Random thoughts.... [Tech Edition]

NecroJoe

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This is aggravating, but all is not lost. Get a Roku, or something similar to plug into an HDMI port and keep using the TV.

Yeah, I know there are work-arounds, but goddamnit...it means having two remotes or needing to screw around with an app...there's just something specific about using a single TV remote. Being able to turn the TV on and off, change the volume (not all stick remotes can) and the TV's brightness and sleep timer, etc all from the one remote. Plus it means buying something else while I don't have income. :(
 
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NecroJoe

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I posted a "ISO" on the local "buy nothing" Facebook group, and someone offered up his (very lightly) used "Fire TV Stick with Alexa". It's the 2019 1080p 802.11ac version. He did ask for a 6-pack of Budwiser, though, for trade.

First off...the UI kinda sucks, and it's *clearly* trying to shove all things Amazon down your throat, front and center, and every chance it gets.

It's not the snappiest thing I've ever used. The remote feels super cheap, and squeaks every time you press a mushy button. I bought one of these sleeves for it, so it feels a *little* nicer, but the buttons are so low-profile they are now sort of recessed below the surface of this skin.

I'm so thankful, though, that this remote (due to eArc, as I think someone here mentioned to me) is able to turn on the TV and change its volume. A bummer that I can't get to the rest of the TV's menus, like picture presets or the sleep timer, but I guess this'll do.

One bummer is that it's pretty limited on it's onboard memory, so I couldn't install all of the apps I wanted. I'm two short. The up side is that I can finally have access to many apps that were never released for this 2015 Samsung TV (HBO, Disney+, Pluto (well, it had it but then it was removed after an update a couple of years ago), and even some that never got a Vizio app (RiffTrax and MST3K, primarily), which is the TV in the bedroom, from 2018.

While the actual responsiveness of the system isn't that much better that the TV's, there's one HUGE improvement: boot time. Similar to an SSD upgrade to an old laptop, the day to day use isn't much different. With the TV's system, though, when you didn't have it set to a specific "source", would auto-revert back to OTA when you would turn it on. Which was always WAY louder than any of the apps, so you'd get blasted by loudness. But because the TV was still "booting", the volume button wouldn't have an immediate effect. So you'd have to hit the "mute" button, which still wouldn't execute until about 2-3 full seconds later, making you question if you pressed it (and if you tried again, it would immediately un-mute once it did mute from your first press). Then, you'd have to wait a bit for the "Smart Hub" menu to fully load and stop stuttering if you tried to more the highlight for the various apps and settings. But if you tried to open an app too soon, it may say you're not signed in yet. Then, when you DO get into an app, if you didn't let it "rest" for a good several minutes, it'd likely crash at least once before you ever got a video loaded.

With this device, the TV boots into "HDMI 1", and the unit boots to its (silent) home screen, and UI is up-and-running full speed in about 4-5 seconds. So far, I've used it every single day for at least a week, and haven't had a single crash.

I'm not sure why we let ourselves live with those frustrations so long. I guess I just assumed the streaming stick experience would suck, but I suppose it's similar to how a lot of people feel about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (though, I prefer using my Mazda's own system vs Android Auto, however I'd LOVE to be able to have AA in my girlfriend's VW, as that system SUUUUUUUUUUUCKS.

TL;DR: remote's shitty, Amazon's interface is very "amazon-y", too little memory, and only 1080p, but the upgrade to my 2015 TV was worth the 6-pack of Budwiser I paid for it, and more.
 

Matt2000

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I don't like the way the Amazon app on this LG TV always gives you the impression that you're getting back to the last screen you were on when loading, only for it to throw you back to the user selection screen. Gets me every time. They could at least just make the screen blank for that second. Maybe there's a default user setting I'm missing.
 

kalf

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I really hate laptop manufacturers (actually manufacturers of all consumer electronics) for making 100 versions of the same model without publishing the details of said versions.
Next month I'm starting a course that includes a lot of AutoCAD, Revit, ... so I'm in need of a new laptop since I'll be needing to bring my own computer to classes and my desktop isn't exactly mobile 😂.
So after a lot of reading/watching reviews and taking in my own preferences I ended up with roughly two models . After some more digging I discover for both models some versions come with a screen with 90%+ sRGB colour accuracy, but some versions come with 40-50% sRGB colour accuracy and there is no way to tell before buying which version has which panel :rolleyes:
The big reviewers who get review samples off course get the types/versions with the better screens, so it's very hard to compare.
 

NecroJoe

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I really hate laptop manufacturers (actually manufacturers of all consumer electronics) for making 100 versions of the same model without publishing the details of said versions.
Next month I'm starting a course that includes a lot of AutoCAD, Revit, ... so I'm in need of a new laptop since I'll be needing to bring my own computer to classes and my desktop isn't exactly mobile 😂.
So after a lot of reading/watching reviews and taking in my own preferences I ended up with roughly two models . After some more digging I discover for both models some versions come with a screen with 90%+ sRGB colour accuracy, but some versions come with 40-50% sRGB colour accuracy and there is no way to tell before buying which version has which panel :rolleyes:
The big reviewers who get review samples off course get the types/versions with the better screens, so it's very hard to compare.

Gamers Nexus has been harping on for a while with components. GPUs where, at some point after the review cycle, the manufacturer drops the memory speed, or SSDs that switch to a lower-spec controller, etc.

Is there maybe a serial number range that would indicate which screen a particular unit had?
 

kalf

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Gamers Nexus has been harping on for a while with components. GPUs where, at some point after the review cycle, the manufacturer drops the memory speed, or SSDs that switch to a lower-spec controller, etc.

Is there maybe a serial number range that would indicate which screen a particular unit had?
And even without companies messing with the specifications it's hard enough when it comes to GPU's and CPU's in laptops since how well they'll perform depends largely on how much power and/or cooling the manufacturer decides to assign to said CPU or GPU.
That's one of the reasons I have a more powerful self build desktop that I upgrade/keep up to date depending on my needs and a cheap to mid-range laptop on the side for the times I need to be mobile. But in this case my "old" Ryzen 5 3500U with iGPU won't be up to the task I'm afraid.

The problem is that here in Belgium why use a keyboard lay-out that no one else in the world uses, so when searching for specs based on serial or SKU numbers it is extra hard to find info.
The days that you could simply go to the manufacturers website to find that info are long gone. Flashy webpages with vague info saying "up to that CPU, up to that GPU, up to that refreshrate, ..." is pretty much all most manufacturers offer.

And now I'm at it: I also hate the fact that when you need a higher spec CPU and a more or less decent GPU you pretty much have two options: buy a "RGB bling flashy" gaming type of laptop, or pay the premium for a business/workstation type laptop. I know that, sadly, RGB sells apparently. But I'm not 12years old and I don't care for a cnc-milled aluminium housing and all the other business type things.
 

kalf

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If Framework had a wider range of options to choose from and was available in Belgium, I would really consider one of those. But even if a could get one here, a thin and lite notebook with iGPU wouldn't cut it.
 

NecroJoe

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The nice thing about any RGB these days is that you can turn it all off, or turn on just specific zones (like the keyboard) to white. Sucks that you are still paying for it, but I can't assume RGB adds any more than $10 to a finished items price.
 

Matt2000

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And now I'm at it: I also hate the fact that when you need a higher spec CPU and a more or less decent GPU you pretty much have two options: buy a "RGB bling flashy" gaming type of laptop, or pay the premium for a business/workstation type laptop. I know that, sadly, RGB sells apparently. But I'm not 12years old and I don't care for a cnc-milled aluminium housing and all the other business type things.

Seeing the Bad Obsession Motorsport guys in the workshop with their ASUS gaming laptop always makes me laugh. It looks totally out of place and how much dust must that thing ingest?

I still think RGB can be nice in a desktop if done tastefully, the pump LEDs on my cooler died completely so it's just off now, but I still like the glass case and illuminated innards look. I'm still thinking of building a new machine this year. The first snag is that nowhere seems to stock the HX850i PSU I wanted, maybe the HX750i would be OK with a 12th gen Core i7 and my RTX 3080??

Speaking of PSUs and all that, I ended up removing one of the 8TB disks from my server. Yes, that's somehow related as I initially thought that the clicking the HDD was making was coming from the PSU. No, for some reason that HDD has decided to go into what sounds like a wear-reducing routing by moving the head and clicking every 5 seconds or so. It would stop doing it for a while and they continue. The disk checked out fine but I didn't like the noise so I took it out, thankfully it wasn't needed in my current Storages Spaces setup.

I'll run it through some tests and then if I can find another place to put this machine I'll put the disk back in.
 

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NecroJoe

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GRtak

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You need a giant case with plenty of airflow for that card. These cards are going to pull in excess of 600w once overclocked.


Liquid cooling is almost mandatory.
 

NecroJoe

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Liquid cooling is almost mandatory.
Even still...holy shit, that room's gettin' toasty.

Here's to hoping that is just built-in bandwidth for overclockers, and not the "normal" draw during typical gaming. 😅
 

kalf

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I still think RGB can be nice in a desktop if done tastefully, the pump LEDs on my cooler died completely so it's just off now, but I still like the glass case and illuminated innards look. I'm still thinking of building a new machine this year. The first snag is that nowhere seems to stock the HX850i PSU I wanted, maybe the HX750i would be OK with a 12th gen Core i7 and my RTX 3080??
I don't mind RGB in general, it can indeed be tasteful. But the really important part is it CAN be tasteful. In laptops there aren't many things you can use RGB lighting on, so it gets over the top really fast. But I have to admit that in laptops too they are getting more customisable and some even do manage to get close to tasteful. The HP Omen line for example looks half decent, but I hate the floppy hinges on them and function outweighs form in this case.

Being one of the people who put in his own acrylic windows in his case before they were an option you could buy, even putting CCFL's in said cases to light up/show off my watercooling set-up before it got as widely used/available it might be a bit hypocrite to comment people buying RGB RAM :ROFLMAO: . Oh if the forum's with my case-mod builds or the one where I even competed in a casemodding competition would still exist today, I don't know how I would feel about seeing those again 😅
 

NecroJoe

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I don't mind RGB in general, it can indeed be tasteful. But the really important part is it CAN be tasteful. In laptops there aren't many things you can use RGB lighting on, so it gets over the top really fast. But I have to admit that in laptops too they are getting more customisable and some even do manage to get close to tasteful. The HP Omen line for example looks half decent, but I hate the floppy hinges on them and function outweighs form in this case.

Being one of the people who put in his own acrylic windows in his case before they were an option you could buy, even putting CCFL's in said cases to light up/show off my watercooling set-up before it got as widely used/available it might be a bit hypocrite to comment people buying RGB RAM :ROFLMAO: . Oh if the forum's with my case-mod builds or the one where I even competed in a casemodding competition would still exist today, I don't know how I would feel about seeing those again 😅
On the first "gaming" PC I ever built, I think I spent close to $60 on RGB accessories...cold cathode tubes, clear LED-lit fans AND clear LED-lit fan grills, a ridiculous Zalman CPU cooler...granted, none of these were "RGB"...each one would have just been R, G or B, and I, of course, had some of each.

But the kicker? I had all solid steel panels. So the only light I ever saw was the flashing/flickering that leaked out at the joints/seams and between the covers for the unused 5-1/2" drive bay slots, and the flickering red lights that shone out the back of the case, making it look like the wall behind my PC was on fire. 😅
 

kalf

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At the height of my pc-craziness, must have been around 2008-2009, I had a Cooler Master Stacker, a huge full tower and still not big enough to house my dual loop watercooling, Core 2 Duo E8600 (overclocked to the point it was barely stable :ROFLMAO:), 2x Radeon HD4870 Crossfire and 4x WD Velociraptor 10.000rpm HDD's in RAID. CPU, motherboard and both GPU's watercooled with EK blocks😅. Off course the case had a huge window and the inside was sprayed black, but by that time I had "evolved" to red LED fans, red liquid and all black case (which later on became white and black).

But I've done all the weird stuff too like a RGB pc with red and blue fans and green ccfl's. Or UV lights and uv-reactive acrylic fan guards and case windows. Even engraving my home made acrylic windows, doing themed case-mods, ...

Oh and the most important bit: I've never really been into pc-gaming that much😅. I did enjoy the occasional LAN-party, the tinkering, trying to squeeze the most (aka highest benchmark scores) out of a pc and just showing off what I've build.
 
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