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201  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: App vendors discover a new way to abuse Windows on: October 09, 2011, 02:31:04 AM
Silent updates and EULA changes are separate issues. A new EULA should always notify the user, regardless of whether the app it applies to updates silently. Keep in mind a EULA can be updated without the software being updated and - probably much more the norm anyway - software can be updated without the EULA changing.

- Oshyan
202  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Buying a fast new PC, anyone have a favorite US system builder? on: October 09, 2011, 01:54:04 AM
Looks like I'll be going with Puget Systems for this one. I'll be sure to let you all know how my post-purchase experience goes, but so far the pre-purchase service has been great.

Can't wait to play with this thing. Anyone else looking forward to Battlefield 3? cheesy

- Oshyan
203  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: App vendors discover a new way to abuse Windows on: October 07, 2011, 08:21:12 PM
Chrome did it not because of not wanting admin rights for *install*, but so it could support their silent auto-update feature, something which a lot of Chrome users actually appreciate (some even though they don't know it, hehe). It made me uncomfortable when I found that out, kind of like installing an app accidentally into My Documents or something (which I've done before long ago). Very messy. I do wish there was a better way to achieve what Google is trying to do with Chrome though. If they could sort out a way to establish "trust" for a given exe and then positively determine if a request to change that exe *originated from the exe itself* (or a process spawned by the exe), as in the case of an update, then it could auto-trust that perhaps. Yeah, probably an exploitable security risk. I don't know what the solution is but I think there will be a consistent push to have apps that keep themselves updated more easily and I'm more or less in favor of that.

- Oshyan
204  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Need Partner, Help Me Make PC Gaming Better! on: October 07, 2011, 07:08:52 PM
Excellent. Added to my RSS!

- Oshyan
205  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Buying a fast new PC, anyone have a favorite US system builder? on: October 07, 2011, 03:41:39 PM
Thanks for the input guys. I'm guessing people here tend to either build their own fancy machines, or just get something a bit more stock/standard from a more major vendor. My primary interest was in finding out about people's preferred system builders, but I think I've got a decent handle on my options at this point. Puget is courting me pretty well still, there's a few hundred dollar price premium, but their OC offering combined with incredible ratings and good customer service vs. the major cheap competition of CyberPower and iBuyPower probably means they'll get my business.

I'll be sure to come back and post details of what I actually end up with, especially in terms of the from-the-factory overclock. They promise 30-45% which could be up to 4.9Ghz on the i7 2600k. Sweet!

- Oshyan
206  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Recommendations For PHP 5.3 Shared Web Host Please? on: October 07, 2011, 02:22:22 AM
I've heard surprisingly good things about Host Monster in the past. Supports PostgreSQL, but not sure of PHP 5.x version. http://www.hostmonster.co...cgi/info/hosting_features

- Oshyan
207  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Life-Changing $20 Rightward-Facing Cow on: October 07, 2011, 02:09:16 AM
Fascinating! I'm quite interested in the philosophy behind, yet totally repulsed by the reality of addictive, mindless gaming a la Facebook and Zynga. I'm curious to see what Bogost makes of all this after some more thought.

- Oshyan
208  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Need Partner, Help Me Make PC Gaming Better! on: October 07, 2011, 01:42:56 AM
Interesting idea(s), promising that you've already got some code put down. Unfortunately I have no spare time to contribute, but I'll be watching the progress with great interest.

- Oshyan
209  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Macrium Reflect Free 5 is out on: October 07, 2011, 12:41:17 AM
5.0 now supports disk-to-disk cloning which is a very nice addition.

- Oshyan
210  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Buying a fast new PC, anyone have a favorite US system builder? on: October 06, 2011, 05:45:19 PM
Thanks nudone. The OCZ seemed like a slightly better option, but much less available at the system builders I've seen. The difference from the Intel 510 didn't seem huge in real world benchmarks, though in synthetic benches it was more noticeable.

Interesting that they'll OC to that level on air cooling, that's roughly 30%. You sure it won't have to be noisy? As for foam padding, yeah that's an option at some places, I'll definitely do that if available.

- Oshyan
211  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Buying a fast new PC, anyone have a favorite US system builder? on: October 06, 2011, 04:50:33 PM
I've decided to buy a kick ass new gaming and 3D render box. I've got most of the parts picked out but, while in the past I would have built it myself, I'm not going to bother this time. One reason for that is I am hoping to get it overclocked from the system builder. I've never really messed with overclocking seriously and I'd rather have it arrive at my door in a known-working overclocked state.

I'll get to my parts list in a minute, which I'd welcome feedback on. But since I'm going to have the thing built for me, my biggest decision at the moment is what system builder to go with. I have a number of options I've found mostly through looking at Reseller Ratings' top rated businesses but would appreciate some more personal recommendations from DC-ers. Remember I'm hoping to have it overclocked by the system builder so they'll need to be experienced with that. They'll also need to carry the critical components of my build, of course. Finally, they should be US-based and ideally not located in California (for tax reasons).

Here are the retailers in current consideration, in no particular order. All have an 8 out of 10 or above on ResellerRatings.com and at least 20 reviews each:

  • AVADirect
  • Puget Systems
  • Digital Storm
  • Main Gear
  • Stealth Machines
  • CyberPowerPC
  • Origin PC

Parts List:
  • High quality case, good cooling, preferably no side windows or front door (cases available depend on system builder)
  • 700W+ PSU with 80+ cert (Antec, Enermax, Silverstone, PC Power and Cooling, Thermaltake, Coolermaster)
  • Decent, reasonably priced socket 1155 motherboard with USB3 and eSATA (ASUS, Gigabyte, etc. - not too particular about this)
  • Core i7 2600k overclocked 20-50% (promised overclocking level available depends on system builder)
  • Liquid or high-end quiet air cooling (noise is a definite factor)
  • 16GB RAM (4x4GB, preferably 1600Mhz)
  • 120GB or larger SSD (probably Intel 510, though possibly OCZ Vertex 3, Crucial M4, or Kingston HyperX)
  • 2-3TB 7200RPM SATA HD (Western Digital Caviar Black or Seagate Barracuda XT, the latter being available in 3TB so preferable)
  • Geforce GTX 570
  • Basic SATA CD/DVD-RW
  • Onboard audio
  • Built-in memory card reader supporting SD and Compact Flash

As I said, noise is a consideration, so whenever possible I'm adding quieter case fans, fan gaskets, etc.

So far Puget is looking pretty strong. They have an excellent rep, great customer service (one of their reps contacted me directly via email after I saved a quote on their site to see if I had any questions and he was able to bring down my build cost a few hundred with some intelligent suggested changes), and while they're more expensive than some other options, they're definitely not out of the park on that. They also offer 30-45% overclocking, among the highest available that I've seen so far. Cyberpower is less well rated, but definitely comes in with the best price and options, including superclocked graphics card and some other freebie extras.

Edit: Any info on the imminent release of new hardware that may affect price or ideal components in this price/performance bracket is also useful. I know the i7 2700k is coming soon but from what I hear it will not slightly more expensive than the 2600k and as a result won't necessarily affect the latter's price. The 2600k has a known OC capability and I don't see it worth taking a risk nor waiting for the 2700k in that regard.

I also know AMD's new Bulldozer is coming out in just a week or so. From what I can see the fastest available version initially will be 3.6Ghz and will be a little bit cheaper than the 2600k. But judging by preliminary benchmarks I don't think it will reliably topple the 2600k, especially when the latter is overclocked. It does have an interesting "all cores turbo" feature that's sort of like built-in overclocking, but I haven't seen much as far as detail or performance on that. Also new AMD/ATI graphics card, the 7000 series, but I don't know much about it...

All feedback is welcome!

Thanks,

Oshyan
212  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Question to Everyone: Setting aside the technical meaning, does Donationware... on: September 26, 2011, 04:34:17 PM
As others, I can only offer my opinion. I'm glad you asked the question actually because my answers were a bit of a surprise - or at least not already known - to me.

What I realized is that, for me, "donate" gives me the psychological impression of a "weaker" and somehow less appealing offer (vs. "pay what you want"), regardless of the product in question. This is what I think is going on in my head.

Donating to me is associated with non-profits and, less commonly but as a greater extreme, the street performer or anyone else looking for a "hand out". If DC were a registered non-profit with tax decuctable status maybe my feelings would shift but since it's not, it *feels* like any other commercial enterprise asking for donations, i.e. not as "justified" as non-profits. Now I don't see mouser and donationware authors in general as actually looking for a "hand out", they produce real work in exchange, yet somehow the impression is not so different when the word "donation" is used. It has somehow a slightly negative, almost "pathetic", connotation. Let me be clear, I do not like that feeling on my part, I express it solely because it is true and it is interesting and hopefully it helps inform those who are seeking to find equitabl, non-traditional compensation models for their work.

On the other side, "pay what you want" has a rather impishly enjoyable, flippant quality to it, a casualness that perhaps obscures the true underlying similarity in the request ("support me"). Perhaps I should say more about it, but I think that captures my *impression* fairly accurately. Essentially, that there is a "heavyness" to "donation" and a "lightness" to "pay what you want". One is guilt, the other is freedom.

What I can't say for sure is which actually motivates me to donate more. Is it more compelling to feel guilty about not donating, or to feel like it's truly my choice and I am free either way? Honestly I lean toward the latter intellectually, but practically I have no actual evidence to base such a conclusion on.

Interesting topic, good question.

