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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question Vista RAM question.

We all know that a 32 bit Microsoft OS won't recognize over 4gb of ram. A lot of people complain that they have 4GB installed, but windows only recognizes between 3.1 - 3.3 GB ram. They say that in Vista SP1, the System control panel was altered to show the installed RAM, instead of usable RAM. This was done at the request of OEMs who apparently didn't want their users to know they were paying for memory they couldn't actually use.

Is that true? I'm about to order an additional 2 GB, but may not if it's not worth it.
It's just killing me that I've done the Vista tweaks, and I still use about 46% memory at idle.

I really don't want to go back to XP right now, since I'd rather keep Vista. Do I just deal with the memory consumption?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm making the upgrade to pc9200, just need to know if I should go with 2 or 4gb.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 03:14 PM
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I've never seen a 32 bit Vista system show more than 3.5 GB with 4 GB installed.


Last edited by Slowhand; 06-25-2008 at 03:23 PM.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 03:20 PM
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32Bit Enterprise Server 2003 will see more than 4GB ram, i set one up at work at it sees and fully utilizes 16GB of ram installed.

32bit, Vista however will see a max useable of 4GB however for pci/and other devices it will allocate only 3.5 to the system and even less if your running SLI.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Right now I have OCZ Platinum 2GB pc6400 @ 966MHZ\5-5-5-15 (dual channel) and it works great. The only problem is that I have to buy another 2GB to keep Dual channel. Unless I'm missing something here.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 06:47 PM
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Only 64bit operating systems can use more than 3.x gigs of ram, whoever said they have 16gb of ram operating on a 32bit system is completely incorrect. It is impossible due to a 32bit architecture.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.0_CJ
Only 64bit operating systems can use more than 3.x gigs of ram, whoever said they have 16gb of ram operating on a 32bit system is completely incorrect. It is impossible due to a 32bit architecture.
Go install Enterprise Server 2003 and load it up with Ram.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Roliath
Go install Enterprise Server 2003 and load it up with Ram.
you need to do some reading on architecture. It can show you all the damn ram in the world, it can't access it. What you're describing is architecturally impossible.



you have to have a 64gb operating system to access more than 3.x ram.

Physical Memory Limits: 32-bit Windows XP
Version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Limit in 32-bit Windows . . . Limit in 64-bit Windows
Windows XP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4GB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128GB

Physical Memory Limits: 32-bit Windows Vista
Version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Limit in 32-bit Windows . . . Limit in 64-bit Windows
Windows Vista Ultimate . . . . . . . 4GB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128GB
Windows Vista Enterprise . . . . . .4GB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128GB
Windows Vista Business . . . . . . .4GB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128GB
Windows Vista Home Premium . . 4GB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16GB
Windows Vista Home Basic . . . . .4GB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8GB

What you are describing is Windows Vista Enterprise Server - server variants use PAE. With PAE enabled, the operating system moves from two-level linear address translation to three-level address translation. The extra layer of translation provides access to physical memory beyond 4 GB. Instead of a linear address being split into three separate fields for indexing into memory tables, it is split into four separate fields: a 2-bit field, two 9-bit fields, and a 12-bit field that corresponds to the page size implemented by Intel Architecture (4 KB). The only program with this is PAE is a rig job, it doesn't perform anywhere near as good as an x64 archtecture. PAE also causes any memory in excess of the address maximum to be ignore (which is what I was saying earlier), although the memory is recognized and showing available. It has no bearing at all on this post since it only applies to server variants, and most motherboards don't have jumpers to switch to the hybrid 36bit rig architecture this utilizes.

The reason people differ between 2.9, 3.9, 3.5GB of ram showing in windows is due to the video card memory taking up the physical ram, since video card texture memory amounts differ, so does the amount you lose from physical (address) memory.

To the OP - if you plan on doing some gaming, or you do graphic design or have any other use for large amounts of memory, you need to purchase a x64 operating system. Eventually programs and games alike will both need to access more than 3.x worth of ram, and without an x64 OS you are shit out of luck.

Last edited by CJ; 06-25-2008 at 07:07 PM.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 07:08 PM
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 07:09 PM
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Actually you are both correct. You can not directly access any more than 4GB of ram with a 32bit OS. This is a physical limitation, you run out of address space.

