Posts Categorised: Misc Hardware

0Ultrabook logo laptop vaio sonyBetter than an ultrabook?

Intel have announced a new ini­ti­at­ive to push laptops sim­il­ar to the Mac­Book Air.  The ini­tial require­ments are a weight of up to 1.4Kg, thick­ness of 20mm and bat­tery life of 5+ hours.  For man­u­fac­tur­ers to qual­i­fy for intel mar­ket­ing money ultra­books also must have no optic­al drive, an SSD, and CULV pro­cessors.

I have been recently been look­ing for a sim­il­ar type of laptop — I was asked to find some­thing with excel­lent per­form­ance, 5+ hours bat­tery, under 2Kg, with at least a 13.3″ screen, USB3, Optic­al drive, HDMI and VGA.  A dock­ing port would be a bonus.  The faster, light­er, longer-bat­tery-life the bet­ter.… Read Full Art­icle

2Inside HDD LogoFix for problems with Seagate Momentus XT

I’ve had prob­lems with the new Seag­ate Momentus XT hard­drive in my new­est HTPC.  The PC was lock­ing up every 48 hours or so (which may have been related to standby), was occa­sion­ally jerky, and upon reboot would often refuse to boot with an error about a miss­ing boot device, which could only be fixed with a hard power cycle.  There is a firm­ware update for the drive to SD25 but this didn’t resolve the issue.  How­ever, after I changed the power man­age­ment set­tings in Win­dows 7 to nev­er spin-down the hard­drive, the prob­lems all went away.  Suc­cess!

Update (14-Sept-2011).  Seag­ate has released firm­ware SD28.  There are reports that this fixes sev­er­al issues and is a worth­while update.

0Dell 3130CN LogoExcellent utility to fix Epson printers

I had a prob­lem with an old Epson Stylus Photo R200 print­er.  Des­pite being loaded with paper and fresh genu­ine ink cart­ridges, the unit refused to print.  The 2 red warn­ing lights on top were flash­ing altern­ately.  After con­sid­er­able googling I dis­covered that this error code is related to the ink cart­ridge clean­ing well.  Appar­ently it gets full of ink after a cer­tain num­ber of head clean­ing cycles.  As usu­al with cheap inkjet print­ers, the warn­ing is based on a counter, not on the actu­al full­ness of the clean­ing well, and the error can be bypassed by reset­ting the counter in the print­er.  The good news is there is a util­ity which will do just that.  Although it doesn’t list sup­port, I can con­firm that the util­ity does work fine on Win­dows 7 x64, so I believe it should work on every ver­sion of win­dows since Win­dows 95!

0PSU LogoPSU Efficiency 4 — Modern gaming PC

This art­icle on PSU effi­ciency for a mod­ern sandy bridge gam­ing PC fol­lows on from 3 pre­vi­ous art­icles, about PSU effi­ciency for a medi­um power serv­er, a medi­um use very high power gam­ing PC and a low power serv­er or HTPC.
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0PSU LogoPower Supply Efficiency: worth the upgrade? part 3

This is the third install­ment in a series of art­icles address­ing PSU effi­ciency.  Art­icle one focused on a the­or­et­ic­al new serv­er, art­icle 2 on a typ­ic­al desktop PC.  This art­icle will focus on a cur­rent real serv­er, and intro­duces a new PSU — an 80+ plat­in­um mod­el.
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0PSU LogoLow power PC — new or old PSU

I have a serv­er that oper­ates 24.7. It occurred to me that I may be able to save some money on elec­tri­city bills if I could reduce its power con­sump­tion. It already has a low power AMD Sem­pron LE-1100 CPU so the power draw of the sys­tem should be quite low, but the PSU is quite old and not espe­cially effi­cient. This got me think­ing about Power sup­plies designed for low power sys­tems. There are plenty of 80+ cer­ti­fied PSU’s out there with 500+ watt rat­ings, but are these actu­ally worth the invest­ment for a low power sys­tem?
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