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Comment: Re:Gigabyte Brix Pro is still the mini-PC champ (Score 1) 59

by Thumper_SVX (#49136507) Attached to: Intel Updates NUC Mini PC Line With Broadwell-U, Tested and Benchmarked

I've had a NUC for a couple of years now as a media PC in my entertainment center. It's actually really bloody good and there is zero fan noise. Well, the fan noise is inaudible over the ceiling fan I also have in my living room. Even under incredibly heavy load I've never heard the fan rise above a very quiet whine, and honestly media decoding is NOT heavy load.

My particular one is an i3-3217U based machine with a 128GB MSATA SSD. Yeah, I'm a geek traitor in that I run Windows 8 on it, but mostly so I can play all my XBox Video movies and TV shows that I own as well as Netflix et al. Turn it on, boots in about 5 seconds and runs great. Not that I have to boot it often, mostly when I update it. Yeah, the SSD is small, but I have a ~12TB Linux server that shares out some of the drive space... that's where the movies go :)

Comment: Re:Burned... and out of there. (Score 1) 99

... and how much would I have paid for an equivalent Apple product? Oh yeah, there isn't one.

Like it or not people have specific needs. For the specs I got the AW15 is comparable to an identical box from Sager or MSI... and MSI are cheap plasticky crap with nice internals while Sager has questionable post-sales support. Besides, only a complete retard pays retail for an Alienware; Dell has LOADS of discount coupons you can easily find on forums... for my part I paid about 75% of the MSRP for my machine only two days after it had been announced at CES.

There also isn't really an equivalent Lenovo or anything else out there that isn't in the same price range. This is a mobile gaming workstation... you tell me where to get better value with similar quality and support and I'll gladly vote with my dollars next time. This time, Alienware/Dell got my money because I felt this was the best for the money at this time.

Comment: Re:Burned... and out of there. (Score 1) 99

Thanks for posting AC...

One month in, no issues. Also for the record I have two other Alienware laptops that have been rock freaking solid except for a broken lid hinge on an Alienware M11X that was fixed by Dell under warranty. By sending a tech to my house no less. The other (an M11XR2) has also been rock solid.

Oh, and I know you're trolling... but Windows 8.1 is a fine operating system. Used it on my Surface Pro since release, before which it was Windows 8... and I've run W8 in some capacity since release.

Comment: Burned... and out of there. (Score 4, Informative) 99

I've been burned by Apple one too many times now. I've been affected by manufacturing "difficulties" on every Apple product I've owned in the last 10 years with the exception of one; a 13" Macbook Pro that I only owned for 6 months because it was.. well.. crap. The "Pro" label was definitely an affectation rather than a true calling. I had a first-gen MBP that had the "squealing CPU" problem that Apple refused to acknowledge either... but they eventually relented and replaced the system board for one that squealed only slightly less. I've also had GPUs that just went completely tits up requiring a system board replacement... I'm probably forgetting a lot of the problems now, but the most reliable Macs I ever had weren't built by Apple.

And in fact my 2011 15" MBP just happens to be at a third party repair right now to not just fix the problem but actually replace the lead-free solder balls with the real stuff... so mine won't fail again. But I don't care. It's possible it might go to my son or it might go on eBay when it comes back.

My new platform of choice is an Alienware 15 running Windows 8.1, with an Ubuntu install I might also use when there's some support for the 970m GPU in here. I have a Surface Pro as well and it's great. Much as I used to despise Windows I find myself back in the Windows world because competition here is good. As a result, products either work or people go elsewhere; you don't have that option with Apple so they really don't care when their manufacturing processes fail miserably.

I have already voted with my wallet here. I've had enough of beta-testing gorgeous but fundamentally flawed products and defending them to my friends. Besides which, the operating system in which you function no longer matters; it's the applications that matter. It used to be that the best creative applications were on Mac, the best games were on Windows. Well guess what... the best games are STILL on Windows, but the best creative apps are available on both. And the fact that from my perspective OSX has become drastically slower every release since about Leopard is just the icing on the cake for me. Under Windows 8.1 my applications launch... and run... and my system rarely has any appreciable slowdowns. OSX occasionally just decides "Oh hey... yeah I know you asked me to do something but I'm busy over here doing some random and unrequested task to send your personal information back to Apple so you're going to have to wait. My manufacturer's data mining is more important than you."

Screw Apple. I'm done with them.

Comment: Re: thatsracist.gif (Score 1) 823

by Thumper_SVX (#48898369) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Do you have statistics that show the percentage of race listening to rap music at stupidly high volume? Probably not... neither do I. However, I can point out (even though you're AC, so I'm really just talking into a hurricane here) that around here the kids listening to said rap music are predominantly white or Asian... not black. Given my area is a pretty well mixed community that's an impressively sad statement.

Yeah, most rap artists are black. So what? OP didn't make any statement of race, he just made a statement about kids in their cars who have no concept of midrange or treble. They're all about the bass :P

Comment: Re:Debian on shiny Retina Macbook Pro (Score 2) 592

by Thumper_SVX (#48845573) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

Reboot?????? Bwaaaahahahahaaaaa!!! OMG... that's brilliant. "Have you tried turning it off and back on again?"

Seriously... there was a time that Apple fans were so smug when they said that to Windows users. Now suddenly that Mac OS needs it, it's suddenly the first troubleshooting step.

Look, the problem is not applications; it's APIs that remain inconsistent between Mac OS versions that require a recompile and reinstall. I know; I've written Mac OS software and I abandoned my project because I was tired of hitting documented APIs that either vanished or changed radically with a single update of the OS. While I do respect the idea of cleaning up old code and not providing too much legacy cruft, Apple takes it to extremes and dumps APIs because they're inelegant or just because they decided that they're going to force a new way of doing things on the developer community. And it would be OK if it were just major revisions, but even minor revisions will deprecate an API without warning.

Make fun of Windows all you want, but at least the software I wrote a decade ago can still run cleanly without recompile unless I want to take advantage of new API's. This is the way things should be.

BTW... recovering Apple-a-holic here... I'm finally getting clean :)

Comment: Re:a better question (Score 1) 592

by Thumper_SVX (#48845507) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

But Apple doesn't. I am about to sell my 5th and final Apple laptop (my first was an iBook G4). Every single one of them has been fundamentally flawed and has returned to Cupertino at least once. Oh, except the MacBook Pro 13 that I had for 6 months because it became clear that it was slower than the then 6-year-old 15" MacBook Pro it replaced. I defended Apple, but their support has become even worse as their products flaws became more glaring.

I do like OSX... that's the shame of it. I do prefer it over Windows, but I'm totally done with Apple hardware.

Comment: Re:a better question (Score 1) 592

by Thumper_SVX (#48845497) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

Consumer-grade HP's are overpriced crap. Same for most of the consumer-grade PC's out there. If you want a good PC you're going to have to pay a little more for it, and do some research... but there ARE great PC's out there. My Surface Pro 1 has been rock solid, and by all accounts the SP3 is amazing. My Alienware boxes have been incredibly solid and have taken one hell of a beating, to the extent that I'm buying an Alienware 15 to replace my MacBook Pro. And yes, one of my Alienware laptops runs Linux fantastically well.

Dell Precisions are easily a match for any MacBook Pro, especially the latest versions that just came out. Had my hands on one of the latest (an M6800 I think it was called). It was thinner and lighter than an MBP, had a gorgeous screen and ran Photoshop like a scalded dog. And don't even get me started on the differences between Apple and Dell support...

Comment: Re:a better question (Score 5, Interesting) 592

by Thumper_SVX (#48845397) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

You know what? I'm a "lapsed Apple guy"... ran MacBook pros for years, had iPhones... now I'm Android and Windows. Reason? The "Genius Bar". Yeah... I'm going to take 2 hours out of my day to go to the closest Apple store... which is in the mall... which sucks because I hate malls. I have to fight for parking, battle my way past the Starbucks stand where the hipsters are yelling at the Barista because the milk has .01% too much foam on their triple-espresso low fat low carb mocha latte frappucino hot... to finally put my name on the list for the Genius where I'm in a one hour queue to get some just-out-of-college hipster who was probably earlier yelling at that same barista to waggle his waxed moustache ends at my laptop and tell me that it's broken. I freaking know that. Then they tell me how they could fix it there but this is a return-to-base factory warranty and that I now need to go fight my way to the FedEx store in a different freaking mall to ship the tucker to Cupertino and be sans laptop for a fortnight.

You know what? When my Alienware dies, Dell will SEND A FREAKING TECH TO MY HOUSE. On my schedule... not a cable-company "sometime-between-10am-and-2020", but a guy who calls me up and makes an appointment to make sure I'm home. If he doesn't bring the part he'll take it with him and either ship it return-to-base himself or he'll get the part overnighted. I don't need some 20-something hipster telling me it's broken... I have being working in technology since before he was born (most likely) and I can diagnose this shit in my sleep.

Oh, and you know what? Every MacBook Pro I've ever purchased has gone back to base for some warranty repair. All of them. Except my last one which suffered a GPU problem literally the week after the warranty expired (one of the many 2011 model 15" units with cracking solder balls that Apple still won't admit is a problem). That latter was the last straw for me... Apple products are beautiful but every one of them has been fundamentally flawed, and their support is a joke. My Alienwares (I have three) have been rock solid... only a lid replacement on an M11xR1... and again Dell sent a tech to my house to fix it. I have an AW15 on order too to replace the MBP... which is away to get the solder balls repaired AT MY COST and then will find its way to eBay. Thus will end my Apple experience.

Oh, and as much as Apple fanboys like to give Microsoft shit, I am typing this on a first-gen Surface Pro that is my take-everywhere PC, has traveled extensively and has been absolutely rock solid. Five years ago if you had told me I'd EVER say that about a Microsoft product I would've seriously laughed in your face.

Comment: Happening already? (Score 1) 329

I thought they were already recording and keeping pretty much every byte of the Internet and other comms in the UK anyway. Even thought I missed a major IRA bomb back in the 90s by about 20mins, I can still safely say I'd much rather have my privacy and take my chances on the tiny risk of injury/death by terrorists. Crossing the road or getting in my car is way more riskier. Heck, doing the decorating at home is more risky. Privacy please. Get out my business.

Comment: Re:Depends what you're used to (Score 1) 420

by clickclickdrone (#48704065) Attached to: The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

we can only multitask via task-switching

That's my day. Jumping from crisis to even more urgent crisis and back again over and over. It's expected. If anyone was only able to do one thing at a time, they'd not last long here. Priorities shift, often by the minute. You could be halfway through analysing half a million rows of data diagnosing an issue then dropping that, diving into source code for something else, drop that to have a quick meeting to agree a design point, back to the source code then back to the data, and that's within a 30min window. I'd say I have a lousy memory but I'm still expected to jump about and pick up where I left off.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"