Bad Caps

A few years ago a number of sub-standard electrolytic capacitors got into the supply chain.  These capacitors or caps for short are used on circuit boards like motherboards to smooth out ripples in power leads to on-board chips.  They look like a can turned on end and have two wires coming out the bottom which…

Microsoft Support for Windows XP Tightening Up

Yesterday, I reloaded Windows Media Center Edition of Windows XP on a customers machine.  This version was from 2005 and included Windows XP SP2 and Internet Explorer 6.  I scarfed up the Audio, Video, and Ethernet drivers on my own PC from the Dell site, transferred them to the customer machine with a flash drive…

MAC Users Aren’t Immune to Viruses

Recently a new virus emerged from the primordial goo directed at the MAC world.  It takes the form of an image or JPEG, but it also contains installable code specifically for a MAC with the Intel chips.  This emphasizes the point that you should never open an attachment that you aren’t expecting from someone you…

What’s that funny date/number?

Sometimes you will see on a file create time or an email message a date of 12/31/1969.  More exactly this is 12/31/1969 at 7:00pm or 1900 hours.  This is the time that Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie choose for the beginning of the UNIX era.  Not very interesting, HUH?  However, this number is stored as…

Early Computing at Princeton

All Princeton Alumni get the magazine known as the PAW for the Princeton Alumni Weekly.  It’s not really a weekly any more but the name stuck.  The April 4, 2012 issue had two interesting articles about early computing.  Alan Turing *38 (the asterisk or star indicates a graduate degree and an apostrophe means undergraduate degree…

RAM needs

RAM stands for Random Access Memory.  The RAM in your computer is where everything happens.  Programs reside on disk but, in the computer architecture proposed by John von Neumann and universally used in computers since, programs must be read into memory and can only be executed there.  The data also resides in RAM memory.  There…