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Comment Re:I love the Pi. (Score 1) 38

Pi is cheap. It's not documented well at all (because Broadcom), and it's far less widely available than commodity PCs, tablets, and phones (which I can buy cash-and-carry at Walmart and, sometimes, even Aldi).

Hobbyists like it because it is cheap, and it has the GPIO lines from the SoC built-out on a header.

End-users like it because it is cheap, speaks HDMI, and runs Kodi and Retropie.

But it's not fast. It's definitely built down to a price. And open? No. Not even a little bit, unless you count the fact that "it runs software, as long as you have the right binary blobs" as being "open."

Comment Re:Monopolies are bad (Score 1) 64

But it's just an automotive fuse.

In 10 minutes, I can walk to any of three different places and buy an automotive fuse.

Why in the fuck would anyone bother with going online and manually enter everything including blood type, just to buy an automotive fuse? Especially if they're going to pick it up in person anyway?

Comment Re: Service for those who will buy it (Score 1) 169

That's interesting indeed. But meh.

The difference in cost between 100 and 200 amp service is the feed from the power company's termination to the panel, and the difference between appropriate (where 200A does not cost nearly twice as much). We're talking small hundreds of dollars of difference here on any normal home, maybe a little more if the lines are buried. It shouldn't really be a factor either when building a new home, or refitting an old one: This is a very small budget item, down in "no-brainer" territory. They say it might be 30%, and they might be right, but the numbers are small compared to everything else that goes along with it.

200A FTW. It's enough for any normal-to-large American household, including the hot tub and the pool. 400A? Now we get into serious disconnect switches, multiple panels by default, and etc (which gets expensive!).

Srsly: I ran the same aforementioned ancient house (with all amenities including the dishwasher -- literally everything aside from the electric clothes drier) on a portable 6500W generator for two weeks following the Derecho a few years ago. Most of the lights were CFL, but the chandeliers weren't (by choice) and we burned the hell out of all of it. Multiple fridges, a deep freeze, etc.

It didn't ever really break a sweat, generally, even when it was over 100F for days at a time, all of the window air conditioners were cranked up, and we decided to have Movie Night with the BFT and the multi-kiloWatt audio system. I totally expected to be chasing popped breakers, overloaded cables, and had several fire extinguishers handy, but the 2x30A (ie, 30A @ 240V) from that portable genset was apparently enough*. (Sure, it would bog for an instant now and then when a compressor-load started up, but it recovered quickly and nothing that it was powering ever gave a shit.)

(As an aside: The neighbors hated us, but that wasn't anything new even though they were in the dark and we had a noisy generator. We also gave them all free wireless Internet for the duration, which was amazingly easy when the airwaves cleared during that long power outage, and many of them took advantage of that according to my logs.

We also tried hard to offer to let anyone nearby charge phones/whatever and run a fridge/whatever if they had enough extension cord to reach, but there weren't any takers, so fuck 'em.)

*: It wasn't at all cheap to fuel it, and it wasn't easy to find fuel, and it needed oil changes every 30 hours according to the manual, which I generally performed on-time. It also didn't seem to make anywhere near as much difference in fuel consumption as I expected between lightly-loaded and ridiculously-loaded, which is what led to the consumption-spree outlined above. But that's yet another topic.

**: And I still don't know what the 400A households are all about, except perhaps for them being sold a bill of goods. Nothing they have going on, even all-at-once, requires even a quarter of that.

Comment Re: Service for those who will buy it (Score 1) 169

I see 400 Amp service more often than not, in my travails amongst "big, fancy, new" houses.

I agree that it should be extremely rare, but it's amazingly common in those new neighborhoods.

When I owned a big, ancient house, it was full of electronics and space heaters (because bad heat and cold winters) and lived fine on 2x 120A (60x2) entrances: There were no problems. I don't know why anyone would need 400A residentially, especially since those folks tend to be more frugal with electricity than me, but whatever.

Comment Re: Samsung is starting to behave like Tesla (Score 1) 110

The MAX77838 is a power management IC.

Which you said the device wouldn't have had, but there it is.

All outward appearances would suggest that it is a custom chip for Samsung

It's not like they're a small customer. This isn't unusual.

Personally, I expect that the MAX77838 is similar to the MAX77829

Because you Googled MAX77838 and found MAX77829 in the top few hits, just like anyone else who has used teh Intarwebs can do.

Unfortunately for Samsung, the charging circuit has to be relatively tuned to the specific battery being used. Generically designed Lion chargers have a habit of failing.

Gosh, I wonder why they used a custom part. Any guesses?


So much so that Tenma actually ships many of their battery chargers with a fireproof pouch to put the battery in while charging it...

Are you seriously using Shenzen China Export products resold by MCM Electronics as a basis for comparison? Tenma has always been garbage. We might as well be discussing electronics from Harbor Freight.

This just goes to show how stupid Samsung is for designing it this way.

You say that, but you don't use your words to demonstrate it. Does the term "red herring" ring a bell?

The irony is that the PSOC processors cost cost about $5 each and they are full featured processors while the Maxim ICs Cost more than that and are just a PMIC.

You don't know what is in the MAX77838. You've said as much.

Samsung is staffed by incompetent engineers.

They fucked this one up, for sure. But are you at all aware of the millions of wildly popular Samsung devices out there which don't tend to autoignite?

Mistakes happen, even with competent engineers. Sometimes, big ones. I recall a certain incident wherein BMW tried to sell diesel cars in the US, but our (relatively) crappy fuel ate the cylinders and ruined compression. They put a new engine in each car they sold here, with updates to make it not an issue.

Also, the Ford Pinto.

Firestone Rollover Tires. Unintended Toyota acceleration. Concrete falling from the roof of the Big Dig tunnels. Et cetera.

It happens. Engineers are human, just like you.

Comment Re:Who needs books? (Score 2) 87

Early 90s O'Reilly books were largely reprints of Linux HOWTOs, and were awesome.

Later 90s O'Reilly books were just as good, without the (freebie) HOWTO background, and were also awesome.

i think you've got it backward, though: In OReilly's proper hay-day, they were printing texts that were easily found online.

(I'd tell you to get off of my lawn, but given your UID, I must respectfully thank you for letting hang out for as long as I have, instead. There aren't many of you left in these parts.)

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