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From your description I understand that both networks are in the same physical location. That makes it simpler.

Must the routing device be Windows or may it be something else? In case of the latter, things become even more simple.

I would suggest the following:
Use an old(er) computer, kit it out with NICs as you see fit and install OPNSense on it. This is based on FreeBSD, therefore very secure and made to do networking.

I use this software for 7+ years already and hasn't failed me yet. My network consists of 30 bare metal computers, 20 active VMs, lots of phones, 5 WiFi routers (converted to AP's) and several IP cameras. For the OPNSense router I use a system with an old Intel Core Duo (2 core) processor, 2 GByte of RAM and an old 300 GByte HD I still had lying around. The load counter has never come above 15%. Computer hardware that a lot of people throw away or sell for a pittance nowadays.

This router box manages the DHCP leases, does traffic inspection, has lots of firewall rules and manages traffic shaping on the fly. For my intents and purposes I need about 30% of the feature set that comes with the default installation. But you can add free/commercial extensions to it if you so desire. OpenVPN, Unbound DNS, NTP, authentication, traffic logging and lots more is part of the default feature set.

Anyway, the web interface is pleasant to work with and allows you to create separate networks for your 184.174.x.x network on one NIC, the 10.0.x.x network on another NIC and the 3rd NIC you use to connect the OPNSense router box to the modem you got from your ISP.

Some ISPs allow their modem to be used as a bridge device, meaning that all traffic to and from your location is now managed by the OPNSense router box directly. My ISP doesn't, so I killed almost all functionality of the modem I got and added rules to forward traffic to/from my OPNSense box. Now my OPNSense router box manages all traffic indirectly. One extra hop, but it works just fine.

You can keep the 184.174.x.x and 10.0.x.x networks separated, you can combine them, whichever way you wish. You can also use the OPNSense box to forward all HTTP/HTTPS traffic from the 184.174.x.x IP address to the computer with the Apache web server on it, which is located in the 10.0.x.x. network. Your Apache web server computer won't know the difference if it was directly connected to the internet or to the OPNSense box. People working inside your network can use the web server without leaving the premises, so to speak. You can even set up the DNS forwarder to let any user inside your network or outside your network use the "outside" URL of your Apache web server.

It is all managed by firewall rules. And once you get the hang of how that works, you won't go back to Windows-based solutions. Even better, you can as many NICs as your computer hardware allows. Each of those can be it's own separate LAN network or combine them. If you purchase services from more that one ISP for your location, you can also add NICs to connect these to your OPNSense box, it will even combine the provided bandwidths from those connections for you, load-balancing traffic over these connections.

OPNSense is GPL software and is provided to you without costs. There is an extensive online-manual (which you will need), the hardware needs are low (depending on your use of features) and cheap to get. I just used a financially written off computer I already had in my possession. You will be spending time getting familiar with this and time is money, so it helps if you are quick on the uptake. However, once it runs, it doesn't need much maintenance. It is also easy to make backups of your settings (all stored in XML), so it doesn't take too much effort to restore to a previous good state after your latest configuration changes screwed something else up.

Yeah, fanboy here and proud of it.

Once you get over your fixation that Windows is the solution for everything, you'll quickly find that there is some very good software already out there, which is a much(!) better fit for a specific problem. And as configuration is managed through a web browser, you won't have to leave your Windows comfort zone.

For file sharing:
That was an problem for me too. Most people do have a grasp of how to work with cloud drives (Google, Onedrive, Dropbox, whatever). For my intents and purposes I needed a solution that did not use any of such services that are not based in the Netherlands or (based on contractually agreed upon permission) Europe. I chose to use NextCloud (which can be accessed by browser, tools like CarotDAV and also iOS/Android apps) and run that on a separate Linux server. Diverting NextCloud traffic to my NextCloud server was a breeze in OPNSense and using that for 4+ years already. NextCloud can do so much more than just file sharing, but that is the only use I have for it.

General Software Discussion / Re: Paint Shop Pro 7
« on: February 14, 2020, 09:20 AM »
Windows 10 adds a Mount context menu item, ImDisk Toolkit couldn't mount it either, yet works fine with DaemonTools (Ultra in my case).

