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  1. So hi peeps. I'm back, who's back, this guy he's back. Aw yeah!

    Been on some form of hiatus but I do wanna finish my upcoming design & start working on physical building my tower case from scratch hopefully this year. Still thinking & re-thinking important stuff and things that'll be totally custom as prototypes which can eventually become a working product. #Crossyourfingers

    Haven't made any updates because I'm just busy & need to find myself a job soon.

  2. SSL's Blog

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    Recent Entries

    Introduction

    Audio interference (as defined below under "Symptoms") is a defect in a system due to hardware, software or firmware problems. It is not an inevitable consequence of using an integrated audio codec or sound card.

     

    Purchase of a sound card or external DAC is not necessary to fix this issue in most cases.

     

    Sanity Check (START HERE FIRST)

    Before diving into an exhaustive troubleshooting process, do some basic pre-checks:

    • Ensure that audio connectors are inserted into the correct jack (headphones in headphone jack, speakers in line-out)
    • Ensure that audio connectors have the right wiring for the given jack (e.g. 3-pin plug to 3-pin jack, 4-pin to 4-pin, etc)
    • Ensure audio connectors are fully and firmly inserted into audio jacks
    • Ensure that software or drivers are properly configured (headphone mode for headphones, speaker mode for speakers)

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure that your system supports the type of device you are using. If you are using headphones, make sure that your audio source supports headphones and is CONFIGURED to support headphones. A "tinny" sound may mean that you are trying to use headphones while your audio is in speaker mode.

     

    Symptoms

    Audio interference manifests as any of the following sounds coming through speakers, headphones, or other audio recording and playback equipment. Coil whine coming directly from a power supply, GPU, or motherboard capacitor is not audio interference, although it may be related.

    • Continuous static, clicks, crackles, or pops; Rice Crispy sounds
    • Static or buzzing when moving the mouse, typing on the keyboard, or accessing physical drives
    • Static, buzzing, or crackling when in a game or during other heavy 3D workloads
    • Continuous hum or buzz around 60Hz and/or its harmonics
    • Intermittent buzzing that may follow a regular pattern

    Possible Causes

    The canned solution to audio interference is to get an external DAC or soundcard. This advice frequently results in needless expenditure and may not even address the underlying problem.

     

    Spoiler
    • Ground loop: A problem where there is more than one path to ground, with differing potential between the two grounds. This usually causes a continuous, audible hum or buzz around 60Hz or its harmonics.
    • SLI or Crossfire: Multi-GPU setups may cause various issues with audio processing.
    • Overclocking: Overclocks to the CPU, GPU, system RAM, or other components.
    • UEFI/BIOS: Out-of-date motherboard BIOS may degrade PCI performance or promote instability.
    • Drivers: Out-of-date drivers for audio or other components may cause high latency and degraded performance.
    • Software: Extraneous bloatware, particularly those that are audio-related, may reduce performance. Applications that run with a "realtime" priority may also be at fault.
    • Power management: OS and BIOS settings designed to save energy such as C1E and EIST.
    • Improper grounding: A (very) low quality power supply without proper ground connection or a motherboard not properly seated against the I/O plate may rob the system of a proper path to ground. Older AC wall outlets may also lack a true ground.
    • Electrical short: Improper electrical contact between components may cause various problems; an out of place motherboard standoff or contact between add-on cards are possible culprits.
    • Internal cabling: Poor quality power supply cables, GPU power splitters, extensions, and poor cable combinations/placement may contribute to power fluctuations and EMI. Low quality cables and adapters are a fire hazard.
    • External cabling: Data or analog audio cables running close or parallel to power cables, or any cable - whether data, audio, or AC - that lacks proper shielding/filtering may render the audio chain vulnerable to external RFI and EMI interference.
    • Electrical wiring: Improper wiring of AC wall sockets or lack of ground may cause issue with power delivery and proper grounding of components.
    • Component proximity: Placing sensitive audio equipment close to sources of EMI or RFI may introduce audio interference to the signal chain. These sources may include but are not limited to mobile phones, wireless access points, graphics cards, power transformers, and radio transmitters/transceivers.

     

    Diagnostic Steps

    As audio interference may be caused by an enormous range of problems, the purpose of diagnostics is to narrow down the proximate cause in as systematic fashion as possible. At this point do not directly attempt to solve the problem.

    • Perform each check in the following list. If the audio interference issue goes away, you have likely identified the cause. In some cases, no further steps may be required.
    • If the troubleshooting step fixes the issue but is not practical for normal use (such as booting in Windows Safe Mode or disabling an overclock), consult the corresponding Solutions and Workarounds section below.

    FIRST STEPS:

    1. Test different headphones/speakers on the system AND test the same headphones/speakers on a different system
      • This will determine if the problem is related to your system or your headphones/speakers
    2. Test all audio jacks/USB ports, both on the case and on the rear motherboard IO panel
      • A jack or port may be bad
    3. Reduce system master volume and/or game master volume from 100% to 75-80%
      • For microphones: reduce volume and turn down gain/boost if available
    4. Disable all audio effects in the Windows Sound and Audio Devices Properties
      • Audio effects in the Windows mixer reduce quality and can cause interference

    Check for Driver and Software Issues:

    • Try different settings in the audio drivers control panel or system audio settings
      • Ensure that if you are using headphones that your audio is in headphone mode
      • Ensure that if your audio settings have an impedance or gain setting that it is not too high or too low
    • Boot Windows in Safe Mode; if the interference stops it is likely caused by a driver
      • On Windows 7, 8, or 10, install LatencyMon to determine the responsible driver
      • On Windows XP or Vista, install DPC Latency Checker. You will need to systematically disable devices in hardware manager to narrow down the cause.
    • Disable unused audio devices in the Windows Device Manager
    • Check Task Manager for resource hogs and real-time priority processes
    • Perform a full virus scan

    Check for Power Management Issues:

    • Disable C1E (Enhanced halt state) and EIST (Intel SpeedStep) in BIOS
    • Set Windows Power Plan to Power Saver or High Performance
    • Disable all overclocks (CPU, GPU, RAM, etc)

    Check for Hardware Issues:

    • Disable unused/non-essential motherboard components at the BIOS level, such as NICs or RAID/SATA controllers
    • Disconnect ALL non-audio peripherals (including mouse, keyboard, and display)
    • Disconnect front audio header and use motherboard rear-panel or sound card; if you are already using rear-panel audio, try front-panel instead
    • Remove discrete graphics cards
    • Remove discrete soundcard

    Check for Electrical Shorts and Grounding Issues:

    • Remove case side panels; check for unwanted electrical contact between components such as wires and electrical contacts
    • Disconnect front audio header
    • Verify that the motherboard is firmly secured. Standoffs and screws should be firm. Ensure the motherboard is firmly seated in the IO plate, and that the IO plate is firmly seated in the case.
    • Verify that the power supply is properly secured in the case and that it is connected to a grounded (3-prong) outlet

    Check for Wireless Interference:

    • Relocate possible sources of EMI/RFI interference away from the computer and audio equipment (wireless access points, wireless peripherals, mobile phones, microwave ovens, etc)
    • Unplug other appliances that may be source of interference over AC power
      • This includes but is not limited to: household appliances, dimmer light switches, and other computers
    • Connect the system a different AC wall socket, preferably on a different circuit breaker

    Check External Cabling:

    • Try switching out audio signal or data transmission cables for working spares
    • If experiencing interference in only one channel of a multi-channel system, swap the channel cables
    • Move AC power cables as far away as possible from audio and digital cables, and eliminate parallel runs where possible
    • Swap compatible AC power cables or switch them out for a working spare

    Check Electrical Wiring:

    • Obtain and use an AC wall socket tester (usually available for less than $10); if issues are found, try a different outlet or re-wire
      • If you do not have a socket tester, try plugging your system into another outlet, preferably a kitchen or bathroom GFCI outlet, which are generally required to be grounded by code

    Solutions and Workarounds

    Audio Settings:

    • Disable microphone gain or effects in the Windows Sound and Audio Devices Properties
    • Test different sampling rates in the Windows Sound and Audio Devices Properties; for example 16 vs 24 bit, 44.1kHz vs 192kHz.

    Audio Device Conflict:

    • Disable unused audio devices in the Windows Sound and Audio Devices Properties OR Windows Device Manager
      This includes the HDMI audio output included on many GPUs
    • Disable unused recording devices in the Windows Sound and Audio Devices Properties OR Windows Device Manager

    Peripherals:

    • Try peripherals in different USB ports

    Add-on Cards:

    • Move add-on cards, including GPU, and ensure they are properly seated
    • Re-seat auxiliary power cables
    • Use different power harness combinations if available from power supply
    • Ensure that motherboard and IO plate are properly seated (grounded)
    • Disable SLI and remove one card; re-boot and re-enable SLI

    Software:

    • Disable unnecessary startup programs and services, especially those that are audio-related
      Exercise caution; some startup items might be essential to the proper function of your computer

    Drivers/BIOS:

    Flashing the BIOS or changing the CMOS can cause the memory and PCI performance to improve. Occasionally, this can cause performance to degrade. For more information about specific versions or for information about updates, please contact your motherboard manufacturer.

    • Download and install latest audio drivers from motherboard manufacturer website
      You may need to use a beta driver or even downgrade in some situations
    • Download and install latest graphics drivers from GPU manufacturer website
      You may need to use a beta driver or even downgrade in some situations
    • Remove and reinstall default Windows audio drivers (uninstall device and scan for hardware changes in Windows Device Manager)
    • Update other device drivers from motherboard manufacturer website
      For unused devices (SATA controllers, etc): Uninstall driver and disable device in BIOS or Windows Device Manager
    • Update motherboard BIOS using latest downlaod from motherboard manufacturer website (use caution)
    • Ensure that SATA devices are not conflicting with PCI memory resources. Changing to a different controller may help.

    Internal Cabling:

    • Re-route AND/OR add shielding to the front audio header cable
    • Try different power harness combinations from the power supply: for example, if using two PCIe power cables for a GPU, try a single cable with a splitter (if available)

    External Cabling:

    Electrical Wiring/Ground Loop:

    Sources and References

  3. So, I have not been exactly the most active blog member. I've been going through a job change- from IT Technician to Network Manager at the biggest school in my town. So proud. Anyway, places change, jobs change but people... people never change. A girl came up today asking for a "Geiger counter". If I was a halfwit I'd have no idea what she was on about but I know a few things about science, 3 to be exact. I said I'm the Network manager but she said "my teacher told me to go to the technician". "Well, maybe your teacher had the science technician in mind"? Damn.

     

    Over and out. I'll have probably less blog entries now since this sort of thing is rare unlike my previous job...

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

     

    230$ Starter Build

    Spoiler

    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

    Spoiler

    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

    Spoiler

    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!

  5. 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:

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/3/12369326/microsoft-windows-10-chrome-battery-life-notifications

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3002960/windows-10-microsoft-is-spamming-chrome-users-with-pop-up-adverts

    https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/732600-windows-10-pushes-notifcaitons-to-remind-you-to-watch-the-superbowl-and-to-purchase-snacks/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/5xec80/is_nothing_sacred_advertisement_for_onedrive_in/

    https://boards.4chan.org/g/thread/59233293

     

    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:

     

    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/08/kindle-crashes-and-broken-powershell-something-isnt-right-with-windows-10-testing/

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3107306/microsoft-windows/microsoft-admits-to-distributing-windows-printing-bugs-in-kb-3177725-and-kb-3176493.html

    https://redmondmag.com/articles/2016/06/16/june-patch-breaks-group-policy-settings.aspx

    http://windowsreport.com/partition-disappears-windows-10-anniversary-update/

    http://superuser.com/questions/1022063/windows-10-default-programs-keep-changing

    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/16-windows-10-anniversary-update-issues-fix/

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2016/08/15/microsoft-warns-windows-10-anniversary-update-crashes-problems/

    http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/717115/Windows-10-Anniversary-Update-Install-Problems-Fail

    https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/76719/microsoft-broken-millions-webcams-windows-10-anniversary-update

     

     

    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.

  6. 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

    Shit

    Due to sound quality, value, or both.

    • AudioEngine
    • Logitech (except z2300)
    • Fluance SX6
    • Mackie CR3
    • Monoprice 6.5" Two-Way
  7. 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:

    windows_10_not_lean_mem_usage.png

     

    Processes:

    windows_10_not_lean_processes.png

    windows_10_processes_tab.png

     

    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  
             
    Heaven        
      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  
             
    GTAV        
      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:

    windows_10_apps.png

     

    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.

    windows_10_system_apps.png

     

    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:

    windows_10_local_packages.png

     

    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

     

    processes.png

    processes_2.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  
             
    Heaven        
      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  
             
    GTAV        
      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.

     

    Conclusions

    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  
                                 
    Heaven                            
      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  
                                 
    GTAV                            
      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  

     

  8. I'm a bit late but I have been studying a lot in my spare time in order to meet my schedule, so please forgive me for my lateness. Anyways.........!

     

    Now the book I am using to study this with has a "skip" section on the handwriting section if your aim is to just read/speak it, but if you wish to persist through this too, I've taken some sample shots of the pages' instructions. If you need clearer images, I went ahead and googled some more references for you that you can get to by clicking the title of the Spoiler Tag. All of the Handwriting section will be under a spoiler, since by itself it is huge and because it is skippable.
     

    ~Russian Handwriting~

    Spoiler

    umYjgxa.png

    r6nVsAz.png

    SHNHxb1.png

    lmH4Jt5.png

    1fs1vug.png

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Yup. That's the end of that. Feel free to practice it!

     

     

    More on Russian Pronunciation: Stress

     

    Just like in English (or many other languages) some syllables in Russian are pronounced more prominently than others. In English, for example, consider the differences of "Phótograph" and "Photógraphy". If you don't know the differences of the words, pronounce each carefully. Notice how in "Phótograph" you put more emphasis on the first syllable? And in the second word "Photógraphy" the stress is marked on the second syllable. Stress in Linguistics is signaled by an increased loudness, vowel length, full articulation of a vowel, and changes in pitch. If you need more information on syllables and stress, please consider looking into the links I have provided at the bottom of this entry under "Resources".

     

    Continuing on: In Russian, normal writing does not mark stress visually, just like in English, so it is important to learn the stress of words or the general stress rule. Be careful though with stress in words and most definitely names, since the traditional English pronunciation is often never matches the Russian. For example, English speakers tend to put stress on "влади́мир" (Vladimir) in the first syllable like so "Vládimir", but in Russian stress is always placed on the second syllable, like so "[Vla-de’е-meer]".

     

    Here are some more examples:

     

    • The writer Pasternak is "Пастерна́к" (not Pа́sternak)
    • Nabokov is "Набо́ков " (not Nа́bokov)
    • Oblomov (a man in Goncharо́v's famous novel) is "Обло́мов" (not О́blomov)

     

    Stress in Russian is heavier than it is in English and much harder to predict which syllable is going to get lucky and get marked for stress. Sometimes you will find that different forms of the same word will have different stresses. For example, in Russian hand "Рука́" and  hands "Ру́ки" have two completely different stresses. The first "Рука́" has stress on the end and the second word "Ру́ки" has stress on the first. It is one of the many reasons why you should learn the stress of words you are learning/know of...otherwise, if you do not know the stress, the safest method to proceed is to read it without stress at all, syllable by syllable.

     

    Next we delve into a bit more of the Linguistics of the language itself. If your goal is to just be understood, feel free to skip this. But if you are like me, you want to know how things work and why. If you are, the following six points will show you the small differences between Moscow Russian is written and the way it is pronounced.

     

    Softness;

     

    Many call it the indication of a good Russian accent and from what I have heard and dealt with, I'd agree with them. I learned more about what this is actually called (and generally more about it) from a friend (@aalsuvorov) who has been willing to educate me further in Russian. What it is is the correct pronunciation of soft consonants and you might be wondering what "soft consonants" are. Well,  "soft" means the consonant is pronounced with a simultaneous y sound. You can tell if a consonant is soft if it is followed by any of these letters/sounds:

    е ё и ю я or the soft sign "Ь".

     

    The main thing you must remember to do is pronounce the y sound with the consonant before it. Many people end up pronouncing the two separately instead of simultaneously. For example the word "сове́т" ('council') is pronounced [s-a-vy-е́-t] — that's five sounds. The vy (soft в) is not two sounds, but one! In English, we say it "s-o-v-i-e-t", six, instead of five sounds!

     

    Hard Consonants vs Soft Consonants;

     

    'Hard' consonants are pronounced just like in English, without the simultaneous y sound like in soft consonants. Earlier, in "", we learned there are twenty consonants. Of them, with the exception of "" and "", are all hard consonants. "" and "" are always soft! Of the other eighteen, fifteen of them will tell you if they are to be pronounced soft, as they will always be marked with any of "е ё и ю я" or the soft sign shown above. For example, "Л" [l] is hard but "Ль" [ly] is soft! That is to say, in Russian "[l]" and "[ly]" are two different sounds, but to many English speakers they probably just think it is a variant (allophone) of [l].

     

    For example, compare the [l] in "people" to the [l] in "leaf". Do you hear the difference (different dialects might make this hard though)? The [l] in "people"  is like "Л" (hard) while the [l] in "leaf" is like "Ль" (soft). Do you notice the differences? Here are some more examples of hard and soft consonants in Russian:

     

    • Мйло [meela] 'nice' - hard л
    • Мйля [meelya] 'mile' - soft ль
    • Лук [look] 'onion' - hard l
    • Люк [lyook] 'hatch' - [ly] is soft
    • Мат [mat] 'bad language', 'abuse'  - hard т
    • Мать [maty] 'mother' - soft ть
    • Мать [maty] 'mother' - hard М
    • Мять [myaty] 'to crumple' - soft [my]

     

    Before И the [y] element is less audible but please be aware that regardless the consonant is still soft.

     

    • Бить [beety] 'to beat' - soft Б

     

    However, if the 'Б' was hard, the vowel would not be и but ы. For example:

     

    • Быть [bity] 'to be' - hard Б

     

    Consonants that are always hard: Ж Ц Ш

     

    Even though the letters е ё и ю я ь mark the preceding consonant soft, there are exceptions...like most languages. Thankfully not as much as French, though. They are the following: Ж Ц Ш. These letters are always—always—pronounced hard (no [y] sound!), no matter the following letter. Like the word Жена́ 'wife' is pronounced [zhe-nа́] —the [y] of the letter e [ye] simply disappears.And in Жёны 'wives' is pronounced as if it were written like Жо́ны [zhо́-ni]. Ты зна́ешь 'you know' is actually pronounced as if it were written like Ты зна́еш [znа́-yesh]. The soft sign has no effect and has become historical in usage only.

     

    Oh, and before I forget to add it...after the letters 'Ж', 'Ц' and 'Ш' you should hear the vowel и [ee] pronounced as if it were actually ы [ i ]. As so:

     

    • Жить [zhity] 'to live'
    • Цирк [tsirk] 'circus'

     

     

    Next time on Learning Russian! (lol) we learn about voiced and unvoiced consonants! How fun! Stick around and just remember...practice makes perfect! Or so they say... :ph34r:

     

     

  9. So the first phone I ever got was when I was about 12, it was a Samsung Intensity, and my god was this phone awesome. It's slide out keyboard made it so I could text like a freak and the battery would easily last 2 days if I forgot to charge overnight it as I often did. To go with it was my first plan. Originally my mom was going to go with a texting based plan that came with 100 texts and 30 or so minutes but I convinced my mom to spend a few more bucks to get the unlimited texting plan. Boy was she happy when she got my first bill. Within a month I had managed to send more than 1,500 text messages. Oh yea, and I had some (at the time) cool looking skin for the phone that fell off as the months went on.

    The next phone that I got was the Xperia Play. I was able to get this around 2 years after using my Intensity because of my moms Twitter popularity. Rogers contacted my mom and said that they would give my mom, my brother, and myself, any phone of our choice for free. They gave us a list of a few phones and we took our picks. My brother, being more tech savvy than me at the time chose the Samsung Galaxy S2, my mom picked some random Windows phone, and I picked the Xperia Play. I picked it because I was 13 and addicted to stupid little mobile games. We got the phones and I was immediately hooked on all the silly Sony Play games. I used the phone pretty aggressively until the day it died. I was at my step-cousins cottage and we were going from inside to the outdoor hot tub. I slipped the Play into the pocket of my swimsuit (which I was wearing basically 24/7 at that point) and walked outside. Without thinking at all, I ran into the hot tub and sat in it for a matter of about 30 seconds until I realized my mistake. I yanked it out of my pocket and ran inside to drain it out. Due to the fact that I have an Asian step family we had lots of rice on hand. We tossed the phone into a bag of rice and left it there overnight. I came back to it the next day expecting this magical trick to work but came back disappointed. It was dead.

    Following my Play's death, I went back to the phone that my brother had been using from the free Rogers deal, the Galaxy S2. This phone was amazing. It was my first real android phone and It was able to survive just about anything (given that it did have an Otterbox Commuter case) This phone was my introduction into the tech and app world. In my year or so of using this phone, it must have survived hundreds of drops. From everything to rivers, concrete floors, stairs, and if i'm honest, some on purpose drops (to demonstrate its toughness of course). I can't remember anytime that this phone failed me and it always seemed to have enough juice to just barely make it through the day. The day it left my hands was a sad day but also a good day because I got it's successor!

    I got the S3 (and sold my S2) around late 2013 when my brother jumped on the Nexus 5. This phone was like those Russian dolls that split open only to reveal another doll. It kept giving and giving. It could run anything I really needed, had a massive screen compared to what In was used to and my god did it look good. I treated this phone like it was my kid until I metaphorically dropped my kid on his head. It was around Mid-April 2014 and I was in my weight-lifting class using it to listen to music. I went to do a bench press that my friend was kidding around about and told me to do. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to do more than one but I gave it my best shot anyway. I set my phone off to the side a little bit and proceeded to try the press I did it once until my arms gave up and I dropped the 50lb weights off to the side. "YO YO WATCH OUT YOU ALMOST HIT YOUR PHONE." I turned to them wide eyed and picked up the phone. Goodbye sweet love. The weight had landed on the backside of the phone and right on the bottom corner. It smashed the screen but the phones internals were fine. They thought I was kidding when I said it was dead. I was not. The class was over and I walked calmly the locker to get changed. I wasn't as upset as I was expecting to be considering that I had just killed a fairly relevant phone. I went home following the end of school and told my parents about my phones death.

    After losing most of my parents trust with technology, they gave me the phone that we had lying around for a few years. My brothers old Xperia Arc. This phone was my brothers before we had gotten the free ones. It felt like a dinosaur to me coming from the Galaxy S3. It can't run even the simplest of apps without lagging out and sometimes just outright crashing. If all goes as planned, I will not have this piece of junk for much longer. Thanks to the gods at OnePlus, once the Black 64gb version of the One is released I will be fighting until the last breath to get an invite and buy it.

    Here's pictures of all the phones I have used in order of owning/using and in the colour I had them in:

    Samsung Intensity

    Verizon-Samsung-Intensity-SCH-U450-Messaging-Phone-Flamingo-Red.jpg

    Xperia Play

    XperiaPlay.png

    Samsung Galaxy S2

    samsung-galaxy-s2-sii-skyrocket-hd-sgh-i757-lte_MCO-F-2794349136_062012.jpg

    Samsung Galaxy S3

    pebble-blue-samsung-galaxy-s-iii.jpg

    Xperia Arc (Current)

    Sony-Xperia-Arc-1.jpg

    Future Oneplus ONE

    oneplus-one-schwarz.jpg

    Thanks for reading!

  10. blog-0691779001449344123.jpg

    A new entry, been some time... lot of changes in my life. Most of you have probably noticed my activity on the Forum has dropped off a lot over the past while. Not nearly as involved in the Folding section as I want to be. I really need to thank @tobben and @Imakuni for all their help in supporting the folding team and users on the forum.

     

    This past fall my wife and I separated. It was something coming for a long time. I am doing much better now. But of course had to scramble, lot of changes and my life has been pretty busy sorting all that out.

     

    I now have my own place and getting settled in, adjusting to the new normal. :)

     

    Starting all the folding systems back up, and helps I don't pay for power now. Right now I have 5 GPU's folding away. I would like to get more, I have tons of spare parts, just no spare GPU's. If anyone wants to make a GPU donation, I will accept. :D All Titan cards welcome. lol

     

    Have also spent time consolidating a lot of systems as room is a premium now. Ungraded my unRaid server to the latest version and have taken advantage of Dockers and VM functionality. With 3 Dockers and 2 VM's running I was able to eliminate 6 systems I had going and make better use of the unRaid hardware, so a win-win situation.

     

    Looking forward to getting more Folding going and living life. :)

     

    The unRaid server was upgraded with a MSI Xpower motherboard, a 4790K and 16GB of ram to handle all the load. Also swapped out the Antec 1200 case as it didn't support XL-ATX and got myself a CM Storm Stryker. Must say, very nice case.

    Then I upgraded my main rig with the new Thermaltake Core X2 and a bunch more radiator space to handle both 780's folding full time and not need to run the fans at a god awful speed.

     

    Need to swap one of the GPU folding systems into a new case today with better airflow, cards are overheating.

     

    Well, that's all for now kiddies... Happy Whaling!

  11. blog-0304887001430352682.gifMinor disclaimer: This is a continuation of other blog posts. This is also not tech related whatsoever. It's more personal than anything, but I might as well continue to update you guys on where I stand.

    Just a quick, unprofessional post which I am indeed, for the second time, reference my initial blog post of ambitions I made over a year ago.

    Things are working out for the better...slowly, but surely, hence the title of this post. My current goal is to play at Stanford University via full ride football scholarship and while that seems extremely far fetched, I plan on making it happen. So far many coaches have contacted personally and I've met one in person (hopefully I'll meet a few more these upcoming weeks through spring football), and right now, things are looking good. Not spectacular or even great, but good, and well...I can't complain much.

    Regardless of my current situation, the power of the offer (basically, the school offers the student athlete a potential spot on the team without any pay of tuition) is unbelievable. I just need 1. One measly one to keep my hopes and keep on trugging, and honestly, when one comes, several more come because exposure hits that newly offered player like a joyous plague.

    Anyway, school is ending on May 21 and I'm praying to God that I will get something from someone before then. Welp, I guess I'll end this off with one of my favorite pump songs ever:

    That's it for now guys.

    Question of the Day: What goal are you guys working for currently?

    -ONOTech

  12. blog-0887478001417113428.jpgI'm lost, I don't know what to do! I've been friends with this girl for a few years and last week we went to the movies together, we were supposed to go with a group of friends but they didn't get their tickets in time so we went alone. For some reason I don't know something changed between us, on Monday it was as usual but as the rumors of us dating intensified I felt this weird tension between us. Then today I find out she likes me, and I am lost. I like her as a friend, she's one of my best friends but I don't think I like her in the sense that I want to be her boyfriend. I feel really shitty though, breaking her heart makes me feel like crap, I'm friendzoning her, and I hate it. I'm afraid that if it doesn't work out it destroys our friendship and I don't want that. I feel like crap. :(
  13. So I got a PowerBook G4. Yay! Only problem is, Mac OS X 10.5.8 is just borderline useful in 2016, especially on a PowerPC machine with 512MB RAM. That, and I grew frustrated with the way how Mac OS X is designed. So, I decided to install Linux on it. Here's how things went down:
     

    • Downloaded Ubuntu MATE 15.10 PowerPC ISO
    • Wrote it to an 8GB flash drive using LiLi
    • Tried booting to it, it wouldn't boot
    • Tried using the Mini ISO instead
    • Mini ISO was missing a lot of things
    • When I finally got it working, it was missing a lot of kernel modules (among other things) and was incredibly slow, almost slower than Mac OS X was; it was also extremely prone to breaking
    • Finally figure out what I was doing wrong, used dd to write the ISO to the flash drive instead of LiLi and it booted
    • Installed Ubuntu graphically, after working around a bug I encountered early on in my adventure that causes Ubuntu to crash if I don't type "radeon.agpmode=-1" into the yaboot prompt when booting or yaboot.conf file
    • Using nano in a tty, I added "radeon.agpmode=-1" to yaboot.conf, updated the boot partition and rebooted to keep it from crashing
    • Couldn't get wireless working, still used Ethernet for internetting
    • Got sound working by editing the config files and alsamixer in a terminal
    • Still couldn't get wireless working, put in an 802.11g PC Card into the PCMCIA slot instead

     

    And now I have a more useful PowerBook G4. Runs much better than OS X did, too, and it'll run even better when I upgrade it to 2GB RAM. Maybe an SSD too... but getting to this point took so friggin' long and I'm glad it's over.

     

    JXA7T9e.png

  14.  

    It’s well recognized what an enormous range of various dangerous software circulate all over the Web. Everyday criminals are becoming more educated and superior at developing more complicated and dangerous malware might screw up your computer, and make it useless.

    Nevertheless, the majority of new infections are but a re-designed and enhanced types of previously known ones. Recently, a totally new kind of harmful software has been created. We are discussing nothing else but the infamous ransomware category. Zepto infection is among the hottest ransomware Trojans which are presently very popular among crooks.

    Here you will find a number of facts that you ought to understand about Zepto ransomware. The article makes an effort to assist people who might have already been attacked by this horrible ransomware by using the removal instructions inside.

    Remember, that among the major causes why ransomware is known to be so troublesome is the fact that often it can be extremely hard overcome its destructive outcomes and get files back and decrypted.

    Having said that, please read carefully what these types of nasty software actually do to your computer and find tips to safeguard yourself against them. Keep in mind ransomware usually extends combined with Trojans that you must delete too.

    zepto-virus.jpg

    • 2
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    Recent Entries

    @Hackentosher Gave me another idea for a project. Designing a case. This would be awesome for learning CAD and to use sketchup. I also forgot to add Eclipse Engine to my project list!

     

    Project 5: Custom case

    Project 6: Eclipse Engine I 

  15. nvidia-logo.pngintel-inside-2013.pngamd-logo.png

     

    …is a pretty unique one. Let me explain.

     

    When I was a child, I would entertain myself with all sorts of PC games. My favourites were old ones – usually, they were W2K-compatible – including RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, Age of Empires I and II, Pharaoh/Cleopatra, Caesar III, and a few other ones I can’t remember. As I grew older, I started programming, and gradually outgrew video games; the more I learned about computers, the less interest I had in games.

     

    rct2.png

     

    Throughout all of this time, there was no such thing as a “gaming PC” to me. Never heard that in my life back then. I had a relative who built PCs, and I thought that was real cool when I was young, but I was still afraid of it all and unsure so I stayed away. By the time I became educated enough to build a PC, Haswell was the here-and-now, and my interest in gaming was almost out the window… almost. I knew what a GPU was and all, but I never had a need for one!

     

    pwenet-pcpp.png

     

    As the years waned on, I learned more and more about the Internet, and learned how to protect my identity and privacy OTI. I started using GNU/Linux more and more frequently, still only playing games on Windows on occasion. Finally, in 2014 I quit using Windows altogether, and with it my gaming habits took another deathly blow. As the dust settled, and as Broadwell hit the market (better late than never), ideas about what I really wanted out of my system began to form.

     

    intel.png

     

    Broadwell put a whole new light in my eyes, for what a good system running Linux could be. Because of the current state of affairs with dedicated GPU (dGPU) drivers being a deplorable mess on our operating system (see this image for details), and the fact that the only good drivers on Linux were Intel’s, I knew I had no choice but to choose Intel for my GPU needs. It was like a match made in heaven: with how little I played video games being sated by an Iris Pro iGPU, on top of having 128MiB of L4 cache plus an unlocked design and four hyperthreaded cores with VT-x and VT-d… it was all I could ask for.

     

    cpu.png

     

    …but sadly, Broadwell and I were not meant to be. The LGA 1150 platform was on its way out, along with DDR3 and the rest of the Haswell-era junk. I wanted something new, running fast DDR4 DIMMs with large capacities and good speeds, and I wanted a Skylake chip for sure. Skylake… it was such a pristine name to grace my ears. I had to have it. And so, piecing a build together over the course of a few months, I finally built Henen-nesw, a working tractor beam Skylake PC running a Core i3 with Intel HD graphics. Later on I was enticed by rumours of the next step in Intel’s lineup—Kaby Lake—having SKUs built like Broadwell but with all of the modern amenities that Skylake had. And at that point… I was set for Kaby Lake-S Iris Pro.

     

    skylake-die.jpg

     

    …Now, all this time I haven’t said one word about that NIC. Why? Well, I thought I’d save it for my loyal readers, who push through to the end! Mwahahaha! Thank you!

     

    So I’ve gone over how in love I am with Intel’s soon-to-be-released Kaby Lake Iris Pro graphics. We all know at this point that I simply have no use for Nvidia’s or AMD’s dGPUs at all on the mainstream. But I’ll tell you, while I won’t spend $250 on a dGPU, I will spend $250 on a network card.

     

    But why?

     

    Interestingly enough, Google Fiber (yes, fibre optics) is under construction right now in our metro! And I would love more than anything to get the best internet speeds and even greater speeds on my intranet, enjoying over 1 gigabyte per second locally, and 1 gigabit per second through the tubes. Google Fiber has even put our suburb specifically on the map, too! And considering our unique location for running cables, Google may cut us some slack and let us sign up just for that.


    One can only hope, right?

     

    …right?

     

    ;)

  16. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

     

    CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($204.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII S524 Ver 2 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($37.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: MSI Z170A PC MATE ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Micro Center)
    Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($89.99 @ B&H)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.98 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 390 8GB Double Dissipation Video Card ($308.98 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Micro Center)
    Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA GS 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM (64-bit) ($30.00)
    Total: $953.89
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-15 04:48 EST-0500

     

    Well this week is gonna be a weird one.
    Is looks important? Is a M.2 SSD great? Do you need to overclock?
    Well easily for the price, you could go with a relatively cheap motherboard and a i5-6600k. But lets be honest here, 70% of the people building a gaming PC wouldn't even max out the possibilities of a
    i5-6600k. The really cool part of this build is that this PC has full BLACK when you look through the case window. Well the case that i picked out isn't that fantastic, but with the $50 to play around with after you get your OS off software swap really lets you do endless amount of customization to the look of the PC.

     

    The build has a great PSU, powerful enough to handle the R9 390 and reliable enough to handle even a 980Ti.

  17. This is a combat report for a game known as Ikariam, my friends said im a good writer, i got happy and wanted to write about something, this was occuring at the time and there was a lot of tension. Alas I live to tell the tale.

    5692108b981c955bdbca75156c71ebdd.png

    Its seemingly a normal day the new recruits are finally getting the grips of knowing the advantages and disadvantages of their spears and their phalanx formation is taking shape.

    Alas over 100 men burst out of the woods, ten rams smash their way though the gates, the defending army springs into action, they had training but they havent gone up against real enemies before and they have more units, the walls are the main defense and they have already been broken, luckily the archers are preventing any enemy

    127ff1743b342b85c61ce081b71b06bb.png

    We have taken major casualties, the walls are nearly destroyed. They still out number us but we still have more confirmed kills. We cant push up however due to the wall of arrows. They have a better defence and offence, it doesnt seem good. We are ordering all citizens to cease their work and get to get homes, as a failsafe we are moving our valuable goods to the other colonies, we may die but we still have our resources, the other colonies may have to go on without us. We have requested for emergency support.

