Jason Fowler

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Everything posted by Jason Fowler

  1. Windows Vista and a new computer

    I am running Vista public beta 2 right now and the biggest problems are driver related. I will say it is not nearly as bad as when their version of 64-bit XP was in beta. Try running the latest and greatest and being greated with a 800x600 16 color desktop. Some components that may not immediately support Vista include TV tuners, web cameras and printers. (it really depends on the manufacturer) The OS right now is feature complete but it needs some refinements in performance, bugs, and the User Access Control service. I can't wait for the improvements that will come in the release candidate. You mentioned the new chips from Intel, the desktop version will be called Core 2 Duo. All of their new CPUs are significantly faster than the Pentium 4s while consuming much less power. This is really an exciting time for processors because Intel is finally stepping up and getting competitive with AMD. AMD has responded by cutting their prices in half.
  2. Most Popular Brands

    I'm no cop, but I have recently purchased a 2004 Crown Victoria and I love it. They are very successful fleet vehicles and its not uncommon to find them still going strong with 100,000-200,000 + miles..... 80k ain't nothing, that's the break-in period. As far as the engine goes, the 4.6L V8 is powerful but also efficient enough to get good highway mileage.(25mpg) One of my supervisors at work had a Grand Marquis, very similar to CV, and after 100k miles the only thing he ever did to it was fluid changes and replace an alternator, an easy to get to fix on these cars. No belts, no tuneup, nadda. Toyotas has had sludging problems in the past using petroleum oil and their specified change intervals, the time period was roughly 96-02. They did their customers well providing free engine flushes for those cases, I'm not sure if that is still in effect today. If you have 80k on one without a timing belt change, I'd suggest one because it is likely falling apart.(literally) Overall though I have nothing against Toyota they provide great products and deserve their success. The greatly popular Corolla and Camry continue to be incredible vehicles.
  3. Help: New computer and cannot login

    Sorry to see you still having troubles Janet, it DEFINATELY shouldn't be this hard. If that is the case I would strongly recommend anti-spyware and anti-virus. Windows Defender and AVG anti-virus, both free. I am not sure what you may have pre-installed on your new machine but they should show up as icons at the bottom right-hand corner of your display. Until you can get your computer scanned and all clear, I would not suggest you input any sensitive information on it.(namely bank account, or credit info) What a terrible new computer experience, can you tell us what brand/model your notebook is?
  4. United States offers Iran some Nuclear Technology

    I agree, treason. Oil prices fall, now that is a relief. And what motives are these "incentives" supposed to correct? Incentives to not exterminate Jews, to not promote and fund terrorism, to not kill Americans? It took less than 6 years for the most pragmatic of advisors around Bush in D.C. to turn him from a tough cowboy to a wimpering loser, a Chamberlain. This makes me wonder if much of the rest of the culture is teetering on the same tight-rope. All the more reason for me to support the ARI.
  5. Final Fantasy I

    I must say that this game was ground breaking and, at the very least, provided many ideas that would be tweaked and refined in later RPGs up to the present day. For me, the 2 most influential console RPGs in history are Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy. I gave this one a 10. I agree that the music is very good, despite the fact that sound in general on that platform was not so good. Final Fantasy 2 and Chrono Trigger on the SNES have good music as well. Interestingly enough, there were 3 Final Fantasy games for the NES, but only the first one was released in America and in English.

    The first book on politics I read was Selected Essays on Political Economy by Frederic Bastiat. Here is a quote on foreign trade, trade deficits/surpluses.
  7. Microsoft Windows Defender

    This is a very good thing. On my notebook the older installation of Microsoft anti-spyware asked me if I wanted to upgrade and I said yes. It uninstalled and installed Windows Defender in one sweep... all I had to do was click "next" once or twice and then "finish" to complete the install. I find the interface to be very simple and clean. This software will be integrated into Vista, no separate download or install necessary. While I do not want to put sour grapes on a thread in "The Good", this will end up being another aspect of the OS that will be considered "monopolistic" and "anti-competitive". At some point this vital protection could be DISintegrated from the system by law, in the naming of protecting consumers no less.
  8. Jihad in cyberspace

