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Dante74

The computer and electronics super geek thread

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I've got a real n00b question here...

Since Monday is my birthday, my Mom's spotting some money to help me get a new laptop, so I'm heading to the Mac Store tomorrow to check out what's available.

Now considering that I was one of the whiny bitches who coudn't play h264, I want to solve that problem first. Likewise, I want to be able to do some fansubbing and scanlating of my own (yes, I'm still thinking about doing ALL of Macross, as well as the Area 88 manga).

So, as a complete neophyte here, what should I look for in a laptop?

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From the requirements described, the MacBook should work well enough for you; however, to do fansubbing, you'll probably need to put a copy of Windows (XP/Vista) on the machine, as fansubbing software for the Mac is either non-existent or cumbersome. Scanlating can be done with any decent image editing software, which easy to find for Mac OS X.

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From the requirements described, the MacBook should work well enough for you; however, to do fansubbing, you'll probably need to put a copy of Windows (XP/Vista) on the machine, as fansubbing software for the Mac is either non-existent or cumbersome. Scanlating can be done with any decent image editing software, which easy to find for Mac OS X.

Thank you! ^_^

(But damn...I was hoping to avoid Windows. I guess I still miss the early '90s when ALL fansubbing was done on Macs...)

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At least the guys of aegisub claims that his program works on Mac, since I'm use windows I've no idea

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Bah, Macs :p

Hush, you. Just think...by this time tomorrow, I'll be able to watch all those h264 MKVs, and where will you and your PC be...? :p

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From the requirements described, the MacBook should work well enough for you; however, to do fansubbing, you'll probably need to put a copy of Windows (XP/Vista) on the machine, as fansubbing software for the Mac is either non-existent or cumbersome. Scanlating can be done with any decent image editing software, which easy to find for Mac OS X.

Agreed. You might want to consider the Macbook Pro though. A Macbook can do the job resource-wise but the 13.3" screen might be bothersome to the eyes after a while. My Macbook is great for light to moderate viewing but it's not something I would consider for long-duration usage. It's just not big enough, screen-wise. But if budget is a concern, consider attaching an external monitor to it and using the external monitor for image work. That would fix the issue of the small screen.

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Agreed. You might want to consider the Macbook Pro though. A Macbook can do the job resource-wise but the 13.3" screen might be bothersome to the eyes after a while. My Macbook is great for light to moderate viewing but it's not something I would consider for long-duration usage. It's just not big enough, screen-wise. But if budget is a concern, consider attaching an external monitor to it and using the external monitor for image work. That would fix the issue of the small screen.

Crap...just when I thought I'd had everything figured out...

I may end up getting last year's Macbook pro, if it comes to that...but I'm worried that the video card might not be strong enough.

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Crap...just when I thought I'd had everything figured out...

I may end up getting last year's Macbook pro, if it comes to that...but I'm worried that the video card might not be strong enough.

The Nvidia 8600M of last year's MBP should work just fine. I won't worry about it.

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I've got a real n00b question here...

Since Monday is my birthday, my Mom's spotting some money to help me get a new laptop, so I'm heading to the Mac Store tomorrow to check out what's available.

Now considering that I was one of the whiny bitches who coudn't play h264, I want to solve that problem first. Likewise, I want to be able to do some fansubbing and scanlating of my own (yes, I'm still thinking about doing ALL of Macross, as well as the Area 88 manga).

So, as a complete neophyte here, what should I look for in a laptop?

I guess anything with a Core 2 duo can run HD videos in h264. But i'm not 100% sure.

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The Nvidia 8600M of last year's MBP should work just fine. I won't worry about it.

I guess anything with a Core 2 duo can run HD videos in h264. But i'm not 100% sure.

Cool. Thanks!

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I didnt know where to post this, but this seems to work here...

http://gizmodo.com/5117092/frys-vp-alleged...an-odwallas-too

Fry's VP Ausaf Umar Siddiqui has been accused by the IRS of taking $65 million of Fry's company money to "fuel his lavish lifestyle and pay off gambling debts."

Siddiqui's downfall came when another exec found a spreadsheet with backroom deals for contracts (he was a buyer for Fry's). He'd then get vendors to sell stuff at an inflated price, pocketing the difference. Ausaf was able to do this because he convinced other execs that HE would be the one to deal with vendors, eliminating sales reps and saving the company money. Or so he claimed.

Then, he had vendors pay kickbacks of up to 31%. Which made him $65M in three years.

I love the comment at the bottom:

Hackintosh

7:09 PM I've never been to a Fry's Electronics store. I've seen one on my trip to Las Vegas, but never been inside one. But from the looks of it, it does seem to have a more convenient Register system.

Hackintosh I've never been to a Fry's Electronics store. I've seen...

7:14 PM

D.E.P.C.

7:14 PM Fry's is amazing. If Fry's came in an unscented lotion, I would lather it all over my body.

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Agreed. You might want to consider the Macbook Pro though. A Macbook can do the job resource-wise but the 13.3" screen might be bothersome to the eyes after a while. My Macbook is great for light to moderate viewing but it's not something I would consider for long-duration usage. It's just not big enough, screen-wise. But if budget is a concern, consider attaching an external monitor to it and using the external monitor for image work. That would fix the issue of the small screen.

Thanks to the sage advice I got here (at at both the Apple Store and the Caltech Bookstore), I ended up getting last year's Macbook Pro...and hey! I just downloaded some Blu-Ray Mac Zero...AND I CAN WATCH IT!!!

Conisdering how pissed off I was about h264 when every fansubber and his imaginary friend started switching to it, it's nice to be able to actually not have to worry about it anymore. :)

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Question about wireless mice. I got a Microsoft Wireless Optical Keyboard/Mouse combo for X-Mas, and while the keyboard is a dream compared to my last one, the mouse has... issues. After I installed the software, the computer had a hard time registering any click of the buttons. So then I restarted the computer and now all button clicks are good, but the centre scroll-wheel is acting up. I roll, the screen doesn't. I roll again, and the screen only rolls at the end of the motion. Now pissed off, I mass-roll in frustration and the darned thing picks it all up and scrolls me passed the part I wanted.

Any advice other than a 12-lb lump hammer?

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Question about wireless mice. I got a Microsoft Wireless Optical Keyboard/Mouse combo for X-Mas, and while the keyboard is a dream compared to my last one, the mouse has... issues. After I installed the software, the computer had a hard time registering any click of the buttons. So then I restarted the computer and now all button clicks are good, but the centre scroll-wheel is acting up. I roll, the screen doesn't. I roll again, and the screen only rolls at the end of the motion. Now pissed off, I mass-roll in frustration and the darned thing picks it all up and scrolls me passed the part I wanted.

Any advice other than a 12-lb lump hammer?

1-Make sure batteries are good

2- Remove then reinstall software (sometimes computers don't pick up the software correctly on the first install)

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Question about wireless mice. I got a Microsoft Wireless Optical Keyboard/Mouse combo for X-Mas, and while the keyboard is a dream compared to my last one, the mouse has... issues. After I installed the software, the computer had a hard time registering any click of the buttons. So then I restarted the computer and now all button clicks are good, but the centre scroll-wheel is acting up. I roll, the screen doesn't. I roll again, and the screen only rolls at the end of the motion. Now pissed off, I mass-roll in frustration and the darned thing picks it all up and scrolls me passed the part I wanted.

Any advice other than a 12-lb lump hammer?

1.) Check the batteries. I know it probably came with batteries, and you'd expect them to be good, but for all of my wireless keyboards and mice, the software will tell you the batteries are low when everything's fine, and it won't tell you the batteries are low when they actually are, and your only clue is that they're behaving wonky.

2.) Check your distance. The distance the mouse and keyboard can send and receive to the dongle gets shorter as battery power drains. The best keyboard I have for distance starts to flake out between six and eight feet from the dongle, and I do have to replace batteries every three months or so to maintain that level of distance. The one I use at my desktop works great on the desk, about a foot from the dongle. If I put the keyboard on my lap, it's pretty good now, but before I changed the batteries even that little bit of extra distance would cause it to start missing keystrokes.

3.) If you installed the software from the CD, go to Microsoft's site here and download the newest version of the software. Try looking up as the combo first. If you still have problems, download Intellipoint using the the model of just the mouse (ex, I bought a Wireless Desktop Elite keyboard years ago, but the mouse is actually an Intellimouse Explorer 2.0).

OR

If you downloaded the software from the net, try the software on the CD that came with the equipment.

4.) Return the product to the place it was bought, or through Microsoft's support site.. Because I'm telling your right now, I've got three different wireless keyboard/mice sets. I have a Logitech one connected to my home theater PC, I have the Microsoft Wireless Desktop Elite set (both of those use dongles), and I have a Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth that I got for next to nothing from a friend who lost the Bluetooth dongle (which I mainly wanted for the mouse, since it worked well with my MacBook). I really like Logitech's designs, as they tend to be a little more stylish and sleek, but the Microsoft gear is hooked up to my main desktop because it's rock-solid, has ridiculously good battery life (I've had the thing for years, and I've changed the batteries in the mouse once and the keyboard twice), and the Intellimouse/Intellitype software is a little more tweakable than Logitech's SetPoint software (even if, for some odd reason, the keyboard shortcuts always use IE in Vista, even when Firefox is my default browser, and even though the exact same software was fine using Firefox in XP, and the Bluetooth gear goes to sleep after rather short periods and keeps needing to be woken up). Sorry to ramble a bit (no sleep until New Year's Day for me...), but what I'm getting at is that your struggles don't match my experiences with with two different Microsoft mice I own and use extensively, which makes me wonder if the hardware is defective in some way.

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What's a good router cable modem all in one hardware?

You can try the Linksys WCG200 or a Netgear CG834WG. Both are a router + cable modem. But I normally go with an independent modem with a independent router.

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I do too but I want to return my old modem so I don't have to pay the $3/mo lease. My router also drops the DNS quite often and was looking to get a new one so why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone? The problem is that there are not many choices and if the router goes and start dropping the signal then I'll have to get another router/modem thing. Routers seem to go bad after some time and drops the DNS. I used to have a Linksys and that one went out pretty quick. I just want something really reliable. I also can't find reviews on the Netgear one. Other Netgear routers have mixed reviews and it's hard to trust it.

Edited by badboy00z

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Anyone have experience using the Windows Restore option with Vista? I have an HP and when I try to restore to factory default the system shows me the shutting down window and then the screen goes black and the computer stays on. Nothing else happens. I have an after market video card I've installed but I wouldn't think that'd matter since the computer screen is going blank apparently before anything happens. I let that go for 20 hours on the off chance it was working but I'm fairly certain at this point the computer was waiting on input from me that never came because I didn't see it. Anyway, any help would be appreciated... my computer isn't crippled or anything but I'd like to start clean.

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Anyone have experience using the Windows Restore option with Vista? I have an HP and when I try to restore to factory default the system shows me the shutting down window and then the screen goes black and the computer stays on. Nothing else happens. I have an after market video card I've installed but I wouldn't think that'd matter since the computer screen is going blank apparently before anything happens. I let that go for 20 hours on the off chance it was working but I'm fairly certain at this point the computer was waiting on input from me that never came because I didn't see it. Anyway, any help would be appreciated... my computer isn't crippled or anything but I'd like to start clean.

If this a desktop? If it is, i think the problem maybe that the restore you are doing will not include the third party graphics drivers.... try switching your VGA cable to the onboard (motherboard) VGA port. I think you will see a difference.

If not... sorry for wasting your time :p

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Anyone have experience using the Windows Restore option with Vista? I have an HP and when I try to restore to factory default the system shows me the shutting down window and then the screen goes black and the computer stays on. Nothing else happens. I have an after market video card I've installed but I wouldn't think that'd matter since the computer screen is going blank apparently before anything happens. I let that go for 20 hours on the off chance it was working but I'm fairly certain at this point the computer was waiting on input from me that never came because I didn't see it. Anyway, any help would be appreciated... my computer isn't crippled or anything but I'd like to start clean.

You may want to do this in the future. Get the latest Norton Ghost software and make an image of your clean install. Than back it up to a DVD or external hard drive. Storing your PC image on your main computer my run the risk of your image getting corrupted. So alway store OS images somewhere external. Just my 2 cents.

Edited by SilentCrossHairs

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OK I have a slight problem, I've had my desktop unhook for the last couple of weeks and out in the garage, since we were out of town and then busy and didn't want it getting stolen if we got broken into. Anyway last night I went to hook it up, everything goes back in fine, but I notice that when I plug in the power cord a green light on the back of the power supply starts slowly blinking. I've never seen that before, but figure it's nothing so hit the power button and, nothing happens. Annoyed I check my connections and hit it again, and again nothing. I go to the HP website (it an old Pavillion I got on sale) and run through the first step of their troubleshooting, unhook everything and then hold the power button for 5 seconds, then plug back in and try again, and sure enough, nothing happens. There was more but my wife needed help with the baby so I couldn't get to it. My question now is what the heck do I do? I will go through the rest of the troubleshooting, but did having it out in the garage somehow burn out its power supply? And if so am I better off just pulling the hard drives and putting them in enclosures as externals until I can get a newer laptop in a few months?

