Personal computing discussed

Search found 167 matches

by Dieter
Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: Active Safety in Cars: What's good?
Replies: 50
Views: 1359

Re: Active Safety in Cars: What's good?

Rear cross traffic works surprisingly well, and I'd recommend it. It's not perfect, but it can often "see" better than you can when backing out of a space. Don't rely on it, of course, but it's nice to have. My vehicle only has forward collision warning (not automatic braking), and I'm act...
by Dieter
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: System Builders Anonymous
Topic: Help me choose an upgrade for my son's PC
Replies: 21
Views: 1368

Re: Help me choose an upgrade for my son's PC

I don't have much input on the parts selection, but if you're going for a CPU upgrade, maybe look for some refurbished systems and pull parts from that, rather than buying them individually. For example, on eBay I recently picked up a business-class HP desktop with an i7-4770, 16GB RAM (2x8GB), Win1...
by Dieter
Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Mobile Tech
Topic: Looking for a laptop, need some help
Replies: 11
Views: 874

Re: Looking for a laptop, need some help

Dell has a sale on their Inspiron 7000 series right now; they have an i7 (u-series), 8GB, 250GB SSD with 15.6" 1080p touchscreen on sale for $650 (coupon code 649INSP). I've worked on a few 7000 series Inspirons; I'd call them prosumer grade, and the hinges seemed decent enough, but not busines...
by Dieter
Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Mobile Tech
Topic: Looking for a laptop, need some help
Replies: 11
Views: 874

Re: Looking for a laptop, need some help

I like my XPS 13, but as I've mentioned in a different thread, I like my 5th generation Lenovo Thinkpad Carbon X1 a lot more (5th gen Carbon X1 for short). I was hesitant going with Lenovo (I've only bought Dell laptops since the '90s), but have no regrets after doing so. The hinges seem sturdy (def...
by Dieter
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Mobile Tech
Topic: Laptop comparable to an XPS 13?
Replies: 16
Views: 2931

Re: Laptop comparable to an XPS 13?

I second the Lenovo X1 Carbon. I used an XPS 13 (9350, I think?) for about 18 months and now have a 5th gen X1 Carbon. Slightly larger due to the 14" screen instead of 13.3", but *much* better keyboard, crazy lightweight, and well built. It also has great battery life, and generally I like...
by Dieter
Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Networking
Topic: Help Picking New Router
Replies: 30
Views: 4541

Re: Help Picking New Router

I would expect range to vary wildly. If you want to do all of the research, hit up smallnetbuilder as previously suggested.

FWIW, my house is 1 level, about ~2100 ft2, and my R7000 is on one end. I stream 1080p (and sometimes 4k) content to the other end of the house with no problems.
by Dieter
Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Networking
Topic: Help Picking New Router
Replies: 30
Views: 4541

Re: Help Picking New Router

I've been very happy with my Netgear R7000 (AC1900). It seems to meet all of your requirements, and has been on sale for around $100. It's really fast (I have gigabit internet and it keeps up fine) and has a strong Wi-Fi signal. It's a few years old at this point, but they're still selling them beca...
by Dieter
Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Windows
Topic: Anyone remember how to fix Windows 98?
Replies: 17
Views: 5911

Re: Anyone remember how to fix Windows 98?

Wow, I used to be really good at this stuff and I just realized how much I've forgotten. Since the spacing on the screen makes it hard to tell if it's just running win.com by itself, and the .vxd file loading is actually the next line (which is my assumption), I wonder if some of the win.com switche...
by Dieter
Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Computer starts for 3-5 seconds, resets, stays on but does nothing.
Replies: 31
Views: 7360

Re: Computer starts for 3-5 seconds, resets, stays on but does nothing.

Follow Vhalidictes' instructions, removing *everything* and adding things one at a time. I've had your *exact* symptoms with a Dell XPS8900 system if I connected the monitor via the add-in video card. I removed the card (using the built-in video) and it worked perfectly. On another system, symptoms ...
by Dieter
Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Networking
Topic: Interrupted wi-fi connection, new router
Replies: 16
Views: 6491

Re: Interrupted wi-fi connection, new router

Some Wi-Fi printers that I've seen actually created their own Wi-Fi network and you printed directly to that instead of through the "normal" Wi-Fi network. It was weird and didn't work well, but maybe there's an option to not use the printer's built-in Wi-Fi? Always use cabled printing, if...
by Dieter
Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: Where do you bank?
Replies: 57
Views: 5333

Re: Where do you bank?

