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The Geniuses' Thread

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  • Hey all,
    Does anyone know how to cancel Blackberry messenger?
    Thanks




  • Hello there computer literate folk.

    Right, as I mentioned elsewhere my laptop has been really slow recently, and in general I can't stand vista. Do any of ye know if this is a legit website for buying an upgrade to windows 7?

    Also what's the difference between the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions? Will one of them not work on my laptop or something?

    I have included for you the thing you asked deise for before.

    Or do ye reckon I really need to upgrade it? The laptop is nearly 3 years old. Is there anything else I can attempt to try and improve the speed of it?




  • Yeah I bought Microsoft Office because the mammy needed it, from that site many moons ago.

    32-bit and 64-bit just refer to how the CPU handles information.

    Go into
    • control panel
    • Performance Information and Tools
    • View and print details
    • System
    And then if your laptop can handle 64-bit it'll say 64-bit capable or something like that.

    You'l get an error if you try to install 64-bit on a computer that can't support it and then be told to install the 32-bit version. I don't think you'll see much benfit from 64-bit with 3GB of ram anyway. And some programs/devices might not work if theres only 32-bit versions/drivers for them.

    I'd just try the usual; go into program manager and uninstal what you don't use. Try this too. Clean the registry. etc. My laptops nearly 4 years old and it's grand. I didn't like vista at all though and uninstalled it for an XP/Ubuntu dual-boot when I got my laptop.




  • For general speedy uppy-ness:
    Start > run > type "msconfig", go to the "startup" tab, and untick anything you don't want to run autoamtically when you turn your computer on.

    Download CCleaner and run it; it should help.

    And If you have Norton or McAfee, consider replacing it with a more lightweight anti-virus, like MSE.




  • Try downloading SP2 for Vista. It should appear in your Windows updates. I think it resolves a lot of the issues that Vista had.

    I would go with 64-bit Windows tbh. If you ever want to upgrade your laptop RAM (easy enough to do), you'll need 64-bit so your laptop can utilise it. The only trouble i've had with 64-bit windows (or it may have been windows 7 in general) is that really old programs (i play a few 90s games) won't run, but for most people that isn't a problem

    Other than that, CCleaner is an excellent program to clean out your computer.


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  • Cool, thanks guys I'll try all that later. I assume if I'm going to use CCleaner I should back everything up to my external hard drive first? Or do I need to bother?




  • Another option (if it was seriously slow) is to reinstall Windows Vista using the disc that came with your laptop (or may you have another restore disc which allows you to restore to factory settings).

    This deletes everything, however, so any photos / documents / bookmarks etc. would need to be backed up on an external HD / usb key / DVD (any external form).

    It isn't difficult to do, I've done it numerous times, it's just a matter of making sure to back up anything you need (even things like savegames for computer games etc.). Once you're finished, your computer will be back to the way it was when you bought it at first, which I'm assuming was faster than it is now.

    Once you have it reinstalled, you'll need to update it (windows usually automatically does this), reinstall print drivers, reinstall any programs you need (e.g. browsers, Microsoft Office, etc.) and copy back your backed up files.

    This is effectively the same thing as would happen if you did a fresh install of Windows 7 (admittedly a better OS than Vista, but you have to pay for it, whereas you should have Vista on a DVD that came with your laptop).

    And you can back up the files for CCleaner if you want, but there isn't much need - it only deletes things like history/temporary files/cookies/cache etc., it shouldn't delete anything important!




  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Cool, thanks guys I'll try all that later. I assume if I'm going to use CCleaner I should back everything up to my external hard drive first? Or do I need to bother?

    For CCleaner, no, you don't need to backup. Just make sure there's nothing in the Recycle Bin you accidently deleted or just untick that option in CCleaner. Also run through the list and see what's ticked. Stuff like saved passwords in browsers you probably don't want deleting. Unsure of anything, just post back here and we'll let ya know what it does :)

    As well as running CCleaner, uninstall any unnecessary programs like browser toolbars. If you have less than 10% (ballpark figure) of your hard drive capacity left, try and delete some unwanted stuff or backup big files.
    If you're using Firefox and finding it slow in general, try switching to Chrome (or SRWare Iron, it's like Chrome minus the spying stuff), and you'll have a faster browsing experience. Firefox has gotten very bloaty and bulky the last few releases.




  • Hey Fergus, regarding your file copying problem from IRC (I won't be at a computer for a few days so I'll post it here so that you see it), just make sure all the files on your external hard-drive have all the relevant permissions as shown here:

    change-permissions.png




  • I've tried the un-installing programmes to free up some memory before, but that didn't overly help.

    Also, Roland I stopped using firefox ages ago because it takes forever for pages to load and constantly crashes, I've been using chrome since.

    I'm currently waiting for everything to back up onto my external drive and then I'll decide what else to do. I'm also doing a full virus scan, I have avira antivirus, as a matter of fact is it any use? I also did a spybot scan earlier and ran the CCleaner thing. So hopefully some of that will work.

    If not I found the disk for installing Vista so if worst comes to worst I'll try install that again.


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  • Right so I've reinstalled vista and all the other various disks and things so that's all good.

    2 things, everything is super zoomed in and my usual ctrl and scroll trick to zoom out doesn't seem to be working. Is there another way I can do it?

    Secondly, it's nothing major but " and @ seem to have swapped places, do any of ye know why that would be?




  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Right so I've reinstalled vista and all the other various disks and things so that's all good.

    2 things, everything is super zoomed in and my usual ctrl and scroll trick to zoom out doesn't seem to be working. Is there another way I can do it?

    Secondly, it's nothing major but " and @ seem to have swapped places, do any of ye know why that would be?

    Not sure of the first thing, but the second thing is because the keyboard layout is set to US instead of UK (" and @ are the opposite way round)

    http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071207123914AA6G86S
    Think that's how ya do it.




  • I figured out the first one, the resolution was set to low and when I changed it to high everything went back to normal :)

    And that worked for the keys, thanks a million I thought it was something to do with languages.

    Pretty sure I'm back on track now!




  • Noticing much of an improvement after the reinstall?




  • RolandIRL wrote: »
    Noticing much of an improvement after the reinstall?

    Yup everything is running much faster now, I'm still reinstalling a few drivers now.

    Firefox is usable again. I haven't been able to use it in months!




  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    I figured out the first one, the resolution was set to low and when I changed it to high everything went back to normal :)

    And that worked for the keys, thanks a million I thought it was something to do with languages.

    Pretty sure I'm back on track now!

    If your screen is not widescreened properly, you need the Graphics drivers btw. Hopefully you got the drivers sorted out, I know for Windows 7 I had to install 8 different drivers last time I installed it (SE don't support bootloader unlocking for Xperias on Linux, bah)

    The keyboard thing you said happens to me when I install an OS, I have a US laptop but need EU English functionality, so my " and @ would get mixed up on Windows. It's made obvious during the Ubuntu install, but its simple to fix on Windows 7 too.




  • This one is easy guys, I could probably google it but I feel the need to ask here for some strange season. Anyway my crappy windows xp desktop is crappy, and a bubble keeps popping up and going away before I can click it saying that there is low disk space every time I download something.. How do I check how much disk space is available, and how to I free it up?
    Thank you go advance!




  • This one is easy guys, I could probably google it but I feel the need to ask here for some strange season. Anyway my crappy windows xp desktop is crappy, and a bubble keeps popping up and going away before I can click it saying that there is low disk space every time I download something.. How do I check how much disk space is available, and how to I free it up?
    Thank you go advance!

    Go to "My Computer" and it will show how much space there is left on the C drive.

    You generally create free space by uninstalling unnecessary programs and deleting unneeded files.




  • Hello geniuses! I'm here to ask for a bit of your assistance with a small (well actually big) problem I've got with my computer.

    So I've gotten this error message everytime I start it up
    "A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart"

    So I decided to go about reformatting it because it seemed like a good idea. So I threw in the CD and have it set to boot from that. It starts to automatically setup/load files but then when that's finished it goes to a blue screen with "A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer" leaving me back where I started :( Has anyone any ideas? I would have posted this elsewhere but I'm terrible with computers and don't even know how to say these things.


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  • Had a similar problem earlier this week.

    Try burning RC.iso (using an ISO burner like CDBurnerXP. don't just put the ISO file on the disc) and booting into that. Then, press R to enter the recovery console and enter the command chkdsk /f /r.

    Leave it run uninterrupted for as long as it needs, it will try to fix the file system.

    If this doesn't work, your hard drive might be completely corrupted.




  • Colm! wrote: »
    Had a similar problem earlier this week.

    Try burning RC.iso (using an ISO burner like CDBurnerXP. don't just put the ISO file on the disc) and booting into that. Then, press R to enter the recovery console and enter the command chkdsk /f /r.

    Leave it run uninterrupted for as long as it needs, it will try to fix the file system.

    If this doesn't work, your hard drive might be completely corrupted.

    Thanks for the reply Colm, will try this tomorrow and see how it goes. Really hope the hard drive isn't completely gone! :(




  • Good geniuses of C&H, I have some queries which demand your astute and considered, er... consideration. :p My PC's being a bit troublesome, and I was wondering if anyone could help me fix it?

    First off, my video card seems to be on its last legs. It's driving a two-monitor setup, and it'll occasionally freak out and the image from one screen will briefly flicker onto the opposite screen. If I have any kind of hardware-accelerated application minimized, bits of its GUI can sometimes reappear and overlay themselves over whatever application I have maximised, for example Chrome. Also, my computer grinds to a halt for a few seconds (everything kind of locks up and the mouse's position will only be redrawn about three times per second) whenever I begin loading or seek a different point in a YouTube video... this problem is particularly annoying, as it can sometimes cause my computer to spontaneously restart itself.

    Are these hardware issues? I tried updating drivers, but it didn't do any good. It seems like I'll have to replace my video card, but, there's just way too much choice. I had a look around on Amazon and in various shops in town, but trying to come up with an optimal purchase in terms of cost and card performance is just... I can't... so many factors... argh! *dataclysm* Could anyone recommend a reliable, inexpensive, preferably quiet, 300W-PSU-compatible card that's at least as good as the one I've been using? I'm using a second-hand Radeon X1300, so it doesn't need to be anything remotely fancy, just trustworthy. :)

    And secondly, I need to upgrade my RAM. Having Paint Tool SAI, Songbird and Chrome open simultaneously eats up all of what I have available, and things can get a bit glitchy as a result. For example, the tablet drivers can stop taking pressure sensitivity readings until I restart the computer, and Songbird can keep crashing on me over and over again... it gets really frustrating! I ran this bit of software from Crucial.com, and it gave me the following info:
    Memory Type: DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 (non-ECC)
    Maximum Memory: 4GB
    Currently Installed Memory: 2GB
    Total Memory Slots: 4
    Available Memory Slots: 0
    Each memory slot can hold DDR2 PC2-5300 with a maximum of 1GB per slot
    Where would be the best place to buy four 1GB units of this kind of memorystuffs? Will some varieties have better access times than others, or is that not something that can vary? I've never replaced RAM before, so, I have no idea what I'm doing! Any kind of advice would be super appreciated.




  • Good geniuses of C&H, I have some queries which demand your astute and considered, er... consideration. :p My PC's being a bit troublesome, and I was wondering if anyone could help me fix it?

    First off, my video card seems to be on its last legs. It's driving a two-monitor setup, and it'll occasionally freak out and the image from one screen will briefly flicker onto the opposite screen. If I have any kind of hardware-accelerated application minimized, bits of its GUI can sometimes reappear and overlay themselves over whatever application I have maximised, for example Chrome. Also, my computer grinds to a halt for a few seconds (everything kind of locks up and the mouse's position will only be redrawn about three times per second) whenever I begin loading or seek a different point in a YouTube video... this problem is particularly annoying, as it can sometimes cause my computer to spontaneously restart itself.

    Are these hardware issues? I tried updating drivers, but it didn't do any good. It seems like I'll have to replace my video card, but, there's just way too much choice. I had a look around on Amazon and in various shops in town, but trying to come up with an optimal purchase in terms of cost and card performance is just... I can't... so many factors... argh! *dataclysm* Could anyone recommend a reliable, inexpensive, preferably quiet, 300W-PSU-compatible card that's at least as good as the one I've been using? I'm using a second-hand Radeon X1300, so it doesn't need to be anything remotely fancy, just trustworthy. :)

    And secondly, I need to upgrade my RAM. Having Paint Tool SAI, Songbird and Chrome open simultaneously eats up all of what I have available, and things can get a bit glitchy as a result. For example, the tablet drivers can stop taking pressure sensitivity readings until I restart the computer, and Songbird can keep crashing on me over and over again... it gets really frustrating! I ran this bit of software from Crucial.com, and it gave me the following info:
    Memory Type: DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 (non-ECC)
    Maximum Memory: 4GB
    Currently Installed Memory: 2GB
    Total Memory Slots: 4
    Available Memory Slots: 0
    Each memory slot can hold DDR2 PC2-5300 with a maximum of 1GB per slot
    Where would be the best place to buy four 1GB units of this kind of memorystuffs? Will some varieties have better access times than others, or is that not something that can vary? I've never replaced RAM before, so, I have no idea what I'm doing! Any kind of advice would be super appreciated.

    Had a look on Dabs there for you, there's plenty of cards here: http://www.dabs.ie/category/components-and-storage,graphics--tv-tuners-and-i-o,graphics/11137 Think all of those cards are better than your current card, a lot more up to date than the X1300.

    Replacing RAM is a really easy job, just make sure you've selected the right type of memory for your system (DDR2,DDR3 etc), open the computer up, take out old memory, insert new memory. Close and restart. Make sure the computer's unplugged beforehand.

    Try someone like Elara.ie for memory. You'll be supporting Irish business, yo!

    Corsair, Kingston and Crucial are good brands. I use Corsair myself.




  • Hello friends, anybody up for helping young jumpguy out with a bit o' physics?

    When a solid object is completely immersed in water it has an apparent weight of
    16.4 N. When the object is completely immersed in alcohol, which has a relative
    density of 0.825, its apparent weight is 24.8 N. Determine the volume of the object.
    I keep running around with circles with this one...

    8.4N more upthrust in water...

    The total upthrust in water will be .825 times the upthrust in alcohol (so upthrust in water > upthrust in alcohol).

    My mind is in a total fúcking spaz, with that knowledge I should be able to find what I'm looking for. I think.

    Perhaps I should call it a night...seriously, any help would be appreciated. This will be annoying me forever until I solve it...




  • Ok so anyone able to give me a hand with this:
    7z + 340sqrt10z - 4760 = 0

    I know what to do but I amnt getting anywhere with it, you should end up with z = 18.54548....




  • decisions wrote: »
    Ok so anyone able to give me a hand with this:
    7z + 340sqrt10z - 4760 = 0

    I know what to do but I amnt getting anywhere with it, you should end up with z = 18.54548....

    Throw up your workings there...




  • decisions wrote: »
    Ok so anyone able to give me a hand with this:
    7z + 340sqrt10z - 4760 = 0

    I know what to do but I amnt getting anywhere with it, you should end up with z = 18.54548....
    What exactly is giving you trouble if you know what to do?




  • decisions wrote: »
    Ok so anyone able to give me a hand with this:
    7z + 340sqrt10z - 4760 = 0

    I know what to do but I amnt getting anywhere with it, you should end up with z = 18.54548....

    [(340)sqrt(10z)]² = [4760 - 7z]²
    1,156,000z = 22,657,600 - 66,640z + 49z²

    Maybe I'm wrong, to much effort to do the rest though :P

    If thats right its obviously a quadratic to finish it btw

    Yup got it right, check screeny.


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  • [(340)sqrt(10z)]² = [4760 - 7z]²
    1,156,000z = 22,657,600 - 66,640z + 49z²

    Maybe I'm wrong, to much effort to do the rest though :P

    If thats right its obviously a quadratic to finish it btw

    Yup got it right, check screeny.
    Trouble with this is that the quadratic produced has a root that isn't a solution, which requires a bit more checking.

    You could solve the original equation as a quadratic where sqrt(z) is the variable. i.e. solving 7x^2 + 340sqrt(10)x - 4760 = 0 where x=sqrt(z). z can be easily computed from the positive root (the negative root is discarded as sqrt(z) is non-negative).


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