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Comment: Re:bang on the tv too (Score 1) 304

by joemck (#48702739) Attached to: Putting a MacBook Pro In the Oven To Fix It

I had a Trinitron monitor in the '90s that needed frequent percussive maintenance. A metal whisker has bridged heater to green electron gun inside the tube. The result was green running at maximum intensity all the time, even during horizontal and vertical blank. A good sharp whack would temporarily dislodge it.

Comment: Re:Wrong conclusion (Score 1) 269

by joemck (#48588281) Attached to: Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

>Try to find another mp3 player with massive storage
>Any Android device.

Last time I looked for such a thing, my choices seemed to be:
A. Small device with fairly small storage. This is getting better lately, with phone builtin storage growing, but I still haven't seen anything as small as an iPod Classic offering anything like 160 GB. However, the phones that have anywhere near enough storage are also rather large.
B. 5-9 inch tablet. Need I say more? If I wanted to browse the web and watch movies on it this would be awesome, but I want a pocket sized device to listen to music on. I don't care if it has a high resolution touchscreen; if it doesn't fit comfortably in a pocket, it's useless to me.

>an excellent user interface

This is something you're not going to get on an iPod Classic either. I thought the UI was pretty nice until I installed Rockbox on a Sansa Clip+. It has a truly tiny 2-level monochrome OLED display and a generic selection of buttons and a CPU that can barely emulate classic GameBoy at full speed. But with Rockbox it has so many more functions than my iPod Classic, which can't run any unofficial firmware due to code signing. I can edit playlists with much greater ease. I can enqueue songs without disrupting the current playlist. I can save custom playlists with names other than "On The Go Playlist 5". I can search and navigate my music library much more effectively. And the big one: I can connect it to any Windows, Linux or Mac and access my music library like on any disk.

>good to excellent build quality

Sure, the Clip+ has a plastic shell, not Apple's anodized aluminum. It does seem to be pretty sturdy though, apart from the clip -- it broke off after a couple years, I dremeled off the remains of it, drilled a couple little holes and now have it on a nylon cord I wear around my neck. It's gone in water a few times as well. I blew the water out of it as best I could and let it sit for a half hour, and it doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear.

Downside of my trusty little Clip+ is that it's 4 GB plus whatever MicroSD I can stick in it. When I can get a 128-256 GB MicroSD, I'll truly have a replacement for the iPod Classic.

Comment: Re:What's happening to Linux? (Score 1) 257

by joemck (#48579991) Attached to: Bad Lockup Bug Plagues Linux

Partially agreed. For overly verbose languages like Java, an IDE is really helpful. You can make some nice macros in vim, but you can't quite match with a good IDE can do. Still though there are times I save, close, and open in vim so I can efficiently do some wacky transform with regexes and macros.

For C though I just use vim all the way. And with a few plugins, it can become a pretty good C IDE.

Unlike an IDE, vim can be made to do just about anything. I've used it before to take an image of font characters in a grid saved as an ASCII .pbm and separate them into C arrays for each character in the font.

Comment: Re:Upgrade to Windows for improved stability! (Score 1) 257

by joemck (#48579953) Attached to: Bad Lockup Bug Plagues Linux

Crap USB peripherals should not take down the system unless the user has also installed crap drivers that break things, in which case there's really not much to be done about it. When I connect a defective or rubbish device, I expect the port to cut power if there's a short, or the "Windows cannot detect this device" balloon or similar Linux console message. If the cord on a mouse is starting to fail, causing it to disconnect randomly, I expect either intermittent functioning, frequent BADONK noises, and maybe a console message about a port being disabled for some seconds due to a device bouncing.

Then again, it's possible that his USB host adapter is at fault, and not the mouse or any driver. This would be my guess if nobody else is able to reproduce the crash when plugging and unplugging devices.

