is especially nice for existing Google users. I advise checking it out [Link].

Check out this cool service – Pastebin

I just recently found this, and I know, a bunch of you probably already know about it and maybe have for a long time. But hey, I just found out about it and it is so cool I just had to tell everyone! The site is called Pastebin and it’s a cool site (the site is very well done!) and service for anytime you are working with code, log files, and/or other gobs of strangely formatted text.

We all know how tough it is to try and past the source of our scripts, or contents of config files or log files into regular forum input boxes. Heck, for that matter, let us not forget how tough it is getting that kind of stuff posted correctly in WordPress itself. This Pastebin site allows you to past your copious amounts of text there, where it has all of the magic juju to display it properly, even formatting code correctly with syntax highlighting. All you have to do, once you paste your text into the bin, is add the link to your post or article or whatever. Then anyone reading it can go check it out at Pastebin and not try and decipher the text in whatever manner it would have gotten mangled on the screen in the first place.

I think this is going to be a great headache save for lots of us as more and more communication goes online, especially in the tech crowd.  Go check out Pastebin [link]now and see for yourself.  They have a Pro option with extra goodies, but you most certainly can use the service for free too.  If you like it, tell your friends too and help ’em out!

Debian and Ubuntu Sources List Generator

That title sounds pretty cool doesn’t it?  Yes, it sure does!  I found this nifty little tool and saw right away that I just had to share it with everyone.   It’s a really cool web interface to a tool that lets you point and click your release information as well as your resource/branch preferences, and then BLAMMO, a new source list is made, just right for your Debian or Ubuntu box!  In case someone reading this doesn’t know what a source list is, in Debian (and releases based on Debian, like Ubuntu) it is the file that tells the package manager (apt, dpkg, aptitude, etc) where to look for software you want to install, upgrade, and maintain automatically.  The file name is:

/etc/apt/sources.list

Having a good source file can go a long way towards helping with easy and simple system administration.  The URL for the site is:

http://debgen.simplylinux.ch/  for the Debian Generator and
http://repogen.simplylinux.ch/ for the Ubuntu Generator

So, go check it out and see what you think.  I thought it was really cool and I got some good information from it.