Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Frugality doesn’t always pay – Just buy Dell

November 6th, 2005 Tony No comments

ChaintechAfter my business bought several Dells in the past few months I decided that I would try and save a few bucks and just do an upgrade on the couple of home machines that were lagging. Bad idea.

What I bought:
Chaintech motherboard

AMD Athlon 3200+

• 1GB of DDR 400Mhz

These were purchased in combos with multiple rebates from TigerDirect so the total cost was only $120.

However, I have spent about 12 hours of pure frustration as this setup would only post about 50% of the time. Finally I believe I narrowed down the problem to a simple jumper setting and some BIOS settings that were absolutely unintuitive.

Yes I probably saved $700 per machine but I’m not sure if it was worth it. I wouldn’t recommend Chaintech primarily because their documentation is pretty lousy. Not to mention I don’t have the beautiful Dell 24″ LCD at home. :(

Categories: Computers Tags:

CoolDrives SATA Drive Enclosure Review – They SUCK!

October 4th, 2005 Tony 71 comments

After I learned that my Dell PowerEdge server only allowed two SATA drives in its large case I desperately needed a quick solution to get 400GB database back drive back online for daily backups. Some quick Googling revealed that there were very few options for an external SATA hard drive enclosure. So I went for the Cool Drives “External Sata hard Drive Case with USB 2.0 Mini Size with Built-In-Power Supply

The Noise Maker

It seemed to be a pretty sleek option with a slim case and USB as well as SATA external inputs. Well after just one month of operating the drive the cooling fan began to make an unbearable amount of noise. I guess they are using the cheapy-cheap fans. So I contacted CoolDrives and they recommended that I return the product to the warehouse for repair under the return policy. This means that I’m without a backup drive for who knows how long and I’m guessing I’m just going to get the device back with a new cheap-cheap fan. I replied and asked if they could just point me in the direction of the fan I need for the drive enclosure and I will just replace it myself. Cool Drives support responded saying they couldn’t tell me that information. Crap! I don’t normally take the time to write poor reviews but this pushed my buttons.

If anyone knows where I can get a fan like this PLEASE let me know. I’m going crazy with this noise!

Categories: Computers Tags:

BellSouth DSL has Slow DNS Lookups

April 15th, 2005 Tony 44 comments

I’ve used Bellsouth FastAccess DSL at home for nearly 3 years. Its never given me trouble. However, starting in March the time it takes to resolve a URL to an IP has suddenly increased from unnoticable levels to 10 seconds or more. Sometimes by browser gives up. To remidiate the problem I’ve setup a local DNS via BIND on SuSE. Frankly, I’m kind of pissed that Bellsouth can’t do better for the money I pay them.

Categories: Computers Tags:

Speed up Firefox with these tweaks

February 25th, 2005 Tony 27 comments

Does Firefox seem way slower than Internet Explorer to you? Well it certainly is out of the box. I’m not sure why they don’t make the following settings default but check these out. They may change your opinion of the browser.


Type “about:config” in your firefox address bar.

Search for the following settings:

1. network.http.pipelining
Set to true
2. network.http.pipelining.firstrequest
Set to true
3. network.http.pipelining.maxrequests
Set to 32
4. network.http.proxy.pipelining
Set to true
5. nglayout.initialpaint.delay
Set to 0

Its very likely that you won’t have an entry for network.http.pipelining.firstrequest. Thats ok. Just add one.

Right-click on the preferences list, select ‘New’ then select ‘Boolean’

On the first prompt, type:

On the second prompt, set it to ‘true’

Its also likely that you won’t have an entry for nglayout.initialpaint.delay

Right-click on the preferences list, select ‘New’ then select ‘Integer’

On the first prompt, type:

On the second prompt, set it to ‘0′

Thanks to MatthewHSE and rise2it of WebmasterWorld for these settings. Thanks to rona for heads up on the nglayout.initialpaint.delay also not being present. Firefox is way faster for me and has enabled me to finally bail on IE.

How does it help? These are Matthew’s words:

Enabling the pipelining features allows the browser to make multiple requests to the server at the same time. The “maxrequests” is the maximum number of requests it will send at once. I’ve heard that 8 is the most it will send at once, but setting it higher won’t hurt, just in case. The initialpaint.delay is the length of time (in milliseconds) after the server response before the browser begins to paint the page.

Categories: Computers Tags:

Bittorrent TV Show Download

January 21st, 2005 Tony 12 comments

I only watch one TV show (Lost) regularly but I really don’t want to miss any episodes. Earlier this week I did miss it because I was stuck at work due to the crazy traffic mess in the Triangle.


Bittorrent to the rescue! What a beautiful, simple, p2p application. If I desired to download the tv episode in perfect raw AVI I could probably could have downloaded it in around 4 hours. Of course I wouldn’t actually download this tv show because that would be illegal so I this is purely conjecture.

Some good sites for bittorrent TV episodes download:


I recently discovered the Azureus Bittorrent client. Install this bad boy and you have the ability to offer your existing library up for upload resulting in faster downloads on your new files!

Categories: Computers Tags: