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Old 25-10-2003, 13:54   #1
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To Each His/Her/It's Own

Moving this out of the Heavy Weather thread … I saw no area for general chit chat among members so I put it here & encourage the moderator to correct me at will (and maybe open a forum for members to visit about nothing in particular in).

(from delmarrey) Cruisers Forum > General Sailing & Sailboats > Sailing Forum > Heavy-Weather Tactics:

Now this is why I drive a MAC. They may be a little more expensive BUT.........
They are user friendly! I run a PC at work with W2k XP and it's always doing something weird. I dragged in a .gif the other day and I started getting error messages. Had to trash it! I did the same on the Mac and it fits right in, no problem. Plus, most of the virus out there are directed at PC's. In the ten years that I've stuck with Mac I have yet to pick up a virus. Knock on wood!
With OS X I get an automatic up date, online, every week that I can select or reject depending on the programs that I use. The OS X comes in a duel system so you can still run the old programs. Or you can split it up into even more systems and donate each of those to certain programs. One thing that it real important with the wife, is the OS pops up a window and asks "do you really want to do that " before you delete or quit someting. Gives you time to think before loosing a..................?

Windows will also confirm deletions, & then "place" the item in the recycle bin. I personally find it annoying & disable the redundant check.

What's up with these morphed operating systems ? In modern M$ personal use GUIs since DOS we have W1-W3.** with various releases of W95 & W98 & then ME. In the "commercial" line we have NT & W2k. XP represents an ill advised attempt at merging the personal & commercial lines of operating systems. Even so, ME/W2k & W2k/XP are newbies to me ...

I use M$ products for one reason, compatibility with the installed base of pc's & users that I have to be able to work with. If 120vac abacuses were the norm, I'd run one or more.

delmarrey is one of the few I’ve noticed that understands that viri & security exploits are directed problems. The installed base of Mac OS users just isn’t wide enough to catch the attention of the evil ones. Similar situation with Linux though that’s changing, slowly. It’s changing slower than you might expect (slower than the system’s rate of growth) because the active base of Linux users are primarily more sophisticated users that cover themselves & cover themselves well.

I personally think that the biggest problem with the average Windows box is that people try to do too much with not enough machine. To me at least, this harkens back to understanding the functions & limitations of a tool & using it appropriately. The average POS off the shelf from K-Mart or Wal-Mart simply will not run Quake III or any other advanced graphical functions.

I run some pretty high intensity hardware & typically have a lot of “tool” for any given task. This box that I’m on now for example. W2k Pro (or NT5 Workstation) on a 1GHz PIII w/ 1GB ram, integrated nothing, a dual head graphics card that pretty much defines overkill considering what I do with it, etc. I use his computer to burn my backups from other local machines, run basic office apps & internet access, light gaming (like Chessmaster) & trust me on this, dual tubes are sweet. It also serves as the office stereo with a 180GB collection of mp3pro files that spare me the trouble of remembering where I’ve laid my CD(s).

My CAD box is a dual proc workstation & the graphics card alone is more of a computer than most personal computers even pretend to be. The rest of the machine is similarly built with adequate resources for the task(s) at hand. Call me lucky, but I personally attribute my relatively trouble free co-existence with computers to using enough of the right tool for the right job.

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Old 25-10-2003, 15:03   #2
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It's nice to see somebody else working multi cpu machines .We are also hard core users of cad and CATIA . It sure make the mapping programs run without a hic-up . Thanks for the complement on the puss . He is a big fellow at 28 lbs.
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Old 27-10-2003, 13:36   #3
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del ... huh ? If by chance you're saying that you get what you pay for ...

Yeah, you get what you pay for.


CSY Man said …

Okay Troubledour.

I may take ya up on fixing stuff:

In a nut-shell: After I installed a stupid CD printer driver, to be able to make my 6 year old HP Laserjet 3100 printer work, the brand new PC refused to go into "sleeper" mode.

The printer driver interferes with the stand-by, or hibernation mode.

Been on e-mail with tech support for hours and hours, and finally gave up.....

Therefore...If I leave the machine running for the next 10 years, is that bad..?
Or if I shut it down and restart it every day for the next day, is that bad...?


Aye, ya don't have a Cat because it is too expensive...?

Hmm, more later on that one..


First of all, your tech support experience is typical enough. Tech Support these days is handled in one of two or three ways, or a combination. Primarily, there’s free, “no cost”, support & fee for service support.

Free support is, of course, very not cost free. It may not cost the end user anything directly but it is reflected in the cost of products. The techies have to be paid to sit there & make use of an infrastructure that also costs money. For this reason, many manufacturers see tech support as pure overhead & mitigate costs ruthlessly. Their “technicians” are typically poorly paid non technicians that are reading from a script. If your problem has been scripted, & if you’re lucky enough to find a way to work from the same page with someone that would otherwise be offering you fries at a drive through window, good for you, you’ve gotten lucky.

Another tech support scenario is fee for service. In this scenario the tech support department becomes a potential profit center & is run as such … costs are even more closely scrutinized as attempts are made to keep books in black ink & not red. Of course, it soon becomes glaringly obvious that money isn’t directly made from quality tech support, it just isn’t. Fee for service attempts are often very short lived & fraught with difficulty pending a quiet dismantling.

Another option is a combination of both, some options are “free”, other options cost something per occurrence or for some defined period of time. In my own experience, this is typically even more frenetic than either of the two simpler options & just as poorly run.

I've only scuffed over the high spots, of course. Other complications include outsourcing tech support entirely, & even more baffling, outsourcing to overseas vendors ... whatever.

Bottom line, tech support can be worth an attempt, you might land in the scripted zone with a “techie” that isn’t a complete moron. However, when it looks like that hasn’t happened, banging away at that option will only make your head hurt …

Having gotten that off my chest (ahhrrrrr), it’s time to move on.

20 yrs ago we powered down our computers because leaving them running burned up excessive power & prematurely burned out necessary items like fan & drive spindle bearings. Early EnergyStar features alleviated that somewhat, allowing us to automagically spin down drives & turn off monitors while leaving the machine up & running.

So, why leave them up & running ?

The most sensitive components of your computer are the printed circuits on various boards, primarily the main system board. Power on/off cycles are also thermal cycles that expand & contract the printed circuits themselves, but often not the boards, they typically don't get hot enough to expand that mass. This disparate expansion/contraction cycle can often compromise thinly printed circuits.

The ideal scenario is one where the system is allowed to maintain a warm condition for components that benefit from it, while powering down components that can only suffer from continuous duty & unnecessarily cost you power as well. Even though circuits that aren't currently in use shouldn't get "hot", Sleep Mode seems to help extend the longevity of system boards & expansion cards. It will certainly reduce your power burn, so this is something worth pusuing.

If you can provide me with the following, I’ll do what I can to come up with a fix or workaround …

The Exact Name, Model & Series of the computer, including a Serial Number & any available Service ID Number …

The Exact (correct) Operating System with Version Number & installed Service Pack, if any …

The Exact Name, Model & Series of Printer with any & all other numbers like the Serial Number & Service ID type numbers …

The Print Driver Name, Version & Source that you’re currently using, and finally …

A description of the other peripherals attached to the system.

Note, I ask for serial numbers because they can identify mid-model changes that can cause difficulty & I ask for peripheral information because things like scanners and other IO port devices can wreak havoc with printers (like legacy (not USB) zip drives & cameras).

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Old 29-10-2003, 17:34   #4
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Uh, ya are asking for a lot here I think..All them serial numbers and all that stuff...

okay, I may dig it all up, in the mean-time:

Brand new desk-top PC called HP A330N.
The proccesor is a 3000+ AMD Athlon (Is that good or bad?)
Memory is 512 DDR SDRAM
Hard drive 120 GB.


Ya are right as far as tech support, the HP tech support center is in India, and the fellows answering on the chat center is nice enough and all that, but when ya ask to talk to a supervisor so as to demand a new machine, the give ya another Indian on the phone who tell ya to call a different number, this time in the US, and after everything is explained again, they talk about their "policies", not about fixing or re-placing machines...

Dell's latest tech-support center is in Manilla in the Phillipines, nice little girls that answer the telephone, and like ya said, they are reading from a script and they are programmed to tell ya stuff like: Are you sure the unit is plugged in to the wall socket?
Please tell me about the problem again....

In another words: Not really techinal help, just some sympathy and understanding.

(Which I will take anytime... )

I may dig up all the stuff ya are asking for and also forward the "Answers" I got from tech support in India, they actaully did some good work and got me a bunch of MS answers about my problem...The solution however seemed more painful than the problem, so I finally decided to just find out if Ishould turn the thing OFF at night, or just leave it ON...?

More later, have to get to bed early tonight so as to get rested for the Ft. Lauderdale boat show tomorrow...Expect to spend 6 to 8 hours wandering around there...Full report will follow..
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