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Comment: Re:Maybe missing the point (Score 1) 263

by Sandbags (#32830480) Attached to: SSDs vs. Hard Drives In Value Comparison

As a boot drive, it does impact boot speed significantly, and to a very limited extent other operations, but is that really a value? Saving 15 seconds once a week or so booting a desktop, is that really worth not only $110, but the complexity of needing 2 drives, and having to micromanage windows to keep it running pretty much at all in less than 80GB of space (40GB for win7? give it up, I have a boot, app, swap, and data drive, yes 4, and I'm careful about what I put on C:, and migrated what services I can to other drives, and I"ve got over 70GB used on C:. Widows is a hidden file and temp space bloat nightmare, not to mention swap space, ram dump space, and snapshots... The Windows folder alone is 11.4GB).

An SSD used for a heavy use volume, like DB logs, swap volume (though you;re better off buying more RAM for less), a video editing/scrub drive, etc, is a good idea for power users, but not really viable for the masses. At a 50-75% premium, you might see this more common, but in notebooks limited to 1` drive, unless they're extremely purpose focussed machines, and hold no audio or video files, an SSD is a grossly overprices waste with little run-time benefits.

Comment: Re:Cut the cable (Score 1) 539

by Sandbags (#32830018) Attached to: Sidestepping A-to-D Convertors For Town Government's Cable TV?

Waiting areas in hospitals, taxpayer funded clinics, and other municipal offices. They mayor certainly needs a TV handy, as does any office impacted or having to react to national news. As you said, firemen (and others) on 1on-2off shift rotations. Guard desks in rather un-trafficked locations (can't stare at a video camera showing no change all day). There are a lot of reasons a municipality has a TV contract. Most of them actually do pay for much of it.

What's likely the issue here is that the vast majority of the TVs in use here are older tubes, and do not support digital cable decoding onboard as pretty much every TV does today. ("cable ready" TVs all do analog, but mostly only HDTVs do digital as well). If Comcast is not using a digital TV compatible signal, they should provide the boxes at no charge as part of their agreement to provide basic cable service.

If the municipality is still using 5+ year old TVs in great numbers that are not digital capable (TVs over 24" were all to be digital capable as of 2005, half of all of them in 2004, and all TVs 32"+ before then), they should switch, as the electric savings alone will likely pay for the TVs over the next 5 years, and that's not Comcast's problem. In order to hook up their free cable, they had to buy those TVs inistially, right? Anything more than 5 years okld in a government building is legally depreciated, and should have been scheduled for replacement. The municipalities' failure to rotate out TVs crossing age markers by including such in the budget is their own problem.

Comment: Re:Yep (Score 1) 484

by Sandbags (#32829786) Attached to: Dell Selling Faulty PCs

Agreed.

Not to mention, After 5-7 years, I've sold machines for half their purchase price. They cost more up front, but less to maintain (mostly in software savings), and their resale value is great!

I just checked out a site for reselling old hardware when you buy new. My 18 month old Core quad, 4GB, high end graphics, multiple HDDs in RAID, and custom case? They claimed it had a street value of $0. I had to pick an i5 processor for it to tell me my street value was over $50. Looking on eBay and Craigs list, I can buy used machiones 1-2 years old for under $100 any day. Macs? I sold a 17" iMac 1GHz (lamp model) with 768MB of RAN for $750 18 months ago. I sold a 20" first gen Intel iMac for $600. I sold a 6 year old PowerCompouting Clone for $850.

You pay more, but the return is so much greater that the next mac is cheaper than any PC. The service is far superior. I've even gotten help with Windows on Macs for my mom via tech support, something even Dell won't do on their own PCs.

We only buy Macs now. I had not had one for years (dad still did, but not one in my house since 2003, as I was a Microsoft and Linux admin, and had too much crap already to keep track of than add a mac to it all). My wife wanted one for video editing and for using in her classroom, so we got her a PowerMac last year to replace her PC notebook. I'm working on replacing my VM desktop with a 27" iMac (what better platform to virtualize several systems on), and the only PC I expect to have by the end of next year is my performance gaming rig.

Comment: Re: Dell support contracts (Score 1) 484

by Sandbags (#32829700) Attached to: Dell Selling Faulty PCs

I've called Dell about inferior replacements that showed up onsite, and Dell's policy was "they never advertised performance, only size and spin speed" and this part met those qualifications, and was the approved replacement part.

I've also seen many techs with the right part screw up rewiring the board, not being able to get USBs working again (or thinking they had a bad board when they simply failed to double check if the power connector was in the right pins). I've seen techs there to replace a hot spare kill a raid by pulling the wrong drive a dozen times, and I've seen techs who can't do anything beyond replacing the part (don't know how to even get in the BIOS to establish the new drive as a RAID member).

After market replacements are not covered under warranty, so I can't fault Dell for screwing that up. As far as replacing them with better at one time, then lesser (but still better than original) later, I've never seen that happen once. Per my understanding, Dell, as does HP and Acer, track each part by ID number in a build, not a default config of generic parts. They know exactly which part is in each machine, because almost everything they sell is custom order. I've even been told before that a part in my machine was not covered because it was not the part they had in their database, because a tech came out to replace 2 drives in 2 machines, and put the wrong one in each, swapping serial numbers.

Fact is, more often than not, and I've seen Dell contractors in 11 cities, the guys coming out are not even as good as BestBuy's in-store techs/geeks. They're generic, $12/hour part jockeys with little training and no knowledge who are on staff merely because that's all a company can afford to pay someone who gets $70 flat fee for an onsite job, and no one who knows more takes pay that low.

Real service? you find it at your local outlet or service center, not by rent-a-geeks. Apple's in store people ROCK. When IBM had shops around town, their people knew their stuff too. When I worked for a compaq certified server shop, we had to continually train people, even in high class products we didn't sell. I was in training 3-4 days a month just for compaq, another 2 for HP, Then DEC, NEC, Okidata, and more. If I wasn't inside a machine, I was inside a book, or a classroom, and failure to keep all our techs to that standard meant loss of our contract for repair. Then comes along some company faxing us offers to fix Dell stuff, flat rates, no materials, not even access to service manuals, at at lower pay and no travel expenses included. It was a joke, and we told all our customers that what you got when you bought Dell, a guy dispatched by a fax with no data...

Comment: Re:They may have a case (Score 1) 435

by Sandbags (#32829538) Attached to: Apple, AT&T Sued Over iPhone 4 Antennas

Blame the FCC for that, not AT&T. Maximum frequency density has been achieved, only more air space can solve the issue. The iPhone 4 supports an additional band of 850MHz signal, not available on most other current AT&T phones, not to mention HSDPA, and now the the rollout is complete in NY, and since started in Cali, it should not be long until you see the same 70% fewer reported issues come your way. Most NYers did not notice not as the rollout was gradual, but the numbers are significantly better now. I was in NY and NY 2 months ago, and had no issues at all on several iPhones and an iPad, and Verizon gave us all sorts of issues for the few in our group with their wares.

Verizon is better there because they have significantly fewer callers per sq mile per channel, but as people flee AT&T to Verizon, this only makes verizon's issue worse. Also, Verizon's LTE is no 700MHz band, they're rushing to market a keyword, not a technology, and in it;s airspace it will get basically the same speed as 3G HSDPA, but at 2.5 times the power drain. (same as sprint it seeing with their WiMAX 4G, which is benchmarking slower than AT&T and HSDPA phones in Charlotte where both services are deployed). AT&T is rolling our 700MHz LTE, which will be delayed by several months due to restrictions, but since it's a NEW airspace, not taking signal away from an existing one, AT&T can continually add network and 2-3x the speed of Verizon LTE, starting in June next year, while Verizon has to cripple their existing towers to segregate off LTE in the same airspace, further accelerating their inevitable signal issues.

Comment: Re:While I do agree I still dislike it in general (Score 1) 833

by Sandbags (#32829412) Attached to: Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums

A few hours of some lawyers debating over the legality of this issue (let alone the legal battle that I can nearly guarantee will occur, combined with a mass exodus from their game servers by the paranoid masses), would be well in excess of the cost of a few months of a few hundred people having their accounts suspended, and even companies that make profits don't miss those from the very lowest scum of their subscribers when they boot them. Plus, booting people can also be a big positive for those who pay and equally want the scum gone. Good morale in a forum by banning those who deserve it can go a long way.