I'll second (third?) the recommendation for USAA. Great billpay, good app, easy check deposits (yes, that's still a thing). The only issues I've ever had with them were due to holds on large deposits due to some new laws (or so they said), so I'll just break those up into smaller deposits over a cou...
by Dieter
Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:37 pm
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: Ditching the land line
Replies: 32
Views: 4618

Re: Ditching the land line

I'd say it depends on your needs. If you don't want to have to rely on your mobile for everything, keep the landline, but switch to a VoIP provider. I've used Ooma for a couple of years now with great success. Normally you can port your number (for a fee, if you want to keep it), and at minimum you ...
by Dieter
Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Choosing High End Windows Laptop
Replies: 23
Views: 4729

Re: Choosing High End Windows Laptop

Also, it looks like the HP with your specs is on sale today direct from HP for about $820. http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-spectre-x360-convertible-laptop-13t-touch-y5w39av-1 (not sure if that link will work with this coupon code). From the deals site: Click on 'Customize & Buy' Choose Color (N...
by Dieter
Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Choosing High End Windows Laptop
Replies: 23
Views: 4729

Re: Choosing High End Windows Laptop

I've been using the previous gen XPS13 (Core i5, 6th gen, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) for over a year and have been very happy with it. I did have some weird boot issues at the beginning where the system would just go to a blank screen; had to power off and back on and then it worked OK. These issues all we...
by Dieter
Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: General Software
Topic: AntiVirus suggestions
Replies: 93
Views: 11694

Re: AntiVirus suggestions

Never had a virus (or any issue) and I havent used an antivirus program in probably 7 years. Playing devil's advocate, how do you know? Besides ransomware, most modern malware runs without your knowledge and tries to make it have as little impact on your system as possible. See: APT. Edit: ninja'd ...
by Dieter
Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: General Software
Topic: AntiVirus suggestions
Replies: 93
Views: 11694

Re: AntiVirus suggestions

I personally run with ESET antivirus (not endpoint) and MalwareBytes Premium, plus the normal assortment of browser add-ons (uBlock Origin, Disconnect, etc). ESET and MB are both lightweight and seem to catch stuff, even just with sites like Google images. I mostly setup others with Defender and MB....
by Dieter
Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Windows
Topic: RAMdisk/RAMdrive software recommendations?
Replies: 22
Views: 5006

Re: RAMdisk/RAMdrive software recommendations?

Edit:  Well, just looked carefully at the link I provided, and they're now on version 4, which is apparently not free.  Older versions were free (for personal use) and worked well, so see if you can find them.  I was running 3.x something, if I remember. Original post: I had good luck with SoftPerfe...
by Dieter
Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:36 pm
Forum: Networking
Topic: What Router do you use?
Replies: 108
Views: 6448

Re: What Router do you use?

An ASUS RT-AC68U like everyone else apparently. BTW, right now you can buy a rebranded RT-AC68U from T-Mobile for $59.  T-Mobile has their own custom firmware on it, but there are instructions online of how to overwrite the bootloader and be able to load the stock (or Merlin, if you prefer) Asus fi...
by Dieter
Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Networking
Topic: What Router do you use?
Replies: 108
Views: 6448

Re: What Router do you use?

Netgear Nighthawk R7000 (AC1900).  Love it.  I've had it over 2 years and use it with my AT&T Gigapower internet connection.  I needed a router that could handle gigabit speeds, and it does.  Incredibly strong Wi-Fi signal as well.  Very stable (longest uptime was >400 days; had to unplug it to ...
by Dieter
Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:53 pm
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: USA west coast tour
Replies: 11
Views: 792

Re: USA west coast tour

Sounds like a great trip. I did a similar trip (limited to California) 2 years ago. Drove about 1400 miles over 10 days, visited Disneyland, Yosemite, San Francisco, etc. Your itinerary is mostly set, but I can definitely recommend the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles if you have a few spare hour...
by Dieter
Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:21 pm
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: Home Phone Service Ooma or OBi?
Replies: 16
Views: 2345

Re: Home Phone Service Ooma or OBi?

I've been using Ooma for about 1 year and I've had zero issues with it. I do pay for their premier service (second line, voice to email, etc), pre-paying a year, so I average about $12/month for my bill (I think you get one or two months free if you pre-pay a year for Premium, and my monthly bill is...
by Dieter
Thu May 19, 2016 1:57 pm
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Cheap remote power control?
Replies: 42
Views: 3103

Re: Cheap remote power control?

That may end up being my fallback option. At least the price is right! Would still prefer something designed for direct control by the PC... On the related items section of the Amazon page, there are a lot of no-name similar products, some of which seem like they may be more flexible. Or maybe some...
by Dieter
Thu May 19, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Cheap remote power control?
Replies: 42
Views: 3103

Re: Cheap remote power control?

It says it required an iOS or Android device for control, but maybe those just issue commands? Or you could somehow parse the Android app's functions to issue commands from Linux? It says it works with Alexa, which means nothing to me. Anyway, Amazon has Belkin's (shudder!) Wemo switch on sale today...
by Dieter
Fri May 06, 2016 10:16 am
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Buying a new laptop for college
Replies: 9
Views: 1260

Re: Buying a new laptop for college

I can second the XPS13 (I don't have the signature edition). Decent speed, small and light, seems well made, and nice screen. The only thing I don't like is the power adapter. It's different than all of the other Dells we have and seems to have a proprietary connector. The new business Latitude line...
by Dieter
Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Could a SSD kill two systems?
Replies: 7
Views: 949

Re: Could a SSD kill two systems?

I never thought about this being a possibility, but could it be the monitor? Just last night, I was removing the 3rd-party video card from a system, intending to switch to integrated video (6th gen Core i7, so not too bad for primarily office use). The integrated video has DisplayPort and HDMI out, ...
by Dieter
Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Upgrades preventing crap OEM pull.
Replies: 23
Views: 1434

Re: Upgrades preventing crap OEM pull.

A long time ago I used to build systems for myself and friends and family. These days I just buy and recommend OEM, often from Dell's outlet when they have a sale. Same (or better) warranty than new, and I pick their Optiplex or XPS systems. They use standard parts (don't know about case & mothe...
by Dieter
Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:41 pm
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Upgrades preventing crap OEM pull.
Replies: 23
Views: 1434

Re: Upgrades preventing crap OEM pull.

I've had good luck with Optiplex and XPS Dell systems for desktops, and some of HP's Pavilion Elite systems, as far as interchangeability of parts. On the HPs I've swapped memory, hard drives, SSD, optical drives, TV tuners, WiFi, and all worked fine. Only ran Win7 and Vista on those. Various 2009-e...
by Dieter
Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: Best Off-Site Backup Solution
Replies: 22
Views: 1198

Re: Best Off-Site Backup Solution

As others have said, 10GB is nothing. It may take a while to seed, but after that it's just changes. ....Just copy the folder once a month to a thumb drive and throw it in your desk drawer at work. At this rate you could even throw away the old thumb drive every month and you'll still be way ahead ...
by Dieter
Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: The Back Porch
Topic: Best Off-Site Backup Solution
Replies: 22
Views: 1198

Re: Best Off-Site Backup Solution

As others have said, 10GB is nothing. It may take a while to seed, but after that it's just changes. I can recommend (as I use them both and have for years) Crashplan and Spideroak. Spideroak can also act as a sync service (like Dropbox), but private and secure. I recommend the 5.x version of Spider...
by Dieter
Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:58 pm
Forum: General Hardware
Topic: Hard drive dying in an odd way
Replies: 16
Views: 1257

Re: Hard drive dying in an odd way

I've always been amazed that SMART actually works for people. Ever since SMART was introduced (sometime in the late '90's, if I recall), I've only had it mention that there was a drive failing one time out of dozens (or maybe 100+?) of failed desktop/laptop drives. And yes, SMART reporting was enabl...