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Comment Re:Business only! (Score 3, Insightful) 732

And the comment you linked to runs contrary to my experience.

The real business grade laptops - not just from a manufacturer's business line, but the ones that are considered high-end - tend to be built from more durable materials, tend to be designed for easier service, tend to be documented better, and tend to have better support.

Workstation-class, and one step down as far as position in the model range (which often shares hardware with the workstation class, but often with a dual-core and either integrated graphics or a low-end GPU), tend to count as those.

Comment Re:From a buffoon (Score 1, Informative) 721

Oh, and I almost forgot.

The emissions in question are particulates and nitrogen oxides.

Diesels tend to emit physically large particulates that are visible, when inhaled don't go far into the lungs, and fall out of the air quickly.

Gasoline engines tend to emit small particulates, and a lot of them, that are not visible, when inhaled go far deeper into the lungs, are more likely to cause cancer, and stay in the air a lot longer. But, their particulate mass is low, so until recently, nobody's cared. (New emissions standards will restrict the particulate number, as well.)

Any engine that runs lean tends to emit high amounts of nitrogen oxides, and diesels have to run lean or they start smoking. Of course, lean burn also reduces fuel consumption, improving energy independence and all... Nitrogen oxides are a smog precursor in certain situations... but those situations are all in areas where volatile organic compounds are low. In a high VOC environment, which is essentially any area with a lot of plant or modern human life, nitrogen oxides actually destroy smog... and all of the areas that have smog problems are high VOC. Yeah, I'm gonna say that that one's completely misguided.

So, modern diesels tend to run high amounts of cooled EGR, and particulate traps and NOx neutralization technology (either traps, or spraying urea into the exhaust stream). The traps require that fuel be sent into them to burn things off, too. Yes, this is ridiculous, and seriously hurts fuel economy.

Comment Re:From a buffoon (Score 1, Interesting) 721

Performance, NVH, emissions, and reliability (for GM, anyway) in the 1980s
Cost and perception in the 1990s and early 2000s (when gas is cheap, why spend a lot of money on a diesel?)
Cost and emissions in the late 2000s
Cost, reliability, fuel quality, and efficiency (which are all severely worsened by the emissions control systems used now on diesels - so emissions are no longer a problem, but in exchange, you get a much more expensive engine that hydrolocks in a freeze/thaw cycle (although the Passat has worked around that by being even MORE expensive) and has $8000 fuel system failures, and it gets barely any better fuel economy than direct injection small displacement turbo gas engines) in the 2010s

Honestly, the only advantages that a modern US-spec diesel has over the best gas engines, unless you violate federal law and make the emissions control devices go missing, is torque delivery, and slightly better fuel economy that's absorbed by the fuel price difference.

Rip off the $3000-5000 of emissions controls, and suddenly you get a lot more power, a lot more torque, and go from 45 to 50-55 mpg. Then it makes sense.

Comment Re:From a buffoon (Score 2) 721

Actually, that's not it at all. 18-wheelers are HEAVILY subsidized, even with the slightly higher fuel taxes on diesel.

To break even on road tax, the taxes on 18-wheelers would be based on weight and mileage, and would be so much higher than car road tax, that it would literally cost more to tax the cars than the revenue from taxing the cars.

I wrote up a blog post about that: http://bhtooefr.org/blog/2012/03/19/why-long-haul-trucking-is-an-awful-idea-and-rail-is-far-better-for-long-distance-transport/

Comment Re:Awesome! (Score 1) 713

There's still some benefits to going far further than the human eye's resolution - vector UIs have implementation issues. So, a 3840x2400 15.6" display isn't THAT useful, but it can raster scale 1920x1200 and 1280x800, both usable display areas, on the same panel.

Take that to 7680x4800, and you can get 1280x800, 1536x960, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, all on the same panel, perfectly scaled. All of those are useful densities.

Comment Re:Awesome! (Score 5, Interesting) 713

Although it has gone down - a couple years ago, 15" could be 1920x1200 easily, and seven years ago, if you had lots of cash, it could be 2048x1536.

I've actually built a laptop around a mix of ThinkPad components (15" 2048x1536 LCD equivalent to the one used in medical configurations of the R50p, chassis from a 15" T60, and motherboard+ancillaries from a 14.1" 4:3 T61p (talk about unobtanium)) just to get a 2048x1536 screen with 8 gigs of RAM, spending over $1000 to do it (and I already had the screen and a couple of the ancillaries) when I could get a just as fast laptop for $500, purely because of the screen.

Comment Re:Anybody pine for that golden age (Score 1) 187

Actually, that's a car analogy that breaks down badly, because while lopping off 120 rows doesn't really make your laptop more efficient, lopping off 3 or 4 seats does make your car a lot more efficient, if the car's laid out right.

(Like, going from the 35-50 mpg of modern small cars to 100-200 mpg.)

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