I’ve had an AMD E350 system for over a year, which I use as my primary HTPC. However, in that time I’ve always had ocasional stability issues where the system would lock up, reboot, and fail to find the primary HDD. At first I put this down to the HDD – a Seagate Momentus XT, which was known to be unreliable when it was first released. Since Seagate released update firmware however the drive has seemed to operate fine, although I couldn’t rule it out. I also updated the BIOS of my Asus E35M1-M Pro and updated all the drivers I could find, without fully resolving the issue.
Posts Categorised: Computing
So, Windows 8 is coming in late July (October for retail customers). There are no signs that Microsoft will relent provide an option to switch back to the Windows 7 start menu, and instead will force the horrible metro interface upon everyone. As a result many of us will undoubtedly stick quite happily with Windows 7, however there are 2 reasons to use Windows 8: being forced to as it will come on all new PCs soon and for improvements including a performance increase and the new storage spaces feature amongst others. If you fall into either of these camps but, like me, can’t stand metro, there are now more options available than when I last wrote about this issue.
Occasionally my HTPC gets bogged down doing something and in frustration the less technical of the household may choose to press the tempting reset button to get things going again. Occasionally this upsets Windows 7 which attempts to launch “startup repair”. Despite the name, ‘startup repair’ has never repaired any startup problems for me, but instead often causes problems by changing settings or replacing files I don’t want replaced. So, I’ve decided to disable it
This is just a quick post to mention an excellent guide I recently used when installing Windows 7 on an old Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31Z laptop. I was having significant difficulty installing several drivers, in particular those for the nVidia GeForce 8600M GS (hardware ID:
PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0425&SUBSYS_9005104D&REV_A1) which was stubbornly remaining a “Standard vga adapter”. Sony don’t provide any Windows 7 drivers, and the generic nVidia drivers don’t recognise the hardware version in the Vaio, instead offering the unhelpful error “The NVIDIA setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatible with your current hardware. Setup will now exit.” There is no good reason for this – the drivers have been disabled in software purely because OEM’s like Sony don’t want users installing drivers from nVidia that they (Sony) haven’t checked on their specific hardware configuration. This would be understandable if Sony actually bothered to provide support for their old hardware, but since they don’t this situation really isn’t acceptable.
As TV and movie content gradually moves, kicking and screaming, onto the Internet, the demand for ways to manage all the media we consume continues to grow. Whilst the majority of TV is still not available from legitimate sources online, there are now some series which are, including Pioneer One – a BitTorrent only TV series. Good lists of legal torrent providers are available from gigaom here and here. Public Domain Movie Torrents also provides links to movies which are now free of copyright. In some jurisdictions it may also be considered legitimate to download content you already own in another format, or to download content instead of recording it on a set-top box. Either way, the time for improved automatic download services is now here. Below I detail the easiest way to automatically download TV episodes that I’ve discovered so far. (more…)
Earlier today I updated our test site, in preparation for rolling updates out to the main site. This involved updating several plugins and replacing the “BeforeTheDeadline” plugin with Jetpack. After completing the updates I found I was getting several error messages on the dashboard, under the “incoming links” dashboard widget, and even more errors when I tried to empty the W3 Total Cache caches.
For the last 2-3 months I’ve been too busy to write much new content for the site. This hasn’t been helped by a drop in things to write about – most of my articles are about technology fixes or exciting new HTPC related developments. There haven’t been too many new developments, and I haven’t fixed much technology because I’ve been too busy. That doesn’t mean the site has been entirely ignored however…
In this post I provide documentation and support for my OpenTTD Cuba scenario