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Comment: Re:I just switched. Not going back. (Score 1) 239

by toddestan (#49723533) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

Generally speaking, yes. Though the minimum requirements for Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 have not changed, and I must say that 7 is generally faster than Vista (mostly from reining in Vista's overly aggressive Superfetch), and 8/8.1 are significantly improved over Windows 7. Though unlike what some people are saying about Windows 10, I've found it to be a total dog. The versions from last January or so were a tad sluggish but otherwise seemed okay, whereas the latest builds I've found to be basically unusable. Granted, it's a preview so I don't expect it to be well optimized yet, but I'm not sure what Microsoft has been up to the past few months.

Comment: Re:Anecdotal evidence (Score 1) 239

by toddestan (#49723421) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

I found it to be about as advanced as Windows as Windows 3, but without the stability. At least with Windows 3, once you learned what would take it down, with a generous helping of "don't do that" it was actually usable. Mac OS on the other hand, would crash constantly and for no apparent reason. It was like playing Russian roulette with your data.

Comment: Re:Too Expensive, i7 naming sucks ass (Score 1) 80

by toddestan (#49703853) Attached to: Intel NUC5i7RYH Broadwell Mini PC With Iris Pro Graphics Tested

5xxx = 5th generation

Except for those 4th generation six-core chips that also get a 5xxx number, because if you have enough cores you get bumped up a generation or something.

557 = the higher the number the faster/better feature set

Something like that. There's some similar 6xx chips. They are slower and have a lower end GPU, but include Intel vPro, Intel TXT, and Intel TSX-NI. So uhhh.... I guess those features mean a higher model number despite the slower speed. Well, except the 58xx and 59xx chips don't have them, so uhhh fuck it I don't know.

Comment: Re:Earthlings? (Score 1) 78

by toddestan (#49703609) Attached to: Dawn Spacecraft Gets a Better Look At Ceres' Bizarre 'White Spots'

On the surface of the planet, you would be very hard-pressed to find evidence of a civilization like ours that existed five million years ago. But start digging and you would find plenty of evidence. Things would get covered with sediment, and you would find things like roads, bricks, and other trash when you start digging. Some stuff we make would last a very long time, especially in the right environments. Glass, aluminum wheels and engine blocks, gold coins and jewelry, concrete, silicon chips, some plastics would be stable for a very long time. If the civilization made it to the space age, we'd also find stuff that they left in sufficiently high orbits. Now, a pre-industrial civilization that only made simple tools may slip through the cracks, but I'm pretty sure we are the first civilization to make it this far on Earth.

Comment: Re:Flashlights (Score 1) 401

The problem would be that with no humans around, there would be nobody to shake the flashlight to make it work.

My money is still on either solar power satellites or some automated, off-grid solar powered device. Either one would likely function at some level for a few decades left on its own.

Comment: Re:satellites (Score 1) 401

My guess is most any nuclear reactor would make it might be a few weeks before something triggered it to automatically shut down. If it's connected to the grid probably only a few hours max. Nuclear power plants will automatically shut down when they lose grid power, and I don't see the power grid staying up very long on its own. Non-grid connected reactors might last longer, but nuclear reactors are pretty high-maintenance devices and when some valve gets stuck, or some sensor goes out of spec, or coolant levels get low and no one is there to address it the safety systems will shut the reactor down.

On the other hand, it's not unreasonable for a satellite to last 20-30 years with essentially zero maintenance.

Comment: Re:satellites (Score 1) 401

It's an interesting idea. I agree those things are about the cheapest crap you can buy, but given millions of things out there, is it possible that one might beat the odds and make it a few decades?

Instead of those self-contained units, what about an off-grid system someone set up with a regular solar panel, inverter, battery bank, and some low-powered LED lights that automatically come on at dusk? The batteries would eventually fail, but assuming they were sized to run the house, they could probably power some yard lights even in a very degraded state for a very long time.

Comment: Re:Broadcast radio FTW (Score 1) 244

I grew tired of having to flip channels every few minutes. Add in that the radio stations play the same few songs over and over and over (even the "classic rock" stations rotate the same hundred or so songs over and over, despite literally decades of source material to choose from). Oh yeah, don't forget the station blurb they insert between every single song they play. I gave up on commercial radio years ago. My car doesn't even have the presets programmed, it's been that way for years.

Comment: Re:fail at counting (Score 1) 154

by toddestan (#49686443) Attached to: Windows 10 the Last Version of Windows? Not So Fast.

They should just go back to using the year for the Windows version, just like most of their other products (Office, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Windows Server, etc.). Funny thing is, 20 years ago it was the complete opposite - they were using the year for Windows and version numbers for everything else.

Comment: Re:Twenty Years Ago in Ventura County (Score 1) 395

by toddestan (#49654703) Attached to: 25 Percent of Cars Cause 90 Percent of Air Pollution

It can make sense to try and buy the worst polluting cars just to get them off the road. Especially since the wost polluting cars tend to be old in and in poor shape so aren't worth that much anyway. That's not what the whole Cash for Clunkers thing did though, as it was simply a stupidly designed program to bail out the automakers, and didn't even work at that.

Some of the problems:
1. It required the purchase of a new car. The worst cars on the road generally are owned by people who couldn't afford that even with the subsidy, so those cars stayed on the road.
2. It vastly overpaid per vehicle, which meant that many of the vehicles turned in were relatively late model vehicles in decent condition with functional emissions and safety systems. These vehicles were destroyed instead of being allowed to progress down the food chain. A sudden influx of cheap used cars would have resulted in many of the vehicles from #1 being scrapped anyway.
3. You could quality for a rebate buying a gas guzzling truck or SUV so long as it got a few MPG better than the vehicle turned in. The most popular swap was a Ford F150 for another Ford F150. People who had already chosen to drive a fuel efficient vehicle were locked out of the program. It seemed mostly like a bailout for people who bought into the late 90's-early 2000's SUV craze, and for empty-nesters to unload the old family hauler in a way that guaranteed that it wouldn't be passed down to the next family who needed one.

Comment: Re:Bypassing consumer resistance to poor design (Score 1) 199

by toddestan (#49654511) Attached to: Future Holds Large Updates Instead of Stand-Alone Windows Releases

Vista was pretty much a sacrificial release. Microsoft needed to cure third party vendors of their bad habits from the 9x days, as well as update their driver model. They could publish guidelines and best practice whitepapers all they wanted, but the only way to get many of them actually take action was to break their shit. Which is exactly what they did with Vista. By the time Windows 7 came out, most vendors had managed to fix their stuff so most things just worked on Windows 7 with minimal fuss, which is why Windows 7 was a much smoother release. Since Vista and 7 are pretty much the same OS with some cosmetic differences by this time Vista was also working fine if you stuck with it.

Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is. The answer is: I don't know. Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast?