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Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 584

Fair enough. I would be interested to see how it pans out because my car is a c200 mercedes and they quote the auto at 6l/100km and the manual at 5.7/100km. (I own the auto)

I picked a random grocery getter available in manual and auto, the Toyota Corolla. Looking at the EPA's estimates for a 2015 Toyota Corolla, they list the following for city/Highway (US-MPG)
Manual 6-spd: 28/37
Auto 4-Speed: 27/36
Auto CVT: 29/38
Auto AV-S7: 29/37

With the exception of the antique 4-speed auto, the more modern autos beat the manual in fuel economy.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 584

How do you figure that an auto is more efficient than a manual?

On modern cars the auto transmission can pick the most fuel efficient gear better and quicker than the manual driver. On vehicles (including heavy trucks) with a turbo, the auto can usually shift quicker, and without letting off the accelerator. As such the turbo can stay spooled up, and can provide more power, and better acceleration.

We are also talking about normal driving, and not racing.

In addition to this there is higher power loss in an auto transmission than a manual.

With lockup torque converters (which have been around for 25+ years), and the more precise control of electronic automatic transmissions, this is less of an issue.

The main advantage that auto has over manual, outside of driving type, is that they tend to last longer than a manual.

Interesting. I always though the simple design of a manual was touted as resulting in better reliability than an automatic. Plus problems could be driven around. A slipping clutch can be nursed, a bad gear can be skipped.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 584

exactly. here comes the car analogy....why learn to drive a manual shift car, since an automatic transmission is "out there" and "done it better"?

I think having an understanding of something at a lower level, lets you use it at a higher level better. For example with math, I'm very much a fan of initially teaching it without the use of a calculator. In university calculus we were not allowed to use calculators on exams. The coefficients were such that you didn't need a calculator, but you really had to know your shit. Once you actually understand what a derivative is, use MATLAB for real world problems with crazy coeeficents, and large data sets. By comparison for statics we used the program "TKSolver". No one in the class really understood statics, you just kept throwing equations at it till it gave a solution.

With programming, having a sense of how something works in assembly, and how data structures and sorts work, will then let you make better use of it in a higher level language.

On the transmission, whether or not you drive it daily, driving a manual forces the driver to understand the concept of multiple gears, where the car generates power, where it runs fuel efficiently, engine braking, etc. While it doesn't have to be done on manual (playing around with manumatic modes can accomplish the same), it's amazing how many drivers don't have the first clue of how their transmission operates (I'm not talking how the solenoids are activated, or how planetary gears work, just the basic relationship of gear ratios, and engine speed). Look at the concept of "Passing gear". WTF? There's no specific designated "passing gear", the car just downshifts into the lowest allowable gear at the current road speed. It could be first, it could be third. Are you going 15MPH or are you going 65MPH? Somehow even though they drove multiple gears on a pedal bike, they didn't make the connection in a car.

Even driving an automatic, I might kick it over into manumatic and override it if I'm towing a trailer, or if it kicks down I might hold it in the lower gear so I can let up on the gas, then press down again without making it hunt.

Comment Re:second mouse button (Score 1) 435

I can't believe with the Awful state Quicktime, Safari, and iTunes runs on Windows that anyone buys Apple products. Especially when they used to buddle each other, so an attempt to install Quicktime (when it was a thing to watch online videos) meant somehow you got a terrible web browser, and a monstrous music player that started 45 background services.

On iTunes, I have an iPod touch that's a decent music and video player, but I can't stand iTunes. I use CopyTransManager to sync music and videos, and i-Funbox to sync files to other applications.

Comment Re:Could someone ELI5 how Macbooks retain value? (Score 1) 435

I think part of it is in the nature of OSX. in my experience, and from what I hear from others, windows operating systems tend to be much more demanding with each generation, so you may only get 2 generations of windows on a machine before performance degrades. eg you buy an XP system, it runs vista, it struggles with win7 but barely gets by, and then the machine is tapped out. But due to the way apple designs the OSX upgrades, from my personal experience a new version will run better on my old machine that the prior version. so even with an old MacBook you can still have the latest and greatest software.

I've never heard of anyone EVER say a machine ran Vista, and struggles with Win7.

