All posts by Jim Adkins

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.

Arcflash Labs GR-1 Anvil Gauss Rifle

I have wanted a Rail Gun ever since I saw one in Quake. That being said I didn’t expect that it would weigh twenty pounds or be less powerful than a 22LR either.

The GR-1 Anvil Gauss rifle is made by Arcflash Labs, LLC, the co-founder of which, David Wirth and Jason Murray, are “Aerospace Engineers, former US Air Force officers, and experts in pulsed power supply development with 20 years of combined experience,” according to its website. The company says the weapon is “capable of accelerating any ferromagnetic projectile (under 1/2″ in diameter) to 200+ fps [feet per second]” and can produce up to 100 Joules of force, or 75 foot-pounds, similar to the muzzle energy of some .22 rifles, making it the “most powerful coilgun ever sold to the public, and also (very likely) the most powerful handheld coilgun ever built.”

How To Clean Your Computer

Article Name: How to clean your computer
Author: Jim Adkins
Date: 11/19/2001

It amazes me day in and day out how many computers come to me for repair because their owners didn’t clean them out. It’s no exaggeration to say that one system in ten sent to me for repair has a hardware failure of some sort caused by an excessive accumulation of dust. It’s not just the novice or the office worker who is guilty of this, either. It’s even the DIY and enthusiast crowd. Last week, I saw an HSF review on a hardware website that will remain nameless, and I could barely even see the motherboard. It was so covered in dust.

If you run your computer in a dusty area, or if you smoke in front of your computer. If you don’t regularly clean out your system, you are playing Russian roulette with a single-chambered gun. Here’s why: Dust and nicotine coat the inside surfaces of your computer and act as insulation, thereby reducing the ability of the electronic components therein to radiate heat. This, in turn, leads to higher system temperatures. Keep on reading!

Sims 4 Expansion Packs Ranked

I don’t know how many of you guys play the Sims 4, but since my wife does it seemed natural to link this up. Maybe this will encourage her to visit the site.

The Sims 4 expansion packs have been a rollercoaster of backlash and acceptance, with some packs facing criticism from fans and critics alike. While all have adding something interesting to the game, some have been called incomplete for reducing or completely excluding features from past games. Let’s take a look at what critics have said about each Sims 4 expansion pack.

QR Code Malware

Read up for the latest way that douche bags are trying to scam you. Remember knowledge is power.

Anyone who ventured into a restaurant during the pandemic knows that the QR code is a contactless way to look at a menu. Why keep passing around old plastic menus that can go through a ton of hands as we fight the virus? And now, scammers want to offer you that touchless experience too. We’re well versed on why consumers don’t want to click on links or attachments in texts or emails that arrive out of the blue. But the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that they need to be extra careful if they’re sent a digitally readable square known as a QR code.

Fan Made Windows In A Browser

Some people seem to have too much time on their hands. This seems like one such group. Still interesting though.

The first time I saw the words “Windows 96” today, I questioned my memory—there wasn’t really a version of Windows in between 95 and 98 that everyone had forgotten about, was there? Well, kinda—but it was canceled before being released publicly. Windows96.net, then, is a “what if” for ’90s Windows, a fully browser-based OS that imagines what another version of the classic chunky Windows might’ve looked like.

2022 Chevrolet COPO Camaro

For those of you in the more money than sense club check this out. No I am not a member, and no it isn’t street legal. Still it is fun to dream right?

Chevy has unveiled the newest COPO Camaro, and it’s a bit more…aggressive than expected. Sure, the classic COPO’s 7.0-liter monster was nothing to sneeze at, but this latest version goes even further. Forget 427 cubic inches; that’s just not enough. As well as being offered with a supercharged 5.7-liter V8 and the classic 427, the new COPO Camaro enters the 2022 model year with a 9.4 liter—or 572-cubic-inch—V8. Indeed, it’s the largest car engine GM makes.

Chip Manufacturers Shortage Continue

Well this sucks but it isn’t unexpected chip makers are starting to prioritize their most expensive chips.

Apple and AMD are two of semiconductor foundry TSMC’s largest customers—but the problem isn’t limited to TSMC. Intel, which operates its own foundries, acknowledges supply problems of its own. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told the BBC that shortages will get worse in the second half of 2021—and that it will be “a year or two” before supplies return to normal.

Facebook Recalls Oculus Quest 2

Hats off to Facebook for doing the right thing here. Despite all the negative press this is sure to generate.

“While the rate of reports is small and the majority of reported cases are minor, we’re committed to ensuring our products are safe and comfortable for everyone who uses them,” the company said. Facebook added that the recall is “in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).” As part of the recall, Facebook said it would provide Oculus Quest 2 owners with a new, silicon padding that fits over the current headset.