QotW: Does running Commands in Verbose Mode slow them down?

August 1, 2011 by nhinkle. 3 comments

This week’s Question of the Week comes from MaxMaxie, and is about command line usage in Linux:

Does running commands verbosely make them slower?

I’ve found myself using the -v flag for lots of applications less and less (especially for trivial stuff liketar and cp). However, when I did and I was, say, unzipping a large file, it would take longer than when I didn’t use the -v flag. I assume this is because the terminal has to process the text and I’m filling up whatever buffer it might have. But my question is, does this make the application actually run slower or does it complete in the same amount of time and what I’m seeing is the terminal trying to catch up?

According to Matt Jenkins, it does indeed. His explanation of why is an interesting read, but the question remains: exactly how much does it slow things down? I decided to find out – read on to see just how much of a difference verbose flags can make.

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Windows 7 Network Awareness: How Windows knows it has an internet connection

May 16, 2011 by nhinkle. 66 comments

Have you ever been connecting to a new wireless network and seen the following pop-up balloon?

Additional login information may be required. Click to open your browser.

no internet accessWhenever I connect to a WiFi network which requires in-browser authentication, such as university networks and hotel access points, Windows somehow magically knows. Windows also knows when your internet connection isn’t working, and can differentiate between having local LAN access, no network access at all, or full internet access. But how?

This week’s question of the week is one I myself asked about this very topic. I guessed that there must be some online Microsoft site that Windows is checking to determine the state of the connection, but I wanted proof, not just speculation.

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Migrating to Linux from Windows

May 15, 2011 by George Edison. 8 comments

Ask someone what operating system they’re using, and chances are they’ll reply with some version of Windows. It’s hard to find a PC for sale anywhere that doesn’t have some version of Windows pre-installed on it. However, with recent privacy and security threats, Windows has taken a lot of heat for vulnerabilities found within the operating system. For that reason and perhaps others, many are beginning to look at alternatives. One such alternative is Linux.

The decision to migrate to Linux might be based on a number of factors such as performance, security, or stability. Linux is widely known for its robust kernel and raw speed. Many web servers run Linux – in fact, according to Wikipedia, the majority of websites are powered by Linux. Despite its huge presence in the server market though, it does not enjoy the same widespread usage on typical desktop computers – probably the two biggest reasons for that are education and compatibility.

A lot of people are surprised to find out that the same software they use on Windows is either available for Linux or a program with equivalent functionality can be used. In some cases, it is even possible to run Windows applications in Linux using a compatibility layer (such as Wine or Mono). In order to understand Linux a little better, we’ll take a look at its history.

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Windows 7’s best kept secret: Libraries

May 1, 2011 by studiohack. 0 comments

I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard of Libraries.  No, I’m not talking about a library of dusty books, rather the Libraries feature in Windows 7.  If you have heard of Libraries, I’m sure you don’t know much about it or what it does.  Or even how to use it!

Libraries is probably one of the most underhyped, misunderstood,and ignored features of Windows 7.  With Libraries, you can keep all of your scattered data files from many different locations, and bring them together in one folder, all without duplicating data and wasting your precious hard drive or solid state drive space. It is one of the best built-in tools you can use to organize your data.  Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look. First, to access Libraries, either click the pinned Windows Explorer icon on the taskbar or type ‘Libraries’ in the Windows 7 Start Menu search box.

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How to Mess up your PC‽

April 29, 2011 by kronos. 5 comments

Who in their right mind would ever want to mess up their computer?  Don’t we already have enough problems to fix as it is?  Well, that didn’t stop pHelics from asking this:

How to mess up a PC running Windows 7?

Ok, so for my PC class I have to find 3 hacks that would mess up the lab’s PC. Me and my partner are going to mess up the PC and then another team will try to fix it. The system on it is Windows 7. Anything that would stop the normal use or render the PC useless works. The conditions:
  • Can’t open the case
  • Can’t use the registry settings (due to how big it is, it would take the other team a long time to fix)
  • Needs to be fixable (meaning, nothing that would mess that bad so it would require an reinstall) within 15-30 minutes (by my teacher, preferably not by the other team 🙂
  • Can use the administrative tools
  • No downloads (PC is not even connected to a network)

That’s actually an honorable question, and can be useful for the training of other learning Super Users, so if you’re looking some ideas here’s a brief summary of some of our favorites of this questions and some suggestions of our own:

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Bored with your login? Hack it!

April 20, 2011 by studiohack. 5 comments

Do you ever get bored of the same old logon screen every single time you boot your computer?

Windows 7 Default Logon Screen

Today, the Super User Blog is going to show you four ways to customize your logon screen in Windows 7.

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