Monthly Archives: May 2019


One of the most troublesome computer problems is bad memory modules and the difficultly diagnosing the bad memory.

Bad memory modules can cause a huge list of symptoms in a computer system, everything from the OS crashing often or sometimes hardly at all to problems booting and having large files become corrupted. A great tool for finding memory problems is MemTest86 that when written to a blank CD will test memory and report errors. The memtest86 program is downloaded and the “iso” CD image is burned to a blank CDR or CDRW disk. The computer is then rebooted with the cd in drive so that the computer boots from the CD and tests the subject computers memory. Many users test the memory for 24 hours straight to determine problems. If the computer has problems on reboot, let memtest86 run one pass and then use the ESC key to reboot ten times to see if errors pop up!

Darn Small Linux

Small Linux, true to its brash name, is a small and highly efficient live CD, an operating system which can be run from a CD-ROM drive or even from a flash drive (on newer computers).

DSL is based on the free Linux operating system, and is optimized to fit into only 50 megabytes of space, enough to store on a business-card mini-CD or a small flash drive. Starting up DSL is as simple as rebooting a computer with the DSL CD or flash drive inserted. It features advanced hardware detection that allows it to use almost any computer. Further, its minimalism means that it responds quickly on computers that are brand new or a decade old. Upon booting, one is shown a tutorial page, plus a desktop with icons for common applications such as web browsing (in Mozilla Firefox) and playing music (in XMMS). Right-clicking anywhere on the open desktop presents a menu which can be used to access still more applications, including a minimalist AOL Instant Messenger client and a terminal for executing text-only Linux commands. The MyDSL program allows one to download still more applications, including alternate browsers, instant messengers, games, and more. Why is DSL useful? Its intensely small design means that an otherwise useless old computer can be brought up to the tasks of playing MP3s and instant messaging. One can reboot into DSL on a strange and possibly virus-infected computer while on the go, bypassing spyware that might log information on what websites one visits. And for the knowledgeable computer user, DSL is useful for recovering files from damaged machines. You can even install it onto a hard drive to run it fulltime. While DSL may seem simple or strange, in reality it’s a powerful utility for making the most out of even the slowest computer.