• What kind of video card connector is this?

    This video card is from a circa 2011 Dell Optiplex 990 (used, but in good condition). It's got AMD Radeon markings, and a connector that doesn't seem to be any kind of standard DVI. I'm guessing that there must be some kind of dongle I'm missing. I don't need this card to use the PC - but I'm wondering what it would take... show more
    This video card is from a circa 2011 Dell Optiplex 990 (used, but in good condition). It's got AMD Radeon markings, and a connector that doesn't seem to be any kind of standard DVI. I'm guessing that there must be some kind of dongle I'm missing. I don't need this card to use the PC - but I'm wondering what it would take to get it working. Can anyone clue me in on this card? Not a lot of markings on it at all, really. (OEM product?)
    3 answers · Desktops · 9 months ago
  • U.K. residents: difference between "roundabout" and "circus"?

    American English speaker, here: reading John Le Carre. "The Circus" refers to Cambridge Circus, what I would call in the U.S. a traffic circle. I've also seen the term "roundabout" used. What's the difference? Size? Is one usage more current than the other?
    American English speaker, here: reading John Le Carre. "The Circus" refers to Cambridge Circus, what I would call in the U.S. a traffic circle. I've also seen the term "roundabout" used. What's the difference? Size? Is one usage more current than the other?
    3 answers · Words & Wordplay · 1 year ago
  • Windows Update: How long should it take?

    TL;DR: How long should it take for Windows Update to process about two years' worth of updates, after a Windows 8.1 "factory restore"?
    TL;DR: How long should it take for Windows Update to process about two years' worth of updates, after a Windows 8.1 "factory restore"?
    3 answers · Software · 2 years ago
  • Any experience with extreme power line networking?

    I'm looking for some "real world" experience with Ethernet-over-AC-powerline devices. I'm trying to deliver Internet to an outbuilding on a farm. The outbuilding is maybe 150 feet line-of-sight from the Wi-Fi router, but masonry and steel walls kill that signal. So I'm considering a powerline networking kit. The AC wire... show more
    I'm looking for some "real world" experience with Ethernet-over-AC-powerline devices. I'm trying to deliver Internet to an outbuilding on a farm. The outbuilding is maybe 150 feet line-of-sight from the Wi-Fi router, but masonry and steel walls kill that signal. So I'm considering a powerline networking kit. The AC wire path from the router to the outbuilding is close to 200 feet, mostly in underground conduit. BUT: the signal would pass through three subpanels, as well as the farm main panelboard. If the signal is riding the "hot" (black) wire, it might pass through six circuit breakers. No transformers, at least. This is a lot more demanding than the typical application for a powerline networking kit. Before I spend money on a kit, does it stand any chance of working?
    4 answers · Computer Networking · 3 years ago
  • Slow toilet; drain or vent?

    One of the toilets in my house is draining slowly. The siphon forms and the bowl empties completely, including waste solids, but it takes longer than it used to. I can't believe that the fixture itself is clogged: I live alone, and the only things that go in the bowl are human waste and toilet paper. The other toilets in the house function... show more
    One of the toilets in my house is draining slowly. The siphon forms and the bowl empties completely, including waste solids, but it takes longer than it used to. I can't believe that the fixture itself is clogged: I live alone, and the only things that go in the bowl are human waste and toilet paper. The other toilets in the house function normally; so it's not the horizontal sewer line in the basement. The other fixtures near the problem toilet (shower & double sink vanity) function normally - with the exception that I've caught an occasional whiff of sewer gas from the sink drain right after flushing the toilet. I've got a bunch of vent stacks in the roof. Near as I can tell, there's one that serves only this toilet and the double-sink vanity. The shower seems to have its own vent, as do the other bathrooms, kitchen and laundry. I'm inclined to suspect the vent. Can an obstructed vent slow a toilet like this? Is there a way to check it, or some kind of other indication I should be looking for?
    2 answers · Maintenance & Repairs · 4 years ago
  • What is the name of this antenna jack?

