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How To Diagnose a Suddenly Slow Windows Computer? 835

Ensign Taco writes "I'm sure nearly every one of us has had it happen. All of a sudden your Windows PC slows to a crawl for no apparent reason. Yeah, we all like Linux because it doesn't do annoying things like this, but the Windows desktop still reigns supreme in most managed LAN work environments. I'm running XP with 4G of RAM and a decent CPU, and everything was fine, until one day — it wasn't. I've run spybot, antivirus, and looked at proc explorer — no luck. There is no one offending, obvious process. It seems every process decides to spike at once at random intervals. So I'm wondering if there's a few wizards out there that know what to look at. Could this be a very clever virus that doesn't run as a process? Or could this just be some random application error that's causing bad behavior? I've encountered this a few times with Windows PCs, but the solution has always been to just add more hardware. Has anyone ever successfully diagnosed this kind of issue?" And whether such a problem is related to malware or not, what steps would you take next?

William Gibson's AGRIPPA Recovered and Revealed 98

Bud Cook writes "While the text of William Gibson's elusive electronic poem AGRIPPA is widely posted around the Web, it has not been seen in its original incarnation — custom-built software designed to scroll the poem through a single play before encrypting each line with an RSA algorithm — since 1992. Today is the 16th anniversary, to the day, of the poem's initial release. A team of scholars at the University of Maryland and UC Santa Barbara used forensic computing to restore the code from an original diskette loaned by a collector and have placed video of the complete 'run,' as well as never-before-seen footage from the night of AGRIPPA's public debut in 1992, up on a Web site called the Agrippa Files. There's also a detailed essay documenting the forensic process, plus a mess of stills, screenshots, and a copy of the disk image itself."
Data Storage

Silencing a Hard Drive Using Household Items 275

Reader Justblair recommends his blog entry detailing how he made a hard drive silencer for a pittance. "This article demonstrates a very easy-to-make hard drive silencer that not only outperforms most commercially available devices, but is cheaper to implement as well. Requiring very little in fabrication skills, it is an ideal addition to a media PC or HTPC. It may even suit you if your head is aching after many hours of being whined at by your hard drive."

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