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Messages - oldfart [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Power supply and SATA
« on: May 25, 2010, 09:57 AM »
Greetings folks,
I hope this is in the right forum, I couldn't find any category that fit my topic.
Its been a long, long time since I've visited.  My disabilities have gotten me down and I've had a hard time getting back to my favorite hobby, computers.  This brings me to why I am bothering you today.  I recently bought a new HD for my computer.  I have a SATA HD and replaced it with a 500GB HD.  I had intended on using the old HD as a backup but when I cracked the case I found that while the mobo had a couple extra SATA connections and I had purchased a SATA cable, my power supply only has two power connectors for SATA, one is being used by my DVD burner and the other by the HD.
The power supply has several of the old four pin power connectors but no extra SATA power cord.  Is there any way to convert one of the four pin connectors to a SATA connector or do I just have to spring for a new power supply?

Living Room / Re: Show us the View Outside Your Window
« on: September 01, 2008, 07:31 AM »
The first shot is out the window of my computer room.  The second shot is of my back yard and was taken last February after a snow.  My back yard abuts a cemetery.  Those folks make the best neighbors you could wish for.   

4WD, I enjoyed your pictures.  My nephew is heading for Australia to play for the Springvale Lions, which I believe is near Melbourne.

Living Room / Re: Hi People
« on: July 19, 2008, 09:06 PM »
I strongly advise you to forget your idea of starting a thread about back problems.  It would rapidly take over your entire web site.  I got to be born with a birth defect that caused my spine to fail to connect properly and when among my friends it only takes one of them to ask about my back to start a hum of conversation as everyone attempts to complain about their back to the poor soul next to them--who is complaining to the unfortunate next down the line. 
I mean it.  You'll fill the servers.  I'm warning you.

About twelve years ago I started renting a permanent email address from some web company.  It was great, for ten bucks per year I could just give out that email address and have it automatically forwarded to my ISP address, no matter what that was.  I was on dial-up at the time and once I got AOL's hands from around my throat I tried out several ISPs for six months to make sure I didn't get stuck in an AOHell world again. 
The permanent address worked great for about five years and suddenly I started getting tons of spam. In the past I had merely created a new permanent address, kept the other up and running until I was sure all the folks who needed to know, had the new address and I would then delete the old one.  Usually it took almost a year before spam took over an account.  Five years ago the Spam built up once again so I created a new address and before I gave it out to anyone, it was full of spam.  The only thing that made sense was that either the company itself or an employee was selling addresses.  Unfortunately he had gotten too efficient and got my address to the spammers before I could use it.
Since then I have kept an online account at yahoo and hotmail and a gmail account.  I hadn't known that domain names were so cheap to get.  I will definitely try out Deozaan's excellent suggestion.

Living Room / A Code writer writes a book.
« on: July 08, 2008, 12:44 PM »
I just read an interesting article in Time magazine about a coder who has written a best seller.  Author David Wroblewski has written a novel titled  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.  The Time article didn't really review the book, it discussed Mr. Wroblewski's method of writing and the difference between writing programs and writing fiction.  Its a short but interesting article.  I haven't read the book so I can't speak to his talents as a writer but it is his first book and it made the best seller list.
   The article is titled: 
A Software Dude Is a Best Seller
Tuesday, Jul. 08, 2008 By JOSH QUITTNER

Living Room / Re: Rest In Peace - George Carlin - 71
« on: June 25, 2008, 11:44 PM »
I've been a fan since the days of the Hippy Dippy Weatherman.  I loved his love of the language and his attitude about our society.  We were blessed to have him.  Screw rest in peace.  Give 'em hell George!

After the momentous battles I went through with Win95 and 98, installing XP is such a breeze that I wipe my drive regularly.  I remember having to remove every peripheral on the machine, installing 95 or 98 and then adding modem, sound card, video card, 3D accelerator, printer and scanner one at a time so it wouldn't confuse poor Windows.  Even then I often had to stop and go back to square one when Windows choked on one of the peripherals and bollixed up everything   It took a couple of days of blood, sweat and lots of cursing to do a complete wipe and reinstall.  Now I can get it done in a couple of hours.  Of course I have a broadband connection for downloading updates now instead of the old 54k dial-up of yesteryear.  The first time I did an install of XP I left all the peripherals except the printer and scanner attached and XP handled them with style.  I wanted to kiss Bill Gates right on the lips.

