PC Troubleshooting Workshops


Friday, September 29, 2006

5 commandments of selling games online

Etiquette for trading second-hand games online

  1. Do not be a noob – Do you WTB (Want to buy), WTS (Want to sell) or WTT (Want to trade)?
    In a WTT, the trader simply wants to exchange his game for another, but unless otherwise stated, you can offer to buy the game if you do not have what the trader wants.
    In all cases, make reasonable offers or suffer the scorn of fellow Netizens.
  2. Be honest – state the condition and regional code of your game up front.
    Charging US$30 for an NTSC/UC (United States) game that will not play on NTSC/J (Japan and Asia) consoles or for a game that is in Japanese is as good as selling a faulty product, as the buyer will not be able to play it.
    If the disc is heavily scratched but playable, or its box lost or damaged, make that clear and adjust your price accordingly.
  3. Respond promptly – reply to the other party’s messages and turn up on time for the deal. Especially important if you have never dealt with person before.
  4. Do not “fly aeroplane #1” – that is, do not agree to a sale and not honour it.
    For instance, standing up the other party without good reason or cancelling the deal because you were offered a better price elsewhere.
  5. Do not “fly aeroplane #2” – similarly, it is in bad taste to agree on a price, then ask for more money, or for a discount.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

How the Photo-sharing site square up

Costs: -
US$23 a year for 410MB of storage or US $60 a year for 1.2GB of photo storage. A 30-day 10MB trial account is available. No file size caps. No stated bandwidth limits.

Functions: -
Fairly low-key photo hosting and sharing. You can create a home page to introduce yourself. Choose from a template, tweak it or create your own within a well0-defined structure. Can view photos as a slideshow.

Upload ease: -
Bundle your photos in a zip file and upload it, PBase can handle it. Fastest method as the files are compressed.

Who it is for: -
The serious photographer who likes old-fashioned order.

Costs: -
A free account is available, but you are limited to just 20MB of uploads a month, three photosets, and your photos are resized smaller. Only your latest 200 photos will be shown. Stay inactive for 90 days and you may get bumped out! For US$24.95 a year, you can get a Pro Account which has a 2GB monthly upload limit but unlimited storage and bandwidth.

Functions: -
The format is fairly rigid, but you can go crazy assigning different tags or create photosets. Best of all, you or the people you allow can leave notes or tag specific parts of your photos with comments. Slideshow viewing that comes with a cool dynamic thumbnail strip for quick selection.

Upload ease: -
You can upload single photos, but to do it in a batch you need to download and install a
Flickr program which may pose problems on some public computers. You are also given a special e-mail address where you could e-mail your photo for automatic posting on Flickr.

Who it is for: -
The blogger or Netizen whose online life is more real than his real-world one.

Costs: -
Free for 12 months after which
Kodak may delete your photos. No stated limits. The US$24.99 Gallery Premier subscription will allow you to keep your photos.

Functions: -
This website is geared more for print-related output. Offers probably the mostly extensive photo editing functions. Allows viewing by slideshow. Download your photos in full resolution if you are a paid subscriber. Printing a 4R photo costs a flat 15 US cents.

Upload ease: -
Very easy to browse and select. Prettily done. Mass uploads require the installation of software.

Who it is for: -
The nostalgic photographer who likes to see his shots in print, not just on the screen.


Costs: -
US$39.99 a year offers you limited uploads and no file size caps. Monthly bandwidth cap of 6GB. For US$59.95 a year as a power user, the bandwidth goes up to 12GB.

Functions: -
As a power user, you can customize your website to a great degree. Pick from wee-designed templates to create your site. Cropping and colour correction available – even thumbnails can be tweaked. Almost full screen slideshow. Liveliest visual format.

Upload ease: -
Drag and drop! Done through a painless applet. There is even a progress bar. Does not get easier than this! You could also e-mail a bunch of your photos and they will popped into a new folder in your site.

Who it is for: -
For the cool power user who loves to tweak.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Better sound in CD ripping

A major advantage of the MP3 format is that songs can be compressed into smaller files that take up less room on your hard drive or portable music player.
For example, a CD track that normally takes about 40MB of space can be compressed into an MP3 file of about 4MB, making it possible to carry around hundreds of albums on a portable music player or squirrel them away on a computer without maxing out the hard drive.
The downside to this compression process is that the sound fidelity of the original music file is compromised as some of the audio data is discarded when the file is converted to MP3 or another compressed format like
AAC (Advanced Audio Coding).
Encoding CD tracks in formats that do not use this compression (like WAV or AIFF) with your audio player’s music-management software usually makes for better-sounding songs, but you will have larger files that may drain your portable player’s battery more quickly.
iPod player and iTunes software can also encode songs in a format called Apple Lossless, which is said to offer CD-quality music in abut half the storage space needed by an uncompressed file.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Prey - PC game

If you are hunting for some easy Xbox achievement points, Prey is great.
If features some of the easiest awards to achieve. They include:
  • Playing all three games in the casino at the start of the game and racking up a high score for them.
  • Finishing the game on Cherokee (hard) mode.
  • Killing players in multiplayer with a certain weapon a certain number of times.
  • Being at the top of the table for a certain number of games.

While hunting, note that several enemy units do not automatically attack you.

Most notable, repair robots and servitors (or servants). If you are low on spirit, use a bow attack to the head to snag some spirit from the servitors, but if you can, avoid the repair robots. And when in doubt about where to go, look up.
Late in the game, Tommy will fall into a cube that assembles itself around him.
To get out, observe the blue panels. Adjust the gravity of the cube, and you can form an electrical pathway that connects all the panels and exit the cube.


Xbox solutions



Thursday, August 31, 2006

Valkyrie Profile

CHEAT SHEET - With three endings for Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, purists will demand to see all of them. It is actually quite simple to do and does not require much work. To get the worst ending, simply reduce your Evaluation score to zero twice and it will appear.

Reducing Evaluation points requires you to keep as many artifacts as possible instead of sending them to Odin, and not wearing Lenneth’s ring during the Sacred Phases at the end of each chapter. Note that you will only see the warning and the ending when you leave areas, so you will need to do some work in the meanwhile.

To see the normal and best ending, create a game and play through it normally to see the normal ending.

For the best ending, you must reduce your Seal rating (not the same as Evaluation score) to below 37 and also send Lucian to Asgard before Chapter 7.

Also, you must encounter and kill Lezard in Chapter 4 the first time you meet him, as well as meet and decline Brahm’s offer of battle in Brahm’s castle. To reduce Seal ratings, unequip the Lenneth ring, recruit Lucian and Mystina, visit the Weeping Lily meadow and note that sending any heroes up to Asgard raises your Seal significantly.

Watch what you throw away

Some materials is used to make computers are highly toxic and can cause environmental and health problems if they are released into the water, landfills or air during disposal.


  • Lead found in CRT monitors and the soldering in circuit boards.
    Dangers: damages the central nervous system, blood and kidneys.
  • Cadmium and Selenium in circuit boards.
    Dangers: Accumulates in the kidney causing irreversible damage.
  • Brominated flames retardants in plastic covers, cables, connectors.
    Dangers: Triggers strong allergic reactions, asthmatic bronchitis and also causes DNA damage.
  • Mercury in switches and housing found on circuit boards.
    Dangers: May cause brain damage.
  • Polyvinyl chloride and plastics.
    Dangers: Pollutes the environment and releases toxins when incinerated.


  • Copper and aluminum in cables, connectors.
  • Iron from CPU tower and monitor casing.
  • Zinc from cathode ray tube (CRT) screen, printed circuit boards.
  • Gold, silver and platinum from printed circuit boards and connectors.

Monday, August 28, 2006

How do I choose between CDs and DVDs?

Your decision should come down to capacity. The CD-R and RW media stores 700MB of data.
To store more data than this, get a VD-R/RW or +R/RW disc. A single-sided DVD disc allows you to store 4.7GB of data.
Double-sided discs will double that capacity to more than 9GB of data.
This is great when you want to back up the loads of files from your hard disk on to the discs.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Help! My laptop is on FIRE

The spontaneous combustion of several Dell machines has resulted in more that 200,000 laptop batteries being recalled worldwide. Let find out why laptops are given off so much heat.

Inside the laptop
With users demanding more speed, power and capacity from their laptops, manufacturers are packing in more powerful components. Some of these parts like the CPU, graphics processors, hard disks and memory modules generate a lot of heat.

Inside the battery
Lithium-ion batteries produce energy through a chemical reaction that releases oxygen. When the battery heats up beyond 150 deg C, the reaction speeds up and more oxygen is produced. This facilitates burning in the battery, creating more heat that feeds the reaction even further. The result: a condition known as thermal runaway. As the battery gets hotter and pressure builds up, it becomes unstable and goes kaboom!

Laptop design
To increase mobility, laptops are made thinner and lighter. This means less space for air circulation, making it harder for heat to dissipate. Bright screens contribute to the heat too.