This blog is a continuation of “Started my New Computer (Day 1) – Booting

After all this the install of windows did complete and there was a happy ending to the story. Well that part at least… There is more mayhem to come but I think I will save the crazy antics of Day 2 for another blog post!

You will probably glad to hear that the rest of this story is just about a few more successes I had and about some of the plans for the future :)! This is not one of those sarcastic sentences whereby I am lying to you just so that I can tell you in the next sentence that you would be stupid to believe anything bad was yet to happen. I had done what I wanted to do for Day 1 and so the rest is just other additional bits and bobs which I did to upgrade hardware!

After using the windows XP computer for about an hour (I hadn’t played with Windows XP in so long… well not one that I was an administrator on :P), I looked at the specifications for the computer and thought about what other upgrade I could make. I then remembered about some DDR400 RAM that I had bought about 2 years ago and never used (pretty much still in the packet). I ripped open the computer, checked the specifications of the motherboard and what do you know? Not only would I be increasing the Ram to 2GB but I would also be improving the speed of the RAM. For some reason there was DDR333 RAM installed in a computer that could support up to DDR400? :S

This upgrade was simple and was done quickly enough to a good level of satisfaction! Would have been nice if I had another stick of RAM as the 2x 1GB sticks I put in only filled 2 of the 3 slots. Before any of you smart-arses say, “Why don’t you put in one of those old 256MB modules?” there was a very good reason not to. Not only is 256MB not really worth it but the older modules were DDR333 and since all 3 of the RAM slots where on the same channel that would result in the 2 DDR400 having to run at a 333Mhz bus speed.

The final upgrade I made on day one was replace that old NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 with a nicer (but not amazing by any stretch of the imagination) ATI Radeon 9250!

All that was left to do now was plan what I would do next.

[cb type=”product”]Windows XP[/cb] [cb]NVIDIA[/cb] [cb]ATI[/cb]

This is a continuation of “Started my New Computer (Day 1) – Case Modding

After I had done all the superficial bits of putting in the lights, it was time to get down to business! I first had to get the computer to successfully boot! Without that, the computer could do nothing (that is debatable to be honest… I mean you could sit there staring at the BIOS for a few hours… Yeah, that sounds like fun :P)!

The problem when booting was that the computer would complain about some .ini file being missing. To me the simple solution to this was to re-install windows… well… supposedly, that would be an easy option! I put in the Windows XP disk, turned on the computer, waited and was ended up back in the same position. I then presumed that the boot order was different to how I normally have PCs set-up (which is with HDD as the last thing to boot) so I manually selected the CD Drive as the drive to boot. I got exactly the same thing. This baffled me… From previous installs of XP, the screen should have blacked out and a message saying something along the lines of, “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD…” You would then press any key and the installation would start. From what I could see, this was not happening so my next presumption was that the CD drive was not working.

I thought to myself when deciding to swap but the drives, “If it is the drives then we have hit 2 birds with one stone and if not, I was going to have to replace the drives anyway because beige and silver, really do not go!”. I knew I had one drive that had interchangeable faceplates of which I had the faceplates store in a box in my loft and I thought that the drive matching these faceplates was in an old Asus barebones PC that I bought a couple of years back! This however was not the case; when I got downstairs with the faceplates and the drive I discovered that the drive was not the one that went with the faceplates.

At first my thought were, “Oh no!” as I had already gone to the effort of removing drives but after returning to my loft, digging around and finding the correct drive, I was quite please and I now had 2 drives to put in! I changed the faceplate on the soon to be silver drive and slid it in; the perfect colour! I now knew that when I get round to buying the BD drive I want for this PC that it would have to be silver. The black drive didn’t fit in so well but it was satisfactory for my needs which was to get the computer going again!

After all this I was almost certain it would work but if you are catching the trend in this blog you will realise nothing is ever that simple! I was getting the exact same problem… but then… I noticed something!!! The message I had been looking for that goes something along the lines of, “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD…” was appearing, but just not on its own page! It was appearing on the second page of the BIOS boot screens. Quickly I hit the “m” key (well I dunno which letter it was for sure but you get the idea; I pressed the first key i could get to).

Was this it? Had I finally got the Windows XP CD to boot up?

No… of course not! I tried this again, and again! It must have been at least 7 times that I tried  and nothing was happening. My thought process at the time was this:

  1. I can use the keyboard on the first page of the boot and in the BIOS settings as well as the boot selector so it cannot be a problem with the keyboard.
  2. The only thing that has changed on the second page is that the system has detected the the Hard Drives and is about to try and boot it
  3. So it must be some sort of issue with the Hard Drive!!!

I then had a little think and remembered about another 120GB (well this one was 122.9GB for some stupid reason) that I had in my bedroom! It was being used in my Media Player (which I rarely use anyway) so I went and got that, swapped over the drives and prayed it would work. Once again the same thing :(! At this point I was getting quite frustrated with the computer and was nearing the point where I would give up for the night when I went back and looked at the thought process I had used and tried to work out where I could have gone wrong!

Then suddenly it clicked! I made a big mistake by ruling out the keyboard as a problem in part 1 of my thought process! The keyboard I was using was USB and for some reason the system could regonise it on the first part of the boot but no on the second :S. All I had to do then to correct this was go and get a PS/2 keyboard! How hard could that be? Right?

Very hard actually! I spent 20 minutes searching for one that was not being used when I gave up and decided to nick (if you want to get all technical about it, it was borrowed because the keyboard has now been returned) the one from my loft sever! I gave the server my roll-up keyboard (which I recently discover was also inflatable) and stole the PS/2 keyboard.

Was that the solution I had been looking for? Yes! It worked, hooray :D! Well, it was clearly plain sailing from there onwards. If you beleived that last sentence I really do not think you have been paying attention to the sarcastic tone of this blog post where nothing can go right or be simple!

I followed the installation and it all looked like it was going well. Windows copied the files extremely quickly and efficiently and then restarted with no trouble at all! 🙂 The next part of the automated installation also went surprisingly well. But then, from out of nowhere, like a brick wall hitting me in the face I reached the product serial page. If you have ever installed windows or any other software that uses these sort of serials, you will know how easy it is to make mistakes. I read the code of the faded sticker, and typed slowly, “ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY” (what? you think I would actually give you my real serial? haha!). Quite pleased with the progress I had made I click next.

Then the computer said, “The serial you have entered is not valid!”

I tried again and as you may have guessed the computer said, “The serial you have entered is not valid!”

It took nearly 45 minutes to work out the serial and enter it and in the end it was all down to the letter “Q” – that bit isn’t actually made up, it was definitely “Q” causing the issues as I had typed it an “O” – I had been playing with ever other letter for the last 45 minutes except for this one “Q”! I even restarted the install twice thinking that was the problem.

After this I continued the install and go to the networking section of the install. I naturally chose for the computer to be part of a domain, entered all the information then realised, “I have no network connected to this computer, how will it find the server?” Doh! I am such a wally (or “pleb” as my good friend @MelissaAmbrose_ would say)! To be honest this was not a major problem, just an inconvenience. I carried on the install without a domain but set-up so that I would have to add one later (or just use the system-based Administrator account).

If you are wondering why I had no network it was due to the fact that I was working in my front room (I know… the front room has always been the best workshop) and that I live in a home where hard wiring is impossible and I blown 4 Advent Powerline Ethernet adapter a few months before, but that is another story (the thing you have to remember is that I blew all 4 within a week of them arriving :S).

This blog continues with the the Final Modifications

[cb type=”product”]Windows XP[/cb]

This is a continuation of “Started my New Computer (Day 1)

When I started working on this, the first thing that had to be done was kind of obvious… You cannot have a glass window without some cold-cathode strips (which I had conveniently bought months ago with the plan of getting a computer with a glass window). I had an assortment of colours but I did not want to pick anything too garish as that was not the look I was going for. Instead I went for a pale purple. It took me a bit of time to work out the best position (especially when my dad did not like my initial idea) but after an hour, I put the strips in the place I had originally planned for them to go! One strip on the top and one on the bottom of the glass side window, hidden behind solid part of the casing. The effect of these, can be seen in the photos which are further down in this blog.

Attaching these lights actually became more of a problem than I expected. The reason it took so long was because my dad said that he thought I should try and attach the lights, inside the case so when the side panel is removed it is not attached to the main computer through a wire leading the PSU. I looked at every conceivable possibility and there was no way of doing it to get the effect I wanted!

The next problem I encountered with the positioning was where to put the inverter. The location of the inverter, to me this was obvious; there was a is a section of the window where it dips in so that a handle could be put on for sliding the panel open and closed. I instinctively went to put this here but once again, my dad made a comment about the location. Don’t get me wrong, my dad’s suggestions were valid but there was no way of logistically being able to fulfil them and they ended up wasting time.

The final problem I had with the cold-cathode lights was how I would attach them and the inverter. The actual strips of cathode came with little bits of double sided sponge on them, but as a soon found out, the glue that was on these bits of sponge was not the best glue. I resolved this issue by simply putting small cuttings of double sided tape on the bit of sponge. Next I had to attach the inverted in its chose place and this was done, once again using double sided tape, however without the aid of the sponge, the inverter would not stick, until my dad came up with a good idea! By using 6 layers of the double sided tape, I was able to create a little cushion/sponge to allow for movement and moulding of the glue around the shape of the inverter!

After I had done this i booted up and watched the lights come on with a small smile on my face. Unfortunately my sister decided to go out with her friends on this Friday night and she also decided to steal my camera so the only 2 photos I could get at the time I took on my phone and uploaded to Yfrog. Here they are:

A quick pic of the computer I am building with the ambient lights on (links to the Yfrog page)
A quick pic of the computer I am building with the ambient lights off
A quick pic of the computer I am building with the ambient lights off (links to the Yfrog page)

My dad gave one last suggestion which I have no idea if it will help at all, but I have still done it because in theory, it kind of makes sense. There are two fans on the back of the computer which were both running in the same direction (dragging air out of the case) but my dad suggested that one should be reversed so there is an inward flow and outward flow.

Phase one of the build – Complete! The next step now was to get the computer to boot.

No, this is not a blog post about the Sugababes Single, Hole in the Head! This, to be honest, is just a rant about what an awful mother I have!

The story begins about 15 years ago, when I was just a little baby. My mother was out shopping with me in a well know store, named Tescos, when as she was leaving something quite awful, horrific and traumatising happened; something on the ground – be it a loose paving slab or maybe a pen that a selfish, unruly passer-by had dropped – that made my poor mother buckle, loose her balance and fall to the ground while still holding me tight within her arms.

My mother was barely injured and I looked as though I was fine so my mum carried on with her day! By the time we got home, I had fallen asleep in the car so before putting the shopping away my mum, took me to her room, laid me in my cot and left me to sleep!

Several hours later, my mother came back to check on me! The hood of my jacket (which my mother had not removed as to not wake me up) had fallen off my head and to my mother’s surprise and horror! There was blood everywhere. To this day, that experience haunts her and every time I have my hair cut their is a lasting memory of what happened on that fateful day!

Very blurry and extremely zoomed in photo (my mum's photography is not the best in the world :P), but if you look on the right you can see the bald patch I know have thanks to my mother!

Very blurry and extremely zoomed in photo (my mum's photography is not the best in the world :P), but if you look on the right you can see the bald patch I know have thanks to my mother!

Ahhh... That's better! I got her to stand a bit further back when taking this photo!

