Monday, February 28, 2005

DVD Burned

As I'd mentioned in February (see "Backwards and forwards in tech" and "Yer lyin'" here), the combination CD/DVD writer on my main PC Desktop machine was playing up. I could write to CDs, but re-writable CDs and DVDs gave me weird burn errors.
There were three possible reasons for this.
The first being a hardware problem on the CD/DVD writer, especially since the machine was no longer under warranty.
The second, and one I initially thought was more likely, was a conflict in drivers.
I had a problem if that was the case - I'd lost my original Restore CDs, so I had to order them from support (for $20!).
That was well and good, but I really don't want to restore my PC to it's original out of the box state, and then re-install all the software. I could apparently restore the original OS to another partition - but that wasn't foolproof. I needed a backup first...Catch 22.

Then I tested writing to a DVD from a clean Windows 2000 partition with Nero, and it failed. This was on media recommended by the DVD drive manufacturer (up until now I didn't realize there was such a thing as recommended media lists). That meant one of two things - the hardware was failing, or the firmware needed updating. I looked for firmware upgrades, but there weren't any official ones. For a while I limped along with a DVD writer which sometimes could write CDs.

Then I began thinking of replacing the DVD writer. An Internal one would be cheaper, but would only work on the machine I installed it into. Why not an external DVD writer, which could work with both my desktop and Notebook. Why Not!

After looking at the Mad Dog MegaSTOR 7-in-1 8X Dual Layer DVD Writer (which was on special at CompUSA for $99, but was a NEC drive like my current one and had a so-so review in, the Lite-On SOHW-1633SX External Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer, and then the Plextor PX-708UF External Multi Format DVD Burner. Based on the review of the Plextor PX-708UF, I bought the I bought the Plextor External Dual-Layer DVD Burner:

Plextor PX-716UF DVD±RW DL Writer

Friday, February 25, 2005


Hotmail Glitch Snarls Pay Service according to My Way News.
My account still appears to be working...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Hello Norton

Okay, I'm only one day into using the Norton Internet Security Suite 2005, but so far it is miles better than McAfee. Configuring Anti-Spam for Outlook was a breeze compared to McAfee. In McAfee I had to set the localhost in the Email client - Norton just asked "Do you want to configure this email client?", and then went and did it.

Okay, maybe I'm biased, but this is despite a bad experience with Norton Internet Security 2003. After being on my PC for a for months, MS ActiveSync suddenly stopped working. When I uninstalled NIS 2003, it worked again. I only decided to try Norton again after reading that Symantec have changed the way their firewall rules are created since the 2003 version. I've also had the Norton Personal Firewall 2004 running on my old Desktop PC for several months without any problems.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bye bye McAfee

My McAfee Internet Security update subscription only expires in 2 days time, but I just couldn't wait, so I un-installed it and installed Norton Internet Security Suite 2005 about half an hour ago.
NIS only needed one reboot during the updates!


I've mentioned this before, but it bears mentioning again:

StumbleUpon is a great way to surf the Web.

It's main component is a downloadable toolbar which works with most Browsers (Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape and even Internet Explorer) and on a number of Operating Systems.
Basically, once you've downloaded and installed the toolbar, you choose topics which you are interested in (the more the better).
Then you just click the "Stumble" button on your browser to begin channel surfing - and give a "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down" to the websites you like or dislike, and surf on.

It's really great fun.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Just re-install

Hopefully this is the last stupid update message from the McAfee Internet Security suite I'll see (like I'm really going to re-install McAfee VirusScan):

On Monday I'm planning to uninstall it and install Norton Internet Security 2005.

Given Up

Okay, that's it. The non-booting Windows 2000 Partition on my Desktop computer just wasn't responding to any TLC. I tried editing the boot.ini file, copying a new Ntoskrnl.exe, but to no avail. I've wasted enough time on it, and since all I had on that partition were programs, I have deleted it with Partition Magic.

Now I just have to re-install a few dozen programs...

Friday, February 18, 2005

IE 7 to beat Firefox?

The Buzz Report: "IE 7: so much for Firefox"
I don't think so!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Online bookmarks

They're not new, but this one has an interesting name Spurl
- rhymes with hurl but has some really cool features AND works with Opera, Mozilla/Firefox, Netscape and Safari across Windows, Linux and MacOS.

Oh, and Internet Explorer as well.

(until the next post, that is).

Yer lyin'

It's a writable multisession CD you stupid piece of software!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Tagging for Teens

RFID (radio frequency identification) badges for students at a Californian school cause an uproar - see My Way News

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Backwards and forwards in tech

Yesterday I had more CD burner woes - I could not continue writing to a multisession CDR started with Nero 6.6 Ultra Edition.
A few days ago I could do this with a CDR started with Nero 6.3 Ultra Edition. No amount of rebooting would help Nero recognize the CD as a multisession CDR

Now today, it worked!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Technology gets me down

Even a technophile can get dumped on by technology.
The mangled Windows 2000 partition on my eMachines Desktop is still mangled after almost 3 weeks (okay, I was on vaction for one of those weeks).
Now the combination CD/DVD writer on the aforementioned Desktop machine has been playing up. I can write to CDs, but re-writeable CDs and DVDs gives me weird burn errors.
Now that's something else that needs to be fixed...