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General Computing Randomness

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General Computing Randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:49 pm

I thought I was going to have to scrape together funds for some new hardware yesterday. The speakers weren't putting out any main channel voice output. Background vocals, music, etc came through fine. I popped on the headphones, and got the same issue, so I moved from freaking out about speaker costs to sound cards.

I then went to the front panel, where both speakers and headphones are plugged into a splitter into the audio jack. Turns out the splitter jack into the panel had gotten jostled loose enough to drop just that channel.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Jeff V » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:56 am

Isgrimnur wrote:I thought I was going to have to scrape together funds for some new hardware yesterday. The speakers weren't putting out any main channel voice output. Background vocals, music, etc came through fine. I popped on the headphones, and got the same issue, so I moved from freaking out about speaker costs to sound cards.

I then went to the front panel, where both speakers and headphones are plugged into a splitter into the audio jack. Turns out the splitter jack into the panel had gotten jostled loose enough to drop just that channel.
I learned long ago the hard way -- always start troubleshooting with the cheapest component and work from there.

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:58 am

I'm a programmer. I bracket out the problem from both ends. It's like playing the Clock Game on The Price is Right.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Max Peck » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:35 am

3D Xpoint memory: Faster-than-flash storage unveiled
A new kind of memory technology is going into production, which is up to 1,000 times faster than the Nand flash storage used in memory cards and computers' solid state drives (SSDs). The innovation is called 3D XPoint, and is the invention of Intel and Micron. The two US companies predict a wide range of benefits, from speeding up scientific research to making more elaborate video games.
OK. Let's go back to basics - why does it have that weird name?
It refers to the fact the technology is made up of a 3D structure featuring layers of wires. On each layer, the wires run in parallel to each other, but at right-angles to those on the layer below. In between each layer are vertical sub-microscopic columns, which connect the points at which the wires criss-cross. Each of these columns contains:
  • a "memory cell", which can store a single bit of data. This represents either a one or a zero in binary code
  • a "selector", which allows a specific memory cell to be read or rewritten. Access is controlled by varying the amount of voltage it receives via the wires
Enlarge Image
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by stessier » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:17 am

Wow, that is pretty cool.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:56 pm

Sometimes I despise computers. In the past few weeks I fixed up a laptop for my ex-wife, failed to fix a laptop for a friend (running 64mb of RAM, WinMe, and more viruses than I've ever seen in one place), reinstalled Win 7 on one of my PCs, and upgraded to Win 10 on the other.

Then the first one went into hysterics, which I was able to solve by swapping some wires. Now the TV computer has decided it doesn't need to make sound anymore. The TV computer, as you might guess, plays videos on the TV. It is used constantly by the kids, too. I cannot lose this PC, but I can't for the life of me figure out why it suddenly lost sound, unless it is just component failure due to age (and the components are not replaceable on this thing.)

Now, it may seem like I have a lot of PCs, but of the three, only one is in good shape. The other two are cobbled together out of spare parts or donated bits. I'm grateful to have any, but I'm getting seriously burned out on troubleshooting computers that should have died years ago.

/edit - success! Stripped out all of the drivers and reinstalled them and the sound is back. I have no idea what happened.

Part of the problem is all the changes in architecture lately. I've relied on my 'parts box' for years, but suddenly my old parts aren't compatible with other modern hardware. My old system has upgrading one part a year in my main system, then passing the old part down the next PC, and the one in that PC down to the last. It has kept all three functional without spending much money. The parts just don't match anymore, though, which has resulted in a couple of PCs that I can't upgrade and can't afford to replace.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Kraken » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:11 am

Has it occurred to you that you might pick up a few bucks here and there by doing that kind of support? Call yourself the Poor Man's Geek Squad and charge $15 an hour.

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Alefroth » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:41 am

Kraken wrote:Call yourself the Poor Man's Geek Squad and charge $15 an hour.
Greek Squad?

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:18 pm

Kraken wrote:Has it occurred to you that you might pick up a few bucks here and there by doing that kind of support? Call yourself the Poor Man's Geek Squad and charge $15 an hour.
It has occurred, but the big difference with friends and family is that with family I can say, "I have no idea how to fix this, but let me screw around and see if it starts up."
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Kraken » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:06 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Kraken wrote:Has it occurred to you that you might pick up a few bucks here and there by doing that kind of support? Call yourself the Poor Man's Geek Squad and charge $15 an hour.
It has occurred, but the big difference with friends and family is that with family I can say, "I have no idea how to fix this, but let me screw around and see if it starts up."
You'd get close to the same level of forgiveness from friends-of-family. I'm not suggesting hanging out a shingle so much as working by referral. You can always offer a no-fix, no-pay policy.

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Giles Habibula » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:43 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Kraken wrote:Has it occurred to you that you might pick up a few bucks here and there by doing that kind of support? Call yourself the Poor Man's Geek Squad and charge $15 an hour.
It has occurred, but the big difference with friends and family is that with family I can say, "I have no idea how to fix this, but let me screw around and see if it starts up."
What, you think the Geek Squad does any more than this?
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by dfs » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:37 pm

Giles Habibula wrote:
Blackhawk wrote:
Kraken wrote:Has it occurred to you that you might pick up a few bucks here and there by doing that kind of support? Call yourself the Poor Man's Geek Squad and charge $15 an hour.
It has occurred, but the big difference with friends and family is that with family I can say, "I have no idea how to fix this, but let me screw around and see if it starts up."
What, you think the Geek Squad does any more than this?
Yup.
Blackhawk wrote: I'm getting seriously burned out on troubleshooting computers that should have died years ago.
This squared. Probably more than that.

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:18 pm

Max Peck wrote:3D Xpoint memory: Faster-than-flash storage unveiled
A new kind of memory technology is going into production, which is up to 1,000 times faster than the Nand flash storage used in memory cards and computers' solid state drives (SSDs). The innovation is called 3D XPoint, and is the invention of Intel and Micron. The two US companies predict a wide range of benefits, from speeding up scientific research to making more elaborate video games.

And it looks like NAND is officially developmentally dead.
The NAND flash technology that Toshiba introduced in 1989, making thumb drives, SSDs and your smartphone's memory possible, has finally reached a development dead end.

Toshiba and other major manufacturers of planar floating gate NAND flash are setting those engineering efforts aside and focusing development on 3D NAND, also known as vertical charge trap or floating gate flash and other 3D memories.

Scott Nelson, vice president in charge of Toshiba's memory business, said planar or 2D NAND flash will continue to be sold because there are still many "lower density" applications for it. But the economics of shrinking it below 15nm don't make sense.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:55 pm

So aside from my A/C dying, I had to get a new printer, as the last all-in-one, which was having issues before the move, didn't survive it. And then the old wireless router I had that was ~10 years old and had been dormant for two as less than happy about being pressed into service.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by gilraen » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:44 pm

My Win 7 PC stopped recognizing my DVD drive. It's not even in device manager, it's like it doesn't exist. I tried plugging it into a different SATA slot, nothing. If I can ever figure out how to get into BIOS on my computer, I'll check if BIOS can see it. But at this point I'm willing to assume that the drive itself is dead and needs to be replaced.

Update: well, BIOS can't see it either. And since I clearly haven't had enough coffee today to mess with SATA cables, I unplugged the wrong one...and corrupted an entire folder of videos on one of the hard drives. Yeah, I'm done.

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Max Peck » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:24 pm

Samsung's PM1633a is world's highest capacity storage drive at 15.36 TB
The South Korean tech giant showed off the PM1633a, a solid-state drive capable of storing nearly 16 terabytes, at the Flash Memory Summit in California this week. It comes in a 6.35-cm case, which means it could theoretically fit inside a conventional lap top.

While the drive actually holds 15.36 TB, it still has, by far, the world's highest storage capacity. Its closest competitors are 10 TB drives made by HGST and Western Digital. As the Telegraph newspaper reports, that means the device could, in theory, store the equivalent of 284 days worth of high-definition video, or about 3.8 million four megabyte songs.

While Samsung did not provide any details on price or availability, technology site Slash Gear reported it could cost northward of $5,000. Based on the company's demonstration — 48 of the solid-state drives installed in a single server with a total storage capacity of about 738 TB — the drive is intended for the enterprise market.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Jeff V » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:47 pm

Finally, a drive that can hold my whole music collection. I'll take 2 once they drop below $200.

