General Computing Randomness

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Daehawk
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Daehawk »

Sounds good cept for the login. im frankly getting a little tired of these big monopoly like companies forcing themselves on a user needlessly.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Smoove_B »

Thank god! I was looking at purchasing a used ergonomic keyboard and the prices were absurd:
In April, Microsoft announced that it would stop selling Microsoft-branded computer peripherals. Today, Onward Brands announced that it's giving those discarded Microsoft-stamped gadgets a second life under new branding. Products like the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard will become Incase products with "Designed by Microsoft" branding.

Beyond the computer accessories saying "Designed by Microsoft," they should be the same keyboards, mice, webcams, headsets, and speakers, Onward, Incase's parent company, said, per The Verge. Onward said its Incase brand will bring back 23 Microsoft-designed products in 2024 and hopes for availability to start in Q2.
My Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite is probably the only reason I don't have debilitating carpal tunnel at this point. Not a commercial; genuinely stopped my carpel tunnel from getting worse and I cannot type on a standard keyboard anymore.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

Smoove_B wrote: Fri Jan 05, 2024 8:56 pm My Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite is probably the only reason I don't have debilitating carpal tunnel at this point. Not a commercial; genuinely stopped my carpel tunnel from getting worse and I cannot type on a standard keyboard anymore.
When I was writing (and often putting in 12+ hour days), I developed both cubital and carpal tunnel. That keyboard was one of the two changes I made that solved the problem. If I ever started writing again - even if just for myself - it's one of the first things I'd look for. The other change was switching to the Microsoft Trackball Explorer, which I still say is the best trackball I've ever used. I followed the link hoping that they were bring it back.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

This is pure rant. Do not solve.

Why, in this day and age, do regularly used applications that other applications rely on (ffmpeg, I'm looking at you) only come as a bunch of loose files that you have to know the syntax of fucking command lines in order to actually use? Here's the thing, developers: Not everyone has a degree in CS.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by hitbyambulance »

Smoove_B wrote: Fri Jan 05, 2024 8:56 pm Thank god! I was looking at purchasing a used ergonomic keyboard and the prices were absurd:
In April, Microsoft announced that it would stop selling Microsoft-branded computer peripherals. Today, Onward Brands announced that it's giving those discarded Microsoft-stamped gadgets a second life under new branding. Products like the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard will become Incase products with "Designed by Microsoft" branding.

Beyond the computer accessories saying "Designed by Microsoft," they should be the same keyboards, mice, webcams, headsets, and speakers, Onward, Incase's parent company, said, per The Verge. Onward said its Incase brand will bring back 23 Microsoft-designed products in 2024 and hopes for availability to start in Q2.
My Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite is probably the only reason I don't have debilitating carpal tunnel at this point. Not a commercial; genuinely stopped my carpel tunnel from getting worse and I cannot type on a standard keyboard anymore.
i always request the MicrosoftOnward Brands Sculpt at every new job i work at - it's inexpensive enough that the purchasing department doesn't care and it's the cheapest ergo non-mechanical keyboard i like 'ok enough'.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by hitbyambulance »

i just got a refurbed Dell Latitude 7310 Touch ('A grade', with a 50% off coupon) at the end of December - total with tax was $379:

Dell Latitude 7310 Notebook
13.3-in FHD Touch (1920 x 1080)
Webcam
1x Intel Core i7 Quad (i7-1061OU) 1.80 GHz
16 GB RAM
512 GB SSD
Intel Integrated Graphics
HDMI-out port
2 USB-C, 1 USB-A
Headphone jack
MicroSD port
Backlit Keyboard
Windows 10 Professional

i wiped Windows 10 and installed Ubuntu 23.10. it's a great machine for the price, i'm mostly happy about it. it's clearly not going to be a gaming machine (i have my Steam Deck for that) but will be fine for everything else i am going to use it for - and i can do gaming with it for a bunch of indie titles, if i wanted, since Proton is in such a good state now. have been using two ooooold MacBook laptops up to this point (a 2011 MBP and a 2012 MBA) and this was a better investment than replacing the batteries in both of those.

