A free memory tester and a Linux tip

I lost my notes for today somehow, and I’ve been home a grand total of 14 hours the past 48 hours (I think), so you’ll have to excuse this quickie.

Free memory tester. I found this over the weekend:

www.memtest86.com

It’s a memory test disk. Self-booting, about 74K in memory, builds from DOS, Windows, or Linux (and possibly others too). I use and recommend RAM Stress Test, by Ultra-X Inc. ( www.uxd.com ), but this seems nearly as good and it’s free. If you’ve got frequent bluescreens, download this and try it on your PC. A lot of problems are caused by bad memory, and the power-on memory test usually won’t find it. Neither will most DOS-based memory utilities.

MemTest is still no substitute for buying brand-name memory, though I’d never let commodity memory sit on the same table with my hardware without testing it first. About 1 in 1,000 brand-name sticks are bad, as opposed to about 1 in 12 commodity sticks, in my extensive experience. One of the first things I do when faced with an unstable system is test the memory overnight, just in case.

Linux (and Unix) tip of the day. If you vaguely remember a command but can’t completely recall it, type the part you remember, then hit tab. A list of possibilities will appear. Hopefully the command you’re looking for is among them.

And if any of the possibilities sound interesting, type man command. The online documentation will come up and explain usage.

Don’t let anyone fool you. You never master this OS. You just learn how to find what you need to get a job done quickly. And hopefully you develop a long memory.

Outta here. And if you’ve mailed me over the last couple of days, my apologies. I’ll get back to you tonight after work.

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