Naoko Kensaku

Geminian Rat. Carried by an Aries Bear.

The delight of a new computer

Bai 1
Meet BaiQ!

LOOK AT MY NEW CHILD! ISN’T SHE GORGEOUS?

So several months ago, the hubs built his new PC. I had PC envy, and started talking with him about getting me a new gaming desktop. Now the desktop he was previously using was actually mine (I had switched over to a laptop a few years ago for both Nano and on-the-go writing/freelancing) but it was really showing its age. It was about 8 years old by the time it returned to me this year, and I got it in 2014 (I actually bought it second-hand from another friend who’d been using it for a few years). 

My darling Envy the laptop, did a pretty good job of letting me surf and game a bit but was really struggling with some of the games I played. If I played games released before 2010 it was fine (think Zeus, Age of Empires, etc) but anything released in the last five years had pretty bad pixellation and stuttering, of course not including pixel-art and similar games. 

The reason? Envy didn’t have a dedicated GPU so that contributed to a lot of PC bottlenecking. This eventually lead to both me getting a Switch and dropping playing any new releases from the last decade or so, since Envy was my primary machine and I’d given the desktop over to the hubs. 

The requirements

Since it had been close to a decade since the current desktop was built, hubs and I spoke quite a bit about building a new machine for me. We ended up with a config that was very close to his, with a few changes: it needed to be very quiet because I was planning to do recordings with it sometimes, and it needed to have more RGB because if I was going to get a computer with a tempered glass side panel YOU CAN BET I WANTED IT TO LIGHT UP.

And that, my dear reader, is how I ended up with this spec: 

Case: be quiet! PURE BASE 500DX

Motherboard: GIGABYTE X570 AORUS PRO WIFI

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Graphics: GTX 750Ti

RAM: 16GB Corsair VENGEANCE PRO RGB (White) 3600MHz

Drive: Adata XPG Spectrix S40G – 1TB

Cooler: be quiet! Pure Rock 2

Building weekend

Despite it being Merdeka weekend, the items were delivered pretty quickly… except the be quiet! case. The original store I bought from kept delaying delivery, until I called them up on Friday (note: I ordered the previous Saturday).

First the salesperson promised they’d send it out for delivery by Friday itself but by Saturday morning there was no update and so I cancelled the order. When I cancelled the order they called me immediately so I gave the phone to the hubs who had no qualms tearing the caller a new one about the delay and broken promises.

In any case, that Saturday the hubs and me rushed over to Dotatech IT after WhatsApping them – they confirmed and reserved the case for me. The rush was mainly due to the Shopee guarantee for the received parts – we needed to build the PC to ensure all parts were in working condition in case of any *touch wood* warranty issues.

Bai 5
Building in progress!

Hubs then spent most of the afternoon building BaiQ – and it didn’t help the day was SUPER HOT and we were having that stupid water cut. In the process he let me put in the CPU (AAAAAAAAAA PINS) and the SSD (OMG tiny!) but I needed him to put in the RAM because HOLY HELL stifffffffffff! 

Once everything was assembled and all the cables were sorted out (one of my HDMI cables was damaged in the process – don’t ask), the hubs immediately put in the BIOS update thumb drive and switched it on. 

Bai 4
Ignore the wiring at the back, what is cable management…

AND SHE POSTED! (meaning we could see the BIOS screen). Was so cool to see her spinning and all the pretty pretty pretty colours come to life. I’m going to just leave the RGB on without changing anything because I am loving this effect – it reminds me a lot of looking at an aquarium. 

How fast can you go?

In terms of performance, BaiQ is fast. Very fast. But even I didn’t anticipate the speed – my fastest Windows 10 installation was 30 minutes before this. BQ took 10. 

TEN. MINUTES. To install Windows. 

It was literally blink and already done, and yes this includes the time needed to connect to the Internet and linking my MSFT account. 

This is mainly because with such fast components, even the act of decompressing downloaded files becomes super quick. And it’s not just for installing Windows – a bunch of programs I downloaded and install took mere seconds or even minutes to complete (even a 70GB patch for Path of Exile) thanks to this upgrade. 

Bai 2
Spinning spinning spinning!

Some of you may have noticed I am using a pretty old graphics card, and that’s where the current bottleneck is. You are correct. This card is actually from the hub’s own former desktop, and it is enough while I save up cash to get: 

  • A possible RTX 3060 or 3070 (siao ah get 3090???)
  • New power supply to support said graphics card (current one is definitely underpowered if I want a 30 series)
  • A new monitor that’s at least 27″ or (the dream) a 32″ ultra wide
  • Optional: Decent set of speakers or possibly one that’s integrated with the monitor because I be lazy like that

This second upgrade will most likely be only in the second half of 2021 simply because a life upgrade I was planning for has finally kicked in (NO I AM NOT PREGNANT). Plus I am not in a real rush anyway. BaiQ is more than enough for my needs… for now.

[Geekiness] Fighting with Logitech G Hub

GHub Home (1)

Had a super long angery-kind of rant about the Logitech G Hub software, but ultimately, all I wanted to do was share what I learnt, which is how I got my Logitech gaming mouse to work on a laptop that doesn’t have Logitech G Hub:

The key thing is to activate your device’s onboard memory with the program you want to use over on the other laptop, but this process is not as intuitive as you might think.

Issue 1: Onboard memory doesn’t work

So, a few scenarios here: 

  • Cannot find the “switch to onboard memory” option at all
    • Click on chosen device. 
    • Click on the GEAR/SETTING icon in the upper right. 
    • Settings will be on the right side of the screen, indicating available slots.
      Note: If you press the Gear Icon from the main page before the device there’s another step of selecting My Gear > Your Device again > Onboard memory. 
  • Onboard Memory activated but the mouse becomes heavy and reverts to default behaviour
    The dumb solution? 

    Change the slot.

    Seriously. I had so much trouble with this, and all I needed to do was change the freaking slot, from Slot 3 to Slot 2 and it worked. MCB. 

Issue 2: Missing LG Hub.exe

In the midst of all this, the Logitech G Hub file went missing. Learnt that this was because G Hub has a damn weird way of installing updates instead of just bundling everything into the MSI installer like the first time it was installed, so any interruptions, like shutting down PC without realising the updater is running (and there’s no indication even IF it’s updating in the background!) can cause the EXE file to not be registered. 

And this can lead to not being able to uninstall or reinstall G Hub. Before you muck around in your registry, Reddit has the answer.

All you need to do is navigate to your C:/Program Files folder and nuke the LOGITECH folder ONLY. Don’t delete anything else, just that folder in that location. 

If you do a general search on your PC’s drive to find this folder, you may also find the Logitech G Hub folder in a location that looks like APPDATA etc, LEAVE THIS ALONE. This is where your settings live, if you nuke this as well, you will need to recreate* your shortcut keys, macros, etc all over again. 

After deleting, try to install G Hub again. It should work. If not, uninstall, restart comp, reinstall, and wait about 15-30 minutes depending on your Internet connection. 

* Up to you whether you want to install, I’d just move it to a different location if you want to do a completely fresh install but don’t want to lose your settings.

Issue 3: Missing settings

So after following the steps in Missing LG Hub, the software could detect my G502 (not the Hero, but the model before), but now I could only change the Lighting effects. I couldn’t get into Assignments (aka macros) or DPI, which left me with a super heavy and slow mouse. 

I uninstalled the software again, then restarted my PC. As it did, I took the mouse OUT from the USB hub I was using and plugged it in directly to the PC. When my comp had restarted, I reinstalled, and now it was showing. 

With missing Chrome shortcut keys but I remembered what I used so it wasn’t too hard. 

End result

Once that was done, and I followed the steps to switch to onboard memory, I took my G502 out from the laptop and plugged it back into the hub. Then I switched from my home PC to my work PC. 

My G502 finally works on my office laptop and now I have all my lovely shortcut buttons on the mouse so I don’t have to rely on my keyboard shortcuts anymore.

MCO thoughts

Taking a 15 minute break from work to talk about the MCO and some small things yesterday. 

So the MCO started in the middle of the week last week, aka Wednesday, 18 March, 2020. Calling the first few days utter chaos is a massive understatement – we were only told to stay home but that we could go out for groceries and it wasn’t a holiday but no clear guidelines about how interstate travel would be handled and well…

Basically the first 2 – 3 days of the MCO saw a compliance rate (according to the government) of 60%, driven no doubt by confusion and panic. For the most part, quite a few restaurants that could afford to stay closed, did. Those that could not, remove their chairs to ensure people could not sit down to eat but only takeaway. This included the coffee shop restaurants near my home. But not all of them were open – there were only a few stalls that took the risk to continue operating. 

So when I ventured out then to get some tapau (packed) food, the road was quiet but not too quiet – it reminded me of the streets during the recent Chinese New Year and Christmas holidays when people went travelling. Life goes on albeit with a soft kind of change, I thought. 

Fast forward to yesterday. 

My family and I stayed home over the weekend, and I managed to get my mom to stop her daily quick runs outside to get the weekly newspaper thanks to the Star opening up their e-paper so she could get her daily fix without navigating their website. On Monday though I needed to get groceries, so I went out to Tesco. 

