Saturday, October 07, 2006

Windows Live Messenger/MSN8 loves your ram.

A while ago I switched over to Windows Live Messenger (aka MSN 8). I'd avoided the beta for months and months and months because I often have problems with Microsoft's beta stuff and its just not worth the hassle so I thought I'd wait until it was all dandy and fixed and ready for release.

Turns out that its still a huge memory pig. At the moment it is using about 25 meg of ram. Due to the quirks of Windows though, if I minimise it, it drops to using about 4 meg of ram - but if I send it to the tray, it still uses about 25meg! Windows unloads an app's working set from ram if its minimised, so it seems like the developers missed a trick when sending it to the tray ... I'm guessing they are just making the form invisible rather than minimising it. See my blog is both educational and informative! :)

Anyway that all pales into insignificance compared to what I experienced the other day. Came back to my computer and thought things were going a bit slow (click for bigger image)...

Thats right - its using over 260 meg of ram, and 470 meg of virtual memory! Thats more than even Firefox which is well known for its memory leaks!

From my experience, you need to completely shut Messenger down and restart it every few days, otherwise it tends to go mad and do things like this.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Inside a PG-40 ink cartridge - Part 2

In my previous post I was musing about the possibility of refilling a PG-40 ink cartridge as there are no 3rd party alternatives from what I can see.

From that post you can see that the ink cartridge is nothing more than a box with some foam in it, so I was confident about refilling it.

As it turns out it is pretty easy to do, and it works really well too. Here is what I did - please follow these steps at your own risk!

  1. Remove empty cartridge from printer - an MP150 in my case.
  2. Be careful not to touch or otherwise allow things to come into contact with the print head (thats the really inky long metallic looking bit at the bottom of the cartridge!)
  3. "Pop off" the grey lid of the cartridge (see in the video in the post mentioned above) - you can use a vice or a G-clamp to do this. If you dont have either it might be worth trying to drill a hole through the "a" of "cartridge" on the label, but be careful you dont let any of the bits of plastic get in the cartridge.
  4. Using a syringe and needle - like the one that you get with Tesco ink refill packs - push the needle down into the base of the foam and inject the ink.
  5. Place the grey lid back on the cartridge, and secure with some sellotape. Make sure that you attach the tape horizontally on the cartridge - i.e. with the label facing you with the writing the correct way up, put the tape horizontally across the label and use about an inch of tape either side to attach to the sides of the cartridge. Make sure you do not tape it on vertically as you will cover up the gold-coloured contacts.
  6. Place the cartridge back into the printer.
Having done this you can now simply unpeel the tape to refill again next time. Because the print head is integrated into the cartridge, you may find that after a few refills you will need to buy a new cartridge as the head may have become damaged or clogged up.

One side effect of this is the printer still thinks that the ink is low. From what I can gather, there is no way for the printer to actually know how much ink is in the cartridge, and it just guesses by keeping a count of how many times it has printed and how much ink it thinks it used each time. There might be a software work around for this - if I find anything I will make an update.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

StumbleUpon for fun and profit - Part 2: Results

Ok so in my previous post I talked about StumbleUpon and a huge increase in hits I got from it having received a stumbling.

I was wondering how long the effect would last, and what the hits would be like afterwards. Turns out that what I blogged about before was pretty much it - nothing much else happened after:

As you can see I got about 3 days of high traffic, then it dropped off quicker than it picked up! One side effect though is that I am now getting about 3 or 4 times the average previous hits since the stumbling, and a slow trickle of referrals from StumbleUpon still. I appear to be getting more search engine traffic now too - this could be coincidence of course.

Its a bit of a strange profile - I can only presume that my site was temporarily on a "Whats New" type page for a little while, and has now slumped down to the usual listings.

Still, an interesting experience!

Update: I have had a closer look at what happened to my advertising revenue during and after this event. Check out the details at StumbleUpon for fun and profit - Part 3: Analysis