By: Nikhil Malankar
The other day I was playing Skyrim and experienced a seriously deathly lag on my Alienware m14x. To notice a lag on my gaming rig was a pretty unusual thing for me since I’m not used to play on a laggy system for almost a year now! Well, before this I had experienced a problem wherein my laptop’s screen froze but my cursor was working. Something was wrong but I just could not figure out what it was. And suddenly laptop again froze while I was playing Skyrim after the painful lag. My internet connection was enabled that time. So, I had to other option than to directly turn it off by long pressing the power button.
After doing this I was put into another state of shock by seeing the BSOD(For non-techies: BSOD means ‘Blue Screen Of Death’). That scared the crap out of me. The system again restarted by itself after the BSOD. And what next?? AGAIN BSOD!! Shit! I was screwed! My dad was just sitting besides me having his lunch and me besides him on a scary way to Blue Hell! And this loop of BSOD continued for 3 times. After that I entered the BIOS mode and tried to change some values there. And at the ‘Exit’ screen of BIOS I chose to restore the default system settings and saved the changes. Now, after a reboot, Windows started to the screen where it asks the user to Launch a Startup repair or to start Windows normally. I preferred to start Windows normally. But then to my surprise I again encountered the BSOD! Laptop restarted again and then again the Blue Screen error came so I decided to use the same trick of entering the BIOS and exiting. After that again the Launch Windows Startup repair or Start Windows normally screen appeared. This time I chose to launch startup repair. (My dad was still eating!) And then my good luck, startup repair fixed the issue and my laptop started to the login screen. And my dad finished his lunch, phew!
I quickly started taking backup of all the important stuff on my hard disk. After taking a backup I decided to run a scan on my laptop since may be this could be a virus or a malware. After about 3 hours my laptop experienced the same freeze again. I thought that there is some problem in my network card and thats why I mentioned in the first paragraph that my internet connection was enabled. Something was seriously wrong with my Alienware m14x. I was worried but then I could only repeat the procedure that I followed previously to login to Windows. I had to go through the BSOD again but fortunately enough I could skip the startup repair. I started thinking, what possibly could cause this issue? And my logic pointed to two things: over-heating or excessive memory(RAM) usage. So, I opened the task manager and observed that my logic was right
for the excessive memory usage. I’ve got 4GB RAM and the RAM usage was almost as high as 90-97%. To simplify the terms, my physical memory, as one can observe from a task manager, was that high. Something was using a lot of RAM. Now the challenge was to find out what was it? I took a little break to eat something. And then got a little bored with the problem so I turned off my laptop and went to my classes for the lecture.
After I came back from classes it was about 9 PM and I worked on the laptop for about 3 hours without any issues of BSOD or screen freeze. But I knew that the problem was still there. It was around 12 AM when I had taken a back up of all the data on my laptop and was totally exhausted now so decided to go to sleep. So, I turned off my system and went to sleep.
The next day I was equipped with a new inspiration to fix this issue and so started off on the quest to do the same. Task manager was the first step that would further act as a great help to solve this issue. Now I had to somehow find which process/service was using up so much of physical memory. So, I went to the Task Manager’s ‘Performance’ tab. There you can observe how many cores your Laptop/PC has. Plus it also shows you the graph of your physical memory and the CPU usage (i.e. usage of cores). In that you can observe the ‘Resource Monitor’ option. I clicked that. Alternatively you can directly go to your ‘Run.exe’ and type in ‘perfmon.exe’ to launch the ‘Resource Monitor’. Now, in ‘Resource Monitor’ there are 5 tabs namely: Overview, CPU, Memory, Disk and Network. I was experiencing problem with excessive memory usage so logically my solution would lie in the ‘Memory’ tab. Now here I observed that one service was using around a 200k something commit memory which was obviously very high. Then I saw its name and it was ‘wmpnetwk.exe’. Alrighty, so I had got the cause of the problem and now was the fixing service.
Resource Monitor in Task Manager’s Performance tab
Resource Monitor Window
Well, I would like to explain ‘wmpnetwk.exe’ program in this paragraph. This is Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service and it should not be consuming so much of physical memory on a computer and if it does then you got a hint that something is wrong with it. A 60%+ physical memory for a single service is way too much and this was the reason for the game lag and screen freeze.
If you are experiencing the same issue then here is the solution that I tried:
Click Start and type ‘services.msc’ in the Start Search. This will open up a window wherein you can see all the services that are executed either automatically/automatically(delayed)/disabled on your system.
