New name for Longhorn

According to BetaNews it seems the next version of Windows codenamed longhorn has gotten a new name. The new name was reportedly mentioned at a Microsoft sales conference. The name name mentioned was ‘Windows Vista’.

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Joel’s new gaming rig

Over the past week I have been helping a friend out. He wanted a killer gaming rig to do and play just about anything he wanted to do. He basically asked me if I were to build the ultimate machine what would I build. Needless to say these are the components accompanied by supporting photos. This system took a day and half just to do all the dremeling for the custom water setup and I mean custom. We used barbs on everything but unfortunately there are no flow meters bigger then that so I had to use some quick thinking to use an Innovatek flow meter without constraining water flow to everything. The flow meter is being used with an Innovatek Fan-O-Matic Micro to automatically shut down the PC in case of pump failure, since the system is left on when no one is around to monitor it. The last thing you want to happen is fry about $3000 worth of components due to a pump failure. Well here are the components that were put into a Thermaltake Armor case:


Asus A8N-SLI Motherboard, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+, 2 sticks of 512MB Corsair 3200 XMMS XPERT (2-2-2-5 timing), 2 pieces ASUS Nvidia 7800GTX video cards in SLI mode, 2 Western Digital 74GB Raptors in Raid0 configuration, 2 Western Digital SATA2 250GB Hard Drives in Raid0 Configuration, Plextor Dual Layer 16x DVD writer, Crystal Fontz Dual Bay Display, Thermaltake 680W Power Supply

Water Cooling:

PolarFlo Chrome Pump, Danger Den TDX CPU water block, 2 Danger Den Low Profile Actel Maze4 GPU water blocks, Typhoon 120x Cylindrical Reservoir, 2 Danger Den Chrome Black Ice Extreme Radiators, Innovatek Flow Meter v2, Innovatek Fan-O-Matic, 16 OCZ Ram Sinks

Think your safe? NOT!

So your running Windows XP Pro, you’ve downloaded service pack two and turned on the built in firewall. You’re setup for automatic updates and you install them automatically to make sure you’re up to date. Feeling pretty safe right about now aren’t you? Well guess what if you have remote desktop turned on your wide open for an attack! There is a vulnerabilty in this configuration as reported by ZDNet UK. The vulnerabilty would allow a remote user to crash your system. As of yet there is no patch available to fix this. My recomendation if the system is addressable via the Net is to turn of Remote Desktop if you have it enabled until Microsoft closes this door.

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** UPDATE! This vulnerability is more widespread! It effects all flavors of XP including Media Center, as well as Windows 2003 servers.

Windows XP Pro 64bit?

Windows XP Pro 64bit is definitely not ready for primetime. First off you’re not going to see much of an improvement unless you’re running a 64bit application. Right now there really isn’t much out there that take advantage of the benefits of 64bit. However you will be getting yourself into a world of hurt if you have a lot of accessories attached to your system, guaranteed! I found this out the hard way, helping a friend build his dream computer. He went for the best of everything, dual core Athlon 64bit 4200+ processor, 1 gigabyte of Corsair XPERT memory, Dual Nvidia 7800GTX graphics board in a SLI configuration. With this type of hardware you would think why not run Windows XP Pro 64bit to get everything you can out of the system. There is one resounding answer why not to, there is no driver support what so ever. Unless it is built into Microsoft’s build, you might as well just hang it up. He has the following peripherals attached to his system: HP Scanner, DYMO label printer, several HP printers he prints to on different floors and across a WAN, most important Alcohol 120% to keep images of all his game discs. We found that the scanner and label printer had no drivers. Alcohol 120% will not run under 64bit because it creates a virtual drive and needs a driver to create it. We made a phone call to Dymo to get a status on driver development and were basically told “We are not in the process of designing any drivers for 64bit Windows”. Umm, hello, can we have a reality check here. It seems the industry is in one of those which came first the chicken or the egg scenarios again. Developers do not want to take the time to develop drivers until they see OS adoption. Then you have the end users that will not adopt without drivers. Get your act together folks and just design and make drivers available for the products we shelled out our good hard earned dollars for. It’s not like we are talking about Mom and Pop companies, were talking huge corporations like HP that don’t even have any driver support for most of their products under 64bit Windows. My suggestion for now is just avoid Windows XP Pro 64bit like the plague unless you have not peripherals attached to your box. Do your homework first on all devices and software you will run under 64bit Windows or you will wind up throwing your system out the window in frustration.