Saturday, June 30, 2007

Laptop hard drive upgrade

Just last night a friend asked me to install a new hard drive in his Dell Latitude C600 laptop. Seemed simple enough . Biggest challenge was transferring data or reinstalling his operating system (XP Pro) on the new larger drive. I looked up his system specs and other information on the drive. I was also researching on either reinstalling XP Pro versus transferring (or cloning) data. Upon checking out the new hard drive( Seagate 60 gb, st96812AS-RK) when I took it out I noticed something was amiss when I took it out of the box to inspect it I noticed it had a serial(SATA) interface. I rechecked the Dell Specs which were vague about the hard drive actual interface. I did find that it had an IDE interface. To confirm this I took out the old drive just to be 100% positive and sure enough no match. Now were back to square one. I don't know why I hadn't noticed this before because it says Serial ATA on the box. I haven't been able to get a hold of my friend yet to tell him so not sure where to go from here. He could return get his money back or buy a external enclosure for it and use it in addition to his 20 gb drive. Oh well we'll see.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bob's PC Tip of the Day

Recently I received an email with a ".pdf" at first I just figured it's either some type of virus, spam or some other type of malware. I deleted it at first. Then I read this article and double checked the email again and sure enough it fell under "Pump and Dump Stock Scammers" . What first drew my attention to this type of email was the type of attachment was the file type used which was the first time I noticed them using a .pdf file type(associated with Adobe Reader). I've received these "Pump and Dump" type before but not like this. A quick definition of "Pump and Dump" is an email or message urging you to buy a certain type of stock in hopes to "pump" up the price of a particular stock. They generally are harmless and probably fall under the annoyance type of spam. More on this subject can be found in an article by Mary Landesman on website.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What to do with older PC's?

In keeping the current politically correctness everything "Green". One might ask what to do with older PC's sitting around your closet, basement or garage collecting dust and taking up space. In my opinion anything with Pentium 2 or older is really not much good for more than some word processing, basic internet and emailing or perhaps for storage of old pictures or programs. Perhaps your even savvy enough to make a home server out of it. Perhaps your parents,spouse, significant other, landlord neighbors or board of health are tired of them lying around the other alternatives are to donate, sell or recycle.

This one is pretty much up to your discretion. Perhaps you could give it to a relative or friend who could use one. Then there are schools, churches or even place like the Salvation Army that I'm sure will take them.

Pentiums 1 and 2 or older generally are a hard sell. Unless they are some how a collectors item for some geek who must have a particular model your not going to get much if anything for them. Pentium 3's are approaching this threshold also . Even to sell on Ebay is cost prohibitive because just the cost of shipping a PC(nevermind an older CRT type of monitor) is often more than the PC is worth (or very least going cut into your whatever amount might be left for your wallet). If you make it local pickup(or local delivery) you might have some better luck on Ebay or Craigslist. But your potential customers are limited to your local area.

Everyone talks of recycling these days. To simply throw out your old PC in the trash is often against the law in many place depending on your local ordinances. Business's can be fined if found to be throwing away old equipment in the dumpsters. In my case I found that the local Rhode Island landfill has dates that you can bring you old PC's and other electronic equipment on certain dates. I've done this on occasion and is actually quite painless and you don't even have to get out of your vehicle. I'll be moving to Massachusetts soon so I had to find out ahead of time what the locals in my new residence do. An excellent reference I've found was Earth 911 website to be simple and easy to look up your local laws, practices and locations on how to recycle these items.

I hope this was helpful to you in some way. Pentium 3's and 4's do have some value and you may have better luck selling on Ebay or Craigslist depending on condition and how well equipped they. Your humble writer here always accepts donations too but I don't expect them. Good luck and thanks for torturing yourself in reading this much of my horrible writing.

New (old) Network Card for HP

Exciting day here. I installed a network card(standard network card that was lying around) for the HP Pavillion. The goal was to be able to network this one with my other computer. Also to be able connect to router/modem when necessary. I'd need a crossover Ethernet (cat 6 ) cable to connect to one of my other computers(which I don't have at the moment). May order one from Newegg along with 56k modem for Compaq. Still hope to get original install disk for the HP so I can do a fresh install. After that I'm unsure exactly what I'll do with it. I may give it to my son to use or find someone else who could use it.Hope you enjoy the pictures of the exciting action taking place here.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Not much going on today...

Spent most of the day out with the family for one of my wife's aunt's graduation(nursing school). Didn't leave much time for working on things today. The only real task I have pending is formatting and getting the Compaq ready for shipment should it sell on Ebay. I have jury duty tomorrow so I won't be back to do anything until tomorrow night.

Just out of the blue....

Just a perhaps amusing question comes to mind while looking around my clutter. Does anyone still use floppy drives anymore? I've got six of them pulled from working machine's I've come across over the years. I hate to throw anything away that still works or might be of use in the future. I've tried numerous time's to sell them (usually on Ebay) but have never sold one. Doesn't help much they're cheap at your local office or computer store. Most new PC's aren't equipped with them anymore though usually can still be added as optional. Not to mention the advent of flashdrives probably put the death knell on them. I've many floppies still around most of which probably old or obsolete documents or programs. I keep telling myself I'm going to go through them an throw ones I don't need or are corrupted. I've rarely used them on other machines except to boot an old system or look up old documents.

Good morning...

A couple of more pictures.My messy work desk. The computer with the monitor on it is an old Pentium class with Windows 98se on I mainly use if I need to run my old scanner. The other further to the right is my Gateway low profile with a Pentium III class Celeron running with 1.0 ghz,40gb drive, 512mb of RAM with Windows XP Pro. It's my main work horse. and of course my library you can see on the shelf. Maybe someday I'll have a real office.

And More....

The first is an HP Pavillion XE783 I got from a friend I work with. Nice condition works well. Unsure what to do with just yet. The second is a case I got (from another friend) from TigerDirect as a thank you for the work I had done on his computer. It's called a Demon II ATX computer case. Only has power supply at the moment. I hope to build from this someday.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

More stuff...

A couple of more project's I'm working on. One is a Compaq IPAQ Desktop I picked up on Ebay a week ago and Dell GX150 (slim design). Both are basket cases. The Dell only powers on and nothing else. Needs hard drive,cd-drive memory and I believe a new mother board/CPU. The Compaq is only a little better that the Bios does boot when powered on but goes no further. This one is missing a CD-Drive and hard drive. I'm a glutton for punishment that's for sure.

history part 2

After doing that I've helped friends and family with upgrades, repairing and even built a couple for a friend of mine. Mostly for a thank you and perhaps some gas money for my trouble. I've done a few online and home study courses on PC repair. Have often toyed with the idea of running a pc repair or refurbishing business but felt I lacked the experience, time and money to start up. I don't want to bore anyone with all the details of past experiences.

Currently I'm on a refurbishing kick starting about a month ago when I bought a Compaq Deskpro EN (Small form factor) PC off Ebay. Starting off with a Pentium III 1.0 ghz CPU, 20gb drive and 256mb RAM. I added a 64mb RAM Nvidia GEforce 4 video card, is now up 384mb of RAM memory and also added an extra 4 usb 2.0 ver. ports in the back. I did have Windows 2000 Pro installed just to make sure parts were working. It's currently listed on Ebay. This is the second time I've listed unfortunately the first time wasn't successful. We'll see how this one fairs with some tweaking.
I'm not exactly sure where to start from. My computer repairing started about 6-7 years ago when I wanted to upgrade my then new Gateway computer so I could do some gaming. Which is still currently running as our household computer to this day. It started out as a Gateway Essential 433 with a 433mhz Intel Celeron Chip, 10gb Hard Drive, 64mb of RAM , with onboard video and audio all operating on Windows 98se. The game to blame was a racing game Motor City Online by Electronic Arts. By the time I was finished (a relative term) It had a 1.0 ghz Celeron processor,256mb of RAM, 64mb RAM video card, Soundblaster 16 sound card, 40gb harddrive and now is running Windows 2000 Professional, and also now has a CD-writer. After which I said to myself that wasn't too hard to do. Well a bit more later, dinner is served talk to you soon.


I'll be adding more latter today or tomorrow. Please stay tuned....