Type services.msc in the Start Menu (For Windows 7 users)
Services.msc screen and Windows Media Player Network Sharing highlighted. (I’ve already disabled it)
Search for ‘Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service’ and right-click and select ‘Stop’. This will stop the service. Now again right-click and this time select the ‘Properties’ option. There in the Startup Type select either ‘Manual’ or ‘Disable’. Since I don’t use Windows Media player at all so I chose to disable it for good. I’m a VLC fan.
Properties Screen of wmpnetwk.exe (warning: Before disabling please make sure that you stop the service)
Problem solved gum gums, u jelly Windows??
I hope this little experience of mine would help you if you ever encounter the same problem. And now Skyrim runs without a lag!! ^_^
By: Nikhil Malankar
2012 has started on a very good note for me since I just got cured from chickenpox and then all things are going perfect till now. Because of my illness I had to cancel some of my plans the previous year but luckily enough I got cured before the TechFest 2012. Now I won’t be whining further about my illness which would of course bore you but I’ll continue with what the post is actually about. So, yeah the TechFest! I’ve been using this word TechFest all the time. What exactly is this ‘TechFest’? Ofcourse, you guessed it right that it has to do something with Technology and Festival. Well, the TechFest 2012 is an annual College Festival of Indian Institute Of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B). First of all before proceeding with the info on the TechFest I’d like to give a short description to IIT-B.
IIT-B Main Building
IIT-B is located in Powai, Mumbai. It would not be wrong if I were to say that IIT-B is the ‘Indian Harvard’. Right from the awfully big campus to the scattered genius talent, everything reflected a bright atmosphere. An atmosphere that is way beyond a conventional education center. And I was like, ‘Whoa! What would it be like to be in such a great institute?’. But then even the most beautiful thing in this world has some flaws in it. And that would soon be realised by us in the coming hours. So, let’s get to the TechFest now! The day was 6th of January, 2012 when this magnificent campus had invited us to witness this Fest. The day started off with us reaching Powai and actually getting trapped in the ‘Entrance Test’. No! There was no official test to get an entry (Who would go to such a place then?) but we were confused about the entry to the campus. And then after asking here and there we finally found it in a matter of a mere 15 minutes. Anyways, we got in to find out that we had forgotten to take the Visitor’s card that was required for certain activities in the fest. After walking for almost an hour we had to go all the way back to the main gate to get the visitor’s card. How boring was that, buf!
Well, now we were in utter confusion! Such a big campus, so many things to do and ample amount of time. What to do? Sit four lectures? Eat? Keep walking and discover more of IIT? Or just sit at one place and wonder? Well, to be on safe side, we tried it all! First we were just randomly wandering here and there. Then we almost had entered a lecture hall and we also sat there but then they told us to wait outside and stand in that awfully long line! Duh, who would like to stand in a line after sitting on those comfy sofas? So, we went ahead. Kept walking in the almost seemingly infinite path to discover this ‘CricBot’. Cricket is a famous sport, for my American, Chinese and Japanese Bros and sis’. And ‘Bot’, well as we all know, Robot. So, basically it was a Robot which can play cricket. Participants assembled their robots and one by one came to display their seemingly overflowing knowledge. Extensive C++ codes and wires here and there plus a laptop in every student’s hand-made it seem like a perfect geek spot! So, we went inside and there the first participating group came. Unfortunately because of some technical difficulties the robot was working in a bizarre manner. Just think! Almost a year’s effort getting destroyed in front of your eyes in 10 minutes. Despite of the efforts the team only managed to make the robot twirl around and get itself tangled. Felt bad for those guys. Then came the second group. By this time our enthusiasm was almost finished so we waited for 15 minutes and left the hall to enter again the vast world of IIT.
After this we went to the Japanese exhibition wherein they had kept all the JapTech on display ranging from artistic vases to hybrid cars and PlayStation 2. Well, a time pass item.
Now we had already wasted a lot of time so we really wanted to do something. One of the friend in our group was really frustrated and wanted to go home. But then you can never actually leave your friends when you are in a group. You just can’t resist to be with the group. So, convinced that he would be convinced somehow we headed for the lecture. And yeah! Our conviction held true. Now we were heading to the lecture that would completely change the way we looked at life. It was about a 10 minute wait for the lecture and then we headed into this classroom that we had seen only in films and newspapers. Truly magnificent and sliding classrooms with ample space for walking and ample space for sleeping on the back benches.
So, the lecturer was Mr. Sugata Mitra, an Education Technology guy from MIT Media Labs. He explained us about his work that primarily focused on spreading education through computers and his research states that if a person can read then he can learn anything, and by anything I seriously mean anything ranging from basic arithmetic calculations to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Much of this concept depends on belief and creating curiosity within a child. He presented some awesome statistics that represented his research in the field from 1999-2002, 2002- 2006 and 2007 to present. Mr Sugata believes that if a child is provided with a computer and a broadband connection he/she can learn anything and everything as swiftly as the child who is attending that expensive school in the neighborhood. Not only this but you can even pretend to be a Doctor by just renting an apartment and putting up a signboard as ‘Dr. So&So’ and buy a nice desk plus a computer with a broadband
connection. This experiment carried out by Mr. Mitra, known as ‘The Hole In The Wall’ project, was a worldwide success. How cool would it be to never learn from a teacher, isn’t it? In simple words: You can teach yourself. I’ll give you a simple example for this. Now that you have read about Mr. Sugata Mitra, if you are interested in knowing more about him, you will directly contact your best friend ‘Google’ for more info on him. This means that you are teaching yourself about this person and adding to your knowledge. As simple as that. Truly mind-blowing speaker. I also got the opportunity to talk with him in person and appreciated his efforts in the field of Education Technology. Sugata Sir’s research has helped many students from rural India to England, America, Indonesia and many more.
The 2nd one from right in Black T-Shirt is Sugata Mitra Sir
After attending the lecture we were all charged up to sit for yet another lecture since, by now, we had realised that the lectures at IIT are truly magnificent. But then our stomachs had a different story to tell. So, we went to the cafeteria near the Hospital/Parking lot and ate. The next lecture that we wanted to attend was at 4.30 and it was 2.30 as of now. So, we did a lot of time pass strolling around here and there and then time went by swiftly.
Next was Simon Singh’s lecture. Simon Singh is the author of many best seller books and notably known for ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’. 4.30 to 5.30 and that was his lecture. Truly magnificent. Manas has posted his experience about Simon’s Lecture. Here I’ll provide some snaps of him.
The one in the Mohawk is Simon Singh
Oh and after the lecture got over it was almost 6 PM. And we had to rush now or else we would reach home late since the college was far away from our residences. And well, would not like to share the travelling experience back home. We were CRUSHED in that jam packed bus! Anyways, signing off.
Well, that’s the way we roll!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Comments welcome!
By: Nikhil Malankar
One of the greatest innovations of all time is undoubtedly the computer and because of the same many further things were made possible. Right from knowing how the child in the mother’s womb is to the launch of a satellite. Nowadays everything is done on the computer. The computer has advanced a lot since it was first invented. At first it was a big idiot box. Then after that because of semiconducting devices it was possible to have smaller computers. Due to further advancements the size went on decreasing whereas the capabilities went on increasing. (Moore’s Law) And now finally! The desktop is approaching its death! Let’s see how!
Ok. So, as I mentioned earlier that because of semiconductors the size of the computer went on decreasing. The size went on decreasing and a new innovation known as the ‘Laptop’ was introduced. The laptop is classified into 2 main categories. First being notebooks and second net books. Net books are cheap laptops but nowadays they are also becoming a rage for business class people who need a handy book to carry their business with ease. For more updated information let me tell you that these ‘net books’ will soon be getting replaced by something called ‘ultra books’ which would be having the same mobility of net books but with more processing power. The laptops offer everything to everyone. There are gaming laptops, business laptops and also useless time pass laptops! And the biggest advantage is that laptop does not require more space unlike the desktop. Plus a battery charge of 6 hours can make the laptop work for 10 hours or more depending on the assurance given by the company.
Recently the launch of tablet PCs have further contributed to the desktop’s death. The Apple iPad, Blackberry Playbook, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Tab and many others are no less than a computer (with a small space of 32 GB or 64 GB but that’s fine!). The real innovation was the iPad but due to its big dimensions it became inconvenient to carry it. The solution to this was Samsung Galaxy Tab which had smaller dimensions and more power. But if the Apple iPad would not have been launched then maybe we would have never known what a tablet is and we would have stuck to medical science for the same .
And after the launch of tablets we got these amazing range of smart phones with 1GHz processing power like the Xperia series, Samsung Galaxy S II and many more. Plus the Windows-Nokia phone Lumia 800 was a new cocktail of technologies. These smart phones offer a wide variety of features including business features like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and updates on the go. Social networking experience is also awesome. With all this and much more to come, I think that the Desktop is slowly but steadily breathing its last.
Maybe after some years or even months nobody will use the desktop on a large scale and everyone will work on laptops and tablets. The desktop will be popular only with the people who like to relax and sit at home or only at large corporations. The geek community will always be on the desktop as they love it a lot! Also gamers will prefer desktops over laptops and tablets. But the bitter truth is that the desktop is approaching its death.
Oh and yeah Happy New Year folks!