Computers

Acer Aspire L5100 won't boot - black display only

My desktop Acer Aspire L5100 (purchased Jan. 2009) was having sporadic boot problems, and then finally wouldn't boot at all. Upon power-on, there was no display from the BIOS or any other feedback on the screen.

I had seen some problems like this after the machine went into hibernation, but I don't believe that was the case here.

Upon doing a bit of Internet research, I opened the case and checked the motherboard's battery. After pulling one screw holding the DVD/HD unit, I uncovered the battery. The CR2032 battery only had about 1.5 volts instead of its 3.0 volt rating.

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Preventing SSH timeouts

Depending on the environment you're working in, you may be automatically logged out from a server by SSH timeouts. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent these timeouts :

Add or modify the following in your /etc/ssh/sshd_config file :

ClientAliveInterval 28800
ClientAliveCountMax 28800

In your ~/.bashrc file, set the TMOUT parameter to something longer. For example :

export TMOUT=28800

On your client (PuTTY) set the seconds between keepalives to something like 30.

Dokan - sshfs for Windows

jEdit has a nice SFTP plugin which allows you to edit remote files as if they're on your local machine.

I've been working with the Netbeans IDE lately. It's nice, but lacking a decent SFTP plugin.

A little searching revealed Dokan which allows you to build a ssh file system on your Windows machine.

Setup is a bit awkward. You need two downloads. One is the needed libraries, the other is a simple app/GUI which allows you to mount the remote file system as Windows drive letters N:, T: etc.

So far it seems to work as advertised. And free!

http://dokan-dev.net/en/download/

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Improving performance with multi-threading on a multi-core CPU

The other day I was downloading several podcasts from the net, while doing an expensive rsync across my slow home network. My dual core CPU was showing 50% on one CPU, about 0% on the other, and my network was shown at about 1%.

My iTunes had a "download multiple streams" checkbox that was unchecked. I thought running multiple streams might actually slow things down due to thrashing/context switching, but I checked it to give me multiple streams.

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Migrating to a 64-bit operating system (OS)

When upgrading servers, you may encounter this question : Should we stay at at 32-bit OS, or 'upgrade' to a 64-bit OS?

To me, the big advantage of a 64-bit OS is the ability to address (use) more than 4 gigabytes of RAM. I sometimes bump into that limit on my desktop,
so I think it's best to have a 64 bit OS for servers.

Larger memory space isn't the only advantage, however. From Wikipedia :

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