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Comment: Re:Dell, HP, Panasonic (Score 1) 415

by kimvette (#49545295) Attached to: We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says

I have a Dell Precision Mobile Workstation M6400 that is still going strong (although last summer I did finally have to replace the motherboard). It was knocked off a 4' high ledge onto a asphalt-tiled concrete floor while running and you can't tell it was ever dropped. The thing is a tank - and yes it's heavy but it has a fast chipset. The thing was a beast when it was new. The only reason I haven't upgraded is that newer models have a downgraded screen (1200p to 1080p). I'm hoping the next M6x00 refresh will include a 1440p or better screen. :)

Why I like the Dell Precision Mobile Workstation line:

* Discrete graphics card (they use mobile video chipsets though but that's kind of unavoidable)
* Fast I/O
* Built like a tank
* Excellent screens
* Great full keyboards - for a laptop. I'd prefer mechanical, but no way will a Cherry MX switch fit into a laptop
* multiple hard drive bays (RAID capable although I use it in AHCI mode because I dual boot Windows and Linux)
* Very easy to service and upgrade - no glued-together crap and everything is accessible. I can disassemble it to upgrade a processor and have it back up and running in an hour (upgraded from a Core 2 Duo to a Core Quad Extreme)
* Again, easy to service, so every once in a while I open it up and clear all the dust out of the fans, heat sinks and heat pipes
* no-compromise performance so yes it's heavy

I've had clients who asked about my laptop and switch to these workstation replacement laptops instead of buying desktops any more after seeing my laptop. Their concern was ability to run multiple monitors so I explained displayport to them, and the order them with Quadro video cards for CAD.

Oh and as far as enterprise hardware goes - Dell is pretty okay there. Their documentation is dead wrong on some items (particularly the Perc cards) but if you know LSI controllers you know how to work with them. Dell enterprise support is actually pretty darn good, and don't demand you reinstall Windows for every little problem. Tell them the motherboard died and they'll send someone on site with the replacement part the next day without forcing you to run through their stupid phone script like you would if you had bought an Inspiron... and unlike HP they do not demand you upgrade the firmware on a dead motherboard (???) when discussing the hardware failure.

When it comes to HP I like their chassis and blades but their support folks are generally condescending AND stupid (although I have had very good experiences with HP as well, to be fair but the good techs with them is like panning for gold - you get a lot of crap with a nodes on rare occasion) with most reading from a script. I never encounter that with Dell enterprise support; they're always interactive AND friendly.

Oh.... and HP laptops are crap. I don't like Lenovo either because it is difficult to order replacement parts through their web site, but when it comes to Dell it is almost always very easy to order replacement parts - and if a part replacement is obscenely priced they will often offer you a warranty renewal on the product which is much cheaper than the cost of a brand-new replacement board or screen.

Comment: Snowden and Manning are heroes (Score 1) 677

by kimvette (#49539017) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

I remember the cold war, the very real fear of nuclear war. X generation here, and I think Snowden and Manning are heroes, because they obeyed the supreme law of the land and blew the whistle on unlawful government activities. In Manning's case, s/he refused to obey illegal orders - she was damned if she did, violating the law and her oath, and violating orders if she didn't. She chose to do the right thing and is paying a high price for it right now. Snowden - well, he's a dead man walking right now, unfortunately, but he also did the right thing.

People of my generation and older are generally too trusting of the government, because they view the situation in black-and-white terms, us vs. them, Democracy[sic] vs. commies.

Comment: Re:And the vendor response will be... (Score 1) 279

by kimvette (#49530255) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

I don't mind ads, except when they start overlaying the content, or auto-play video and audio, or try to push popups or popunders (those are surprisingly still a thing even though browsers now block most by default!)

Google and Amazon ads are great- noticeable but not intrusive. They get my attention, are usually relevant and are very effective because they are so targeted that it's usually stuff in which I am interested.

But, obnoxious floating ads, autoplaying audio and video ads... screw that. They are vendors whom I take note of and will not buy from.

Comment: Re:not in the usa (Score 1) 293

by kimvette (#49505639) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

You're confusing HD Radio with satellite radio. Both are digital but HD Radio is free.

The problem with HD Radio is until now you haven't been able to get them in a vehicle, with no to very few models even offering it as an option, and only a couple of aftermarket head units with HD Radio receivers being available. That is only just now beginning to change, with some makes having made HD Radio standard, and others offering it as a premium option. Oh, and AV receivers - very few home AV receivers offer HD Radio as a band, so you need to buy a separate tuner component to receive it.

HD Radio has been a flop for the same reason as AM Stereo (which was actually quite good!); lack of receivers.

Comment: Re:I think one of my locals already has (Score 1) 293

by kimvette (#49505009) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

> I grab some tapes

Cassette tapes? People still listen to those? Can you even buy cassette tapes any more?

I still have a Pioneer cassette deck at home but haven't even hooked it up in years. I still have about 30 blank Type II and Type IV tapes still in shrink wrap. I don't think I'll ever use them.

Comment: Re:About half (Score 2) 293

by kimvette (#49501921) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Another thing I'd forgotten about; an increasingly common trend with top-end vehicles (not cheap pieces of shit as you claim) is integrating even MORE features from the CAN bus into the head unit, particularly climate control. This is becoming increasingly (and annoyingly) commonplace, and is starting to filter down into midrange vehicles as well.

It's only the cheap pieces of shit and high-end vehicles from a handful of makes which only hand-build cars (Koeningsegg, Spyker, etc.) where volume is too low to justify highly integrated units where you can swap a head unit and not have to jump through hoops to not lose any functionality.

Sure, in most vehicles you can either install a CAN hub or even a passive connector and get the car to run, but you will lose some of the original features and kill trade-in/resale value in the process - and for the vehicles which have jumped on the touch-screen-for-everything trend, good luck selling a car where heat/defrost/AC doesn't work.

Comment: Re:About half (Score 2) 293

by kimvette (#49501787) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Chrysler (including Jeep) - okay, cheap pieces of shit there, I'll grant you that
Newer Toyota models (including Lexus), especially the higher end models

You can get a CAN interface to bypass the radio but at risk of losing audio for turn indicators, headlamp warning, key left in ignition warning, and so forth. You may or may not also lose your steering wheel controls for the radio; some aftermarket head units and CAN interfaces can translate various makes' control codes, but some cannot, and most head units lack this integration entirely. Getting vehicles' warning tones with an aftermarket head unit is very iffy at best, so many installers take the factory head unit and relocate it so the functionality is retained, sometimes by rerouting or eliminating ductwork and shoving the radio deeper into the dash, but increasingly often by either eliminating the glove box or extending the factory wire harness and relocating the head unit to a different location, or simply installing aftermarket head units above or below the factory head unit and custom fabricating a new center console.

Comment: Re:Raises a point about tech reviews (Score 1) 72

by kimvette (#49478345) Attached to: New Samsung SSD 840 EVO Read Performance Fix Coming Later This Month

> But when it comes to expensive bits of hardware like SSDs and high-end graphics cards, I'd be interested in reviews which came out a bit later but gave a better reflection of failure rates and longer-term issues. I've been stung before by buying a well-reviewed graphics card which turned out to have a horrible failure rate over time.

You may very well be waiting for the product to go EOL and be superseded by a new model. In technology that is the ongoing story....

Comment: Re:Too bad it did not happen on Osama Bin Laden (Score 2) 250

by kimvette (#49433303) Attached to: Verdict Reached In Boston Bombing Trial

How do you figure that?

While it is true that kerosene (aka "jet fuel") burning in open air will not get hot enough to melt steel, it will raise steel to the curie point, but that is not the case here. Remember that in order to withstand the temperature of the burning kerosene, most steels are not good enough so many turbojet and turbofan components actually utilize titanium and in some cases tungsten(!) alloys in order to resist the heat, because in a forced-air situation kerosene gets hot enough to vaporize steel.

What you have is many thousands of pounds of kerosene which in open air will soften or even melt kerosene, which dissolved or at least softened many plastics in the building (styrofoam insulation and ceiling panels, PVC insulation in cables, plastic office furniture, plastic carpets, etc.) and those plastics also ignited, not to mention cellulose-based materials (wood, paper) which burns quite hot.

Add in the fact that the towers are structures with very tall vertical shafts distributed throughout the middle portion of the towers (stairwells, elevator shafts, etc) you have created a huge convection situation, which was fueled [sic] by the raging inferno, which only served to add more oxygen to the combustion process causing the towers to form a crude jet engine - as the fire got hotter convection increased, which only added more oxygen to the combustion process. Now, remember that most airliners are mostly aluminum, commercial buildings use a mix of aluminum and steel (aluminum for non-structural studs in partitions, frames in drop ceilings, etc) so that liquified aluminum would come into contact with melting steel and form thermite, making the combustion even hotter, especially with the humongous amount of convection going on.

Ergo, it's no problem to arrive at the conclusion that yes, those planes did in fact cause those towers to implode, and probably could have been predicted beforehand. The planners of that attack were certainly sociopathic and deluded, but definitely not stupid and probably had expected the towers to come down the way they did because of the reasons I mentioned above.

I don't know why people point to kerosene burning in open, still air and say "kerosene can't melt steel" when the whole reason titanium and tungsten are used for jet engines is because kerosene when provided more oxygen absolutely will vaporize steel.

Comment: Re:Bring on the discussion of fair sentencing... (Score 1) 230

by kimvette (#49406065) Attached to: 'Revenge Porn' Operator Gets 18 Years In Prison

Read the second amendment in its entirety and read up on the founding fathers' writings leading up to it.

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." That is, the people. I.e., you and I.

"well-regulated militia" - the government already had the established right to maintain a standing army. This preserves the right of the people to form militias to protect against tyranny (such as the one we had just thrown out of the colonies around that time), and by "well regulated" they meant that they expected The People to be able to competently use those arms to kill tyrants.

Comment: Re:FTA (Score 2) 198

by kimvette (#49362551) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

No, when Best Buy goes out of business, very likely Fry's will expand.

Best Buy sucks because they never stock the items I want - be it a television, high end AV receiver (for which which I went to a small family-owned hi fi shop), keyboards, monitors, video cards, speakers- you name it, Worst Buy tends to stock the low-to-mid range items, not high end.

Harrison's Postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.