What If Dr Seuss Wrote Computer Training Manuals?


Here’s an easy game to play.
Here’s an easy thing to say:
If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!
If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted ’cause the index doesn’t hash,
Then your situation’s hopeless, and your system’s gonna crash!
You can’t say this? What a shame sir!
We’ll find you Another game sir.
If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That’s repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
‘Cause as sure as I’m a poet, the sucker’s gonna hang!
When the copy of your floppy’s getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary RISC,
Then you have to flash your memory and you’ll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!


How To Access Hidden Themes In Windows 7

Windows 7 offers a great set of themes you can use to customise the look and feel of your computer’s desktop. I’ll bet you didn’t know that there are actually quite a few hidden themes based on locations around the world. By default Windows only displays one of these localised themes based on the country which you are in. Continue reading “How To Access Hidden Themes In Windows 7”

My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM

Article first published as My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM on Technorati.

Does your computer frequently jam up? Do you seem to be getting a lot of blue screens? You may have faulty memory.

In this article I will try to explain how to diagnose your own faulty memory modules. The process is relatively simple, can save you money and can also be a valuable learning experience if you haven’t had much to do with computer repair before.

The first part of diagnosis is of course being able to recognise the symptoms, which include:

  • The computer freezing up to the point that there is no mouse or keyboard input possible at all.
  • A ‘blue screen of death’ followed by immediate shut down or restart.
  • A failure to boot often accompanied by a series of beeping noises.
  • Crashes during memory intensive tasks such as photo or video editing, gaming etc.
  • Crashes and restarts during Windows installation.

I had the misfortune of experiencing some of these symptoms a few weeks ago when my computer began to freeze during different tasks especially while listening to music on Winamp for a while or within about 5 or 10 minutes of playing World of Warcraft or OFP: Dragon Rising. Luckily for me the fix was easy, all I had to do was remove the side cover from my PC and apply a bit of pressure on each of the memory modules to ensure that they were seated in the DIMM slots correctly. If you don’t know what a memory module or DIMM slot looks like then click on the image above left.

If you suspect that you have faulting memory then ensuring that the modules are pushed properly into the slots would be the first thing that I would try as this is normally the problem 20% of the time. Make sure you check the conditions of any warranty you may have on your PC first as removing the side cover and tampering with components may void it. Continue reading “My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM”

100 Super Handy Windows Run Commands

Windows Run commands are super handy to know, especially when dealing with computer users over the phone. Trying to talk them through an issue can be difficult enough without worrying about what version of Windows they are running or whether or not they have moved the shortcut to their control panel and all sorts. With the big list compilation below you can access most of Windows important features with simple ‘Start > Run > type in xxx’ instructions to users.

All you need to do is click on ‘Start’ and select ‘Run’, or hold the ‘Windows Key’ down and press ‘R’ and enter the commands listed below.

Enough small talk, I am sure you know what you are looking for so check out my top 100 handy Windows Run Commands. Continue reading “100 Super Handy Windows Run Commands”

1 Simple Tweak To Double PC Performance

Shifting your page file off the boot partition on to a secondary hard drive to increase system performance.

So I’ve made a pretty big promise with that headline but believe me I plan to deliver with this one but first a bit of theory. Stay with me! It isn’t difficult, you might even learn something and once you see the performance increase of this little tweak for your self you will be thankful you took the time to read more.

I also highly recommend reading this article on boosting your computer’s performance as well.

The Theory
If you own a computer you would have heard of memory or RAM. Memory is often measured in megabytes (mb) or gigabytes (gb) and it is where your computer stores information required for your computer programs and services to run.

If you already know all of this or are completely trusting you can skip this whole section and move on to the “How-to” section.

Programs running on your computer will use up some (or all of, in some cases) your computer’s memory, some programs and services use up quite a lot of memory while others barely use any. As memory usage increases computer speed and general performance decreases. Continue reading “1 Simple Tweak To Double PC Performance”

Starcraft 2: How to increase digital download speed

Throttle your upload speed on the Starcraft 2 downloader to increase download speed.

 

Running NetLimiter on the Starcraft 2 downloader to increase download speed.

As I write this I have just begun downloading Starcraft 2 after purchasing the digital download copy off of battle.net. I don’t know about anyone else but when I buy a game, especially one as long-awaited as Starcraft, I am itching to load it up and start playing it straight away!

Anyway, I started the 6.99gb download about half an hour ago. To begin with, the SC2 downloader gave me an estimated time of about 4 hours, which is ok I guess. But a few minutes later I watched in horror as the estimated time increased, 6 hours, 8 hours and so on. I looked at the connection details and realised that the downloader uses peer-to-peer sharing and that my upload speed was now higher than my download speed!

Fortunately within the downloader there is an option to switch off peer-to-peer sharing and just use direct downloading. I tried that but the speed barely increased. A quick scan of a few forums put me on to a little piece of software called NetLimiter. After installing NetLimiter I was able to re-enable the peer-to-peer method of downloading and limit the upload speed (within NetLimiter) to around 30kbps which saw my download speed eventually increase to around 900kbps.

A few points to be aware of:

  • Limiting your upload speed too drastically seems to also drag your download speed down as well, so don’t go cutting it back too much.
  • Inside the preferences for the Starcraft 2 downloader there is an option to disable background download throttling which I would also suggest you set.
  • NetLimiter runs as a 28-day trial. Should you need to use it past the trial period then it only costs $30USD for a single user license.

I’ll let you know how Starcraft goes!

Also if anyone has their own experiences, suggestions or comments please leave me a comment.

For a detailed and comprehensive guide to the art of Starcraft II be sure to check out the Shokz Starcraft II Strategy guide as well.

Thanks for reading.