How to buy New Hard drive on the Cheap

. Friday, August 22, 2008

Let me guess - the 250Gb Hard disk which came with PC you bought a year or two ago seemed so large - capacity to hold over 35000 Mp3 (at 160kbps) - Simply mind boggling , but Hi Def changed the rules of the game again - single 1.5h movie from highly compressed 4.7gb to 28Gb original copy. Iphone and Ipod touch now became more and more popular and with ability to comfortable watch movies and shows on the road needs all the hard drive space it can get.

In short - my current 250+320 drives aren't simply cut to the task anymore.

In our day and age where Price/Gig of Dual Layer+R DVD is about 50c where Hard drive is as low as 13c 9c !!! Care to guess which one I prefer :
The flaky optical media easily damaged by scratches, corrosion, over-pressure and simply time factor OR high speed of both read and write, extremely high number of re-writes etc...

Since yesterday I got the great news about Newegg stopped collecting taxes in my state, I happily decided to come back and check new deals, among other things I made a small table of Sata2 7200Rpm 3.5" Hard drives, sorted by Price per gig and got some interesting results.
Below are top 5 of the cheapest driver (per gig)

Name Price Capacity Price of 1gb
$84.99 - SAMSUNG HD642JJ 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (Bare Drive) - Retail $84.99 640 0.132796875
$84.99 - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $84.99 640 0.132796875
$84.99 - Seagate ST3640323AS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $84.99 640 0.132796875
$69.99 - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $69.99 500 0.13998
$69.99 - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD502lJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $69.99 500 0.13998

My surprise was to find this:

$38.99 - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST380815AS 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $38.99 80 0.487375

Wow! I guess it's platters age made of gold or platinum :) Hurry up before those deal expire.

(p.s: I have no affiliations with Newegg)

New Low Reached in hard drive Prices

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Shopper Alert! Ewiz/NewBizz (Updated)

. Friday, August 15, 2008

What a torture!! Darn those people at!!
This morning I found an awesome deal at Slickdeals for HIS Radeon HD 4870 Video card, which would replace my showing it's age Radeon X800 GTO2 running with 3rd party cooler, unlocked and overclocked to X850XT PE specs. The deal was $213 $0 tax and shipping , minus $20, minus 5% Live Cashback = $182 - Its a good price for 4850, but A STEAL for 4870!

However the company decided NOT to honor the purchase and cancel the deal.

Yes I know legally it has every right to do so, but for future I never going to step my (virtual) foot at that place ever again and don't recommend to you to. I know for a fact Newegg would honor the deal even if they found out about typo.

Lesson learned and I'd continue my search for new video card.

Sorry for off topic, but I decided I had to do something about! Apparently this is NOT the first time they pulled such stunt so I don't believe it was a simply a human mistake as per members of slickdeals forums.

Eventually (about 2 months ago) I bought a Gigabyte Radeon HD4870 512mb GDDR5 Video card from Newegg for $200 After rebate (still waiting for it to come…)

P.S: Not fair! No with lowered prices on 4850/4870 cards anyone can get 4870 for about 180 after rebate

Download TODAY! Badaboom Media Converter

. Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I just learned in effort to fight the physics accellerated using graphics card effort from Intel (Havoc Engine) and Microsoft, Nvidia decided to spoil us with few tech demos and games using CUDA enginee for physics and other none-gfx rendering usages.

Among them, the long awaited (atleast by me) utility to encode video using GPU - Badaboom Media Converter - a child of relatevely new and unknown company - Elemental Technologies.

Hurry up to get it soon, since demo expires end of August.

Video Card Accelerated Video Encoding News Update

Download the goodies from Nvidia here

More info

How to remove old Delegate from Outlook

. Friday, August 8, 2008

For some time now we had ongoing issue with "sometimes" (in beginning seemed random) people would receive Non-Delivery messages stating a person's name who no longer works in company and they swear they never sent email to them. Back and forward we tried to narrow it down and to troubleshoot.

Originally we assumed one of old outlook rules is involved - it wasn't the case however.
Later on we found out such error messages occur only if meeting invite is sent to one specific manager.
Checking his pc for outlook rules and attempt to clear them brought nothing. Someone suggested checking it's possible to be old delegate set in outlook.
Even thou if we didn't found any in his outlook, that idea did put us on right path, and later-than-sooner :) after extensive goggling I found solution, as like usual forums were my friends ;-)

Client:  Microsoft Outlook 2003 , Server: Microsoft Exchange 2003 with SP2

The Problem:
Person who used to work and was set as delegate to that manager was removed from Active Directory, before changing the Outlook delegate settings, and such she was no longer appears in delegate list.
Other people seems to have same problem as well (here)

Here is what I found after long and tiring search on forums:
The rule which defines delegate isn’t magically goes away after user have been deleted from AD, in fact it stay hidden in outlook settings and it’ll take a very special tool to change it.
I found at least two such tools, one commercial – OutlookSpy , which I tried but didn’t particularly liked, since it’s gives so much information it’s overwhelming for regular Joe SysAdmins like me J
The other one, free: Microsoft Exchange Server MAPI Editor available here for download.
The included Doc explain the steps, but seems to be written for experts, so let me help you my dear colleagues.

The Steps:
From Top Menu - > Session-> Logon and Display Table [and pick the right outlook profile]
Right Click on Mailbox – “user name”-> Open Store
Expand the tree: Root Container->Top of Information Store
Right Click on Inbox->Display Rules Table
Look for line with blank for Rule name and “Schedule+EMS Interface” in PR_Rule_Provider. This is the rule for a delegate. Right click on that line and delete it.

All done!

And of course with such low level tool you can plenty of damage to your exchange profile,so be careful and smart what you are doing.
Don’t say Bored SysAdmin didn’t warn you :) as-in-much I bear no warranty or responsibility on any adverse results caused by using information above.

Microsoft Finally Gets Clustering Right........

. Thursday, August 7, 2008

Microsoft's recent release of Windows Server 2008 and its highly anticipated improved clustering and network load balancing seems to have been worth the long wait. It appears that after years of research and dedication to the problem, building a cluster that is supposed to work as it should, has finally paid off.

In testing the clustering failover in our own dev network, we discovered a rich feature set to provide for more stability and high availability in clustered environments. The most important to my company will be the multi-site cluster technology.

We have an HA site about 15 miles away with 10Gbps fiber (*1) between them to replicate. With this new technology Microsoft has developed, we can now easily put our HA boxes in another data center. This is a feature we have never been able to have in production for lack of Microsoft's tools to cluster the servers in another site properly.

Now when IBM allows snapshot copy on a block by block level through their 2145 San Volume Controller, we will be in business!! (*2)

Related Links:

(*) Editor Comments:
1 - DARN!!
2 - Netapp SnapMirror already does that :-)

Wardriving on the budget - Warcarting !

. Tuesday, August 5, 2008


"Warcarting: when wardriving, warwalking, warflying, warrocketing, warballooning, warbiking, and warboating are just not good enough."

"You've been wardriving, but have you ever gone warcarting?"

"Warcarting: because wardriving is so 2000, and warflying is so 2002."

"Warcarting: the hobo's approach to wireless communications interception."

"Warcarting: wardriving on a budget"