I was at church on Sunday and the video projection wasn’t working. After a few minutes of watching everyone struggle, I volunteered to take a look, and working together, we were able to get the video working again using a simple, repeatable methodology.
I’m going to share that methodology now.
Continue reading Using the OSI model to troubleshoot video
Here’s a good question from a search query: What’s the difference between the number of CPUs and the number of cores in a system?
It’s easier than it sounds. As far as the operating system is concerned, there is no difference, but I’ll explain why.
Continue reading The difference between a CPU and cores
So the sales fliers for the 2014 Christmas shopping season are out, and I’m seeing tons of cheap laptops. If you only have $200 to spend, they have something for you.
Some of them look like they’re even worth having. Yes, I’m shocked too. Here’s how to figure out which ones are worth taking home, and which ones are best left for some other sucker. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, you’ll probably want to keep the following in mind.
Continue reading What to look for in a cheap laptop in late 2014
FTDI is a company that makes computer chips for USB peripherals. Their chips are frequently cloned, which is an issue they have a right to deal with. But they have to be careful.
Breaking suspected cloned chips that consumers bought in good faith is the wrong answer. If I did that, it would be called hacking, and I would be sitting in jail right now, and probably would be facing a quarter-century in prison. Continue reading FTDI needs to be charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
I’ve been building PCs for more than 20 years and I tend to keep them a very long time, so it occurred to me that someone might be interested in what I look for in a motherboard to ensure both a long, reliable life and a long useful life.
Of course what to look for has changed to some degree over the years, but this is what I look for in the mid-2010s.
Continue reading What to look for in a motherboard
I found this oldie but goodie Lifehacker article: When two computers are cheaper than one. It advocates buying a cheap laptop and building a desktop PC to meet your computing needs.
I think it makes a lot of sense. A few weeks ago, a coworker asked me what the most I would be willing to pay for a laptop. I hesitated, thought for a while, and said you might be able to convince me to spend $600. “Wow,” he said. “I’m considering a $3,500 laptop.”
I wouldn’t. Continue reading Don’t buy a “desktop replacement” laptop
IBM announced yesterday that it had a terrible quarter. They missed earnings, the stock plunged, and Warren Buffett lost a billion dollars.
Everyone assumes Warren Buffett is worried, or livid, and selling off the stock like it’s on fire. Continue reading Why we can’t have nice things: The reaction to IBM’s big black and blue quarter
As this editorial notes, a year ago chipmaker AMD was on the ropes. Today AMD still won’t be unseating Intel any time soon, but they’re profitable again.
The problem, it argues, is that changing CEOs isn’t enough. A CEO has to have lieutenants that tell the CEO what the CEO needs to hear. Steve Ballmer failed, the author argues, because he inherited Bill Gates’ team, and Gates’ team wouldn’t tell Ballmer what he needed to hear.
It’s a very interesting perspective, and timely, as AMD released a compelling product line today.
I was listening to an interview between Paul Asadorian (of Pauldotcom fame) and Cigital CTO and software security expert Gary McGraw. They discussed how the target of attacks moved from Microsoft to Adobe and now that Adobe is showing signs of getting its act together, it’s going somewhere else.
“If I were Nvidia,” McGraw said, “I’d be thinking a lot about software security. Fortunately they are.”
Nvidia does sound like a juicy target. Continue reading The time bomb in your older computer
This weekend, CBS ran a story about how the NSA foiled a sinister plot to brick millions of PCs and cause a financial meltdown. At least they didn’t say MELTDOWN.
My opinion is that this is a puff piece. A source managed to scare a journalist with a threat that sounded credible enough, and make something routine sound big and threatening.
Continue reading The NSA’s disaster aversion by keeping BIOSes safe for the free world