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Dave Farquhar

Dave Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started out in desktop support in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator, and now specializes in vulnerability management. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and vintage computers.

Marx 552 gondola

The Marx 552 gondola was a staple of Marx’s 6-inch line, running from way back in 1935 to 1952. It came in four different major variants, and only one of them is rare. The 552 is a good car for toy train operators, and also makes a nice Christmas train or display because of its color choices.Read More »Marx 552 gondola

16 GB in a Dell Latitude E6420

Officially, the maximum memory in the Dell Latitude E6420 laptop is 8 GB. That is the maximum stated Dell’s website, and the large memory vendors state the same thing. It’s hard for them to guarantee compatibility when the OEM states the maximum is 8 GB. Unofficially, numerous people, including yours truly, have upgraded them to 16 GB. Here’s how to install 16 GB in a Dell Latitude E6420 successfully.

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Make PDFs searchable in Windows

PDF, or portable document format, is a somewhat problematic but very useful file format, especially for people who conduct a lot of historical research. But the problem with having megabytes or gigabytes of historical data on your computer is finding the information you are looking for. Here’s how to make PDFs searchable in Windows, because by default they are not.

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IBM 4863 monitor

The IBM 4863 matched the industrial design of the PCjr, but was functionally very similar. And it wasn’t really priced any lower than it counterpart for the IBM PC. It’s retail price was $680, and the RGB cable to connect it to a PCjr was an additional $20.

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Chocolatey package manager for Windows

There has been a recent spate of malvertising targeting popular downloads. These paid advertisements masquerade as legitimate download links for popular software packages. The files they serve up look legitimate, but they include software that you don’t want. Using a package manager is one way to avoid this problem. Chocolatey is the name of a good package manager for Windows. It sidesteps malvertising and solves other system maintenance problems for you too.

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Why Fernando Valenzuela isn’t in the Hall of Fame

In February 2023, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced they were going to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s uniform number 34. Unofficially, the number has been retired since 1990, because they never issued it to anyone else. But they never made it official, because he wasn’t in Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Here is why Fernando Valenzuela isn’t in the Hall of Fame.

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Marx 41850 train set: The Mohawk

In 1974, Marx introduced a diesel freight train set it called The Mohawk, catalog #41850, that ran on AC electric power and sold through catalog retailers. If you have a Marx 41850 train set today, it’s worth considerably more than its original retail price, even adjusted for inflation.

Marx’s Mohawk train set was part of the Great American Railroads series. It had catalog number 41850 and was manufactured only in 1974. Today it is one of the most valuable Marx train sets ever made.

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Atari 400 vs Commodore VIC-20

When we think of Atari versus Commodore, the Commodore 64 generally comes to mind. But there is an argument that the Commodore VIC-20 did as much damage to Atari as the Commodore 64 did, and possibly more. Let’s compare and contrast the Atari 400 vs Commodore VIC-20, which is a classic case of winning the battle but losing the war.

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