COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 21 Dec 2019, 05:45

See THIS CNN report on fake pro-Trump accounts on facebook using Artificial Intelligence and fake faces generated by algorithms.
This reminds us that much of what passes for 'news' on social media is smoke and mirrors.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by chinatyke » 21 Dec 2019, 08:16

My wife's laptop computer had packed in, it just refused to start up. It's a ten+ years old Acer computer on Windows XP. We've had this trouble before and I've always managed to get it going by removing the rechargeable battery and the power supply cable, pressing the on/off button for a few seconds, reinstalling the battery and then trying again. She always uses it on mains power. This didn't work this time and after several unsuccessful attempts I thought it most likely that the battery on the CMOS/mother board required replacing. I spent some time unscrewing the back and removing bits and bobs and then found I couldn't get the casing to come apart. Perhaps there is a hidden screw I've missed and I didn't want to break anything by using excessive force. My wife was concerned because there is over 10 years of her pictures and videos stored on it with no back-up. I said we'd take it with us when we went to Nanning next week and get technician at E-Plaza to look at it. So I put back all the parts and screws I'd removed, reinstated all the cables, and it started up as normal and has been OK since. :geek: Needless to say we've now got back-ups of her pics and videos. I offered to buy her a new laptop and she refused saying she loves her old one! I think she is frightened at the thought of Windows 10 whereas she has got used to using this one. Her XP version is in Chinese which makes it difficult for me to help her use it fully.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 21 Dec 2019, 09:30

Just a heads up China, whatever the problem it will not be the CMOS battery in the machine. All that does is store the date, time, and HD settings etc. If it is totally dead it will almost certainly be power supply related either onboard or the battery itself. Leave the battery out as if it is dead it could be dragging the machine down. I ran my last laptop for two years without it's battery.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 21 Dec 2019, 09:49

Stanley wrote:
20 Dec 2019, 03:05
BBC IT is a mess, full stop.
Yesterday I tried to open BBC Sounds on the tablet as usual but it brought up a window asking me to review it. I clicked and got the Sounds review page. It currently has - wait for it - zero stars! Yes, all five stars were blank. There was a window in which to type a review. I wrote one word: awful, then looked for where to click to submit my review. There was nothing to click. I searched all over the page and couldn't find any way to submit the review and had to shut it down and go back to the radio programmes. As Stanley says, it's a mess!

I hope the laptop behaves from now on, China! :smile:

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by chinatyke » 21 Dec 2019, 13:28

PanBiker wrote:
21 Dec 2019, 09:30
Just a heads up China, whatever the problem it will not be the CMOS battery in the machine. All that does is store the date, time, and HD settings etc. If it is totally dead it will almost certainly be power supply related either onboard or the battery itself. Leave the battery out as if it is dead it could be dragging the machine down. I ran my last laptop for two years without it's battery.
Thanks Ian. I thought that battery kept the BIOS alive. This afternoon I looked on the Internet and found that some Acer computers are known to have this problem and there is a BIOS update available for the affected ones. We went out for dinner tonight so I haven't checked if it applies to her model but I think it does. It involves downloading the fix and putting it on a thumb drive and then updating from this thumb drive, like a start up disc. If I get brave I'll try it!

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 21 Dec 2019, 23:15

BIOS, yes Basic Input Output System. Stores the start up parameters for the machine. If the BIOS battery is flat the machine will still attempt to start but will fail when It cannot find the boot partition on the HDD as it has lost the settings. It will default to trying all bootable devices, primary HDD, floppy, CD, before failing. The usual error is on the lines of no HDD or partition not found. If the machine is totally dead in the water as you describe it is more likely to be a PSU or associated fault. As I said before if the battery is faulty or wont hold charge you are better of without it in the circuit, the machine will still run via the mains/charger.

