I'm in the future. Like hundreds of years in the future. I've been dead for centuries.
Oh, lovely, you're a cheery one aren't you?

Saturday, September 02


Don't Try This At Home!

Not even the best line in the video:
I'll get it back next time I distill the mercury.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:59 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Monday, August 07



Great hosting provider. Texas-based.  Pixy approved.

Not sure why I keep getting credits, but between that and pre-paying a year in advance I got what was initially an $80/month server for $37.50 a month.

That includes 100TB of bandwidth, which works out to 0.0375¢ per GB.  

Amazon charges 9¢ - 240 times as much.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:40 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Seeing Red

I have a Google Play Music All Access account, because (a) I'm an Android user and (b) because all the music services have basically the same library, but Google allow you to upload 20,000 tracks of your own, which is really handy.

Youtube now offer something called Youtube Red, a premium paid Youtube, which is ad-free (I think) and lets you play music in the background and stuff.

If you have a Play Music account you get Youtube Red for free.

I've been suspended on Youtube since about 2005.*

The result is kind of weird - all the premium features work, but most of the basic ones don't.

And this is Google, so it's basically impossible to get unsuspended.


* I was uploading anime OPs and EDs, and around that time Sony Music automated their DMCA process.  I got suspended instantly, and I still am.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:33 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Sunday, August 06


Inspiron 27 Unboxing, Teardown, And Review

  1. Not mine - still working on that - but it looks like review units started to arrive the same day mine did.
PC World get their hands on an Inspiron 27 and immediately open it up:

[Pixy Note: Click on that link for the video, because I couldn't stop it auto-playing.]

Yeah, I opened the box from the top too.

The video shows off how compact it is - they pack an eight core CPU, desktop graphics card (and not a sucky one), solid-state and spinny disk drives, a subwoofer (a sucky one*), and a fairly substantial cooling rig in something only slightly larger than a 27" monitor. The power supply is external, but I think my monitor also has an external power supply.

I paused the video and zoomed in on the disk drive. It looks like you might be able to squeeze a 5TB 15mm drive in there, which I'd like to try.

Digital Trends has a full review up with lots of pictures, though not of the innards.

I agree with most of the points in this review, though I'm less charitable towards the quality of the built-in sound, hence my trek today to pick up the Logitech speakers.

* To be fair, the complete Inspiron 27 weighs 10kg, and the Logitech subwoofer alone weighs 7kg, so you can't really expect the same sound.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:22 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Speakering Of Which

I swapped the Dell AE415 speakers for some Logitech Z623s.  Only an extra $30, but the difference is night and day.  The satellite speakers in the Logitech setup weigh as much as the Dell subwoofer - and produce about as much bass.  

Not surprising, because the Logitech satellites are 35W each, and the Dell speakers are 30W in total.

They're a little bass-heavy, to be honest; they're designed for watching movies more than listening to music.  But I can turn that down, where with the AE415s the bass was still inadequate even dialed all the way up.

Right now I have - not counting built-ins - eleven speakers on my desk, which is a bit much.  Time to do some decluttering.  Fortunately the Z623 supports three sound inputs, though I need to find a 1/8" to dual-RCA cord somewhere.  One of those boxes in the spare bedroom, I'm sure.

I just checked, and I was testing the Logitechs with the left and right speakers swapped.  Oops.

First thing I need, though, is a bigger desk.  Fortunately I know there's one of those in the spare bedroom, because it's kind of hard to miss.


Oof.  Forgot how heavy those things were.  Okay, 7'6" x 3' of antique oak worksurface installed!  (A legacy of my DotCom era salary.)  Now we're cooking!

Next step: Does this shiny new toy of mine support 4K HDMI input as well as output?


Yes.  Yes it does.  In fact, it looks amazing.  I'm thinking of getting an Xbox One X when it comes out, and with this screen and these new speakers, it should be great.  Right now I have my notebook plugged in, which is nice but not entirely necessary.  (Seeing as how the desktop is an eight-core to the notebook's two-core.)

It works as a monitor while the PC part is rebooting, which is exactly  what it should do but is nice to see anyway.  There's a physical button next to the power button that switches the video source, so it doesn't matter what software you are running, or even if the system currently boots at all.

Which means you could get two of these, and cross-connect them, run Windows on one and Linux on the other, and have two dual-monitor systems in the space of just the two monitors.  Not that I have any plans of doing that.

And my keyboard and mouse are now paired with Tohru, Taiga, and Azusa (the notebook), so I can just flip the switches to control them all.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:23 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, August 05


When Akko Was 7

I just got the Android 7 update for Akko, my Huawei Mediapad M3.

A 2.5GB update.

It's installing right now, and the battery in my Nexu -

Well, that was quick.

No, now it's waving lotus blossoms at me.

Okay, delotused now, optimising and...  Done!  Just need to turn Nova Launcher back on, and we're good to go.

That was remarkably quick and painless for a major version upgrade.  Good work, even if Android 8 is rumoured to be out in a week.

But for this week, the Mediapad M3 is the best small Android tablet available.  Recommended.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:47 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, August 02


A Thought Occurs To Me

Kerbal Space Program should run really well on this system...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:27 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Thursday, July 27


USB 3.2

One of the tricks with the USB Type-C connector is that both the plugs and cables are reversible - plug in either end, either way up, and it just works.

They do this by having two pairs of wires and crossing them over in the cable, so whichever way you connect it you are connected to the right pins at the other end.

It's also possible to do this by having a smarter USB controller chip that crosses the signals over itself.  That way you only need one set of wires - or you can use existing cables with two sets of wires and run twice as fast.

The engineers who design this stuff can see the obvious too, and just announced USB 3.2, running at 20 gigabits per second, up from 10 gigabits for USB 3.1 and 5 gigabits for USB 3.0, and roughly 2000 times faster than USB 1.0.

Now if they can just use it to replace SATA cables, I'll be happy.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:29 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, July 26


Thank You Hairy Robot

The Mediapad M3 is pretty great, but suffers an odd problem: If you touch the bottom edge of the screen, just above the home button, it opens a Google web page.  Completely useless but immensely irritating if you're playing a game and try to tap on something and BOOM Googled!

SwipeLaunch Disabler by Hairy Robot is an app that does exactly one thing: It turns off that popup.

Five stars.

Speaking of the Mediapad M3, it looks like Nougat (Android 7.0) is finally showing up.  Users in Europe are already getting the update, but it hasn't landed for US devices yet.  (And mine is technically a US device.)

Assuming that Huawei hasn't screwed it up, that will remove my last hesitation on recommending this tablet.  I couldn't be happier with the hardware, but the software needed some tweaking.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:44 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, July 25


Good To Know

Apparently a Ryzen R7 1700 with a Radeon RX 480 can run Civilization 6 at 4K at 48 frames per second.

(Tohru has an R7 1700 and an RX 580, which is a few percent faster than the 480.  And a 4K screen.  And I picked up Civ 6 for about $20 in the Steam summer sale.)

That's better than I expected; the RX 580 is marginal for 4K gaming, and I was expecting to have to drop down to 1080p.  Not that that is really a hardship.  But it seems most of the benchmarks are for actiony games that I don't play anyway, and for strategy stuff it does a lot better.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:49 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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