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 Those burning questions you have about your computer. 
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Sheikah Elder
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Post Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:09 pm
So, I assume at some point that we all have burning questions about our computers that we want to ask about. This is the thread to ask. Simply drop in your question, and we'll try to get back to you as soon as one of us knows the answer.

Good questions include:
Commonly used keyboard shortcuts for SPECIFIC applications.
Differences in/types of hardware available.
PC Self-Diagnostic help
Parts of a motherboard

Bad questions include:
Hacking
Overclocking (unless you're familiar with the trade)
Warranty information (All pc's are different. Consult your manufacturer.)

If your question does not fit neatly into one of these categories, it can't hurt your chances to ask.

WARNING: Asking for help in this thread in no way guarantees our accuracy, and as such we cannot be held accountable for any problems you may encounter which include, but are not limited to, destruction of crucial parts of your system, advice taken in the wrong way, lack of knowledge about what you are doing, and most importantly, acts of nature, and acts of God. When taking apart to inspect your system, it is recommended you ground yourself, or risk static charging any component in your computer. The range of knowledge demonstrated in this thread may vary from person to person based on their own unique professional and/or personal experiences in hardware troubleshooting, PC diagnostic repair, and installation of components. Upon taking our advice, you (the user) assume full responsibility for your hardware, and agree to the terms stated above.

tl;dr:
It's not our fault you messed up. Don't sue.

With that out of the way, this thread may now begin!

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[12:08:29 PM] AkaAnonymous: I buy expensive things and talk to pretty girls all day. When I'm not doing that, I usually act like I'm 10. Because 10 is awesome.


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Post Re: Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:54 pm
I got one. What is the actual matter that RAM or memory is made of? What kind of atoms exist that allow virtual data to be displayed on a screen? I've always wondered what RAM physically IS. If you can't answer this cuz it's too crazy then i'll just come up with something easier to ask i guess <-<.


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Post Re: Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:43 pm
How about battery installation? Like, getting one that lasts more than 2 hours...and perhaps external batteries so that I can actually move this computer instead of well...being stuck with a non-mobile laptop. :p

So do you know which (external) batteries are good and how to install them without burning yourself? :p

(and also, what is RAM?) xD

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Sheikah Elder
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Post Re: Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:50 pm
Good question, but try to follow me here.

Data is made up of ones and zeroes, All the text, colors, music, everything we do on a computer. These are written to your hard drive and you can access these ones and zeroes at any time. RAM simply allows us to use a high-speed bus system to store and retrieve data that is not written to the hard drive. If the data were always written to the hard drive, and RAM did not exist, we'd have a very slow computer that would only work as fast as the hard drive arm, and is also dependent on the cache size of the hard drive, and possibly a few other factors such as RAID and CPU/GPU specs. (This could be easily remedied with Solid State Drives, because SSD's are similar to RAM, but are closer to flash storage, like a thumb drive) To get those ones and zeroes to display useful information, it must be interpereted by the operating system and any program needed to display the data properly before it can be "Printed" to the screen, much like a printer displays information on a piece of paper.

As far as the atoms of a memory chip, they are traditionally made with carbon nanotubes, which are very well structured, and is about 1/500th the thickness of a human hair. For more information about carbon nanotubes, you can consult this wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_nanotube

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[12:08:29 PM] AkaAnonymous: I buy expensive things and talk to pretty girls all day. When I'm not doing that, I usually act like I'm 10. Because 10 is awesome.


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Post Re: Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:00 pm
@Tetromino:

RAM is a form of volatile memory which when the computer is turned off, and the electrical signals are demolished, loses any information that was present prior to the power outage. Think of it like this: You're writing a 5000 page essay, and the power gets cut off half way through the writing of it, and you didn't save it to your hard drive. That was all stored in RAM, and now you can't get it back.

