Time for my first computer problems update in the States since May!
Thanks to all who have helped with previous ones, which I posted on:
- March, 2005: Sat 05 Mar 2005, Sun 27 Mar 2005
- April, 2005: Sat 16 Apr 2005, Sat 29 Apr 2005
- May, 2005: Sun 15 May 2005, Sat 28 May 2005
- June, 2005: Sat 11 Jun 2005, Sat 25 Jun 2005
- July, 2005: Sat 09 Jul 2005
- August, 2005: Sat 13 Aug 2005, Sat 20 Aug 2005
- September, 2005: Sat 03 Sep 2005, Sat 17 Sep 2005
- October, 2005: Mon 03 Oct 2005, Sat 15 Oct 2005, Sat 29 Oct 2005
- November, 2005: Sat 12 Nov 2005, Sat 26 Nov 2005
- December, 2005: Sat 10 Dec 2005, Sat 24 Dec 2005
- January, 2006: Sat 07 Jan 2006, Sat 21 Jan 2006
- February, 2006: Sat 04 Feb 2006, Sat 18 Feb 2006
- March, 2006: Sat 04 Mar 2006, Sat 18 Mar 2006
- April, 2006: Sat 01 Apr 2006, Sat 15 Apr 2006, Sat 29 Apr 2006
- May, 2006: Sat 13 May 2006, Sat 27 May 2006
- Jun, 2006: Sat 10 Jun 2006, Sat 24 Jun 2006
Here's my fortnightly update:
- 1. Desperately Seeking Drivers: I ended up reinstalling WinXP from a 2002 volume license CD and then upgrading using an SP2 volume license CD from 2004 or 2005. Everything works fine now, driver-wise. I cannot say for sure why this is so, but for me, Windows works better in general when you install the previous version and then upgrade (WinXP Pro original, then WinXP Pro with Service Pack 2; Win2K and then WinXP; even NT4 and then Win2K) than when you use Windows Update or install the new OS from scratch.
- 2. Burned DVD-Rs failing data validation: It might just be the media. I bought a spindle of 8x Number brand DVD+Rs that seem to get a lot of errors on the 8x DVD+R drive on Hirilonde (my Dell Inspiron 6000). The 8x Kailong DVD+Rs that my uncle's driver picked up for me seem much better. I've stopped doing validation on the 8x drive, but everything copied onto the Kailong discs seems to copy back off with no CRC errors. Any idea why Nero would fail validation even though the CRC passes?
The Plextor 4x DVD-R internal drive on Laurelin (a desktop PC, one of two COMPAQ Presario SR1010NX systems) seems to have much fewer errors. The DVDs in there are generics that burn at 4x tops. taiji_jian has recommended that I burn at 2x in the 4x drive and 4x in the 8x drive, which sounds sensible, but I'm not sure how to make Nero force the speed. I've never gotten errors on 2x recordings in the 4x drive, when Nero auto-selects 2x.
- 3. Crashes on shutdown: After the reinstall of WinXP SP2, shutdown is much cleaner. However, I have tracked down a few culprits that seem to be prone to "overnight bluescreening": BitTorrent clients (BitLord more so than Azureus), Macromedia Studio 8 apps (especially Dreamweaver and Fireworks), and possibly Mozilla 1.7.x. Firefox crashes a lot, even after I quit using Tabbrowser Extensions, but it seems to do so more when I have Mozilla open too, and the threshhold for frequent crashes seems to be a number of tabs that is greater than 5 and less than my usualy number (20-25).
Now for the new questions...
What do you all know to be applications incompatible with Firefox? I run Firefox 18.104.22.168 on all of my systems, and post complaints of its instability, and I invariably get one of two replies:
- 1. "It never crashes for me." This is usually said by people who either don't used tabbed browsing much (i.e., don't use the Bookmark Toolbars Folder to load a list of tabs on startup), or use fewer than a dozen tabs at a time. I use Firefox tabs the same way I used to use IE pages: I open as many as I have tasks, which means about 1-5 of them at a time, and I open one for each "most frequently visited" site. This means: one for my home page (Google News); one for Wikipedia, OneLook, GMail, and Yahoo; three for LiveJournal; three for GreatestJournal; seven for my most frequently used LJ filters (mutual friends, CS people, art communities, icon communities, photography communities, artificial intelligence and database communities)
- 2. "It crashes all the time for me." If so, have you found any way to fix it? What usage pattern reduces the frequency of crashes?
Dual-booting Windows 2000 and Ubuntu Linux on a ThinkPad A31p
I finally got Ubuntu Linux (Dapper Drake) installed on Finrod (an Athlon Thunderbird 1GHz with 32Mb on-board video RAM, purchased spring 2002), and it looks great! I have only have 1024x768 resolution, but it's a lot better than the 640x480 I was getting on Telperion (a 2.8GHz Celeron with about 8Mb on-board video RAM, purchased spring 2004). Now I'd like to try it on Numerramar, a ThinkPad A31p (1.7GHz Pentium IV with 512Mb RAM and 32Mb ATI Radeon video card, purchased spring 2002). I currently have it set up to boot Win2K only, but I have a 9Gb partition set aside for Ubuntu and a 1Gb partition set aside for swap. What's the quickest and most reliable way to set up dual-booting? Is there a simple, safe way to lay down a new MBR with GRUB?
Now that I have Ubuntu up and running and Anduril (my NetBSD firewall) is gone, the first thing I'd like to do is set up the ability to:
- 1. SSH into Finrod (full Ubuntu Dapper Drake installation), and later Numerramar (compact Ubuntu Dapper Drake installation) and Telperion (whatever works on that godforsaken COMPAQ - Gentoo, Knoppix, SUSE, OtherLinux, Desmondix Magnetic Distro, anything)
- 2. Print, print, printprintprint! What is the best way to do this using an Ubuntu box as the primary print server, and sharing print capabilities between Windows XP and Ubuntu systems? You name the Windows software I need, and I'll install it.