Power for the needed

In the process of trying to get to the bottom of my intermittent “hanging” problems, happen to come across this useful link: Power Supply Wattage Calculator. This should allow you to have a ball-park figure of how big the Power Supply Unit needs to be if you are into building your own system.

Linux: alternative OS

Recent problems with my PC running Windows XP – well, maybe not strictly an OS-related issue but also some hardware faults there as well – have once again driven me to ponder migrating to Linux once and for all. In fact, I had another error last night after a recent total reinstall due to harddisk failure: “rasapi32.dll is not a valid image…”

However, I am still reluctant to make the switch because of a heavy reliance of many, mostly open source, tools that work only on Windows, such as for video editing, disc burning, and audio compression, etc. Perhaps this is more of an deep-bred insecurity thing?? Well, I guess I will need to study The table of equivalents/replacements/analogs of Windows software in Linux. a bit more closely from now on, to see if it is possible to have the same sort of support? Yet another option is run a live CD distribution such as Knoppix or even Ubuntu.

NTLDR missing?

Had another horrendous experience with Microsoft on my PC tonight. Frankly, if it was not for the fact that most of the softwares I use are Windows-only, I would have switched over to Linux long ago…

Out of the blue – in fact, after performing a routine defragmenting of the harddisk which is highly recommended on Windows platform – suddenly I was seeing the dreaded “NTLDR missing” error upon reboot. Actually, this is not really the first time that I see this error on my current system, but not so fortunate in recovery this time around. 🙁

Update: read more

Searching comes to desktop

On a suggestion from one of my colleagues, I decided to give Google Desktop Search another try. I was not particulary impressed the first time I tried it a few months ago – admittedly it was during the Beta phase. This time, however, I have to say that I am very impressed! It managed to track down some emails that I have forgotten which folder I have filed into (since I switched to full-time use of Thunderbird from Eudora at work). Way to go!

Houston, we have a problem

Suffered another set-back with my PC last night – but not topping the smoking incident.

On a friend’s advice, I decided to give ZoneAlarm a try. This is a reputable software firewall, which, along with many third-party tools, beats the firewall that came with Windows XP Service Pack 2 any day in my opinion. However, that was when disaster struck.

Firstly the PC would no longer boot into Windows XP. Checking the hard disk using the Recovery Console from the installation CD also did not help. In pure desperation – since I had many photos with no back-up and some personal records on the boot hard disk – I took the boot disk to work and tried chkdsk again. Fortunately, after the first repair, I was able to read most of the data and thereby copy to a safer place. However, subsequent chkdsk’s sometimes made the same disk unreadable. read more