    Word has however reached the colonies, the troops are being prepared, we will be able to help our allies if there are any left to defend.

    3135a122e093862cceaa22f1500c46d6.png

    It has gone to hell, civilians have taken up arms and tried to help with the defence, without proper training they walked into a hail of arrows and perished. To make matters worse we have no arrows left furthermore all of our swordmen have fallen in battle. Morale is dropping fast, word has been received that we will have reinforcements bu as to how long they will take, we have no idea. We just have to hold the line no matter what.

    409b632ec2d85f8dd9a1c8e47dbe8b05.png

    We are on the verge of defeat, the formation has fallen and the archers are being forced to don the armor of their fallen comrades and do what they can to protect the town, the rock clingers have no rocks left either. The arrows have however stopped, maybe the enemy has no arrows either, a few of the archers acted as decoys and gave their lives to give us a chance to incur damage to their forces, it may have taken many of them out but its not enough. Without support we are done for.

    8a70db4725a9bb73b923a6588ba43409.png

    The thoughts of surrendering were present, a few of the men ran for their lives off into the distance, no one has the energy to chase them down. But it was then that we heard a roar from behind us, it was the reinforcements, they had come in support, fifty of them ran straight past us. It appeared that we werent the only people that were exhausted, they barely put up a fight before we routed their units. All of them, only their ram crews survived as they ran away.

    So we were victorious but its not much of a victory as we lost so many people, the death toll is at 84, many families have been destroyed, we thanked those that fort from the other colonies but they just wanted to return home.

    So now, we rebuild.

  18. blog-0618365001426859863.pngFor some time now, educational web service lynda.com has been known for sponsoring various publications. lynda.com offers you a wide variety of online courses to improve your personal skills, mainly in media applications such as web design, photography or video editing. Today, lynda.com closes a hole in their choice of courses by starting to offer a professional course on sponsor integration.

    Here's why: If you thought that the creators of a youtube channel with over one million subscribers could maintain a certain degree of professionalism when integrating their sponsors, you were wrong. Many times it has been proven that some people really need to practise. From now on, they will not only be able to better follow their guidelines for the integration, but also report their own experience with the service, which is generally described as decent.

    TeNLhEr.png

    That guy says he learned how to have sex online - certainly not on lynda.com. Yet.

    The course covers topics such as "transitioning to the advertisement", "reading your sponsor guidelines right" or "how not to laugh when a rapper's name is in the product name". Especially the lesson on remembering the details of a special offer is expected to serve a high demand. So instead of wondering wether the girl on the lynda.com-logo shaves her legs or not, the sponsorship recipient can now fully focus on advertising the service.

  19. I can't believe it's been a year. A year since the start of Linus Forum Tips. The following behind the idea and the team that came together to voluntarily make an app out of their own pocket.

     

    An app which has gone on to become a hit with people and has become the primary way many enjoy and experience LMG content.

     

    From the bottom of our hearts, I'd really like to thank you, for your support throughout this entire project thus far.

     

     

    We wanted to release a new version of the app around the anniversary of Linus Forum Tips but we experienced some difficulties and so that won't happen just yet. But please know that we are truly grateful for everything you have done to help support Linus Forum Tips.

     

    Our Android app is still on the way and we'll be happy to give you Android enthusiasts a shout when it does. The IOS app is still in development and may not be out for a while.

    The Windows Phone 8.1 app was cancelled due to Microsoft discontinuing support for it past June 2017. The Windows 10 app will still be compatible with Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 PC as well as all other devices it currently supports.

     

    I'd also like to thank everybody on my team who has helped bring Linus Forum Tips thus far for their excellent self motivation, incredible work ethic and being amazing people.

     

    It's been a year. I hope we'll push development of Linus Forum Tips further in the future.

     

    Have a good one.

    AluminiumTech

  20. 9ycKvAzm.png
    The new iPhone, called the 6sb, will be geared toward users that think making these huge phones ridiculously thin instead of putting another battery in it is asinine. (95% of consumers according to market research)
    Jony Ive, Apple's Chief Design Officer (CDO) noted
    "Just by making the phone 5mm thicker, we were able to make it actually last all day playing games and browsing the internet on max brightness and still have battery left. Who knew you could sacrifice just a few millimeters and totally forget about how much charge you have left"
    XOm9CRtm.jpg
    He continued
    "I don't even know why we gimped the battery size so far when we can't even eliminate the camera bump so you don't scratch the lens. We even patented a thinner version of a 3.5mm audio jack. We've dropped all plans to use that, of course."
    It will also feature a new mag safe charge port, Ive notes
    "We've had magsafe ports on out laptops for years. We didn't use that on our phones as we wanted you to break more overpriced cables. Instead, we'll just change the connector more often"

     

    The 6sb will be available Q1 2016.
    There's no word on the price yet, but a rep assured us that "It will still cost enough to be a fashion statement"

  21. Woot look at this...

    UPDATE

    Managed to "aquire" some tools from my dads workshop on saturday, so Sunday brings you this!

    Please do excuse the terrible phone picture quality :(

    yVewMYT.jpg

    Source: [G SIX] LukaP's Mac Pro G5 Log [Phase: Cutting it up]