Posts

Learn more about the One Laptop Per Child

I found this video on the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) from Yves Behar, the designer of the OLPC.

Dell laptop running HOT!

My work laptop is a Dell Latitude D810, and it has always ran hot. More recently on a business trip it crashed three times, which I am convinced is due to the high temperature. I found a utility, SpeedFan, which allowed me to monitor various temperatures.

SpeedFan indicated very hot (flames) for many of the components, but it wasn't capable of turning the fans on or up. Further, it didn't give me any indication of what temperature was dangerous to my laptop. In searching for threshold temperatures, I found another, more useful utility, 18kfanGUI.

18kfanGUI was developed by Christian Diefer of Germany specifically for Dell laptops (see his compatibility chart). Using 18kfanGUI, I am able to get my fans to turn on or up sooner, and therefore keep the temperature of my laptop lower. Christian also hosts a Forum, which appears to be very active, so you can support beyond his manual and FAQs.

Now, my laptop is a bit noisier, but I am much more comfortable in knowing that my laptop won…

Computer Tips and Help Guides

I receive a weekly email from ZDNet called Download Digest (which I read about every 4th one). It is their weekly recommendation of software; much of it is useless, but occasionally there are some nuggets. In addition, there is a section on recommended TechRepublic articles. These are recycled over time, but again there are some nuggets. For example, if you're not real Internet savvy, you might be interested in 10 things you should do to a new PC before connecting it to the Internet. (Note that you must sign-up for a free account to access TechRepublic.)

Here are some TechRepublic tips and guides that I believe people may find valuable:
Powerful PowerPoint Presentations: This wont teach you how to make better presentations, but it will teach you how to use PowerPoint to its fullest capability.How do I...Migrate from Outlook Express to Mozilla's Thunderbird?: If you haven't yet switched to Thunderbird for email, this article is helpful in getting you through the process.Creat…

Solving 6-piece Burr Puzzle

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Not really computer related, but rather solved with a computer...

I have one of those 6-piece block puzzles that has been apart for some time. I decided to look online to see if I could find a solution. First I learned that it is called a 6-piece Burr puzzle; then I discovered that there are too many different combinations that I would be luck to find a solution.

Then I ran across an IBM Research site on Burr puzzles. After looking through many of their solutions, and not finding a match, I discovered their applet to solve any Burr. I just entered the cuts of each of my 6 pieces, and within seconds it had the solution for me. And if that wasn't enough, it showed me piece-by-piece how to reassemble it.
Truly I am impressed.

Information R/evolution

Micheal Wesch of Kansas State University, with the help of his students
... a team of cultural anthropology undergraduates led by Dr. Michael Wesch and human interaction on digital technology. exploring the impacts of digital technology on human interaction on digital technology put together this superb video on the Information R/evolution. Check it out and see what you think. What a change.

Tired of the Reboot prompting?

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Windows has an annoying way of asking every five minutes whether I want to reboot after a Windows Update. Of course most cases, I don't because I'm working. Well I learned that there is a way to change the length of time between nags.

Go to the Group Policy Editor (type gpedit.msc at the Run prompt)Expand the window to Local ComputerPolicy | Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows UpdateDouble-click on Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installationsIn the dialog box that opens, click Enable and enter a high number such as 1000 minutesClick OK and close the Group Policy Editor

Speed up that slow PC

As most of us know, over time our PC just gets slower. This is due to temp files, old registry entries, a full hard drive, and a host of other "features" of a Microsoft OS. Fortunately, PC World just released an article on Cheap and Free Tools to Put Zip Back in Your PC. The PC World article covers four subject areas:
Speed FreaksOptimize for SpeedInternet BoostersApplication BoostersFor Speed Freaks, the one fully free tool is Cleanup Assistant. Cleanup Assistant will scour your hard drive and remove unnecessary files for you, e.g. duplicates and caches.

In the Optimize for Speed category, there are four free tools mentioned. Three of them look to optimize your Registry: Eusing Free Registry Cleaner, CCleaner, and Auslogics Registry Defrag. In addition, CCleaner will also look at removing unnecessary files, similar to Cleanup Assistant. The final free tool in the Optimize for Speed category is Advanced Windows Care 2 Personal, which its primary utility is to clean up your sta…