JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Global gloom. Help. I need a new computer.

In astrological terms, Jupiter must be passing through my technology zone. Yesterday the web-host was down for 15 hours. Today, my computer collapsed randomly into the blue screen of death. It can be revived, sort of, but the five-year-old-overworked-disc only springs to life for short bursts in between intermittent freezes. It’s been kind, letting me back up. But it doesn’t last — we are now stuck in an infinite degrading loop where it crashes, logs off and restarts, thoroughly error checking the full disc, and an hour later I can do another two minutes work, before the Goto-loop-from-hell starts over. :-|

Sorry to all the people who emailed me today, Robert, Horst, Jennifer and Jim I was about to reply… Tony, Mods, I’m working from  a lap top… my brain has shrunk from 2 x 30 inch, to 1 x 15.  Please be patient. I don’t think I’ve lost emails, but I can’t see them right now.

Five years! The blog-war-horse is gone. :-(

Donations gratefully received. A newer monster with more memory has been ordered…

Right now these self funding academic researcher-analyst-commentators could do with support. Those billion dollar government departments don’t seem be in a hurry to fund people who want sensible policies that reduce your tax-burden. We’ve got our nest-egg packed away with a long term view in a moderately ambitious arrangement — we never want to work  for anyone — but until that boat comes in (and it may not) we sure do appreciate your support, so we can keep saying things you want someone to be saying…

 

**TIP JAR – a number of readers have asked about the tip jar. It is in the top right hand side of the page. Click on that and it will take you to a place you can make a Pay Pal contribution or below that a non Pay Pal or  Non Credit Card contribution. Jo is too modest to put this up here, but as one of the moderators I can attest to the incredible amount of work Jo puts in and I can also attest to her lack of big oil or government funding. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to the contributors on behalf of Jo- Mod

 

 UPDATE: Wow!  I’ve been out most of the day but what an amazing response! This is all so extremely helpful. I’m humbled. Really. Contributions are still coming in from all over the world. Speechless…  this is so useful!

A very grateful Jo

PS:  I want to thank everyone… please be patient. I can’t email easily at the moment…

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374 comments to Global gloom. Help. I need a new computer.

  • #
    Sonny

    God bless you Jo.

    151

    • #
      Quack

      gob bless all of you that donate and jo too!!! What a great woman to work full time and to make such a great contrebution in fighting against the stupidity!!!

      121

    • #
      Mark D.

      Sonny, nothing finer could be said.

      61

    • #
      Sonny

      Jo, I have donated $50 worth of emergency chocolate funds.

      I don’t regard this as a donation so much as payment for your work in defending my freedoms.

      While I am very skeptical that Agenda 21 can be stopped at this late stage in the game I have to

      maintain some hope. My general outlook on the future is not bright. It’s not that I don’t think there

      are brilliant and honest people in the world who value freedom above all else howeverI feel that

      our society is pinned down by a burden of deception corruption that cannot be

      lifted. I see evidence of this wherever I look. I even see it in the skies.

      Thank you for being a spokesperson for those who cannot or will not speak out.

      160

  • #
    Kevin Lohse

    Keep the pressure on, Jo. In the UK, Sceptical MP’s are being reported in the MSM, the Met O is being held to account in the Lords and in Europe, especially in Germany, the MSM are starting to question the consensus. A little more pushing and the alarmist house of Cards will fall. Hope my donation helps.

    —————–
    Kevin, I am so grateful. Thank you. : ) — Jo

    222

  • #
    JunkPsychology

    Sounds like you need a Mac with a solid-state drive…

    50

    • #

      I think I need an assistant, a cook, and a butler…

      But I used to be Mac-girl, til my full-time free-IT-live-in-specialist switched. What choice did I have?

      112

      • #
        PeterB in Indianapolis

        Wait… let me get this straight… you have a FREE, LIVE-IN IT SPECIALIST, and you ALSO want an assistant, a cook, AND a butler???

        Better start accepting some of that Big Oil Funding that the Mannians keep accusing you of accepting already….

        :P

        111

      • #
        Mark D.

        Ha! I’d apply for those jobs except it is going to be winter there soon and going to be summer here soon (God willing and the Creek don’t rise).

        If you hold the positions open for, say, 5 months maybe we could work out a deal?

        I also do quite well with landscape and gardening too.

        81

      • #

        Get him to run both! My hubby has a laptop with Windows 7 and I have a Mac. Keeps one sharp–and confused!!

        00

  • #
    JunkPsychology

    None, I guess…

    When the hard drive on my wife’s Mac laptop went into its final throes, we had it replaced with solid state. Which could easily be good for another 5 years.

    20

    • #

      Well, I hear a rumor the one on order is an Intel i7 520 series 240GB SATA SSD. Smile from me.

      But Macwise, nothing was the same after OS9. I still miss it. I liked an operating system where I could put my colored folders down any damn place I wanted on the window and they were still be there the next day. It’s so much faster than alphabetical lists. Did Mac ever get that back?

      41

      • #
        ThomasR

        Hi Jo,
        As a longtime Mac user, I hear your pain. They brought everything over (gradually) from OS 9 including colored folders you can have all over the desktop “any damn place” you want. The only thing that has never come back is the customizable drop-down Apple icon menu (though people made apps for that). In fact, anything missing from OS 9 has been replaced with something better and faster or made by a third-party. I can say unequivocally that now that OS X has Unix underpinnings and uses a 64-bit operating system, it FLIES. My Macbook pro has an Intel 3.7GHz i7 chip with a 500 SSD. Benchmarking shows it’s faster than my 2 x 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon Mac desktop. Without bogging you down in techno-babble, if it’s not too late, GET the Macbook Pro. You will hear a choir of angels sing when it cold-boots in about 8 seconds.

        50

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Jo,

        I sympathize, I liked the Mac too. But I can make a good living with Windows which just isn’t a practical possibility with the Mac. When Microsoft owns so much of the market share that the other guy is just an also ran, then best learn Windows.

        31

        • #
          Rick Bradford

          Put in a slightly different way — all the open-source software and other stuff out there that enables me to do my job in a cost-effective way is built for Windows, so that’s why I stick with it.

          30

          • #

            Interesting. I switched to Mac two years ago and have bought virtually no software. I word processes, do photo and graphics work, etc. I have been loving the open-source Mac stuff. It probably depends a lot on what you do. One of the reasons for having the Windows laptop is so I stay “fluent” in windows (I do have one piece of equipment that only runs on Windows, too). Much of this seems what is a “best fit” to each person. It’s nice there’s a choice.

            10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Apple missed a huge bet when they didn’t make an open hardware architecture from the beginning as IBM did with the PC. The ability to make any kind of interface card you want and put it on the buss with your own connector to any equipment you wanted to talk to, put the PC, thus Windows, way out in front of Apple for a big part of the marketplace.

              This has been a major consideration for the kind of projects I’ve been involved with since 1995.

              Much of the credit for the success of Windows belongs to IBM, not just Bill Gates.

              00

              • #

                HOw is IBM stock these days?

                00

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                HOw is IBM stock these days?

                I only know these two things.

                1. My brokers don’t recommend IBM.

                2. IBM sold off its PC business to a Japanese outfit and they are now selling PCs under the Lenovo label.

                00

              • #
                Tel

                Apple did make an open hardware architecture, it was the Apple ][.

                Then they made the Mac which got the publishing industry enthusiastic and made a lot of money.

                00

      • #
        MartinX

        It was all downhill after System 7.

        00

  • #

    Jo, bad luck, donation sent.
    Mount the old drive to a linux box and drag the data off that way.
    Good luck

    Rog Tallbloke


    Thank you Rog!

    163

  • #
    Jim Braiden

    Jo,
    Donation on way- keep up the good work
    Jim

    [That will be much appreciated and needed by Jo - Thanks. - Mod]

    70

  • #
    DaveK

    Jo
    I my computer just went thru exactly the same symptoms as yours.
    I suspect that you have lost some critical windows files.
    First boot up into the bios and run the disc checker that is usually available. If it shows the disc as being good then try the followowing

    My solution.
    Go to the local computer shop and by a case to convert your hard drive to a usb external drive (or just buy the cable set, either way no more than $20.

    Plug into a working computer and drag the files accross.

    Option 2 install a bootable windows hard drive as the primary drive and then your toasted drive as a secondary.

    40

  • #
    madham

    Better listen to Tallbloke, Jo. He knows all about dragging data off…

    60

  • #
    PeterB in Indianapolis

    Jo,

    Is the hard drive on the old unit making any audible noises (above and beyond the usual hard-drive noise?)

    If not, your BSOD problem may have nothing to do with your hard drive. I had a similar problem with an older computer, and after I removed JAVA completely from the system, the computer was magically healed.

    The latest versions of JAVA are a nightmare, and do not get along well with computers that are older… also unless they have fixed it, JAVA is rife with security problems and other general problems. If you have JAVA on your older unit, you might try booting up in “safe mode” and using add/remove programs from your control panel to delete it from your system, then reboot normally and see how everything behaves.

    I would send a donation if I could, but my kids are eating me out of house and home, so that isn’t practical right now!

    :)

    Good luck, and take good care of the new system when it arrives!

    60

    • #

      Yes the hard drive is making noises, whirring, the CPU usage is spiking then flatlining. (I think I did do a Java update this weekend?.) Though the latest move was asking me for a “system image”. That didn’t sound good.

      30

      • #
        PeterB in Indianapolis

        Jo,

        Usually if a hard drive is in imminent danger of failing, you will hear a repetitive “clacking” noise as the magnetic read/write heads which are supposed to “float above the disc” begin to make actual contact with the disc itself.

        More whirring than usual is a possible precursor to this though.

        At any rate… if you DID a JAVA update recently, try getting into safe mode and removing JAVA completely from the old system and see if it experiences a resurrection of sorts… it might at least help some, and give you a brief reprieve until the new system arrives :)

        40

        • #
          JohnA

          Argh! I have white hair and similar beard as a result of such “clacking” in the dim, pre-PC past.

          Then, it was more of a high-pitched whine – like a machine shop sound – and I was down to only one good set of data before the problem was solved, as each backup set was trashed. Replacing the media was only the beginning…

          I am now a maniac with off-line backup on non-destructible non-contact media (ie. DVD).

          10

          • #

            I have always been a “maniac” with off-line backup. It comes from running those ancient computers with punch cards and reel-to-reel tape for a living. I learned very early in the job that backup was ESSENTIAL. When I started with my PC, backup remained just as essential. DVD’s are my choice, also. Usually more than one copy if I cannot afford to lose the data. Yes, I have trust issues!

            00

      • #
        PeterB in Indianapolis

        Jo,

        The CPU usage spiking and then flat-lining probably IS because of JAVA, although you would have to pull up your system process list and look at it for a while (with your internet browser open but minimized) to see exactly which process was causing the CPU usage spikes.

        Incipient hard-drive failure generally would not cause CPU usage spikes unless the processor was having a hard time getting any information from the drive (which I suppose is possible).

        There are also virus programs out there that show up in your system tray telling you that a JAVA update is available, and if you click on the icon in your system tray to update JAVA… you end up with a nasty virus instead.

        I am willing to bet (although currently broke) that removing JAVA from your old system would help out though….

        51

        • #

          Peter, I will definitely try that tomorrow. There was no clacking sound. But I frequently push the system to the limits of it’s memory and Mozilla was crashing a few times a week. I’m very naughty, I have 50 tabs open. It did freeze and pause a bit, especially when I was running out of memory, and so this was not totally out of the blue, but it did suddenly get a lot worse. It is 5 y.o. The new machine will be so much better in so many ways. But it would help a lot to have the old one running. Thanks for the tip.

          50

          • #
            PeterB in Indianapolis

            No problem Jo,

            At worst, my tip won’t help at all, but at best, it may get the old system functional again.

            My wife’s 5 year old computer was having similar problems back around Christmas, and, it being around Christmas, I bought her a new one.

            I then got on her old system in safe mode, deleted JAVA, ran Malwarebytes, and rebooted, and her old computer has been working fine ever since, which makes my 7 year old son happy as it became HIS computer :)

            40

          • #
            Backslider

            Mozilla was crashing a few times a week. I’m very naughty, I have 50 tabs open.

            Firefox is renowned for memory leaks, I use a small program named “Firemin” which I switch on briefly to pull down memory usage when it gets out of hand. Firefox will never handle 50 tabs open, better to try Chrome.

            I feel for you. Last week I spilled coffee on my Vaio, which was purchased in November, and its now dead as a doornail – still paying it off :(

            Thankfully I have a Macbook Pro and two other old laptops to fall back on, plus a Linux box.

            10

          • #
            JunkPsychology

            50 tabs!

            Even on a new Mac with 16GB of RAM, I haven’t tried to keep more than 20 going at one time…

            20

            • #
              John Brookes

              I occasionally come across Mac users who have over a dozen apps open, and lots of tabs/windows open in multiple browsers. They complain to me that their Mac doesn’t work properly. I tell them to restart it.

              After that, its like a new machine :-)

              01

            • #
              ZootCadillac

              I often, including now, have many more than 100 tabs ( I can’t be bothered counting, it’s currently above 120 in firefox and 10 or so in chrome for pages where i am having trouble seeing certain video content.
              I’m running photoshop CS6 Nikon’s ViewNX. just noticed I have a further two instances of firefox running for some rapidly updating data I needed to reference quickly, earlier. I have a DVD software player running. ( I’m relaxing with a movie right now )and i have a torrent client running. This PC is on 24 hours a day.

              It’s an 8 core 4ghz AMD Bulldozer with 16GB of 1800mhz ram running Win 7 pro.

              Did a quick check and with all of that my current Memory load is 60%

              So my thoughts would be that 50 tabs are not exceptional or difficult to run if you have the hardware.

              I wish Jo well and will hopefully add something to the pot shortly. Every penny I have is currently being sunk into the frivolous sport of Motorcycle Racing. It’s not cheap ;)

              ——–
              Phew. Thank goodness I’m not the only one. I confess, 10 windows with ten tabs each? yes. Me too. All the time. I stopped counting. jo

              00

          • #
            JohnA

            I’m on OS/2 (where coloured folders stay put) and the most recent releases of Firefox run very badly – sucking memory and causing me to kill it multiple times daily.

            Your description of various symptoms gives me hope (for you) that your problem is primarily software, although the age of your hardware is also a concern. If you are using it heavily every day then wear and tear will be accelerated.

            10

          • #
            EcoGuy

            Hi, sorry to hear about the the problems. First off, if you have the funds, spend $150 or so dollars on a 2tb external USB hard drive and use that as your backup. You need to get away from having your critical data on just one drive. Also backing up to the cloud can be done but that all depends how ‘guaranteed’ the cloud backup is.

            5 years for a laptop in constant use is average. Unless you get a business grade laptop, you won’t get beyond that. HP may not be that ‘sexy’ but they tend to survive better if you avoid the low end units.

            00

      • #

        My laptop developed a stretch with 2 MB of largely unreadable sectors. Whenever something (I think the start up anti-virus pass would hit a bad sector, the disk and OS would spend about 15 seconds trying to read the sector. During this time no other disk activity happened.

        Something like that is likely the source of the flatlining.

        Grinding (bad bearing) noises from disk drives are bad. Sometimes a high quality disk will run for years more, but I wouldn’t expect that from a home computer grade, high density drive.

        I have a replacement disk for the laptop, but managed to get the old disk behaving. I had to write a Python program and run it from the Linux boot – don’t ask.

        I recently replaced my 5 year old desktop system. The new one has a 240 MB SSD. I’ve heard reports they can fail suddenly and completely, so the system also has a 1 TB hard drive and I back up personal files and do a full partition copy nightly on it.

        —–

        I’ll feed your tip jar tonight from home.

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        • #

          Oh – I forgot to mention – there was no odd noise from the laptop disk drive. sometimes, at least decades ago, you might hear noises as the disk “recalibrated” the seek arm by doing seeks to both the outside and inside tracks to get it back in sync.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if disk don’t that now, some have a whole surface dedicated to positioning information and don’t need to recalibrate, they’ll just fail meekly.

          20

      • #
        Mike M

        Hope your HD doesn’t catch fire like mine did! (Really! – black smoke coming out of the back of the box; the PC card on the HD was toasted.)

        30

  • #
    Peter Miller

    “The proven link between computer failure and disbelief in catastrophic climate change” is the subject of Lewandowsky’s latest study.

    See, he was right all along.

    Donation made, hope it helps.

    ——-
    It all helps. Thank you! Jo

    101

  • #
    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

    Jo:

    I usually build my systems or buy used enterprise gear coming off lease. Linux is my OS of choice. The greatest feature of Windows is it causes businesses to replace a lot of perfectly good hardware just because it no longer supports the latest bloatware from Redmond, which then becomes available on the used market at very attractive prices. My main server at home is an ancient IBM Netfinity 5100, with dual 700MHz Pentium III processors and 4GB of RAM (running with 3.5GB due to POST failure on one bank). Running CentOS 5.9, it functions as my mail server, file server, and a bunch of other things. ECC RAM, RAID disk subsystem (15K RPM drives), dual hotswap power supplies make this old beast a solid performer. I’ve had it since 2006, when it was already considered obsolete for a data center and I suspect I will be using it for another 5 years. If it wasn’t for periodic reboots to load updated OS images, it would be up for years instead of months at a time.

    The other rule I follow is: there are two types of disks you can have in your computer: those which have failed and those which will fail. Everything I build has at least mirrored storage and everything is backed up daily. As long as you can recover your data, re-hosting to newer hardware is a possibility. In that regard, if you’re running Linux I highly recommend mondoarchive, which makes a bootable bare metal recovery disk. I use it weekly to make a backup image on each of my systems, so I can recover any one of them (the OS partitions) on different hardware if necessary.

    My desktop system is really of very little concern to me: all the permanent data I care about is on my file server in the basement, which I access over a Gigabit ethernet network from my office upstairs. This is typically where I buy the more modern hardware, display cards, SSDs, etc. The entire box can smoke and burn and I don’t lose anything I care about — it’s all on the server.

    61

  • #

    I agree about the JAVA thing. If you can live without it, DELETE it with extreme prejudice. Ditto for Flash and nearly anything else from Adobe. I would also delete Microsoft’s Silverlight. Especilly if you don’t have to access the Microsoft websites for any reason.

    Also be careful about which anti-virus software you use. I have been reduced to using Microsoft Security Essentials because any other so called protection caused me more problems than they fixed. So far, Security Essentials appears to work without crashing my system. It’s free and worth every penny I paid for it. There may be another workable ones out there but I haven’t found any yet.

    If you have backed up your apparently failing disk drive, why not simply replace it. That can easily be done for much less than $100 USD in the US. I don’t know about component prices where you live. Your IT guy will.

    Unfortunately, your new PC will likely come with that total abomination called Windows 8. If it does, you have my sympathy. It is neither a Mac nor a Windows operating system. It is a hybrid nightmare of the worst aspects of both grafted onto a crippled Windows Phone User Interface. I find it unusable for my purposes and I refuse to use or support it. In fact, I have one of the last Windows 7 computers from HP scheduled to be delivered to me sometime after the 17th of April. It is likely the last PC I will ever buy.

    Good luck with your new PC.

    62

    • #
      PeterB in Indianapolis

      Malwarebytes is fantastic – I love it because it actually works as intended. I gave up on Norton and McAfee products ages ago, as they all act like viruses on your computer now and are nearly impossible to get rid of once you have made the mistake of installing them….

      10

    • #
      PeterB in Indianapolis

      Windows 8 isn’t “horrible”, it is just designed for touch-screen devices, which 99.999% of all desktop computers are NOT.

      You just have to click on one panel to go back to the “Windows 7 style” desktop view, but I wish you could tell Windows 8 to use the classic desktop view as the default setting, especially if you do not have a touch-screen.

      60

      • #

        That makes Windows 8 over the top “horrible” for my purposes. If all you want and need is a large screen Windows Phone, Windows 8 is fantastic. However, I have real work to do and I can’t do it on a touch device. I can actually read and can touch type at up to 70 wpm on a keyboard. I create content (software, technical documentation, political commentary, and the like) and consume much less content than I create. Hence, a touch phone user interface is less than useless for me. It is a total functional disaster!

        I once attempted to make Windows 8 match my purposes. After something like 5 hours of searching, downloading third party software, and finding all the configuration secrets, I was able to produce a system that I could use without wanting to commit suicide afterward. However, it took me from two to ten times longer for me to do anything and it was aesthetically ugly to the point of excruciating pain besides. It was not worth the effort by many orders of magnitude. I dumped Windows 8 and continued to use Windows 7.

        I really don’t know where all of those touch phone users will get all of the content they want to consume even if they are willing to pay for it. Content cannot be efficiently created on Windows 8 and Microsoft is intent on killing anything other than their current OS and their brain dead Surface hardware. Windows 9 promises to be more of the same.

        52

      • #
        bobl

        Apart from Windows 8 wanting to make you puke every time you look at it. The Absence of a start menu is horrible when you are using a mouse and keyboard – It’s like going all the way back to Win 3 Program Manager – Talk about a retrograde step.

        One positive is that Windows 8 will hurry the exodus to Mac/Linux

        Jo, to get a sane interface back, look into Classic Shell which gives you back most of the lost functionality. Metro still contaminates your view from time-to-time but at least with Classic shell it’s tolerable. Classic shell is open source and free to use. Comes with source code (for David to play with)

        Bob

        30

        • #

          I have written an updated version of Windows 3.1 Program manager. It allows me to place ordered sets of shortcuts on the desktop that cannot be “rearranged” by the OS. I can thereby have access to the many programs I use by function and/or task AND not have a cluttered desktop or a filled to overflowing task bar. I have 40 shortcuts in 5 groups on my laptop. More on my desktop.

          The Program Manager was simply poorly implemented but the concept behind it was sound. Especially for people who actually have to produce real results from their computer with a minimum of hassle. Windows Phone type users don’t need it.

          10

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        PeterB:

        Have you tried Classic Shell (open source) or StartMenu8 ( IOBIT, but free) ?

        10

    • #
      crakar24

      Kaspersky

      14

      • #
        crakar24

        Two thumbs down for writing the word

        Kaspersky

        As they say in for a penny in for a pound

        KasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKaspersky
        KasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKaspersky
        KasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKaspersky
        KasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKaspersky
        KasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKaspersky
        KasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKaspersky
        KasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKaspersky
        KasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKasperskyKaspersky

        There that should generate a few more thumbs down

        Cheers

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        I always find it interesting that people are sort of evangelical about the brand of security software they use, but rarely mention the frequency and transparency of security updates.

        We have used a range of products because none are totally secure, but I must admit that I am impressed with the security update processes employed by Kaspersky, on both our Macs and Windows machines (we use both); they are at least daily, and occasionally more frequent than that, and do not appreciably interrupt what we are doing apart from giving a discrete indicator.

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  • #

    A small donation done. Hope you enjoy some Belgian chocolate…


    Thanks! – Jo

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  • #
    Clif Westin

    I’ve lurked for quite a while Jo. Since I feel you are fighting the good fight, what can I do to help, do you have a “tip jar” or some such? Also, as an IT expert, I would strongly recommend that you get two SSD’s and mirror them. They may be good for 5 years but if a sector with you boot loader goes out, as it has done to me on 4 different machines while the rest of the drive is good, then you are up toast. Again, I would suggest two smaller ssd (no more than 128 gig), and mirror them. You can put your data on a regular harddrive to which you will make full disk image backups at least once a week.

    Clif Westin
    Portland, Oregon, USA

    [Glad you found the Tip Jar at top right of page. Jo will appreciate that thanks Clif - Mod]

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  • #

    Highly recommend booting into “Safe’ mode w/networking, then download the free anti-virus scanning software from malwarebytes.org and running that … the freezing really sound suspicious (but, could still the the hardware!)

    BTW, I regularly run an ‘old’ 2004 model Dell Optiplex GX270 and some sites nowadays do slow it down .. upgrading to a couple of Dell Optiplex model 755 Core2 Duos which run *much* faster and one I’ve got is running Windows 7 x64 4GB RAM just fine (vs Xp SP3 on everything else) … The Core2 CPU architecture (and follow ons) are much faster, more streamlined than the old Pentium architecture …

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  • #
    Clif Westin

    found the tip jar, and contributed. Thanks!

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    From your description it’s not entirely clear that the hard drive has failed.

    What error message(s) do you get? Exact text is important.

    Has the system’s speed slowly degraded over time? Or did it suddenly slow down?

    Have you kept it updated from Microsoft? This can be a double edged sword, giving you both good fixes for real problems and new problems at the same time.

    Do you keep it backed up on a local hard drive? Sometimes restoring to an earlier state can save you.

    I’m with Lionell, Windows 8 is eyewash for the “digitally excited generation” as I call them. Impressed with all the goodies but having little real use for most of them. Sadly, that’s the direction of computing. And like Lionell, I’m wondering where I’m going to find my next computer, one oriented toward doing practical work instead of pretending it’s a telephone.

    41

    • #
      PeterB in Indianapolis

      Here in the US you can get a 4.0 Terrabyte USB 3.0 external solid-state hard drive for around $150.00 and use it to back up multiple PCs. Simply partition the external drive so that each PC you are backing up has its own partition.

      Well worth the $150.00 investment… I backed up my PC, my wife’s PC, and both of my kids PCs this way and still had a ton of space left over.

      I still remember buying my first 1 Gigabyte hard drive and paying $199.00 for it ON SALE…. now I just got 4000 times that much space for $49.00 LESS money… ain’t technology grand??

      41

    • #

      Updates on Windows can be a real pain if you run multiple versions of software (like, for example, Word). I try to keep up manually, but it can be annoying. Computers want to do what they want to do.

      00

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Sheri,

        Rules 1 through 3 for Microsoft update:

        1. never allow automatic updates

        2. never allow automatic updates

        3. never allow automatic updates

        Pain is hardly the word. It can be a real nightmare sometimes. :-(

        Then there are other things that all want to automatically update whenever they feel like it. It’s become a real battle to remain in control of your own computer.

        10

        • #

          Well said. The laptop with windows is not essential to my work, so when Windows tries to take it over, I have time to do battle without slowing down my other computer work. :)

          10

  • #

    PS Tip jar ‘hit’. Keep up the good work Joanne.

    60

  • #
    Mark F

    1. Get a fan and cool it off, it may allow you to recover everything. Heat is the enemy.
    2. Windows 8 is a dog. Rumor has it that it will be like Vista in that they’ll offer a retrofit to Win7, and hopefully get mass migration to 7 from XP, which continues to serve me well. Sorta beware every second offering from MS. Win 3.1 good, 95 dog 98 good me dog xp good vista dog win7 not bad but I’m disturbed by the amount of hassle needed to make my older apps run. Just my opinion.

    20

    • #
      PeterB in Indianapolis

      Actually, your list is a bit off:

      Windows 3.0 not bad for a first try, but basically dog
      Windows 3.1 good
      Windows 95 not all that bad, but far from perfect
      Windows 98 AWFUL DOG
      Windows 98 Second Edition AWESOME (why did they screw up the first edition so badly???)
      Windows ME Wait, is this one a JOKE??? Awful crap.
      Windows XP ok, became awesome after Service Pack 3
      Windows Vista 32 bit version crap, 64 bit version better but still a distinct dis-improvement from XP SP3
      Windows 7, much better than Vista, but if you had the 64 bit version of Windows XP SP 3, you still weren’t impressed.
      Windows 8, Windows 7 with a touch-screen interface pasted to it. Works quite well as an operating system actually, but I sure wish you could force it to default to classic desktop view.

      61

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Peter,

        Agree about XP and 3.1. I still run some 16-bit 3.1 apps on my XP computers and I still have support capability for old 16-bit stuff the company did years ago.

        If I was to make any comment about Microsoft’s OS offerings it would be that they became too impressed with becoming all things to all people. But then, they live by selling new versions, don’t they? So what choice do they have?

        10

        • #
          Ace

          gimmicks man…its all gimmicks. I had Windows 7 and was desperate to get back to XP. Which I have now. Thats one problem with consumer ;ead innovation, its all based on SEEMINg to make a better poduct, through gimmicks, while the previous is often better.

          21

          • #
            Yonniestone

            Hey guys, I loved my old XP but recently had to go for WIN 8, I’m trying to get old XP features running on 8 but I’m now 64 bit as well so I’ll just have to make the most of it.
            Did I mention I LOVED XP.

            10

            • #
              crakar24

              Yonnie,

              You can get windows emulators to run older programs on newer versions of software.

              01

              • #
                AndyG55

                Correction, You can get an emulator that is MEANT to run older programs. ;-)

                01

              • #
                crakar24

                Yes i stand corrected

                02

              • #
                Yonniestone

                Yeah I tried to get that working, but after my head spun around 360 and I projectile vomited pea soup every where I gave up and found a happy place.
                I’m VERY basic with computer skills and the most frustrating thing is trying to get something compatible with something else, It’s a never ending crap shoot!

                00

            • #
              Ace

              Another example. Ive been reading widely and found nearly everyone agrees the 12 mpixel CCD Panasonic FZ35 produces much better images than the subsequent 14 mpixel CMOS models up to the FZ100 bells and whistles camera. The sample images prove it. The switch was to facilitate faster higher res HD, but they also stopped providing MPEG for HD which means you have to buy a new computer capable of handling the new format files before you can use the camera.

              Then you get people saying…but the FZ35is three years old…!!!… its out of date!

              Ive successfully used cameras over 60 years old and the images are probably superior to those from either of the above.

              10

      • #
        Mark D.

        What about NT and 2000?????

        21

        • #
          Grant (NZ)

          Server operating systems – most users have never seen them.

          00

        • #
          crakar24

          Yep NT was pretty good, we still use it but now may need to go to Win 7 so are looking at emulators otherwise will need to upgrade several PC’s.

          02

        • #
          PeterB in Indianapolis

          Although they were server operating systems, NT and 2000 worked VERY well on a non-network desktop PC, and both were fantastic for people who were ahead of the game and setting up in-home networks back then :)

          20

          • #
            Mark D.

            PeterB, I’ve been staring at W2000 for 6 years or more (on a computer I bought used!). Works great except that Mozilla won’t update anymore because the OS is now “unsupported”. I have to close Firefox 5 or 6 times a day and run CCleaner to wipe out whatever crap stops up the workings. It depends on what web sites I’m on too, E-bay is the worst. Any site that has video motion freaks Firefox right out.

            Alas, I know this box is tired and needs to be replaced. I just know that will be an ordeal. Ubuntu and Open office is where I’m going next. Bill Gates has enough of my money and I don’t like how he spends it. Many good things are being said about Ubuntu.

            00

      • #
        Grant (NZ)

        Not forgetting the most stable, rock solid version of Windows ever. Window CEMENT (took the best features of each of the OSs and melded them into one) :-)

        I heard that Windows 3.1 was so named because that was the average number of reboots required each day. It was also the reason for the naming of its successor.

        31

      • #
        Bruce of Newcastle

        Windows 7 sucks badly. In Vista and XP open applications string along the bottom of the screen, you can switch between open instances easily with one click.

        You can’t do this with W7, you have to click-hold-move-release to get the active one you want. So if you are doing Excel stuff with multiple open spreadsheets you tear your hair out trying to find the right spreadsheet ALL THE TIME. Drops productivity by half at least. In classic view its better as you get a list, but it is still a lot slower.

        Office is the same. High point was 2003. All the industry types I know try to keep their 2003 Excel, Powerpoint and Word alive on life support. Its been downhill since. I learned this to my chagrin when I was forced to go to Office 2010. It sucks too.

        And don’t give me a hard time for using Windows and Office. Industry uses it everywhere and you’ve got to follow the herds or you starve.

        PS – Tip for choc and chips has gone in!

        40

        • #
          Backslider

          And don’t give me a hard time for using Windows and Office. Industry uses it everywhere and you’ve got to follow the herds or you starve.

          I use Open Office and don’t have an issue with anything generated by Windows, or visa versa.

          30

        • #
          Mike M

          I’m still using Office 97 SP2 and I’m perfectly happy with it. Does a few squirrelly things in XP but I’m used to them.

          2000 was the best OS MS ever released IMO, certainly the most stable I’ve used. Win98 2nd best.

          20

        • #
          Freddy

          “… In Vista and XP open applications string along the bottom of the screen, you can switch between open instances easily with one click.
          You can’t do this with W7, you have to click-hold-move-release to get the active one you want. …”

          Right-click on taskbar, select properties.
          On first tab (labelled “Taskbar”), drop the box labelled “Taskbar buttons”.
          Select “Never combine”.
          Press OK.

          40

      • #
        Streetcred

        Gimmicks all of them … loved my old dirty operating system ;)

        Windows was just a GUI stuck over DOS.

        00

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        PeterB:

        Windows 8 is a mongrel designed by a committee.

        Have you tried Classic Shell (open source) or StartMenu8 ( IOBIT, but free) ?

        Stardock’s Start8 isn’t free – there’s a 30-day free trial. If you’re using Start8 and want to disable the other “Metro” features, you can do so with a $5 program called RetroUI. It’s simple: you can choose to bypass the Windows 8 Start screen after login, or go all-out and get rid of everything: the Start screen, the Charms bar, and hot corners. Make sure you install Start8 first.

        00

        • #
          PeterB in Indianapolis

          I agree that Windows 8 is a mongrel designed by a committee. As Lazarus Long said, “A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.”

          However, I have adapted and for what little I do at home, Windows 8 actually works very well for me.

          I hate to admit it, but I spend far more of my free time at home playing World of Warcraft than doing anything at all useful :)

          00

  • #
    Rob Schneider

    Try soonest the product SpinRite fro http://www.grc.com to recover data and perhaps fix disk.

    30

    • #
      Mike M

      Wholly agree! It literally snatched recovery from the jaws of disaster for me. Got me from non-bootable disk to ‘stable long enough to clone’. Thank you Steve Gibson!

      20

  • #
    AnonyMoose

    Consider using Google’s Chrome browser. I found it to use somewhat fewer computer resources.

    20

  • #
    Varco

    Long time lurker, happy to have donated. Keep up the great work.
    ——————–
    Thanks!

    61

  • #
    Anthony Watts

    I’ve sent a donation, but even more importantly, I’ve sent traffic. Hopefully that will add up.

    170

    • #

      Indeed thanks to Anthony, found the cry for help, otherwise would have missed it as a sporadic lurker (and even more sporadic commenter)…

      90

    • #

      I hereby dedicate my chocolate to Joanne and the thanks can be split between both of you.

      70

    • #

      Dropped off a couple of bills for more ram, get all the box will hold.
      I just got a new top of the line mac book pro with software for making movies, and a free standing back up 2TBHD
      have 750Gig HD on my pc and my new mac 750GigSSD. Good luck on the reload and start up again.

      00

      • #

        Did you give her a bigger tip for mentioning Jupiter?

        I hear Saturn is making it rain in Sydney this week.

        10

        • #

          Why yes I did actually, and It is Saturn’s heliocentric conjunction that is coming up on the 28th just as the moon is maximum South culmination so you can expect to see some extreme weather for the week on either side.

          I am glad you remembered me! New maps are made up until the first of May 2014 at this time. Headed to a max of 2020 with out additional newer database.

          How well is your forecast doing years in advance?

          00

  • #
    Larry S.

    “The Lady’s not for turning.” …but at least now she’ll be able to Tweet.

    Thank you, Jo, and keep up the good work.

    LS

    60

  • #
    Ace

    Wheres your Exxon cheque then?

    [Still waiting for it - Mod]

    41

    • #
      Grant (NZ)

      What??? Yours too????

      I am starting to wonder if the rumours that Big Oil funds climate skeptics is a lie. It couldn’t be?

      10

  • #

    Modest donation ($10) sent. Come on, guys. Help Jo out!

    71

  • #
    David Harrington

    Best of luck Jo.

    $20 US sent

    61

  • #
    clipe

    As Roy Hogue asks, what’s the error message?

    Wouldn’t be a STOP message would it?

    http://aumha.org/a/stop.htm

    10

    • #
      PeterB in Indianapolis

      JAVA was causing my wife’s computer to have BSOD Stop Errors every 10 minutes or so. The Stop Errors went away after I completely removed JAVA from her system.

      Of course, it took me about 4 or 5 HOURS to figure out that it was JAVA causing the problems….

      10

      • #
        clipe

        Here’s my problem with another computer I’m in no rush to deal with. If and when I can get it to boot it stops within minutes and no joy with BIOS or Safe Mode.

        *

        0×00000050: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
        (Click to consult the online MSDN article.)
        Requested data was not in memory. An invalid system memory address was referenced. Defective memory (including main memory, L2 RAM cache, video RAM) or incompatible software (including remote control and antivirus software) might cause this Stop message, as may other hardware problems

        e.g., incorrect SCSI termination or a flawed PCI card). Use the General Troubleshooting of STOP Messages checklist above.

        You receive a Stop 0×00000050 error on a Blue Screen {KB 894278} Win 2000, Win XP, Server 2003 (with concurrent 1003/System entry in Event Viewer: possible Rootkit spyware infestation</i?

        http://support.microsoft.com/kb/894278

        11

        • #

          “0×00000050: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
          (Click to consult the online MSDN article.)
          Requested data was not in memory. An invalid system memory address was referenced. Defective memory (including main memory, L2 RAM cache, video RAM) or incompatible software …”

          .
          At that stage it’s time to find a stand-alone utility to “boot” to and perform some ‘RAM’ memory scans to get some ‘ground truth’.
          .
          I think the UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD) has a set of standalone (don’t require an OS) utilities that can do this .. I went this route on a PC just a few months back to verify integrity of the PC and RAM:
          .
          http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
          “Ultimate Boot CD is completely free for the download”
          .
          In fact, the UBCD will do quite a bit as the website shows … the easiest way to use UBCD is to make a bootable CD, or figure out how to make a USB thumb drive boot-able (I have only used the CD method so far, with good results!)
          .
          I will divulge another ‘trick’ I have used for *decades* now (and not just on PCs and every connector in them, but on a variety of radio gear as well), with no side effects: I wipe all RAM stick contacts with a light coating of WD-40. Yes, WD-40 the stuff in the blue can. CRC “2-26″ Electrical Grade Precision Lubricant is a substitute, but harder to find for the layman. This ‘trick’ is in lieu of using something like Deoxit to keep the metal surfaces from oxidizing, albeit slowly and even if Gold-plated (usually QUITE thinly plated).

          I also apply a bit via cotton swab to disk drive signal and power connectors. I have spent decades now looking at ‘contact issues’ now and this, I would recommend, is the *least* that anyone should do! There are better compounds, but WD-40 has performed quite satisfactorily.

          .

          10

  • #
    Bruce Cunningham

    Thanks for all the hard work Jo. Small donation sent. Good to see someone that really cares about the future. Oz really is a special place as I visited from the US recently, and it would be terrible to see it go to waste as you say, and it just might if we left it to the alarmists.

    Regards

    50

  • #
    graphicconception

    Codling?

    It is surprising what you find out!

    Keep up the good work.

    00

  • #

    I recommend you get Windows 7 if you use Windows, as it is more security (should be a server version if you continue to host yourself). Keep your shields up.

    20

    • #

      .
      On that note, can I can recommend this site which points to files (for download) from the DigitalRiver website (which is MS’s “S/W distribution arm” so these are not ‘crackx’):
      .
      Windows 7 Direct Download Links (on http://heidoc.net/)
      .
      ALL versions of Win 7 are available in many languages, including versions w/SP1 already built-in. Expect a download in the GB range. Note these are “.iso” DVD images suitable for burning in same yielding a bootable Win 7 installation DVD. And it all works! I went through the procedure of installing Win 7 x64 just 4 months or so back.
      .
      Of course, after installation, you’ll have 30 days to evaluate, with the option of ‘extending’ that twice via the “slmgr -rearm” command after which you will need the usual *Activation Key* (around 140 US from Amazon; see link at website above).
      .
      This may be old news to the IT professionals, but offered here as a service to those not always ‘in the know’ on such subjects!
      .

      01

  • #
    Evgueni

    I saw the appeal on Anthony’s website, so a small contribution has been sent.

    30

  • #
    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

    A small donation from me is in your chocolate fund. Life is too short to spend nursing sick hard drives.

    50

  • #
    Norman Hills

    Donation made, keep up the good work Jo.

    Cheers
    Norman

    30

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Jo, I don’t know if this helps but if you know a good local computer shops that build their own systems you can get a pretty good deal, and a system that suits your needs.
    I got mine like this 5 years ago and it’s still better than most new systems plus I can go back for support (which I haven’t needed).
    We’ve decided to make a regular donation as I believe in looking after our own first.
    Also I’ve a hunch that your being funded by big oil might just be Bu%$#@*T :)

    50

  • #
    Jockdownsouth

    Modest donation from a pensioner. Keep up the good work!

    40

  • #
    Phil Ford

    Hi Jo,

    Unfortunately I’m not ‘Big Oil’ so sadly I can’t make a huge financial donation to you, but by way of consolation I’ve made a modest, affordable financial contribution just to say thanks for all your hard work in fighting the good fight on the site and to help pay for your new wizzy PC.

    From just one of your many (long time) UK readers.

    PS: You PC spec sounds great. As a professional graphic designer who for years worked with Macs (it’s still almost obligatory in the creative industry), I can safely say that since my conversion to Windows PCs I’ve honestly never looked back.

    50

  • #
    Reed Coray

    Jo, if you keep eating all that chocolate, you’re going to gain weight. What does David have to say about that? And remember, chocolate is NOT good for a computer.

    Donation sent. Good luck with your new computer.

    60

  • #
    TimiBoy

    I love your work Jo. I have not donated, because I am under the boot of the Government, struggling to survive in the Construction Industry. When things turn (and they will, they always do!) I shall be very generous, because you deserve it. Thanks.

    41

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    Small tip.

    51

  • #
    Sonny

    Jo need a new computer?
    Finally a real life anthropogenic catastrophe!

    40

  • #
    Robert Scott

    After much aggro with Paypal, I eventually managed to throw ten bucks in your direction. Initially my fault for not following Anthony’s link but what is it with Aussie sites that makes them refuse credit cards and only accept debit cards? Not your fault I know but…..

    Anyhow, keep up the good work.

    Bob S

    50

  • #
    Winston

    $50 tip attended. You are a pearl and worth far more than that even. Hope it helps.

    80

  • #
    Ace

    Windows B is a strangely clueless name from a marketing point of view. Rather than windows “8″ it looks like “winsows B”. Which is what I wrote first. Did you even notice? So its like they are bringing out a product that is “B” grade from the very start!

    At least George Eastman had the savvy to think of a product name that meant nothing in any language but sounded like the product in use (Kodak). And Rolls Royce had the sense at the last minute to not call the successor to the Silver Ghost the Silver Mist (which would mean a cows turd in German).

    10

  • #
    myrightpenguin

    Done, you are worth your weight in gold. Keep up the good work.

    60

  • #
    bobl

    Easiest fix is to remove the HD – plug it into another PC or put it in a usb caddy. Plug it into a Unix Based system with free space larger than the hard drive you want to copy and take an image of the harddrive before it fails completely, don’t muck around with file copies. Image copies do not need a lot of head movement.

    Once you have an image copy you can either write it out to another disk, and plug it in to a windows box, or download Virtualbox and run the image in that to get file access. (There are a few tricks to get that working that David can probably handle) – You need to tell virtualbox where the partitions start. You can then use the image on that monster new system that is headed your way.

    You can do the same thing with ghost using windows.

    There are many other ways to achieve this, drop me a line and I’ll walk you through it.

    20

  • #
    Jimmy Haigh

    Done. Jo does a superb job – glad to be able to help out a little.

    50

  • #
    handjive

    Talking of money.

    The Next Domino: Australia Doubles Tax On Retirement Savings (via zero hedge.com)

    The really offensive part about this is that the government is going to tax people’s savings ‘on both ends,’ meaning that people are taxed on money they move INTO the retirement fund, and now they can be taxed again when they pull money out.

    The Cyprus debacle drew a line in the sand–
    - fleecing people with assets, or income, in excess of 100,000 dollars, euros, etc. is now acceptable.

    This is the definition of ‘rich’ in the sole discretion of governments.

    Comments are very interesting.
    Comment #4 by pladizow re: The Economist (1/9/1988) Title of article: Get Ready for the Phoenix
    (as are many comments below #4).


    Here is RBA boss Glenn Stevens endorsing the Cyprus debacle:

    ❝ Mr Stevens told an ASIC forum on Tuesday that global markets were in a ”better place” now than a few days ago.
    ”The reconstructed deal, as I understand it … is a better one than the initial proposal,” he said. ❞

    51

    • #
      Winston

      To modify Maggie Thatcher’s quote- socialists never run out of other people’s money, they just have to be more creative in “acquiring” it, by fair means or foul.

      Cypress was a game changer, as I alluded to in a previous thread, where theft became the new normal, all to preserve an EU that no citizen actually wants or voted for, and which is slowly squeezing the life out of those participants at the base of the pyramid for the benefit of the few at the apex.

      70

    • #
      Safetyguy66

      Nice to see someone else who reads Zero Hedge, great site.

      The thing that really dropped my jaw, was how few people this is aimed at, ergo how few people have more than 2mil in their super (16000 odd). We are constantly told by ads on super that we need 300-500K minimum to retire, so 2mil just doesn’t seem like that much and the fact that so few people have that much in their account is a bit of a sad indictment on the whole system if you ask me. Then to not even consider that some of these accounts are meant to service a whole family not just an individual who has had the impertinence to do too well in this ever pinkening(I made a word) society of ours.

      Its just so typical of this government to think it can dispense with the whole notion of private property, which is essentially the end game.

      81

      • #
        Bruce of Newcastle

        ZH is an every dayer for me, which is why I was bemused this morning that I couldn’t answer the first 3 questions but I could answer the fourth…

        No it is not 16,000. That is a number plucked from the ether. It is 15% of any super earnings over $100k, which means anyone who for example sells a rental property in their SMSF. Or if you have $500,000 and have a good ASX year. The 16,000 is a smokescreen.

        Well, assuming they get kicked out of office when we finally get an election we probably don’t have to worry about it. But it is the usual story with this bunch of idiots, always great fluffy dollops of completely dishonest spin with every stupid policy. Hawke and Keating must be embarassed to be seen in their company. I really wish it was September already, not least to get rid of the dumb carbon tax.

        50

      • #

        Hear Hear!

        Zerohedge.com is like the proverbial “Wild Wild West” all over again! Great give and take among all posters no matter their persuasion. I *first* read about Cypress and the banking ‘haircut’ there before any other lamestream media outlets picked it up (‘daze’ later LOL)!

        20

      • #
        ExWarmist

        The actual net is far larger in it’s cast.

        You only have to make $100k in a given financial year to fall into it.

        So if you had $500K in super and made a $20% gain which you cashed out – you will be hit with this tax.

        (That’s my current understanding – still delving – as I’m not sure I’m right).

        00

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          The other lurk is at the middle end and will trap far more.
          If you own your home and have $150,000 in super providing part of your income plus some pension (the average situation) then the changed “deeming” rules will cost you $26 per week from the government pension.
          Thus your $115 per week which you must take out will reduce your overall income by $26 per week.

          So now we know their definition of “super rich”; it’s anybody in or near the top 50% of retirees.

          If the pollies super was put on the same basis as normal, then we wouldn’t hear anything about taxing the super rich, as they would be near the top of the list.

          00

  • #
    Safetyguy66

    Tossed a few coins in the jar, hope it helps.

    Stupid computers breaking down! I blame global warming!! *runs for cover* :D

    61

  • #
    sawgrass

    An excellent untility for retrieving data from a defective hard drive is SpinRite v6.0 from the GCR.com. Find it here:

    http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

    There’s lots of other great security info there too.

    Many have been amazed at how it recovers data from disks that seemed lost.

    It’s also great fro hard drive maintenance which none of us think about very often if at all.

    20

  • #

    Over the years, I have done a number of complete rebuilds from scratch, each time upgrading the computer.

    I’ve found a couple of clues to get mobile soon, and the biggest tip is to have a caddy that plugs in via a USB and once loading the base programs up, you can copy across all your personal data. I have two caddies, one with a HD that has just programs, for a fast get back until you find the time to finish a complete rebuild, (and defrag often as you rebuild) and a second caddy with a HD for all my music, all now digitised.

    However, right from the start, before anything happens, I found a big clue, when I opened up the box after frying the processor.

    There’s a (very large) heat sink, and up the list of comments here, someone mentioned how heat is your enemy here. That heat sink has a number of fins on it, well, naturally, to dissipate the heat.

    That heat sink gets covered in dust, and it will surprise you to see how much. The dust diminishes the heat dissipation capability, by acting as an insulating blanket, and if it is covered in dust, then the heat that is not dissipated is what fries the processor.

    Every few months or so now, I’ll turn everything off, disconnect all the USB’s etc and remove the box, take off the cover and clean out the inside of the box, and here, It’s usually only that large heat sink, and the blades of the cooling fan.

    I have a couple of artists brushes, the soft ones, one fat and one thin, and I just (gently) brush the dust off that heat sink.

    If any of you do this, I can already sense the hairs on the back of your neck prickling up as you realise just how much dust there is.

    Since realising this, I haven’t cooked a processor once, and really, it only happened the one time, and while you think it’s the HD that is shot, and the despair that that gives you, once I got the caddy, did the recover, all the data was still there, and that’s the frightening thing, thinking you’ve lost all that data.

    There are so many tips here, I couldn’t detail them. It’s just a matter of doing it all, and having done it a number of times, it’s routine now, and I even have notes I refer to, now I’m an older guy and I can’t remember it all at first flush.

    Also, remember Backup backup backup.

    Now on a related matter, electrical power (hey, surprise surprise) and I know it’s off topic, so forgive me for that.

    Remember how I’ve been harping on about how the CO2 Tax is raising electricity bills, and how just a section of the Residential sector gets relief from those increases, and that’s part of the 20% (Residential power consumption) of total electrical power consumption.

    People equate their electricity bills down to their own personal level, eg, what they pay, and do not realise how much is paid in the other 2 sectors, and some of you may remember how I got into a huge argument when some didn’t believe how much of an increase there was in non residential sectors, when I said that the increase could in fact be in the tens of thousands of dollars, and people scoffed at me for that.

    OK, here’s one small industrial business here in Rockhampton.

    Their increase in the power bill over the last year, just since the introduction of this iniquitous CO2 Tax is, and hey, wait for this ….. $250,000 per year.

    That’s not the total bill, just the increase.

    Keep in mind your average residential power bill comes in at around $450 for the Quarter, or around $150 per Month, This small business is paying between $16,000 and $23,000 for electricity ….. PER MONTH.

    A number of Companies, small businesses and Industry alike are now in trouble because of that increase.

    So much for just those derdy polluders paying for this tax.

    Read the article and recoil in horror. This is just one of many.

    These costs get passed down to all of us in the increase in the cost of their products.

    Now, also, imagine the increase in Coles and Woolies electricity bills, probably millions for each store. Those costs are recovered in the form of raised prices for their products, and luckily, being so large, Coles and Woolies can spread it across the whole Country, resulting in you paying more at the checkout for your groceries.

    This isn’t power generators paying for their emissions. It’s us, the consumer paying for those emissions through the increase in the cost of electricity.

    Energy costs are killing Rockhampton businesses

    Tony.

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    • #
      crakar24

      Tony,

      Dont forget about the heat sink paste.

      Cheers

      23

      • #
        crakar24

        Tony,

        Read the link but it does not explicitly state the “carbon tax” yes they drop hints but this is nt enough to sway the believer.

        To all,

        Regarding overheating of a CPU, in Vista you have the functionality to turn down the wick, there is a setting somewhere (cant remember where) but you can reduce the processing speed of the CPU.

        Symptoms of over heating is a sudden, unannounced, abrupt, immediate shutdown, i does not sound as though this is Jo’s problem.

        33

        • #

          Perish the thought that they even mention the CO2 tax, and draw down on them the Carbon Cop regulators from the Federal Government.

          Not one person, anywhere has been game to mention that the cause of their electricity rise has been due to the CO2 Tax.

          However, that has been the ONLY cause for the rise of electricity costs in the last 12 Months.

          They say ….. “Hey look over there, isn’t that Britney Spears.” What they really mean is “Hey, this is all down to the CO2 Tax”, which is a rise of 17 to 25% in electricity costs.

          On Day One of the introduction of the Tax, every power retailer issued new Tariff charges for every scale of every sector.

          Tony.

          53

      • #
        Mike M

        I swear that it the exact same stuff I used to have to smear over my kids’ bottoms ~30 years ago to prevent diaper rash but at ten times the price?

        00

        • #
          crakar24

          Amoline for a babies butt? Yes you can still by it and i dare say would do a better job than the paste.

          Cheers

          PS I wonder if the tards will give me more thumbs down, please give me more i just love it when you do.

          13

    • #
      Byron

      Tony ,
      On the dust in the computer issue , I`ve had to do a few repairs where the power supply had cooked due to so much fluff and dust in it that it looked like someone had tried to stuff a possum into the back of the computer . My preferred method of cleaning them before they get to that stage is to use an air compressor jet and blow the crud out as it gets all the little nooks and crannies that brushing can`t reach and has less chance of causing a static discharge where You least need it . The other thing I also do to reduce the risk of static discharge is to leave it plugged in ( but turned off ) when cleaning so that the case is earthed .

      00

    • #
      Mattb

      “This small business is paying between $16,000 and $23,000 for electricity ….. PER MONTH.”

      I assume you mean “MORE for electricity”.

      What is their bill? the increase is a wee fraction of it.

      12

    • #
      Mattb

      “”In our own case we were facing a $250,000 increase in our electricity bill for just 12 months, how do you find that sort of money?”

      Dobinson’s Spring and Suspension usually has a monthly electricity bill of between $16,000 to $23,000 a month under Tariff 37.”

      Sorry Tony this makes no sense. he usually has a bill of about $250k a year, but claims to be facing an increase of $25,000… and you’re claiming that a DOUBLING in his costs would be due to the carbon tax.

      what a crock.

      12

      • #
        Mattb

        and to add… when you look again you realise he was only maybe going to face the increase because they were changing the tariff rate, but now it turns out they are probably not. great story.

        12

  • #
    Mark D.

    Jo, a little something is on the way. Please absorb the energy provided by all these fine folks and continue on with renewed vigor (and a new computer.

    I’m impressed, from time to time, with the good side of human nature.

    Wonder if JB or Matt will cough up. I don’t wonder about Maxine or N.O.ise however.

    111

    • #
      crakar24

      Haaaaaaaaaaa they would be dancing in the streets Mark, they would rather stick pins in their eyes than donate a brass razoo.

      53

    • #
      Mattb

      I’m not donating as I’d rather cure cancer than subsidise climate crank hobbies.

      115

      • #
        Backslider

        I’d rather cure cancer

        Really? So what are you doing in that regard? I’m all ears.

        10

        • #
          Mattb

          I donate to charities that are addressing a range of cancers. I’m sure many others here do too. My point is we all have a pool of $$ that we distribute as we see fit, and this blog is not one of my priorities.

          01

          • #

            My point is we all have a pool of $$ that we distribute as we see fit, and this blog is not one of my priorities.

            What you’re telling us is that you’re the type of person who goes to a footy club week in week out for years, spends a lot of time there but as soon as the club needs a little help, you refuse to contribute.
            You’re happy for everyone else to do the lifting whilst you get the benefits.

            Benefiting off the backs of others, A PARASITE.

            A parasite you always were, a parasite you always will be Matt.

            [SNIP. Nope -- Jo]

            p.s. Your attitude to this subject is exactly why you will never ever be a successful public servant come politician. You’ll always be the little try-hard that most people tolerate as the harmless little turd.

            43

            • #
              Mattb

              “What you’re telling us is that you’re the type of person who goes to a footy club week in week out for years, spends a lot of time there but as soon as the club needs a little help, you refuse to contribute.”

              and I get accused of terrible analogies. This is like me going to the footy but not buying YOUR team’s merchandise.

              [SNIP quoting SNIPPED. Sorry I didn't catch it sooner -Jo]

              key
              board
              warrior

              12

      • #

        To everyone who is not happy with Mattb–did you send a donation to SkS?

        10

  • #
    crakar24

    Jo,

    I sent an email not sure if you got it but you can go and see this guy

    http://www.accessantennas.com.au/perth-discount/laptops/asus-laptops/

    and get an ASUS laptop its a better lappy for the money than you will get at most places and comes with the added advantage of being able to play battlefield3 quite well when you are not blogging (fun for all the family).

    Cheers

    43

    • #

      hey crakar24,

      I’m not one much for games, but s a friend showed the original Myst and that snagged me.

      Best game I have ever played at that time. Took ages to work through that, and then I got Riven, and again, ages to get through that, and then onto Exile, all continuations of the original Myst.

      Then, (and I have no idea why I even went in there in the first place, as it’s the first time I ever went into a computer Gaming shop) I found a boxed set of all 5 games. It had been out for a while and obviously no one wanted it. It had already been marked down twice, and the guy knocked it down even further for me, and I got it for $15, all 5 games.

      I’m still working through the fourth game, but I don’t get much time for games these days.

      Fascinating games all of them. Great graphics too.

      And hey, here’s an insight. In the early days when I first started with computers back in the early 90′s, I loved the original Lemmings and Commander Keen IV.

      Tony.

      32

      • #
        crakar24

        Hey Tony you did not strike me as the gamer type, i dont get much time to play either but when i do it is on Battle Field 3 (BF3), before that was BF2 and before that not much.

        BF3 is a first person shooter game (war) that is predominantly played online. It can be very frustrating at times but i seem to get this perverse satisfaction of sneaking up to a tank and blowing it up with C4 or shooting down an attack helicopter with a stinger.

        Cheers

        Crakar24 (which happens to be my name in BF3 so if there are any players out there drop me a line LOL)

        32

        • #

          Funny you mention screen names, and the first time you used them, and how they then carry over to other places where they get used.

          I first started using mine when I went to the Mothers Car Care site, back in May of 2005, and it just stuck with me.

          I, umm, had to explain it for my American friends though, and occasionally still do, and that’s no reflection on them, as even though we have a major number of similarities, they still can’t quite figure some of ways we, umm, use our language.

          Tony.

          31

      • #
        AndyG55

        Darn , the only games I seem to get time to play are Word, Excel and Fortran ! :-(

        20

        • #
          crakar24

          No Matlab? You dont what you are missing, its a great game to play………NOT.

          22

          • #
            AndyG55

            and of course Visual Basic through the Excel macro.. not !

            No, I don’t use Matlab much, thank goodness.

            10

          • #
            AndyG55

            now why would somebody bother giving you a thumbs down for that comment.. you really have to wonder about the mentality, hey ;-)

            10

            • #
              crakar24

              As i said to Heywood today, i have pissed a few warmbots off (too many to mention) therefore i believe my work here is done.

              11

              • #
                AndyG55

                Well done then.. and wear those down thumbs with pride

                I must admit I often give a down to the resident CAGW morons without actually commently.

                Mainly because I’ve got to the ‘why bother’ stage with these ignorant fools.

                21

  • #
    Mark D.

    they would rather stick pins in their eyes

    That could be good for the cause no? (especially if a really long pin was used)

    than donate a brass razoo

    What is a razoo my Aussie acquaintance? By the way you have seen the price of scrap brass lately?

    40

  • #
    janama

    I’m going to upset a few here with a rant

    a $10 donation is a f**kin joke – don’t bother. If you want to donate to Joanne do it in multiples of $50.00.
    You come to this site everyday for free, based on 350 day and a $50 donation that’s 7c/day – cheaper than your ABC and way better.

    [I know Jo is grateful for any contribution which is welcome - Mod]

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    • #
      Backslider

      That is really out of line Janama… big time.

      40

    • #
      Mark D.

      Tough love for sure. I feel the sentiment Janama, but 10 people with $10 or 20 with $5 or even less will still help I think. People need to feel comfortable with what they can afford.

      I’m not upset.

      80

    • #
      shauno

      That is a silly comment not every one can afford to donate if all they can spare is $5 then great at least its some thing.

      00

    • #

      Janama, thankyou for looking out for me. I’m flattered. :- )
      You are right that this has been an expensive battle, and most of the people who benefit will never even say thanks, let alone make a tip. It is out of all proportion.

      On the other hand, I do appreciate any help I can get.

      I’ve had notes from people on pensions with not much to spare from the other side of the world, and it’s funny how motivating that is.

      I really do appreciate this. I was, am, really surprized.

      61

  • #
    Frank of Beecroft

    500 chocolates on its way to you.
    Keep up the good work
    Regards
    Frank Murray

    —————
    Indeed! I see that. Thank you! Jo

    50

  • #
    Streetcred

    WUWT Jo Nova says: April 9, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Not to be too precious though, if I had $1 from all my readers I would be doing so well that there would be hordes of liberty bloggers and science writers clamouring to get their share too.

    Besides, $10 for a person without means is worth a lot more than $1,000 from a person of “fabulously wealthy” means.

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  • #
    Michael

    I can loan you a SpinRite boot disk if you want. This will attempt to fix the hard drive. It comes highly recommended. I am in Perth. If it worked I would then encourage you to buy it from SGRC.

    ———————–
    Michael, thank you. I didn’t expect an offer like that. Since I have rescued the data, and am Very Keen on moving to a 64bit, I have the luxury (thanks to the good readers here) of letting this disc die a peaceful death. Appreciate the offer. – Jo

    30

  • #
    crakar24

    Just had a thought, maybe we should donate a dollar for every thumbs down we have ever been given.

    Jb and MattB please send ginormous cheque (like you see on deal or no deal) to

    Joanne Nova
    PO Box 752
    Morley
    Western Australia 6943

    71

    • #
      crakar24

      Ah now i know why i have a secret thumbs down admirer, shit thats funny.

      I take it all back, to whoever is giving me the thumbs down for innocuous comments…..i dibs me lid to you and thanks for playing along.

      Cheers

      02

    • #
      Mattb

      Lol I get 100 times more thumbs down than I give. Possibly a thousand times more. If the new computer is paid for on a per thumbs down basis well I agree I generated a truck load.

      03

      • #
        AndyG55

        No, you moron, donations are more likely linked to thumbs up, and you generate NOTHING,

        NADA, ZIP.

        Because that’s what you are.. . . a nothing, an empty waste of time and space.

        00

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Did someone mention chocolate?
    That bit is funny. So, I just bought some chocolate futures? Or maybe I bought Jo some chocolate. I am late to this party and hope y’all have already bought her the new computer. Then she can get some chocolate too. Cheers to all!
    From east of the Cascades in Washington State, USA.

    50

  • #
    val majkus

    Hi Jo
    picked up your call for help at WUWT and happy to oblige
    agree with Tony – backup backup backup!
    and getting a computer hand made is a great suggestion – I’ve done that will all computers I’ve had for the last 15 years or so
    good luck with the new computer!

    70

  • #
    janama

    well – I run a forum that has over 15,000 members and gets 80,000 hits per day. I have a donate button just like Joanne and from my experience last year I had donations in $5 and $10 donations and I doubt I received enough to cover one month’s data expenses.

    I’m sure Joanne has many readers, as she said on WUWT, but she gets very few donors, I know because I’ve discussed it with her. That’s why I suggest that if you are prepared to donate, and there’s not many of you, at least make it worthwhile.

    60

    • #
      AndyG55

      While I understand, some of us are temporarily on low incomes. :-(

      I will give what I can when my pay comes in tonight.

      83

    • #
      crakar24

      Janama,

      It depends on the individuals situation, if someone donates $5 thats is not to say they are cheap bastards as that may be their last $5. Some of us may donate more possibly $50 or even $100 but this is simply because they may have a few extra bucks lying around at this particular time, next pay fortnight may be a different story.

      When people like Jo or your self began this journey it was not on the proviso that it was a user pay system, i dont want to sound presumptous here but if i were Jo i would be happy to recieve whatever help i can get be it $100 or only $5.

      In the end every little bit helps, it all adds up and makes it easier for Jo to continue. I would agree with one thing you say and that is that if you have enjoyed the fruits of Jo’s labor over the years then you should donate………even a dollar would be enough.

      I for one have donated 1 trillion Zimbabwean colored beads.

      Cheers

      82

      • #
        AndyG55

        Was at the computer fair the other day. you can get a pretty zipped up system for $700-$800

        That’s 40 people giving $20 each.. Of course if you start putting in 250Mb SSD’s and massively fast games boards etc, the price does tend to jump a bit !

        20

        • #
          AndyG55

          Jo, If you do get a 250Gb SSd, and use it as the system drive, you will be amazed at how much quicker things work.

          I put in a 90Gb (wish I’d got a bigger one, but funds !) Sweet. But make sure you get one of the really fast ones.

          My work computer is still using a HDD, and even though the chip is an i7, I still find my home computer opens stuff much quicker.

          40

          • #
            Byron

            Always pays to check the specs on SSDs though as some of the cheap n`nasty ones have worse sustained read/write rates than a quality conventional hard drive

            30

            • #
              AndyG55

              Yep, worth paying for the really good ones.. mine is a Corsair. 285 write/read iirc. pretty much the quickest available when I bought it.

              makes a HDD look like a dinosaur. basically no pause on opening any application.

              Still, considering updating to a bigger, quicker one.

              00

              • #
                Byron

                Check the prices , might be cheaper and waaaaay faster to buy another Corsair and go a raid array if your Mobo supports bootable raid arrays

                00

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Hear Hear! crakar24,
        I’ve collected for CFA, RSL before and it always amazes me how quickly those gold coins add up.
        Some of the people that give clearly cannot afford to but they do, sometimes you shed a tear for these kind actions.

        “I for one have donated 1 trillion Zimbabwean colored beads”
        Dodgy Geelong bugger!

        70

        • #
          crakar24

          Yonnie,

          Just rechecked my figures and i forgot to carry a 1 i actually donated 1 Brazillion Zimbabean colored beads which equates to about 105USD i believe.

          Cheers

          12

        • #
          AndyG55

          Heres a tip.. collect all those 5c coins in a pot or jar, and when someone comes door to door collecting for something reasonably worthwhile, put a couple of hand5c coins in a plastic bag just hand it to them.. no receipt needed.. let them count it for themselves.

          How to get rid of shrapnel !! :-)

          00

    • #

      Janama has been a big help behind the scenes for a long time. (Thank you J!)

      When he says “few donors” I think he’s referring to a conversation we had about support from serious donors like corporations, of which there are none. We were discussing the sleeper that is Australian business. Technically, I have a long list of supporters, though nothing remotely like the $ support/salary/packages/grants/junkets of people who call us names, break laws of logic and trash the tenets of science. Janama is right that in the long run, the free citizens and businesses need to realistically support a counter industry to the self-propagating “big-government” which grows until something stops it. (But what stops it?) When the media sides with big-government and the entitlement culture, and the opposition only slows the growth of government and still feeds the machine, there is no organised entity to stop the rot. We need a real watch-dog speaking for the producers against the parasites.

      At the moment hobby-bloggers are having an extraordinary effect, but it’s not a sustainable lifestyle. People come and go and burn out (Delingpole, Monckton, Steyn, all have spent months out of action at some point, it’s a high pressure hobby. Simon Turnhill would be able to write a lot more on ACM if he had financial support).

      Mental tennis is stimulating but it doesn’t put food on the table, or pay school fees, or kids sport. It doesn’t clean the house, fix the hot-water system, or put petrol in the car.

      If we, the citizens of the west want better government, waiting for hope n change is not a plan. The free market works — analysts and critics will be where the rewards are. At the moment there are many rewards for people who grow the government and virtually none for those who limit it.

      Freedom does not come for free…

      153

  • #
    AndyG55

    Jo, you have tried taking the memory out and re-seating it, haven’t you ?

    Give the machine a thourough blow out with compressed air from a can, as well.

    30

    • #
      Mike M

      Another tip from my own horrid experience – if you have ANY sort of plastic, (especially nylon which gets brittle in dry conditions over time), involved in applying the force holding a heat sink/fan assembly against the processor on an older MB – REPLACE IT!!!!

      The ‘hard’ware design for those older P4 MB heatsink attachments, specifically the frame that attaches to the MB, (mine was an ‘AMCO’), was designed by either an idiot or a demonic mechanical designer, (take your pick..). When you study it closely you discover that the several pounds of tension to hold the HS against the processor is being supplied through a net cross-sectional area of plastic, (four hook slots each with 2 legs = 8 of them), totaling less than 0.1 square inches resulting several hundred psi tensile stress via plastic – for years.

      If any one of those teenie tiny plastic legs breaks, its brother on that corner will immediately let go, the cam-clamp on that side, (of the two on the assembly), lets go resulting in a little bit of force left from the clamp on the other side resulting in the entire HS assembly cocking to that side resulting in little to no thermal connection between the HS and the processor.

      It’s what killed my very stable Win98 SE machine on an ASUS P4B MB that I was still using to write small VB 5.0 applications for specialized CNC machining routines, (and admittedly, play some older games once in a while).

      20

  • #

    [...] Nova’s computer has crashed and assistance is requested for a replacement so Jo can continue her unpaid efforts. I have just donated the entire take from [...]

    90

  • #
    Nice One

    Make sure you get an eco friendly one.

    511

    • #
      AndyG55

      All computers are friendly to the environment..

      They use coal based electricity that provides CO2 to the atmosphere as a highly beneficial by-product.

      121

      • #
        AndyG55

        This why we should thank the MET, CSIRO, BOM etc for wanting even more powerful computers so they can continue to produce that extra, nature enhancing, CO2.

        70

        • #
          AndyG55

          They also use FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR LESS rare earth metals, with their horrendous manufacturing environmental damage, than wind turbines.

          90

          • #
            Bob Malloy

            Andy, when you say horrendous, I take it you are referring to THIS.

            10

            • #
              AndyG55

              And that picture is several years old now. !!

              And the greenie WWF, Greenpiece type environmentalists (not) DON’T CARE, just like they DON’T CARE about all the avian life disected by those wind turbines.

              20

  • #
    Streetcred

    WOW there are some awesome people here and amongst the world wide sceptic community … I hope that Jo can get a ‘super’computer ;)

    Let that be a lesson to that liar Mann and his sycophantic disciples … see what WE can do without $millions government and corporate support that the frauds extort !

    60

  • #
    NoFixedAddress

    Hi Jo,

    see… Climate Change is real!

    Ignore it all you like but when your hard disk drive ‘freezes’ on you it is proof positive that the Earth Goddess is trying to tell you that the Angry Summer is striking back!

    I think I will report this to ‘Lew’ and he will get some funding and prove that Gaia is real.

    After all 97% of Climate Scientist agree.

    20

    • #
      NoFixedAddress

      PS

      from personal bitter experience make sure that your electricity supply from your UPS and the computers internal power supply are still operating as they should.

      20

      • #
        gbees

        there are some great UPS units now. But Jo’s issue may be a defrag issue. Jo, you can download a free copy of Defraggler… here http://www.piriform.com/defraggler

        21

        • #
          Gbees

          I still would like to see the level of disk fragmentation. A badly fragmented disk can cause all the problems you list. Use the windows defrag utility to analyze the fragmentation and let me know what it is. The windows defrag utility however is no good for the defrag if required. That’s why I suggested Defraggler. My disk was 52% fragmented. It is now 4% and running without crashes, blue screens, disk access noises etc.

          10

  • #
    gbees

    Have donated Jo. thanks to you & David … keep up the great work …

    60

  • #
    gbees

    “I don’t think I’ve lost emails, but I can’t see them right now.”

    If you use Microsoft Outlook they will be in a .PST file .. it can become corrupted but can be retrieved …

    Search for your .PST file ..

    START –> SEARCH –> ALL FILES and FOLDERS –> All or Part of a Filename –> *.pst

    Should find your Outlook.pst file ….

    Once found we can determine if it needs to be recovered …

    30

  • #
    Canberra Quack

    Hope the small donation helps to keep the good work you do going.

    Remember, not all of us in the national capital are leftist sheep.

    80

  • #
    Considerate Thinker

    Chocolate fund fed Joanne.

    50

  • #
    skew wif

    I have read your blog for a long time now and think you do a great job.
    Regarding your new PC I have just upgraded my PC and now have a Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4 motherboard with 16GB DDR3 ram you can have if that helps. I live in Perth if that also helps. I haven’t read the comments to this post so I don’t know if the offer is suitable.
    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3910#bios

    —-

    Wow. Skew. Thanks. The donations mean I will be right. But that’s a generous offer and not one I expected. Im touched.:- ) Cheers – Jo

    60

  • #
    Brett_McS

    Tip done. Should go some way toward a backup drive!. 2 or 3 TB should do the trick.

    70

  • #
    Mickey Reno

    I’d like to join in the chorus of praise for the thought and hard work you do to keep your excellent blog chugging along. Thank you so much.

    Good advice above wrt an external USB disk dock for your old drive.

    But before you do that, and pull the drive from your old computer, here’s a suggestion which has helped me in the past (my OS is still Windows XP, but I believe there’s an equivalent in the newer versions of Windows-Vista/7/8/Server 2003). Move the Windows swap file.

    To do that, go into the System Properties applet (usually found in the Control Panel folder), and go to the “Advanced” tab, click the “Performance” button, click ITS “Advanced” tab, then click the “Change” button in the Virtual Memory section. You should now be on the Virtual Memory dialog. Now click the no paging file option. Shut down immediately and reboot into safe mode. In safe mode, immediately defrag the hard drive. If it completes with no crashes, reboot normally, repeat the above steps to get back to the Virtual Memory dialog, and then click the “System Managed Size” button to allow a new page file to be created. Reboot again.

    This set of procedures may isolate or “spare” bad disk sectors, and it can move lesser used files to weaker sectors that the swap file had occupied (the swap file is written very frequently, which can tax a disk sector’s magnetic storage capabilities). If your crashes are coming because of failing disk sectors in the swap file, your computer might work fine if the swap file is recreated in a new area of the disk. Of course, this is not a guarantee of anything. But it requires no new hardware (but it does take some time).

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  • #

    Wow. I’m back (at the toy screen) and I really am amazed. Spectacular! This is all just so helpful, I have so many thank-you’s to give so many people. Wow. Contributions are still coming in and from all over the world. It’s humbling.

    Forgive me in the comments for not saying thankyou individually to all the useful offers — some that I didn’t expect, and for the helpful information too. I really did not anticipate such a big response, and I’m most grateful.

    It is very useful indeed. Brilliant!

    Merci!

    Jo

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      If I may offer a wry comment here.

      Imagine if something like this happened, say to (that conspiracy theory guy).

      I wonder how many people from across the Planet would be donating to his tip jar for him to buy a new system.

      Naah! He’d get on the blower and book it up as part of his latest Government grant, and make sure he got the best of everything, and then have somebody else put it all together for him, ready for him to just resume operations as before.

      In this case, the people are helping out Joanne and doing it willingly, and in his case the people are helping him out……….

      Tony.

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    Hard Disk-wise: The Java trick seemed useful (Thanks PeterB). I got the files I needed. It appears nothing is lost. For longer than I eexpected, the computer maintained the illusion it was spinning as it should. Then the true blue screen of death (the one with white letters) appeared.

    Two crash and restarts later and at the minute the big screen is back to a black color but telling me in 72-point font to “reboot and select proper boot device, or insert boot media…” I’d swear it was asking to be kicked. ;-)

    I’m stuck in a mini-machine, without access to my proper email except through a torturous online interface a high-school student was paid too much to design. But there are 928 emails already, and it’s a bit unfair of me expecting them to cater to that.

    But I am so looking forward to the monster.

    : D

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    • #
      DavidH

      Not sure if the progression to the BSOD asking for the boot device means the disk is physically failing. Some time ago, my laptop disk was dying. I followed advice to extract it, put it in the freezer (really! in a plastic bag, to keep it dry) for a few hours, then plug back in and start up. I got one or two more boots out of it before it completely died. That was some years ago – maybe disk technology has moved along since then but maybe you can still get something out of it that way.

      00

    • #
      Tim

      Sorry about the conspiracy stuff, but my last computer finally gave me the blue screen telling me to ‘remove shadowing’ which of course nobody seems to know about. Shadowing destroyed the computer. I have seen blogs from people with similar experiences.

      Just sayin.

      00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    …through a torturous online interface a high-school student was paid too much to design.

    Must be the same overpaid high school student who designed some of the stuff I have to work with. He sure gets around. ;-)

    If you followed Mickey Reno’s advice about the page (swap) file above I’d like to know how it worked out.

    10

  • #
    Freddie Stoller

    I hope it is Swiss chocolate! mille grazie from Switzerland, Freddie

    50

  • #
    Ace

    I think its great that the regulars can offer so much advice. Two thoughts:
    Maybe Jo you should advertise IT guidance and sneakily trick these knowledgeable regulars into answering the queries your clients pose. They’d probably volunteer anyway.

    Second thing, do be careful about following “advice” from previously unheard of commenters…or John Brookes.

    Not that I for one moment would suggest John Brookes cant be trusted. But who would want to take advice from him?

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    • #
      John Brookes

      So mean!

      To use a cycling analogy, I am like the guy in the breakaway who has a contender back in the peleton. In that situation you are under no obligation to help the breakaway group- you just sit back and take it easy.

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      • #
        Streetcred

        LOL … you’re so right; running off ahead with no support ! There’s no sight more disgusting than those pot bellied lycra clad hairy legged weekend bicycle riding egoists playing Tour de France peloton (note the correct spelling, jb) on a Saturday morning clogging up the roads and making a general nuisance of themselves. Hang on whilst I hang my Peugeot on the bike rack.

        10

  • #

    Another few chocolate bars on their way. Hope it helps.

    20

  • #
    nc

    My money used to purchase chocolates was not oil sourced.

    20

  • #
    Mike M

    Joanne – If you are thinking about RAID or RAID-like functionality in your next system, just so you know, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 include a feature called “Storage Spaces”.

    (Not that I know anything about it to recommend it but others here might so that’s why I brought it up.)

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831739.aspx

    10

  • #
    lurker, passing through laughing

    The Koch brothers sent a secret message and when I decoded it on my decoder ring, it told me to donate to you.
    so I did.
    :p

    90

    • #
      Streetcred

      You also heard that dog-whistle ? … powerful voluntary reactions occurred all over the world !

      40

  • #
    graphicconception

    Imagine if something like this happened, say to (that conspiracy theory guy).

    I don’t think his PC would be a problem because he is a Mac guy.

    I used to know the model. Was it an iPod? No, that does not sound right. iPhone, iMac, iPad?

    No, I remember – it was an iDeation!

    80

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    MikeUK

    Hi Jo,
    Have been reading your website for at least two years but this is my first comment… I’m sorry to hear of your ongoing problems, but nothing that choccy vouchers can’t fix! Job done, keep up the good work!….

    50

  • #
    jim2

    I use Linux Mint. Linux has a backup utility called “backup” which I use to do daily backups of my hard drive to a large external USB drive. You can schedule the backups, so it is easy to use.

    20

  • #
    u.k.(us)

    “Let them eat chocolate” :)
    Delivery confirmed within 10 seconds.
    Not bad for a 20,000 mile round-trip.

    50

  • #
    crakar24

    This is OT (and really long) but it is something i need to get off my chest. We have a local paper here that is published every Wednesday and in yesterdays edition there was a short story buried on Pg 15. Before I transcribe this story I want to give you a little background information.

    Firstly I live in the Barossa Valley which is of course one of the premiere wine regions in Australia, I live in a small town in this area and we suffer from the following lack of facilities:

    1, No train service
    2, Limited bus service, my daughter has to take two buses to school, it is standing room only because the private bus company (no public service) is too cheap to schedule enough buses for all users and the fees are high compared to what a public service bus would cost.
    3, Limited hospital facilities, the nearest hospital is a private operation but operates an emergency service on behalf of the state government and as usual are limited in what services they offer due to financial constraints.
    4, the local public schools are dilapidated and the standard of education is very low, the NAPLAN results confirm these schools are some of the lowest in the state.
    5, My internet connection is what can only be described as sporadic at best and yes I know the NBN will fix all that but I wont see it until 2021 at a cost of $ 90,000,000,000 and counting.
    6, I do not have access to mains gas (the cheapest source of fuel for heating and cooking etc), bottled gas is too expensive so I am forced to use electric hot water.
    7, the roads in the area are narrow and potholed due to the amount of traffic from trucks carting grape product, just last week to people died in road accidents from two separate incidents.

    When you consider I live in a town of 2000 people less than 1 hours drive from the CBD of Adelaide the capital city of South Australia it really is a joke.

    Secondly I would like to talk to you about wine making, whilst I am no expert in wine making I do consider myself at least knowledgeable on the process and yes I do consider myself an expert at drinking the stuff.

    As we know the weather from year to year varies and this variation determines the quality of the wine for that year, for example I would stay away from anything from this region which is part of the 2010 vintage, however the 2011 vintage is quite good. These variations in weather, for example too much rain, too less rain, frosts, too hot, too cold, too hot at the wrong time, too cold at the wrong time, downy mildew outbreaks etc all contribute to the quality and the taste of each particular vintage.

    A good example is one vintage the Shiraz may have a peppery taste whilst the next vintage may have a more fruity taste, this is simply due to changes in the weather from one year to the next.

    Beyond that we have changes in regional climate, for example if you want a good Cab Sav from SA then you buy it from “The Coonawarra” as this region has cooler summers which the Cab Sav grapes like, however they only get about 1 in 3 summers that produce a good Cab Sav so beware.

    If you like a Shiraz then I would recommend buying it from the Barossa Valley because our summers generally start off a little cool and then warm up and our summers generally extend into March which by chance is the perfect growing conditions for the Shiraz grape.

    If on the other hand you like draino masquerading as wine then I suggest you buy from the Riverland as it gets very hot there very early and the grapes ripen too quickly and they are simply berries pumped full of water with no taste.

    I hope everyone is now well aware as to how a changing climate can affect the end product of wine making and for all those that are still reading this rant I applaud you and I now come to the punch line.

    The story that pissed me off reads like this:

    REDUCING WINE, INDUSTRY EMISSIONS

    The local viticultural industry is set to benefit from new research into carbon emission reduction.

    The Adelaide based Grape and Wine research and Development Corporation has received a $599,737 Federal Government grant to investigate cost effective viticultural strategies to adapt to a warmer and drier climate, while reducing carbon emissions and earning carbon credits.

    Federal member for Wakefield Nick Champion (LABOR) said the initiative will help increase opportunities for new income on farms.

    “Research is an important part of building our low emissions future and these projects look specifically at what farmers and land holders can do” he said.

    The grant was awarded under the Filling the Research Gap program.

    For more information on the program, visit http://www.daff.gov.au/ftrg

    So in summary this government is prepared to grease the palm of some wanna be scientist at the behest of its constituents, this study will simply tell the grape growers to put more water on them and as a bonus heres a plan to earn a bit of extra coin by scamming the ETS.

    Surely that 600K could have been spent in a better way, we can even expand our horizons here and ask what has the higher priority, research on ways to game the system or childhood cancer? You be the judge.

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      Yonniestone

      crakar24, sadly an all to common story today.
      I felt the same way last Good Friday as my comment showed (I was genuinely upset)
      The good news is we know these things are unjust and have the ability or chance to correct them.
      Take heart in what you see happening right here with people who don’t know each other and probably never will, but are still driven to believe in a country that still has so much potential to improve and it’s all due to the majority making the right decision at the right time.
      Maintain the rage but don’t give in to it.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Channelling the Four Yorkshire Men (which skit did not originate on Monty Python):

      You have hospitals with emergency service? Well we have one in the Adelaide Hills, if you get there before 4.30pm.

      The State Gov. tries very hard to shut down any school that isn’t overcrowded. The only money spent on our schools recently was Rudd’s school hall fiasco. Several local schools got a hall, and a fire fighting add-on they didn’t need. In one case this meant that they had to halve the size of the new hall, to have room for the two new tanks. The rest of the flat land was taken by 2 large tanks for fire fighting.

      For the tanks they got $100,000 deducted from the grant. Estimated cost by one local for that installed was less than $8460.

      As for roads, we did get one road improved; the back way one leading to the refugee camp.

      Apart from that we get the normal neglect of a safe seat. And the Hills Council is a byword for uselessness.

      2011 was a lousy year in the Hills; far too wet, mould everywhere. 2002, 2007 were cool years, and shiraz from them is drinking well. 2009, 2010 and 2012 were good years and this year looks good so far. Of course, OUR shiraz tastes of grapes.

      20

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Sorry, could be clearer. The school had 2 large tanks judged quite adequate by the local CFS. The extra tanks added nothing to their fire fighting capability, at the cost of losing half their hall and ninety odd thousand dollars in a rip off. There were 6 schools affected.

        20

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          And public media writers are saying that there is no problem with the size of Australia’s national debt.

          Maybe so when viewed against things in the EEU and Cyprus but what exactly did WE get for our $ AUD 275

          Billion dollars that includes 250 mill of borrowings?

          Well as you have pointed out we got vastly overpriced and useless junk BUT somebody has got our Money!

          Perhaps they will be encouraged to vote for more borrowings at the next election?

          KK :)

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        • #
          Yonniestone

          Graeme No.3
          I worked on school upgrades long before the stimulus and the pricing at the changeover was astounding to say the least!
          It was like quoting an insurance job where the contractor goes in high because it’s insurance company’s money, a who cares attitude.
          But this time it was public money and the greedy bastards went in even higher because of the shortage of skilled trades.
          Yep we’ll be paying for that one a long time.

          10

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            My comment on the real cost came from a local firm capable of and installing water tanks with pump equipment for fire fighting. In business then, and still, and certainly in the phone book.

            They sold many tanks to local landowners, and were well known to the CFS. Very obviously, the latter weren’t contacted as well.

            10

  • #
    Mattb

    When I need money to subsidise my hobby I just ask my wife. I wish I had a blog where I could source funds for my hobbies.

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    • #

      Mattb, develop a hobby that helps other people instead of one that hurts them. It’s a free market. Jo

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      • #
        AndyG55

        chuckle,, well said , Jo. :-)

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      • #
        Quack

        nicely put!!! when do we ever see the science reported accuratelie from Matt!!!

        20

      • #
        Ian Hill

        My donation done.

        The worth of the voluntary work the audit team started by Jo does would be well into a six-figure amount per annum Matt. If you tried to hire consultants to do it, it would be a seven figure sum. Not a bad hobby she’s got there!

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      • #
        Nice One

        Helping? That’s subjective. The coal industry might agree.

        23

      • #
        Grant (NZ)

        MattB, perhaps you could take up russian roulette as a hobby. I think that would ultimately help rather than hurt others :-)

        Please note: tongue in cheek. To those who cannot identify black humour, this is not a death threat.

        20

    • #
      gbees

      nothing stopping you Mattb from starting your own blog. If you’re successful and people flock to it then good luck to you … just like you can write an app for a smart phone and sell it through the app store … Capitalism …. ain’t it great!

      50

    • #
      Backslider

      When I need money to subsidise my hobby I just ask my wife.

      Really? I’m sorry to hear that you are disabled.

      I wish I had a blog

      Here you go sonny: http://www.blogger.com/…. have fun telling the World your thoughts on climate change… good luck!

      Do let us all know when you have it up and running :)

      51

      • #
        Mattb

        I think “pricks I meet on the internet” would be a fairly niche market blog BS, but you are certainly giving me inspiration.

        24

        • #
          Backslider

          Perhaps you can blog on your cancer cure? Jo did suggest something that helps people.

          30

          • #
            Mattb

            I don’t have a cure, I was more commenting on the voluntary distribution of my limited funds.

            03

          • #
            Nice One

            Perhaps he could do cancer, although I think you’ll find that Lord Monckton is probably all over that. After all he already cured HIV, according to Monckton.

            http://youtu.be/hl2lShU6zD0?t=2m36s

            27

            • #
              Jaymez

              That’s a nice bit of selective editing by someone Nice One.

              As an investor in potential medical cures over the past decades, including an early but small backer of the cochlear implant, but many failures before that, (not to mention various renewable energy projects), I have heard genuinely enthusiastic and honest medical scientists talk about positive results in the same way Monckton did.

              If you look at the whole, original tape here, he first uses the words “shows much promise” before saying the very optimistic words featured in your tape, that we are ‘curing’ patients with (list of ailments). Then he goes on to add the caution in the original tape that “it appears to have remarkable capability….”

              As with all medical remedies, it takes time to really prove a cure. It is possible to actually appear to get a cure of all symptoms but it may only be short lived, or there may be other adverse side effects. Most serious medical cures take at least 10 years to get to market. I would say Monckton’s hoped for cure is either still in it’s very early stages, even if it is showing positive results, or it has failed some hurdles and sailed into oblivion. But the way he has be characterised is unfair given over the years we have all seen so many news reports about potential cures for cancer, and every other known disease which still remain with us today.

              It is ironic really that you and other climate alarmists have highlighted the very real fact that Monckton was too early to claim a cure for various ailments before he had the empirical evidence to support it, yet your own beliefs are mostly supported by assumptions and computer models rather than actual empirical evidence. In fact the empirical evidence consistently fails you, so you have to continually move the goal posts to stay in the game: Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Disruption (whoops didn’t catch on), Extreme Weather events….

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            Catamon

            Perhaps you can blog on your cancer cure? Jo did suggest something that helps people.

            Hasn’t the Lord das Monkers beaten him to it?? :)

            15

        • #
          AndyG55

          “pricks I meet on the internet”…

          oh, an autobiography, then !!

          All about you..

          [keep it civil please - Mod]

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        • #
          crakar24

          I see the [snip] has come crawling back just as the tin rattlers have stopped collecting.

          Re “pricks i meet on the interenet” well matt post away and i will view it as a role of honour.

          So you dont mind being kept in the life you have become accustomed to by your wife? Its OK matt if you are, i am fine with it…..its just….i dont know…..dont you feel just a little bit emasculated?

          I noticed your feeble attempt at sarcasm re the cancer joke, to be honest i thought your ignorance and your vile putrid stench peaked some years ago when you suggested the poor could “just put on another jumper” if they were cold. Its been pretty much down hill since then.

          May be you should get your wife to comment for you from now on.

          See you round [snip]

          [as above please keep the language civil - Mod]

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          • #
            Quack

            attaboy!!! attaaaaaack!!!

            11

            • #
              Mattb

              Indeed some posters here are quite like attack dogs. Or is that flying monkeys?

              14

              • #
                crakar24

                Well which is it Matt attack dogs or flying monkeys its not like you could get the two confused one is reality the other is a flight of fancy a bit like your foolish beliefs in a way.

                In the end you are one of the major contributors here and at times have hotly debated Jo directly but when it comes time to pay your dues you trot out some lame arse bullshit routine about giving all your money to childrens charities.

                I think this speaks volumes for the type of person you are so why dont you packup your stupid oneliners about dogs and monkeys and stop bothering the good and decent people that frequent here.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                as opposed to an “attack worm” like yourself.

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    • #

      Joanne says to develop a hobby.

      For five years now I have been blogging, if you call it that, and I have 1000 Posts of my own at the site I contribute at.

      I am also Editor there, so my task is also to copy the other Posts for the day, four or five other Posts from our large selection of other sites we are allowed to copy from.

      I spend nearly all my waking day doing this, as well as commenting here.

      When people hear of what I do, there is only ever one response:

      “…..And you do this for nothing?”

      I do it because I want to do it.

      Sometimes a response is that I need to open up my own blog here in Oz. I could do that, but I would be a tiny fish in a monster pond, and just here in Oz. Where I do contribute I am a medium sized fish in a small Pond, as our site is ranked just one below the Majors. Technorati has seven size categories for Blogs, and we are rated as A Very Large Blog. We are in the top 0.2% of Blogs (in the Overall category) according to that Technorati site, where we are Number 2229 out of 1.325 Million blogs surveyed. Ironically, we spent almost three years inside the Top 100 Green Blogs, once as high as the teens, and we rate highly in all.

      Tony.

      Technorati Source

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        Colin Henderson

        Hey Tony – I always enjoy reading your posts and learn a lot from some of them. What is the blog that you edit, I would like to visit.

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        • #

          Colin,

          this applies not only to me, but to all people who make comments here.

          See the icon image immediately to the left at the beginning of any comment. It shows the icon and then the screen name that you are using. See how your name, Colin Henderson, is in black. The screen name for some of the people commenting here is sometimes in red. Where you see a screen name that is red, click on that red screen name and you will be taken to that person’s home site. (right click, open link in a new tab, and that way this Thread is still in the open tab and you don’t then have to use the left arrow to get back to this site, and you can just navigate from one tab to the next by clicking on each tab)

          So far, at this Thread, now with almost 300 Comments, (Friday 11AM Australian EST) there are 13 of us who have home sites.

          Tony.

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            Colin Henderson

            Thanks Tony – As I said I often learn from your posts. Can’t imagine who is giving this thread a thumbs down ;)

            12

    • #
      Streetcred

      You have no decorum, Mattb … speaking of your wife like that.

      11

  • #
    dylan

    I’ve got no problem with this appeal. Actually your IT person’s well informed – Intel SSDs are known for speed and reliability albeit at a premium.

    Just wondering if itemised donations to the tip jar could be disclosed to help dispel any speculation of energy or mining influence?

    Of course any such list would anonymise small donations.

    [Ha Ha the fact that Jo needed to put out a call for help to replace her broken computer should be more than enough to dispel any such speculation! - Mod]

    40

  • #
    pat

    EU carbon falls 13 pct as bulls turn bears over market fix
    LONDON, April 10 (Reuters Point Carbon) – EU carbon dropped by as much as 13 percent on Wednesday to a fresh two-week low as traders sold off long positions on fears that a bill to cut permit supply and prop up prices might be voted down by lawmakers…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2269264?&ref=searchlist

    any dots to connect?

    Britain sells 4 mln spot EU carbon permits at 4.58 eur/t
    LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) – Britain sold 4.134 million spot EU carbon permits from the third phase (2013-2020) of its emissions trading scheme on ICE Futures Europe ICE.N at 4.58 euros ($5.98)a tonne each on Wednesday, traders said…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/reutersnews/1.2268575?&ref=searchlist

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    pat

    jo,
    so glad u got such a great response, but it’s a shame u get nothing from this gravy train. u deserve millions for the money u could save aussie taxpayers:

    11 April: ABC Rural: Jane Ryan: Funding boost for plagued Carbon Farming Initiative
    This week the Federal Government has announced new funding rounds for grant schemes within the Carbon Farming Futures program.
    Action on the Ground and the Extension and Outreach programs were both given substantial boosts in funding to help farmers reduce their carbon footprint.
    The $64 million Extension and outreach program funding was announced yesterday by Federal Secretary for Agriculture Sid Sidebottom.
    Fonterra Australia Sustainability Manager Jack Holden said the $437, 000 they were awarded will mean new on-farm projects for 75 producers.
    “We’ll use that to get experts and consultants to visit our farmers and help them become, essentially better at using their fertiliser,” he said.
    “That will reduce their costs, improve profitability and reduce their greenhouse emissions.”
    The Action on the Ground program will provide $30 million to farmers and landholders to take climate change research and put it to the test on-farm…
    Both programs are part of the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) announced last year.
    The initiative has been at the centre of some controversy, and already this year the government has issued two new drafts of the CFI and called for submissions on the papers.
    Federal Secretary for Agriculture Sid Sidebottom said there is still work to be done on the scheme.
    “This scheme is something that is evolving – I mean this is something that’s slowly developing both here and world wide,” he said.
    One of the major concerns held over the scheme over the issue of aditionality – that is the fact that farmers cannot earn carbon credits by continuing to do something they were already doing when the CFI was introduced last year.
    That is, the practice must be new – something Mr Sidebottom acknowledges is counterproductive…
    “Like a number of other schemes, we have to be careful that those that have done the right thing aren’t offered a disincentive.
    “It’s very important that we don’t stop this, that we don’t go backwards, and that’s my great worry, of course, if the Opposition get their way.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/rural/tas/content/2013/04/s3734906.htm?site=northtas

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    pat

    sell a pup to BigPharma & you are in big trouble; sell a CAGW pup to the public worldwide & you win Awards! read all:

    11 April: Age: Linton Besser/Nicky Phillips: CSIRO duped global drug firm with generic chemicals as ‘secret formula’
    The CSIRO has duped one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies into buying anti-counterfeit technology that could be easily compromised – passing off cheap chemicals it had bought from China as a ”trade secret”.
    Swiss-based multinational Novartis signed up two years ago to use a CSIRO invention it was told would protect its vials of injectable Voltaren from being copied, filled with a placebo and sold by global crime syndicates…
    But a Fairfax investigation has established that senior CSIRO officials and DataDot executives deliberately misled Novartis about the technology in order to close the deal, after receiving explicit internal warnings that the Novartis code could be easily duplicated…
    http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/csiro-duped-global-drug-firm-with-generic-chemicals-as-secret-formula-20130410-2hlt9.html

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    • #
      Backslider

      This is a really interesting story.

      The fact that the CSIRO is complicit in such a scam reveals that there is something very unhealthy within its management. I wonder how much illicit money changed hands? The same can be asked about their pushing the CAGW meme – how much money changes hands from those who make big bikkies from “renewables”, carbon credits etc. etc….

      There you go Lew, a nice conspiracy for you :)

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    pat

    AAP just churns them out by the day, no matter how uninformed:

    11 April: Courier Mail: AAP: Patrick Caruana: Climate change ‘will move Vic fire season’
    Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the most recent fire season had lasted longer because of prolonged warm weather and a lack of rain.
    He said such seasons could now be commonplace.
    “If you understand climate change we will see a change in the way in which the seasons operate,” Mr Lapsley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.
    “I think this is one of those telling points.
    “We have seen summer move into autumn. We’ve seen prolonged periods of high temperature with almost a heatwave in early March.”…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/vic-must-accept-later-fire-season-lapsley/story-e6freono-1226618127060

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  • #
    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

    What is it the Bible says about pride and the inevitable comuppance? Yesterday (April 10) I commented:

    My desktop system is really of very little concern to me: all the permanent data I care about is on my file server in the basement, which I access over a Gigabit ethernet network from my office upstairs. This is typically where I buy the more modern hardware, display cards, SSDs, etc. The entire box can smoke and burn and I don’t lose anything I care about — it’s all on the server.

    Last night my desktop died; just one “clunk” sound and hard dead. At first I thought the UPS had switched to battery power but everything else was up & the UPS lights were all green. I suspect it’s the power supply but I haven’t taken it apart yet. Instead I just switched my KVM to an ancient Mac mini I have to host iTunes, fired up Apple Mail which connected to my IMAP server (downstairs) and all my email is intact.

    The desktop has a 120GB SSD, a dual core Athelon processor and either 4 or 8 GB RAM — I just can’t remember which at the moment. As with my servers, it is running Linux (CentOS flavor). True to my earlier stated practices, I have a mondoarchive bootable ISO recovery image made early Monday morning (April 8), which I probably will not need if the failure is indeed the power supply. I also have the daily backups from Monday and Tuesday evenings, so I would only lose about 19 hours of changes even if the SSD were a total loss. But the only thing I need to recover are the OS partitions; my home directory is mounted over the network from the server.

    Recovering dead systems is never fun, but the important thing to understand is your data is the most valuable asset, and any physical component can fail. Follow these rules:

    1) Always have redundancy in primary storage. This means RAID, usually simple mirroring for desktops.
    2) Always back up critical data to secondary storage.
    3) Have more than one secondary storage pool.
    4) If your data is really critical, rotate backup media to offsite storage.

    I used to use 4mm DAT tapes, then DLT tapes for backup, but storage densities exploded faster than tape capacities could keep up. These days I use external hard drives.

    ——————–

    REPLY: Alan. Sorry to hear! I’m glad you were so well prepared. Thanks for you help. Jo

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      Jaymez

      Every Arctic summer much of the Arctic Ice melts. Why doesn’t that turn the UK and northern Europe into an icicle then based on the same assumptions?

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    pat

    crakar24 -

    the stupidity isn’t confined to The Sun:

    11 April: Daily Mail: Emma Innes: Is the UK heading for ANOTHER Arctic winter? Met Office calls emergency meeting to discuss if melting ice is causing Britain to freeze
    Dr Julia Slingo at the Met Office calling a meeting of world climate experts
    She is concerned melting Arctic ice is causing Britain’s climate to change
    Comes after lowest April temperature for nearly 100 years was recorded
    Britain’s winters are getting colder because of melting Artic ice changing global weather patterns, the Met Office has claimed.
    Forecasters are concerned that high levels of ice melt in the Arctic in recent years could be behind Britain’s increasingly bitter and longer winters…
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2307333/Is-UK-heading-Arctic-winters-Met-Office-calls-urgent-meeting-discuss-melting-ice-causing-Britain-freeze.html

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      crakar24

      Pat,

      Was watching part two of the Orbit show on ABC last night and they went 59 minutes and 30 seconds before they mentioned the “CC” word.

      Let me set the scene, the main character was staying in a small town in Greenland and wanted to go to the edge of the sea ice but they could not due to the approach of a large storm with 110 MPH or maybe KPH winds so she had to wait till the following day.

      The next day they made it to the edge of the sea ice, the guide said two days ago the sea ice extended a further 3 kilometers but now that is gone probably due to the storm, they were standing on sea ice two feet deep.

      With 30 seconds remaining she suddenly launched into a sermon about how the ice is melting and it was all our fault, the sermon stopped as abruptly as it started and then they gave a preview of the final part 3. I suspect they needed to mention the “CC” word to either get initial funding for the program or simply to get it past the gate keepers of the BBC schedulers and aired for public consumption.

      We still have 4 months of orbital travel to cover so i doubt CC will play a big part, fingers crossed.

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    Mattb

    “I suspect they needed to mention the “CC” word to either get initial funding for the program or simply to get it past the gate keepers of the BBC schedulers and aired for public consumption.”

    or because it is an accurate portrayal of what is going on with Arctic sea ice…

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      crakar24

      or because it is an accurate portrayal of what is going on with Arctic sea ice…

      Well i suppose that could be one hypothesis however the problem with taking statements out of context is that they lose their meaning which of course was your sole intent.

      Remember i described a mechanism whereby 3 kilometers of sea ice (thats just one dimension not sure how many Manhattans worth of sea ice actually went missing) was broken up in a 48 hour period, this broken up sea ice would look like it vanished to the satellite above.

      You purposely failed to cut and paste this information so as to try and bolster the credibility of your opinion.

      Lets look deeper into this mystery, one of your authoritive figures recently “solved the puzzle” as to why Antarctic sea ice is increasing, the latest story is that the sea ice melts creating fresh water due to AGW warmed sea water below. This melted fresh water then forms an insulating barrier under the remaining sea ice and stops the warm sea water from melting more sea ice. This fresh water from teh melted sea ice then refreezes thus expanding the sea ice.

      Your authoritive figure then went on to say that this mechanism does not happen in the Arctic sea ice hence it is melting but unfortunately failed to explain why the poles act differently in this manner.

      I would like you MattB to explain why this process does not happen at both poles, remember you have no authoritive figure to fall back on as they cannot even explain this latest dilemma.

      Personally i dont think you have the smarts to accomplish this but who knows maybe you will prove me wrong.

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        Mattb

        The recent study, that discusses the antarctic hypothesis, is the work of highly knowledgable specialists… so for a start the fact that I may or may not be able to answer your question is a bit of a furphy. If I asked you to explain a wide range of scientific issues you’d have no clue (nor would I) but still they exist whether we (you and I) can explain them or not.

        But here you can have a look at what those so called “experts” at NSIDC say: http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/characteristics/difference.html

        In short: it would appear that the enclosed nature of the Arctic means that the sea ice in winter cannot expand to the extent it does in the Antarctic, but in summer both melt. The phenomenon that the new paper refers to, which is greater expansion of sea ice in winter in the Antarctic, cannot happen in the arctic.

        I also note that the mass of ice in the Antarctic is declining.

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          Backslider

          it would appear that the enclosed nature of the Arctic means that the sea ice in winter cannot expand to the extent it does in the Antarctic

          You just made that up. It sounds good to you, however to me it is ridiculous.

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            Mattb

            I guess if you didn’t bother reading the link it could easily appear as though I made it up. Look at a map of the arctic in winter… you may notice that the ice goes all the way to Canada. There is no more sea in that direction so it cannot “grow”. Same for Russia. The antarctic has no such constraints.

            Seriously, the link tells you all this.

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              Backslider

              There is no more sea

              And you conveniently ignore the Bering and Greenland seas…. how scientific!

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                Mattb

                sorry who’s ignoring this… the NSIDC or me? you just won’t take reason for an answer.

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                Mattb

                you are also conveniently ignoring that the Antarctic is a massive continent, and the Arctic is just some ice. You prattling on about two seas is a total sideshow. Intellectual nuffy.

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                Backslider

                who’s ignoring this… the NSIDC or me

                I would say both.

                I am not ignoring anything. Those seas (which are really one) are a lot bigger than you think they are.

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                Mattb

                no they’re not. I think they are the size that they are.

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          AndyG55

          “The phenomenon that the new paper refers to, which is greater expansion of sea ice in winter in the Antarctic, cannot happen in the arctic”

          You mean, like in the last ice age.. which was mainly the expansion of ice in northern hemisphere from the Arctic.

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            Mattb

            No Andy. Be a good lad and let the grownups talk ok.

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            Mattb

            Note to Andy… when the ice expands on to a continent… it is no longer called “sea ice”.

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              AndyG55

              oh dear.. you stupid moronic half-witted fool.. the last ice age was from expanding ice from the arctic.. when it hit land, it just kept going. !!

              and yes.. it changed from Sea ice to continental ice when it reached the continent……… DOH !!!!

              The continents were NOT a boundary to ice expansion.

              Are you sure you are not a norwegian blue?

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                Mattb

                “The continents were NOT a boundary to ice expansion”

                I didn’t say they were (from an ice age perspective)…. just that it would not be measured as SEA ICE by today’s measurements. Read the NSDIC link… the ice hits land and backs up and gets thicker, whereas in the antarctic it spreads further.

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                Catamon

                “the last ice age was from expanding ice from the arctic.. when it hit land, it just kept going. !!”

                Ok AngryG55, the above has to be a joke right? no one who can use a keyboard is actually that stupid……are they??

                You may want to look up how glaciers form from snowfall, and then apply a facepalm to yourself.

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                KinkyKeith

                Andy,

                What Mattb doesn’t seem to realise is that during the last Ice Age the oceans were 125 metres lower than now.

                This may not mean much to him, but the extra land surface exposed was prime growing land with substantial growth of both p[lant and animal material.

                During the ice up that engulfed all of this Carboniferous material the localised ocean areas became enriched in carbon from the decomposition of that organic base and remained enriched in carbon during the entire ice period.

                In fact the base material continued to send carbon into the ice even after it was solidified.

                Scientists have shown that the high nitrogen content of the Wooly Mammoth carcases aided in the migration of carbon compounds through the ice layers and acted as an “accelerant” so that intact compounds of carbon, such as the dangerous form of carbon known as CO2 and the smelly “methane” were able to diffuse through the ice without distortion or degradation of their physical or chemical properties.

                By the time the ice masses had accumulated closer to the equator the ice thickness was massive. In New York the depth of ice was in the order of one and a half kilometres and everyone who used to live there moved south to Mexico for the duration.

                In Europe, people similarly moved down to Spain to avoid the cold.

                When the Sun finally came out it took over fifteen thousand years to melt all of the ice that could be melted and for the past 6 thousand years we have been in a stable holding pattern.

                Any one who thinks that the variations in ice on the poles or in the seas are in any way unusual or apocalyptic is sadly on a loser there and needs to get a life or perhaps an education.

                Now earlier I did mention the high carbon content of the ice and this is important.

                If you live up near the poles or visit those areas please do not use the natural ice which may be from remnants of the high carbon layers in your drinks; always use cubes made from filtered water in your scotch.

                The rotting Wooly Mammoth stink in the old ice is terrible and you might get Neanderthal Man syndrome so be careful.

                KK :)

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          Backslider

          You are an idiot Mattb. You make up crap and then berate people who ask questions.

          The fact is, fool, that the Bering and Greenland seas give ample room for the Arctic ice to expand as far as it cares to. Also, the currents are much milder than the Antarctic, thus it should be far easier for what is happening in the Antarctic to also happen in the Arctic…. unless of course the THEORY is wrong.

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            Mattb

            Well I did berate you and Andy G, but there were no questions!

            you’re making that up, or you;d have written fact as FACT. That’s how the internet works.

            Read the F$%king link!!!!!! Go argue with the NSIDC. Seriously why are you telling me I make stuff up? READ THE LINK!!!!!!!! it is so frigging basic it is probably in Revelations somewhere if you’d rather read it there.

            “Sea ice differs between the Arctic and Antarctic, primarily because of their different geography. The Arctic is a semi-enclosed ocean, almost completely surrounded by land. As a result, the sea ice that forms in the Arctic is not as mobile as sea ice in the Antarctic.”

            “Floes are more prone to converge, or bump into each other, and pile up into thick ridges. These converging floes makes Arctic ice thicker. The presence of ridge ice and its longer life cycle leads to ice that stays frozen longer during the summer melt.”

            “The Antarctic is almost a geographic opposite of the Arctic, because Antarctica is a land mass surrounded by an ocean. The open ocean allows the forming sea ice to move more freely, resulting in higher drift speeds. However, Antarctic sea ice forms ridges much less often than sea ice in the Arctic. Also, because there is no land boundary to the north, the sea ice is free to float northward into warmer waters where it eventually melts. As a result, almost all of the sea ice that forms during the Antarctic winter melts during the summer.”

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              Mattb

              Here’s the NSIDC email address: nsidc@nsidc.org

              If you have a problem with what they say I suggest you take it up with them.

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                Matt, what’s the optimum sea ice extent? NSIDC talks of the 6th lowest extent since satellite records began, what is so significant about that?. This planet has had a climate for billions of years, much of it a very icy one. Do you want a medal?

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                Mattb

                yes please

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              Backslider

              the ice hits land and backs up and gets thicker

              You are unable to back up your assertions, so you resort to abuse.

              As I said, the sea ice is free to travel as far as it cares to in the Bering and Greenland seas, no “backing up and getting thicker”, thus if the THEORY of what is happening in the Antarctic was valid, it would happen here also. But, it doesn’t. What does that tell you? Has it occurred to you that perhaps the Antarctic ice expansion is because its…. COLDER?

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                Mattb

                lol you moron. Your supor polite post started with “You are an idiot Mattb. You make up crap”. yet my reply is abuse. My assertions are backed up. Your waffle is absurd.

                “if the THEORY of what is happening in the Antarctic was valid, it would happen here also.”

                Nope not at all. Sorry mate. You’re thick. You’re just going to have to find a way to deal with that. You’re not helping anyone on your team out by looking like a goose. It does amuse me though.

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                Backslider

                My assertions are backed up.

                You are such a goose Mattb. You believe anything so long as it backs up your silly belief in CAGW. The fact is that the silly explanation that has been given for what is happening in the Antarctic DEMANDS that you warmists find a reason for it not happening in the Arctic….

                Puhleese… if you think what you say is so valid, point me to the science that shows WHY it is not happening in the Bering and Greenland seas (which is a single body of water BTW and very large). You cannot say the the ice is “backing up and getting thicker” there. The Arctic is not “almost completely surrounded by land”…. it has a very large open end. We should expect exactly the same effect in this region as in the Antarctic.

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                Mattb

                “we should expect exactly the same effect in this region as in the Antarctic.”

                nope. If you read the discussions around this issue it is clear that this is just an observation and possible cause, and that others don’t agree. I’m fine with that. But there is NOTHING to say that just because something happens at the antarctic (a massive continent surrounded on all sides by large oceans) it should also happen at the arctic (not a continent, lots of land in way of seas).

                Can you please give a reason that “We should expect exactly the same effect in this region as in the Antarctic.”

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                Mattb is correct on this. The arctic is basically a floating ice cube, the an arctic an island covered in ice. There is no reason to expect the two to behave the same. He allowed that this is happening and that there is more than one possible cause or theory of a cause. Why it’s happening is different from it is happening.

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            KinkyKeith

            BS

            Why does MattB keep saying “NSIDC”.

            We know Matt!

            Why not just come out and say it?

            No Shit I Don’t Care !

            KK :)

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        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/SeaIce/page4.php

        This explains the difference in the poles and why ice does not behave the same way. The climate change believers did not make this up. They just used to explain what was happening (that does not mean they are right, but rather that they used the difference as part of their explanation). The simple answer is: The north pole and the south pole are not alike.

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          KinkyKeith

          Sheri

          I also have a suspicion that the poles take turns in presenting to the Sun depending on the state of Wobble or Precession induced alignment. Ref Milankovic cycles. The period may be 13,000 or 26,000 years perhaps.

          But the main point is that the poles will always get significantly different amounts of Solar input.

          KK :)

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            That makes sense. It comes down to the two places are just not alike in more than one aspect–in spite of our seeming endless need to make everything alike and never-changing! Nature is just soooo uncooperative that way! :)

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          Mattb

          “The Antarctic is in some ways the precise opposite of the Arctic. The Arctic is an ocean basin surrounded by land”

          Not only NSIDC, but NASA too! Or is that Not Another Stupid Asshole KK? :)

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      crakar24

      I have read all the responses to my question and there were many however i do not believe the question was answered.

      Once again for clarity, if AGW can cause sea ice to expand in the Antarctic for reasons previously mentioned then why does the same process not occur in the Arctic but instead we hve seen a reduction in ice?

      Matt and Catomon if you do not understand the question then please ask for a more detail, if you do understand the question but do not know the answer then just say “i dont know” its not that hard.

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        Mattb

        Which bit of the different geography, and entire make up of the two poles, and the NSIDC and NASA links, are not to your satisfaction? The question is in fact answered, although possibly not to your liking.

        “why does the same process not occur in the Arctic”

        i) the process may indeed happen, however the ice is not free to expand as a thin layer, however is constrained by land and gets thicker rather than more widespread.
        ii) the currents and winds are different at the two poles, combined with the obstructing land masses of Asia, Europe and North America.

        A question for you though Crakar… the arctic issue is significant reduction in sea ice in summer (the recovery from the minimum in winter is interesting from an observation POV I guess). Is it not that case that in summer the sea ice melts in the Antarctic too? It is the antarctic winter where the increased ice is observed (I thought?).

        To me you are comparing apples and oranges… “why is winter sea ice increasing in the antarctic but summer sea ice is decreasing in the arctic.”

        If you follow the links I’ve provided you’ll see that the summer sea ice in Antarctica pretty much all melts every year…

        Even we were in backsliders little paradise and the winter sea ice was also increasing in the arctic, it does not change the fact that the summer sea ice is falling according to the satellite records.

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    Streetcred

    Call for inquiry as CSIRO comes under the microscope

    Why is anybody surprised ? These rent-seekers will only focus on and pursue lucrative funding … like climate ‘science’ grants from the feral government. They’ll say and do whatever it takes to ensure those pipelines of tainted funding are kept wide open and pumping. Let’s also not overlook the involvement of CSIRO staff in the attempt to have Dr de Freitas sacked from his position at Auckland uni.

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      Backslider

      And we are supposed to listen to these jokers’ rants on climate change? Gotta be kidding.

      What do you think Mattb, John Brookes, Noice One et al?

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        Quack

        I wont be listening to any of those crazies!!! they say all sorts of stuff and i don’t and won’t have a bar of it!!!

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    handjive

    Well, when the new ‘puter is up and running, there is plenty to blog about.

    For instance, this piece of psychotic catastrophic alarmism from chief climateers, Michael E. Mann & Dana Nuccitelli at ‘their’ ABC; Environment, is a seminar in denial.

    How The Economist got it wrong

    Quote:
    “Even at the lower end of the estimated sensitivity range, the projected impacts of climate change are likely to be devastating to human civilisation and our environment.”

    Yep. That is where Mike & Dana’s fraudulent climate science is up to.

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      Backslider

      So what are the chances of getting a comment published over there?

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        Backslider

        I can confirm that they only publish comments which are full of praise. Only 3 comments displaying for the article… is their readership really that small?

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      Tim

      Let’s go to the source of the psychotic, catastophic alarmism:

      “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”

      David Rockefeller speaking at a UN Business Conference, Sept 14, 1994

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    pat

    a winner?

    12 April: Australian: AAP: Carbon tax helps flow of ice cream exports to Asia
    The company, based at Laura, north of Adelaide, will spend $3 million to add new product lines and export sales.
    That will include almost $1m for refrigeration improvements that will be partly funded by Low Carbon Australia, the company set up by the federal government to help the move to a low carbon economy.
    Funding also has been provided by Food South Australia and the commonwealth’s Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/economics/carbon-tax-helps-flow-of-ice-cream-exports-to-asia/story-e6frg926-1226618610676

    the losers? all of us:

    12 April: FullyLoaded: Government stands firm on carbon tax for trucking
    The Federal Government is showing no signs of dropping its plan to extend the carbon tax to the trucking industry next year.
    Despite the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) urging the Government to spare transport operators, the office of Climate Change Minister Greg Combet (pictured) has confirmed the two-year exemption offered to industry will stand.
    Under the Government’s plan, the carbon tax will apply to fuel used by the trucking industry on July 1, 2014, adding an extra 6.85 cents per litre to the excise…
    “Once fully implemented on July 1, 2014, the effective carbon price will have only a marginal impact on fuel bills, less than the regular fluctuations in global oil prices, which in recent years has ranged from as low as $US40 a barrel to as high as $US130 a barrel,” Combet’s spokesperson says.
    “Trucks fuelled by CNG, LNG, LPG or biofuels will not pay the effective carbon price.”…
    New legislation will need to pass Federal Parliament for the tax to extend to the trucking industry. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has promised to rescind the carbon tax if he wins office.
    http://www.fullyloaded.com.au/industry-news/articleid/83352.aspx

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    pat

    Low Carbon Australia who are handing out the dough to the ice cream company has a former President of the Alcoa Foundation as their CEO:

    Meg McDonald, CEO, Low Carbon Australia
    Prior to this, from 2005-2009 she was President of Alcoa Foundation and Director, Global Issues, Alcoa Inc. in New York. From 2002-2006, she was General Manager, Corporate Affairs for Alcoa in Australia. Before joining Alcoa, she was a senior Australian diplomat. As Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment in 1997-98, Meg was Australia’s lead negotiator for the Kyoto Protocol and played a key role in shaping those negotiations as well on other environment treaties…
    With over $100 million in funding, Low Carbon Australia’s programs deliver financing and advice to promote the use of energy efficient technologies and practices.
    http://www.lowcarbonaustralia.com.au/about-us/our-ceo.aspx

    u can check out the Board of Directors if u like.

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      Mike

      There are only so many lefty parasites that can survive on a host, before the host gives up the ghost.

      The western economies are on their knees thanks to new age climate science, that has driven prehistoric alternative energy like wind turbines and solar. It’s game over once you make cheap reliable fossil fuel energy redundant.

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    What’s the story Jo, have you got yourself a new V8 yet?. Personally I’d buy a Mac, they just work. Computers are just tools not unlike what you’d find in a plumber or a carpenter’s tool bag. You want something that’ll just work. After all, we don’t have to all become mechanics before we learn to drive a motor car. No, I am not one of those Mac groupies who are a bit tiresome, I’ll use whatever as needs be. Hope it all pans out for you.

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