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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Network Computer Technician Community's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
11:59 am
What's your digital life look like?
Sorry to anyone who still pays attention to this community. I was AWOL from LJ for awhile and the spam posts piled up in here. I'll keep it cleaner, I promise.

Just curious what gear and services folks are using mostly in their day-to-day digital lives.

Currently, I am using:

Macbook Pro for photo editing in Lightroom and iPhoto.
Windows 7 Dell desktop at home for downloading stuff and for gaming. I play a little Urban Terror or Unreal, my son uses it more than me for Minecraft and Sims 3.
Windows 7 at work for my workstation as well as the dozens of desktops I support. Mostly Dell, a few HP and Lenovo notebooks.
Linux Mint on an HP Mini just for web surfing and tinkering with new versions of Mint or Ubuntu.

CAMERAS (Preference in this order)
Canon 7D DSLR
Nikon D90
Canon Rebel XT
Lumix FP1

iPhone 6 -- recently upgraded from 4S. I do a lot of photo editing with PS Express and Snapseed. I use photo sharing apps like Instagram, Flickr and EyeEm.

iPad Mini -- I use this for watching streaming video and for listening to music and a little photo editing.
iPad 2 -- my kids use this for games and youtube/netflix.

Amazon Prime Video
Pandora One (mostly)
Spotify (not so much)
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
2:37 pm
Mint 14 "Cinnamon"
I'm posting from a Mint 14 box, running the "Cinnamon" interface. I'm loving it!

I'm using a GForce 210 graphics card and it was simple to change out the drivers to the Nvidia one.

The menus flow nicely and it installed with no problems whatsoever. I got up and running straight away to do a few simple but important tasks.

1) web browsing. Firefox is the default and of course it comes with the plugins and such so it was even quicker to get going than a windows box.

2) photo management and editing. Gthumb is the default and it's organization is intuitive and tight. It offers very simple and elegant editing, which is fine by me. It comes with the gimp, of course, but that's way beyond my editing skills or ambitions (so far). Gthumb also can upload to facebook and flickr (and a couple of other sharing places) which is what I need.

3) streaming music. I downloaded the unsupported beta of spotify and since I had signed up on my windows box previously, it had my home library listed and ready to go. And since I signed up with my facebook id, it is showing what I listen to on fb. Fact is, this unsupported beta works better on this Mint box than on my windows 7 machine. I have had all kinds of problems with songs not playing under windows. But I can listen to my whole library under mint. Too cool!

4) video playback. I actually haven't tested this yet, but Cinnamon comes with VLC and a couple of other video programs so I know that should be no problem.

5) Urban Terror. I love this game. I downloaded the newest version, which is 4.2 and it ran horribly until I changed out the drivers to the Nvidia "unsupported". After that, gameplay is smooth as you please. However, I also tried the previous version (4.1.1) because my "home" servers are on that version and I can't play it so far. There's an issue with the cursor moving erratically and showing boxes of "missing texture" tiles (kind of like red, white and blue squares) and I can't seem to click the menu items. Frustrating and I haven't found a solution for it, yet. But if I have to live with only 4.2, it's no big deal.

I've yet to set up a printer on it, but will get to it eventually. So for now, I'm considering Cinnamon a win and I think I will use it a lot on my secondary work pc (seperate from the domain and no proxy server *wink, wink*).
Sunday, November 18th, 2012
1:28 am
Ebook DRM cracking program
Shoot I can't open my library ebook I downloaded. I need it for a test and I am on the net trying to find a legitimate (as in not a virus) ebook cracker so I can review it.

Anyone have any suggestions on a good ebook reader converter program or one that can remove the annoying DRM (digital rights management) off any ebook?

I downloaded one but it is from a no name website. Not something I fully trust though Avast Anti virus flagged it safe.
Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
4:43 pm
Windows 8
I decided to put Windows 8 on a Dell XPS M1710. I installed a brand new 128 GB Solid State Drive. Installation was fairly painless.

But, activating Windows 8 was a HUGE hassle. I had to slog through a guy's east-indian accent for 37 soul-killing minutes to get the issue resolved. The product key wasn't working for some unknown and unexplained reason. Yuck.

Navigating the new menu system is clumsy and unintuitive. IE loaded in full screen mode and the keystoke shortcuts weren't working. I couldn't start a new tab. I figured out how to use the charm thing on the right to tell it to view on the desktop and then IE looked more like I'm used to.

I do like how it comes with antivirus built-in. It's called Windows Defender but it uses the same code and interface as their Microsoft Security Essentials.

I also like how when missing a driver, it asked if it should connect to Dell's website to get the best driver and then it did. It connected, found the driver and installed it. Brilliant!

