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 11/23/2009 03:54 AM
The Kingston SNV225-S2 provides excellent performance for the buck compared to other SSD models of the same speed. I purchased this 64GB model for around $160 at the time, and according to the specificiations it should get around 220mbs read, and 140mbs write speed.
Just like other SSD drives I've seen this one comes in a 2.5 inch mobile format. I do question as to if making these drives in a standard 3.5 inch format would provide more storage for less cost, as some people like myself will be using these in desktop systems.
The casing of the drive is metal as I would expect it to be, and besides it's performance there is really nothing else to note. Feel free to watch my video review to see the drive in action.
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 10/21/2009 03:41 AM
The short of it, bang for the buck the Xacti VPC-CG10 has more features than other video cameras in it's price range. That's exactly why I purchased it when I needed to upgrade my video camera for The Noc. I did'nt have much (or really any) money to spend on a camera, but needed something that was going to shoot in HD and mount to a tripod.
Doing some searching for HD video cameras I found several in the $400 and up range that would give me great quality, and everything I needed. However that was out of my price range, and I was wondering what the lower end market might offer.
So after looking over some models I found the Xacti on Amazon for around $175 at the time (Link below if you wan...
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 10/03/2009 09:26 PM
If you are serious about removing a virus from your computer these days, you need to have some serious tools. Viruses and spyware these days come out so fast they can break right past even the best antivirus products, and are crafted so they merge and become a part of your operating system. Scanning your system after getting infected does not always remove an infection, and to those who don't have the know how or tools will have to reload their system, or take it to a repair shop to be cleaned.
In most cases if an antivirus or spyware product cannot remove the virus while windows is running, you can use a boot cd to startup in a safe copy of windows and remove the virus. The reason this works is because you are taking out the vir...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/23/2009 06:15 AM
If you ever had a system that was running a bit slow you might have thought about simply adding more ram to it, however that is not always the fix. Using some tools like process explorer and task manager can help you determine if your performance issue is due to lack of RAM, or another issue.
Sometimes your system can be running slow for another reason altogether, such as failing hardware, or a run away process in the background. Using the right tool might just save you some time and trouble of isolating the real problem.
You can download Process explorer for free at:
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 09/23/2009 01:48 AM
There are several ways in which you can test a desktop computer power supply. My perfered method is to use a power supply tester. This is because it's much faster, simpler, and there is less risk of having a component burn out or getting a nasty shock yourself. You of course can test a power supply using a volt meter as well. A volt meter will give you more information about the power supply, but in most cases is not needed. The only time I use a volt meter is when I suspect the issue could be the power supply even when my power supply tester shows that everything is fine.
With a power supply tester all you have to do is connect the main power connector and the processor connector from the power supply to the tester. Then apply p...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/23/2009 01:33 AM
If you have a small form factor Dell desktop replacing the power supply is not too different than that of a normal desktop computer. The biggest difference is just the power supply itself. The process itself is basically the same. With these small form factor desktops the trick is you just need to get the power supply, unfortunately they are only available through the manufacturer themselves (or ebay), and cost an arm and a leg.
However once you do get ahold of one it's just a matter of disconnecting the leads from the power supply to the motherboard, and hard drive. Then you can remove the power supply itself and install a new one. You can then reverse the removal process by connecting all the leads to the board and hard drive.<...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/20/2009 01:05 AM
Here's a quick tip/trick that will extend the life of your mouse, or even save you from having to buy a new mouse for quite some time.
If your mouse jumps around, stutters on movement, feels jerky or sluggish the chances are it is dirty. You can clean your mouse in just a few minutes by doing only a few simple things.
On ball mice take the ball out and clean the wheels inside as well as the ball itself. Dirt builds up in there and causes the ball to get stuck or move stiffly. This causes the stuttering and unresponsiveness of the mouse. This same thing happens with optical mice, however it is usually some dust or hair that gets caught in the sensor area causing the mouse to jump all over the place.
Watch the video...
Posted by Robert Hall on 09/15/2009 11:11 PM
Ever wonder what all is involved in replacing a graphics card in your computer? There is'nt much to it, it's just a few simple things you need to do.
First you need to know what kind of graphics card you can put in your system. For most motherboards you can look directly on the board near the graphics card slot (The one closest to the top of the case) there it is usually written what kind of slot it is. If it is not written, you can tell by the color of the port the general type of card you need. Blue ports are normally PCI Express, however I have seen some that are Yellow. Brown is for AGP ports, and white is for normal PCI ports. If none of this helps you figure out what your system needs, or you want more exact information on ...
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 08/30/2009 05:56 AM
I've had my Logitech G19 for a couple weeks now, and I've had some time to play with all the features. As usual with all my reviews I'll keep it pretty straight forward, and give a listing of the key features and disadvantages of the product.
The G19 is targeted primarily for high end gamers market who want macro, and LCD funcationality from their keyboard. The G19 provides this in addition to a few other features. The G19 is the current successor to the G15 series of keyboards previously produced (and I believe still is being produced) by Logitech. The G15 features VERY similair functionality compared to the G19, with the exception that the LCD is full color, has a customizable back light for the keyboard, and in some models of ...
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