DRM in the MDF image file...or intentional mis-alignments as another form of copy protection. Most mounting software is not able to work around these "tricks", including the software from Windows itself. DaemonTools does. And that used to be a reason for some installers to fail when they detected a DaemonTools installation on your system.

ISO image files are not suitable for such "tricks", because those fail too quickly. Disney DVDs were infamous for doing all kinds of crap to the structure of DVDs for copy protection. They are likely doing the same to Blurays.

You didn't mention what the problem is that these mouses are experiencing.

A friend of mine had the same Microsoft mouse I do and he uses it even more extensively than I do. His mouse gave out some 3.5 years ago. He threw it away and got one the fitted his hand a tad better.

Yet I was able to fix his old Microsoft mouse by opening it up, then cleaning it, which gave me the "room" I needed to repositioning the cable (similar to pushing the cable further into the case of the mouse).
It appeared that the cable looked all right from the outside, but that one of the wires inside made intermittent contact.

The MS mouse doesn't have a piece of rubbery plastic that prevents the cable to bend too far in the section where the cables leaves the mouse casing. But by repositioning the cable and stabilizing it under the electronics inside the mouse I lost about 4 to 5 centimeter of cable length, but the mouse works perfectly again. When the other mouse of my friend broke after about 2 years, he took the Microsoft mouse back and still works with it.

It might be something to try. You can't make the mouse any worse than it already is...

At work I use a very basic and cheap Microsoft mouse, yet it lasts and lasts, because I'm using it for over 10 years already.

At home I always used wired Logitech MX... mouses. 4.5 to 5 years ago I bought a Sentey Apocalypse X mouse and after a year the clicking of buttons wasn't too "smooth" anymore. However, it remains working till today. Less nice, but completely workable. Don't think I am in the market for a new mouse any time soon.

The link points to a multi-lingual website from Sentey (Brazil in this case), but when I switched for the English version I noted that they don't produce mouses anymore. At least they don't have links for those in their current product portfolio. The Brazilian version also doesn't show any links anymore.

Great, when the time comes for me to buy a new mouse, I have the same problem as you currently experience. It is a shame, in the beginning I truly enjoyed this Sentey mouse, now I respect it for the workhorse it has proven to be. The same can be said of the Microsoft mouse.

General Software Discussion / Re: Frozen window in windows explorer
« on: February 08, 2020, 07:38 PM »
Generally speaking:
Restarting Explorer is a workaround. And a work-around is by definition not a solution. Only when you feel generous, you could consider it a part of the solution.

Unless you can clearly describe the steps you took to get in trouble, and when repeating these steps you get into the same trouble again, then you can ask a question and likely get an answer that makes the problem go away. Mention anything less? Your guess is as good as mine.

Perhaps it is an idea to export everything into CSV files, combine these text-based CSV files into one and then import the result back into Excel again?

Still, that requires the content of each sheet to be the same as the others.

Exporting everything to CSV should be easy enough with Excel itself. You could use join software for combining these CSV files. Once done with that, you can then use the CSV import functionality from Excel itself to get one worksheet with all the data in a new Excel file with an appropriate name.

Unless there is a need to keep formulas etc. exporting to the simplest data format, using one of many free join software programs to create one big file and then importing this file onto a new Excel file, seems the best way of tackling Contro's problem. To me, at least.

General Software Discussion / Re: Paint Shop Pro 7
« on: February 08, 2020, 08:29 AM »
You could also mount these images and then use 'Folder2ISO' to create ISO files. Don't let the look from that page fool you, it is useful software if you are creating ISO files from any folder on your computer.

The use of such an old browser in an old operating system....the logic escapes me too.

But here goes:
In each VM, VirtualBox allows you to create a drive letter association and link that to a partition, another drive or even a specific folder. VirtualBox chose to call these: machine folders.

In this screenshot, you'll see what I mean.

Now, it might be the case that the configuration in the screenshot isn't making too much sense to you. So, here is a little explanation.

