computers Archives

May 2, 2007

Dell Computer Selects Ubuntu for its PCs Pre-installed with Linux

World's 2nd largest PC manufacturer, Dell computer, will offer its PCs (both desktops & laptops) to consumers with the Linux operating system pre-installed.

They've partnered with (London-based) Canonical (founded by South African Mark Shuttleworth) to offer the Ubuntu distro.

If you were here last year, you might recall our resident Linux guru, Mr. Magoo, migrated to a Linux-only system (not a dual-boot, Windows/Linux configuration, like most people do), using Ubuntu.

At DistroWatch, Ubuntu is ranked #1, .. out of 100+ Linux distros. Version 7.04 is know as Fiesty Fawn.

Continue reading "Dell Computer Selects Ubuntu for its PCs Pre-installed with Linux" »

May 5, 2007

Cinco de Mayo 2007 (Laguna Beach)

Cinco de Mayo 2007 (Laguna Beach)Last week, I mentioned having a dream, in which (presidential candidate) Barack Obama was assassinated. This week I read he was placed under Secret Service protection.

Last week I documented my findings from a comparison I did of the two best open source Content Management Systems (Joomla vs Drupal), where I determined Joomla 1.5 represented the best approach (for me), yet was slooow in coming.

This week I heard Joomla 1.5-beta2 was released, the first such release from Joomla in nearly 7 months.

I doubt my entries had anything to do with these developments, but my ego (battered, but not broken) insists, "We know better." (Gotta admit, the timing is uncanny.)

Today is my favorite party of the year > Teri & Alan's annual Cinco de Mayo party. Good food, good people, great location (right on the beach in Laguna). I'm here now .. connected to their wireless network.

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September 24, 2007

5 Reasons Why You Should Back-up Your Hard Drive with a Cloning Program such as Norton Ghost

Hard Disk DriveBack in February, Google released a report titled » Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population (13-page PDF, 242-KB), which detailed their findings regarding the failure rates of hard disk drives they own.

Since Google uses so many hard drives (over 100,000 were used in this study), their findings were of great interest to those of us who've had trouble locating reliable data on the topic.

Moreover, their report was of special significance because it contradicted many commonly held beliefs, such as:

  1. cooled drives fail less
  2. the harder a drive works, the more likely it is to fail
  3. SMART monitoring is a reliable predictor of drive failure
  4. Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) is a meaningful spec

Personally, I think drive failure has a lot to do with how the drive was handled en route (by the shipper) » from the manufacturer to the reseller, and » from the reseller to the end user (you & me).

Hard drives aren't designed to be tossed around like fish at the market, or dropped like a hockey puck. And these are factors no one will ever know (except the carrier).

What the survey *did* confirm, however .. was something we already knew » hard drives fail more than we'd like.

The Google survey reported that ~2% of their drives failed during the first year of operation, and ~8% every year thereafter.

So how do you protect yourself against the devastating effects of hard drive failure? There are various ways, with each method offering a degree of protection. But the *best* way to protect your data and your operating system is with an imaging/cloning program .. such as Norton Ghost (distributed by Symantec).

Continue reading "5 Reasons Why You Should Back-up Your Hard Drive with a Cloning Program such as Norton Ghost" »

November 11, 2007

Laptop DC Input Power Jack Loose

The DC Iinput power jack on my laptop is loose. I've tripped over the cord once too often. I'm actually surprised it has lasted this long, considering how many times I've (accidentally) yanked it out.

DC Power Jack for a Laptop ComputerIt hasn't become a major problem yet, as power is easily restored with a quick jiggle or slight adjustment. But a few more well-placed yanks could render it useless. (If I can't get power to the laptop, it becomes a hi-tech doorstop .. soon as the battery dies.)

Google queries reveal this problem is surprisingly common (especially with Dells). If you're handy with a soldering iron (I've learned), you can try repairing it yourself. (My particular jack costs only US$10.)

Unfortunately, soldering is more difficult than it looks, especially when dealing with tiny connectors .. not to mention disassembling the laptop (and its subsequent reassembly). Best to let an experienced pro work their magic.

Continue reading "Laptop DC Input Power Jack Loose" »

About computers

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Ye Olde Rad Blog II in the computers category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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