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This is just a listing of all the documents, posts, and I guess you would call it a blog for the NOC. Feel free to browse the contents here, but if you are looking for something specific we recommend using the search feature.
Last Updated: 01/18/2009 11:03 AM
Posted by Robert Hall on 05/15/2011 02:29 AM
With the announcement of the Google ChromeBook, I think it's time to put out my top 5 reasons why getting a Chrome OS powered device is a bad idea. First of all if you have'nt seen my review of the Chrome OS itself, here is a link to check it out. For those of you who don't want to watch it, let me summarize it... Chrome OS is the Google Chrome browser, nothing else special about it. Applications are nothing more than web pages, and as we all know web apps have their own unique limitations. Now with that aside, let's dig into the list.
#1 You have no control over updates
For the same reason Google is bashing microsoft on software upda...
Posted by Robert Hall on 05/12/2011 03:23 AM
Presumably trying to take advantage of the fact that facebook is always changing and modifying their design and the fact that people are quick to delete any offensive content, some facebook apps are starting to create fake delete buttons. What happens is someone receives a post on their facebook wall full of profanity, writen to appear as if the originator is upset with them. The post will even taunt them into wanting to click the delete button using language to indicate that it's impossible to do. Clicking on the delete button just results in the user receiving an alert/message box telling them "failed to remove" followed by some profanity. The fake post then goes through and reposts the message to all other contacts th...
Posted by Robert Hall on 05/11/2011 02:20 AM
It seems click fraud has become such a problem that Google has started more aggressively cracking down on publishers who have adsense on their websites and YouTube partners.
The problem here is that they have become a bit too aggressive and are falsely disabling accounts because their software is incorrectly seeing accounts having invalid clicks, or that competitors are click bombing their websites. If you have a blog, and your competitor had a blog, and he see’s that you are using adsense on it. He can go through and click on your ads repeatedly and with bots to cause your adsense account to be flagged for invalid clicks. So not only are the advertisers getting the short end of the stick, but so are the publishers no...
Posted by Robert Hall on 04/28/2011 10:52 PM
I know the title of this post must shock you, but it appears to be that Microsoft has decided that it will no longer be including the Visual Basic 6 runtime with it's operating systems past Windows 7. So whenever Windows 8 comes out (or whatever the fancy name for it will be) Visual Basic 6 applications will be out of luck it seems.
Only 32 bit support has and ever will exist for the Visual Basic 6 runtime, and I would guess that the next generation operating system from Microsoft will most likely be totally (if not almost) 64 bit only. However as much as I love Visual basic 6 and all the applications I wrote for it back in the day, it is time for the ol...
Posted by Robert Hall on 01/10/2010 08:47 PM
Without a doubt Blackberry devices are probably the most backwards and unfriendly I have ever seen. That might seem like an odd claim, but think about it think about how all the other manufacturer's are inovating right now, then look at RIM and the Blackberry.
The Blackberry is the only smart phone I know of that does not have full builtin support for microsoft exchange. Instead of selecting a server type and then putting your settings in, you need to do one of the following: Buy software for your exchange server, or an application for your desktop.
It makes no sense to do this! Sure you can connect to send email, but your contacts, tasks, and calendar won't hit your phone otherwise. The Palm Pre, and iPhone do this all a...
Posted by Robert Hall on 01/01/2010 11:51 PM
I have the great option of owning a Palm Pre, and getting to work with iPhones on an almost daily basis. So I often get asked which device I prefer, which one is the better phone the Pre or the iPhone. Obviously this is something that is going to be more based on opinion, as there are only a few things hardware wise that seperate them. So I'll get those out of the way and then get to the more opinion based comparisons.
ATT gets horrible coverage and has just recently started with 3g. While Sprint has had 3G coverage for quite some time, and in general covers more areas than AT&T does. I never used AT&T where I live because I don't even pick up their service, while Sprint and V...
Posted by Robert Hall on 12/15/2009 10:13 AM
When you think of sound cards, the first name that comes to mind is Sound Blaster. Why should'nt it? The quality of sound these cards produce is great compared to many others.
However when you think of support the last name you are going to think of is Creative Labs, the company that makes the Sound blaster series of cards.
I have used their cards for years, and at one point even had a graphics card they made. I obviously stopped buying their graphics cards because of the poor support, but yet I still stuck with their sound cards.
I love the audio quality, and most importantly I love the full front panel controls they give on the high end models. I also understand that a company cannot support a product forever, s...
Posted by Robert Hall on 11/24/2009 03:17 AM
Having used Seagate drives for years I have found them to be pretty reliable, however in the last year or two I have started to encounter issues with them. Most notabily with the SMART data features of the drive.
For those of you who do not know, SMART data is a section on your hard drive designed to record information in regards to it's performace. In this you can find things such as the number of seek errors, drive memory errors, bad sector counts, etc, etc. This is great as you can look at the SMART data and know if the drive is starting to go bad, before it actually does go bad.
The problem with Seagate drives and this is that they don't use standard SMART data, they kinda just do their own thing.
If you use a...
Posted by Robert Hall on 11/18/2009 03:00 AM
I'm changing the way the company is heading and I need your feedback to do it!
With so many things going on at the moment for me, the work I do has changed. So the result of this is either come across a big bucket of cash, or re-invent the business. I'm optioning for the re-inventing of the business...
So I need your help in figuring out where I should focus my efforts for this. I plan to focus on online content, but where exactly should I drive that focus to for the best result... Hmm... The answer is to where the viewer wants to see content.
So embedded below is survey, or you can make with the clicky clicky here to the Google form.
Remember your feedback is alway...
Posted by Robert Hall on 11/12/2009 08:07 PM
There are a multitude of thermal products on the market, and some better than others. I actually use two different products depending on the job itself.
First is what I call a replacement grade thermal grease. What I mean by this is that I will use it when I am out in the field working on a system under warranty, or in general on site. It's almost as good as the higher end grease, but the key thing I look for here is ease of application. I don't want to be onsite for an additional 15 minutes or more just getting an exact thickness or coating. Plus I want to use whatever is closest to the original manufacturer's specs.
Artic Silver 5 meets this requirement very well. It's a great thermal compound, and will often make a sys...
Posted by Robert Hall on 10/18/2009 11:22 PM
Adobe has managed time and time again to tick me off with software activations. Well it's time someone else besides me gets to know what these problems are. Honestly it's getting to a point I will likely use another photo editing product when CS4 gets too old.
What's the problem you ask?
The problem is that with Adobe's new activation system you can only activate your software on two computers, and that's fine with me. But where this breaks down is the activation system itself. You have to actually DEactivate your old installation to move it to a new computer. If you don't you will install it on another computer fine, but then be told that you can only use it as a trial version until you activate it.
Now let's see...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/23/2009 02:39 AM
Some people have asked me where I purchase my equipment and parts from that I use in fixing all these computers.
Well when it comes to off the shelf parts like power supplies, ram, cases, cd drives, etc. I usually purchase them through NewEgg.com . The irony is that I do have deals with distributors, but because I do not order hundreds of parts at a time New Egg is almost always cheaper by $10 or more per part. I will also use them for most of my pre made cable needs as well.
When it comes to ordering licenses for software such as Trend Micro I stick with my distributors because they can give me raw license pric...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/14/2009 04:17 PM
When a liquid spills on your laptop, some quick thinking and knowing what to do can be it's last chance to be saved. It's common knowledge that water and electronics don't mix, and never should. This is because the liquid conducts electricity, and it easy flows between components and shorts them out. This shorting out sometimes will just simply cause the device to malfunction and shut off. However in more unfortunate cases the unit will continue running, and burn up components, or worse...
