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JohnG last won the day on March 12

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  1. Hi Zo, As an amateur who has had some success over the years at mending and refurbishing laptops, including upgrading screens, may I offer a few comments. I don't suspect it's the routing of the cable and proximity to heatsinks or latch/hinge mechanisms, as long as it's not touching the heatsinks, or interfering with mechanisms. I do suspect it has something to do with connections to the LCD panel. The cable that attaches the screen (if it's like the Lenovo laptops I've had experience with) has a multiway plug at each end. The accessible end is on the motherboard and it should (N.B. should) be possible, with great care, to disconnect that, check both the plug and the socket for ingress of dirt, and reconnect it. Then see if that effects a cure. If not, and often more difficult to do, is to gain access to the back of the LCD panel. This often will require removing the bezel from the front of the screen, unscrewing the mounting screws for the LCD panel (assuming that's how it's held in place) and, very carefully, allowing the LCD panel to lower so that one can access the rear. There you will find the plug at the other end of the cable plugged into its socket on the panel itself. Often there will be a piece of tape protecting the join and ensuring that they stay connected. Carefully removing this , checking then remaking the connection and retrying may solve the problem. If not, you may find that you can buy a used cable from eBay. I did with a Lenovo Thinkpad, where I wanted to upgrade the screen resolution. It was around 8 UK pounds to buy a cable that supported a hi-res LCD. BUT, and I rather suspect that this is where the problem lies, it may be that the fault lies inside the LCD panel at the connected edge of the panel. Sadly that means that you will have to replace the whole panel. Sometimes it is possible to acquire a complete used asssembly including the hinge mechanism and panel all in one. Otherwise it should be possible just to acquire a replacement LCD display. I paid around 25 UK pounds for a used 1600 x 900 panel for a T430. New ones are around 3 to 4 times the price. It's a fiddly job, requires care and attention to detail, and some time to get it all correct, but it can be a job that a moderately confident amateur can tackle with an appropriate small tool kit. (No smutty jokes here PLEASE!) I did, with the T430 mentioned above, and got it right the first time (amazing). No one was more surprised than me! BUT, I don't have any experience with Dell laptops, and therefore can't have any certainty about their methods of construction and how easy, or otherwise it may be. I wish you luck if you decide to "have a go". JohnG.
  2. I've been using Thinkpads for a few years too, Notes, I think the first was an X61 with WinXP, so perhaps not as long as you. I recently ( Feb this year) bought an 'A' grade T430 with Win7 pro x64 on it. I went to a supplier I'd bought from before. It was an i7 3520 with 8GB of RAm and a 1TB drive. After getting it I dismantled it, fitted a 256GB mSATA SSD (a chip, not a normal drive), upgraded to 16GB and replaced the 1366 res screen with a 1600 res one. All bought from eBay. And that's the thing with the Lenovo Thinkpads, they're built like tanks with a metal subchassis and all the screws are set screws. You can find instructions of all these procedures, including pdf maintenance manuals on-line. On Friday I bought a quad core i7 3632 CPU for it (+ some thermal paste) which I installed today. It goes very nicely now. Providing one goes for a good supplier with a proper return policy (even for used hardware) buying 2nd hand shouldn't be a problem.
  3. The alternate up and downbows are there in the standard string patches (not GOS), but in addition you also have, again via keyswitches, individual up and down bow patches. So you can insert a brief keyswitch to get the desired precise effect you require. Legato playing (slurs) is achieved by overlapping the first note with the next and so on for the phrase. Then, if manually playing the notes in (if your chops are good enough), you can use the 'loud' pedal (Hold1, CC#64) to make the track enter monophonic mode and the effect is to cut out the attack portion of the overlapped samples. Alternately, there's a simple way, by leaving CC#102 permanently 'on' in a track, whenever the ARIA player detects overlapped notes it will automatically slur to the second and subsequent notes in the phrase. Since the note on velocity mainly effects the attack volume, where the level of MIDI expression effects the overall volume, I generally reduce the velocity of the subsequent notes, in a slurred phrase, until I get the effect I require. Using GPO5 does require quite a bit more in the way of MIDI programming skills, but the eventual effect is well worth while, IMHO. With GPO5 a convolution reverb was added, with quite a number of hall reverbs to choose from.
  4. Swapping to alternative articulations is accomplished these days by using a "keyswitch" mechanism, abbreviated to "KS". In other words a note is entered at a pitch outside and below the normal range of the instrument concerned, and that note switches to a different set of samples. Let me give you an example, here's what occurs with "Violins 1 KS" sample set in the standard ARIA sample player. The instruments play from the G below middle C (MIDI note #60) up to the C three octaves higher (MIDI note #96). From the C an octave lower (note #36) are positioned the keyswitches. They run as follows: C = Sustains, C# = Heavy Vibrato, D = Grand Detache, D# = Marcato, E = Martele, F = Pizzicato, F# = Portato, G = Col Legno, G# = Sautille, A= Spiccato, A# = Staccato, B = Sul Tasto. There are 11 other, less commonly used, articulations offered for Violins 1, but they would have to be entered on alternate MIDI tracks. If you are adept at modifying SFZ files then I suspect that some of these alternate articulations could be substituted for the standard ones.
  5. No, no guarantees, but it could make a difference. I see with some people's PCs it had quite an impact. It made a difference to my old Lenovo laptop running Win7 pro (x64). Certainly worth a try.
  6. It sounds very much like you've got the dreaded "Windows Diagnostic Tracking Service" problem. What is it? It's a system update to earlier versions of Windows than Win10, that monitors what goes on on your PC and reports it back to Redmond. Nice eh? Yep, you've guessed, I had it too on my Win 7 laptop setup. The symptoms are usually constant high CPU and disk activity. I cured mine by running "services.msc" (in the little box, bottom left, when you open Windows Start) and looking for and then disabling the four following processes: 1. Diagnostic Policy Service, 2. Diagnostic Service Host, 3. Diagnostic System Host, 4. Diagnostics Tracking Service. It's the last one that sends the data, the others spend an inordinate amount of time and energy collecting it. I looked it up on line, and found more than one web site that described the problem and gave solutions for stopping it. My laptop now runs just fine with all four services permanently disabled, but you'll want to check it out yourself. Not sure whether this procedure works in Win8.1 tho'.
  7. Well, I haven't had any problems at all, but then my setup is a pretty amateur thing, not really a studio at all. I think, in the past, that these things were troublesome but I believe they've got most of those problems ironed out. The kit was just 40 UK pounds from my local Tesco supermarket. I'd have thought, at that price, that it's worth trying. Maybe you can get the kit on a trial basis? P.S. I did get a long piece of Cat5 cable (the kit comes with two shorter pieces) so that I could position the box in my room on the other side.
  8. Have you considered using a pair of Powerline Adapters? tp-link make these too. For some time the laptop my wife uses has been having issues connecting via wi-fi. sometimes it works, other times it doesn't, it loses the connection for no apparent reason. I bought a TL-PA4020P Kit at my local supermarket, plugged it up, switched it on, performed the link up procedure and it was good to go. She consistently gets slightly more than 400Mbps throughput through the link. Of course the internet connection is nowhere near as fast. It's been working consistently for about 6 months or so. Now, whether it suits your mains electricity setup, I couldn't say. But worth a thought maybe?
  9. 22. Chomping on the bit. This phrase (or idiom) comes from the sport of kings: horse racing. A bit is part of the apparatus that goes in the horse’s mouth and connects to the bridle and reins so the horse can be controlled and directed by the jockey on its back. The bit fits into a toothless ridge of the horse’s mouth, so the horse never really bites the bit. But it can grind his teeth or jaw against the bit, and if it does, it means that the horse is either nervous, or really excited about racing. That’s how the phrase “champing at the bit” entered everyday communications: to indicate extreme eagerness.
  10. Er! Just three? How about the present perfect: I have been ... ; The past perfect: I had been ... ; The present continuous: I am going ... ; Future continuous: I will be going ... ; I have been doing ... ; I had been going ... ; etc, etc. To name but a few. Many more than three in English; at least nine I think. Not so sure about American tho'. 😉 (See English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy.)
  11. The proprietor told the sales assistant to call the police, the response he got was "No, euphonium!"
  12. Have you tried selling them some snake oil? I understand that that has magical healing properties too! Shirley you should be telling them about Cornet Ton, and Chorton and Kammerton too, shouldn't you? And asking which of the three they need their organ tuned too. Herr Bach had to deal with all of them I understand.
  13. Yup, kinda got that one fro' CH v1, ta! 😉
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