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Computer Info Topics
#1
For all you XP fans, here is a nice little touch, if you use the 'hibernation' feature at night. This video sets up your XP to come awake and greet you in the morning, with your favorite application.

Make your Windows XP machine wake up when you do
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"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#2
Try this tip for hiding your E-Mail address on a forum.



Quote:A Safe Way to Use Your Email Address on Forums & Websites

You should never post your real email address to a forum, comments form or other webpage that's publicly accessible. If you do it will almost be certainly be harvested by spammers.

Some people try to get around this by "munging" their email address, that is, disguising the address so that only a human can understand it. A typical example of munging is bill(at)microsoft(dot)com.

Munging has become less effective as spammers harvesting robots have got smarter. Many can now decrypt the most common munging techniques such as the example above.

Another approach is to display your email address as a graphic like this:

[Image: zJDvckSBsj.gif]

As this is a picture not text, it's much harder for spammers to harvest but it can still be decoded using an OCR program that can convert the graphics to text.

However you can make it nearly impossible for OCR by using different fonts and colors like this:

[Image: H4bbrq3sU4.gif]

When you use an image for your email address users will have to manually re-type it to their email client as it can't be copied. However that's a small price to pay for keeping your address away from spammers. Don't try to overcome this limitation by mapping the image of your email address to a Mailto link. That would directly expose your address to spammers and defeat the whole purpose of the exercise.

Converting you email to a graphic can be done easily and for free at several websites. One of the most impressive is http://www.hidetext.net.

It will not only convert email addresses to fancy font graphics but can convert whole slabs of text as well, You can download the resultant image or access it via a unique URL. To ensure privacy, you can also elect to have all traces of your converted text removed from their server.

It an impressive free service. The only downside is that not all email services are catered for. Still, even if your email provider is not included you can still convert your address to plain text without the fancy fonts.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#3
Here is another freebie that should be pleasing to the eye.

Quote:How to Make Your PC Easier on Your Eyes

Last Update: Mon, 06/08/2009 - 02:06 — ianjrichards

What a clever idea. F.lux is a freeware program that adjusts the color of your screen depending on the time of day. So at night, F.lux makes the screen look warmer and less glaringly blue than during the day. The end result is a screen that is much easier on the eyes.

F.lux works by changing the color temperature of your display. The default setting is 3400K for night and 6500K for daytime. This can affect color sensitive work such as editing digital photographs but there is a disable switch that allows you to turn F.lux off.

[Image: flux1.gif]

The change in color is automatic based on estimated sunrise and sunset times for your location. The location is only a guess based on your time zone settings but you can enter an exact latitude and longitude if you wish.

Versions are available for Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X and Linux. The Windows download is 545KB.

http://www.stereopsis.com/flux/

Many thanks to Panzer for this suggestion. If you have a good freeware program or interesting website to suggest contact Gizmo using the site contact form in the left navigation sidebar.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#4
Google Cheat Sheet

Last Update: Wed, 05/06/2009 - 00:07 — rhiannon

Essential tips and tricks for Googler's of all kinds.

'This two page Google Cheat Sheet lists all Google services and tools as well as background information. The Cheat Sheet offers a great reference to grasp of basic to advance Google query building concepts and ideas.'

You won't find this cheat sheet on Google, it was put together by the site owner for reference material.
The Cheat Sheet is a two page .pdf download.

Google Cheat Sheet
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#5
John, I am trying to select (my first) laptop or net-book and some pointers will be greatly appreciated.
First, my reqs. in order of importance (the more the better for 1 to 5):
1. reliability;
2. battery life;
3. processor speed at least 2;
4. RAM at least 2;
5. HD size at least 170;
6. wireless;
7. XP OS (I still do not trust Vista) and I cannot suddenly switch to non-MSFT OS because of a large collection of VBA (Excel) legacy code I do not have time to convert into more universal language.
8. Under $1K.

I intend to use it mostly for processor-intensive (number crunching) apps and I do not care much about graphics, sound, and CD/DVD, so these features are under a "nice to have" condition.

Thanks. S1
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#6
I have an HP Pavillion dv7 Notebook PC

It's been outstanding before and I love HPs compared to the rest.

I've been using for everything for months now, and its been good.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/docum...=en&dlc=en
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#7
ag Wrote:John, I am trying to select (my first) laptop or net-book and some pointers will be greatly appreciated.
First, my reqs. in order of importance (the more the better for 1 to 5):
1. reliability;
2. battery life;
3. processor speed at least 2;
4. RAM at least 2;
5. HD size at least 170;
6. wireless;
7. XP OS (I still do not trust Vista) and I cannot suddenly switch to non-MSFT OS because of a large collection of VBA (Excel) legacy code I do not have time to convert into more universal language.
8. Under $1K.

I intend to use it mostly for processor-intensive (number crunching) apps and I do not care much about graphics, sound, and CD/DVD, so these features are under a "nice to have" condition.

Thanks. S1

Please mind you, that I am not much on laptops, because basically I can't stand them. I'm a touch typist, and the tiny size, and layout, of the keyboard make it prohibitive for we true form typists. The laptop has not been made that incorporates an ergomatic keyboard on it's surface.

However, your question is very easy for me to answer. Netbooks are nice, but not really necessary, unless you absolutely MUST have small size. In that case, get an I-Phone. Wink1

If you are an E-Book reader, then disregard my previous statement. Netbooks make great E-Book readers.

With that taken care of, let's look at the Real laptops. If you are just crunching numbers, and not graphics intense, which is really the purpose of a laptop. And if you just want an XP machine, then a reconditioned/used machine is your best bet.

Thousands of lease machines are being sold, by several companies of which I receive sales flyers daily. The advantage of a reconditioned machine is that it is already proven to work. It has also been checked out, and it is not all that old, because it was under lease.

Let me see if I can come up with some nice ones.

Here is my choice, from GearXS. It's not a speed demon, but it is fast enough for the job. It has XP Pro already on board. Now, it's a little light in the memory category, but you can easily add more RAM(it's cheap), and have a very nice machine, for only a few bucks. It's a great deal, for the money. Heres their other laptops.

Or how about this "CheapSkate" Deal? It's not bad, a Duo-Core, and wide screen. Unfortunately, it has Vista, instead of XP. Hey, it's a brand new machine: You want eggs with your beer too? Wink1

OR, there is this one, if it is still in stock. Also, a great deal.

And Last-But-Not-Least, check out the refurbished laptops from Geeks.com. I LOVE to shop there. They have great prices, are very informative, and have great marketing skills. The pages just invite you to come in, sit down, and buy everything.


Oh, oh, oh! I almost forgot! Check out this winner from Buy.com. This is the one I would get, were it me. It's a Duo-Core, albeit an early one, but still a Duo-Core. This means it is quite fast. it has XP Pro, and Lots of memory, a wide screen, AND it's Bluetooth enabled. How about that?!

Naturally, it's currently out of stock. And why not? It's a Fantastic deal! However, you can get in line and have them alert you when it comes back in stock again, and then scarf it up.

Anyway, choices, choices, choices. It's definitely a Buyers Market right now. So, if you are looking to pick up a nice laptop on the cheap, now is the time. Wink1
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#8
ag Wrote:I intend to use it mostly for processor-intensive (number crunching) apps and I do not care much about graphics, sound, and CD/DVD, so these features are under a "nice to have" condition.

Notebook/laptop computers are somewhat of a personal experience and a minor feature might be a deal-breaker for one person and plus for someone else.

Having said that, I've had two Dells and two Gateways and haven't had a problem with any of them, but, of course, you could get a lemon of any brand.

I would recommend looking at a "current technology" based system running not just a dual core but one of the more current dual cores. You'll get much more power out of the system running at the same 2 + GHz speed. Most new systems will be running Vista, which really is not a problem, and are coming with a free upgrade to Windows 7, which will be a plus. Win 7 Pro, Enterprise, and Ultimate will also be able to run Win XP in a "virtual" mode, if you really need XP compatibility.

But, more specific to your needs is the fact that some Graphics Processor by Nvidia will allow you to run math intensive processes on both the CPU and GPU together - see Nvidia CUDA

Quote: NVIDIA® CUDA™ is a general purpose parallel computing architecture that leverages the parallel compute engine in NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) to solve many complex computational problems in a fraction of the time required on a CPU.

Perhaps this is something to consider?
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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#9
Thanks, guys. S1 I am going to go through all your pointers one-by-one now and if you have more I will gladly look at any and, of course, I greatly appreciate your willingness to help. Right now I have 2 very (>10 years) old towers and one few years old refurbished desktop that replaced an even older one S1. They are linked and share, so it is not that bad (speed-wise), but pretty soon I will be looking for something to replace them all with at least one newest one. But for now I need a laptop because I have to spend a lot of time away from home lately and want to continue running and monitor my runs at will.
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#10
JohnWho Wrote:Most new systems will be running Vista, which really is not a problem, and are coming with a free upgrade to Windows 7, which will be a plus. Win 7 Pro, Enterprise, and Ultimate will also be able to run Win XP in a "virtual" mode, if you really need XP compatibility.

But, more specific to your needs is the fact that some Graphics Processor by Nvidia will allow you to run math intensive processes on both the CPU and GPU together - see Nvidia CUDA

Quote: NVIDIA® CUDA™ is a general purpose parallel computing architecture that leverages the parallel compute engine in NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) to solve many complex computational problems in a fraction of the time required on a CPU.

Perhaps this is something to consider?
Yes, of course. I do not have any specific misgiving about Vista per se. I just afraid of buggy MSFT products and want to be sure that I will not have to spend extra time puzzling over their problems instead of mine own. S1 NVIDIA sound very interesting, of course, particularly if their solution is seamlessly integrated it worth looking at.
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#11
Also, is there any data available about reliability and battery life between recharges?
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#12
I have had a Toshiba Satellite M30 since 2004, had to replace the fan which is a no-brainer on a taptop, I also upgraded the HDD to 130 gigs. I've not had any problems with it. I'm really rough on computers because I visit a lot of warez and bittorrent sites.
'It's not who votes that matters, it's who counts the votes'  |  György Schwartz, Budapest, Hungary
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#13
ag Wrote:Also, is there any data available about reliability and battery life between recharges?

Someone with more knowledge may be able to respond better, but I believe most of the current battery technology is the same for the major brand notebooks, meaning the reliability of the battery and the life between recharges will be close to the same.

I'm just going by some of what I've read. Could be wrong on this.

Quote:NVIDIA sound very interesting, of course, particularly if their solution is seamlessly integrated it worth looking at.

I've not had a need to use this capability, but from what I've read, if a CUDA App meets your needs it will run just like any other App - just much faster.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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#14
JohnWho Wrote:Someone with more knowledge may be able to respond better, but I believe most of the current battery technology is the same for the major brand notebooks, meaning the reliability of the battery and the life between recharges will be close to the same.

I'm just going by some of what I've read. Could be wrong on this.
Much appreciated. Thanks.
Quote:I've not had a need to use this capability, but from what I've read, if a CUDA App meets your needs it will run just like any other App - just much faster.
From what I've read so far in your link it sounds like some of my app (relatively large matrix calculations) lend itself naturally to their solution. And potentially it might be so much better than a CPU bound code that (if further reading will confirm first impression) I will not only buy a laptop with such capability, but will also accelerate a decision to upgrade old towers. Thanks again for pointing me in this direction. S1
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#15
Glad to help.

In the early days of IBM compatible PC's, the use of a separate "math co-processor" made all the difference in the world to folks wanting to run math intensive applications.

It looks like this is similar to that early situation, only with a much higher capability. Except the ability to actually use the GPU's extra capability requires specially coded programs using the CUDA programming functions.

I'd be interested in hearing your impressions on this if you actually do end up using it.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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#16
Certainly. It might take some time though.
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#17
[Image: tech_support_cheat_sheet-1.jpg]
'It's not who votes that matters, it's who counts the votes'  |  György Schwartz, Budapest, Hungary
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#18
Just ordered HP HDX18t with upgrade to 4GB DDR3 and 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 130M for $1.5K from Cosco (2years extended warranty, 90 days return NQA). CUDA looks really useful (if works as advertised), so I thought that extra few hundred is worth the risk: within 90 days I will know better.
Thanks everyone for helping me to make better informed choice, and especially WarBicycle for pointing toward CUDA S1
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#19
That should be a good system, and you can take it up to 8G if the need arises.

On behalf of WB, you are welcome regarding the CUDA information.

S2
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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#20
After reviewing the thread I found that I mixed up names. Stupid me. :oops: S4
JohnWho, I greatly appreciate the pointer and am sorry for my sloppiness.
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