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Messages - steeladept [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: E Texteditor experiences?
« on: May 13, 2007, 09:42 AM »
So how does this compare to, say Notepad++, TextPad, or other similar replacements?  Is it pretty much the same thing or different?  How?

You fellows are strange; why do you go to bed when it is almost high noon? Maybe you are situated the 'wrong' place? Move to Europe so I can buy you a beer (a genuine beer, that is: a pilsner!), and we can look at all the blondes and make sure they do have more fun...  8)
Sleep tight!

In that case, can I come over too?  Pilsners are the best, and so are blonds 8)

Sometimes I really miss Germany, but Pittsburgh has a German certified brewer, so I am doing better than most. If you are ever this way, you MUST try Penn Pilsner and/or Penn Dark (the two best brews he puts out).  They are just as good as the Euro-beers I had when living in Bitburg.

Sorry I took so long to post this, but I had some issues connecting to DC for a short time.  Anyway, I kinda feel stupid now...When you are in the hard drive properties in device manager, just load new drivers.  When it prompts you to install them either automatically or from a specific location, choose from a specific location.  On the next screen, you are prompted to choose search and installation options.  Choose the "do not search, I will choose the driver to install" option.  The next screen will give you drivers to install.  On my system (and the ones at work), there was only one option called "Disk Drive" - that is the generic driver.  Depending on your setup, you may have other drivers, but the one simply called "Disk drive" is the one you would want in case that is what they swap out.


I have a question for you steeladept : what would be the best way to ensure all the generic drivers are installed and used ?

Thanks in advance !


I am looking for the exact drivers now that are generic by name, but the steps are to go into the device manager and find your hard drive.  Open the properties and go to the driver tab.  Then you update the driver.  Most likely you are using generic drivers anyway, at least if it is a brand name hard drive such as Seagate, but this is if you have special drivers for your hard drive, or if you switch from ATA to SATA drives (for example).

You can do a similar thing for the NIC, though I think I spoke before thinking on this one.  To my knowledge, there is no lowest common denominator NIC that you can use as a generic.  However, Windows does a pretty good job of matching one that will work.  If I remember right, Dell has only been using Intel and Broadcom chipsets for some time, so unless your model is really old, you will probably be fine with the ones already in Windows (as long as you didn't delete them to save space on your hard drive).

If it helps relieve a little anxiety; HP, Dell, Toshiba, IBM/Lenovo, etc. all tend to be VERY good about keeping exact hardware on hand for these fixes.  It is when you go to a repair facility that is not company owned that I have found in general seem to occasionally replace parts with "like kind".

Armando - I do this for a living at a rather large enterprise and I can say from my experiences, you only really need to worry about two drivers (Assuming Windows here, don't know enough about Linux or Macs yet).  The hard drive driver and the NIC driver.  As long as you can get the system up with these two drivers everything else can be retrieved after you get the machine back.  The way we accomplish this is to ensure generic drivers are installed and used before making the image.  Once that is done, you make the image.  Then, whatever equipment they send back, you should be able to place the image back on it and get it booted.  Once that is done, just update all the drivers and you are back where you were.

Oh, and the tools I use are Symantec Ghost at work and Acronis True Image at home.  They both seem to work well for me.  I have only had a corrupted image twice that I can think of and both times they were attributable to the hard drive going bad anyway.  Of course there is always the other option not yet mentioned...Get another hard drive to send back to them.  Nah, the image can be burned to the disk and is a good archive anyway.

Given that I backed up to DVD, though, I may not be a happy camper when I get her notebook back as it has been noted by Carol that restoring from DVD's with TrueImage is molasses slow. Unfortunately, I wiped the harddrive before I sent it in and reset it to a virgin XP install (I'm paranoid) so it's inevitable that I'm going to have to face this!

Why not just copy the image to your hard drive, slave her drive to your machine, then lay the image down on it there?  It is a lot faster, even with breaking open the cases to set it up.  Also, I can say from experience, don't shortcut and use a USB adapter.  THEY ARE SLOW when trying this.  If you want to do that, you might as well go from the DVD directly!

I'm not a business person, I don't have the apptitude for it, but my real fear about these things, which is completely absent in paul's article, is the role that having well-positioned contacts/friends plays, and the importance of being chummy with heavily networked people.

I guess you can say I AM a businessman (sort of anyway), and my experiences are that the contacts are not so much needed as useful.  It is kind of like most things in this world.  You can do it with very little issue on your own, but it is MUCH easier with the network.  People naturally gravitate toward certain people:  1) People that have similar interests, 2) People that have similar goals, & 3) People they know.  Frequently it is a combination of all three.  That natural gravitation is what makes networks work and why they make business much easier.

Note, I left one thing out that will motivate people to do business with you; and that is why the network is not absolutely necessary.  That one last thing is you have something they need (or perceive to need).  With competition, it is difficult to provide that perception when their network of friends, relative, etc. do not know or agree with it; hence the networking making things easier.  However, this is why you can make it work without the network.

Oh yeah, and by providing the goods or services your business provides, you are building a network whether you want to or not :Thmbsup:

Enough on that.... back to starting to read the article. (I suppose I should have done that before commenting  :-[)

Developer's Corner / Re: Free HTML / CSS / Link Validation page
« on: March 26, 2007, 07:49 AM »
Personally, I find the validators in the WebDeveloper toolbar for Firefox more than sufficient.  I believe they use the validators for CSS and HTML, but I am not sure.  Regardless, with that and firebug, it is difficult for me to see the need for another tool for XHTML pages.

I second that.

General Software Discussion / Re: Astyle: A Free Visual CSS Editor
« on: March 20, 2007, 03:33 PM »
I just tried this, and I have to say, its not the easiest thing to use. I wouldnt recommend it.

- no, me neither. These "A" people are not pegagogic teachers; even their screenshots only made me wonder what CSS is all about. But of course, if you already know how to write CSS it may be a different story.

But if you know CSS, it isn't any harder than using the program (In fact, I find it easier than the program).  The only thing this might help with is preventing stupid typos from what I could gather.

Who needs hybrid... I would love a pure flash boot drive of 6 to 8 gb and a traditional drive for all the rest... why is it that small embedded PCs have had that for years and it's still not an option on any desktop machine or notebook?

Funny you should mention that.  A coworker just told me about a 32GB Flash drive Samsung is putting out.  More info here:


Thanks, mouser. I believe I understand your point to the letter, but I was thinking that if I bought this XP Pro upgrade disc, then maybe I could upgrade both the new XP Home and the old 2000 Pro at the same time, giving me an excellent backup media. The price for the complete XP Pro is still very high, so I was first considering the cheaper upgrading way.

I have not tried it yet, but according to WindowsSecrets, the Vista upgrade "hole" that allows you to clean install over ANY version of windows applies to XP as well.  So you can clean install XP Home (again), then upgrade to XP.  If you can find a download of the XP Pro installer, that would be even better using the key you have from your upgrade version.

Just a thought anyway....

General Software Discussion / Re: TextPad updated to 5.0
« on: March 09, 2007, 11:25 AM »
I too am a die hard TextPad user, especially since my company bought the site license, so it is free for me to use.   :Thmbsup:

It didn't hurt that it was the preferred program of my Java instructor either.  I think I will have to look into the upgrade now...

Thanks for the tip.

Developer's Corner / Re: Ask the CSS Guy
« on: February 15, 2007, 09:42 PM »
Another great site for CSS and HTML/XHTML info that I found a couple years ago is HTMLDog (  They have great tutorials and explainations of both and how they work together in a straight forward, 6 step process.  Very informative and up to date.

I would just like to add that using Linux has given me a great deal of respect for virtual desktops.  Ever since GNOME and KDE desktops have been available, they have utilized them and I have missed them on Windows machines ever since.  I agree that the MS powertoy just doesn't work well, though I have used it a lot trying to force it to work.  It just keeps causing issues.

To answer the purpose of such a program, I will just explain how and why I use it and maybe it will help clear a few points.  My main purpose, as most have already explained, is to help organize things.  For example, I use one desktop to write code; another to view the results in a browser; another for running my entertainment (music, video, etc.).  This can, of course, be done by multiple windows, but by doing it this way, I am not searching through 19 windows on the window bar for the correct program.  This is doubly true when you have multiple versions of the same program open.  I know a few programs here help with that, but it is difficult sometimes to change what you are used to.  Even more so in my case, because I am a desktop technician.  Because I deal with so many different computers, I get used to the lowest common denominator - i.e. Windows basic interface.  With virtual desktops, I have X number of Windows basic interfaces that each have their own purpose.  Well, on my personal machine anyway... :D

Don't know if that helps, but that is my use.

N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2007 / Re: Whats Its Color - December 25, 2006
« on: January 09, 2007, 09:29 PM »
Interesting program.  I first thought to use it to determine a good background for my machine desktop, and it is still good for that to show off any shortcut icons you have.  However, I find I like to have a changing picture and I would prefer to be able to sample user defined sections of a picture with the background and foreground separately defined for this purpose.  So I guess that would be a use and a potential suggestion.  Don't know how you would accomplish it, but it is an interesting thought... 8)

What program do you use to write Java?

I suggest you take a look at NetBeans. Makes your life a lot easier!

You beat me to that...NetBeans does great work for GUI's.  At least that is what our college instructor showed us.  I understand Eclipse does as well, but I haven't had time to play with it yet.

Cool!  Not even a member for half a week and I win already to boot!  This is awesome.  Of course that is why I joined in the first place  :D  The awesomeness, not the win...

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