Laptop cooling

The user of the Toshiba L500 laptop on the home network recently reported that it was getting a little hot for laptop use. Needless to say, it did not take too long to ascertain that the single cooling fan had ceased to turn, Airflow through the exhaust vent was at an all time low. It isn’t clogged up with dust surprisingly, but with the laptop powered up, a quick jet of compressed air gets the fan turning and stopping after the air jet is turned away. I can get the fan part on eBay for around $25, but I have … Continue reading Laptop cooling

Apple on the block..

I see that Apple are being criticised for getting products made overseas by what we see as slave labour. As bad as it seems for Chinese workers on the electronics production lines, it is probably a better life than they would otherwise get. I know that it is a poor excuse, but that is the way things are and have been for a considerable while. When it comes to health and safety in the West, we are not always shining examples either. The excuse we use is that there are not enough people to police it all. A poor excuse … Continue reading Apple on the block..

Consumer preview?

This is what the next release of Windows 8 is being called. Uh-oh.. does this mean that Windows 8 is pretty much already written in stone just as Windows 7 was at the ‘beta’ stage? More than a few hardened beta testers were not happy to receive “we may include your suggestions in the next major release of Windows’. Some small glitches were passed over, presumably not seen as a reason why the OS could not be released. In some of these cases, the glitches were part of a new design, not bits that had been accidentally left out.. No … Continue reading Consumer preview?

The best anti-virus..

.. is the one that can be installed and forgotten about thereafter. For home users, Microsoft Security Essentials is best and this is why.. Of all anti-virus programs that I have tried, it is the least invasive. It can be like this because it works in conjunction with the Windows firewall and doesn’t have to infiltrate every last corner in Windows. When it needs attention, the system tray icon takes on an orange colour. When it needs dire attention, it takes on a red colour. It doesn’t get any easier. Two elements which require little or no supervision have to … Continue reading The best anti-virus..

Readying for Windows 8 Beta.

While I was looking into the kernel power error, I did some work on tidying the cables inside, essentially to free up a SATA power cable for the drive that will hold the Windows 8 beta. I have a Seagate 160gb SATA drive which has been pushed through tests, and it has passed with flying colours. I am still toying with the idea of using it from the x-bay on the case, but I am a little worried on two counts. There is no cooling on the top of the case, no metal through which the drive can dissipate heat, … Continue reading Readying for Windows 8 Beta.

Kernel power error revisited

All within the space of around three hours.. Yes, it happened again.. This time, I cleaned out all of the fans and closed the covers.. And again it happened.. So this time I removed the filter between the case and the power supply.. And again it happened.. Getting a little bored with the computer by this time, I sat and thought about it, cursed Ultra (the makers of my power supply), and took a closer look. Rather than go out and buy a new PS, I tugged out the power cable and replaced it with one of my many spares. … Continue reading Kernel power error revisited


I read somewhere that CES may not exist come 2015. Microsoft are making their last performance right now. Apple isn’t there. Others will follow. There is always a lot of hype for these shows, but does anybody care other than your local friendly technophobe down the hall? Will the news, weather and re-runs of Mash look any better in 3D than they do now? If everything on TV becomes 3D, instead of chilling out on the couch, half watching some thing, we will feel like we are sitting in the middle of downtown at rush hour. Is that what most … Continue reading CES..

An article on touchscreens..

It brings up some interesting points: I wouldn’t say that they were ‘hidden’ dangers though. maybe some just not completely obvious. What is obvious is that with a reach of around 60cms, my dual screens are 20cms out of reach. They have to be back as far as they are to save me having to put stress on my neck as I glance from one to the other. I set text at 120% to save eyestrain. If they were touch screens, I would have to push in the keyboard tray and slide the chair forward. Why would I want … Continue reading An article on touchscreens..


If you haven’t already heard, Seagate and Western Digital have reduced the warranty period somewhat. It will affect home users most. Seagate are keeping ‘mission critical’ enterprise drives as they are but hybrids and Constellation 2’s will reduce from five to three years. Home user Barracuda’s will be cut from five to just ONE year, all effective for any drive purchased since the beginning of January 2012. Western Digital, my hard drives of choice, have cut Caviar Greens, and Caviar/Scorpio Blues from three to two years. If you bought your drive before the end of 2011, whatever warranty was applicable … Continue reading Warranties..

Caring for a notebook/netbook..

OK, so Santa gave you a new notebook or netbook for Christmas. Cute, eh.. It will not be cute for long if you don’t care for it properly. Cleaning the outside case and the keyboard area. Either buy a kit form your local computer store, or put together a kit of your own. You will require: Isopropyl Alcohol Distilled water. NEVER tap water A lint free cloth Compressed air The Isopropyl Alcohol should be 1:1 with distilled water. Make the mixture up in a spray bottle which can be bought from hardware/dollar stores quite cheaply. Always apply it to the … Continue reading Caring for a notebook/netbook..