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Author Topic: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2  (Read 329148 times)

Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10750 on: July 13, 2014, 08:07:12 pm »
I didn't want to be locked into another contract when I might be going abroad in under a year.
AH WILL NOT BECOME ON'ER YER UNDHEAD MHINIONS!! IF Y KILL MEH, Y'LL HAVE TO KHILL ME F'REAL!!! AH AM AHLIVE!! AH WILL NOT SUFFA BE'N PAHLY DEAHD!! Ohh... Wheapon trails.. Pretty.. -- Largo.

Dro_Trebor

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10751 on: July 13, 2014, 08:57:42 pm »
Ah...I wonder if I would like their business models for cellular service better.
It's a euphemism.

"Stop and smell the data."- Nate Silver

"I love the smell of confirmation bias in the morning."-Steve Rogers

Yes, but it's clever when I do it.  -Jake

Scott R

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10752 on: July 14, 2014, 05:55:50 am »
I'm in the market for a new laptop.

Staying with my old laptop (Dell Inspiron 1545) is definitely an option-- this isn't a desperate need.

I'd love to have an Apple product-- the writing software I use most often (Scrivener) is native to Apple, and while I have the Windows version of the software, it's not fully featured.  However, even at outlet prices, the Macbook offerings I'm seeing are well upwards of $1000, for half of the power that my current, 5 year old laptop provides.  I had a Powerbook a while back-- got a used one free from a very generous brother in law-- and LOVED it.  But the price of entering the Apple market is steep.

What I'll use it for:

1) Writing.
2) Writing while commuting.
3) Occasionally watching a movie.
4) Occasionally playing a video game-- I've got Minecraft installed on my current laptop, and it's a little laggy at times.

My requirements:

1) Must be able to run Scrivener (at this point, that means either Apple or Windows OS)
2) Needs to have a 13-15 in. display.  I'd prefer one that is not a glossy display.
3) Needs an ethernet jack (or a cheap, efficient, usb alternative.)
4) Needs wireless
5) The more USB ports, the better.
6) Needs to be 5lb or less.
7) Needs a good keyboard (prefer one without a number-pad)
8) Refurbished computers are perfectly fine.
9) Must be less $700

My wants:

1) I'd love a thin, lightweight laptop.
2) My current laptop runs OK on 4gb RAM.  I don't want to go below that.
3) If I have to buy external devices (ex: usb ethernet), I don't want the total for external device + laptop to exceed my price points.
4) Would like it to be less than $500.

My questions are:

1) Is there a cheaper way to get a Mac than the Apple Outlet?
2) What are the most reliable laptops on the market?  My experience has been with Apple and Dell, and both have worked pretty well for me; I haven't explored many other options.  Acer?  Asus?  Lenovo?  Toshiba?
I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Zalmoxis

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10753 on: July 14, 2014, 06:17:49 am »
The only cheaper way to get a Mac is buy one used. And used Macs tend to hold value fairly well.

Lenovo laptops have good keyboards.
If the gentle vacuum cleaner buries an eggplant around a spider, then a revered tornado dies.

Bok

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10754 on: July 14, 2014, 06:33:25 am »
What Zal said.

I've bought 2 Mac Book Pros from the refurb store. First one lasted 4 years, the current one is at 2 years, and running fine (better than fine, because I stuck an after market SSD in there, moved the regular HD to the CD slot, and bought an external enclosure for the Mac Boo Pro optical drive.

There are 9 <$1000 laptops on there now, all 2012/2013 models.

If you are nervous, you can also get Apple Care on the refurbs (even the refurbs come with a 1-year warranty). Though they do run $250 and up.

Scott R

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10755 on: July 14, 2014, 06:40:12 am »
Quote
There are 9 <$1000 laptops on there now, all 2012/2013 models.

On where now?
I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Bok

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10756 on: July 14, 2014, 07:46:41 am »

Scott R

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10757 on: July 14, 2014, 08:01:02 am »
Oh.  Duh.
I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

KarlEd

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10758 on: July 14, 2014, 10:02:34 am »
I have loved my MacBooks and MacBook Pro.  It would take some kind of influence I can't foresee to get me to switch away from Apple for my laptop needs.  (Maybe the development of some kind of really crazy important (to me) software that was not and would never be available for Mac?)
"Wishes and mathematics are both just things in our heads, but only one of them is immediately useful for getting to the moon." - Shigosei

"This is why I order a margarita; the salt rim keeps the snails out." - Tante

Scott R

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10759 on: July 14, 2014, 10:05:05 am »
My bro-in-law-- same generous one I mentioned before-- is buying a new Macbook Air, and so I'll be buying his old one.  It's the 2010 model, but I'm getting it for $250.  If I hate it, it won't have cost me too much.
I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Zalmoxis

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10760 on: July 14, 2014, 10:17:50 am »
Cool. That's not a bad solution at all for what you're looking for.
If the gentle vacuum cleaner buries an eggplant around a spider, then a revered tornado dies.

Sparrow

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10761 on: July 14, 2014, 12:40:26 pm »
I have loved my MacBooks and MacBook Pro.  It would take some kind of influence I can't foresee to get me to switch away from Apple for my laptop needs.  (Maybe the development of some kind of really crazy important (to me) software that was not and would never be available for Mac?)

This.
"Screw you, space-time continuum!" --CT

Keith

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10762 on: July 14, 2014, 12:47:24 pm »
Work is buying me a MacBook Pro.  Since the Apple IIes I used and learned to program in Jr. High, and my grandma's Macintosh Plus, I haven't used an Apple for more than a couple of minutes. 

I wonder if I'll become a fan.
I'm just trying to figure out what it is about not knowing your salary that you're not happy with.
-- Jonathon

Jonathon

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10763 on: July 14, 2014, 01:12:27 pm »
I've been using Macs at work for much of the last six years. I like them fine, and they definitely have their pros and cons, but I don't see myself switching to a Mac for my home computer. I did come to like the Macs better than the old Windows XP machines at my last job, though.
"I am the living embodiment of the abstract concept of pudding." —TomDavidson

Ela

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10764 on: July 14, 2014, 05:44:55 pm »
I have loved my MacBooks and MacBook Pro.  It would take some kind of influence I can't foresee to get me to switch away from Apple for my laptop needs.  (Maybe the development of some kind of really crazy important (to me) software that was not and would never be available for Mac?)

This.

Ditto.
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BlackBlade

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10765 on: July 14, 2014, 07:11:47 pm »
I've been using Macs at work for much of the last six years. I like them fine, and they definitely have their pros and cons, but I don't see myself switching to a Mac for my home computer. I did come to like the Macs better than the old Windows XP machines at my last job, though.
Word.

Also, I'll second what Zal said about Lenovo keyboards. They are fantastic on laptops.
I did too, because someone linked it and i'm easy like that. -Rivka

Bok

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10766 on: July 14, 2014, 07:44:21 pm »
The only computers I will buy at this point are MacBook Pro or Lenovo ThinkPads with the nubby control.

Hobbes

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10767 on: July 14, 2014, 07:47:00 pm »
My computer has stopped recognizing HDMI.  It's been working fine for almost a year, and then... stopped.  Now nothing shows up on the display using HDMI and when I try to use multiple displays or detect others, it shows nothing there.  I've tried to unplug and replug in the HDMI cord several times and to no avail.  Any ideas?

Drew

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10768 on: July 14, 2014, 07:48:51 pm »
Try uninstalling your videocard drivers, and installing the most up-to-date version?

Dro_Trebor

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10769 on: July 14, 2014, 08:04:13 pm »
If it's an XP machine, there were some recent (and supposedly final) updates that screwed up registry entries. There's some help inline for what to specifically fix.
It's a euphemism.

"Stop and smell the data."- Nate Silver

"I love the smell of confirmation bias in the morning."-Steve Rogers

Yes, but it's clever when I do it.  -Jake

Hobbes

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10770 on: July 15, 2014, 02:31:08 pm »
Hmm.  I tried updating and then just uninstalling and reinstalling the driver and no dice.  It's a Windows 7 machine: I haven't been able to find anything online that deals with this other than people who just didn't plug the chord all the way in.

BlackBlade

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10771 on: July 15, 2014, 02:34:05 pm »
Have you tried an alternate cord?
I did too, because someone linked it and i'm easy like that. -Rivka

Hobbes

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10772 on: July 15, 2014, 04:26:21 pm »
Sadly, yes.

Hobbes

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10773 on: July 16, 2014, 02:58:37 pm »
I tried a bunch of stuff and none of it works.  I turned it on today and now the picture works, but the sound still claims HDMI isn't plugged in.  This is bizarre.

JT

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10774 on: July 18, 2014, 07:43:21 pm »
Any of our computer geeks want to give me a build for a media center PC that's as small as possible (while having enough RAM to transcode [4-8MB]), does not need much on board storage (as I'll be storing everything on my 4TB external HDD, attached to the media PC), and is under 200 bucks?
You should have seen me.  I was DEMOCRACY IN ACTION.  I picked up my ballot and said, "HELLS YEAH!!" and then when I stuffed it into the ballet box, I did it with so much panache and elan that I can't hardly wait for the novelization.

eslaine

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10775 on: July 19, 2014, 07:53:41 am »
Whoa. What a price point! I'll have to check back here.

TomDavidson

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10776 on: July 19, 2014, 10:03:11 am »
I can't get you under $200. I think the magic price point for mini-ITX -- which is where you're going if size is a priority and the Pi isn't powerful enough -- is still around $320.
Indeed, a flavored hell goes deep sea fishing with some tripod defined by another hole puncher.

JT

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10777 on: July 19, 2014, 01:54:40 pm »
Yeah, I kind of figured that might be the case here.
You should have seen me.  I was DEMOCRACY IN ACTION.  I picked up my ballot and said, "HELLS YEAH!!" and then when I stuffed it into the ballet box, I did it with so much panache and elan that I can't hardly wait for the novelization.

TomDavidson

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10778 on: July 20, 2014, 09:46:09 am »
This is currently on sale for $175: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00IB40AC0
Indeed, a flavored hell goes deep sea fishing with some tripod defined by another hole puncher.

eslaine

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10779 on: July 20, 2014, 09:47:50 am »
Nice little solid state drive on that one.

Hobbes

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10780 on: July 23, 2014, 04:57:58 pm »
Hmmm.  I've tried uninstalling and re-installing every driver for video and sound.  However, it still thinks the HDMI cable is unplugged for sound even though the picture comes through no problem.  This is getting most irritating.  Any other ideas?

Keith

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10781 on: July 23, 2014, 07:09:27 pm »
1. Remove all power from all components for a while to clear any capacitance and try again.

2. Gently jiggle or clean and reseat components.

3. Start swapping out components.
I'm just trying to figure out what it is about not knowing your salary that you're not happy with.
-- Jonathon

Jonathon

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10782 on: July 23, 2014, 07:47:32 pm »
Hmmm.  I've tried uninstalling and re-installing every driver for video and sound.  However, it still thinks the HDMI cable is unplugged for sound even though the picture comes through no problem.  This is getting most irritating.  Any other ideas?

My last graphics card had a little cable to send the signal for the sound from the motherboard to the card. Without it, the sound wouldn't go out to HDMI. Is it possible you've got something like that? (Or maybe some sort of BIOS or graphics card setting to do the same?)
"I am the living embodiment of the abstract concept of pudding." —TomDavidson

eslaine

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10783 on: July 24, 2014, 08:59:12 am »
It seems that I only suffer heat crash on this laptop when I'm running Steam. Bizarre.

Hobbes

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10784 on: July 24, 2014, 09:03:12 am »
Hmmmm. OK, thanks guys, I'll try those solutions when I get home.

JT

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10785 on: July 24, 2014, 11:47:42 am »
It seems that I only suffer heat crash on this laptop when I'm running Steam. Bizarre.

My laptop runs way hotter when I'm running steam than any other time.
You should have seen me.  I was DEMOCRACY IN ACTION.  I picked up my ballot and said, "HELLS YEAH!!" and then when I stuffed it into the ballet box, I did it with so much panache and elan that I can't hardly wait for the novelization.

eslaine

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10786 on: July 24, 2014, 11:56:50 am »
Heh. I'll run a hub with Ableton and crunch away with 8 imputs at full resolution, taxing the processor, and yet, no problem with heat crash like this.  Also, the games I run outside of Steam, like Fallout 3, have no problem whatsoever.

Thanks for the validation.

Dro_Trebor

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10787 on: July 24, 2014, 06:33:38 pm »
With Steam it's not the heat, it's the humidity.
It's a euphemism.

"Stop and smell the data."- Nate Silver

"I love the smell of confirmation bias in the morning."-Steve Rogers

Yes, but it's clever when I do it.  -Jake

Scott R

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10788 on: July 25, 2014, 10:12:31 am »
I am posting from my high quality, used Macbook Air.  And I love it.

Does anyone know of good free database software for Mac that isn't Open Office? It has to be able to read .mdb files...
I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

eslaine

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10789 on: July 28, 2014, 05:22:07 pm »
Experimentally this afternoon, I thought "charging the battery creates heat."

So I pulled the battery on the laptop for a test. I've just spent a happy time with Portal 2, and no crash. Checked the CPU and fan, lookin' good so far. This might work.

Human

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10790 on: Today at 06:23:53 am »
I've got an issue with trying to upgrade the graphics card on my computer, and maybe someone here can help me. Here goes:

I recently acquired a new graphics card to replace the aging, 5-year-old one currently in my computer. What I didn't realize is that the new card requires two power cables from the power supply, not the one that the previous one did. This normally wouldn't be an issue, as I have a 700w modular power supply--except that when it was installed (not by me) the installer took all the spare cables for resale and didn't give them to me. I don't have a second cable. I've looked online, and the manufacturer of that power supply no longer makes power supplies (they only make solid state drives now), and I've been told that you can't use cables from a different power supply, because they're non-standardized and you'll get a short if you use anything except the exact make and model's power cables. My options, barring a workaround, are to buy a used version of the same power supply on eBay ($40 for a single cable) or to spend approximately $55 on a brand new power supply to replace one that technically works just fine.

Are there replacement cables you can get? A work-around with an adapter or something like that? Or am I going to have to go for the full replacement?
The spear in the Other's heart is the spear in your own - you are he.
--Surak

Keith

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10791 on: Today at 08:14:52 am »
What make and model?
I'm just trying to figure out what it is about not knowing your salary that you're not happy with.
-- Jonathon

Human

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10792 on: Today at 08:20:30 am »
An OCZ 700MXSP, aka a "ModXStream Pro 700W 80Plus Semi-Modular High Performance Power Supply."
The spear in the Other's heart is the spear in your own - you are he.
--Surak

Keith

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10793 on: Today at 08:58:31 am »
I think it's pretty much standardized, and if it actually plugs in it would work fine.  But I understand wanting to be safe.  In your shoes I would probably contact this ebay seller and explain what I have and ask them to point me to the right listing (they seem to cover all the bases).
I'm just trying to figure out what it is about not knowing your salary that you're not happy with.
-- Jonathon

Human

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Re: The General Geeky Thread, vol. 2
« Reply #10794 on: Today at 09:25:38 am »
Ooh! That's absolutely what I need. Thank you, Keith!
The spear in the Other's heart is the spear in your own - you are he.
--Surak