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Message says Firefox is already running when it isn’t

Earlier this week, when doing an emergency computer upgrade, Firefox gave me a weird problem. I installed Firefox, then when I tried to launch it, I got the popup dialog box stating that Firefox is already running. When, of course, it wasn’t–I’d just installed it.

There are a couple of helpful articles on Mozilla’s knowledge base.  It didn’t quite solve my problem, but it pointed me in the right direction.
Read More »Message says Firefox is already running when it isn’t

Who made that power supply?

I found a cross-reference for power supply brands and OEM manufacturers. It’s a couple of years old, but still useful.

Way back when, I knew that Sparkle Power actually made PC Power & Cooling Silencer power supplies. Since Sparkle units were cheaper, I bought those, and got good, reliable power from them for years until they were obsolete. That information is obsolete now too; Sparkle was bought out by FSP many years ago.

This chart tells you a whole lot more than that. And it validates that my current practice of buying Seasonic power supplies whenever possible is probably good, since Seasonic is the actual maker for several premium brands of power supplies today.

Read More »Who made that power supply?

It’s been 15 years, and computer stores haven’t changed much

In the early 1990s, I learned how to fix computers because I got tired of long waits and shoddy repairs from computer stores.

Last month I took a friend to go buy a computer. I didn’t want her to get stuck with retail junk, so I took her to a computer store that I knew sold quality parts. Plus I know the owner. He wrote an O’Reilly book too. I figured it would be a smooth experience, since I knew exactly what to ask for. The salesperson said he’d get back to me within two days with a quote, then it would take about a week to build the system after we gave the OK. Seems pretty smooth and reasonable.

It turned into a nightmare. Or at least a mess.Read More »It’s been 15 years, and computer stores haven’t changed much

New life for a Compaq Presario S5140WM

I’m fixing up my mother in law’s Compaq Presario S5140WM. She bought it about five years ago, a few weeks after her daughter and I started dating. It’s been a pretty good computer for her, but lately it’s been showing signs it might be overheating.

I took the shotgun approach, replacing pretty much everything that I would expect to be at or near the end of its life at five years.