Personal computing discussed

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by highlandr
Mon May 20, 2019 2:46 pm
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: Anyone repair anything today?
Replies: 1338
Views: 114764

Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Last Friday I pulled a busted USB port from a Smart board controller, and replaced it with one from a busted projector. It was a slow, amateur job, but it saved our district $160... (Minus my time, which based on my soldering skills means the district may have broken even. :D )
by highlandr
Thu May 16, 2019 10:16 pm
Forum: Motherboards, Chipsets, & RAM
Topic: Weren't bad caps only an early 2000s phenomenon?
Replies: 18
Views: 1389

Re: Weren't bad caps only an early 2000s phenomenon?

Worked at a university in 2002-2012 and I replaced an entire fleet of Optiplex GX270 mobo's :) Dell never admitted it, but there were rumors that over 70% of GX270 boards failed. We lucked out by having 260s and 280s - the 260s still failed, but only in the <25% numbers, not the catastrophic number...
by highlandr
Wed May 08, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: TR Gerbil's Choice Review I - Poll is live!
Replies: 84
Views: 2107

Re: TR Gerbil's Choice Review I - Official Thread

Maybe USB thumb drives are too variable to get a good endurance test of, but how about the external SSDs? I'm looking to get one for my sneakernet, mostly because I kill USB drives on a regular basis running things from work to home. Even better if it is a cheap model - I expect Samsung or SanDisk t...
by highlandr
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:03 am
Forum: Windows
Topic: Documents Folder and Syncing
Replies: 12
Views: 500

Re: Documents Folder and Syncing

I'm not happy with the various failings between most sync programs/cloud sync apps such as Dropbox (That's 'spensive, Lucy!), Google Drive (I don't use Google anything), and MS OneDrive (which, as far as I can tell, doesn't have a proper encryption stage for the parts that live in the cloud. So I p...
by highlandr
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Storage
Topic: Fast USB Thumb Drive
Replies: 12
Views: 675

Re: Fast USB Thumb Drive

There are some pretty small portable SSDs out there. They do all seem to have a short pigtail, but if you're going to do this with more than 1 image file it may be worth it. I guess it depends on how many times you're going to move these from imaged machine to imaged machine. In a different vein, ho...
by highlandr
Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:20 pm
Forum: TR Distributed Computing Effort
Topic: Please Suggest Pre Built Quad SLI or Higher Desktop PC for Folding
Replies: 12
Views: 678

Re: Please Suggest Pre Built Quad SLI or Higher Desktop PC for Folding

Instead of looking for a workstation that can handle multiple cards, what about a server? Dell's T610/T620 is a "tower" machine that can hold 5 PCI-e cards, and you can get beefy power supplies to run it. It won't be quiet, but you can get used ones on ebay for real cheap. Looking through ...
by highlandr
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
Forum: Gaming
Topic: List of Old LAN Games
Replies: 19
Views: 1016

Re: List of Old LAN Games

Total Annihilation!

Supreme Commander too, if you want something newer than '97.
by highlandr
Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: Old camera connection - how to connect? What's missing?
Replies: 73
Views: 3232

Re: Old camera connection - how to connect? What's missing?

It's likely the inside cameras are still analog, and will need a balun to connect them to modern day analog recorders: https://videos.cctvcamerapros.com/support/topic/how-to-use-cat5-cable-to-wire-analog-cctv-cameras-to-dvr Based on your pictures, the Green and Orange wires should be the video signa...
by highlandr
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:22 pm
Forum: Windows
Topic: GPU-Accelerated Video Conversion Software?
Replies: 4
Views: 2374

Re: GPU-Accelerated Video Conversion Software?

Staxrip will use NVENC as well. I briefly used it with Intel QSV, but it has the options for Nvidia. It is mostly a wrapper for FFmpeg, but it is easier if you don't want to try to learn command line. It can queue up batches or chew through folders as well. Just make sure you turn on "Clean up...
by highlandr
Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Start up issues with my Dell, Help
Replies: 14
Views: 3337

Re: Start up issues with my Dell, Help

How much free space is left? In my experience old hard drives get painfully slow when they are over 90% full. Older drives can also get bad blocks which can hurt performance before the drive fails completely. Hit Win key + X at the same time, choose Event Viewer, then on the left expand Windows Logs...
by highlandr
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:32 am
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Home Printers
Replies: 30
Views: 7145

Re: Home Printers

I've actually had good luck with bigger HP inkjet AIOs. The Officejet Pro line, which is geared towards small businesses, not the smaller garbage. Our school district has multiple 8600s with almost no problems (user error from my boss broke one). I went out and picked up an 8610 on sale 2 years ago ...
by highlandr
Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Windows
Topic: Is this a clever scam or what the heck it is? Page shows an Office key and download links!??
Replies: 22
Views: 9825

Re: Is this a clever scam or what the heck it is? Page shows an Office key and download links!??

Yeah, I get at least one email a week. I've had work quotes from New Zealand, maternity clothes orders from the UK, bank withdrawal notifications from Texas, and so on. I used to correct people, but after a year or so I got tired of it and just delete them. It might be interesting to start mapping t...
by highlandr
Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Networking
Topic: Lightweight UTM/traffic analyzer?
Replies: 11
Views: 1768

Re: Lightweight UTM/traffic analyzer?

Looks like pfsense with the package BandwidthD is what you want, assuming you can set up pfsense on your own. 2 Nics, a USB drive to boot, and some patience should get you going. Last time I looked at pfsense was like 8 years ago, but I don't remember it being that hard back then.
by highlandr
Fri May 13, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: New Ars front page
Replies: 120
Views: 7071

Re: New Ars front page

Just as a test, load up m.arstechnica.com. My beautiful black is back, along with a readable list of news items. That, or start using the feeds instead of the main page. The old design wasn't this bad. It had 3 different layout options in 2 color schemes, and one of the layouts was a list of article...
by highlandr
Fri May 13, 2016 8:34 am
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Security Cameras
Replies: 14
Views: 2878

Re: Security Cameras

Axis cameras might be more than you need. They are nice, extremely reliable, but expensive.

ARS did a review of 2 last year that fit just about all your requirements here. One of those was an arlo.
by highlandr
Fri May 13, 2016 8:18 am
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: SFF 16 port gigabit switch?
Replies: 48
Views: 4835

Re: SFF 16 port gigabit switch?

One more question: Could you do these runs yourself? That is, would the builder let you come in before the drywallers and run some Cat6 cable to where you need it? If you're not comfortable doing this, you could even try to outsource the cable runs to someone who knows what they're doing. Even outso...
by highlandr
Tue May 03, 2016 9:45 am
Forum: Networking
Topic: Adding another router
Replies: 7
Views: 2064

Re: Adding another router

There are two things I never understood about openDNS: (1) If your ISP changes your external IP, how does openDNS know that's you? In their dash, you have to add your IP address. Do they have a client that, along the same idea of a Dynamic DNS client, updates you account's IP? If not, there will be...
by highlandr
Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:52 am
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: The usual laser printer question
Replies: 29
Views: 4288

Re: The usual laser printer question

The 2340DW you linked does duplexing, so all you'd lose is wired networking and monthly volume. It depends on how much you print though. How often did you change toner in the 4L? If it was every 4-6 weeks, you might want to get the bigger brother. If it was 1-2 times a year, get the smaller one. The...
by highlandr
Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:25 pm
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: What's the last piece of tech you regret buying?
Replies: 224
Views: 22373

Re: What's the last piece of tech you regret buying?

Just bought 2 motherboards for laptop repairs for other people last week. One got coffee spilled on it (no power on, obviously dead right?) while the second came to me "diagnosed" as a dead motherboard. The power light came on, but no fan and no screen. Turns out the coffee laptop needed a...
by highlandr
Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Networking
Topic: General Network Stuffs
Replies: 11
Views: 1950

Re: General Network Stuffs

I'm just gonna keep posting on this thread unless I have something really specific to speak to I think. Trying to understand VLANs and such. Due to how my switches are setup, I can clear a few on each easily for trunking (if I'm using terms incorrectly please lemme know). I'm trying to make sure I'...
by highlandr
Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:44 am
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: TR and Macrium's Data Disasters contest entry thread
Replies: 48
Views: 8176

Re: TR and Macrium's Data Disasters contest entry thread

January, 2016. A server in one of our remote schools was on a battery backup, and the UPS was complaining about the battery even though it had just been changed. Seeing as how this particular UPS was probably over 10 years old and too small, we decided to swap it out with a new APC 750. My coworker ...
by highlandr
Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:30 pm
Forum: Networking
Topic: wireless extender?
Replies: 10
Views: 1821

Re: wireless extender?

I've used them, and I would avoid them if possible. They are slow and unreliable. Most of them cut ALL your wireless throughput in half, because they rebroadcast every packet. Have you looked into Powerline adapters? A set of those with an AP in the workshop might work too. I don't have experience w...
by highlandr
Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: General Software
Topic: Oracle deprecates the Java browser plugin
Replies: 25
Views: 2192

Re: Oracle deprecates the Java browser plugin

Looooooots of management engines baked into server motherboards rely on the Java plugin to power their remote console feature. This is gonna suck, but maybe between this and Flash dying we can finally start forcing this stuff to be only Javascript/HTML. Our 15+ year old HP and Lexmark printers aren...
by highlandr
Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:53 pm
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: Skylake Damagebox giveaway entry thread
Replies: 130
Views: 56490

Re: Skylake Damagebox giveaway entry thread

This may or may not be representative of upgrade discussions at our house...

Image
by highlandr
Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:38 pm
Forum: Mobile Tech
Topic: Tablets with full USB port(s)
Replies: 30
Views: 2946

Re: Tablets with full USB port(s)

I have the Toshiba Thrive, bought specifically for the USB port (and full-sized HDMI out, and full-sized SD slot). I wouldn't recommend it. Battery life is not that great, and standby life is just as bad. Performance-wise it can't play HD anything. It was a good purchase when I got it, especially wh...
by highlandr
Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:33 pm
Forum: Gaming
Topic: Gamepads, worthwhile for PC gaming?
Replies: 46
Views: 4582

Re: Gamepads, worthwhile for PC gaming?

Racing games pretty much require a gamepad or wheel/pedal setup. You can't play them well with a keyboard (I've tried many times). I also started playing the Lego platformer games with my kids, and those play better with a controller. Other than that I am KB/mouse all the way. I bought an F510 a whi...
by highlandr
Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:39 pm
Forum: Cases and Power Supplies
Topic: Server Case / Open-Air Inquiries
Replies: 13
Views: 3742

Re: Server Case / Open-Air Inquiries

I've wondered before if it would be feasible to just drill screw holes in a big piece of plexiglass/lexar for this. If you don't need expansion cards, it would be super easy. Things get a lot harder when you have to properly support extra cards though. You'd also have to get a thick enough piece of ...
by highlandr
Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:54 am
Forum: Networking
Topic: Network Printer Issue
Replies: 2
Views: 1540

Re: Network Printer Issue

To piggyback on what redeye suggested, you could also change the IP of the printer and put a laptop WITH wireshark on that IP specifically. Then see who tries to hammer the laptop on port 9100, track them down and give them a slap (physically, figuratively, or digitally). Might not even need wiresha...
by highlandr
Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:37 pm
Forum: General Software
Topic: Freeware Solution For Batch Image Conversion
Replies: 15
Views: 2307

Re: Freeware Solution For Batch Image Conversion

Imagemagick command line isn't too terribly hard. I whipped up a "shrink" batch file (had to put pictures into a spreadsheet, ugh) like 8 years ago, and it still works great today. I put this in my "SendTo" folder, then I can just right click on the pictures, Send To -> Picturesh...
by highlandr
Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:13 pm
Forum: Storage
Topic: Contemplating building a NAS, need some sage advice.
Replies: 22
Views: 4184

Re: Contemplating building a NAS, need some sage advice.

OK for some reason I can't post URLs, but if you go to Newegg and search for "Avoton" you'll find an ASRock and ASUS board that both accommodate 12+ drives. Probably thinking of this ASRock board. Might be too low-end for Pickle's use, with an Atom CPU and only dual 1 gig NICs, but they a...
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