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I had a thought

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by Nec_V20, Dec 31, 2007.

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  1. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious

    Some of you may be offended by what I am going to post - but on the other hand there's not much new in that.

    On the gripping hand, I think it might be a workable idea - it would however require some reticence on the part of those who have barely mastered the art of the fucking obvious and thus consider themselves to be experts.

    If you don't know what "On the gripping hand" means then the above probably applies to you - in the techie sense.

    OK to get to the meat of the matter; reflecting on a post I made not too long ago about restoring my system after a catastrophic hosing, and helping Terril out with his composter, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to create a thread which contained tips, advice and help in keeping computer systems alive.

    What I am proposing would not repeat NOT be a discussion thread. And if I did get the ball rolling then this aspect would be a deal-breaker, and I would stop participating in the thread if those of the habitual ignorami persuasion, who could not STFU, spammed it.

    What if you didn't understand what was posted? That would be easy, start a NEW thread with what you didn't understand in the title.

    If I, or someone else, makes a post about "Partitioning" for instance and you don't know what that is, then start a new thread called "What is Partitioning?". It's not rocket-science that I am proposing here folks.

    I hear Sneakster just about to pounce and say, "What has this got to do with Scientology?", and go into apoplectic outrage mode :soapbox: :offtopic: :readfaq: :offtopic: :readfaq:

    Quite simply put, without your computer, you cannot participate in this or any other forum. So I would suggest that even more central to the topic of this MB is the ability to actually reach ESMB in the first place, and you cannot do that if your system has gone tits up.

    Another aspect to be considered is that there's no point in posting bullshit to the thread - so get your facts straight if you want to post a tip. The gripping hand here is that if someone is having difficulties with their computer and they follow bad advice from the thread the problem will probably get worse - so I would ask anyone posting to make it a matter of principle that their tips really do have a basis in fact and not either conjecture or fantasy. Remember the person looking for help could be you! And you would not like it if you acted on duff info.

    I would ask posters on the thread to keep to the rule OTPP or "One Tip per Post".

    Legitimate discussion about a tip I would again suggest should be addressed in a separate thread.

    An example a tip I would (will) post is:

    I would like to get all the discussion about my proposal done and dusted in this thread, namely

    1) Does it resonate with you guys here as a good idea?

    2) Could you see your way clear to summoning up the posting discipline I have suggested for the thread?

    3) What area of the board should it be posted to?

    4) Also that Emma should summarily delete any infringements of the "No Discussion Rule" in the thread.

    "Why pay good money for help which you could get here for free?", is what I am basically saying.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  2. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious

    Defrag Tool

    The defragging software which comes with Windows called "Disk Defragmenter" is useless. So is its commercial brother "Diskeeper" from the company "Diskeeper Corporation". Simply put it does not do what it says on the box - i.e. defrag the Harddrive.

    I would suggest using the defrag utility called "O&O Defrag".

    This is not only based on my own experience but also on tests done by c't Magazine in Germany (c't is a very highly rated and respected techie journal whose website has an English section


    Notice in this example (repeated from my post above) I have placed in the title section of the post what the post is about - this makes searching a lot easier, if, as I would hope, the thread became long with good advice.
  3. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    Nec is a friend, And I'm a computer dummy.

    He has helped me in several computer problems.

    My son goes to Imperial college, the top physics/ maths/
    engineering college in the UK and perhaps the world. Much harder
    work than doing this stuff at Cambridge. He has friends there studying
    computers, friends at other universities studying such.

    They failed him. Was Nec who sorted things out.

    His record is unbelievable. As tech support a 1% failure rate.

    As sales, which he dosn't do, he almost equalled the entire sales
    stats of a major player merely as tech support.

    Yes he's an asshole. A materialist. His words. But you'll never
    find a more loyal friend. If you get so lucky.

    My recommendation is just take him at his word, give whatever space is needed.

    He loves to help in his area of expertise.

    Hope some of you realise how lucky you are. :)
  4. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    You do know that "Diskeeper" is manufactured by what used to be called Executive Software, owned by Craig Jensen, Patron Emeritus for the Church of Scientology and winner of the "Standard Admin" award multiple times from WISE.

    Did you know that?
  5. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious


    yes I did know that. It was the reason why the German Government would not buy Windows 2000 from Microsoft, and also terminated or didn't award any government contract to any company which used Windows 2000 because of the Scientology connection with regard to something as low level as a disk defragmenting tool integrated into the Operating System.

    Companies which did business with the German Government had to specifically state in writing that they were not using Win2K with the defrag software installed on their Servers.

    By "Low-Level" I mean that the tool has to have access to files - and therefor the information in those files - irregardless of the security in the form of ACL (Access Control List) or other measures in order to work.

    Microsoft said that they could not divorce the Disk Defragmenter from the Operating System and the German Government remained resolute, with Microsoft eventually backing down.

    I did not want to mention the Scientology connection because, irrespective of that, the product itself is a pile of steaming shit. It simply shuffles files around a bit, and generally does little or no defragging.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  6. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    I would value your advice and tips Nec.
  7. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    Well then.

    Carry on....
  8. Alan

    Alan Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thanks for the advice Nec_ :)

    Good idea!
  9. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious

    Free to shine,

    as Terril remarked in his post above, it is something which I enjoy doing, and I do so for its own sake.

    What I know is worthless to me, but could be invaluable to others.

    What really bugged me when I first began with computers, about a quarter of a century ago, was the state of disinformation that went around posing as Informed Oracles. I would have a problem and ask one of these self-appointed guru's and spend days or weeks not getting anywhere, until I actually hunkered down, ignored their "words of wisdom", and found the solution to the problem myself.

    Today I still see this happening, and it angers me.

    How much do I know about computers? Well stretch out both your arms as wide as you can, and now bring your thumb and forefinger of your right hand together so that they are about a quarter of an inch apart. If the spread of your arms is the amount to be known, then, after a quarter of a century of immersion in the techie culture, the separation of your thumb and forefinger reflects my abilities within that spectrum.

    I'm a Geek, and the difference between a Geek and a Nerd is that a Geek is a Nerd who actually likes what he does.

    If the thread does get up and running, then there will be plenty of questions I will not be able to answer with authority; and I am hoping that I can instil a "no bullshit" code of honour with regard to those who do post tips, that they are also speaking from secure knowledge rather than half-assedly regurgitating something they vaguely heard somewhere.
  10. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    I don't see much value in partitioning for a WinXP workstation. For example, most software installed has to have entries in the ridiculously humungous Windows registry. If you have to reinstall the OS you lose this. This is not so with unix variants.

    However it has a lot of value for a unix workstation - Linux and *BSD. If you have the various config files on a separate partition then reinstalling the OS doesn't require reinstalling all of the applications software.
  11. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious


    let me go through my recommendation for "unwisely" partitioning the HD running WinXP and feel free to comment on my folly.

    1) Whilst you are correct with regard to the registry, the backup utility which comes with WinXP allows for backing up the "System State". Ths is essentially the registry and boot files. The backup will typically be under 500 MB and can be burned onto a CD.

    Whilst this is no endorsement of the idea of partitioning a WinXP system - in fact you could argue it actually refutes my recommendation to partition - the next few reasons will, I hope, overwhelmingly convince you of the efficacy of partitioning.

    2) A boot partition containing everything you would need (Office package, utilities, browser etc.) should be 8GB in size. This would allow you to back it up using something like Norton Ghost, which, with compression, will give you an image which is less than 4GB which can easily be toasted onto a DVD.

    Just remember to use the option of splitting the Ghost image into 1GB segments so the burning software doesn't run into file size limits.

    3) WinXP has a nasty little habit. When you install it, it reserves 12.5% of your HD space for something which is pretty useless called "System Restore". "System Restore" is basically the boot option "Last Known Good" on steroids.

    I have never yet seen or heard of anyone gaining any benefit from "System Restore" in any recovery scenario or situation beyond the trivial.

    If you have a 200 Gig HD then 25GB will be reserved and inaccessible for this literal waste of space.

