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Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003




The Rules
  • All home computer troubleshooting questions go in the Haus of Tech Support. This means anything from "my computer keeps crashing" to "Firefox ate my bookmarks" goes in HoTS, but stuff like software/hardware recommendations, news, "how do I do this" type questions, enterprise troubleshooting, etc. stays in SH/SC.

  • All programming questions and discussion go in The Cavern of COBOL.

  • Check out programming and other projects in project.log!

  • All HTPC, TV, audio, and miscellaneous A/V questions and discussion go in Inspect Your Gadgets.

  • All gadget (including MP3 players, e-Readers, iPads, smartphones, etc.) questions and discussion go in Inspect Your Gadgets

  • Don't post crap. Put some effort into your posts and do some research before asking a question - SH/SC shouldn't be the first destination. Search on Google, and ask yourself if you're making a post that is relevant for thousands of other readers or if you're just wasting peoples' time. Otherwise, there's a good chance your thread will wind up in The Gas Chamber.

  • Read and post in the megathreads. SH/SC maintains several megathreads (see the list below) for common discussion topics. Any new threads asking small questions that belong in one of these megathreads or are easily answered with Google will be gassed and potentially met with a probation as well.

  • Don't mention whether any of your software is illegally acquired. It is assumed all software you are using is licensed and any thinly veiled attempts at indicating you have warez will likely get you a probation.

  • Please don't contact the mods or SH/SC regulars for tech support unless you're willing to pay for it. A lot of SH/SC's regulars work with computers for a living, so the last thing they want is to be harassed by anonymous goons looking for help.

  • Students: don't ask or discuss how to get around your school's network security, and don't ask for help with your homework. If you really must ask the internet for help with an assignment, try the Science, Academics and Languages subforum.

  • Employees: don't ask or discuss how to get around your work's network security.

  • Posting job offer threads to recruit SH/SC nerds is okay.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please PM or email Alereon, movax, or Star War Sex Parrot).

Somebody fucked around with this message at Aug 7, 2013 around 04:45

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Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003




The Megathreads

Hardware Megathreads
Windows Megathreads
Apple Megathreads
Mobile Megathreads
Linux/Unix Megathreads
Enterprise Megathreads
Misc Megathreads

Star War Sex Parrot fucked around with this message at Dec 20, 2012 around 19:02

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003




The FAQ

Recommend me a domain registrar
This is getting its own section since we're getting this thread a lot lately:

The general consensus among SH/SC posters is that NameCheap, NearlyFreeSpeech, and eNom are excellent registrars that are all worth checking out for general one-off domain registrations. If you'd prefer a non-US based registar, Gandi also comes rather highly recommended. Most posters tend to dislike GoDaddy/WildWestDomains and Network Solutions for various reasons.

Media FAQ/Howto

What's the best media player/codec pack?

    There are obviously many options, but the basic gist is this: you really only need the latest ffdshow and Haali Media Splitter (better MKV support) to play just about any format (XviD, h.264, etc.) out there. Some prefer to install these two programs individually and add their favorite player to the mix like Media Player Classic, while others go the easy route and install a pack that takes care of everything for them. The goon-made DefilerPak is terribly outdated, while the popular K-Lite Codec Pack is usually considered too bloated. The current favorite is the Combined Community Codec Pack, which should get you up and running in no time. Their Insurgent tool is also great for cleaning up your system if you've previously made a mess of your codecs by installing other packs.

    Since Media Player Classic seems to have been discontinued, Media Player Classic - Homecinema is a worthy continuation that's being updated with new features including 64-bit and EVR support.

    A final option would be to use either the popular VLC media player or surprising newcomer GOM Player, which use their own internal decoders and thus don't require codecs.

    For those that are having performance problems with h.264 encoded content, you can give CoreAVC a shot which provides the fastest software decoding for h.264 content.
How do I convert video files?

How do I rip DVDs / Blu-Ray?

    Use MakeMKV to strip DRM, change the container, and rip off of the source. Then re-encode with HandBrake if you like.
How do I make a DVD of a video?

How can I make captures from DVD movies/media files?

    One option is to get a program that allows screencaptures, such as Media Player Classic, WinDVD or PowerDVD. For media files, you can try something like Media Player Classic, VirtualDub, or NanDub. The simple Save Image function in VirtualDub may give you finer control over frame-by-frame seeking, however.

    Another option is to go to your Display Properties (right-click on Desktop->Properties) -> Settings tab -> Advanced button -> Troubleshoot tab. Then move the Hardware Acceleration down to "None". This should allow you to take screen captures from any media player. After you're done making your screencaptures, put the hardware acceleration back to normal as you may notice degraded performance otherwise.
    Thanks Naky

    For Windows Mediaplayer 9, simply press Ctrl+I. WMP will default to saving it as capture.jpg in your My Pictures folder. You cannot save in any format except JPEG and BMP. This does not work for all formats. It will work in most (if not all) AVI and MPEG container movies, but WMV files tend to have copy protection of some sort which disallows WMP screenshots.
    Thanks Psion
Storage FAQ/Howto

Should I use RAID 0 on my system to increase performance?

    Probably not. Read the following articles:

    http://faq.storagereview.com/SingleDriveVsRaid0
    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2101

    Basically, RAID 0 significantly increases your chances of data loss (i.e. if one drive fails, all data on array is gone), in exchange for fairly insignificant performance gains. It won't make your games faster, and in fact very few storage-intensive tasks will see any kind of benefit at all. Don't bother with RAID 0 unless you have a good application like video editing scratch disks or heavy I/O access (server environment).
Should I use RAID 1 on my system as a backup tool?

    RAID1 isn't a proper backup method. It does offer redundancy, but it'll only protect you from the spontaneous failure of a drive from some cause that didn't kill the others. Considering the rather high cost of having to buy twice as many drives as you need, most desktop users will be far better served by a DVD burner. A stack of good DVD-Rs will protect your data regardless of what happens to your PC, and they're far cheaper per GB than hard drives.
How can I permanently erase my hard drive so that the police / my parents won't find my porn stash?

Star War Sex Parrot fucked around with this message at Apr 29, 2011 around 03:18

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