I Need A New Computer

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MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

BenTC wrote:Any beep codes?
http://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm

Some troubleshhoting ideas...
http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000607.htm

...and one of my own, a random weird case I came across once.
Rather than reboot with the power button, actually disconnect the power plug from the wall for a few minutes.
I talked to the local repair shop and got some interesting hints. The power supply has a WDT built in with tight timing. If the CPU doesn't get the WDT in the right time frame (something around 380 ms I'm told) it will not boot.

And yes- I took the power cord out (actually I turned off the power bar) and it didn't help.

No beep codes - before it went totally belly up I got 1 beep on power up. i.e. "good". Except no video out.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

JohnSmith
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Post by JohnSmith »

You sort of mentioned this, but do you have a spare power supply you can try? Sounds sort of like it might have died.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

JohnSmith wrote:You sort of mentioned this, but do you have a spare power supply you can try? Sounds sort of like it might have died.
No. The supply delivers power and a check at the hacker shop showed voltages OK.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

JohnSmith
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Post by JohnSmith »

Well, I've never seen this in person, but I'm told that a faulty power supply can have bad enough surges and brownouts that the rest of the system fails to boot, or acts oddly after boot.

It's worth checking if you've got a spare, anyway.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Through a fortuitous set of circumstances my budget has gone up.

I'm considering a Gateway DX4831-01e @$560

It has a 1 year warranty.

Any thoughts?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

JohnSmith wrote:Well, I've never seen this in person, but I'm told that a faulty power supply can have bad enough surges and brownouts that the rest of the system fails to boot, or acts oddly after boot.

It's worth checking if you've got a spare, anyway.
I wish I had a spare. I don't do as much computer stuff as I used to. Once upon a time I had spares for almost everything.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

BenTC
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Post by BenTC »

MSimon wrote:I'm considering a Gateway DX4831-01e @$560
Though I'm not familiar with relative pricing is the US, the specs look good.

It might be worthwhile maxing out the RAM. The cost of another 2GB shouldn't be much. The existing 6GB spec would be made up of 2x2GB+2x1GB modules. Here is the slot configuration. To upgrade RAM later you'll have to throw out the 1GB modules. Perhaps inquire why the maximum is 8GB rather than the 16GB supported by the CPU, and/or find a similar system that does support a max of 16GB.

I see it has 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium. I think 64-bit is a good step to take in terms of larger memory size and also security, but your older software is more likely to have issues. You are likely to need XP running in a virtual machine. XP Mode, aka Microsoft VirtualPC, may be usefu, but that is only available with Professional, which I see Gateway has as an upgrade option for $90 (see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-AU/wind ... ts/compare and http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtua ... nload.aspx)

Even if you end up using VMWare or VirtualBox products for virtualisation, the XP license that comes with Windows 7 Professional keeps licensing squeaky clean - though you may get by without it.
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Given the size of my town I'm more or less limited to the Gateway for that price point. I want local service.

I have seen Windoze 7 boxes with 3 GB. Is the 6 GB that comes with the box a serious limitation? 2 GB came with my XP machine and I never upgraded it. It worked fine for what I did.

And tell me more about VMware I went to their site and the amount of flakery was horrendous. And the verbiage was impenetrable. And I couldn't figure out at all what the heck they were selling.
Last edited by MSimon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

KitemanSA
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Post by KitemanSA »

MSimon wrote:I'm considering a Gateway DX4831-01e @$560
Any thoughts?
I've been happy with both of my Gateways.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

I just went to Virtual Box and what an improvement over VMware. I could actually understand what they were offering.

Well SUN was always a favorite of mine. Forth is their Boot system.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

*

http://seekingalpha.com/article/194358- ... urce=email

*

Tech support: Andrew asked Prasad about technical support. What happens when all of this in-cabin technology needs fixing? Prasad outlined a multi-front effort. For starters, Ford has a partnership with Best Buy’s Geek Squad for Sync issues and things like Bluetooth problems.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

BenTC
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Post by BenTC »

MSimon wrote:I have seen Windoze 7 boxes with 3 GB.
3GB is a the maximum accessible with 32-bit MS Windows, so there is no point putting in more.
Is the 6 GB that comes with the box a serious limitation? 2 GB came with my XP machine and I never upgraded it. It worked fine for what I did.
Not serious, not now - maybe later. Current CPUs are hideously overpowered. hard drives are massive and easy to expand. RAM is typically the limiting factor as applications seem to "grow" with all the added fluff od "easier programming." PC lifecycle used to be 3 years. Now its more like 5-7 years. Are you likely to run any Polywell finite-element simmulations in that time? RAM might be the limiting factor (pure speculation from my lack of experience in such simmulations)
And tell me more about VMware I went to their site and the amount of flakery was horrendous. And the verbiage was impenetrable. And I couldn't figure out at all what the heck they were selling.
VMWare are the beez-kneez of virtualisation. They created the market 10 years ago and everyone else is still trying to catch up. As others have tried to catch up by offering their free(as in beer) alternatives (VirtualPC,Virtualbox,Xen), VMWare has responded by releasing their original products for free also. VMWare makes their money from the advance features - such of "live" migrations of running systems from one piece of hardware to another - pretty amazing stuff; "bare metal" hypervisors (no host OS); and also enterprise management of hundreds of virtual machines in a datacentre.

I hadn't checked their home page for a while, and now its heavily aimed at the enterprise level. Wikipediaprobably provides a simpler overview now. Scroll down to check out "Products." What you want is VMWare Player.

VMWare have also developed a "marketplace" where pre-installed and configured applications are packaged as a virtual machine that you can download and run. Some random examples:
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Ben,

What do you think of the SUN offering vs VMware for a single user? I don't need all the enterprise bells and whistles.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

DeltaV
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Post by DeltaV »

MSimon wrote:*

http://seekingalpha.com/article/194358- ... urce=email

*

Tech support: Andrew asked Prasad about technical support. What happens when all of this in-cabin technology needs fixing? Prasad outlined a multi-front effort. For starters, Ford has a partnership with Best Buy’s Geek Squad for Sync issues and things like Bluetooth problems.
One of the more interesting uses of all this technology would be cars that are continuously sending information to the cloud. For instance, Prasad painted a scenario where Ford could aggregate information as customers turned on wipers and fog lights. That data aggregated could provide a warning to other Ford drivers that visibility was about to get bad. “Every vehicle will start expressing itself,” explained Prasad. “There is the crowdsourcing of people, but the crowdsourcing of machines hasn’t really happened yet.”
I was thinking of buying a Mustang, but now I'm having second thoughts. Fortunately, I know how to rip this kind of Big Brother crap out of a car, but it would be just my luck that the Engine Control Module would then hang, waiting for the Cloud Computing Interface to acknowledge receipt of data packets.

BenTC
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Post by BenTC »

MSimon wrote:Ben,

What do you think of the SUN offering vs VMware for a single user? I don't need all the enterprise bells and whistles.
I'd go VMWare Player - however its been a while while since I've used either (I'm moving away from IT into Power Engineering) and features may have moved. VMWare Player is a cut down version of the paid-for products that make VMWare a lot of money - so its bound to be more mature. Virtualbox is only free - so its only a loss-leader.

I only moved away from VMWare Player since version 2 couldn't create virtual machines but in version 3 it can. VMWare has better drag and drop support between host and guest and perhaps more mature direct video access.

I found the way Virtualbox manages virtual hard disks a bit clunky. Virtualbox has a snapshot feature that is only in the paid-for VMWare products, which is kinda useful but not necessary day-to-day.
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

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