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76  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Unexpected Behavior of HDD (internal VS enclosure?) on: May 23, 2014, 11:25:34 PM
Most partition software (free and commercial) on Windows have an option to align a partition. Most modern operating systems and/or file-systems do this automatically. However, if you have formatted the drive in the enclosure and you use partition software to check for alignment you might see that it is out of alignment because of those 512 byte sectors. If so, alignment could help with putting the data on your disk on geographic locations that can be found if you swapped the disk from the enclosure into the computer.

I assume this type of software on Linux will have the alignment option available as well. But I'm not versed enough in Linux to tell you which application that could be. What I can tell you is that I did align every partition while I still was running XP on a 1TByte HD (cloned from a much smaller, older and dying HD) and I couldn't help but notice that the disk I/O wasn't stellar. With Process Explorer I checked the disk I/O and saw that it was almost always consuming between 0.5 to 2% of my computer resources.

After alignment it never got above 0.5% anymore and usually remained below 0.1%, something you definitely noticed in day-to-day use. Partition alignment works fast on empty partitions, but can take a very long time if a partition is crammed with data. Mine was full and it took almost 5 hours to align all partitions. However, it was worth it.

The link has a graphical representation of what the problem most likely is.
77  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Our experiences with LED light bulb replacements on: May 23, 2014, 07:31:25 PM
Perhaps you should consider halogene light?

When I have time, I'll drop by a light shop here in PY. They sell a led light fixture that is shaped like a construction light or flood-light (if that term makes more sense to you). The light surface would have a surface that has a similar size as the surface of an iPad. It's height would be similar to 3 iPads stacked on top of each other. The light is very bright and strong. It doesn't get that hot either. I don't know the type or model nr, so I'll ask. To me it looks like it uses a special type of LED, with a size and shape similar to a computer processor. 

Halogene light is something that should be easy to buy all over the world though. That type of light has quite a big range of color, so there should be something to your liking. However, they are not cheap (purchase and consumption) and don't last that long either. Having said that, their light I find much more pleasing than incandescents.
78  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Our experiences with LED light bulb replacements on: May 22, 2014, 07:24:03 PM
The design of LED lights is on purpose made to look like the light bulbs everybody knows. That way people are more easily persuaded to buy these. I think 2 or 3 design generations into the future will result in much more efficient shapes for LED light bulbs regarding heat, weight etc. But first the manufacturers need to make enough money to earn back their initial investments, to make it more interesting for them to continue with this type of lights. 
79  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Any tool to set/manage windows default directories? (program files, users, etc.) on: May 22, 2014, 07:16:27 PM
nLite for Windows XP, 2000 and 2003.
vLite for Vista and Windows 7, an alternative is RT Se7en Lite

For Windows 8 I didn't find anything yet, but the nLite website mentions that the author is busy with a version that will support Windows 8 (and 2012?).

80  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Problem:1 cable modem 150/20 mbps & 1 fiber line 5/5mbps how to distribute best on: May 21, 2014, 09:24:51 PM
There are several switches here (1x Netgear, 5x 3com, 1x Zyxel and 3x no-names) and all, except one have a WAN port in them. None of them mention that they are a router/switch combo. But I have never tried them either, so I couldn't tell. They came with a pile of other stuff, bought at the US embassy auction years ago. IMSM that stuff (2 complete servers, 2 incomplete IBM PC's, modems, cables, NICs, software, UPSes etc.) didn't cost much more than a 1.000.000Gs (around 150 USD in those days) and one of those servers was a PII Proliant.

Anyway, most of the switches are around 15 years old by now, 10/100MBit and come with a coax connector as well. Come to think of it, were those (incorrectly labeled) WAN ports not used to string multiple switches together back in those old days? With cross-cables? Sorry, too lazy to look it up myself.

Ah well, it's easy to make a mess of a network and keeping it as simple as possible will save your sanity and makes it much more manageable and has usually a longer up-time as well. Inheriting a network from some companies could be considered damn near capital punishment.   tongue
81  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Problem:1 cable modem 150/20 mbps & 1 fiber line 5/5mbps how to distribute best on: May 21, 2014, 08:39:47 AM
Malfunctioning port on the switch could be a problem. If you were using the WAN port of the switch, it could be capped, so try another port. Try a different cable (following a different route) might help as well. Without knowing how your LAN looks, that would be things to look at.  A year or so ago I could lay my hands on a very affordable Zyxel 24-port switch that included basic managing options. Works really nice.

As suggested in another post, get a good PC with old single-core specs and install Untangle on it. You have fiber and cable coming in, so get 3x 1GBit NIC's into that PC. 2 for for incoming signals and one for your LAN. Feed the LAN output cable into a normal port of your switch and use the switch to connect all workstations.

Configure DHCP on the Untangle box so every workstation will receive their static IP address from the Untangle DHCP server, no matter where they connect their PC. It allows you a lot more control over which workstations/devices can be connected, how much bandwidth can be used by them, which provider has preference, traffic management etc. This solves more than one problem you have. A system like this is also easier to maintain and keep redundant parts for in case of an emergency.
82  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: All data services on Android off, still got charged roaming in Italy! Bastards! on: May 17, 2014, 07:49:38 PM
None of the telco's are your friend. And the behavior you describe was rampant in Europe. Now there are laws in place to should prevent this...and all that the governments sacrificed was their customers net neutrality.

You (as customer) will pay going left or going right. And now the telco's have made it so that you (as customer) pay for both ways while only using one nowadays.

The only way to be sure is pulling the sim from the phone and then call through WiFi. My stock Lumia allows for this, at least.
83  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Create a profiles for users on a Workgroup and disable Homegroup options & wifi on: May 17, 2014, 09:34:20 AM
Stoic's alternative solution is indeed an improvement over my too friendly concept. After all you're the admin and your users should feel the power that comes with that position. Applying routing tables will keep your users in check and discouraged.

But make sure to get those tables right, because if you don't, you have only added to your headaches. Here are two links that are springboards for study: Linux and Windows

For both a domain server or Untangle an old single-core Pentium 4 with 512MByte/1GBYte of RAM and 2 network cards (preferably not on-board) is already sufficient. So it really can be an old clunker, so the extra hardware cost shouldn't be an issue. Untangle and its alternatives, both commercial and open source/free.
84  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Create a profiles for users on a Workgroup and disable Homegroup options & wifi on: May 17, 2014, 12:08:34 AM
First of all, a domain would be your best bet. An old PC with a properly configured Untangle (or similar product) might do the trick as well.

However, if macguyvering is your only option, you could think about the following concept and steps to take (fooling your users a bit).
Make a virtual LAN on your switch that is not allowed internet access. I do hope you have a DHCP server that "parks" every known and unknown computer/smartphone" in that virtual LAN. Then there should be a script available to anyone that should suggest it has to run to grant internet access. That script should then assign (hard-coded) IP numbers in a different subnet with internet access on a first come, first serve basis. With 20 or so users that shouldn't be too hard. This script should also disable HomeGroup (as 4wd has shown you) and whatever else you need/want.

This goof-of-concept might work for you. But most of all, you should have learned by know that Workgroups are an administration nightmare on the best of days. Get a domain server is really the best way to go if you want a windows-only solution. Or invest time in doing networking on Linux. Untangle is based on Linux and its web-interface makes management tasks quite easy.

Oh, before I forget, learn to work with 'sc', that is a powerful toy to play with. smiley
85  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Send email from cmdline ! on: May 14, 2014, 05:04:44 PM
Some 3rd party mail servers require you to login using POP3/IMAP before you are allowed to send mail through their SMTP server (spam prevention method). And given the amount of users the Google mail servers have to use that method. Their traffic is already impressive enough with this method.

You don't have access to another mail server?
86  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Groundhog Day Loops on: May 14, 2014, 04:36:00 PM
Supernatural season 3 episode 11 - 'Mystery spot'  - Great episode, too bad this series went downhill so fast after season 6, especially after the (more than) excellent seasons 2 till 5. So many opportunities missed in season 6 till 9, it is a shame.
87  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Broforce ("Bro Force") on: May 12, 2014, 08:19:02 PM
Get 'Turrican' from GoG if you want (in my opinion) the best game of this type. The (pre-)teen hours I wasted on that game...
Challenging and you do need time to get around each level because they are very big.

Oh, wait...better go after 'Hurrican', this is a freeware game that draws heavily on the concepts of 'Turrican'. It is practically 'Turrican' but with updated graphics.
88  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Broforce ("Bro Force") on: May 11, 2014, 03:48:48 PM
Crap, that level with the gunship is really hard (I also think it the final boss and after that this particular version of the game ends).

Not even with Brobocop I manage to hit the gunship enough to take it down.
89  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Broforce ("Bro Force") on: May 11, 2014, 12:04:23 PM
Thanks!....now I'm hooked as well!   tongue
90  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8? on: May 11, 2014, 11:23:25 AM
You might have to defrag the installation/distro itself inside VMWare as well. There is a button inside VMWare that allows you to defrag a VM (when it is not activated).

To my knowledge, none of the more modern distros such as Mint, Suse, Fedora will work well with only 1Gbyte of RAM assigned to it in any virtual environment. If you want a small(er) distro that is rather nice to look at, try ElemetaryOS.

40hz once linked to a website/blog from a guy who reviews distro's, but I didn't find the link anymore. That blog is gold if you are looking for a distro that is "just you". On that blog I saw a distro that was very interesting in looks, resource usage etc. It came from Korea, I believe.
91  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: TextAdept: Lua-extensible Editor on: May 11, 2014, 10:42:37 AM
Indeed, there are differences between the two, but not bothersome to me. These solarized colors in your screenshot, do (but that is a matter of preference, of course).

Here is a side-by-side from both with default settings and colors on my windows 7 with Ati video-card (Radeon HD4670) with the latest drivers for that particular video-card:
Left is Sublime, on the right TextAdept. Text rendering is less "condensed" in TextAdept when compared, but that is no deal breaker for me.
92  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Send email from cmdline ! on: May 10, 2014, 04:52:43 PM
There are 2 different versions for Windows. One that supports TLS and one that doesn't. It is important you use the correct one and perhaps add: -o tls=auto at the end of the line you created.
93  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Send email from cmdline ! on: May 10, 2014, 10:35:35 AM
This might be more interesting: http://caspian.dotconf.ne.../menu/Software/SendEmail/

Basic use would be:
sendEmail -f <your email address> -t <receiver mail adress(es)> -u <preferred subject> -m <message you want to send> -s <name or IP from your mail server(: optional port)>

or if this is more clear:
sendEmail -f me@hulkbuster.com -t info@messagereceiver.com -u "My first message" -m "Hello world" -s internal.mail.server

There are lots more options, the included help is quite clear.
94  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ... on: May 10, 2014, 10:03:57 AM
I understand anyone that couldn't be bothered to partition an 80GByte disk, it isn't much nowadays. And current software/games really consume storage space for one reason or another, so partition limits are quickly found.

My current personal PC setup (which runs already since 2008) has a 12GByte C:\ partition for the Windows 7 OS, 40GByte for applications on D:\, a 15GByte partition containing all temporary files and the rest is for my data. C:\ still has 2 GByte free and almost 10GByte is free on D:\ , which would be a lot more if I hadn't such a hard time parting with games Skyrim and Oblivion (including the big mod).

All zealotry (from my end) aside, with an 80GByte drive you will have to learn which software to install/keep and develop the discipline to keep the system lean and mean by removing what you don't need, even with one partition. And make backups regularly... Wink
95  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ... on: May 09, 2014, 10:18:28 PM
All right, then here is the 1st (?) not one partition post   tongue

If you are not familiar with tools such as nLite (XP and older) or vLite (Vista and newer), then I wouldn't make several partitions. But if you do, I always make a partition for the Windows OS itself, one partition for the software I need to install and my portable applications, another one for my data and preferably one partition for temporary files generated by the system and all users alike (including page/hybernate files).

Admittedly, this is a very involved way of installing Windows, but for me the advantages outweigh the pain of this installation method.

Temporary files and user generated files always make a mess of a one partition, requiring a lot of defragging over the life-time from the Windows installation. With one partition dedicated to just the Windows OS files, not much defragging is necessary at all and if you do it is done very fast. Keeping your installed software separated from the rest is also helpful, not much extra data changes are expected, so after a while hardly any defragging is necessary anymore and program files are positioned optimally, giving you between 3 to 10% global performance gain of the hardware.

Separate partitions for C:\ (Windows OS) and D:\ (Programs), you can install Windows fresh and with freeware such as ERUNT and have all your software re-installed within 30 minutes. That is how long it took me to revive a Oracle database server (with 2x 300+ GByte databases ready to run again).

Granted, it's not for the faint of heart, but I have never believed in the MS mantra of dumping everything on one pile and letting 3rd party software clean up the mess. The file system from the Amiga home computer worked much nicer back in the day and is/was much more akin to the Linux way of handling storage media. but you can apply these principles quite well on Windows too, although with each iteration of Windows it is more and more 'only their way or the highway'.

You might have guessed by now, I am highly/deeply/extremely opinionated about who is allowed access to the data I generate on my computer (using a quite rigid folder structure I made that suits my workflow best).  

Mouser is right, software like MiniTools makes you shrink the C:\ partition first before you can make the second one. And MiniTools is very decent software. I have used the freeware version of their software on several occasions and always delivered, so you won't hear me say anything negative about it.
96  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: PhraseExpander Giveaway (59$ value) today only on: May 06, 2014, 07:45:52 AM
Whenever I see such an offer, I'll try to turn the software in a portable version. Most of the time that works, sometimes it doesn't. But lately I didn't see much that was interesting to me at GAOTD, so I didn't bother.

Buying stuff on the internet without having a credit card is quite problematic. But I don't want one, because I don't like the concept behind it. A debit card is much more to my liking, but very unpopular with banks and vendors alike. When living in the Netherlands I did have a bank card and that I used a lot, because it felt much more secure than a credit card. Just saying, it's not that I have too much against 'plastic', I just don't like credit cards.

Besides that, banks here in Paraguay are expensive. Much more so than in the US or the Netherlands and therefore a lot of cooperativa's are formed that handle money from people. For example, banks charge interest of 23% (legal limit, else it would be higher) on any amount their customer borrows. Taking in account the exchange rate, you also need to keep minimum of about 1500 USD permanently in your bank account. Most people make 250-300USD per month, so a lot of people can't afford a bank, even if they wanted to. Only banks give out credit cards, so getting one is near impossible here in Paraguay.

If you do have one, you can pay practically everywhere with it, it is not that Paraguay is that much of a backwater. It is just that this economy is very much cash-oriented. Buying things in parcels is also very popular here and although people don't speak English here, almost anyone does understand (and like) you when you say "I pay cash on the dash" to them. 
97  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy on: May 04, 2014, 08:45:12 AM
Facebook always sends me mail messages about how happy they are that I have logged in, which I do more or less every 6 months or so.

They only excuse I accept from someone burying his/her head in their phone is if their partner is overseas and starts to whatsapp-ing.  Because any other case you are offensive to others sharing the table and you might as well sit alone as you are not contributing to the conversation/activity.

As I have played many tabletop game sessions in my teens and twenties, I enjoy the interaction taking place at the table. I have seen what it does to otherwise shy people. Board games can be very entertaining as these also require social interaction. Even a local LAN party would have more social interaction in its thumb, than all of Facebook combined.

Facebook is an insult for intelligence, it is a shame the English language uses that same word for another concept and than Facebook is a godsend. Normally I'll honestly respond to all questions you/an employer/government official asks of me. This information exchange is quite restrictive in nature and exists after that in the memory of a friend or possibly in the database from employer/government. That is quite acceptable to me.

Facebook (or other "social" networks) makes this info available to anyone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. After all that info is all only one hack away from being on the streets, to be sold to the highest bidder. Furthermore, Facebook actively tries to connect all kinds of other info to your person with or without your permission, also to the highest bidder, while hiding behind EULA's and heavily buried privacy settings.

The above is my main gripe with social networks in general and Facebook in particular. If I would find myself in the situation to be employed in the US and I would meet such a moron manager, I would make sure not to have Facebook account but from the most obscure social network I could find.

That way he/she cannot complain about me not having a "social" presence on the web, only that we disagree on the choice of network. And hopefully drive home the point that the manager should have enough brain to ask me for my information, instead of relying on data, coming from a 3rd party, that might have data I don't agree with associated with it for commercial reasons. Or because of "bit-rot". Or because of untruthful information given by the person.

If they still insist on getting my credentials, I would demand for a recent security audit of their whole computer system. If they cannot prove to being able that they cannot store my credentials in a proper way that hackers cannot reach these, I might as well throw my credentials on the proverbial street and in that case I cannot guarantee anymore if my profile contains the correct information. Implying that employment at their company makes me liable for a situation out of my control is not a big plus for them.

Unreasonable from me? Yes, in a similar fashion as them demanding my credentials!

Still insisting? The world needs more HR drones...only these ones need to be launched by the Obama administration!

98  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Nice Long Read: The Great Works of Software on: April 30, 2014, 08:05:09 PM
A decent read.  Thmbsup

But I do think he forgot about the old, venerable CVS.

Agreed, not that many people are familiar with it, but CVS comes with a history of 24-25 years and did affect the way people treat and contribute to code...to this very day.

PUTTY might also be subject for inclusion as provides a very robust way of communicating with remote Linux machines for more than 15 years and more Operating Systems than you would think.
99  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 4 (Maybe more) Absolute top go-to programs on: April 30, 2014, 05:50:25 PM
Directory Opus
Foxit Reader
Process Explorer

Never leave home without these.
100  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Developers and the truth (or close to it) on: April 30, 2014, 05:31:29 PM
Then this article should be mentioned as well!  Thmbsup

(it is a direct link to a PDF file from a Microsoft programmer, but brilliant nonetheless)
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