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1976  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Steam: Savior or Slayer of PC Gaming? on: December 23, 2011, 03:59:32 AM
4wd, you're a star, I'll check these configs - thanks for finding them for me. I must admit that because this happens when I am offline I haven't done much research at workarounds smiley

I'm not sure whether it will help you get around the Steam client wanting to update before doing anything but it can't hurt to try.
1977  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Steam: Savior or Slayer of PC Gaming? on: December 22, 2011, 05:43:33 PM
It infuriates me every time. It should not happen - I should be able to start "old" steam offline and install the update the next time I am online - at least to play a game.

I agree with you on this one, it really is just bad programming on the part of Steam/Valve.

Besides setting every game to not auto-update, (to lessen any chance of Steam not being able to go into Offline mode when there's no connection), have you tried what this post suggests ?

Edit: I can confirm that creating/editing steam.cfg (in the same directory as the steam executable) with the following lines works:


Here it appeared to force Steam to open the 'Could not connect...Start in Offline mode' dialog.

When the two lines aren't there, Steam connects straight through to the servers.
1978  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: SATA III - performance on: December 20, 2011, 05:30:39 AM
Actually yesterday I copied over 500Gb of data from one drive to another (both SATA III drives on the SATA III interface). Was rather unimpressed with an average transfer rate of around 35Mb/s (IIRC)

Wow, that's less than half the speed I get copying large files between a WD Green 750GB SATA2, (on a SATA2 i/face), and Samsung 1TB SATA2, (on a SATA3 i/face).  Going the other way is about the same as you get mainly because the 750GB is severely fragmented.
1979  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Steam Holiday Sale has Started on: December 20, 2011, 12:51:56 AM
Some kind soul wouldn't like to proxy the purchase of Singularity, ($4.99 for the next 11 hours), for me, they've decided it's not available in my region  mad
1980  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: AdBlock Plus To Not Block All Ads on: December 19, 2011, 08:55:03 PM
It's probobably your local DNS server translating .com to .co.nz .....

I run my own DNS server and it doesn't make a difference here, (even using Googles DNS servers).

I think it's more a case of Google reading your IP location and bringing up the localised version.  If I run a VPN into the UK or Germany then I'll get .co.uk or .de if I type in www.google.com

Alternatively, (in Firefox), if you have Google.com set as your search engine and click on the search icon in the input area, (with no text input), you'll go the Google.com page.
1981  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: SATA III - performance on: December 19, 2011, 08:37:01 PM
Thanks - apart from marketing hype it does make you wonder what the point of SATA III is really when it comes to mechanical drives.

You can be happy knowing that the 100kB text file you're loading from the HDD internal buffer is happening at 6Gb/s instead of 3Gb/s...that's assuming it's in the buffer of course.  cheesy
1982  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: List your (wireless) router and experiences on: December 19, 2011, 08:25:31 PM
I will never buy D-Link again.

+1 After my experience with one of their NAS models.

FWIW, I currently run a ASUS RT-N16 loaded with Tomato-USB firmware.  4 Gigabit ports, 2 USB ports, WiFi N.

No WiFi problems connecting to 802.11b/g laptop and phone, and no problems connecting to a couple of generic 802.11n adapters, (one on a WD TV Live) - no problems with the router at all.

They also have the RT-N56U which is dual band.
1983  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Windows XP system clock losing (lots) of time. on: December 19, 2011, 07:30:28 PM
What time server is being used on your system - try changing to an alternative. I had a problem once where the time was set correctly and then suddenly the time changed and it was a TS causing the problem.

I now get it to sync to au.pool.ntp.org every ten minutes, in that time it can lose 2 minutes.

So it uses a random NTP server every time.  I have used pool.ntp.org, (even more random), but I have also just turned the resyncing off - it still starts losing time from the moment it's booted.

Also check your time zone of set correctly (Control Panel - International).

One of the first things I checked.

Last thought: if not the CMOS battery have you checked the stability of your PSU?

