* Posts by Robot

77 posts • joined 24 Aug 2010


Samsung RF711 17.3in Core i7 laptop


My experience with the RF711

This model is sold in Canada too. I got one three weeks ago, and it's working great. Here are some actual observations:

- There are two physical hard disks. At setup, you will asked if the first one is to be partitioned, and if so, with what allocation. The second hard disk is left as one large partition.

- Having two physical hard disks makes for reasonably fast transfer between the two. Also, you can swap one of them with an SSD without seriously compromising the computer's capacity (due to the second HD).

- The RF711 is not wide in the sense that if you want a 17.3 inch display, you cannot go much narrower than the RF711. The left and right margins are reasonably small.

- I dislike how opening the lid forces the computer to come out of sleep. (I don't mind that closing the lid will put the computer to sleep.) I cannot disable this in the BIOS.

- There are two memory slots, and these are filled with 4 gbs and 2 gbs.

- Hard disk access/removal is easy.

- The computer feels cool to the touch, both at the keyboard and the rear vent.

- The computer feels fast, even when a dozen programs are running. Cold starting a program like Photoshop is not much faster than with my older Core 2 Duo, also a Samsung. I guess the hard disk is a bigger factor than the CPU for Photoshop startup.

Cops raid man whose Wi-Fi was used to download child porn


Yes, in fact, the 14-year-old boy was innocent ...

The 14-year-old (named Naqib Ullah) was innocent according to a secret U.S. intelligence assessment written in 2003. Thank-you for unmasking this, Wikileaks.


To the victim ....

To the victim whose home was busted by the police: Your ordeal, though unpleasant, has raised public awareness of Wi-Fi theft, and will probably save many innocent people from false arrests and false imprisonment. (In this world, there are many victims of false imprisonment, e.g. the innocent 14-year-old boy at Guantanamo.)

MYSTERY of huge Canadian chicken-shed EXPLOSION


Chicken droppings

Chicken droppings are good as fertilizer, and fertizer is good for making bombs.

Apple 'orders 12 petabytes of storage' from EMC


Thanks for the info

K. Adams, Thanks for the informed reply. I sorta had a hunch that a 1.8 inch 200 petabyte drive was just a pipe dream, but didn't know the reasons why.

With that futuristic (but imaginery) hard disk, I will be able to store all the movies in human history (Hollywood, Bollywood, Hong Kong, Europe) in my shirt pocket, all in full Blue-Ray glory!


My future hard disk

In 1988, I got my first hard disk (5.25 inch 20 MBs) for CDN$425. In 2010, 12 years later, I got my first 2 TB hard disk (3.5 inch) for CDN$150, i.e. a 100,000-fold increase in capacity at one third the price. If the trends continue, I will have a 1.8 inch 200 petabyte hard disk for $35 twelve years from now.

Acer boss quits after board disses his future strategy


All the notebooks I have owned...

Year = year purchased

1991 Toshiba (absolute lemon, plasma screen required replacement every 4 months)

1992 Compaq (lasted five years, then died)

1998 Toshiba (belonged to my wife, had it 11 years, then gave it away)

1999 Gateway (had it 6 years, then gave it away)

2002 Fujitsu (lasted 7 years, then died)

2006 Fujitsu (still going strong)

2009 Samsung (still going strong)

2009 Samsung (for my wife, still going strong)

2010 Acer (ultraportable, still going strong)

The Acer has been a pleasant notebook so far, and by far the cheapest of the ones I have bought.

Fans face freezing Apple MacBook Pros


It just works?

Go to the “lengthy thread full of stories” link mentioned by the Reg, and you will see page after page after page after page of scary complaints. (It just works? Or maybe it just happens? No new Windows computer from the top five manufacturers comes close to the scale of the Apple problem.) Here are some quotes from the first page of the Apple thread alone (where each mini paragraph corresponds to one separate complaint):

"The fans revved and suddenly I could use nothing but the cursor. Had to hold down the power switch to kill all and then re-power & startup."

"I'm having the exact same issue. It happens when rendering video in Imovie. The fan comes on and everything freezes. I can do nothing but a hard reset."

"I've had my MBP 2.3 15" for 5 days. It has now frozen or locked up about 6 or 7 times."

"I have the same problem with me 2.3 i7 15". Happened 3 times now, mine freezes and the screen goes all funny (like it has hundreds of dead pixels). You need to power down (hold power button) the turn it on again then its fine! Will be talking to apple in the morning!"

"I have a 15" 2011 MacBook Pro with a 128 SSD. It has repeatedly frozen in the week I've had it - often at random points while using StarCraft II and also while trying to access Time Machine. When it freezes, sound continues and I can still move the cursor (which is sometimes the spinning ball and sometimes the regular cursor) but the computer is completely unresponsive -- force quit does not work nor does anything else - have to do a hard reboot. I tried turning off Time Capsule entirely but still get freezes. Turned down graphics settings in StarCraft II - still freezing. Very frustrating. This has happened about a dozen times in a week."

"Sorry to make an intervention even though I am still a 2010 MBP owner: did you have a look at 2010 MBP freeze 'kilomteric' thread? It seems that there is something not fully addressed even in 2011 MBP, probably coming from past generation (I had a 10min freeze with my MBP a long time ago and only once during Imovie files import). On the other hand, I had already noticed high temps on 2010 MBP when rendering with FCE or imovie but I had never had freezes (max noted temp was 104°C for me). I was thinking of changing over my 2010 MBP but I will probably wait a couple of months yet. Cheers."

"BTW: They have already replaced my 2011 MBP with another 2011 MBP and the same thing happens."

Dell Inspiron Duo


Please use graphs that start from zero

The "Memory" comparison graph, for example, doesn't start from zero in the horizontal axis, giving the false first-glance impression that the Toshiba is ten times faster than the Samsung in terms of memory speed. But many readers may miss the fact that the values are actually very close together, even between max and min (2488 versus 2139). You might say that discerning readers can tell the difference, but aren't graphs designed to provide immediate visual cues about relative numerical values? If the "Memory" chart had started from zero instead of 2100 in the horizontal axis, it would take only one second to tell that the five notebooks are closely grouped together. For those wanting finer distinctions, these same zero-start graphs will do just fine, or just read the numbers.

Just my small contribution to make a great web publication better.

Apple MacBook Pro 15in


Can you confirm one thing for me?


The resolution of the new 15-inch 2011 MacBook is 1440x900. Is this the same resolution as your five-year-old 2006 Macbook Pro?

Oh wait, I found the answer to my question at


Look, I am not anti-Apple. I almost went OS X until I tried 64-bit Windows 7. I am not a Windows fanboy. I admit Windows 7 is not as good as OS X, but it's good enough, unlike Vista. Windows 7 crashed on me only once since I bought my latest notebook six months ago. (I know, I know, once is once too often.)


A few more things, if you don't mind...

Concerning the above Asus: It uses Bang & Olufsen technology.

By the way, aluminum is not the best of class. Apple never went for the best such as several types of magnesium alloy.

By the way, for one or two dollars extra, the Chinese can produce more elaborate manufacturing than a complete aluminum shell. Remember, the fastest supercomputer in the world is in Tianjin.


Nice try but...

Go to www.amazon.com, and search for Asus n53sv. I didn’t even try hard to find it (I simply searched for ‘Asus 1920 laptop’).

i7-2630qm quad-core Sandy Bridge, 500 gbs 7200 rpm, 4 gbs DDR3 expandable to 16 gbs, 15.6-inch 1920x1080, nVidia GT540M 1GB, 2xUSB2, 1xUSB3, eSATA, and ALUMINUM. (Just how expensive is aluminum when 25 feet of aluminum foil is 99 cents at my local Uniprix pharmacy in Montreal?)

Get ready for the price: US$1049 (648 British pounds).

I can upgrade it to 16 GBs DDR3 and 256 gb SSD, and it'll still cost less than the new 15-inch MacBook. Plus I can use the 500 gb hard disk as external storage.

I repeat: Asus is as reliable as Apple, according to several surveys, sometimes lower, sometimes equal, sometimes higher.

I am not anti-Apple. I may be getting the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 next month. That's because they are good value for the money, just like the Asus. It's that simple.


There are better examples for you to choose from

Stop cherry picking.

Here in Canada, I can get the following from www.bestbuy.ca: CDN$1299 (= 823 British pounds), Asus, 17.3 inch, 1600x900, i7-2630, 750 GB 7200 rpm, 8 gbs DDR3, Nivia GTX460M 1GB, 3xUSB2, 1xUSB3, 8-cell.

Asus, like Apple, is consistently ranked high for reliability.

Captain Kirk hails space shuttle Discovery


Actually, the best authorities do not condemn the split infinitive

F111F brings up the interesting issue of split infinitives.

Both H.W.Fowler, the best known British authority on usage, and Bryan A. Garner, widely regarded as the best living American authority on usage, tell us that split infinitives are permissible in certain situations. In other words, there is agreement on the split infinitive among the best authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, and across generations (Fowler was born in 1858, Garner is still living).

Invoking Fowler with approval, Garner says:

“H.W.Fowler divided the English-speaking world into five classes: (1) those who neither know nor care what a split infinitive is; (2) those who do not know but care very much; (3) those who know and condemn; (4) those who know and approve; and (5) those who know and distinguish. It is the last class to which, if we have a good ear, we should aspire.”

Garner goes on to give a lengthy and incisive analysis of the split infinitive. Interestingly, he deals with the Star Trek split infinitive, under the heading “Justified Splits”. The following is a portion of his discussion (sorry, italics are not preserved in this post, but hopefully it won't be too confusing):

“A number of infinitives are best split. Perhaps the most famous is from the 1960s television series Star Trek, in which the opening voice-over included this phrase: to boldly go where no man (or, in the revival of the 1980s and 1990s, where no one) has gone before. The phrase sounds inevitable partly because it is so familiar, but also because the adverb most naturally bears the emphasis, not the verb go.

“And that example is not a rarity. Consider: She expects to more than double her profits next year. We cannot merely move the adverbial phrase in that sentence—to “fix” the split, we would have to eliminate the infinitive, as by writing She expects that her profits will more than double next year, thereby giving the sentence a difference nuance. (The woman seems less responsible for the increase.)

“Again, though, knowing when to split an infinitive requires a good ear and a keen eye. Otherwise, the ability to distinguish—the ability Fowler mentioned—is not attainable. “To flatly state,” for example, suggests something different from “to state flatly.”

Microsoft blows Windows Phone update, again


What is the Finnish word for

"hair-tearing regret"?

Yanks outweigh Canucks: Official


I think it's the other way around...

I was born in Montreal, Canada, and still live here. I tend to gain a few pounds in winter, and shed a few pounds in summer. Same with my wife. So I am not sure that your theory (that Canadians are less obese because of the cold climate) is true.

WikiLeaks movie screen rights secured by DreamWorks


Best actor to play Julian Assange

My wife and I think that John Cusacks, if he can change his accent a bit, would be a convincing actor to play Julian Assange.

Flash drives dangerously hard to purge of sensitive data


Thanks for the info

To the three persons (or one person?) who answered me: thanks for the helpful information.


Use TrueCrypt to encrypt the SSD

I installed an SSD in my Acer Aspire One notebook, and partitioned the SSD into drives C and D, with a clear demarcation between my Windows 7 system in drive C and my data in drive D. I then encrypted drive D with TrueCrypt. I don't think this will provide 100% security (especially if SSD data is shuffled across two different partitions by TRIM), but I think it will help some. Any insight?

Microsoft, Nokia, and MeeGo: Are they all doomed?


Even if Nokia succeeds, it fails, I'm afraid

Even if Nokia succeeds with WP7 beyond everyone's wildest dreams, i.e., even if it matches the market share of the iPhone (yes, that wildly successful legendary iPhone), Nokia will get 17% of the global market share. But that is still way down from Nokia's present 36% now. In other words, Nokia can succeed like Apple yet fail, I'm afraid. (I am not anti-Nokia, and I really wish them great great success.)

Microsoft finally says adios to Autorun


The real and most damaging problem with Windows

Yes, it's true that Autorun has done a lot of damage. Yes, it's true that hand-holding features such as the default "Hide file extensions" are a nuisance. But ultimately the most damaging weakness of Windows, the one that causes the most problem for most users, is the lack of a standard and reliable way of creating an image of your installation of Windows, which you can take to another computer to restore your Windows system onto a different hard disk. Because of this weakness in Windows, many of my friends get into a catastrophe in any of the following scenarios:

(i) the hard disk dies and there is no restore/driver CD

(ii) Windows slows down after one year, and the user can't fix it

(iii) the factory restore CD doesn't work (e.g. my old Gateway and new Acer)

(iv) you create an image using third-party software but the image restoration is not bootable (it happened to me before with Ghost 2002 and True Image Home 9)

Compounding the problem is that your personal data is deeply interwoven with the Windows system, so restoring an image will wipe out your personal data unless you know how to back up your buried data (no problem if you are a techie).


Microsoft does not go far enough

It is not enough to have Autorun turned off by default. There must be no possibility of it being re-activated, not even by tweaking the registry. In other words, total excision of Autorun.

China takes HPC heavyweight title


Yes it can run Vista...

though it will eat up 82% of the CPU power. That still leaves plenty of CPU muscle for Office 2010. So don't diss Vista unless you get your facts straight, buddy.

Motorola sues Apple over - what else? - patents


This lawsuit is good, but for a different reason

Motorola's lawsuit against Apple will probably accomplish something good even if it is thrown out of court. The chaotic free-for-all lawsuits by all parties will probably disincline the courts to entertain Apple's lawsuit against HTC, a lawsuit which I believe has less credibility than Motorola's lawsuit against Apple, a latecomer to the cellphone industry.

Samsung bounces out Bada SDK version 1

IT Angle

I gave up trying to get the Bada guide

I put in an honest effort to get the three-part documentation on Bada, but the Wiley website could never deliver the pdf files to me (it hangs both Opera and IE). I have given up on Bada.



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