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Comment There is hope (Score 4, Interesting) 184

This is a big issue with demanding gamers like those in the speedrunning community, a traditional (15KHz) CRT is a must for low latency.
The concern for CRT loss was valid, however things are finally starting to look a bit better..

I'll guess I will go a bit technical since I work with & troubleshoot "old system video stuff" quite often..

What old consoles / arcade games pretty much always used was RGB input, which was virtually artifact free. Although with consoles you usually had to resort to composite/RF/svideo, RGB being more common only in EU/JP regions. NTSC/PAL artifacts also can still be included easily with an otherwise superior image, but I won't get in to that here..

Biggest issue with flatscreens has always been that they only handle native resolution, anything else than native has to be scaled to be that specific resolution, resulting in blur and loss of image quality.
What's even worse, older systems and games sort of hacked around the typical broadcast standards where it kept transmitting one field instead of alternating between odd/even, this gave you a stable picture of 60fps (Closer to 59.94Hz in reality) with the expense of dark lines on every other scanline and only 240 lines of vertical resolution. "Stretching" of the image happened naturally as the lines for both fields would go from top to bottom, resulting in a crisp image that was rather flicker free.
Unfortunately almost no scaler that has been built actually respects this hack, hardwired to expect both fields, which is a 480 line image. While this works for TV broadcasts and looks quite good with such, it has very varying results with older systems as the flat panel will attempt to treat this low resolution image as something that's supposed to be higher resolution, resulting in awful scaling artifacts or the whole picture jumping/flickering.
However there are thankfully scalers out there that do, like the micomsoft xrgb series or a pure linedoubler like the earlier xrgb or ther more recent ossc.
With these, you can get pretty darn accurate results and can even simulate scanlines.

While CRTs look cool, they're not all so cool to work with.. they can get dark/blurry/get color offset even after a couple years of active use on some cabs. Not saying they all do but rarely do I see a crisp image on an arcade cab crt these days. Flat panels do have their own issues but I guess what I want to say here is that It is indeed getting harder and harder to find replacements for a reasonable price, unlike flatscreens where an older 1600x1200 panel from 10 years ago can be perfect.

Now I hate to sound like an advertisement but I highly recommend checking out the OSSC, It's a no compromise solution that does pure linedoubling, very good digitizing that keeps colors intact (along with noise filtering) and allows you to keep the original refresh rate intact, all combined are something that no scaler does. Personal results with flat panels and say.. a megadrive has given me pretty much emulator crispness on the picture and virtually zero latency (we are talking about a few scanlines as it doesn't have a framebuffer).

Anyway, tools are there to get a superb image out of older systems, including consoles that have RGB output available.
I wouldn't worry too much anymore as the quality you can get has already surpassed a CRT.
Currently the main problem is the entry price, which can cost you $200 or up.
Most likely in the future stuff like this is gonna come down in price and re-implemented & cloned for cheap in china.
Cheap scalers that do better than the average TV do exist but I'd say that they still fall short.

Comment Experience (Score 1) 1091

I think one of the biggest issues is training and support.

People have been using windows for years and most who want to try linux are happy to do so. Problems arise when something breaks up and you and nobody else has no idea how to fix it (aside from some linux guru you might know who is already pissed off at dealing with so many linux issues that people have). You simply don't know what to do that well. Sure you can google but it just gets more and more frustrating since you are not actually solving the problems, more like applying solutions blindly.
This gets reflected when you suggest / do a install for an average user, if something breaks up they turn to you.
Do you really want to say that you have no idea what they should do or suggest them to do stuff inside terminal just to get their stuff working?
This is one of the reasons I don't even want to suggest macs. While I have used them and I know that the average user might be "better off" using them but I kinda feel responsibility after turning people for their purchase. If they need help, they are ducked. Unless they know some "mac-expert".

Back to Linux..
I've had so many instances where people wonder why they can't open file format X properly or save as "proprietary & more supported/familiar" file format Y. Sure you can do many hacks to get things to working but at the end of the day you realize that they are so much better off just using windows where
they can just buy an, say, webcam or a printer and not worry about the fact that will it work on their system or not.
Ugly truth is that windows supports almost everything on the PC market out there, even the average users can pop the DVD in and install the software, unlike where in linux you might need to start poking at some stuff since the support might exist but you have a rev B instead of rev A and won't work out of the box like that (just an example).

Linux does a lot of thigs, but some of those things are half-done. You might have 10 different ways to perform a task (different programs) but in the end you actually just want one that works. This is what Apple has kinda been doing as well. Everytime you start windows you can be sure that the programs are the same or just evolved versions of their former versions where with Linux distros they might change the distributed application between versions and you suddenly need to learn a totally new program.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see Linux on the desktops someday but at the moment it's just too much of an hassle and is more like a hipster-OS when it comes to desktop computing.. Yes, I just said that. I currently do use debian on my server and loving it, I haven't really been using the GUI for a few years aside from occasional quick sessions. :)

Comment Re:Hell yes! (Score 1) 102


Tradeoffs are understandable, everything is naturally expandable in the future once you get a solid framework to build on.
I foresee these exploding in popularity once you get these out and people realize how easily and cheaply they can build lowpower application-specific systems (A Beowulf cluster of these!), and possibly even desktop replacements in the future.
I know that I will get a few of these for myself at least :)

Good luck with the development!

Comment Hell yes! (Score 2) 102

I'm a huge fan of this little device, It's basically a glimpse on the future of computing.

Imagine atrix-like devices where you can just carry around a core system in your pocket, it scales down to the smaller screen and you can do all kinds of activities on it. Plug it in to an dock and get a full desktop. Imagine work computers like this.