The biggest thing I've seen is Driver support. If a machine runs XP great, but does not have Vista/7 specific drivers, and has to run XP drivers, performance will degrade. Specifically graphics cards, as the driver model is different between XP and Vista/7. For example, Intel GMA 910/915 was on systems marked "Vista ready", but only had "XPDM", not "WDDM" drivers, so performance suffered, and some features like Aero were flat out not available.

I had a laptop that shipped with Vista. I hated it and downgraded to XP. 2 years later I upgraded to Windows 7 and it ran fantastic.

Love or hate the forced Metro dialog boxes, newer machines with full Windows 8 driver support will run Windows 8.1 better than Windows 7 (even when they have full drivers for Windows 7 too). Microsoft has not appreciably increased the actual minimum requirements since Vista, but there's a lot of great improvements in the kernel. One problem is Software companies (like Mozilla), and website makers (anyone that uses heavy flash or Javascript) make the web experience on older machines miserable, and a lot of people blame the OS maker.

Apple drops support for older hardware too. Yosemite requires a 2007 or newer iMac, and requires 2GB RAM. Machines from the same vintage, with the same specs will run Win 8.1 / Win 10 as well.

Comment Re:Could someone ELI5 how Macbooks retain value? (Score 1) 435

One reason is that they've poured a lot of effort into materials design, visual design, and industrial design, and have been doing so for years. We laugh at the Toilet Seat, the Cube, and various other goofy flops they've had in their history,

By Toilet Seat do you mean the original iBook "Clamshell" that actually looked like a clamshell? I'm not the biggest fan of the aesthetics, but it did seem very rugged, and had a convenient carry handle. Too bad it came with the god awful MacOS 8/9. In the era they did try to make computers fun and colorful when everything (including Apple) was boring beige boxes before. Granted by 2002 they were going all bleached white look, we can't blame Microsoft for the Playskool look in Windows XP. They clearly copied from Apple.

On the Cube what was the problem other than being expensive? Obviously it inspired the design of the Mac mini.

How about the hockey puck mouse. What an awful mouse that was. Difficult to keep right side up in your hand. I also hate the ballpoint scrollwheel on the "mighty mouse". It's so tiny I never liked it for scrolling.

Comment Re:Yes - known for years. (Score 2) 435

Like Apple or not, they've done a fair amount to force notebooks to be as good as they are today: very high resolution IPS panels, thinness, aluminum bodies, etc. I will ding Apple for seemingly starting the widescreen fad.

I ding Apple for designs that discourage serviceability: Non-removable batteries, very difficult to access HDD / RAM, etc.

Comment Re:As much as conveniently fits (Score 1) 350

My new machine has 4 slots capable of a total of 32GB. I only put 16GB in. I could barely justify more than 8 with my workload, but I went with 2x8GB modules, so when that starts becoming a bottleneck (but before DDR4 popularity drives up prices of DDR3) I'll buy the other 2x8GB modules.

Comment Re: 65 VW Bug (Score 1) 373

Car body design is certainly a lot safer than it used to be. Virtually nothing performs poorly at crash testing vs. 20 years ago. Even with new testing, eg: small front overlap, carmakers are quicker to respond. Three point seatbelts in all positions is one of the biggest safety improvements ever. Airbags are debatabley an improvement (I think modern ones are vs. first generation ones), but one of the biggest improvements is Electronic Stability Control which proactively prevents a crash. Sometimes confused with traction control (poor man's Limited slip diff / rev limiter to prevent women from winding the wheels up to 120MPH while stationary), very few people can outperform ESC in evasive maneuvers. This past winter I had to perform an evasive maneuver on very slick roads, the car skidded around, ESC kicked in, but ultimately I was able to regain control. I credit ESC for not crashing. Here's a video demonstrating ESC/ESP.

Cars of the 60's / 70's have worse drive-ability. Carburetors are a fucking pain in the ass to start in the cold. Take any electronic fuel injection car, even if it sat for 3 weeks in 0F weather, and it will start right up (maybe prime the fuel pump by leaving the ignition on "ON" for a couple seconds before starting). They will also adjust to differing altitudes no problem

Compare this with fucking with the choke (even auto chokes that never work right), fucking with trying to pump the gas, flooding, etc. Also look at electronic ignition. Much more reliable than distributors.

