Author Topic: Geek Talk  (Read 124562 times)

random axe

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1410 on: February 11, 2019, 04:25:08 PM »
Single reporter, but in my own experience LED bulbs are much more reliable than incandescents.  I had a medium-exotic LED bulb die a couple of weeks ago, but that's the only one I can think of that suffered a major malfunction, and I've owned dozens. 

The one that died had many LEDs on just one side and was rotatable -- I own half a dozen of that specific type, and those particular bulbs get quite hot.  They have heatsinks built into the other side, but the one that died was being used in the shop, was left on permanently, and after about six months it overheated and went to about half-brightness.  It was mounted up near the ceiling in a display window, so not ideal for air circulation.  :nonplused: 

I moved it to a friendlier socket ( :knotty: ), and it gradually lost brightness over the next month or so until it was uselessly dim.

The #1 problem I have with LED lamps is that non-screw-type (ones that just have wires sticking out of them) often have EXTREMELY flimsy wire attachment.  They're super-fragile, and if the wires break off, it's a huge pain in the ass to solder them back on.  Usually not worth it.  So if you're buying wire-in-place from Banggood or Amazon, the comments will often say to immediately put a dab of epoxy or something on point where the wires are attached.

The screw-in bulbs, though . . . I understand people who have issues with the color available.  Although warmer hues are rare, it seems like it just wouldn't be hard to put a slightly colored shell on the thing.  If you want an 800 lumen warm bulb, getting a 1500 lumen cool white one with a warm shell ought to do the trick, and it's not that much more expensive.  Heat build-up would be a little more, but whatevs.

random axe

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1411 on: February 26, 2019, 11:05:38 AM »
SO . . . we have a Bluetooth-enabled printer, and we have permission to use the neighbors' wifi, and we found it inconvenient to only internet at home through our phones.

And so I bought a Chromebook.  Lenovo something-or-other for about $150.  It has 32 GB of flash, which is a lot for a Linux-based OS that basically doesn't want you to store or install anything locally.  :whatever:

First Chromebook I've ever used.  Price point is pretty excellent.  It feels solid; it's up and running by the time you have the screen fully raised.  Using the browser, it's about as fast as a $400 desktop machine running Chrome under Windows 10, for better or worse.

Basically, it's a giant Android phone that doesn't have phone capabilities unless you install apps for that.  :shrug:  For a smartphone, it has a really big screen and, you know, a really good keyboard.  I wouldn't use it to type a novel or a term paper, but compared to a phone?  Yeah.

It has a few drawbacks:

- The touchpad is shit.  It's huge, which . . . I'm not sure it needs to be so big, and you'll hit it with your hands while you're typing, but I can get used to it.  It has no buttons, because, ha ha, it's like a phone!  Except they did provide a real keyboard, unlike a phone.  Real buttons better than virtual buttons?  Yes, like a real sandwich is better than a virtual one.  It's basically a one-button mouse.  :nonplused:  STOP GOING BACKWARD

- Scrolling is really hard to do.  Despite being something one does a lot.  This particular Chromebook doesn't have a touchscreen, which I wouldn't have thought mattered until I tried to scroll using the touchpad.  Also, no PgUp / PgDn keys, although apparently there's an inconvenient key combo for that.  :eyeroll:

- Every time you install an app or extension, you really want to go online first to see if the Android app version is better than the Chrome extension version.  Often the phone app is way better than the desktop / Chromebook version . . . except it might not recognize the keyboard, or so on.

- The Google Play Store is utter crap.  Get it together, assholes.

- I'm never going to trust The Cloud with anything really important.  And I don't think I should.

- It's got one fucking real USB port.  ONE.  This isn't that crucial, there are workarounds, but in the back of my mind is the idea that if the one USB port goes south, as they often do, then the Chromebook's value drops by at least half.

- It . . . how do I say this?  It runs Chrome like ass.  Chrome keeps getting worse and worse and worse, especially its interface, and then the Chromebook has poor controls (see No Touchpad Buttons, above, for instance), and the combination is super-annoying.  Honestly . . . I may try installing the Chrome app for Android instead, if it'll let me.  But without a touchscreen, navigating tabs and so on might be too difficult.

But we'll see.  It's possible that after adding enough extensions to Chrome, since Chrome has no competent options built in, it'll become delightful.  And it was only $150.

random axe

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1412 on: February 26, 2019, 11:09:39 AM »
I should add . . . in theory, we could install Linux on it.  I can't afford to brick it by accident. 

