Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Simple Tool For Installing Windows

More and more frequently, I don’t put an optical (cd/dvd) drive in many of my computers – especially it is a completely new build or a new build into an old case that has just an IDE drive but the motherboard supports SATA only.  In the past I have done many an install from USB thumb drives of windows operating systems.

There is an issue with using USB drives for installs, however.  They are tiny.  Constantly, I am spending more time looking for the USB thumb drive than actually installing the operating system.

This morning, an epiphany.  I looked into my back pack and what was there?  Two external portable hard drives.  You can use those too, I discovered.  As a bonus, it is actually faster than  my janky old 4GB thumb drive to copy files too and installation time is still vastly quicker with a hard drive than it is using a DVD or CD.  A couple links (I used the first successfully, follow it step by step and it will work…)  <– xcopy commands for those that favor that.  NTFS support, too.

I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me – finally I can quit fuming about where that little black thumb drive is.  I’ll probably start misplacing my hard drives now, though…


SOPA, Protect IP, etc. – WE DON’T WANT YOU

See the spiffy black bars to the left and the right of this text?  This website modification is to protest the potential passage of Legislation that would give a minority (the entrenched recording/film industry) vast powers over the content of the Internet.   This type of legislation threatens the economic incubator that is the Internet while protect a tiny part of our economy that needs to modify itself to remain relevant in modern times.

Should lobbyist protecting the horse, carriage and buggy industry been allowed to persuade the Federal Government to outlaw cars because they potentially used the same roads, copied their main innovations (wheels!  suspension!) and caused an industry undue harm?

I trust you can answer that question and align the analogy yourself.

An article on how you can take action:


NATLAN 2012 is a go!

Mark your calendars for March 3rd.

Why the third of March?  First and foremost, that is the latest break I get in teaching this year – it is St. Paul College’s Spring Break.  I think it is best to do this sort of thing when I don’t have to get a class nailed down during the same weekend.  Also, and importantly, most of the longest tenured NATLAN attendees said they could make it on the third.

Current plans for the LAN:

It’s going to be in the garage at my home in Minnesota.  It looks like the “normal” high for early March should be just above freezing – I think that if we put ~2kw worth of “heaters” out there and keep the doors closed it should work.  That said, while planning to do it in the garage the basement has been getting more and more cleaned up and it should be possible to move up to sixteen folks inside should the weather prove to be really foul.

Gamewise I think we are looking at the typical collection (steam games, TF2, CS:S, DOD:S) plus Serious Sam BFE depending on the stability of COOP there.  16 player coop should be a hoot.

New for this LAN, and one of the main reasons I am thinking to do it at my house, is that I am considering providing for remote players.  More to come on this – and as much a possible, I’ll incentive those who can attend to be onsite – so check back for more details.

Finally – I’ll have a nine month old at this point.  What that means is that I am cool with some people being in the house, but it won’t be a crazy sleep over like it is sometimes.  To that end I’ve talked to the Mooney’s who have graciously opened their house so that up to five people can sleep in beds there.  We’ll be covering this in some more detail down the line too…

Exciting times!