Anyone else have any Windows 8 experiences or tips?

Current Mood: nerdy
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
4:03 pm
ctrl key appears to be stuck
Computer: Acer Aspire One d270, Windows 7 Starter Ed.

Problem: Keyboard acts like ctrl key is stuck on, but not physically depressed. Press s and get the save dialog box, etc.

Band-aid Solution: Bring up on-screen keyboard and the problem disappears until next log-in.

Solutions tried: After much googling and tinkering, many possible solutions were presented. The problem doesn't seem to be specific to Acer, nor the Windows version.

The following steps have been attempted.

1) Tried function key with many variables. Fail

2) Tried external keyboard, which worked most of the time but not always. Fail.

3) Tried uninstalling keyboard and letting Windows reinstall. Fail.

4) Tried full system restore to factory defaults. Fail

5) Booted to USB drive running Linux Mint -- Keyboard works fine, indicating it must be a software issue in the Windows 7 configuration. A Clue.

6) Removed Synaptic touchpad drivers. Fail.

7) Reinstalled Synaptic touchpad drivers and disabled pinch zoom. Fail.

8) Disabled sticky keys. Fail.

9) Removed ALL software except for drivers provided by Acer. Fail.

I think I may just replace the hard disk with a solid state drive and install Linux Mint. However, I'd like to get this issue sorted for two reasons.

1) I don't like conceding to a damned computer.

2) I will most likely sell the unit and that will be much easier to do if it's running Windows and if it's working properly.

Current Mood: frustrated
Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
1:19 am
HelpSmith 3.3 is Available for Download
Divcom Software is pleased to announce the release of HelpSmith 3.3. HelpSmith is a powerful help authoring tool for quick creation of professional help systems (HTML Help, Web Help), Printed Manuals, and PDF documents. The new version includes improved Unicode support, the ability to use Flash and QuickTime animations, better compatibility of Web Help with Google Chrome, and other new features.

HelpSmith constantly receives positive feedback from its users due to its simplicity in use combined with a professional feature set, and comparatively low price. We hope you will also find it useful.

HelpSmith Main Window:

HTML Help and Web Help Systems created with HelpSmith:

HTML Help Sample

Web Help Sample

HelpSmith is available as a FREE evaluation copy. The product includes sample help projects which you can use for testing purposes. In addition, we have technical articles on integrating a help system with different development environments and languages (C#, VB.NET, Delphi, etc.).

You can learn more and download HelpSmith 3.3 using the links below:

Home Page: http://www.helpsmith.com
Screenshots: http://www.helpsmith.com/screenshots.php
Download: http://www.helpsmith.com/download.php
What's New in HelpSmith 3.3: http://blog.helpsmith.com
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
10:26 am
The Humble Indie Bundle
The Humble Indie Bundle (pay what you want)

Five terrific award-winning indie games (World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru and Penumbra Overture) for Mac, Linux and PC. They're all DRM-free!

Part or all of your donation goes to charity, either Child's Play or the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


Current Mood: recumbent
Sunday, March 28th, 2010
2:27 pm
Hard Drive Recovery Software
What is a good software for repairing bad sectors, Master Boot Records and other hard drive problems for FAT and NTFS hard drives for XP and Vista OS. I am looking for something free or full featured demo. I need something that can repair and not simply recover individual damaged files.
Thursday, March 11th, 2010
3:30 pm

Saturday, October 31st, 2009
10:11 pm
Hi, I am new to Live Journal and I am looking to find people who are into computers.  I have some hard drives in for work/repair - seagate 7500.11 barracuda just wondering if anyone has some good tips on software/hardware to retrieve the data from these problem drives? what are your views on the HDRC head kit?

Cheers and *Happy New Year*
Friday, September 18th, 2009
6:54 pm
Seagate crash

I have a very new Seagate FreeAgent DESK for mac external harddrive, 1 tb.

The other day at school it kept flashing the "device removal" warning, but I didnt do anything to it.

I got a firewire 400/800 cord and the drive popped up on my computer, but it was missing the contents of the folder I was working in when it started having problems.

THATS when I called apple care, and then after all the things they tried and the tests they did, it didnt show up on my computer at all anymore.

I went into the mac store tonite and they said that I would need data recovery, and that it was going to be craaaaaaaazy expensive.

Any advice?

How do you all back up files?

I am a photographer and have tons of files......nothing backed up (I know this was bound to happen)

Is there a cheaper way to get the files off of my harddrive?
Thursday, July 16th, 2009
3:02 pm
ATI 4850 issue
I hope this is allowed here. I'm having a driver update issue with my video card. As in, it refuses to update.