Additionally if you have spilt a liquid that contains sugar in it, such as orange juice, soda, and coffee you will never be able to fully fix the damage done to your system. Coffee is just as bad as a sugary liquid because when it dries it turn...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/14/2009 11:15 AM
Last weekend the news site NYTimes.com was displaying Ads that contained malware. This was causing some users of the website to receive a pop-up or full-screen message telling them that their computer was infected by a virus, and that they needed to "scan now". They would then be prompted to download and install the "scanning utility" which was actually the virus itself.
Troy Davis has done an Anatomy on the Malware distribution itself if you wish to read it. Although he does not go much into explaining how the ad itself would have displayed, only what the ad code does.
I have three theories on how such code could have been displ...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/12/2009 07:58 AM
The latest version of Trend Micro Internet Security has been released, so it's time for me to give an updated review and opinion on it.
As I expected Trend Micro has stuck to what has made this product great over the years, and I hope they continue to do it. The big points on this security scanner are speed, usability, and overall protection. I have yet to see a commercial product on the market that has matched what Trend Micro has done here.
On the speed, I am not going to give you some statistics, because each computer will run it deferently than others. However I look at the performance more on lower end computers, because that is where you will see real issues if there are any. In the past Trend Micro took a hit on pe...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/09/2009 04:29 AM
You may remember that awhile back I upgraded from Mac OS 10.4 to 10.5 (Leopard) . For the most part I am happy with that upgrade, it gave me new features that I did'nt have before, and a small visual update.
However what you probably don't know is all the issues I had with it later. I am talking about issues that you don't notice at first, but kinda happen at random and you just don't put 2 and 2 together for awhile.
Now I know that I am not the only one to experience these problems, as I have had customers have the same issues. Yes, I have contacted Apple about the issues, and they generally have been playing dumb on it, or just tell me to watch for updates.
First issue I ha...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/06/2009 11:00 PM
A few of the website changes I had previously discussed are now in place, and now I want some feedback!
I know not all of the changes are in place, however two of the major ones are. I've gone through and changed how all the main pages work now on the website. So when you click on Docs, or on Videos it does'nt just show you the last article posted, but instead gives you a listing of all the articles of that type posted. That's much more useful now huh? I seriously have no idea what I was thinking when I originally did that... The second part of this was a change to the content itself. As you may notice some articles have pictures next to them. This is to help make the articles more interestin...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/04/2009 12:39 PM
I've noticed the website is not getting hit as much as I would like it to be. So, as a result I am going to be making some changes to the site to try and improve your user experience, as well as make the website content better.
#1 Re-organize the main pages of the site
The main tabs at the top take you to the content sections, but they show you the latest page. It is not entirely obvious that there is other content under those sections. So to correct this the main page will show all the latest content added with the last article appearing as a short blurb with a link to read more of it.
#2 Re-organize how ads are displayed
Right now the ads are kinda... everywhere so I am going to focus on more strateg...
Posted by Robert Hall on 08/29/2009 12:53 PM
So you have a website you really like, or that has alot of useful information on it. You want to help the owner of the website out, but you are not sure how to do it, or even if you can help. Well the truth of the story is you can help your favorite website almost every time you visit it.
#5 - Rate the Content
This is by far the easiest and quickest thing to do, just clicking on the rate button and giving it some stars or a thumbs up or thumbs down. Whatever the website has for a content rating system, use it. It's often just one or two clicks and will hardly take any of your time. Seeing what people think of the content gives the author feedback to know if his content is actually appreciated. A simple warm fuzzy of &qu...
Posted by Robert Hall on 08/29/2009 04:08 AM
What makes a netbook different from a laptop, they are cheaper, and smaller so why not get one? Well it all depends what you want to do with your laptop.
Lets start with the key features and the differences with netbooks and laptops.
Lets start with the netbooks first
Key Advantages of Netbooks:
Extremely light weight often only around 2 pounds
Very small - Screen sizes such as 8 and 10 inches are common
Long battery life - Lasting 5 or more hours easily, some are up to 9 hours now from Asus
More are showing up on the market now with built-in air cards for use on cell phone networks such as Sprint, Verizon, and AT&...
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