    If however you have an 8 GB partition and desperately want the comfort blanket then you can activate it for the boot partition and turn it off for all other partitions, where it has no beneficial - not even cosmetic - effects whatsoever.

    Yes you can vary the amount that "System Restore" reserves, but you will get nagged that it doesn't have enough space and also the least you can reduce it to is 1% which with regard to 200 Gig is still 2GB

    4) In three words "variable cluster size". By default NTFS has a cluster size of 4KB. Now a "cluster" is the least amount of space a file takes up. That is if a file is only 1KB in size, it will still take up 4KB of HD space. On my system for instance, I have about 7200 files which are 1KB in size or less in my root partition (C:\). The root partition contains most of the smaller files, and for that reason I have reduced the cluster size to the native block mode of my HD which is 512 bytes or 0.5KB

    A smaller cluster size however is detrimental with regard to larger files resulting in a lot more fragmentation and reduced performance in HD reads generally. So for my other partitions I have different cluster sizes (my video partition for instance has 32KB clusters)

    5) If you have a second HD in your system, and you have a root partition of only 8GB then you can copy it over to the other HD (takes about 10 minutes) and in the event of a crash then with just setting one flag in the BIOS you are back up and running in a matter of seconds - sacrificing very little of the capacity of your second HD if it is 200 Gig in size (< 5% which is a damned sight better than the 12.5% the useless "System Restore" reserves by default for every partition).

    6) Creating a separate 1GB-1.5GB partition (preferably for performance reasons on a separate HD from the root) for the virtual memory will also be beneficial (because WinDoze always uses the Pagefile) and it can then be written in one contiguous file instead of being fragged over the entire drive.

    So PG am I starting to convince you that partitioning a WinXP system is a "Good Thing"?

    BTW there are also reasons 7), 8), 9) and 10) and beyond, but they start to become somewhat technical, and I would rather - if we did reach a consensus on creating a "Tips" thread - deal with each of those and the ones mentioned above in individual posts in more detail to make the info more intelligible to non-techies.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  12. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious


    With regard to:

    I personally see no point in sitting down and trying to translate/impart vital computer knowledge which would improve performance, stability and security for those of you who are not versed in the way of the techie (and Terril will tell you that I will try to bend over backwards to explain technical details in non-technical jargon) when three or four posts into the advice thread, it gets trashed.

    For this reason, I would like to have some kind of consensus with regard to the points above before I start making the effort. And make no mistake, effort it would be. I would try not only to make the posts informative and intelligible to non-techies (and although I slag them off, I can still remember back a couple of decades or so ago, when I was a (L)user) but entertaining.

    Also the people reading the posts would know that they are getting the straight dope. There are at least four posters here on ESMB who know me personally, and my girlfriend MissDorfl would be the first person to denounce me if she thought I was leading you guys up the garden path.

    Sure you can go on Google and look stuff like "partitioning" up. But how many of you have the knowledge to interpret what is being written? How many of you, with regard to something as important and fundamental as partitioning can discern the quality of the info being imparted? Above all else, because all of you have your systems in various conditions, where would you be able to get the feedback directly relevant to your own system?

    A "one size fits all" generic explanation helps exactly no one.

    As I said in my original post, the consensus aspect is a deal-breaker. Without it, I am not going to bother.

    After all I am not doing myself any favours by embarking on this enterprise. I would enjoy it, make no mistake about that, but I am not going to have that enjoyment ruined because some might see it as a way of "pushing my button" by being deliberately obtuse, misplacing concretion or just generally being a fuckwit on the thread.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  13. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    I think its a great idea. I, for one, have little knowledge of internet, security and all that. So I would like more info and help on it. Something 1/2 way between simple and complicated.

    (And I think if you see thread diversions, which I am a culprit too, you should just quote it and say "BOOT TO THE HEAD!" then we may stop...).
  14. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious

    Bea Kiddo,

    it is quite easy to make yourself very safe on the internet with very little effort, and with no need for software packages that promise you "safe surfing on the Internet" but mainly all they do is pop up every five seconds to piss you off.

    Step 1) Create yourself a user - call the user "Internet" or whatever.

    Step 2) Create a partition, as large or as small as you want (there are really great products like Acronis Disk Director which will allow you to create and change the size of partitions on the fly - I used to like "Partition Magic" but that, and Symantec have pissed me off so that I cannot in good conscience recommend it any more).

    Step 3) Restrict the user "Internet" to only "read permission" for the root partition (C:\) and for every other partition. Only allow the user "Internet" "write permission" for the partition you have created.

    The upshot? Attacks via the Internet can only succeed because the attacking program inherits the rights of the user of the system accessing the website. If you have castrated the user "Internet" so that this user you have created (and of course logged onto your system as) has fuck all rights to the partition that your operating system is on, then nearly every attack will fail, because the attacking program ALSO HAS FUCK ALL RIGHTS TO YOUR SYSTEM!

    Pretty simple and not exactly rocket science. Obviously on the thread I would go into a more detailed step by step "howto" explanation.

    The thing is that I need people like you to bring things up so that my brain brings it into focus. For me, what I have just written is obvious, and without you bringing it up I probably would not have written about it.
  15. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    Thank you. For internet dummies like me, I shall ask:

    What is a partition? Is that like a firewall? (Or just a name for something that would basically be like a virtual wall between a computer and its connection to the internet?)
  16. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious

    Bea Kiddo,

    a partition is a physical area of you harddrive which you have "fenced off" so to speak.

    Plain Vanilla computer systems when you buy them have one partition aka "C: Drive". There is nothing to stop you creating another partition (right enough you would have to change the size of the "C: Drive" because that takes up all the physical space of your harddisk) called a "D: Drive".

    You might notice that you already have a "D: Drive" which is your DVD_ROM drive. The good thing is however that if you create a new partition on your harddrive, then that partition will get preference in the allocation of drive letters and the DVD_ROM drive will become the "E: Drive".

    Anyhoo, the scenario above would give you more security which you can do for yourself in about ten minutes than all other "Internet Security Packages" put together.

    A Firewall is something that is meant to prevent access to your system, once however a process has access to your system it acts with the rights and privileges of the user who is logged on i.e. using the system. This means that once something has gotten through your firewall it can normally run rampant. In the scenario I suggested, even something that got through the firewall would be fucked, because as far as the integrity of your system is concerned, it would have nowhere to go, where it could create mischief.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  17. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist


    You might consider explaining the different types of partitions. You seem to know more than me on this subject.

    (One example, *BSD calls them "slices" and reserves the word "partition" to mean something a little bit different than what most people are used to.)
  18. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious


    Without being condescending, that isn't really all that surprising. Partitions are a topic which are and have been slap-bang in the middle of the "quarter-inch" of my expertise with computers.

    You on the other hand, although you have dealt with partitions (or mount points) they have been peripheral to what you are doing otherwise. Your "quarter-inch" just happens to lie on another part of the gamut of computer knowledge encompassed by the spread of your arms.

    That doesn't make your "quarter-inch" any less valid, important or in some cases even crucial than mine. It just means that it is in another area - most of which will be as opaque to me as strategic and tactical partitioning are to you.

    That's a good idea though, and like I say, if we can reach the consensus I desire, and we get the thread up and running, you'll get more info on partitions than you ever wanted to know - but no more than you'll ever need.

    Proper partitioning can and does boost up system performance by an order of magnitude way beyond mere percentage points.
  19. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    For example, you could have your hard-drive partitioned into two. For a Windows user these would look like two hard-drives, say, C: and D:.

    For a Linux or FreeBSD user these two partitions would simply be "mounted" into ONE subdirectory tree (i.e. one wouldn't "see" them as two separate "drives".) In the unix world there is no C:, D:, etc. There is simply one tree of folders (subdirectories).
  20. Nec_V20

    Nec_V20 Patron Meritorious


    In WinDoze you can also mount partitions in subdirectories of other partitions.

    So instead of having a DVD-ROM Drive with the letter "E:" you can mount it in an empty folder of the "C: Drive" called "DVD-ROM" for instance.