So as some of you may know, I'm into retro and vintage computing. Just recently I took the AMD K6 machine I had been using for Windows 98, and I wiped the hard drive and put MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows for Workgroups on it. Remember the early '90s, folks?
Anyways, I had mouse issues in Windows. The mouse pointer would appear right in the center, but wouldn't move. I tried different mice (I was using the PS/2 port), different drivers, nothing helped.
Then I thought, "Hmm. I do have a Microsoft serial mouse in my box o' supplies, maybe I should try that."
So I plugged it in. Still nothing. Hmm.
Well, don't worry, this has a happy ending. I had to go into the BIOS and set the serial port to AUTO, and then in Windows I had to choose a driver that listened to COM1."
Presto! Working mouse!
So take it from me. You might need to use Card File again some day. Be prepared.
So I don't know how often y'all get called by tech support scammers, but a couple days ago they achieved a new record in our house. They were calling almost all day -- and at one point toward late evening, there were *SIX* messages on our answering machine all from the same outfit claiming to warn me about a breach in my iCloud account.
Is it getting worse?
Made this up myself.
Picture Family Feud: Steve Harvey says, "We surveyed 100 married women and asked them what about their husbands do they wish was longer?"
Their attention span.
I'm used to getting tech support scam calls, but the one I got the other day threatened me with one thing I hadn't heard before. Not only would I lose my files and all that stuff if I didn't call them back, but my PC would actually -- get this -- become "obsolete."
That's a new one. Would they somehow, remotely, downclock my CPU to 500 MHz and disable 75% of my RAM?
Hey everyone. I'm posting this on behalf of my coworker who is having trouble helping his nephew.
His nephew is looking for a computer monitor that will pair up with the 120 Hz output of the Series S, IOW, a monitor with HDMI 2.1 I guess.
Do any exist? I guess DisplayPort is more common?
If not, can a proper conversion be done using adapters and/or conversion boxes?
My coworker linked this article to me, which suggests it's not particularly straightforward:
Now, I assume this would be less of a problem if a TV was sought after instead, but I guess he wants a monitor.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Wish me luck guys. I'll be spamming my F5 key tomorrow at 11 AM. Series S for me, even though at first I thought I wanted the X.
Will I see any of you out there?
Anyway, what's with this prefix "pre"? Pre-order, pre-existing, pre-boarding.
How do you order something before you order it?
Hey all. Just wondering if anybody saw the introduction of the Nvidia RTX 3000 series earlier today. I watched pretty much all of it -- some of it bored me, but most of it looked like a really interesting peek at a promising future, and the new cards seem very powerful. But I also got frustrated at how much technical info I had trouble understanding.
Anyway, I don't know if I'm upgrading to one of those new cards anytime soon (I wouldn't mind a 3070), but the future looks bright IMO. If that new "marbles" demo is anything to go by, we are at the start of something really big, because that was all done in real time, not rasterized.
Hi guys. So how would you answer this one?
My guess is that Amazon is going to use this data to start their own line of kitten boxes and undercut the little guy.
Hey everyone. So correct me if I'm wrong, but for those of us using the Microsoft launcher on our Android phones, it just got overhauled, correct?
So here's something weird that happened with mine. After it installed I noticed that it "re-created" a group I had once deleted called "Productivity." And in that group were a couple of icons; one was a shortcut to Todoist (which I no longer use, I now use Microsoft To Do), and I forget what the other one was. But the funny thing is, when I tapped that group to open it, it didn't open the group, it opened the eBay app!
Bizarre. So I just deleted that group and re-pinned the eBay app.
Anyone else experiencing any issues?
Hi guys. Since I’m typing this on my iPad I’ll be brief. Given what we know so far — and I know it’s not that much yet — do you think going from an Xbox One X to the Lockhart (assuming it exists) will still be an upgrade if you’re on a 4K TV?
Hey all. I'll ask this here too just in case I don't get a response over at the Linux Mint forums.
What can I expect as far as driver installation when I upgrade the GT 730 in my Linux Mint 64-bit machine (19.3) to a GTX 1650 -- is it going to be automatic, or will I have to do some manual updating. After all it's quite a generational leap.
Greetings all. If you're interested, please try out the new game I published to the Microsoft Store. It's a combination of soccer and pong, and was created with Unity.
I forget exactly how I reached the listing for this on Amazon. I just felt instant nostalgia when I saw it though. I would have loved to have this back in the day. I did have a book by Peter Norton, but this one seems more thorough. I don't have any ambitious plans or anything, but it's nice to look through as a reminder of how things once worked.
Hi all. Having more spare time lately finally allowed me to finish my first game in Python, a simple craps simulator.
If you're interested, check it out at https://github.com/msdos622wasfun/Mini-Craps
Hi all. I assume everyone here is taking advantage of the stay-at-home edicts and maybe doing some programming that they otherwise wouldn't be? Or maybe some of you at least?
For whatever reason I realized that I can't say yet that I've ever completed a game in either C or C++, even though I have exposure to those languages. But I downloaded three different SDKs -- SDL, Allegro, and SFML, and got to know the basics of all three. Cool stuff! Now it's just a matter of deciding what to make, and which framework to use.
Anybody here have any experience with these libraries?
How about coding in C or C++ ... you guys like Visual Studio the best, or do you prefer alternatives like Code::Blocks?
I think Code::Blocks is extremely nice, however Microsoft's offerings in this department as of late aren't too shabby of course.
Back in the early DOS days, I heard that Microsoft's big compilers for languages like C were a bit ... cruddy compared to others like Borland's.
(Yes, I know what you're thinking. C? What is this, 1992?)
Hi all. Anybody here from the Midwest U.S. or East Coast get hammered with snow? Good thing I have Big Bertha (my snowthrower), I had to deal with about 8 inches this morning.
