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Messages - steeladept [ switch to compact view ]

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From what I understand, DVI is superior only because it is a digital signal and, therefore (presumably) cleaner input.  VGA connections are quite acceptable, however, as long as the components are quality components and all connections are tight.  From my electician's background, I can say it is most typically the cable connectors that cause issues.  And while the card may indeed be at fault, don't throw it out as bad until it is actually verified.  Different cable, ideally the card installed in a different computer, and particularly with two or more different monitors all reproducing the same effect would prove it.  Short of that, there is no guarantee it is the card as you claim.

With all that said, a digital input will tolerate poor connections better as they are designed with built in variability that the VGA and other analog inputs must interpret as different signals (by design).  This is the true reason DVI is considered better than VGA (or digital is better than analog).  It is the built in variability tolerance of the design.

Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Babylon discount
« on: July 30, 2011, 05:44 PM »
There is an important lesson I learned a long time ago:

Avanquest = The place were software goes to die

They only have interest in taking money - once they buy a title the development is pretty much dead.
-Carol Haynes (July 30, 2011, 02:30 PM)
Unfortunately that has been my experience too.

Having tried both services, I think Microsoft's offering has the best chance of success at this point.

Same here.  In my opinion, these services are like cell phone service providers here in the U.S. - They all suck, if you want/need it, you just find the one that sucks the least.  Google Apps vs. MS Office Web?  No comparison.  Office Web is a VERY slimmed down version of Office, but still very capable and just works.  Google Apps?  Not so much.  A lot of features just don't work, or at least work right to the way I would expect them to, and the rest is even more basic than Office Web.  My personal choice?  Notepad++.  More features, cloudless, portable, and the documents written with it can be read by anything.  What's not to like there?  As for Zoho - can't say, haven't ever tried.  Maybe they are the exception to the rule above (there is ALWAYS an exception, right?).

I am not sure if this is a solution or not, but can't you just Alt-Tab to minimize the window and work as normal?

General Software Discussion / Re: Mac OS Lion opinions
« on: July 24, 2011, 10:10 PM »
Y'know... It just occurred to me... I never hear about breakage on Linux upgrades...  :o

I have, in fact, my Linux Mint distro just broke the other day.  There was a work around and everything came back, but it does break.  There is just more savvy people out there that can tell you how to work around it.  Basically, the update in Linux Mint wiped the file that told Linux where to boot.  You have to copy some stuff from the live CD, update some conf files, and wala - it works again.  Still, without a second machine to look that up, I would have been SCREWED! 

Okay, not really, but I thought I was.  Turned out I could boot to the live CD, find the info, follow it, then been good again - but that might not always be the case.  Hence even on Linux - Follow a solid backup procedure!!!

Living Room / Re: What are good sunglasses (brands)?
« on: July 24, 2011, 02:16 AM »
I know what you mean Deo.  I went for a complimentary LASIK exam to see if I was fit for it, though, and they were able to provide some sort of medicine that stopped the "eye boogers"  I had issues like yours, though not as frequently - and the doctor said the medicine would clear it up.  Unfortunately, I never got back to the contacts to verify that it did, because I couldn't afford them anymore (kids take all my money anymore :-\); but I can say I didn't even get the little "sleep seeds" that come even with glasses.  As for wrapping perscription lenses, I haven't seen or heard of any successful designs for that - it just doesn't seem to keep the focus needed where and when it is needed.  Other than that, I can agree wholeheartedly with everything you said.

As a side note, when I did wear contacts, the HomeDepot Safety glasses I got were great.  They wrap around well, are very lightweight, and generally comfortable.  I could even wear them with my motorcycle helmet on - something even my glasses have issues with.  That is particularly nice, because then I don't need to carry 2 visors with me wherever I go.

Living Room / Re: REQUEST: Print APA Style/Format Guide Needed
« on: July 24, 2011, 01:57 AM »
Well when I went for my MBA, we used the Little Brown Handbook, but I found much more helpful for me.  The bonus is this is up to date as compared to my version of the Little Brown book.  Note:  It is called Little Brown because that is the publisher - Mine is red, and not very little.   :P

Living Room / Re: REQUEST: Print APA Style/Format Guide Needed
« on: July 23, 2011, 10:28 PM »
Sorry, no longer a collegiate, but IIRC, the only difference between APA and other formats IS the way it cites references.  Otherwise it is just a manuscript.  Is there something more specific you are looking for?

If it helps any, the way I think of a database is this (it helps me to develop it conceptually):

An abstract object is a table:  Examples - aircraft, person, airport, etc.

Adjectives common to that object are your fields:  Examples for aircraft - color, engine size, engine type, etc.

Specifics about one particular object are your records:  Example for "My plane" - white, 185 hp, twin turbo, etc.

It doesn't go into the rules of who, when, how, where, or why; but it does make it easier to visualize the conceptual data structure to me.  The only thing it doesn't really explain are foreign keys which are how tables are joined together.  For this, I just remember that one field in one table (say person) is the same as one field in another table (say aircraft).  So in the aircraft table, you might only have one Beachcraft Premier I listing, and in the person table, it would show in an equally named field several times (once for each person owning one).  If all that makes sense to you, then you are much further ahead in database design than you think you are....and yet still so far to go.... :-\

For my small bit of input (since I haven't been around to add anything earlier), I don't know much about current system components in general.  However, I do know about power supplies and memory manufacturers, so I will speak to that...

1) Memory - G.Skill is definitely a quality brand.  They were one of the many new kids on the block about 10 years ago (maybe more) that catered specifically to gamers.  Personally I like Crucial brands, but any good brand does well, and of course you know Kingston is a good brand as well.  The specs between the brands are the best way to judge (as long as you stick with good brands) .

2) Power Supplies - Your post is the first I heard of LEPA, so I did a bit of research before posting.  There are a very few actual manufacturers as we pointed out in other discussions; most are just rebranded power supplies.  I like Seasonic as the manufacturer (makers of their own brand as well as rebranded under ThermalTake and Corsair in addition to others IIRC).  Antec is another well know manufacturer.  They sell the most and are re-branded the most (correlation?  Probably).  Enermax is another well known manufacturer that makes (supposedly) high quality PSU's.  I don't have personal experience with them, so I can't say how good they are, but they are well known not to have any of their PSU's rebranded - until now that is.  LEPA appears to be the first line of rebranded Enermax PSU's.  The stats are good as are the reviews of both Enermax and LEPA (no surprise since the only difference is the stickers).  

As to your questions.  80+ Certifications are an efficiency level.  They guarantee a minimum of 80% efficiency (meaning for every 100 watts pulled from the wall, at least 80 watts will go to the PSU outputs).  The different metals are levels, so 80+ guarantee 80%, bronze guarantee 85%, silver guarantees 89%, etc.  Don't hold me to the numbers, it is the concept that I am explaining - I don't know the actual percentages, but you can look them up if it matters.  In addition to that, though, it does tend to be a sign of quality that they are able to pass the cert and that they are willing to apply for it in the first place.

Wattage, on the other hand, is almost completely irrelevant.  Marketing plays with these numbers so bad that they are completely incompatible.  Some, for example, will state they have 3 rails at 400W per rail so they deliver 1200W.  This is completely bogus because they can not deliver 1200W - it just means each rail is rated up to 400W.  It is deceptive marketing at it's worst.  Ideally, they would be rated by their highest continuous stable power rating, but that just isn't the case.  Moreover, determining the right size PSU isn't always the easiest thing either.  However, few, if any machines require anything as large as a 700W continuous power, so getting anything bigger tends to be a waste.  Still, many people buy into the bigger is better theory so marketing plays to that.  From what I have seen, most people end up with a 700-1000W PSU because they need something bigger than the next size down, or they are borderline with the next size down, so they need to move up to that size.  There are size calculators at most sites so use one of those to estimate, add about 10% for the safety buffer (their estimation is also buffered, so you will have a good sized buffer at that point), and get the smallest quality PSU you can find that is bigger than the calculated amount.  With all that said, your LEPA option looks to be a fine choice as long as it is sized properly for your system.

Living Room / Re: What are good sunglasses (brands)?
« on: July 20, 2011, 06:45 PM »
Here's what I like in glasses: glass lens, metal frame.  I have a narrow face, which excludes most frames.

That would leave out my suggestion then :)

My suggestion (safety glasses) are plastic frame and plastic lens. 

N.A.N.Y. 2012 / Re: NANY 2012 Pledge: Dungeon AI
« on: July 19, 2011, 07:33 PM »
Recently I have been wanting to play more D&D rather than just DMing all the time. Unfortunately nobody I know is willing to step up as a DM at the moment.   As such, I've decided to make my computer do so for me :P

Basically, DungeonAI is an application that can act as a GameMaster for D&D4E, complete with battlemap and condition/HP tracking. 

I'll probably code it in Java.  More details to come soon.

PS:  I don't actually have an internet connection right now, so I won't respond to this post for a couple days. :-[

Wow kamahl, it is scarey how close this project is to a long time (since 2006) project I have been trying to do.  I haven't offered it as a pledge because, well, I just don't know programming well enough.  I have been learning Java for quite some time off and on to develop my project, but learning on your own in your spare time is the long, hard way to do it.  Perhaps I can get with you and assist or something if you are interested in the help.

Maybe I am missing something, but I think it would be very script specific.  Perhaps make a GUI/menu/whatever for your current scripts asking about the variables?  That would be my only thought.

Living Room / Re: What are good sunglasses (brands)?
« on: July 19, 2011, 06:59 PM »
I found my favorite sunglasses at HomeDepot, believe it or not.  Go to their safety glasses section and there are at least 10 different styles, colors, etc to choose from.  Best of all, most are polarized, meet ANSI regulations as safety glasses, and under $25.  You don't get the customized options of an optician's office, or name brand anything (so they are less likely to be taken), but I find them comfortable, cheap, and generally excellent for my uses.

I am pretty sure even with an Admin account, UAC will prompt for certain responses if it is on - not unlike SUDO or other similar mechanisms.  In fact, If you want to use UAC, it seems to me it is best NOT to be an Admin account, and just use UAC to elevate privlages as needed (or set certain programs to run as Admin always if necessary, but that generally means poorly programmed software).

FWIW - If you turn off UAC, I think you are giving up one of the main reasons to switch to 7 in the first place.  Most everything still runs on XP as the lowest common denominator, and the only reasons I can think of to switch are for 1) increased security or 2) have to switch due to lack of XP driver support.  Also note, all that I said is theoretical...I haven't really played with Win7 to know how good or stupid UAC are in that product.  :P

Living Room / Re: Want to see impressive numbers?
« on: July 18, 2011, 07:40 PM »
Those numbers aren't that scary really, the US National debt is currently balanced by the GDP - as reflected on the World Debt page with a pretty much no net gain/loss ratio of ~100%.

However, if you look at the EU countries........ ;)

I think you are reading that wrong...

That is a ratio.  In other words, the US owes $77 of every hundred collected to it's own citizens.  It owes another $100.02 per hundred collected to citizens of other countries.  (Note I use citizens loosely as it is really just debts to national banks, public or private).

About the only cloud solution I'd mostly trust is one I owned and controlled myself.

Fortunately, all you'd need for your own cloud is: a broadband connection; a reachable IP address; a FOSS all-purpose server like Amahi or Superb Mini Server - and enough hardware to run it on.

For a modest investment in money and time, you can get your own little digital freehold.

I have been working this way for quite some time, though I am finding it quite handy to have internet mail services which one can argue is a cloud service.  What I find interesting is the OpenCloud movement.  Citrix just bought which is a platform for creating your own internal clouds.  I want to check it out but don't have the hardware for it yet.  Any of you who do, please don't keep secrets - let us know how it goes/went  :P

Depends on what else you have in there.  :Thmbsup:

Generally I agree though.

Thanks.  Been running the latest Java (well latest Java 6 - haven't moved to 7 yet).  I am learning to program in Java, so I KNOW I have kept up with that.  I actually was thinking the other way around.  Maybe I should downgrade - but then I haven't tried that either.

My first idea from what I saw you post from this morning is get your hard drive out of the machine ASAP so stray currents don't fry that - you can always slave it into another machine to get your data later.  After that, the other ideas are pretty good.  Strip it down to the bare essentials (MB, power supply, minimum ram, CPU - that should be about it) and boot to a live drive (I suggest Hiren's boot CD - it is pretty good with lots of diagnostic tools, though nothing so easy as "run" -> "here is your problem..." solutions).  If all the flakiness continues (I think you already did close to this and said it did), change the Power Supply (if possible).  Once that is changed, if it still continues, swap ram (again, if possible).  If it STILL continues, replace the MB/CPU assembly.  The price difference (timewise) in general for finding the individual bad component and replacing either the CPU or Motherboard is not worth it compared to the cost difference of replacing both.

I think you are about 30% there already, so if you do continue to work on it yourself, that would be how I would do it.  You don't need to find the problem, just isolate it and replace.  BTW:  If it is the MB/CPU, make sure you pay close attention to your PSU and backup plan religiously.  It might well be a flaky PSU caused the MB/CPU to go bad....If it isn't too hard financially, it might be worth replacing the PSU anyway and keeping that one as a spare if it seems good.

SJ, Let us know how it goes.  Maybe some of us other reticent folk will eventually join you in the foray into Social Networking.... :P

Of course, I use it as a temp drive now until I get it replaced.  It is handy for downloading all kinds of stuff to check out, because I know I won't be using it much longer.  I am just putting off actually fixing it for a lot of reasons, some good, some not so good  :Thmbsup:

Well persistence pays off sometimes... :-[

If anyone else is having issues, it is a Tomcat Server service.  The SpringSource Spring Framework is the set of classes that extends the tomcat server to take advantage of their tcServer.

Now, knowing that, I revise the question.  Can anyone explain why it is advantageous to use an application server such as Tomcat?  I know it is, I just don't really understand the concept beyond it issues programs like a web server issues web pages (described that way by a peer of mine).  Is that it?  If that is all there is to that, then why is that better than, say, having the software downloaded? Okay, I can see the advantage of not having to install the software, but portable software exists too.

I think I just answered my own question...How do you maintain your licenses across portable software.  I am dense, but I get around it eventually!  Anyone out there want to add anything?  :P

I always found the Windows Power Toy a great tool, but I guess that is only for XP?  It appears so now that I went and looked.  For Vista onward, many sites seem to promote Virtual CloneDrive.  Personally I have DAEMON Tools Pro (it was a giveawayoftheday offer a while back) in use right now.  Can't say I use it much, but when I need it, it is handy.  The only down side is I don't use any of the tools they offer.  The Power Toy was more than enough for me.  Too bad there isn't a simple tool like it for Vista/7.

Every time I try running this it fails.  I know I need to reimage my machine (I have a failing harddrive as my boot drive), but I should have been able to load it up and run it.  The harddrive hasn't given up the ghost yet, it is just very unheathy according to the SMART monitors.  I guess I will try when I get the new hard drive and redo my machine.

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