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Messages - Vurbal [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: Anyone tried USB Image Tool?
« on: September 12, 2014, 12:29 PM »
I've been using it for a couple years for my repair images. It's every bit as useful as it looks IME.

Found Deals and Discounts / Re: CintaNotes Giveaway + 30% Discount
« on: August 29, 2014, 06:38 AM »
I didn't bother counting replies since I'm on my phone, but I was already looking for a good note program.  Count me in for a free license if there are any left.

I was going to try for the copy of Terraria since my son is fanatical about it, but apparently we already bought it for him.  Here's a bad joke anyway.

What did the elephant say to the naked man?

How do you eat with that thing?

Living Room / Re: The Movie and Book Writing Thread
« on: August 28, 2014, 03:53 AM »
If you look into the issue, you will find little agreement on it from those that adhere to prescriptive grammatical rules (as opposed to normative). For prescriptive grammar, the debate is about whether or not collectives are to be treated as plurals or not, and whether or not number penetrates through qualified singular nouns.

Here's the problem I see with your entire line of reasoning. The rules aren't for writers. They're for people who aren't writers, but need to write nonetheless. Writing is like music. It's something you need to feel to do it well. In fact what I usually tell people is the rules are for people who can't hear the music.

Don't get me wrong. Some people have fantastic stories to tell, but simply aren't writers. Tolkien is perhaps the most famous example. He was a horrible writer but had some wonderful (and other less than wonderful) stories. But everything he ever wrote pales by comparison to Shakespeare's work and Shakespeare broke every rule in the book and then made up more rules just so he could break those too.

Let me know when we get to spread spectrum wireless. Any other so-called future will be short lived at best.

And regardless, I'll still be glad my house is thoroughly wired.

Living Room / Re: High School Student Laptop Policy
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:21 AM »
I expect any laptop provided by a school to come with the same privacy rights as the computer use in the classroom...pretty much none, with full logging and monitoring of everything the computer is used for.

This is exactly why I would tell my kids' school that any district provided laptop is not coming in my house. It's none of their business what goes on under my roof and insisting on monitoring activity which does is an unlawful invasion of privacy.

Also, unless they're going to cover the insurance themselves, they're not handing one to either of my remaining school age kids. That's so far over the line it's not even funny. If you don't have enough money to pay for the insurance, you don't have enough to institute the program in the first place.

Also, don't send me a bill for bus insurance when my kid goes on a field trip or ask me to chip in extra for the custodians' salaries.

Living Room / Re: HDMI vs Football
« on: August 15, 2014, 04:26 PM »
Too bad it's not available on my tablet. I'll have to check it out once I'm off the rack in a couple hours.

That's a good point, and IMO not a good long term trend for lots of reasons.

Without going into the depth of detail I can't normally seem to avoid (you're welcome), I can simply say this. It's hard to imagine anything more desireable, either as a creative or business professional, than to attract a base of fans/customers who want to give you their money.

You mean like when a bank forecloses? Yeah, you don't actually own your home until you have finished paying the bank for it, plus interest. In essence, as long as you still have a mortgage, you are renting the house from the bank, who is the real owner.

Except one difference is that the bank can't just say, "we don't want to service this loan anymore so we're foreclosing".  You have to actually not pay them for some period of time before they can kick you out.

Of course, there's the government, who will be wanting you to pay property taxes in perpetuity... or else.

Since when?  I've seen more that a few people lose homes since the bank crisis that were paying in good faith.  Some got them back.

You are correct. Pretty much every mortgage includes language allowing the bank to demand the remaining balance at their own discretion. They don't do this, as a rule, because it would be bad business.

I first heard about it from an acquaintance who happens to own several rental properties. He suggested that smaller banks would start doing this once the credit dried up completely - exactly what happened btw. Not by coincidence, he had also spent about 3 years moving all his investment money away from the US (he's from New Zealand and currently lives in Denmark) because he saw the collapse coming.

^ True, but not a legitimate reason for me to compromise my morals - no matter how satisfying that might feel.

eBooks are the better option if they don't have DRM deleting them or making them inaccessible.

Exactly! The problem in that story isn't the ebook. It's the fraudulent use of the word sale when what they were offering was really a license, which in practical terms is more like renting.

After reading the story earlier, though, an evil thought popped into my head - I know, hard to believe. I'm sure all of Scholastic's executives own homes. Since sale can equal rental, whoever sold them their houses should be allowed to change their mind and take them back without any repayment.

I'm not saying it's reasonable, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be fair.

If you're considering other Windows tablets, don't leave HP business offerings off the table. HP/Compaq's consumer PCs are, and have always been, of inconsistent quality. Some will be nearly identical to a business computer counterpart, and therefore almost universally rock solid and reliable. Others are, well, purely consumer offerings with the potential problems in their bells and whistles you would expect.

Had I been willing to spend $100 more than I did for my Asus, I almost certainly would have gone with a technically similar, but almost certainly higher quality, HP alternative. I'll have to look up the name again.

Keep in mind, the model I was looking at was (IIRC) quad core Atom powered like the Asus I ended up with. It also didn't have the external hard drive in the keyboard dock like the Asus, but did have twice as much RAM (4GB) and certainly a higher quality keyboard and docking mechanism. You seem to have your mind set on a desktop processor, but I can't advise strongly enough that you at least try to identify and try out the newer Atom powered units before dismissing them. They make the mobile and portable experience so much nicer, but only so long as you don't really need more pure computing speed.

Also, I believe HP has at least 2 Win8 tablets with larger displays and desktop processors, but I looked at an awful lot off tablets and did end up with specs for more tablets than my twisted little brain could reliably handle without a cheat sheet.

Living Room / Re: Moore's Law Dead by 2022, Expert Says
« on: July 28, 2014, 04:23 PM »
Ultimately, it seems to me the future is the continued transformation of components and processors which control peripherals to a pure heirarchy of integrated, but discrete "computers," much like modern networking has been transformed into a heirarchy of contextual peers and servers.

The technology for this is already being used to affect fairly dramatic improvements in server performance. I'm referring to the amazing high end, multiport, PCIe server network cards. They achieve near independence from both the OS and underlying CPU control, even going so far as heuristic (I'm guessing) determination of which physical CPU's PCIe interface to send traffic across.

DC Gamer Club / Re: Anybody use or familiar with Roll20?
« on: July 27, 2014, 10:10 AM »
Another free alternative is MapTools, which is the only virtual tabletop I've really looked at because of both the price and the fact someone has written a Hero System campaign framework. The author of that framework has mentioned, on the official Hero forums, that he doesn't think the Roll20 macro language is sophisticated enough to consider switching; at least not yet.

Living Room / Re: Printer's Ink
« on: July 24, 2014, 05:38 PM »
If you're looking at mass printing, a laserjet is the only way to go IMO. Even for color printing, as long as price is more important than perfect color reproduction, laser is far and away your best bet.

The tricky part with laserjets, in this context anyway, is paying close attention to the lifetime output and duty cycle recommendations for the printer as a whole and individual components. You can usually find rock solid used HP departmental or workgroup printers. still good for tens or even hundreds of thousands of pages, for extremely reasonable prices.

This probably isn't really what superboyac is looking for, but for an extremely reasonable price on a used 10.1 inch Android tablet, I highly recommend Digicircle. They only give you a 30 day warranty - a no DOA guarantee basically - and you have to pay attention since they also sell as-is units, but I've bought quite a few items from them and never had a complaint. In fact I just recently bought my daughter a low end Westinghouse 32 inch TV for $130 for a graduation present and a 10.1 inch Asus Android tablet (for $120 IIRC) for her birthday.

The tablet was specifically for use with ebooks in college. I didn't buy an ebook reader app for her, but I have to second the suggestions for Montano and Moon+. Both have outstanding interfaces and are well worth the minimal cost. If we're talking just ePub format books, even the free (open source) reader available from numerous devs is still better than anything you'll find for Windows, regardless of which interface you're talking about.

Living Room / Re: Moore's Law Dead by 2022, Expert Says
« on: July 24, 2014, 04:38 PM »
Yeah, they said the same thing about 28 nm, and then 20 nm.

Moore's second law: Once every two years an "expert" will predict the demise of Moore's Law.

I think the first time I saw that claim was all the way back when Intel's 180nm process CPUs hit the market.

p.s.: Moore's law is long dead from average joe's perspective anyway. My six years old core 2 e7200 has comparable single thread performance to today's i3 somethings (which are curiously sold at the same price level my e7200 sold for in the day). Intel and AMD continue to add new cores but I no longer see real-world performance gains doubling once every two years. Well, at least they had a good run from mid-nineties to late-oughties anyway.

Yep. We've long since reached the point where the limits on the useful lifetime of a computer were determined primarily by component durability rather than speed or the selection of technical features. For the typical computer user that happened more than a decade ago. For most power users it was probably 5 years back.

You don't get notifications when the device is asleep (or sometimes ever, in the case of IMs). The email app expects to have a live connection to the server and cannot reflect actions like flagging or deleting email in a responsive fashion. Your phone makes a note to delete the email when you're in cell range and hides the message immediately. The Metro app just acts like it has ignored your attempt to delete a message while it frantically tries to connect to the server.

This is what I was talking about with the connectivity.
I see, yes that's annoying.  For me, I don't think it will be very important.  I think i'll just be using it as a portable desktop rather than some kind of mobile device.  I'm guessing i'm not going to be using the metro apps much.  I've always been a third party guy anyway.  I rarely use any stock windows programs other than Office.  i'll go third party just for the principle of it, lol.

Are you going to be using it as a tablet?  I foresee much pain.  Which will lead to Anger.  Which will lead to Hate.  Which will lead to suffering.  Which will lead to the Dark Side.

... after all, Yoda said so.