Also once windows 8 comes out, I see ARM really taking off. A system like this is already pretty much what 80% of offices really need for everyday tasks. A few additional connectors are naturally needed (plus practicality).

Imagine $60 or even sub-$50 office computer cases (Or small computers that you can carry in the pocket) that eat under 10 watts of electricity and run a full windows desktop. (Yes I know that ARM and x86 apps aren't compatible, but they are porting office over).

This time computing gets personal again, it's probably your own phone that powers your work-desktop in the future.
Sorry for the "market speech", but I am just so excited myself.

ARM is the future, plus it runs quake3.

Comment Finland can ! (Score 1) 240

Currently on a 2year contract for 200/10 Mbit internet with 4.95e/month for the first year and 24.95e/month for the second. 29.95e/month after that.
No caps or that silly stuff. Oh, and I've topped 19.7Mb/s down and around 1Mb/s up with ideal conditions.

Comment I am one of those who likes spoilers (Score 1) 238

I think it has something to do with the story being easier to follow.
If it's about revealing an killer, you will likely acknowledge him/her as an major character in the movie/book instead of an forgettable minor character, thus you can follow all the occurances early on.

I also like spoilers in the sense that I can actually start observing on how/why it/things will end up like that later on. I might spot some other minor plot stuff that I would otherwise ignore. This is true to reality shows, when I know the winner I can just actually concentrate on the winner's (or could even be some other competitors) techniques and play-style instead of just trying to know all the competitors for the first few episodes.
It kinda gives an different angle on how to approach stuff, hard to explain.

Comment A nice blast from the past. (Score 1) 104

This takes me back to my first linux distro that I tried (A redhat variant). Never got the bootloader to work properly then, but it was still exciting to try some windows alternatives for a change.

...Just makes me think what a realtime gentoo installation video for ~2000 hardware might look like :p

Comment Outdated plugin autodisable (Score 1) 206

While I really like the idea I can already imagine getting million phone calls from relatives/various people on why they can't access various sites or the internet bank because of an outdated java (or something else). Sometimes even if you tell them that upgrades are necessary & good for the system they still think that all the nag screens are not normal and think that there is something wrong (go figure), plus most people are kind of helpless until you either go there and fix it yourself or spending some time on the phone and guiding step by step.
I already tried this with a few nightly builds and I had to manually enable java 3 times during one online bank session. Once it even forced me to enable it two times in the row. Sure I tend to keep it updated all the time but back then It wasn't up to date, having 3 nag screens when you are in a hurry is a bit frustrating.. :p

I do hope there is a way to disable this (or tone it down), The idea itself is great though.

Comment Controllers and emulation. (Score 1) 498

Got a catweasel MK4+ floppy controller, it advertises a pretty broad catalog of different floppy formats so I think I've got that side covered :)
Emulation takes care of the rest. Just image old medium and read them.
But really, the oldest stuff I ever run to is 3½ floppies these days. (Except c64/etc.. stuff)

Likely still the hardest for me is video, no matter what the year is it's still hard to get realtime video capture working at times. Simple stuff like VHS/cam to avi. Hardware is somewhat ok, software never wants to work like it should and computers rely on a dice in whenever to work properly.
I have seen expensive equipment with mac pro's, and scalers, even those have their share of problems.. Altough a lot less than cheaper solutions.

And to stay a bit on-topic, the oldest restore for me has been files from a old old drive (200mb I think). Floppies are something I deal with somewhat frequently as well, be it either reading old stuff or writing so it can be used on older systems.

Oh and I hate recovering stuff from old cd's, I hate optical medium so much. Those who have dealt with this probably knows what I mean.

Comment I compare this to demos (Score 1) 532

I have this same idea in my head as with demos in demoscene. You can make a old system do a lot with animation but that is just animation.
The real impressive thing is when someone actually finds a way to rotate a filled cube smoothly on a old system Instead of showing just some precalc frames.

In old movies you had real miniature explosions/models and all kinds of stuff, you needed to think outside the box to get these kinds of effects look good. They even looked realistic (altough you could sometimes see trough those).
You kinda wanted to see what they could pull off.
These days I almost just see the pre-rendered background doing stuff, it's nowhere near as impressive as they can make it do anything. There are no limits really.
It's kinda same as watching an animation player on a demo that does awesome complex 3d. It might look freaking brilliant but again, you could just replace the animation frames to be anything else.

This is why I still think that many older movies have better effects than modern movies where you can just make that explosion 4x bigger with little to no effort at all.

Comment Great solution but not perfect. (Score 1) 324

MSE first felt like a great solution, But I have increasingly heard lots of DPC* latency issues after installing windows 7 over XP.
The main culprit? Microsoft Security Essentials.
I already know a few cases where people have replaced it with f-secure and instantly got rid of it.

* This is a serious issue that will make your audio playback crack and pop, it might even take hours before this starts to happen so it's very hard to debug.
Believe me, we fought with this beast for like a month (updating all drivers and BIOS, even resintalling windows but no go).
Immediately after removing MSE the problems disappeared instantly (and installed a 3rd party scanner).

So if anyone else is experiencing these issues while reading this, Try removing MSE.

If they can fix this fatal issue then I am all for MSE as I hate intrusive scanners that almost feel like scareware/adware.
And to input on the topic: I think that MS should be able to do what the duck they want to with their OS. They are just providing a FREE way to fix/clean up their OS from stuff that abuse it's weakness, wait a minute... that sounds almost like windows updates. Yeah. I have always felt that there should be a integrated tool for this ever since the 9x days, virus scanners shouldn't be anything that you need to pay any extra for. But this is just my opinion.

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