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Comment write a program that draws shapes on the screen (Score 1) 430

i presented something like this before

i had an old ti99 computer and asked the a/v department to bring me a t.v.

i hooked it all up and ran a few programs for them that drew shapes on the screen

might take a while if you want pretty colorful graphics but kids will understand the concept of:

lots of gibberish (code) = fun stuff!

Comment closed != incompetent (Score 1) 340

just because something is closed source does not mean that the developers are incompetent. you are forgetting that the people working at microsoft are no different that you and me. the only difference is that the corporation has decided that it would like to have absolute control over the development direction of the product.

everything has its pros and cons; the open source community although having a more socialistic approach to software development will see its followers splintered and separate much like the church did over a difference of opinion - in computer software terms i think that's called a fork.

Comment not all manufacturers / product lines (Score 1) 551

as this may be the case for consumer level notebooks this is not true specifically for hp business class notebooks (to this day we receive a kit with windows xp professional downgrade as well as the media for the currently shipping operating system - in this case windows 7 professional).

usually giving the support department a call we can come out triumphant by having a factory burned media kit shipped to us free of charge (we usually explain to the support rep that other vendors do it and that we believe _fill in the blank_ should too)

here is a quick tally of our results:
- hp business notebooks include the media in the box nearly all the time
- dell is good about shipping media for the operating system that was purchased (unless you paid for the downgrade right option dont bother asking for xp media)
- apple we found would also ship media
- fujitsu will also provide media but is a little hesitant, you have to talk them into it and even threaten to return the notebook
- lenovo won't provide media at all

some background on our lenovo experience:
we bought two lenovo notebooks (through the channel / not directly from the company). the notebooks were a x200-tablet for $1800 and a w510 notebook. the x200 came with both w7p and xpp as it advertised that downgrade rights were included (since when was this the choice of the manufacturer anyway?). the other notebook the w510 which was much did not come with any media whatsoever.

given the cost of producing media all manufacturers should include media...

Comment Notsotoughbooks (Score 4, Informative) 225

We used to believe that the ToughBooks were the end all be all of ruggedized computers; that is until the day someone actually managed to break one!

If you read the warranty statement from Panasonic you will see the following under Section 3 - Limited Warranty Exclusions

"Failures which result from alteration, accident, misuse, introduction of liquid or other foreign matter into the unit, abuse, neglect, installation, maladjustment of consumer controls, improper maintenance or modification, use not in accordance with product use instructions"

That means that if your coffee somehow spills on the laptop and fries the motherboard Panasonic will not repair it under warranty!

On the other hand if you purchase a Dell or an HP ruggedized notebook with the accidental damage protection the notebook will be repaired with no questions asked.

Considering the cost of the Panasonic ToughBooks, I would take a Dell XFR + CompleteCare any day!

Besides, regardless of what notebook you own, if you roll over it with your vehicle (by accident) and it happens to break, would you not rather be covered?

Comment no good (Score 1) 497

ah, vice grips and mechanical punch machines: all are very large, noisy, and expensive.

try simply opening the drive and putting some sand in there. turn the drive back on for a few minutes and voila you have hard drive puree.

much more affordable, smaller footprint, and assured destruction!

just send royalties back to me if you use my method :-)

you first saw it on /.

Comment here's a thought (Score 1) 359

one of our clients web hosting company was the victim of a similar attack. we were able to trace the attack back to an extremely out of date version of PHP.

check the versions of the software your web hosting company is running.

Comment work out at the office (Score 1) 865

there is no reason for why you can't introduce a work out into your every day routine. for example, we installed a metal pipe (2" diameter) between two shelving units / racks at the office and resort to doing chin-ups and dropping to the floor for sit-ups, push-ups and for cardio one of the guys has resorted to walking up the stairs rather than taking the elevator.

surely you can find a way to introduce exercise into your routine.

just remember to stay hydrated ... by drinking lots of water you will find that your metabolism will speed up and the frequent trips to the bathroom will give you a good excuse to get up and off of your computer and take a much needed break which a lot of us often forget to do. hope you don't have any bladder problems :-D

stay fit and have fun!

Comment Microsoft been PC (politically correct) (Score 1) 613

Security risk or not, most email programs Microsoft has put out already block potentially harmful files by blocking them from been executed by an uncanny user.

Having said that, why bother using double extension? If you are already hiding file extensions what is to stop you from creating an EXE file with the icon for a word document? That would avoid the mysterious trailing ".doc" on the file - oh no lock up your daughters and your wives!

I'm for having a good anti-virus program and educating users.

Comment Security by Education (Score 1) 757

The real problem with Windows is that most users have administrator rights over their machine. Something which I.T. is completely at fault for not training users how on the safe way of operating a computer.

In Linux there is "sudo", in OSX the user is prompted for credentials when installing an application or changing the "locked" status on a control panel applet. In Windows the option is to use the "run as" option in the context menu. Something which we as computer geeks have failed to communicate and educate computer users.

Most of the time a computer has a problem with malware it is due to a problem with "layer 8" not having been trained properly.

Comment Re:Go to the bug logs for your software (Score 2, Informative) 674

Secunia keeps track of vulnerabilities in over 20,000 different software applications and operating systems. I would start there when comparing the relative security of an application - which I would not rate simply by whether it is closed or open source but by whether it is maintained, the severity of the vulnerabilities, and how many issues are outstanding.


Submission + - What questions would you ask a Jr. Tech candidate? 1

El Taco writes: "I'm looking to fill the position of Junior Technician. I own / operate a computer support company and we typically deal with small to medium sized businesses. The job description would require the candidate to be able to assemble, upgrade, and troubleshoot hardware as well support your usual microsoft suite of applications. The position would eventually see this candidate grow to fill the capacity of working with windows server. Here is a sample question set see if you can make any recommendations or add to it, feel free to answer them and test your knowledge:

I'll check for responses tomorrow morning...
have fun :o)

1) computer blue screens randomly, mention the most common cause and how you would confirm / isolate the issue?
2) there is no sound coming out of the speakers, what steps would you take to resolve this issue?
3) what would you look for on a piece of hardware in order to identify it? are there any other methods of identification you can use?

1) you need to transfer files and settings from one computer to another, where do you start?
2) you get a call, user is having email trouble (says he can receive but cannot send email) what steps would you take to isolate the issue?
3) a user installed a DOS program and when he runs the program a message shows up on the screen and it says "not enough file handles", what could this mean and how would you fix it?

Windows Server:
1) you want to configure a server so that user settings are available from any computer the user logs into, how do you do this?
2) it takes a very long time to log into a workstation in a network domain environment, what steps would you take to resolve this?
3) you connect a computer to a network, when you try to browse the web the browser says "page cannot be displayed", how do you troubleshoot this problem?"

Submission + - Windows Vista "Non" Downgrade Clause

Pissed Off writes: Alright, so I bought a brand new DELL computer and opted for Windows Vista Ultimate. Figuring that Vista Business and Ultimate both come with downgrade rights I figure that I should not have a problem. None the less, the computer arrived and it got unpacked. So I started doing some tweaking and tuning and then timed the start up only to discover that my old computer running Windows XP blew my Windows Vista rig out of the water!

The old computer specs: Pentium M 1.4GHz / 60GB 7200RPM / 1GB RAM
The new computer specs: Core 2 Duo 2GHz / 100GB 7200RPM / 2GB RAM

So I did what any sane person would do and turfed Windows Vista and started installing Windows XP. In order to attain my downgrade rights I called Dell and asked them about this and they told me to call a 1-800 number or the Microsoft Volume Licensing department where they pretty much told me that since I have an OEM copy of Vista that my reseller (Dell) should assist me. Since then I have been back and forth with Dell and Microsoft and have not reached a solution.

After digging around I found a couple web sites describing the whole downgrade process. Some going as far as suggesting that I call and explain to the Windows Activation team my issue and that they should take care of it and activate my computer. So, I just got off the phone and sure enough they told me that the CD Key that i used (legitimate) has already been activated on another computer and that it is licensed for only one system.

This issue is still pending a resolution and neither Dell nor Microsoft seem to be much help! Has any one else out there gone through this with success or lack there of??? I have not yet tried to downgrade my Windows Vista Ultimate retail box... I wonder what Microsoft's excuse will be then >:|

My beef is that no where in the End User License Agreement does it say that I have to:

a) provide my own media (Volume License, Retail, OEM System Builder)
b) provide my own cd key (and not an OEM key)

Had I known that I would not have bothered with Vista and gotten my notebook with Windows XP right out of the gate.

Now I'm faced with the costs of returning my laptop at my cost and then having to wait another 2-3 weeks in order to get the replacement.

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