- Oshyan
213  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently? on: September 26, 2011, 04:19:14 PM
I haven't really noticed any problems with MSE myself, but I'm always curious to try new things. Though I'm not a big fan of PCMag, their recent freeware antivirus comparison brought Lavasoft's freeware solution to my attention. I'm currently testing it on my laptop, so far memory use seems a bit higher than MSE, but otherwise fine. Let's see how it does in long-term use...

- Oshyan
214  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Social Media's Hidden Truth on: September 26, 2011, 04:12:25 PM
Change the motivational to any social platform you want; G+ is no exception except it doesn't have corporations (yet). But it will eventually.

Except, er, Google, the biggest stats collector and web advertising company around. Sure there are no ads yet, but you can bet Google is watching usage closely. cheesy

- Oshyan
215  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2009 / Re: Why Trying to be Productive is a Huge Waste of Time on: September 23, 2011, 04:12:52 PM
Interestingly, I've noticed how often productivity experts are authors by trade. Which in turn makes me wonder if most productivity systems are intrinsically better (or possibly best) adapted to the tasks surrounding a professional writer (deadlines, milestones, meetings, submissions, tracking, etc.) or related "wordsmith" careers than most other occupations.

Or maybe it's more like those people who write "get rich quick" schemes - the only one that actually works is writing and selling the schemes. Wink

- Oshyan
216  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The False Positive and Improperly Rated Site Epidemic on: September 23, 2011, 04:11:05 PM
Yes, I agree. That's why I said I hope this effort can develop toward that. This is a good way to start, getting people to post their experiences and getting pledges from devs/publishers for support of the idea.

- Oshyan
217  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The False Positive and Improperly Rated Site Epidemic on: September 23, 2011, 04:03:24 PM
It's great to see someone finally tackling this. I hope the effort is successful. It sounds like you have some connections that will help. I'll do what I can to spread the word, though my networks are not necessarily large.

I also wanted to mention that I still think mouser's idea of a test and badge system rewarding good (low false positive) software/software publishers has a lot of potential. I think a combination of shaming the bad and rewarding the good could be most effective. Hopefully this effort can develop toward that long-term. But you have a good place to start.

- Oshyan
218  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: A unified solution for note taking and task management on: September 21, 2011, 03:12:07 PM
I'm liking Springpad fairly well so far. Its not super capable in any single area, but it has a great combination of features and is available on web and as a mobile app. It's got web clipping, basic rich text, tagging and sharing, notes as well as tasks, reminders and due dates, etc. And sometimes sheer ubiquity (available anywhere, anytime) can sometimes stand in for some amount of features in my case...

- Oshyan
219  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ Extensions thread on: September 20, 2011, 06:58:08 PM
Why are they weird? They're widely confirmed.

Maybe FF9 will close the gap...
http://www.dragonflame.or...fox-9-alpha-browser-test/
http://www.favbrowser.com...f-javascript-performance/

- Oshyan
220  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: schedule emails on: September 19, 2011, 10:53:26 PM
Google Calendar now has an offline mode. It may take care of that issue...

- Oshyan
221  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ Extensions thread on: September 19, 2011, 10:52:05 PM
Tuxman, I'm not sure your assertions match tested reality:
http://www.tomshardware.c...andard-html5,3013-16.html

- Oshyan
222  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: schedule emails on: September 17, 2011, 09:34:29 PM
Google Calendar, Set Reminders for event, 2/3 of them for email, 2/3 for desktop/pop-up alert (max of 5 total reminders), with different intervals (you can customize). It's not Outlook of course, but it works...

- Oshyan
223  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is Windows 7 boot management more broken than ever? on: September 17, 2011, 09:17:38 PM
Ah, F8, of course... but only if you can already boot from that partition, hehe. Oh well.

Yes, the multimedia keyboards and "office keyboards" are retarded. Ok, fine, you've got these extra keys that double up on the functions of the F-keys, but for god's sake why isn't it defaulted to F-key functionality instead of the damn office/media keys!?

So, the verdict is: yes, Win7 boot management is more broken than ever. cheesy

- Oshyan
224  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ Extensions thread on: September 17, 2011, 09:11:45 PM
G+ is not *usually* slow for me, though certainly it is sometimes. Does it seem slow as in "taking a while to fetch the data from the server" or slow as in "running too much Javascript and slowing down my browser/computer"?

FF may benchmark faster (depends on version and test), but in repeated anecdotal "tests" Chrome "feels" faster (this is a sentiment echoed by almost anyone I know who has tried Chrome recently vs. FF). cheesy

- Oshyan
225  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: XP "Automatic Update" / "Restart Later" super annoying dialog on: September 17, 2011, 09:03:06 PM
As far as I know the countdown only happens if you have updates set to fully automatic, i.e. not on "download but let me decide when to install", or other options. In that case, even if you do the update manually before the scheduled time, I believe if you leave it to sit after finishing, it will start a restart countdown.

- Oshyan
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