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:50 pm

Jeff V wrote:Finally, a drive that can hold my whole music collection. I'll take 2 once they drop below $200.
You'll drop before they do.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:52 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Jeff V wrote:Finally, a drive that can hold my whole music collection. I'll take 2 once they drop below $200.
You'll drop before they do.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Bakhtosh » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:02 pm

I wish I could find the old thread about hard drive sizes. I predicted something like, 20TB drives would be shipping in pre-built PCs by something like 2020. I was scoffed upon.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Bakhtosh » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:29 pm

It was found from Aug 2007. It was about RAM, not HDD size:
Bakhtosh wrote:Let's see, in 1987, I had a computer with a fist sized 16k RAM add on.
So let's say that was a 16-bit OS, giving it 64k addresses. In 1997, we were needing a 32-bit OS to make use of up to 4Gb of addresses. Surely, no computer would ever need more than 4Gb right? It's 2007, and we're now needing a 64-bit OS which can support up to 8Tb of addresses. It will probably take more than 10 years, but to say that no one alive today will need more than 8 Tb of RAM is awfully ignorant of the past.

The amount of RAM in my desktop PC right now is 2 orders of magnitude greater than the amount of Hard Disk space I had on my PC in 1989 (20 MB * 100 = 2 GB). If that exponential progression is repeated, in 20 years, I'll have 20 TB of RAM in my PC, which will require a 128-bit OS (3.4 e+38 or 340 petabytes * 100 exabytes of address space).

Even being conservative, if 20 years from now, RAM is not being measured in TB amounts, I'll be shocked.
So I've got until 2027 to get 20 TB of RAM in my PC. We're closing in on 100 GB in pre-built gaming PCs (64GB isn't unheard of).
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Max Peck » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:49 am

In the kind-of-cool-but-gimmicky department...

Acer unveils 'building block' Revo computer
Image
Acer has unveiled a desktop PC whose parts are designed to be fitted together like building blocks. The idea behind the Revo Build is to make it easy to customise a computer without having to unscrew parts of its body to install new components or connect it to other kit via cables. A series of pins at the top and bottom of each part allows them to be stacked and connected together.

The concept echoes an approach others are taking to mobiles. "Various companies have modular phones in the works that will allow you to snap on extra features," commented Chris Green, at tech consultant at Davies Murphy Group. "Google has Project Ara and there's some interesting start-ups as well. It's logical to extend the idea to desktop PCs. A modular PC for a gamer would be perfect as it would let them add in extra capabilities without having to get their hands dirty. They currently have to crack open the case and fiddle around with cables and wires."

Mr Green noted, however, that the introductory base units had relatively limited processing power - the initial choice will be between Intel's Celeron and Pentium processors rather than its Core family of chips - which might limit their appeal to gaming enthusiasts.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:51 am

While it is an interesting idea, I dislike the thought of buying into an upgradable system with only a single manufacturer of parts.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Daehawk » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:08 am

---------------------------------------------
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Kraken » Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:23 am

Blackhawk wrote:While it is an interesting idea, I dislike the thought of buying into an upgradable system with only a single manufacturer of parts.
If you wanted that restriction wouldn't you buy a Macintosh? Interchangeability is kind of the whole point of PCs.

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:24 am

If they truly wanted it to be the future, it should have been a cross-corporation standard that was put in place and administered by an independent body. PCs thrive because you can get parts from lots of different mfgs.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:38 pm

Max Peck wrote:
"A modular PC for a gamer would be perfect as it would let them add in extra capabilities without having to get their hands dirty. They currently have to crack open the case and fiddle around with cables and wires."
Honestly, one of my favorite things to do is open a case and build/upgrade a PC.
Max Peck wrote: Mr Green noted, however, that the introductory base units had relatively limited processing power - the initial choice will be between Intel's Celeron and Pentium processors rather than its Core family of chips - which might limit their appeal to gaming enthusiasts.
Celeron and Pentium? What's the point? Sheesh, talk about missing the mark.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:44 pm

And it isn't really all that complicated. Building a Lego set is more complex than building a PC.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:53 pm

Well, a lego set with pieces that cost $300 each.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:56 pm

Blackhawk wrote:And it isn't really all that complicated. Building a Lego set is more complex than building a PC.
Trouble shooting can be brutal though.

I agree with you, if things go well.

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Max Peck » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:12 am

North America has finally exhausted its allocation of IPv4 addresses. I'm surprised that it took this long...
North America has officially run out of its stock of old net addresses. This week the American agency which oversees net addresses in the region gave out the last block of these vital net components. It said companies in North America should now accelerate their move to the latest version of the net's addressing system.

Now Africa is the only region with any significant blocks of the older version 4 internet addresses available.
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Max Peck » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:44 pm

Is there an Internet-of-Things vigilante out there?
During our analysis we began to unveil some of Wifatch’s secrets. Most of Wifatch’s code is written in the Perl programming language and it targets several architectures and ships its own static Perl interpreter for each of them. Once a device is infected with the Wifatch, it connects to a peer-to-peer network that is used to distribute threat updates.

The further we dug into Wifatch’s code the more we had the feeling that there was something unusual about this threat. For all intents and purposes, it appeared like the author was trying to secure infected devices instead of using them for malicious activities.

Wifatch’s code does not ship any payloads used for malicious activities, such as carrying out DDoS attacks, in fact all the hardcoded routines seem to have been implemented in order to harden compromised devices. We’ve been monitoring Wifatch’s peer-to-peer network for a number of months and have yet to observe any malicious actions being carried out through it.
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Kraken » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:53 pm

Nihilistic password security questions



What is the name of your least favorite child?

In what year did you abandon your dreams?

What is the maiden name of your father’s mistress?

At what age did your childhood pet run away?

What was the name of your favorite unpaid internship?

In what city did you first experience ennui?

What is your ex-wife’s newest last name?

What sports team do you fetishize to avoid meaningful discussion with others?

What is the name of your favorite canceled TV show?

What was the middle name of your first rebound?

On what street did you lose your childlike sense of wonder?

When did you stop trying?

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Jeff V » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:24 pm

Boss in spring wrote:Why are you doing the EDA [disposal of computer-related assets] in Excel and uploading to Googledocs? Just do it in Googledocs in the first place!
Fall EDA is due Monday. Googledocs is down and I can't edit my half-completed report. :x :x :x

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Kasey Chang » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:26 am

Got my MetaWatch Strata working on my Lollipop updated Moto X. Had to reinstall the app from scratch, but it's working now, and can do stocks, gmail, sports, weather, clock, twitter, steps (pedometer), and remote control Google Play Music (but not any other player). Kinda forgot that thing existed...

It's not Moto 360, but then, I bought it for $40 a year ago. :D
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by gilraen » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:48 am

Spent an hour trying to figure out why a Windows batch file on a client's server wouldn't execute. Finally realized that when they saved it in Notepad, it defaulted to Unicode and inserted an invisible illegal character right at position 1 in the file. Doh.

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:45 am

gilraen wrote:Spent an hour trying to figure out why a Windows batch file on a client's server wouldn't execute. Finally realized that when they saved it in Notepad, it defaulted to Unicode and inserted an invisible illegal character right at position 1 in the file. Doh.
Have you heard about the Greek question mark?
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by gilraen » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:47 am

Isgrimnur wrote:
gilraen wrote:Spent an hour trying to figure out why a Windows batch file on a client's server wouldn't execute. Finally realized that when they saved it in Notepad, it defaulted to Unicode and inserted an invisible illegal character right at position 1 in the file. Doh.
Have you heard about the Greek question mark?
No - why does it look like a semicolon?

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:19 am

Beside coder pranks? Blame the Church Slavonic.
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Kasey Chang
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Kasey Chang » Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:56 am

Got the new upstairs TV PC working. Bought an old Core 2 Duo "retired business PC" (preloaded with Win 7 pro) when my other spare, an OLD Dell (Pentium D) crapped out. VGA on HDTV sucks. I know the TV is 1080p but VGA only goes up to 1280x768. Any higher, and video goes "invalid format". I have to check if it has HDMI (probably not) or DisplayPort.

Otherwise, runs great. Turned it on, booted right into Win7 setup. Entered key (on sticker) and voila, it's in. Unfortunately, it came preloaded with AVG and I think it crapped up the Internet connection. I have Powerline networking from downstairs to upstairs so it's basically hardline, no WiFi needed. And it's not even connecting to MS update server (but otherwise websites work fine) WTF? Downloaded Chrome, and then UpdateMyPC, then the rest of WindowsUpdates.

May update it to Win10 over the weekend... AFTER I nuke AVG.
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