Random thoughts.... [Tech Edition]

Perc

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So who else watched the Apple WWDC keynote stream yesterday? I have some thoughts:

New CPU architecture. I was along for the ride the last time they transitioned (PPC -> Intel) and it went smoothly for the most part. The Core Duo chips were certainly a TON faster and more power efficient than the G4's, but it took a while for the big software companies to get their titles ported to Intel. Notably Photoshop. I remember the tears of joy when they released a time-limited public beta of Photoshop 5.0 (iirc) for intel, which promptly was cracked and used by everyone until the stable version came out. Also, Microsoft Office (which is a slow pig even on modern Macs these days) took forever to come out. Something tells me the new versions of key apps will come out quicker this time around because Apple has way more klout now than they did back then. Also, emulation seems to be easier to do with this transition than before. There are also alternatives that weren't around back then, like Affinity Software's suite of graphics apps for iOS and macOS. It's a great hobbyist alternative to the pricy Adobe subscription and I bet they'll have Arm versions out when the new hardware ships.

Ditching the industry standard for desktop/laptop chips is a ballsy move, especially if you remember the days when Apple was in a terrible performance rut thanks to their PPC architecture and their CPU vendor not keeping up. But this time it seems to be Intel that's behind the curve and Apple has the ability to do something about it. I would love to listen in on the boardroom talk at Dell & co right now.

New macOS look. I'll reserve judgement until I get to use it but it did look pretty nice. I'm hoping that Apple Mail is more than just a re-skin, but maybe i'm the only one in the world that still uses a desktop mail client that isn't Outlook.

iOS gets widgets! Yes, Apple invented widgets! :ROFLMAO: I know, Android has had it since the beginning. It's still a nice addition. They also barely touched on an important detail: iPadOS will allow you to change the default browser and mail client. Let's hope that's true for iPhone as well.
 

Tram13

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I couldn't be bothered to watch the full keynote, but I did watch some videos on it afterwards just to catch what's exactly new.

The new macOS (it's finally macOS 11 now, not macOS 10.x) seems quite controversial. I'm not a huge fan of the new design, but oh well, my uni will probably buy new iMacs before Big Sur (still can't get used to how silly it sounds) is released, meaning I'll use Catalina for all uni-related tasks, so I'll probably work on Big Sur once macOS 11.1 or 11.2 is released. The software support team on our uni can't be bothered to update the uni Macs to the latest macOS version.

What I am slightly worried about is the transition to the ARM processors. I know it has huge benefits, Macs of the future will probably be faster, with better designed internals and better optimised software, thanks to the in-house designed chipsets, but we're yet to see what this means for older, unsupported Macs that could've been patched to run the latest software, even when they weren't officially supported. I could make a similar argument with the Hackintosh community, but then, those people don't update their macOS versions so often. Why am I exactly worried about this? I had an idea of getting a Mac Pro 5,1 as it is still a decently powerful machine and can be patched to run Catalina. The machine itself is reasonably priced for an Apple product (I'm talking about non-upgraded single-processor machines here), even if it's because it's 8-11 years old.

I don't care much about iOS and iPadOS, as I'm not planning to upgrade my phone or get an iPad, but I'll just say that it's nice to see some extra functionality. However, apart from things that have been present in Android world for a long time, I don't see much true novelty, something that would push Android forward as well. I recently watched a video on a comparison of the first ever iPhone to the first ever Android phone, and the difference between the two was vast. Nowadays, each OS adopted many of its competition's features and tricks, to the point they both feel very similar. I also remember reading somewhere on the internet that 10 years ago iPhones were vastly superior to Android devices, but nowadays, when comparing iPhones to Android flagships, it's all more or less the same, give or take. I guess we just reached that point where there's not much left to truly innovate.
 

93Flareside

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I haven't seriously considered anything from Apple for a good 8 years now. Once it seemed Intel Graphics and mediocre CPU's were shown, I just couldn't justify knowing how limited you are when it came to longevity. Not to mention the fact that they've made fixing them impossible. Switching to ARM is only going to make it worse.
 

Tram13

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My phone finally got the Android 10/EMUI 10 update yesterday. A few aesthetic changes aside, nothing majorly new. But it does feel ever so slightly slower (could be just me being paranoid) and sometimes it will freeze when in Chrome.

I think it's time to try out mobile version of Firefox. I've been using the desktop version of Firefox for some three years now (and for a period of time in my early teenage years), satisfied with it. Besides, it will make clear if the problem is the phone or some issue between Chrome and EMUI 10.
 

GRtak

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With many games becoming so large and becoming accustomed to a long download followed, by a long update, I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded a full game with all of the expansions in less time than it took me to make a sandwich.
 

Redliner

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I had the impression that my laptop was overheating, and a quick check told me all cores were around 90ºC with a load of about 20%.
Huh.

Seems Debian can report erroneous temperatures and/or really screw up power management.
Since I didn't want to risk frying my hardware, I fiddled around with modules and drivers: no change.


Opened laptop to clean it.
Removed fan: It was clean.
Put fan back on.
Turn it on.


All cores are now at 35-40ºC.


🤷‍♂️
 

93Flareside

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I had the impression that my laptop was overheating, and a quick check told me all cores were around 90ºC with a load of about 20%.
Huh.

Seems Debian can report erroneous temperatures and/or really screw up power management.
Since I didn't want to risk frying my hardware, I fiddled around with modules and drivers: no change.


Opened laptop to clean it.
Removed fan: It was clean.
Put fan back on.
Turn it on.


All cores are now at 35-40ºC.


🤷‍♂️
Your fan was feeling lonely.
 

Redliner

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Could it have been just a loose connection that got re-seated when it was taken apart and re-assembled?
Either that or the changes I did to the software needed another reboot.
1593545289261.png


Anyway. Problem solved. :D
 

Redliner

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That one in the screenshot is Simple Monitor for KDE. I got it here.

As for the fine tuning, I followed this.
 

Matt2000

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There's a 'dead' IBM PC XT on eBay for 99p, the temptation to buy it and use it as a basis for a modern PC case that looks like the XT is huge. The case itself is pretty huge, which means there should be no issue with space inside. The front panel is already broken so it would be no good for anything more than measurements but that's fine.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IBM-XT-5...-5151-monitor-keyboard-and-mouse/313129656014

Also, if you haven't seen it on Reddit:

1593778374650.png


I like the idea but aren't those nice components going to get cooked? The single fan appears to be attached to radiator with tape, guessing that's drawing air in too so said air will already be hot before it gets to any of the other components.
 

GRtak

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I don't like how close the video cards are to each other. The bottom one is also to close to the bottom of the case.

I would not put a high performance PC in there, but a nice Ryzen 3300G/ XT with a small video card should be fine.
 

Matt2000

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I think they're designed to handle it in normal cases where they have a cool air supply, SLI is still very much a thing and manufacturers wouldn't get away with making cards that roast if you put two together. In this case, however...

I'd worry about the RAM too, no airflow whatsoever.
 

93Flareside

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There's a 'dead' IBM PC XT on eBay for 99p, the temptation to buy it and use it as a basis for a modern PC case that looks like the XT is huge. The case itself is pretty huge, which means there should be no issue with space inside. The front panel is already broken so it would be no good for anything more than measurements but that's fine.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IBM-XT-5...-5151-monitor-keyboard-and-mouse/313129656014

Also, if you haven't seen it on Reddit:

View attachment 3557934

I like the idea but aren't those nice components going to get cooked? The single fan appears to be attached to radiator with tape, guessing that's drawing air in too so said air will already be hot before it gets to any of the other components.
This is a great platform. A few things I'd change about it would to add openings in the bottom of the case and perhaps open the top up as well.The side door on these types of cases I think have a blocking piece for reasons and removing that may help as well because it is a vent, but they aim is so air comes in at a downward angle... I think if you do open the case up where you can see it, I'd be inclined to try and hide it by imitating the vents cut on that side door or painting the vents beige like the rest of the case.
 

Matt2000

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This is a great platform. A few things I'd change about it would to add openings in the bottom of the case and perhaps open the top up as well.The side door on these types of cases I think have a blocking piece for reasons and removing that may help as well because it is a vent, but they aim is so air comes in at a downward angle... I think if you do open the case up where you can see it, I'd be inclined to try and hide it by imitating the vents cut on that side door or painting the vents beige like the rest of the case.
That would all certainly help but surely you would need more fans to actually move the air, there just isn't space. Maybe you could squeeze one in at the top if you didn't have any 5.25" drives. Maybe those blower RTX cards can actually provide enough negative pressure. :think:
 

93Flareside

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That would all certainly help but surely you would need more fans to actually move the air, there just isn't space. Maybe you could squeeze one in at the top if you didn't have any 5.25" drives. Maybe those blower RTX cards can actually provide enough negative pressure. :think:
IMO, positive is loads better as the air change is forced and not relying on openings. I see this in production factories where they exhaust all that they can but have no extra openings to make up the air they’re sucking out. Buildings are not only more dirty, but aren’t that much cooler than if they did nothing.. It’s much easier to make positive pressure and push out every orifice possible. I think because these cases aren’t meant for high power CPU’s, you’re left with the lower end stuff. I think these days that’s less of an issue because of how far we’ve come, but don’t expect an I7 or Ryzen 3 R9. Lowering expectations may help though I’m not sure what your needs are.
 

Matt2000

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Sorry I'm getting my pressures mixed up, that's what I was thinking of. Maybe those cards can do it. It's not something I'm planning to do myself, just picking apart someone else's work and I enjoy thinking it over. :p

The IBM on the other hand, dead or not at 99p it would make for a nice roadtrip 'oop narth' and some photo opportunities. Those cases accept full height cards so a conversion for a modern motherboard must be possible, how hard can it be? I even have a dead motherboard in a box here for testing, the one that popped in my server. I'm not a hoarder...
 

marcos_eirik

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So who else watched the Apple WWDC keynote stream yesterday? I have some thoughts:

New CPU architecture. I was along for the ride the last time they transitioned (PPC -> Intel) and it went smoothly for the most part. The Core Duo chips were certainly a TON faster and more power efficient than the G4's, but it took a while for the big software companies to get their titles ported to Intel. Notably Photoshop. I remember the tears of joy when they released a time-limited public beta of Photoshop 5.0 (iirc) for intel, which promptly was cracked and used by everyone until the stable version came out. Also, Microsoft Office (which is a slow pig even on modern Macs these days) took forever to come out. Something tells me the new versions of key apps will come out quicker this time around because Apple has way more klout now than they did back then. Also, emulation seems to be easier to do with this transition than before. There are also alternatives that weren't around back then, like Affinity Software's suite of graphics apps for iOS and macOS. It's a great hobbyist alternative to the pricy Adobe subscription and I bet they'll have Arm versions out when the new hardware ships.

Ditching the industry standard for desktop/laptop chips is a ballsy move, especially if you remember the days when Apple was in a terrible performance rut thanks to their PPC architecture and their CPU vendor not keeping up. But this time it seems to be Intel that's behind the curve and Apple has the ability to do something about it. I would love to listen in on the boardroom talk at Dell & co right now.

New macOS look. I'll reserve judgement until I get to use it but it did look pretty nice. I'm hoping that Apple Mail is more than just a re-skin, but maybe i'm the only one in the world that still uses a desktop mail client that isn't Outlook.

iOS gets widgets! Yes, Apple invented widgets! :ROFLMAO: I know, Android has had it since the beginning. It's still a nice addition. They also barely touched on an important detail: iPadOS will allow you to change the default browser and mail client. Let's hope that's true for iPhone as well.
I didn't watch it, but I think this is the way for Apple to go, and that this switch has been in the pipeline for a very long time. I think Apple has been very frustrated with Intel and their lackluster performance. Remember, the 2015/2016 redesigns of the MacBook lineup were actually designed for the more energy efficient 10nm processors, which took until late last year to become available, so when Intel failed to deliver, these designs had inadequate thermals, which led the the terrible thermal throttling issues. Especially the 12" MacBook suffered here.

Seeing the performance Apple is getting from the A12Z chip in the current iPad Pro, as well as it's A12X, A10X and A9X predecessors, it is clear that the performance is there, and the result will be very impressive if it scales up well. It's also very ballsy of them to switch the entire lineup over just two year, everything from the MacBook Air to the Mac Pro.

So I guess I will keep on using my (late 2010) MacBook Air for at least another year.
 
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