First, I try to use as much portable software as I can. You could say I go out of my way to do so.
Anyway, I divide up the hard disk in my host computer (the computer that runs the VirtualBox software) into 4 partitions. The first partition only contains Windows, the second partition contains only the programs that i use and/or have to install. the third partition contains the user data from all Windows accounts on the host computer. The last partition contains the temp folders for the system and Windows accounts. I do that for lots of reasons and won't explain none of them in this post.

Well, whenever I create a new Windows VM, it is just a basic, run-of-the-mill installation, so I end up only with 1 partition, with drive letter C:\
But as I created those machine folders and linked the virtual drive letter D:\ to the D:\ partition on the host computer, I now have access to all my portable apps immediately. No need to "pollute" the VM with unnecessary files.

This setup keeps VMs very clean and rather small. And 80% of all my portable apps work immediately in the VM, even when they are also opened in the host computer. Also, whatever your preferences/configuration for these portable apps are, you immediate access to those same configuration/settings , so you can pick up in the VM where you left off on the host computer.  Maintenance also becomes easy, you only have to update one instance of the application and enjoy the updates immediately in every VM.

Unfortunately, there is a fly in the ointment. The remainder (20%) of portable apps doesn't work when accessed through machine folders. I have tried portable versions of FireFox, Chrome, Opera and PaleMoon, Thunderbird. While these work fine on the host computer, they refuse to work in the VM using machine folders. You simply must run these in the VM itself. This makes browser/mail configuration and maintenance messy.

I'll end with the same advice as all the other posters in this thread have given you:
There is absolutely no good reason to use such an old browser in combination with such an old operating system, just for browsing the web.

You only keep such an old operating system around for machinery running software that cannot be updated to a newer version of Windows. And by now, that machinery is so old and/or worn down that it should be replaced with newer machinery anyway.

If you know how to get access to the modem/router device your ISP provided, it is an option to block access (in its firewall) to the domain:

After you configured the firewall, whenever the Eudora client makes a request to that domain, it will get no response. A different device, other than your computer, is now blocking access and there won't be a way for Eudora to manipulate anything to get connected, disregarding any firewall rules you might have setup in the Windows firewall and/or (personalized) HOST file on your computer.

It might be a good idea to also find out the IP address behind the domain name you wish to block and add that IP address also to the block list on the firewall of your modem/router. That will shut traffic up.

However, if you don't know how to access or configure your modem/router, you can also configure the Windows firewall on your computer to block access to both the domain name and IP address. This will shut traffic up too.

But as stated before, it is a lot harder for any piece of software to circumvent any configured limitation, when that limitation is configured on a device that is not the computer the software currently runs on.

And if you really feel like spending time to acquire some knowledge regarding Windows networking, run your own DNS server and block traffic to that domain that way. When done correctly, that certainly shuts up traffic. There are many, freely available DNS servers for Windows. I know and have used the free one from Technitium, which is very easy to run and configure. But look around for other, maybe better/easier DNS servers if you desire to go the DNS route.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Audio Question
« on: January 30, 2020, 08:25 PM »
You can swap between audio devices yourself. Not all applications handle that well.

Often, kids are parked behind a computer here and they usually end up watching a kids movie or something. And headphones/speakers almost always give connection issues, as Windows tries to figure out which audio device is currently active/desirable. This is kind of a problem on computers with more than one user account and where two users have different audio devices in use.

VLC allows you to switch between audio devices without problems. While Foobar and Potplayer offer the same switching options, more often than not you'll end up restarting the application before things are properly recognized. At least that is my anecdotal experience. What I mostly use is the onboard audio of a PC (no laptops here). Not all media players handle changes in audio device configuration that well and keep using the audio device that was active when the media player started up.

And unless something drastically changes, like unplugging the speakers, Windows and possibly the media player won't acknowledge that a different audio device must be used to play the audio.

I suspect that your currently installed audio drivers would be responsible. Perhaps it is even related to the adaptability of the audio hardware in your laptop that prevents the audio drivers to respond properly when audio device changes take place. It might even be as simple as getting better/different drivers (from the manufacturer) to help manage audio device changes automatically.

Living Room / Re: Google Home Mini - Is yours as useless as mine?
« on: January 28, 2020, 01:19 AM »
Is that someone perhaps in the preview program from Google?

Just reading on a Dutch tech news website that people with a Google Home device are experiencing problems with their devices, if they are in the preview program.

