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Comment: Re: Not bad (Score 1) 85

by deroby (#47367021) Attached to: Samsung Release First SSD With 3D NAND

My neighbour has a laptop like that and it's a PITA.
I'm not sure what exactly I should blame, the hardware implementation (via the BIOS) or the OS (W8 so I'm sure half of /. will jump on it, don't bother) but it seems that the 32-ish (?) Gb of mSata is being used as some kind of cache for the BIOS that tries to buffer (read + write) towards the HDD. I've been considering putting linux on it simply to see whether this would benefit from this too (meaning it's pure BIOS, which going by the error-screens I think it is) or not (meaning the OS needs to play along somehow).

In theory this should work great, and yes the machine is pretty fast I/O wise, but in practice it really sucks when things go south and somehow fails to properly write everything to flash and then when you boot again the entire file-system is corrupted beyond repair. This happened twice in a 2-year span already and the only solution seems to be re-imaging everything from the rescue-partition thus losing everything that was on the machine. As a result they now save everything (photos etc) on an external disk rather than on the internal disk.

I tried to teach them how to create an image-backup with Redo-Backup but it seems the machine simply isn't capable of booting from anything different than the (cached) HDD ... I also tried to see if I could allocate the mSata as a disk to hold just the OS and some programs instead of being used as cache, but again found no such option...

Comment: Re:10 yr warranty hah (Score 1) 85

by deroby (#47366979) Attached to: Samsung Release First SSD With 3D NAND

Hear, hear. I have a passively cooled DN2800MT in the living room for my kids to play with. It's sufficiently powerful for most online games (think candy-crush) or GCompris or oldish (so called educational) games they find at the library (**). The only moving parts in there are the DVD and HDD. As expected, the DVD-player is 'loud' but although the hard-disk is a modern and fairly silent one; you absolutely notice it whenever the OS puts it to sleep!

(**: Most of these cd-roms come with minimum requirements along the lines of 'Pentium 166 with 4Mb of ram'. Not that I mind, but when you come to think of it, it seems that this whole industry peaked around 10 years ago and then simply vanished ?!)

Comment: Re:How about a home brew dynamic DNS system? (Score 1) 495

by deroby (#47358317) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Domains

I have a D-Link router with DD-WRT running at a 'remote' location with rather 'sensitive' electricity. Whenever there is a thunderstorm I have a 10% chance that the electricity went down. As I got tired to drive up and down whenever we have bad weather in order to check if things are still up (freezer etc) I added a little cron job that simply WGETs a specific URL on one of the websites I manage. Said page logs the last 10 entries and thus whenever I think about it I can simply pull up the log and see if the router is still up. I wouldn't call it secure (anyone could spoof the call to the page if they found out about it), but for its purpose it's more than adequate.

Comment: Re:Sounds about right... (Score 1) 441

by deroby (#47352477) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

I'm having a very hard time believing the suggested approach would be efficient.
For starters it needs to work in a dry (en preferably hot) environment, yet it's 'fuel' is water which is not going be recyclable. Depending on how much of it is going to be needed this, bringing in tons of water might bring up costs quickly. Additionally, the water needs to be transported up to the top of the tower, something that requires power too. According to what I could find, pretty much 50% of the initial output of the turbines!

The energy is 'harvested' via a ridiculous amount of turbines at the bottom, indicating they expect tremendous amounts of air to pass through the system (top down), solely by injecting water into 'static' air. I get that the water-droplets will evaporate and bring down the temperature of the air considerably, thus making it heavier and causing it to weigh down on the column of air below it. The added weight of the water-molecules are hardly worth taking into account due to the fact they were first brought up in the first place so given all the elements included (pumps, lines, turbine efficiency etc) those represent a (big) net loss to start with... will this really be able to generate this much wind ?

Doing some googling around it seems there is few empirical evidence around the 'woohoo' mindset of the website. (FYI: They changed names at least once already). Wikipedia doesn't sound as optimistic either although in all honesty the 'numbers' there are based on the measurements of an 'updraft' tower as, again, there are no real numbers for this kind of structure (yet). [ ]

Comment: Re:The headline is juicy, but hides a real problem (Score 1) 212

Actually, that's what I do too.
Although LCD technology is catching up (**), it's still hard to beat a SONY Trinitron (100Hz Pal+) IMHO! (much nicer colors, no artifacts, etc...).

I guess it does consume some extra electricity and yes, it is bulky like hell and often gets some frowns from visitors. But on the other hand, if ever a burglar comes peaking through the window, it's probably the first thing he sees and might actually convince him to switch to the next house =)

(**: that LG OLED 4K in the mall looked great but simply isn't affordable IMHO; and frankly, most shop-demo-stuff looks a lot nicer than what you actually get to see at home)

Comment: Re:Or... (Score 1) 316

by deroby (#47049161) Attached to: Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside

The way I read it he says a Surface *Pro* would be a perfect replacement for whatever people currently do on their computer; and more. But, since he has a non-Pro version of the Surface (read: the non-intel version) he himself is 'forced' to fall back on his 'real' computers to do some stuff related to his development work.

Makes perfect sense to me; and indeed, a Surface Pro works perfectly well as both the traditional tablet while also being a perfect desktop replacement... or vice versa. You can hate Microsoft all you want, but it simply works even though I'll agree it might not be cheap. Then again, nor is an MBP.

Comment: Re:A common misunderstanding (Score 1) 275

by deroby (#46601027) Attached to: Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

Maybe it's a cultural thing and btc did take off on your side of the pond; but from my point of view I can't see any people willing to put down real money in exchange for btc. Sure; we've all downloaded the client, had a bit of fun to see how many hashes our hardware could work through only to realize that in the end the only place where it would leave a mark was on the electricity bill. So from where I'm standing, the only people willing to put 'real value' to btc are either those who have a lot of it and really, really, really would like other people to buy them from them so they get 'real' money. Or those who think that it might be good idea to invest in them now (I'm guessing that if you spend 5m on btc and do it 'smart' that you probably could horde quite an amount of them) in the hope of selling it somewhere in the future for a hefty profit.

Both situations may have the effect of btc getting a perceived increase in value, but I for one expect said bubble to implode 'real soon now' and leave the unlucky behind with a string of worthless hardware and/or bits & bytes.

But that's just my opinion and by observation it does seem that there are quite a few people out there that are making quite a profit (in dollars) on the whole operation right now...

PS: I'm not really against the whole idea of decentralized crypto-currency PAYMENTS (although I do think that the current implementations are painfully slow and scale very badly -- having to download the entire log, really ??). The part I really dislike is the way they are 'mined'... I simply can't find any angle where converting electricity into money by means of specialized (expensive) hardware seems to be a good idea =( At least scrypt tried to work around that but alas the arms-race is on...

But no, I'm not actively taking part in 'the community' and hell what do I know...

Comment: Re:Fantastic ROI (Score 1) 275

by deroby (#46591747) Attached to: Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

OK, I'll prepare for that call that's coming then =)

Anyway, I'm still having a hard time seeing this as anything but a waste of time and resources... The fact that it actually 'makes' money doesn't change that, it makes it all the more saddening to me as more people will jump on the train with bigger rigs .. all out of simple greed...

Comment: Re:Fantastic ROI (Score 2, Insightful) 275

by deroby (#46591365) Attached to: Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

Quite informative IMHO

It's paid itself off [in bitcoins] many times over already."

Call me when it has paid itself off IN DOLLARS many times over.
Dumping a gazillion btc on the market will likely push the price down and hence the profit.. It must be nice being able to dump a couple of million$ into a "hobby" project like this; but really... the only ones making a profit out of this IMHO are those who fabricate the boards/cables/etc... Off course he's going to say he makes huge profits, after all he is trying to lease out (a portion) of his infrastructure... which in itself already indicates how 'worthwhile' running the setup really is.

(if only they would/could recuperate some of the heath being produced I'd be less sad about it.. right now all I see is 3MW of energy being wasted by a ton of PCB's that will end up in a landfill somewhere in the next years... and apparently this is only 5.6 percent of what is being 'mined' around the world, the proverbial tip of the iceberg... humanity deserves to die...)

Comment: Re:If you need to ask, then for you the answer is (Score 1) 306

by deroby (#46519217) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

The problem with this kind of thinking is that there is no real continuity any more. There used to be a time when you could take code from a couple years back and copy-paste it into your current project. Nowadays we switch technology so fast that you can hardly understand the code from 2 years back again because you got out of touch with the frameworks it worked on.

On top of that. I've seen projects being restarted over and over again trying to build the same solution using 'what's new this year' technology; and pretty much each time it fails on some new 'unforeseen' thing... It kind of works; but it isn't great. But who cares? They're convinced that when they rewrite it next year using that new framework/paradigm/whatever it will surely be perfect.

Mind you, I don't mind looking at new stuff; but in my experience it's often times the same thing packaged differently over and over again. So where is the real benefit? Using "the old methods" I know exactly where the pitfalls are and how to avoid them; using the new stuff sometimes looks quite promising and might take a lot of the grunt-work out of my hands so I can focus on the 'real fun things'; but when it obscurely fails it can be very frustrating and consume a lot more time than I assumed I had won. It's a very grey area sometimes.

"Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world." - The Beach Boys