Tag Archive: computer

The history of Computers as I lived it – Part 1.

When I started Dr3amcast3r Reviews in 2010, my main objective was to share my reviews on technology.

Truth be told, I never really put much effort behind the blog. But after 5 years, I’ve been forced to move forward, or as a friend of mine that knows me for 15 years, it’s time to move back to my roots.

Please allow me to tell you a few things about myself.

I was born in 1982, back when the most advanced cell phone was this “thing” below.cell phones in 1982

I’ve always loved technology and the amazing things that we can do with it’s advancement. I got my first computer when I was 8 years old, when I was in the second year of basic instruction. It was an Europc from Schneider, that booted with a 3,5″ floppy disc. I loved that machine. With it I learn to make basic “Dos” programs, did works for school, browsed a program called “World Atlas” that also booted from a 3,5″ floppy.

europc schneider

I used this computer until I was 12 years old. By then I got an Intel Pentium P54C @ 120Mhz. It had a hard drive of 120 Megabytes, which, at the time was more space than I could fill.

This was my machine for the next 4 years. By this time, I was quite proficient in creating small ms-dos programs and small customizations on Windows 3.1.

I got my first internet access in late 1998 with a dial up 56K modem along with a brand new computer, an AMD Athlon 1500+ with a 120 Gigabytes of hard drive and 128 Megabytes of ram. I remember this well because it was at the same time that Starcraft was launched. With this new computer (that was a bomb at the time), a whole new world opened for me. Early 1999 I got my first broadband internet service, cable internet @ 128kilobits per second. With this, I could do downloads @ 5-7 Kilobytes per second, that was a humongous improvement over the average 1-3 kilobytes per second with the dial-up modem.

Back then, only 16 years ago, the “big thing” was Internet Relay chat, mainly accessed by the program mIRC and it’s various customizations. This was also when I was first introduced to the concept of “Internet Security” and “Hacking”. Back in those days there no concepts like “White-hats” or “black-hats” like I see everywhere on the internet. “Hackers” where hackers. Their motto was “Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Information” or “If it’s hidden then it’s to be discovered!”. By this time I was ending my mandatory education, I was on the 12th grade of mandatory education and getting ready to apply to a course of Computers Engineering. I devoured everything and anything related with computers, internet security, virus and anti-virus, programming languages, and all subjects related with internet and technology.

In 2001, living in an atmosphere of excitement that I was going to the University studying computers science, I was introduced to Traditional Chinese Medicine. I was immediately in love with it. I had heard in the past of Acupuncture, one of the Techniques of Chinese Medicine, but never put any faith on it. But somehow, when I heard of Chinese Medicine I decided, at that precise moment, that that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I applied for a Traditional Chinese Medicine School in Portugal. I was still working with my, now old, AMD Athlon when, in 2004, due to a power source failure it stopped working for good. I needed a new computer. Because I was in the University I thought that it was time to move to a portable computer, or as they were called “transportable computers” because those things were anything but portable. They were heavy, the computer I bought weighed 4,5 kilograms (that’s around 9 pounds), weak when compared with the desktop equivalent, expensive (still are), but you could carry them around, which was perfect to do work groups at school, make presentations for classes, and many other activities. These “Transportable Computers” gave me a freedom that I never had before. I still have that machine working with Linux, one of my old passions.

Stay tuned for the second part of this history, where I’ll travel from the “Transportable Computers” to the age of Tablets and Smartphones where even the weakest of this devices have more computational power that a hundred of Europc’s put together.



2010 in review

Despite the world economic crisis that affected the World in 2010, I must say, that I can only be happy with myself. The analytics’s results are great for me, if one takes in consideration that: 1 blogging isn’t my prime professional activity; 2 that I had quite some problems with my computers this year; and 3 my main profession is very time consuming (Chinese Medicine Practitioner).

So I want to thanks every visitor of this site for stopping by, and I’ll promise to make more posts this Years, specially because I’ve receiving a Kindle for my Birthday (January 30th) and I intend to buy me a Tablet (still deciding if I’ll go android or spend the extra cash and go for Linux)

So Happy new year to everyone and thanks for stooping by (you could make some comments however)

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 22 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 30 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was June 15th with 48 views. The most popular post that day was Dropbox portable for Portableapps.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were forum.xda-developers.com, portablefreeware.com, androidandme.com, healthfitnesstherapy.com, and slashingtongue.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for dropbox portable, portable dropbox, youtube ripper for android, dropbox portable apps, and dropboxportable.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Dropbox portable for Portableapps June 2010


Youtube ripper for Android May 2010


We All Like to Reblog (via WordPress.com News) June 2010


Droppedboxx for windows mobile June 2010


[Review] WM6.5 COM3 Rom for HTC Prophet by babak00000 April 2010

After a few month of inactivity, I’m back with some comments on Portable stuff (in terms of technology, of course).

In the last few weeks portals like Android and Me and Engadget (If anyone knows others please share them with us) have been releasing a lot of news about tablets, android based for the most part. While I really think this is quite good, it’s also quite frustrating and limited.

For two years I’ve been a user of portable applications and games. Back in the beginning of 2008  I received my first U3 pen with 16 GB and another one, a DATAFERRY with 16GB. After a few months using, and loving, U3 I got tired off all the good applications where payed, and not that cheap most of them, so I changed to Portableapps.com, a free and opensource platform to take your applications with you. For instance, this post is being written on the portableapps version of Firefox.

Thanks to the possibility of taking all of my favorite applications with me, and having an Asus EEE 901 (20GB SDD) to tag along, I end up realizing that there’s a huge flaw in today’s software. Most software isn’t developed with Portable guys (like me) in mind. When you have a netbook with only 20GB available you start to rely on your pen drive for most stuff. And if you discover that you can carry applications in your pen drive instead of installing them on you pc, them you will understand my reasoning. Also, my EEE 901 has Ubuntu linux on it, being the core of the OS in the 4GB SDD and the HOME partition on the 14 GB SDD. If I went around and installed all the stuff I need I would run out of space in no time (and trust me, my installation of Ubuntu was 6 months ago and I only have 600MB out of 4GB free).

And if I’m going to a place where I know that I’ll have a pc available, I don’t want to carry my netbook with me (the screen is to small for a long term usage). So what’s my “solution”? Portable windows applications. If you go to any kind of torrent site you’ll loads of software, from the MS Office tools, to burning software, media players, games and other software. However, none (or very few) are legal copies of the software you want/need to use.

The way I see it, we are going to have a real battle between OS in the (very) near future. Mostly because they will all want to be the masters of Tablets, in the same way that Windows is the master of personal computers (I know there are a lot of Mac and Linux users around, but let’s face it, most of the computers have windows installed).

And if the event is inevitable, as I think it is, them, in my opinion, developers should start focusing on making their applications portable and able to run from a pen drive.

Just imagine the following situation:
We are a supervisor at a construction site, going around with your Windows tablet pc, taking notes and checking stuff, saving the documents and notes directly to your loyal high-capacity pen drive. You finish your walk-around and it’s time to show the results to your superior. Unless your superior has the programs you use to take the notes, you’ll have to show them on the tablet screen, that might not be the most comfortable screen to see it. But what if the programs you use are portable editions, that can easily run from a pen drive? You just un-plug the pen drive from your tablet, plug it on his computer and voila! You are now showing the result of your work on a comfortable 14″+ screen.

I hope I’ve made my point clear. In the near future we need legal and ready to use portable applications. As for me, I’ll continue to use the not so legal version (I actually own all the “portable” applications I use) but portable applications because I have to think about my health (specially my eyes).

Be well!

Francisco Ribeiro

About five days ago I started to have BSOD on my Asus Z53S Series boot. The laptop started, gets a BSOD, reboots and enters windows. It was getting a little (but just a little) annoying so I filmed the boot about 5 times until I got a perfect catch of the BSOD. I discovered it was from my graphic card – the culprit was acpi.sys. After several days of researching I found, on the NVidia site, the updated drivers for my graphic card and happily install it (103MB).

After that the pc stopped crashing on boot, to start crashing when I tried to check the proprieties of files or folders… this time the guilty was asdsm.sys – or Asus Data Security Manager. My first tough was, let me quick this ass out of my pc, run the uninstall sequence and puff… BSOD, reboot the laptop and tried again, just to be on the safe side, and BSOD again. Ok, I tough, if I can’t uninstall it them I’ll just update it to the latest version, and another epic travel trough the internet begun. I finally got a more recent version of the software and run the update and… BSOD!!! This time I boot the windows in safe mode, uninstalled the damn thing and hurrah!!! It did the uninstall correctly.

I happily restarted the computer and… windows didn’t started. Right before the welcome screen the computer just reboot, without error or anything, just reboots. I entered in safe mode and tried to install the latest version of the software, with success.

And so I tough my problems where over… that’s until I tried to shut-down my pc today and got a BSOD. This time the error was  PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA and the sys that was wxlslpzg.sys Already knowing that this was most likely to be a driver error I start browsing the internet for that specific file without any success, that’s right, for the first time on my life I got zero (0) results at a google search.

I was completely devastated. I didn’t want to reinstall windows. Than it it me, maybe there where other things that caused that type of crash (0x00000050) and so I searched for it and found this great topic at Bleeping Computer Forum. Thanks to a post there (kudos for usasma) I went to http://housecall.trendmicro.com run they’re free program and it finally found the damn wxlslpzg.sys , a trojan by the way, that removed from the computer. as I’m finishing this post the program is running for the second time. After it finishes I’ll shutdow my pc and see if the BSOD happens again or not.


Dell Home & Home Office | Ubuntu | Dell.

I was surfing the Portuguese news when I saw a reference to this site. Being a Linux user (on my Asus EEE 901) I immediately did a google search for Dell’s site in order to confirm this.

After reading the site above I simply couldn’t believe what I was reading. So there’s a major producer of personal computers going full on linux… The looks like Paradise for open-source defenders.

And the best part is that one of the reasons they advance for the support is one of the most important for companies nowadays. Safety!  Every business, big or small, multinational or local, depends on this simply concept. the safer the system you’re on, more confident your customers will have on your services.

As for my part, the only reason why I don’t migrate to Linux fully is a very shameful one, I just love Computer Games, either World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls, Neverwinter Nights or others. And despite the fact of having wine, it’s not the same thing. For instances, I can run WoW on my Asus EEE 901 via wine at 4-9fps, which is very very low, however, in a short period I used windows xp on the same computer I could run WoW at 14-20fps, which is playable. Now I know the graphic card on netbooks are poor at best, but the same game, on the same system with a diferent Os, emulation vs. native made a huge difference.

I just hope other companies follow Dell’s example, and somewhere in the near future Linux is more supported by Games producers, Software producers and Hardware producers, allowing us to have true freedom of choice 🙂

Cheers Dell!