Partitioning Basics

One of the necessities of a multi-boot setup is partitioning, but the uses of partitioning go far beyond its application to multi-boot setups. The act of splitting a drive into multiple logical parts is known as partitioning; each part is called a partition. A physical drive refers to the actual, tangible device, while logical drives refer… Continue reading Partitioning Basics

Keyboard Annoyances

As with everything, increased computer usage tends to form certain habits. In most cases, there is nothing wrong with this, however, when things change, these habits can be significantly disrupted. Two such irregularities, and their solutions, are outlined below. The International Keyboard Many laptops come with keyboards that natively support multiple languages (e.g. provide accents).… Continue reading Keyboard Annoyances

A Procedural Methodology for Diagnosing (Home) Internet Issues

I recently had some internet problems, most pages wouldn’t load, my connections to servers (e.g. FTP, SSH) would quickly drop, but, yet, I was able to download a file at a reasonable rate. There are different approaches to narrowing down the problem. For some problems, the symptoms will direct one’s focus to likely causes, but… Continue reading A Procedural Methodology for Diagnosing (Home) Internet Issues

Considerations When Shopping for Laptops

I have never been a big proponent of laptops – historically, their performance has been dwarfed by that of lower priced desktops, and the advantage of portability was often offset by poor performance and short battery life. Recent processor generations, and advances in mobile computing have, however, made laptops a viable competitor for today’s applications.… Continue reading Considerations When Shopping for Laptops

The Shortcut to Resolving an IRQ Conflict

During my hard drive adventures earlier in the day, I removed a PCI IDE-SATA card from an older computer, and replaced it with the PCI sound card that was previously in that slot. Computer started, and all was good – however, the audio was routed through the integrated sound instead of through the discrete sound… Continue reading The Shortcut to Resolving an IRQ Conflict

Using a SATA hard drive through IDE – Part 1

One of the older computers I have around is from before the SATA era – it only supports IDE. Unfortunately, most new hard-drives are SATA, especially those of reasonable sizes (250GB, 500GB, etc). This machine previously had only about 60GB, which was insufficient for its purposes. I find external hard-drives to be impractical for day-to-day… Continue reading Using a SATA hard drive through IDE – Part 1

Diagnosing a computer that won’t POST

Today, I was asked to diagnose a computer that wouldn’t POST over the phone. POST is the power-on self-test – it is self-check cycle that the computer goes through before ‘starting’ – it usually checks the motherboard (for short circuits), CPU, RAM, and graphics card for some basic level of functionality. Basically, this computer would… Continue reading Diagnosing a computer that won’t POST

Fixing Headphones

When the computer is on – there is music playing. Probably not an uncommon statement – I find, however, that it is frowned upon to be playing music at 2 am, or other such times. Headphones are the natural answer (NOT the earbud kind). I have used a pair of Sony MDR-XD100’s for the past… Continue reading Fixing Headphones