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Comment Re:Purism? (Score 1) 284

Neat. Expensive. Last-gen. Backordered until next year, next spring, or maybe-someday-we'll-built-some pre-order-only sleek tablet-convertible thing (depending on model).

Of the two models that actually will exist again, the smaller one has fewer USB ports and includes an Ethernet port, and the larger one has more ports (and no Ethernet).

Max RAM is 16GB and 32GB, respectively.

This is incongruous as all hell.

Is there an advantage to buying one of these over the cash I dumped on Black Friday at Nothing about them seems impressive, except for the high price and lack of availability.

Comment Re:Stay away from Skylake (Score 2) 284

Have new Skylake desktop, with persnickity Radeon RX 460 video card, with Ubuntu 16.04.

It is running drivers from both AMD and Intel's websites, and I'm using both the IGP and RX 460 to drive monitors. Works fine. I hotplug monitors with it, and they just work with the default Unity.

It was an unrepentant pain in the dick to actually download those drivers (since neither website is navigable using links or lynx): It is literally impossible to install AMD's drivers for this card on a new installation of Ubuntu without outside assistance. (I wound up using a thumb drive and another computer.)

But once the drivers were installed, I've had no problems. (OK, some problems: I get some video tearing on, but I don't find it distracting in that context. Youtube and other video sites work fine. Haven't done anything with local media and a real media player, but I expect it to be fine.)

Monitors sleep fine, everything runs cool and damn-near silent with no effort on my part -- power consumption must be low. Zero hangs, but it's only been a week of solid use. Who knows.

Anyhow, by all accounts I should have a ridiculously unstable, hard-to-configure system, and while the latter is true the former is not: Again, it's fine. I'm impressed by how well it works.

A laptop with Skylake's IGP should be exactly the same except perhaps for suspend/resume: After all, the functional difference (as software is concerned) between a laptop and a desktop, both with Skylake and IGP, is almost nil. This stuff is rather completely homogenized.

Comment Re:Stay away from Skylake (Score 2) 284

Go to their (any manufacturer's) website, look for laptops that are for business. And then look for the expensive lines to see what names they have in common.

For Dell, this is Latitude and Precision (and kinda XPS). For HP, it seems that Elitebook is the proper nomenclature.

HP's consumer notebooks are absolutely the worst I've ever had to fix. HP's good notebooks are fine.

My old, stripped-down Dell Precision has a magnesium bottom panel that comes off with one screw, and has been a joy to use: I wanted a budget computer with plenty of I/O for the work that I do, that was easy to work on, and I got it used for less than $200. (Runs Linux fine, of course, including bells and whistles. Slackware currently.)

A cheap consumerish Dell, though? I worked on one a couple of years ago that was unstable. Through troubleshooting, the next move was to simply re-seat the RAM.

The RAM was on the bottom of the motherboard as is commonly the case. But the chassis had no access panel there. The entire bloody thing had to be disassembled, and the motherboard removed, to re-seat the RAM. This did solve the problem, but holy fuck it was a PITA to fix this (amazingly common, anywhere) glitch.

Comment Re:Genuine question (Score 1) 1321

Or there's what my county does: Diebold machines (yep, still WinCE), with a printer that prints voter-verifiable duplicate ballots.

I understand this process, so I make sure that all of my X's are in the right spot both on-screen and on-paper before pushing the final "Cast Ballot" button.

I do wonder what sort of discrepancy might be needed before someone becomes tasked with reading the paper tape, and I'm not sure that all areas with Diebold machines have printers.

Comment Re:Car Tech? (Score 1) 38

Harman has a penchant for dropping old tech out the window when it no longer serves them*. I guess this won't change under Samsung.

*: I have a $3.9k Lexicon receiver in my living room, which was designed and built under Harman before they shifted Lexicon's name completely to the pro-audio side of the business. The software is very buggy in many ways that are obvious and which would be trivial to fix, and appears to be of beta quality at best. I emailed them about this and actually found a thoughtful person there who wished he could help, but it was no use: Apparently, when the downsized the brand, they also downsized the engineering team and everything that went with it.

I can only imagine that what was left of the skeleton crew nuked any firmware improvements from orbit, just to be sure, right before throwing their office chairs through the windows and setting the place on fire on their last day.

The remains of what was once Crown are just as ugly.

Comment Re:Video (Score 1) 94

I think it's very pretty, and I see it as a fine complement to existing displays.

The best, can't-keep-your-mouth-shut-because-of-awe shows I've seen combine encompassing sound that can be felt, explosions that are beautiful, and lights that amaze...all perfectly choreographed.

This adds another dimension to that kind of spectacle, like lasers did in the 80s. Except this time, it is precise movable points of light in the sky.

They can also be flown in the DMZ between the spectators and the fireworks launch site(s), increasing the scope of what is possible with envelopment.

I'd love to see the folks at, say, Pyrotechnica incorporate this tech into their already-brilliant displays.

Comment Re:Dumb (Score 1) 81

My S7 is IP-whatever rated, does wireless charging, has an easily-accessed SIM and SD slot, a headphone jack, and an exposed micro-USB connector.

It's a real motherfucker to change the battery, though. And I don't know whose cock got sucked by Corning to have them make the back cover out of curved glass because that's about the stupidest idea ever. Then again when my previous S5 died of other causes its battery was still performing about like new, so I'm not too worried about the battery itself shitting the bed.

But I digress. The wireless charging has, so far, been a useful tool for me. It keeps my phone charged at my desk if I bother with taking it out of my pocket, and I don't have to futz with cords spilling my water/beer/coffee/whatever all over the place.

I don't worry about charging this phone, really. It (usually) gets plugged in when I sleep, occasionally charges on the desk during the day, and also in the car if being used for GPS (because that's a universal battery-suck).

So far -- and it's been a few months -- that's been good enough, which is way better than any previous Android phone that I've had (going back to the OG Droid).

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