Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 3, Interesting) 32

Yup, pretty much this.

It's trivial to implement a serial connection in a microcontroller. All you need is a level shifter like the dime-for-dozen MAX232 and you're set. For USB, this requires a lot more implementation overhead (not to mention getting a genuine UID if you want to ship it), and literally EVERYONE who has ever even dabbled in microcontroller programming knows how to deal with a MAX232. Pushing information down the serial line is like the Hello World of microcontroller tinkering.

That's why you can still get PCI-E serial controller rather cheaply. And, lo and behold, almost all of them contain some variant of the MAX232.

Comment Displays (Score 1) 32


You still don't use USB for displays.
And USB->HDMI peripherals are far from being the best gadgets - many of the cheap ones are basically unusable for anything more than a second screen of desktop icons.

Merge USB and HDMI and you have the ultimate connector.

Comment Re:Missing the point a bit? (Score 1) 85

Dude have you not be on the Internet lately? there is a billion and one articles extolling using these Pi style boards for HTPCs which as GP pointed out and I agreed with is some serious dumb shit, but its the Internet so there is no lack of dumbshit.

That said I have a buddy that does car PC installs and uses boards like I linked to and for THOSE kinds of embedded projects? They work VERY well, top draw on them boards when playing media is sub 12w, they are fanless, and as I pointed out all the I/O you could need is baked right in.

So again unless your project has a specific requirement to be the size of a stick of gum? The X86 units would probably be a better choice.

Comment It varries (Score 1) 145

Long ago, it was *much* cheaper to build than buy. Then Dell came. Dell sold computers for below the retail cost of the components. It became cheaper to buy. It has since remained cheaper to buy, if you match a pre-built system. It's cheaper to build if you spec a system that nobody sells. Systems rarely have vastly different level components. I built myself a gaming rig. It was built to compete with a friend's I spec'ed the best gaming video card for the budget, and did everything else as cheap as possible (while still of acceptable quality). The result was a computer $200 less than my friend's brand new computer, with better FPS for every game we tried. It was much slower at video encoding, but played games better.

Bought computers are hard to get anything that's not "cheap" "middle" "workstation" or "gamer". You can't have a gamer card in a cheap system, or vice versa. Building is good for flexibility, and picking components. Another time I built, I saw the CPUs as having a poor bang per buck, so I built a good system with the cheapest CPU I could find. 2 years later, when the system was pretty bad, I upgraded the CPU and had what would have been a top-end (out of my price range) computer for budget price, though a little late.

So the decision is personal and fluid, though many here think everyone should do as they do, rather than think for themselves.

Comment Re:WD Black the 3rd most broken item (Score 2) 93

If you bought a SATA when you wanted a PATA, how would warranty repair help you?

If you can return it to the retailer for a full refund the next day, and get another brand new one, why would you bother with a warranty return of any kind? 4-6 week replacement time at a retailer sounds quite illegal. It's a return of DOA and a new purchase, not a repair at the retail shop.

If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we would all be millionaires. -- Abigail Van Buren