    I have a hand-me-down Insignia (Best Buy house brand) stereo receiver. The FM antenna jack is identical to the one I've circled in this picture. It's not an "F" connector; It's certainly not a BNC connector (although it's about that size). I'm guessing that it's standard for another market; Europe or Asia,... show more
    I have a hand-me-down Insignia (Best Buy house brand) stereo receiver. The FM antenna jack is identical to the one I've circled in this picture. It's not an "F" connector; It's certainly not a BNC connector (although it's about that size). I'm guessing that it's standard for another market; Europe or Asia, maybe. I need an adapter for a U.S. style "F" connector, or a conector I can crimp on to an RG-59 cable, but first I need to know the name of THIS connector. Anybody recognize it?
    3 answers · Home Theater · 4 years ago
  • Does this style of star (asymmetric, four-pointed) have any kind of special name?

    I've seen this asymmetric, four-pointed star used as a decorative element in one or two places. I was just wondering if it has some special name, or formal use.
    I've seen this asymmetric, four-pointed star used as a decorative element in one or two places. I was just wondering if it has some special name, or formal use.
    1 answer · Drawing & Illustration · 4 years ago
  • What are the symptoms of a failed knock sensor?

    2001 Subaru Forester, manual transmission, 200K miles. I've got a chronic evaporative emissions false alarm, so my "check engine" light (CEL) is on more often than off during hot weather. Every now and then I read the codes to see if there's anything else lurking in the computer. Twice during August, I read a P0328 code, which... show more
    2001 Subaru Forester, manual transmission, 200K miles. I've got a chronic evaporative emissions false alarm, so my "check engine" light (CEL) is on more often than off during hot weather. Every now and then I read the codes to see if there's anything else lurking in the computer. Twice during August, I read a P0328 code, which is for the knock sensor. (That's in addition to my false alarm evap codes.) I've got no obvious driveability problems: the car handles normally, there are no strange noises, my fuel economy remains very high. (31 MPG in this hot weather. I drive with a light foot.) I'm thinking that this is another false alarm: a sporadic code from a failed self-test that would not have lit the CEL by itself. But it still shows up when I read the evap codes. If I really did have a bad knock sensor, what symptoms would I see? I don't want to spend more money chasing a random false alarm. (I spent too much chasing those evap codes.)
    2 answers · Maintenance & Repairs · 6 years ago
  • Can anybody tell me about old Macintosh hard drives?

    A friend of mine has an old (from 2001 - 2002) Macintosh desktop computer - dead. I haven't seen it yet, and she doesn't remember the model. (She has to dig it out of a closet.) I'm a PC guy: Mostly Linux. I've never opened up a Mac before. Before I offer to try to recover her pictures and files, can anyone advise me... show more
    A friend of mine has an old (from 2001 - 2002) Macintosh desktop computer - dead. I haven't seen it yet, and she doesn't remember the model. (She has to dig it out of a closet.) I'm a PC guy: Mostly Linux. I've never opened up a Mac before. Before I offer to try to recover her pictures and files, can anyone advise me regarding what I'm going to find inside? Will the hard drive use a familiar PATA/IDE or SATA interface, or am I going to find something else (SCSI, perhaps?) What kind of file system will a Mac of that era use? Surely it won't be FAT32, or NTFS. Is it some kind of Apple proprietary format, or do they use something my Linux machines can read? I just don't want to bite off more than I can chew.
    3 answers · Desktops · 6 years ago
  • How to disassemble a CD drive?

    I have a CD-R/RW drive, pulled from an eight year old desktop, with a CD stuck inside. Software eject didn't work; neither did the front panel eject button. The "paperclip-pinhole" release doesn't work, either. I'm thinking that the tray transport motor has failed, or the solenoid / spring assembly that clamps the CD to the... show more
    I have a CD-R/RW drive, pulled from an eight year old desktop, with a CD stuck inside. Software eject didn't work; neither did the front panel eject button. The "paperclip-pinhole" release doesn't work, either. I'm thinking that the tray transport motor has failed, or the solenoid / spring assembly that clamps the CD to the drive motor is locked somehow. I don't care about the drive; the whole computer is on the way to the scrap heap, anyway. But I would like to save the CD inside. So, I'd like to dismantle this thing as systematically as possible. Getting the bottom off was simple: four machine screws. But pressing on the plastic "ears" doesn't seem to be releasing either the front bezel, or the whole assembly from the metal case. It's a Sony CD-R/RW, Model CRX216E. Does anybody have any suggestions, or tips? Again, all I care about is saving the CD.
    2 answers · Desktops · 6 years ago
  • Before I pronounce this laptop DEAD...?

    ...I'd like a second opinion (or two). HP Pavilion ZV5000, circa 2004. No boot. Backlit power button and other indicators on the base illuminate when I hit the power button. The fan runs for about a second (self test?) then shuts down. I can hear the disk spinning, and can hear what sounds like a "recalibrate" cycle from the... show more
    ...I'd like a second opinion (or two). HP Pavilion ZV5000, circa 2004. No boot. Backlit power button and other indicators on the base illuminate when I hit the power button. The fan runs for about a second (self test?) then shuts down. I can hear the disk spinning, and can hear what sounds like a "recalibrate" cycle from the disk every 5 seconds or so. No backlighting on the LCD, nothing on the display (LCD or external monitor). I can shut the laptop down by holding the power button for 10 seconds. Reseated memory module, reseated HDD. (The HDD seems OK; I installed it in another computer and recovered files using an Ubuntu Live CD session.) Battery pack in or out makes no difference; AC or battery makes no difference, external monitor makes no difference. I'm certainly not going to invest any money in an eight-year-old laptop. But have I forgotten anything easy? (Absent a solution, "best answer" will go to the most clever eulogy.) "He's dead, Jim!"
    5 answers · Laptops & Notebooks · 7 years ago
  • WWII photo reconnaissance: why Spitfires?

    This week's "Nova" episode on PBS, "3D Spies of WWII", explored allied aerial photo reconnaissance over occupied Europe. The program credited the Spitfire as the aerial platform. I know that other aircraft were used in photo reconnaissance flights. But, for the life of me, I can't figure out why they might have used... show more
    This week's "Nova" episode on PBS, "3D Spies of WWII", explored allied aerial photo reconnaissance over occupied Europe. The program credited the Spitfire as the aerial platform. I know that other aircraft were used in photo reconnaissance flights. But, for the life of me, I can't figure out why they might have used Spitfires at all. Yes, it was a wonderful fighter, but fighter maneuverability works against it as a photography platform. The early Spitfires also lacked endurance. Seems to me that for aerial photo reconnaissance during war, you want a long-range, stable platform with some self-defense capability, and maybe speed to flee if that seems the better course. Those requirements suggest that you convert medium and heavy bombers, like DeHavilland Mosquitos or B-17s. (The Mosquito *was* produced in a photo reconnaissance version.) To my question, then: Why convert a home defense fighter like a Spitfire, badly needed for home defense, to a reconnaissance role? What unique value would a Spitfire bring to that mission?
    15 answers · Aircraft · 7 years ago
  • Re-waterproofing a turnout blanket?

    My old Rambo turnout sheet is no longer waterproof. Can anyone recommend a product that will restore it's water resistance?
    My old Rambo turnout sheet is no longer waterproof. Can anyone recommend a product that will restore it's water resistance?
    2 answers · Horses · 8 years ago
  • Unusual aircraft, help in identifying?

    I saw quite an unusual aircraft in the sky this afternoon. Twin engines (wing mounted), in a pusher propeller configuration. There was a sizable horizontal stabilizer in a canard configuration. The rear of the aircraft featured the vertical stabilizer, and a somewhat smaller horizontal stabilizer. Most of the fuselage was ahead of the... show more
    I saw quite an unusual aircraft in the sky this afternoon. Twin engines (wing mounted), in a pusher propeller configuration. There was a sizable horizontal stabilizer in a canard configuration. The rear of the aircraft featured the vertical stabilizer, and a somewhat smaller horizontal stabilizer. Most of the fuselage was ahead of the wings. Quite the unusual sight! It didn't sound like your typical light twin, either. Does anyone recognize it from my description?
    4 answers · Aircraft · 9 years ago
  • Short field performance of a C-17?

    While driving past a regional airport, I was surprised and delighted to see a C-17 Globemaster III on climbout. (There's an Army National Guard base at the airport.) The Boeing website states the takeoff roll of a C-17 as 7,600 feet at MTOW (and presumably at sea level with a moderate ambient temperature). This airport has a 6,000 foot... show more
    While driving past a regional airport, I was surprised and delighted to see a C-17 Globemaster III on climbout. (There's an Army National Guard base at the airport.) The Boeing website states the takeoff roll of a C-17 as 7,600 feet at MTOW (and presumably at sea level with a moderate ambient temperature). This airport has a 6,000 foot runway. So, this bird couldn't have been at maximum take-off weight. I'm wondering just how much runway a more lightly loaded C-17 might need. Any informed opinions? It was quite a sight to see!
    5 answers · Aircraft · 9 years ago
  • HVAC techs: Should I replace A/C crankcase heater?

    I have a Trane XL 1200 split system air conditioner (cooling only, no heat pump). It's 14 years old. Earlier this week, it tripped the circuit breaker. The breaker would not stay reset, even with the thermostat set to "off". The HVAC technician immediately suspected a shorted crankcase heater. He disconnected it, the breaker... show more
    I have a Trane XL 1200 split system air conditioner (cooling only, no heat pump). It's 14 years old. Earlier this week, it tripped the circuit breaker. The breaker would not stay reset, even with the thermostat set to "off". The HVAC technician immediately suspected a shorted crankcase heater. He disconnected it, the breaker stayed "on", and it's been working fine ever since. He's telling me that I don't have to have the crankcase heater replaced. This is a residential application, and I won't be running the A/C when the outside temperature is below 50 degrees F. He's also concerned that there's some risk to the other components when opening up a 14-year-old unit to replace the heater. I'll add that the outside unit is on the southeast side of the house, and gets both direct sunlight, and sunlight reflected from two stucco walls. It's an unusually warm location. I'm looking for a second opinion. What am I risking without a working crankcase heater? I'd just as soon save the money, but not if it means I blow up the compressor in a couple of months... Thoughts and opinions?
    8 answers · Maintenance & Repairs · 9 years ago
  • Looking for NTSB report: SEPTA Regional Rail Accident 14-MAY-2007?

    I'm looking for a NTSB report on the SEPTA Regional Rail accident of May 14, 2007, in the tunnels near the Market East Station (Philadelphia PA, USA). (News report here: http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=resources/traffic&id=5271806 ). I would have thought that it would be in this list by... show more
    I'm looking for a NTSB report on the SEPTA Regional Rail accident of May 14, 2007, in the tunnels near the Market East Station (Philadelphia PA, USA). (News report here: http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?sectio... ). I would have thought that it would be in this list by now: http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/r_acc.htm But it's not. (Other SEPTA accident reports are in this list.) Can anybody suggest another place to look? Thanks.
    1 answer · Rail · 9 years ago
  • Vista to Windows 7 upgrade: Do I need administrator password?

    My sister-in-law has forgotten her administrator's password on Windows Vista. I was going to reset her PC to factory this weekend. She also wants to upgrade to Windows 7. Do I need to have a current Vista administrator password in order to run the Windows 7 upgrade? Or can I skip the "restore to factory" step, and just run the... show more
    My sister-in-law has forgotten her administrator's password on Windows Vista. I was going to reset her PC to factory this weekend. She also wants to upgrade to Windows 7. Do I need to have a current Vista administrator password in order to run the Windows 7 upgrade? Or can I skip the "restore to factory" step, and just run the Windows 7 upgrade?
    4 answers · Software · 9 years ago