Archive for July, 2011

A Super User’s Complete Guide to Building an HTPC: The Hardware

July 29, 2011 by kronos. 3 comments

With more and more media turning digital, Home Theater PC’s (HTPC’s) are making a larger presence within the homes of PC enthusiasts. Whether your starting from scratch, or upgrading an older pc, this multi-part guide is meant to help you in building your new HTPC.

Missed part 1? Check it out here.

Once you’ve purchased your system, it’s time to build it. I’m going to go over the specific specs of the system that I built (as well as some other options), and the overall price of it, but this doesn’t meant that you have to build the exact system I did. There are plenty of other opinions out there, and the goal of this guide is for YOU to build YOUR system. As I go along, I’ll give you hardware specific tips that will hopefully help you in building your customs HTPC.

The Case

In my opinion the case is one of the most important things to select for your HTPC and its entirely because of show. This is the one thing that other people are going to see (or not see) of your HTPC and it needs to look good. What you need to look for is either something that you can hide away, or something that will look natural with all your other devices.

I had a very difficult time figuring out what I wanted to get and even looked into getting a touch screen case but decided against it due to lack of funds. (If you are looking for a touch screen, Tom’s Hardware has a great review of three.)

I finally ended up purchasing the SilverStone LC13-E Case:


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Linux Has an App for That

July 27, 2011 by George Edison. 4 comments

There are a wealth of programs available for Linux that do pretty much everything imaginable. In this article, I’m going to take a look at some common applications as well as some that are perhaps not so well known. I’ll provide a brief description of the application as well as basic usage instructions.

Just as in the last article, I will be using Ubuntu for the instructions below. Since each distribution has its own package management system, it would be impossible to cover all of them here.

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The Path of Destruction: rm -rf

July 25, 2011 by Simon Sheehan. 3 comments

This week at Super User, MaxMackie asked “How far will you get with a ‘rm -rf /'” ?  Within minutes of the post, it had not only my attention, but others as well. It had 39 upvotes just eight short hours later, and answers and thoughts poured in.

I’ve often wondered how far the system will actually get if you run rm -rf /. I doubt the OS would be able to erase itself (?)

We’ve all heard the stories – and please, don’t try this at home! rm -rf has caused a LOT of problems with accidental usage in the past. It is a linux/unix command which erases all files recursively, and won’t stop to ask if you’re sure. Adding the extra / has it start at the root directory – meaning you’re erasing the whole system! But if we did run this on the entire system, how far would the trail of destruction go? I took it upon myself to find out. I fired up VirtualBox, and installed a new copy of Fedora 15 (XFCE). Within minutes I had a fresh install all set and ready to destroy.

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A Super User’s Complete Guide to Building an HTPC: Planning and Purchasing

July 22, 2011 by kronos. 6 comments

With more and more media turning digital, Home Theater PC’s (HTPC’s) are making a larger presence within the homes of PC enthusiasts. Whether your starting from scratch, or upgrading an older pc, this multi-part guide is meant to help you in building your new HTPC.

Determine What You Want:

HTPC’s can take care of ALL you media needs which can even ultimately either replace or add to your current media experiences:

  • Dvd/Blu-Ray Player
  • Central Audio Stations
    • Whether a PC, iPod, audio receiver, etc, you can replace all of these with a central HTPC (including streaming to those other devices)
  • Internet on TV devices
  • Internet Streaming Services (Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, etc,.)
  • DVR
  • Cable receivers
  • Photo Viewers/Servers

How can data be recovered from your hard drive after it’s been deleted?

July 14, 2011 by James Faile. 3 comments

A person buys a stolen prototype gadget that was found in a bar and takes pictures and video of it.  After publishing them on the Internet their house is raided and their computer equipment is confiscated.

Luckily for them, they erased all of the data regarding the gadget so they’re safe, right?


Not necessarily.

Today’s Question of the Week appeared on courtesy of Jerry when he asked how detectives in the Casey Anthony trial had recovered keyword searches for evidence that had been manually deleted from a computer.

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What makes a Computer overheat?

July 11, 2011 by Simon Sheehan. 2 comments

Every week, the Super User community nominated and votes on an interesting Question of the Week, which we write about on the blog. One nominee that interested me was:

What makes a laptop overheat?

Is there a correlation between CPU usage and heat? RAM usage? Other things? How can software affect overheating in a laptop?

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Visualising Superuser

July 6, 2011 by slotishtype. 1 comments

What does look like? Beyond the questions, the answers, the votes, the comments, the edits, are there clear patterns of community activity? Do trends emerge? Are social norms evident? Is visualising this sort of information useful? Can visualisation support existing community processes? These are the sorts of questions we pursued with Explore.SU – a visualisation environment developed on the public API. In this blog post, we will take a look at the development of Explore.SU, briefly explore how online communities have been visualised to date and examine the rationale for our design decisions. We also discuss findings from a small study and draw some initial conclusions based on our experiences.

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Router Flashing for mere Humans

July 1, 2011 by ivoflipse. 0 comments

Netgear WNDR3700 RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N 600 Gigabit Router

I’ve read it countless times: flashing your router to DD-WRT to get more control over it and unlock more power. Sounds great, but how often do regular users actually end up doing this? Probably not that often. I’ve always held it off, because the risk of bricking my router never seemed worth the trouble. Besides, my networking skills are mediocre at best, so I never felt the urge to unlock even more settings! However, when I tried to open up Calibre and use its internet sharing feature, it turned out that my generic router was virtually unable to be set up properly. So today, I’m biting the bullet and will actually try to flash my brand new Netgear WNDR3700 router to DD-WRT, because surely if I can do it, anyone can!

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