two bugaboos - this one had the privacy screen installed, which can't be disabled. makes viewing angles from the side impossible to see. also, the webcam video and audio is _terrible_ (super grainy, colors are not good, audio is lo-fi with constant background static) and i'm not sure what's causing that - bad webcam driver? i've posted on the Ubuntu support forum for assistance.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

I'm probably one of the twelve people to still use the DVD drive on a PC. Specifically the PC that's hooked up to my TV.

I've been working through a couple of older shows lately, and I'm having a hell of a time getting them to play properly. Every ten minutes or so, the DVD playback ill freeze for two or three seconds, then jump about five seconds ahead. It happens on every DVD, it happens on both of the optical drives on my PC, and it happens on both VLC and MPC. That means it's not the player, not the drive, and not the disks. That would suggest that the culprit is Windows 10 itself.

Anyone have any ideas on how to fix it? Searching has proven fruitless, unless I really want 3000 'articles' telling me to clean my DVD.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Blackhawk wrote: Fri Jan 19, 2024 11:50 pm I'm probably one of the twelve people to still use the DVD drive on a PC. Specifically the PC that's hooked up to my TV.

I've been working through a couple of older shows lately, and I'm having a hell of a time getting them to play properly. Every ten minutes or so, the DVD playback ill freeze for two or three seconds, then jump about five seconds ahead. It happens on every DVD, it happens on both of the optical drives on my PC, and it happens on both VLC and MPC. That means it's not the player, not the drive, and not the disks. That would suggest that the culprit is Windows 10 itself.

Anyone have any ideas on how to fix it? Searching has proven fruitless, unless I really want 3000 'articles' telling me to clean my DVD.
Try replacing/updating your video codecs using Shark007 Codecs, and see if that helps. Also, make sure you're using either MPC-BE (Black Edition) or MPC-HC (Home Cinema).
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

Anonymous Bosch wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2024 12:01 am MPC-HC (Home Cinema).
This is what I'm already using (actually, VLC is my primary player, but I watched a few episodes with MPC to see if it was a VLC issue.)

I'll look at the codecs.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by gilraen »

Blackhawk wrote: Fri Jan 19, 2024 11:50 pm That means it's not the player, not the drive, and not the disks.
What about the cable?
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

gilraen wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2024 2:42 am
Blackhawk wrote: Fri Jan 19, 2024 11:50 pm That means it's not the player, not the drive, and not the disks.
What about the cable?
Two different drives, two different cables. I also tried an external USB drive and had the same problem.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by gilraen »

USB drive as in USB port on the TV or through HDMI adapter?

Does your TV has the option to change the refresh rate?
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

gilraen wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2024 2:43 pm USB drive as in USB port on the TV or through HDMI adapter?

Does your TV has the option to change the refresh rate?
The TV is essentially just functioning as a PC monitor. Everything is going directly through my PC.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by gilraen »

It doesn't matter what it's functioning as. It may or may not be able to properly render the video signal received, and so far you've only done troubleshooting on the PC and not the TV.

If you have a Chromecast laying around (or if it's a smart TV), you can try casting from the PC to the TV and see if that's any different from a wired HDMI signal.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

gilraen wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2024 4:00 pm It doesn't matter what it's functioning as. It may or may not be able to properly render the video signal received, and so far you've only done troubleshooting on the PC and not the TV.

If you have a Chromecast laying around (or if it's a smart TV), you can try casting from the PC to the TV and see if that's any different from a wired HDMI signal.
Just to try to build my own understanding - which component are you thinking is to blame? I've watched a number of DVDs on this TV/PC combo (although it's been a couple of years) without issues.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by gilraen »

A couple of years ago you were using different graphics drivers on the PC and probably different HDMI cables. You don't say how old the TV is or what brand, but if you were using HDMI 1.4 back then and now you are using HDMI 2.0, it may be dumping data to the TV faster than it can handle with the current refresh rate (like if it's capable of 30Hz but is fed a data stream that requires 60Hz).

Again, I'm not an expert, and I'm probably not using all the right technical terms, it's been years since I've had to troubleshoot this sort of issue (don't get me started on making sure DisplayPort cable isn't connected on both ends through pin 20 because potentially fry the GPU? That's an oldie but a goodie...) This whole rigamarole is the reason why I stopped trying to use wired connection as soon as Chromecast became a thing - because Chromecast hardware can compensate for all kinds of driver/firmware discrepancies (and VLC has built-in casting).
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

gilraen wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2024 5:20 pm A couple of years ago you were using different graphics drivers on the PC and probably different HDMI cables. You don't say how old the TV is or what brand, but if you were using HDMI 1.4 back then and now you are using HDMI 2.0, it may be dumping data to the TV faster than it can handle with the current refresh rate (like if it's capable of 30Hz but is fed a data stream that requires 60Hz).

Again, I'm not an expert, and I'm probably not using all the right technical terms, it's been years since I've had to troubleshoot this sort of issue (don't get me started on making sure DisplayPort cable isn't connected on both ends through pin 20 because potentially fry the GPU? That's an oldie but a goodie...) This whole rigamarole is the reason why I stopped trying to use wired connection as soon as Chromecast became a thing - because Chromecast hardware can compensate for all kinds of driver/firmware discrepancies (and VLC has built-in casting).
Thanks. Understanding the potential issue makes troubleshooting it easier. The TV is only about three years old, a SAMSUNG Q70T (QN65Q70TAFXZA, 2020 Model.) I'll have to look at what the settings are for refresh rate via PC.

I may go look at Chromecast, although I'm guessing that it's no good for gaming. The TV/PC combo is used for gaming occasionally (when all three of us game together.)
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Punisher »

Do you have a spare "real" monitor to test with?
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

Punisher wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2024 10:20 pm Do you have a spare "real" monitor to test with?
Not without disassembling things that I'd rather not disassemble.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

Blackhawk wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2024 5:49 pm
gilraen wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2024 5:20 pm A couple of years ago you were using different graphics drivers on the PC and probably different HDMI cables. You don't say how old the TV is or what brand, but if you were using HDMI 1.4 back then and now you are using HDMI 2.0, it may be dumping data to the TV faster than it can handle with the current refresh rate (like if it's capable of 30Hz but is fed a data stream that requires 60Hz).

Again, I'm not an expert, and I'm probably not using all the right technical terms, it's been years since I've had to troubleshoot this sort of issue (don't get me started on making sure DisplayPort cable isn't connected on both ends through pin 20 because potentially fry the GPU? That's an oldie but a goodie...) This whole rigamarole is the reason why I stopped trying to use wired connection as soon as Chromecast became a thing - because Chromecast hardware can compensate for all kinds of driver/firmware discrepancies (and VLC has built-in casting).
Thanks. Understanding the potential issue makes troubleshooting it easier. The TV is only about three years old, a SAMSUNG Q70T (QN65Q70TAFXZA, 2020 Model.) I'll have to look at what the settings are for refresh rate via PC.

I may go look at Chromecast, although I'm guessing that it's no good for gaming. The TV/PC combo is used for gaming occasionally (when all three of us game together.)
It was a good idea, but testing with multiple refresh rates didn't make a difference. I tried 60Hz (native), 30Hz, and several in the 20s. The TV is 4k, but the video is DVD resolution maximized - no upscaling.

The alternate codecs didn't help either. I'm going to try replacing the cables with brand new off-the shelf cables and see if that helps. If not, I'm probably going to have to look in Chromecast, although I'd have to rewire the thing any time we use it for gaming.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Punisher »

If your tv supports it hav3 you tried connecting to ot wirelessly?
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Jaymon »

I think I know whats happening, although I don't recall the technical terms for it.

The dvd player software is reading ahead on the disk, caching that and prepping to send it to the screen. And then, after a certain amount of time, windows is like, "oh, I see you already cached what you need. Ima go ahead and spin down the disk" and then the cache runs out, and suddenly its CRAP! spin it back up and get something on the screen! and now you have missed 5 seconds of show.

You can test this by pulling the content of the DVD off the DVD and putting it on the PC hard drive, then playing from there. If it plays smoothly, thats where the problem lies.

Unfortunatly I don't remember the name of the setting that prevents windows from spinning down the disk when it thinks its out of use, the DVD player software should be overriding that, but something has gone wonky.




alternatly, dvd players, even region free dvd players are stupid cheap right now. Blu-ray, not so cheap.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

I've got consoles that can play DVDs if I wanted to go that route, but everything else runs through the media PC, and it honestly just works better that way.

I'll look into the drive spinning down.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

Another factor: If I pull back to before where it skipped, it will skip at the exact same point again.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Blackhawk wrote: Fri Jan 19, 2024 11:50 pm I'm probably one of the twelve people to still use the DVD drive on a PC. Specifically the PC that's hooked up to my TV.

I've been working through a couple of older shows lately, and I'm having a hell of a time getting them to play properly. Every ten minutes or so, the DVD playback ill freeze for two or three seconds, then jump about five seconds ahead. It happens on every DVD, it happens on both of the optical drives on my PC, and it happens on both VLC and MPC. That means it's not the player, not the drive, and not the disks. That would suggest that the culprit is Windows 10 itself.

Anyone have any ideas on how to fix it? Searching has proven fruitless, unless I really want 3000 'articles' telling me to clean my DVD.
Given everything else you have tried? If I were you, I would remove both optical drives from your PC. Then open 'em up, and gently clean the lens and internals using canned air; nothing else, canned air only. The videos below illustrate how to get at the relevant optical drive internals for cleaning:



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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

Three drives, including one external USB drive that's fairly new.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Blackhawk wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 7:25 pm Three drives, including one external USB drive that's fairly new.
Fair enough, I was thinking you perhaps had two internal drives. Although depending on how dusty the environment tends to be in and around your PC, it may still be worth cleaning at least one 'em out, just to see if doing so provides any noticeable improvement.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by hitbyambulance »

and it is this particular installation of Windows- if this same machine was booted off a Linux live USB/disc media, then whatever media player in Linux was used to play the DVD, it would work fine. (has this been tried? just wondering) (similarly, if the external DVD drive was moved to another Windows machine, it would perform properly)

(i don't have an answer, i'd also have to do research on this)
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

hitbyambulance wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:55 am and it is this particular installation of Windows- if this same machine was booted off a Linux live USB/disc media, then whatever media player in Linux was used to play the DVD, it would work fine. (has this been tried? just wondering) (similarly, if the external DVD drive was moved to another Windows machine, it would perform properly)

(i don't have an answer, i'd also have to do research on this)
Indeed, booting from a beginner-friendly Linux live USB thumb drive should provide a simple and reliable means of confirming whether your DVD playback issue is a software or hardware problem.

Puppy Linux is one of the oldest and most lightweight distros around. The installation size caps at less than 400MB, making it ideal for thumb drives and small storage spaces. It's also incredibly user-friendly, and advertised by the developers as "grandpa-friendly certified". Here's a helpful video tour and overview of Puppy Linux aimed at seniors (so it's easy to follow, even for those with no Linux experience or knowledge whatsoever):

