The DnD Sanctuary

General => Browsers & Technology => Topic started by: ersi on 2014-08-19, 13:04:30

Poll
Question: Mark your preference(s)
Option 1: Gaming station full monty (complete with elaborate hardware controls and sound system) votes: 1
Option 2: Home workstation full monty (printer-scanner, music instruments and/or home cinema) votes: 2
Option 3: Modest homebox (just the absolutely necessary peripherals) votes: 1
Option 4: Laptop/netbook (hardware keyboard separate from the screen) votes: 3
Option 5: Big-screen tablet (software keyboard) votes: 1
Option 6: Smartphone votes: 2
Option 7: Gaming console with internet connection votes: 0
Option 8: Different devices on different occasions and for different purposes (specify in the thread) votes: 3
Title: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-08-19, 13:04:30
The point of the poll was to include here the technology used to access the forums. For a while I thought of expanding the list with for example e-book readers, because these too sometimes have internet access, but I guess there are enough options already.

Discussion about e-book readers is  is still welcome. And about printed books (obvious hardware). For some people, wristwatch is the kind of technology they need most. All this is hardware subject for discussion in this thread. And of course computer parts.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-08-19, 16:33:49
I would love to have something like an e-ink monitor for reading text. At least A5 size, preferably with a decent resolution.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-08-19, 17:53:54
A search on the internet shows that e-ink monitor is doable for netbooks, but it turns everything black&white. Is this the desired result?
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.xpander.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F01%2Fe-Ink-displays.jpg&hash=19fb8b908327d9568fb4612e35c8396d" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.xpander.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/e-Ink-displays.jpg)

By the way, thanks for your hardware offer, but I got the kid's computer fixed, mostly. The hardware indeed needed just some rest and cleaning to begin to operate on some okay level.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Macallan on 2014-08-19, 19:21:45
My wife's nook ( the older model before it became Yet Another Android Tablet ) has an e-ink display. Very nice for reading outside since it remains readable in direct sunlight, the downside is that it's very slow ( the display that is ) - it takes almost a second to update a page. Another side effect is that it only needs energy when changing, if you turn it off the display stays as it is.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-08-19, 19:54:35
I'm against hardware.
If there was no hardware there would be no software. Or maybe the contrary but anyway it doesn't matter.
I use what the industry forces me to use.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Macallan on 2014-08-19, 21:17:59
You could scribble your posts to a wall instead. Oh, wait, that would still be hardware the industry forces you to use :right:
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-08-20, 03:10:21

Another side effect is that it only needs energy when changing, if you turn it off the display stays as it is.

You mean when you turn it off, the text displayed last remains there indefinitely?
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Macallan on 2014-08-20, 06:26:56


Another side effect is that it only needs energy when changing, if you turn it off the display stays as it is.

You mean when you turn it off, the text displayed last remains there indefinitely?

Yes. I'm not sure about indefinitely but at the very least for a few months ( seen with my wife's nook sitting in a drawer with empty batteries for about half a year ).
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-08-20, 07:47:22
A search on the internet shows that e-ink monitor is doable for netbooks, but it turns everything black&white. Is this the desired result?

What's desired is something that doesn't emit light. Displaying illustrations in color would be a nice bonus, but it's hardly necessary most of the time. What I'd like is something more like this (http://time.com/41740/sony-digital-paper-is-another-attempt-at-a-huge-expensive-e-reader/), but probably rather as a desktop monitor.

Electrowetting is another thing for which I've been waiting since forever.


Something available today at least in some capacity is improved classic monochrome LCD (http://www.techfresh.net/asus-8-inch-64-grayscale-e-book-reader/) (another one (http://geardiary.com/2009/03/09/the-ectaco-jetbook-universal-portable-reading-device-review/)). I believe there is or was a niche market for that kind of thing for medical displays that were at least several thousands of Euros.

By the way, thanks for your hardware offer, but I got the kid's computer fixed, mostly. The hardware indeed needed just some rest and cleaning to begin to operate on some okay level.

You sure? It looks like it might "only" be €26.10 for shipping through bpost. Now I'm going to have to find a different way to get rid of it. :P Okay, get rid of sounds negative. I've been using that rig from early '07 up till two weeks ago. It's still more or less equivalent to something like a €200 new computer, albeit wildly surpassed by a €500 one.

the downside is that it's very slow ( the display that is ) - it takes almost a second to update a page.

For many ereaders part of it is lack of CPU processing power, although of course the display hardware also has its limits. I don't think it'd bother me too much because I prefer Page Up and Page Down regardless.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-08-21, 12:18:09

A search on the internet shows that e-ink monitor is doable for netbooks, but it turns everything black&white. Is this the desired result?

What's desired is something that doesn't emit light.

What about when it's dark?

I occasionally think about a fancy backlit keyboard. Right now I end up switching on a lamp directed onto the keyboard.
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wayjun.com%2Fimages%2FLed%2FLED-Desk-Lamp002EG.jpg&hash=7f5ba07c2a0522ac09173ca3e410a6c2" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.wayjun.com/images/Led/LED-Desk-Lamp002EG.jpg)


You sure? ...€...€...€...

Yes, I am sure. As said, it's not for me personally anyway. I am overequipped and underfinanced right now. Overequipped with crap, which is a problem, but the shortage of liquidity is a bigger problem.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-08-21, 13:19:34
What about when it's dark?

Especially when it's dark. I want my light reflected, not emitted. Preferably the reflective properties of the medium should be similar to good quality paper and the resolution similar to good quality print, but even bad quality paper with bad quality print is significantly superior to a screen -- and yes, I'm also referring to relatively nice high pixel density (albeit oversaturated) panels like on the iPad.

With the way display technology is going I guess my upgrade will be to a "4k" screen instead. With the new GPU I picked up for €100 (not bad for something that's €190 new I believe) my hardware should be ready for 60 Hz through DisplayPort. Something like the Dell Ultrasharp UP2414Q looks interesting, but still too pricey for the moment. Despite emitting light, my phone's still got the most comfortable display currently in my possession at ~297 PPI. It helps that the backlight can go a fair bit less bright than my desktop monitor, too. However, the automatic adjustment is a bit finicky. Reflective surfaces don't have such issues either.

I occasionally think about a fancy backlit keyboard. Right now I end up switching on a lamp directed onto the keyboard.

There's a topic for such pictures. :P I paid extra so I could have a keyboard with no wasteful useless media keys whatsoever. (Okay, actually I paid good money for the switches, but the no-nonsense is a definite perk.) The lack of markings is a bit of a gimmick and somewhat annoying if you quickly want to type something with one hand, but perhaps surprisingly it also feels better. A backlight? Perish the thought. :)

Not a great picture, but here's mine:

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fpolymathicmonkey.smugmug.com%2Fphotos%2Fi-tp73Ghz%2F0%2FM%2Fi-tp73Ghz-M.jpg&hash=2f60f26a6b85d5a99f52367cab8e84ed" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://polymathicmonkey.smugmug.com/photos/i-tp73Ghz/0/M/i-tp73Ghz-M.jpg) (http://polymathicmonkey.smugmug.com/photos/i-tp73Ghz/0/X2/i-tp73Ghz-X2.jpg)

Yes, I am sure. As said, it's not for me personally anyway. I am overequipped and underfinanced right now. Overequipped with crap, which is a problem, but the shortage of liquidity is a bigger problem.

A quick check on Ebay suggests that even just the DDR2 RAM I've got in there goes for well over €50 used. For the record. :P (Meanwhile the CPU goes for a mere €20...)
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-08-21, 14:22:04

You could scribble your posts to a wall instead. Oh, wait, that would still be hardware the industry forces you to use :right:

I prefer this kind of electronic graffiti. Easier to clean out.

I give you an example of what a decent hardware would be, electronic ink. You paint a normal book with pages made of paper with such a ink. Then, by connecting a microchip the pages of your paper book presents whatever text you want to read. Or photographs.

Or changing the color of your car, home or clothes everyday.

That would be a decent hardware advancement. But you can't think about ink as an hardware, you're formated to accept what the industry make you buy.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-08-21, 14:27:38

What about when it's dark?

Especially when it's dark. I want my light reflected, not emitted.

This idea is applicable to home desktop solutions where you always have sufficient light around from various sources. With mobile devices, such as laptops and netbooks, I basically have to carry my own lights along. It makes sense to have the light inbuilt in this case.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-08-21, 15:56:01
This idea is applicable to home desktop solutions where you always have sufficient light around from various sources.

Sufficient light is a subjective term. Once I was reading on a transatlantic flight because I couldn't manage to get to sleep. One of the stewards noticed and insisted on turning on my overhead reading light even though I said I was really quite okay reading by the dim nighttime cabin lights. But with or without a reading light, my netbook would've just hurt my eyes.

It makes sense to have the light inbuilt in this case.

A book (or eink device) with a separate battery-powered reading light offers a significantly superior experience to me. I'd be vaguely curious about one of those eink devices with a backlight for reading in the dark to see if it's backlight per se or just something about backlighted LCD but I most certainly wouldn't spend the €20 to €50 more when you can get very decent reading lights for €5 at the very most.

My phone's "high" PPI is better, but it's just not good enough. Part of it is that at least double the PPI is needed. Apple's "Retina" term is, to put it bluntly, bullshit. Another part of it is that it still is fundamentally the same light emitting technology. (Even though I really, really must thank Apple from finally changing this horrible 1080p resolution we've been stuck with for the past five years.)
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-08-21, 16:28:19

Sufficient light is a subjective term. Once I was reading on a transatlantic flight because I couldn't manage to get to sleep. One of the stewards noticed and insisted on turning on my overhead reading light even though I said I was really quite okay reading by the dim nighttime cabin lights.

It seems that we perceive light similarly. I used to be a gluttonous reader and my parents were worried about my eye-sight, as I tended to read in fairly dark conditions. Light that may seem necessary for others may cause book pages daze my eyes.


But with or without a reading light, my netbook would've just hurt my eyes.

Screen/monitor backlight is usually configurable. In a brighter place turn it up. In a darker place turn it down. In a dark room minimal light is sufficient, but no light is, well, not enough.

That's why I hate to turn on the lamp for keyboard: It cannot be configured. It's bright and hot like lava! But some light is inevitable. A tenderly toned backlight would be okay.


Apple's "Retina" term is, to put it bluntly, bullshit. Another part of it is that it still is fundamentally the same light emitting technology.

I have heard that it's bullshit, yes, but I have to clarify for myself how it's so. I have never bought a monitor specifically. I have only used other people's leftovers.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-08-21, 18:25:04
It seems that we perceive light similarly. I used to be a gluttonous reader and my parents were worried about my eye-sight, as I tended to read in fairly dark conditions. Light that may seem necessary for others may cause book pages daze my eyes.

It's not that I prefer to read in dark conditions. I love sunlight, albeit not necessarily directly on the page of my book. I just don't like artificial lights to be too bright, especially later at night.

Screen/monitor backlight is usually configurable. In a brighter place turn it up. In a darker place turn it down. In a dark room minimal light is sufficient, but no light is, well, not enough.

Without backlight a modern LCD is simply very dark gray. My netbook has a function key to turn off the screen to preserve energy, something I've started using as a reflex (like Ctrl+s) because it can really prolong your battery life. What it actually does is not to turn off the screen, but to turn off the backlight. You can still make out some text and window decorations.

Anyway, turning the backlight down all the way as far as it can go is tolerable, but I'd like to go down further. For example, I typically use my desktop monitor through a range of about 0 through 6, occasionally up to as much as 10 when it's particularly bright out and the sun shines in through the window just the "right" way. The thing goes to a maximum brightness of 100...

On my laptop and netbook it's similar. I don't know if the actual panels have the same range of fine-tuning available as my desktop monitor, but only 10 steps or less are actually exposed to the user (and no, that's not a Linux bug, although on my netbook there is this strange thing in Linux where it increases and decreases the brightness with two steps at a time, so I typically have to go all the way up or all the way down and then reverse in order to reach the desired brightness -- luckily it's an odd number of steps).

I have heard that it's bullshit, yes, but I have to clarify for myself how it's so. I have never bought a monitor specifically. I have only used other people's leftovers.

Apple means to imply that you can't see any pixels and that therefore the screen quality couldn't get any better with a higher PPI. To be "fair" I believe they say that applies to a distance of 12 inch (30 cm), but who the heck holds their phone or tablet an arm's length away? In any case, you can simply compare the "Retina" display on the iPhone to the full HD display on something like the Samsung Galaxy S4 (a little over 300 PPI vs a little over 400PPI) and you'll see the S4 looks sharper -- even at 30 cm.

There are some very simple tests you can perform on screens (but less easy to do so on phones...) to tell whether or not such claims of not seeing pixels are bullshit.

1. The checkers pattern: http://carltonbale.com/pixel_by_pixel_checkerboard/ Does it look like a uniform gray? If not, you're seeing pixels. This is how (some) printers make gray. My 300 DPI laser printer used to look quite checkerish when printing gray, even if its letters looked nice and sharp. A slightly later 1200 DPI model didn't look too checkerish at a superficial glance. I believe nicer inkjet printers can put out a wide variety of different colors and shades of dots (only up to a gross or so, but still) so their dithering methods are a lot more sophisticated than mid-'90s laser printers that could only do black in various densities. Even relatively cheap models offer 2400 DPI. Let's say because of the dithering we should say the effective resolution is only actually a fourth of that compared to a monitor -- that's still 600 effective DPI. And that's consumer-level medium quality print.

2. The line test. I couldn't find a quick example, but create an image with two one pixel lines one pixel apart. If you can't tell the lines apart, you're not seeing pixels. I've never seen a display on which I wasn't easily able to discern the two separate lines, although I haven't had the pleasure of being able to try it on a display like the Samsung Galaxy S4's. I expect it to be slightly harder than on the iPhone, but not impossible.

Some more technical background can be found here (http://www.anandtech.com/show/7743/the-pixel-density-race-and-its-technical-merits). It implies that beyond 600 PPI we'd be unlikely to notice much of an improvement for typical use cases (whatever that means). That may or may not be true, but we're hardly there yet. Me, I tend to think all of these "typical" things are written about 50-year-olds with faltering vision when I see how obviously non-"Retina" those Apple displays are (even if very nice compared to ye olde pixel monsters).
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-08-21, 20:57:27

1. The checkers pattern: http://carltonbale.com/pixel_by_pixel_checkerboard/ Does it look like a uniform gray?

Stupefying ultra-fast blinking ants colony on my laptop screen :yikes:
Seriously, I must get my eyes checked!
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-08-22, 07:33:06
lol, well, it is also a well-known optical illusion. :P

I think the odd effect you get when zooming in is weirder though.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-08-24, 15:13:45
I just replaced my extremely annoying AMD stock cooler with a Be Quiet! Shadow Rock Slim. The idle temp dropped from 48° to 35°, and seems to hover between 40° and 45° for regular use (previously between 50° and 55°). Under load it seems to max out at around 55°. This also opens up overclocking potential to get some extra life out of the tail end of this Phenom II X4 955 BE CPU. It seems to be stable at up to 3.8 GHz (stock 3.2 GHz), although I suspect that a proper stress test would show that to be untrue. That being said, I haven't played with voltages yet. I'll probably investigate that further whenever I feel like I'm short on power, after which I can implement something like this (http://www.ruwebit.net/article/411) to help speed up e.g. compiling while keeping power consumption acceptable.*

I could've gone for the Shadow Rock 2 which was similarly priced, but that just seemed excessive at twice the size and almost twice the weight.

This cooler should last me at the very least through my next upgrade.

* Although provided I put something fairly sensible like -j 4 after make it's already quite significantly faster at that than with my old Core 2 Duo E6600.

Regarding monitors
Something like the Dell Ultrasharp UP2414Q looks interesting, but still too pricey for the moment.

Upon some further research, I would advise against buying this screen even if you can get it for under $500. The problem is it doesn't actually appear as one screen to the computer under SST, but instead pretends to be two separate screens because its controller can't handle one big screen internally yet. It does a clever hack with MST instead. The bigger ASUS PB287Q doesn't have that problem, nor should other second-generation 4k monitors.

Regarding eInk
A very interesting device should be released next week: the Kobo Aura H2O (http://allesebook.de/e-book-reader/leak-kobo-aura-h2o-mit-68-zoll-e-ink-carta-hd-display-ip67-fur-179-us-dollar-50985/). It could be quite useful to read some of my many PDF and other electronic books that I completely ignore in favor of paper...
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-09-11, 04:48:48
Just for the record, here's the inxi output of my greatest machine:
Code: [Select]

System:    Host: kaasaskantav Kernel: 3.15.10-1-MANJARO x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 4.9.1)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.11.7 (Gtk 2.24.24) Distro: ManjaroLinux 0.8.10 Ascella
Machine:   System: Dell product: Inspiron 3521 v: A04
           Mobo: Dell model: 0RPT6C v: A00 Bios: Dell v: A04 date: 11/21/2012
CPU:       Dual core Intel Pentium 997 (-MCP-) cache: 2048 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3) bmips: 6387
           Clock Speeds: 1: 893 MHz 2: 898 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.15.2 driver: intel Resolution: 1366x768@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Sandybridge Mobile GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 10.2.6 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel 7 Series/C210 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.15.10-1-MANJARO
Network:   Card-1: Realtek RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: 2000 bus-ID: 01:00.0
           IF: enp1s0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter driver: ath9k bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: wlp2s0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-3: Atheros usb-ID: 003-007
           IF: null-if-id state: N/A speed: N/A duplex: N/A mac: N/A
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 500.1GB (32.7% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST500LT012 size: 500.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 48G used: 23G (49%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda6
           ID-2: /home size: 352G used: 123G (37%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda3
           ID-3: swap-1 size: 8.32GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda7
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 52.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 147 Uptime: 1:12 Memory: 1027.9/3830.1MB Init: systemd Gcc sys: 4.9.1
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.241) inxi: 2.2.1

Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-09-11, 07:14:35
inxi, eh? I guess it automates grabbing information from e.g. /etc/proc/cpu_info and dmidecode? Well, let's give it a try.

I guess that was inxi -v7?
Code: [Select]
$ inxi -v 7 -z
System:    Host: frenzie-desktop Kernel: 3.14-2-amd64 x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 4.8.3)
           Desktop: N/A info: xfce4-panel dm: lightdm Distro: Debian GNU/Linux jessie/sid
Machine:   Mobo: Gigabyte model: GA-MA790XT-UD4P Bios: Award v: F8 date: 09/08/2011
CPU:       Quad core AMD Phenom II X4 955 (-MCP-) cache: 2048 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4a svm) bmips: 28127
           Clock Speeds: 1: 2100 MHz 2: 2100 MHz 3: 800 MHz 4: 3500 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Curacao XT [Radeon R9 270X] bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 1002:6810
           Display Server: X.Org 1.16.0 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1920x1200@59.88hz, 1280x1024@60.02hz
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on AMD PITCAIRN GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 10.2.6 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:14.2 chip-ID: 1002:4383
           Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Cape Verde/Pitcairn HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 7700/7800 Series]
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 01:00.1 chip-ID: 1002:aab0
           Card-3 Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 driver: USB Audio usb-ID: 002-002 chip-ID: 046d:0990
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.14-2-amd64
Network:   Card: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: de00 bus-ID: 02:00.0 chip-ID: 10ec:8168
           IF: eth2 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
           WAN IP: <filter> IF: eth2 ip: <filter> ip-v6: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 3198.7GB (48.0% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sdb model: M4 size: 128.0GB serial: 0000000012060904C880 temp: 0C
           ID-2: /dev/sda model: SAMSUNG_HD321KJ size: 320.1GB serial: S0MQJ13P201708 temp: 32C
           ID-3: /dev/sde model: SAMSUNG_SP2504C size: 250.1GB serial: S09QJ1TP100307 temp: 37C
           ID-4: /dev/sdc model: SAMSUNG_HD501LJ size: 500.1GB serial: S0MUJ1NQ115400 temp: 35C
           ID-5: /dev/sdd model: Hitachi_HDS5C302 size: 2000.4GB serial: MCE7215P0MAZBW temp: 33C
           Optical: /dev/sr0 model: SONY CD-RW  CRX320E rev: NYK1 dev-links: cdrom,cdrw,dvd
           Features: speed: 52x multisession: yes audio: yes dvd: yes rw: cd-r,cd-rw state: running
Partition: ID-1: / size: 24G used: 14G (60%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb1
           label: / uuid: b83b8f32-8a27-4ab5-a669-ab9d5957b7e6
           ID-2: /home size: 89G used: 55G (66%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb2
           label: home uuid: 860b3a98-668a-410b-b4a4-62d5b03096d0
           ID-3: /media/downloads-500 size: 459G used: 315G (73%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdc1
           label: downloads-500 uuid: 5b91b7e6-024e-4258-b24e-7c4f1bb9e5d7
           ID-4: /media/data size: 230G used: 167G (77%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sde1
           label: data uuid: 1d4f8dd5-5a9a-4143-9705-989d5f0b2dfb
           ID-5: /media/downloads-2 size: 1.8T used: 877G (51%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdd1
           label: downloads-2 uuid: 95707d31-7b55-4ac6-b214-f33ee3ca700f
           ID-6: swap-1 size: 6.16GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sdb3
           label: N/A uuid: f84f1d58-d8f9-438b-81bf-99b188464e0d
RAID:      No RAID data: /proc/mdstat missing-is md_mod kernel module loaded?
Unmounted: ID-1: /dev/sda1 size: 63.37G label: N/A uuid: 2434875A34872DBC
           ID-2: /dev/sda2 size: 256.70G label: blabla uuid: 263638FB32671645
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 39.8C mobo: N/A gpu: 40.0
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 200 Uptime: 1:14 Memory: 2238.7/3960.6MB
           Init: systemd v: 208 runlevel: 5 default: 2 Gcc sys: 4.9.1 alt: 4.4/4.6/4.7/4.8
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.241 running in xfce4-terminal) inxi: 2.1.28

I don't know how to get at the motherboard information without dmidecode -t baseboard (which requires super user permissions), so I'll have to take a look at the source of that script sometime.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-10-29, 10:08:34
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fimg0.joyreactor.com%2Fpics%2Fpost%2Ftablet-book-funny-comics-1101451.jpeg&hash=0ff637e9ddf003fcab3c7e5d2081d6bd" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://img0.joyreactor.com/pics/post/tablet-book-funny-comics-1101451.jpeg)
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-10-29, 15:28:26
Stupid tablets. :P
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2014-11-27, 17:12:06
I reinstalled the system on my main laptop and made Manjaro the only one on it. With a functional bluetooth, it's now good for everything. No more experimenting.
(https://vivaldi.net/media/com_easysocial/photos/6757/51067/ekraanipilt-27-11-2014-19-04-26_original.png)
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Macallan on 2014-11-27, 21:49:11
I applied for one of these (http://www.elinux.org/MIPS_Creator_CI20) and, to my surprise, actually got one :eyes:
Spent the last weekend doing the first few steps to port NetBSD to it :right:
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Shandra on 2014-11-28, 02:42:21
Ok, personal wishlist - 3 items

