Dell joins the war on terror!

4 12 2007

I was looking up the specs for the CDRW drive on my work Dell laptop.  I found a Dell support site that gives the information I was looking for.  Fortunately, for our safety, they also had an interesting clause at the bottom regarding “export” regulations.  It reads as follows:

Customer acknowledges that these Products, which may include technology and software, are subject to the customs and export control laws and regulations of the United States (” U.S.”) and may also be subject to the customs and export laws and regulations of the country in which the Products are manufactured and/or received. Customer agrees to abide by those laws and regulations. Further, under U.S. law, the Products may not be sold, leased or otherwise transferred to restricted end-users or to restricted countries. In addition, the Products may not be sold, leased or otherwise transferred to, or utilized by an end-user engaged in activities related to weapons of mass destruction, including without limitation, activities related to the design, development, production or use of nuclear weapons, materials, or facilities, missiles or the support of missile projects, and chemical or biological weapons.”

I’ll sleep much better at night now knowing my CDROM won’t be used in the design, development, production of nuclear weapons, WMD, etc.

You can see the original site here





Technology & Pets

3 10 2007

Well this last weekend was an entertaining one.  I was trying to upgrade my computer for various reasons. 

Basically the scenario worked something like this:

 I have a computer setup in my living room hooked up to my stereo/TV that acts as a jukebox.  I have iTunes on it with all my music so I can pump that out through my stereo.  The computer is also hooked up to the TV so I can do things like browse the net, listen to internet radio, watch youtube videos, etc.  Basically a home media centre (that I set up years before Microsoft came out with the “Media Centre” edition of XP).  Unfortunately the hard drive in the computer is full of music now so I need to replace it with a larger one to facilitate more tunes as I’m flat out of disk space!  I also wanted to upgrade my regular desktop computer from XP-Home to XP-Pro (so I have IIS and I can do some work at home.  Some of the work I’m doing in my day job uses web services which XP-Home can’t cope with.  Am I a dedicated employee or what?).  So as my desktop computer has a hard drive twice the size as my entertainment computer it seemed to make sense to buy a new hard drive, put it in my desktop computer and install XP-Pro on it, take the old hard drive from there and pop it in my media/jukebox PC.

 First lesson, look inside your computer and see what you actually have before you make plans like this 🙂  I just picked up a run of the mill IDE 320gb hard drive at staples and thought nothing more of it but it turns out the one in my computer was actually a SATA hard drive (different connector).  Not a big deal but it won’t fit in my jukebox PC as it’s pretty old (apparantly you can get SATA/IDE adaptors so this may not be as big an issue).  My desktop PC has IDE slots in addition to the SATA capability (which is to be expected) so hooking up the new drive wasn’t an issue.  Nonetheless I installed my new hard drive, played the PC internal dust bunny game, played the shuffle the wires so nothing is touching anything that gets hot or spins game, popped in the XP disc, formatted and installed XP-Pro.  Went through an hour of installing windows, started to poke about seeing what I needed to install driver wise onto the computer to discover my hard disk drive was H: and not C:.  Turns out the USB card reader I have installed takes up the first 4 drive letters (starting at C: as A:,B: are reserved) and my DVD/CD drive took up the next one.  Very weird.  Aftering puzzling and experimenting with this for awhile I discovered I had to physically disconnect the USB card reader from the mother board and go through the formatting/installation procedure again and it worked.  Popped in the SATA drive and configured it as the secondary drive, reconnected the card reader and I’m off.  I can copy my data off my original drive and then just use it as a 2nd drive if I can’t find a way to put it into the other PC.  <sigh>.  Oh well, it’s not like hard drives are expensive.  I could also just use the orignal SATA drive for XP Pro once all the data I want is off it and put the new IDE drive in the jukebox PC but I’m too lazy to go through that again 🙂

 To top of the weekend my girlfriends guinea pig got ill on Sunday and we had to go to the emergency vets and, ultimately, put her down.  Ginger the guinea pig was (by our estimation) more than 6 years old so she was ancient in guinea pig terms so at least we know she had a longer than average life.  It was still pretty sad all said and done.  We now just have the one sugar glider so we’ll just have to spoil her extra (if that’s possible).