Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Windows 7 NIC

In my office I have Windows 7 and experienced issues with coping large files (2 to 8 gig) from my Mac, seemed that the NIC card just stopped working. Frustrated I started thinking why it would do this and took a look at the NIC card properties. I turned off Power Management and everything works fine now, speed has improved too.

Yeah, you probably already knew that but I didn't. Seems Windows 7 will engage power management on the NIC even if it is the middle of network traffic.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Digital footprint

Today we have yet another thing to think about, our digital footprint. We all have digital camera's and cell phones that take pictures and now even HD video camera's. So, how are you dealing with this digital media?. With gigabytes of pictures and video on our hard disks we need to make sure we are backing this stuff up. I have had the unfortunate task of recovering customers data on bad hard disk because they didn't practice backup processes. External hard disks are cheap and easy to use as backup sources for your digital media. A problem with this technology is remembering to back up your stuff. On a Mac we have  Time Machine and it is a great tool for backing up your data, Windows 7 has back up tools as well that will remind you to back up but both these cases you can over ride the message and continue with your tasks thus not backing up. Don't wait till its too late. always have a copy of your data on anther external drive, you may even want to consider keeping a third copy in an offsite location for even safer backups.

Please backup your data, all your memories can be gone by the next power outage.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quansheng TG-UV2

Ham radio just got cheaper with Quansheng TG-UV2 dual band HT

I heard about these radios from another Ham and decided to buy one. I paid $90 shipped from Hong Kong and $14 for the programming cable.

Lots of specs online so I will just give you my experience with it

for the price you get the radio, battery, drop in charger, and a manual.

The menu's and manual need a little work but once you start programming you understand it, things like repeater offset are called frequency deviation.  The radio uses Kenwood accessories so speaker mics and programming cables are easy to find.

I programmed some local repeaters and called into some nets with no issues, the radio performs great and feels very well built in the hand.

The one I got was unlocked, TX on 136 173.995MHz, 400-469.995MHz and RX 470-519.995MHz
It also has RX for FM radio 88-108MHz

With this radio you can program in the FRS and Marine bands.
With RX at 470-520 I can program local PD and FD.

For the price and what you can do, its a hands down a winner, I leave mine at the office so I have emergency communications at all times, great disaster preparedness addition.

Is a hackintosh as stable as a real Mac ?

Is a Hackintosh as stable as a real Mac ?

Yes it can but, it all depends on how its configured and built. Hackintosh is not for the end user who wants to buy a computer, plug it in and start surfing / computing, as its name implies, its hacking the Apple OS to run on non Apple hardware. Is this legal ?, that is open to debate and opinion and will not be covered here.

Hackintosh can be just as stable as a real Mac if you take the time and do some research. Not all hardware will work and laptops will be allot harder to get working, some laptops and desktops will not work at all but the good news is there is a wiki to look up hardware and even installation guides. Still, hackintosh is not for the non computer tech person, its more for someone who likes the Mac OS experience and likes to tinker with hardware and software. The term Hacker in this context refers to someone who enjoys getting the OS and hardware to work and not someone who hacks into banks or secure systems for illegal purposes.

The best representation of a stable Hackintosh would be my system, below is the hardware list.

Gigabyte EP 58X-USB3 Motherboard
Intel i7-950 3.10Ghz CPU
12GB (3x4) 1600 DDR3 memory
ATI Radeon 5870 1GB Video Card

The above list is the most important part of the hackintosh, Hard disks, DVD drives, power supply and cases are generic and anything new will work. I install Linux first and do some system testing before installing OS X to confirm all is good and working. What makes a hackintosh unstable is cheap parts, mixing memory sticks or using cheap power supply's, this will create an unstable Hackintosh just as it would a Windows PC.

Install process, this is how easy it is to install. you will need a Retail version of Snow Leopard $29

Download Boot CD and Install package
Boot PC with Boot CD
insert Snow Leopard DVD and hit F5
Install Snow Leopard
reboot PC with Boot CD
Install latest OS X update (in my case it was 10.6.6 Combo update) do not restart PC
Run installer package and select appropriate configuration items and reboot after removing Boot CD

You are now greeted by OS X running on your PC, make some config changes, maybe fix or tweak some setting hear and there and you are ready to start enjoying Hackintosh.

Everything that I posted in my blog is available by using Google and doing some research, directing you to every link and process will take the fun out of it but if you want a walkthrough guide email me or check out some of the relevant forums.