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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: Re:Typical short sighted viewpoint (Score 2) 594

by Thumper_SVX (#48293489) Attached to: Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

You want a better analogy?

We had planes with props for what... 30 years before someone started to develop the jet engine. Are you saying the jet engine was pointless because we already had the power to fly? No... and the first development articles were less powerful than the props they were aiming to supplant or augment. Some people just had ideas and vision that this was a technology that would go somewhere and they were right.

Now granted, that was one component and what Scaled Composites is trying to do is test a bunch of components and technologies at once. That may or may not be the right move, but they're doing it with (currently) Richard Branson's money and intend to use the money from the space tourists to continue to advance those technologies. The entire mission statement of the company is that they want to advance flight.... you can neither do that in a void nor without risk. Flying is risky... ask me; I'm a pilot who had a near miss in a Cessna with a bizjet a few years ago. I was lucky I survived... but that didn't stop me flying. I accept the risk for the pleasure it gives me and it gives me no appreciable gain other than the experience of having done it. I don't fly planes for travel... I fly planes for the pleasure of flying. By your arguments I should stop immediately... but what do you care because it's my money I'm using for my pleasure... and it's a pleasure that many others before me died for?

Honestly, if I were in that financial position to spend the money on a VG flight I probably would just to say I'd done it and just for the experience. And yes, I'd accept the risk because flight and especially SPACE flight is inherently dangerous. You don't have the stomach for it... I get it. That doesn't make it wrong. You are risk averse, I am not... if I were I'd probably still be living in Belfast and most likely spent most of my life on the dole instead of building a life for myself in another country (the USA). That was also something filled with risk... but I decided the risks were worth the potential reward. I was right.

Comment: DIY? (Score 2) 115

by Thumper_SVX (#48186819) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

Seriously, why not do it yourself? You can get a pretty cheap virtual host from any number of providers and just do it. You don't even have to manage the entire server, plenty of virtual hosting services too... but personally I'd recommend doing the entire server. My Linode is cheap as hell and provides a great place to host my mail and web host, as well as providing a hub for my VPN network. Yes, I have to manage it as well, but apart from the occasion patches I don't really do much with it once it was all set up except use it.

Comment: Re:Second the recommendation (Score 2) 267

by Thumper_SVX (#48014291) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

God, I hope not. After the well-intentioned trainwreck that was Prometheus I really don't want to see The Martian by Ridley Scott. Seriously, the man has no sense of humour, which is key to why that book was so damned good, and so accessible to the non-SF person.

For my part I am not sure who I'd want to direct it... but I'd really want to see Ryan Reynolds in the lead. He was exactly who I imagined through the entire book :)

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 494

by Thumper_SVX (#47936003) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

:) Fair enough, and I apologise. Yeah, context is hard in text. Not knowing you or seeing any context myself, your comment could easily be viewed as being a facetious remark from someone just familiar enough with Irish history. Myself I like to correct people like this because I honestly think Irish history is absolutely fascinating and I encourage people to learn something about it.

I agree though with you and the other respondent to my note; the history of Ireland is incredibly complex. These Americans think they have it bad with the Native Americans... that's a cakewalk historically speaking to understanding most of the migrations, invasions and wars that have occurred throughout most of Europe. But yes, I agree that from an outside perspective the British Isles seems pretty consolidated culturally. But at the same time I would note that a lot of this is due to an homogenisation of culture within the British Isles mostly due to English-language media, movies and so on from the US. Culturally while most of Europe is tending to lean more "American", the BI in general is far further along that path and sometimes even accelerating mostly due to the commonality of language with the USA.

Still, thanks for the response :)

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