Computerus

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:06 pm

(Man, it's been a minute since I thought of XFree86. I can't think of a bigger own-goal in the history of open-source software. One day it was fucking ubiquitous, a part of basically every Unix, Linux, or BSD distribution, and the next it was completely abandoned, all over a license change regarding where to put the credit notice.

They certainly got the credit they deserved. As the dumb bastards who killed one of the most popular software projects in the world through a combination of stupidity, stubbornness, and sheer disregard for the concerns of the free software and open-source communities. Insofar as they're remembered at all, it's as an example of how not to run a railroad.

As opposed to Oracle, which is also known for killing popular open-source projects, but in Oracle's case it's not a result of incompetence so much as active malice.)

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:45 pm

Thad wrote:Anyway yadda yadda it turns out HP's file listing compatible printers listed it as "hp_laserjet_professional_p_1102w" and the ID string the printer uses is actually "hp_laserjet_professional_p1102w".

And fucking hell, it overwrites the file when I run an update.

I've changed the perms to 666 (ETA and then realized I meant 444 and changed them to that) to see if that prevents my change from being overwritten again, but note to self in case it is, the file is /usr/share/hplip/data/models/models.dat

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Re: Computerus

Postby mharr » Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:44 am

I have finally begun the process of Red Greening the cooling system on the back of this laptop. Tore one fin off the CPU heat sink and discovered it's crimped together from atomically thin aluminum sheet that's only patchily welded to the heat pipes - some fins weren't usefully attached to either one. Ripped the whole thing out and clamped a regular flat base tower heat sink in its place, idle temperature has already dropped ten degrees. Might just weld a copper brick around the whole mess and clamp the sink to the top of that.

Might even be able to overclock the old beast when I'm done with this.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:58 pm

Yesterday I was doing hard links in Windows as Thad had mentioned a while back for games with enormous save files and no way of choosing save file location (WHY AND HOW IS THIS STILL A THING IN THE YEAR OF SOMEBODY'S LORD TWO-THOUSAND AND TWENTY-ONE, AVORION I'M LOOKING AT YOU), and eventually I got the syntax correct and everything worked out great. I moved over my save off C: to my storage drive and figured I was done.

Then I saw the save in the original location and was like "Oh silly me, I must have copy-pasted my saves instead of cut-and-pasting them", and because the save files were like 2 GB, I didn't want to Recycle Bin them and so I shift-deleted the entire old contents of the save folder.

And that's when I discovered that Hard Junction Links actually cause the files to appear and function perfectly identically in both locations, even though they're only actually STORED in the one target location. :D

Luckily this wasn't a big deal, I wasn't going back to that save file except to grab some early half-built stuff. My schematics and anything that would use across multiple saves are stored in a different directory entirely. PHEW.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Nov 05, 2021 2:50 pm

Mongrel wrote:And that's when I discovered that Hard Junction Links actually cause the files to appear and function perfectly identically in both locations, even though they're only actually STORED in the one target location. :D

Those are actually symbolic links. A symbolic link is when a "file" is actually just a pointer to some other file somewhere else in the file hierarchy.

A hard link is when two apparently discrete files, in different spots in the file hierarchy, point to the same data. If you were using hardlinks, that would have actually done what I'm guessing you expected -- deleting either location would still leave the file present; you'd have to delete both files in order to delete the data.

Hardlinks are usually a bad idea, and I've never used them with a Windows filesystem and can't speak to how well they work there. Windows defaults to symbolic links.

I also think that for your use case, it would probably be better to symlink an entire directory (mklink /d IIRC) than individual files.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Fri Nov 05, 2021 4:23 pm

I used mklink /j since I thought that was the command for whole directories? :B

Because yes, I wanted a link for the whole save directory, not just one file in it.
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Re: Computerus

Postby mharr » Fri Nov 05, 2021 4:27 pm

This may or may not be relevant but just yesterday I learned that Steam's website offers direct download of any file from your cloud saves, so depending on the game they might be lurking in there? https://store.steampowered.com/account/remotestorage

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Fri Nov 05, 2021 4:28 pm

Oh I never bother with cloud saves. Not with my connection, lol
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Thu Nov 11, 2021 12:44 am

I've been getting a very strange error lately with as basic a function as copy-paste and selection boxes.

On a few websites, copy-pasting text is just completely fucked and fucks any message I'm typing. Backspace, delete, or even just typing words will either cease to work or have no relation to cursor location. Pasting often posts doubled text or the last paragraph only, and deleting an offending duplicate paragraph will leave ghosted doubled words on the first line.

Even if I delete all the text, I will probably still have issues unless I refresh entirely and try inputting text again without pasting. This happens even if I first paste the text into notepad to quickly remove all formatting.

Additionally, when I try to select text to overwrite, delete, copy it or whatever, it doesn't, well, select. I mean text is highlighted but only while you're holding down the mouse and again, you may not be able to delete, copy. etc. whatever text you selected.

At first this was only happening on Twitter so I thought it was just a weird Twitter problem. Since tweets are short and I don't actually tweet much I was annoyed but didn't care, and I couldn't find anything at all when googling about Twitter posting problems. But now I noticed it also happens on Reddit too (another site I'm not on too often), so I guess it's not just a Twitter problem. But Googling is still useless since the search terms involved are still so broad.

Nowhere else that I've seen is affected. What gives? Is this just some weird formatting for text entry that just those sites are using? Maybe some kind of anti-botting script that forces you to manually enter all text?
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Thu Nov 11, 2021 12:59 am

I've had similar issues with certain sites on Firefox for Android. Don't think I've ever seen it with desktop Firefox.

I would say that, generally speaking, people do weird shit with JavaScript that fucks with text fields and don't bother testing in Firefox. But OTOH Twitter and Reddit are big enough sites that if a lot of people were having trouble using them in a particular browser, there'd probably be more chatter about it. Could be something weird on your end, like different extensions interacting in strange ways.

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Re: Computerus

Postby mharr » Thu Nov 11, 2021 8:47 am

My generalised go-to for anything that fucks with the text clipboard (glares at GeForce Now) is an autohotkey script that just slows the whole process down to almost plausible typing speed.

https://www.autohotkey.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=26761

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Re: Computerus

Postby Brentai » Thu Nov 11, 2021 6:57 pm

It's not just websites, even Excel has been behaving oddly lately (and not in the usual cell-not-text irritation ways), and pasting occasionally hangs my entire browser.

I think MS might have changed something inherent to the Clipboard in a recent update that was, to put it gently, ill-advised.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Wed Dec 01, 2021 3:02 pm

Previously:
Thad wrote:I've spent the past two and a half months looking at the way I had the HDMI cable coming out of my monitor to connect to my work laptop and thinking "I really should get a longer cable and run it around the back of my desk; if I leave it the way it is, sooner or later it's going to knock my drink over right on my keyboard."

It turns out I was right!

So I immediately disconnected the keyboard, wiped it down, flipped it over, and left it overnight. Plugged it back in this morning to find it was shorting (wrong key presses).

Took the keyboard apart, went at it with compressed air, Q-tips and alcohol, and a hairdryer (on the "cool" setting). It's currently disassembled and sitting under a fan; I figure I'll leave it there overnight. If it works tomorrow, great, I'll screw everything back together; if it doesn't, I'll put the parts together, attach it with maybe 4 of the 24 screws, put the rest in a baggie, tape the baggie to the keyboard, and donate it to AZ StRUT; maybe some high school kid can make a more successful project of fixing it than I did.

Decided not to wait to see if I could fix this one before I ordered a replacement; if I've fixed this one, then it'll be good to keep it around as a spare but it was old and starting to come apart anyway (the covering over the palm rest has a tear and is starting to peel off). I've been using the Microsoft Natural family for probably 25 years but decided to go with the new Logitech K860 this time. There are a few things I'm skeptical about -- I've never had much use for a wireless keyboard on my main desktop (and while the button to switch over to my laptop would be useful given that I currently spend much of my day going between my personal desktop and my work laptop, that's no use to me since I have a wired mouse and will need to move a USB cable between the two machines every time I want to switch anyway); there's a bunch of shit that relies on proprietary desktop apps that don't run on Linux, so I'm going to have to figure out how the open-source equivalents work; and I may need to figure out how to remap some keys since I don't see an F-lock anywhere. But it's got solid reviews, and it manages to have a mostly-full keyboard (including 10-key but not Pause/Break) while being not quite so much of a behemoth as the Natural 4000.


I wound up really liking the feel of the Logitech K860, but it's a little narrower than the MS Natural and that wound up being an issue. The MS Natural is a beast, and the upshot is that I don't have to bring my shoulders in as much to type on it. I used the K860 for over a year and started getting pain in my left shoulder (instead of just my right one like usual).

Switched back to the Natural for awhile, but, as noted above, it's a little long in the tooth, and the spacebar's been mooshy ever since I took it apart and put it back together.

Looks like they finally quit making the MS Natural 4000, so I went ahead and got the new (2019) MS Ergo on sale. It just came in the mail; I'm still deciding how I feel about it. Keys feel more responsive than the old MS Natural but not quite as good as on the Logitech K860. It's pretty close to the design of the MS Natural but not quite; keys aren't quite where my muscle memory expects them to be, and, most concerningly, I seem to be moving my left arm farther in, which was the same thing the K860 did that was my whole reason for switching back to MS in the first place.

Other than that, I like the design, though; it's pretty similar to the ergo keyboards MS has been making since the '90s. It got rid of some of the nonsense the Natural had (I'm guessing nobody else ever used the forward/back buttons or whatever the fuck that toggle thing in the middle was, either, because they're gone) and added some new nonsense (Office and emoji keys). It looks like it'd be easier to take this one apart if I spilled beer on it than the last one was.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:08 pm

(Atog post, typing this here because I bricked my cpu fan trying to mess with it, it was grinding and causing boot errors so I took the heatsink apart to clean the fan drive shaft, and while the fan sounds a lot better, the cpu is getting toasty just surfing for 5 minutes and it's probably the thermal paste was past its prime. But hey that's a fixable problem, unlike the grinding coming from my HDD and the random bluescreens and textures crapping out on games)

Looking at putting together a new pc. It's been 11 years since we built these and they are def starting to hit that zone where we're delighted when we don't get a boot error. Once again, I ask you, the canny pros of the Mesozoic, to help guide my journey. That said, we're pretty open to suggestions and have a few tools and resources already.

That said, we've been living under a rock and know next to nothing about what a decent system would look like in 2021/2. All I can remember from 2010 is 'don't buy prebuilt, unless you want to end up with one or more parts that critically underperform and need to be replaced asap before the pc will actually run, e.g. 1100 W of components crammed into a mini atx case with a 650W PSU and shipped out that way'.

And yes I've dimly gathered that graphics cards are *insert emoji here* for the foreseeable future, and attempted to factor that into the cost with a relative ceiling of $250 US per GB VDDR5.

Budget is around 1650 give or take if something won't budge but is essential to the rest of the components.

Have had decent service from Mongrel's AMD mobo/hw and have also looked at reusing the old case (Antec 1200) which apart from being a bit more work to open and clean, and front USB jacks crapping out, has been good. A direct upgrade along the ASUS line seems like it wouldn't be too much trouble. But that's where it gets hazy for me, because looking online at mobos and systems I'm seeing a very wide range of prices, reviews, and caveats.

I'd say we're 99% sure we're going down the win10 rabbit hole but if an argument can be made for steam games and wargaming games to run in WINE then yes.

Would far prefer to build the pc myself from components with an absolutely solid reliability and servicability reputation, than buy prebuilt, but if the cost differential is enormous and the reliability/compatibility issues are minor, then so be it. I definitely feel more comfortable knowing everything in my case backwards forwards and sideways, and how much room everything has.

Only other thing I can think of is our building has shitty wiring and I'm estimating a ballpark soft cap of 10 amps for any pc if that makes any sense. Like, I don't want to blow our fuse everytime I boot up this summer because it pulls too much juice to be on at the same time as our air conditioning.
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:37 am

My build from last year (NewEgg links; don't know if that does you any good in Canada but here they are just in case):

ASUS TUF Gaming X570-PRO
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB

Which is not a complete system, of course, but I combined that with other bits and bobs I already had. The case is a Fractal Define R5; the current model is R7. I don't remember offhand what the power supply is; I've got an EVGA 550 G2 box sitting on a shelf in the corner but I don't remember if that's in my desktop or my HTPC. At any rate whichever machine it's in I haven't had any trouble with it. And I've got a few other various HDDs and SSDs in it.

Finding a graphics card's going to be tough but onboard graphics should be manageable for basic tasks and light gaming. AMD and nVidia both have new graphics cards coming out in the next few weeks; it won't be easy to beat the scalpers to them but if you keep an eye out you might get lucky.

If you're interested in testing out Linux, I'd say Ubuntu or Mint is the place to start (and keep in mind you can try a liveboot from USB if you just want to try it out), and protondb.com is where you want to look for game compatibility. I don't recommend buying an nVidia graphics card if you're interested in trying Linux.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 07, 2022 7:40 pm

Thad wrote:AMD and nVidia both have new graphics cards coming out in the next few weeks; it won't be easy to beat the scalpers to them but if you keep an eye out you might get lucky.


Radeon RX 6500 XT is bad at cryptocurrency mining on purpose, AMD says

Sounds like they're at least hoping this one will stay in stock and won't get bought up by scalpers. Whether that works out in real life, who the hell knows; there's still enough demand for gaming graphics cards that I wouldn't be surprised if these immediately sold out and went for overinflated prices even if they're not useful for mining.

Sounds like they're not great cards for gaming, either, with only 4GB of memory. But might be better than whatever you've currently got.

Won't be as good as the 5600 I've got in my desktop, but might be better than the 480 I've got in my HTPC. That sucker's due for an upgrade, so I'll keep an eye on this.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:08 pm

Thad wrote:
Thad wrote:AMD and nVidia both have new graphics cards coming out in the next few weeks; it won't be easy to beat the scalpers to them but if you keep an eye out you might get lucky.


Radeon RX 6500 XT is bad at cryptocurrency mining on purpose, AMD says

Sounds like they're at least hoping this one will stay in stock and won't get bought up by scalpers. Whether that works out in real life, who the hell knows; there's still enough demand for gaming graphics cards that I wouldn't be surprised if these immediately sold out and went for overinflated prices even if they're not useful for mining.

Sounds like they're not great cards for gaming, either, with only 4GB of memory. But might be better than whatever you've currently got.

Won't be as good as the 5600 I've got in my desktop, but might be better than the 480 I've got in my HTPC. That sucker's due for an upgrade, so I'll keep an eye on this.

It's virtually impossible that it wouldn't be better than Starr's card (an HD 5700, the last of the three we had originally).

Mine's more recent, a Sapphire factory-overclocked RX 460 (so actually somewhat close to a 480 in performance), but give it another year and mine will probably also fall into the "anything new is almost certainly better" category too.

Have to see how things shake out I guess.
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