My personal problem is finding people that like to play board games.

The follow-up problem is that only a sub-set of the really old "classics" are readily available here in stores. So, board games as a whole have a pretty bad name, which you are more or less forced to play with your grand parents.

Getting good, alternative board games like the the ones you play are difficult and expensive to come by here in PY. Customs slap tariffs on items as high as they think they can get away with. Which is why companies like Amazon do not ship to this country. And the alternative circuits are slow and expensive, so 90% of people don't bother to go through such a hassle for board games.

However, I have experiences with alternative board games, even went to conventions for those and enjoy playing. While I think that people here would hardly need to be persuaded, once they would be exposed to new and good board games, that first step of getting such games here is problematic.

Quick and brief searches revealed nothing about the author anymore. His website doesn't exist anymore either.

But that doesn't mean his software, EDXOR, isn't a surprisingly versatile text editor, which packs a whole lot of punch in such a small executable. The installer is only 35 KByte (not a typo) in size. But you'll need to get acquainted with it by yourself, there isn't much help available.

A more complete description (and download) you'll find here:

2013 was the latest version (v1.65).

Start using AsciiDoc with the AsciiDocFX editor. That is similar to MarkDown text format files. The AsciiDocFX editor comes with an automatic (real-time) preview, so it very easy to see how your content will look like, while you are typing it. Which should cover most, if not all, of your needs to alter the layout afterwards. But if you still find a need to do so, you can alter the default CSS style sheet that editors like AsciiDocFX use to render the content as preview.

Once you know how AsciiDoc works, you can start using standard text editors, like Notepad++, VSCode, Sublime Text, etc.

Text files like MarkDown and AsciiDoc have also the advantage that these are very easy to search through by any and all types of search engine software (local or remote). These documents are also easy to store in any database of your choosing or to serve up as (internal) web content, if you so desire. With RTF and other document types created by word processing software, such options are very limited in the best case scenarios to non-existent.

Depending on RTF and/or other document types, will bite you in the long run, in ways you'll never expected. But I do understand the lure of falling back onto the ease and comfort of what you know, as I experienced the same before jumping to AsciiDoc. Stepping out of my comfort zone, actually improved my documentation habits for the better. It might do the same for you, if you give it a proper shot.

Some side notes:
That is a pretty warped (and incorrect) map of the Netherlands. Most of the big waterworks are quite well (pun intended) indicated on that map though.

But there are so many more and those are missing. One very long canal in the south has been omitted. I lived near it at the time. It has many sluices/locks for the leveling of water between two big rivers (the Maas and the Rhine). There are more and more ancient water works. One of those enables the capital city from the southern province of Noord-Brabant to defend itself against (land-based) invaders. And it still works after 400 years. That was tested, because in my youth there was a period of heavy rainfall in the area where I lived, but also in the areas where the rivers Maas and Rhine sprung from.

My home was about 10 miles away from that capital city and lots of cattle had to be moved and crops were wasted as grass fields and crop fields were flooded by that water-based defense system from the capital. Quite some bridges became submerged, sluices in the canal had a lot of problems, the moat of a castle nearby my village rose significantly (resulted in 5 year long repairs at that castle)... After a day, the old pumps in and near the capital started their work again and pushed the excess out as fast as the downstream cities, sluices and harbors could manage. About 100 miles are between the province's capital and the North Sea, where the rivers Maas and Rhine end up. Took three to four days to get rid of all the excess.

Not much repairs needed on river dikes, bridges, sluices etc. though. Solid engineering and tax money efficiently at work. In the area where I lived, all the water-works are semi-state and they take their job seriously.

A good example of: "It ain't much, if it ain't Dutch."  :P

Official Announcements / Re: Upgrading forum Dec 28, 2019
« on: December 28, 2019, 11:20 PM »
If you use a Linux-based server for the DC forum, you might already have taken a look at one or more misbehaving processes with a tool called: htop. Use a terminal multiplexer (Terminator is one of those). Those allow you to divide up your terminal screen into different sections and in each section you can start a new session. This makes working with the command-line a lot more efficient. Once you have used a multiplexer in there, you won't go back.

A misbehaving process might already give you an indication where to look. You are likely to use a Windows system to log into your server, so it could be a good idea to use a better solution than Putty. That is called SmarTTY.

If you use a Windows-based server for the forum, you might take a look at: TaskExplorer  which happens to be featured on today. With that tool you can see more info regarding any process than you can with Process Explorer from SysInternals. While process Explorer is executable with a size of about 2.5 Mbyte, extracting the Task Explorer results in a whopping 60 MByte, which happens to be bigger that the whole SysInternals Suite of tools.

Anyway, TaskExplorer shows you really a lot of info about a process, even which website it tries to communicate with. Maybe there is a connection required and your server is currently blocking it. Not all processes behave well when not being able to "phone home"... 

No, it isn't. And it never will be. It is just a lazy way of doing things.

Whatever time you think to save with this method, it all gets lost with the 1 week of drying out your keyboard.

Water quality is highly important for the fool that attempts to do this anyway. It isn't the water that is killing your electronics, it is the additives that eat away the connection lines on the board. That takes a few weeks and you'll end up with a busted keyboard. So, never ever expose electronics to any type of water if you can prevent it.

A spent (yet clean) toothbrush, a damp cloth and a tool to remove key caps is all you need to clean up a mechanical keyboard and should take about an hour, maybe two.
Membrane keyboards usually consist of two halves. The top half contains the top with all the keys. You should disassemble your keyboard and you can safely clean the top half with water, a sponge and soap to do the dishes manually. First, use a pretty strong stream of water to clean out the gunk, like hair, food and other bigger "bits", then apply the sponge with soap to get rid of the remainder. Most, if not all ink spots disappear as well. Then use the same stream of water to get rid of the soap. Let it leak out for a bit, then take the top half outside and wave the top half with force. Centrifugal forces will remove most of the water that remained.

After that you'll need a drying cloth to wipe the rest. The top half is now clean and ready for re-assembly. Total time: 30 minutes with a gunky keyboard. Been doing that myself for almost 15 years now and haven't lost a keyboard since. And I usually clean them every 6 months or so. Then it takes about 15 minutes as keyboards don't have that much time to build up gunk.

However, this method will remove lubricant at some point or another, which results in one or more keys being more or less stuck. If that happens, I use graphite in powder form in the places that I think cause friction and in no time the key(s) work(s) again like new.

Bought those keyboards for a marvelous price (about 10 USD each) almost 15 years ago and while they do show some wear and tear after that period of extensive use and (partial) exposition to sunlight, they still work as they should and the employees here still love to work with them.

Seriously, these are very good keyboards. Whether you get these with P/S2 or USB connector, you won't be disappointed.

If you are starting anew, that is the time to apply this trick of moving user folders to a separate partition or (network)drive:
Problem with the above method is that you'll need to repeat it for every account on your PC.
After applying this method you won't need to think again about repeating configuration steps. It will all happen automatically.

For myself, I always create a small-ish partition (25 to 50 GByte) just for storing temp files. I use a tool called: RapidEE (run as admin) to redirect temp folders from the system, but also users temp folders.
And when I'm a bit stretched for storage space, I often use the temp partition also for the swap file. This I configure with the same size for minimum and maximum, so it becomes one big block that isn't likely to fragment. Or at least slowing the fragmentation by a lot. Less important of a step if you only have SSD (or better) drives in your system.


General Software Discussion / Re: Top 3 programs you use
« on: December 21, 2019, 08:22 PM »
1. DOpus
2. Notepad++
3. SQL Developer/SQLTools

Same here though, there are more often than not the same set of 15 programs running (besides a browser that has some tabs with web-interfaces open too).

Living Room / Re: laptop temperature fluctuations
« on: December 15, 2019, 06:00 PM »
I vacuumed air intake; no change or improvement in SpeedFan over-temp readout.


In that post I try to explain why you see such fluctuating temperature values.

Usually there is a model number on the bottom of the laptop. Chances are that there are more than one video showing you how to dismantle your laptop model. In my experience, HP is adequate in delivering manuals for their laptops. Manuals that include all the steps to dismantle your laptop. Reverse these steps in the order as described in their manual and you should be up and running again without issues.

