Showing posts with label Computer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Computer. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Old School

Spent my day building a Windows 2003 Server with SQL Server 2000 (SP3a) on an old PowerEdge 2600. Good times. Don't be too jealous.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Universal Converter Box

I ordered one of these from Amazon today. If it had Lightning and RS232, it would be perfect.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Xircom PE3 & Combo Card

I just read Gough's Tech Flashback: Intel EtherExpress PRO/100 Mobile Adapter. I installed a few of those back in the day. He nails it here:
"The connector itself is very small and has securing latches which “click” into place to engage with the card. It’s also very thin and protrudes from the card a significant distance. As a result, these things were a pain in the ass to use, as they can easily be carelessly yanked from the card at an angle, causing the connector to crack or be damaged."
It also reminded me of the Xircom PE3 Parallel Port Ethernet Adapter. If all else failed, we could always get a PC on the network with one of them. I never went anywhere without one or two in the tool bag.

(Pic from here)

We also liked the Xircom combo Ethernet and modem card. It took up both PCMCIA slots, but it eliminated the need for the dongles. Of course, this was all in the olden days before they started building all these things into the laptops.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Computer Update

So, I never did get my desktop working, but the good news is that my wife is getting a new PC at work. They are letting the employees take the old computers home (after wiping the software/data, of course).

Funny how things work out.

On a somewhat related note, I stumbled across a post about Chromebooks for use in portable ham operations. Which lead me to the video below. I don't take computer advice from Rick, but I thought it was pretty funny.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


So, it's not the battery. I've pulled everything out of the PC - got down to mobo and proc. It beeps appropriately at the lack of memory. I then tried with different memory to see if that changed anything. (It's actually pretty hard to tell given the lack of a consistent response from the machine. See below.) Got a diskette error, so I plugged the card reader back in - no joy. I disabled it in the BIOS - no joy. Hard drive plugged in/unplugged - no joy. Using the onboard VGA after pulling the video card, wireless card, and tv tuner card - no joy.

I'm pretty comfortable saying it is the mobo given the variety of responses and the elimination of so many variables. The first pic is of the screen at POST that asks if you want to enter setup or the boot menu. The second is actually the same, but it is trying to display the Dell logo. I mostly get a black screen - power on, fans turning, but no video out to the monitor, but I thought these were just great fun, so I had to share. I don't think I want to spend $50 on a refurb motherboard to put into this seven year old computer. At least I could listen on the KG-UV8D while I was working. (I even see a red UV-3R reflected in the first picture. It's like ham radio Easter Eggs.)

Decision time... I still think I need a Windows PC and my laptop won't last forever given its problems. So, a cheap laptop or a cheap desktop. My XYL needs something, too. She primarily uses the iPad, but uses the desktop for working from home and occasional tasks related to eBay or consignment sales.

And the hits just keep on coming...

Now the desktop has died. Won't boot past the BIOS screen. I hope it is just the CMOS battery. I'll pick up one today and find out easily enough.

The latch on the laptop is worse, so I accidentally shut it off three times yesterday. Time for some duct tape. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ha!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

For Star Wars Geeks

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.


Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  6    29 ms    22 ms    24 ms []
  7    20 ms    18 ms    17 ms
  8    59 ms    55 ms    57 ms
  9   709 ms    57 ms    63 ms  Episode.IV []
 10    59 ms   261 ms    63 ms  A.NEW.HOPE []
 11    56 ms    56 ms    57 ms []
 12    60 ms    59 ms    56 ms  Rebel.spaceships []
 13    59 ms    59 ms    56 ms  striking.from.a.hidden.base []
 14    59 ms    56 ms    57 ms  have.won.their.first.victory []
 15    57 ms    57 ms    59 ms  against.the.evil.Galactic.Empire []
 16    57 ms    56 ms    57 ms  During.the.battle []
 17    62 ms    58 ms    59 ms  Rebel.spies.managed []
 18    58 ms    57 ms    58 ms  to.steal.secret.plans []
 19    59 ms    59 ms    58 ms  to.the.Empires.ultimate.weapon []
 20    59 ms    58 ms    59 ms  the.DEATH.STAR []
 21    59 ms    56 ms    58 ms []
 22    58 ms    56 ms    56 ms []
 23    61 ms    58 ms    56 ms []
 24    61 ms    61 ms    58 ms []
 25    58 ms    60 ms    60 ms  sinister.agents []
 26    59 ms    60 ms    60 ms  Princess.Leia.races.home []
 27    64 ms    59 ms    60 ms  aboard.her.starship []
 28    59 ms    64 ms    58 ms  custodian.of.the.stolen.plans []
 29    61 ms    58 ms    59 ms []
 30    58 ms    61 ms    59 ms  people.and.restore []

Trace complete.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Many suspected, but now it is official... I am certifiable.

I passed my ITIL Foundation exam today.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Leap Motion Controller

If I wasn't such a cheapskate, I would spend $80 to try the Leap Motion Controller. I use the keyboard a lot more than the mouse (short-cuts are king!), so I don't think I would want to move my hands off the keyboard for the Leap anymore than I would for the mouse.

Via Robb

Friday, January 25, 2013

On-Line Banking PSA

Here is my public service announcement for the week: Tips for Safer Internet Banking. Some good tips like using the mobile apps. I use the mobile app for my bank, but primarily for the convenience -  I hate driving to  the bank to deposit a $32 check. Extra security is a bonus!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First Computers

Lifehacker asks "what was your first computer?"

My uncle loaned us a Kaypro of some flavor. I remember playing a lot of an ASCII Donkey Kong clone. (About this time, a friend has a Commodore VIC-20 that we played with as well.)

We then bought an IBM PCjr. I saved my pennies and we bought the BASIC cartridge, so I could do some simple programming.

When I went off to college, I bought a new computer. I think it may have been an AT&T branded 286. I remember connecting it via a null modem cable to the computer of the guy in the dorm room next door, so we could play a submarine game together.

A few years later, I bought a Radio Shack 486. It had a modem and I could dial up to various BBS. I think I had an AOL account then, too.

My wife claims I fell for her only because when we met, she had just taken delivery of her new Pentium Gateway computer.

The next one, I built using an Intel Celeron 300A - that was easily over-clocked to 450 MHz by changing the FSB to 100 MHz in the BIOS. Toss in a 3D video card along with my ISDN connection and I had an awesome Quake II gaming rig!

Friday, October 26, 2012

App vs Service

I like this definition...

asymco I have a simple rule to distinguish between an app and a service. If you have to supply a username and password to an app, it’s a service.Tue, Oct 16 12:32:52 from Twitter for Mac

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crossover 27Q

The Chinese continue to crank out the inexpensive electronics. In this case, it is not a radio, but a monitor - the Crossover 27Q. It is said to use the same LCD panel as the Apple Thunderbolt Display. Yet another opportunity to save a lot of money if you are willing to take a risk.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Microsoft is Pivoting

Is Microsoft going to buy the market? From
"Let’s remem­ber here that Microsoft has over $50 bil­lion in cash. What if it com­mit­ted one fifth of that to the new plat­form ($10 bil­lion) and decided that its attack on the mar­ket would be on build quality and pric­ing. Doing so could push the tablet in the $100–200 range and the PC into the $400–500 range, mak­ing it sub­stan­tially more com­pet­i­tive (mes­sag­ing: you can get a tablet from Apple or you can get a PC AND a tablet from Microsoft)."