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Old 10-30-2006, 04:39 PM   #1
SamIAm
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CTH FAQ. Please read! - Now with Monitors!

GENERAL

The Computer Technical Help (CTH) forum is for non-gambling tech questions. If it's a gambling related question ("I can't get Full Tilt/PartyPoker/PokerStars tables to respond!") your post probably belongs in the Software forum. Don't be offended if I move your post.

TwoPlusTwo is both a website that survives on ad revenue and a publishing company that sells intellectual property (IP). That means we're not going to help you avoid ads or steal IP. (For instance, no discussion of BitTorrent at all, in any way.)

Are you about to create a new thread asking for help with a specific problem? If so, have you tried googling first? It's very likely that your question has been asked before -- and answered -- by someone else. Google can assist you in finding this answer. Want to sharpen your googling skills? Check out this tutorial.

If you've googled and still haven't found an answer, please consider the following suggestions when asking for help:
  • Describe the problem with all relevant details. Don't use phrases like "didn't work" if you can describe how it didn't work.
  • Include brand and model of any hardware involved.
  • Try trouble-shooting on your own. For instance, if your mouse is having problems, try plugging it into a different port. Try plugging it into a different computer. Try plugging somebody else's mouse in the same port, etc.
  • You're allowed to bump your own thread once. You should probably wait a day or so before doing so.
  • Remember that you're asking strangers on the Internet to help you fix your computer problem. Even if you're frustrated, "please", "thank you", etc. are always appreciated.
  • No money rewards. Everybody here is helping everybody here; you don't have to pay to play. There's been drama with fizzled rewards in the past, so just ask your question with a "please" and a "thank you". Offering monetary rewards will result in a few short lived infraction points. Doing it again will result in progressively more.
Any discussion of this post should take place in this thread.

INFRACTIONS

Generally if the mods think you are doing something wrong in CTH we will warn you or just edit your post to bring it in line with the forum rules. If you offer money for help you will get a 5 point infraction that will expire in a month, if you ask for money after offering help you'll get the same. If you ignore the warnings or infraction and continue you're behavior we will increase the infractions or give you a temporary ban of a few days.

Asking for help with torrents or other methods of pirating IP will get you at least a 10 point infraction.

If you disagree with our actions or think we are being unfair please PM us to discuss the matter.

WHAT IF NO ONE ANSWERS?

The people who answer questions in CTH have other jobs and quite possibly lives and sometimes answers don't come right away. Be patient, most questions will get answers. If your post doesn't get an answer within a few days you can bump it to bring it back to the top of the list. You can do this once. If you get whingy in your thread and bump it within minutes or hours of posting it I'll probably just lock the thread and you can try again in new thread. If you get really bitchy I'll delete the thread and give you 10 infraction points and not let you bump threads in CTH anymore.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  • Computer Hardware
    • "How do I build a poker computer?"
    • "Should I buy a Western Digital Raptor hard drive or a solid-state drive (SSD)?"
    • "I want to use multiple, big, rotated monitors!"
    • "ZOMG! I spilt milk on my <whatever>!"
  • Networking
    • "My Internet connection is broken!"
    • "What wireless card should I use?"
    • "How do I secure my wireless?"
    • "Is it safe to play poker on a wireless network?"
    • "How do I setup a proxy server to make my computer look like it's in a different country?"
  • Security
    • "How do I secure my computer?"
    • "I think I have a virus-/malware-/spyware-related issue! What do I do?"
  • Software
    • "Help! Firefox is not working correctly!"
    • "How do I ask a program not to startup?"
    • "How do I record/create a video?"
    • "How can I run Windows on a Mac or Linux on Windows, etc.?"
    • "Dell installed all sorts of awful stuff on my computer!"

Computer Hardware

"How do I build a poker computer?"

MrMillions had a great article on how to build a poker computer. That article is now two years old, stick to searching CTH or asking in the NC thread.

A few notes about specific components:
  • Quad core vs. dual core processor:
    Quad cores' clock speeds are usually slightly lower than similary priced dual cores. However, given the typical usage habits of a poker player -- running many applications at the same time -- quad cores are usually better since they can run four programs (threads) at once instead of just two.
  • Video cards:
    Unless you plan on playing 3D games, you don't need a state-of-the-art video card. However, it's usually good to make sure your card has two dual-link DVI ports, since this will allow you to run up to two 30" monitors at once. The GeForce 8600GT costs around $70 and is a great choice if you're not going to be doing any gaming.
  • More than 4GB of RAM:
    If you plan on using more than 4GB of RAM, you'll need to buy a 64-bit version of whichever operating system you use. For Windows, there are 64-bit versions of XP and Vista. For Linux, most distributions come with a 64-bit version, however not all hardware has 64-bit driver support yet.

"Should I buy a Western Digital Raptor hard drive or a solid-state drive (SSD)?"

Both Raptors and SSDs are fairly expensive compared to other SATA hard drives, so unless you demand extremely high performance or do not care about cost, a 7200RPM SATA drive is probably a better choice.