Even the rudimentary emission systems of the late 80's (with closed loop electronic fuel injection) provide much cleaner exhausts than earlier cars. Sure the systems fail as the cars age, but highways are a lot less stinkier than they used to be. And even with failing emission systems (my jurisdiction doesn't require emission testing) the cars at least start and run easier than a carburetor.

I'd say 5-10 years ago was the peak of computers in cars, where we got the most gains in performance, reliability, and safety, but before automakers started over-complicating things with internet connected cars, color LCD displays, etc. I also think a lot of more modern powerplants (with turbos like Ford Ecoboost, and Direct injection) increase complexity without drastically improving performance.

Comment Re:65 VW Bug (Score 1) 373

Doesn't work, you are ignorant of modern car construction and steering lock system

You're ignorant of how and why cars are stolen.

90's Chryslers and Hondas in particular were popular targets of theft because breaking and turning the ignition cylinder took little more than a screwdriver. This would turn the actual ignition cylinder, unlocking the steering, unlocking the ignition-park interlock, and starting the engine. Most other makes didn't take much more.

A lot of these cars were not stolen to be parted out, resold or likewise, so it didn't matter if the car was a complete piece of shit (I know people that had their 13 year old Plymouth Acclaim stolen). They were stolen either for teens to joyride, or as a getaway vehicle in a robbery, etc. Once they got where they were going, ran out of gas, or the car broke from being driven over curbs, they abandoned it and carried on. This type of car theft makes (or at least made) up a significant amount of theft.

"The club" deterred these types of thefts. With actual modern cars (past 10-15 years), transponder based security systems prevent this type of joyriding theft, but nothing can prevent theft with a towtruck. With the club some recommend not actually locking it. If the visual deterrence wasn't enough, and the thief entered your car, hopefully they'd simply remove it rather than cut the steering wheel. So if the car is recovered it's one less thing to repair.

Comment Re: Windows 8 is suddenly looking good .. (Score 1) 316

Nice rose-colored glasses you're wearing there. Remember how XP was derided as bloated and memory-heavy when it was first released? Remember how it's interface was ridiculed for looking like a PlaySkool toy? How about it's disastrous security record, especially before Service Pack 2 was released? I especially loved that a faulty driver audio driver could end up causing a blue-screen for the entire system. And don't forget about that 64-bit version of the OS that no one used because it wasn't compatible with anything.

Windows XP being an NT based OS had higher requirements than Win9x, but was in line with 2000, and other NT products. NT has always required more resources, but was more stable than consumer Win9x products.

-Agree on the Playskool interface
-On security the big problem was allowing default windows services to open ports when the machine was connected directly to the internet. The default behavior of the Firewall in SP2 was to deny access to these, which protected against these attacks.

-On the 64 bit, it was never designed as a mainstream OS. AMD64 bit processors were released after the original XP release, and the only real benefit is access to additional RAM above 4GB. At the time RAM above 2GB was rare, and expensive, so it was really only targeted for very high end workstations. Hence why it was only available in Professional, and why it was in the same development cycle as Server 2003 64 bit. XP-64 bit was released Mid 2005, and Microsoft wasn't going to push 64-bit given that few had use for it, and Vista was "just around the corner" which was designed from the start in both 32 and 64 bit versions. XP-64 bit and Server 2003 64 bit marked the very first versions of Windows supporting x86-64 bit instructions, and laid the path for the future with for example, driver models, and how WOW for 32 bit applications worked on it. Since then hardware and software developers have been gradually improving support, such that by ~2009 everyone was ready for mainstream 64-bit support.

Comment Re:Accuracy of the data? (Score 1) 206

The Fitbit gives completely fictional numbers vs the treadmill. I mean, on most days, it would come to within 75% correct, but on one particular day, the Fitbit literally said I did 3x as many steps as I really did. I stopped even bothering to wear it after that.

I have a Fitbit One (clips on your waistband or goes in the pocket-watch pocket in jeans). My research online shows this is a much more accurate location than the wrist.

When I used it on an elliptical for half an hour it was within 5 steps of the number of strides counted by the machine. Plus I don't look smug when I'm out in public for having a fitness wristband thing.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll