Category Archives: Computers

5 Hours to Install Windows XP!!

Yesterday it took me about 5 hours to install Windows XP! The basis of the story is that I have an old (but still pretty fast) Toshiba laptop (5105-S607 for those interested). I had been running Linux on it until the hard drive crashed about a year and a half ago. I upgraded to a Powerbook G4, which I still have and love. Though the hard drive did not work, I had a roommate that used it via a Linux LiveCD. He just had to remember to email himself his documents often because if it crashed he lost all his documents.

Anyway, I’ll tell more of the details later, but there is an organization that I’m donating the laptop to. I found a pretty cheap hard drive on Ebay, put it in the computer, and began reinstalling Windows. The actual installation only took about 40 minutes and required minimal human input and only restarted twice I believe (once to copy the install files and a second time upon completing the install). The other 4+ hours were spent running Windows Update. The version of Windows XP Pro that I was installing was dated to August of 2002. I had over four years of security updates to install!
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Dvorak – Better than QWERTY

I started using Dvorak at the start of the school year, September 2004 and tried to use it as much as possible. This meant that I would use it when typing anything that wasn’t too long. I was still too slow to type a paper or long email in an reasonable amount of time. But now I’ve been using it ever since and have gotten quite fast, though not quite as fast as I once was in QWERTY. I can still feel myself slowly improving and once I start practicing with a typing tutor (dvorak-ng) I’m sure that I’ll get faster than I was before. Typing in Dvorak is kind of cool. It’s still a relatively obscure term. It’s fun to watch when people try to type on my Dvorak keymap. Since I deleted Windows from my computer and solely use Linux, I had gotten very competent at using the bash (similar to DOS) prompt. Relearning the tightly engrained bash combinations (ls, cp, mv, cd, uptime, grep, etc, etc) proved to be the most challenging aspect of learning Dvorak.

Here’s a really good Dvorak resource: Introducing the Dvorak Keyboard

Edit (July 1st, 2005): I’m so fully switched over to Dvorak that now I have to almost hunt and peck to type in QWERTY!

Oops: Blue Screen Of Death Interrupts Gates’ CES Show

By TechWeb News

Bill Gates’ keynote presentation Wednesday night at the Consumer Electronics Show didn’t quite go according to plan: glitches, including a dreaded “Blue Screen of Death,” interrupted the show several times.

Microsoft’s chairman, who shared the stage with late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien, kept his cool when Microsoft Media Center crashed during the presentation, and an Xbox displayed the blue screen of death.

As the Xbox went down for the count, the Microsoft executive running that part of the presentation, Garrett Young, said, “This is a little bit of demo karma, sorry, I’m out of system memory apparently. Yeah, so just imagine, if you will, that I was customizing my car and doing some really cool stuff.”

O’Brien played to the crowd during the crashes with lines like “right now nine people are being fired,” and “Who’s in charge of Microsoft? Oh.”

World’s largest digital photo

TNO has produced the largest digital panoramic photo in the world. So, what do we mean by large? After all, modern consumer cameras can easily take a picture with 5 million pixels. Well, we are talking about a photo of completely different dimensions. One with 2.5 billion pixels – that’s 500 times more pixels. If this photo were printed, it would measure 6.67 m by 2.67 m (300 dpi). The photograph shows Delft and its surroundings in the autumn of 2004. It was taken the top of the Electrical Engineering faculty of Delft University, at a height of about 100 m, by TNO.

Here’s the Slashdot link.

The coolest part is that they have the entire picture hooked up to a flash app. You can see the entire view and then specifically zoom to see something in the distance. I was even able to view the license plate and makes of some of the cars in the picture!

IBM Blue Gene/L Supercomputer breaks speed record

BBC NEWS | Technology | Supercomputer breaks speed record

At full performace (in 2005) it is expected to be 360 teraflops. By 2006, IBM’s senior vice president of technology and manufacturing, Nick Donofrio, believes Blue Gene will be capable of petaflop computing.

Just for reference, on the day that this post was written, IBM’s stock was closed for the weekend at 93.28. I wonder how IBM’s stock will be doing in 2006?