28June2004 - Updated the Black Beast. I was planning to revise that page to incorporate an LGA-775/socket-T CPU (such as this one) with a motherboard based on the 925X chipset, but there have been reports of glitches with those new components.
It's not unusual for new technology to have problems. Rather, it's expected. Much as I like (lust) new technology, I still prefer the stability of mature technology. In a couple of months or so, Intel will release new steppings of these components that will fix the problems. That will be the time to migrate, or maybe when they release the 925XE chipset, which supports a FSB of 1066-MHz.
25June2004 - Thought I'd catch Fahrenheit 9/11 on opening night, wanting to see for myself what all the hoopla is about. But I wasn't alone. About a gazillion other people had the same idea. When we arrived, two different lines stretched far in both directions from the theater (for two different screenings). People (with tickets in hand) were lined up over an hour early .. to get good seats. It was a *madhouse*.
The 7 o'clock show was sold out (we arrived at 6:30) .. as were *both* 7:30 screenings, and even the 10 o'clock shows. Every ticket for every show today was sold. The girl at the ticket booth said they'd been sold out since yesterday. People went online and bought their tickets thru Fandango.
We were bummed. Haven't seen this type of hysteria since Lord of the Rings. Maybe tomorrow. We saw Stepford Wives instead. Lots of talent, yet disappointing.
24June2004 - Friends had a problem with their PC that I've never heard of before (thought I'd heard it all). The power button was pushed so hard that it caused the rod/plunger in the power-on switch (located right behind the power-on button) to jam inside the switch. So when you pressed the power button, nothing happened. (this case) I didn't know that could happen.
Of course, this is the worst computer feeling in the world. The symptoms appeared as if the power supply had died, yet the power LED on the motherboard remained lit. So naturally, replacing the PSU did no good. Once I recognized the problem, and pried out the rod/plunger from inside the switch (using paper clip & tweezers), the switch reset itself and all is well with the beast again.
On a less problematic note, Michael Moore's controversial new film, Fahrenheit 9/11, opens in theaters here tomorrow. It won Best Picture at the Cannes Film Festival and has already broke single-day records in New York City.
I saw Moore's last flick, Bowling for Columbine, and while he makes valid points, I think his films would appear more credible/professional if he replaced his ugly self (overweight, wearing tattered sneakers) with a professionally-clad interviewer.
<soapbox> Politically speaking, I think our increasingly polarized country would do well to refrain from wholesale siding with either conservative or liberal camps, with either the republicans or democrats, and evaluate each issue on its own merits.
Of course, this requires a little independent thinking (which too many people avoid at all cost. God gave each of us a brain for a reason.). Those who hold to one party line usually let that party (other people) do their thinking for them (dangerous).
Since presidents are only human (and humans make mistakes), it's unlikely that ANY president ever did everything right or nothing right. Yet many people talk like they are either pro-Bush (love everything the man does) or anti-Bush (hate everything he does). Of course, I realize that some presidents are more human than others.
Instead of praising or denouncing Moore's film outright, I would expect the discriminating person to realize that while Fahrenheit 9/11 does not represent an unbiased, objective perspective, it may still contain salient points worth considering. </soapbox>
I'm guessing Moore titled his polemic after the 1953 novel by Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451, a story about censorship,which takes place is a dystopian world where books are banned/burned and critical thought is discouraged. (Certainly worth reading.) 451-degrees Fahrenheit is (supposedly) the temperature at which paper (books) ignite.
Here in Laguna Beach, we used to have a great little combo coffee-shop/book-store located on Pacific Coast Hwy named Fahrenheit 451, where you could sit down with a cappuccino and peruse the latest titles. Some weekends, they even had live music. But it's no longer there, replaced by a furniture store. I miss that place.
23June2004 - Received my Gmail "invites" (see entry from 15june2004). Google gave me 6. A link magically appeared at the top of the page: Invite a friend to join Gmail.
I used the first 5 to reward some of those who have contributed to the site, such as Joshua, who helped (December 03) craft the Windows Install Guide, but reserved one to open a new account for myself under another name (the site name). So, in a week or so, I should be able to invite 6 more. Guess this is how Google is controlling growth before going public with Gmail.
22June2004 - I noticed Abit has an Alderwood (i925X-based) motherboard to market: the AA8-Duramax. Newegg has it IN STOCK (update, looks like they have since pulled it off the self).
I usually prefer Asus boards, but Abit is my second-choice, and I wouldn't hesitate to get another Abit board. (Anybody remember the legendary BH6? with C300a @464MHz. That was my first system build.) But Asus doesn't have any 925X boards out yet.
