Vista Beta Service Pack 1 “Upgradeable Version” Now Leaked

According to eWeek a new Vista beta service pack is now available. One which can be used as an “Upgradeable Version” for existing Vista installations. eWeek article here:

(yea I know there is one of those “Flash Annoyance” things, just click passed it)

Vista Beta SP1 Leaked

Over the Aug. 24 weekend, a new Vista beta has appeared on the BitTorrent sites.

The first beta SP1 appeared on hacker sites in early August as a 3.2 GB DVD ISO. This version could only be used to install a full version of Windows Vista. As such, it was not so much an SP as a testing platform for some proposed patches. The just-leaked version, however, expands from a compressed file of about 200 MB in size, depending on the system architecture, into an installation program that totals approximately 684 MB. With it, an adventuresome Vista user could use it to update his or her’s Vista-powered system to a beta SP1.

A closer look reveals that, regardless of platform, the beta is named: “Build: 6.0.6001.16633 (longhorn.070803-1655).” When installed, at least one patched version of Vista Ultimate states that the system is running Vista Ultimate, Service Patch 1, v.165.

You can find the upgrade for Vista SP1 here: Thank you Sweeden!

As many IT folks are currently working on (struggling with?) Prototyping Vista in the enterprise, do we really have much of a choice but to be “adventuresome“?

I’ll be giving it a test drive over the holiday weekend, how about you?

UPDATE: It looks like the Service Pack has already been nuked on TPBs tracker. So all you sysadmins will have to do your own Googling from this point on. (Hint: UseNet)

LG DVD Drive: 8X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 4X DVD+R DL 8X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-ROM 16X CD-R 16X CD-RW 32X CD-ROM CD, DVD: 2MB BD, HD: 4MB Cache SATA Super Multi Blue BD Burner and HD DVD Reader

Really! Thats the name of the LG Model GGW-H10NI DVD Burner.
What an absolute joke. Not the LG Product, (it’s a nice drive although a little pricey) but this whole Optical Media standards war that has been ongoing for the last ten years or so.

Which technology can use this alphabet soup idiocy to actually win the optical standards war and nuke all of the Optical media and drive competition? The answer is flash memory. If you wonder why Flash media will make ALL optical media obsolete, check out the ease of use, plus continuously plummeting pricing and exponentially increasing capacity.

Plug it in, it just works, no worrying if your media format won’t play nice with your equipment. Because Flash memory actually has a “Standard”. The Standards game being played by the optical media companies will be their undoing.

Reviving Old PC800 RDRAM PCs

RDRAMStickI recently came across an old Gateway Performance 1400 that needed fixing. Generally a PC this old is to be considered “Scrap” and usually I advise the client that it’s time for the dreaded replacement. Then comes the painful process of moving of data, apps, and all of the other nightmarish stuff that comes to the small business owner requiring a computer upgrade.

But this computer was just a bit different, as are many other RDRAM based Pentium 4 computers with a 400mhz Front Side Bus. It came with Windows ME installed originally back in 2000. Over the years the owner upgraded to Windows 2000, and recently upgraded the OS to Windows XP.

Now keep in mind that this box only had 128mb of ram … and XP actually ran on it. It was slow with that 128mb of ram, but still usable for most business tasks. But one particular app was having problems due to the low amount of RAM available to it.

I started pricing a pair of 512 sticks of PC800 RDRAM for it, but the retail price from the bigger internet stores for that type of RDRAM was around four hundred dollars at the time. Since I could buy a cheap Budget business PC with DDR2 ram for a couple of hundred bucks more, it wouldn’t have been worth the upgrade for my client. Thats where ebay comes in.

I found the same 1gb kit on ebay for under two hundred dollars and that included shipping and postal insurance. The seller’s store is “Rambus RDRAM Depot ” and they offer a really great way to get some extra life out of those old RDRAM machines. I also added a salvaged secondary 40 gig hard disk from the junk pile (to help speed up swap-file in-out) and the machine is now as fast if not faster than most new budget priced business PCs but at less than half the cost of buying new and with no included data migration pain.

Here is a list of the RDRAM machines that are salvageable with this simple upgrade:
Deskpro EN Rambus ;
EXS Desktop, EXS P IV;
Presario 7000T, 7120US, 7126CL;
Workstation 300, AP240, AP250, AP550, SP750;
Evo Workstation W6000, W8000.

Dimension 8250, 8100, 8200 (both 400FSB and 533MHz FSB);
Dimension XPS B533R, B600R, B667R, B733R, B800R , B866, B866R, B933, B933R, B1000, B1000R, B1130, B1.13R;
OptiPlex GX200, GX300, GX400;
Precision 667, 733, 800, 866, 933;
Precision Online Trading Workstation;
Precision Workstation 220, 330, 340(both 400FSB and 533MHz FSB), 350((both 400FSB and 533MHz FSB), 420, 530, 620.

GATEWAY 700C, 700L, 700L2, 700S, 700SE, 700X, 700XL.
Performance 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 2000;
E Desktop Series E4400, 4400SE, 4600SE, 4600XL, 4650, 4650 Deluxe, 6000 Deluxe, 6000L
Professional S 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600 ,1700.

Pavilion 1G; 7960, 7970, 9795, 9720;
HP Workstation X1100, X2000, X2100, X4000;
Kayak X2000, X4000, XM600, XU700, XU800

NetVista A60i 6832, A60 6833;
Intellistation M Pro 6229, 6849, 6850, 6866, 6868;
Intellistation Z Pro 6866.

Vaio PCV-RX66, RX76, RX370, RX380, RX370DS, PCV-RX380DS, RX462, RX462DS, RX463DS
Vaio PCV-RX465DS, RX470DS, RX480DS, RX490TV, PCV-RX500E, RX600E, RX600N, RX790C, RX790G

Thanks to Rambus RDRAM Depot for the above table. (as well as for the excellent deal)

So if you have one of these PC800 RAMBUS RAM machines, or you find one in the bargain bin of your local computer superstore (I see the IBM boxes at Microcenter now and then) bump up the RAM to a gig or two, add a second Disk, and cheaply get another two or three years of life out of equipment you would otherwise retire.

Just a quick disclaimer, We here at PoliTech have no affiliation with the vendor links posted above, We’re simply happy customers, and think the Rambus-RDRAM-Depot folks are still offering some really good deals on RAM that is getting harder and harder to find.

A quick update: This is an old post but I just wanted to mention that Windows 7 32 bit is running fine on that old Gateway.

Castro; Dead, Zombie, or Animatronics?


The news is out that “It’s official: we can unequivocally declare that it wouldn’t be inaccurate to assume that there isn’t reason to not believe that Fidel Castro may or may not be dead (maybe)” Which is how the headline was submitted on Fark

If you want to keep up on what’s going on in Cuba and get to the real news from Cuba, check out The Kill Castro Blog.

As for Castro bieng an Animatronic … check out LBJ here and tell me you don’t see the similarities.

The iZune!

Thanks Charles

Heritical Thoughts About Science and Society

This article makes for some good food for thought. Caution! If you are a Anthro-Global Warming zealot you may not like it.

By Freeman Dyson

My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.

Read it all…

A SlashDot Commentor had some fun with the AGW screamers as follows:

Now come on. We all know that everyone who doesn’t believe in man-made global warming as we do is evil and wants to kill babies. But has our religion, I mean science surounding global warming, I mean climate change, risen to the same status as some other religions,I mean fairy tales err pseudoscience, err … you know what I mean?

Can’t we just stick with insulting people, tearing down their academic credentials, telling everyone they are an idiot who wouldn’t know science it is touched them, if they dare to point out obvious mistakes (that we made but won’t admit), getting them fired or a sending them a few death threats? Do we really need to burn people at the stake too? Wouldn’t it be more satisfying and productive to just ruin their lives and let them live to talk about it so the next brave soul will think twice?

I for one am against burning people at the stake.

Here! Here!

Another slash dot comment had this to say:

Models are useful for predicting results based on your assumptions. They are not useful for coming up with the right assumptions in the first place. The AGW assumptions are faith-based. Those assumptions are hard-coded in the models, and everything else is fair game for tweaking, in order to make the models’ results fit as closely as possible the dataset we have (particularly the last 100 years of temperatures). This activity and its accompanying doctrine has nothing to with science, and its claims of prophetic power are, while typical among people of such strong faith, not to be confused with scientific prediction.

All in all a whole bunch of good reading!

Check out the whole SlashDot discussion here …

More notworthy AGW reading:
“Global warming and cooling linked to the sunspot cycle”

Blogger Finds Bug in NASA Global Warming Study

This must be more of that consensus I keep hearing about…

DHS Hopes to Equip Police With “The Barf-Beam”

Via FOX:

Flashlight Weapon Makes Targets Throw Up

The handheld device using light-emitting diodes to emit super-bright pulses of light at rapidly changing wavelengths, causing disorientation, nausea and even vomiting in whomever it’s pointed at.

“There’s one wavelength that gets everybody,” says IOS President Bob Lieberman. “Vlad [IOS top scientist Vladimir Rubtsov] calls it ‘the evil color.'”