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  1. Xanthe_2871
    Latest Entry

    Welcome to the first edition of my Lyft blog series. In this series I will tell you some interesting stories from my Lyft rides. Some of these are personal stories customers tell me while I drive, others are events that occurred in the car itself while I was driving. This volume represents the most interesting stories from my first 100 rides (excluding two special ones I'm saving for a top 10 list later this year).


    Before we get started, I'd like to offer a disclaimerAll guest's names will be changed, as well as any other personal details such as location, age, etc. This little blog series is intended to entertain you, not to embarrass the customers. Additionally, I do not know these people beyond my meeting them during their ride, so I can not confirm all personal stories are accurate; all back seat stories are accurate as they occurred in my car during the ride itself.


    I don't know yet how many of these entries I'll make or how popular they may or may not become, but to maintain a clean appearance each story will be enclosed within a spoiler tab. Some stories are longer than others, so this should help keep things looking clean and organized. 




    Ride #3, a warm up for what's to come...


    This is my third ride, ever. My first two went pretty well, I was able to drive them to their destination without killing anyone, my customers in both rides were happy with my 'fancy' phone charger setup and my WiFi, and the app navigated me without any major issues. I ignorantly believed all my rides would be fast, easy, and mildly entertaining. Then I got my third ride, and reality came crashing down on my hopes and dreams... ok, it wasn't that bad, but this is when I realized my rides were not all going to be calm and peachy.  


    I picked up a young woman (18) and a young man (similar age) at a house in the suburbs of Sunnyslope, WA. When I arrived I saw several bags and luggage items in the front yard, so my first guess was "Oh, I must be taking this young couple to the airport." No, not at all. When the couple came out of the house I got out of the car and helped them load their items in the trunk. I could immediately see the young lady was upset, but the male, presumed boyfriend, was not. I wasn't sure what to make of that, but I didn't say anything.


    The ride was very quiet at first, I welcomed them to my car and answered the lady's question about which charger worked with her phone, but otherwise no conversation. This silence only lasted about 5 minutes though, as shortly after leaving the neighborhood the female passenger began crying. I offered her some tissues, and she opened up about her whole situation to me. Apparently her step father doesn't approve of her decision to become a professional cartoonist, so he beats her. Today he was drunk, got into some sort of fight with her, and kicked her out of the house. She feels powerless because she doesn't have enough money to move out but she's 18 now so she can't report child abuse. Of course I listened to her and let her vent, but I kept my opinions to myself. 


    She got really emotional. The man didn't do much, but eventually offered her a "Blueberry & Chocolate Cheesecake W/ Truffle Oil" vape. I don't allow smoking or vaping in my car but she was so upset, I didn't say anything. The vape didn't calm her down though; she kept going on and on about how this step father was ruining her life and how she wanted to be left alone but she couldn't afford to move out, etc. I keep a few tiny teddy bears in the front of my car for children, so I gave one of them to her and she appreciated it. Now, her story changed to how much she missed her biological father, and how he would give her teddy bears all the time, and how she lost him too early, and I could see there was no way to make this girl happy!


    When we finally got to her destination (which turned out to be the man's home) the couple thanked me for listening to the story, and for giving her the bear and the tissues. I helped them move their luggage, the woman realized she had dropped her vape oil somewhere, searched my car for a few minutes, then gave up and told me she would give me a "huge tip" and asked that I call her if I found the oil.


    The next week I got my paycheck, and saw that there was no tip on her fare. Nice!


    The Worst Kind of Revenge


    This story takes place on a cold, rainy Friday evening. I picked a man in his late 30's and a child, an eight year old girl. The girl was too short for my seat belts in the back seat, but dad had a small folding contraption with him that lowered the seat belt height. (I usually turn away parties with small children if they don't have a child seat, I don't need a ticket or worse, and Lyft's policy is clear: it's the parent's responsibility to provide a child/booster seat, not the driver).


    The journey was about 2 hours. The girl kept to herself, playing with some sort of foam tablet (maybe a kid's fire tablet or something) and dad was talking with me about simple stuff, like traffic, cars, life in WA, nothing to heavy or serious.


    Then about an hour in, the girl had fallen asleep and dad changed the subject to his personal life. He told me about her mother, and why mom wasn't in their life. I'll spare you the details, most of it was the typical stuff that drives couples apart, but there was one part that stuck out: she was pregnant with their second child and tried to use that child as leverage for a marriage. Dad wasn't ready for that yet, and when she saw that he was not going to 'pop the question' she broke up with him, left the then 3 year old child with him, and aborted the second child just shy of the end of the 1st trimester. 


    Now, I have my personal feelings about abortion, but I think most sane people, pro choice included, would agree that aborting a child as an emotional attack on the father is not acceptable. From what he explained their relationship was great at first, but it was on again off again for a while, then they had the first girl, stayed together for a year, then he raised her alone for a while, then mom came back, got pregnant, and demanded they be married or she would abort the child. He thought that was a bad idea, because they had "serious shit" to work out, and he didn't think marriage would be appropriate. 


    This was all five years ago, and today dad says his daughter has no meaningful relationship with mom. She knows who her mom is, and has seen her a few times but dad tried to keep them apart. Dad justifies that mom had her own husband and children now, her own life, and it's better to avoid breaking his daughter's heart then allow them to regroup just for mom to leave her like she did him. I understand that logic, but without knowing more details I can't say if that's right or not. 


    Dad showed me some photos at different red lights, and along with how he speaks about his daughter I believe that she is incredibly important to him. He has fears that mom will try to regain custody in the future since mom and dad never took legal action to secure custody, but I told him that's not too likely when he can show a court evidence that he's been a major part of his daughter's life and that mom has had little interest in reconnecting up to this point. 


    It was an interesting ride. I gave his daughter a teddy bear and he tipped me $10 cash. I hope he can find a new mother for that girl! I can't imagine being a single parent is easy... and that mother aborting the child under those circumstances, if they are just as he said, is absolutely horrible. 


    Attempted Exhibitionism in the Back Seat


    Ah, Saturday night. 1 AM. Drunk people in almost every ride. My kind of night! Drunks can be really entertaining, and this is just one example. 


    I pick up two young woman and an older man (I'd say the woman were in their 20's and the man was probably 50 something). They were all drunk, and babbling about their plans for later that night. Talking about what kind of cocktails and mixes they could make, who would be there, etc. Typical drunk ride. But then, one of the ladies tries to pull down the man's pants. She wasn't doing too well, so he helped her, but driving all I knew at that moment was there was a lot of bumping and shifting around going on in the back seat. He was in the middle seat, but the road was too curvy for me to take my eyes off the road. 


    When I did get a chance to look back I saw the man in his shirt and underwear with one of the girls rubbing his, bulge, and the other filming vertical video. I didn't say anything. I just looked at them and they stopped. He put his pants back on and they remained silent for remainder of the short trip. The girls were embarrassed but the man didn't seem to be.


    I dropped them off at their destination and they said nothing, not even goodbye. I received no tip. But the story doesn't end there. The next day I was woken up by my cell phone ringing. When I answered it was one of the girls saying she left her portable battery pack in my car last night. I asked her who she was, since I had many rides that night, and she responded with her name, then clarified "I was in the group that pleasured the man in your back seat." That was hilarious.


    P.S: I was not able to locate her battery.


    The Magic Drill (My favorite on this list)


    It's Wednesday afternoon. I receive a request to pick someone up at an extended stay hotel. When I get there a man in his 40's gets in the car, with a drill. He asks for a bottle of water and I give him one. As I drive him to his stop he explains to me that he works as a private detective, and often works with the Seattle PD. He told me he didn't have much time because he's on his lunch break right now (from the hotel? As a PI? Ok...) but that he needs to see his friend. All this time he's cleaning this drill he brought with him. It wasn't new, it has scuff marks and sharpie on it, but he sure seemed proud of it. 


    I get to his stop and a woman gets in the back. She honestly looked like Wendy from Breaking Bad. Seriously. Basically, this is his friend:

    Image result for wendy breaking bad


    He now wanted me to take him to a second stop, then a third. He only requested me for one stop though, so I asked him to re-request me after I ended the ride. He did, and as I waited for him to re-request his friend started talking to him about the drill. She thought it looked "good", and that it was "pretty cool". She even wondered how he got "such a nice drill". For his second stop I took him to a 2nd friend's house. The first friend, Wendy's doppelganger, stayed in the car and played with my phone chargers while the man ran up to this 2nd friend's door. He spent a whole 12 minutes talking to this friend, presumably about his drill. He showed it off and was holding it as they talked. About 6 minutes in Wendy started eating my strawberry suckers. (I have some candy in the back seat for my guests) It sounded like some wild animal... loud and unorganized slurping and crunching sounds. And as the time elapsed she ate them faster and faster. 


    Finally the man got back in my car and I took him and his 1st friend, back to the first friend's house... Why did this woman get in my car to begin with? What is the logic in this ride? How long is his lunch break? WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE DRILL? This guy defies all logic! Who is the lady to him, beyond being a friend? Why does she gobble up candy like those kids in Invader Zim?



    Living In A Box


    A short and sad story. I picked up a man at a house and took him home. The ride itself was not very interesting, but the destination was. His 'home' consisted of a wooden box, roughly 4' x 10' x 6' kept under the gap in some stairs at an abandoned hotel. I'm serious, he built himself a little shack just big enough to lie down in and sleep, with no windows and a heavy duty lock on the outside. I hope he can get a better home! I wish I could help but I don't have that kind of money. He seemed fairly healthy, in the mind I mean, not like some homeless individuals. But clearly he has enough money to afford a smartphone with service and a Lyft ride. I don't know, maybe it's just an act to get money out of sympathetic Lyft drivers.


    The Trekkie


    This one is pretty fun. Not a drunk or a sad story, just an interesting one. I picked up a man at the mall and took him to the hospital. He was buying some gifts for a loved one recovering from a car accident. He was very nice and talkative, and he told me about all the Star Trek actors he's met. I went back to my dash cam footage from that day to get this list for you, he claims to have seen: Peter Weller, Jeri Ryan, Kate Mulgrew, Carolyn McCormick, Wil Wheaton, Jennifer Lien, Eric Menyuk, and Marc Alaimo. There were a few more I couldn't make out well enough. 


    He talked about how he met these actors at various events, and some he followed to non star trek shows or conventions. The man told me about some of his trips, like his one to Las Vegas. He and his family went to Las Vegas for a convention and on the strip. There were woman dressed in BDSM outfits whipping men's rears as they passed on the sidewalk, and one of them hit his daughter in the back of the head. After dealing with that, he and his daughter went to the convention where they got pictures with a few different actors. He says his "Jr. Trekkie" felt meeting her favorite character made the night worth it. A nerd's dream I suppose!


    I like star trek myself, but I think this guy was one of the biggest fans in the community. I think I would skip the show if someone assaulted my daughter...


    That's it for now! Some of these are more interesting than others, but like I stated above I'm keeping my 2 best stories for a top 10 list... hope you found at least one of these stories interesting!

  2. I know it's been ages since I did a blog about SpecsBoss and so I decided to tease what's gonna arrive in SpecsBoss 1.0 .


    So, in no particular order are a bunch of changes coming soon....

    • I've updated the specs detection library, AluminiumCore Library,
    • I've added GPU Codename support for select GPUs (Mostly GPUs from GTX 600 series or Radeon HD 5000 series or newer)
    • The SpecsBoss application has been modularized SpecsBoss so that it can support more languages in the future
    • Changed to a new offline installer to allow an easier installation process
    • Added a custom and up to date build of AutoUpdaterDotnet library to SpecsBoss to allow for easier checking for updates. AutoUpdaterDotNet has not recently been updated or maintained by the original author and thus I thought it'd be a good idea if we improve upon it to ensure it provides a good updating mechanism for SpecsBoss
    • Added CefSharp.WinForms dependencies so that we can hopefully provide a more seamless experience if the user needs to see a webpage such as the SpecsBoss Wiki.
    • Translating SpecsBoss into Korean
    • Separated themes so that there is a fully implemented Light and Dark Theme as well as a theme customization tool.
    • Added Advanced OS Detection
    • Added BIOS Detection
    • Added ability to install CSMark alongside SpecsBoss and able to be run it from within SpecsBoss.


    And that's it for now. I don't know when this'll come out cos I'm bust. A lot of what's on the list of to do has been done but there's still some work to do. I can't promise that there'll be frequent updates initially but hopefully when I'm less busy, iId like to push out updates.


    If you'd like to see builds before the 1.0 release then do check out the GitHub SpecsBoss page -> and if you'd like to check out the releases then go here ->  . I'll probably push out a few more builds before release 1.0 ,


    That's it for now :).

  3. Where do I begin..


    Having been a member here for over four years and a forum user for many more, I might know how the communities work. Smaller ones are tight-knit, larger ones are one big family with the groups the like to talk together. It's simply how our big, digital families work. But we're still family even with our differences, right? Not all of us get along 100%, some of us disagree almost absolutely with others, I know I'm one of them but we all have our opinions and reasons (or beliefs) for them. Yet very rarely, even here, does it get out of hand to the point there needs to be a talk.


    So what is the point of this blog entry you might be asking? Well, some of you guys are a real riot. The more veteran members know what I've written above. Newer ones however, it's not always the case.


    Aphexxis, Aphexxis, Aphexxis..


    You lovable ball of.. well.. something. I'm not sure what to classify you as yet, it'll come in due time though I'm sure.


    Today you posted an interesting thread, it's still up so hell, I'm posting about it here because I can, otherwise mods would have removed it completely and then I can't "officially" talk about it. But I will, so here we go.

    As this thread as been so gloriously nuked while I was typing up my reply (shown below, if I remember), there's something all new forum members should know when they sign up to any forum. Read the forum. Get a feel for it. Know the community. It's a good practice! There's many popular forums out there, but we're not all the same. Some are nicer, others totalitarian, but all one big family in their own way. The first forum I joined was not as large as this community, but still had a very healthy amount of members when I joined. But the thing you always have to know is: am I among like minded individuals? Not in the sense that we all agree Corsair power supplies are based-firestarters, but that you can have discussions in the same flow of thought you would want to have. "Can I interact with them? Are they too edgy? Too soft and unwilling to have a hard discussion with disagreements?" Etc.


    So what do you do? Read the forum.


    Go through the Tech News section, see what people talk about, how they interact with each other. You're a stickler for builds? See the build sections and look at how our big happy family works. Because that's what we are, one big happy family*.


    *Terms and Conditions may sometimes apply just a little bit


    Maybe you'll go think "hey, I like these people, they're friendly enough and don't toss people immediately under the bus!" And you would be right, until you do something like you did.


    See, heated discussions happen. Ask the people that don't like me not because I will aggravate you the moment you show how easy it is, but because I will disagree with you with reasons and tell you why. They'll decide whether or not they think I'm right or wrong, and that's okay. That's not what me and others are always here for. Some people like me sit in the back until we feel like poking your brain in the way we see fit, it's fun. It gets discussion going. And maybe somebody might think a little bit more about what they believe. In a good way, thinking is always good.


    Our big, happy family does not agree on everything. In fact you might say it's split down the middle sometimes. AMD? Intel? Nvidia? Apple? Google? Microsoft? The list goes on, and it repeats many times, many weeks, all the time.


    Check our Tech News section, you'll see how we interact. When we agree, and when we don't.


    But you might see something peculiar about our interactions, there's not a lot of mud flinging without any basis. Opinions more than "I said so" exist and are spoken. Intelligent discussion happens and unintelligent discussion happens in tandem like the dance we always go through. And at the end of the day we can still end a thread peacefully without going down the OP's throat that the thread should have never existed.


    So, Aphexxis, why you, you might ask?


    Good question!


    You've made it too easy. I've managed to get you to lock your own thread quicker that most of the low post wonders that come through this side of the internet, and you succeeded spectacularly at doing what I wanted. I poked your brain, and you responded. Congratulations, you win a redeemable coupon for a digital cookie expired already.


    We've had plenty of threads about AMD and Intel, Ryzen and Bulldozer, Intel with their Core series. But few have been like yours. You don't even know what side you're on half of the time in your own original post and yet you want some sense of intelligent discussion? Here's a forum tip: you did it wrong.


    Threads about our opinions on things like Bulldozer have come up time and time again, and even though there are rules for not going "which is better, FX8 or an i7?!" not all of them get locked. Because not all of them are.. you guessed it.. asinine.


    What makes your thread asinine? Why do you think I believe you went about this the wrong way? Well it's simple, you were hostile from the very beginning. Is idiotic rhetoric a thing? Yes, most ideas are concepts are all true to an extent. What you did wrong is instantly assuming any amount of disdain or displeasure with a CPU is instantly "idiotic rhetoric." Oh and that goes back to you not even knowing what side you're on. You didn't have an opinion, just ramblings without basis. On one hand you have people blaming Intel for Bulldozer not meeting expectations and letting consumers down, and on the other hand you have people blaming AMD for Bulldozer not meeting expectations and letting consumers down.


    At least try to give an angle we can respond to, that's the least you can do. "Why do people think Bulldozer sucks? Go!"


    Then we could have had something. My morning could have been made better by the brain pickings of what people think, even though there's a general consensus on Bulldozer by 2017. *psst* It had problems.


    But, when you are told your thread does not make sense, you attacked other members. See, here we might disagree, but we don't do what you did. Veteran members are around for a reason, we've gone through these scuffles before without being banned. We might know there's a line not to cross, and so should you. If someone thinks your thread is pointless, tell them like the adult you say people like me should be. Why should I be held to a higher standard when I just sit back and watch you ramble and sling names? I'm just going to sit here and hand you a shovel to continue digging your own hole deeper. Give us reason your thread is not pointless to us. You might have a rocky start, many of us do, but give us substance. You did not. And you got everything back in full.


    My reply to you if the thread wasn't nuked by mods is below.





    Ahh let us see here..


    define asinine.PNG


    I think I'll go with "foolish" to describe the contents of your original post. So to start, you create a post on a forum that has very heated discussions about the performance of AMD products without any attempt to create positive, intelligent discussion. Where should I start?


    "Did in any of the FX 81xx FX 83xx life time get what the community rambled on about?"


    Low hanging fruit:

    ### Blog edit. The low hanging fruit section is not to demean you or insult you in any way. It's a little nudge of "Hey, maybe give this a shot and we'll respond better." ###


    Slightly higher hanging fruit:


    The FX8 series has been discussed heavily here on the LTT forum, its died down in the past two years or so but crops up every now and then but there has been a general consensus on the topic. It was a solid CPU with some major pitfalls in the architecture design. It was ahead of its time and poorly implemented, not to mention software was simply never made to make full use of the architecture.


    Two cores per module is great for when you want to run workloads in parallel but the general consumer doesn't use software that could benefit a lot from it. That's mostly in servers, completely different things for users. 


    Running software on it such as games only came in to problems with the architecture because of the two core per module design, sharing resources just creates delays because one thread might have to wait on another. Things of that nature. It can become a real headache in the performance department. General consensus? If you can get it cheap (2014 era, $200 and dropping) then it's okay for a light build, but it's worth getting something like an i7 if you need more processing power.


    "how Windows is unoptimized, not the CPU being designed how it is."


    The only people who thought the problem was Windows, same as this latest bout with Ryzen, are the ones who are die-hard fans of AMD and can't take "no" in a sense for an answer. The fundamental problem with Bulldozer was its architecture, not Windows. Windows ran perfectly fine with Bulldozer, it assigned work correctly and as efficiently as it can, the problem is you're trying to run heavily serialized code on something made for parallel work, it ain't gonna happen.


    "How intel is putting code in games to slow FX down.. yeah they went there."


    Same situation as above, and debunked all the same. Intel cannot change how x86 runs. The FX8 series is great for some things, but not most.


    "How everyone is transpiring against AMD and are now victims to intel owners."


    See above, this is just repeating the same thing in a different way, again.


    "How FX has 8 cores so it's bettererererer."


    In a roundabout way, the FX8 is better because of having more cores, the IPC was never near Intel with their Core series but if you could parallelize code it would run leagues better on the FX8 chips, that's why encoding was so much faster. Unfortunately for the majority of the consumer market that one metric is not enough to change buying opinions.


    "And yeah Ryzen is an awesome success"


    Yes it is! Ryzen is fantastic! AMD has made leaps and bounds in their IPC and created a chip that's as fast as Intel for half the cost, or less! However, there is something off about the design. AMD's "Infinity Fabric" has serious latency problems and it's slowing down gaming performance which is what a lot of us use our computers for, and that's because AMD wanted games to run on more cores. By having a game run on more than four threads AMD has shot themselves in their own foot. Having one core communicate with another and having threads hop a thousand times a second across that interconnect adds up those 140 ns real quick. Had AMD not done that Ryzen would have been an absolute knockout, but it isn't.


    People thought the problem is the Window's Scheduler, it isn't. People thought the problem is software, it isn't.


    You can work around the interconnect by forcing threads to stay on one CCX or not have as much cross talk between CCXs but the fundamental problem is AMD created another flaw in their architecture that seriously hurts them. The biggest market they need right now is the gaming market, not HEDT-lite, and they missed that opportunity a bit because you're still better off buying an Intel product unless something can change in the near future.


    "not what this thread is really about"


    So what is it about?


    "just wondering if these people changed their idiotic rhetoric."


    Ahh, so you don't like the opinions of others. And suddenly your thread has become what now?


    define asinine.PNG




    You might ask yourself again, why you? Well, you've amused me enough to be the first exhibit in my reasoning for not liking people. There's nothing about you particularly, you fit in with the rest of the drops in the ocean. But you're amusing and I'd like for you to stay around for a while, see what else we can pick from your brain. You said that I have an ego and need to mature, and you're correct on both, but not for what you think the reasons are. I'll start with the second. Everyone needs to mature, and you are never done maturing. You're only given a certain amount of time on this rock and you should use it to gain as much knowledge and wisdom as you can. Where you are also correct. However, I am not going to spend every waking minute of my life appeasing people like you who can not show a little maturity in response. So I won't either. It's not petty because I'm not acting like this because of you. I simply don't have the energy to care about you specifically, because then I need to devote that energy to everyone else fairly. So I'm not going to, I'm going to give myself a smile and watch you be you and do your thing. And the second, my ego. You're damn right I have an ego, and I have one for a reason. I have experiences you may never understand. You might have experiences I will never understand. The difference is that I spend my time not making dumb little mistakes in my life where they can be avoided. I don't want to create headaches for myself, it leads to having happier days and a happier forum experience.


    But wait, you dislike people, you can't be happy!


    Of course I dislike people! Because of my ego. Each day I see people making the same mistakes and complaining when negative things happen to them. You are Exhibit A in my documentation for what I dislike about people.


    Steak is good until you cook it too much, then it needs some kindness.

    Have a nice day.


    Update 1:

    Sad news, may you find peace where you rest.


  4. While there are legitimately some things to take into consideration regarding purchasing games from 3rd-party key resellers, I think that there also is some false and exaggerated propaganda being pushed about them by some select neurotic develops who are upset that people aren't paying full dollar for their games.


    Firstly, the G2A marketplace does not represent 3rd-party key-resellers - it represents a forum for individuals to sell their keys. Arguments made for or against G2A marketplace do not necessarily apply to businesses that are 3rd-party key-resellers, and arguments for or against 3rd-party key-resellers do not necessarily apply to the G2A marketplace.


    Secondly, many of the individuals selling games on G2A got their keys legitimately, such as through Humblebundle, Bundlestars, in-store promos, during Steam, Origin, Uplay, etc sales, or as gifts, through trading, or from cheap eBay listings, and other situations. I have a lot of game keys I have not used, and I have lately been thinking about selling them on G2A. I think the idea that it would be better for developers or publishers if someone were to pirate a game than to buy a legitimate key from me that I gained through legitimate means is a great demonstration of a particular developer's stupidity. And, I expect that credit card fraud likely accounts for a small number of key-resale cases. That said, CC fraud tends to be a component of reseller and used markets, and if a person wants to boycott any potential for CC fraud, they should also be avoiding Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, Steam market, etc.


    Thirdly, there are many sources for the keys that 3rd-party key resellers have to sell, and I'd bet that most of them are legally legitimate, even when they don't make publishers and developers the same amount of profit as they would like to be making from their sales. Credit card fraud is more likely to account for small numbers of keys here and there, and not the bulk key acquisitions that 3rd-party resellers make by buying games from one region where it's cheaper, and then selling the game in other regions, where it's normally more expensive.



    Now, I think that the argument in this link:


    ... is plainly nonsense, and the hyper-subjective and, IMO, their "True Cost of G2A" balancing of cost between spending money, convenience, personal moral... is astonishingly ludicrous, dumb, and False. It is a case of some hyper-ventilating developer presuming to assert how people think and feel about various acquisition methods, and in doing so is also attempting to impose a dictation upon people's perceptions of what various acquisition avenues represent - with the basis for their argument being subjective opinion and re-framing the subject through acknowledging only particular potential aspects of it. Whoever wrote that is probably very lacking in social and life experience.


    Also, there is a great stupidity in saying 'I'd rather have you pirate than buy G2A', and such a comment is obviously about making a point through hyperbolic emotional display (again, a lack of social skills), while disregarding relevant consideration of the matter. When somebody pirates a game, they make use of that game for free, and no money goes to the developer or publisher. When somebody buys a game key through a 3rd-party reseller, that key, if it works to access the game, was paid for by somebody somewhere down the line, and there was a transaction between publisher or developer and whoever first acquired that key. Therefore, with a 3rd-party key resale, some money has been made for the publisher, developer, or both. But with pirating a game, no money has been made for the publisher and developer.


    That "True Cost of G2A" graph is as over-the-top cartoonish hysteria and as much deranged False propaganda as the 1930's DEA propaganda film Refer Madness.

  5. This is the review of the Shure SE215, not to be confused with the SE215LTD which is a variant of the SE215 introduced at a later date.

    At first

    Coming from basically using <$40 earphones i did not know what to expect from this. I was utterly disappointed in the how the earphones fit in my ears and how lackluster they sound, i really thought that the sounds quality would have dramatically changed after switching from low grade entry tier audio products. Low bass response, confused mid and highs.

    Which leads to the next point, after a period of 5 months, i learnt how to use the included foam and silicon tips properly to obtain a great seal, the included silicon tips provided provide a balanced sound and as i would like to rate it 7/10 in terms of noise isolation and with the included foam tips, 9/10 in terms of noise isolation. (Medium sized comply eartips are 8.5/10)


    After my stock cable was damaged with the right side being faulty, i replaced the stock cable with the FiiO RC-SE1 replacement cables.

    I found these to be more detailed and less warm in terms of audio quality than the stock cables, with slight but noticeable treble boosts probably because of a higher Silver content in the SPC(Silver plated copper) wires.

    However, the micro-phonics on this particular cable are downright atrocious. If the stock cables would have 7/10 in terms of micro-phonics, these new replacement cables would have gotten a 1/10.

    I straight up discourage anyone who gets annoyed easily when music is not playing and the cables rubs with each other. Otherwise, when playing music the micro-phonics can barely be heard and the cable is of great quality and certain to last for a long time.


    I am going to try out the ATH E40s in a few weeks time and maybe i can provide a comparison of that when i get myself on them :D.

  6. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor  ($59.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard  ($68.89 @ OutletPC) 
    Memory: Avexir Core Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory  ($47.92 @ Amazon) 
    Storage: Seagate FireCuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive  ($99.99 @ Newegg) 
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB SSC GAMING Video Card  ($108.98 @ Newegg) 
    Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case  ($38.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
    Power Supply: EVGA 430W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply  ($34.49 @ OutletPC) 
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit  ($88.58 @ OutletPC) 
    Monitor: AOC I2269VW 21.5" 1920x1080 60Hz Monitor  ($79.99 @ Best Buy) 
    Keyboard: Kensington 64370 Wired Standard Keyboard  ($11.31 @ OutletPC) 
    Mouse: Logitech G303 Daedalus Apex Wired Optical Mouse  ($34.99 @ Best Buy) 
    Total: $674.12
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-03-19 03:21 EDT-0400


    This build should mark as low as it should be how a gaming build should at least be like.

    With this build, any game will be playable. Upgrading would be possible.

    The included hybrid drive makes the system overall more pleasant to use with increased boot times similar to of an SSD but without the hefty price tag of one.

    With no upgrade however, this build can last you 1-2 years fairly well.

  7. SSL
    Latest Entry

    Work-in-progress compilation of known good value speakers. This list will mostly be limited to two-channel bookshelf type speakers under $500.


    Active Speakers

    Speakers that have a built-in amplifier, and sometimes DAC.

    • Behringer Truth B2031A
    • JBL LSR 305
    • Micaa PB42X
    • Vanatoo Transparent One

    Passive Speakers

    Speakers that require an external amplifier.

    • Micca MB42X
    • Philharmonic Audio The New Affordable Accurate Monitor


    Due to sound quality, value, or both.

    • AudioEngine
    • Logitech (except z2300)
    • Fluance SX6
    • Mackie CR3
    • Monoprice 6.5" Two-Way
  8. The 'wonders' of 802.1D... This is just a quick blog to discuss the CCNA level of the process of how switches in an ethernet LAN will elect the root bridge and a few other details.


    Firstly, Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is? Simply, a way to create a logical 'loop free' network in our LAN by blocking specific ports that could cause a frame to loop indefinitely in our network. I'm assuming you have a basic understanding of STP because that would be required to understand the basic root bridge election.


    Getting straight into it, when you connect 2 or more switches together they will begin the process of the 'root bridge election' which can change the way frames are sent in the network or even in different VLAN's. Take a look at the example below:




    Imaging we had no such thing as STP, the basic example shown is a broadcast has been sent from PC0 to SW1.


    SW1 with basic switching functionality, will broadcast the frame out of all ports except the one that received the original frame, this seems very normal so far. In short story, the switches will broadcast the frame out of ports the original wasn't received on so it will be going back and fourth until someone literally comes over and literally turns the switch off, it seems extreme but remember that the switch will not broadcast that frame out of the port it was received but SW1 received a broadcast from both SW2 and SW3 (so SW1 will then broadcast the frame from SW2 out fa0/2, and the frame from SW3 to fa0/1)



    So in a short story, STP will block redundant links to stop these frames from looping. You could have the switches daisy chained but that defeats the whole purpose of redundancy and that if we had multiple switches (SW1 -> SW2 -> SW3 -> SW4), if SW3's link were to go down, people connected to SW1 and SW2 wouldn't be able to talk to people on SW3 or SW4.



    So what is this 'Root bridge election' or what is a root bridge?


    When I first looked at the root bridge, I thought to myself does all the traffic need to go to the root bridge before being forwarded to the destination? Because that seems impractical! Of course, it was the first time I've encountered STP and I wasn't 100% wrong sort of... (but close to it!).


    The path towards the root bridge from other switches are commonly the fastest (or least cost) which can be changed. The easiest way I would explain why the root bridge is needed would be along the lines of: "The root bridge allows other switches to have a destination to decide which ports to put in forwarding and which ports to block, by default the least cost (fastest path/speed) would be a preferred path to the root unless you manually configure things like costs and priority...."


    Traffic will not need to travel to the root bridge first, unless it needs to travel in that direction or is the only way to get to the destination. We will talk about the different port roles and types for STP a little bit later.



    Bridge Election Process


    The bridge election process begins with switches exchanging messages, the Hello BPDU (Bridge protocol data unit) formally known as a configuration BPDU (a lot of people may call it a hello, because it is being sent over and over again like most Hello's in other protocols, excuse me while I refer to it as a hello BPDU for now...).


    The Hello BPDU will be used to compare on each side of the link and exchange information such as:


    Root Bridge ID, Sender Bridge ID, Path cost to root, Port ID and Timers (MaxAge, Hello and Forward Delay). The BPDU does contain more fields, but these are the important ones for now.. (Protocol ID will be 0x000 for IEEE 802.1D)




    I believe the main focus in the CCNA is firstly focusing on the Bridge ID (BID) and what forms it. The BID is a field in the BPDU which is 8 bytes. Split into 2 parts:


    • Priority = 2 bytes (divided into 2 parts: 4bit Priority + 12bit VLAN ID) (interesting fact (2^12 = 4096 VLAN's anyone?)

    • System ID Ext (MAC Address) = 6 bytes

    Without no configuration, we have some default values in our BPDU that are generated on switches. Such as:

    1. Each switch will think it is a root since no root has been elected yet...

    2. Each BID priority will be 32768 (VLAN1 = 32769 etc...)

    3. Hello Timer is 2 seconds default

    4. Forward Delay is 15 seconds by default

    5. Max age is 20 seconds by default


    So upon BPDU messages being exchanged, what will happen since the BID priority is the same? If that ties, then it will move onto comparing the System ID (MAC Address) and will always elect the switch with the lowest MAC address as the root as shown in the example below:




     In this example, we see that SW3 actually has a lower BID which then tells us that it will become the root in this election process. Ok so are BPDU's still exchanging after this simple process? Yes of course! BPDU's are actually generated from the root and will be sent down the topology similar to the picture below:




    You can see that the path cost is added to as the basic 'BPDU' is sent down(logically) from the root but where do these numbers come from? STP (1998) has values which I believe you may need to remember for the CCNA exam such as:


    10Mbps cost 100, 100Mbps costs 19, 1Gbps cost 4, 10 Gbps cost 2



    Now that the root election process has finished, that is pretty much all done? You'd be wrong in not wanting to learn more! Since the previous examples don't really show STP's capabilities of making sure the network is loop free, let's add a redundant link in our switched LAN from SW1 to SW. The image has been changed slightly to make it easier to talk from the logical topology view (remember SW3 is still the root!).




    So a redundant link has been added and BPDU's have been exchanged but wait... It seems that we understand one of the first values compared in the BPDU is the root bridge ID. SW3 and SW2 will both send a BPDU with the same Root Bridge ID?? Is the switch going to freak out? Is STP going to break? Of course, that would be a poor design if it did but it simply moves onto the next value to compare...


    Sender Bridge ID - Is the Senders BID lower than mine? No.... Simply move onto the next parameter. Cost....


    SW1 root path cost using gi0/1 will be 4

    SW1 root path cost using fa0/1 will be 23 (because it needs to also add the cost to get to the root from the SW2 gigabit connection)



    Port Roles and States


    After the switch has completed this new election process with the new redundant link, we can move onto the next stage of the STP process. STP defines port roles and states to be used by root and nonroot switches. The root switch will simply put all ports in the designated role and states will be in forwarding mode (FWD), so lets focus on non-root switches.


    Every non-root switch must have a root port which essentially is the lowest cost to reach the root switch. SW1 has made g0/1 the root port since it is a STP cost of 4 rather than f0/1 which would be a cost of 23.

    (sorry about hostname, this was issued on SW1)


     Because the Root switch will generate BPDU's that are then sent down from the topology, each switch will add the cost on the BPDU before sending it out.


    • The BPDU sent from SW3 to SW2 is 0 then SW2 will add a cost of 4 then will be resent to SW1. SW1 will receive it on port f0/1 and will add a cost of 19 creating a total of 23.

    • The BPDU sent from SW3 to SW1 is 0 then SW1 will add a cost of 4 then will be sent to SW2. SW2 will receive it on port f0/1 and will add a cost of 19 (23) which is a worst path than g0/2 to root.

    As you can see in the #show spanning-tree. It also lists on SW1 that interface fa0/1's role is Desg (Designated).


    The designated role will be the port that advertises the lowest path cost to a LAN segment. Of course, ties will occur which will result in the BID's being compared and the lowest BID will be chosen. All other ports that are not a Root or Designated will be transitioned into the 'Blocking'(BLK) state as shown on SW2:






    In the next blog on STP, we will talk about STP convergence, 802.1w (RSTP), PVST+, Configuring them all and tweaking STP values such as priority, cost, also I will go into depth on STP port roles and states etc.. I will be replicating this topology with 3 Cisco 2950's instead of using Packet Tracer. (PS, I wrote this on my actual blog but thought I might aswell upload it here, sorry if any formatting issues occur!)

  9. A software without Testing is like a body without soul. Chill... I mean to say that Testing is like you can feel but can not see. Software reliability and security can be check only by the software testing. If you want that your software as per your goal you need software testing no matter either its manual or automation.


    But Automated software testing is the majorly using testing services nowadays. Test Automation make your testing work easy to test web and software. It is very useful in case of repeat testing. It will repeat till all the bugs removed. 


    Automated software testing has many pros but their some cons also. It is very is for testing proficient persons but hard for non-skilled persons. Automation testing process is quick but the documentation process is very hard. It is good in performance, and better than manual testing but debug script is difficult, procedure is little expensive, little change may cause damage in software.

    Some Pros of Automated Software Testing are like

    • No coding knowledge require
    • Time saving
    • Accuracy 
    • Multi Platform supporting

    See more Pros in infographics given below: Pros and Cons of Automated Software testing




    Read more on what is the Automated Software testing and benefits and share your thoughts on it here also.

  10. There's been some talk about Microsoft implementing a "gaming mode" for Windows which should help improve the performance of games. Or at least, minimize the impact of the OS on gaming performance. What this means is up in the air. However I decided to take a stab at something that could be like it and create a lean build of Windows 10. That is, a lot of its components were either disabled, deleted, or otherwise no longer a factor.


    The Setup

    I'm using my computer for this test, which has the following specs:


    • Core i7-6700

    • 16GB of RAM running at DDR4-2133

    • EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC ACX 3.0

    • 256GB Samsung 950 Pro and 1TB Samsung 850 EVO


    I created a 128GB partition on my 850 EVO for this, as I wasn't going to mess with my current build. Then I installed Windows 10 Pro with all of the settings on by default using the Windows 10 build as of somewhere in December 2016. Then I only installed the following:


    • Intel's chipset drivers

    • The drivers for the Realtek ALC1150 chip

    • 3DMark

    • Unigine Heaven 4.0

    • Steam


    The following tests will be used:


    • 3DMark

      • Sky Diver (Default settings)

      • Fire Strike Extreme (Default settings)

      • TimeSpy (Default settings)

    • Unigine Heaven

      • Extreme preset, with the resolution bumped up to 2560x1440

    • Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward Benchmark

      • Default settings on the "High Desktop" quality

    • GTA V

      • 2560x1440 resolution

      • No MSAA

      • All settings on their highest, except reflection MSAA which was not set

      • All the advanced graphics setting were set to their highest.

      • Only Pass 4 (the final one) will be used for brevity.

    • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

      • 2560x1440 resolution

      • No MSAA

      • DX11

      • Very high preset

    • F1 2016

      • 2560x1440 resolution

      • Ultra high preset

    All tests were run three times and their results averaged.


    The Vanilla Build Results

    While I forgot to get a screen cap of RAM usage and processes going on, here's what it's like on my current build:

    Memory Usage:







    And here are the results:



    3D Mark        
      Score Graphics Physics Combined
    Sky Diver Run 1 35045 70351 11034 23368
    Sky Diver Run 2 35046 71077 11003 22992
    Sky Diver Run 3 34835 70469 10904 23218
    Average 34975.33333 70632.33333 10980.33333 23192.66667
    Fire Strike EX Run 1 9588 10643 11682 4765
    Fire Strike EX Run 2 9567 10619 11632 4762
    Fire Strike EX Run 3 9553 10595 11662 4756
    Average 9569.333333 10619 11658.66667 4761
    Time Spy Run 1 6702 7229 4627  
    Time Spy Run 2 6699 7275 4626  
    Time Spy Run 3 6719 7286 4664  
    Average 6706.666667 7263.333333 4639  
      Average FPS Score Min FPS Max FPS
    Run 1 64.7 1629 29.8 143.8
    Run 2 65.4 1648 8.5 144.9
    Run 3 64.8 1633 28.8 143.7
    Average 64.96666667 1636.666667 22.36666667 144.1333333
    FFXIV Heavensward        
      Score Average FPS Total Load Time  
    Run 1 14591 112.85 18.64  
    Run 2 14506 112.336 18.773  
    Run 3 14549 112.808 18.927  
    Average 14548.66667 112.6646667 18.78  
      Pass 4 Min Pass 4 Max Pass 4 Avg  
    Run 1 41.248425 153.773926 82.296112  
    Run 2 36.866974 156.470566 81.178818  
    Run 3 40.984291 145.447479 75.742538  
    Average 39.69989667 151.8973237 79.739156  
    Deus Ex Mankind Divided        
      Avg Min Max  
    Run 1 62.4 50.5 77.3  
    Run 2 62.1 50.5 76.6  
    Run 3 62.2 50.5 76.9  
    Average 62.23333333 50.5 76.93333333  
    F1 2016        
      Avg Min Max  
    Run 1 92.3871 73.214142 111.866035  
    Run 2 95.232292 79.891083 118.127655  
    Run 3 94.716011 79.444923 116.410423  
    Average 94.111801 77.516716 115.4680377  


    As a curiosity, I ran F1 2016 again, this time with its priority set to "Realtime". Though it did have better performance, it was only up by 4-5 FPS at most. The other games saw no change so I didn't bother with them.


    Making Windows 10 Lean

    One of the first things I did was go to Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off. Then went and removed the following:

    • IE11
    • Media features
    • Microsoft Print to PDF
    • Print and Document Services
    • Remote Differential Compression API support
    • SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support
    • Windows PowerShell 2.0
    • Work Folders Client
    • XPS Services
    • XPS Viewer


    After a reboot, I did the following:

    • A pplied a registry hack that while it does nothing for performance, it reduces a lot of wait times for things so it gives the impression performance did improve.
    • In Control Panel\System and Security\System > Advanced System Settings and in the Performance section, set it to "Adjust for best performance."
      • I did not touch the page file, as disabling it may make things worse.
    • In Control Panel\System and Security\Security and Maintenance and disabled SmartScreen.
    • Disabled hibernate
    • In Settings app, did a blanket disable on everything that I didn't need.


    Now came the question of all those Universal Windows Apps (UWAs), especially the system ones that run in the background all the time. I went to find where they lived, and well, they're spread out quite a bit. The first set is in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps under a super hidden folder that you need to take ownership of before you can even access it. I also had to use WinDirStat to even see the folder. It won't show up in Explorer, even if you disable "Hide system protected files and folders."


    The first thing I tried is selecting everything and deleting it, but half the folders wouldn't be deleted for some reason. Rather than try to fight it, I found out I could rename them. So I did:



    Except this isn't where all of them live. Some live in C:\Windows\SystemApps. This is a doozy, because if they live here, they must be vital right? Well, good thing they really aren't. Most of them anyway. However, I didn't delete these, I just renamed them.



    A few things to note here though:

    • ContactSupport_cw5n1h2txyewy is for the Contact Support app
    • Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe is for Edge
    • Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy is for Cortana
      • If you disable Cortana, you also lose Start Menu Search
    • Microsoft.LockApp_cw5n1h2txyewy is for the lock screen
    • ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy is for the Start Menu.
    • Microsoft.XboxGameCallableUI_cw5n1h2txyewy is for the Xbox Live app


    In here I disabled everything but the LockApp and Start Menu, because you can disable the lock screen in other ways and not having a Start Menu is odd. The task bar will still work though. Make sure that before you do this, unpin any apps from this list. Otherwise, they'll be in limbo where they're pinned.


    And lastly, yes there's more, there's one more place to disable UWAs, otherwise they'll automatically run. These live in C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Packages:



    Now that the UWAs are out of the way, I went and looked for services and such to disable. To find which ones were safe to do so, I went to Black Viper's website. Anything that was safe to disable was disabled.


    And just for kicks, I set the power profile to "High performance."


    So What Kind of Performance Does This Get Me Now?

    After letting Windows settle for a bit, I got it down to this:

    memory usage.png





    Shaved off nearly 600MB of RAM usage and got the process list down quite a bit. Note that the "Non-paged Pool" is half (~75MB) of what my current build is (~150MB). This is the core operating system components. So I must've done something good there! Right?


    Enough of that, what kind of performance are we getting now?



    3D Mark        
      Score Graphics Physics Combined
    Sky Diver Run 1 35089 70950 10993 23352
    Sky Diver Run 2 35177 71106 11099 22911
    Sky Diver Run 3 34987 70397 10983 23418
    Average 35084.33333 70817.66667 11025 23227
    Fire Strike EX Run 1 9566 10603 11697 4768
    Fire Strike EX Run 2 9577 10634 11696 4750
    Fire Strike EX Run 3 9567 10609 11645 4775
    Average 9570 10615.33333 11679.33333 4764.333333
    Time Spy Run 1 6705 7287 4618  
    Time Spy Run 2 6689 7267 4614  
    Time Spy Run 3 6715 7282 4661  
    Average 6703 7278.666667 4631  
      Average FPS Score Min FPS Max FPS
    Run 1 66.2 1667 27.1 144.9
    Run 2 66 1663 25 145.9
    Run 3 66 1663 29.7 146.1
    Average 66.06666667 1664.333333 27.26666667 145.6333333
    FFXIV Heavensward        
      Score Average FPS Total Load Time  
    Run 1 14497 112.431 18.796  
    Run 2 14550 112.619 18.573  
    Run 3 14610 113.03 18.791  
    Average 14552.33333 112.6933333 18.72  
      Pass 4 Min Pass 4 Max Pass 4 Avg  
    Run 1 20.244783 154.143906 81.087631  
    Run 2 39.342747 154.573441 82.079002  
    Run 3 20.863869 115.898499 81.30619  
    Average 26.817133 141.5386153 81.490941  
    Deus Ex Mankind Divided        
      Avg Min Max  
    Run 1 62.4 50.2 76.9  
    Run 2 62.1 50.5 76.9  
    Run 3 62.1 49.8 76.6  
    Average 62.2 50.16666667 76.8  
    F1 2016        
      Avg Min Max  
    Run 1 97.294609 80.587448 119.962158  
    Run 2 97.303444 81.302322 118.235237  
    Run 3 95.821739 80.525665 118.570518  
    Average 96.80659733 80.805145 118.9226377  


    Er... Almost no change at all. With all of these system resources freed up, wouldn't that mean performance should also go up? Well, not really. Most of what I disabled and turned off either wasn't actively being used to begin with, or they're mostly sitting around, waiting for something to happen, with maybe some background activity going on if it detects you're not doing something. i.e., the priority is lower than normal. And this makes sense. If the OS had components that were actively using the CPU time, then something is wrong. One of the OS's main job is to provide services to user applications when they need it. Those services should be running either on demand or at a very low rate.


    But I do want to make a note on the user experience. I think it actually improved. Although I think that had something to do with the registry hack pack I applied and removing animations more so things just taking up too much resources. Boot times were the same, if not feeling a little worse (perhaps due to Windows trying to find applications whose folders I renamed). However, shutting down is practically instant.



    If you have a high-end machine, you can expect almost no performance improvement for making a "lean" Windows build. For lower end machines, it certainly might help, but I think what'll really help is just disabling a lot of the GUI fluff. Most of the applications Windows runs run in the background and are idling most of the time.


    I didn't bother reading, I just want the results of Vanilla Vs "Lean" Windows

      Vanilla Windows         Lean Windows         % Diff (Vanilla vs. Lean)      
    3D Mark                            
      Score Graphics Physics Combined   Score Graphics Physics Combined   Score Graphics Physics Combined
    Sky Diver Run 1 35045 70351 11034 23368   35089 70950 10993 23352   99.87460458 99.15574348 100.3729646 100.0685166
    Sky Diver Run 2 35046 71077 11003 22992   35177 71106 11099 22911   99.62759758 99.95921582 99.13505721 100.353542
    Sky Diver Run 3 34835 70469 10904 23218   34987 70397 10983 23418   99.56555292 100.1022771 99.28070655 99.1459561
    Average 34975.33333 70632.33333 10980.33333 23192.66667   35084.33333 70817.66667 11025 23227   99.68925169 99.7390788 99.59624279 99.85600489
    Fire Strike EX Run 1 9588 10643 11682 4765   9566 10603 11697 4768   100.2299812 100.3772517 99.87176199 99.93708054
    Fire Strike EX Run 2 9567 10619 11632 4762   9577 10634 11696 4750   99.89558317 99.85894301 99.45280438 100.2526316
    Fire Strike EX Run 3 9553 10595 11662 4756   9567 10609 11645 4775   99.85366364 99.86803657 100.1459854 99.60209424
    Average 9569.333333 10619 11658.66667 4761   9570 10615.33333 11679.33333 4764.333333   99.993076 100.0347438 99.82351726 99.93060212
    Time Spy Run 1 6702 7229 4627     6705 7287 4618     99.95525727 99.20406203 100.1948896  
    Time Spy Run 2 6699 7275 4626     6689 7267 4614     100.1494992 100.1100867 100.260078  
    Time Spy Run 3 6719 7286 4664     6715 7282 4661     100.0595681 100.05493 100.0643639  
    Average 6706.666667 7263.333333 4639     6703 7278.666667 4631     100.0547749 99.7896929 100.1731105  
      Average FPS Score Min FPS Max FPS   Average FPS Score Min FPS Max FPS   Average FPS Score Min FPS Max FPS
    Run 1 64.7 1629 29.8 143.8   66.2 1667 27.1 144.9   97.73413897 97.72045591 109.9630996 99.24085576
    Run 2 65.4 1648 8.5 144.9   66 1663 25 145.9   99.09090909 99.09801563 34 99.31459904
    Run 3 64.8 1633 28.8 143.7   66 1663 29.7 146.1   98.18181818 98.19603127 96.96969697 98.35728953
    Average 64.96666667 1636.666667 22.36666667 144.1333333   66.06666667 1664.333333 27.26666667 145.6333333   98.33562208 98.3381676 80.3109322 98.97091478
    FFXIV Heavensward                            
      Score Average FPS Total Load Time     Score Average FPS Total Load Time     Score Average FPS Total Load Time  
    Run 1 14591 112.85 18.64     14497 112.431 18.796     100.64841 100.372673 99.17003618  
    Run 2 14506 112.336 18.773     14550 112.619 18.573     99.6975945 99.74871025 101.076832  
    Run 3 14549 112.808 18.927     14610 113.03 18.791     99.58247775 99.80359197 100.7237507  
    Average 14548.66667 112.6646667 18.78     14552.33333 112.6933333 18.72     99.97616076 99.97499175 100.3235396  
      Pass 4 Min Pass 4 Max Pass 4 Avg     Pass 4 Min Pass 4 Max Pass 4 Avg     Pass 4 Min Pass 4 Max Pass 4 Avg  
    Run 1 41.248425 153.773926 82.296112     20.244783 154.143906 81.087631     203.7484176 99.75997754 101.4903395  
    Run 2 36.866974 156.470566 81.178818     39.342747 154.573441 82.079002     93.70716793 101.2273292 98.90327127  
    Run 3 40.984291 145.447479 75.742538     20.863869 115.898499 81.30619     196.4366772 125.4955675 93.1571606  
    Average 39.69989667 151.8973237 79.739156     26.817133 141.5386153 81.490941     164.6307542 108.8276247 97.85025713  
    Deus Ex Mankind Divided                            
      Avg Min Max     Avg Min Max     Avg Min Max  
    Run 1 62.4 50.5 77.3     62.4 50.2 76.9     100 100.5976096 100.520156  
    Run 2 62.1 50.5 76.6     62.1 50.5 76.9     100 100 99.60988296  
    Run 3 62.2 50.5 76.9     62.1 49.8 76.6     100.1610306 101.4056225 100.3916449  
    Average 62.23333333 50.5 76.93333333     62.2 50.16666667 76.8     100.0536769 100.667744 100.1738946  
    F1 2016                            
      Avg Min Max     Avg Min Max     Avg Min Max  
    Run 1 92.3871 73.214142 111.866035     97.294609 80.587448 119.962158     94.95603194 90.85055281 93.25110257  
    Run 2 95.232292 79.891083 118.127655     97.303444 81.302322 118.235237     97.87145047 98.26420825 99.9090102  
    Run 3 94.716011 79.444923 116.410423     95.821739 80.525665 118.570518     98.84605726 98.65789124 98.17821914  
    Average 94.111801 77.516716 115.4680377     96.80659733 80.805145 118.9226377     97.22451322 95.92421743 97.11277731  


  11. (Almost) ALL Topics talking about having LTT/Forums app in 2014


    Main post with all statistics:


    2014 Stats


    Total topics created: 14

    Most in month: 2 (July, September, October, December)

    Average in month: 1.2

    Shortest time between: N/A ( - )

    Longest time between: N/A ( - )


    Dec 27th

    On 27.12.2014 at 7:09 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    It is under consideration at the moment.



    Dec 17th

    On 17.12.2014 at 8:12 PM, colonel_mortis said:


    As far as I know, it is being looked into, but I don't know any more than that (so please don't ask).

    On 17.12.2014 at 8:08 PM, LoGiCalDrm said:

    There is at least one unofficial one. There isn't going to be official one. Reason: They would need to hire coder to do it. So everybody begging for official app should ask themselves this question: Which is more important to you, browse forums/youtube through official app and maybe get notifications with it, OR get good quality tech video every day?



    Oct 23rd




    Oct 7th




    Sep 29th




    Sep 27th

    On 27.9.2014 at 7:37 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    There is an unofficial one and there is taptalk, but there are currently no plans that I am aware of to implement an official android app for several reasons - there is no solid back end API to use to retrieve the data and make new posts, it is a lot of time and effort to make an app, the usage would be limited and probably not worth it, and any changes that are made now would have to be remade in a few months time when the forum software is updated to IPB4.

    Also, in future if you want to suggest a new forum feature, the best place to post it, where it will be guaranteed to be viewed by a moderator or admin, is in the Forum Suggestions thread.



    Aug 22nd

    On 23.8.2014 at 2:42 PM, LoGiCalDrm said:


    So... you want app to browse forums rather than daily videos? Maybe some extra features rather than even coverage? They are media producing company, not software developers.



    Jul 30th




    Jul 9th




    Jun 29th




    Mar 17th




    Mar 9th




    Feb 20th




    Jan 24th




    • 1
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    Recent Entries

    One rule: keep it on the CPU, no drivers, and no internet/browser stuff. All I have is a MacBook Pro Retina with a 750M inside, and none of the enterprise tools to handle validation.

  12. Loungin was the third and final single released for LL Cool J's sixth album, Mr. Smith. Released on June 25th, 1996, it proved to be a large smash, thanks to the remix produced by the Trackmasters and featuring Total on the chorus.

    The song is, very simply, LL finessing a woman in a loveless relationship with another man. Sampling Bernard Wright's 1985 hit Who Do You Love? (which focused on a topic not unlike LL's I Need Love), its instrumental is still one of the best aged ones.


  13. LoGiCalDrm
    Latest Entry

    Can we have LTT App? LTT Forums App?

    These questions seem to be more common now than ever. This is list of link to all of those threads. Or as many as I can find. Under each link is quotes from my reply and any official/semi-official if given. Note that this list doesn't cover times this has been asked in old Features and Suggestions thread in its many iterations.


    Btw. If you know thread which isn't listed, tag me (for new ones) or PM (for old ones, >1 months).



    • Jan 5th: Moved 2014 to its own post. Added booksmarks to my browser for faster editing in future.
    • Dec 31st: Moved 2013 to its own post, with improved date system and more stats.


    Latest LMG level answer for the question:


    Latest administrator level answer for the question:

    On 18.12.2016 at 8:40 AM, Windspeed36 said:

    For the 573957th time, we are not at this stage looking to develop a mobile app for the site. In future please use the search tool before suggesting things. :)

    Latest moderator/dev level answer for the question:

    On 4.9.2016 at 7:42 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    An app is an unreasonable amount of work to implement, and aside from push notifications it would bring very little benefit. In the future, following a lot of work (though still a lot less than a full app), push notifications may be supported here without an app (it is now supported by Chrome and Firefox), but it's not something that you can expect to see soon.

    On 6.9.2016 at 1:59 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    LMG makes money, but the forum certainly doesn't. Making an app that is actually worth having is very expensive, and there would be no return on that investment.

    Aside from the editor, which is an issue, are there any other reasons that the mobile site is a joke?

    All the major desktop browsers support notifications, but the site doesn't support push notifications, which don't require the site (and sometimes even the browser) to be open, and which work properly on mobile.


    Stats (Date & Time uses CET which is -1 for my own timezone and +1 UTC. Times in 24h format.)

    Total topic created on subject: 81

    Yearly stats - 2013: 17 - 2014: 14 - 2015: 13 - 2016: 27 - 2017: 11

    Yearly average (until 2016): 17.8

    Most in month: 7 (May 2013)

    Monthly average (until Dec 2016): 1.5

    Most in a Day... Just kidding. No, seriously: 2 (Jan 5, 2017)

    Shortest time between topics: 15h 45min (Jan 5, 05:41 - Jan 5, 21:26, 2017)

    Longest time between topics: 104d 7h 28min (Mar 17 - Jun 26, 2014)

    Latest: Apr 27, 15:00, 2017

    Oldest: Jan 3, 18:20, 2013



    • Change date to more easier to read. (WIP)
    • Move each year to own post and link here (WIP)


    Dates in format DD/MM/YYYY (until 2016)



    Apr 27th




    Apr 12th


    (This isn't as clear as many others, but still about same subject.)


    Apr 2nd




    Mar 31st




    Mar 5th




    Feb 15th




    Jan 23rd




    Jan 21st




    Jan 14th




    Jan 5th




    Jan 5th










    On 18.12.2016 at 8:40 AM, Windspeed36 said:

    For the 573957th time, we are not at this stage looking to develop a mobile app for the site. In future please use the search tool before suggesting things. :)



    On 12.12.2016 at 5:00 AM, LoGiCalDrm said:


    Then PM them? Nothing is preventing you from making unofficial app. You just need to make it clear it's unofficial. The main reason there isn't any official app is time and money. It would need to have complete tech support for users, like what mortis is doing with forums. LMG doesn't have money to hire full-time dev for that. Even now developing floatplane is done with volunteers.


    If you are willing to put in hours to do it, I don't see why not. Just remember that like browser extensions, you need to make both Android and iOS versions, not just one.



    On 15.11.2016 at 11:30 AM, LoGiCalDrm said:

    How would that be any different than mobile version of forums? Yes, there are some things mobile version can't do atm which would be nice. Like native push notifications. But any other reason for app has been nothing so special that it would be a good reason for using money and resources for developing.


    nicklmg has said that if there would be app, it would need to be professionally developed and maintained. That costs money and needs full time dev. colonel_mortis is main forum dev and has no time for such task.


    Biggest thing preventing any app development at this point is shutdown of Vessel and launching of Floatplane Club. Setting up that service with streaming video player takes time and money. So anything more special will be ahead after year or two.


    This is third query for app within week. Now I will collect them all in one listing with my replies in each plus any official or semi-official reply. And will be linking to that list if anyone dares to ask this question again.





    On 9.11.2016 at 0:42 PM, LoGiCalDrm said:

    App for video content or something similar might be a thing of future. But not anywhere near future. Reason for it: Floatplane, which is also reason why it won't be near future thing. That service needs much work which is all away from developing full app. And as you might find in other threads talking about this, LMG isn't interested about any halfway solution. When it happens, it will be full feature thing. And that needs time and money, which neither they have atm.



    On 28.10.2016 at 10:37 AM, LoGiCalDrm said:

    The thing with official app is that it needs to have continuous support. As in full or part-time dev. Another thing would be need for support on all three major mobile platforms. I don't know much about coding, but I know having qualifications for just two of those isn't common. Third thing would be that when it's done, it will be done properly. So not like paying some under minimum wage fee for a half-talented fan.


    Fundraiser might be possible, but even then its done within current system. Having Kickstarter or rather someway failing it would hurt their image. And make rather funny episode on Kickfarted. Plus I think they would have much more interesting ideas on how to spend such moneys.











    On 4.9.2016 at 7:42 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    An app is an unreasonable amount of work to implement, and aside from push notifications it would bring very little benefit. In the future, following a lot of work (though still a lot less than a full app), push notifications may be supported here without an app (it is now supported by Chrome and Firefox), but it's not something that you can expect to see soon.

    On 6.9.2016 at 1:59 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    LMG makes money, but the forum certainly doesn't. Making an app that is actually worth having is very expensive, and there would be no return on that investment.

    Aside from the editor, which is an issue, are there any other reasons that the mobile site is a joke?

    All the major desktop browsers support notifications, but the site doesn't support push notifications, which don't require the site (and sometimes even the browser) to be open, and which work properly on mobile.






    On 29.7.2016 at 6:50 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    An app would either be far too much work, and therefore expensive, or it would be no better than the desktop site, while still being a reasonable amount of work. At this time, it is not something that we are planning to do.



    On 28.7.2016 at 11:59 AM, LoGiCalDrm said:

    Tapatalk was disabled due issues it was causing.


    Biggest reasons why there isn't app are money and time. LTT forums have some devs but they are doing this as side project. Not getting paid for it. Official app would need more support and time. Like one person full-time for long time after launch. Plus money to pay for 'em. Since LTT viewers tend to rage when they need to pay for something, paid app is out of the question.


    What are some features you need and don't have with mobile forum? 

    On 28.7.2016 at 3:28 PM, LoGiCalDrm said:


    Then what good would app do that website and YT/Twitter/FB app don't? If you go about everything "It would be cool to have app for..." and then don't even know why it would be cool, it doesn't really make people in charge think that they should waste money on something. "Hi Linus! I want to develop mobile app for you. NOW PAY ME!!!!!" doesn't really work that way. Since they don't publish financial data of company, we don't know if they have money to employ full-time dev for job like this. And like @cluelessgenius said, they would need full time and fast. Since no one wants pay for project which takes same time from full-time that it would from part-time or side project. I mean they do employ other workers. But those works for things which bring money in. App for limited audience would maybe cover the expenses of developing.



    Its somewhat slower, but nothing major. It loads quite nice with 3G on S5.






    On 21.5.2016 at 4:29 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    Provided that you make it clear both in the title of the app and in and descriptions that the app is unofficial, specific permission is not required, provided that you follow the rules described in

    However, I don't see the benefit of making an unofficial app - the only thing you can do is make the entire thing a webview, so it is exactly the same as using a web browser, except that you have to switch to a different app to do it. If it were official, there would be a couple more things that could be done that would require implementation on the back end, but even then it would still not be much better than using the browser version, but with a lot of work involved.







    On 26.4.2016 at 8:55 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    Making an app is expensive, and takes a lot of time. The site should work well on mobile, and I am currently looking at some more aggressive caching methods, which may be able to make the site load even faster, though I can't promise that they will work, nor give an ETA for when it will be coming (we're talking several months minimum though).

    On 26.4.2016 at 9:05 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    Why is it any more scrolling than an app?

    It wouldn't be worth it in the long term though - making an app is expensive, and we don't have aggressive advertising to make lots of money on the website, so I doubt that we would make the experience poor with ads in an app to try and get back the large amount of money spent.


    On 24.4.2016 at 10:16 AM, LoGiCalDrm said:

    Notifications would really be only benefit of mobile app vs just browsing. Maybe something small like RSS reader with notification feed. But even that would be unofficial since devs are centered into making forum better.


    You can already set forum to send you push notifications while browser is running. Works really nicely with mobile Firefox. Another option is set a email spam. Which means that you set forum to send you email for every notification.



    On 11.4.2016 at 3:57 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    Making a mobile app would require a lot of time and cost a lot of money, and it wouldn't offer much benefit over just browsing the site using the browser on your phone (provided that you're using a recent, standards-compliant browser).






    On 19.3.2016 at 9:50 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    Making an app is a massive amount of work, and we would have to hire an external company to do it, making it expensive too. We would like it too, but it's just not viable. The mobile site isn't too bad though, so just use that.

    On 20.3.2016 at 5:39 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    That is a) not possible at this stage (do you have any idea how much work it would be to do that, which would just be removing features?) and b) not better, because then people with tablets have to pick between a poorly optimised desktop site and a poorly optimised mobile site.



    On 8.3.2016 at 9:50 AM, LoGiCalDrm said:

    Its rumored to be somewhere in features to come. Problem is that those who know about coding have their hands full with recent forum upgrade process and bugs still being there. An app would need few part-time or one full-time paid coder. LMG doesn't have money for that. Or really need as other services work for most people already.






    On 14.2.2016 at 0:51 PM, Windspeed36 said:

    At this stage we have no plans to develop a dedicated app for mobile. 

    On 14.2.2016 at 1:13 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    It would be easier for us to rewrite the tapatalk plugin to fix push notifications than it would be to make an entire app for the forums (but we aren't doing that). We do know what is preventing the push notifications from working, but the people who are able to fix it are incredibly busy at the moment, and they are not a top priority at the moment. It will be fixed in due course, but repeatedly asking for it won't make it be fixed any faster.





    20/1/2016 (before forum upgrade)









    On 11.9.2015 at 0:32 AM, colonel_mortis said:

    Making an app is expensive and a lot of work, so it won't be happening in the foreseeable future. The mobile version of the site will be getting a massive upgrade next year (along with the rest of the site), and it's possible that we may possibly also add some extra features that make the site provide an even more native-like experience. Those extra things haven't been confirmed and rely on some other changes that are not at all certain, so I'm not in a position to discuss what they are at this time though.








    On 6.8.2015 at 11:01 AM, LoGiCalDrm said:

    There isn't any official app. There's TapaTalk which is the ad you see while accessing mobile site. And there's unofficial android app which is basicly YT listing and link to forums and maybe to twitter.



    On 12.7.2015 at 0:38 PM, LoGiCalDrm said:

    They aren't programmers so they would need to buy that as service from someone else. Also support for that would need to be official and they don't have enough personel for that. So currently anything official is under ice. You are free the develope (or contact oodBytes if you have skills) your own, unofficial one.


    For forum use, you can either use mobile theme or TapaTalk. For videos, either Vessel mobile or YT mobile.



    On 1.7.2015 at 9:57 AM, colonel_mortis said:

    App development requires a lot of time, effort and money. That's not to say that it will never happen, but it isn't high on our priorities at the moment.

    The mobile version of the site works well enough in my experience, and if you want a more native experience, we do support tapatalk.











    On 25.3.2015 at 0:47 AM, colonel_mortis said:

    Unfortunately, IPB4 does not have a built in API :(

    However, that's not to say that there won't be an API for the forum, just that it won't be built in (that's also not to say that there will be one, though it's certainly something I am planning to look into).


    An app takes a lot of work, and it wouldn't add a huge amount. The mobile version of the forum will be improved significantly later in the year, hopefully making an app redundant.

    There is currently no app in development with forum integration (and I don't know about apps without forum integration), but it's not impossible that one will be developed at some point.









    On 16.1.2015 at 6:58 PM, colonel_mortis said:

    When we update to the next version of the forum software later this year, the mobile version of the site will be massively updated to match the functionality of the full site. @Syntaxvgm the front page is being worked on, just that the work is being done behind the scenes. It will be released at some point this year (hopefully).

    As for an app, all I know for certain at the moment is that LinusMediaGroup are aware of the growing need to develop an app.







  14. Previously all blue CS Go inventory 


    Glock - Blue Fizzure

    USP S - Royal Blue

    P250 - Valence

    Dual Barettas - Urban Shock

    Deagle - Cobalt Disruption

    Tec9 - Avalanche (Ice Cap released after I sold everything, read Pt2) 

    FiveSeven - Fowl Play


    Mac10 - Indigo

    MP9 - Pandora's Box 

    UMP45 - Minotaur's Labyrinth 

    P90 - Module 

    PPBizon - Blue Streak

    MP7 - Anodized Navy


    M4A1S - Icarus Fell

    AK47 - Frontside Misty

    GalilAR - Stone Cold

    Famas - Cyanospatter

    AWP - Corticera

    Scout - Abbyss

    SG - Anodized Navy

    AUG - Ricochet 

    Auto G3SG1 - Demeter

    Auto SCAR20 - Grotto


    Nova - Tempest

    XM2014 - Varicamo Blue

    MAG7 - Cobalt Core

    SawedOff - Serenity

    M249 - Shipping Forecast 

    Negev - Terrain


    Knife - Gut Knife Doppler Phase 4


    I just unboxed a knife and used all money in that

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    Who here has seen ??

  15. This post might be more popular with the older crowd. Many of these items were in a moving box within smaller boxes, this ended up being a mess to sort through for disposal and potential re-use. Decided upon less photos as some vintage computing users might go nuts seeing a stack of 5.25 floppies in a disposal pile. I don't throw out failed 5.25 floppies, they're re-used for art or custom CD cases for indie bands.


    Found a box of floppies in various sizes, if I recall that 3M 500K floppy was from a set of disks I used in childhood sometime around the C64/Apple II era and those McAfee VirusScan disks were when my school had a virus outbreak in their Novell WordPerfect PC lab--why I kept that floppy set, they can be erased and reused like I've done with past AOL floppies. In another bin I had even more Double-Density 720K floppies that are packed to be shipped to the UK, a friend still uses my old Amiga 1200.




    It was common to use portable HDD cartridges by SyQuest which were really Conner platters in a cartridge with just a single usable magnetic side, the EzFlyer 135 MB was designed to compete with the Iomega Zip and the 230 MB drive made removable storage affordable($30 back in 1996, 135 MB cartridges were reasonable at $15). SyQuest drives were unique as they ran between 3200-4000 RPM depending upon the series/generation(they made 5.25" & 3.5" cartridge drives), plenty fast enough for MIDI synth audio banks/recording your own mix arrangements, in graphic design they were common to transfer files without lugging a heavy external SCSI or Parallel Port HDD around, I actually used cartridges to boot minimal installs of DOS+Windows and MacOS 7.6(PowerMac 7300) if I needed to run a program which wanted more memory.  Reliability of SyQuest pre-SparQ were reasonable, however the SparQ like SyJet was prone to head crashes destroying any inserted storage media which were just as bad as Iomega's Zip click-of-death killing Zip cartridges--SyQuest went bankrupt in 1998, ex-SyQuest engineers later formed Castlewood to release the Orb which suffered a similar reliability nightmare.



    An old 1GB Western Digital drive, last I recall this drive was pulled from my 486 in 1997 and last spun up in 2002 in a Pentium III... more of a desk paperweight which I originally planned to reuse the platters for a turbine project. Drives after 2003 shifted to glass platters, I think Western Digital was the last to stop using metal platters--encountered a few 80-120GB drives with older platters built in 2004.



    When the underside of drives were still exposed and at risk of damage if you weren't careful...



    30-Pin RAM: Haven't actively supported any system using this RAM since 2002, these are my leftover test bench sticks. At one point I had over 80 1MB sticks, thankfully vintage computing allowed that stockpile to shrink. Most unlikely clients I've had were Ham Radio operators using old systems for custom controllers handling automated analog/digital recording deck solutions.



  16. I'm sick to death of people telling me "if it was so easy, the game devs would have done it by now. They know better than you do."


    Here is visible, incontrovertible proof that the games industry can get a huge boost from taking advantage of SIMD today, especially when games require Sandy Bridge or later hardware (meaning AVX is available, but not AVX2 for our purposes).


    First Example: Mesh Transform By Translation Using AVX Intrinsics


    Example updated and trimmed for readability.

    #include <cstdalign>
    #include <iostream>
    #include <chrono>
    #include <ctime>
    #include <x86intrin.h>
    //Size chosen because 30,000 triangles is considered medium-high for modern prominent characters
    const uint size = 90000;
    alignas(32) const float Mat3T[8]    = {1.0f, 2.0f, 3.0f, 1.0f,
                                           2.0f, 3.0f, 1.0f, 2.0f};
    alignas(32)       float Mesh[size]  = {};
    void translate_scalar(float *Mesh, const float *translation, const int length)
      for(uint i = 0; i < length; i+=3)
        Mesh[i]   += translation[0];
        Mesh[i+1] += translation[1];
        Mesh[i+2] += translation[2];
    void translate_vector(float *Mesh, const float *translation, const uint length)
      __m256 trans = _mm256_load_ps(translation);
      //we stay 8 ahead in count so we don't go out of bounds
      uint i = 7;
      for(; i < length; i += 8, Mesh += 8)
        __m256 verts = _mm256_load_ps(Mesh);
        verts        = _mm256_add_ps(verts, trans);
        _mm256_store_ps(Mesh, verts);
        trans = _mm256_permute_ps(trans, _MM_SHUFFLE(2, 1, 0, 2));
      //Cleanup loop for cases where length is not a multiple of 8
      uint diff = 8 - (i - length);
      if( diff != 0)
        float temp[8] = {};
        _mm256_store_ps(temp, trans);
        //for(uint j = 0; j < diff; ++j) { Mesh[j] += temp[j]; }
        while(diff != 0)
          *Mesh += temp[7-diff];
    int main()
      using namespace std::chrono;
      std::cout << "Mesh size in floats: " << size << "\n";
      high_resolution_clock::time_point start, end;
      start = high_resolution_clock::now();
      translate_scalar(Mesh, Mat3T, size);
      end = high_resolution_clock::now();
      duration<double> time_span = duration_cast<duration<double>>(end - start);
      std::cout << "Scalar translation took " << time_span.count() << "s\n";
      start = high_resolution_clock::now();
      translate_vector(Mesh, Mat3T, size);
      end = high_resolution_clock::now();
      duration<double> time_span2 = duration_cast<duration<double>>(end - start);
      std::cout << "Vector translation took " << time_span2.count() << "s\n";
      /*//This will double-check your work.
      for(uint i = 0; i < size; i += 3)
        std::cout << Mesh[i] << ", " << Mesh[i+1] << ", " << Mesh[i+2] << "\n";



    My average timings and variance for a 4960HQ on my Macbook Pro Retina under Fedora 24, latest kernel as of 10/15/2016:

    Compiler: Clang++ 3.8.0

    Flags:      -std=c++14 -O3 -march=native

    Mesh size in floats: 90000
    Scalar translation took 6.08489e-04s +- 0.11032e-04s
    Vector translation took 5.82480e-05s +- 0.14391e-05s


    The short of it is you can write tighter, denser loops with a little bit of effort. While the latency for each vector add is 3 cycles and each multiplication is 5, multiple iterations can be in flight at once on a single thread. The throughput for the vectorized version is 8x the scalar version without any unrolling. Thus, the loop can also easily fit into the small loop detector which can shave off some cycles due to prefetch removal and result forwarding between iterations. Assuming you don't run out of memory bandwidth, you can actually do other tasks on this same core without using hyper threading as long as they do not depend on the result of the mesh manipulation. Looking at the SB block diagram, with each clock achieving both an 8-wide vector multiplication and 8-wide vector addition, you can achieve more than 50GFlops per core on a 2600K, but the memory bandwidth will not allow you to load and store the results as quickly as you can request and produce them at a rate of 50GB/s without high-end dual-channel DDR3 or a quad-channel configuration. It would be best to use a C++ 17 stack-less resumable function to encapsulate this and do short bursts of another task when more than 3 L3 cache misses happen in a row (this can be tracked with a hardware profiler to determine optimal burst lengths).


    If there is interest, I can go into nuances of leveraging vectorization techniques in conjunction with other data transforms relevant to gaming (though I'm not giving away my AVX ray tracer). I can also look into benchmarking multicore use of this and balancing it out against other tasks to achieve best performance for a given configuration.

  17. So, it's fall, and you want a new gaming PC? Well you're on the right place!


    230$ Starter Build


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU:  Integrated with Motherboard
    Motherboard: ASRock Q1900M Micro ATX Celeron J1900 Motherboard  ($69.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
    Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($32.99 @ Directron) 
    Storage: Hitachi 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($39.00 @ Amazon) 
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GT 710 2GB Video Card  ($32.98 @ Newegg) 
    Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case  ($24.99 @ NCIX US) 
    Power Supply: EVGA 400W ATX Power Supply  ($27.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
    Total: $227.94
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-10-16 15:10 EDT-0400

    415$ Mid-Range


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: AMD FX-8300 3.3GHz 8-Core Processor  ($112.59 @ Amazon) 
    Motherboard: ASRock 970M PRO3 Micro ATX AM3+/AM3 Motherboard  ($37.24 @ Newegg) 
    Memory: Mushkin Stealth 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($49.89 @ OutletPC) 
    Storage: Hitachi 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($39.00 @ Amazon) 
    Video Card: PowerColor Radeon RX 460 4GB Red Dragon Video Card  ($118.98 @ Newegg) 
    Case: Xion XON-310_BK MicroATX Mid Tower Case  ($21.98 @ Newegg) 
    Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply  ($36.89 @ OutletPC) 
    Total: $416.57
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-10-16 15:17 EDT-0400

    575$ Budget Beast


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($160.64 @ Amazon) 
    Motherboard: Foxconn H61MX Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard  ($55.44 @ Amazon) 
    Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($32.99 @ Directron) 
    Storage: A-Data Premier Pro SP600 64GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($34.86 @ Amazon) 
    Storage: Hitachi 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($39.00 @ Amazon) 
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB SC GAMING Video Card  ($189.99 @ Newegg) 
    Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case  ($24.99 @ NCIX US) 
    Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply  ($36.89 @ OutletPC) 
    Total: $574.80
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-10-16 15:21 EDT-0400

    Thanks for reading!

