I went to install Linux (Debian) on an old Asus socket 775 motherboard (a P5LD2) and had a litany of problems getting my installation media to boot. Here’s how I finally got it installed.
A few weeks ago I uncovered a stash of CDs from my college and early bachelor days that, for one reason or another, I’d never ripped to MP3 format.
When I started ripping the discs, I got one clue as to why I never ripped some of them: Some of them made the DVD drive in my Dell laptop sound like a Commodore 1541. If you ever owned a Commodore, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t ever owned a Commodore, let’s just say my drive groaned in protest very loudly, and in exchange for putting up with the noise and insanely long rip times, I received a bunch of errors and a few MP3s that played really poorly.
I had an old Compaq Evo D510 full-size tower/desktop convertible PC, from the Pentium 4/Windows XP era, that I wanted to upgrade. The machine long ago outlived its usefulness–its Pentium 4 CPU is less powerful than the average smartphone CPU while consuming enough power to be a space heater–but the case is rugged, professional looking, and long since paid for. So I thought it was worth dropping something more modern into it.
I chose the Asrock Q1800, which sports a quad-core Celeron that uses less than 10 watts of power and runs so cool it doesn’t need a fan. It’s on par with an early Intel Core 2 Duo when it comes to speed, which won’t turn any heads but is plenty fast to be useful, and the board can take up to 16 GB of DDR3 RAM and it’s cheap. I put 16 GB in this one of course. I loves me some memory, and DDR3 is cheap right now.
“Whatever happened to the Legions of Doom server?” a coworker asked me as a technician swapped her computer.
I smiled a wicked smile. “Victory ping!” I then turned to my computer. “Ping pmprint02. Request timed out. Request timed out. Request timed out. Request timed out,” I read as the words scrolled onto my screen.
“Victory ping?” my boss–yes, my lunch ninja boss–came over and asked.
“I know that box,” the technician said. There’s a good reason he didn’t say “server.”
Back in the spring I bought a used computer. My wife wanted one, and while I probably could have cobbled something together for her, I didn’t have any extra Windows 7 licenses. So I bought a home-built Pentium D-based machine with Windows 7 on it from an estate sale for $70. The Windows license is worth that, so it was like getting the hardware for free.
When I got the hardware home to really examine it, it turned out not to be quite as nice as I initially thought. It was a fairly early Socket 775 board, so it used DDR RAM and had an AGP slot, limiting its upgrade options. The system ran OK, but not great, and it was loud.
The hard drive was a 160 GB Western Digital IDE drive built in 2003. That’s an impressive run, but a drive that old isn’t a good choice for everyday use. It’s at the end of its life expectancy and it’s not going to be fast. This weekend I got around to replacing it with an SSD. Continue reading The difference an SSD makes
I’m reviewing and revising policies and practices at work, including data forensics, the unfortunate necessity caused by employees misusing their company-issued machines.
Early in my career, I had to make the phone call to HR on occasion when I discovered something on an employer-owned PC that shouldn’t be there. I even did forensics once, guided by a lawyer. I had a sector editor and knew how to use it; the lawyer knew what she was looking for. That wasn’t the right way to do it, but this place wasn’t willing to go to the expense required to do it right.
But now I work someplace that is. Continue reading Why your write blocker doesn’t work with the IDE cable backwards
I didn’t need much convincing to purchase a Samsung 830 SSD; I was in the market for a bigger SSD, and my short list consisted of Samsung and Intel drives. So when I found a good price on a 128 GB Samsung 830, I bought two.
The laptops I put the drives in aren’t able to fully take advantage of what the 830 brings to the table, but it’s still a worthwhile upgrade. I thought that two months ago when I installed them, and two months of living with them hasn’t changed my mind. Continue reading The Samsung SSD 830: A user review
So you replace the hard drive in your laptop with a bigger model, or better yet, an SSD. What do you do with the old drive if it still works?
It’s good to keep the drive for storing backups or for extra storage when you’re working on storage-heavy projects. It’s a lot more convenient for both if you put the old drive in a USB enclosure. Continue reading What to do with an old laptop hard drive
Those of you who’ve been around as long as I have–which is probably most of you–will remember Plextor as the maker of the very best SCSI CD-ROM drives back when there was a market for SCSI CD-ROM drives. I had one, and I haven’t used it in years, but I relied on it, especially when I was doing A/V work. And it never, ever let me down. Continue reading Remember Plextor? Now they’re making SSDs.
PC Perspective’s Allyn Malventano stopped in earlier this week and sent me a link to his take on the bleak future of SSDs and flash memory: http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Editorial/NAND-Flash-Memory-Future-Not-So-Bleak-After-All
He didn’t agree with me entirely–he argued that the problems outlined in the study in question are solvable.