Oops, looks like I spoke too soon. Asus *does* have a 925X board out: the PDAD2-Deluxe. It wasn't there yesterday. Altho I can't find it listed for sale at Newegg.
Not to be confusing, but there's also a *Premium* version of this board. See this thread for a discussion on the differences between the two. Don't 'premium' and 'deluxe' mean the same thing?
21June2004 - First day of summer (here in the northern hemisphere), and longest day of the year (most hours of sunlight), called the summer solstice. A fitting day for the boys at Intel to release their new chipsets, which represent the biggest changes to the PC industry in the last 10 years. See HERE for the official press release.
If you look at Intel's chipset page, these new chipsets are now listed there. But I don't see any Asus motherboards listed that contain the new chipsets. Wesley at Anandtech did a comparative review and found little performance difference between products previously available (875 chipset/DDR-1) and the new stuff. So there might not be much to get excited about. Starting today, the days get shorter.
20June2004 - Saw Dodgeball last night, starring Ben Stiller. Incredibly stupid movie, but I couldn't stop laughing. The theater was packed. Even the front row was full. Had to sit way down front cuz we didn't get there early enough to find good seats. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a FRESH rating. Lots of surprise-cameo appearances at the end (Lance Armstrong, William Shatner, Chuck Norris, etc.).
Dodgeball beat out Terminal for the #1 spot this weekend. But Terminal (see yesterday's post) is a much better film. I think that people need a break from seriousness after all this war/torture/hostage news we've been getting lately.
On a more retro note, theaters here will be re-screening the Indiana Jones trilogy starting next month, beginning with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). How cool would *that* be to see Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen again?
I know the Indiana Jones series are considered "consumer" flicks and not true "cinematic art". Call me proletariat, but I love those movies. They're some of my favorites of all time. Temple of the Forbidden Eye is my favorite ride at Disneyland.
I wonder what type of response these re-screenings will receive. Ignored or sold out? They're screening on an obscure night (Wednesday). So only true fans will be there.
19June2004 - Saw The
Terminal last night (opening night): the new movie from Steven
Spielberg, starring Tom
Hanks and Catherine
Zeta-Jones (who looked 10 years younger in this film). Subtitled: "Life is Waiting". Trailers posted here.
I liked it, rating it somewhere between good and very good
on the Rad scale. Spielberg's movies are often a metaphor for life,
and this one is no exception. In that respect, it reminds me of Joe
vs the Volcano (another Spielberg movie founded upon an implausible
premise starring Tom Hanks).
In The Terminal, Hanks plays a Victor Navorski, from
Krakosia, a country in Eastern Europe, which erupted in a coup right
after he left. At JFK airport (New York), he falls into a bureaucratic
crack (Krakosia) and cannot enter New York City, but rather must wait (live) in the airport until the United States "recognizes" his country's new government.
We saw it at the Big Newport,
7-PM screening. Place was comfortably full. People applauded afterward.
Not the best movie you'll ever see, but certainly worth seeing. Rotten
Tomatoes gave it a FRESH
The movie I'm *really* looking forward to seeing is the Bourne
Supremacy (July 23rd), starring Matt Damon. My type of flick. I
the Bourne Identity (see
entry dated 15june2002).
18June2004 - Alex sent word (from the
Netherlands) of an update to Motherboard
Monitor, now at version 18.104.22.168. MD5
hash (drag-n-drop): 1545866c07dbe796036e3bb8206a453a.
MBM now supports over 1,000 motherboards. Some motherboards however,
do not contain the necessary sensors that MBM needs to gather info about
the system (like some Dell laptops, for example).
Almost everyone I know uses it (it's free).
It's a well-coded program with a sophisticated installer. (I helped
craft/edit the text you see displayed on some of the installation screens
for the English version.)
I configure my copy to read CPU and motherboard (case) temperatures,
and CPU usage (percent). For more info, see step #3
Stability Testing. If you need help configuring MBM, the forums
You can download
MBM here (1.22-MB). Expect servers to be slow the first
few days. Eventually some 35 sites will mirror the
file for him. New releases of MBM have been known to kill more than
a few servers. In other words, it's a popular program.
Friday is the best day to release new software because it's typically
the slowest day of the week (traffic-wise).
I mirror the file for him on my
17June2004 - Before downloading new or
updated software from Download.com,
it pays to take a minute and read some reviews. While
there will always be people who have a problem with any
software, no matter how well-coded, you should be suspicious of any
software/updates that has/have more negative than positive reviews,
such as the case with ZoneAlarm
v5.xx. See here.
can be gleaned at User
forums. I mention this because some software (such as ZoneAlarm)
can be difficult
to uninstall. Word
to the wise.
16June2004 - Picked-up a spill-proof
keyboard today. Inexpensive. About US$10.
Nothing fancy. Your typical PS2 model. Already have an illuminated
keyboard (on the USB port) for working at night, on the vampire
shift. Both sport a low-profile, slim design, which I like, with short
key-stokes and soft feel .. similar to using a laptop.
I've ruined many keyboards by spilling things of them. You name it,
I spilled it, killing 3 keyboards in one month alone
(which might be a Guinness
record). So I'm tempted to dump a glass of water on this one, to
see if its features work as advertised. But I won't. Shouldn't be long
before an opportunity to perform the requisite "operational test"
ALL keyboards, in my opinion, should be spill-proof.
Seems like the smallest spill renders them useless. I've learned to
keep a spare stashed away in the closet .. just in case. Anyway, I really
like the feel of this one.
In other news, the boys at Microsoft are preparing to release Service
Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows
XP. Today they released
RC2, which is the Release Candidate
2 (of/for SP2). RC1 was released back in March.
SP2 will focus on security
issues, which is a good thing for those of us using WXP, because
its new features are designed/available for Windows
You can download
it here. Altho it looks like you need to be an official MS beta
tester (or know someone who is). It's always a good idea to create
a back-up Ghost image before
installing *any* new service pack, whether RC or official release.
15June2004 - I opened a GMail
account today. This is the new mail service from the
boys at Google. From what I've
seen so far, it looks like a well thought-out approach, as is everything
Google does. (They
recruit the best talent.)
I don't think GMail is open to the general public yet.
A friend at Berkeley (San Francisco
Bay Area) knows people working on the new system. He sent me an "invite"
to open a new account. (See below.) The best thing is that I was able
to select a great user-name (minimum 6 characters):
my first choice. On most free web-mail sites, it usually takes me 10
minutes to come up with a name someone hasn't taken already.
XXX has invited you to open a free Google Gmail account. The
invitation will expire in three weeks and can only be used to set
up one account.
To accept this invitation and register for your account, visit XXX.
Once you create your account, XXX will be notified with your new @gmail.com
address so you can stay in touch with Gmail!
If you haven't already heard about Gmail, it's a new search-based
webmail service that offers:
• 1,000 megabytes (one gigabyte) of free storage
• Built-in Google search that instantly finds any message you
• Automatic arrangement of messages and related replies into
• Text ads and related pages that are relevant to the content
of your messages
Gmail is still in an early stage of development. If you set up an
account, you'll be able to keep it even after we make Gmail more widely
available and as one of the system's early testers, you will be helping
us improve the service through your feedback. We might ask for your
comments and suggestions periodically and we appreciate your help
in making Gmail even better.
To learn more about Gmail before registering, visit here.
The Gmail Team
1,000-MB of storage. I had to look at that again.
At first I thought it couldn't be true. Dang. That's a lot of space.
I'd never have to delete another message .. for the rest of my life.
Scary, ain't it?
By contrast, Ziplip
(secure mail service) offers only 2.5-MB
of mail storage (for free). They charge US$40 per year
for a 5-account package with 10-MB
of storage per account. And that doesn't include their $25
set-up fee. I forget how much space HushMail
offers. Heck, this
whole web site runs on only 350-MB.
It's certainly the fastest web-mail service I've ever used,
but that's probably because not many people are using it yet. I only
wish there were some way to import my Outlook Express address
The interface looks like
this (screen shot, 1260x850, 40-KB), I especially like GMail's "Report
Spam" button/feature. I'll be playing with it more in
the coming weeks and let you know what I think. Other links you might
find interesting: Getting
Started with GMail, and Introduction
to GMail. In a few days, they tell me, I'll be able to "invite"
3 people myself.
More links I just found: What's
behind Gmail's popularity? and Fledgling
Gmail hits the geek spot. Also found these utilities: an
importer and Gmail
to POP3 converter. It also looks like Yahoo
mail and Hotmail will be increasing
their storage capacities to compete with Gmail.
14June2004 - Updated the world-famous Radified
Guide to Norton Ghost. This update contains insights from readers,
which include clarifications for things like using
Ghost with USB drives (thx Judd) and across
an LPT connection (thx roxe). Also repaired some dead-links to SatCP's
guide (thx Leslie), and comments on getting
your own copy (thx Mongo). Hopefully, I didn't forget any.
