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Comment Fried two computers for the price of 1 (Score 1) 377 377

When I was 12 I put the BIOS chip from one motherboard (it was still the kind of EEPROM with pins) into another in an experiment.

Sadly I didn't know what the orientation of the pins was or what the little dot meant (pin 1) so I must have reversed them.

Put the BIOS chips back but I had fried both boards.

Comment Re:Abusing one of my Hadoop nodes (Score 1) 558 558

Holy crap! I just looked at the pricing history for the 1055T and it's a bit silly. I bought it at about $199CDN in 2010 from Canada Computers... The thing has mostly gone UP in price.

I suspected it wasn't even made any more given how old it is and I seem to be right. So it makes sense that it would be more expensive now but it seems to have spiked throughout its life.

Comment Re:Abusing one of my Hadoop nodes (Score 1) 558 558

Using an AMD Phenom II 1055T for about 5 years now with 16GB of RAM. It was 8 when I put it together. Currently 2TB in RAID0 for HD. Could use an SSD but I don't actually care that much. I have an i7 Lenovo laptop with 8GB and a 256GB SSD for that.

Corsair H60 for cooling is more than enough. Even with the stock HSF this thing runs pretty cool (40C), even under load (45-50C). The Corsair H60 has been garbage for me until they replaced it for the 3rd time. First two developed an audible wobble that eventually saw the unit stop spinning entirely, causing my CPU temperature to sky rocket to 120C and shut down. When not operating properly, the H60 acted more like a warm cozy blanket for my CPU than a heat-dissipation device.

I never find myself maxing out the 6 cores unless I do video editing or something.

Most development tasks, 3D modelling or working in the Unity3D interface don't really bog things down either. This old box has been more than enough for me for a while.

The only upgrades since it was put together have really been a new video card (It had a Geforce 250, now has a 650) and another 8GB stick of RAM.
I fail to see any reason to upgrade any time soon. If SSDs dive in price once again maybe I'll get two 256GB drives and try to run them in RAID0 if my motherboard allows for it. I also may move by the time I care to upgrade, so I'll likely just give it away to a friend or family member. (I'll likely have to shed some possessions and it's a full tower case.)

Comment He drank the kool-aid (Score 1) 1032 1032

He clearly thought that going to college and getting a degree WAS a display of personal responsibility.

Rightly so. It's sold as such.

I've been slowly paying off my student loan over several years and I still can't bring myself to blame people who want out from under the debt.

It can feel quite stifling and it effectively limits what you can do with your new-found knowledge for a while. I know the idea is to do what I did, go to college for CS or something lucrative and use that privileged knowledge to make a decent wage to pay back that support.

Thing is, higher learning and especially University which is what I went for WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE A JOB MACHINE.

Higher learning is meant to sharpen your mind and allow you to explore a subject in depth. It teaches you how to learn and how to do research. Most of the practical knowledge you learn in a higher learning situation may be obsolete by the time you graduate anyway.

College courses for practical diplomas should be subsidized. Then again I live in Canada and I'm perfectly happy paying more taxes so everyone I care about can have freely available healthcare and other socially supported systems.

We're, sloooooowly dragging ourselves into the modern era kicking and screaming all the damn way but we'll get there. Maybe some day the US & Canada will support REAL liberty, where everyone has the same opportunities because they are supported in their endeavours. The kind of liberty neocons want is the kind that makes everyone else suffer to make them comfortable. Selfish liberty. The freedom to be a selfish ass.

Comment Burglar Alarm, Door Chime, Lots of Things (Score 1) 258 258

I used to go to the local electronics repair shop in my town and dumpster dive for parts.

I wasn't fantastically knowledgeable about electronics but I wanted to learn. I was pretty young. Less than 10. Built all kinds of things including a burglar alarm for our garage because my dad had noticed some people paying extra attention to it.

The alarm consisted of the parts of an old 8-track & stereo combo, speakers, door switch made of nails, fishing line for a trip-wire. It was super fun.

It's hard to come up with good candidates because growing up I didn't have a lot of cash, so we always made due and were inventive with old stuff.

My dad once made a pretty rad cooling-aparatus/TV-stand for our TRS-80. He took the cooling fan from a dead photocopier and bought sheet aluminium and rivets. He bent the sheet aluminum into a C shape and mounted the cooling fan to it with a scoop to push air into the CO-CO-2 intake slits. The TV sat on the top of the C-shape and the TRS-80 slotted into the middle. We could take advantage of overclocking one whole megahertz baby! Woo!

Comment Re:LG X2 All Over Again? (Score 1) 131 131

To clarify, I bought the X2 when it was brand new and the very first and only dual core phone on the market. Wind was demoing it by showing video games with 3D graphics on big screens (it had HDMI out).

Turned out to be a shit phone because of the aforementioned reason and the fact that since it was stuck on an old OS, the flash slowed WAY down after a bit of use due to no TRIM support.

After a while typing became a chore as it would just hang while using the keyboard.

Gave it to a friend when someone stole their iPhone 4 and they nearly threw it at the wall. I don't blame them.

Comment LG X2 All Over Again? (Score 1) 131 131

This reminds me of buying the LG G2 outright from Wind Mobile when I started with them years ago.

LG refused to give us any updates in North America at all despite there being updates for the v4 series of OSes in Korea for the same phone.

No amount of hacking could get Jellybean to work WELL on the phone, and the Nvidia chipset was completely unusable - locking users out of using the camera, or when the camera worked video didn't, etc.
Perfectly capable phone, owned for 6 months before LG dropped support for it.

The answer is that LG is awful and have always been awful about updates. The only exception has been my Nexus 4, which has updates handled by Google anyway since I bought it from the Play store. After the last stint with LG I was very wary of buying anything LG again. Seems to be okay so far.

Comment Re:Doesn't matter (Score 1) 385 385

I dated a physicist who went on to a graduate programme and she used a bargain basement laptop because even one of those is good enough for a reasonable simulation. Simple Ubuntu 9.10 install (at the time).

Picture of dancing pickles on the background because, you know, physicists can be fun and quirky.

Anything that requires a lot of compute cycles could run on the university's server farms.

Comment Re:The new power supplies may be sensitve to EMP (Score 1) 192 192

A lot of electronic devices bleed off harmonics of their data bus as well. Many PCs with crappy audio hardware and bad voltage regulators will make noise through the sound card whenever you move the mouse or a particular program runs.

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss