Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why Dell Laptops aren't for geeks

We recently came across this problem when trying to create a partition on a friend's DELL Laptop in addition to C: Drive. We shrank the C: Drive using Vista's Shrink Volume feature in Computer Management > Disk Management. That - worked perfectly. (surprised??)

What happened next was frustrating for the friend. There was a nice big unallocated space just waiting to become a shiny new drive; but we couldn't bring it about. We'd right-click it, Create Volume.. select all the options, and finally couldn't do anything.

Here's a screenshot from a very similar laptop. (posted on

The reason for this was the Dell Laptop's pre-configuration : It's already made a whopping 4 primary partitions! Of these, first and last ones are stupid small ones made for the laptop. And then there's C Drive and the Recovery Drive.

Don't blame just Vista for this - you can only have 4 maximum primary partitions on a hard disk. No matter what OS you're using. To break that barrier, what you need to do is to make the 4th partition not as a primary one but a logical one, wherein you can put in as many logical drives as you want. This is related to boot sector hanky-panky stuff, not worth DELLving into here...

So, it seems all Dell laptops - at least the Inspiron ones - come with 4 partitions created, leaving literally no room for multiple partitions. And that is why it's now a brand on my Blacklist! How can they do that?? How DARE they do that??

Anyways, the last partition - pre-set by DELL and invisible with no name - is 2.5GB's and it's for MediaDirect feature - playing DVD's without starting windows.
So, you want to sacrifice the multi-OS, multi-partition potential of 1000s of laptops for the sake of a "play DVD without booting!" feature. Very nice.
You can read more about it here.

Anyways, since all 4 partitions are DELL-made, my friend is currently very reluctant to delete any partition. With that, with 4 primary slots taken, there's no way we can use all that nice unallocated space. No backup, no alternate storage, no dual OS.

But, I'm advising my friend to DELETE the annoying last partition - the 2.5GB MediaDirect one. There are debilitating fears of impending doom... "Nooo, don't mess with the established order! I might lose everything!"

Well, thankfully now I've found someone who went ahead with it, deleted off the annoying bugger, and had a system stable enough after that to create a brand new drive, and lived to post the screenshot!

This post is a tribute to all those not afraid to mess with the status quo. No Guts, No Glory!!

And now, to all my friends investigating new laptops for purchase, Please, make this little check:
1. Right-click My Computer
2. Click on Manage
3. Click on Disk Management in the left pane.
4. Check if you see 4 dark-blue-topped blocks next to Disk 0.

If yes, WALK AWAY!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ambi Freeze!!

Take a look at what I recently took part in!!

AMBI FREEZE: Delhi's First Biggest Flash Mob Freeze:Go Green or Go Freeze: GO SCREAM

My Favourite Firefox Add-ons

Using Firefox without add-ons is like... a cake without creammm... mmm....

Tab Kit - blessing for wide-screens, it turns the horizontal tab bar into a vertical one (that can also auto-hide) and color-codes and groups them. Now having 30+ tabs open isn't a headache at all!

Screengrab - screenshot tool right in your browser! You can copy to clipboard or save direct to file. Choice: Grab the screen, just an area you can mark, or, the WHOLE PAGE (however long it is!!) into one single image!

Firefox Throttle - place a speed limit on bandwidth usage (browsing and downloading) - so your youtube session doesn't retard the net speed for others sharing your net connection. Also, keeps a count of MB's, very useful if you have a limited net connection.

Flashblock - replace all flash with a Play button - see it only when you want to! Ideal for conserving bandwidth!

Adblock Plus - Live a web life free of all annoying, intrusive ads! If everyone had this, the www would totally cease its ad profits!

CoolIris - Browse image and video galleries on a 3D wall - you have to see this one to believe it!

Flashgot - Integrate with any download manager!

DownnloadHelper - Download ANY streaming video or mp3 from ANY site! If you can cache it, you can download it!

Nuke Anything Enhanced - Remove anything on a web page  while keeping everything else intact.

Auto Shutdown - set the computer to shut down as soon as downloads complete

..and many more...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Red Alert :- Global Warming


If global warming continues at the current rate, we could be facing extinction. So what exactly is going to happen as the Earth heats up?
1c Increase :- Ice-free sea absorbs more heat and accelerates global warming; fresh water lost from a third of the world's surface; low-lying coastlines flooded.
2c Increase :- Europeans dying of heatstroke; forests ravaged by fire; stressed plants beginning to emit carbon rather than absorbing it; a third of all species face extinction.
3c Increase :- Carbon release from vegetation and soils speeds global warming; death of the Amazon rainforest; super-hurricanes hit coastal cities; starvation in Africa.
4c Increase :- Runaway thaw of permafrost makes global warming unstoppable; much of Britain made uninhabitable by severe flooding; Mediterranean region abandoned.
5c Increase :- Methane from ocean floor accelerates global warming; ice gone from both poles; humans migrate in search of food and try vainly to live like animals off the land.
6c Increase :- Life on Earth ends with apocalyptic storms, flash floods, hydrogen sulphide gas and methane fireballs racing across the globe with the power of atomic bombs; only fungi survive.

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