Archive for computer

Computer Troubleshooting Guide

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, 1 September 2009 by Deems

So, down under, here in the Southern hemisphere, it’s the first day of Spring, although looking outside the office windows at the dark and gloomy day and remembering the drive into work this morning through rain, one wonders if the powers that be are playing a cruel joke on us.

Anyway, I digress, but sometimes on days just like this one things go wrong, with either your own or a family member’s computer and since you’re probably (like me) one of those in the family or circle of friends that knows more about computers than the rest, you’re the one they come to.

I’ve been working with computers for about 24 years now and yet you still find times where you’re completely stumped as to what the problem could be and either give up, throw it out, or find an even smarter tech-savvy person to help you out.

As long as the computer boots into the operating system and has an Internet connection (or you have another Internet enabled and working machine to use) you can probably find helpful answers by Googling the problem, as demonstrated by the following XKCD comic.

tech_support_cheat_sheet

But sometimes you don’t have a separate machine or Internet connectivity or Google just doesn’t come up with the right answer. Or maybe you’re fed up at reinstalling the OS over and over again, to no avail.

Well, today on Boing Boing they posted a diagnostic flowchart (well, a set of 8 of them) to help you fault-find computer hardware/software related problems. For most of us who’ve been working with computers for so long a lot of these are part of our own fault-finding processes but it’s still a handy guide to keep and refer to.

video-thumb-flowchart

Foner Books has a set of interactive flowcharts that can be found here which allow you to click on the various steps to take you to the correct next step/flowchart to help guide you through the process of troubleshooting. There’s even a 30″ x 30″ printable poster you can download here. Or a handy PDF e-Book for you to download and keep here.

Wall-E Computer Case Mod

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, 14 April 2009 by Deems

I’ve seen some interesting case mods in the past – but this one takes it. Inspired by the Wall-E animation this Russian guy not only re-creates the Wall-E character in the smallest of detail but repurposes it contain all the parts for a fully functional computer case. The picture below is the end result – click here to view the construction process step-by-step. [via DCP]

wall-e-computer-case-mod-102

And if your Russian is better than mine – you can read about each step here.

Conficker worm virus set to strike 1 April

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, 31 March 2009 by Deems

biohazard-warning-signIf you’re like me your surfing habbits are safe and you know not to just open up any executable sent to you or visit just any website link sent to you, even from those you trust as their machines may have been compromised.

Some people, however, aren’t as diligent and will click on and open just about anything sent to them without worrying about the consequences – until it’s too late.

For some, they may be none the wiser – until midnight tonight that is.

The Conficker worm is nothing new – it’s been around since late last year and the various anti-virus companies have been keeping track of it and looking out for variations. Up until now it’s been a dormant virus like a sleeper cell just waiting for instructions to strike – and those instructions should be coming in on April 1st.

Windows Secrets have published an article freely available to paid- and non-subscribers giving more detail about the Virus and how to remove it. There’s also a report on CBS’s 60-Minutes here.

For more information about the Conficker worm check out CNET’s FAQ.

Thanks, Koukla for the tip.

Hardcore Computer – custom liquid immersed computers

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , , , on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 by Deems

I’m sure you’ve seen modded computer cases before – all the hardcore gamers have them, tricked up with silent cooling mechanisms, flashing lights and digital displays constantly giving temperature and fan readings. But you may not have seen modded computer cases that are immersed in liquid for ultra-cooling. 

Puget Systems showed us how they built a fish-tank PC – now Hardcore Computers takes it to the next level with a stylish design and the most powerful desktop components out there. Take a look for yourself.

[UPDATE: 26 October 2008]
I found a review with some great photos on Maximum PC.