Comment: Re:They can go bite a donkey (Score 1) 699

by joemck (#48550191) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

I don't care that much about the bandwidth unless I'm on my phone. A few megs here and there is nothing compared to the real bandwidth hogs like YouTube and Netflix. Yeah, auto-play video ads hog more than that, but I have a much bigger problem with those: USER EXPERIENCE.

It's the overall UX that drives me to block ads. Slow ad servers make pages take significantly longer to load. Distracting blinking and flashy ads distract my eyes from the content I came for. Ads with sound are just downright obnoxious, especially with tabbed browsing -- now which of my 20 tabs is moaning because it just reloaded a racy ad?! YouTube video ads are horrible as well, delaying the content and ruining enjoyment of 'relaxing music' playlists.

I see sites' need to make some money, and I wouldn't mind some ads if they weren't obnoxious. However, the last time a site begged me to unblock ads, I did, and the first thing I saw was a big blinking red/yellow YOU MAY BE A WINNER. Yup, blocked again.

I also install AdBlock on every computer I remove viruses from for someone. On a significant number of them, at least part of the infection had come from a "your computer may be slow/infected, click here for a FREE scan" ad. Sure I could try telling users not to click those, but users forget things. Then there's also the ones that look like a window so you will have clicked the ad if you instinctively hit the X in the top right corner. Better to just block them and remove the temptation. I've never had someone complain about it either; the reaction is usually more like "glory halleluiah!"

Comment: Re: Are they really that scared? (Score 1) 461

by joemck (#48535733) Attached to: Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

And then a few cloudy days come and you find your battery doesn't have enough in it. Or winter, when unless you have a TON of solar panels you'll be using more than you produce. There's a good reason to keep a grid connection even if most of the year you're drawing nothing from it.

Comment: Re: Non-story? (Score -1, Redundant) 112

by joemck (#48227151) Attached to: AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards On New iPads

If it was only on ones bought through AT&T, this would be true (though not exactly fair unless they're giving you the function-limited device for less than buying an unrestricted one from Apple). But according to TFS, AT&T will lock a SIM you bring yourself, putting up a barrier to using your equipment bought from somewhere else with another carrier.

Comment: Re:Compares to a plunger? (Score 1) 175

by joemck (#48015263) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

And, apparently he can download whatever he wants on his plunger and can take it apart and put it on whatever carrier he wants.

I suppose I could download on my plunger, but then I would need to clean it up. I don't know how most people use their plungers, but I use mine to clear network congestion when downloading into my toilet. It is also fully compatible with all water/sewer carriers in my area, as well septic tanks. And yes, the wood handle can be unscrewed from the rubber bit, but modification is not typically needed to make it compatible with a given sewer system.

Oh, and the manufacturer will provide NO SUPPORT if he takes the plunger apart.

Unscrewing and re-screwing the handle does not void whatever sort of warranty it might have, but downloading on it probably does. Eww.

Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 2) 184

by joemck (#47955723) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Javascript modules are fine, and provide a nice way to do arbitrary customization (though I'm not sold on the choice of Javascript as the language for it). It's great if I want to implement something unusual. My problem with it is having to learn an API and write code to do something as simple as, say, change window border widths or set screensaver options. It's not that I can't do it, it's that I shouldn't have to put in the effort to do it when it's something that every other desktop environment for the past 20 years (minus OSX on many customizations) has had as a button or updown control and something I can change in 10 seconds with zero specialized knowledge.

You want to hide all the confusing forests of checkboxes and buttons to make the config dialogs as simple and accessible to newbies as possible? That's fine, but would it really spoil your beautiful simplicity to put ONE box for "show advanced options" that unhides all of what has just been removed? I think VLC is a fine example of this. The preferences dialog contains basic and easy to understand options, but you can still change the render API or mess with codecs if you need to, without writing any code. Just check "all" instead of "simple" and the dialog transforms from a pretty average number of options (though it could be made simpler still), into a tree view with dozens of pages of settings.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl