A thread for boring computer questions.

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This is the thread for minor computing questions that don't warrant their own threads.

Can someone recommend a Usenet Newsreader for Mac OS X? Or for that matter an X11 that'll compile for OS X. knode is not doing it for me.

Ed (dali), Monday, 14 April 2003 13:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

But Ed, you're here to answer all the boring computer questions, not ask them! ;p

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Monday, 14 April 2003 13:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I use Thoth on 9.1, but it's also good for 10.1

chris j (chris j), Monday, 14 April 2003 20:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Alright I have one:

I've been using a freeware DOS music program for several years called Impulse Tracker. It's just about the only thing I enjoy using and I love it to bits. So when my dad bought me a new computer for a graduation cum birthday present expressly to make music on, i was overjoyed. Sadly I have had this computer for a year and i haven't been able to make a track since! The program runs very slowly and the sound is really hissy and horrible. On some other music programs, the computer comes up with an error about latency, which i assume links to this. Also I can't record anything from my CD player or microphone, no matter how much i fuck around with the sound settings. These problems also sometimes happen when I play DVDs - the sound is really hissy and granular ad often i have to turn the speakers right up to hear anything. What's going on?!!

dog latin (dog latin), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 00:52 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ed, what was the name of the cheapish online computer reseller thatI'd never heard of anywhere else that you mentioned over christmas and can't find again.

Graham (graham), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 01:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

dog latin, more details about yr computer and software please.

i am still interested in learning whether it's possible to re-mount a removable drive that's still plugged in without taking the cable out and reinserting it. windows xp

ron (ron), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 04:15 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

graham, selling what kind of stuff? Did I mean EBuyer?

Dog latin, are your speakers plugged into the correct port, is the internal volume on the computer turned up. Try plugging the sound out from your computer through an amp. It sounds like the on the hiss front is caused by too low sound levels amplified up really far. It may ofcourse be a duff soundcard.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 06:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


RickyT (RickyT), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 07:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

What does trn mean? What does POX mean?

Mark C (Mark C), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 07:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

trn = usenet newsreader that will run in your terminal
POX = dread illness and thread horror

RickyT (RickyT), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 07:50 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

RickyT, can you point me at a site from whence I might digitally obtain a tarball of this trn of which you speak. Forsooth neither google nor sourceforge can fulfill my desires.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 08:38 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ed, have you tried searching at freshmeat.net? It's usually the first place I try when I'm searching for software packages.

caitlin (caitlin), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 08:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Okay, so I downloaded Carracho (on ILX's recommendation), and it all looks good. BUT...when I enter a file to search for, the "search" button doesn't activate, or work at all. I'm not born to this, so it could be something quite obvious. Help me out, y'all...

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 08:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

you need to load up some trackers, Tracker-Tracker Tracks Trackers. One you have some trackers entered into carracho you can get lists of servers which you can then search. You can enter trackers in Carracho->Preferences->Trackers.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 09:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

trn vs slrn

why trn over slrn. I ask this because slrn is availible through fink and trn isn't and will be harder to install.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 10:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Mac people: is it worth upgrading to Jaguar? I run 10.1.5 at the moment and it seems fine. (I don't use the Mac for interweb bidniz right now, but I may do in the future.)

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 10:16 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Yes but if you're going to buy it you might want to wait until after the summer when Panther is due to ship. I might be able to slip you some cds at a future FAP.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 10:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I use Jaguar, but only because my version of FCP won't work on an earlier incarnation of OSX. Same for BT Broadband.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 10:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"trn vs slm. why trn over slrn. I ask this because slrn is availible through fink and trn isn't and will be harder to install."

It's a bit like Ed's malfunctioning, isn't it?

Mark C (Mark C), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 10:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Is he like Hal? Will he turn evil and destroy ILX?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 10:35 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

OK, someone suggest a good entry-level semi-pro soundcard. (Windows Me system).

Stereo playback quality is far more important than lots of inputs (I won't be using it for multi-track recording) or 5.1 capability. An S/PDIF I/O would be nice, as would some bundled analysis/DSP software (Cool Edit, Sound Forge, etc). Are the ones with breakout boxes the only ones guaranteed to be low noise?

I'm hoping to pay less than £100 but I may be out of luck unless I import from a US online retailer or score on eBay. Creative Audigy, M-Audio Audiophile, Echo Mia...

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 10:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

M-Audio get my vote Audiophile 2496. Having said that I've just bought and Audiotrak maya and quality is reasonable, but I valued number of outs over sound quality because its for laptop djing.

Soundkartenkatalog has a good selection to browse.

Watch out for customs duty and VAT on importing stuff from the US.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 10:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Unfortunately, if it's in German, and it wasn't on a Laurie Anderson album, chances are I don't understand it. But ta for the price links. And that's two votes for M-Audio (friend has one on his G4).

By 'import', I probably meant 'ship to friend in US and get them to stick it in their luggage next time they visit'.

I know SoundBlaster have a rotten rep (though why I'm not sure), but the Audigy 2 is only £99 at Maplins. Elsewhere I've found a good stripped-down card in Terratec's EWX24/96 (£119 from Digital Village) which is bundled with WaveLab Lite and GigaSampler LE.

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 11:32 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Terratec are meant to be good, I've had no experience though. The audigy's aren't that bad and they share chips with an EMU sound card (or at least they did). It might be a good buy, a friend has that soundcard and he has no problems with it for music making, even gigs with the pc with it in.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 11:35 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

(I forget which EMU but EMU own soundblaster or vice versa)

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 11:36 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

That's the place Ed, though it seemed better last time I saw it.

(Also, it was probably last August when you mentioned, which says something about how memorable that term was)

Graham (graham), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 11:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Dog latin, are your speakers plugged into the correct port, is the internal volume on the computer turned up. Try plugging the sound out from your computer through an amp. It sounds like the on the hiss front is caused by too low sound levels amplified up really far. It may ofcourse be a duff soundcard.

ed, yeh it's all plugged in corretically and I run my sound through a stereo amp anyway. the hiss only happens when there's sound playing and only when i do certain things like play DVDs. So when people are talking it sounds like "Yeahscchhhhhh I knowhhhhh..." and there's a quiet digital crackle. It sounds even worse when I play it through Impulse Tracker.
I'm surprised by how few outputs there are on the soundcard - there are three sockets - SPK, LIN and MIC. I can't work out whether LIN is line out or line in so I just use SPK.
I never know the specs on my computer but it's running Windows ME with summat called C-Media Wave Device as the mixer. what other info might you need?

dog latin (dog latin), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 12:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

SPK would appear to be the correct output. Check your drivers are the most up to date. Check every possible volume control within the computer. It sounds like something is set really low somewhere and then amplified to fuck elsewhere, high transients would cause the digital crackle.

Try and track the signal path within the computer when doing these tasks, it can be a pain because its all virtual. I know much more about doing it in macs than in pc's i'm afraid. I do hope its not hardware.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 12:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Can you get sound from the CD player, other than from its own headphone socket? If not, the drive doesn't have its audio cable connected.

Graham (graham), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 12:55 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

OK, Dr. Ed, how do I stop my quicktime video/audio playback from stuttering. The video playback is particularly bad, and often gets further and further out of sync with audio. I know, this is more of an editor's question, but worth a try. NB I am not using QUicktime Pro-is this in fact the problem?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 12:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

A question to which I have no answer, you shouldn't need quicktime pro. Quicktime has a known problem with some audio track encodings, particularly mp3 audio with divX. What sort of files does this happen with?

Graham, yes, you need to get the cd player to pass the audio to the computer digitally and have the computer interpret it, this is a pc question isn't it, I don't know how to do this but there are ways. I remeber reading something about it on http://www.usb-audio.com/

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 13:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

This happens with mp3s and uncompressed DV.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 13:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've read lots of places that quicktime is a bit iffy about getting mp3 and video to line up properly. The only real work around is to encode the audio as something else.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 13:19 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Can you get sound from the CD player, other than from its own headphone socket? If not, the drive doesn't have its audio cable connected."

Yes if you are using XP/2k go to the the CD Drive in Device Manager, goto properties and tick Enable Digital CD audio for this CD-ROM device, this will allow programmes access to CD audio data across the IDE cable.

No other cable will be needed.

Jarlr'mai (jarlrmai), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 13:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

another thing that might cause that audio distortion is if there is a mismatch of sampling frequencies somewhere. if yr mixer prog were set at 32khz and can't accurately play the 44.1khz dvd stuff, for instance. just an idea

ron (ron), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 14:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Can you get sound from the CD player, other than from its own headphone socket? If not, the drive doesn't have its audio cable connected.

Yeh, the CD player PLAYS but I can't get the computer to record either from mic or CD. I've checked all the levels on everything and theoretically it should work but it just doesn't. I think the shop sold me a crap soundcard (even though I did explain I wanted the computer to do music on - wankas!).

dog latin (dog latin), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 16:19 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

xan someone recommend, quickly, a good programme for ripping cds to mp3 on win xp.

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 16:38 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Can someone recommend a Usenet Newsreader for Mac OS X?

Thoth all the way. Halime as a second choice.

Or for that matter an X11 that'll compile for OS X. knode is not doing it for me.

Why not use the pre-compiled one from Apple?

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 16:52 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

that's what I use for the windowing system. knode's a kded news reader

Ed (dali), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 16:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Depending on how the cable is hooked up through the soundcard, you may want to check to see if it's hooked up through the CD in or the AUX in jack on the card. Also maybe open up your volume control icon in the system tray at the bottom right, by double-clicking it, and see if all of the volume sliders are up and make sure they're not muted. (Note, you may need to click on the advanced option and add extra sliders to your volume control, if the ones you are using aren't there.) Lastly, check through the options in the program you're using to see if there aren't any other audio in options that may have changed between your two configurations (source, perhaps).

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 17:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

ed, i only just downloaded Freerip - it's not bad for that kidna thing - avoid Audioactive it's desperately slow.

dog latin (dog latin), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 17:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

ed, i recommend exact audio copy, which also requires an encoder, many use LAME. i'm pretty sure there are links to it on the same pages as the exact audio copy stuff.

downside is it's slow (although you could probably fiddle with the settings to speed things up at the expense of quality)

upsides: free, slim program, have a lot of control over the encoding process. most importantly, this setup is not clipping the ends off of my music files, as many many other progs do

ron (ron), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 23:05 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

geek check: I'm using DHTML to position stuff on a website (in divs, with position:absolute), and can't resolve some Netscape 4.x issues. I *have* to fix them, lots of users on campus here are still running the old browsers.

1) The "background-color:white" property for a center <div> is not understood by the browser. I don't know how to fix it! Something with <layer> tags? I have tried, and no luck. Is there a hack?
2) When there is a lot of content in the center <div>, the browser scrunches it all up so that it prints over itself ! What to do?

daria g, Tuesday, 15 April 2003 23:29 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

are you sure it's "background-color" ?? i'm looking at some example tags and they just have {background: color}

ron (ron), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 23:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

note: i'm no html expert by any means

ron (ron), Tuesday, 15 April 2003 23:52 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

eh, nevermind, background-color works fine in this browser anyway (opera)

ron (ron), Wednesday, 16 April 2003 00:08 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

background-color is standard. background alone will also accept values for any background-* setting either on their own or bunched together, so you can save time, space and neatness by specifying "background: white url('pic.jpg') no-repeat fixed center" instead of setting background-color, background-image, etc, separately.

Daria: apologies if this is patronisingly obvious and that was an example of a much more general case, but what if you specify the colour as a hex code, i.e. background-color: #FFFFFF? But Netscape 4.x is really not good with CSS; I've seen that scrunching problem many times and apart from doing a drastically simplified NS stylesheet - no messing with floating or "position:"s either absolute or relative and half my paddings and margins removed, ugh! - I never found a way round it. I have had problems like the first too but can't remember how or whether I fixed it.

Quick hacky way to do extra styles for IE without bothering with any JS or server-side client checking: the line of CSS "@IMPORT url(ie-styles.css);" will work in IE but not in Netscape - I don't remember which way other browsers behave - so you can put your basic styles in one stylesheet and add an import line in it for the IE stuff.

Unfortunately if you're doing anything very fancy with DHTML and CSS I have a nasty feeling you may have to do a cutdown version for Netscape users. Having said that, I too did some work for a university campus with a lot of stubborn NS4.x users and didn't actually have to do anything too drastic apart from the trick above.

Disclaimer: I don't know too much DHTML myself, and for my previous jobs it's been fine to settle for less than perfection in order to meet deadlines. I was also lucky enough to be the most knowledgeable about HTML of anyone there, frightening though that is considering my ineptitude, so if I said something wouldn't work then nobody else would contradict me. There are some fancy pieces of DHTML out there that work fine in Netscape, so maybe I just don't know enough. But from the CSS end Netscape is definitely a mess, even newer versions than 4.


Dog Latin: Impulse Tracker doesn't like Windows very much, unfortunately. IT3 has now reached beta stage, but it's taken a very long time to get that far, so who knows if it'll ever really happen? Besides, I am rather suspicious of it because Pulse is no longer on the coding team. I have a feeling that the finished product, if it arrives, will turn out different enough in feel to IT that I won't get used to it but still be a long way behind a lot of its current rivals (from Buzz and Psycle in the based-on-trackers arena to all the expensive professional stuff out there). My disappointment with Sk@le (basically Fasttracker 2 remade for Windows) and Renoise makes me wary.

About IT: use the MPU401 drivers if they work at all! Try it S19 and hope it will autodetect; if not, look for the settings in control panel and try specifying them manually. I think this is the closest IT can come to using your modern soundcard to full effect. Unfortunately this doesn't always seem to work even with cards that should be MPU401-compatible. It works now and autodetects on my SB Live but I remember last time I tried it didn't. I have no idea why this might have changed. Unfortunately I can't get any further because of memory and graphics mode problems. I used to get around that with a boot disk but with XP I'm not sure there's anything I can do. I'll try later.

IT's sound drivers are out of date and your modern soundcard's backwards compatibility with cards that existed when it was written is probably a bit dodgy. This could mean that the driver autodetect selects isn't the best - try choosing some others, if you haven't done so - or that you have to use a driver much worse than your card is capable of. On my SB Live the SB Pro driver works but isn't the one autodetect selects and the SB16 and SB AWE (both better soundcards than the Pro) drivers won't work at all, so by default I'd end up using the SB2 drivers. I had a Soundblaster 2 a decade ago. I don't want my computer to sound like that now.

What kind of soundcard do you have? My motherboard has onboard sound but I found it too noisy to use. I don't think it's that the chip itself is that bad, though it's obviously fairly cheap; it's more that it picks up so much interference from other board activity. If you're using a sound chip built into your motherboard I recommend not doing so. If you're using a separate soundcard, try rearranging your card slots so that the soundcard is in the furthest slot from the main section of the motherboard and not immediately next to any other cards.

One last thing: I believe Modplug tracker will read and write (not 100% identically to IT but it sounds fine most of the time) .IT files and can be set up so that the command codes and keyboard layout are as IT's was. I can't stand Modplug personally, so I can't confirm that, nor do I particularly recommend it. I just thought it might be worth a look since it was designed for Windows and will use your card's Windows sound drivers.


Apologies for such a long post when I suspect none of this will be any help to either of you. I may write boring and badly phrased posts like the above but I'm not really much good at techy things.

Frazer, Wednesday, 16 April 2003 01:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the advice ! It's very clear, and I appreciate much that you took all the time to write it out. I'll see what I can tweak to get it running, but it'll have to wait a day or two.. I did try the hex code, I am nearly certain, although I'll double check b/c I may well have overlooked an obvious solution w/o knowing. However, the scrunching and such is *not* I believe an effect of the CSS, since positioning isn't done through CSS, it's done directly through DHTML - this prob wasn't clear from my earlier post since I didn't notice that the ILX software *read* my code tags and didn't print them. Let's try again:
[page content would be here]

Netscape 4.x won't read background-color and is scrunching content. Argh! But don't trouble too much about it, I can always bother my techie brother, he might know. :)

daria g, Wednesday, 16 April 2003 04:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ooops! One more time.

<div id="bodytext" style="background-color:white;position:absolute;visibility:visible;width:700px;left:165px;top:
144px;"> [page content would be here] </div>\

Netscape 4.x won't read background-color and is scrunching content. Argh! But don't trouble too much about it, I can always bother my techie brother, he might know. :)

daria g, Wednesday, 16 April 2003 04:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

to do this stuff without the css, would you have to use tables??

ron (ron), Wednesday, 16 April 2003 06:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Run a virus scan when you're able to.

Also, this might help:

Entree 3000 (Leee), Friday, 17 November 2017 15:54 (five months ago) Permalink

ok that's the webdings font with some of the characters not displaying properly.

thomasintrouble, Friday, 17 November 2017 16:06 (five months ago) Permalink


ok, best instructions

mh, Friday, 17 November 2017 16:07 (five months ago) Permalink

Hmm. My Local Disc (D) has completely disappeared ...

djh, Saturday, 18 November 2017 22:42 (five months ago) Permalink

(Or ... anyone recommend/trust a computer repair person in Oxfordshire?)

djh, Monday, 20 November 2017 21:57 (five months ago) Permalink


djh, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 19:16 (four months ago) Permalink

This looks...unhealthy

ERROR: Service 'jobs' failed to build: failed to register layer: Error processing tar file(exit status 1): write /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/4.9/cc1: no space left on device

^C^C% ➜ v1 git:(master) ✗ df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Capacity iused ifree %iused Mounted on
/dev/disk1 112Gi 95Gi 17Gi 85% 4051615 4290915664 0% /
devfs 186Ki 186Ki 0Bi 100% 643 0 100% /dev
map -hosts 0Bi 0Bi 0Bi 100% 0 0 100% /net
map auto_home 0Bi 0Bi 0Bi 100% 0 0 100% /home
/dev/disk2s1 58Gi 38Gi 20Gi 66% 603920 4294363359 0% /Volumes/research

anvil, Thursday, 23 November 2017 06:00 (four months ago) Permalink

I ran fsck -fy in single user mode, it fixes some errors with invalid block counts or something like that and boots up ok, but problem persists

anvil, Thursday, 23 November 2017 06:02 (four months ago) Permalink

Installed Mac OS to usb no problem, just blew everything away and started again, looks a lot healthier. dotfiles worked perfect!

/dev/disk1 37Gi 15Gi 22Gi 41% 548297 4294418982 0% /
/dev/disk0s5 3.6Gi 25Mi 3.6Gi 1% 78 4294967201 0% /Volumes/downloads
/dev/disk0s4 19Gi 4.9Gi 14Gi 27% 109 4294967170 0% /Volumes/docker
/dev/disk0s7 19Gi 2.7Gi 16Gi 15% 122 4294967157 0% /Volumes/vagrant

anvil, Friday, 24 November 2017 06:53 (four months ago) Permalink

thank you for the instructions mh! i will try as this is exactly what the issue was w my computer.

the good news is that i was able to boot from the USB i used to install and run chkdsk /r /f /x on command prompt to fix disk issues. sadly upon starting my machine i find that Windows 10 will not start. it seems to be trying to start Safe Mode but is stuck on a loading cursor. i can reinstall Windows but attempting to do so brings up a "This hard drive is locked" message. wonderful, my only operating system will not start and has not provided the necessary tools to unlock the hard drive and fix its shit. i googled this and found myself at a website called www.windowsreport.com and thought, should i really be downloading "repair tools" from a website with that name?

this shit is so tiring. i have been dealing with Windows since 3.1 and it seems like things have only gotten worse. the scary thing is Microsoft Windows is used in public infrastructure. i see it all the time on the public transit terminals and monitors. i know it is Windows because the system is down and i see the same damn error dialog box i see at home. scarily, this tech is everywhere. this stuff is running space stations. i fear the state of shitty bloated UI accidentally bringing down modern civilization far more than any AI.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 25 November 2017 03:57 (four months ago) Permalink

tbh the best thing about cloud/container stuff is Microsoft having to make OS variants that are first-class citizens that aren’t the mainline gui version

the kiosk stuff was always pretty halfassed, they’re getting closer on that front

I have a coworker who loves to talk about this and I roll my eyes, but he’s not wrong.

mh, Saturday, 25 November 2017 04:33 (four months ago) Permalink

one month passes...


great now the next time Windows updates my computer will run 30% slower

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 3 January 2018 16:25 (three months ago) Permalink

Crucially, these updates to both Linux and Windows will incur a performance hit on Intel products. The effects are still being benchmarked, however we're looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30 per cent slow down, depending on the task and the processor model.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 3 January 2018 16:27 (three months ago) Permalink

or 5%

Scatperson (ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-whore.) (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 5 January 2018 20:27 (three months ago) Permalink

but probably 17.5%

Scatperson (ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-whore.) (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 5 January 2018 20:28 (three months ago) Permalink

most workloads won't notice much difference at all. the 30% is a ceiling that assumes a shitload of calls that require the kernel page separation stuff

El Tomboto, Friday, 5 January 2018 20:44 (three months ago) Permalink

Most of my pc's workload is managed by the graphics card I'm guessing anyway.

In space, pizza sends out for YOU (Ste), Friday, 5 January 2018 20:47 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

My windows 7 HP fails to start and I've tried all manner of system restore repair options to no avail. The boot disc for windows 7 gets to the point where I can select a partition to install to but neither one can be used (errors). Reformatting fails and my only option seems to delete the partitions - I'm not sure that's wise; any ideas?

tinnitus the night (Ross), Friday, 23 March 2018 17:57 (four weeks ago) Permalink

sounds like your HD is f*cked?

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 23 March 2018 17:58 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Can an external HD be used as a partition?

tinnitus the night (Ross), Friday, 23 March 2018 18:00 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I would abandon that hard drive - can you slave it to get your data , or boot from a live cd?

Rabbit Control (Latham Green), Friday, 23 March 2018 18:02 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Sorry what do you mean by slave it?

tinnitus the night (Ross), Friday, 23 March 2018 18:03 (four weeks ago) Permalink

well you need another hard drive that works - you connect it with the scsi cord so you can read the bad hard drive from teh good one - its been a long time since I worked withhardware

Rabbit Control (Latham Green), Friday, 23 March 2018 18:10 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Sounds about right - hd is pooched. Thanks for the help in the revive here, gonna need to get a hd. Externals not recognized - I'm not super good with hardware tbh

tinnitus the night (Ross), Friday, 23 March 2018 18:12 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I think LG is referring to putting the current one in an external enclosure or connecting via a USB->SATA cable. So, clean install on a new drive, then see if you can connect the old one externally, or internally as a second drive, and seeing if you can get to the data

mh, Friday, 23 March 2018 18:33 (four weeks ago) Permalink

obviously external stuff isn't needed if it's a desktop, you'd just put it in as a secondary drive

mh, Friday, 23 March 2018 18:34 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Yes. USB/Sata cables should be cheap on ebay
After you remove the HD you can just Hook it up to another computer

big C (calstars), Friday, 23 March 2018 19:22 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Thanks everyone. I was able to hook up an external monitor to an old macbook and I can use that one now. Will fix other comp eventually as I'm too broke atm

tinnitus the night (Ross), Friday, 23 March 2018 20:34 (four weeks ago) Permalink

this isn't a computer question exactly but why is the app store so pedantic with the downloads? what is the difference between 'GET' and 'INSTALL' and the little cloud with the little arrow? why do you have to press so many buttons

global tetrahedron, Friday, 23 March 2018 21:15 (four weeks ago) Permalink

install means you haven't downloaded it previously and it may have terms of service / cost money / in-app purchases

'get' means you've installed it before or it's completely free

mh, Friday, 23 March 2018 21:31 (four weeks ago) Permalink

iirc "install" requires you to confirm your identity and 'get' is an instant thing

mh, Friday, 23 March 2018 21:32 (four weeks ago) Permalink

"GET" used to be "FREE" but they got to many complaints about in-app purchases in "FREE" apps

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Friday, 23 March 2018 21:37 (four weeks ago) Permalink

in essence my diagnosis is that nothing i've done has significantly affected the amount of free storage space, so they sold me a machine whose brand-new os' technical requirements prevent it from updating itself : /

― j., Thursday, August 24, 2017 12:35 PM (seven months ago)

finally solved my problem, which i had fruitlessly been poking at every month or two and then kicking the can down the road on (w/ annoying incessant 'upgrade now oops sorry can't upgrade' nags from the OS)

i don't know what the exact solution ultimately was because i changed a few key factors all in a row/at once without trying to ascertain which if any did the trick.

but amid all the frustrated pleas for help and complicated advice (and useless advice from MS help staff) i found online - there are apparently quite a few people w/ different hardware but this same problem, because 32 gb storage is a popular configuration for tablets and lightweight laptops and netbooks - i happened upon some simple advice that just said to uninstall the windows update assistant if it was having trouble locating external storage, then trying again.

i also reformatted a USB drive to NTFS from its default exFAT, thinking that could matter due to some comments about the need for the former to build an installer on bootable removable media (still being considered as an option, although in the past the builder software hadn't liked my setup any better than the main updater did); and at some point in the process was attempting updates with no microSD card mounted (since a lot of people on different setups with the same kind of update-space problems had identified inability to see the card slots without some firmware update as a problem for the installer).

in any case this - probably just the tweak to the updater assistant itself - made my usb drive (and later microsd card) visible to the updater and enabled the remainder of the update process(es) to work, although it still required ~4 gb of c/boot drive space for the first overdue update to be done, which was a pain to free up because of windows' finicky and unpredictable use of cache space, but doable by offloading data/documents and being canny about when to run the updater; and then > 5 gb of c drive space for the next overdue update to be done, which i could only get by uninstalling all software i actually use (office, browser, pdf viewer/processor). during all of which the installers had to be repeatedly coaxed through 'fixing' 'problems'.


j., Friday, 30 March 2018 01:16 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yikes that sounds like a nightmare

the masseduction of lauryn hill (Stevie D(eux)), Friday, 30 March 2018 12:06 (three weeks ago) Permalink

and it's not actually done pffft

j., Friday, 30 March 2018 19:17 (three weeks ago) Permalink

fwiw you can get a new 2TB HD for under $100 these days.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 30 March 2018 20:01 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ugh now i'm getting weird black full-screen flashing (again, i saw this a bit right after i first got the computer)

real fine operating system

real fine

j., Sunday, 1 April 2018 23:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

sounds like a bad video chip?

mh, Sunday, 1 April 2018 23:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink

naw, i think it's software, some update at some point caused it to stop. seems that people report the problem arising after the creators update (the one i just finished) as well, so i guess it undid something that had been fixed for me.

j., Monday, 2 April 2018 01:18 (two weeks ago) Permalink

ugh now i'm having a corrupt tile database problem


there are actually MS support staff on the internet telling people the only fix is to create a new user account and migrate all your files to it! which if true would be ridiculous

j., Monday, 2 April 2018 18:24 (two weeks ago) Permalink

if i create a temporary account and log in to it, it doesn't actually populate its start menu with live tiles, though i found i could manually get a blank one to change over to the weather app tile. yet that doesn't seem to result in the temporary account's application data folder acquiring a tile database file of its own - instead, it has nothing (in the expected location, or seemingly anywhere in its files).

j., Monday, 2 April 2018 19:07 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Windows CE 4 lyfe

calstars, Monday, 2 April 2018 20:31 (two weeks ago) Permalink

gg i hate Windows 10. i can't ever recall having to rebuild a star menu in Windows 3.1/95/98/XP/Vista/7

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 2 April 2018 22:45 (two weeks ago) Permalink

start menu even

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 2 April 2018 22:45 (two weeks ago) Permalink

interestingly, it seems that every application that has been touched as 'new' since the update (which registers in the start menu's list of all apps) also has a broken tile; but you can't manually pin an app's tile to the menu to fix it because it's marked as pinned even though no tile shows for it.

j., Monday, 2 April 2018 22:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Ok, this seems like it should be simple but has been surprisingly difficult so far -- for a podcast, I want to talk to someone on Facetime on an iPad and record the audio (both their voice and mine). Is this possible? I tried a voice memo app, and it cut out whenever they talked (even though I enabled something in settings about 'use audio from other apps' or similar).

I know that the ideal way to do this would be to have the person record their voice on their side (with handheld recorder, phone, etc) and edit the two sides together, but this interview subject is very resistant to doing that for some reason.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 11 April 2018 16:03 (one week ago) Permalink

i don't know how to do it ON IPHONE, so apologies if this is unhelpful but if you can persuade them, use https://zencastr.com. it looks complicated but it's extremely simple for the guest (just a browser window). it records on both sides and splices the two recordings together for you.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 11 April 2018 16:19 (one week ago) Permalink

Ooh thanks. That looks very appealing, although the requirement for an external mic on both sides might be a sticking point for me (and yeah, no iOS).

Basically my limitations are that I have PC computers without usb mics, and this guest apparently doesn't have one either, and my only Apple device is this iPad mini.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 11 April 2018 16:44 (one week ago) Permalink

Oh it looks like you can select an internal mic, so maybe this will work if I just got a USB mic...

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 11 April 2018 16:45 (one week ago) Permalink

There's a newish app called anchor that allows multiple people to "call in" to the same program and record. I think they have a phone-in option but probably for best audio quality both sides would need to download the app.

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 12 April 2018 03:43 (one week ago) Permalink

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