    Regarding the statistics for "zombie" machines: I would be interested in what percentage of those computers run fully patched versions of Windows XP. Another figure I would like to see is, how many run fully patched, licensed versions of XP with anti-virus and anti-spyware while practicing relatively safe browsing habbits.(no warez, porn, peer-to-peer internet file sharing) Secure computing does not necessarily have everything to do with software architecture either. I could set a friend up on a unix based OS like OpenBSD with firefox and he could easily be tricked into giving out sensitive information. I had a friend at school who kept getting emails from "Ebay" with the subject line stating that his account had been improperly accessed. Hovering the mouse pointer over the link provided in the email to verify and recover his account pointed to an address that was clearly not Ebay's or Paypal's. This shows that HOW a computer is used and maintained affects security as well. I could build a house with 8 foot thick walls of concrete all around the perimeter and roof, but if I leave the door open my efforts are meaningless. Coincidentally, Microsoft knows this and has built anti-phishing measures into IE7. BTW, I am not interested in an overly technical discussion nor one that involves any of Microsoft's shortcomings alledged or otherwise. My purpose was to bring up the point that security is not solely a matter of programming. I am not saying that any one here has made that claim, only that has been an aspect that has not been presented.
  9. How your computer works

    Just because Microsoft states that you need "at least" 512MB or memory does not necessarily mean that it actually uses that much. That is a conservative estimate that leaves headroom for other applications such as anti-spyware, anti-virus, multi-media, internet browsers, etc.. Vista needs more memory than previous Windows for multiple reasons, and one of those is called super fetch. From what I've read this feature is supposed to pre-load applications that are frequently used into memory. With memory capacity and processing power increasing I don't really think this and other added overhead will be a detriment to performance. P.S. there are a few games TODAY that use 1GB to 1.5GB of memory.
  10. Chinese censorship with Google's help

    Skype now joins in on censoring material in China, using essentially the same reasoning as others have before them. Skype is the Latest to Censor Material in China According to Skype.com, It is free, and free again... but at what cost? There is software that tracks or uniquely identifies a computer for commercial/financial purposes, it is called spyware. What will this software be called? Censorware?
  11. Happy Birthday Michael! 01000010011001010111001101110100001000000110111101100110001000000111000001110010
  12. What's up at Microsoft?

    Jay P, I don't think you put enough consideration into the non-market forces at work on Microsoft's stock value. This involves not only the US but the EU decisions as well. The EU would like to finally execute its ruling against MS, its closed source and integration, through nearly $2.5Million a day fines.(totalling, at the time at least, roughly $600Million USD) Correct me if I wrong, but their stock, and the stock market in general, was losing value after a US decision against them. This was approximately around the last year of Clinton's presidency. On the other hand they have failed to make a case in defense of their property rights outside of a few "one-liners". In addition to that, they have cooperated with governments toward ends that are not compatible with individual rights.
  13. Happy Birthday to Jason Fowler

    Thank you very much. So.... what did you get me?
  14. Simple, but cute game

    I can't imagine this game putting too much of a load on even a 10 year old processor, as long as there is nothing intensive running in the background. Regardless, I have a 64-bit AMD 2800 running on a trial of Server 2003 x64 and I didn't have an issue with it running fast. What tripped me up was picking a "safe spot" and staying there and then having to adjust to the speed change. I think if you don't use that strategy you have a better chance but of course you have to be more careful making silly mistakes. Now onto the next challange, bring on TETRIS!
  15. Simple, but cute game

    Ha! What a cool game. 1st try: 10 second. 2nd: 42 3rd: 32 4th: 42 5th: 43
  16. Buying a new computer - CD-RW drive

    If I were to choose from those 3 you listed, I would pick the Memorex. At local stores those models could be 1-3 years old, but still fit your needs. At an online store, even low-end current models will give you more than enough speed for writing plus DVD read/write capability as well at around the same price. As far as CD media goes I have only used Memorex and I've never had a problem burning DVDs or CDs.
  17. Buying a new computer

    Another form of file storage that is not centralized in ones own computer or require any particular "thing" to carry around would be storage services found on the internet. Even something as basic as a separate mail account with someone like Google would work. Just email yourself the documents you want to save and that is it. Having access to your data even from someone else's computer or internet terminal is a definate advantage.
  18. Buying a new computer

    This is the comment I based some of my writing in this thread on. I would never urge or expect someone unfamiliar with the subject and without aid to build a computer on their own. Burgess Laughlin has stated and it is already known, that he has a friend who can help him out with his computer. Individual components most certainly do come with warranties and it would be difficult to find those that do NOT have warranties. As I have indicated briefly in one of my experiences, certain manufacturers are open to and are more than willing to back their products. Also, notice that in my posts the very first aspect of a general component I mentioned was the BRAND. First and foremost I focused on WHO makes it, rather than what exactly it is. I just recently worked on my Uncle's BRAND NEW Dell on the very first day he turned it on. His computer came installed and configured with a lot of unnecessary or poorly designed software components running in the background. As a result, it was literally sensory overload to watch all the pop-ups come up: a firewall asking if he wanted to allow a program he had never heard or installed access to the internet, anti-virus that needed updating, Windows Security Center pop-ups, Mcafee security center pop-ups, AOL wanting him to install updates and a Spyware scanner, hardware wizard popping up about installing his multi-function printer which Dell didn't do. My point with all of this is that he got so frustrated with the system, asking him for all of this stuff and also being unresponsive at times, that he was ready to send it back. The hardware was just fine, but the software packages installed and the configuration by Dell brought the system to its knees. As a side note on that: With that kind of experience, it is understandable why some people don't want things like anti-virus and firewalls on their computer. If these programs require more attention and maintenance than the rest of the computer, the user will naturally reject them and for beginners it is just a headache. Now if major PC suppliers insist on supplying a computer that is too "needy" and Burgess decides to go with a pre-made computer instead of what he has indicated here, then maybe going back to Apple is the best for him. But until he states otherwise, I can only go off of what he has wrote in this thread.
  19. Buying a new computer

    That is true, Jay P. Word processors haven't changed nearly as much as other applications have like games, but the hardware definately has. Any retail processor that is bought today will do what Burgess Laughlin wants to do. My personal recommendation would be an AMD Sempron 2500+. It is cheap, based off of much more powerful architecture, and will still hold its own in intensive applications. I forgot one other thing that is important as well, a UPS. I have an APC brand UPS and it has worked out very well for me. It features AC line filtering, surge protection and battery backup. Computer components can be damaged by electrical noise, overvoltage, and even undervoltage. I remember my wireless router getting damaged by an extended drop in voltage, the lights in my house dimmed for about 10 seconds straight. For the next month or so I had intermittent internet connectivity. It would work then not work for no reason at all. I eventually determined it was something within the router itself and was trouble free after I replaced it. Having a good power supply is one thing, but feeding it good clean power is the other side of the story.
  20. Buying a new computer

    One last thing, as far as backups go, look into USB Flash drives. They are highly portable, reliable, and are becoming incredibly much more used and popular. Here is the drive I use: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16820180732 One of the coolest features of this is that the cap and base of the unit have an insulated steel cable attached them. This makes it virtually impossible to lose the cap and the extra slack of cable at the end of the device allow it to be attached to a key chain or whatever else you keep your keys on.
  21. Buying a new computer

    I see you wanted to know not only WHAT, but WHERE. I almost exclusively use an online retailer known as Newegg. They are very good with returns and generally have low prices. For as much as I have used them and talked with people that have used them, I have never heard one single negative remark about them. ____ 1. As for software for you to use. For the most basic usage, WordPad is fine. I would also advise you to look at OpenOffice, especially since it is free. I haven't had a problem with it. 2. I generally don't like computer stores, my preference is dealing with the manufacturer directly. 3. Yes you most certainly do need protection from malicious software. I recommend Grisoft's AVG anti-virus and Microsoft's Anti-Spyware, both of which are free. If you are concerned with data integrity this is a must, and I prefer to keep my computers behind a router which has a firewall built in as well. I have not been infected with a virus for sometime either but that is no reason not to protect yourself. I haven't broken an arm or had a serious accident in a very long time, but that doesn't mean I should not have any insurance of any kind. 4. It is okay to get rid of clutter especially on your desktop and start menu. But if you have plenty of hard drive space then it is a waste of your time to uninstall as much as you can. Same thing goes with Windows system services, disabling everything until your computer has barebones functionality results in negligable performance improvement and has almost nothing to do with stability. 5. I would not risk using refurbished, they typically have lower warranties and sometimes they don't come with the accessories like cords, manuals, etc.
  22. Buying a new computer

