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Everything posted by Mercutio

  1. Mercutio


    I don't know if any SR old timers are still around, but if anyone remembers P5_133XL from the late 90s and early 2000s, it appears that he passed away at the end of February (second name down on the list). P5 was at one time a very frequent contributor here, especially in the Tech Support forums. Death on the internet is a weird thing and I really hope he's still out there somewhere, but one of the folks who really helped make SR's forums worthwhile in its early days seems to be gone and maybe a few people here might like to know about that.
  2. Mercutio


    He helped a lot of people. I have no idea how he was memorialized in the world offline, but for a very long time, if you had a problem and found your way to SR's Tech Support forum, P5 was there to help. I knew him for nearly 20 years and I admired him and what he did. It seems right to observe his life and work here.
  3. In light of SR's recent, um, difficulties, I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with actual data recovery services (the ones that compete with training and cert companies and adult content providers for ad space in the back of just about every computer magazine I've ever seen) with regard to cost, time to recovery, amount of data that can be recovered, etc. I vaguely recall my father paying some company or another $400 to recover the contents of a 200MB drive, back when that was a typical amount of space for a desktop PC to have. I'm surprised no one else has brought up this topic on SR. Ever, as nearly as I can recall. As an aside to Davin and Eugene, since the topic wasn't addressed with the other responses just posted on the homepage, has this topic been discussed by y'all? Is it unfeasible for some reason? Wouldn't it make a cool article anyway?
  4. Mercutio

    Revealing Hidden Partitions

    i don't normally go to mcdonald's, but make sure to go there this weekend! i'll be selling my own food in the parking lot. Did you actually read what I wrote on SF, honold? Let me re-iterate for you: Unlike 99% of the people who are talking about this, I have actually tried it. I used a 20GB drive. It turned into a "30GB" drive. My initial disk load was around 90% of the capacity of the 20GB drive, and when I was done, I loaded ~10GB of AVIs. I played the AVIs (which are sensitive to data corruption), booted the drive, played some games, and played the AVIs some more. If data is being corrupted, I haven't encountered any errors from it yet. That doesn't mean I don't believe it isn't happening, just that I have yet to find any evidence of it. Someone with a 500MB drive with Windows 98 loaded on it would have a much better chance of finding said corruption. While I'm at it: it takes about 10 minutes to ghost a working windows install, about a minute to boot up, 15 seconds to start ghost, 15 more seconds to switch the drives, another minute to boot again, and maybe a minute to start disk management and check the drive capacity. You guys who have some old, crappy disk laying around can try it for yourself in about 15 minutes. That's what I did.
  5. Mercutio

    Revealing Hidden Partitions

    I don't normally post on SR, but I tried it and it appears to work. Read more here. I haven't found a way to verify anything yet.
  6. Mercutio

    my seagate died - need brand advice

    Have you considered Samsung? Samsung is the only manufacturer to offer 3 year warranties on *all* its products.
  7. Mercutio

    A7N8X & 6 Channel Sound

    Why get a bracket? The Deluxe has coax SPDIF on the I/O backplate.
  8. Mercutio

    Looking for a IGP/MCP-T Mobo

    If you figure out why the 6-phase power regulator on Gigabyte's most expensive nforce2 board is worth like $70 more than the board that doesn't have a 6-phase power regulator, be sure to let us know, OK?
  9. Mercutio

    A7N8X & 6 Channel Sound

    Er... in 2000 or XP, in the "Sounds/Multimedia" applet in control panel, there's a Speaker Configuration dropdown that lets you pick 5.1. RealTek's SoundMan utility also includes a configuration tool, both for the jacks and for speakers, that you might have to use. I don't know if the regaulr A7N8X includes the RealTek tool or just something similar. I'd have to imagine they do.
  10. Mercutio

    What dual DVD burner should I choose?

    You're worried about DVD-RAM support? Takes all kinds, I guess. I believe the drive you're thinking of was to be made by Panasonic. If we're thinking of the same device, I think its drawback was that it wouldn't be able to write CDs. Since I use my DVD burners to write CDs pretty regularly, I'd call that a drawback. I have a couple of Sony and a LiteOn (Sony) multiformat burners that I've been very happy with. Don't know about the others, but the Sony is at least a solid product.
  11. Mercutio

    When a female walks by do you look ...

    I had the really soul-crushing experience of having my best friend and fiance wake up one morning and decide she's gay. I am not trying to be funny here. I've lived a nightmare because of it for the last year. But, here's the part that will be amusing to you guys. Imagine being in your mid-20s and going through that moment you went through at 11 or 12 or whatever when you finally said "WHOAH-HO, I *REALLY* like looking at the bosums and other jiggly bits". Open staring. Open drooling. Turning completely around to "get a better look". Slack jaw. The works. And when talking to an attractive woman... she did exactly the thing that that women accuse men of doing: Talking directly to the chest. As bad as anyone is in this thread, I don't think it's possible to be as bad as she was the first few months after she "discovered" women. I will now going to return to my crippling depression.
  12. Pradeep, that post reminds me of the fact that cattle prods can be found on ebay for under $70.
  13. I started with yggsdrasil, too. I got it, a FreeBSD CD and a CD full of lesstif applications from Walnut Creek. This was back in the days when more people didn't have CD-ROM drives than had them. I started with BSD, with the understanding that it was closer to the SunOS 4 stuff I was using in class. And it was, but it didn't support the 2nd CPU in my workstation (yes, I had an SMP 486.), and my attempts at building my own kernel resulted in something that just wouldn't boot, even though it compiled correctly. I tolerated BSD - it handled internet stuff better than OS/2 2.1 or NT3.1, after all, until the end of a semester, then pulled out the yggsdrasil CD. The install off the CD was pretty bad, but once I got it running, I had something that was at least as functional as BSD. Once I got it online to start grabbing updates, though, I knew I had a winner, since even back then (.94, maybe? I don't think it'd hit 1.0 at that point), there was work on an SMP branch for the kernel. I submitted bug reports and re-built about once a week, pretty faithfully until I ditched my 486 and later Pentium SMP rigs for a PPro 200. As far as OS files, yes, it bugs the hell out of me. More with Windows than Unix, since everything ends up dumped in just a couple of directories (Why the hell is this stuff from Symantec in my OS libraries folder???). Making stuff from source on a *nix machine, things go in /usr/local/, which normally tells me right away that if nothing else, I probably don't need it.
  14. Mercutio

    Online resume sending etiquette requested

    When dealing with recruiters, .DOC and plain text. In my case, I make my resume with HTML and rename it with a .DOC extension. Word opens it just fine. Be sure to include a cover letter. Be sure to customize your resume to the job. Don't include programming skills for non-programming jobs, for example. Technical recruiters are about a half-step above HR bimbos on the low end of the upward slope of the IQ bell curve, so don't confuse them with anything other than a .DOC or plaintext file. A lot of 'em won't open an RTF or PDF, even if they have software to do it (I have seen this happen. Not at a tech firm, but an executive search company. Same difference. What's this? This isn't Word! [Delete]) If you're submitting to a large organization, they probably have some kind of scripts that process your resume into their internal format, or parse it into a database. Where it will probably never be seen again. When you get an interview, be sure to send a thank-you card or email if you had anything like a decent experience. I found interviewers tend to remember me better when I do that. I don't bother to send out resumes through the internet any more. I have NEVER gotten a job that way, and I typically do work for 10 - 20 different companies in a given year.
  15. Mercutio

    WD or MAXTOR?

    I'd suggest Maxtor unless you're involved in a serious relationship with someone in WD's RMA department, or would like to be. RMAing 13 WD drives in six months is quite an achievement when you only own nine to begin with. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
  16. Mercutio

    Server+ or A+?

    Also there's the CCDA, which is IMO harder than CCNA and certainly much more useful.
  17. Mercutio

    Server+ or A+?

    I lost a chance for a *HUGE*, permanent job for not having enough "basic" Cisco experience. The person who was ultimately hired for the job had 4 months IT experience and a CCNA. Of course, that was during the bubble.
  18. Mercutio

    Server+ or A+?

    I took and passed the A+ exam, both sections, in under five minutes total. Not only is it not difficult, for someone with any meaningful experience with the relevant software, it *IS* a joke. But, I am NOT going to take away from my students. The folks who come into my class are not IT professionals. They aren't hobbyists. Most of them don't work with computers daily. They get 40 hours of classroom time in a troubleshooting class (my own invention), 10 hours of DOS and five hours learning the very most basic networking skills. The book they get is 1500 pages long, and they have 15 weeks and 40 hours of instructor time to understand everything in it. And even with that, not all of them can do it. The folks here have internalized the things the A+ certification expects. Someone, going from zero knowledge to that level, is making an incredible commitment to learn it all. It's all very simple to us. Lots of little rules. But.. when I sat down to write an outline, it came out to over 300 pages. In outline form. No expository text. That's A LOT of stuff. Joke to us, but a big deal for someone who isn't "us". FWIW, A+ is always adaptive and the test ends at 20 questions or a passing score prior to the 30 question limit. Tests are timed to exactly 30 minutes. Tests that exceed 30 minutes are not given a score. XP will be folded into the exam at the end of the year. There may be XP questions prior to that, but they won't count toward your score. The OS part is harder for most people than hardware. Laser printing and networking seem to trip up my students the most, hardware-wise. OS stuff is all over the map. Windows 2000 stuff probably more than anything else. MCP certs based on 210 and 215 are very easy to get. MCSA is substantially more difficult. Win2000 MCSEs deserve more credit than they get. The 216 exam was IMO substantially harder than CCNA.
  19. Mercutio

    Server+ or A+?

    Do both if they'll pay. I teach certification classes. Sometimes even Server+. A+ is the "Is it plugged in right?" exam. A+ is not challenging to hobbyists (at least, not to hobbyists who remember DOS). Also, it's two tests. Server+ is bits of Netware, NT4/2000 and *nix. You learn bits about backup strategies, FC, SCSI, hotswap hardware... Still not terribly challenging, but it's an uncommon cert to have and IMO a bit more valuable than A+ - there are thousands of A+ certified techs in the world in all kinds of non-IT professions.
  20. Mercutio

    Cable company screwed me.... I'm getting even

    Remember that your internet connection could be much, much worse. By the time I pay for all the phone lines and accounts I need to get a 28.8 connection, I pay more for service than probably anyone here. I do think you're in the right using someone else's open AP. It may be open on purpose. If you want real QoS, get a leased line of some kind. Nothing else means anything, "business service" or no.
  21. Mercutio

    Big Air with Silence

    I realize you are all talking about fans at the moment, but I'm really in love with a HSF from Speeze/Spire called the 5F263B1M3. It's an 80mm, 2500rpm, 26dB unit that works magnificently for everything I've ever put under it. Overclocking? No problem. Oh. And it's $12 shipped at
  22. Mercutio

    Eat my shorts nVidia

    Because something like a Power4 is a general purpose Microprocessor. It would work. It would not be anything like "fast". nVidia and ATI GPUs are special-purpose processors that can perform the sorts of calculations needed to do graphics processing in many fewer clock cycles per instruction. You wouldn't use a Power4 to run a graphics card any more than you'd use a Geforce4 to run a database server.(*) *Some months ago there was a bit on slashdot about doing exactly that. 128MB of RAM connected to high-speed bus with a dedicated processor that's probably 99.7% idle while drawing a 2D display certainly SOUNDS like it could be used for something.
  23. Mercutio

    DVD Burners

    The Sony, LiteOn and Verbatim units I have are silent when playing back movies.
  24. Mercutio

    Giving up on Antivirus software

    jec, if that's the case, you REALLY need to modify your behavior. No offense, but having AV software doesn't give you license to make poor decisions. I've used PCs for as long as they've been around. I've done tech work, worked at campus computer labs, and encountered thousands of viruses in my professional life. I check my home PCs, all 12 - 16 of them, about once a month with housecall, and there's never any viruses. None. Ever.