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Daynotes Journal

Week of 3 January 2000

Sunday, 09 January 2000 09:48

A (mostly) daily journal of the trials, tribulations, and random observations of Robert Bruce Thompson, a writer of computer books.


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Monday, 3 January 2000

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Yuck. What a way to start the New Year. I have some sort of bug that has disgusting symptoms. I'd intended to get a lot done this weekend, but ended up lying around most of the time. I have a Plextor 8/4/32 ATAPI CD burner that I'm itching to get installed, but I didn't have time. Next weekend, perhaps. I ended up spending quite a bit of time trying to resolve a problem with IE, which may or may not be Y2M related. Probably not, though. IE5 is strange enough all by itself. I clicked on a link on my links page, and Windows NT locked up completely. I mean, so completely that I couldn't even bring up Task Manager to kill the process. IE5 was showing an hourglass, but nothing else was happening. I let it sit for a minute or two, hoping for the best. Nothing. I powered down the modem, hoping that the loss of IP connectivity would cause IE to die. Nothing. I finally turned off the system. When I brought the system back up, all of my IE history information was gone and the cache was behaving very strangely. I finally cleared the cache and history, shut down the computer properly, and restarted. Everything appears to be normal now.

Barbara is off this morning playing golf with her father, leaving me with the kids. Early reports seem to indicate that all of the resources devoted to fixing the Y2M problems have paid off, at least in larger organizations. It remains to be seen how badly small businesses will be affected, but it seems likely that many will have severe problems. It's not over yet, and won't be for some months, but we seem to have dodged the bullet. Now we can forget about it until the Y10M problem raises its ugly head.

All my neat old stuff is gone. There's nothing left on the floor. My office is clean, alas.

barbara-cleaning-office.jpg (53156 bytes)

The architect of the Terror. Barbara ruthlessly cleaning my office. She sucked Malcolm up the hose at one point, but the filter caught him.

office-closet-clean.jpg (35373 bytes)

Even my closet was not exempt. This is it after Barbara has put back all the stuff that wasn't thrown out. It used to be literally packed solid with priceless stuff like dead monitors, XT motherboards, 5.25" floppies, and mono video cards. That's a 486/80 on top, and a 386/33 on the bottom. I can't bear to throw out the 386. I paid $3,000 for it in 1991. There are a couple of 486 tower systems on the far right, with part of the pedestal of one just visible.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: M. Praeger [mailto:rimdancer@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 12:59 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Who uses "Space Bison"

"Space Bison" is the default browser ID returned by users of The Proxomitron, an on-the-fly header text-search-and-replace utility. The browser stops banner ads, kills JavaScript, hides identity, blocks referrer ads, and much more. The real browser behind Proxomitron can be anything, and the user can change "Space Bison" to anything they want. It's at http://proxomitron.cjb.net/

Thanks. I figured it was something like that.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Swijsen [mailto:sjon@svenson.com]
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 9:33 AM
To: Robert Bruce Thomson
Subject: JPEG - Intel

>People laughed at Intel for marketing the Pentium III, with its SSE enhancements, as an "Internet" processor, but Intel may have the last laugh. High-resolution, full-screen, full-motion video over a dial-up line? It may be possible, once this technology is extended to MPEG.

By the time these better compressions become actually used I suspect that Intel is no longer interested in selling high numbers of P-III chips. Maybe they don't even make them anymore or only in the Celeron version. But Intel (or rather its shareholders) will wear big smiles anyway if they think about all the P-II boxes that will need upgrading.

And AMD won't be saddened either.

Svenson

You may be right, but consider this: Intel has really been selling only one processor for the last several years, with minor variations in packaging, L2 cache, FSB speed, supplementary instruction set, and so on. The Pentium II was essentially a re-packaged Pentium Pro; The Celeron is a Pentium II with a smaller L2 cache that runs at full CPU speed; the Pentium III is a Pentium II with SSE instructions added and some other minor changes. The problems with and cost of RDRAM and the new Intel chipsets mean that the ramp-up of the Itanic Itanium are likely to be slow. So it's very likely that most of us will be running some derivative of the Pentium III when JPEG2000 is deployed.

 


 

 

 

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Tuesday, 4 January 2000

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Yesterday was a wash-out. I felt terrible in the morning and spent most of the afternoon sleeping. This morning was eaten by piranhas. We had an early appointment at the vet for Kerry. Barbara wants to build a desk like mine, using a 36" wide solid-core door, so when we got home from the vet we spent some time measuring everything. We'll pick up the door tomorrow, along with 2X4s and other miscellany needed to get the thing mounted solidly. Barbara wants to stain the door and give it two or three coats of polyurethane, so it'll probably be this weekend before we actually get it built.

I also have a bunch of projects I need to get to, and I desperately want to finish another chapter this week. So it's off to work for me.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Swijsen [mailto:sjon@svenson.com]
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 11:41 AM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: Re: JPEG - Intel

With AMD kicking Intel with its Athlon I wouldn't be surprised to see the Itanium beings released sooner than expected. Until the Athlon came around there was no real need for Intel to push for a new architecture. Now that they noticed that they cannot beat the competition by merely increasing the clock speed they are going to put more effort in architecture.

BTW Maybe "most of us" will be running P-III chips, but count me out. I have on last count 10 PCs running (or sitting idle) and only two Intel chips (486/100 in Mita and a Celeron/400 in Cindy). That is not because I hate Intel, but rather AMD and Cyrix (not anymore) being cheaper and more readily available as parts. It is difficult to find a fully build system with and AMD but it is also difficult to find a loose Intel chip.

Another subject :

>Now we can forget about it until the Y10M problem raises its ugly head. 

The real Y2K (2048) is more likely to be a problem (well 2049 but lets keep it easy on acronyms). A lot of fixes relied on the moving time-slot principle. (dates between 00 and 49 being assigned to 2000 while dates between 50 and 99 got 1900 added) By 2048 nobody is going to remember this messy method and forget to adapt the window. Especially because the change from 2048 to 2049 or 2050 doesn't sound dramatic. It will be difficult to get funds from management as well.

We haven't seen wholesale crashes yet, just some minor slips. We haven't seen the end of these slips either.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Seto [mailto:mail@seto.org]
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 7:18 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Plextor CD-RW

"I have a Plextor 8/4/32 ATAPI CD burner that I'm itching to get installed, but I didn't have time."

When you get around to installing the software, you may see invalid pointer errors during the installation of the Plextor2000 software (as I did when I installed mine last week). According to Plextor support, just ignore the errors and continue the installation. Then install the Adaptec software. If after installing the Adaptec software, you still get the errors when you run the Plextor utilities, then Plextor has some additional suggested fixes that I can forward to you.

Hope you get over the flu soon.

Aloha - Dan

Thanks. I'll keep that in mind.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Esposito Stephen J 2Lt 27CS/SCBB [mailto:Stephen.Esposito@cannon.af.mil]
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 9:30 PM
To: 'mcdonell@nanosecond.com'
Cc: 'webmaster@ttgnet.com'
Subject: Copy2PC

To McDonell & Robert,

Hi, I am a Tech Controller here on Cannon AFB, NM. And I need some help. I have a pain in the neck program. I have installed this program about 100 times. And if I could crack the program I could circumvent calling Mitchell and waiting to talk with someone to get a number to install this program each time.

I am writing because I am looking for the Copy2PC program. I got your e-mail address from a web page about you cracking Lotus. I am in a similar situation. I have a program called Mitchell On-Demand. It's an automotive program. Everyone checks their e-mail on the same PC. And the PCs crash constantly. We have to contact Mitchell every time we want to reinstall this program. To make matters worse, we have three copies of this program, so it can be installed on three different PCs. Well, you guessed it. Reinstalling three PCs is even more of a pain. And I think Mitchell is getting fed up with us always calling them all the time. The program has a key diskette that works only once. After that you have to enter a 5 digit number after giving Mitchell the 5 digit number that is on the screen. After the copy protection part has been passed the CD-ROM kicks in and installs completely. If I crack the program I can make a network drive with the installation files for the Vehicle Maintenance folks.

I have PCTools version 7.1 and 9, but I don't see any Copy2PC. Is this another name for one of the programs in the tool suite?

Here is the web page I found your info from: http://www.ttgnet.com/daynotes/0405RTDN.html

Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Stephen Esposito
Stephen.Esposito@cannon.af.mil

27 CS/SCBBN
Tech Control Facility
505-784-2559

To the best of my knowledge, Copy2PC disappeared when Symantec bought out Central Point Software, which must be nearly ten years ago. I used to have Copy2PC, but I'm pretty sure it only handled 360 KB 5.25" floppies, so it might not do you any good anyway. Copy2PC was a separate program, and was not bundled with PC Tools.

I'll post your letter so that if any of my readers have any ideas that might help they can mail you directly. It seems to me that the more you bother the software company, the better. Perhaps they'll get the idea that copy protection is not just an annoyance for the users, but for them as well. I long ago made it a rule never to use any software that was copy protected in any form. On heavy iron, that's usually not an option, but on PCs there's nearly always an equivalent program that is not copy protected. I'll choose an inferior program that is not copy-protected over a superior program that is. Copy protected programs are almost never worth the hassle. 

I must confess that I'm surprised that the military would even consider using copy-protected software. But then, I've seen hospitals, police departments, and other organizations that deal with life and death also use copy-protected software. It makes no sense to me.

 


 

 

 

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Wednesday, 5 January 2000

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I tackled one of those projects yesterday that I'd been putting off for too long. Getting our fax modem connected and working again. In the process of cleaning up my office, I'd found an old US Robotic 28.8 faxmodem and a serial cable. I put them on top of kiwi, intending to hook up fax as soon as possible. I started using Microsoft Personal Fax for NT4 soon after it shipped in 1996, and continued using it until about a year ago. It wasn't exactly feature-laden, but it did everything I wanted to do, including saving incoming faxes to a directory and delivering them to my Outlook mail box. It ran as an NT service, and was rock-solid.

I was a bit concerned about installing a program with a 1996 date on my spanking new NT4 box, which runs SP5, but there wasn't much alternative if I wanted to use Microsoft Personal Fax. Microsoft used to have this program posted in their NT4 Workstation files area, but removed it a year or more ago. As far as I can tell, there's nothing wrong with it, so I'm not sure what motivated that decision. At any rate, I still had it stored in my install directory, so I went ahead and installed the USR modem and then Microsoft Personal Fax. I tested by picking up the phone and dialing the fax number. The fax modem answered properly, so I assumed all was well. That turned out not to be the case.

Microsoft Personal Fax and the USR Sportster don't get along very well. It may be that it's a fundamental incompatibility, or it may be that the USR simply needs a different setup string than what Personal Fax is supplying. In years gone by, I'd've been in there with ProComm or something configuring the modem with AT commands and storing the settings. No more. I don't have a terminal program installed, and I couldn't remember how to configure a modem manually if my life depended on it. The USR modem was behaving very oddly. Once it answered the phone once, it would never do so again until it was powered down and restarted. Hmm. Enough of that.

Fortunately, there was an easy solution. In the past, I'd run Personal Fax on a Practical Peripherals PM144MT II modem, of which I have two. It's only a 14.4 modem, and pretty useless for anything but fax, but fax doesn't run any faster than 14,400 anyway. Also, I knew that Personal Fax used to work with this modem, so it was worth a shot. I uninstalled the USR and connected the PP. First problem was that NT4 didn't detect the PP modem. I chose that modem from a list, but NT4 wanted to know which port, 1 or 2. This box has two serial ports, but one of them exists only as header pins on the motherboard. I wasn't sure whether the 9-pin serial port on the back was com1 or com2, so I compromised and told NT to install the PP modem on both ports, figuring it would be easy enough to kill the modem on the wrong port later.

There's no way to change modems in Personal Fax short of uninstalling and re-installing it, so I did that. Sure enough, PF found the fax modem on com1. I deleted the modem on com2 and proceeded to configure PF. Everything appeared to be set up properly, so I tried calling the fax modem from my regular phone. It answered the call, and disconnected properly when I hung up. It did the same thing several times, so I assumed the problem was fixed.

I called my friend Robin Weiner and asked her if she'd send me a test fax. From her end, everything completed normally. She even got a message confirming that the fax had been sent and received correctly. Not so on my end. I was looking at a fatal error on the fax status screen, and the incoming fax was nowhere to be found. To make a long story short, I had two problems. First, Personal Fax crashes and dies when I attempt to store incoming faxes to a directory on a network drive. Second, although I was able to have incoming faxes sent to my Outlook inbox under Outlook 97 (and, I think, under Outlook 98), this doesn't work under Outlook 2000.

So I told Personal Fax not to send copies to my inbox and to store inbound faxes in a directory on the C: drive. That appears to have fixed the problems, and I can now receive faxes normally. Or so I think. Time will tell.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Wallbridge, Shawn [mailto:shawnw@elections.mb.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 1:14 PM
To: 'webmaster@ttgnet.com'
Subject: Title

You forgot to change 1999 to 2000 in your title (http://www.ttgnet.com/thisweek.html). It still says Week of 3 January 1999.

Shawn

Arghhh. Bitten by Y2M. And speaking of bites, I just went to pay some bills yesterday with my corporate checkbook. I notice that all my checks have the "199_" part thoughtfully pre-printed. I'm thinking of dating checks something like "4 January 199A" to see if my bank has a sense of humor. Probably not.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: bruce denman [mailto:bdenman@ftc-i.net]
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 3:06 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: copy protection

Bob,

First: suffering along with you on the flu thing. Did you find a way to send it out over the internet thru your website? <g>

Second: I agree with your sentiments regarding copy protection. It usually backfires on the original intent. We see the same going on now with DVD encryption and the decss debacle.

As far as I can recall, back in the old days (i.e. early 80s), the AF would NOT allow the purchase of copy protected programs for pc's. Something about not being able to fight a war if your computer went down and you couldn't reload it. For example, at the top of Lotus's era, because 123 was copy protected, it was banned. Instead we used Supercalc as I recall.

The Air Force now however has pretty lenient pc purchasing procedures (source: my son-in-law who is active duty AF and who orders/installs all the pc stuff for his office). Anyway, if the tech controller is using a copy protected program it must be because:

- the Air Force (or other services) have changed their policies.

- it is the only program available of its type or the nature of the beast (and still should not be used at all if possible). Note: a couple of years ago I helped install one cdrom based automotive program which was protected by a dongle. not sure thats a better idea either.. ouch

- totally unnecessary in the real world and thus not a problem during war time.

- purchased by the clueless or misinformed

The last item is the most likely in my opinion. The good lieutenant needs to keep on calling the company and keep his supervisor informed of the wasted resources this particular product is causing. Maybe something will then change...

Bruce 
bdenman@ftc-i.net
 
http://web.infoave.net/~bdenman

ps: retired usaf

 


 

 

 

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Thursday, 6 January 2000

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Barbara and I went to Lowes yesterday to buy a solid-core slab door, some 2X4s, and other stuff to make her new desk. We're building it into a corner of her office. We'll determine how high she wants the surface to be, and then mount 2X4 ledger strips on the two walls, screwed to the studs with 3.5" screws. We'll then mount 2X2s flush with the top edge of the 2X4s and drive 2.5" mounting screws up through the 2X2s into the bottom of the door. That takes care of two sides, leaving only the one free-standing corner to be supported. For my desk, I used a two-drawer filing cabinet to support the free corner, but that results in a work surface that's way too high for Barbara.

I considered building a diagonal brace to support the front corner, but finally decided just to make do with a vertical leg. I was hoping to find some kind of box that would secure the top of a 2X2 or 2X4 to the desk, but the only remotely similar thing that Lowes carried was designed for building fences. As I was dithering, Barbara walked over to me with a pre-built table leg and said, "what about this?" Duh. The leg is nicely turned and has about 3/8" or so of 1/4 X 20 bolt sticking out of the top of it. In the other hand, she had a mounting plate threaded to receive the bolt, and with four screw holes for securing it to the bottom of the desk. We can trim the bottom to whatever length is necessary.

Total damage: $44.00 for the 3'-0" X 6'8" solid core slab door and about $12 for two 8' 2X4s and the pre-built leg and mounting plate. With tax, about $60. We already had the 2X2s. Not bad for the materials needed to build twenty square feet of rock-solid work surface. Barbara has already put the first coat of stain on the door, leg, and mounting lumber. We'll probably build the thing next weekend.

I watched Left Wing on NBC last night with Barbara. She's been watching it since it premiered. It's been acclaimed by many as the best new show of the season, so I decided to give it a try. I'd actually more-or-less seen several earlier episodes, but I was generally reading a book while it was on. Last night I decided to give it my full attention. It's not a bad show, if you can stomach the statist agenda. Well-written and well-acted, with quite a few likeable characters. It's not something I'd remember to watch if Barbara was absent, but I don't mind being there while she watches it.

I post the following without comment:

-----Original Message-----
From: HUPPNUT@aol.com [mailto:HUPPNUT@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2000 6:34 PM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: Fwd: Would you believe???

Can you imagine working at the following Company? It has a little over 500 employees with the following statistics:

  • 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
  • 7 have been arrested for fraud
  • 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
  • 117 have bankrupted at least two businesses
  • 3 have been arrested for assault
  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
  • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 are current defendants in lawsuits
  • In 1998 alone, 84 were stopped for drunk driving

Can you guess which organization this is? Give up?

It's the 535 members of your United States Congress. The same group that perpetually cranks out hundreds upon hundreds of new laws designed to keep the rest of us in line.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary M. Berg [mailto:Gary_Berg@BunkeBerg.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2000 11:20 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: NT Faxing

Bob,

Speaking of NT faxing, I was searching to a reasonably priced alternative to WinFAX and for some of the reasons you expressed I wasn't interested in digging around for the MS Beta NT FAX stuff.

I ran across a number of mentions to a package called "MightyFAX". Now stop laughing about the name; I do admit to getting a chuckle out of it. I was wondering if you or any of your readers had actually used this program. It looks pretty good, and the price is only $19.95 or thereabouts. It creates the typical printer device to FAX to, and it seems to have good mentions from what I can see.

http://www.rks-software.com/d_mf.htm

Thanks. I seem to have Microsoft Personal Fax working now, but I'll keep that in mind. Incidentally, if you want to try Microsoft Personal Fax, you can't get it on the Microsoft web site any more. But it is still available on numerous public ftp servers. Search for the filename fax_i386.exe.

 


 

 

 

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Friday, 7 January 2000

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Yesterday was my first pure writing day in a long time. Other than reading and responding to email, checking my usual web sites, and writing a short update for this site in the morning, I wrote all day long. No building systems, no testing hardware. Just writing. More of that today, I hope.

The new Plextor IDE CD burner seems to be making quite a stir, and that's understandable. Plextor has always been the Rolls-Royce of optical drives, and this is their first venture into IDE. I have a Plextor 8/4/32 IDE burner sitting on my desk. When I get a little free time I'll install it and see what I can find out.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Werth, Timothy P [mailto:timothy.werth@eds.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2000 10:04 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Plextor 8/4/32 CDRW

Bob,

I just got my Plextor 8/4/32 ATAPI CDRW yesterday and installed it last night. I found it on Egghead.com before X-mas / Saturnalia a few bucks cheaper than the comparable HP CDRW drive. I got the same errors that Dan Seto did when installing the Plextor 2000 software. But after installing the Adaptec software everything seems to be working great.

My only problem so far is that I haven't been able to get it to run in DMA mode. I've tried enabling DMA in Device Manager but after I reboot W98 the box is unchecked again. (I know, run NT. But some of the stuff I have right now isn't supported by NT 4 and the last copy of W2k I have is beta 3 which doesn't work w/my Matrox G400 video card.) So my next step is to check the ASUS web site to see if there are any newer drivers for UDMA for my m/board. W/out DMA enabled it maxed out at about 8x ripping a couple of songs to the hard drive. I'll be interested to see what kind of performance difference there is w/DMA enabled. It should be a lot, the manual stated the drive could rip songs at up to 20x something.

I'm not a Win9X guy, but I believe that generally when Win9X refuses to load DMA drivers that means that either the ATA interface or an attached device is not DMA-capable. Do you have another connected device that may not support DMA, or were you successfully running DMA before installing the Plextor? 

Actually, speed is probably the least important reason to run DMA. PIO-4 is more than fast enough to saturate any optical drive made. Where DMA really pays off is in reduced CPU utilization. The last time I did exhaustive tests, I ran a Maxtor hard disk in PIO-4 and DMA modes. In PIO-4, the drive when running flat out was sucking 80% of the CPU. When I enabled DMA, that dropped to about 1.6%, or 1/50 the CPU utilization. High CPU utilization is one of the reasons why it's so much easier to burn coasters on an ATAPI burner, so having DMA enabled can greatly reduce the number of coasters you make.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Werth, Timothy P [mailto:timothy.werth@eds.com]
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2000 9:53 AM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: RE: Plextor 8/4/32 CDRW

Bob,

I downloaded the latest IDE Bus Mastering drivers for my m/board from the ASUS website yesterday. Now DMA is running on both CD-ROM drives without me even having to check the box. (The drives are a SoundBlaster 5X DVD-ROM drive and the Plexter 8/4/32A) Before I had been using the default IDE drivers that load w/W98.

You were right about the speed thing. The Plextor maxed out around 8X w/DMA enabled extracting audio files to the hard drive which is about the same as not having DMA enabled. The Plextor manual and website both state the drive is capable of audio extraction at "up to 24X". I'll be interested to see what kind of performance you get out of this drive. Would NT be able to get a higher throughput than 98? So far it seems to be a very good drive though as usual for a Plextor.

Make sure that all sources are on a different channel than that burner. That is, if you're going to burn both direct from your DVD-ROM drive and from disk images on your hard drive, make the hard disk Primary Master, the DVD-ROM drive Primary Slave, and the Plextor CD burner Secondary Master. That ensures that whatever the source, it will always be on a different ATA channel than the burner. It's safe to put a tape drive as Secondary Slave. For that matter, it's safe to put a second hard disk on the Secondary channel, so long as you're careful never to burn with that second hard disk as the source.

I don't know if NT will show higher throughput than 98 or not. When I get a moment, hopefully this weekend, I plan to install the Plextor 8/4/32 drive in my test-bed system. That system triple boots Windows 98, Windows NT4, and Windows 2000, so I'll be able to play around some. More likely, the way things are going, it may be the following weekend before I get to it, though.

 


 

 

 

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Saturday, 8 January 2000

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Today is devoted to installing the mountings for Barbara's new desk and to building the new 2000-model IDE test-bed system. I may have more on this later today, but it's more likely to be tomorrow or Monday. We're off now to take Kerry to the vet for his continuing series of shots, which we hope will ameliorate his hip dysplasia problem.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Shorty [mailto:dShorty@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2000 4:23 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: FYI: Sony unveiled the SVR-2000

hi bob,

i'm one of your regular daily readers and thought you may be interested in knowing about this; i just read about this in CNET's CES (Consumer Electronics Show) coverage, it sounds similar to your big audio/video networked drive idea.

Sony unveiled the SVR-2000, a device capable of recording nine hours of DVD-video quality programming. The SVR-2000, which will be available in the spring for about $500, uses a 30-GB hard drive to store programming and is equipped with i.Link for home networking or transferring data to another device.

I greatly enjoy your work! Thank you for your trials and tribulations on behalf of us computer users.

thanks again,
dan shorty
Dan Shorty
dShorty@hotmail.com

Thanks for the kind words. I've been meaning to get to that project, but a combination of missing components and no time has kept me from it. I agree that that product looks intriguing.

 


 

 

 

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Sunday, 9 January 2000

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We never did get around to installing the mountings for Barbara's new desk yesterday. They needed another coat of stain, and I think she wanted to put at least one coat of polyurethane on them. So we've deferred working on that until tomorrow.

I spent most of the day building my new IDE test-bed system. Actually building the hardware took a measured 26 minutes from start to finish. The system is built around an Intel CA810EAL motherboard, which has embedded video, sound, and LAN adapters, and a Socket 370 FC/PGA Pentium III/550E. I also installed the Plextor 8/4/32A CD-RW drive and the Hitachi GF-1000 DVD-RAM rewritable DVD drive. The hardware went together with no problems, and booted perfectly the first time. Windows 98 installed with no problems. 

Then I installed Windows NT 4 Workstation. Everything worked properly until I installed the Intel Desktop Board utilities, when I started getting bluescreen errors at boot, telling me that there was a checksum error on wow32.dll. I'm not sure what's causing it, but I think it might have been IE4 (which was included in the Intel utilities) or Norton AntiVirus. Installing SP6a didn't help. After much experimenting, I upgraded to IE5, which may have solved the problem. It's hard to say for sure, because the bluescreens don't occur every time.

Now, if I can find the Windows 2000 Professional Gold CD, I'm going to install it in the third partition.

 


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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Robert Bruce Thompson. All Rights Reserved.