Food For Thought- 11/26/07 - Fixing up a Dell

I hear a lot of people have problems with dell computers, as in the computer is fine this minute but then seems to go into a hibernation state often with an amber power light to accompany it. There is no way to turn the computer off in this state, however long you hold the button. Yes you can pull the plug as that is the only way it seems to respond to anything. And what is stranger, the mysterious halt to the computer, or how many different solutions there are...

My Situation, When plugged in the Hard Disk Drive Light shows sometimes and most times the CD Light shows, as if it wants to boot from CD. Yesterday I read about a suggestion to unplug all drives from the motherboard and power, and remove all expansion cards except the video card and try to boot the computer.

The first initial tests were filled with almost a trial and error kind of testing. Unplug x... plug in the computer... no change other than x did this or that.

The farthest I succeded was the computer completing POST (Power On Self Test) and giving me a memory (reseat the memory or something) error with the diagnostic lights on the back of the motherboard.

--To be continued --

Food For Thought- 11/19/07

Today, I think I will share what my system configuration will be once I get the parts. I will have the following

Motherboard- ASRock ALiveNF6G-VSTA
or Here- from newegg

Processor- AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2GHz Processor
or AMD Athlon 64 4000+ 2.6GHz Processor

Memory- Corsair ValueSelect Dual Channel 1GB Kit

Combo Optical- Lite-On IDE Combo

Hard Drive- Western Digital 160GB Caviar SATAII

Case And PSU- This Case
and this PSU
I believe this will be a good setup and I will probably over clock my processor a bit. Possibly to 2.4GHz or above. On stock cooling I will probably only go to 2.4 though. All parts are linked to the site. Newegg is also in my favorite links list.

Checking out Ubuntu in a Live CD

This article is subject to change.

At my first glimpse Ubuntu is an OS that is designed for the default theme to be easy on the eye. Indeed it was and I was welcomed to what I refer to as a 'chocolate' theme. Beryl (Compiz Fusion) was disabled on entering and the eye candy feature needed a restricted driver, a 3d accelerator to work on my PC at it's current configuration.

Ubuntu has a nice, customizable appearance. It was easy for me to change the theme into one custom theme that I found to be pretty cool. I customized the window borders, the buttons, and the icons easily. You can easily do this in the menu by going to System, then Preferences, and click on appearance. No wonder Ubuntu Is one of the most popular OS's for enthusiasts and beginners. It automatically detected my wired internet connection, and after that it was a breeze through, I give, at first glimpse a 4 out of 5. I reduced 1 star only for the painfully slow boot up time for the live CD.

Beryl with Linux

Beryl is a desktop effects engine, kind of similar to Windows Vista's AERO. When people think of Beryl, (now called Compiz Fusion) if they are familiar with the newer versions of Linux, they think of the little cube you can turn for multiple desktops. I have heard that the engine, has to have a higher end graphics card to be able to run efficiently and be enjoyable. I have also heard that the feature doesn't have specific requirements. I'd like to find out, what does the cube take? I believe that Ubuntu 7.10 has the engine built in. Hmm, interesting. Here is a little video demonstrating some of the effects.

Xubuntu Linux Terminal Notice

In Xubuntu 7.04 there is an issue where if you use the included Terminal Application. The Included application seems to crash your computer and brings you back to the login screen. I know this happens with 7.04 with 64MB of RAM. I would like guests to comment and maybe confirm that is crashes any time.

Food For Thought- 11/12/07

I've seen some distributions of Linux, and I have to say I liked Fedora Core 6 best. Well, I should say K12LTSP as it is the actual distribution and it is based off FC6. I have seen Ubuntu, the regular version, and the distribution Xubuntu, designed to run on older machines with less than 128 Megabytes of RAM. The distribution CD, that you have to use on Machines with less than 128MB of RAM is not graphical, Text mode only. The Menu's are easy to navigate, but seem Limited, and the install enters "Low Memory Mode" on machines with 64MB of Ram. The Low memory mode forces the installation to proceed in the English Language and that may be inconvenient for some countries that speak another language. When I installed it on a machine with 96MB of Ram the Install did not go in Low Memory mode and allowed me to select the language I speak, English. When you get it installed you are welcomed with a nice log in screen, asking you for the User name and password you supplied during installation. Note: From this screen it is impossible to log in as the Root user. The user you created will have Administrative privileges and you may create more users and you can also, I believe do anything the root can do. With what I have tested so far I believe Xubuntu has a good background and it works quite well. This Distribution, based off Ubuntu seems to work well. Xubuntu is available at