Thanks, that made me think of something of something else, a long shot.....but still a shot.

True, have you tried running w32tm /reset to force is to recalculate the offset?

I don't seem to have the /reset switch on w32tm, /resync might be what you mean?

Crap!  I think I found the problem  embarassed  At some point I must have disabled or forgotten to enable the HPET and WDRT in BIOS when playing with the battery.

I've just reset the BIOS and the RTC/OS difference is back to being under a second every 5 minutes.

Thanks for the suggestions, I think I need to go back to tech school  embarassed

Maybe I can just chalk it up to a "Senior Moment" now I've turned 50.  tongue

BTW, can anyone point me to something that says what the WDRT actually does, (apart from being a watchdog)?

Addendum: Spoke too soon, instead of steadily losing minutes per hour like before, it now appears that the XP system clock can lose hours overnight.  This is usually accompanied by the inability to access the system via RDP the next day - this is starting to look more like some software has gone haywire.  I guess it's down to a OS reinstall....oh well, didn't have anything planned today.
1984  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Windows XP system clock losing (lots) of time. on: December 19, 2011, 07:58:08 AM
I should have mentioned I've changed the battery but the fact that the RTC doesn't lose time at all and that Windows system time is correct at boot and starts losing time from that point would imply that the RTC isn't the problem.  If it was I would expect to see the time incorrect from the moment the system boots.

Also, from all that I've read, Windows doesn't use the RTC once it's booted - it's then down to system interrupts.

Just another note: I have two of these systems, with the same hardware, (MB, CPU, RAM, case + PSU) - one runs XP Pro the other Win7HP x64.  I swapped the batteries between them - the W7 system runs fine and the XP system still loses time.  The problem didn't move with the battery.

@Ath: Yes, real hardware.  ZOTAC Mini-ITX Geforce 8200 iGFX, Athlon II 235e & 4GB DDR2-800 - see it here.

EDIT: Just had a thought, when I wake up tomorrow, (err, later today), I'll boot it from a PE disc and see what happens.  But now, I really should be asleep  smiley
1985  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / [SOLVED] Windows XP system clock losing (lots) of time. on: December 19, 2011, 06:30:31 AM
I wonder if anyone has any ideas with the problem below before I just go ahead and reinstall XP.

I've got a headless XP Pro system that runs the following programs 24/7:

uTorrent - BitTorrent
XAMPP   - Webserver
SABnzbd - Usenet
DNTV Scheduler - DVB-T recorder

It runs no AV and only the basic Windows Firewall, access is via RDP - no programs are executed on it apart from NexusFile for a bit of file management.  I've checked it over using MBAM - nil found.

It's done this for months on end without a problem, (close to two years), but in the last couple of weeks or so Windows has been losing time to the tune of minutes per hour, (eg. just in the last couple of hours, 18 minutes).

I now get it to sync to au.pool.ntp.org every ten minutes, in that time it can lose 2 minutes.

Currently I'm using ClockMon which gives the RTC and system time along with any difference between them - I've set this to check every minute and sync to the RTC if the difference is greater than 100ms.

Task Manager shows the system as being idle pretty much of the time, with the CPU, (AMD 235e), barely hitting 20% at minimum clock, (800MHz), even when capturing two DVB-T streams.

I guess the question is: Anybody got any ideas what kind of process could be stopping interrupts or does anyone know how I can find out?
1986  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works on: December 18, 2011, 07:57:26 AM
Sorry to get anyone's hopes up for a free touchscreen. I hope you understand that I need to get the dammed thing working for myself before I do anything else with it - it will cheer me up to have it working with the Cintiq if nothing else.

No problem, I didn't have a specific use for it other than as a possible second monitor/input/system status device I could incorporate into my tower case somehow.

I'm always on the lookout for a bargain cheesy

But even better if you can get it working with your system, good luck!
1987  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works on: December 18, 2011, 06:52:51 AM
In fact, if anyone wishes to pay for the postage, they can have the MIMO. Let me know.

Me, me, me...errr....please!

Let me know postage to Oz if it hasn't gone already.
1988  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NAS Recommendations? on: December 15, 2011, 05:14:20 PM
Jeez... I think I'm glad I've waited. That MicroServer looks slick.

Plus it comes with a 250GB drive already installed, so let's see....at today's current drive prices.....that must mean that the Microserver itself is only a couple of bucks.....BARGAIN!

1989  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NAS Recommendations? on: December 15, 2011, 06:28:50 AM
I recently built a NAS and ended up using a HP Microserver. Very popular in the UK recently because HP have been running a £100 cashback deal, so the Microserver ends up costing you about £130.

I'd like to thank you for mentioning the Microserver, now I can't wait to get one - I just wish HP would run a cashback here, (Australia), $100 off would make the N40L only ~$150 and I'd jump at it.

A very well specced small unit, I'd take it over a dedicated 4-bay NAS any day since:
a) it's cheaper,
b) I can run whatever OS I want to give the features I want without relying on a possible firmware update from the NAS manufacturer, and
c) I can pack 11 drives into it, (5x3.5" + 6x2.5") smiley


Thanks   Thmbsup
1990  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Ground Hog Day - failed system image restoring yet again on: December 14, 2011, 03:59:24 AM
About 15 % chance the memory (probably just 1 module) in the system is the cause of trouble (even after a burn-in test!)
About 10 % chance the video adapter/drivers is the cause of the trouble
About 5 % chance the hard-drive (boot/swap) is the cause of the trouble
About 0.01 % chance the PS/2 keyboard is the cause of trouble (saw that about twice in about 2000+ PC's in all my years building of PC's)
The rest (~70 %!) is caused by Windows not installed/decompressed right.

(Percentages are estimates)

You forgot that which is allocated to PEBKAC.
1991  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works on: December 12, 2011, 07:10:59 PM
Some VIA chips were known for not providing enough power for the USB ports thereby causing all manner of strange weirdness in USB devices.  Then again, some powered hubs may provide more than enough power to individual ports but unless the hub specs say it does who knows....the only thing you can really go by is the USB specs.
1992  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works on: December 12, 2011, 03:50:35 AM
It wants 1.0A from a USB connection and comes with a double-headed connector (I use only one with no problems).

Not trying to rain on your parade or anything but USB ports are only rated to provide 0.5-0.9A, (USB2-USB3).
The only way to get more from a USB3 port is if it is able to go into charging mode and that's done by shorting the D+ and D- data lines.

I'd rather have the inconvenience of the loss of a USB port for purely technical reasons than risk burning out whatever protection may be on the one I'm drawing too much current from and losing it anyway.

There is a reason why they provide that 'Y' cable.  Wink
1993  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: how to run programs without altering the host pc on: December 08, 2011, 07:57:28 PM
Instead of having a completely portable OS, (eg. Portable VirtualBox), you could try MojoPac which allows you to have your applications portable, (or entire Desktop), but uses the underlying Windows OS.

Requires Admin rights, (same as VirtualBox), and it says it requires Windows XP x86 but you may have no trouble running it on Vista/7 using compatibility mode...or not.
1994  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Kicked Off the Plane for Games on: December 07, 2011, 09:09:21 PM
Note: for the record, I really like Alec Baldwin as an actor. I think he's one of the better ones out there right now. smiley


He's great on 30 Rock!

He's even better in Team America: World Police
1995  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: I Remember... on: December 07, 2011, 06:53:30 PM
I remember when it used to be considered a common courtesy to tell someone that they'd left their lights on.

I did this the other day, lady was sitting in her car in a parking lot waiting for someone and didn't realise her lights were on, (daughter left them on).

The same day a 3 ton van pulled out in front of us and his rear door swung open, the guy in the lane beside us raced up next to him and started blowing his horn and pointing to the back of his van - he got the message.

I think we're still reasonably courteous about these kind of things here in Australia.

A library.

As for the library, my wife and I use it all the time - why not?  We pay for it, it has resources that would cost us more for if we wanted them at home.

What I do remember is how interesting work used to be, (as a communications technician), before all this globalisation bullshit, before "World's Best Practise" crap, before SJ's dreaded flowchart monkeys took over, before all the team building rubbish, before statistics were more important than the person, (both customer and employee), before it became S.O.P. that it was someone else's responsibility/problem, (ie. back in the 1990s).
1996  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Paypal confusion - it not using my credit balance. on: December 06, 2011, 01:21:57 PM
Paypal AFAIK always will try to use your Balance before charging you, however each currency has its own balance, so if you have $50 in your account but you pay in euro's it will charge your credit card. That's how I understand it anyway.

Not here, I was just paid in AU$ and then just spent it all in a mix of AU$ and US$ - it all came off the PayPal balance that was in AU$.  I can choose what my PayPal accounts primary monetary unit is out of AU$, US$ or Euro and the balance will be displayed in that but any transaction will just use their conversion rate and take it off the balance available.

Credit card isn't touched until my PayPal balance is 0, this includes using whatever balance is in PayPal plus credit card to pay for something greater than available PayPal balance.

Neither do I get a choice on where to pay from if my PayPal balance is greater than 0, it will come off of that balance first.
1997  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Why aren't we using public-key cryptography instead of passwords on the net? on: December 06, 2011, 12:57:25 PM
It gets worse... The Commonwealth Bank of Australia requires 6 digits and exactly 6 digits...

WRT personal banking, it must be a different CBA you're talking about, the one I've used since they took over the State Bank of Victoria, (21 years ago), and that I've used NetBank with since it came out, (1997), have always allowed more than 6 digits....I know, my password has always been longer than 6 digits, (my wife uses an even longer password).
When I started using Netbank, a mix of alphanumeric characters wasn't mandatory but it was 2 years ago when my wife joined up, (it wouldn't let her create one that didn't have at least one digit and one character).

Your new password:

    must be between 8 and 16 characters long
    must contain both letters and numbers
    must be different to your previous 5 passwords
    should not contain a recognisable part of your name or your date of birth
    must not contain your NetBank client number
    can contain most characters except <>^`{}~=

Then there's your 8 digit client number to remember on top of that.

CBA Phonebank is the same, can be alphanumeric characters and longer than 6 characters.

And, if you're talking about ATM pins, then anything between 4 and 8 12 digits is fine, (mine is 8) - and that's been available for about 5 years.

Also, they'll send you a one off PIN via SMS when you try to pay a third party via NetBank for the first time or use a website that requires verification...providing you have that function turned on.

So, what particular service of CBA that requires exactly 6 digits are you talking about?
1998  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Rootkits on mobile devices ... on: December 03, 2011, 12:29:04 AM
.... and somehow 1% have simply vanished from reality all together...

That's me...this one sucks altogether too much.

Still, makes me glad I flashed the phone with a different ROM less than an hour after getting it.
1999  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building XP SP4 ! on: December 03, 2011, 12:25:12 AM
Having just had a WD 1TB become pretty much a brick because of the number of bad sectors it was diagnosed as having, S.M.A.R.T showed no problems in evidence.

The only useful S.M.A.R.T statistic I've had from a drive was it saying that it was taking longer than normal to become ready....30 minutes before it failed completely and a subsequent 1.5TB of data disappeared.  That appears to be because the heads may not be attached to the arms any more, I'll pull out the torx driver and have a look one of these days.

It just hasn't been my year for drives Sad
2000  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: make USB port disabled or delayed enable on startup - any util do this? on: December 01, 2011, 05:02:53 PM
I did see someone talking about devcon elsewhere for a similar USB problem - I think they said it didn't help so I forgot about it. Probably worth investigating though.

FYI, some info for setting up a logoff event in Task Scheduler here.

For logon the Event ID is 7001, you might try increasing the delay before running and/or running Ath' WinButton program in the same event command file.
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