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

I swore off Linux a long, long time ago.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Blackhawk wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:36 pm I swore off Linux a long, long time ago.
If you're so Linux-averse that running the "grandpa-friendly certified" Puppy Linux from a USB thumb drive is unpalatable (i.e. without committing to a full installation), even for the purpose of simply confirming whether your DVD playback issue is a software or hardware problem…? I would instead suggest creating a bootable Windows USB thumb drive to do the same thing, using Medicat USB:





Keep in mind however, the Medicat USB .7z installer download clocks in at a hefty ~25 GB, whereas the Puppy Linux ISO is only ~400 MB. Medicat USB makes for an incredibly useful bootable "Swiss Army Knife" USB toolkit though, along the lines of a modernised version of Hiren's Boot CD from back in the day. But for the simple purpose of accurately determining whether your DVD playback issue is a software or hardware problem, Puppy Linux would be a whole lot quicker and easier to download and use. FWIW, here's a step-by-step walkthrough on How to Install Puppy Linux on a USB Drive, courtesy of WikiHow.com
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Pyperkub »

Blackhawk wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:36 pm I swore off Linux a long, long time ago.
Heh:

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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by gilraen »

Jaymon wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 3:31 pm I think I know whats happening, although I don't recall the technical terms for it.

The dvd player software is reading ahead on the disk, caching that and prepping to send it to the screen. And then, after a certain amount of time, windows is like, "oh, I see you already cached what you need. Ima go ahead and spin down the disk" and then the cache runs out, and suddenly its CRAP! spin it back up and get something on the screen! and now you have missed 5 seconds of show.
That's an excellent point. The irony is that people usually complain about DVD not properly spinning down (which may make it unresponsive when you try to eject it). But having it spin down when being actively accessed by playback software is somewhat unusual. With that said, I looked up some VLC details, and it's actually more likely to have issues, because it has some very advanced caching settings built in, that were targeted at internal media playback (so it was never great at dealing with external media). MPC, however, shouldn't have those issues. Maybe try a couple of different players, like Leawo or 5KPlayer and see if that makes a difference?

There was a registry setting to control the cache time interval (with the idea being that if you set it to something like 2 hours, it will basically never stop spinning or cache the whole movie, whichever comes first). Not great for your disk, laser head or power consumption, so that setting has been gone since, like, Windows 7 SP2 or something.
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Punisher »

Since it's a media PC have you thought about just getting a large drive and ripping your discs?
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

I don't watch them often enough to justify ripping/saving that many disks.
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Kasey Chang
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Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Kasey Chang »

After owning the Eero (2-node) for a couple months, I'm slightly more impressed now than I first owned it. (Amazon owns Eero) I have the regular (AC, i.e. Wifi 5), not the pro (Wifi 6) as I got these used. My place technically don't need it, but I wanted the better coverage in the corners of the place. However, the stability of the item is in doubt, though I think that's actually due to someone unplugging one of the nodes, now that I think about it.

Anyway, Existing coverage is provided by Dual DSL (from local vendor Sonic.net) but that tops out at 29 Mbps down and 6.3 Mbps up, even with a decent router. My router is a hair faster, but not enough to make a difference.

So one night, I finally see that Verizon Home LTE Internet is now available in my ZipCode, and chating with their sales team confirms that my bill will actually DROP by $40 a month if I go with Verizon Home LTE as I already have a Verizon mobile phone.

Just put the LTE Gateway in and connected it to my Eero (which was connected to the DSL, along with my other router). Had to change which one is acting as the gateway, and it took another unplug-replug for the network for figure it out by itself, but once it *did* switch properly (upstairs is now the "gateway" instead of downstairs) the network is recognize automatically without any further configuration.

The LTE gateway requires NO configuration. Plug it in (so it gets power), and it configures itself. If the blinking light settle to solid white, it's working fine. After flipping the Eero (subnode is now the gateway, and vice versa, I'm getting 51.7 Mbps down and 6.2 Mbps up.

And this is just LTE (4G). Verizon's 5G UWB (ultra-wide-band) which I can get on my Pixel 6, will blow past 200 Mbps.
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