Comment: Re:Just Return It (Score 1) 435

by Sandbags (#32819446) Attached to: Apple, AT&T Sued Over iPhone 4 Antennas

Confirmed they're all on the same tower and frequency using APple exclusive diagnostic tools or electronics to measure and confirm frequency response? Doubt you did that.

School radio facilities should not interfere in AT&T airspace (if they do, AT&T would be crawling up your ass (also would love to se a written statement from your school confirming this was done, as I call BS on that idea completely).

Water behaves nothing like tissue in regards to SAR, interference, or more. Water can actually amplify some signals, and refracts and causes interference with others, depending on angle and size of water body.

Did you use a large sample size of iPhones? doubt that too.

HOw about comparing that to some folks with actual signal measuring equipment, professional lab setups, not to mention the FCC and each government's equivalent to that in more than 20 countries all testing the device and reporting no complaints.

Comment: Re:While I do agree I still dislike it in general (Score 1) 833

by Sandbags (#32817416) Attached to: Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums

This is simply handled by associating the forum account to the online account/game key. Get banned from the forums could also easily ban you from in-game. There's no need for revealing your personal ID (except to Blizzard) so long as forum membership is tied to a game account (active or inactive), and anonymous posters are simply not al;lowed. Proper moderation based on a system of reporting the assholes, and limiting the number of posts per day/hour of new forum members until they build up sufficient karma/post counts also helps limit the crazies. Balancing the reporting is also important. Reporting someone as a troll should have repercussions if you;re reporting someone simply based on disagreement (ie, their facts are balanced or they make good statements, you just don't like it, so you mark them troll, and that should get you banned quicker than making troll-ish comments).

Blizzard could very easily handle forum trolls by banning their battlenet/wow account for abuse. Revealing personal information is a nice idea, but not necessary, and imposes much risk.

Comment: Re:Good riddance (Score 2, Insightful) 435

by Sandbags (#32759506) Attached to: Apple, AT&T Sued Over iPhone 4 Antennas

Well, since the devices don;t all exhibit this behavior, and many of them can't even be made to ground out, I;d call it a failing of manufactruing the coating proerly as it is applied to the metal rim (which shouldbe non-conductive to begin with).

I happen to have a significant engineering backing, heavy in both electronics, magnetics, and RF. I'm not an antenna engineer, but I can do the calculus and understand the physics involved very well.

The release was from anandtech, and was a well done fairly scientific, repeated multiple times on multiple devices, and using fairly professional equipment and both lab and field testing methods. It's a preliminary study, but a very competent start to a larger scale analysis. They're a well trusted source.

19db is bad, top of the curve bad, but the average is over 12 and the previous generation iPhone, which no one noticed, dropped 13. More so, better IS better, since usability and reliability actually means something compared to number on paper.

As for the car, every car performs better or worse depending on how you drive it. Shit, just making more right turns and fewer left turns can have as much as a 10% impact on your driving. That's not a valid analogy anyway. Better is better if there's no drawback vs the current option. A new system might have it;s own limitations and quirks, but so long as those limits are at their worst still above the options otherwise available, and the limitations and quirks do not introduce new negatives, then that is the very technical definition of better (not perfect, which all you anti-apple people think you deserve nothing less than).

I'm not pro or ant any vendor. i take no allegiances. I'll drop one product to buy another anytime there's a good reason to, and I'll always recommend the best product for a person's needs regardless of any perceived personal preference. I'm a systems analyst and solutions engineer, I have to be open to options. To some I recommend apple, to others android, and to others to stay the fuck away from smartphone entirely. I recommend widows to some, mac to others, linux/unix. IBM to some, Apple to others, though I've not found a reason to recommend dell to anyone in many many years. My interest here is stopping FUD, propogandsa, and general bullshit and hate flowing here. Wether the data anandtech has meets your requirements of scientific enough or not, fact is, no one else has ANY data, and until they have contrary data, it;s conjecture, and is to be dismissed or studied, but not commented on, and certainly not sued over, until there IS such data.

Comment: Re:They may have a case (Score 2, Informative) 435

by Sandbags (#32759258) Attached to: Apple, AT&T Sued Over iPhone 4 Antennas

I can't speak to sweaty hands, but if that's your situation, probably best you use bluetooth anyway (i know very few joggers who do any different, and fewer still who jog with a smartphone at all).

