Introduction

Hi All,

You've found the blog of Leighly G Penrod (better known as Lee Penrod). Over the years I've helped thousands of people with technology questions. I started this blog to share some of the problems I've personally solved, and to act as a place to put bits of new articles before they are ready for release.

In the past I wrote serveral things published by Directron.com. I worked for them for several years including doing various bits of technical writing. Although I no longer work for them, I do still put up some content on my blog now and then.

If you are not familiar with my prior work, feel free to see these popular guides I have written-

How to Install Front USB 3.0 Connections

How to Install Front USB
(connecting front ports to the motherboard)

Understanding System Memory and CPU speeds:
A layman's guide to the Front Side Bus (FSB)

Hooking up a Neon Light
[Old Article on making a card neon from Walmart work in a PC]

Friday, April 30, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cross-Over Super Mario

Here's another quick game to try out: Cross-Over Mario.
Basically, this is Super Mario from the NES recreated in flash, but you can play as:

  • Mario

  • Link (From Legend of Zelda)

  • Bill R (Contra)

  • Simon (Castlevania)

  • Mega Man

  • Simon (Metroid)

    The interesting thing about the game is that the other characters bring over their game elements from their games i.e. Mega Man slides, charge blasts, etc.

    This isn't a great game to play for an extended time, but it is an interesting game to play if you are like me and actually played all these games back on the origional NES as a kid.
  • Video Game Characters vs Video Game Voices

    I stumbled on this interesting link today.

    The site has pictures of some of the most famous game characters such as Mario, Solid Snake, Sonic, Agent 47 and others. The site ends with a joke about Kevin Smith aka Silent Bob doing the voice acting for Gordon Freeman of Half-Life fame. [Gordon hasn't spoken in the entire series].

    Take the site with a gain of salt though, I didn't verify they are correct.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Interesting Product for Home Media Sharing

    While I was working today I stumbled on a pretty great media sharing box, the GMG 3583NAS-NL. What's so great about it?
    1. It's an enclosure with gigabit networking & wireless networking + it can do USB 2.0. That means it's very flexible and you don't even have to have it near your router / cable box. [Although you can and get a bit of a performance boost].
    2. The unit is fairly smart and apparently does some form of linux natively [didn't dig too deep]. As such, it can do alot of things you wouldn't expect out of a network attached storage box like: Torrent files, share printers [ CUPS? ], run a DHCP server or a time server.
    3. It's a RAID enclosure. Although it's limited to a max drive size of 1 TB, for most people that's more than enough to store all their music and such. Since it's a RAID enclosure you have 3 options:
      • RAID 1: Your files are written to both drives ever time you write a file, so you are safe if one goes bad.
      • Raid 0:Basically your files are split in half, 1 to drive 1, 1 to drive 2-- but they write and read at the same time-- so it's faster. One drive dead, you lose everything. [But you also get one big 2TB area].
      • Non-Raid: You could simply leave it alone and have two drives independantly in the enclosure.
      The box is pretty cheap too at $89.99 and there's a coupon on DirectronDeals that can take a bit more off.  I think it's a good value and worth checking out even if it's limited to 1TB drives.

      Thursday, April 22, 2010

      Left 4 Dead 2 ( L4D2 ) The Passing Expansion

      Although I haven't mentioned it here, I'm a pretty big fan of the Left 4 Dead / Left 4 Dead 2 franchise. Today is the release date for the first L4D2 DLC expansion - The Passing. It's adding some cool new things a new gun, melee weapon ( golf club ) and a meet up with the cast from Left 4 Dead 1. Check out the Steam announcement for some more details. Valve is also running a sale on the game on Steam. A check a moment ago was showing the game at 20.09, which is a great deal.

      If you haven't played Left 4 Dead 2, or haven't played Left 4 Dead 2 in a while it's a good time to come back.

      P.S. There are some pretty good sprays for the game at this site. Sprays are used in valve game as a call sign / logo during game play. You can always make your own, but that's a topic for another time.

      Wednesday, April 21, 2010

      McAfee mess up

      Today, McAfee released a virus update to their "Total Protection" package that targeted a vital windows component in Windows XP / 2000. Engadget and HardOCP as well as others covered it.

      Engadget Coverage

      This is not the first time I've seen this happen with McAfee and it's one reason I stopped recommending McAfee to customers at work. Right now at Directron we're not even listing McAfee for this and other reasons. Their corporate products are OK, but they and Symantec have had more bad press in the last 4 years than other rival packages like Kaspersky or Sophos.

      The truth is that if you are a home user, there really isn't a great reason to buy anti virus software right now. Microsoft's Security Essentials package does a more than adequate job for most home users, and beats the free versions of both AVG and Avast in my experiance from doing virus troubleshooting regularly. Commercial AVG still has some merit if you've had some bad run ins with spyware in the past, and Kaspersky is decent if you have some of the odder infections but Security Essentials is a great place to start.

      (Note: Security Essentials is basically the anti-virus/anti-malware package formerly known as Microsoft OneCare. It's free for home use and I believe also in some instances for small business. For businesses Microsoft offers ForeFront which also has domain snappings and exchange support.)

      - end rant

      Tuesday, April 20, 2010

      Interesting Game

      Hi All,

      I just stumbled on this fairly addictive game: Flood Runner 2. It's a fairly basic platformer, you run away from a wave that's coming at you. still much better than I expected. Try it out if you're bored.

      Monday, April 19, 2010