If an upgraded BIOS file is available you can upgrade it but you do stand a chance of "bricking" the machine if the flash routine goes wrong.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by chinatyke » 22 Dec 2019, 00:43

PanBiker wrote:
21 Dec 2019, 23:15
If an upgraded BIOS file is available you can upgrade it but you do stand a chance of "bricking" the machine if the flash routine goes wrong.
Thanks again Ian. I've looked and this Acer model isn't mentioned in the tech note so I'm not going to do anything except remove the rechargeable main battery. It isn't worth the risk. She only uses it to play games and music and look at photos so it isn't important. Whilst I was looking for the model and serial numbers I came across a Vista sticker with the access code number on it, so this Acer was supplied originally with Windows Vista and at some stage XP has been put on to it. It was manufactured in August 2008. It's amazing how heavy it is compared with today's models.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 22 Dec 2019, 03:29

I sympathise with Mrs China.... This is one area where I have a bit of knowledge!
In the days when I was travelling a lot I bought a Sony Vaio laptop in the US, they were half price there in those days. It needed some programmes loading so I gave it to the local computer whizz kid, Dain, son of Ken Sampson the GP mate of mine. He plugged the wrong lead in and fried the battery management part of the motherboard! I refrained from strangling him and got it back as a mains only machine. (We are still friends!) I used it like that for years and eventually sold it for £100 to a lady who used to be a member on OG and she used it for a long time after that.
As for BIOS, the first Flying Machine that Doc built for me had a fault, its BIOS reverted to default every time it was switched off. I used to have to edit the BIOS each morning when I started it up! Happy days!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 27 Dec 2019, 07:26

Sorry to cause a ripple but if like me you do a big annual back-up of data, today could be the day!
A little later. I have done two back-ups on separate external hard drives. That's that done for the year!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 29 Dec 2019, 05:11

See THIS BBC report on news that the Cabinet Office made a 'farcical and inexcusable mistake' on Friday when it published recipient's addresses in the list of Honours.
If this was a commercial firm it would be hammered. We wait to see what will happen in this case....
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 29 Dec 2019, 12:17

IDS is up in arms about the Honours list leak of data. It makes a mockery of his `Make Britain Great Again' project.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 30 Dec 2019, 03:56

IDS or ABdePJ Tiz?
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 31 Dec 2019, 09:49

About time this was done. Other businesses in news and media aren't allowed to get away with what the social media companies let happen.
`Tech bosses face court if they fail to protect users: Ministers set to regulate social media companies' LINK
`Social media executives will face fines and the threat of criminal prosecution for failing to protect people who use their services under plans to regulate tech giants in Britain for the first time. The government is to publish next month its response to a consultation on policing social media companies such as Facebook and Google after Britain leaves the European Union. Ministers want to place the companies under a statutory duty of care, which will be enforced by Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog. The government is also expected to introduce a “senior management liability”, under which executives could be held personally responsible for breaches of standards. US tech giants would be required to appoint a British-based director, who would be accountable for any breaches of the liability...'.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 31 Dec 2019, 14:39

Will that also stop the Tories spreading downright lies about opposition MP's via social media as well? I site the 4 year relentless campaign against Jeremy Corbyn as a primary example.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 31 Dec 2019, 14:46

At what point did the holy computer thread get contaminated with politics ? :biggrin2:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 31 Dec 2019, 15:53

BIOS, Rom, Eprom, Ram, USB, Centronics Parallel Interface (one for the oldies), SCSII, RAID, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256bit, ISA, VESA, AT, ATX, Micro ATX, Dual and Quad Core and PC Bus.

Discuss... :extrawink: :laugh5: :smile:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 31 Dec 2019, 16:46

You forgot the abacus! :extrawink:

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 01 Jan 2020, 00:41

I will accept Mr Babbage's Analytical Engine but the abacus is stretching it a bit Tiz notwithstanding it's decimal roots :extrawink:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 01 Jan 2020, 03:35

Vulgar fractions and Imperial Measurements!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 01 Jan 2020, 03:39

I suppose I asked for that.......

Happy new year.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 01 Jan 2020, 04:35

My mobile phone informs me it can't download the new version of Whatsapp. I am baffled......
My problem is I don't understand them. A trip to the phone shop is indicated I think.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 01 Jan 2020, 04:49

The one I sold you about 3 years ago wasn't exactly a spring chicken back then. The version of android it runs will be way past its sell by date. Sometimes a new version of software uses a feature that just isn't in old phones, They;ll sell you a new phone I suspect.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 01 Jan 2020, 04:57

I'll have to take advice and make a decision Pluggy. Is the computer bloke on the square a good bet?
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 01 Jan 2020, 05:07

I've been in a couple of times, they seem fair if a tad expensive. I'd let the others chime in, phones aren't my forte either. I've bought cheap Cubots off ebay with no complaints. The wife has one now. Mine was new circa June 2016. Still hanging in there.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 01 Jan 2020, 05:17

Thanks Pluggy. Has anyone got any suggestions?
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