Monday, February 25, 2013

Taking the long way round

To go along with my new netbook I purchased an SSD from www.tigerdirect.com. They had a sale. Ninety dollars for 120 GB, a pretty good deal. I picked the the free shipping which they claim takes 8-10 days.  I was in no hurry so I didn't care about it taking that lone.  Once get the confirmation that it had been shipped I went to check the tracking number just for fun.  I saw that it was coming from Carol Stream Illinois.  This is great I thought.  I live in Illinois. No way this will take 8 days.  They then proceed to ship it to Missouri.  Where it sits for a few days.  Finally today they are shipping it to me.  It won't take 8 days, only 7.  I guess I got that going for  me.

Update:  Somehow they did manage to make it take 8 days to ship something 100 miles.

Friday, February 22, 2013

You may have noticed a change

You may have noticed something different around here. Though I highly doubt it because almost no one ever read this blog.  I don't know what I need to do to appease you people. I mean I had at least six posts in the three years I've had this domain :)

Yes I've switched from self hosted wordpress to blogger. Why? I did not have any problems with Wordpress. In fact I really love it. I highly recommend it.  I consider it the best blogging platform out there.  Continuously maintained with a long list of useful addons it tends to kick bloggers patutty.

In 2006 I purchased a hosting package from 1and1 http://www.1and1.com it included five domains and some hosting with access to ftp and mysql.  My plan at the time was to invent the next big internet sensation.  I never did. All I ended up with were a couple of Wordpress blogs.  Recently I checked out how much the plan was costing.  It had escalated to almost four times what I was initially paying.  None of this was underhanded by 1and1.  They had been sending me invoices the entire time and keeping me informed.  I just didn't pay attention. 

I realize now that I will never build a great internet phenomenon. All I really want is a couple of blogs.  So I threw up a couple of blogger blogs (actually re-opened one I had had since 2003), redirected the domains, and cancelled my 1and1 package.

As you can see I am just using a standard theme at this time.  If I feel like it I will update it a little bit. Like usual I had grand plans when I registered this domain years ago.  I imagined making some money off it.  Perhaps having some adds and affiliate links.  Now I'll just be happy if I happen to write a post every once in awhile.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Clearing out a BIOS password on an acer aspire one

My mom set out to look for a new laptop recently. She had been using the same one for years. Not a good one to start with, it had long lived past it's usefulness. She wanted something small and fairly cheap.  Her needs aren't great.  She decided on a netbook, the acer aspire one 722.

Somehow in the first day she managed to set a bios password and a windows password that didn't work anymore.  From talking to her over the phone it sounded like she had put a password on the hard drive.  Thus encrypting the drive and making it useless.  Acer wanted $100 to fix the password problem.  So my mom decided to buy a new version of the same netbook and give me the one with the broken password.  I thought if nothing else I could put a spare hard drive in it and have a new netbook to replace my old hp.

Once I got my own hands on the netbook, I quickly realized it was a bios password and not an encrypted hard drive.  To google I hurried and searched for how to clear the bios password from an acer aspire one. It took a bit of searching but I eventually found this forum thread http://www.laptop-forums.com/aspire-one-ao722-bios-recovery-t23653.html

I followed the instructions and it worked. I am going to do a slightly more detailed instructions below since a few steps were left out or unclear in the forum post.

  1. Go to http://www.acer.com and download the latest bios for you model from the support area. Mine is the 722
  2. Format a USB stick using the FAT filesystem
  3. In the DOS directory of the extracted bios zip file is a .bin file.  Mine was P1VE6111.bin
  4. Copy that .bin file to the USB stick and rename to BIOS.fd
  5. Remove the battery and power cable from the aspire one
  6. Plug the USB stick into a USB port.  I used the one on the left side of my aspire one 722
  7. Press and hold "fn" and "esc" keys.
  8. Plug in the AC cord
  9. While still holding the "fn" and "esc" keys push and release the power button 
  10. Continue to hold the "fn" and "esc" key until it starts beeping (boy are they loud)
  11. It will beep loudly for about a minute
  12. Then after another minute or so it will reboot and you should be able to access the bios without a password.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Welcome to tech-surge

What is tech-surge.com(pronounced tech dash surge)? It’s my personal tech and gadget blog. I have been in the computing industry for over ten years and a fan of gadgets all my life. I started this blog as a place to put some of my thoughts about programming, technology, and the world of gadgets. This isn’t an attempt to get rich and famous.
What is the tech-surge difference? It can best be summed up with the phrase long form. I subscribe to many tech blogs via rss and twitter and I’ve noticed an inundation of shallow content. For about a week I followed one tech blog on twitter. Everyday I’d drown in twenty to thirty tweets for blog posts that where nothing more than half a press release, a image, and maybe one sentence of comment. Even the bigger blogs don’t seem much better. Where are the long term reviews? It’s all about bling and short term SEO. How about you give me an update on that laptop you’ve been using for six months.
Since I am not trying to make a living with this blog I am free from the drive to be the first and the fastest. Also, those popular sites have staff. My staff is me and I have a real job and other things to do with my time than to try and keep up with every press release. I find motivation is also a problem, so if I keep the topics to things I am interested in, that only increases the likelihood of more content.