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Wally last won the day on September 2

Wally had the most liked content!

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About Wally

  • Birthday November 16

Personal Information

  • Location
    Altoona, PA
  • Occupation
    Technology Assistant
  • Interests
    Computers, technology, website design

System Specs

  • Processor
    Intel Core i5-4460 @ 3.20 GHz
  • Cooling
  • Motherboard
    Dell Inspiron Desktop
  • Memory
    16 GB
  • Video Card
    Onboard Graphics
  • Hard Drive
    500 GB SSD
  • Sound Card
    Onboard Audio
  • Power Supply
    Standard 500W
  • Case
    Standard Dell
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
  • Monitor Model(s)
    LG 27EA31 27" IPS LED Monitor
  1. First Impressions Thread

    Thank you for the feedback!
  2. Lithium Battery Info

    Too many people I’ve met have misconceptions, wrong understanding or simply no idea at all about how to maintain the batteries inside their new spanking new electronic gadgets. More often than not, it will be one of those nifty, super-slim lithium-ion variants. So I decided to write this little primer to help you, erm, I mean, your techno-phobic friends along. Note that my recommendations are catered along the lines of practical convenience as well as pure battery maintenance facts alone. As with everything, there is often more than a way to skin a cat. I do try to explain my rationale behind my recommendations, so do try to read on before clobbering me on the head with your PhD in advanced materials science. Tip #1: Lithium-ion batteries are limited by their life-spans Found an e-bay offer for a lithium-ion battery pack for your ageing notebook or PDA at bargain prices? Or saw that battery pack for your gadget in its dusty sealed package at the corner store of the flea market? Before you jump and snap it up, be sure to first check the manufacturer date. We all know that all batteries are limited by a finite number of charging “cycles”. However, it is a little publicized fact that the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries are also limited by their manufacture date. Your lithium-ion battery starts dying the moment it leaves the factory The fact is, your lithium-ion battery starts dying the moment it leaves the factory! Of course, the actual life-span of an unused lithium-ion battery can vary by a fair amount based on its internal charge as well as the external temperature. But suffice to say that you can expect to irreversibly lose 20% of a lithium-ion battery’s charge every year from its original date of manufacture. PDA came with more than one spare battery? Take it out of its shrink-wrap and use it interchangeably – today. Thinking of buying a “spare” battery for use in future? Well, just save the money and buy it only when you are ready to use it. Tip #2: Avoid allowing your device to discharge completely Every wondered why your modern phone, PDA or iPod is able to cheerfully tell you that “Your battery is now exhausted” for several seconds on its brightly-lid LCD screen before switching off? The reason is simple; there is an artificial circuit that shuts off the device when the charge in the battery is too low. This extraneous circuit is built to protect from the damage that could result if the charge of your lithium ion battery falls too low. If you still don’t get it: if the charge of your lithium ion battery falls too low, the battery can get irreversibly and permanently damaged. So since Lithium Ion has no “memory effect”, it is better to simply charge your portable device as and when you can or remember. To set your mind at ease, a “charge cycle” means a single iteration of depleting followed by a re-charge until 100% of battery charge. If you consume 50% of your iPod’s battery on day 1, recharge to 100% at night, and do the same thing on day 2, then you would have just finished up one charge cycle of its battery life. Constantly recharging a lithium ion battery does not shorten the battery life more than normal usage would. Hence constantly recharging a lithium ion battery does not shorten the battery life more than normal usage would. Avoid letting it sit on empty for too long; instead, keep it charged-up if you can. Tip #3: Take the battery out of your notebook computer when connected to AC helps… not! Well ok, actually, taking out the battery from your notebook computer might help, but the reason it does is not really what you think it is. It is not because of over-charging as most people might believe. There are some really smart circuits monitoring your lithium ion battery (See reason #2 above), and these circuits also ensure that your precious lithium ion never gets overcharged. So leaving the battery in when the AC is on has no detrimental effect whatever on the health of the battery. However, if there is another killer of lithium ion batteries other than old-age, then it would be heat. Long term exposure of a lithium ion battery to temperatures higher than 40 degrees Celsius permanently reduces its total charge capacity by noticeable percentages chunks per year. Having said that, I would hazard that modern processor like the Centrino Duo runs quite coolly overall. On the other hand, it is really painful to see someone plug their AC adapter to their laptop, carefully remove the battery and put it aside, then finally sit down and switch on their laptop. Then have someone trip over their AC adapter an hour into an unsaved document. Ouch. Unless you are setting up the laptop at Wal-Mart or Carrefour to run practically 24/7 until its time to sell it off at “display unit” pricing, my recommendation would be to save yourself the trouble and just leave the battery in. Actually, I think the real motivation to take the battery out of shop display units is to prevent theft. Really, why make it so inconvenient for yourself when the battery will be literally unusable in a few years time. Source: 3 Things You Should Already Know About Your Lithium Ion Battery ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEW ADDON: Some also claimed that we should minimize the duration of the battery remain at high voltage (e.g. 4.2v / 100%). This is spoil the battery because the corrosion activities are relatively high when the battery is in high voltage/ full charge. Put it short, after fully charge your battery, please use it ASAP. It won't give birth little baby battery if you leave it there with full charge
  3. What is your favorite Apple product from the PC line? Mine is the iMac!
  4. Retail vs. Online

    When shopping for a new PC, do you prefer shopping at brick and mortar retail stores or online? I prefer online shopping because of the greater selection.
  5. Printer Repair

    In my opinion, printers are available now at such a low cost and part availability is at a minimum; therefore, it does not pay to repair these manually. Has anyone completed a DIY repair on a printer or have the majority bought new?
  6. Greetings! Your feedback and opinion is important! Please share your initial impression of your community with us as a response to this thread. We will use your feedback to grow and make regular improvements!
  7. Having hardware troubles with your PC? Here is a list of common problems and the most likely fixes. WHENEVER INSTALLING NEW HARDWARE, MAKE SURE THAT THE POWER CABLE TO THE POWER SUPPLY IS DISCONNECTED, EVEN WHEN ATX POWER SUPPLY IS OFF, THE 5V STANDBY RAIL IS STILL ACTIVE. CAN'T INSTALL WINDOWS Problem: Various errors during Windows installation 1. Check for faulty RAM. 2. Check for damaged installation media. 3. Check for faulty power supply. 4. Check for faulty optical drive. HARD DRIVE NOT DETECTED Problem: Hard drive cannot be detected 1. PCI bus out of specification, can cause problems 2. Power cable faulty or not plugged in 3. IDC cable in incorrectly or faulty CHECK BOTH ENDS 4. Master/Secondary conflict, disconnect all other devices on chain. 5. Check jumper settings. Some drives have a "single drive" setting, and won't work properly as a "slave" or "master" if they are the only drive in the chain. 6. As a last resort, IE won't work at all after everything has been tried and warranty is no longer valid (not if it's a new hard drive), try the freezer method (freeze the hard drive in freezer then try again) NEW CPU NOT WORKING Problem: CPU does not work. 1. CPU incompatible with board 2. Chipped core (only for Coppermine/Athlon/Durons) 3. Socket arm not down 4. BIOS may need reset 5. Fan failure protection may cause motherboard to shut down if there's no power draw on the CPU fan socket, make sure fan is plugged in if this applies to your board. NEW MOTHERBOARD WONT POWER UP Problem: Motherboard won’t POST. 1. Check if grounded properly and there’s no shorts 2. Remove all unrequired hardware (sound card, IDE/SATA cables, etc.) 3. Make sure ATX cable is plugged in. 4. Make sure your RAM and CPU is compatible with this board 5. Don’t forget to plug in the ATX power button 6. Check BIOS reset pins 7. Check keyboard wakeup jumper (serious) 8. Check for correct CPU jumper settings. (If Applicable) CONSTANT CRASHES IN WINDOWS Problem: BSODs, etc. 1. Check VIA 4in1 drivers (if applicable) 2. Set CPU back to stock 3. Set RAM back to stock 4. Apply SB live+ via patch (if applicable.) 5. Remove all hardware one at a time until problem disappears. CONSTANT RESETS WHILE UNDER LOAD Problem: Resets under load 1. Check power supply handling capability, test rails with a multimeter NOT ONBOARD VOLTAGE MONITORING 2. Not enough voltage for overclock 3. Overclocked too far 4. Video card, CPU overheating 5. Faulty wiring or possible shorting 6. Check All capacitors around the mosFETs supplying power to the CPU, especially if you have an abit/epox board BURNS FAILING Problem: Burning errors 1. Check power (SERIOUS) possible faulty Molex plug 2. Enable burn proof 3. Remove burner drivers from Control Panel 4. Update your burner software (Nero usually causes the least amount of problems) 5. Has it happened since installing Windows? Check compatibility for your OS. 6. Update firmware 7. make sure DMA is ENABLED IN CONTROL PANEL 8. Put device on separate chain 9. Make sure PCI bus is relatively in spec (no more than 37mhz) 10. Buy a CD-ROM Lens cleaner, the laser may be dirty CPU @ XX DEGREES. TOO HOT? 1. Check the fan is functioning. 2. Have you applied thermal paste? 3. Apply thermal paste only VERY thinly (almost translucent) 4. Heatsink seated properly? 4a. Socket arm down all the way? 4b. Heatsink collar correct way? 4c. Heatsink not tilted? 5. CPU voltage and speed correct 6. System cooling? If your system is not unstable, there really is no problem unless you wish to start tweaking.. Remember - too hot is a variable thing: What's hot for an Intel CPU may be normal operating temp for an AMD. LAN (NETWORK) NOT COMMUNICATING 1. Both computers on same subnet (e.g. 192.168.0.X) 2. Using straight-through cables on switch/hub? 3. Using cross-over cables for direct? 4. Cable broken? 5. Network hardware functioning (hub, switch, NIC) 6. Ping each other? 6a. Ping but don't see - do you have access permissions 7. you are using a non-internet IP address (192.168.0.x, 10.x.x.x) 8. Plug and play operating systems set to yes in the BIOS can cause LAN failures SKIPPING MUSIC WHILE PLAYING GAMES/OTHER ACTIVITIES Problem: MP3s are skipping while I’m playing games 1. Switch to Waveout in Winamp 2. Increase buffer length 3. Increase priority of mp3 playback 4. Increase block size SYSTEM RANDOMLY REBOOTS 1. Check to see if the automatically reboot on error function is turned off. (Right click on My Computer-->Properties-->Advanced-->Start Up and Recovery [settings]-->System Failure-->untick Automatically Restart); also appropriate for restarting instead of shutting down. 2. check for faulty RAM (You can use GoldMemory to test it) 3. Check for faulty power supply. 4. Scan for viruses. 5. if your keyboard has them, physically remove the "Power", "Sleep" and "Wake" Up buttons as you might be bumping them ERROR MESSAGE: "There was a problem installing this hardware :Hardware Name. An error occurred during the installation of this device. The data is invalid." Problem: Blue Screen When Trying To Install Hardware And/Or Drivers: FIX: To fix this problem, go to Start, Run... and type "regedit" without the quotes, to run the Registry Editor. Navigate your way down to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ENUM\P CI and you will see a number of keys in the form of "VEN_xxxx", where xxxx are strings like "1102&DEV_0004&SUBSYS_00011103&REV_04". Under each of these folders will be another folder with a long numerical name. Open each folder and look for the "DeviceDesc" which matches the hardware you are trying to install. Right Click on the "VEN_xxxx" for that device and select 'Permissions' and then tick "Allow" for "Full Control". Close Regedit and then continue with the installation of your device. You should not need to reboot after you close regedit but some people have found that they do. RECOVERING FROM A BAD BIOS FLASH Problem: System will not boot following a BIOS flash: First, only flash your BIOS when it absolutely necessary. If you are not sure what you are doing, then take your computer to someone who does. With AMI BIOS you can use the "Quick Flash" Method that is described in a file in AMIFLASH.ZIP. If you use this method, hold the magic keys DOWN with one hand and switch the PC ON with the other hand - just don't release the keys). Continue holding the keys DOWN until the FDD starts reading the floppy (you can give up after 5 minutes if nothing happens). This method won't work if the boot block is erased. Find AMIFLASH.ZIP at: AMI | American Megatrends Inc. Other Options: Modern motherboards have a boot-block BIOS. This is small area of the BIOS that doesn't get overwritten when you flash a BIOS. The boot-block BIOS only has support for the floppy drive. If you have a PCI video card you won't see anything on the screen because the boot-block BIOS only supports an ISA video card, although the procedure will still run. Award: At boot-up, the boot-block BIOS will look for and execute an AUTOEXEC.BAT file on a bootable diskette. Copy an Award flasher & the correct BIOS *.bin file onto a floppy and execute it automatically by putting awdflash *.bin in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. AMI: The AMI boot-block BIOS will look for a AMIBOOT.ROM file on a diskette. Copy and rename the correct BIOS file on the floppy and power up the PC. The floppy doesn't need to be bootable. You will see the PC read the floppy, after about 4 minutes you will hear 4 beeps, this means the transfer is done. Reboot the PC and modify the CMOS for your configuration. If you feel that you can add to this list, please post below.
  8. Vote for your favorite antivirus software in the poll below.
  9. Windows 10 - released July 29, 2015 Upgrade FAQ: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-faq?ocid=win10_auxapp_ReserveConf_win10faq
  10. I would like to say first that I have not checked any of these, I am going by what I use and any corrections and additions are welcome. I'll start with easy with some symbols; preferred names are first and possible alternatives come after. Symbols () parentheses, brackets [] brackets, square brackets {} braces, curly brackets <> chevrons, inequality signs . dot # hash, sharp ~ tilde & ampersand ^ caret, hat * asterisk, multiplication ` backtick ' single quote " double quote | vertical bar, pipe - subtraction, hyphen + addition ! exclamation point, bang \ backslash, bash / forward slash, whack, division #! shebang (contraction of sharp and bang) Coding terms Array - A named variable that holds a number of other variables of a specific type. Exception - A specific condition that is met during program execution; generally used for generating error messages, but can also be used for branching to a different execution path of the program. Function - A block of code that can be called from somewhere else in the code. Loop - A code block that repeats while a condition is true. Pointer - A variable that is linked to, or "points to", a specific memory address / block of addresses. Is used to directly modify the memory or memory space that a variable is associated with. Queue - Similar to a stack, except uses FIFO concept (First In, First Out). Think of it like a line (or queue) of people waiting for a ticket. The first person in line will receive their ticket before the person that comes in line after them. Stack - a set of variables, objects, etc. laid out consecutively in memory. Uses FILO concept (First In, Last Out). The first variable in, will be the last one "popped" off the top of the stack. [variable] Type - Many languages require that a variable holds a certain type of data. The range of types available depend on the language. Variable - In short this is a "space" where a value is kept. A name is used to keep track of this space. Operators [left++] - evaluate then increment [++right] - increment then evaluate [left--] - evaluate then decrement [--right] - decrement then evaluate [left == right] - test equality between left and right [left != right] - test inequality between left and right [left < right] - test left less than right [left <= right] - test left less than or equal to right [left > right] - test left greater than right [left >= right] - test left greater than or equal to right [left || right] - test left or right is true [left && right] - test left and right is true [left += right] - assign left to the value of left + right [left -= right] - assign left to the value of left - right [left *= right] - assign left to the value of left * right [left /= right] - assign left to the value of left / right
  11. Here is an official list of websites to purchase computer hardware, separated by country for your reference. USA NewEgg | TigerDirect | ZipZoomFly | Buy.com | Amazon | SVC.com | eCost | iBuyPower | CyberPowerPC | Frys.com | CompUSA | BestBuy | Dell | eBay | NCIXUS | MicroCenter UK Scan | Ebuyer | Dabs | Aria PC | Overclockers UK | Misco | Novatech | Microdirect | LinITX | Overclockers UK | KustomPCs Australia ARC Computers | Harris Technology | MSY Computers | PC Case Gear | Sweden Inet | Dustin | NetOnNet Canada NCIX | Newegg | Dell | DirectCanada | TigerDirect | Canada Computers | BestDirect | PC Cyber Canada Specialty Shops FrozenCPU | Performance PCs | Petras | SVC | MNPCTech
  12. I've compiled a list of websites that I feel could be beneficial. I will edit the thread as needed when people have new links to add. Introduction to Linux linux.org Linux Documentation Project lowfatlinux.com Introduction to Linux Many useful Linux links linuxforums.org linux.com Linux Tutorials Filesystem Hierarchy Standard Linux command line Alphabetical Directory of Linux Commands many command line tutorial links Linux package management systems explained Where to get Linux Distros linuxiso.org distrowatch.com FrozenTech's Live CD List Linux ISO Torrents Miscellaneous Sites Screen shots of various distros Windows Managers for Linux linuxjournal.com linuxtoday.com linuxsecurity.com yolinux.com slashdot.org Linux Software sourceforge.net freshmeat.net Linux Gaming transgaming.com Morphix Site 1 Morphix Site 2 Games Knoppix Live Linux Gaming Project linuxgames.com happypenguin.com WINE linux-gamers.net
  13. This is a table that lists Windows programs and their equivalent open source programs for Linux OS. The Linux Alternative Project AlternativeTo - Social Software Recommendations
