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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Water Cool CPU

Someone asked me if it is now feasible to water cool their computer's CPU. It's certainly been possible for many years, but not really very practical for the average person since water cooling a CPU would generally require a significant amount of effort to achieve.

The main advantages of water cooling are that the thermal dissipation potential of water cooling is greater than that of air cooling and also that the cooling process is quieter than air cooling due to the absence of high RPM fans.

Fairly recently all in one water cooling kits became available which make the task of converting your PC to water cooling much simpler. The one which caught my eye is the Thermaltake BigWater system available from Amazon. The BigWater uses a 120mm fan on the radiator to further reduce noise and tends to get good reviews.

Do you have a noise and/or heat problem with your PC?

Good luck water cooling your PC, if you have any comments please let me know and if you have any other questions which you'd like me to answer for free please send them to Ben Dash at

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Origin of Collie Dog Breed

Someone asked me where the name for the Collie dog breed comes from. After a little research it seems that the most likely origin is from the fact that they were Scottish sheep dogs, and the word collie may be derived from the work coaley referring to the black faced sheep common in Scotland.

Do you have any interesting Collie stories?

If you have any other ideas please leave a comment and if you have a question which you'd like me to answer for free then please send Ben Dash an email at

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

French and Spanish Vocabulary Gender

Someone asked me if there are any words in French and Spanish which are different genders. I incorrectly answered that cat is different; la chat in French and el Gato in Spanish.

It seems that cat in French, chat, is actually masculine, i.e. le chat. la chat means "the chat" or "the informal conversation", I believe.

So I haven't found any examples of any words with opposite gender in Spanish and English but there may well be, I have hardly scraped the surface in terms of answering this question.

If you have any ideas then please leave a comment and if you have a question, which you'd like me to answer for free, then please send Ben Dash an email at

Beefeater Origin

Someone just asked me why The Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London are called beefeaters; "Do they eat a lot of Beef?".

Basically yes, the Beefeaters did get what was seen, by others, as a unfairly large ration of meat, for example, in 1813 the 30 Beefeaters were allotted 18lbs of mutton, 16lbs of veal, and 24lbs of beef, per day. Beefeaters were usually one of the last to experience reduced meat rations, if indeed their rations were ever reduced at all.

If you visit the Tower of London today you may still be guided by a Beefeater, however, don't poke fun at their flamboyant uniform as they're generally Sergeant Majors with at least two decades of active service in the armed forces.

Have you ever seen a Beefeater?

If you have any additional information please leave a comment and if you have any questions, which you would like me to answer for free, please send an email to Ben Dash at

Free Questions and Answers - How?

Someone just asked me the what, when, where and why regarding Ben's Questions and Answers, so here's the answer, as always for free:


Ben's Questions and Answers ( ) is the name of a Blog which I created to serve as a forum where people could ask me questions and I could display their respective answers.


I've been thinking of a free Questions and Answers forum/community for a while and finally decided to build it on April 20th 2005.


Currently the free Questions and Answers site is built using Blogger and the address is


For some unknown reason I seem to be able to find information on the internet which others either cannot find or cannot find easilly. Consequently people often come to me with questions which they would like an answer to and I'm usually able to provide an answer within a couple of minutes. I enjoy helping people find answers to their questions since I usually learn something in the process and so it's generally mutually beneficial. I chose to host the free Questions and Answers site on Blogger because I believe in "eating your own dog food" since I'm a Linux advocate and a Google search user.

So there you have it; what, when, where and why. If you have any additional thoughts please leave a comment, and if you have a question which you'd like me to answer for free please send it to Ben Dash at

Monday, May 02, 2005

Case Sensitive vfat Thumbdrive

A couple of years ago I had some fun trying to figure out why a Thumbdrive would show filenames in the wrong case when mounted on a Linux machine. The question came up again today and is likely to be something which many people have been frustrated with in the past since all manner of USB hard drive devices use vfat as their partition type, the answer is:

When you mount the Thumbdrive as vfat you also need to specify shortname=[lower|win95|winnt|mixed]. As long as you specify the option "mixed" you will be able to maintain the correct capitalisation of the file name, see Chris' page:

Which kindly translates the key points of Torsten Scheck's article into English:

If you have any additional information about copying files to and from USB hard drives, or Thumbdrives, or MP3 players, then please leave a comment and let me know. If you have a question which you would like me to answer for free please send Ben Dash an email at

Computerised Pool Trainer

I was talking to someone on the weekend about how he had come up with an idea for a computerised pool trainer which would use a laser to project the pool balls' path on the pool table. This sounds like a great idea but has it been done before?

Unfortunately for him it already exists and there's even video of the "Automatic Pool Trainer" in action at a demonstration in Denmark:

As you can see from the video; the trainer uses standard pool equipment including the table, the cue, and the balls. The trainer simply projects data onto the felt of the pool table from a video projector above the table.

Please leave a comment if you know of any other pool trainers and if you have any other questions which you'd like me to answer please send an email to Ben Dash at