It was quiet. So, very, very quiet. 

I was actually quite amazed when I stepped out from the front door on the way to my car. I had never heard the street so quiet before, even with the same amount of cars. It took me till today to realise why. 

The highway was silent. 

I never noticed before, but the highway less than a km away was actually really quiet, with nary a car on the road. Before this, there would be a low, below the threshold of conscious thought kind of hum that never quite went away. Yesterday though, it was conspicuously missing. I admit I was very confused when I stepped out of the house, wondering what was so different about it. 

So I did a grocery run and for the most part, both the mall’s parking and most other parts of the lower ground floor was empty, except for the produce section for some reason. Got almost everything I wanted and then came home. It rained later in the evening, bringing blessed comfort from the hot sun. 

A day later, aka today, I realised that I’ve actually never heard this area this quiet before. I grew up in this neighbourhood, in this taman that’s maybe about 10km wide? Maybe more, maybe less, but I’ve never actually heard… silence like this. It’s kinda nice, and a bit unnerving for a city girl like me. 

And now I get what it would sound like if there’s a zombie outbreak. 

Working from home tips

I figured I could either rant about the uselessness of my govt’s communication skills, or I could write something that I’d been meaning to anyway while being under Malaysia’s MCO (aka the Movement Control Order). The MCO is not quite as harsh as a quarantine or lockdown, but it does mean that anyone who isn’t working in a country-essential service capacity is to stay home and basically drive each other mad instead of your colleagues and more importantly, the health system. 

I work as a copywriter for an Australian company in my dayjob, following Melbourne hours. My team is essentially a remote team, though now we’re going to be working from home instead of the office. There are a few benefits to this: 

  • No commute (some of my colleagues regularly drive 40 minutes or more to work when there’s no traffic) 
  • Relaxed dress code (the company who pays our salary has a fairly strict business wear policy) 
  • And for my cigarette colleagues, no need to go 16 floors down for a quick break

However, the thing about working from home is that it’s very easy to get distracted. So here’s what I do to make things easier: 

Setting up a morning work routine

My alarm is still set to my pre-MCO wake up time. This is because my working hours haven’t changed. The only thing that has changed is that I can now snooze a bit longer before I head to “work.”

Things I do as part of my regular routine including showering, brush teeth, and (this part is an MCO bit) grab my office laptop out of the bag. I’m actually quite lucky that the office gave me a new laptop that has a USB-C port. My second monitor, keyboard, and mouse all go through a USB-C hub, so I don’t have to unplug 400 different cables to use my home monitor and peripherals, I just need to unplug 4 – headphones, charger, microphone and the USB hub. 

Doing this gets my mind ready for “work”, so when the laptop finally boots up, I’m ready to start the day. 

Instant noodles with a soft boiled egg
Forgot to eat lunch on time, ended up with just instant noodles

Keep breaks regular

I try to keep my routine as similar as I can with when I was going to the office – this means taking toilet breaks every hour or so because I make sure to stay hydrated, and I take longer breaks (5 minutes minimum) when switching between  brain heavy tasks. It’s very similar to what I do in the office… except I no longer feel the need to time myself because I don’t want to be seen as lazy for taking a long toilet break (leftover from my callcenter days). 

I also try to take my meals around the same time I usually do in the office, so this means having a bun or biscuit or something at 7.30am (basically something more than a cup of coffee) and possibly lunch at 11pm (though mom gets confused because to her that’s late breakfast). 

Recording by hand

Not like that. 

I began keeping a bullet journal to track my tasks in December, and it’s a system that’s worked for me pretty well since then. Writing things down help a lot, and they give me a sense of “what’s next” so I stop feeling lost. 

I also have a habit of drafting brief paragraphs in a throwaway notebook, so I brought both of these back from the office. It fools my brain into thinking that it’s work mode, so… I seem to have stayed productive at least. 

Socialise!

I talk with my colleagues a lot online, but I didn’t realise how much I relied on face-to-face communication until the second day of working from home. When you’re in the same area, it’s easier to holler/call/reach out literally to have questions answered, but when you’re working from home, it’s definitely not quite the same. 

So I am trying to reach out to my colleagues casually outside of just talking about tasks, and in the process I’m learning patience because I really can’t expect them to reply to me immediately (and vice versa!). 

TL;DR

  1. I make the effort to dress up
  2. Follow office timing as much as possible
  3. Record tasks by hand 
  4. Remember to socialise 

March 2020

We’re only a few months into the new year and it seems like it’ll be crazier than last year. WHY.

Popping in just to say that I’m alive. Hopefully something more soon.