Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Connecting to an SMB (Windows file share) server

Here is an excellent guide to connecting from an Ubuntu Linux machine to a SMB server:
Setting Up Samba (I recommend using cifs).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wireless working with Broadcom 4306 and Ubuntu 8.04

Okay, this is a Linux fix, but Linux boxes are PC's too.

If you are like me, you dread loading Ubuntu onto your laptop because of the pain of getting the wireless up and running. You got it working before in the last version, but now things have changed. It may be time to give up hope of using fwcutter. The only way I have ever gotten my wireless working in the last 3 releases was with ndiswrapper. The fwcutter method let me see networks but never connect to them.

This wiki has all you need to get your wireless working via ndiswrapper including the obscure (and still evolving) fixes to make it work under Ubuntu 8.04 (the hardy bugfix section was very useful for me).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Maintaining Your PC Part I: Virus Protection

This is the beginning of a series of posts dedicated to helping the less geeky among us to maintain their Windows box in good working order. If you want to see me cover another topic, leave a post indicating as much.

Virus Protection:
Long ago viruses were meek and playful creatures that would pop up a smiley face or say "Bang, you're dead" on your computer screen. Now they are coming for your soul, or at least your personal information and control of your computer. There is a frightening trend with the spread of botnets. In these futuristic sounding arrangements, a clever hacker seizes control of anywhere from a couple to millions of PC's that become his/her zombie playthings to be used in hacking pursuits against others. Often, the controller will extort money from companies who have substantial web presence by threatening a Denial of Service (DoS) attack if they refuse to pay up. In this kind of attack, your pc and all the others will relentlessly make requests to the servers of said company so that they are effectively unable to serve normal customers for however long the attack continues. Some of these nets are so intelligent that they automatically attack people who try to snoop around and find up what they are up to. But back to viruses.

Viruses can make your computer perform poorly, compromise your privacy, or cause your computer to unwittingly be used in criminal activities. So it is imperative that you do what you can to prevent your computer from being infected. Luckily there are many options, and some are free. Simply get an antivirus program and leave it running ALL THE TIME with scheduled scans about 1 time a week at off hours. Here is a list of a few antivirus programs I like and my opinion of how they perform.

+Fast, excellent detection, fast updates
-Not free, older versions have poor x64 support

2.Avast! (My Favorite)
+Free, great detection, very frequent updates, solid x64 support
- Slower than others

+Free, good detection
-90's looking interface, was lacking in x64 support

Stay tuned, I'll be talking about spyware in the next edition.

ATI HD2900 Pro Windows XP Pro x64 can't shut down and unknown apci compliant device

Your shiny new ATI Radeon HD2900 Pro was installed with the latest drivers and or catalyst control center. You also installed the newest WDM drivers, but your computer hangs on shutdown and flashes a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) before rebooting itself. You may also have an unknown acpi compliant device listed as being on the Radeon HD 2900 Pro under the device manager listing. Uninstalling the ATI drivers makes the computer shut down properly, but reinstalling them brings the issue back.

Ensure that your motherboard chipset drivers are up to date as a prerequisite. Also get all your Windows Updates. Reboot if needed, then install updated ATI drivers, WDM drivers, and get the updated HDMI Audio driver.

If you can't resolve the issue this way, try the other driver on the HDMI Audio Driver page. I have no idea why the HDMI audio driver is so buried on the site.