Aah you were there!

Friday, April 18

Geek

Choices...

The contenders to replace my old Dell 27" monitor:

Samsung 28" 3840x2160 TN display for $749.
Dell 24" 3840x2160 IPS display for $1199.*
LG 34" 3440x1440 IPS display for $1299.

The Samsung is cheapest by a good margin, but it's a TN panel, and I've been using IPS screens on my desktop since I first moved away from CRTs.

The Dell is a very high-quality screen, but it's the smallest, and runs exclusively at 3840x2160.  So it's not great for gaming unless you have something like the new Radeon 295X2, a $1500 500W liquid-cooled monster.

The LG is actually lower resolution than the others, but it's huge and wide enough for three workable documents side-by-side.

I think there's no bad choice here; they all look like excellent monitors.  Unfortunately, I don't really have the money or space to buy one of each.

* It was A$1699 at the start of the year.  That price is coming down fast.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:09 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, April 09

Geek

Dodging Bullets

First Apple's SSL library had a serious security flaw, but that's okay because I don't use Apple's SSL.  (I have an iPad, but it mostly just sits there.)

Then GnuTLS had a worse security flaw, but that's okay because I use OpenSSL.

Then OpenSSL had the worst security flaw of them all...  But that's okay because the version of OpenSSL we're using here is older than the bug.

I will wipe and reinstall a couple of virtual machines that don't have user data on them yet, just in case.

Of course, while mee.nu was secure* Amazon, Google, and any number of other providers have been exposed to this bug to varying degrees for two years.**  And the nature of the bug is such that attacks would not show up in normal server logs; it's a silent, pseudo-random data leak.

* Entirely because I've been too busy to migrate to a newer version of Linux and install proper certificates, not because of any specific virtue.

** It's been a busy two years.  Seriously.  I don't want to talk about it.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:50 PM | Comments (13) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 181 words, total size 2 kb.

Sunday, April 06

Geek

Get With The Program!

I mentioned recently how iiNet have been periodically upgrading my internet plan for free for eight years.

This leaves me with this "problem":

daily usage trends
anytime:8,325MB

suggested daily usage
anytime:125,024MB

I'm not sure that my connection is actually fast enough to download 125GB per day.  Never mind finding that much content that I want.  I just downloaded every current version of Linux Mint because it was there and I might want to try it some day.  There's only so many Linux distros and podcasts out there...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:27 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 91 words, total size 1 kb.

Thursday, April 03

Geek

U28D590D

I almost bought a new monitor (or two) last year.  I have a Dell U2711, and while it's adequate, it's not a perfect monitor (and mine has a few flaws that have developed over the past couple of years).

So I've been looking closely at Dell's 4K monitors. The 32" model at around $3000 is simply too expensive; I might be able to afford it, but I have better things to do with the money.  The 28" model is a lot cheaper ($829), but it's a TN panel rather than IPS, and it's limited to 30Hz.

The 24" model falls in between - it's IPS and a full 60Hz, but half the price of the 32" model ($1449).  But it's not all that big, smaller than my current screen.  Also, it doesn't have a scaler - the only resolution it accepts is 3840x2160.  I have a Radeon 7950, which isn't a bad graphics card, but it's not up to playing the latest games at 4K resolution.  I don't really care about playing games at 4K - I played Mass Effect 1 and 2 on my current monitor at 720p, and that was just fine - but if I have a monitor that only accepts 4K, I'm kind of stuck.

So, none of the Dells are ideal.  But Samsung just announced their catchily titled U28D590D, a 28" display most likely using the identical TN panel as the Dell model, but with different electronics.  Samsung provide 4k@60Hz via DisplayPort, and dual HDMI inputs for 4K@30Hz - or 1080p@60Hz.   Or, for that matter, two side-by-side displays of 1920x2160, if for some strange reason you wish to do that.  It can also do scalable picture-in-picture with the alternate inputs.

It has a fairly nice, minimalist industrial design.

/images/U28something.jpg?size=720x&q=95

And it costs $749.  Australian.  Including sales tax.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:01 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, March 29

Geek

Why PC Sales Are Declining

You can get a decent Windows laptop for $500.

You can get a horrible piece of crap for $500.

And there is no way to know which you are getting unless you verify the specifications of every single component and memorise Intel, AMD, and Nvidia's entire product ranges.

How is the average customer supposed to know that a 1.5GHz Celeron 1007U is nearly twice as fast as a 2GHz Celeron N2810?

Can you imagine if the 2015 Ford F-250 came with a 4-cylinder engine, when the cheaper F-150 came standard with a V8, and the manufacturer only listed max RPM on the brochure?  Because that's what laptop makers do every single day.

And don't get me started on the continued existence of 1366x768 displays. Quad-core CPU, 1TB disk, 16GB RAM, 4GB dedicated graphics, wireless-ac, USB 3.0...  And a screen from the flipping dark ages.

There's one major PC laptop maker who still provides build-to-order options in Australia, and that's Lenovo.  Most of their low-end models have crappy screens, but you can upgrade them.  The price to go from an outdated 1366x768 to a more reasonable 1920x1080?  $55.  Their W540 laptop comes with 1920x1080 as standard, but can be upgraded to 2880x1620.  Price?  $132.

If  the price differential is so small, why does every laptop between $500 and $1500 have the same crappy screen?

Answer: Because the manufacturers are dickheads.

The weird thing is that this is the exact inverse of the mobile phone market.  Recent mobile phones are mostly 1920x1080 - twice as many pixels on a 5" screen as an average laptop has on a 15" screen.  But most phones ship with a pathetic 16GB of flash, half of which is already used by the operating system.  Doubling that would add about $10 to the price of a device costing several hundred dollars, but noooo....

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:29 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 311 words, total size 2 kb.

Monday, March 24

Geek

The Difference Between Science And Engineering

In both science and engineering, it is not uncommon to spend considerable time and resources calibrating equipment to make and verify a single measurement, only to find oneself saying, what the hell, that can't be right.

In both science and engineering, this event can lead to an unexpected change in the trajectory of one's career.

In science, however, it's a good thing.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:12 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 68 words, total size 1 kb.

Friday, March 21

Geek

Just Nginxing

Set up a new proxy server for mee.nu today.  Had some problems with Pound - still don't know why - and decided it was past time to upgrade to Nginx.

Did so.

Seems to work so far...

Reading.... Check.
Posting.... Check.
Uploading kittens....
/images/BoxOKits.jpg
Check.
Editing.... Check.
Zipfile server....
http://chizumatic.mee.nu/top/Neptunia.zip:0022.jpg
Check.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:25 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 51 words, total size 1 kb.

Tuesday, March 11

Geek

W5921XA

Someone has too much time on their hands.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:28 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 9 words, total size 1 kb.

Tuesday, February 18

Geek

Aye Aye Net

Eight years ago I signed up with iiNet for ADSL on their top-tier business plan, which gave me 1.5 mbits down, 256 kbits up, and 60GB of monthly downloads.

I'm still on the same plan, and paying the same amount each month.  Only now I get 14 mbits down, 2 mbits up, and 1200GB of downloads.

I wish more things worked like that.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:01 PM | Comments (15) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 66 words, total size 1 kb.

Geek

Correction

Dog goes woof, cat goes meow.
Bird goes tweet, and mouse goes squeak.
Cow goes moo. Frog goes croak, and the elephant goes toot.
Ducks say "Hey, got any grapes?".
And the man says no, no, no...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:01 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 38 words, total size 1 kb.

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