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 PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:49 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Hey all so an update on my external hard drive quest:

I started off taking a look at the portable models since I figured the convenience of portability would be nice if I could get a good deal. So on that note I think I've got some interesting finds:

Toshiba 750GB USB 3.0 $69.99 USD
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=788298&CatId=4226

Western Digital 1TB USB 3.0 $98.99 USD
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Western+Digital+-+My+Passport+Essential+SE+1TB+External+USB+3.0/2.0+Portable+Hard+Drive+-+Black/1251981.p?id=1218242902280&skuId=1251981

Western Digital 1TB USB 2.0 $89.99 (possibly the same as above?)
http://www.staples.com/Western-Digital-Elements-SE-1TB-Portable-Hard-Drive/product_867768

Seagate 1TB USB 3.0 $89.99 USD
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate+-+FreeAgent+GoFlex+1TB+External+USB+2.0/3.0+Portable+Hard+Drive+-+Blue/1150965.p?id=1218231083407&skuId=1150965


While I know Mara you said Toshiba is what you would recommend for portables I wanted to just get some feedback on the Western Digital/Seagate hard drives since it seemed like a pretty good deal since it looks like they would only cost $10-20 more than the non-portable 1TB external hard drives. The Toshiba is a pretty tempting deal too.

On the non-portable side there are some really nice deals to be had (granted 2TB is probably in the realm of killing a fly with a bazooka those deals jumped out at me since it isn't a bad price when factoring in it would be double the storage of the cheaper 1TB models in the $50-60 range):

Western Digital 2TB USB 3.0 $98.99
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Western+Digital+-+My+Book+Essential+2TB+External+USB+3.0/2.0+Hard+Drive+-+Black/1251309.p?id=1218242900307&skuId=1251309

Seagate 2TB USB 3.0 $89.99
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate+-+FreeAgent+GoFlex+Desk+2TB+External+USB+2.0/3.0+Hard+Drive+-+Black/1335107.p?id=1218251232104&skuId=1335107

Right now I'm not committed to any of them. But I just wanted to get some feedback to avoid getting suckered by shiny sales tags.
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Last edited by Salaris Vorn on Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:59 am; edited 1 time in total


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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:42 am Reply with quote  
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  Luke92
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If you can get a 2TB one for that price, personally I'd say go for it. That way you're set until the hard drive itself breaks down.
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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:04 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Word of advice: Heed the reviews. People are happy to complain when something doesn't work, and less willing to comment when something does. So if a product has pretty good reviews overall, you can be pretty sure you're going to get a nice product unless you just happen to get a lemon. And vice versa.

That first Toshiba is the one I have, and I have absolutely no complaints about it. It's an excellent drive. The portable WD drives don't have very good reviews, so I would be hesitant. The Seagate looks pretty good, though, so that's also an option.

Both 2TB drives have lower reviews, so I would be cautious with those, as well.

Conclusion: The price on the Toshiba is pretty tempting, especially considering it's a pretty great drive. Another plus is the 3.0 USB. If you have a device that supports it, that's pretty quick stuff.

If you're looking for more storage, the Seagate is also an option. But just ask yourself if the extra 250GB is worth the extra $20. I think it is, but do you need it? Remember not to break the cardinal rule of buying electronics. Don't pay for more just because it's a good price. Pay for more if you need it. Wink

Anyway, those are my recommendations, but definitely get whatever makes you happy! I would just caution you to look at the reviews. Every product will produce a lemon that has somebody screaming bloody murder. But if the overall consensus is that the product is good, you can usually trust that. Smile
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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:35 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Thanks for the feedback guys!

As for my use I'll probably be creating a collection of jpeg and/or tiff files as my grad school work is leaning in the direction of needing a decent number of visuals. I don't anticipate it being overwhelming but the more I think about it I'm leaning towards the 750GB as a minimum to be on the safe side.

In any event some quick questions so far as USB is concerned. 1) I'm fairly certain none of my stuff uses USB 3.0 but how does one go about checking that? 2) assuming I don't have anything with USB 3.0 would it be advisable to examine the market of external hard drives that just have USB 2.0 instead (working on the assumption here that getting a USB 3.0 compatible drive is me just basically paying extra cash for a feature I don't need/can't use)?

Thanks again guys for all of the feedback!
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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:50 pm Reply with quote  
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  Luke92
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If you're planning on upgrading your computer in the near future, then USB 3.0 would be a good idea as the data transfer speeds would be higher if used in a 3.0 port. USB ports are backward and forward compatible though so you can use it in a standard USB 2.0/1.1 slot with no problem, it'd just run at the speed of the port. As Mara said, pay attention to the reviews as they will give a decent guide to the product's quality.
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 PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:40 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Ok so a new question. I'd like to hook my laptop up to my TV so I can stream shows on sites like Hulu and watch them on a large screen. The trick is the TV is an older TV so it uses component cables.

Now my laptop has HDMI outputs, USB and whatever the output is to connect the laptop to a computer monitor.

So my question: are there any adapters that would allow me to connect my computer to the TV?
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 PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:18 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Well...the sad thing is that your TV is looking for component, and your laptop is only happy to give HDMI. In the old days of component cables, my trick was to use an S-Video input for video, plus headphone to component cable input for audio. But while I'm assuming the TV has S-Video (many that support component cable hookup do), I highly doubt the laptop does. Not if it's sporting HDMI.

However...! Not to ramble on and on, I shall get straight to the point. Generally, at least these days, there will be every combination of adapter cables you could possibly come up with. So there certainly is an HDMI to component cable cord. One such as this:

HDMI to Component

I won't recommend any particular sellers to you, because I don't want to lead you astray. Personally, I buy all of my cables on eBay simply because the real world is so much more expensive. You have the occasional lemon to deal with, but overall you win out.

If money is not a consideration, however, then knock yourself out. Cause there are converter boxes and such available at your local tech store:

HDMI to Various Cable Converter Box

Note the price difference. Crazy. But regardless of what you choose, you do have options! Never fear, technology waits for no one. Wink
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 PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:05 pm Reply with quote  
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  Dancelittleewok
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Laptop is broke. Whenever I click on an item on the desktop (like Firefox), a box pops and says, "What program would you like to link to firefox.exe?" with fairly limited options. If I click "Firefox," Firefox will start but the Internet won't. With a request of, "Would you like to save this file?" And nothing works. It's like all the shortcuts are gone. It doesn't matter if I click on the programs on the Windows Startup. What is going on???

Help me, Mara Jade Skywalker, you're my only hope!
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 PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:06 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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@Dance: This may be a virus or a set of corrupted OS files. There is a virus that screws up all .exe files. This is a very real possibility. If you would like, I can set up a Team Viewer session with you and try to clean up your computer and solve the problem.

If you don't know what Team Viewer is, it's a program that allows me to access your computer over the internet. Granted, you would have to be able to download the program. If you cannot get on the internet from that machine, you could download it elsewhere and install it from a travel drive or some such.

But the great thing about Team Viewer is that it's secure. I can't just connect to your computer at will. Team Viewer will supply you with an ID and password (a unique one every time you use it) that you would give to me. Using that temporary sign in data, I would connect to your computer and start a cleanup session. Whenever the connection ended (when we disconnect), the login information you gave me would no longer be valid. So it keeps me from being dishonest, if I were so inclined. Which I assure you I am not. Wink

Anyway, let me know if that interests you, and I'd be happy to help! Smile

Edit: Oh...! And you will be able to see everything I'm doing, and you also have the authority to override anything I do. So it's very safe for the owner of the machine, which is why it's one of my favorite programs. Smile
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:02 am Reply with quote  
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  Luke92
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Your first port of call would be to do a backup of all your important files, I can't stress enough how important that is. When that is done, the next thing to do is a virus scan. I recommend using Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes Anti Malware for this. Both free and extremely good at picking up viruses, much better than the likes of Norton. Run full scans on both, this could take a while so maybe do them overnight. If the virus scans come back clean, do you still have the install disk for the operating system? If so, turn the computer on, put the disk in the drive, boot from disk and when the menu comes up you should have a choice to 'repair'. Run that and if it's a corrupt OS file/s problem then that should sort it.

I also echo what Mara says about Team Viewer, great little program.
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:29 am Reply with quote  
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  Dancelittleewok
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Thanks for the help, guys! My dad, somehow, fixed it last night. Smile
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 PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:54 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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So I got a little hdmi conversion box (thanks again Mara for all your help on that score!) and it works just dandy. I have one minor question about Windows 7 pertaining to watching stuff on my laptop on a TV: the TV my family has is an old tube TV and my laptop monitor is widescreen. So there is a slight degree of picture compression. I figured out how to adjust my laptop monitor to a fullscreen display but that then also shrinks the view on the TV to be smaller then the full TV screen.

Now Windows 7 popped up a little "to adjust projector screen mode click here" type message box. Trouble is that the settings appear locked. Doing a Google search it seems other users find the setting locked the same way mine is and I haven't found an answer. So I was just wondering if there is some hidden step to be able to adjust the HDMI output setting and whether there is a setting that I could use to convert the output signal to get the black bars you get watching a widescreen film on a fullscreen TV (or something of the sort that would eliminate picture compression).

Like I said this isn't a big issue and I'm glad to be able to watch stuff I have on my laptop on our family TV. I just thought I'd ask since I'm still getting the hang of Windows 7 which has seemed to enjoy hiding simple things from me from time to time.
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 PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:04 pm Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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Ok, I really need your help!

What are trackpads/touchpads on traditional PC laptops made of? I need it for school and I can't find it anywhere.

I'm designing a guitar with a built-in electronic pitchbender. I'm going to use a strip of the trackpad stuff about 7-10cm in length and about the width of a thumb. Basically it will allow for much heavier, exessive use of pitchbending, (up to 36 semitones) without damaging the strings. You just slide your finger/thumb across the pad to to the pitchbending.
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 PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  Luke92
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A quick look on Google finds this:

"a series of conductors are arranged in an array of parallel lines in two layers, separated by an insulator and crossing each other at right angles to form a grid. A high frequency signal is applied sequentially between pairs in this two-dimensional grid array. The current that passes between the nodes is proportional to the capacitance. When a virtual ground, such as a finger, is placed over one of the intersections between the conductive layer some of the electrical field is shunted to this ground point, resulting in a change in the apparent capacitance at that location."

And I want one of those guitars Shocked Would be quite hard to use mid-riff though.
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 PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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Yeah, I got that, but it doesn't say the material it's made of... Maybe there is no specific material. But I would suspect it would have to be made of some plasma/crystal type thing.

Oh, and for added guitar awesome points, it'll have a built-in distortion dial. Wink

(I should point out this is theoretic, for coursework, but I have to make sure everything could be made in real life)
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You shall learn that history is an intricate weaving of many events. No one thing can be understood without the proper context.

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