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Comment Re: Pretty much everything (Score 1) 231

Gaming. It's not so much that you need to press 10 keys at once as that between fast typing and keyboard hardware macros you can wind up overlapping keystrokes. If you don't game high-end content you probably underestimate how much involves repeated sequences and how fast you can get when it's down to muscle memory rather than conscious typing. On a USB keyboard that results in lost keys and missed commands.

Comment Re:Depends if you want to support it (Score 1) 276

I have experience with Alienware. I bought two systems through them, a desktop and a laptop, about 6 and 3 years ago, respectively.

There is a premium to be paid for their machines. That comes in the form of someone else putting all the right pieces together, letting it run a few days to make sure everything works, and shipping it in some cool looking cases. If something is wrong you send it back and they don't really give you any trouble.

They're solid machines, well built, and performance is quite good. For someone who wants a machine that "just works" without having to spend days putting pieces together and finding the best deals, it's really not a bad option. I would recommend CyberPowerPC over Alienware these days - they're less expensive for comparable hardware.

Also, unlike what the poster above mentions, Alienware does not load a bunch of crapware onto their systems. They usually have Steam preloaded, an application to control their lighting effects, whatever control software the video card comes with, and very little else. They're quite clean. You can get some extra stuff preloaded (like McAffe, for example) but it's all optional at the time you order the system.

That said: You WILL get more hardware for your money if you build yourself. No doubt about it. These days I just view my computer like I do my car: It runs and does what I want it to do when I turn the key. I don't really need to know, or even care, who made the engine or what material the brake pads are made out of as long as it goes vrooom.

Comment Re:Why do you insist on misquoting me? (Score 1) 114

Our federal largess is pretty much a return to a debtor's prison. Yet there are those of both ends of the Progressive Party clamoring for more spending. Presumably to buy votes.

It is worth noting here that the ones conscripting armies are not the socialists, though.

And even if they explicitly claim to be, you'll lay down a No True Scotsman in a jiffy, like the boss you always are.

Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 1) 231

This is true. USB parallel ports are only implemented far enough to get printers working. Pretty much nothing else from the dark ages will work.

Serial ports are a bit better, but still have compatibility issues because most of them just use TTL level (5 volt) signaling, whereas RS232 specified 12 volts. The better ones have voltage multipliers onboard that will provide the necessary higher voltages; if you want to hook up vintage terminals to your computer using a USB serial port, these are often required.

Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 4, Informative) 231

Centronics parallel ports are something that I do not miss. Even slightly.

Before the USB era, pretty much every peripheral that needed a faster connection than serial but was too cheap to implement SCSI used a parallel port. Webcams (Connectix QuickCam was a famous one), Zip drives, laplink cables, etc... it was insane. Parallel ports provided no power, so these devices either required a power brick or stole power from the AT/PS2 keyboard interface.

When it worked, great! When it didn't, good luck getting it working. I always used to pay a little more for SCSI when it was available because it was faster and a million times more reliable.

Remember the Zip Drive Plus? It was a drive that could either do SCSI or Parallel on the same port. I like to think of it as the height of the clunky, kludge-filled world we had before USB.

If the personal computer market ever had a "savior", it would be USB. It was truly a dark time before that.

Comment Pretty much everything (Score 4, Insightful) 231

USB's been the connector of choice for most of my peripherals. It replaced the floppy drive connector for portable media. It replaced dedicated connectors for keyboards, mice, tablets and the like. My headsets are almost always USB, whether they're wired or wireless. Webcams. The only things I don't use it for are primary networking (hardwired Ethernet there), non-portable mass storage (hard drives and optical drives), and video. Sometimes I still use the PS/2 keyboard connector for non-Windows UEFI systems where a USB keyboard won't get initialized during POST. It's fast enough, there's typically more than enough connectors (especially with a hub for non-latency-sensitive devices), and it's almost universally present and usable.

Comment Re:Why do you insist on misquoting me? (Score 1) 114

we need to acknowledge that many of the additional "free market reforms" that your friends advocate for bring us much much closer to functional slavery

Functional slavery would more correctly be the debt shackles imposed by Progress.

Has it occurred to you that differing sets of priorities for "liberties" is not automatically a bad thing? Not everyone thinks that your notion of "freedom" - as applied to the market before the individual - is the most important.

Adolf certainly did not.

Pascal is a language for children wanting to be naughty. -- Dr. Kasi Ananthanarayanan