As for AT&T coverage, I don;t care about maps that cover places people don;t live. AT&T covers 97% of us with a voice/data concurrent network. As for our firm, we had verizon, we dropped them. We're in a big city, and have offices in 15 others across 5 states, 15K employees over half of which have a company phone. 20% were complaining about verizon coverage, and more that there smartphone didn't work when they were on a call.

On AT&T, we do very factually get more bars in more places, we only have 3% of people still complaining (small enough that we got the ones that mattered femtocells). We get 5 bars in every part of our corporate tower now, except 3 in the elevator and basement. We can SEE the Verizon tower from the building, the AT&T tower is a mile farther away, yet AT&T gets us better signal, fewer dropped calls (we actually track that btw), far superior 3G speed, and we can actually check e-mail while on a call, or use GPS and be on a call, which was not possible on Verizon (nor sprint).

Even in NY, signal stability is up 70% in a year with 40% more airtime available, thanks to a few hundred million AT&T spent, and some frequency trading in the 850MHz band the FCC helped them out with to get more airspace. SF is working better, and getting better weekly. I was in manhattan 4 weeks ago for several hours, and in NJ most of a weekend. 4 iPhones and an iPad, not a single dropped call. 2 verizon phones and 1 sprint, 16 dropped calls. On a 650 mile road trip, pandora didn't stop streaming on the 1 phone one time.

Also, 19db drop, that's still got more signal than a 3GS sitting on a table, or a nexus one. and at the same db, very weak -119db signal, the iPhone 4 did calls and data concurrency, where the 3GS could not even hit the tower, nor the nexus.

This issue is entirely a user perception one based on how the carriers want to see "more bars in more places" by dramatically lowering the threshold of 5 bars to where 2 bars used to live on the line...

Comment: Re:Yep (Score 1) 484

by Sandbags (#32759096) Attached to: Dell Selling Faulty PCs

I'm in one of the 50 biggest cities in america, 70 miles from one of the top 20, and less than that from another, about 150 miles from a top 10 population center. Dell subcontracts here. I know, I've worked for 3 of them in the past, and even at our form of 15K employees, we dropped Dell for IBM last year because they continued to send subcontracted SERVER techs to us that couldn't reformat a RAID...

Comment: Re:"Difficult or impossible" is a lie (Score 1) 435

by Sandbags (#32759030) Attached to: Apple, AT&T Sued Over iPhone 4 Antennas

In fact, in scientific testing released yesterday, even though when held "wrong" there is a 19db drop off in signal strenth, this was still a stronger signal than the 3GS was capable of, or the Nexus One. Further, at the same signal strength, the iPhone 4 can make and place calls, while maintaining a data connection, when the other two can't even associate to the tower. It IS a far superior anteanna, even when effected. This is entirely a user perception issue, relying on 5 bars on a screen that are completely arbitrary to actual signal strenth.

Now, what I'd Like to see, is fome FCC guidance on exactly how many bars should be shown at specific dB measurements, so this confusion can finally end, but that's no fault of Apple's (AT&T specifies the bar scores).

Comment: Re:Class Action Lawsuit (Score 1) 435

by Sandbags (#32758976) Attached to: Apple, AT&T Sued Over iPhone 4 Antennas

It should be noted, in the case of the MacBook motherboard replacement, the suit was settled before it entered the court. Apple essentially gave the machine a lifetime motherboard replacement warranty (actually I think they capped it at 5 years, still way more than generous), and apple already covers laptop and portable device waranty shipping both ways if you live more than 60 minutes from an apple store.

Comment: Re:wrong, no contract if returned (Score 2, Insightful) 435

by Sandbags (#32758928) Attached to: Apple, AT&T Sued Over iPhone 4 Antennas

More so, if you used an upgrade option to get the phone for $200 instead of 600, that is ALSO returned to you as if you had not used it. This is backed by federal law. You can not get screwed signing up for a contract you didn't like, or buying a device you don;t want. In some cases, there will be a restocking fee for returning a fully functional device, but AT&T and Apple have confirmed if you demonstrate the issue, there will be no restocking fee.

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.

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