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Comment: Was expecting an article on upscaling filters (Score 1) 167

I was really excited to see that new builds of ffmpeg (which is FOSS) implement the hqx family of filters, but I've also read that these filters are pretty outdated at this point. So I was hoping that this article would be a comparison of upscaling algorithms, both free and proprietary. But alas...

Comment: Re:Another sign NASA is circling the drain ... (Score 2) 160

by barlevg (#47679971) Attached to: The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA
Wow is this uneducated. I can't speak to the federal workforce as a whole, but for a variety of technical fields, like the one described in this article, as well as my own (data science), the federal government pays "competitively" but salaries in the private sector tend to be quite a bit higher. As for the hours and the benefits, that's largely a function of where you work, but I will point out that federal pensions for new hires got slashed as part of a recent round of budget negotiations.

Comment: Re:"assemble" or "reassmeble" (Score 1) 391

by barlevg (#47586945) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?
What if your mobo shorts out and that's all you need replaced? That, to me, is a lot less of a change in computer than a CPU upgrade or a new hard drive: replace one of those, and your computer will run noticeably differently, but if someone were to come into your house and swap out the motherboard of your computer in the middle of the night, you might not even notice a difference assuming the BIOS was the same.

Comment: Re:so, I'm in the more than 8 yrs ago camp (Score 1) 391

by barlevg (#47580909) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?
The manufacturer clearly fucked something up with that Windows machine, since, as I said, its twin (purchased at the same time with identical hardware) worked out of the box. As for my xorg issues with my Linux tower, I'm not actually sure that it *wouldn't* work out-of-the-box, if I had installed from the LiveCD with the monitors plugged into the graphics card instead of the IGFX. But trying to switch to using the card now, post-install, would be an unnecessary pain. And trying to run one display off the IGFX and the other off the video card would be a nightmare. Shameful in a modern OS? Sure. But we've known that X11 needed to be replaced for a while.

Comment: Re:so, I'm in the more than 8 yrs ago camp (Score 1) 391

by barlevg (#47580055) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?
Really? Setting up a PPA is pretty straightforward. And who's bashing Windows? The OP asked for advice concerning a Linux build. The xorg.conf stuff I'll give you, but I just spent 2 hours trying to figure out why the new Windows machine at work wasn't recognizing its monitor when its twin did out of the box (the answer turned out to be the FX card drivers, and a more Windows-savvy user would have diagnosed the problem correctly in 5 mins, but that's not the point), so don't tell me Windows doesn't have display configuration issues.

Comment: Re:so, I'm in the more than 8 yrs ago camp (Score 1) 391

by barlevg (#47576169) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Uh... no. If I wanted to play games, I would have invested in an actual decent FX card rather than the cheapest POC I could find that would allow me to run D3D. I use Windows for three small applications whose authors never bothered to write Linux software or ensure Wine compatibility. Two of the three are pieces of software that came bundled with specialty USB devices.

As for me being a "Linux whore," I don't pay for Linux, and Linux certainly doesn't pay me, so I think that analogy fails.

Comment: Re:so, I'm in the more than 8 yrs ago camp (Score 4, Informative) 391

by barlevg (#47567983) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Ah, okay. Well I'll share with you my current build:

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Intel i7-4790K CPU: $340 (I was gonna go for the i7-4770, but MicroCenter had the 4790K on sale for $280, and I jumped at it)

Gigabyte Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H: $165 (make sure you upgrade your BIOS to version F8--with F6 it was rebooting every couple of minutes)

Corsair Hydro H60 cooler: $60

SeaSonic 650-Watt G-Series power supply: $100 (WAAAY overkill for my system, but whatever. I chose it based on Tom's Hardware PSU tiering guide--wanted something close to the top with 600+ watts at less than $100)

G.SKILL Trident X Series RAM: 2x8GB for $165

SSDs and HDDs are kind of a personal choice in my opinion. I only buy Samsung SSDs and only buy WD HDDs, but other people will swear by different brands. SSDs are at about $0.50/GB

My case is the Cooler Master HAF-932, which has a metric ton of fans, great access ports and a large footprint. I think they've been discontinued in favor of the HAF-X: $170.

You might not need a dedicated GPU with that CPU/mobo combo--I only use it to run Direct3D on a Windows VM and run my displays off the IGFX. Depends on whether you're a gamer, in which case, consult your games for the recommended specs. I can tell you nVidia cards usually work decently well, but you have to futz with getting the correct drivers (proprietary vs. nouveau) and getting everything to play nice in your xorg.conf.

Any optical drive will do. I think mine cost $20. Make sure none of the online reviews complain of bloatware.

Keyboard, mouse, monitor--anything should be fine.

I think that's it! Total cost comes out to ~$1200. But it has top-notch performance regarding stuff like video editing and scientific computing. Linux compatibility is fine, though you'll need to use the alsa-daily PPA to get audio working, and a dedicated video card can, as previously stated, take some work to set up.

Comment: Re:so, I'm in the more than 8 yrs ago camp (Score 3, Informative) 391

by barlevg (#47567601) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?
I don't quite get this question: settle on some specs you want, then start building, checking compatibility as you go. For example: I started 4 years ago by knowing I wanted the AMD Phenom II 1090T CPU (top-of-the-line in its time) and knew I didn't mind how big it was. From there I selected the best ATX/ATX-Extended motherboard that had the most PCI slots, SATA ports and at least one FireWire port (ah, the days of FireWire). From there, I got the best reviewed case, PSU, HDD and RAM (checking for RAM compatibility, of course), and that was that. All that remains is assembly, which you gotta be *careful* about but certainly is not difficult. Of course, troubleshooting is a PITA, because it takes a while and a bit more expertise to figure out if it's a component that's bad (and if so which one) or if your problem is as simple as needing to update your BIOS.

Comment: Never Again, or at least, Not Until I Forget Again (Score 1) 391

by barlevg (#47567539) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?
Recently "upgraded" my four-year-old homebuilt box (replaced CPU, mobo, PSU and plan on replacing RAM & SSD next month), and it was a nightmare: driver/Linux-compatibility issues, Xorg issues, then the computer started randomly rebooting. At the end of it, I said, "This was such a nightmare. I've never had a computer assembly/upgrade go this bad," and my wife says, "That's what you said the last time." And indeed, I found some emailed notes from four years ago--turns out I had plenty of problems back then as well. On the one hand, part of me wants to say, "next time, I'm buying retail." On the other, I look at how little I spent on the parts vs. how much a new computer with these specs would have cost, and I realize I came out pretty far ahead.

Comment: Re:"assemble" or "reassmeble" (Score 1) 391

by barlevg (#47567483) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?
I'm trying to determine at which point an upgrade stops being an upgrade and starts being a "new computer for which I have reused some parts." I was beginning to grow frustrated at the performance of my 4-year-old AMD chip (which was top-of-the-line in its day), and so I decided to upgrade, but replacing the CPU required replacing the mobo as well (especially since the replacement chip is an Intel). In the process of that upgrade, I ended up replacing the PSU (though it turned out I didn't need to), and next month I'm investing in more RAM and a new SSD. So once that's done, the only thing I *won't* have replaced will be... the case? *I'm* still considering it the "same computer" but it seems rather silly when I have enough spare (replaced) parts at this point to make another...

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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