Ahhh... That's better! I got her to stand a bit further back when taking this photo!

Last Friday, I started to build my new computer (which if you follow me on twitter, you would know). However, I was not able to write a blog as my hosting account had been suspended (which you would have already known, if you follow me on twitter or tried to get on any of the FTTGroup’s sites which are hosted on Server 1). So I finally bring to you, my most amazing blog about Day 1 on working on my new PC!

To start of with I will explain what I was working with to start off with! I had inherited an old computer from my Aunt. She was no longer using the PC due to issues with overheating and a corrupted OS but knowing that this could be fixed and that some of the hardware that I would get with the PC could be very useful, I happily accepted the computer. The basic spec of the PC to begin with was as follows:

  • An AMD 3000+ Processor (with a poxy looking little heat sync)
  • 120GB Hard Disk Drive
  • 512MB of DDR333 Ram (2x 256MB)
  • An NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (64-bit, 128MB DDR and a TV out)
  • A Dial-Up Modem (How hi-tech :P)
  • A Corrupted XP Operating System
  • A cheap motherboard and PSU
  • Some basic DVD-Rom drives (Beige)
  • A boring old floppy drive (Beige again)
  • A half decent looking case
  • 2 Tri-Coulor Led Fans

The rest of this blog has now been split into the following sections:

  1. Case Modding
  2. Booting
  3. Final Modifications
  4. What Next?

[cb]AMD[/cb] [cb]NVIDIA[/cb] [cb type=”product”]Windows XP[/cb]

As you may know, over the last week, if you tried accessing any of the sites on the FabTekTastic Server 1 (which is pretty much all of them at the moment) you would have been given a message saying, “This Account Has Been Suspended” as screen-shotted bellow.

What every site on the FTT Server 1 looked like for a week

What every site on the FTT Server 1 looked like for a week

This problem was first reported by @MelissaAmbrose_ (my best friend) and later spotted that day by me when I went to make a blog post last Friday, about the building of my new computer. After seeing the message and reading “contact the billing/support department” I presumed that I must have not paid my invoice for the next year. However, I was soon to discover that this may not have been the case. I logged into the Billing System for my host and hunted for an unpaid invoice; after rummaging around all over the billing system, it would have appeared that there was no invoice to pay and that the account was still active. Despite this, I was still pretty sure it was due to an unpaid bill so I did as the message said and contact the Billing Department for my host asking how to pay my invoice.

After 2 days (on Monday which was the next working day for the Billing Department) I got a response. In that response I was told that my account had not been suspended due to an unpaid invoice but due to a breech in the TOS! I was shocked and outraged by this as I have fully read the TOS and under my knowledge I had not broken any of the rules! I contacted them back trying to explain any misconception that they may have gained from the content of any of my sites or any of the files stored on my server and then requested some information on what files were the cause of the suspension.

When they replied to this everything was explained! There had been a big and quit stupid mistake made. My account was holding back-ups of the server itself that the cPanel had created. Had they just told me I would have happily removed them, which is what I am currently in the process of doing at the moment! I am downloading each of the back-ups (totalling about 40GB) to my computer and will then delete them from the server!

I am not human?

I am not human?

I was at school about 2 weeks back using Firefox (which I installed by bypassing the .exe file restrictions in the Active Directory) and whenever I did a Google search from the search bar, this page came up! It was getting extremely annoying at the time. Every search i had to do that stupid re-captcha thing! I reckon my schools proxy had been black listed but have you ever seen this error before?

For being the first person post a legitimate comment on here, Emma has won the amazing secret prize of getting a little blog post about being the first person to comment on my site! Wow…. A truly epic prize, I know! So many thanks to Emma and I hope to be seeing more comments soon! 🙂

If you were wondering the definition of “a legitimate comment” is a comment that is not:

  • written by me
  • posted automatically
  • spam

This is just a quick little blog post to get me back into my blogging. I just did a test using SunSpider on an (admitedly) not very powerful computer and got some interesting results! Both Firefox and Chrome were tested on the same computer to make it fair and just look how much faster Google Chrome was!

