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Everything posted by goretsky

  1. Hello, Pretty common scam, unfortunately. Best to ensure you're buying direct from Amazon (NewEgg, etc.) or the manufacturer to avoid such scams. Even then, it's still possible to get stung if the inventory is mixed (I think Amazon might sometimes mix and match their own and third-party inventory i their warehouse, possibly to save on distance that pickers have to move when fulfilling your order). Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  2. Hello, It reminds me a bit of the Ocean Spray juice logo. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  3. Hello, There are some 2017-era Realtek HD Audio codecs at https://www.realtek.com/en/component/zoo/category/pc-audio-codecs-high-definition-audio-codecs-software. Perhaps installing the appropriate package from there will change the behavior and re-add the Line In option to the sound mixer? Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  4. Hello, Spammers sending appointment requests, which automatically show up. Here's how to disable this: 1. Go to calendar.google.com/calendar/r/settings 2. Scroll down to the Event Settings section. 3. Look for a setting Automatically add invitations. 4. Change the option's value to No, only show invitations to which I have responded. If you have any outstanding event spam showing, t would probably be a good idea to cancel the series of them first before doing this. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  5. Hello, Patrick Volkerding has set up a Patreon account to fund further development of Slackware: https://www.patreon.com/slackwarelinux Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  6. Hello, That might be it, but I thought the rebranding had been done a while ago. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  7. Hello, Wasn't this announced a few months ago? Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  8. Hello, At work, we get a huge amount of unsolicited spam from VPN companies asking to publish articles in our blog. I send their URLs off to the lab for blocking. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  9. Hello, Are you sure the power supply you swapped in is compatible with the Lenovo H50-55 motherboard? Some manufacturers' pre-built systems use proprietary power supplies with different wiring than the ATX standard, and it could be that you need a specific PSU that works with that motherboard in order to pwoer it up. If you have a power supply specifically for the Lenovo system, you could give it another try with that and see if the computer will power up. If that works, back up all of your valuable data from the computer. Before you do that, though, you may wish to pull the motherboard out of the computer and carefully inspect it with a good quality flashlight held directly overhead, looking for any signs of damaged (blackened or burst component tops). You can also give it the "smell test" to see if there's anything which smells burnt. Start your investigation around the PSU connector. It may be possible to salvage some parts from the computer like the CPU, the RAM and the drives, and they may continue to work for some time without error, however, the kind of damage that is done inside a computer chip from ESD, nearby lightning strikes, and so forth over time is cumulative, so they shouldn't be considered reliable. They may be "good enough" for a back up/secondary computer, though. Like @securitybreach, I have had good results with CyberPower UPSes. APC are good, too. Keep in mind that a UPS is not going to protect you from a nearby (or a direct) lightning strike. You have to physically unplug things. Even your UPS. Back in the mid 1990s I was working in Woodland Park, Colorado at a software company that was in a strip mall. The first floor was filled with all sorts of tourist stores, and they had 50 metal flag posts (one for each state) in their parking lot as a kind of a "draw attention for the tourists coming through" kind of thing. Surprisingly, it was a couple of years before we had a strike on our building, but we eventually did. The flash and the boom from the lightning and the thunder occurred at the same time, and the building shook as if a truck had run into it. All of the UPSes tripped--some survived, others needed to be replaced, and we lost a lot of switch ports in our server room, network cards in PCs throughout the building, etc. A few days later, one of the network guys gave me a short 6" tube of PVC conduit they had to cut out. Welded into the bottom was an Ethernet cable whose jacket had melted into it. Right now, I'm staying about four or five miles away from where Nikola Telsa built his Experimental Station to study lightning. When there's nearby lightning strikes, I power down my electronics, unplug the UPSes and power strips from their respective AC outlets, and unscrew the coax cable from my modem. I lost one computer the first year I was here, so that was my own expensive lesson. For a while, the power company out here offered the installation of a whole-home surge surpression service, which required shutting off the power to the building for installation, but they no longer offer the service. You might want to check and see if your power company offers something like that. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  10. Hello, An interesting article from ComputerWeekly.Com: Top VPNs secretly owned by Chinese firms The source for the article is this blog post: Hidden VPN owners unveiled: 97 VPN products run by just 23 companies which provides more information about how the data was collected and analyzed. I am not sure how the ranking of a particular VPN as a "top" one was done (downloads? user installs? bandwidth?) Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  11. Hello, I find it very hard to believe that is a legitimate legal license at that price. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  12. Hello, Western Digital's (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technology's) Drive Fitness Test program might be of interest, as well as CrystalDiskInfo. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  13. Hello, The block on USB external drives includes attempting to run the update off of a USB flash drive, as I did. I ended up having to copy the contents to the internal drive of my primary desktop and running the upgrade from there to update Windows. That said, after running the upgrade process from the local drive, it upgraded without incident. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  14. Hello, I think a state actor would be more targeted; their modus operandi is usually to slip in unnoticed, and make changes so that it seems they were never there. This seems, not clumsy, but, well, attention-generating. It may have been an act by a commercial entity in an attempt to cover their tracks, or an attempt of some sort to send a message, although what that might be and who it was for may never be known. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  15. Hello, I just got a GTX 1070 Ti myself during last season's holiday specials. I am not much of a gamer these days, and it certainly hasn't improved my gaming, but at least everything looks prettier at a higher resolution. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  16. Hello, Congratulations to all the winners! Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  17. Hello, It sounds like Steam will cooperate, but they need you to first file a police report so they have a legal basis for investigating how the card was used. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  18. Hello, This was unexpected news. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  19. Hello, As an addendum to the side discussion about computers coming with custom power supplies units, I've found that in some instances there are adapters available to convert a regular ATX or SFX PSU into one that works with the non-standard power connectors on the motherboard. I found this out by searching for "[brand name] [model name] power supply adapter OR cable" in a search engine, which lead me to several results, including how to make your own, as well being offered for sale on eBay, etc. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  20. Hello, I think I have to respectfully disagree with your statement about 5-6 year old computers being hopelessly outdated. Maybe if they were the lowest-performing value-oriented systems from back then with minimal configurations that hadn't been upgraded, perhaps. If they were mid-range or a high-end systems, or have been upgraded, they still might be usable today for a variety of tasks. As an example, I just recently upgraded an old server at work to 32GB of RAM; that would have added around $1,100 to the cost if I had purchased it with the server. It cost around $70 today, and I'm really hoping it helps improve the speed of the single task it is used for. One thing to keep in mind is that the "system requirements" for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 remained largely unchanged (1GHz processor, 1GB or 2GB of RAM (32-bit/64-bit) and 15-20GB of free disk space. Of course, the numbers alone don't tell the whole story: Underlying technologies have changed, with multi-core systems, the emergence of DDR RAM (followed by DDR2, DDR3, DDR4 and DDR5 now being on the horizon), IDE HDDs being replaced by NVMe SSDs and so forth, the numbers themselves aren't as meaningful. But it does serve to point out how different things are than they were in the 1990s, when the performance of a computer's CPU could increase by 25% or more every year. It's also important to remember that In some instances, early 64-bit systems cannot run the latest 64-bit versions of Windows today because their processors or chipsets do not support specific CPU instructions, limiting them to remaining on older versions of Windows, or running 32-bit versions. So, 64-bit is not a panacea if it's not the right 64-bit intruction set. These days, that cycle of year-over-year performance improvements has slowed to a trickle, whether due to physics, Moore's Law, the move from local to network computing (called by various names such as the Web, the Cloud, etc.), the economy, prioritization of power consumption, etc., and I think it means that there is less of a dependence on having the newest hardware for most users, aside from some categories like gaming and content creation. For quite some time, people have been upgrading HDD-based systems to SSDs, because this results in a noticeable performance improvement. It also shows that processing and memory have improved so much over the years, that it is the speed of the storage which often becomes a bottleneck. As for 32-bit CPUs, Microsoft committed to ten years of support for 32-bit versions of Windows 10 back when it was released in 2015, which means we can still expect 32-bit systems to be used for at least another seven years, if not longer. I believe some of the low-end tablets that ship today still run 32-bit versions of Windows, due to RAM, chipset, firmware and power considerations. And cost. Just as a coincidence, just before opening this message thread, I started to burn a CD of documentation and drivers for a Hewlett-Packard Vectra XA6/200 MT, which has a 200MHz Intel Pentium Pro processor in it an 64MB of RAM. It is a system that I am giving to a friend. He wants to use it as a "retro gaming" machine on which to play Windows 95/98 games with his son¹. I believe the machine is from around 1997… about 21 years old. So, for that kind of use, the old hardware works best. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky ¹His son was born earlier this year, so I think it may be a while before they are ready to play games together, but I think it is great that he's planning on doing this.
  21. Hello, When it comes to a desktop, I personally prefer to build my own; that way I can get exactly what I want without having to compromise on anything. That said, I've used/managed various desktops from Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo, and cannot say I found any one to be particularly better than the other. The one thing I would suggest being careful about is to try and avoid purchasing any desktop computer which uses a proprietary power supply unit. In the past, desktops from tier 1 manufacturers have sometimes had non-standard PSUs in them, which require sourcing either an identical model for replacement, or obtaining a custom wiring harness to convert a a regular PSU over to their custom wiring schema. Dell was notorious for this about a decade ago; I'm not sure how common the practice is amongst manufacturers today. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  22. Hello, 2015 is when SuperFish and LSE occurred, so that's the correct year? The Australian 2013 report of Lenovo being banned by their Department of Defence has been refuted by the Australian DoD: https://www.theregis..._no_lenovo_ban/ The other articles you linked to refer to privilege escalations in Lenovo supplied software. You can find similar bugs in the software supplied by Dell and HP on their computers. No one's software is magically bug-free, and sometimes the software contains vulnerabilities that can lead to issues like these. That's why companies like Dell and HP and Lenovo all have programs in replace for reporting those issues. Tier 1 manufacturers like these have been providing software to do things like update drivers and run diagnostics for decades, as have their smaller competitors. And it's not just hardware companies that have these update tools: Microsoft has had "Patch Tuesday," the coordinated release of security fixes (also performance and reliability fixes) for fifteen years now. With the current versions of Windows, it's difficult to avoid being automatically patched. Amazon, Apple and Supermicro have all categorically denied Bloomberg's report of hardware server hacking. As have the US and UK governments: https://www.theregis...k_intelligence/ I don't have any particular knowledge about the matter, but it would be nice to see some physical evidence. So far the only thing I can think of approaching that is the NSA's FIREWALK, and that shows up as a replacement for a discrete on the motherboard. Now, there's certainly malicious firmware (Mebromi, Lojax, etc.) that can be loaded into a an EEPROM on a motherboard, but that's making use of existing hardware resources and not implanting new devices on board. And there have also been backdoors discovered in networking gear from American companies like Cisco and Juniper. HP has shipped hundreds of models with keyloggers accidentally. That doesn't mean that HP intentionally meant to log its customers' keystrokes. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky You would think so, wouldn't you? But look at the time stamp for your article. It is from February 2015. The last 4 links in my post above show they didn't learn anything - except maybe to stop infecting systems with "Silverfish" and use another malicious tactic instead. You are absolutely correct about the concerns of using parts made in China in American branded systems - in fact, we know they are doing it. See, The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies. That is very scary! But the difference here with Lenovo is Lenovo was knowingly and purposely conducting these activities (by their own admission!). Dell and HP are not intentionally and repeatedly planting malware and spyware in their products (as far as we know). And the ASUS incident is NOT the same thing! Those files ASUS pushed out were NOT malicious! They were not malware or spyware. In fact, the article even notes the ASUS files were "useful" whereas the Lenovo programs were, at best, "crapware". Let's not forget, the Silverfish and Service Engine incidents were not Lenovo's only incidents. How many times do you let a company purposely install malware/spyware on their products before you lose faith. Isn't 3 enough? It is for me. Again, they make good stuff. They just can't be trusted. At least I sure don't. Jan 2018, Lenovo's proves once again they can't bet trusted to keep your PC secure. Built? Yes. Designed? Ummm' date=' not really. At least not "all". The brands often do the designing then contract with a Chinese company to do the manufacturing and building. But it's what happens after that that matters. Dell and HP are then responsible for inserting the BIOS code and imaging the disks, not the Chinese OEM motherboard makers, for example. I sure am not saying we can totally trust Dell or HP either. But at least those companies have headquarters that are not located in Beijing under the watchful eye of a government we know is constantly conducting cyberwarfare against us. [/quote']
  23. Hello, What is the intended use case for the device? I have had good results Dell, HP, Lenovo and Toshiba laptops. They all seemed to have done a decent job of responding to the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities which appeared at the beginning of the year. I think Lenovo has learned from their mistakes with Superfish and the Lenovo Service Engine. Hopefully, that is a lesson hat ASUS will take to heart, since they did the same thing last month. As for concerns about China, even American companies like Dell and HP manufacture over there, and even if they do not, they are importing components from there. I think it would be impossible to build a computer (by which I mean a PC capable of running Windows) without having Chinese companies somewhere in the supply chain. One thing i would suggest, regardless of manufacturer, is to try and get a computer from their business lines, as opposed to their consumer lines. These tend to be built to last longer and are more easily serviced. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  24. Hello, I owned a couple of older units (the Surface RT and Surface Pro 2) and though that the hardware was very high quality. i found keyboards taking some time to get used to, though. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
  25. Hello, I understand completely. Regards, Aryeh Goretsky
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