Also updated the PDFs, both the downloadable
zipped version (97-KB) and printer-friendly
version (155-KB, with shaded backgrounds removed to
conserve tone/ink). The Ghost guide remains the site's single most
popular feature, with ~1K requests for it daily. Try searching
for the query-string "norton ghost" and you'll see
what I mean. Only the Symantec site itself is more popular. Speaking
of the Ghost guide, I received this note today:
I have been studying your Ghost article and working my way through
it. I have learnt more with your few pages than the 200+ pages from
13June2004 - The blogging
software I use, MovableType,
has transitioned to a pay-licensing
scheme with the release of its v3.0 "Developers Edition".
It will still be free for single-user sites like mine,
but most people are furious
(see the hundreds of comments listed after this
announcement), calling the new licensing schedule restrictive
Seems SixApart (the company that
owns MT) is back-peddling with this
"clarification", but most people (such as Mark)
will still be dumping
MT and moving to other blogging software such as WordPress
(formerly b2/cafelog), which is licensed
under the GPL, or
Blogging is a huge phenomena. I was doing
it before I even knew what "blogging" was, or before I
heard about blogging
software. The page you're reading now was created with Macromedia
as is most of the site. (I started with FrontPage.)
12June2004 - The single best computer-upgrade
most people can make is switching
to a broadband connection,
either cable or DSL. No matter how doggy your old jalopy might be, the
difference between dial-up and broadband
is dramatic. All other upgrades pale in comparison.
I am somewhat of a broadband spokesperson. The most common response
I get from dial-up hold-outs is, "I don't go online that much."
And that was my response when I had dial-up. But that's only because
dial-up is so slow. I haven't met a single person who regretted getting
broadband. Nevertheless, I do everything
I can to make this site dial-up friendly.
Other common upgrades are: more memory/RAM,
bigger monitor, flat-panel
monitor, addition of a DVD
11June2004 - RADIFIED corporate offices
will be closed today in honor the national day of mourning for former
president Reagan. We appreciate all the letters of condolence from our
international readers. The flag at Heisler
Park has been flying at half-mast all week.
10June2004 - Received a note today from
the nice folks at GuruNet. They
make an easy-to-use reference tool comprising both an encyclopedia and
a dictionary (and more).
Rad, you've written about us before (thanks!) so I want to update
you about recent advances in GuruNet.
In a nutshell, we've made more content available for free,
and for the first time we've made GuruNet available through a web
version (by visiting www.gurunet.com)
and also through an IE toolbar.
A Mac version is due mid-June as well. An annual subscription for
complete access to full content costs only US$30.
The official press release is posted
here. I’d love to hear your thoughts and, of course, we’d
love to see you share the update with your readers.
Michal Gorlin Becker
Altho Michal wants all of you to sign up for the US$30
subscription, GuruNet's free version is a valuable
reference tool in its own right. Everyone should find useful, especially
those of you with a broadband connection (faster results). GuruNet's
claim-to-fame is its 1-Click feature, which works like
You're reading an article
at your favorite website
and come across a word
you don't understand. Simply hold down the ALT
key and click on the mystery word. GuruNet will instantly
pop up with a definition or explanation of the word. Simply close GuruNet
and you're back where you were. Very easy to use.
I had an English professor (at Franklin
& Marshall college) who boldly declared: "Look
up every word you don't know. That's how you get A's
in all your subjects." This is something I still endeavor
to do. GuruNet makes "looking up every word you don't know"
incredibly easy (simply ALT-click), which comes with the free version.
I receive many such requests to pimp software, since the Best
Software Programs guide has become so popular. Try searching
for the query-string best+software+programs and you'll see
what I mean. GuruNet is one of the few worth mentioning.
You can download it
here. And if you subscribe, tell 'em Rad sent ya.
09June2004 - Since posting the photo
of Buddy last week, I've received several notes from readers who
went out and got kitties of their own .. my favorite of which is one
from Evon, posted
here (24-KB). Adorable.
08June2004 - If you use both ZoneAlarm
(firewall) and Diskeeper
(defragger), be aware that there is a conflict between
the two with the latest version of ZoneAlarm: v5.0.590.015
when using Diskeeper's boot-time defrag feature. You
can read about the problem (and a work-around) at Diskeeper's FAQs posted
here (FAQ #1). From the FAQ:
When you update your ZoneAlarm software to the latest build as
of June 2004, you may encounter an issue which, in some cases, prevents
Diskeeper from performing a boot-time defragmentation. The boot-time
operation will not run because it cannot gain direct access to the
In these cases, a message is displayed stating that the boot-time
operation cannot run due to restricted access. (This situation can
also occur when simply running the Windows CHKDSK disk checking utility
when your computer boots.)
You can usually find a solution to just about any computer problem
by using Google (or your favorite
search engine) to search for a query-string comprised of the error message
itself. Chances are some poor sap has already had the same problem ..
posted a question somewhere .. and found a solution.
A boot-time defragger allows you to defrag files that cannot be defragged
while Windows is operating (because it reserves access to them for its
own use), such as the page file, the MFT, or master file table.
A boot-time defragger also allows you to organize folders together and
place them at the beginning of the drive. You configure the boot-time
defragger and then reboot. It will defrag those usually-locked files
before Windows starts. It's usually a good idea to back-up
your drive first. Not all defraggers have a boot-time feature.
07June2004 - Didn't think it would affect me, but I felt the
twinge of sorrow upon hearing the news of former president Reagan's
passing. I never felt that for any other president.
I was in the Navy when Reagan
took office in January, 1981. The
Dog & I were stationed aboard a nuclear
submarine home-ported in Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii. Reagan, as you know, was very pro-military. He basically
started a "Defense" spending-war with the Soviets and they
went broke trying to keep up. That was the beginning of the end for
the "evil empire".
The change in the military when Reagan took office was dramatic. Within
days, everyone's attitide rose. It felt as if Reagan's own optimism
trickled down through the ranks. People started telling jokes again.
Morale soared. We could actually sense his influence some six thousand
miles away in Hawaii. Remarkable.
Conversely, under Jimmy Carter (we called him "22 percent-Carter"
in reference to the soaring interest rates at the time), life in the
military was gloomy. Reagan changed that almost overnight. He made us
feel appreciated for serving our country and good about being American.
That's what I remember most about the man. May he rest in peace.
05June2004 - Today is the site's 4-year
anniversary. If you scroll to the bottom of THIS
PAGE, you can read the very first RADIFIED entry.
Four years is a long time in web-life. Much has changed since
then, both in the world of digital technology and personally. I
can't even begin to imagine what the next four years will bring. But
I know it will be fun and exciting.
04June2004 - I have a special treat for
you today: Buddy's
Umbrella [60-KB, 1035x660]. That cat is too cute for his own good.
03June2004 - I've been researching
web-hosting providers, because my
current provider, Communitech
City), who was subsequently bought by Interland
me $32/month ($25 if paid annually).
Back when I first set up the site (some 4 years ago),
this was a reasonable rate. But now
you can get more for le$$.
I've whittled down my research
to the following 7 hosts: LunarPages
.. VenturesOnline (review),..
and DreamHost (review).
I like the way Webhostingratings
provides an opportunity for hosters to dispute negative reviews (such
as the one posted
here in red background) and basically say, "You're full
pal." That helped me make my decisions.
But moving the
site to a new host can be a royal pain, especially when you have to
reconfigure things like forums
and blogs (dasebase-driven).
I've never done it before, so I'd be operating on the steeper
slopes of the ever-treacherous learning-curve.
So I called Communitect/Interland, my current web-hosting provider,
and asked what was involved with terminating service. They said they
need 30 days advance notice and asked why I was leaving. I told them
they're charging me too much diñero. So the girl (with a sweet
Georgia accent) connected me with an account rep, who analyzed my
usage and offered to cut my monthly fee in *half*.
So I'll be staying with them for now, for US$16 a month,
which is a reasonable rate , and now I don't have to switch,
altho some day, when I have more time, I would like to switch, just
to say it's something I've done .. another feather to add to my hat
(repertoire) of digital
But if you're looking for a web-hosting
provider, those companies
I listed above are reportedly
the best. Note that I need/prefer a Unix-based server.
current host does not have a very good rating (2.1 out of 10) Things
quickly went down hill after the company (Communitech) was bought by
I don't think they're that bad anymore.
This site is hosted on a Sun Microsystems
Enterprise 250 server
featuring dual-UltraSparc processors with 2-Megs of RAM, running the
64-bit operating system with RAID-5 SCSI
02June2004 - I usually try to post my own
original content (no matter how lame), and not simply link to other
sites, but I found an LCD Buying Guide that is simply
excellent. So, if you're in the market for an LCD (flat-panel monitor),
you should find THIS
helpful. My only question
is: why does the same flat-panel cost much more (~US100) if it has a
DVI connection, than an analogue D-sub?
As a follow-up on this theme, Nate (Duke
alumni) sent this
link on Dead Pixels (along with kudos). The dual
flat-panels I just purchased for the
Beast, the NEC/Mitsubishu 1760V-BK,
clearly stated the unit's dead-pixel
policy: Replacement or Refund for 8 or more
DEAD PIXELS ONLY!