Price is also a factor when choosing between the Raptor and a SSD. A 150GB VelociRaptor costs around $175, while the average 32GB SSD costs around $200. So the price per GB is about 5x more for SSDs. But since you only need to have your operating system and poker database on a high-speed drive, using a 32GB SSD is feasible.

Furthermore, random access times in SSDs are significantly faster than Raptors'. In fact, they're almost non-existant. The average SSD takes about 0.1ms to seek to any given position on the disk whereas the Raptor takes around 5ms. Given the fact that the majority of the reads to a poker database are going to be random, this is a very important factor.

So given our specific use case, and the falling prices of SSDs, they are a clear choice over a Raptor when storage space isn't an issue.

"I want to use multiple, big, rotated monitors!"

See the monitors FAQ post.

"ZOMG! I spilt milk on my <whatever>!"

First, don't cry over it. Next, remove ALL power you can. Turn it off, unplug it, remove the battery, etc. If it's something besides water, you might want to carefully wipe or even lightly rinse off any residue you can, so it doesn't dry sticky. Then LET IT DRY. This could take longer than
you'd expect, especially if you poured water into deep crevices. Then pray and turn it back on. If it's still busted and still under warranty, take it back to the store and play dumb.


Networking

"My Internet connection is broken!"

If the only information we have is that you can't web, then all we know is that a chain is broken between your computer and a website. We need to figure-out which link is the problem.

If you're using wireless, see if you can plug directly into the router instead of using wireless. It's one fewer possible problems.

First, we need to see if your computer is getting an IP address. To see this, run "cmd" and then type "ipconfig.exe". That'll display all the IP information about your computer. You should have an IP, DNS, and Gateway address. (If you have a router, gateway = router.)

If that looks ok, we want to see if your computer can talk to your router. Run "cmd" and then type "ping &lt;your router's address&gt; -t". This sends a stream of packets to your router and tells you how long it took.

If that worked, we want to see if you can communicate with the outside world. The most basic communication is pinging an IP address, so run "cmd" and then type "ping 4.2.2.1 -t".

If that worked, we want to see if you can turn domain names into IP addresses, so run "cmd" and type "ping www.google.com -t".

If that worked, try browsing to www.google.com. Use a couple browsers.

"What wireless card should I use?"

After finding-out what protocol your router uses (usually 802.11g or 802.11b), almost any card that supports that protocol will work. You can find PCMCIA (laptop slot) or PCI (inside the desktop case) or USB (works for laptop or desktop).

"How do I secure my wireless?"

Check this thread and this thread.

"Is it safe to play poker on a wireless network?"

In short: yes. Most poker networks (definitely PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker) encrypt the data they send using SSL, the same encryption used by secure HTTPS websites. If someone else is on the network, they can see where you're sending and receiving this data from, but there's no way they can decrypt it.

However, most Internet traffic is not encrypted. A few examples of non-encrypted data:
  • Any data you submit to non-HTTPS website (poker hand histories, posts on 2+2, etc.)
  • AIM or MSN messenger conversations
For example, whenever you log in to a site that's not using HTTPS, your username and password are submitted in plain-text*. This data can be viewed by anyone that is currently connected to the wireless network. You should always keep this in mind when viewing non-HTTPS websites on wireless networks.

* Many sites create hashes of passwords before sending them, but these are easily cracked using rainbow tables.

"How do I setup a proxy server to make my computer look like it's in a different country?"

Bishop22 started a good thread on this.


Security

"How do I secure my computer?"

Check out Entity's great article on securing your computer.

Nat Arem also has a informative blog post detailing ten simple steps to stay secure online.

"I think I have a virus-/malware-/spyware-related issue! What do I do?"

Head on over to LirvA's excllent FAQ sticky about viruses, spyware and malware.


Software

"Help! Firefox is not working correctly!"

Are you using Firefox 3? If not, please upgrade! Many common issues were fixed in Firefox 3. Maybe yours is one of them.

If you're using Firefox 3 and still experiencing the problem try searching the Firefox support website to see if there's a knowledge base article on your problem.

Are you using any extensions or themes? Sometimes extensions can cause weird bugs. Try troubleshooting extensions and themes.

"How do I ask a program not to startup?"

Start -> Run "msconfig.exe" and checkout the StartUp tab. Startup Control Panel is also another great program to manage startup entries with.

"How do I record/create a video?"

Check out Learning's excellent tutorial on making a Camtasia video.

Camtasia Studio is not free, but there is a free 30-day trial for first-time users. If your Camtasia trial has run out and you don't want to buy it, you can use CamStudio, a free, open-source alternative to Camtasia.

"How can I run Windows on a Mac or Linux on Windows, etc.?"

If you plan on installing Windows, you'll need a licensed copy of it. Google knows a few places to buy one.

There are a variety of solutions depending on what operating system/platform you're using:

Mac
  • Parallels - $80 - Run Windows or Linux from within Mac OS X
  • VMware Fusion - $80 - Run Windows or Linux from within Mac OS X
  • Boot Camp- Free* - Run Windows or Linux natively; i.e. you get to choose what operating system to use when you boot your computer
Boot Camp is less convenient than Parallels or VMware Fusion -- you have to reboot to use the other operating system -- but it provides greater performance. For example, most 3D games require you to use Boot Camp instead of Parallels or VMware.

