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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by mctom »

Big celebration here in our office today... Me and my pal have sneaked out to pick up a big parcel from Odroid, and distribute the loot. :)
6 OGAs, 10 UPS3 and some more gadgets. Ain't we happy. :)
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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by InsideJob »

Man I'm really excited about this i7-11800H System76 laptop. Was going to wait for black Friday but googling showed they don't really do that. Website says "limited stock" and I really didn't want to miss out. My last laptop purchased two years ago still doesn't work right with Linux (fan speed stuck at 2800) and the one before that is a Sky Lake i7-6500U with a GeForce 940MX that is still functioning as my main Linux lappy -- I replaced the batteries (LiPo and clock) and installed an SSD tho -- so it was time. I added the 17.3" 144Hz display (mini-rant: why do all Lenovos have fookin' craptastic 60Hz screens?) for $69 which seems cheap. I also got the 16 GB RAM upgrade for $75 which isn't cheap but had to have dual channel and didn't want to crack it open right off the bat. And lastly I opted for the $125 500 GB NVMe SSD which must be a PCIe Gen 4 because says 6,900 MB/s read and 5,000 MB/s write. So paid just $269 over base model for a real speed demon. Can't wait to try out the Thunderbolt 4 port under Linux too. Guess I'm going to need to buy some new cables.

Now if we just had a Pop!_OS build for the N2+... hmm... gonna have to order one from Ameridroid. ;)

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Post by rooted »

Sounds like a great machine, I've never understood 17"+ displays in a laptop as they are supposed to be portable and that sort of hinders the portability.

Although if it stays on a desk most of the time and isn't carried around much I could see going for the larger display.
Last edited by rooted on Tue Nov 16, 2021 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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@mctom did you order from a european reseller (which?), or directly from HardKernel? I'd like to grab a SP3 as well, but I'd rather not deal with import documentation.

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mad_ady wrote:
Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:03 am
@mctom did you order from a european reseller (which?), or directly from HardKernel? I'd like to grab a SP3 as well, but I'd rather not deal with import documentation.
That was a direct purchase from Hardkernel, as we all wanted to get OGAs with that sweet discount. Not to mention $1 UPS3s.
The import is not a big hassle at all. DHL just notifies you how much you need to pay with any mainstream online payment instrument, and then delivers goods as usual.
Importing is a huge headache when you have to deal with sellers that dispatch stuff with bogus invoice - with proper paperwork on HK side everything is smooth.
We paid only 23% VAT and no import tax at all. Either because there is 0% tax on electronics, or because my pal signed a declaration that this stuff is not meant for redistribution, as the official recipient of the parcel.

Everyone got their OGAs for ~180PLN, compared to 400 PLN on Botland or Kamami (official resellers listed on HK site). Without the discount, prices would probably be almost the same.

While we're at it, someone has decided to sell their H2+ with 4x2.5Gb Ethernet addon. For about 250 USD!
I'm not impressed. Recently I sold Pi Zero v 1.2 for 85 PLN. The price in Botland is 39 PLN (out of stock). This shortage situation is bonkers.
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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by InsideJob »

rooted wrote:
Tue Nov 16, 2021 10:18 pm
Sounds like a great machine, I've never understood 17"+ displays in a laptop as they are supposed to be portable and that sort of hinders the portability.

Although if it stays on a desk most of the time and isn't carried around much I could see going for the larger display.
Yeah, 17.3" is a little big to lug around. Had one before and swore I'd never buy another but that was before I needed glasses. :oops: Plus I already have two 15.6" laptop if it becomes an issue. Right now with the pandemic it's more like a desktop with built-in UPS anyways.

So they already shipped and should be here Friday. Seemed kind of strange that it's coming from California though. So did a little research and apparently it's a Clevo laptop that's been customized by Sager for System76. I dunno, I kind of imagined a bunch of guys with soldering irons and oscilloscopes hand assembling my laptop a mile high up the mountains of Colorado. Truth is System76 is run by software guys, not hardware guys. Which is fine, I personally think we need a new desktop written in Rust, but still good to know the reality of the situation. ;)

Sager has $50 off for Black Friday on a model with two Thunderbolt 4 ports and same 144Hz screen, by the way.

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Just got an e-mail from Mouser that these atmega88 chips I ordered a month ago will be delivered in January 2023. Blast!
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Post by rooted »

I will have to stick with my old HP for a while longer before it's time to upgrade.

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My other i7 is an HP "Liquid Platinum" laptop. $899 list and snagged it for $560 on sale at Walmart something like 4 years ago. One of the best buys I've made. Wasn't so lucky this time around though. Just got an email from System76 informing me of the holiday sale where I can get $100 off the laptop I just bought! Plus 8% Texas taxes is $108 I just got @#@$^ out of. Grrr.... :mad:

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And that's why you never have to look for price changes on items you've bought...
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Yeah, I did the research first tho: they haven't done a black friday sale in years and the holiday sale is usually after thanksgiving. Oh well, all the best laid plans...

I'm choosing to think of the hundred bucks as a donation the Rust desktop development effort. In fact, I was kind of thinking of getting into Rust myself. Jumped on the Python bandwagon late with version 3 and feel like I missed all the fun. Haven't really gotten excited about a language since Borland Turbo Pascal came out though. :eek:

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I loved Delphi and Pascal in general long ago, still very useful since the creation of Lazarus I suppose but I've not used Delphi since 4 or 5.

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That tool set the Chinese scam site tried to rip me off on is ordered once again. This time from a large company with many reviews and a history that can be seen. I was patient and watched every legit seller and it went on sale so I jumped, I got it shipped for $30 less than anywhere else before shipping. If it goes smoothly I'll order a second and have it sent to my son in college.
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I used to load Tiny Pascal onto a TRS-80 Model III using a cassette tape. Computer came with Microsoft BASIC pre-installed on a ROM chip. Ah, the good ole days when Radio Shack had a Computer Center... sigh. :)

Figures UPS made me wait around all day before notifying me that my computer would be sitting in a pile of boxes all weekend getting banged around. Can't pick it up Saturday. Just have to wait for them to deliver it Monday. And I'm pretty sure they've done that to me before. If tracking doesn't say "out for delivery" IT'S NOT COMING no matter what the "estimated" (always wrong) delivery date is. Grrr #2

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Post by rooted »

I had a TRS-80 2 but no media drive which made it much less useful, it also had somewhat flakey video. It was my first computer but I had an Atari 2600 before it of course.

I believe the basic wasn't Microsoft, I think it was color basic.

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I wish I wasn't old enough to remember the TRS-80, <sigh>.
We had one in my middle school "computer lab" which was a short hallway that was blocked off. It wasn't a favorite and was known as the "Trash 80".

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I guess I was lucky being brought up with XT, and then Pentium 166. Only me and one other kid in class had PCs at home.
Some classmates were envious or outright hostile, because they though my PC wrote essays for me :roll:
Before that, my parents worked with ODRA machines in the 80s.

Too bad DOS and Windows "just worked" for me and I played games instead of exploring computer science.
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Too bad DOS and Windows "just worked" for me and I played games instead of explorin
I was lucky! My 486 came with only one DOS game, and I got stuck at level 2 for a couple of months. Got the chance to explore Windows (and later DOS). I got hooked on the command line when I saw my mother's colleague type arj -a -v 1440 ... while copying my newer version of WordPerfect to his PC.

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Oh yes, I was trained to set up remote connections using Symantec PC Anywhere when my dad was away.
Learned modem sound patterns to tell if the connection succeeded or not. I guess that was easy, but for any reason nobody else in my family could tell.
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Post by rooted »

Yeah when dialup connected it definitely made a district sound, I don't miss it.

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My first Trash-80 was the original CoCo (Color Computer). I had a CompuServe cartridge (like a Nintendo cartridge) and 300 baud modem. It was an acoustic couple, so you physically had to put the handset on it to make a connection. The Model III was my second. I couldn't afford the $800 (probably $2000 today's money, inflation adjusted) 5.25" floppy so had to use the cassette interface. I still remember the excitement at the Radio Shack when the 10 meg Winchester hard drives came in though. Wow! LOL

I finally did my Ameridroid order by passed on the N2+ for now. I dunno, the thrill is gone with ARMv8. Looking forward to the first SBC with an ARMv9 chip. ;) Did pick up a SmartPower 3 and Odroid 19V/7A power supply though. I'm pretty sure I can use it to power BOTH my H2+ units. Plus just about anything else, under 133 watts anyways. :)
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What a monumental let down System76 is. Was still in the Clevo box when I got it They didn't pre-install Pop_OS. They just wrote the install ISO you can download to the drive. There's no custom software for the keyboard backlight. NVidia doesn't work out of the box like with regular Ubuntu. And the fingerprint reader doesn't seem to work. I just wanted a Linux laptop that WORKED out of the box with no futzing on my part. I didn't get that. F- grade for System76. Will NEVER buy from again.

EDIT: Looks to me like the nVidia card died, so I'm going to need to return it. Anywho, wish I could say it's been fun but it's been exhausting. Talk to youse guys (much) laterz.

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Post by rooted »

Damn man that really blows, are you getting a replacement or going with something else?

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I dunno, will call System76 tech support in the morning. The upgraded hard drive ended up being a Samsung 980 Pro so that was actually a good deal for $175. I'm just tired of dealing with it... waited all day Friday, waited all day Monday, then THIS. Ugh! Wish I had bought my new laptop at Best Buy or Walmart so I could just go exchange it.

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Post by rooted »

Yeah you won't get a machine like that at Walmart though, might get something close at best buy but I don't know as I've not been PC shopping in ages.

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Yep, I fail to see a point of getting a top notch PC these days.
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I'm waiting for the chip shortage to reverse and prices to fall to build a gaming(-ish) PC for my kids (and myself!).
Need to disguise it as something educational though, to pass the mom filter...
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Bundle it with The Incredible Machine and off you go. :D
That's an advanced physics simulator!

In Poland it is customary to celebrate first communion of 8-year olds. The usual gift is a copy of Holy Bible. These days, well..
3dc4f06f2cbc354506527a4d7597893f.jpg
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They're already playing Contraption Maker, The incredible Machine's successor. :)

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mctom wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:03 pm

In Poland it is customary to celebrate first communion of 8-year olds. The usual gift is a copy of Holy Bible.

3dc4f06f2cbc354506527a4d7597893f.jpg
USA as well, depending on denomination. Typically 7-8 years of age here.

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Post by crashoverride »

Anyone else notice that Black Friday this year is more like a "garage sale": getting rid of old crap nobody wants anymore.
:lol:

[edit]
I think the best laugh I had this week was when Amazon had cleaning products in their "Early Black Friday" sales. There are going to be some very disappointed children this holiday when they unwrap that!

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Post by rooted »

Yeah it has been slim pickings thus far, still on the lookout though. I did get a wireless gaming headset and mouse for $36, didn't need the mouse but it was a buy two items to get the 50% off and it was the cheapest second item I had any use for.

My Astro A50 headset is pretty worn out and it's a gen 2 which doesn't have replaceable ear cups, but it still sounds great and works perfectly fine.

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I'm not into deal hunting, as I usually buy second hand stuff, so I didn't notice. But perhaps I'll start gathering loot for my family soon.
I persuaded all members of the closest family to create wishlistr accounts. It's so much simpler and better this way.
This Christmas is going to be special, I'm going to meet my nephew for the first time.
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Post by InsideJob »

Same day exchanges is why I bought my HP at Walmart and my ASUS at Best Buy. I'd likely buy a Lenovo at Best Buy too. In fact, I believe Eluktronics is rebranded Clevo, so I could probably find the EXACT same laptop as a System76. Of course, you wouldn't get all that open source goodness and a warm fuzzy community feeling but oh well. :)

They said they'd send me an RMA in a day or so. Pity it didn't just work for me. Seems like a nice laptop otherwise.

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Post by rooted »


InsideJob wrote:
They said they'd send me an RMA in a day or so. Pity it didn't just work for me. Seems like a nice laptop otherwise.
They didn't comment on the incompleteness of how it was sent?

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I couldn't even get a tech support person on the phone. All calls went straight to voice mail. Heck, I would have offered to replace the video card myself if they had a disassembly manual I can use (my HP has a complete manual online.) Anywho, finally got through to a regular customer service person and got a support ticket for RMA started. I guess with the holidays staffing is a little tight.

As for UPS, I'm going apply for a job with them. When they call to schedule the interview I'm going to tell them I estimate I'll arrive at their office by 9 PM on Friday but there's a greater than 50/50 chance I won't actually arrive until Monday, by 9PM. Hopefully that's not going to be a problem for them. :mad: Grrrrrr

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Don't you have parcel machines yet? I got so tired of all delivery services in existence I order to the machine instead.
That might be my single most frequent reason to get out of the house during the pandemic.
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They sent me a PDF with a shipping label and instructions for mailing today... I was busy with the AT&T fiber installer though. Had planned on playing with the new lappy but upgraded my Asus to Windows 11 and installed Call of Duty: Warzone instead. This two year old Ryzen 7 3750H with GeForce 1660Ti still works nicely. Install guy was telling me how I can upgrade my fiber connection if 300 mbps is too slow. Might be the slowest fiber speed but compared to 300 baud it seems like ridiculously fast to me. :) Maybe tomorrow I'll deal with the return shipping.