  14. Laptop Battery Articles & Tips A new laptop battery comes in a discharged condition and must be charged before use (refer to the devices manual for charging instructions). Upon initial use (or after a prolonged storage period) the battery may require three to four charge/discharge cycles before achieving maximum capacity. New batteries need to be fully charged and discharged (cycled) a few times before it can condition to full capacity. Rechargeable batteries undergo self-discharging when left unused. Always store a Laptop Battery pack in a fully charged state for storage. When charging the battery for the first time the device may indicate that charging is complete after just 10 or 15 minutes. This is a normal phenomenon with rechargeable batteries. Remove the camcorder batteries from the device, reinsert it and repeat the charging procedure. It is important to condition (fully discharge and then fully charge) the battery every two to three weeks. Failure to do so may significantly shorten the battery's life (this does not apply to Li-ion batteries, which do not require conditioning). To discharge, simply run the device under the battery's power until it shuts down or until you get a low battery warning. Then recharge the battery as instructed in the user's manual. If the battery will not be in use for a month or longer, it is recommended that the laptop battery be removed from the device and stored in a cool, dry, clean place. Be sure to store your Laptop Battery properly. Do not leave your batteries in a hot car, or in humid conditions. The best storage conditions are a cool, dry place. The refrigerator is fine if you stick in a packet of silica gel with your battery in a sealed bag to keep them dry. It is a good idea to charge your NiCad or Ni-MH batteries fully before use if they have been in storage. Upgrade my Laptop Battery From Ni-MH to Li-ion NiCad, Ni-MH and Li-ion ACER Laptop Batteries are all fundamentally different from one another and cannot be substituted unless the Laptop has been pre-configured from the manufacturer to accept more than one type of battery chemistry. Please refer to your manual to find out which rechargeable battery types the laptop device supports. It will automatically list all of the battery chemistry specs supported by your specific device. If your device does allow you to upgrade the battery from Ni-MH to Li-ion, you will typically get longer run time. For example, if your Laptop uses a NI-MH battery that is 9.6 Volts, 4000mAh and the new Li-ion Laptop Battery is 14.4 Volt, 3600mAh, then you will obtain longer run time with the Li-ion battery. Example: Li-ion: 14.4 Volts x 3.6 Amperes = 51.84 Watt Hours Ni-MH: 9.6 Volts x 4 Amperes = 38.4 Watt Hours The Li-ion is stronger and has longer run time. How Can I Maximize the performance of My Laptop Battery? There are several steps you can take to help you get maximum performance from your Laptop Battery: Prevent the Memory Effect - Keep the Laptop Battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Do not leave your battery plugged in constantly. If you are using your laptop on AC power, remove the battery if it's fully charged. The newer Li-ions don't suffer from the memory effect, however it's still best practice to not have your laptop plugged in charging all the time. Power Saving Options - Go into your Control Panel and activate various power saving options when you are running off of battery. Disabling some of your background programs is also recommended. Keep the Laptop Battery Clean - It's a good idea to clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection between the battery and the portable device. Exercise the Battery - Do not leave the battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend using the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a Laptop Battery has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break-in procedure described above. Battery Storage - If you don't plan on using the Laptop Battery for a month or more, store it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. NiCad, Ni-MH and Li-ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember to recharge the batteries before use. What is The Run Time of a Laptop Battery? Laptop Battery have two main ratings on them: Volts and Amperes. Because size and weight of Laptop Battery is limited when compared to larger batteries such as car batteries, most companies show their ratings with Volts and Mill amperes. One thousand Mill amperes equals 1 Ampere. When buying a battery, select batteries with the most Mill amperes (or mAh). Batteries are also rated by Watt-Hours, perhaps the simplest rating of all. This is found by multiplying the Volts and the Amperes together. For example: 14.4 Volts, 4000mAh (Note: 4000mAh is equal to 4.0 Amperes). 14.4 x 4.0 = 57.60 Watt-Hours Watt-Hours signify the energy needed to power one watt for one hour. This Laptop Battery can power 57.60 watts for one hour. If your laptop runs at 20.50 watts, as an example, this laptop battery could power your laptop for 2.8 hours.