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First Boot, BIOS, and Software

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The first boot of the systems takes me to the BIOS. I disable the following: Legacy Diskette A:, HDD SMART monitoring (doesn’t work for this configuration). I then find the two menus I’m not totally familiar with. Under advance there is a menu JumperFree Configuration and CPU Configuration. They both mostly listed things as enabled or auto. I’ll get back to those two later.

I save changes and exit, booting in Vista 64 Ultimate now. Within a few minutes BSOD! The BSOD mentions STOP 0x0000000A, IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, and something about updating my bios. After some searching I found the following on Microsoft’s support page: Error message when you try to install Windows Vista on a computer that uses more than 3 GB of RAM: “STOP 0x0000000A”

3882-500-345

Annoyed, I removed two sticks of ram.  I now have 2 GB and I am able to boot into Windows. I apply the update, along with a few others. Shut down, reinstall ram, boot up. No more blue screens since then.

I start installing drivers and included software now. The most notable of the bunch here is the ASUS software, ASUS AI Suite. It is an interface to the various power saving functions of the motherboard. You can also “easily” over clock and monitor your system temperatures. I did not like the UI for this software at all. ai_gearasus-ai-suite

You get this gear shifter and you shift it high or low depending on your needs. High being performance and low being maximum power savings. I didn’t want or need this functionality. I wanted my clock speed to stay constant. No option at all to do this. As far as the easy over clocking, I did over clock using it to 20%. It booted and worked but I didn’t like how it made the changes. I ended up uninstalling all the ASUS software.

I thought that would stop my clock speed from changing on it’s own but it didn’t. I had to go back into the BIOS, into the advance menu. I set JumperFree Configuration to “Standard” and everything under CPU configuration was disabled. 

After that everything I almost had everything running how I wanted it to. The last issue was the way Vista was detecting my SATA hard drive. It was showing up as a removable SCSI drive. Apparently there are/were a lot of issues with the Nvidia chipset drivers. I downloaded the latest 750i nForce driver for Vista 64 and it solved my problems. I would later read I should never use the nforce drivers…but so far they’ve been fine.

Written by Matthew A. Darragh

October 21, 2008 at 10:30 am

Building a new PC

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I recently built a new desktop PC. I was looking to build one as a budget gaming machine. I also wanted to move into more recent technologies. I was still using a five year old single core P4 with hyper-threading, AGP graphics card, DDR 400 ram, IDE hard drives, etc.

Parts:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200

Motherboard: ASUS P5N-D

RAM: Corsair XMS2 (1GB x 4)

Power Supply (PSU): Corsair vx550

Hard Drive: Seagate 7200.11 500GB 32MB Cache (SATA)

CD / DVD Burner: LITE-ON iHAS220 (SATA)

Video Card: EVGA 8800 GT 512MB

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion

CPU Fan: Golden Orb II

A lot of these choices were based on prices, reviews, and features. The e7200 seemed very over clock friendly. The motherboard was a hard choice. There are cheaper boards and I couldn’t decide if I wanted a 750i or P45 board. I ended up with the 750i just incase I wanted to do SLi in the near future. But honestly, still unsure if I made the right choice.

I bought an aftermarket CPU fan because I really don’t like the stock Intel coolers. I’ve had bad luck with them in the past. The particular cooler I purchased doesn’t cool much more than stock but is very quite.

Installation:

Nothing substantial to note here. Was all pretty straight forward and simple. Even the CPU fan wasn’t that hard. Although if you were to put this fan on an already built computer it would be a pain. It would require you to take out the entire motherboard.

I ended up with plenty of space for all my components. The side air duct cone fit perfectly over the CPU fan.  11-119-068-11

The side panel on this case is more annoying to remove and put back on than more expensive cases though.

Next time I’ll cover the first boot, bios, and some of the *fun* I had installing Windows Vista 64.

Written by Matthew A. Darragh

October 16, 2008 at 8:45 am

Instant Message Spam and Pidgin

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I’ve been getting a lot of IM spam recently. Especially from my Yahoo and AIM accounts. The easiest way to eliminate instant message spam is to go to Tools>Privacy in Pidgin. Then select “Allow only users on my buddy list.”

This doesn’t work very well for me since I give out my IM name(s) a lot. I don’t always remember to add people too. I will also often remove people from my contact list who I no longer remember or recognize.

We’ll I’ve found the perfect Pidgin plugin for this situation, Bot Sentry. I first heard about it on Makeuseof.com and it just took me a bit to try out. Bot Sentry will ask a verification question to whomever tries to send you message, unless they are on your buddy listed or have been approved by you previously. Here is what it will look like on the Spammer’s end.

Spammer: hi i want to spam you
YourNameHere: Bot Sentry engaged: you are now being ignored! Your message will be delivered if you can correctly answer the following question within 10 minutes: How do you spell the number 10?

So far it’s working great. It does have some small issues with at least two other plugins I know. Psychic mode needs to be changed to only display for users on your buddy list. Bot sentry will actually modify this setting and notify you upon first run. Guifications will display typing notifications for the spammer if you have it enabled. There doesn’t seem to be a way to disable it for just those on your buddy list. You can however disable the notification completely.

Written by Matthew A. Darragh

March 16, 2008 at 11:02 am

Archlinux Wallpaper : Carbon Fiber

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ProfessorTomoe posted some nice Arch wallpapers in the forums a few days ago.
Archlinux Carbon Fiber 1 by ProfessorTomoe

Archlinux Carbon Fiber 2 by ProfessorTomoe

Written by Matthew A. Darragh

March 16, 2008 at 9:43 am

Posted in archlinux, wallpaper

Tagged with ,

Mac4Lin

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I’m trying out with Mac4Lin, a very complete theme that attempts to mimic OS X. It includes themes, skins, and icons for compiz, metacity, pidgin, audacious, etc. While it isn’t original art the package is very impressive and I appreciate the effort.

The documentation seems to be a bit dated but it is easy enough to install if you are already into themes.

While not necessarily a part of Mac4Lin, I decided to try out Mac menu bar Gnome panel applet. I was very surprised how well it work. I was disappointed that XUL apps don’t work with it. Basically all non GTK2 applications will not work with it.

I highly doubt I will stick to this setup but I do wish there were more Linux themes that were this complete. Unfortunately the ones that are tend to mimic OS X or Vista.

Mac4Lin on Archlinux

Written by Matthew A. Darragh

March 11, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Use Swap Partition for Windows Swap File

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I don’t currently dual boot but I have in the past. I’ve always wondered if a Linux swap partition could be used by Windows for it’s virtual memory/swap file. I never wondered enough to look for a solution though.

Apparently it is possible and has been for some time. How? With an open source driver called SwapFS, which works with NT, 2000, and XP.

The SwapFS page also contains links to similar drivers. One of them which I used while I did dual boot, EXT2 IFS. It made my EXT3 partitions visible to Windows. I was able to read and write to the partitions too. I did have issues deleting some files that were created under Linux though.  This may have been fixed since I last used it.

Written by Matthew A. Darragh

February 21, 2008 at 11:56 pm

Firefox : “Enable Official Branding” Script

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B-Con posted a thread on the Arch Linux forums asking which Arch packages users rebuild. Firefox comes up a few times because users rebuild it for official branding. Allan then posted a link to a nifty script to automatically rebuild Firefox with official branding. I’ll post it here as well and hope that WordPress won’t mess it up.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Matthew A. Darragh

February 19, 2008 at 9:26 am

Posted in archlinux, firefox

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