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Andrei Chiffa

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About Andrei Chiffa

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    Baltimore, MD

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  1. In the end I tried out an X1 my colleague had - and it just didn't make me dream. The McBook Air however... So I am finally going with that one, despite the concerns. Will report back after testing it out properly.
  2. So you would really be rather into the ThinkPad X1 Carbon? Good mention - for some reason I overlooked it. The T490s look like they could fill the bill pretty nicely with all the niceness of X1 but better battery life. Thanks for the in-depth insight. I've never used a Mac and usually do the heavy lifting with a separate linux partition. Not that I have anything against it, it's just getting used to working with them will definitely take time I am not sure I want to invest in it. I was actually thinking about a MBP for myself, given that that's what most people in my lab have, but it is a bit heavy and a bit short on the battery compared to a MBA. To be honest, it's still a strong contender for me. As for Dell, the XPS doesn't seem to have the quality and comfort of a Mac/ThinkPad, nor the battery life of a Gram/Mac. Besides I am having a couple of fabrication issues with my current Inspiron, with both keyboard and fabrication (easy to scratch, flex of screen leading to keyboard friction in the bag). I would love to be proven wrong though.
  3. So. Over the last couple of years I have been working mostly on my own laptops (Asus N series over last 7 years, Dell Inspiron 15 7000 gaming over the last year and a half), hauling them around with me and using both for work (a lot of text, programming, some data crunching) and for gaming/media. I have been mostly happy with my choices, with a particular appreciation for Dell's insane battery/power and decent transportability/durability/keyboard (although I do miss Asus' Bang&Olufsen speakers+subwoofer quality). For whatever reason, my current employer is insisting on getting me a dedicated work machine and the price is not a question (a Predator X21 would probably make them balk though). Given that for work I am mostly focused on ability to program/type comfortably and having the best portability and battery life possible, I have narrowed down my choice to the following ones: McBook Air Pluses: Insane Battery life Excellent touchpad / good keyboard Excellent fabrication that will last daily use Good screen and decent sound macOS Minuses: Needs a dongle for basically everything 2-core CPU in 2019? 8 GB RAM soldered 256 GB SSD macOS (I am a Windows/Ubuntu guy) ThinkPad X1 Carbon: Pluses Excellent keyboard Seemingly good fabrication Excellent screen Excellent performance Can have WWAN installed Camera is physically lockable Minuses: Battery is decent, but lower than my today's daily Dell (for which after a year and a half of use, the full battery now lasts 4-5 hours working with wifi and audio/video in background without any energy saving configuration) Webcam (Linus' point in the review) Touchpad is meh (again, Linus' point in the reveiw) LG Gram: Pluses: Out of this world battery, even compared to Macs Decent performance The only one to have a 15" screen for the weight class Minuses: Fabrication quality is inferior to the two others Keyboard seems to be uninspiring Glossy screen What are your thoughts? Am I overlooking something obvious? Would you consider a different option altogether?
  4. Roombas vs cheaper alternatives face-off, a bit like for the keyboards.
  5. Hello everyone, I am quite new to the whole audio domain, not having paid too much attention to it before. One of the reasons for it was me having used for the last six years an Asus N56VZ laptop with integrated sound developed buy Bang&Olufsen/ICEpower, that sounded just great and was loud enough to fill the studios and small apartments where I lived. At this point, however, it is starting to slowly fail, mostly due to the included subwoofer's cable being torn into pieces. I am hence looking for a replacement that would provide a comparable or better listening experience for a single room. As of now, my requirements are: - Below 200$ (up to 300$ is acceptable if it really improves the quality) - Can be connected to a TV - If possible is bluetooth/wifi compatible (even if it requires a chromecast) - Don't take too much space (bookshelf/soundbar/subwoofer sizes are ok) What would be your recommendation with that regard?
  6. not sure how that hdmi + avi sound dongle can help the issue
  7. I am currently looking for a soundbar that would be compatible with a monitor that I have, that, unfortunately, is not equipped with any audio output channels. Fortunately, it has an HDMI input port, currently used for a Chromecast stick. As of now, the idea is to find a sound bar with an HDMI input and an HDMI output, plug the Chromecast into the soundbar and use the HDMI output to feed into the TV. Have anyone around here tried this? is it even possible? If yes, what would be reasonably priced soundbars (<200$) that could support such an approach?
  8. Main concern is to have it auto-update to respond to threats after an initial installation - just to avoid the internal network to be compromised.
  9. I have received a request from a friend on how to best set up a VPN in order to access an office NAS while on the move. In order to avoid exposing the internal network to the external environment, I thought they would need a router/firewall that would manage VPN access and prevent the unauthorized access to the internal network. However, here's the catch - none of them are really competent in system or network administration nor do they have access to anyone that would. Hence the question: what would be the best router/firewall I could recommend them that would not require any management to stay up to date and would enable a VPN access?
  10. I am looking for software for Windows 10 that would be able to manage multiple HDDs to backup to (redundancy) and would automatically track and backup only the most recent files. I currently do my back-ups manually, but remembering the HDD rotation and folders to back-up is getting more and more tedious. As of now, I am not considering any cloud back-up (I like to know where my data is) nor to NAS (already have a Synology NAS scheduled to buy once I have funds available) nor do I need any advanced features, such as encryption, password protection or other (everything sensitive is already encrypted).
  11. After watching the "Logging in with a USB key (U2F explained)" TechQuickie (and thanks for it - it finally made the interest of the thing clear to me) I have a question that is left. For the case where I lose the U2F token, is there a way to introduce redundancy with a second U2F token? Such as using a backup Yubikey? If yes, do they need to be configured as independent U2F tokens? Or can there be one-use backup codes such as with the RSA generator tokens?
  12. Seems that as of now it's up to 45 USD, at least on Amazon. Looks like I will have to wait to replace the thermal compound on my laptop for now - after 5 years of usage, it was starting to fail. On a related note, have you guys compiled a list of pastes ranked by thermal conductivity? Or actual temperature drop that can be achieved by them? Along the lines of what LTT did at some point for coolers (cooler by weight video I believe).
  13. And LTT is just a gimmick by Nvidia to sell more cards. Especially seen the recent mining videos. <\sarcasm>. For the rest, from the two links I've posted above, the more immediate feedback seems to be playing a role as well. And once again, I am expecting most of the lag time spent in the rendering pipelines of OS/application, as well as the mouse latency to have more of an effect than the keyboard. But the question has came up before (for instance here or here), had been used to sell peripherals (here) and I am yet to found an account of an actual testing yet (except for this guy working with editors, who claims to hit 1.5ms latency on GVim). Edit 1: Besides Linus touches on the activation times of keyboards in competitive gaming as limiting factor in his techquickie on PS/2. Edit 2: It looks that someone actually tried to measure keyboard latencies with an ultrafast camera here : they are realistically in the 20-60 ms range, mostly limited by the press travel time before activation.
  14. Yeah - my friend is also in psy/neuro, but more in the delay between successive keystrokes. Did you have the opportunity to actually game with it?
  15. yeah, I would guess the same thing, but on the other hand, a 60Hz monitor vs 240Hz monitor is actually 16ms vs 4ms of lag and is still perceptible/useful. Moreover, there are some research suggesting humans can perceive latencies as low as 2ms on simple tasks, for instance here and here.