The Verge’s $2,000 build and what went wrong

It’s been a few months since The Verge posted a video about building a $2,000 gaming machine, that was filled with misinformation and improper technique; so much so that they took down the video. Since it has been floating around the internet to the point where people have asked me what I thought about it. And without intentionally bashing them, I’ll offer constructive criticism in a somewhat professional manner.

Calling something best practice, doesn’t make it best practice

When journalists use the term “best practice” doesn’t always mean best practice. While some journalists will go through the trouble of researching or asking an expert if they already don’t know, a few will jump to conclusions and label something as best practice. This is a dangerous practice as it can mislead some people in the general public into doing something that can possibly cost them a lot of money or even harm them.Continue reading

Reimage Repair, a technician’s perspective

One application I see in spurts on customer’s computers is Reimage Repair (now known as reimage plus), and sometimes I get asked what I think about it. Truth be told, while it is a legitimate application, I don’t think too highly of it at all. And it’s not just because the name itself is a slap in the face of a method we techs sometimes use, reimaging a computer. Here’s why:

To explain what Reimage is, I’ll try to explain it in detail that’s not very confusing. It’s essentially a mix between a registry cleaner, disk optimizer, and a library of Windows system files. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? While, in theory, yes. But in practice I have seen it screw up more Windows installations than it helps. The underlying problem is that registry cleaners can sometimes do away with needed registry keys for certain functions. It’s an issue that surrounds all third party registry cleaners and not just Reimage. But the next part will get technical and interesting.Continue reading

Access Database for managing raffle auctions

One of the annual events I help with is the SPCA Theme Basket auction, and year after year it has proven to be a challenge. At least as far as the logistics of managing the drawing. Different methods were tried but most years they ended in mistakes due to volunteers being stretched thin enough to make mistakes, and everyone blaming each other, which didn’t help either.

To help ease the burden, for the past couple of years I was working on developing an Access database to help manage auction, as the Excel spreadsheets used in the past required too much human input to generate the calling lists, it sometimes would end up shifting a line. The idea of the database was to minimize human input and errors from entering the winning numbers, to generating the calling sheets. But because the prior experiences with the Excel spreadsheets typically ended in disaster, it failed to garner support from the other volunteers.

The all paper method that was employed last year didn’t work much better either. It required longer hours from the volunteers, and mistakes were still made, probably even more so. That being said, this year ended up being the year of attempting this new method I’ve been working on, with the Access database.Continue reading