Techspec-General Tech/Reviews

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Choosing the right Linux distro

Many people who have gotten sick of Windows have started making the switch to Linux. There as so many of distributions of Linux that sometimes it may be hard to choose. Each distribution has it's own little quirks and customizations to suit your needs. To help suit those special needs of yours you can take a quiz that will help you determine which Linux distro is right for you. Here's the link.


posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 9:32 AM | link | 3 comments

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Remove Those Pesky eXeem Advertisments

Shortly after Suprnova folded last year, the Suprnova Team began work on their own P2P client, "eXeem." eXeem was publicly released Januaray 21, 2005 and was heavily criticized for it's in-program adware and spyware. Since it's inital release all of the spyware and all but 2 small advertisments have been removed. The two remaining advertisments can now be removed as well using a small VBScript appropriatley titled "Ad-Nuke" to add the eXeem advertiser's websites to Internet Explorer's RESTRICTED SITES ZONE. Check it out. "Ad-Nuke" can also be downloaded via eXeem ;).
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 3:26 PM | link | 0 comments

I found this through an article on Digg. At first I was reading about Leather Linux, a different distro of linux when to my amazement, found that distrowatch has tons of distros all compiled on one website. You can also purchase distro's of linux at Budget Linux Cd's.

posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 3:21 PM | link | 0 comments

The Quiet PC

I was zooming around on the feeds when I noticed this article. It's about building a really quiet pc even for people who like to push their clock speeds and voltages. It's a nice little article on Extreme Tech.

Antec P180. Check it out!

posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 3:20 PM | link | 0 comments

Sunday, July 03, 2005

IT Certification Study Guides

We all know that breaking into the IT industry involves getting some of those certifications everybody talks about. I've managed to get three so far: A+, Network+, and Microsoft Certified Professional. I'm working on getting my MCSA and I thought I would take this time to let you guys know about some of the resources I use when I'm studying for these things.

First we have the Transcender practice tests. These things are pretty hardcore and the company guarantees that if you pass these, you can pass the actual exam. They have them for nearly every certification that you could possibly want. I like these things because they do simulate the testing environment really well and will help you understand what you are going up against. They even go as far as to simulate the interactive questions where you drag stuff around. It's not all just multiple choice when it comes to these exams.

Then we have the Test King study guides. I really recommend these things because they are nearly word for word what the questions on the test are. It's ridiculous! I used one for Network+ and was surprised to see at least 40 questions that I'd already seen. I finished that test in 20 minutes because nothing surprised me. I know plenty about networking and was confident about the test anyway, but this thing made the test crazy easy.

So that's a couple things you can do to prepare yourself. You can always get books to study from too and most of those are great. The Exam Cram books are great resources. I just prefer these because how accurate they are compared to the real thing. So look into those and go get certified!

posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 5:03 PM | link | 0 comments

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Free Forums

If you're anything like me, then you want a centralized place for viewers of your website to go and communicate with one another. I have been wanting something like this for a while and today I finally stumbled onto a solution: I love that place!

I've been fooling around with trying to install a PHPBB forum on a free webserver from, but it just wasn't working as well as I had hoped it would. The whole system just wasn't very reliable. This place gives you a PHPBB 2 forum with plenty of themes to choose from and an administrative control center and everything. Signing up was just like anything else: an activation email and you're ready to go.

I've always liked the way PHPBB looked and this was perfect for what I wanted to do. The real challenge is getting anybody to sign up for it and be active. With an internet saturated by message boards, it takes somebody with a real following to make anything that people will visit But this is something for you guys if you've been wanting to set up a forum for your clan or guild, or whatever you call your online gaming group. So check these guys out.

posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 1:25 PM | link | 0 comments


After spending a few months with Kanotix Linux, which I considered to be one of the best Linux distributions I have used. I figured it was time to try out a new distribution, after doing my daily search on DistroWatch, I came across PClinuxOS, based on Mandrake-Mandriva Linux. I had tried this distribution once before, and really disliked it. It was hard to use, most of the programs did not load right off the live cd and the install to the hard drive did not work. Now there was a new updated version, so I gave it another shot, and good thing I did. This distribution is definitely worth checking out.

This distribution comes in three different forms. One with no proprietary video card driver included, one with the ATI proprietary driver, the other with the NVIDIA driver. I have an ATI X800 pro, so I downloaded the ATI ISO. As I started the system, it found my USB cable modem connection and Ethernet ports, and loaded up the fglrx driver. The distribution is a Live-cd which can also be installed to the hard drive. This is nice for when a rescue disk is needed. I went directly for the hard drive install, which went very smooth. Had all the functions needed to make an install nice and smooth. After it was done, I rebooted the system to load it up to my nice new Linux distribution.

However, after I rebooted into it, I faced many more problems. My USB connection to my cable modem was no longer working right. It would connect to the DHCP server, but not to the Internet. I could not figure out why, so I set up my Ethernet connection, which worked out fine. Also, my sound faced many issues. As I played some music in Amarok, the sound was just plain bad. I tried to tweak the settings and use different programs, but nothing worked. That is, until I went to the sound settings to see that it set my speaker configuration as Speakers 2.0. I have a subwoofer, so I changed it to speakers 2.1, and everything sounded fine. Also, a lot of the packages in this distribution are very outdated, for example KDE is version 3.3.2, not the new 3.4. Luckily for us, PClinuxOS included the RPM version of apt (which threw me off at first, as I usually use YUM for RPM distributions.) so it is very easy to update the system to all the new programs.

PClinuxOS includes for all your office needs, Mozilla Firefox and konqueror for web browsing, and gaim or kopete for instant messaging. Also included are bit torrent programs, an easy to use control center to change system configurations, skype for VOIP, and more.

Overall, if you are looking for an easy to use distribution using the RPM Package system, this is the one to get. For a Debian system, get Kanotix.
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 1:24 PM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Ahh, good old PearPC. While most know of this emulation program to run the PPC architecture (for things like Mac OSX), not many have seen how much it has advanced in a matter of one year. Although the last version on the sourceforge site is at version 0.3.1 the CVS and "Pre 4.0" versions have been in the works. PearPC can now emulate G4 processors, and allows users to right click on the mouse and scroll (by a patch).

Now speed wise, don't expect this to replace a normal Mac. The emulation right now, while useable, is no where near "great". I have an AMD 2700++ Athlon 32 bit CPU and 1 gigabyte of ram, yet it still has lots of problems running it. It is very slow, loading programs can be quite a task, and from someone who uses Linux and Windows, it's quite a bit different to use OSX. However, just the fact that the people working on this project got the thing "running" is just insane, and how it's gotten more useable in such a short time is even more of an accomplishment.

Also note, OSX Tiger right now is "working" but not really. It will run on PearPC, but installing it is somewhat hard. The other OSX versions run fine however.

Also, check out for pre-0.4.0 downloads, CVS version's and guides on how to set up PearPC

PearPC is for Windows, MacOSX, Linux, even BeOS.
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 4:19 PM | link | 0 comments

DVD's that could possibly hold up to 850 Gigs.

This was too cool to rip off from somewhere, so I’ll just link and give a quick rundown. A company called Iomega has received two patents that cover a specific use of nanotechnology to write the info to the disk. This in turn could allow DVD's to hold up to 100 times more than what they hold now. We'll see if they can get it working well enough for it to be commercially acceptable, but holy crap, if they do, who will need Blue-Ray? People aren't going to want to ditch out DVD's yet. I just don't believe they've lived out their cycle yet. I suppose only time will tell, but an 850 GB DVD will surely help their cause to hang around a bit longer.

Full Article

posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 4:19 PM | link | 0 comments