Depending on the model of laptop, it can be the case that you need to remove the whole cover before you are able to upgrade RAM or hard disk. if so, you are in luck. The manufacturer designed it so that it should be relatively easy to remove the whole cover and you'll have the benefit of easy internal cleaning without voiding warranty. If you have a model laptop where RAM, hard disk etc., each have their own separate small cover plate, then internal cleaning is more of a hassle. Just look at the bottom of your laptop and you'll see it right away.

As I understand, your laptop is from HP, they are more often than not designed to be serviceable. Except for their low-end consumer models. If you have a business model laptop (from any brand), serviceability is always better than for their consumer model laptops. In general, if you are in the market for a laptop, get a business model. Sure, they might not look as "flashy" as a consumer model, and likely have a slightly higher purchase price, but when it comes to maintenance and (tech-)support, you will be much better off in the long run.

Living Room / Re: laptop temperature fluctuations
« on: December 15, 2019, 12:33 AM »
Speedfan is good software to keep track of temperatures in your computer. But not all computers are created equally, so Speedfan needs a database to keep track of hardware combinations and how it needs to read/apply temperature read-outs generated by these hardware combinations.

The author of Speedfan does his/her best to keep that database as relevant as he/she can, but it is near impossible to account for every hardware combination. Hence you get your weird read-outs. All authors of similar software have this problem, not just Speedfan. If Windows 10 has software like this build in, it is also plagued by the same problem. Keeping this type of software as up-to-date as you can, is the best thing to do.

Speedfan is capable of keeping track of temperatures from different devices in your computer. Even each separate core of your processor. Yet, these are not always configured by the laptop manufacturer in the same order, hence you'll see 'Temp 2', while you were likely to expect 'Temp' or 'Temp 1'. Whether that is a problem of the manufacturer or the interpretation of Speedfan...

If I remember correctly, Speedfan comes with reporting functionality, so it is possible to send them the information of your hardware combination and the author can then decide if/when support for your specific hardware combo will be included into a newer version of Speedfan.

Some additions:

  • Clean dust/dirt off the motherboard and other parts as you proceed inwards, using the paintbrush and vacuum cleaner on low suction. Using C02 pressure cans to blow the dust off is arguably a waste of time as it tends to redistribute a lot of the dust (along with your money).

Vacuum cleaners suck air and dust, that is true. However, this suction creates a vortex of air and is known to generate static electricity in the process. Compressed air doesn't generate static electricity. A damp cloth for collecting dust particles/fluff etc. placed in the direction of where you are to blow air is just as good. Better is to work in a well vented area or simply do the blowing of air outside.

Oh, to prevent damage to fans, blowing or sucking air can make the fan turn in RPMs it was never designed for. You wouldn't be the first to damage the fan more by cleaning it than the dust/cruft could ever do. So it is necessary to physically stop the fan (or fans) from rotating at all, when cleaning out dust. Slowly rotating the fan(s) when cleaning debris from fan blades is fine. If physical access to fan or fans is possible, use a finger or toothpick to stop the fan from rotating.

Light application of grinded (ground?) graphite (the dark stuff inside a standard pencil) on the rotating body of the fan(s) where friction is most likely to occur also makes the fan turn smoother. If done right. A smooth running fan draws much less power than one that has trouble rotating. You can quickly test the smoothness of rotation by yourself blowing gently into the fan and see how quickly the fan blades stop moving. Less power consumed usually results in cooler running computers.

Heck, graphite also works well when you have a (slightly) stuck key on your keyboard.

Canisters of air are a bit of a rip-off. Personally, I use an air compressor that is normally used for bicycle tires. And then only ultra short bursts. Doing that twice a year for almost 15 years and haven't destroyed a computer yet. But if that sounds daunting, you can buy hand devices that blow air in a similar way like compressed air canisters, except you don't need to constantly buy new canisters of air for it.

  • Heat-conductive thermal grease: You probably only really need to tackle the task of cleaning off and replacing the heat-sink thermal grease if the CPU/GPU has been overheating and shutting down the system. I read somewhere that the grease has a 10-year life expectancy. I have tended to replace it only when I have opened up a laptop for the usual full cleaning (as above) and as a just-in-case measure on older laptops. Speedfan metrics will generally be a good guide as to whether this overheating is a problem. Those greases seem quite expensive, but maybe you get what you pay for. I'm not sure.

Better replace the thermal conductive paste every 5 years. That is what I do and still have three 15 year old systems (Linux, GUI-less) in operation, each doing one task. My boss likes the adagio of 'if it ain't broken...'). While most systems use a paste (not grease, never ever grease!), there are also thermal pads that manufacturers use to transfer the heat from the CPU/GPU to their heat-sink, which are in turn cooled by the fan or fans inside your laptop. These pads last longer, but are less efficient than most paste is.

Paste comes in various degrees of heat conductivity. And that is usually the difference between cheap(er) and expensive paste. Visit overclock forums to get an idea of good paste brands. Paste works best when it is lightly applied to the top surface of the chip you are trying to cool. While the surface of a chip that needs cooling might feel like a butter smooth surface to the touch, it really isn't.

Ideally, you'll put just enough to fill the creases of that chip surface with the paste, so the surface of the chip and the heat-sink make 100% contact over the full contact surface. Put more paste, and you'll decrease the capacity of the heat-sink's capacity to collect the generated heat. Less is more, so make sure that you use 3 or 4 little drops of paste in strategic locations on the CPU to get that 100% coverage. Use less drops for smaller chips.

Never ever use both thermal pads and paste! Only thermal paste or only pads. Cannot stress that part enough.

Living Room / Re: laptop temperature fluctuations
« on: December 13, 2019, 10:52 AM »
A laptop with a Dual Core processor in it is more than likely (much) older than 6 months.

Playing 2 videos at once is taxing, especially when these are compressed. And gets much more taxing when those videos are 1080p or higher. And usually the difference between 1080p and 720p on a laptop screen is barely noticeable.  Especially for a set of slightly less young eyes.

If possible, try to get both videos on your system and use software to separate what you want from both videos and combine these parts into a new video. That is less taxing for your laptop in the long run.

Did you also consider cleaning your laptop internally? Cruft and dust accumulates very quick in laptops in my experience. Especially when they are mostly used in carpeted areas or way worse, in bed. Such cruft prevents heat to escape out of your laptop and shortens it life span.

If you go for the first solution that Mouser suggested, you could use the (portable) freeware version of RevoUninstaller, instead of the uninstaller from Windows itself. Any 3rd party uninstaller will do for the purpose of really cleaning your system of any residual files and/or registry entries. These are often much more resilient than you would expect.

Uninstaller software helped me out years ago when having lots of vague issues with Oracle clients on Windows systems. Then I found 3rd party unstalling software existed, tried the first one I encountered (Revo Uninstaller) and all my troubles simply disappeared. Since then, I never used the uninstall functionality from Windows itself.

Well, I should say that 3rd party uninstall software first uses the Windows uninstallation functionality and then takes an extra look in the registry and files on disk to see what was forgotten. And more often than not, that is much more than you would expect.

As you are experiencing a vague issue, it is likely best that you start from scratch, just as Mouser suggested. Except you should use proper cleanup tools, not only the build-in Windows functionality. Revo Unistaller is the one I have used for years (and never felt a need to change it for something else), but there are several more options available, in case you don't like Revo.

Regarding Mouser's second suggestion: Nowadays, I predominantly use portable applications wherever I can. Simply deleting a folder with the executables is enough to get rid of an application. There is software that give you a better experience when they are installed, such as browsers and mail clients. For work I have DBA tasks, scripting tasks, minor development tasks, documentation. But also maintenance of networks, websites, mail servers, cloud services and I would say that my (curated) collection of portable apps cover 85% of all those tasks.

What I mean with the above is that you shouldn't diss portable software off-hand. Those are more often than not much less complicated to deal with than installed software, if you 'grok' the concept. And by their nature, you can use them next to similar software already installed on your computer, without any risk of messing up those installed pieces of software. Unfortunately I have met a lot of people who don't get the concept, while more than savvy enough about computers/Windows/coding. Too different, I would guess.

Anyway, good luck hunting the bug(s).

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