Living Room / Re: What are your favorite gadgets and gizmos?
« on: June 25, 2008, 11:03 PM »
My favorite gizmo is my watch.  Its a Casio Pathfinder that gives me time, temperature, barometer, altitude and a compass along with all the usual digital watch functions.  It has an auto backlight and weighs about a half pound.  Mine is a few years old and they have replaced it with even neater models. 

Five years ago a retired farmer drove his Chevy pickup out to the farm to get some straw for his garden.  He left the truck running as he loaded five bales of straw.  He got back into the cab, had a heart attack and died.  The truck sat there idling for several hours before the catalytic converter caught the grass on fire.  The truck burned up as did the deceased.  His family sued GM for fifty million dollars because their truck cremated their deceased father--and won [I don't know if an appeal managed to reduce the amount.] even though the owner's manual specifically warned against leaving the vehicle running unattended and parking on dead grass.
GM then raises the truck price enough to more than cover the lawsuit amount and anyone buying a pickup helps pay this family for their ridiculous lawsuit.  Juries will give huge amounts to almost anyone who sues a big company, especially one they dislike. 
Are you aware that about 80% of the cost of a ladder is for liability insurance for the manufacturer?  Everyone who does something stupid on a ladder sues and usually wins.  I'm not in favor of caps on torts and I'm neither a lawyer nor a manufacturer but I sure wish there was a way to inject some common sense into juries.

Living Room / Re: good time to buy graphics card?
« on: June 16, 2008, 12:59 AM »
Howdy F0dder, The card has 512meg of RAM onboard.  The discussions I've seen about this questions whether the fault is in the card or the test and nobody seems to have come up with an answer yet.  Some suspect faulty drivers while others feel the test has some bugs.  I just wondered if anyone here had come across this problem and discovered any answers.  Its not something I worry about as I don't do much gaming anymore but I am tech support for all my family and several friends and I like to know about stuff like this before recommending upgrades.  Thanks for the  input.

Living Room / Re: good time to buy graphics card?
« on: June 12, 2008, 03:37 AM »
Concerning graphics cards, I recently upgraded my battered old machine with an NVidia graphics card, a 6200 with 512Mb of RAM.  My old ATI card had only 128 megs of RAM and I had purchased a Samsung SyncMaster 206BW LCD monitor with a native resolution of 1650x1050 so I figured I needed the extra memory. 
While running some benchmark tests I was astounded when 2D graphics scored a 12 on a scale that goes to 1000!  I did some looking around and found a few message boards where people were bringing up this same sort of problem.  The general thought was that something was seriously kinky with NVidia cards.  A friend with a slightly newer NVidia card found similar benchmark scores with his card.  He went to Tiger or Newegg or Geeks and picked up an ATI card to swap out and recheck the benchmark numbers but he hasn't gotten back to me with the results yet. 
Have any of you folks noticed anything like this with NVidia cards? 
I'm running a P4 266Ghz system with 1GB of RAM and XP SP3. 

I've got auto volume control on my TV.  I sure wish they offered a similar system for my computer.

Living Room / Re: Digital Camera Help
« on: May 24, 2008, 07:42 AM »
If your wife wishes to take pictures of small objects you need to make sure the camera you purchase has a Macro capability.  Macro lenses are generally higher quality lenses than non-macro.  Also, with small objects you really need more than the on-board flash.  At least that has been my experience.

Living Room / Re: The last time your AntiVirus saved you!
« on: May 24, 2008, 07:36 AM »
I used Norton up until about four years ago, then switched to Spy Sweeper when they offered AV.  Back around the turn of the century I was regularly receiving viruses as my family all started getting computers and had to be trained in AV protection. 
Beginning in '02, spyware became more of a problem than viruses.  I was flooded with complaints about IE crashing and severely slow internet speeds.  AdAware, Spybot and a couple other free programs cleaned out most of the trash [my brother-in-law had over 900 pieces of spyware on his system--not counting cookies]. 
Lately I've not had problems with either.  I use Firefox with NoScript and Ad Block Plus and stay away from the back alleys of the Internet.

Living Room / Re: Phone Interview with Microsoft!
« on: April 30, 2008, 02:47 AM »
Good luck to you my friend.  On a positive note, having such a tough interview right off the bat will hopefully make any future interviews seem like a walk in the park in comparison. 