Laptop batteries: Back in the day; cancer giving nickel-cadmium and Nickel-Metal Hydride(NiMH) batteries did a good job of holding a charge. As we increased voltages and overall usage of computers and cell phones, most batteries supplied are usually made with Lithium Ion, or Li-Ion for short. From what I've seen working with Toshiba, most batteries are 6-cell batteries, meaning that usually there are 6 batteries that look like AA batteries all linked together to hold a charge for a laptop. Depending on the batteries output in Milliamps per hour (MaH) you will find how long your battery will hold a charge. The more MaH, the better. Some manufacturers offer battery upgrades such as 8 or 12-cell batteries, and even drive bay batteries, if you are able to take out your dvd/cd drive. The best options I've seen available are usually from the manufacturers, so you'll have to do a little research. The model number is on the battery itself, but if that does not suffice, you might be able to find out more information about your battery by googling your laptop model number.

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Post Re: Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:22 pm
AkaAnonymous wrote:
As far as the atoms of a memory chip, they are traditionally made with carbon nanotubes, which are very well structured, and is about 1/500th the thickness of a human hair. For more information about carbon nanotubes, you can consult this wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_nanotube


Er, I don't think current RAM is made out of Carbon Nanotubes. Those are theoretical RAM chips that might be used in the future. Carbon Nanotubes are notoriously hard to manufacture consistently. Current RAM is pretty much an integrated circuit that uses silicon and patterned layers of metal and insulators to store information.

Just thought I'd mention that. Carry on. :P

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Post Re: Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:19 am
What exactly happens when you defrag your hard drive, and how beneficial is it to your computer's lifespan? So, for example, how big of a difference would it make in a computer's lifespan for a person who rarely or maybe never defrags their hard drive as opposed to a person that does on a regular basis? If it isn't really that important, what are things that DO increase the lifespan?


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Post Re: Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:39 pm
Darth Citrus wrote:
Er, I don't think current RAM is made out of Carbon Nanotubes. Those are theoretical RAM chips that might be used in the future. Carbon Nanotubes are notoriously hard to manufacture consistently. Current RAM is pretty much an integrated circuit that uses silicon and patterned layers of metal and insulators to store information.

Just thought I'd mention that. Carry on. :P


Thanks for clarifying that, mate.

As far as De-fragmenting your hard drive goes, it really has nothing to do with the lifespan of your computer. It's all about the performance gained by de-fragmentation. The way a hard drive works is that it writes and reads data to a platter, or multiple platters that spin around, like a CD. When you're looking for a specific song on your CD, the laser has to seek out the beginning of the track, and read the data, much like the way a hard drive arm reads data on your hard drive. The closer the data is to the middle of the disk, the less time it takes to seek out, or search for your data. By de-fragmenting, you are taking the data that's further out, and re-locating it closer to the middle of the drive, reducing the time it takes for the arm of the drive to find the data. De-fragmentation should only be done on hard drive disks, not flash storage or solid state memory, as this may actually damage the drive.

A program I like to use is Joeren Kessels' JK Defrag (open source), and there's also MyDefrag (closed source), made by the same developer. The method it uses is thorough, and allows you to physically see what your data looks like as it's being re-located to another part of the drive. MyDefrag allows you to schedule defrag times, and specifies different types of defragmentation perameters.

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Post Re: Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:12 pm
I'm thinking about getting me a laptop, how do I go about streaming console games over JTV?

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Post Re: Those burning questions you have about your computer. • Posted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:00 pm
If you're running off emulators, something like SplitCam v3 or VHScrCap (sp?) will capture your PC's video to be used as an output source for Flash Media Encoder to send to JTV.

If you're broadcasting consoles, you need:
1x Capture Card
Cabling, up to you depending on your setup/distance.
Fast upload internet speed.

Software:
Flash Media Encoder, probably v3
SplitCam or VHScrCap
Proper audio drivers for your Motherboard on your computer to enable Stereo Mix to mix your voice into the audio from your Capture Card.

Depending on the equipment you purchase, and the capabilities of your computer, determines your broadcasting setup.

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