The latest driver for the card is 9.6 (aka June 2009). I download it okay, and it says it updates successfully. And yet, my driver version is stuck at 8.560 (June 2008). The CCC updates to 9.6 but the actual video driver won't.

I need to update though because I'm having issues in Fallout 3 (lag in open areas, even with settings on medium) and Sims 3 (hair disappearing w/vsync on, jaggy edges and screen tearing w/vsync off). If anyone could help that'd be greatly appreciated.

Computer Specs:
HP m9500z
- AMD Phenom(TM) II X4 920 (2.8GHz)
- 1GB ATI Radeon HD 4850
- 320GB 7200 HDD
- Windows 7 build 7100

Current Mood: distressed
Thursday, April 9th, 2009
1:00 pm
Odd CPU fan
I have a frankenstein system, built by a friend, with a rather noisy CPU fan. I figure, no problem, check the size and buy a newer, quieter fan. And  that's when I discovered the weird... The fan that sits on the heatsink does not have standard spaced holes, and the bracket it screws into  is attached to the heatsink. I don't want to change out the whole thing, just replace the fan, but I haven't been able to find a replacement fan that looks like it would work.

What I have = a round, 80mm fan with screw channels set at a rectangle of 60mm and 70mm; it has a 3 pin power connector. I have searched many different ways on Google, Newegg, etc. and can't find a similar fan. Every fan I find has square/standard spaced holes.
The only markings on the current fan are = T CPU Cooler DC 12v brushless Made in China

Anybody have some helpful advice for finding a quieter replacement fan that will fit ?
Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
7:22 am
Hey, I'm new to the community, just like to say hi.

Down to serious matters, I was wondering who is or has done the MCSE course

(Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer)

I was wondering about doing that course but at the same time asking myself what the
industry is like. Is there alot of jobs around for people who can obtain a MCSE degree/
Diploma/whatever its called.
Friday, February 27th, 2009
6:25 pm
Et tu, Linksys?
Hey, hope this is the appropriate place.

I'm having an issue with my Linksys router.

Long story shortCollapse ), the signal drops out anywhere from 1 - 4 times a day. I have to unplug it each time to get it back up and going. Now, I know how to access the settings page and all that noise, but once inside, most of it is Greek to me.

So, any ideas? It's killing me to open up my computer and have it tell me, "No, get your ass up and reset the router. Then you can waste time."

Thanks in advance.
Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
7:22 pm
general crossfire question
I just got teh MSI K9A2 platimun mobo , and I'm curious to know if I can run 2 hd 3870's and 2 hd 3870 x2's in crossfire as long as their stats are the same?

i'm looking to set it up sa such... ie:
pci-e 1 3870 x2
pci-e 2 3870
pci-e 3 3870
pci-e 4 3870 x2



Thursday, September 18th, 2008
4:00 pm
Benchmarking and burn in
What are your favorite, preferably free, tools for benchmarking and testing of computers and performing initial burn in testing?
Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
9:53 pm
WinXP help needed ._.

One of my local cybercafe's desktops doesn't list my USB drive among the usual C:-etc. letters anymore, from Windows Explorer (it should be F:, after the two CD-drive letters), but I can reach it okay from [Open File] in Firefox.

I can't right-click-and-Explore either - any attempt to reach my USB via Windows Explorer doesn't work at all.

It was fine this morning. How the hell did this happen?
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008
10:34 am
Adobe CS Sys Req
Can anyone give me a quick n' dirty description of how to set up a computer for best use of Adobe Creative Sute? I'm the IT guy, don't use the software myself, but I am required to configure it all and keep it happy.

I understand a scratch disk is needed and the sys req on Adobe's site says RAID 0 is recommended. Mainly I'm interested in learning how the disk configuration should look and if there are any caveats to software installation.

Mac or Windows advice welcome. Publisher currently uses Windows but is interested in using Mac.

RAM and other hardware recommendations welcome.

Current Mood: busy
Friday, June 20th, 2008
11:10 am

Wow, it’s kind of intimidating how much people on this LJ know about different aspects of computers.  I don’t know THAT much, but I do work for a website (go figure) called GoJobs.com.  We’re an online job board and we are in the middle of a major site redesign, which is supposed to make our site easier to use for job seekers and deliver up more targeted results. 


If you wouldn’t mind taking a look (heck, you might find a job, too) and leaving some feedback, that would be fantastic!

We are specifically looking for comments and feed back regarding the Useability, layout, and content from people in the technical community (hence the posting to this community, rather than to some basic website).

Any comments are greatly appreciated:




Thanks in advance, everyone.  Good luck in your future endeavors!


(This is cross-posted content.)

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