Vol 12

Page 4





Computers and stuff.


Sam Houliston.


CD Burners.


So you’ve just bought a brand new 24x10x40x CD-RW drive, jammed in a blank, and started to burn your own CD’s, only to find that your super fast new system isn’t much faster than the old one you had.  Why is it so???


Why are you still getting coasters from your brand new, fool-proof burner, is it the media? or your old system, or the software.


Actually, it all of the above, but there are a few things that you can do to make your new system work the way it should. In the past, most coasters were caused by the computer not being able to deliver information to the CD burner fast enough to allow it to record at its top speed. RAM, hard disk performance, and bus speed were often limiting factors. In this case, you just had to record at a lower speed to avoid coasters.



With today's powerful computers, however, it is likely that your current machine has more than enough oomph to run a recorder at 24X. And even if your machine is still a little under powered, buffer underrun prevention technology will seamlessly let the recording go through even when it would normally fail, but once these technologies are enabled, recording speed may decrease. These technologies work by having the recorder stop and wait for more data, then repositions the laser head to continue the writing. This of course, takes time, and it will take longer still if you are using the computer to do other things at the same time, such as surfing the net.


So, here are some tips to make sure that you get the recording speed that you are paying for with your new speedster:  

  1. Defragment your hard disk frequently; or better still, dedicate a second hard drive or partition to CD recording. When files are fragmented across different sectors of a hard disk, it takes longer to retrieve them.

  2. Make sure that you have a reasonably fast hard drive, both in seek time and data transfer rate. Any drive made in the last four or five years should be fast enough though

  3. If you are using an ISA SCSI card in a PC, upgrade to a PCI SCSI card. The difference in transfer rate is tremendous.

  4. Make sure you have a minimum of 128 megabytes of RAM. RAM has never been cheaper than it is today. More is definitely better.

  5. Check with your burner manufacturer (web site) to make sure you have the latest software update.

  6. Make sure you use 24X or 32X certified media from a name-brand manufacturer. Will other media work? Maybe, but if you value your data, you won't pinch pennies here.

  7. Close down any background applications you have running (especially antivirus programs that check all files being read and written!), and avoid running other foreground applications at the same time as you are burning.

  8. If you are recording audio CDs from MP3 files, or vice versa, the CPU has to transcode the data on the fly as the disc is being written. At very high recording speeds, your processor may simply not be able to keep up. Reduce the recording speed if you get buffer underruns.

  9. When copying a CD from another drive, make sure the source drive is at least 8-12X faster than your recorder. If not, dump it.

Overall—make sure your software is up-to-date, streamline your drive and running applications, and eliminate hardware performance bottlenecks. These tips will often yield better performance in other areas too, not just CD burning, so don't hold back!



Did you hear about the viagra virus??  It turns an old floppy into a new hard-drive.



Ian Johnston, who now lives in Victoria wrote to Sam  re his article on Hewlett Packard in Vol 11. He says:-


“Sam—I was impressed with your article on Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in the RAAF Radschool mag. Just thought I'd let you know that I have worked for HP for 30 years and am still working for Agilent Technologies the Test & Measurement portion of HP that was spun off a couple of years back.


I started working for HP when I left the RAAF in 1969 following a stint at Radschool at Laverton from 67 to 69 as an instructor .


I had joined the RAAF in 1957 and did the Radmech then Radtech courses and then went to ARDU Laverton then later Richmond as an airtech on Hercs and later Caribous .I was one of the first radio guys to go to Vietnam in 1964 an did another tour in 1966-7.


I had met both Bill and Dave during my career and both were great guys.


I also collect some of HP's test equipment and happen to have the 200A and 524A models you mentioned and I was also one of the first HP guys to work on the old 2116A computers here in Aus.


So just thought I'd drop you a line to say your info was all correct as I have seen it all evolve…...Cheers"   


Thanks Ian—it’s good to know Sam’s article’s are appreciated.



A bloke goes up to this girl in a bar and says, "Would you like to dance?"

The girl says, "I don't like this song, but even if I did, I wouldn't dance with you."

The bloke says, "I'm sorry, you must have misunderstood me, I said you look fat in those pants."



Space Rock!


An asteroid about the size of a football field made one of the closest known approaches to Earth on June 14, zooming by just 119,229 kilometres away. This is less than a third of the distance to the Moon.


The object was not detected until June 17, by astronomers working on the LINEAR search program, near Socorro, New Mexico.


The space rock, now named 2002 MN, was travelling at more than 37,000 kph (10 km/s) when it passed Earth. The last time a known asteroid passed this close was back in December 1994, according to a statement issued by the Near Earth Object Information Centre (NEOIC) in the United Kingdom.


The asteroid is small compared to some but still capable of causing local devastation had it hit the planet. A similar sized rock is thought to have exploded above Tunguska, Siberia in 1908. Back then thousands of acres of forest were flattened. Other boulder sized objects and smaller rocks routinely crash through Earth's atmosphere but go largely unnoticed


Astronomers say several close passes -- though not this close -- probably occur yet are undetected each year. Every few months, typically, an asteroid passing within the Moon's orbit is noticed before or shortly after it makes its closest approach to Earth.


One day……...



9 Sqn.


If you’re an old 9Sqn bloke and/or blokette have a look at their excellent web site no9squadronassociation.org/ which is maintained by Brian Dirou who had two runs with the Sqn in Vung Tau, Mar69-June69 and Jun71-Oct71.


9sqn was formed at Point Cook in January 1939, but was disbanded on 14 February 1989 when the Blackhawk aircraft and most of the blokes were used to form the nucleus of the Army's 5th Aviation Regiment at Oakey, Qld.



Alfa Bravo Charlie


The ruckus that resulted from the recent competition on the introduction of the new phonetic alphabetic brought back memories of another alphabet we heard many, many years ago. We’ve since forgotten most of it, and can’t find anyone who knows it, or has even heard of it. It went like this:


  "A"  for horses "I"  for Tower  
  "B"  for mutton "L"  for leather  
  "D"  for ential "Q"  for tickets  
  "F"  for vesent "R"  for mo  


Can anyone fill in the gaps….



The definition of "old age" is your age plus 15 years.



Don’t know about you, but if this is what the modern Air Force and particularly 38Sqn and life on the tarmac is like, I'm signing on again…..



The Chit.


I was having a beer with a good mate in Canberra recently (g’day Spacky), and we were discussing that little bit of paper that, apart from the D certificate, was the most sought after item in the RAAF—the “Chit”. My mate is ex-Army, and he reckons they had them too and if you knew how, you could get one for most things, no marching, no prolonged standing, and the most valuable of the lot “no parades”. It was the answer to everything:-  “Why aren’t you on parade LAC?”  “Got a chit Sir.”  They had the power of God behind them and if only they were available in Civvy life, can you imagine the use of a Civvy Chit, “Why are driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.35 Sir”  “Got a chit officer”  “Ok Sir—off you go then”. or “Why did you shoot your mother-in-law Mr Bloggs”  “Got a chit Your Honour”  “Ok Mr Bloggs,—off you go”…If only…...…….



Two old ex-WRAAFS were sitting on a bench having a quiet chat, when a flasher approached from across the park. He stood right in front of them and opened his trench coat, exposing himself. One of the girls immediately had a stroke. The other one, being older and more feeble, couldn't reach that far.



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