There's an app called Crouton (all the good names are taken) that allegedly lets you run a Linux desktop and the Chrome OS simultaneously and switch using a key command.  That sounds decent.  And the thing takes SD cards for expanding storage, and a 128 GB SD card can be had for around $25, amazingly.  So installing actual applications isn't any problem.

But to do that, you apparently have to run the Chrumb in Developer Mode all the time, and apparently that leaves you open to accidentally easily restoring it to its start condition, wiping all saved data, installed software, even the association with a primary Gmail account.

That sounds bad.  More research is needed.

Still.  As an internet appliance for reading the news, using Amazon, using our printer?  Even without, say, a Netflix account, it's totally worth $150, if it lasts two years.

flipper

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1413 on: February 26, 2019, 12:39:33 PM »
My kid has a school issued Chromebook now that he's in 6th grade.  He's lightning fast on it, and has trouble adapting to my wife's Macbook.  I'm mostly on my Thinkpad so both of theirs confuse me as my fingers have no clue what they're doing.
"It all trickles down from the hot sex. I'm not saying you don't need cheese, just that if you concentrate on the hot sex, the cheese will follow. Naturally."--PsiDefect 03-19-2002 11:28 AM

random axe

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1414 on: February 26, 2019, 12:51:56 PM »
I love my ancient Thinkpad so much.  Almost as much as my two previous Thinkpads.  :cry:

JFC, I think my Thinkpad was made in 2006.  :uncertain: 

Srsly, though, running 16-bit CinnaMint, it's as fast for most things as any of the insanely more powerful Windows 10 machines I use at work.  At this point, the battery is just good enough so I can leave it in Sleep mode for about a day without it being plugged in, but it lets me move it from room to room without losing my setup.

random axe

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1415 on: February 27, 2019, 04:26:55 PM »
I constantly want to complain that something has a terrible wifi antenna because it's hopeless at picking up or holding a wifi connection that my $40 LG phone has no problem with whatsoever.

But, on the other hand, maybe my phone has a terrific wifi antenna.  I honestly have no idea.

The Chromebook can't grab the wifi network at a distance where my phone still reports a full signal.  My phone will catch that wifi without a problem from at least a good 25' further out.  But the girlfriend's iPhone struggles with it, too.  And at work, I can get our wifi signal even in the basement, whereas the desktop machine and most of my clerks' phones can't get it on the ground floor.  (The router is on the second floor.)

So . . . are LG phones magically good at wifi?  It's really irritating that the Chromebook only works if you sit in the bedroom or kitchen, but maybe it's normal and average?

mo

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1416 on: February 28, 2019, 07:15:40 PM »
This is my issue with the Roku. Initially, it connected to wifi from about 20' away. That lasted for several months, then suddenly, while I was watching TV, it lost connection. I tried all kinds of stuff to fix and/or pinpoint the problem. Now I have my wifi router a couple feet away from the Roku, just so it can connect. Supposedly the Roku overheats and damages the "wifi card" inside it. I have no idea whether that is true.

It would be nice if there was some kind of standards so you could measure the strength of a signal from different distances and locations... Well, apparently there is this for android that will give you readings in dBm. So then if the spec for the signal strength for the Roku or Chromebook or whatever was available, then the average person might have a chance for figuring out what's going on. Oh, this is helpful.

My Roku is out of warranty, but you might have a chance at figuring this out. Your Chromebook might have an issue.
It's symbolic of our struggle against reality.

random axe

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1417 on: March 19, 2019, 05:26:39 PM »
There desperately needs to be a common protocol for Urgent vs Not Urgent text messages.  :nonplused:

stormneedle

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1418 on: March 20, 2019, 12:36:50 PM »
Well, that's a whole aisle of cans of worms right there. But it could be nice.
I'm generalizing from one example here, but everyone generalizes from one example. At least, I do.

mo

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1419 on: March 20, 2019, 01:58:18 PM »
I like the texts that are so urgent they come in a red font on my black background so I can't read them.
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flipper

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1420 on: March 20, 2019, 05:21:10 PM »
One person's urgent is a SEP to me.  I always delay text responses.
"It all trickles down from the hot sex. I'm not saying you don't need cheese, just that if you concentrate on the hot sex, the cheese will follow. Naturally."--PsiDefect 03-19-2002 11:28 AM

random axe

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Re: Geek Talk
« Reply #1421 on: March 22, 2019, 10:16:44 AM »
Right, fair enough, but I'd at least like to know what the sender was hoping.  Any time I pull over to look and see why my phone went off, it's nothing I needed to stop for.  Any time I don't, it was something I should've responded to immediately.

It's the stupid synchronous / asynchronous problem.  Telecom people no longer seem to understand this distinction.