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Everything posted by Pyrion

  1. I don't print a whole lot either and I saw a definite savings on dumping inkjet in favor of laser, despite the fact that the laser printer costed a lot more from the start. $200-250 isn't going to buy you much, laser-wise. You're likely looking at a starting price of $400-500 for a decent multifunction laser printer/fax/scanner device. The savings is in the cost per page printed, though. My whole family sharing one printer would average about a pair of ink cartridges (black and tri-color) every two months, so that's $100 x 6 = $600 a year on ink (HP, go fig). Switching to laser, I'm still on the factory-provided color toner cartridges and just last month installed a replacement black toner cartridge for $65, and the printer was purchased late March of last year. I'll stop preaching now though, cuz I have yet to find a multifunction laser fax/printer that I actually like, let alone something that fits your budget.
  2. If it's an inkjet, I don't know if anything you buy can really be considered "inexpensive" once you factor in the cost of ink.
  3. OCR's been on Slashdot multiple times, so I don't know if this is really all that "significant."
  4. I wasn't aware that they had to be jumpered for different SATA modes. Anyway, read these two over, see if they help: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=981&p_created=1052339456&p_sid=yb3erjEi&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9OTQ5JnBfcHJvZHM9JnBfY2F0cz0mcF9wdj0mcF9jdj0mcF9zZWFyY2hfdHlwZT1zZWFyY2hfZm5sJnBfcGFnZT0x&p_li=&p_topview=1 http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1461&p_created=1155663270&p_sid=yb3erjEi&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MjcyJnBfcHJvZHM9MCZwX2NhdHM9MCZwX3B2PSZwX2N2PSZwX3NlYXJjaF90eXBlPWFuc3dlcnMuc2VhcmNoX2ZubCZwX3BhZ2U9MSZwX3NlYXJjaF90ZXh0PVNBVEE*&p_li=&p_topview=1
  5. July? When and where? Cuz I know I'm certainly not otherwise doing anything for the next three months.
  6. In the unlikely event I needed to connect my computer to a domain server, home editions wouldn't cut it. Business editions don't include the media center software, which is what I ideally was going to run with the TV tuner. So, the only thing that has both the media center edition and the domain connectivity is Ultimate. And regarding retail vs OEM, that's a licensing quirk. OEM is tied to the machine it's initially activated on. Retail you can actually change your configuration and reactivate. OEM you cannot - you'd be forced to buy a new license. Very important in my case as I first activated this on my old Athlon64 3200, and the upgrade to the Athlon64 X2 5600 would've necessitated buying ANOTHER copy.
  7. ZoneAlarm is good, if a bit annoying with the prompts. Vista's firewall seems alright, but I wouldn't know if these things are really helping as my net connection's shared through a NAT router.
  8. If you're running windows, yes you should be behind a firewall. Even if you're only browsing the same set of sites. Under no circumstances should a Windows box be left wide-open to the outside world, not even for gaming purposes.
  9. For a completely new rig, as opposed to upgrading? About $1500-2000. Much cheaper if you use just regular 7200RPM SATA drives as opposed to WD Raptors. It cost me ~$1600 (including taxes and shipping) just to upgrade my rig to run Vista x64, including the cost of Vista itself, and I needed a new HD anyway cuz the new motherboard only had a single PATA bus. Let's see: $250, 1 WD Raptor 150GB. $400, Vista Ultimate retail. $180, AMD Athlon64 X2 5600 $190, Gigabyte GA-M59SLI-S5 motherboard (discontinued as far as Newegg is concerned apparently, so I think I got the last one, lol) $240, 4GB (2x2GB) G.Skill PC2-6400 5-5-5-15. $160, Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 (which doesn't yet work in Vista x64). (You can just skip this altogether, Vista doesn't seem to like TV tuners and you're probably not building yourself a media center PC anyway.) If you're building a new rig, factor in the cost of optical drives, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, case, power supply, possibly another hard drive (I had a 160GB SATA drive I could keep as my media drive). Oh, and a video card. Almost forgot that. That adds another $500 for a decent DX10 card (skip the 8800GTS if you can and go with a GTX).
  10. Top of the line as in top of the line right NOW? Vista, for DX10. Top of the line for last year? Stick with XP Pro.
  11. Yeah, you could start by prying off your Windows keys with a screwdriver, and then kill any unnecessary processes or anything that would attempt to automatically connect to the Internet. ...you're on dialup?
  12. Were this three years ago I'd recommend Monarch Computer. Monarch Computer was lol a few months ago, now they're gone. Anyway, check resellerratings before buying from some place you've never heard of before. Just in case.
  13. Get some of those USB to PS2 adapters and switch your keyboard and mouse over to that. Seriously. Just remember to shut your system off first so you don't run the risk of shorting out your motherboard.
  14. It's cheaper to buy a brand name, most of the time. It's much more rewarding and educational to build it yourself though. I do the latter, even though it costs more.
  15. The Wii only outputs up to what, 480p? Have you ever tried to browse at 640x480 on a PC? Just as difficult, and dare I say, retarded.
  16. To my knowledge, the only things that make Firefox consume a lot of CPU are animated gifs and large page loads (such as any thread of over a couple hundred replies on this forum when viewing them in hybrid or threaded mode). It can't be avoided, just ameliorated to an extent by upgrading one's CPU. Memory usage can be tweaked, somewhat, in about:config under browser.cache.memory.capacity (and whether or not you want to enable memory caching via browser.cache.memory.enable). Otherwise, downgrade to a version before 2.0 as Firefox noticeably consumed much more memory at and after 2.0 than before.
  17. Has PPR sunk so low as to solicit participation from other forums? I guess it has.
  18. Another note, if you're running an nForce4, download the hacked SATA drivers off of the nforcershq forum (the ones that are technically for a newer version of the nforce chipset) and follow the directions there to get your system out of PIO mode and into DMA mode where it belongs. I went from doing sequential file transfers across two SATA drives at around 6MB a second to over 30MB a second, and CPU utilization went from near-100% to practically nothing, so if it seems like Vista is dirt-slow and consuming a lot of CPU, that's probably why. It still disturbs me that both of my SATA drives are detected as FibreChannel SCSI drives, but at least the SATA controller works as it should.
  19. BTW, XP died on my machine early this morning. I'm running Vista Ultimate now. Several thoughts: 1. Activating online doesn't seem to work properly - about an hour after I activated this copy, without having changing anything in hardware, Vista wanted to be activated again, so I had to do it over the phone. Annoying, but it hasn't bothered me since then. 2. If you have legacy hardware from 5-6 years ago, and there are no Vista drivers for it by now, upgrade. In particular, PCI TV tuners. I just bought a new Hauppauge tuner to replace my ATI tuner cuz ATI won't write drivers for it. Understandably so - It's ancient. 3. 2GB RAM minimum. Even for X64, which by the way is quite awesome. 4. Regarding RAM usage, don't put much stock in the whole "zomg I'm using a lot of RAM" complaint - unused RAM is wasted RAM, as far as I'm concerned. Now yes it's a bit disturbing for an OS to take up half your RAM but it's a sign of the times, and why Vista's the last client OS MS will make to support 32-bit processors. 5. If your desktop wallpapers are in PNG format, convert them to JPG or BMP. Vista can't seem to handle PNG wallpapers, whereas XP handled them just fine. 6. Aero is quite sweet, although when all is said and done, it's just XP with crossfading transitions. System-wise, Vista seems just as responsive as XP was. I've yet to notice any really bad slowdown in games, but I've yet to reinstall Oblivion. 7. I surmise part of the reason Vista seems responsive is I installed on a WD Raptor 10KRPM drive as opposed to your run-of-the-mill 7200RPM drive. For some stupid reason, probably nVidia's hackery with their nForce4 Vista drivers, both of my SATA hard drives are detected as SCSI drives. Whatever. It doesn't seem to impact performance any. 8. Harkening back to the TV tuner issue, anything you have that utilizes hardware overlay won't run in Vista, period. It's all DirectShow now. 9. Disk Defragmenting is boring as sin now. I mean it used to be somewhat interesting watching the little graph in Disk Management but they gutted that altogether it seems. Oh well, I'm just sticking with Contig. Chkdsk got a nice overhaul now, it acts the same as it does in Server 2003, presenting a lot more useful information than XP's chkdsk ever did. 10. In x64, there are two Program Files directories. The (x86) one is for your 32-bit apps, and the regular one is for 64-bit apps. It's important to note particularly with programs like VirtualDub that if certain things like VFW codecs don't seem to show up in 64-bit, they probably will in 32-bit. Quite annoying then that FRAPS doesn't yet have a 64-bit decompressor for its recordings. Anyway, need to take a shower and then I'll likely stay up all night fooling around with Vista some more.
  20. Not really. If any of 'em are Linux holdouts they're happy that MS has finally implemented something akin to sudo. It's only a pissoff to those idiots that assumed Windows installs would be single-user admin privileges forever, despite how inherently stupid that policy is.
  21. The 93.71's suck. I switched to beta 97.73 and they're the best drivers I've ever used. No problems whatsoever.
  22. Disable User Access Controls. I'm guessing it's a service, but as I don't have Vista installed yet, I wouldn't know.
  23. Come hell or high water, I'm sticking with AMD. See, I'm past the "fanboy" stage, well into "zealot."
  24. It seems to be a per-game thing. Neverwinter Nights 2 runs entirely in a single thread, so while you can run it on a multi-core or multi-processor system, you'll only be using one core. I don't understand that whole "dedicate a core to the system" notion because what the HELL is your system doing besides the foreground app that actually needs a whole core to itself? It's probably better to set processor affinity for your foreground app and let everything else share the remaining core, but honestly I'd rather let Windows handle it automatically and only set processor affinity for single processes that don't support multicore processors.
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