I have to agree with this. I do use mine for reading technical PDFs, but it's primarily a laptop and I never had any doubt that would be its primary purpose. The touchscreen adds a lot in desktop mode but for actual desktop programs - the kind that call for lots of mouse and keyboard interaction - it's honestly a piece of crap. For occasionally using as a tablet - even for desktop programs - it's brilliant. As a dedicated tablet I'd rate it as the worst one I've ever used, not counting the couple of off brand, garbage hardware Android models I've briefly had my hands on.

However, I would also consider anything bigger than around 10 inches poorly suited for reading anything unless you intend to lay it down most of the time. I also wouldn't even consider a tablet with a desktop processor.

That might have been my problem.  I've been burned by MS several times in relation to them dropping platforms, so I got one that would still be useful even if they dropped the platform.  And when you try to do two things (desktop and tablet) I suppose it's inevitable that you'll fail.

That may have been part of your problem but, as I said in my initial response to this thread, every Win8 tablet really is a significant compromise on one level or another. I was fortunate to have waited (fortunate meaning not by choice) until Intel got their shit together on Atom processors and released a surprisingly high performing quad core model.

However, it's been pretty well documented that even the Unix-like modularization and streamlining since Vista haven't done anything to prevent Windows from becoming more power hungry when the computer is idle. Someone I went to school with liked to point out to people who asked if they should buy a new computer that all computers wait at the same speed. Unfortunately some waste a lot more CPU cycles while they're waiting, and Windows is the primary reason for the difference.

That's just on the power management side. I've talked about the performance issues on the desktop side before, and will try to remember to add links to that info in the morning. Despite having a tablet, I use very few TIFKAM (The Interface Formerly Known As Metro) apps so I can't positively say it applies there, but realistically it would have to. The short version is that the compositing window manager seems to be the primary culprit, and in fact I find that when a desktop program stops responding I can fix it instantly by switching to the home screen and then immediately back to the desktop UI.

I don't miss anything in my workflow by not using a tablet, except recently for one thing...reading.  So I want the SP3 basically to use as a reader.  Lol, i know it's overkill (aren't you guys used to me by now?). 

Anyway...I'm getting it this week.  8)
I wouldn't call that overkill, I'd call it misapprehension.

I use my Android tablets mostly for reading and one reason I do is that the reading apps available on Android tablets are far better than anything equivalent on Windows.

There are a lot of very good reasons to get a Windows 8.1 tablet. Reading is NOT one of them.

That depends on your criteria. While I agree that the apps themselves for Android are far superior on the whole, if you're reading something that isn't well suited to a 7-8 inch screen, most Windows tablets are superior to most Android tablets. That was one of the reasons I ultimately decided to get my Transformer Book. An Android tablet with the same display size would still have been better for reading, but still a waste (for me) considering I can use it as a reasonably full featured laptop.

However, I would also consider anything bigger than around 10 inches poorly suited for reading anything unless you intend to lay it down most of the time. I also wouldn't even consider a tablet with a desktop processor.

Living Room / Re: Homebrewing
« on: July 21, 2014, 01:10 PM »
As much as I love Guinness, if I were to start brewing, the first target on my wishlist would be a German pils like Wernesgruner. I can already get the real thing (at Aldi) for barely more than Budweiser would cost. As a result I've never been particularly motivated.

I haven't tried it on Win8 yet, but for Win7 I swear by EasUS Todo Backup. You can (and definitely should) create a boot disk, using Linux, but it can also put the files on your hard drive and add an additional boot loader. That way you can boot to it without separate media.

It's also the fastest system backup program I've ever used. It's even lightning fast at the highest compression setting. That's more of an added bonus than anything since there's probably no real gain past standard compression.

I've also tried out Macrium when I was looking for a replacement for Acronis True Image. It wasn't as quick as Todo Backup, but configuration was quite a bit more straight forward and simple. I would have no problem recommending either program honestly.

I would definitely stay away from Acronis though. True Image 9 was one of the best pieces of software I've ever owned. For $40 it was certainly the best value. Since then they've added a bunch of bells and whistles which would be great except for the fact they've broken the crap out of the whole program in the process.

One convenient thing about being autistic is that crap has never worked on me. Even as a teenager, Ronald "The Great Communicator" Reagan just seemed like a doddering old half wit because all I paid attention to was the actual words. Now that speeches, press conferences, debates, and the like are available in transcript form almost in real time it's not even an issue.

Even the average moron on the street is harder to fool that way. Too bad the average idiot is also to lazy to read what they can watch on TV. It didn't get the nickname Idiot Box for nothing.


That would scare the b'jeez out of me given the mindset of the freaks in power that do everything for our "safety".

Don't misunderstand me. I don't mean the government needs to rewrite it. I'm referring to the next time we get enough of the mentally numb masses to pull their thumbs out of their asses and do something democratic. That's always the end of the cycles we're talking about. OTOH the quicker the government runs things into the ground, the better our odds people will stand up and do something meaningful.

I'm not really even saying I think it's going to be the end result this time around. We have further to fall before I see it as viable. I just figure those of us who are already 10 steps ahead should focus on the long game. Everything else is just dwelling on the problem.

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