    Processors: AMD and Intel are both good choices but my preference is AMD for their more efficient design. Motherboard: Asus. They have a strong 3 year warranty and will back it up, I know from personal experience. I had a board that died on me, possibly due to electrical noise or under/overvoltage. When I emailed them about my computer refusing to even startup they sent me some detailed instructions on testing their board. The instructions were technical but simple to follow through on and I contacted them after I determined that the problem was with their board. I sent their board out and got a new one in roughly less than 10 business days.(I don't recall how long it took exactly) RAM: Crucial and then Kingston. I believe that most memory today comes with lifetime warranties, but if "tried and true" are what you looking for than look no further than Crucial. Video: ATI or Nvidia. These are the 2 dominant figures in video cards. Either one is a good choice for your needs, though my preference would be to Nvidia for their willingness to support other platforms such as Linux. If you go with ATI get one that is assembled by ATI, if Nvidia get one from Asus or EVGA. Monitors: Sony, Samsung, or Viewsonic. This one is very important, especially since you stated that you would be on the computer for 8-10 hours a day. An LCD monitor here is practically mandatory. I will tell you about mine, Sony SDM-S73. This monitor has a wide horizontal and vertical viewing angle, meaning the screen doesn't lose much contrast or color quality if you are not looking at it dead center. Both the VGA and power plug in the back of the monitor are modular, if the cords ever get crushed and damaged I can simply order a new plug. Hard Drives: Western Digital. All hard drives are prone to fail, this is an inevitability of such precise, sensitive mechanical devices being produced on such a small scale. One little bit of dust inside of a hard drive will ruin it, it must be perfectly clean. It is not even a good idea to apply short, jerky motions to a hard drive, especially when it is running. This can happen easily, like moving your computer case out from under your desk to find a port to connect to. If you have a great need for stability and an extra layer of backups, then look into using a hard drive configuration called RAID 1. It basically involves 2(or more possibly?) hard drives instead of one, where the second is nothing more than a duplicate of the first. Additionally, this backup process is automated. I am not aware of warranties from other manufacturers but I know Western Digital drives, depending on the model, come with up to a 5 year warranty such as the WD1200SB. Case/Power Supply: Antec then Enermax. I would recommend the Antec Sonata II case, it is a good design and comes with a beefy 450 watt power supply. Definitely more than enough for your needs, which is perfect because it is not a good idea to push power supplies to their limits. Some cheaper power supplies can die catastrophically if pushed even near their claimed wattage. The case itself features a smooth black finish, USB/firewire and audio ports on the front panel, support for larger and quieter 120mm fans, etc. Keyboard/Mouse: I prefer Microsoft wireless combos, they are cheap and have excellent battery life. CD-Drive: I prefer a brand called Lite-On, their products are cheaper and work just fine. For 40-50 dollars, I have a CD writer and DVD reader/burner. A higher quality, more expensive brand would be Plextor.
  23. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year To All

    Stephen and Chris, Awesome! With the visuals and the music, I see an official "The Forum" Christmas music video in the making! Everyone have a Merry Christmas... and don't forget to leave Santa a treat.
  24. Betsy, me, and THE FORUM

    I look forward to your return to The Forum, Betsy, your spirit is remarkable.
  25. Mysteries of Capitalism

    I see Dell PCs selling below $300 and Verizon DSL service for less than $15 a month. A $2,000 PC today will yield a high end multi-media center, capable of virtually anything that is thrown at it. As opposed to years ago when such a purchase would just get you by, today a cheap bare bones PC will outperform it. . Most of the increases in value for a dollar I can think of are computer-related and interestingly enough it remains an industry that is, for the most part, unregulated. What a wonderful testament to Capitalism and how far we've come in terms of technology and efficiency.