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  • 10 votes cast
Jul
28
comment Windows 8 not detecting Wi-Fi
Routers can be configured not to advertise their SSID. If your roommates have previously registered with the network, they don't need the router to advertize itself (they already know the SSID). You,on the other hand, won't see it. Check router settings. Also be sure that your computer supports both the frequency band (2.4 or 5 GHz) and the 802.11 flavour (like, b, g, n, ac, ...). Network cards do not necessarily support all of them, and routers are often configured not to use all of them (since mixed mode runs at the slowest mode that anyone uses).
Jul
6
comment How secure is the Windows clipboard?
@ColonelThirtyTwo: You mean that e.g. having an invisible input field and doing document.execCommand('paste') won't work? I haven't tried (not being a malware author, nor really being interested in someone else's passwords), but I guess it should work.
Jul
6
comment How secure is the Windows clipboard?
Of course the threshold is much lower for malware that reads the clipboard (an entirely "legal" piece of javascript embedded in a web page will do) versus malware that exploits the browser process or reads another process' memory, or installs a hook to capture keypresses, etc.
Jun
28
comment If my taskbar turns to a light blue color, does that mean I've been hacked?
When a game (say Fallout) switches to fullscreen, desktop effects are switched off, that's normal. About what causes the behavior on the OP's machine, I wouldn't know. Just saying that "downloading lots of files" doesn't provide a valid reason. Back in the days, I've used Pentium III computers with 64MB and run webservers on Pentium IIs with 8MB on a 100mbit/s internet link, no problem whatsoever (the malware built into Kazaa could very well bring a computer down back in the early 2000s, though - if running P2P services counts as "downloading a lot" - maybe that's just it).
Jun
28
comment If my taskbar turns to a light blue color, does that mean I've been hacked?
I don't think that is a sufficient explantion. Aero effects first and foremost consume GPU resources, neither a lot of main memory nor CPU. Also, no matter how harsh one downloads stuff, it is very difficult to get over 6-8% CPU usage and 20% or so (everything included, the actual downloading takes maybe 0.5%) RAM usage with just downloading some stuff. Unless this laptop is 20 years old, the idea of a download consuming too many system resources is just ridiculous.
Jun
25
comment SSD upgrade underperforming
The numbers from your other computer shown in the " the kinds of speeds I expected" screenshot (which runs on SATA-600) are physically impossible with SATA-300. Your SSD is quite "OK" for an elderly cheap SSD which is almost completely full (nearly reaching the theoretical maximum on sequential read). It only really sucks at small writes, but again for a cheap disk that is not surprising.
Jun
19
comment How to bypass “This app has been blocked for your protection” error
No, turning off SmartScreen is really the better option, since it's total crap. SmartScreen is a misdesign (just like the on/off UAC in Windows) and conveys a false sense of security, which is worse than no security -- instead of being wary about what programs to run.
Apr
27
comment Can a massive MySQL data import on an SSD damage it?
@MichaelKjörling: Thank you for your very valuable input. You did of course read and understand the answer, didn't you? The relevant fact is that SSDs have physical block sizes which are much larger than that, regardless of the logical sector size (which I've seen anywhere from 500 to 4096 bytes, even non-power-of-two sizes). No citation needed.
Mar
25
comment Making a Synology diskstation accessible via WLAN
@FrankThomas: Well, the reason why the 2-bay NAS is locked in a cellar room behind a steel door is that I'd like it to keep a backup for the case when the whole place burns down. So, moving it upstairs won't do (though so far I'm indeed taking it upstairs every 3-4 days, plug an ethernet cable in, and run the backup. That's... sub optimal). Ideally, I'd like this to happen via cron every night, without me even thinking about it. So a typical $20 AP should do in your opinion? I'll try that, thank you :-)
Mar
10
comment How can Windows dump the complete RAM in the hibernation file so fast?
@PeterMortensen: No, I really mean gather write (as opposed to scatter read). This means writing to a single file while gathering the data from multiple locations. You supply an array of structures each of which contains a start address and a length (with strict alignment requirements). The operating system passes these to the controller, and the hardware does the rest.
Jan
19
comment find/xargs, filenames with spaces, and quotes
Given Windows and no Perl installed, that's unluckily not an option, did it manually by splitting a file.
Jan
19
comment find/xargs, filenames with spaces, and quotes
Ended up redirecting all to a file, splitting the file in 8 pieces, and running the 8 pieces in parallel by hand.
Jan
17
comment find/xargs, filenames with spaces, and quotes
Well, the point of xargs is that it lets me run 8 jobs on 8 cores, with bash I could have them run serially or to fork 1,800 processes, neither of which is good. Adding \" in printf sure does the job, but xargs strips them out. It also strips out \"\" or '\" or \"', which is my problem.
Jan
17
comment find/xargs, filenames with spaces, and quotes
Aware of that flag, but this won't work either, sadly, still need quotes for lame.
Dec
13
comment Why do English characters require fewer bytes to represent than other alphabets?
Unicode makes the assumption that you may need every character that any human since the stone age has ever drawn at any time, as special characters. 2/3 of that could be solved easier, better, and more efficiently by using a different font or formatting hints (like, numbers in circles, or superscript numbers). It certainly "works", somehow, but it's wrong-headed on so many ends.
Dec
13
comment Why do English characters require fewer bytes to represent than other alphabets?
@MilindR: hard to fit into 600 chars... Unicode contains a lot of crap that nobody will ever need (do you speak Babylonian?), and it encodes a lot of crap that nobody will seriously need (Klingon, really? Numbers in circles? ANSI control codes?), some of which are in low numbers, making UTF-8 considerably less efficient for roman languages than it could be (at no extra cost). Also, it allows a considerable number of symbols being encoded in two or more ways (e.g. accented/umlauted characters). This requires considerable work ("normalization") that would actually not be necessary.
Nov
15
comment How do I determine whether a drive is an HDD or SSD in Windows 8?
You should still not do that, even if the risk is low. It's unnecessary since you can tell without taking the risk. A mechanical disk makes very noticeable sounds while spinning up and down, and while seeking. Solid state disks make no sound at all.
Nov
10
comment How do web-servers “listen” to IP addresses, interrupt or polling?
Slight nitpick: It is not really necessary to block. As soon as the server process has created a listening socket, the kernel will accept SYNs on that port, even while you are not blocked inside accept. They are (luckily, or it would totally suck!) independent, asynchronously running tasks. As connections come in, they're placed into a queue where accept pulls them from. Only if there are none, it blocks.
Aug
11
comment How to limit HDD write speed for chosen programs
If the computer is "unusable" when copying huge files, is it possible that you have forgotten to enable DMA? Normally, whether or not the disk is busy makes little or no difference since that happens without much (or any) CPU intervention.
Jul
8
comment Swap partition size on a 64 GB RAM computer for memory-intensive work
@T.C.: Not using SSD for swap because of wearing down the medium is an unjustified urban legend. Swapping does not happen "all the time", but rarely. Also, this is something that has been extensively researched at Microsoft after the Win7 release with the result that the typical access patterns of swapping are quite acceptable for SSD (that's Windows, not Ubuntu, but it's likely that Linux does not perform much worse). You have a hundred (or thousand) times more write operations wearing down your SSD due to silly log files that nobody is ever reading (usually syncing every line).