OK, WAY Weird! A Computer That Works When it is Turned OFF?

Yep, that’s what the magazine “New Scientist” reports… a computer that runs a program and reports the correct answer while “turned off.” Okaaayyy!

Quantum Computer Works Best Switched Off

“They send a photon into a system of mirrors and other optical devices, which included a set of components that run a simple database search by changing the properties of the photon. The new design includes a quantum trick called the Zeno effect. Repeated measurements stop the photon from entering the actual program, but allow its quantum nature to flirt with the program’s components – so it can become gradually altered even though it never actually passes through. ‘It is very bizarre that you know your computer has not run but you also know what the answer is,’ says team member Onur Hosten. This scheme could have an advantage over straightforward quantum computing. ‘A non-running computer produces fewer errors,’ says Hosten. That sentiment should have technophobes nodding enthusiastically.”

Riiiight! Pardon me while I slap back a Diet Pepsi… this is enough to drive a man to drink! Is it April 1st yet?

The Doctor is Recovering! Podcast #26

I did the podcast on Saturday, then got sicker and sicker… and finally went to bed… so… here’s the info on Saturday’s Podcast:

Dr. Bill Podcast – 26 – (03/04/06)
Click on the “Streaming MP3” badge below to play Streaming Audio of this Podcast.
Streaming MP3 Audio
 Download MP3
(Right-Click on the Link Above and Choose “Save” to Save the MP3 file locally on your PC.)

Click on the “Streaming Ogg” badge below to play Streaming Ogg Vorbis Format Audio of the Podcast.
Streaming Ogg Audio
 Download Ogg Vorbis Format
(Right-Click on the Link Above and Choose “Save” to Save the Ogg Vorbis file locally on your PC.)

I had SO many problems on the Podcast this week… first it didn’t record, AND, my voice was rough, AND, then the speed of the recording made it playback “chipmunky”… sigh! So, I tried “fixing” the recording speed… but I finally gave up and I am making it available via my server’s streaming audio server.

CHKDSK – Built-in Windows file system repair utility.

Instructions – Go to “Start”, “My Computer”, right-click on the “C:” drive, left-click “Properties”, select the “Tools” tab, click “Check Now…”, check “Automatically Fix File System Errors”, then click “Start”, “Yes” and Reboot. Repeat this for any other hard drive partitions in your system. Only the drive partition with Windows installed will require a reboot.

Use Defragmenter regularly…

PageDefrag
http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/PageDefrag.html
Defragment the Page File and the Registry. “One of the limitations of the Windows 2000/XP defragmentation interface is that it is not possible to defragment files that are open for exclusive access. Thus, standard defragmentation programs can neither show you how fragmented your paging files or Registry hives are, nor defragment them. Paging and Registry file fragmentation can be one of the leading causes of performance degradation related to file fragmentation in a system.”

Instructions – Download, Run, Look at the “Fragments” column if any of the items is in more then one fragment select “Defrag at next Reboot”, then “Ok” and Reboot.

Notes: If you readjust the Page File size, rerun PageDefrag, otherwise this only needs to be run once. On badly fragmented hard drives with a lot of files, PageDefrag may take a long time to run, be patient and let it finish.

XP-AntiSpy
http://www.xp-antispy.org/
Disables all the known ‘Suspicious’ Functions in Windows XP.

Instructions – Install and run. Go to “Profiles”, select “Neutral”, then check most of the boxes and select “Apply”. Leave the following unchecked:

[MediaPlayer Functions]
_ Do not acquire licenses automatically – This prevents Windows Media Player from downloading any necessary licenses.
_ No automatic updates – This prevents Windows Media Player from automatically updating.
_ Disable automatic codec downloads – This prevents Windows Media Player from downloading required codecs.
_ Don’t get meta data from the internet – This prevents Windows Media Player from getting CD/DVD information.
[Miscellaneous Settings]
_ Clear pagefile at shutdown – This will cause Windows XP to take much longer to shutdown but increases security for the paranoid.
_ Disable integrated Firewall – This will disable the Windows XP firewall.
_ Hide Computer in Network – This prevents your Computer from showing up in Network Neighborhood.
_ Deny starting regedit.exe – This prevents future use of the very useful regedit tool.
_ Deactivate Scripting Host – This will cause features to stop working in web browsers and e-mail.
_ Always show *.lnk suffixes – This adds .lnk to desktop shortcuts.
_ Always show *.url suffixes – This adds .url to web browser bookmarks.
_ Don’t autostart CD’s – This prevents CD’s from running automatically when put in the CD/DVD drive.
[Internet Explorer 6]
_ Disable automatic updates – This prevents Windows Update from checking for and downloading updates. (PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT turn off auto-updates unless you plan to review every one and “approve” it as you learn of any issues. The software allows you to turn it off and do in “by hand” but this is usually NOT a good idea! (Unless you plan that careful review of each patch “by hand.”)
_ Disable scheduled updates – This prevents Windows Update from installing updates.
_ Disable Javascript – This will cause some web pages to lose their menus or functionality completely.
_ Disable ActiveX Controls – This will cause some web pages to lose their menus or functionality completely.
_ Clean website cache on shutdown – This will cause Windows XP to take longer to shutdown but is a good idea for security.
[Services]
_ Disable auto-updates service – This prevents Windows Update from running Automatically.
_ Disable task-scheduler service – The Windows Prefetcher, BootVis and Norton AV require this service to be running.
_ Disable firewall/connection sharing service – This will disable the Windows XP firewall.
_ Disable Security Center – This prevents necessary security warnings.
[Microsoft Messenger]
_ Uninstall completely – If you use or plan on using Microsoft’s Instant Messenger leave this unchecked.
[Regsrv32 dll’s]
_ licdll.dll – Only select this if Windows is already activated.
_ Disable ZIP Functionality – Only select if you have another .Zip program installed such as WinZip.

Notes – It is highly recommended to leave the profile on “Neutral” and adjust the values manually. The presets included such as the “Suggested” profile will disable important Windows features such as Windows Updates, the Security Center and Internet Explorer settings like Javascript and ActiveX. This will break common web page features such as menus and forms and prevent critical security patches from being applied. The color coding of check boxes can be further explained in the Help file under “Signs and Symbols”.

Steve Gibson Utilities
http://grc.com/stm/ShootTheMessenger.htm
http://grc.com/unpnp/unpnp.htm

Download and run them!

TCP/IP Optimizer
http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php

Download, run, follow instructions… optimize.

Why Windows Vista WILL Suck… from a Linux Point of View

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols from Desktop-Linux says that Windows Vista will suck. Our friends from Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie says, “Every OS Sucks” in our previous “Geek Culture” video from some week’s back. Well, one thing is for sure… Windows Vista will require a HUGE amount of RAM, and MONTROUSLY fast CPU, and a MEGA-FAST video card. In other words, you will need a new computer, and it will cost MEGABUCKS! Microsoft is crazy!

Why Windows Vista WILL Suck

Steven says, “‘Suck’ is a relative term, though. Vista will be better than XP, which has easily been Microsoft’s best desktop operating system to date. However, Vista also requires far more hardware oomph than previous Windows systems. I’d say Intel’s recommendations are pretty much a minimum for Vista. I would only add that if you expect to see the fancy desktop, you need to invest in, say, an ATI Radeon XPress 200, an Nvidia nForce4, or a high-end graphics card. The truth is that very, very few people are going to be upgrading their existing systems to Vista. To make it work well, you’re really going to need a new computer. If you didn’t buy your PC in 2006, I wouldn’t even try to run Vista on it.”

Geek Software of the Week: PC Wizard

PC Wizard is a powerful utility designed especially for detection of hardware, but also to do additional analysis. It’s able to identify a large number of system components and it supports the latest technologies and standards. This tool is periodically updated (usually once per month) in order to provide most accurate results.

PC Wizard 2006 is also designed to analyze and benchmark your computer system. It works with many kinds of hardware, giving results for CPU performance, Cache performance, RAM performance, Hard Disk performance, CD/DVD-ROM performance, Removable/FLASH Media performance, Video performance, MP3 compression performance.

PC Wizard 2006

This is an amazing utility, to be totally free! It is as good as any “paid” utility I have seen… check it out!

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