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About Laurent

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  1. I don't post a lot lately but i guess i will have to contribute at least to this thread since it's about HTPCs and i guess can't resist ... I have a one year old HTPC already and have invested quite a lot of time in it. These things can get to a point where they can replace any additional Hi-Fi equipment not even mentioning the video recorder which saves quite a bit of space in the living room Strictly considering video encoding (which can be a vey CPU hungry task on HTPCs): The CPU question is a pretty difficult one. I suppose your choice could be at least partially relative to the case which you are going to use. Things can get particularly tricky if you consider putting it in one of those small cube cases and decide to run it with constant load which is the most extreme example. Watching movies on a noisy HTPC is not very pleasant though and let's add that in a living room noise is tolerated even less easily. A HTPC which is running mostly idle could mybe take advantage of an Athlon 64's Cool & Quiet. On the other hand you could also decide to go for a much slower CPU and achieve silent operation without thinking much about it and stick with a format like MJPEG (in that respect i can recommend Picvideo MJPEG by the way). You would get huge filesizes but quality would still be given. Personnally i decided to go this route because i like to archive documentaries. In order to obtain predictable filesizes i thought i would have to go for a two pass Divx re-encode anyway which renders on the fly divx encoding useless in my case. By the way one last interesting note: no idea if you still have an analog TV but your G450 (which i see in your sig) has the best TV out (in dvdmax only though) i have ever seen on a graphics card (although to be frank there are variations between cards). Vastly superior than ATI cards in that respect not considering the annoying fact that one can't see application controls since when DVDmax displays overlay only (which can be taken care of with a G400 rather than G450). Then again you could be using HDTV and use VGA directly which renders this advantage useless...
  2. Laurent

    Best P4 Heatsink/fan For 3ghz And Up?

    Another vote for the Zalmann CNPS7000CU(A). I consider it does not make too much noise < 2000rpm and will cool high clocked P4's under constant load quite well at this speed provided the PC case does not retain all the hot air. Prescott P4's could be a totally different thing though but people who are halfway noise conscious probably don't buy these.
  3. Laurent

    Nt Does Not Contain Dos

    In respect to Dos boxes i came accross the following the other day which may help to run your old Dos software (games) under XP: I haven't had any time to try it out yet.
  4. Could you tell us a bit more about it ? Is this some kind of recovery cd that lands on a Dos prompt ? Well it's a pretty nice idea in this case in fact but what about file system support ?
  5. Call me conservative... If you can notice the cpu usage difference on your own PC between an IDE and a SCSI drive then i believe you can work @ Hardocp. Defrags are probably mostly sequential and a bit random if i am correct and usually data is not distributed over the whole disk i would tend to believe. I wonder if we would not have one of the few applications that would really benefit from a Raid0 array. Well, 15k SCSI drives provide the highest sequential transfer rates so you may have a point So you defrag and presumably work with the same disk at the same time ? I suppose that's what you mean because if you use two different units (one holding the OS on which you are working and the other one defragging god knows what) then i don't catch your point. Personnally i did not know and still have my doubts that such an obscure combination will work that well. If i start any of such disk intensive tasks on any of my disks while working on the same one then i am a candidate for suicide. Certainly a SCSI unit can deal with higher queues but, seriously, this example is not practical. I mean it's not the way a poweruser would use his hardware. If you are really into starting multiple disk intensive software at once you will soon realize that any drive will get unbearably slow. I suggest you use multiple disks for this. As a user you should try not produce high queues over an extended period otherwise you are dead no matter what's your drive.
  6. Subjectively speaking i don't know (III vs Raptor). Benchmark results are quite close. IDE units are reasonably close in respect to performance. I keep buying drives on the one or other interface. As Uffe said: ...and personnally, i don't think there is much more than this aspect left for SCSI these days speaking strictly for private consumers.
  7. AAAAAArgh....., rant coming Well, you are hardcore concerning what's decent and what's not. By the way, i would rather say that one of the drives you mention is just only newer which does not necessarily make it "a much better competitor". Laurent, very irritated, looks at the benchmarks and notices virtually no difference between the Atlas 10K IV and his "dinosaurs"; tries to calm down the "half decent" Raptor ready to jump at qawsedrftgzxcvb's neck ...thinking that just a few points here and there are very rapidly drawing the line between slow and fast in the enthusiast's head. I am 24 and already feeling too old for this.
  8. Laurent

    Windows XP auditing

    Yep ! I rapidly tried your code in Excel. For now it seems that the loop will only allow to find myself and not the clients but i should be able to get the rest to work on my own. Anyway this was helpful. Thanks a lot
  9. Laurent

    Windows XP auditing

    I have turned on auditing in windows XP for logon/login events. The problem is that i would like to constantly know which user is currently logged in. The event viewer is just a big mess so i was wondering if nobody knows a freeware that would provide this info in the system tray or similar. I haven't found anything so far so in case there is no existing freeware i feel i could probably program my own little application. I know that programming questions are not very common in here but in case somebody knows a way to access such services with either VBA (Basic), VC++/BorlandC++ or Delphi i am open for directions before i am heading for ..., google.
  10. Laurent

    Where did all the MHz go?

    In that respect i am surprised that none of our enthusiasts mentioned that a faster CPU will handle an interrupt faster. Since this turned into a "snappiness debate" On a sidenote i was wondering if the OS dependant time quantum between interruptions was varying with cpu speed...
  11. Laurent

    Where did all the MHz go?

    You may be right, you may be wrong on this. I have not seen much saying that reduced access times directly lead to a noticeably quicker OS on the desktop PC. Personnally i have often found that believing in something tends to influence what one seems to feel. I am not wanting to annoy you, what i say concerns myself in fact. In my situation what i "believe" is a bit different though. I don't think in terms of "this drive is faster than this other one" concerning the drives i use in my own computer (in case they are reasonably comparable of course). As long as the objective test results are good enough i am OK with that; i just make sure that the disks holding my OS and applications are fast. In definitive i did not have the "impression" that an Atlas10KIII class drive was definitely faster than my previous IBM 75GXP (Raid 0) although there is quite a difference objectively speaking. Basically, the less i care the less i notice as long as everything is stable and fast in my eyes. I think that what one thinks and feels is quite dangerous and will often lead to contrary positions from different people hardware even being equal. This is probably valid for CPUs too in respect to higher speed grades if one restricts the usage to what i would call general stuff like internet browsing & (heavy) multitasking included for instance which any power user tends to do regularly. General OS usage needs a quite a stronger CPU to be noticeably quicker. Second, as far as feelings go, there is also another problem relative to the one or other usage and the one other system etc. Maybe one would not "feel" that the one or other drive is faster because there is plenty of Ram etc. (which indeed is a simplified example but halfway true). Personnally, that's just my opinion, i prefer objective results like Storagereview's over feeling (after all we have the same reference).
  12. Laurent

    The fate of the computing forum?

    As far as my experience goes the forum with the most touchy people is Doom9's (considering recurrent topics). I can remember that i was quite fearful to put my first post in there (after a thorough "search")
  13. Laurent

    How dodgy are you?

    26 years in prison / 0£ I am still quite young and i fear i haven't done all the stupid/tempting things yet
  14. Laurent

    LSI Ultra160 vs. Adaptec X9160

    I have had success with LSI based Tekram U2W and U160 based boards on overclocked PCI busses including an original LSI Ultra SCSI board. I also used an old Adaptec Fast SCSI card (AHA2940) which did not work as soon as the PCI bus ran slightly above spec (data corruption). Try and error i guess. Overclocking is not a science. What about other boards ? If you ask the fisherman if he sells fresh fish do you expect him to answer it is not ?
  15. Laurent

    Number of Insertions

    Molex power connectors: - I already broke one connector of an old IBM SCSI unit. - I slightly bent another one on a IBM 34GXP but it's still working. Moral of the story: gentle insertions !