BUT - certain Intel and AMD processors ( XEON, Athalon, and newer) have a workaround called PAE (Physical Address Extension). This allows you to use real memory as a page file (like a swap file). Windows 2003 Enterprise Server uses this architecture. Some applications like Enterprise versions of SQL and Exchange can also use this upper memory to their advantage and directly swap to it.

PAE is not true memory access like a 64bit OS, but in works OK in limited cases. Check out the Wikipedia article for more techno-babble.

Edit - Ah I see 5.0_CJ beat me to the answer. See his post, better explaination than mine.

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 09:58 PM
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You are all wrong.

Mac OS is the only true OS that can fully use 4 gig+

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunt4m3x
You are all wrong.

Mac OS is the only true OS that can fully use 4 gig+
"An infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program."

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 11:51 AM
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I run the 64-bit version on my machine....it sucked when it first came out b/c of driver issues (a lot of imcompatability), but I have no issues with it now that 3rd parties have had enough time to get up to speed on the drivers.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rreemo
I run the 64-bit version on my machine....it sucked when it first came out b/c of driver issues (a lot of imcompatability), but I have no issues with it now that 3rd parties have had enough time to get up to speed on the drivers.
64 bit makes Vista worth using, IMO. I've been screwing around with some 64 bit systems at work, and aside from some incompatability, it's a nice little system and I ordered my new laptop with 64 Bit Business on it.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a post about PAE.

need my 4GB!

Four Gigabytes is a lot of RAM for a workstation or gaming machine, but the industry has pretty much forced us into using this much (especially if you're a heavy user of Virtual PC). Most applications today are 32-bit and only address 2GB of RAM at a time (like Photoshop), but we need more memory for all the other running goodies that are memory-starved. Even though Vista runs on 1GB of RAM, 2GB is alot better, and 4GB will unleash its potential.

Unfortunately, users of the 32-bit flavors of Vista have to run through some hoops to see all of the new RAM they've upgraded to. Even then, they may not see all of the RAM available because of various hardware issues. This article addresses various methods so you can utilize that massive amount of memory.

All 32-bit Operating Systems can only physically address 4 gigabytes of RAM, due to the math involved (232 = 4,294,967,296). Depending on your hardware, Vista may only see 3GB or 3.5GB of the total RAM installed, because there are some devices that are memory mapped. The most common culpret of this type of device is a video card, which can use up to 512MB of memory for mapping.

Enable PAE mode
You can tweak Vista's core to add another 4-bits of addressing capability, but you must have a 64-bit capable processor (pretty much any processor made within the past two years like Intel's Core 2 Duo or AMD's Athlon 64). Even though the math works out to address way more than 4GB (236 = 68,719,476,736), the operating system still has a cap (Windows Server can address anywhere from 8GB to 128GB depending on the flavor).


To force this new addressing method, you have to tell Vista to boot using this new parameter. Vista no longer uses a BOOT.INI file as previous versions of Windows did, so you must modify the boot file using a built-in Vista tool called BCDedit.

  1. Open a command prompt (Press Window key + R to open the Run dialog, and then type cmd).
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to execute (this allows you to run cmd in administrative mode if you haven't already setup up a permanent admin mode).
  3. Type BCDedit /set PAE forceenable.
This PAE flag (Physical Address Extension) tells the Vista core to use an additional 4 bits of addressing, which in theory allows the OS to see all of the RAM you have available. We're not out of the woods yet, because once you reboot you may find that Vista still doesn't see all of your RAM. You can turn PAE off again by typing BCDedit /set PAE forcedisable or BCDedit /set PAE default.

Enable DEP mode
Also note that using PAE forces Vista to run theoretically slower, so you need to disable this feature if you go back to a lower amount of RAM. Vista runs slower with PAE because of the new page-translation system being used. By default Vista uses 2 cycles to address memory, and will use 3 when Physicall Address Extension is enabled. PAE also supports advanced procesor features such as Data Execution Prevention (no execute), Non-Uniform Memory Architecture (NUMA), and hot-add memory. PAE is automatically disabled when DEP (Data Execution Prevention) is disabled, so you must force PAE when DEP is disabled by running BCDedit again:




  1. Open a command prompt (Press Window key + R to open the Run dialog, and then type cmd).
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to execute (this allows you to run cmd in administrative mode if you haven't already setup up a permanent admin mode).
  3. Type BCDedit /set nx AlwaysOff
  4. Type BCDedit /set pae ForceEnable
You can disable DEP by typing BCDedit /set nx AlwaysOn

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOHC
64 bit makes Vista worth using, IMO. I've been screwing around with some 64 bit systems at work, and aside from some incompatability, it's a nice little system and I ordered my new laptop with 64 Bit Business on it.
Yup - this is actually an HP Laptop I'm running it on (nc8430)...the 64-bit Vista does run much better than 32-bit IMO. I've managed to fix just about all compatibility issues that I had too. I tell you what, with this 64-bit, the more HW you throw at it, the better it runs.

I was always a big XP fan before, but being an MS employee they force us all to upgrade to the newest OS at a certain point, so I had to go to Vista on my main work box...at the time I was still on a Dell 610 with 2gb RAM, and the upgrade brought it to it's knees. That's when I upgraded into the HP, and since it already had the 7400 chipset I went with 64-bit from the start. It was a little quirky at first, but once I got it all tuned it's a hoss now....and I run some pretty hogging business apps on it all day long, every day.

Start-up and shutdown do take a bit longer though....but that's not really a big deal for me.

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osiris
Here's a post about PAE.
That's a good read, however when I saw that google ad it scared the crap outta me thinking DFWstangs now had google ads.

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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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That's a good read, however when I saw that google ad it scared the crap outta me thinking DFWstangs now had google ads.
LMFAO! it's gone now.
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Hrm....

There is essentially two things you need to get access to the full 4GB RAM.
  1. A motherboard capable of remapping part of memory into the region above 4GB, to reclaim the memory addresses lost because of devices. This is sometimes an option in the BIOS, sometimes it's done automatically.
  2. An OS that can access addresses above 4GB, either because it supports PAE or because it's 64 bit.
In my experience, Vista 32 bit can access all 4GB if the first condition is met. XP 32 bit however cannot. Vista 64 bit certainly can, and so can XP 64 bit.




__________________________________________________ __________________




Please read carefully:



- PAE mode is always enabled on Vista and XP SP2. It is required for hardware DEP / NX.

- 32-bit Client versions of Windows (XP, Vista) will never support more than a 4GB address spaces, even with PAE.

-
32-bit Server versions will support it, but this is very much the wrong solution for your use. Even disregarding the fact that your machine isn't a server and Server OSes are expensive, you need to consider that the reason XP and Vista won't use PAE to address additional memory is that many device drivers (like, say, Nvidia video drivers) often don't play well with PAE.

- The /3GB switch should never be used. It exists for very specific server scenarios. It will probably make your machine unstable, and none of your applications will make use of it.

- A 64-bit OS can address huge amounts of memory, and it does not need the remap feature.

- If you happen to have a motherboard that doesn't actually support more than 4GB worth of physical address space, even a 64-bit OS won't help you. Nothing will. These boards simply do not support 4GB of RAM, end of story.


The right solution for everybody with more than 2GB of RAM is to install a 64-bit OS. The end.
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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That post seems to contradict the other post about PAE.
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 01:18 PM
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I'll make it simple: if you want 4GB of ram used correctly, you need an x64 operating system. What isn't covered about PAE is the majority of motherboard don't work properly with it - and in any event it's a rigged up attempt to achieve what teh x64 incarnations do naturally. PAE is an old technology that never solved any problems - only created them. The simple mention of PAE in an x64 discussion is just fanatical deniers clawing at some mythical false solution to their inevitably dying technology.
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.0_CJ
I'll make it simple: if you want 4GB of ram used correctly, you need an x64 operating system. What isn't covered about PAE is the majority of motherboard don't work properly with it - and in any event it's a rigged up attempt to achieve what teh x64 incarnations do naturally. PAE is an old technology that never solved any problems - only created them.
Yeah, it's not a route I'm going to take (pae). looks like I'll have to wait untill there's better out for Vistax64.
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 01:22 PM
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Yeah, it's not a route I'm going to take (pae). looks like I'll have to wait untill there's better out for Vistax64.
I use Vista64 and I'm a gamer. I also spend a lot of time in x64 3d Studio max. I use every bit of my memory.


I can say conclusively that you need to get x64 now, there is no reason not to. I have tried over 100 games, and regularly try new ones, and I have not seen a single one not work 100% properly. Don't be afraid of it. Me and several buddies run x64 vista and we love it.
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.0_CJ
I use Vista64 and I'm a gamer. I also spend a lot of time in x64 3d Studio max. I use every bit of my memory.


I can say conclusively that you need to get x64 now, there is no reason not to. I have tried over 100 games, and regularly try new ones, and I have not seen a single one not work 100% properly. Don't be afraid of it. Me and several buddies run x64 vista and we love it.
Well, the problem is buying a new copy. It'll have to wait.
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 03:12 PM
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Well, the problem is buying a new copy. It'll have to wait.
check out newegg and get yourself an OEM copy

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16832116215

cheapest place I know of... $179.99 out the door, no shipping, no tax.
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.0_CJ
check out newegg and get yourself an OEM copy

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16832116215

cheapest place I know of.
If you want to save some cash, people have released guides on how to make the Vista ultimate 64bit upgrade cd into a full fledged os installation (from scratch).

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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 03:16 PM
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If you want to save some cash, people have released guides on how to make the Vista ultimate 64bit upgrade cd into a full fledged os installation (from scratch).
if you want to save even more youc an just download the cracked version. But, from my experience every single time they nail your ass. I ended up buying it because on 3 separate occasions microsoft found how I cracked it, made a change via windows auto update, rebooted my system and I returned back to a bluescreen - compliments of microsoft. BUT, I have heard the most recent cracked versions don't suffer from these problems, but I have to do business on my system and I can't risk all the drama.
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 04:13 PM
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Would you walk into a store and steal something?....or steal someones credit card and then go buy a bunch of shit with it? How about stealing someones car stereo?

Stealing software is the same thing - theft.

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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 04:15 PM
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Would you walk into a store and steal something?....or steal someones credit card and then go buy a bunch of shit with it? How about stealing someones car stereo?

Stealing software is the same thing - theft.
which is precisely why I own a copy - I'm saying it's an option, but I wouldn't recommend it. I worked for a few game design companies and several games I helped create I saw on torrent sites, so I think I can speak for a position most can't. It's going to happen, and it's isn't going to stop. The computer gaming industry has been completely destroyed by it, and almost everyone is console based now to avoid the ease of piracy.
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 5.0_CJ
which is precisely why I own a copy - I'm saying it's an option, but I wouldn't recommend it. I worked for a few game design companies and several games I helped create I saw on torrent sites, so I think I can speak for a position most can't. It's going to happen, and it's isn't going to stop. The computer gaming industry has been completely destroyed by it, and almost everyone is console based now to avoid the ease of piracy.
Agreed...and not singling you out...more-so just making a statement. I've worked for this company for 10 years now, and it flat amazes me how much shit they actually give away...not to mention the amount of sheer cash they hand out on a daily basis...but yet people still call them crooks and have no problem stealing from them. And what's sad is that these are typically people that wouldn't otherwise steal something from someone....but somehow SW theft is okay to them.

..and get this, we have even had companies try to sue after their pirated OS grenaded from a Windows update counter measure. So it was okay to steal that copy of Win Server to save a few hundred bucks, but when their business went down and lost thousands, now it's Microsoft's fault. Funny how some people think.

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post #31 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Rreemo
Agreed...and not singling you out...more-so just making a statement. I've worked for this company for 10 years now, and it flat amazes me how much shit they actually give away...not to mention the amount of sheer cash they hand out on a daily basis...but yet people still call them crooks and have no problem stealing from them. And what's sad is that these are typically people that wouldn't otherwise steal something from someone....but somehow SW theft is okay to them.

..and get this, we have even had companies try to sue after their pirated OS grenaded from a Windows update counter measure. So it was okay to steal that copy of Win Server to save a few hundred bucks, but when their business went down and lost thousands, now it's Microsoft's fault. Funny how some people think.
Do you work for microsoft?
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post #32 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 5.0_CJ
Do you work for microsoft?
Yeah.

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post #33 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 04:37 PM
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Yeah.
Ah, the dream job. I came close one time. I've been an MCSE for a while now, since 2000... I'd love to know if you guys were hiring.

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post #34 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 5.0_CJ
Ah, the dream job. I came close one time. I've been an MCSE for a while now, since 2000... I'd love to know if you guys were hiring.
The honest truth is that it is difficult to get in these days. However, there are openings here & there....a lot of folks start out as contractors before getting hired full time. I guess it's a sort of try before you buy mentality. I myself started out as a contractor in a technical role over 10 years ago, and then was eventually hired FTE about 6 months later. Over the years I've migrated from technical to more of a business management role....still a bit technical, but not anything like I used to be.

Nevertheless, if you think you might be interested in a technical contract role check your PM's.

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70' Chevelle RagTop


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post #35 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 01:30 PM
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