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OK I have a slight problem,...

I'm no expert but i might be that the battery on your motherboard needs to charge before you can turn it back on. :mellow:

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I'm no expert but i might be that the battery on your motherboard needs to charge before you can turn it back on. :mellow:

Tried that, and according to the HP website and everything i have done, I've toasted the power supply

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Crappy HP power supplies can die instantly with no warning for no reason. It wasn't because it was in the garage. It just died.

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Crappy HP power supplies can die instantly with no warning for no reason. It wasn't because it was in the garage. It just died.

True that. My wife (fiancee at the time) bought an HP for her dorm. We got rid of it after maybe a year, because it was acting flaky due to a bad power supply. Sold it cheap to a friend, and warned him the PSU was bad... he didn't listen, and when it went a few weeks later, it took the mobo with it.

The VAIO I bought to replace it lasted five years... after I replaced its PSU, too.

On a non-PSU but very much computer super geek related note, is anyone else trying out the Windows 7 beta? It's still a little rough around the edges. I've got no sound, even though Windows update had a newer driver, and my Belkin wireless G adapter isn't working either. Also, in a slightly weird set up, Windows 7 runs fine when I use the Intel integrated video chipset, but if I try to use the Radeon X1550 card I put in it, I get an endless Blue Screen of Death/reboot cycle. Mind you, Windows detects and correctly identifies the card, and even provided me with an updated driver over Windows update. But I still get the BSoD.

It's a shame I'm having those issues, though, because I like what I'm seeing so far. After using Vista for awhile, I'd already decided that XP looks too old, and Windows 7 really makes XP look bad. Unlike Vista, though, Windows 7 seems quick and responsive. And I really dig the new task bar.

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have you tried running windows 7 on a lower end PC?

Fairly low end. I keep a second desktop around as a spare, usually for playing with different Linux distros. It's an IBM ThinkCentre. 2.8GHz Pentium D (Smithfield), 2GB of RAM, and an Intel GMA 950 chipset. That's low end enough that Windows 7 takes longer to boot there than Windows Vista does on my primary desktop (3.0GHz Core 2 Duo E8400 (Wolfdale), 3GB of RAM, GeForce 9800GTX+).

The Windows Experience Index goes to 7.9 in Windows 7 (up from a 5.9 max in Windows Vista). The ThinkCentre breaks down as:

Processor: 4.5

Memory: 5.1

Graphics (Aero): 3.3

Gaming Graphics: 3.2

Primary Hard Disk: 5.2

If I could get it to work with the Radeon, that'd bring the graphics scores up a little. But the Intel chipset's good enough to run Aero.

I may try Windows 7 on my primary desktop in a virtual machine. The scores wouldn't quite be as accurate if I were to actually run it as the primary OS, but the Antec P182 case I built it in is too heavy to play the "swap the hard drives game." Maybe, just maybe, when I get around to upgrading the main hard drive in it...

I'm also sorely tempted to install Windows 7 on my netbook. Asus did, after all, include a handy restore disc, and it's not like I've installed a ton of programs on it...

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It's a shame I'm having those issues, though, because I like what I'm seeing so far. After using Vista for awhile, I'd already decided that XP looks too old, and Windows 7 really makes XP look bad. Unlike Vista, though, Windows 7 seems quick and responsive. And I really dig the new task bar.

Well it should be faster, that is the whole point of Windows 7.

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Well it should be faster, that is the whole point of Windows 7.

yeah, but how often does Microsoft deliver on "should" ?

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yeah, but how often does Microsoft deliver on "should" ?

Don't worry, they have plenty of time to screw things up. It's only in beta right now. :lol:

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Well now that the dekstop is dead I figure I will just pull the two hard drives and put them in enclosures to use as externals, but now that I will get a laptop as a replacement (should be getting a fat return this year), what laptops do people recommend? My biggest requirement is video card power, I want either a Quadro card, Geforce 7900, 7950, or 8800 card on it, since I can softmod those into Quadros for doing my cad work.

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Am I correct in saying with RAm, seeing as I am getting DDR3, quantity is better than quality? I mean, I still have to choose good name brands like Corsair instead of generic, but I don't really need the fast running RAM do I? I have a feeling that I'll pay that much more for nothin, and that triple channeling 2 GB sticks is plenty.

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