Disabling hibernation on windows 7 and why Dirt 2 shows no replay

Yesterday I made this awesome flying finish in Colin McRae Dirt 2 and wanted to view the replay only to realize: there is no replay? That sounded impossible and today, after missing another fine opportunity, I decided to go to the bottom of this. 🙂

Turned out Dirt 2 automatically disables the replay functionality behind your back when there is insufficient free space on your OS partition! That’s right:

  • I have Dirt 2 installed on a partition with 15 GB free space, but that doesn’t matter.
  • It requires 2GB to save a replay!
  • I does not inform the player when it gets turned off (it used to work in the beginning).
  • There is no visual indication whatsoever, that the replay functionality uberhaupt exists but is disabled! It is surgically removed from the gui instead of just a disabled button, for example.

IMO, this is just another example of why consolisation of excellent PC games like CMR is BAD. Anyway, don’t let me go there, let’s focus on hibernation in win 7. 🙂

So I have a 20GB partition for Wintendo 7, but with only 1GB free that does not seem to cut it. Turns out about 6.5GB is taken by the hibernation file (I have 8GB RAM) which I don’t use. So, how to disable that in windows 7? Open a command prompt as administrator and type:

powercfg.exe /hibernate off

That’s all.

Mouse locating kwin effects

Ever felt lost on your desktop? Or more precisely: unable to find your mouse pointer within a (few) second(s)? I know I have, and nowadays on 2 monitors or more (or a huge 48″ tv), this isn’t an exception.

In KDE, we always had the track mouse effect which draws circling yellow stars around your pointer. Unfortunately, this is not adequate anymore. That’s why I thought it would be fun to write my own effect which would do a better job. The key to success seems to me that it should be a full screen effect drawing the attention to the right spot no matter where at the screen you’re looking.

For now, I’ve devised 3 effects:

  1. Looney tunes zoom: fancy term for describing an effect which darkens the background and zooms in on the cursor with a spotlight. I somehow associated that with intro or outro from looney tunes, not sure if that makes sense. :p
  2. Sunray: animates some kind of rays around the mouse position.
    kwin sunray mouse locate effect
  3. Radial texture animation: least fancy name, as it is so generic. 🙂 It just animates a texture from outer to inner. The concrete application is to show arrows pointing to the mouse.
    kwin arrow mouse locate effect

For the last 2 effects, I don’t have screencasts yet, don’t ask, I’ve been through hell to create the first one. Also, for the last one, I have to fix the texture uv map generation, or use a better mesh (or maybe a different technique 🙂 ).