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Aug
18
comment What is the name of the cable inside PC cases?
The reason they have 2 ground wires is that it allows using the same gauge of wire for all the connections; with only a single ground wire a thicker wire would be needed to avoid overload when both the +5 and +12v lines were fully loaded.
Aug
17
comment Can I repair a physically broken USB drive?
IF you don't have a computer with a sacrificial port; you can get a cheap USB hub for <$10 and to plug into that instead.
Jul
28
comment Excel VBA program only running at 25% speed
If you're concerned about run time, porting your computational logic into another platform would be a very good idea. I achieved an ~1000x speedup porting some very computationally intensive code from (Excel 03) VBA to C#: ~4 hours vs ~15 seconds. Same algorithm in both cases; and the VBA had already gotten a 5-10x speedup over the naive implementation by caching values to variables instead of reading the cell every time and disabling refreshing of the spreadsheet on screen every time a cell was changed during the computation.
Jul
23
comment Are computers with more RAM potentially faster if not all memory is usually in use?
@khajvah linuxatemyram.com
Jul
17
comment Can I add RAM sticks from an old PC to improve the performance of the new one?
@AwalGarg there've been a lot more than 3 ram standards. Going backwards you've got DDR1, Rambus, SDR, EDO, FPM... and that's just the last 20 years and ignores ram used for uses other than PC main memory.
Jul
7
comment Swap partition size on a 64 GB RAM computer for memory-intensive work
+1 for the last paragraph. The 2x recommendation dates back to when most computers didn't have enough ram to avoid swapping in normal use. Subjectively, from using computers then, the 2x limit appears to've been selected as a number big enough that the computer will become unusably slow before running out of swap.
May
29
comment How do I Connect a 30yr-old Tandy 1400LT laptop to the internet?
@thkala it probably just means the computer has 768k total ram. Standard DOS programs were limited to 640k of ram, with the space between 640k and 1024k available for use by driver type programs (TSRs).
May
15
comment Does any mouse really have 11 buttons?
@AthomSfere action RPGs too. I bought one for playing Path of Exile and bound commands to 10 of the 12 side buttons; unfortunately it's a relatively short mouse and after a few nights of use I discovered the back 6 buttons required bending my thumb too sharply to use and was causing RSI type pain in my thumb.
Apr
21
comment Why are laptop screens sized the way they are?
@TheCleaner Since they've rounded all the cm sizes to integer values in that table (ex in the top row: 9cm 16:9 is listed as 8x4cm); I'm not sure it's safe to assume that the actual panel sizes are even numbers of centimeter in the diagonal.
Apr
11
comment Why do English characters require fewer bytes to represent than other alphabets?
The ա character is 2 bytes (0xD5A1) in the UTF-8 version of unicode; the extra character (whatever is is) is present in both files. marathon-studios.com/unicode/U0561/Armenian_Small_Letter_Ayb
Mar
25
comment Two identical external monitors, one through HDMI another VGA. Text on VGA looks blurry
@Craig yes. It was a DVI-I port on the monitor. And I discovered the problem when I noticed that one monitor didn't offer the same on screen menu as the second. For some unknown reason when I needed longer cables I bought DVI-I instead of the -D variant. The 2090 has one port of each type. necdisplay.com/p/desktop-monitors/lcd2090uxi-bk-1
Mar
25
comment Two identical external monitors, one through HDMI another VGA. Text on VGA looks blurry
@Craig I was using a pair of NEC 2090's (high end 1600x1200 LCD) side by side for almost 2 years before discovering that my computer/monitor had decided to use the analog link in the DVI-I cable for one of them instead of the digital link. NEC's top line of monitors have a very large price premium to cover using top quality parts everywhere. Even knowing one 2090 was on analog I couldn't see any quality difference between the two. For most consumer grade monitors the difference is much more visible. I have immediately noticed cases where 1 of 2 dell 1280x1024 monitors was analog.
Mar
25
comment Is it really possible for most enthusiasts to crack people's Wi-Fi networks?
@Sirex that article says the problem in WPA is with WPS (an optional easy button way to get new devices configured for a network) davidgo covered that in his answer.
Dec
6
comment What are these “notches” on the side of the PCI Express connector?
silkscreened on the board next to the lock is "core unlocker". My guess would be that it is either to try and use the 4th core on a 3 core cpu (AMD only) or to remove limits on how high the CPU can be overclocked (going from generally safe limits, to values that need sub-ambient cooling of the sort normally only used for competitive overclocking.) Unfortunately glare is obscuring most of the name on the board and Asus uses Formula branding in a number of high end models.
Nov
27
comment Why do some RJ45 plugs have the lock release clip under a rubber cover?
@MichaelKjörling OK, I've never had a cable with a boot stiff enough I wasn't able to work it with one finger pressing the boot/tab into the rest of the plug.
Nov
27
comment Why do some RJ45 plugs have the lock release clip under a rubber cover?
@MichaelKjörling I've never had a problem pulling a network cable from the back of a PC and am wondering if your system has an unusual io layout. Every one I've seen has put the network cable on the top (if the board was laid down flat) of a port stack with the tab side facing up. This makes it easy for me to grab the cable shortly past the socket while depressing the lock tab with a single finger. Booted or not has never factored into it; the rubber used is soft enough to easily squish down into the tab.
Nov
25
comment What is the PCI card that tells you what's wrong with the computer?
@sikas If it has a PCI slot you can connect it. The problem is that different boards use the numeric codes to mean different things; and unless there's a variant of the board with a 2 digit debug on the board the mobo vendor probably will not have published the POST codes anywhere. So you'll have codes but no way to translate them to specific errors. A lot of newer mobos don't have legacy PCI slots any longer; and I've yet to find a POST card for PCIe. Like ultrasawblade I'm also unaware of if UEFI boards generate codes like this at all.
Oct
28
comment Building my own computer
Intel's current generation of CPUs 4xxx series use the LGA1150 socket. Unless you're bargain hunting for very low end system, there's no good reason to build an LGA1155 system any longer. I suspect your part list is being recycled from a few years ago; but it's well past the point that is needs to updated.
Oct
22
comment Can a printer print white color?
If you need to print white on a colored material other than a shirt you might have luck asking around at specialty shops that do art prints. You'll pay for the privilege; but to match the colors produced by painting they use printers with many more colors of ink than conventional models. To offer the ability to print on canvas (similar to the painting type), AIUI they'd need to include white among the colors of ink used.
Oct
15
comment How to destroy a CD/DVD rom safely?
The DOD approved CD grinder where I'm employed works on the label side, and AIUI destroys the reflective layer leaving a bare plastic disk. Adhesive labels need to be soaked off before it can be used. DVD capable models were much more expensive because the data's stored in the middle, so we don't have one that can do them.