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Comment Re:check out recreational vehicle stores (Score 1) 361

Gads!! Don't use cigarette lighter outlets for DC! Huge fire/shock risk. Much better to go with Anderson plugs or something that can be mildly tamper resistant! How do you fuse the outlets?!

I haven't heard this before. How is this a huge fire risk? 12 volts DC even at high current isn't a shock risk at all, unless you put the leads in your mouth or across your braces. This is one of the advantages of switching to 12 volts DC.

I haven't heard of Anderson plugs until now. (I googled it, and see that they're used in battery backup applications.) I went with lighter-type outlets because they were available and cheap and there are already a lot of device power supplies (example: phone chargers) that will plug into them directly.

Currently there's a fusible link in the cable from the storage batteries to the wall outlets. A direct short will cause some sparks but should pop the link. Were it a bigger installation (it's only one room) I might have put in a fuse box.

Comment Re:good point (Score 1) 196

Good point, and the usual reaction to a dying (or not-well) industry is to lock things down even more and raise prices.

They can't control the price of paper, and they have lots of competition, including the "why the fuck do we need to print this anyway" argument, so raising prices will just make that argument even stronger.

That's exactly true, but it doesn't stop companies from trying it. I'm a little surprised that Epson appears to be doing something rational.

Comment check out recreational vehicle stores (Score 1) 361

I have a detached structure that runs entirely off solar/batteries. (There being no legal way to run power to it -- long story.) For the one or two things that actually require A/C I have an industrial inverter, but I try to use it for as few things as possible. To that end, all the lights are 12 volt DC.

I didn't have to rewire anything -- you can get 12 volt bulbs (even CFLs) that screw into standard sockets at any RV supply store.

The plugs in the wall of the structure are car-type cigarette-lighter round plugs. (Except for 2 standard AC which go to the inverter.) I use car adapters for electronics like laptops and music and phones. The lighter-type wall plugs use the same size and shape wall opening as a standard 110 plug.

The point is, most of this stuff already exists, and will retrofit easily into an existing home. You don't have to replace the light fixtures, and replacing the wall plugs is dead simple.

I have natural gas for cooking and heating and hot water. The gas stove and central heat are backed up with a wood stove, so I could even lose the gas and not be inconvenienced too much. Wood instead of propane, because I can go out and chop down a tree myself, whereas I can't refine propane by myself.

Comment good point (Score 1) 196

> The Bloomberg article makes a good point: it's never been easier to not print things.

Good point, and the usual reaction to a dying (or not-well) industry is to lock things down even more and raise prices. Epson should be commended for going the other direction, and make their printers more attractive. Good differentiation, too.

Just a few weeks ago I replaced mother-in-law's Epson printer with a color laser printer (2400X2400, probably dithered). It's not quite the same tonal quality, even with photo paper, but she was tired of finding that one or more cartridges had dried up or run out every time she wanted to print something. The cartridge model sucks in general, but it *really* sucks for the casual user. Had this come out a month earlier, we might have gone with it instead.

Now all they need is a pro continuous roll version. The epson pro printers have larger cartridges, but they're still cartridges.

Comment Sure, that could happen (Score 1) 889

...but I think the "tipping point" assumes breakthroughs in technology that aren't quite here yet. And to this degree, it's still speculation. Moreover, the electricity needs to come from somewhere, and I'm not sure that solar by itself scales up sufficiently. Hydrogen fusion for electricity generation might *really* provide the tipping point, but it's been "just a few years from now" for decades.

Moreover, huge new usages for electricity make me a little nervous, considering our aging electricity infrastructure.

Heck, I'd like a fast, silent car that I could refuel at home. But I don't see a personal use case for it yet.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 484

> It should be noted that no updates will go out to regular users until they have been vetted through several rings of testing,

Yeah, but they always say that. In fact, if there weren't words to that effect documented somewhere, someone at Microsoft would probably lose their job.

Comment If I had 8 and couldn't go back to 7... (Score 1) 484

If I was running 8 or 8.1 and could not conveniently or inexpensively go back to 7, then I'd upgrade the machine to 10. Or put Linux on it, maybe, depending on what I was using it for.

I have a copy of 8, upgraded a win7 laptop to it, fought with it for a month, upgraded to 8.1, fought with that awhile longer, and ended up restoring back to Win7. And that's where it sits now. And my copy of Windows 8 sits on the shelf. Had I bought the laptop with 8 already on it, yeah, I'd move to 10. 8 is such a dog that it would be worth time and energy to work through the teething problems with a 10 upgrade.

On the other hand, a stable system running Windows 7, on which I do actual work, yeah, that's not going to get upgraded to 10 anytime soon. More than anything else, there's no *reason* to do so.

Comment Re:Windows versions (Score 1) 222

Given that even numbers suck, I am sure they will be skipping odd numbers from now on.

I'll stick with Win 7

As will I. They'll need to pry Win 7 from my cold dead fingers. I read a few reviews on 10 yesterday, and the general consensus is that it's almost as good as 7, (better in some parts, worse in others) if you replace that hybrid start menu thingy with Classic Shell and get used to where they've moved things. Yeah. No.

Well, seeing how its an extension of Windows 7/8 and there is nothing missing that is in 7 really. Although if new interfaces bother you, it could be a reason to stick with Win3.1

You need to read reviews from professionals, not friends on Facebook ;)

See, this is the real problem. Back in the 3.1 days, we were on the steep end of the curve, and there were things that really needed to be added, changed and fixed. Now we're up on the flat end of the curve, and there really isn't a lot that needs to be improved, assuming that we're still using a keyboard and a mouse and the peripherals haven't changed substantially.

So people went to 95 because the ideas (not necessarily the implementation) really were needed, and to 98SE because 95 kinda sucked, and 2000 because it was stable, and xp for things that 2000 didn't support, and 7 because its 64 bit version was a lot more mature and stable than xp's 64 bit version. There's no *reason* to go to 10, and so no reason for me to muck with live tiles on the start menu and figure out which admin applets are still in control panel and which have been moved elsewhere. It's just not necessary.

We need to remember, Windows is not the application. The applications are the applications. Windows just runs them.

Comment Re:Windows versions (Score 1) 222

Given that even numbers suck, I am sure they will be skipping odd numbers from now on.

I'll stick with Win 7

As will I. They'll need to pry Win 7 from my cold dead fingers. I read a few reviews on 10 yesterday, and the general consensus is that it's almost as good as 7, (better in some parts, worse in others) if you replace that hybrid start menu thingy with Classic Shell and get used to where they've moved things. Yeah. No.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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