So lately I've been eyeing that mini Commodore 64 thing, and thinking that it would be a cool retro gadget to simulate a C64.
But then I started thinking about Raspberry Pi's again (I've kind of wanted one for a while now), and I thought, why not just use a Pi to emulate everything under the sun?
So this morning I took a trip to my local Micro Center and purchased a Pi 3 B+ kit.
This thing is so cool! It was easy to set up too. I can't wait to load RetroPie on it (I have to get another microSD card though).
Of course, I can also see myself playing around with the other features -- Python, Scratch, maybe some breadboard shenanigans.
So I'm not sure if Paul or anyone has discussed this yet on this site, but I've been thinking about it lately.
I own an Xbox One X, and I think the visuals are fantastic and, well, I don't really notice frame rate issues.
But, I've read that the Jaguar (is that what it is?) CPU, even though it's a little better than the one in the regular Xbox One, is kind of holding the GPU in the console back.
Think that's true?
I don't know, my understanding is that, for the most part, games generally rely on the GPU more anyway, so maybe it isn't an issue, but of course, the two go hand-in-hand because you need a fast CPU to feed the GPU the data that it needs.
Well my Game Pass Ultimate benefits are really paying for themselves. I've never played Halo before, so now that it's available I jumped at this opportunity.
There was a thread a few days ago about download issues from the Microsoft Store (I want to play on PC), which I did experience a little, but it did finish with only one glitch along the way.
So an hour ago I decided to fire it up, and unfortunately when I was in the settings changing my key bindings ... CRASH!
Oh no! But, I just relaunched the game, and everything was fine.
I finished the first couple of missions. I have to say ... I can't think of anything not to like. Interesting story, good pacing, sound/music.
The visuals are pretty darn good for a game that's been around for a long time. I would say, the remastering was done well. It looks about as good as a 2010/2011 game with enhanced details can look in 2019. Recent titles are a bit more impressive, but that's to be expected.
Great time to be a gamer!
What do you think guys? Worth the risk?
Hi again all. So I installed Steam on my new Dell Inspiron so I could see how well it could handle some gaming, and I thought I'd share the results, because I'm sure you guys are just salivating for some info.
Well, the reason I think this is interesting is because of the fact that it's integrated graphics. The Core i5 in the machine has UHD 620 graphics, so obviously I wasn't expecting too much, but here's what I discovered: I installed Unreal Tournament 3, set the resolution to 1600 x 900, and the details to medium, and the result? Between 30 and 40 frames per second most of the time, with dips to the upper 20's when there were a lot of explosions going on and stuff.
I guess you could say I'm rather pleased, because I don't think of this as a gaming laptop obviously (it's really not marketed or meant to be one). But UT3 is probably my favorite game of all time, and the fact that it plays it well with a few compromises makes me pretty happy. Not only that, it makes me believe that some of the other classic games that I love that don't tax the GPU as much, such as Left 4 Dead or UT2004, are going to run without any issues whatsoever.
So anyway, feel free to share your recent gaming experiences on portable hardware.
Hi all. So I just sold my existing laptop and bought a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1. Nice machine, but I'm trying to decide if the stickers on the chassis bother me enough to try to take them off. I fear the gunk that it's going to leave behind. You guys equally frustrated by this kind of thing? How have you dealt with it? I assume something like Goo Gone should do the trick ... I might have to look to see if I have some.
If there's one advantage you get from buying a computer from the Microsoft or Apple Stores, it's the lack of stickers.
The Dell software tools that are provided are mostly useful I think, but I sure as heck couldn't care less about the McAfee Anti-Virus.
Came across this recently and hadn't seen it before, don't know if you have, but it's great.
So I don't know about you guys, but I was one of about six people in the world that purchased both an OUYA *and* a Razer Forge TV -- these were Android-based micro-consoles. Now they're paper weights, because in case you hadn't heard, their servers have been permanently shut down, rendering them basically useless. Yes, one can probably root these things and use them to run emulators or something, but I'm not interested in doing that.
It's too bad though, because I thought they had potential. They were cheap, but not shoddy, and I've had a lot of fun playing local multiplayer games with them with my niece and nephew.
So what to do? Well, I went out this weekend and bought an Nvidia Shield. Now we're talking! Amazing how much power this thing packs within a tiny box. And it seems like many of these have been sold, so I'm hoping support for it won't disappear like some other Android initiatives.
Thoughts? Anyone else out there enjoying their Shield?
You know those moments you have with technology where you say, "Ah, now I get it?" Just had one the other day and I wanted to know if others feel the same about this particular type of upgrade.
I owned a 60-Hz 1440p Dell monitor for about six years, but I upgraded to a 32" Gsync monitor made by LG (also 1440p). 144 Hz as opposed to 60.
Boy oh boy, this does seem to be a case of "can't go back."
Mostly because of the fluidity and the fact that I have 5" more of physical screen real estate. DOOM looks amazing.
The only sticking point is the fact that it's a VA panel, which I seem to notice doesn't have *quite* as good viewing angles as IPS. It's not a deal-breaker though.
So how about it my PC-gaming friends? Do you concur? :D
So my day didn't even start out that great to begin with, since my car wouldn't start and I had to have it towed to my mechanic. But about 45 minutes ago I got a call from a scammer, and I really lost my patience. Usually when they call I just say, "I know this is a scam, stop calling," and hang up, but this time I decided to chew the guy out. Since he was smart enough to corner me with logic -- he asked me how I knew this was a scam -- I just retorted with the same logic, saying, hey, maybe unicorns are real? I've never seen one, but you can't know about that which you don't see, correct? Anyway, I kept telling him how good and clever the guy was (my voice getting louder and louder), and said, yeah, yeah, my computer has problems, sure it does. The icing on the cake was toward the end of the call when he launched his last salvo: He claimed he had my PIN. I said, sure you do. Stop calling. And hung up.
Sheesh ... ya know, I'm normally a mild-mannered person, and I was a little shocked afterward that I reacted that way. But you can only take so much, you know what I mean?
Be on the lookout fellas, these guys are out there.
Hi all. So obviously there's been a lot of talk lately about Google's cloud gaming push, or Stadia as it's called. And one of the things that gets mentioned is the doubt that goes along with it, seeing as how it's going to be such an uphill battle vs. the established competitors. But one thing keeps popping up in my mind -- now, I'm not a networking admin or expert or anything, but remember back in the day when Netware was pretty much the defacto standard, but then over time in the '90s, Windows NT Server took over and became the dominant platform? I guess what I'm trying to say is, isn't this a similar situation? Isn't it just possible that with enough patience, over time the tables could be turned and Google could somehow come out as the winner here?
Just had to share this. I've been wanting to obtain a retro gaming PC for some time now, and I finally got one -- in fact, the circumstances and end result couldn't have been much better. My coworker told me he had an old PC sitting in his basement, which he said I could have, and I said, heck ya, I'll take it off your hands if you want. So he finally brought it in, and I took it home, which included the CPU, monitor, and a box o' stuff (keyboard, mouse, etc.).
Well, I couldn't be more pleased. Turns out it's got an AMD K6-2 @ 475 MHz. The CRT monitor has turned a little yellow, but it's not horrible. It works. It did contain a 64 MB stick of RAM and an additional 32 MB stick of RAM, but I swapped both of those out for a 128 MB stick that I bought online. (That's MEGA-bytes guys ... remember those days? :D )
Unfortunately, right out of the box, the hard drive died on me, so for storage I am using a Compact Flash to IDE adapter. Works like a charm, and for Windows 98, it's really fast. (That part made me nervous, I admit, because I had never used something like that before.)
It's got onboard video and sound, but I made a couple of upgrades. Turns out that I still had my Diamond Monster 3D II accelerator board sitting on a shelf, so I installed that, and now I've got a nice 3dfx Voodoo2 capable machine. I also purchased a Sound Blaster AWE64 online, brand new, and installed that. Works great.
Another thing I bought, that I found brand new, sealed, is a Gravis GamePad Pro. What a great controller -- I wish I had something like this back in the day, but what I had was some no-name controller that I bought at a local trade show for five bucks or something like that.
My coworker was able to supply the original Windows 98 install CD and the motherboard CD, and everything was pretty painless to set up. It's not 98SE, unfortunately, but I can live with that.
The machine was surprisingly clean when I opened it up, and is in real good condition. (The keyboard was a bit gooey, and I had to clean that.)
Now on to the REALLY good stuff ... the games. I am having a ball with this time machine, going back and re-living all the classics. So far I've installed the following, most of which I bought my own copies of back in the day that I kept all these years: Doom, Quake II, Duke Nukem 3D, FIFA 96 and 97, Need for Speed I and IIse, Links 386 Pro, and Virtual Pool.
On eBay I also bought copies of Quake I and Redneck Rampage. Quake I is installed with the GLQuake patch so it uses the 3dfx card, but I haven't installed Redneck Rampage yet.
Some other titles I want to get include Heretic, Hexen, Half Life, Wolfenstein 3D, Rise of the Triad, and others. GOG.com is a good source for some stuff like that.
I even installed my registered version of WinZIP that came on a floppy disk in the late '90s!
I'll be busy for a while.
Some other trivia: It came with a fax/modem card installed, which I removed, and some literature for AOL.
Here are a couple of photos. Not pictured are the speakers that were also included, including subwoofer.
Thanks for reading! (As a token of gratitude to my coworker, I bought him a $25 Amazon card.)
In fact, I just got done writing the ... kernel!
Have a great 2019 everyone.
Funny how things work out.
So I *did* order a refurbished 2017 MacBook Air ... but fate entered the equation. The shipment was delayed, and when I realized how much better the 2018 MacBook Air seemed to be based on online videos and articles, I canceled the original order and ordered the new one.
Typing on it now. My first Apple laptop (I've owned Mac minis before and a circa 2003 iMac).
And what can I say? The thing is bloody amazing, in my humble opinion. I upgraded from an Asus Transformer Book 2-in-1 that I bought about three and a half years ago, which I finally decided was a bit too sluggish and a bit too small.
I ran the Octane benchmark, and it's pleasing to me that the results were only slightly below my Core i5 4690K gaming rig. I'd say that's good for a very thin and light laptop.
So nice to have some macOS in my life again, as this will be used for portable desktop computing. This is two home runs in a row for me, my most other recent one being a refurbished 2017 iPad.
But ... my main tower at home running Windows 10 is still going to be my heavy lifter. Heavier gaming, content production, programming. Still, I want to port what I can to the Mac using my cross-platform tools and use things like GarageBand again, which I've missed. I've got MS Office on here, all my cloud storage accounts, my favorite browsers, e-mail set up, Todoist, LastPass, etc.
What a world we live in now, where you can sip from the cup of the best the different platforms offer and make it all work together.
Thank you for reading. Other happy MacBook owners please chime in. :)
So yeah, I'm real late on this trend. But I thought it was interesting that this technology is still available if you wanted to use it badly enough.
When I first got on the Internet, it was circa 1994/95, and it was at the cusp of the emerging web as we *basically* know it today (obviously things have come a long way). I knew about Gopher back then, but I don't think I ever tried it out. Or, maybe I did and I just don't remember.
But as the screen shot below shows, it still exists! Hey, it's fast, and something tells me not as strewn with ads everywhere.
Hi again all. Sorry to spam the forums with my posts (I think this is my third in three days), but...
Anyway, after having recently discovered that my Comcast Xfinity service comes with mobile included, I decided to switch over to that from TracFone. I ordered a Motorola Moto e5 Play (I know that's an entry-level phone, but it's still better than what I had).
