Category Archives: Personal-Computing

Game Wallpapers

image I went to a LAN Party on Saturday, and boy was that a blast. I was thinking today that I need to spruce up my desktop again, I rarely see my background, so I keep forgetting to change the wallpaper, or to have a wallpaper at all.

Anyway, I found Warvan’s Flickr page, and wow, there are some really great wallpapers there. I grabbed the screenshot to the left real quick, but he also has a ton of Team Fortress 2 wallpapers, and you have to look at the Call of Duty 4 wallpapers. Some really great looking stuff to give your desktop a new look.

I’m generally not all that big on customizing the look of my desktop, aside from what icons are there. I don’t usually change the color scheme either. I’m usually more of a function over form type of guy.

Considering how much time I spend on a computer, which is a whole lot, I should make it look a little nicer.

I Hope you enjoy these wallpapers, and please feel free to send me any of your favorite wallpaper sites.

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Making Lemonade out of Lemons

P9210345Friday started out to be a good day. As I was pulling into the parking lot at work, I realized that I had finished everything that I needed to do the previous day. This means that today I get to work on what I want to work on. Yippee!

One of the first things I decided to do was take care of a problem that has been nagging me for quite awhile. The hard drive on my primary machine.

The primary machine that I use has two physical hard drives in it. Drive 1 is a crappy Western Digital. I don’t like Western Digital Drives, due to personal experience. You probably figured that out though.

 Luckily the second hard drive is a Maxtor. The Western Digital has been having issues for at least 8 months or so, and every time I get any real drive access on it, like when Outlook is updating it’s offline files, the machine hangs for a little while.

My intent was to take a ghost image of the Problematic 150G Western Digital, and place the image on my fully functional Maxtor 250G Drive. Then I would switch the drives around, making the Maxtor my primary drive. After that, I could do what I want with the Western Digital.

I’ll make a long story short, and let you know that it didn’t work out as planned. I ended up having to reload Windows.

Now, when you’ve decided to reload your computer, and have prepared, it can be really beneficial, kind of a cleansing experience.

If you aren’t expecting to do it, then it can be a real pain.

This was a real pain.

The Lemonade Part

I didn’t realize how badly that flaky drive was slowing down my day to day operations. Since swapping those hard drives, the machine is flying. It’s also really nice to start over, I only have the applications on there that I really use.

I tend to install a lot of software, and although I uninstall it periodically, the computer tends to get a little cluttered.

It’s also nice to set everything up exactly the way you want it, get all of your images and shortcuts going again, the desktop arranged just so. I’m not a control freak, but I still like having my workspace squared away.

All in all, I’m glad that I had to re-load my computer, although I wasn’t expecting it, I did have the time to do it that day, and I’m really reaping the benefits of it now.

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Find out What is Using up Your Hard Drive Space With WinDirStat

Have you ever looked at your hard disk free space, and wondered where it all went? I mean, when I bought that 250G drive, I thought I would never need more space.

WindirStat is a easy way to graphically see where all of that free space went to. I use it all the time, even on my networks, to see what is using up all of my drive space.

Of course, it doesn’t run instantly, after all, WinDirStat has to crawl through every directory on your hard drive. While directories are being updated, you are entertained with little packmen running back and forth next to the directories it is updating.

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The visual representation of the files is neat, but I really look for the top half of the screen, pictured below.

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Directories are listed with the largest on top, and you can continue to drill down into the subdirectories to find out what they are made up of.

This really is a great utility, and you can’t beat the price, which is free.

You can download WinDirStat from the Downloads page, also check out the WinDirStat Web Site.

If you like this type of Tech post, you should check out Two Guys Tech. A friend and I are working on it, and we even have a terrific podcast.

We’re always glad to answer questions, help people out, and help relate what we’ve learned. Get a new perspective on the tech topics and news that you’re interested in, come visit Two Guys Tech.com.

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What is eSATA?

If you like this type of Tech post, you should check out Geeks On Tech. There are some links in the “Check Out Geeks on Tech” widget on the right had side of the page. Give us a visit. Now, on to your article…

eSATA is a External Serial ATA interface. Serial ATA is a commonly used interface for internal Hard Drives, and eSATA is an extension of that specification to be used with external devices.

If you’re using a USB or Firewire external drive, what you’re really using is a ATA or Serial ATA hard drive, and an external enclosure. The enclosure has a controller in it which translates the ATA or SATA protocol to USB or Firewire.

This translation causes some delay and there is also some overhead involved in the translations.

eSATA is already in the format that the drive is transmitting. No translation necessary means no lag.

Why Would I want to use eSATA?

Reason #1 – The transfer rate is fast. I mean really fast. Currently there is a 1.5 Gbps and a 3 Gbps Standard. This blows FireWire (IEEE 1394) and USB 2.0 out of the water.

Reason #2 – Less Lag. Since the data is already in a native format, there is no translation involved. This means data gets to the interface faster.

Reason #3 – It isn’t terribly expensive. Maybe this isn’t a reason to use it, but it isn’t much of a road block either. If your motherboard has SATA connectors laying around, you can extend them with a $3 bracket. SATA expansion cards can be found right now for under $30.

Should I replace all of my External Drives?

Sure, and I can give you an address to ship them to. Seriously though, I wouldn’t replace what you already have if it works. When you decide to buy a new drive, eSATA is worth some thought.

There are currently many drives shipping with USB and eSATA interfaces. So even if you don’t currently have eSATA capability, I would take a good long look at the drives with both interfaces, since they would allow you to upgrade later.

Read More:

Serial ATA – Serial ATA International Organization

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