All posts by Jim Adkins

Weekend Reading

Not computer related but this looks like a world of fun for someone that has more money than they know what to do with.

For the warbird enthusiast looking for something that offers that little bit extra, the brokers at Platinum Fighter Sales might just have a solution. At $850,000 it isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s also amazingly inexpensive considering the performance it offers. This F-104 Starfighter is a true Mach 2-capable machine that can climb at nearly 50,000 feet per minute, and it looks like it’s achieving its maximum speed when it’s sitting still on the ground. The aircraft for sale also has a storied career behind it, and a very reasonable 2,500 flight hours ‘on the clock.’ This, the fastest of privately available antiques, truly represents a unique opportunity for the biggest speed freak among us, and having the chance to own one, in an airworthy condition, is a rarity indeed.

Windows 11 Slows Down AMD CPU

If you run a system with an AMD CPU, you might want to hold off upgrading to Windows 11 for a bit.

AMD has announced that all of its WIndows 11-compatible processors can suffer from reduced performance in some applications when used with the new operating system, with extreme outliers in eSports gaming titles resulting in up to a 10-15% reduction. For applications, AMD says that the performance impact weighs in at 3–5%. A software update and a Windows Update are in the works to address the issues, with both expected to arrive in October 2021 (this month).

FCC Trying To Stop Overseas Robocalls

The FCC is still trying to stop Robocalls, even those that are coming from overseas. This obviously can’t happen soon enough for most of us.

Ending robocalls is almost like a game of whack-a-mole: Stop one and more pop up. But Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chair of the Federal Communications Commission, thinks she’s found a new hammer to stop the illegal automated spam calls originating from overseas. She’s proposing to close a loophole in FCC regulations to require “gateway” providers to stop robocalls — calls made by automated dialers with recorded messages — before they get to your phone. The agency will vote on the proposal, called the Targeting Gateway Providers to Combat Illegal Robocalls, during its monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Stronger Glass

Researchers have developed a stronger and tougher glass. Now when and how quickly this shows up commercially is still up in the air.

A new type of glass that’s five times more resistant to fractures than standard glass has been created – and it could finally spell an end to smashed phone screens. The glass and acrylic composite material, which ‘offers a combination of strength, toughness and transparency’, was designed by researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Windows 10 Settings

This article has ten settings they say you should disable in Windows 10. I guess I am not doing too bad as I already had eight of them disabled before I read the article.

If you’re a Windows 10 user, you’ll want to spend just a few minutes looking into these default settings, and potentially turning them off, for the sake of privacy, speed and convenience. Here are eight settings that are turned on by default that you can disable in Windows 10. (You can also check out the top Windows 10 tips and tricks, and how to troubleshoot common Windows 10 problems.)

Incognito Mode Subject Of Lawsuit

This confirms once again that lawyers will seek to sue over any little thing today.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai in 2019 was warned that describing the company’s Incognito browsing mode as “private” was problematic, yet it stayed the course because he did not want the feature “under the spotlight,” according to a new court filing. Google spokesman José Castañeda told Reuters that the filing “mischaracterizes emails referencing unrelated second and third-hand accounts.”

More On The Chip Shortage

I kept reading things were getting better with the chip supply. It doesn’t look like that is yet happening though.

The shortage of computer chips is raising the price of new and used cars, delaying shipments of electronics and holding back the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s a huge problem,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNN ahead of leading a White House meeting with manufacturers and users of computer chips. “Everything in your life that has an on-off switch requires semiconductors. Your phone, your car, all of the electronics around you.”

Apple Will Block Fortnite On iOS

So is there even one single person here that didn’t see this coming? I didn’t think so.

Weeks after Epic’s apparent “win” against Apple in the Epic Games v. Apple case, Apple issued a letter denying Epic’s request to have its developer license agreement reinstated until all legal options are exhausted. This effectively bans Fortnite and any other software from the game maker from returning to Apple’s App Store for years.

Microsoft To Replace Passwords

This piece of news had me really excited until I saw the replacements. Take a pin for an example. Isn’t a pin just a numerical password?

Microsoft has a solution for the familiar problem of needing to remember too many passwords: doing away with them altogether. The company announced Wednesday that it will introduce a “passwordless account” option for all users of several popular services such as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft OneDrive in the coming weeks. Microsoft previously made this option available to corporate accounts in March. “You can now completely remove the password from your Microsoft account,” Vasu Jakkal, the company’s corporate vice president of security, compliance and identity, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

Segway’s Navimow Robot

I figured it wouldn’t be too long after the iRobot Roomba that someone came up with a robot to mow your lawn. Well it looks like Segway now has.

Segway has introduced its first robot mower, the Navimow, that uses GPS to stay on your lawn and keep it neatly trimmed. So unlike other robot mowers, you won’t have to install a boundary wire to keep the robot on the right patch of grass. Segway says its Exact Fusion Locating System keeps the Navimow to “precise positions and systematic mowing patterns,” keeping its position accurate to within two centimeters. If its GPS signal is temporarily weak, the Navimow has sensors that will keep it mowing.

Weekend Reading

If you grew up on console gaming instead of PC gaming like me then this might be a no brainer purchase for you. Either way though this is worth your time to check it out.

What’s the difference between software- and hardware-based emulation? “Traditional” emulation is software-based. Developers of popular emulation software create a program that tricks game ROMs—that is, copies made from cartridge- and disc-based games, that you can store on your computer—into thinking they are running on original hardware. These are the emulators you download to your computer or which come preinstalled in retro TV consoles like the NES Classic. Software emulation can be great. It can also be flawed. Some games run poorly, graphics get distorted, sound gets garbled. The games can exhibit slowdown and input lag not present on original hardware. Software emulation can be kind of a crapshoot.

Neon Light Tube Mod

Product: Glow 10″ purple neon light rod
Product Link: Purchased at Target
MFR Link: N/A
Reviewer: Jim Adkins
Date: 10/22/2001

Standard disclaimer here: I can accept no responsibility for any mishap that arises from this article. If you are not comfortable replacing a pigtail, find someone to help you who is. Always take precautions when working with electricity. A while back, I wrote a DIY article on installing an acrylic side panel. I still have that panel, and I have grown attached to it. What better way to show off all my hard work, blue motherboard, blue video card, blue rounded cables, big polished copper heat sink? All I needed now was a neon light.

I started to look for a neon light. What better way to show off my tricked-out rig? What I discovered was much the same as when I wrote the article about acrylic side panels. The neon lighting kits were not cheap. Commonly ranging from thirty to forty dollars, throw in ten or fifteen bucks for shipping, and things are quickly becoming expensive. So I started wondering why I couldn’t put together one of my own? Not only would it save me some money, but also, equally important, it would give me an excuse to tinker around some. Keep on reading!

Noctua NH-U12S Redux Cooler

It’s nice to see Noctua making a budget cooler now. This should broaden their appeal to more than just the hardcore overclockers market.

And if by some chance there isn’t, then it’s only a matter of time until someone builds it. Which is very much the case for the CPU cooler in today’s review, Noctua’s budget-friendly NH-U12S Redux. Already renowned for their high-quality, high-end cooling products, Noctua is working to broaden their market by making their products a bit more accessible to budget buyers, and they’re doing so through products like the Redux. At a high level, the NH-U12S Redux is a cost-reduced version of the company’s very popular NH-U12S cooler. With fewer heatpipes and a different fan, the NH-U12S Redux is intended to bring the quality and cooling performance of its predecessor down to a cheaper, more wallet-friendly price of $50. Which also means that Noctua is more directly facing-off with the other major cooler manufacturers in the highly competitive mainstream market segment.

Yet More SCO vs. IBM

This is unbelievable. For many years I thought this case finished. Now I wonder if it may not outlive me in some form. Sad.

One strand of the ancient and convoluted SCO versus IBM legal mess that sought to determine who owns UNIX – and perhaps has a claim over Linux – may be about to end. The case commenced in 2003, but its roots go even deeper.In 1998 IBM, the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO – a vendor of UNIX for x86 CPUs) and others teamed to create Project Monterey, with the aim of developing a version of UNIX that worked on multiple hardware platforms. Which is just what the Linux community had started doing, too.

More Weekend Reading

Can you smell what this thirty-seven year old Dwayne Johnson look alike is cooking?

It smells like he’s cooking up some good company: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can now brag about joining the likes of Brad Pitt, Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Amy Schumer, Prince Harry, Lady Gaga and Cardi B in the unofficial “Viral Celebrity Lookalike Hall of Fame.” Alabama’s Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Lieutenant Eric Fields is a doppelgänger for Johnson — and his growing global fan base has turned into something of a “running joke” over the last few years.

Weekend Reading

On the old site I used to have a section I called Weekend Reading it was amusing links that weren’t necessarily technology related. I think this fits the bill.

Now there’s another kind of Roman pizza, however — and it comes out of a vending machine. Rome’s newest pizzaiolo (pizza-maker), “Mr. Go,” is a vending machine pumping out four types of pizza for whenever you feel like one. Not for Mr. Go the weekly closures and afternoons off of regular pizzerias; his indefatigable metal “hands” are spinning and stretching dough, slopping on toppings and firing it all to a crisp 24/7. The machine is the brainchild of entrepreneur Massimo Bucolo, a Sicilian living in Rome.

Retro Game Sale Prices

I have been watching the crazy prices for old console games lately and SMH. Well at least one person seems to think we are all being taken for a ride.

Vintage video games, like factory-sealed copies of The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System, have suddenly started selling for eye-popping prices, and a new video documentary claims potential fraud could be a big part of the reason why. It effectively charges auction houses, game graders, and certain collectors with conspiring to manufacture a retro game bubble and get rich in the process.

GM Recalls All Chevy Bolts

Well this article is disheartening. I would be really frustrated if I owned one of these cars.

To fix the problem, the automaker will replace the vehicles’ batteries, a costly and laborious procedure that will take some time. Until replacement batteries are ready and service appointments can be scheduled, GM has recommended that Bolt owners park their vehicles outside and limit their battery’s state of charge to 90 percent or lower. The company also recommended not letting the estimated range dip below 70 miles. GM says it is working with LG Chem to ramp up production of the replacement cells.

Video Game Treasure Hunt

Like many old people I am a big fan of Antique Roadshow, well it looks like the same sort of hysteria has arrived in certain old video games.

But this appears to be changing. In early August, an unopened copy of “Super Mario Bros,” released in 1985, set a new world record when it sold for $2 million on the collectibles website Rally. Produced for the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), it was the third vintage title to smash the record for the world’s most expensive game in under a month. A few weeks earlier, a sealed copy of “Super Mario 64,” from 1996, became the most expensive video game to sell at auction, fetching $1.5 million. In doing so, it broke a record set two days prior by an $870,000 copy of 1987’s “The Legend of Zelda.”

Get You Some Larry

If you aren’t a fossil like I am and missed out on the whole Leisure Suit Larry thing here is chance to make that up. Better late than never mind you or so they say.

If you’ve never played Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, well, the truth is that it’s probably too late now. What seemed risque in 1987 wouldn’t raise an eyebrow today, and while no specific examples leap immediately to mind I am reasonably confident that there are at least a couple of jokes in there that have not aged well. Still, it is a landmark videogame—one of the groundbreaking adventures that established Sierra as a powerhouse in the early days of PC gaming—and so if you’ve never played it but kind of want to, now you can jump in without spending a penny courtesy of a giveaway at Indiegala.

Cheap Case Window Mods

Article Name: Cheap case window mods
Author: Jim Adkins
Date: 8/26/2001

AMD Gigahertz CPU, Geforce2, 512 MB PC133, 30 GB 7200 RPM hard drive. PC dream machine?

Hardly. This is my father-in-law’s machine, and he’s not even a gamer. You heard me correctly. The old rules simply don’t apply anymore. Several years ago, it used to be enough to have the fastest rig on the block, but not now–not when performance has gone mainstream. So what’s a hardcore gamer to do? Case mods. Because being fast isn’t enough anymore; it has to look good, too. Keep on reading!

Gigabyte To Replace Exploding PSU

At this point this all seems a bit of a he said she said that being said I wouldn’t buy one of these until this is sorted out.

Gigabyte is offering a return and exchange service for two of its power supply units (PSUs), following complaints that the products were “exploding” or failing. PSU reviewer Aristeidis Bitziopoulos and Gamers Nexus both found that Gigabyte’s GP-P850GM and GP-P750GM models could fail catastrophically, with some sparking and others arriving dead out of the box. These models had been the subject of many negative reviews on Newegg, and were previously part of a forced bundle with RTX 30-series cards.

Computer Buying Guide

Most of you reading this site won’t need this but if you are a newbie and looking for a new PC give it a read.

Problem is, how do you decide what kind of computer is for you? Not only are there varying prices, competing operating systems and countless brands to choose from, but the student – or the parent(s) footing the bill – must decide on an ideal form factor (or type of computer), such as a laptop, desktop, 2-in-1 or all-in-one. And you might think you need a degree in computer science just to understand today’s specifications (“specs”). You know, gigahertz this, megapixel that, terabyte this.

Snopes Co-Founder A Plagiarist

This one is disappointing. Even his excuse that he didn’t have a journalism background is sad.

Sometimes the facts are stranger than fiction — and sometimes the facts are plagiarized. The co-founder of myth-debunking website Snopes has been exposed as a plagiarist, according to a BuzzFeed News investigation. David Mikkelson, who launched Snopes in 1995 with a mission to be “the internet’s definitive fact-checking site,” was suspended by his company, Doreen Marchionni, Snopes’ VP of editorial and its managing editor, confirmed to BuzzFeed, after their reporters uncovered no less than 54 plagiarized articles by Mikkelson.

Gotta Get My Fix On

Not exactly computer or technology related but this is how I feel about Diet Mountain Dew so I get it.

‘The parking lot was empty when they landed,’ Jellicoe added. ‘I suppose that doesn’t make it right.’ The man went into the Dairy Queen to pick up one of its famous ice cream cakes, but staff did not know the customer had arrived by copter until police broke the news to them. Residents in the providence’s town of Tisdale, with a population of 3,000, are now questioning whether it is worth taking to the skies for a lick of the tasty cake.