It arrived yesterday, but I couldn't finish setting it up. At first it seemed like it didn't want to boot up at all, but then finally I got to the setup screen and got as far as entering my Google credentials. After that, no matter what I did, the screen showed nothing at all, blank, nada, zip. (I let it charge for a good hour before I tried turning it on. For the brief period when the screen *was* working, I saw the battery indicator at 100%)
But what's funny is, I think the phone is actually turning on, but it's the *screen* that's the problem. Because I can hear it say "Hello Moto!" (apparently this is something that the Moto phones do, and there are threads on how to turn that off), but the screen shows nothing.
So after doing some research, I found out that it's possible for the backlight to go bad on a phone. So I guess what I wanted to ask you guys is, have you ever been shipped a phone with a problem like this out of the box? Or any other major issue where you had to return it immediately?
Regardless, I called support and they're shipping me a replacement.
I was just bummed, because I thought I'd be spending last night setting it up and playing with it.
For those of you that use Microsoft accounts on multiple Windows 10 machines like I do, do you experience a delay in the amount of time it takes for one of the machines to notice that you chose a different desktop theme (from the store) on another machine?
Seems like with me, sometimes the change can happen as soon as I log into the 2nd computer (and I can't think of any reason why it shouldn't), but other times, it literally takes days or up to two weeks.
For example, a couple of weeks ago, on my gaming machine at home, I chose an autumn-oriented desktop theme. But it wasn't until yesterday, here at work, where I'm on my personal laptop, where the theme finally kicked in.
Hi all. Well, now that the forums are basically back to normal (thanks for taking care of that, staff).
Anyway, anybody here every get into the game Super Meat Boy? I think the fact that I saw it in that one documentary is the reason I bought it.
Now, I'm not normally into platformers, but this one really has charm. But it's funny ... I found my "attitude" toward the game was changing minute by minute as I was playing it, depending on how good I was at that particular moment or whether I sucked. And it's seems like, that's how it is with games in general, and how it colors our perception ... is there a relationship between difficulty of a task and whether we're fond of that task?
Ultimately, I really started getting into it, and I have to say I really like it, even though it can get challenging.
So yeah, after getting to know the Intel Compute Stick at work where we are starting to use them for digital signage, I decided to get one of my own.
Anybody here got one? I really think they're very cool. I connected it to the TV where my Xbox One is connected, and it's nice to use every once in a while when I want to use a nice big screen and just browse the web or watch YouTube or whatever. Or stream music.
Okay, it would be nice if performance-wise it could do better, but honestly for $120 I can't complain. General app usage and simple games are no problem.
It just amazes me they can cram an entire PC in that thing.
Guys (and gals),
Don't, just don't, keep coffee near your PC.
After years of being accident free, I finally did it again and spilled wake up juice all over my Microsoft Sculpt keyboard.
The hunt for a new keyboard/mouse combo now begins ... so many options ... I wonder what I'll get?
(Right now I'm using an old spare, but I'd rather have a new set of something, even if it's not the same make/model.)
So this evening I enjoyed a session of some Toxikk deathmatch, and I have a GTX 970. There once was a time when I would upgrade my graphics card with every new generation, but heck, as far as I can tell, I'm still gaming okay even at 1440p (granted, with some games, I can't max out every setting).
But gee ... with the advent of the new Nvidia cards, I'm now two generations behind! And I'm starting to get that "feeling."
But ... why should it bother me as long as my games work?
Any of you guys still content with the 900 series and earlier? How much longer do you think you'll stick it out?
(And I shouldn't even be entertaining this idea ... I just bought a Korg Pa700 keyboard that I have to pay off.)
Okay, so some of you may have seen a post I submitted recently about a free mini PC that I got from work, on which I ended up installing Linux Lite.
And since I was playing around with that, in addition to (at work) some Intel Compute Sticks that we had to set up to take over the role of digital signage, I decided to finally go ahead and buy a Compute Stick of my own at Micro Center (I’ve kind of wanted one for a long time now, ever since they came on the market, but you know how it can be advantageous to wait for Rev 2).
Anyway, the Compute Stick was extremely easy to set up and is cool and everything, but what I really started to become curious about was comparing the performance between the Compute Stick and the mini PC.
I’ll get to the results in a minute, but keep in mind, the specs of the two devices:
Linux mini PC — 1.73 GHz Celeron from 2007, 2 GB of RAM
Intel Compute Stick — Atom X5, also 2 GB of RAM
So what did they score? This surprised me:
Linux mini PC — About 6,600
Intel Compute Stick — About 4,600
Now, neither of these scores is anything to brag about of course, but to me it was kind of a head scratcher. A single core Celeron that is 10 years old came up with a better number than a late model Atom? What do you guys think? Is that about right?
Anyway, I don’t care, because they’re both fun to use connected to my TV, but I still thought this was interesting.
For kicks, if you’re interested in some other scores for comparison’s sake, here are the results on some of my other devices:
Main Core i5 gaming rig — 36,000
Core 2 Duo Linux tower — 18,000
2017 iPad 9.7″ — 16,000
Asus 2-in-1 — 16,000
Nexus 7 tablet — 3,000
My $60 LG Android phone — 1,500 (lol, I think that’s hilarious)
It was hot here in southeastern Michigan on July 4th which probably comes as no surprise to most of you, so my mother asked me to ask Alexa (via the Echo Dot in our kitchen) what the temperature was.
"87 degrees," she replied.
We both thought that was inaccurate, as it felt hotter to us, so I said to Alexa, "You're full of sh**."
She replied, "I'm definitely not going to respond to THAT."
Good on you, girl.
(Don't get me wrong, most of the time it's a very useful device.)
Greetings again all.
Got the little mini PC pictured below from work (it was hooked up to a plasma TV for digital signage and is no longer needed).
Had to clean it up, looks good as new now (sorry for the picture, my entry-level Android phone is not known for its camera).
As far as I can tell based on a search of its model number, it's probably got a Celeron or Core Duo in it, maybe 1 or 2 GB of RAM, probably a very small hard drive. There was a Windows XP sticker on it. (It actually has a FireWire port if you can believe that.)
I brought it home but haven't hooked it up yet.
Any suggestions on what I could do with it? I want to see if I can give it life. I have spare peripherals. I'm thinking of putting Puppy Linux on it. I'm sure some of you will suggest media server or something like that.
(I have an old copy of Vista around ... dare I? Hmm...)
Hi again guys.
So I'm looking for you guys to tell me what I want to hear, that I did the right thing here. As you might know by a recent post I made, I just got a refurbished iPad.
I wanted to create a new video for my YouTube channel, and I thought, what the heck, why not try using the iPad, since it records at 1080p, and the device I normally use (which is the only thing I have) is a Flip recorder, which does 720p. (Not knocking it; it's nice for what it is, but they don't even make these things anymore.)
But, wow. Have you guys ever tried using a tablet like this? It's a bit ... awkward? I have a mount/adapter that lets me put the iPad on top of my tripod, so I did that. It actually works, but ... then I had to figure out how to orient the darn thing, which was more awkwardness, because it's this big flat slab instead of an ordinary camera.
So I ended up recording some video, and it worked. Now for some more fun. Transferring it to my PC.
I installed iTunes, but no matter what, I could not get either one of my Windows 10 PCs to establish a connection with the iPad. What worked: Uploading the video to iCloud, and downloading it again on the PC.
Success. And the video quality is ... okay. Kind of grainy. (Don't know if that's my fault or not.) Can I just chalk this up to the fact that this is a mobile device? I can only assume that maybe video recording on a tablet is usually an afterthought.
But then I had an epiphany later that night. I just decided, what the hell, why don't I check out Best Buy's website to see if there's a new digital 1080p camcorder I can afford. And sure enough, there was an entry by Sony just under the $200 mark that had positive reviews everywhere I looked. Ordered it.
I guess the point is ... I can only assume that getting the right tool for the job is the way to go. The quality MUST be better. And more straightforward to import/manipulate.
I pick it up tomorrow -- looking forward to it very much.
I *am* doing the right thing, right? Right? :-)
P.S. Still love the iPad.
Anybody going to snatch up some titles?
I can't say no to Super Meat Boy for like a buck and a half.
So I don't know about you guys, but I can now officially say I've owned my share of tablets.
It all started with a Samsung Galaxy Tab maybe five or six years ago (sold it), then a Surface RT (traded it in for credit for something else), a 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab (sold it to a coworker who now only uses it as a remote, it's not good for much else), a Google Nexus 7, and an Amazon Fire HD 8.
But now, as my first iOS device ever, I bought a refurbished 2017 9.7" iPad directly from the Apple Store. Since I was having issues with the two other tablets that I still have (the Nexus and the Fire), I wanted to get an iPad so I could see what the fuss was all about.
And I hate to sound like an Apple sycophant here, but damn, all I keep thinking since I got it is, "Where have you been all my life?"
Now, I know the iPad, when it was first released, probably had humble roots, much like the original iPhone kind of seems ancient compared to the current crop of iPhones. But the experience as it stands now, just blows me away. Everything about the tablet is such high quality … the build, the OS, the performance, the ecosystem. I'm an amateur musician, and I'm very excited about trying out the various music production apps that are available, which is something that was lacking on my Android tablets.
Some of the other tablets I've owned I liked … my first Samsung Galaxy Tab was okay, the Surface RT was … okay, but the platform fizzled, as you all know … the Nexus 7, was a very nice Android tablet.
And even the Amazon Fire … for the *money*, it's pretty good, especially if you're heavily invested in the Amazon world. And I sideloaded the Google Play store onto it, which was a nice bonus.
But man … I just couldn't put up with the problems any more. Especially poor Bluetooth performance with my wireless headphones. And the almost constant pausing of video and/or music playback. My iPad suffers from none of that.
So I guess I now understand why the iPad is kind of considered King of the Hill as far as tablets are concerned.
Now only that, but the refurb I got was $100 less than the current price of the new model that replaced it, which only differs (I think) in a slightly newer processor and pencil support. I think that's a pretty good deal for an Apple product. It was even packaged as if it was a new product, in the traditional elegant Apple way.
Do you guys agree/disagree? Think iPad is the best, or does it have any serious competition? I'm interested in your thoughts.
Well you could have knocked me over the head with a feather.
So the Windows 10 1803 update seems to have broken printing on my main gaming rig, or at least I think it has. And normally I don't have too many issues with Windows updates.
But, in the meantime I had to look for alternatives. I have my Linux machine (Lubuntu), so I plugged my HP All-In-One into it, and after clicking my way through a few dialog boxes, it said it was ready to go.
Printed out a test document, and ... all is well.
Granted, the process was a little "Linuxy" in that I still think Windows presents friendlier wizards, but this was nothing that a user with sufficient intelligence couldn't handle.
Got to admit, seems like Linux is getting better all the time.
It's ........................ not horrible!
Haha, seriously, I think it's a nice makeover. Took a couple days to get used to it, but I think it's a change for the better.
Hey everyone. So something unexpected happened to my main Intel Core i5 gaming rig last week. Every time I turned it on, I would get a message stating that the BIOS has reset itself to its default values. The only custom setting I really had, though, was my RAM speed, which I bump up to 1866 because that's what it was rated for. So I set it back to that, but then, next boot, yep, BIOS goes back to default again with the same message.
So I did some research, and all signs seemed to point to my BIOS battery needing to be replaced. I happen to have a bunch of those CR2032 button batteries on hand, so I cracked open my case, took out the old battery, installed the new one, and my PC has been fine since. (That was tricky, though ... at first I wasn't sure how the darn thing was supposed to come out, but I realized that if I took a very small screwdriver and sort of pushed down on the edge of the battery where it touches this "tab," then all of sudden POP it flew right out of its socket.)
So problem solved, but I guess my point is, sheesh, I had this PC custom built at Micro Center not much more than three years ago. Isn't it a bit early for the battery to go? As far as I can remember, I never had to do this. However, I read that if what they put in when the system is built isn't good to begin with, it's possible that it won't last long.
It's a relief though, because that BIOS message had me worrying that something was going to go really south with the system.
Anybody here experiencing blank tiles on their Start menu/screen after the 1803 update? I did, and at first there seemed to be no obvious way to correct the issue. But I just tried something ... resizing them to something else (either larger or smaller), then resizing them again back to what they originally were. I rebooted, and it stuck. <crosses fingers>
Today's tip brought to you by Bud, the King of Beers.
Hey everyone. I was just wondering, what, if any, major online services did you guys belong to back in the day before the Interwebz basically took over. Me, I joined CompuServe for a little while in the mid '90s, and I remember how amazing I thought it was. The thing I liked about it the most was how it didn't really insult your intelligence. It did seem to attract the more technical types of folks. It even had a gateway to the Internet, and I think that's the first time I really ever surfed the web. I ended up canceling my account, however, when I switched over to a local ISP.
Of course there was AOL, Prodigy, probably others that I can't think of right now.
Some insight from any of you that might have used a service like CompuServe in the '80s would definitely be very interesting. Back then it couldn't have been a graphical front end, could it? At least not at the beginning?
Hey everyone. Yesterday as I was reading an extremely long thread on Reddit about the Windows April 2018 update, there was also a sub-discussion about the warning you now get when you run Paint about it eventually moving to the store.
So naturally, this sparked a debate, with some people claiming that it *should* be removed because it's so old and Paint 3D is better, while others claim it does no harm to stay because it's still a great, fast tool to use when you want to do really simple graphical operations on an image or photo (like cropping).
So this caused me to fire up Paint 3D and play with it a bit, and I started thinking that, okay, maybe this isn't so bad, that I could more than likely get used to it. Yes, it's "app-ified," if there is such a word, and it does more than what a lot of people need with the inclusion of these goofy 3D features, but can't those just be ignored?
I also think the old version of Paint should not go away completely for people that still want to use it, hence it moving to the store. But what do you guys think? Is this just a case of us not wanting to get rid of old habits?
Oopsie. Something happened to my original post, it disappeared. I wrote in detail how my main system last night went all BSoD on me as I tried to install 1803 via Windows Update. After the third try (unplugging various peripherals and updating my Nivida driver, etc.), I finally decided to use the Media Creation Tool, and then it worked fine.
Some alternative combination of 0's and 1's? lol
Okay, so. I know this has been analyzed quite a bit already, but. Since I'm kind of a newcomer to the world of smart phones, I would need input from people in the know (you guys).
Title pretty much says it all. I'll never forget the time when I mentioned to my brother-in-law, who is an electrical engineer and no stranger to tech, actually was surprised when I told him about the existence of Windows Phone. He didn't know there was such a thing.
So what was the deal? My understanding is that for the most part, when you walked into a typical cell-phone store, what you saw on display was all the shiny iPhones and a giant Android section. Windows Phone just wasn't pushed.
Was part of the problem just consumer recognition? I mean, I'm not saying Windows Phone deserved to be in 1st or 2nd place, but geeze. Seems like it always had really low numbers in the United States.
On the other hand, Microsoft was late responding to the iPhone, correct? And Android was free. Two giant hurdles.
Maybe this was the only way this could have turned out?
So, I was born on March 9, 1972.
It's nice to know Microsoft cares:
Bing: It's all you ever wanted in a search engine. And more.
So guys, how long do you typically hold on to your PCs, and generally, what kinds of things make you want to upgrade to the next greatest thing?
I ask because it finally happened ... I checked the "recommended requirements" for Star Wars Battlefront 2, and it said "Core i5 6600" ... whereas, I have a 4690K.
But for cryin' out loud, I'd be really, really lying to you if I said I wasn't happy with how my system is still performing (w/ 16 GB of RAM and GTX 970).
My laptop is an Asus 2-in-1 that I bought about 3 years ago, but geez ... it still works fine.
I even have a Google Nexus 7 tablet that I still use because ... well, it still works and is awesome.
Perhaps some of you might remember last year when I posted a link to Oh Christmas Tree, a rendition I recorded myself and uploaded to SoundCloud.
This year I decided to do Auld Lang Syne. Here is the link on SoundCloud if you are interested in listening to it. Have a Happy Holidays everyone.
Hello all. So if you may have seen my recent forum post about this, I recently purchased my first smart phone, an entry-level LG running Android. And although I have nothing against Android per se, my curiosity eventually got to the point where I decided to start piling it up with the Microsoft apps, such as the launcher, Cortana, Bing, OneNote, etc. (haven't installed their virtual keyboard yet). I was just wondering to what extent everyone here has been doing this to their phones as well, whether Android or iOS, and how you feel about doing that, whether you prefer the look and feel of the Microsoft apps versus the stock Android or iOS experience, etc.
I'm trying to figure out my motive for doing this, and I suppose it's a combination of the Microsoft fanboy inside of me plus the idea that I'm helping them sustain "some kind of" presence in mobile, even if it's just a software presence.
But I have to admit, I really think Microsoft's mobile apps are very nice.
It doesn't turn a phone into a Windows Phone, of course, but then that brings up that whole other can of worms that has already been discussed here. And it makes you wonder, would a phone that Microsoft sells that ran Android yet was completely replaced with a Microsoft skin actually be considered a Microsoft phone?
One can only ponder.
Hello fellow gamers,
Thoughts on this video?
My hope is this does not become typical of the new console. I have an original Xbox One (well, the Forza Edition), and it's not loud at all to me.
So. Where to begin.
I think ya'll will find this fascinating simply because of the inherent interest we have in statistical disparities. So here it is in a nutshell: I bought a new smartphone last week.
My ... first smartphone. And I'm 45 years old. And a tech enthusiast who has owned a variety of personal computers, laptops, tablets, game consoles, MP3 players, you name it.
Yes. Chalk it up to the fact that I was sticking to a simple principle, the notion that I *really* didn't think I needed one. What I was mainly concerned about was simply having something to make phone calls in the case of an emergency. I always thought, when I'm out and about, my first priority is to concentrate on the task at hand. If I was at the grocery store, I would be trying to decide between Cap'n Crunch or Cocoa Puffs, not checking Facebook.
Was there *ever* a time where I felt the need to look up something online when I was not at home? Not at first, but admittedly, that desire started to grow.
So I've been relying for many years now on feature phones. I've been a TracFone customer for a long time, and it suited my needs. The occasional call? Check. The occasional text? Check. Affordable? Check.
But I have to admit, recently, something happened. Things reached a boil, and I decided I wanted to upgrade to something better.
So I purchased a smartphone that made sense for *me*. Nothing fancy. In fact, it's another TracFone. Specifically, an LG Rebel 2, but it does run Android Marshmallow, and it's a step up in every way from what I had.
Okay, sure, it's an entry level phone. (If I had to be totally honest, I guess it could be called "low end," but that makes me feel so icky.) But here's the thing ... for my first smartphone, I don't think it *needs* to be more advanced than what it is.
I've been using it for a few days now, and it's ... fine. Maybe there's a little lag here and there, but overall the performance is okay. (It has a 1.1 GHz quad-core Snapdragon.) The internal storage is only 8 GB (yikes), but I added a 16 GB microSD card that I had laying around, and it's allowing me to move many (but not all) of the apps and games I've been downloading to that card. The screen quality is good. It's an attractive design and it's light. As far as I'm concerned, this qualifies as "good enough" for me personally.
So, sure, I won't be able to push this phone the way one would be able to with a flagship that had much higher specs. But that's okay -- I don't need it to do any heavy multitasking. Doing some Googling (or Binging), browsing websites, the occasional video, running a couple apps here and there. It's probably up to the task.
And the best thing about it is, since it still operates under the same TracFone payment system, I only pay for what I need. Over 1,700 of the minutes I had on my old phone were able to transfer over. I added 1,000 texts for $5. I then added 1 GB of data for $10 (I know that's not a lot, but I can always add more). It all gets rolled over as long as I don't miss my next deadline.
Now, I'm sure many of you may be reading this and kind of wondering how someone could put up with some of these ... limitations. That's because I have the feeling that the majority of the hard-core tech enthusiasts on this site are used to higher-end hardware based on more-or-less unlimited plans.
And I also must say, I have no problem with people buying what they want. Just because *I* don't have an iPhone 8/X or a Samsung Galaxy S8 doesn't mean that nobody should.
But I have to start somewhere, and I didn't want to go overboard with my first purchase (budget and income are factors). I have the feeling that down the road, I'll move up a tier. But this is fine for now. Hey, if I'm at home, I'll use the Wi-Fi, not the data.
What's so strange is that I think I *get* it now. I understand the purpose of this thing. It's a computer in your pocket that you can make your own and take almost anywhere. And I find myself now researching and reading articles about mobile computing as well as watching videos about various phones, even phones I know I'm not buying. It suddenly has become all so fascinating. (And believe me, it used to be extremely easy for my mind to wander whenever the conversation turned to phones.)
I was actually wondering if I could make the argument that for someone like me, it simply made *sense* to wait it out until the market became mature (like *really* mature, apparently). I'm not sure about that one, but it's an interesting idea to ponder. After all, look at other forms of personal computing technology. Maybe the first PCs were invented in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, but didn't it take almost two decades before they were commonplace in the average household?
Now, I still plan to stick to some serious guidelines. I refuse to use my phone while I'm driving, be it talking or texting. And I plan to obey the rules of smartphone etiquette. And I think we *all* need to disconnect now and then, go outside, and just get some fresh air.
But yeah, I'm glad I have one now. I'm glad I can communicate with the people in my life using this tool. And I'm glad I can now travel the information superhighway no matter where I am.
So thanks for reading. Hopefully others who are still holdouts might read this and have the same epiphany. Or not. At any rate, I'm just glad we live in such amazing times, and I hope that it keeps getting better.
One that I bought about 15 years ago that has a G3 processor, that is.
Yeah, took it along with an old CRT TV that I also wanted to unload to a nearby electronics recycling event this past weekend.
I used it up until about 2009 when I bought a Mac mini to replace it. Was my first real experience with a Mac. Started to learn my way around it. Ended up using it as my personal web server and did some MIDI stuff with it.
Anybody else here purchase one of these curvy guys back in the day? I wish mine was colored, like they originally were when they came out in the late '90s, but I think when I ordered mine all those cool colors were discontinued.
Honestly, I thought about the possibility of finding somebody who might want it, but there's nothing too special about this machine anymore, and I'm sure the version of OS X on there isn't supported (it's probably Jaguar or Panther, I think).
Hi everyone. So in the past, my relationship with Linux consisted mostly of running distros in virtual machines or dual-booting. But I finally decided to get a little more serious -- I purchased a refurbished Dell OptiPlex and put Ubuntu on it, so it's a dedicated machine.
The Dell came with a Core 2 Duo, 4 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB traditional (platter) hard drive. I put an additional 4 GB of RAM in it and also installed a dedicated (but entry-level) graphics card.
I've got to say, setting up was very easy and Ubuntu has been running well. The only criticism is it would be faster with an SSD, obviously, but I had to stop somewhere. Doing basic gaming on it is a piece of cake (I even have Steam installed).
I'm pleased with how popular apps are becoming more available. Spotify, for instance. And I can access other things via the web, like my OneNote notes.
So what's the point of all this? Tech curiosity, mainly, and to be able to say I'm familiar with more platforms than just Windows. Linux's UNIX underpinnings are quite fascinating the more I study it.
I've even started porting some of the games I've written to Linux. So this is the farthest I've ever gone with it. How about you guys -- are you curious about Linux, or do you use it yourself in your own life? How about those of you that prefer it and use it at home, and just Microsoft stuff at work? Any, heh, "switchers?"
Dined this evening at Taco Bell and purchased an Xbox One X giveaway meal.
Texted my code. Didn't win.
Oh, well. :-(
Okay, people. Let's put the cards on the table. I want cogent, detailed reasons why we have to move on from Win32 and/or .NET to whatever the next thing may be (UWP, or whatever).
Not trying to start any flames or war here either. :)
But I'm going through it in my own mind, and I'm not satisfied with just "out with the old, in with the new." Or nebulous reasons like "Win32 was for another era."
I was hoping we could shed light on the real technical reasons.
And I say this as someone who just recently published a simple game to the Windows 10 Store, a UWP app. Thing is, I wrote it in Clickteam Fusion, and it created the Visual Studio project for me. All I had to do was package it. I didn't see the nuts and bolts.
Come on now, don't be shy. Speak up! :-)
So if you have some spare time and are interested, I'd love it if you'd try out a new game I just wrote and put in the Windows Store. It's a UWP app, believe it or not, so now there's ... how many altogether? Seven? Hahahahaha...
But anyway, here's the link...
This is no AAA title of course, it's just a little something you can fire up to pass the time while you're waiting for your 4K Adobe videos to render. But I tried to do a good job.
So I work in a community college where I have to help people who use our systems in the classrooms, and the other day I came across an interesting one. The individual said things started to work once the "HTML cable" was plugged in to the laptop, and that in order for the system to turn on (and thus the projector hanging from the ceiling to cast an image), the DVD player needed to be turned on first.
HTML cable? That's a new one. :-)
And nothing is dependent on whether the DVD player is turned on. It doesn't provide power to other parts of the system.
But sometimes you just nod and go on with your day.
But hey, I admit, I don't know everything either. I bet if a mechanic tried to walk me through building my own engine or changing my own oil, I'd probably ask some silly questions too.
Anybody else got some recent humorous computer naivete to share?
Was on my Amazon Fire, then all of a sudden Wi-Fi goes out, and switching over to my Google Nexus 7 didn't help either. Our phone said "Check Tel Line."
Well, I figured it was going to be a brief outage due to the unpredictable weather we've been having lately, so I just said to heck with it, and grabbed my Zune for the rest of the night. (I don't have a smart phone, just a feature phone with no music on it.)
This morning, the problem still didn't go away yet. Turned on my gaming rig and couldn't connect to the Internet. Picked up the phone and there's a busy signal! Huh?
So I grabbed our last statement from Comcast with their phone number on it, and I was just about to call them on my TracFone, when all of a sudden -- *POOF* -- everything magically just started working again.
So guys -- how often do you experience outages?
This is mainly directed at Paul, but I'm sure it would appeal to most of us here.
Looks like there is a new documentary on the Amiga that recently came out.
Hi everyone. My 2016 Christmas music project is my personal rendition of the Peanuts version of "Oh Christmas Tree" that I created with a program called REAPER and a piano plug-in.
Here is a link to it on SoundCloud if you are interested in listening:
And the same music with accompanying video on my YouTube channel:
Thanks, hope you enjoy it, and Merry Christmas to all.
Was wondering, to all of you here who did programming back in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, what did you think of the Microsoft compilers and languages of the time versus the competition? Seemed like the two heavyweights were Microsoft and Borland, but I think there were others that were popular, like Watcom C.
As a hobbyist, I was in love with QuickBASIC at the time, but it had flaws compared to other comparable languages of its era, such as Turbo Pascal. Now that was a hit – and if I recall correctly, even Microsoft had their entry with Quick Pascal. Anybody here use that? Just didn’t eat into TP’s market share, but Windows 3.0 was on its way anyway, so…
When I went to junior college in the mid ‘90s and took C++, we used the Borland tools.
Of course, I was amazed when Microsoft finally fixed most of QuickBASIC’s problems and released the BASIC Professional Development System, but, I mean … Visual Basic, so…
(Topic posted in General Discussion because of its antiquated subject matter, as opposed to the Microsoft section.)
Just to let you know, I'm with you on the fight against scammers that call you on the phone who claim to be "helping you with your Windows PC."
A while back I got a call like that, so I decided to have a little fun. I ended up telling the guy that I have a Commodore 64 and that I was connecting to the web with a modem. When he heard that, he said "Oh, I see, sir. Well, have a nice day."
I've actually gotten multiple calls from those people, and my usual response is, "I know this is a scam, please don't call again."
Hard to know what difference one person can make, but we need to let them know we're on to them.
Semi-related, I once picked up the phone when I didn't recognize the number (assuming it was a telemarketer), so I decided to be a wise guy and I said, "Domino's Pizza." The guy said, "Oh really? What's your address?"
I paused because I didn't think he'd call my bluff, so I started saying something like, "123 Main Street" or something nonsensical, and he interrupted by saying, "Oh, I see you had to think about it, well tell ya what, we'll call back at a later time..."
And I said, "Yeah, yeah" and hung up.
Modern life and the stuff we put up with.