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Everything posted by Mark77

  1. The University I am familiar with has a "use it or lose it" policy with budgeting. They used to spend $3000-$4000 per student desktop PC and required the purchase of a major brand name like Dell. Now, as we all know on LTT, $3000-$4000 really goes a long ways these days. So the university keeps buying increasingly powerful machines (relatively speaking), that are completely disproportionate to what the students need, simply to consume their entire budget for PC's in a given year. For instance, their new desktop PC's, used for word processing and spreadsheets (ie: Microsoft Office) are new Dells with 64gb DDR4 RAM, 1Tb SSDs, and i7-6600 processors. We all know that those apps can run perfectly fine on a 5-year-old Celeron with 4-8gb RAM. There really was no reason to purchase much better than some low-end Intel NUC, but they needed to blow their budget.
  2. Yeah it'll work (and obviously is). If you want to add a 2nd video card, you might be getting into the territory where you want something a little bit bigger. But most upgrades, short of filling the case with 6+ hard drives, will be okay with your existing PSU.
  3. If I were going back to school in engineering or computer science, this is what I would do. I'd buy a refurb Dell Latitude E7470/E7480 (or even a E7450/E7440 if I was a bit short on money). And a pair of external LCDs, good quality ones, 1080p or 4K IPS. Pick up an E-dock off of eBay for $20 or so. Wire it all up. Basically the ability to dock and undock means that you have access to all your 'desktop' things easily. While the laptop is portable, so you can just pick it up off the dock and go. Very easy. If you need a desktop for whatever reason, you'll have the 2 LCDs already, so you just hook up to them and change the input. A chromebook isn't going to do you much good for engineering/programming courses. And quite frankly, college is so expensive these days that if you're wasting your spare time gaming (instead of socializing, or taking more classes/doing your own projects), you really should ask yourself if such is a productive use of your time.
  4. Go to the Dell Outlet, find a coupon code on Twitter, and look for something like a Latitude E7470 with a decent display (ie: 1080p) and a SSD (or plan to upgrade to one). Will serve you well and should be obtainable in the $700 range.
  5. Definitely not something that would go into most consumer cases due to the depth. It would interfere with the front drive bays. You'd probably want to get some exact dimensions and verify against the enclosure you intend to use.
  6. That's an interesting clue, and is a sign of a weak/dead "CMOS" battery. That should be replaceable. Order a proper replacement from Dell or off of eBay. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SOLDER ONE UP YOURSELF!
  7. Do you have access to a different charging cord for it by any chance? That's what I would try. Don't know if that model uses the standard Dell chargers or not, but I have found that Dell chargers don't have a great record of reliability over time. Some Dell laptops (Alienwares are Dells) are less tolerant of weak/broken power supplies than others.
  8. Its pretty pointless to try and 'limit' them. As they'll either figure a way to circumvent the "limits", or will simply browse stuff they shouldn't off-site on their mobile devices. However, I personally see no problem, for youngsters and adults alike, in using a systemic ad-blocking system like one of those big "hosts" files you can download installed into your router. Just to keep, for instance, the 'shock' sites away.
  9. Dell Latitude (ie: the E6440, E7440/E7450/E7470/E7480, whatever you can find a good deal on), or the business-class notebooks from HP or Lenovo. Pick up a E-Dock off of eBay for $20 or so. Attach good quality external LCDs to the dock. Stay away from the XPS.
  10. I'm a big fan of the proper business laptops. Dell Latitude. Lenovo Thinkpad T-Series. Etc. Don't know what the situation is in Australia, but in America, they can be purchased, refurbished, for not a lot of money. Agree that discrete GPU is most likely not required. Gaming on a laptop is mostly a fools' game anways.
  11. Well do you want to be 100% reliant on Internet connectivitiy and Microsoft keeping the files, or not? What about the on-going costs, how does this compare with running your own infrastructure (ie: the server)? This is the philosophical (and arguably in many environments, legal and regulatory) question you need to answer as to whether you extensively embrace "the cloud" or not. Some businesses and people do very well with outsourcing all of that stuff. While for other types of businesses and users, it completely does not work.
  12. I think the day is coming pretty soon where 'desktop' and light duty servers pretty much converge. Its the same silicon anyways, whether you go with an i7-7700k or an Xeon E3-12xxv6/v7. Same with chipsets. Really, there's only 2 platforms even left -- the Xeon E3 and the Xeon E5, for the entire Intel CPU spectrum. The 'consumer' i3/i5/i7's/Celerons/Pentiums are just stripped down derivatives.
  13. Technically possible, sure. When they developed the Xbox and PS4's at Microsoft and Sony respectively, that's exactly what they did, and there are likely developer setups available as well to do this for those platforms. But you have to sign license agreements, NDA's, etc., and pay fees for the tools to develop on those platforms. And the platforms are DRM'ed as well, so you'd need tools and keys to work with that. So practically possible, no.
  14. "The Internet" is just a media for transporting data from one IP address to another. Your experience on it is entirely dependent on which systems and sites you interact with. Don't like what you're looking at? Use a different site. Want to participate in some sort of alternative DNS domain? Change your system to point at a different DNS hierarchy. At some point, particularly for technical and professional users, I see them eventually re-creating their own overlays, domain spaces, etc. Lots of users already block a lot of stuff. I block a lot of stuff even at home to improve my overall experience.
  15. Sure, there's pieces of the puzzle in place, but the whole autonomous car thing is decades away from a realizable and socially acceptable system that can operate on generic highways, and actually be attained at a realistic price. The tech companies, ones which mostly don't have any expertise in embedded systems engineering, vehicles, etc., that are pushing "self-driving" so hard, are largely doing it as a propaganda stunt. The real expertise in autonomous vehicles and systems lies with the defense companies, ie: Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, Raytheon. Those companies are leaps and bounds more advanced in their technology applicable to autonomous vehicles and highly reliable embedded systems than Google and Tesla. Many of the requisite technologies for safe and reliable self-driving vehicles are subject to pretty tight military controls under ITAR and other regulations, and definitely won't be appearing in "for sale to consumer" systems anytime soon.
  16. Lol, good luck with that. You really want to travel around in a car that is full of the smells, and garbage of others? Do you have any clue how the average person treats their car? Watch COPS sometime and see the sort of ashtrays and garbage dumps that lots of cars are turned into by their owners. Actually they are poorly researched. Is a steering wheel, for example, the optimal HMI for interfacing with a car? I doubt it. Yet 100% of cars are built with steering wheels. Also, there's a lot of human factors engineering stuff which needs to go into a driverless car, especially since there will invariably be operating regimes which require a hand-off to a human driver. Will a driverless car drive into a icestorm, and then, at the last moment, decide it can't drive anymore and crash? That's simply not acceptable to the user. A graceful way needs to be in place to hand off control for example. Mars doesn't have highways, weather, or traffic, and the Mars vehicles go at like 2 miles per hour or some slow nonsense like that. A completely different problem. A self-driving car must be able to self-drive without loading or relying upon an external database just in case network connectivity is lost.
  17. What about the problem of older self-driving cars? Will "version 1.0" be banned from the roads when version 2.0 comes out? Who decides what the lifespan of a self-driving car will be? And who is going to pay for the trillion dollars or more of upgraded highways and other infrastructure to actually make it all work properly? The motoring public that can barely even afford conventional cars and highways at current prices? Heck no!
  18. Considering that 'autonomous' cars don't work when there's rain, dust, snow, sleet, mechanical degradation, electrical degradation, GPS denial, cell service denial, and a whole litany of other factors, it seems foolish to trust the technology. The tech industry is severely exaggerating its maturity and downplaying the costs of delivering a vehicle at the required reliability levels. Human-machine interfaces are poorly researched as well.
  19. $1100 should get you into a Business Class Dell Latitude or similar, E7470. From the Dell Outlet. Make sure you get the 1080p screen. Pick up a proprietary dock and a 2nd PSU from eBay for not much money. Skip the consumer-level Inspirons or XPS's.
  20. The DDR4-19200 can probably be run de-rated to DDR4-17000 CL15 specs. So basically you need to ensure compatibility with your board and your budget. I wouldn't pay a lot extra for the higher-spec'ed stuff. I'd probably also not buy an Asus board for a "workstation" either -- Supermicro generally has better boards in that segment. RAM pricing has a lot of variables. Foreign exchange can be a big one.
  21. Yeah but then you have to use Google and all their nonsense. Who wants to deal with that, and their spyware?
  22. Agree, though getting something like an E6440 that isn't totally broken/worn is really going to be challenging at that price point.