* Boot Camp is included with Mac OS X Leopard

LinuxVMware player only allows you to run Windows as one single window, but VirtualBox allows both a single window and "seamless" window mode where the Windows taskbar is placed on your Linux desktop and Windows applications are treated like regular Linux application windows.

WindowsOutlined here are the most popular solutions. There are many alternatives available.

"Dell installed all sorts of awful stuff on my computer!"

Check this thread for reinstalling windows.

Last edited by kerowo; 02-24-2013 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Added no bumping
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:21 PM   #2
SamIAm
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FAQ: Monitors

This covers all the frequently asked questions about monitors. buckslayer80 wrote the 30" section, and SamIAm maintains the sticky. As with the general FAQ, we can't have unlocked stickies; any discussion of this post should take place here.

GENERAL

"How many &lt;X&gt; pokersite windows fit on the &lt;Y&gt; monitor?"

Find the resolution for the monitor. (Google it if you don't know.) Divide your width by the poker width. (Round down.) Divide your height by the poker height. (Round down.) Multiply these two numbers together.

Some standard dimensions:<ul type="square">[*]Almost all default windows: 800x600[*]FullTilt: 800x579[*]Shrunk Party: 486x367[*]Shrunk PokerStars: 483x354[/list]1600x1200 is likely your target resolution.

"Which monitors support 1600x1200?"

The Dell 2001FP and 2007FP (NOT widescreen) do. The Samsung 204B and 204T do. There are likely others but these seem to be the most prevalent.

If your monitor doesn't NATIVELY support 1600x1200, you really won't be able to stretch it. LCDs aren't like CRTs; you can't pack 3 pixels into 2 pixels.

"How do I rotate the screen and have windows appear rightside up?"

If you're using an ATI or NVidia videocard, their newest driver includes a systemt-tray monitor which has a "rotate display" option. There's also a free app called iRotate.

"How do I use one monitor for two computers?"

If the monitor has a switch to control inputs (DVI/VGA), you can connect one computer to each input. Otherwise, you'll have to buy a KVM switch which will let you use one k.eyboard, v.ideo, and m.ouse on two computers.

MULTI MONITORS

"What hardware do I need to run two monitors?"

Obviously you'll need two video ports coming out of the computer. One way is to buy a card with two video ports. Another is to use two cards at once. (Windows supports this natively.)

If you have a laptop and want an extra video port, you can find PCMCIA cards, USB cards, or use a second laptop as a monitor with programs like MaxiVista.

"My taskbar is on the wrong monitor!"

Drag it back. (You'd be surprised how often we get this question. )

"How do I get a taskbar on both screens?"

UltraMon and MultiMon both do this. Multimon is free.

"How do I get one wallpaper on both screens?"

UltraMon does this. You can also turn on ActiveDesktop in the Display control panel and place images that way.

"How do I use my laptop as an extra monitor?"

If you have a laptop and want an extra video port, you can find PCMCIA cards, USB cards, or use a second laptop as a monitor with programs like MaxiVista.
Check here for more info.

BIG 30" MONITORS

"What is it?"

The Dell 3007WFP is a 30'' widescreen monitor that supports 2560x1600 resolution.

"Do I need a special graphics card?"

The high resolution of the 3007 requires a graphics card with Dual Link DVI-D capability. You can easily search many sites like www.pricewatch.com and www.pricegrabber.com and specify "dual link" to find compatible cards.

"What is dual link DVI?"

Dual link DVI is esentially increased video bandwith across the same interface. Here's more explanation.

Note that Dual DVI is not the same as Dual Link DVI.



"Can I use the monitor without a dual link DVI card?"

Yes, but you won't like it. The 3007 is designed to run at 2560x1600. Any resolution lower than that will result in icons about 3 inches tall.

"So which graphics cards can I use?"

There are more and more compatible cards being released every day. As mentioned before, the best way to find one is to go into your local retailer or search online merchants and specify "dual link DVI". Here are some compatible models though:<ul type="square">[*]Nvidia Quadro FX 3000, 4000, 3400, 4400[*]Sapphire X1300 XT, X 1650 Pro and X 1650 XT[*]ATI FireGL V3400, V5200, V3300, Radeon 9600 Pro[*]GeForce 7800GT, 7950GT, 8500GT, 8800GTX, 8800 GTS[/list]"Does my desktop need anything special to run one of these cards?"

Most of these cards use the PCI express interface, so you will need to make sure your motherboard has an available PCI-E slot. Also pay attention to the power supply requirements for each card. A good average is 500 watts, so make sure your power supply is large enough.

"What about my laptop?"

You essentially can't change the video card in a laptop. Some have cards that run dual link DVI already. The Macbook and top of the line Alienware and Asus models offer this. Certainly more will follow; check your specs.

Last edited by kerowo; 08-29-2008 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: CTH FAQ. Please read! - Now with Monitors!

Upgrade bmp
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