  18. After I used Windows 10 as my primary OS for many months, I realised that I wouldn't miss anything about it if I went back to Windows 7. And since I found that everything was more difficult, more frustrating, more ugly, and more time-consuming on Windows 10, I went back to Windows 7 as my primary OS. Windows 10 made the detail of just having an OS a chore and liability all on its own, whereas Windows 7 is just passively there, like an OS should be, and just works for whatever I decide to do, without any of the barriers, talk-back, and convolution of Windows 10.


    This post's sections include:

    1) General Windows 7, Windows 10 user experience comparison

    2) Gaming and application-wise

    3) The modern Microsoft factor

    4) My conclusion




    General Windows 7, Windows 10 user experience comparison:


    These are many of the reasons why I found Windows 7 to be a much more sophisticated, smartly-designed, and user-friendly OS than Windows 10:


    Windows 7 has a more useful and efficient start-menu design, that takes up less screen space, and requires less mouse travel distance to get to what you want. Pinning applications to a space-efficient list directly above the start button is a lot more space-smart, and functionally-useful than the live-tiles design in Windows 10.


    Windows 7 has an intelligent Windows Update set of choices, whereas in Windows 10, unless you edit Group Policies, you have basically no choice. The choice to defer updates is not useful, since deferring them still causes the same ambiguous and random update process to automatically occur, just a couple of months later. There isn't even a choice for how long to defer them. Also, with the Anniversary Update, Microsoft has reduced the availability of Group Policy options in Windows 10, a move which certainly wasn't done to be of any service to Windows 10 Pro license owners.


    Customizing file-associations in Windows 7 is straight-forward, while in Windows 10 it can be a repeating arm-wrestle with the OS, as sometimes Win 10 resets the file associations you've changed, and sometimes the ability to change file-associations "bugs," and it doesn't let it be changed, or doesn't list the application you want and doesn't provide any means to add the application you want to use to the list (such as to use Chrome to open URLs from offline, non-browser text).


    Windows 10's UI isn't very aesthetic to many people, and Windows 7's UI feels a lot more comfortable to me. Windows 10's UI can be changed to some extent, using programs like Startisback, Classic Shell, or  Start 10, and Aero Glass.


    Windows 10's data-collection is invasive, and it isn't straight-forward to turn it off. Microsoft has made effort to spread the settings for various aspects of data-collection in many different places, to make it challenging for a person to find them all and disable them all. And extra efforts may be required to put a more thorough stop to MS' collection of your data, such as those described in the link in my signature. Don't presume that just because you turned off telemetry and data-collection during the Win 10 installation process that you got it all. You'll find more data-collection settings in individual MS apps that need turning off in them after the OS has completed installation.


    Windows 10 has so far tended to often require users to redo their OS customization work with new big updates, which can have the magical ability to reset things back to the way MS wants them to be. For that reason, and because of data-collection, and because of file-association challenges, Windows 10 is not a user-friendly OS. It's a for-Microsoft OS, that a user might have to struggle with quite a bit to get the way they want, and to keep it the way they want. It's rather abusive, in this.


    In Windows 10, there are in-OS ads, which is something Windows 7 doesn't have. Does anyone want to see advertisement in their personal space? I don't.


    In Windows 10, Windows Defender is a nuisance, unless it is permanently disables in Group Policy Editor, and all system warning notifications are disabled (otherwise Windows 10 will constantly bother the user to re-enable Windows Defender).


    Windows 10 has (lots of) bugs, and while new versions and patches fix some, they also often create new ones, sometimes major ones. Windows 7 has been generally bug-free (or, few enough that I haven't encountered any since its release).


    Microsoft uses Windows 10 to pester users about whatever random thing they want to happen:


    I feel that the best thing I found about Windows 10 is that, after setting everything up the way that I'd like it, it functions pretty much like Windows 7, with the only differences being worse on Windows 10 than in Windows 7. But since it takes more work to set up than Windows 7, and since it takes work to keep Windows 10 set up the way I want it to be (since Microsoft's Win 10 updates seems to cause people's Windows 10 configurations to reset arbitrarily), I can't see why I would go with the OS that takes ongoing work to be good, rather than the OS that is simply good from the start.


    Areas in which I've discovered Windows 7 to be more configurable than Windows 10 include: Windows Updates, system restarting, the Group Policy editor, removing default apps, configuring what the default apps for file-types are, disabling background data-collection, account permissions, and visual customization.




    Gaming and Application-wise:

    There are no tangible performance differences between Windows 7 and Windows 10 in non DirectX 12 games and applications. While I haven't looked at benchmarks on the subject in a long time, last I saw, some games will perform better in one Windows OS compared to another, but, on average, across a large selection of games, Windows 7, 8, and 10 all perform within ~1 FPS of each other, with the two overall fastest Windows OSes being Windows 8, then Windows 7, with Windows 10 coming in last for performance in non DX12 games.


    On my dual-boot system, Windows 7 is the OS that's lighter on system resources, using only 13% RAM at idle, compared with 15% RAM-usage at idle in Win 10 (Anniversary Update version).


    Compatibility-wise, Windows 7 has better support for a larger amount of games and applications, having been the main gaming OS for a very long time, and continuing to be the OS with the largest market share. Because of this, Windows 7 also has a lot more community guides, fixes, and other materials to get games and applications to run on it, then does any other OS.

    Windows 7 is a more stable and reliable OS in general than Windows 10, and Windows 7 doesn't interfere with online gaming by automatically updating and sharing data, such as can occur in Windows 10, for whatever MS app and service wants to do that. There are more options available to Windows 7 owners, to ensure that there won't be any automatic updates while they're playing their games, and Windows 7 doesn't cloud-share OS updates to other Windows owners, which Windows 10 does, unless a person disables it.
    Windows 7 doesn't have directX 12, but it does have Vulkan, which accomplishes the same low-level hardware communication that improves application performance, and Windows 7 in Vulkan is just as good as Windows 10 in DX12. I think that Vulkan is more likely to become the industry standard than DX12, as it is available for all Windows, Linux, and more, OSes, whereas DX12 is only available in Windows 10. As Valve has expressed, there doesn't seem to be much point in making a game DX12, when making it Vulkan will make it accessible cross-platform.


    Also, there doesn't currently seem to be any benefit for Nvidia cards in DX12, with Nvidia GPUs typically losing performance when running DX12 modes, compared to their performances while in DX11 mode. Because of this, and because of Vulkan's availability on previous Windows OSes, I think that Windows 10's DX12 has nothing to offer Nvidia GPU owners.
    Windows 10 has a lot of problems right now, and Microsoft, with their new QA strategy (having laid off most of their testing engineers), has, so far, been unable to stay on top of them. I would avoid Windows 10 just for that reason. But there are other issues with Windows 10 that make it not the most sound OS for gaming, whatever a person is looking to do with it.




    The modern Microsoft factor:


    In the last 3 years, Microsoft has fired around 20,000 employees (many of whom were testing engineers), has changed management, has rearranged internal development and testing structures, has completely shifted business strategies away from software-first to monetization-first, and as a result, is no longer capable of quality product design, or of producing competent software releases. As ridiculous as things seemed to be under Ballmer, Microsoft is a not the same company today, for the worse, and Windows is not the same product anymore, also for the worse. The new Microsoft didn't design and develop the Windows IP, and has simply inherited the Windows IP, and is now just looking for how they can exploit and prostitute every cranny of it. It's just like when a pharmaceutical company buys the rights for a drug that they didn't research or develop, and then jacks the price up by 5000%. Or, it's like when a big publisher buys a developer of a popular game, and turns their game into a dumbed-down, overly-generic version of its previous form.


    Currently, Windows 10 is probably the most buggy OS Microsoft has released since Windows ME, and each new major Win 10 update brings as many new bugs as it fixes. I think that Windows 10 simply is not a professional OS. It's like an indie-dev's prototype that never solidifies into anything great, but just morphs from one bloated and troubled presentation to another. Also, Win 10 is littered with "bugs" that are intentional, to keep people using MS services - things like issues with changing default apps away from MS ones. If a program starts doing that on a person's PC, it's called malware. And it's not different when Microsoft does it, through Windows. I think that it is fair to classify Windows 10 as malware, especially since it installed itself on so many PC systems without permission. And malware to be cleaned from a system. 


    I think that Windows 10 is not a professional OS, and many businesses agree, and see Windows 10 as a debacle to be avoided, with nothing to be gained over previous versions of Windows, but rather the liabilities of it being a perpetual beta OS, filled with a bunch of consumer crapware and half-baked phone/mobile apps that have no business on a PC. The redesign of Microsoft QA has led to the current situation where accepting Windows updates can actually be more of a liability than not updating Windows:




    Here's an article looking at what some of the changes have been to Microsoft's style of testing. With Microsoft having halved the number of OS testing engineers, there are bound to be differences between traditional Windows QA and modern Windows QA results: Why did Microsoft lay off 'Programmatic testers'?


    Windows today is not the Windows we are familiar with, and Microsoft today is not the Microsoft we are familiar with. I think that both of those things, in their modern forms, are shit.


    And, in both my opinion, and experience with using Windows 10 since its release, using Windows 10 is sort of like walking through a minefield, in that you never know when something is going to screw something up, or even everything up, but you know that there are issues lying in wait to go off, all over the place. And every so often, sometimes frequently, something happens to create frustration, and requires work, sometimes a lot of work, to get sorted out.




    My conclusion:


    Windows 10 is a hyper-invasive, user-fighting, buggy, perpetual beta/demo version of Windows, that is ad-supported, and which is a constant chore and headache to keep set up, and to get it to do what a user wants it to.

    On the other hand, Windows 7, at least up until June / July 2015, behaves like it is the full version of Windows, which just works, obeys the user, and doesn't collect a user's data for resale to make MS money, and doesn't try to trick the user at every turn, or even at all.


    In my view, Windows 10 is a snake-oil OS, and many people are merely caught up in a sentiment they have of Windows 10 being new and the future, and they just want to ride that fluffy feeling while shutting down their minds completely.

    Meanwhile, the I find reality to be that Windows 10 has less useful functionality than Windows 7, is a lot less stable and reliable than Windows 7, is less user-friendly than Windows 7, offers a PC admin less control than Windows 7, is more invasive than Windows 7, has in-OS ads which Windows 7 doesn't, has an excess of bloatware pre-installed while Windows 7 doesn't, and constantly resets customised file-associations to force people into using MS applications, which Windows 7 doesn't do.

  19. Picture with actual parts instead of a drawing...