//Nathan

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About //Nathan

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    Virtual Rocker
  • Birthday 09/21/1979

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  • Location North Carolina

//Nathan's Activity

  1. //Nathan added a post in a topic Keyboards work in WinSetup & 7 but not XP   

    Nope, see the topic title and re-read the part about Windows Setup. The keyboard works fine in Windows Setup. I'm able to press F8 to accept the agreement, the arrows to select the C drive, D, L, and Enter to remove the partition, Enter to create the new partition, etc., etc., and then in the GUI stage I'm able to enter the serial number. So no, I'm not leaving something out there, though I'm curious as to what you're implying.

    I had no idea my motherboard had two USB 1.1 ports. It said it had four USB 2.0 ports. Then again, it did come with that PCI slot faker thingy, so maybe those are the other two, if you're correct.
  2. //Nathan added a post in a topic Keyboards work in WinSetup & 7 but not XP   

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  3. //Nathan added a topic in General Chit Chat   

    Keyboards work in WinSetup & 7 but not XP
    OK, here's the deal. I got Windows 7 (RC 1, build 7100) a day or two after it first came out, whenever that was. Earlier this month? Last month? Anyway, I love it, but it's got some issues that bother me a bit, memory leaks I guess, and bad/slow caching of thumbnails, making media and app directories nearly impossible to navigate. I added an extra 1GB of RAM (1GB to 2GB now) and it didn't help, so I figured I'd just go back to XP. The keyboard was working fine in Win7. In Windows Setup, it still worked fine (e.g. entering the serial), but when I went to start Windows XP itself, the keyboard would not work.

    The keyboard is a Microsoft Comfort Keyboard/Mouse combo, both wireless, and the hub has a USB and purple PS/2 plug. It will work without the PS/2 plug but I guess the PS/2 port is just there for legacy operating systems/software that wouldn't support a USB keyboard but for some reason would support a USB mouse? I keep them both plugged in just to be safe.

    So I tried with just the PS/2 plug (not smart, since the hub draws its power from the USB), just the USB, and both, all three configurations after a reboot. Then I got a straight PS/2 keyboard and tried that, also after a restart. Nothing. In all cases, the NumLock would be locked On, and could not be turned off. Caps Lock did not toggle the light on the keyboard for the straight PS/2 keyboard, nor the hub for the wireless, which is very strange, since obviously power is getting to the keyboard/hub.

    I checked my BIOS and it had options for USB Keyboard and USB Mouse. Both were enabled. I disabled USB Keyboard and restarted with the straight PS/2 keyboard plugged in. Still nothing.

    So I reinstalled Windows 7 and everything works fine. It's not the batteries in the wireless keyboard. I didn't change them, and I'm typing on it now. No problem whatsoever. And of course Windows XP used to work fine with the keyboard, as y'all were giving me hell for my long posts in my other topic. Pretty sure I had this keyboard then, I've had it a few years at least.

    I bet if I could log on to Windows XP I could get it sorted somehow. I could at least get the on-screen keyboard from PortableApps (or another free source, but that's the one I know about) and use that, but most stuff in Windows can be done with just a mouse. It's funny that to call the on-screen keyboard, you gotta hit WinKey+U (IIRC). That's about as dumb as that old error, "Keyboard not found, press F1 to continue."

    So... any ideas?
    • 5 replies
    • 753 views
  4. //Nathan added a post in a topic Best alternative to DivX   

    Two megabytes or two gigabytes? Two gigabytes is enough for VLC, Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, and a ton more apps. Two gigabytes is quite a lot. My VLCPortable folder takes up 20 megabytes on disk, or 0.02GB. You can put VLC Portable and two full movies, or five television episodes, on a 2GB memory card or flash drive.
  5. //Nathan added a post in a topic Convert from DVD9 to DVD5 ?   

    As you can see by the replies, there's no good alternative to DVD Shrink because DVD Shrink is the best tool for the job, and it's free, and there's a portable version to be had which runs in a kind of sandbox, so you can take it wherever. So nobody's really tried to make an alternative. There are two exceptions; the first being Nero Recode, which is a cheap knockoff of DVD Shrink with far fewer features, and the second being Slysoft Clone DVD, which I have no experience with. Both of these programs cost money, though, while DVD Shrink remains free.

    What I don't get is why DVD Shrink hasn't been updated in years. It's been 3.2.0.15 for at least 3-4 years. And while current DVDs defeat it through various technological trickery, AnyDVD is one way around all that, but that's far from free.

    Oh, and while DVD Shrink is quite the eyesore, you can get around that by going to the Edit menu, choosing Toolbar buttons, and choosing the theme "Sharp by ddlooping". Hit OK. Presto, now it looks more modern.
  6. //Nathan added a topic in General Chit Chat   

    Portable Applications
    I've found that one of the coolest things you can do with a computer these days is portable applications. If anybody remembers me when I was really active up here, I was reformatting my computer a LOT. I got to where I enjoyed it. Even reinstalling all the apps and configuring them. Then I got married, and my wife found it far less amusing than I did.

    While there are a few commercial ways to go portable, from the really expensive (e.g. Thinstall, nearly $8,000) to the affordable (Ceedo) but one's free (PortableApps) and open source to boot. I think I read about them in Maximum PC. They have a simple menu that simply scans the folders, and apps which don't install, so much as set themselves up. The launchers are NSIS, installers, yes, but they work as anti-installers, sort of, sandboxing the application environment and cleaning up after the app when you're done with it. They aren't totally stealthy (and don't claim to be) but they don't leave any personal information behind, as a rule.

    The common application is obvious. Get a USB flash drive (they get cheaper and bigger all the time - I got a 4GB Corsair Readout on Newegg for $11 and then a 16GB Corsair Flash Voyager, also on Newegg, for $30) and put the menu and Portable Firefox on it. Then take your bookmarks and settings to school, work, whatever. There's also VLC Portable, a couple other media players, Notepad++, a few games... PortableApps only deals with free, open source stuff. There are others who use the same format... I found one offering illegal stuff (like Photoshop) but figured AdAware would be OK... long story short it wasn't. But there are other non-Open source, freeware apps that work well with launchers or just run out of a directory. That game I always liked, Deus Ex (my avatar is the logo), works portably, with the catch that loading maps takes about 30 seconds. Saving takes up to 5 minutes, but I can redirect the save folder to the C drive in the INI and save a lot of time.

    But flash drives are slower than hard drives, so you trade off performance for convenience. No more. I've installed the apps on an external hard drive, in some cases two copies (like Firefox and Pidgin) as my wife and I each have one. They run just as well as installed apps. But now when I reformat and reinstall Windows, all I gotta do is make shortcuts on the desktop to my wife's Pidgin and Firefox, and she doesn't get on me about not being able to do her online stuff. It's just that easy.

    I still have to install some stuff. Drivers mostly. And antivirus. And there are a few programs that just have to be installed. But I'm trying to move to free, open-source, portable software. I had to install MS Office because my wife only knows MS Photo Editor. I'm trying to get her to learn XnView, which does a little more actually. She uses Firefox and Pidgin, which is a great start, and for Office stuff I have Open Office. So far no complaints.
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    • 350 views
  7. //Nathan added a post in a topic Best alternative to DivX   

    XviD is indeed a free alternative to Divx. The good thing about encoding with either is that the output is probably playable on Philips DVD players, which can play a lot of .AVI files. Not sure how restrictive or loose that format is, but it plays *ahem* movies and TV shows.

    VLC is cool, but *Portable* VLC is a step above. You can burn it on the disc and run it from the disc, if you're burning something, or better yet stick it on a USB flash drive and watch videos of any kind on any machine that runs Windows and doesn't have certain restrictions.
  8. //Nathan added a post in a topic Unable to open IPS forums from work   

    For what it's worth, I use Portable Firefox 3.0.10 at home and at work, so it's the same browser either place, and it works fine from home.

    My job's computers block some sites, some you couldn't guess the reason, yet YouTube is not blocked, nor is MySpace or Twitter. It's real weird, but I don't complain.