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Post by rooted »

You lucky joker, I wish I had access to fiber. I do have 500mbps download but my upload is a miserable 12mbps

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I may be living in a third world country with 99 problems, but 500Mbps fiber for $9 ain't one...

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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by InsideJob »

AT&T had a deal for $35/month. Figures day after I get it SuddenLink sends me an offer for $29/month for same thing. My luck is holding! :doh: I'm getting like 39 MB/s download though so it's actually doing a little better than 300 Mbps. Guess I can retire my Hayes 2400 (4800 baud with compression) and US Robotics 9600 modems from my Wildcat BBS now. :)

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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by mctom »

I got my IS some 10 years ago, that was 30Mbps or so. Ever since ISP calls me from time to time, to inform they have raised throughput (most recently it was up to 300/25Mbps), and I always ask them to lower the price instead. They never did. ;)
I pay some $12 a month.

Not that I need anything above 100/10 really...
There is something rewarding about time pacman -S thunderbird under 6 seconds, but I think I could live without that. I measured that just to show my buddy the obvious superiority of pacman vs apt.

A few weeks ago my old modem/router died (after I updated settings on it, oops!), the technician came in with a new box with 5G Wifi. I asked him a few questions out of curiosity, including that fiber hype. He wasn't really up for a chat, as he looked like a retired skinhead and felt quite uncomfortable around me. Anyway he agreed fibers are just a marketing gimmick, and the old infrastructure in my building may easily deliver 1000Mbps if I opted in.
Yup, all ISPs had to advertise "Internet with a speed of light" at some point.
On the other hand, at this rate I might get 1000Mbps by default in next 3-4 years, so they're making a smart move future proofing their backend.
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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by crashoverride »

InsideJob wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:34 pm
AT&T had a deal for $35/month.
Check the fine print! There are lots of low cost "deals". What they don't advertise is the low data cap. The $35 deal ends up being $100+ per month in overage charges if you do anything other than just check email.

P.S.
I am now certain this Black Friday is just a garage sale! All year I have been watching prices on certain items in anticipation of the holiday sales. The only difference between earlier this year and now is that the same price now has "Black Friday Deal" labeled over it on Amazon.

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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by InsideJob »

I can't find any data cap inn the fine print. They did say that's with $20 discount for one year and a $5 discount for autopay. They also waived the $99 installation fee and I'm getting $350 in prepaid VISA cards too. I know, it really does sound too good to be true. I did check that there's no contract and I can cancel at any time though so we shall see...

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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by L67GS »

Not tech related but you guys are hands on so what the hell. That socket set I almost got ripped off on arrived yesterday from another retailer. I looked for a month and found it for $139, after I ordered the price went up to $239 so I think I cashed in on a typo. It's a DeWalt DWMT75049, the most complete single set I've ever seen.
This is to take to my new plant since I'm a cross trained employee as primarily an electrician and maintenance second. The quality is OUTSTANDING but I was really put off by the sheer size of it, that's an empty 2 liter bottle.
20211124_155000.jpg
20211124_155000.jpg (628.85 KiB) Viewed 221 times
My current socket set is bigger but it's staying in the little shop I rent so I can still build and repair cars.
20200112_161829.jpg
20200112_161829.jpg (567.03 KiB) Viewed 221 times

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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by mctom »

That's an impressive set of sockets. I thought the one we have at work is huge, but this one is twice as big.
Perhaps because we don't need both imperial and metric tools ;)

Nevertheless I keep my meaner tools in DeWalt / Stanley cases, I like their stacking system. And they fit IKEA shelves perfectly.
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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by L67GS »

Cars manufactured after 1980-something here are generally metric, but it's nice to have both. Where I live in the "rust belt" occasionally a fastener will be compromised and an SAE tool will be a better fit, lol. At my new work the machines are from all over the world, and either custom or customized so SAE and metric are a must.

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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by mctom »

Odd. Harley Davidsons were quite unpopular in local bikers scene due to HD's monopoly on every single part, including bearings, screws and nuts, that obviously were not metric, and probably stayed this way.
I replaced all screws and nuts in my Suzuki years back, and can't imagine paying $2 or $3 for each.

My ex's dad was a car mechanic and told me the standardization in Soviet Union was so advanced one could fix a truck with a wheelbarrow bearing, as reportedly happened to him once.
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Re: Off Topic Banter

Post by crashoverride »

L67GS wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:59 am
SAE and metric are a must.
I intend to end this standards war!

Of course, this will be done by introducing a new standard. My new inter-galactic standard unit of measure will be based, not on water as other failed standards are, but on BACON!
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