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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Some minor things to report...

This will be brief.

Google's Desktop search ( kicks ass!! So go get it.

Google's text messaging search is also cool:

A blast from my past occurred this week as our division manager needed assistance reconnecting a Windows 98 PC to his home network. The usual checks were made ensuring the NIC was installed right. Those checks are to run WINIPCFG and make sure you have a listing for your network card, and hopefully an IP that is valid. A good check is to set your NIC's IP and try and ping it. If you get replies, its installed right. Next make sure you can ping your gateway. And finally make sure your cable is well connected. Also make sure the cable you are using is a CAT 5, 5e or CAT 6 cable. One error had someone switch from a Windows ICS setup with 2 PC's and using a crossover cable. Upon their upgrade to a router that cable will only work in the uplink port so be aware of your cabling.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Its the little ones you have to watch out for...

What started out as a simple re-build job for a Gateway solo 1200 laptop turned out to be a bit of a chore. It started with the laptop struggling to copy the Windows 2K or XP setup files during the DOS portion of the install. In fact, I was getting various bluescreens during install with both OS's. I thought since both CD's were in good shape that there was an issue with the CD-ROM drive, a fair conclusion. However, after the install of a new CD-ROM I was still having issues. I broke out some old schoold Win 9x boot disks, loaded SMARTDRV read-cacheing tool and copied the i386 folder to the HD (fast and w/o issue). The install from the HD lead to the same blue screens. A new BIOS flash later I was making no progress until a different blue screen thanks to windows 2000 and stop error 0x00000067. That lead to 2 KB articles, one of which suggest bad RAM and to test and replace. NO! it could be bad chips? YES it was. Bootable memory check from confirmed bad memory from about 20 - 35MB segments on the computer. I just realized that that laptop has 64 MB on-board the motherboard and 64 MB in an add-in card. I will have to go back and check if its the on-board memory or the add-in SODIMM. Today's lesson, check those stop errors completely and run all tests before assuming.

Update: Well, I pulled the add-in RAM and the on-board soldered to the MB RAM is dead. Damn. Laptop is now only good for parts.

Thursday, October 07, 2004


There is nothing more that I hate than having to fix, work-on, and diagnose car issues. Being the owner of a 1986 300zx there is always an issues to work on. But my new issue is with my 2001 VW Jetta GLS and the stock radio. Now for those not familar with Jetta's, the front stero in an '01 is 2 bays big. The head unit sits in the middle of the front dash and contains the radio and cassette. Above that is the single CD bay (aka din). For about a month or 2 now I have had little or no radio reception. Now the roof antenna appears undamaged and well screwed in. Playing with it by hand has no effect on the systems ability to get better signal. Where I am from in Tannersville, PA there are 3 strong radio stations that come in at about 60-70% quality: 93.5, 107.1, and 107.9. We also usually have no problems getting stations from NW NJ and the Lehigh Valley of PA: 106.3, 95.1, 96.1, 99.9, 103.7, 104.1. However NONE of those stations come in with even a whisper of clarity.

So this is my first "I need your help BLOG" Please post comments and suggestions to assit me in checking the system out.

Many online sources point to the amplified antenna to be the culprit. Several things could be at issue. A poor ground due to corrosion or a friend amplifier. Since I have a partial signal, I would suspect corrosion. Stay tuned...