SunSpider JavaScript benchmark result comparison from Mozilla Firefox to Google Chrome.

SunSpider JavaScript benchmark result comparison from Mozilla Firefox to Google Chrome. Click to view in full size!

It was overall, 6.22 times faster than Mozilla Firefox! This shows that Google has gone to allot of effort to increase the speed at which JS is handled. For a more in-depth look at my results, here are the links to each:

I will be posting some more tests that I run in the near future to see if I get the same results on different computers and then do a full analysis of my results! Watch this space…

Oh and if you want to get Google Chrome after seeing these results, you can download it here and if you like BETA versions click here!

[cb type=”product”]FireFox[/cb] [cb type=”product”]Google Chrome[/cb]

I know I have been saying that this blog post has been coming for quite some time but it is finally here! This is my first Tutorial on this Blog and it will show how to use filters in Gmail. I thought that I would do it on something basic just to see how to lay it out and just to get used to it!

This tutorial will explain to you how to keep on top of your Gmail account by automatically applying filtering to new and existing mail! By the end of this you will be able to set up filter and automatically perform tasks to your mail like adding Labels, Auto Archiving and marking emails as read!

  1. To start with, log into your Gmail account then click “Settings” in the top right.

    Click settings

    Click "Settings"

  2. In your settings go to the “Filters” page.

    Click "Filters"

    Click "Filters"

  3. At the bottom of the “Filters” page you will find a link saying, “Create a new filter”. Click that.

    Click "Create a new filter"

    Click "Create a new filter"

  4. You will then be prompted to provide the criteria of your filter. This works exactly like an search, if the mail fits the criteria of the search then it will have the actions selected in the next step applied to it! In this example I will show you how I would set up a filter for emails coming from the FeedBurner for this blog. I know that all of these emails will come from the email address, and no other emails will be coming from that. If, for example, emails other than feeds came from the same email address I would set a more detailed fill in a more detailed filter. Once you have completed your criteria you can click, “Next Step >>”

    Set up your criteria, then click "Next Step >>"

    Set up your criteria, then click "Next Step >>"

  5. After doing that you need to set the actions you want to have applied to messages that fit the criteria.
    Set the actions of your filter

    Set the actions of your filter

    • Skip the Inbox (Archive It) – This is pretty self-explanatory; if this is ticked then rather than the message arriving in the Inbox it will be Archived.
    • Mark as Read – This auotmatically marks the email as read, even before you have actually read it. This is good if you want to receive the email but wont always read it and don’t want to go to the effort of reading all of the emails you receive. I usually use this in conjunction with “Skip the Inbox (Archive It)” and “Apply the Label” so that they are out of my way but can be quickly found using the label.
    • Star it – This adds a star to the email and puts it in your starred items.
    • Apply the Label: – This adds the selected Label to the filtered messages.
    • Forward it to: – This forwards all messages that fit the criteria to the email address entered into the text area.
    • Delete it – I don’t recommend ever doing this but it will automatically delete items that arrive! I believe it will place it in the Deleted Items for 30 days but I have NEVER tested this!
    • Never send it to Spam – This ensures that emails fitting the criteria will never end up in your spam box! I always enable this for trusted emails!
    • Also apply filter to – I highly recommend this setting! This means that the rule will be applied to all messages currently found in your account as well as new items! This is good for maintaining consistency and back-dating new filters.
  6. Click create filter and you should receive this confirmation message!

    If you see this then your filter was created successfuly with no problems!

    If you see this then your filter was created successfully with no problems!

I hope this tutorial has been helpful and I will be running some feedback polls to get your…. well…. feedback 😛 You can also leave a comment bellow with your thoughts.

[cb type=”product”]Gmail[/cb]