Living Room / Re: Earthquake
« on: April 20, 2008, 05:14 AM »
Just for future reference Mouser, next time you get overheated by a chili, grab a slice of fresh tomato or lemon.  Even a pickle will work.  You want something acidic to cut the oils that cause the burn.  I was taught this by the prettiest little Mexican girl you would ever want to meet back when my babe magnet still functioned.

Living Room / Re: Earthquake
« on: April 18, 2008, 07:53 AM »
I live near Springfield Illinois and I awoke to the furniture sidling across the hardwood floor.  This is the second quake I've experienced and the weird thing about this one was the sound that accompanied it.  It was like a train going by. 

Living Room / Re: Most useless
« on: April 10, 2008, 06:54 PM »
1. Yes
2. When I was six or seven, my uncle and aunt had four kids the same age range as our family so they decided to do a gift exchange and each would buy for the other's children.  Dad found some remote control cars.  This was in the fifties so they weren't radio controlled, they had a five foot cable running from the control to the car but I thought they were the neatest things I'd ever seen.  Evidently my dad liked them too because he decided we should test them before gifting them.  We played with them for a week or more before putting them back into their packaging and wrapping them up.
I just knew that dad would have told Uncle Cliff what we had for them and I was sure that good ole Uncle Cliff would take care of me in a similar manner.  You can imagine my utter disgust when we opened gifts Christmas Eve and they had gotten us matching sweatshirts with our names on the back.  I was mortified.  Clothes!  Never in my adult life have I ever given a child clothes for a gift. 
3. This wasn't a gift but a freebie from, I believe, Wired Magazine.  About ten years ago they came out with a device called a "Cat".  You plugged it into your computer and if you passed it over an ad in the magazine or a bar code it was supposed to take you to the web site for the company that produced the product you had scanned.  They hyped the device for several months before it died a well deserved death.  I still have mine, still in the never opened  package it came in.  Anyone interested in purchasing an interesting piece of Americana?  ;)

Living Room / Re: Do you collect anything?
« on: April 10, 2008, 05:56 AM »
I have always loved books and have purchased hundreds upon hundreds of them.  It became time to simplify and I sold or gave away most of my collection.  I kept Tolkien, Patrick O'Brien and some SF stuff and have access to a library that can get me just about any book I wish.  I can order them online and they phone me when the book is in.
As I got older, I realized that I needed to collect something just to provide folks with something to get me for a gift so I started collecting Zippo lighters.  I've purchased a few but most came as gifts.   

Living Room / Microsoft extends XP--for budget laptops only.
« on: April 03, 2008, 05:06 PM »
http://Microsoft ext... budget laptops only

On a forum topic concerning killer apps I mentioned that I understood the definition of a killer app as software that was so desirable that it encouraged people to upgrade in order to run it.  In every case I know of it was a game that demanded an upgrade of the hardware.  Vista is the first time I've heard of an OS straining hardware enough to force upgrades.  Microsoft really screwed the pooch on this one.  Until there is some serious software out there that will run only on Vista, there is little chance of people upgrading their computer just to run an OS.  Sadly, until there is enough of an installed base, who is going to write a killer app for the Vista?

Living Room / Re: International fame for DonationCoder?
« on: April 01, 2008, 08:08 AM »
Tell Cody to drop the loot off at my house.  I will protect his booty and give it all back whenever he asks.  Trust me on this.

Living Room / Re: Dropclock - 137MB screensaver
« on: April 01, 2008, 08:05 AM »
Are you sure this doesn't belong in the April Fools thread?

General Software Discussion / Re: Creative Labs
« on: April 01, 2008, 07:56 AM »
I read through seven or eight pages and the last one and the only responses I saw from Creative were to questions and concerns posted by the fellow they censored and that mainly focused on exactly which of his mods were still acceptable and which weren't and from what I read, it sounds like they ditched all his threads.

General Software Discussion / Re: What's the current 'killer app'?
« on: March 30, 2008, 09:35 AM »
Several years ago when they talked of ''Killer Apps" it meant new software that was so desirable that you were forced to upgrade your system because you couldn't live without that software.  I don't know of any program out there right now that would fit that description. 
Gamers were generally the bleeding edge power users and were often forced to upgrade in order to play the newest hot game but I can't think of any game that fits the description either.  Apparently Microsoft is hoping that Direct X 10 will force upgrades to Vista as it is designed so it will not work on XP.

Dell does use proprietary connectors on some of their computers.  After market power supplies will not work with these units.  I'm not sure about voltage requirements or if you could make your own pigtail to get around this problem but I suspect they've got you cornered.

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