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Comment Re:Slackware (Score 1) 487

Back in 1989, I spent 3 days installing AT&T UNIX on an AT&T 3B2 from 8" floppies. Installing Sun O/S 4.x was done from tape in those days and it would take the greater part of a day to do the full install, which was about 100 MB of data at the time. The first CD-ROM drives, which came out around 1992, were 1X speed drives and cost $1100. We thought they were soooo cool. Much better than tape!

I moved from Solaris to Fedora back around 2001 or so. I remember trying to install Audacity. It took me 3 days to fiddle fart with all the damn dependencies. Then a buddy introduced me to Ubuntu and Synaptic. Ahhhhhh!!!! I've been running straight Ubuntu ever since.

The only real difference I've seen between Ubuntu and Mint is the interface. I don't use Unity. I'm a Windowmaker guy. Been using Windowmaker since 2001, back when I had to compile it to run under Solaris. I still use it today and find it does all the things I want and is lightweight. Each to his own.

One place I make a lot of use is a 10 year old HP laptop I have running Ubuntu 14.04 as a music and audio server for my hi-end audio system. I run a USB feed to a PeachTree DAC. I use the Banshee music player and it just works. Very sweet. In the insane world of hi-end audio, you see music servers running many thousands of dollars and they won't be anywhere as easy to work with or sound any better.

Comment Re: Should have listened (Score 1) 1149

So what if the guy came to America to make some money? We all work jobs to make some money. I don't fault him at all for that.

The people I fault are the executives who abuse the H1-B program. Theoretically, guys working on H1-B visas are only supposed to work jobs they couldn't get Americans for. In theory...

Which would be alright with me if it were true. But the truth is that the tech execs just want cheaper labor and couldn't care less about the American worker. The only thing they care about Americans is if we buy their products and services.

Don't blame the Indian guy. Blame the guy who gave that job to him.

Comment Re:Nothing new - PG&E was doing this 33 years (Score 1) 157

The point of reducing peak demand is that your generating capacity pretty much runs flat out 100% of the time. You can't readily bring added power production on-line at a moment's notice. You have to build to meet peak demand, not overall demand. If you reduce peak demand, you reduce the need for overall production.

Comment Nothing new - PG&E was doing this 33 years ago (Score 1) 157

Waaaaaaaay back in the year 1983 - you may have read about it in your history books, I worked for Pacific Gas & Electric. We had a project to engage customers to raise their thermostats and thus reduce cooling and power loads during times of peak demand. Air conditioning is the single biggest end use during times of peak demand.

This is nothing new.

Save power. Use less of it.


Comment Re:Harmon-Kardon Turntable (Score 1) 316

I don't stream at all. I listen to a lot of bebop, big band jazz and classical. Tidal doesn't have a lot of the artists I like. Doesn't matter how good they are if they don't have the artists you want.

I'm an Old School Audiophile. I run a Linn LP12 turntable with a Rega tonearm and Denon cartridge. I have about 500 LPs left (pitched about half of 'em out a few years ago). I ripped about 1000 CDs to flac format and play them off of my Ubuntu laptop. I use both the JRiver and Banshee music servers. JRiver allows me to do digital EQ based on curves generated through Room EQ Wizard.

My playback system consists of a Peachtree DAC for both the laptop and my CD player, which along with the turntable feed into a tube preamp. The loudspeaker system is an integrated design from Siegfried Linkwitz which has a 3-way active crossover. The loudspeaker itself is an open baffle design with tweeters facing front and rear, an open baffle mid-range driver and two bass drivers open baffle. There are separate 60 watt amp channels for each bass driver, the mid-range driver and the tweeters, for a total of 8 channels for both sides.

I use 14 gauge zip cord for speaker wire and interconnects I got from Parts-Express. No need for exotic cables. It's a wonderful system. Everyone who hears it leaves my home with envy. I will put my system up against any system, at any price.

The Linkwitz designs are all for DIY folks and are thus affordable. Total expense for all of my gear comes in at a bit under $8000. The current hi-end design from Linkwitz, the LX521, is not surpassed by any loudspeaker on the planet and you can build the system for less than $5000. In the world of extreme hi-end audio, that's an incredible bargain. His LXmini system is perfect for apartment dwellers and can be put together for about $1000.

Comment Human society is prejudiced! Really? (Score 2) 304

Years ago I was playing with a personality analysis application. You answered a number of questions and it told you about your problems, yadda, yadda. Naturally it said I was insecure and a loser.

So just for grins, I ran through it answering as I would if I were the biggest jerk I could imagine. It came back saying I was a shining example of a human being. Almost Godlike.

I told a friend about this and she suggested I run it again with the same answers, only instead saying I was a woman. A woman giving the exact same answers was said to be a major bitch, irritating, neurotic, etc...

The point here is that there is no truly objective Reality. Google's search engine is just software and like any other observer, interacts with what is being observed.

Comment Re:Not as big a deal nowadays (Score 1) 50

I'd love to switch back to broadcast, but we didn't even get the old signals very well at our house. I can't imagine the HD broadcasts reach us at all.

I live in the San Francisco area and am a home owner. I put up a good roof mounted antenna and get a good signal. If you don't get a good signal where you are and have tried a good roof mounted antenna , then you're stuck. Bummer man.

Comment Re:Amazing cheap loudspeakers (Score 1) 135

I've been an audiophile since Nixon was president. At one time or another I've owned most all of the different technologies in loudspeakers - horns, dome diaphrams, satellite/sub-woofer combo, magnetic planar, electrostatics and now, open baffle. Stats are wonderful, but have their issues. Flat panet stats and magnetics both have awful high frequency dispersion. You have to sit in the sweet spot. Stand up and the high end disappears and they sound like an AM radio. Walk around the room and you have the same problem. I solved that problem with my Magnepan loudspeakers by adding a ribbon tweeter crossed over at 10khz.

The stats I had were full-range curved diaphram loudspeakers made by my buddy in the San Francisco area. He's the same one who did the thing with the Sound Exciters and foam core. The stats had wonderful clarity and detail, but just didn't image well in my room. I also had to add some DIY sub-woofers to get some low-end. My buddy is also the guy who introduced me to the open baffle designs of Siegfried Linkwitz, a retired HP audio engineer. Visit his website at:

Linkwitz Lab

There's a ton of information there about loudspeaker design that will take you days and weeks to plow through. This guy is the real deal audio engineer, not the usual hi-end snake-oil salesman.

I now run Siegfried's Orion design which has a similar tonal balance to my old stats, but also image much, much better. I made that switch about 9 years ago. Siegfried's latest designs are even better and are well worth consideration for anyone who wants incredibly great sound at a price we mere mortals can afford. I've always been a guy with champagne taste and a beer budget. Many of my projects have been DIY.

His LX521 design is the successor to my Orions and is extraordinary. They perform as well as any speaker at any price. You can build them for about $3000 and then have to add in the cost of 10 channels of amplification at 60 wpc. There are 12 channel amps from B&K and ATI that cover this quite well for a reasonable amount of money. You could also build 10 channels of chip amp for a modest amount of money.

Oh. One other thing. My speaker cables are 14 gauge zip cord I got from Parts Express. And I still consider myself to be an audiophile...

Comment Re:Amazing cheap loudspeakers (Score 1) 135

My buddy was running 1/2" thick foam core. It really is available, though your local art supply store may not have it in stock. has 1/2" foam core at their website. The point of 1/2" thickness is to get as much rigidity as possible in your diaphram. You could also probably get away with gluing up two 1/4" pieces. As a 2 ply laminate, that might provide even greater rigidity.

Comment Amazing cheap loudspeakers (Score 3, Interesting) 135

I've got a friend who's a cabinet maker and loudspeaker designer. For years he crafted full-range curved diaphram electrostatic loudspeakers. Nowadays he's into horns. One day I dropped by his shop and he blew me away with something he'd been doing with Dayton Audio Sound Exciters (well, that's what they're called today on Amazon's web site). They're transducers.

Get yourself two 2' x 3' pieces of 1/2" thick piece of foam core from an art supply store. Attach two of these Dayton Audio Sound Exciters to each of them. Wire them in parallel and connect them to an amplifier. The tricky part is that you have to suspend them in mid-air. Hang them from your ceiling or something. The sound you'll get out of them is very, very good - especially considering you'll have less than $75 in the whole project. I'd put it equal stuff you'd spend about $1000 to $1500 at Best Buy.

They aren't what I'd call extreme hi-end, but they sound much, much better than anyone would think. Would make for a great garage or shop system.

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