Sometimes, It’s the Fan

A customer told me they had viruses on a notebook, but it appeared that the main problem was a fan that wasn’t spinning. The customer called back and I mentioned the bad fan. She asked if the virus could be spreading… because the desktop was now reporting a fan error.

It’s not always a virus, so don’t give up when the antivirus doesn’t fix the problem.


My Laptop Won’t Turn On

Could it be the power jack even if it looks ok?

Yes, especially if you noticed that you had to hold your ac adapter cord at a particular angle to keep your laptop charging. The above power jack looked ok, but the computer didn’t work until it was replaced.

BeOS, Corel Linux, Xandros and Haiku

The BeOs was originally released back in 1995 and the BeOS 5 Pro edition was released in 2000. It’s an elegant and revolutionary OS that many people saw as a future competitor to Windows. Microsoft certainly thought so. They enforced an OEM agreement that didn’t allow vendors to sell more than one OS on a system. Be, Inc is no longer around, but you can try out a beta version of an open source implementation of BeOS by downloading Haiku from

(Who else would have shrink wrapped copies of this?)

Corel Linux was released in 1999 at a time when there was a great deal of interest in Linux as an alternative to Windows (a little like the excitement around Bitcoin about a year ago)

(This one came with a free Penguin)

Corel Linux is no longer being developed, but it continued for a while as Xandros. You might find a free copy of Xandros on the web today. I recently installed it on a very old computer as an alternative to Millennium. Unlike WinME, it comes with a web server.

Making Windows 10 Look Better

Windows 10 bombards you with ads and invades your privacy… and that’s before the manufacturers add all of their kitsch.

Why do we put up with this stuff? Certainly ads shouldn’t be part of an operating system…. and these ads rotate and flip around. Fortunately, the ads can be removed, and the appearance can also be improved.

There’s still the matter of privacy. The privacy invading features can mostly be removed… and we shouldn’t forget that 10 can be slow on many systems. There are ways to improve this situation as well by turning off some things… like the BitTorrent like way that Microsoft sends updates to you. That’s very processor intensive.

If only we could force it not to do a reboot update while it’s re-encoding videos with Handbrake for 24 plus hours. Maybe someone knows.