On-the-Edge Server (Applications/Virtual Machines, Media-Streams)
Client1: High-End Desktop - Client for Apps/VMs from Server, minimum 3Monitors (Resolution and "Colourrange" as High as Possible), better more + MatroxGraphicCard(s)+additional StereoscopicDisplay for RemoteSensing/GIS Applications + DwarfFortress should run smoothly on large maps (xy+z) with maximum population+enemy army with megabeasts besieging the fort whilst catplosion is somewhat faster going then the flooding from the caved in aquifer :cheers:
Client2: Laptop minimum 2cores at >3 GHz each, Display that is at least 1200px in Vertical Resolution, AR 16:10 (NOT 16:9 even 4:3 is more practical IMHO)

And as I welcome a descent ebook-reader (not kindle), tablets are IMHO a NoGo - SmartPhones, well - with real keyboard and Nethack ok&nice, but not really needed & who needs a gaming console if Dwarf Fortress is Desktop Only :spock:
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-11-28, 10:09:21
Sounds pretty cool. What's Debian's performance like?
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Macallan on 2014-11-28, 11:39:23

Sounds pretty cool. What's Debian's performance like?

Assuming you're talking to me :right:

Didn't play with it much, loading xfce is rather slow but that's more than likely the flash memory and filesystem than anything else. I'd have to hook up a USB disk and compile some crap in order to get an idea. I'd expect it to be somewhat faster than a pair of - say - Cortex A15 cores at a similar clock speed but that's just a guess. In fact there's not much information about the actual CPU cores out there other than "it's MIPS32r2 compatible". Even gcc 4.8.4 doesn't know them but for now -mcpu=mips32r2 will do.
The rest of the SoC is more or less what you'd find on a comparable ARM SoC - DesignWare USB, Davicom Ethernet, PowerVR SGX540, a multichannel DMA controller that can be abused as a blitter ( this one even supports alpha blending to some degree ), a bunch of timers, GPIOs etc., HDMI output, Wifi/Bluetooth chip via SDIO, and a bunch of image processing ( filters, scalers, etc. ). The image/video codec is actually a MIPS CPU without an MMU but with a specialized coprocessor. Now where did we see that before? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SGI_O2#Performance) :left:
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-11-28, 12:14:53
Assuming you're talking to me

Whoops, not noticing that I'm not on the last page when using "show new posts" seems to be a bit of an ongoing error between keyboard and monitor. :P
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-01-03, 20:04:38
I'm in the process of "reactivating" a beautiful workstation, a HP Proliant Ml 110 with Windows Server 2003.
Already installed windows 7 in a new partition, maintaining all the previous system and data but what I really need is a good graphic card able to fit on those old PCI slots.
That's a complex thing and probably finding drivers for it also not easy.

My idea is to transform it into an acceptable machine for playing EVE Online, a demanding hardware game.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-01-08, 21:19:13
Old PCI slots? PCIe isn't that old, while at the same time PCI itself is far too old to be able to do any gaming. :)
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-01-17, 20:23:06
Yep, I changed my mind. I'm going to build a new computer part by part.
Interesting exercise, makes one having a better understanding how to achieve the best price/performance ratio looking to the computer as a whole assemblage.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: krake on 2015-01-17, 21:15:39

I'm going to build a new computer part by part.
... makes one having a better understanding how to achieve the best price/performance ratio ...

A puter made in Portugal, so to speak.
Let us know when it gets finished. ;)
I would be mostly interested in the price, assuming that you are not intending to buy the pieces on the flea market.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-01-18, 11:44:37
Let us know when it gets finished.  ;)
I would be mostly interested in the price, assuming that you are not intending to buy the pieces on the flea market.

I'll promise to be a very productive worker - German style - which means around three months to do it. You understand, I have to respect all German originated bureaucratic procedures, ISO's 9000, certifications, audits, formations and the sort...

All components from top manufacturers, no more than 350 euros for a normal shop 600-700 euros model. No monitor or OS included.
May I candidate to EU funds? :)
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-02-23, 06:46:01
Introducting the MintBox Mini (http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2760)

Not sure from the post if it will start shipping in Q2 2015 or merely be announced. It says "will be announcing" in the blog post but isn't the blog post itself the announcement? :confused:

Anyway, looks pretty and methinks about getting one somehow.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-02-23, 09:30:31
On the linked page (http://www.fit-pc.com/web/products/mintbox-mini/) it says "will introduce" (to the market, one presumes).
Title: Apple Watch???
Post by: ersi on 2015-05-20, 13:55:18
Looks like some totally big buzzing innovative tech news is going past me. I have tried to comprehend this phenomenon of Apple Watch, but it's very hard to suppress my absolute indifference to it. But let's quote a fan:
Quote from: Daring Fireball link=daringfireball.net/2015/04/watch_apple_watch

Much of the criticism of Apple Watch is being driven by the question "Do you need an Apple Watch?" And that is simply the wrong question. It's not useful for evaluating the watch as a product or platform, and it's not useful to answering the question as to whether you or anyone else should buy one.

[...]

The right question is simply "Do you want one?"

How can you argue with a believer? And in this case, the iThingy doesn't even make any sort of difference to be worth arguing over...
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Barulheira on 2015-05-20, 17:12:01
He is right. People that buy things are people that want things.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-05-21, 08:56:14
I have tried to comprehend this phenomenon of Apple Watch, but it's very hard to suppress my absolute indifference to it.

Actually it's a bad watch. You wear a watch for quickly glancing at the time. Try doing that on an Apple Watch and the screen is still turning on by the time you'd be well on your way already. It's more like a piece of jewelry, except it won't retain its value in a year.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-05-23, 18:10:57

I have tried to comprehend this phenomenon of Apple Watch, but it's very hard to suppress my absolute indifference to it.

Actually it's a bad watch. You wear a watch for quickly glancing at the time. Try doing that on an Apple Watch and the screen is still turning on by the time you'd be well on your way already. It's more like a piece of jewelry, except it won't retain its value in a year.

Seems to be a bad watch indeed. Here's another review:

Quote from: Backchannel, https://medium.com/backchannel/for-the-apple-watch-there-s-no-place-like-home-and-that-s-a-problem-b37810b6fd34

The interface flaw in Apple's latest gadget -- and how to fix it.

Here's how it plays out in practice: if you have tapped your way into the details of a voicemail message off of your notifications screen and you want to get back to the "home screen" of apps, you need to push the Digital Crown three times: once to get back to the notifications summary, once to get back to the "watch face," and then finally once more to get back to the app screen. But if you happen to push too rapidly on the button, you'll be taken directly to the "most recently used app" screen, which is triggered by two quick presses on the Digital Crown.

Imagine trying to explain this to your grandmother: if you want to get back home, press this button, unless you're reading an email or listening to a voicemail, in which case you should press the same button three times, but slowly. (But not so slowly that you accidentally launch Siri, which is triggered by pressing and holding the Digital Crown button.)

[...]

Pressing the Digital Crown should simply toggle you back and forth between the "watch face" and the "home screen." (Its other functionality could all be achieved through other means; for instance, you can already re-orient the "home screen" simply by dragging your finger across the Watch's screen.) That's still more complicated than the iPhone home button, but it's the kind of thing most users would pick up in a matter of minutes using the Watch. And it has a conceptual clarity that is sorely lacking in the current design.

Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-06-24, 10:17:02
Newt Gingrich Reviews the Apple Watch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf_uEcXoJ7c)
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-20, 16:33:06
(https://vivaldi.net/media/com_easysocial/photos/6757/87569/img703_original.jpg)
This is how my desk looked for a while after I bought a new huge monitor.

What is there to look at when buying monitors? The thing that occurred to me was to verify if it can be connected to my lamest computer, but surely there are things like resolution and other things that I don't know how to interpret...
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-20, 22:59:32
You need a good GPU to use bigger monitors with higher resolutions (or more than one monitor).
If your computer is that thing at the right, it will not probably work well.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-21, 05:08:37
GPU is a completely dark area for me. However, the little netbook's GPU must be good enough. When I send a video to the big screen, it may flicker, but when I turn off the compositor (compton), everything works fine.

I have another bigger laptop too. No issues with that one.

A thing I noticed is that the way the screens are handled depends on the window manager. Openbox and i3wm apparently won't make the kind of panorama screenscape that I intended, not seamlessly anyway, but Cinnamon does.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-21, 07:24:42
The most important aspect of a monitor is obviously how it is to look at.* Compared to my UHD monitor all other monitors I come across are almost unbearable, including such seemingly minute things as not being able to turn down the brightness sufficiently much. I also generally don't care for glossy monitors, although e.g. the iMac 5k seems to be alright. (Except the idea that you wouldn't be able to use the monitor with a different computer in a few years once the iMac's hardware becomes outdated is enough to turn me off right then and there.)

* Distilled down into specifications, that's:

  • sharpness (i.e. pixel density), a lack of it makes me get tired of reading on-screen fonts really fast and often makes scanned PDFs borderline illegible
  • brightness (i.e. not bright; my 2004 LCD was actually sublime in that area, only in direct sunlight a little more brightness couldn't have hurt)
  • color accuracy and consistency -- maybe I should split this up into viewing angle and color accuracy, but if viewing angles are bad color accuracy necessarily is as well


Me, I think anyone who says increased pixel density is worthless is lying or borderline blind. When a scanned PDF is clearly legible on my ereader and phone, reasonably legible on my 24" UHD monitor, and practically illegible on any traditional monitor, the difference couldn't be more obvious. Oh yeah, and my eyes tire less doing what I do with higher pixel density. I'd say higher pixel trumps most other concerns.

Oh yeah, and my screen has a "C" energy rating (although that's for "standard" use at unbearable brightness). Guess what? It still only uses like a quarter of my previous display... and seriously, just turn it off when you're not using it. That does, however, lead me to one final point: HDMI and DisplayPort's hardware and/or software implementation sucks. In spite of that, imo it's worth it.

PS You need a fairly decent GPU with the right connections to send UHD over DisplayPort to a monitor. When I obtained my current GPU last year it was partially to be able to play newer games, but mostly with an eye on buying my current monitor (or one much like it).
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-21, 09:44:39

The most important aspect of a monitor is obviously how it is to look at.* Compared to my UHD monitor...

Well, UHD is not part of the specs of my monitor. It's something that didn't occur to me at all. Also, it's completely obscure to me how to quantify the "look at" aspect. It looked just fine in the shop. I made the effort to imagine it on my desk. The result is how I imagined it, so I guess it's good enough.

Looking up things on the net now, I see that when UHD is added among the requests, it nearly doubles the price for the thing. Maybe it will be worth it some day.

My monitor is 27" Samsung (http://www.samsung.com/de/consumer/displays/displays/full-hd-monitor/LS27E391HS/EN). I filled the screen with terminal in my ordinary font and I could read it quite comfortably. Apps and windows seem to scale okay. I have found nothing to complain about.


Oh yeah, and my screen has a "C" energy rating (although that's for "standard" use at unbearable brightness). Guess what? It still only uses like a quarter of my previous display... and seriously, just turn it off when you're not using it.

In my monitor, there's a feature called "Eye Protection". It dims everything down a bit. I doubt it protects anything.


That does, however, lead me to one final point: HDMI and DisplayPort's hardware and/or software implementation sucks. In spite of that, imo it's worth it.

I wanted HDMI because this is the current standard (available in my bigger laptop) and VGA because this is how other computers in the house, including the one pictured on the desk, can connect. Is there such a thing as a UHD monitor with VGA connection?


PS You need a fairly decent GPU with the right connections to send UHD over DisplayPort to a monitor. When I obtained my current GPU last year it was partially to be able to play newer games, but mostly with an eye on buying my current monitor (or one much like it).

If games were my concern, I would have considered the purchase much more carefully. And for games I should have upgraded RAM and GPU and whatnot ages ago. But I don't do games.

Next thing I am eyeing is one of these things.
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fpisces.bbystatic.com%2Fimage2%2FBestBuy_US%2Fimages%2Fproducts%2F9809%2F9809183_sa.jpg&hash=aded1b747239f614a49eaea744c96fb2" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://pisces.bbystatic.com/image2/BestBuy_US/images/products/9809/9809183_sa.jpg)
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-21, 12:33:52
Well, UHD is not part of the specs of my monitor. It's something that didn't occur to me at all. Also, it's completely obscure to me how to quantify the "look at" aspect. It looked just fine in the shop. I made the effort to imagine it on my desk. The result is how I imagined it, so I guess it's good enough.

Sure, that's all that matters. Me, I've never liked text on displays, but UHD at least makes it somewhat bearable. I think text on displays may actually have been more pleasant on CRTs, although my recollection in the matter is fading. I wish I had a bigger version of my H2O ereader. It's about the same quality as a cheap newspaper, which superficially sounds negative but it's the biggest compliment I could possibly give any kind of digital display technology.

Looking up things on the net now, I see that when UHD is added among the requests, it nearly doubles the price for the thing. Maybe it will be worth it some day.

It's personal, but to me quality peripheral equipment is worth much more than whatever nonsense I've got in my computer (although obviously I'd never go with a cheap PSU). I know people who buy a € 500 GPU and then combine it with a the cheapest monitor and keyboard you can find. On the other side of the equation, I picked up a used GPU for € 100 (which is still selling new for over €200 right now) and I spent the remainder on my monitor, so to speak. My monitor won't age even a fraction as quickly, and the GPU was a total steal compared to a video game console.

Is there such a thing as a UHD monitor with VGA connection?

There might be, but then you couldn't use it at the UHD resolution (3840 × 2160). The maximum resolution for a VGA connector supposedly lies at QXGA (2048 × 1536), but that resolution may not even be achievable in practice by modern GPUs nor with lower quality VGA cables. Also note that the version of HDMI required for UHD isn't on any GPUs yet (except perhaps the very latest), so DP on a GPU from the last three years or so is probably the only realistic option for the moment.

If games were my concern, I would have considered the purchase much more carefully. And for games I should have upgraded RAM and GPU and whatnot ages ago. But I don't do games.

Actually the 4 GB RAM I've got in this '09 computer is sufficient for almost all games; it's in regular use (opening a whole bunch of browser tabs and PDF documents and whatnot) that I sometimes feel its limit and miss the 6 GB I had previously.

Next thing I am eyeing is one of these things.

My Kensington Expert Mouse Pro (don't be fooled by the name; it's a trackball) comes with my highest recommendation for pointer use, but be forewarned that its scroll ring is badly designed and will break. I don't know how it compares with the cheaper model pictured.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-21, 13:10:28

Is there such a thing as a UHD monitor with VGA connection?

There might be, but then you couldn't use it at the UHD resolution (3840 × 2160). The maximum resolution for a VGA connector supposedly lies at QXGA (2048 × 1536), but that resolution may not even be achievable in practice by modern GPUs nor with lower quality VGA cables. Also note that the version of HDMI required for UHD isn't on any GPUs yet (except perhaps the very latest), so DP on a GPU from the last three years or so is probably the only realistic option for the moment.

Aha, I'm finally understanding what these things mean.

My monitor is Full HD a.k.a. FHD, which is shorthand for ratio 1920x1080 px. Your monitor is UHD, which is shorthand for 3840x2160 pixels. So the difference of quality is double, and the requirements for GPU also differ.

Considering that my aim was to upgrade the face of my netbook without upgrading anything else on it, it looks like I made the best possible choice. To buy a fancier monitor, I indeed need a better GPU. This is for another time.


My Kensington Expert Mouse Pro (don't be fooled by the name; it's a trackball) comes with my highest recommendation for pointer use, but be forewarned that its scroll ring is badly designed and will break. I don't know how it compares with the cheaper model pictured.

Oh? So when the scroll ring is not mentioned or pictured, then those models indeed miss the scroll function? How does that work? How do you scroll then?
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-21, 18:06:37
Considering that my aim was to upgrade the face of my netbook without upgrading anything else on it, it looks like I made the best possible choice. To buy a fancier monitor, I indeed need a better GPU. This is for another time.

There are plenty of fancier monitors that can work with regular VGA or DVI connector with a 1440p resolution (2560x1440) if you so desire. That's probably what I would've gone for a few years ago, but luckily my old monitor didn't start malfunctioning until the second generation of UHD monitors was on the cusp of release. I do, however, think that my Dell P2415Q (€460ish atm; a touch less when I bought it at the beginning of the year) is not only the bang for your buck on the regular consumer market right now, but also the second best monitor all around. It's only surpassed by the iMac 5k (upward of €2100). However, while the iMac is in fact a competitively priced 5k monitor, you can't actually use it as a monitor. In other words, you can't upgrade your computer and keep on using the monitor when the time comes. A "regular" 5k monitor currently requires silly hacks like two DisplayPort connectors at once, so I'd stay away from it for at least another year. Same reason I waited for the second generation of UHD monitors -- the first generation used MST (pretending to the computer to be two monitors) while the second generation uses SST (just a single monitor).

Oh? So when the scroll ring is not mentioned or pictured, then those models indeed miss the scroll function? How does that work? How do you scroll then?

I've remapped the buttons.
Code: [Select]
$ cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf 
Section "InputClass"
Identifier "Kensington Trackball"
MatchProduct "Kensington Expert Mouse"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "True"
Option "ButtonMapping" "0 1 2 4 5 6 7 3"
Option "EmulateWheel" "True"
Option "EmulateWheelButton" "1"
EndSection

Note EmulateWheelButton. It's a button you hold down and then mouse movement scrolls instead of moving the cursor. It's like click to drag in some applications, except with any pointing device.

Besides that, I've always preferred to use the arrow keys, Page up & down (and Home and End, depending), and dragging the scrollbar. I tried scrolling using the scrollwheel for a bit when I first got a mouse that did it, but it quickly hurt my finger. The scrollring on the Expert Mouse was actually quite nice while it worked, though.

NB The Kensington Slimblade does not have a scrollring, but it has some built-in mechanism where twisting the ball scrolls. But I wouldn't expect the cheaper Logitech and Kensington trackballs without a scrollring to be able to scroll on Windows. I have been thinking about buying a Slimblade to replace my 7-year-old Expert Mouse, not so much because of the scrollwheel malfunction but because it has the sensor on the side and a hole at the bottom for stuff (like cat hair) to fall out of. I reckon it would result in having to do less cleaning.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-21, 22:46:32
You're both doing a lot of confusion. What matters is the resolution your GPU is able to deliver in what concerns to "image quality".
The bigger a monitor the higher resolution you'll need.

Then, and speaking about Windows, there's the software and drivers that allows you to tweak a lot of details. Around 350Mb for Nvidia drivers.
As for Linux, I don't understand, it seems to exists some "generic drivers", with almost no options, but that fits any GPU brand.

As for real gaming, you'll need GPU, Processor and RAM memory at the top level industry can sell you. Not to speak about watercooling and such. And Windows. Or Wine in Linux if you like to suffer.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-22, 07:36:49
You're both doing a lot of confusion. What matters is the resolution your GPU is able to deliver in what concerns to "image quality".
The bigger a monitor the higher resolution you'll need.

I have no trouble gaming at a FullHD or lower resolution. Thanks to the increased pixel density it's starting to become more like back on CRTs when you could sharply use just about any resolution, although for obvious reasons FullHD is the ideal use case.

All that aside, plenty of games run beautifully in UHD at very high settings on my '09 AMD Phenom II 955 coupled with a '13 R9 270X. Now my '09 CPU is a tad too old for this to apply, but an only slightly more recent Intel Core i7 is really not that much slower than the very latest on offer. It just uses a whole bunch more energy under load (as does mine).
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-22, 12:27:01
Once upon a time in this thread, I pasted the inxi output https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=474.msg27229#msg27229

The graphics section reads:
Card: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0
Display Server: X.Org 1.15.2 driver: intel Resolution: 1366x768@60.00hz

The resolution is what the attached screen displays. I don't know how to extract the information what the GPU can display.


You're both doing a lot of confusion.

Of course. Just learning after all.


As for Linux, I don't understand, it seems to exists some "generic drivers", with almost no options, but that fits any GPU brand.

There's always xrandr to tweak the display settings. GPU has something to do with it too, but I have no idea how.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-22, 17:59:36
Somebody pointed out the vertical mouse concept to me http://evoluent.com/ Looks like a good idea, except that I'd prefer something that is easily operable with either hand.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-23, 13:26:25
Might be an okay trackball design. As a drag-mouse it just seems like it'd be harder to control.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-28, 19:18:01
After almost a week of using the trackball now, I am getting used to it. The good:


  • It's in general much less strain than a mouse, because it's a static thing. No need to push and pull.

  • It can be used with either hand simply as a matter of placement on the desk. No need to train the other hand for it.



The bad:

  • Scrolling does not work so well for me. I'd prefer the scroll-wheel known from ordinary mice on the spot where the palm would ordinarily reside.

  • Midclick has not been given any thought. Pressing the two buttons at the same time works, but it's not convenient. The scroll-wheel as I described should do midclick too.



The disadvantages are not too serious, but if they made it my preferred way, then I would feel the price was appropriate and the tool more ergonomic. As it is, I think that there will be no urgent need for trackball if you are able to change the mouse for the other hand.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-28, 21:06:53
Any mouse has an urgent need to be replaced by a trackball. That being said, something like a Wacom tablet also makes for a really interesting pointing device: it works both with a pen and with your fingers.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-28, 21:12:15

Any mouse has an urgent need to be replaced by a trackball.

Can you list some reasons?

I have three desks at which I work on computer a lot. At first I thought of getting a trackball for all of them, but it only took two days for me to get used to use the mouse with left hand, and it immediately helped, so I'm happy with a trackball on just one desk.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-28, 23:41:46
That being said, something like a Wacom tablet also makes for a really interesting pointing device: it works both with a pen and with your fingers.

I had a Wacom Tablet for photo editing. It was so-so for that but useless for anything else.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-29, 07:03:28
Is Wacom tablet something like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LptmBhrX5Gg
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-29, 09:46:25
Can you list some reasons?

Comfort, comfort, comfort (and precision). Like I said above (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=474.msg47498#msg47498), "quality peripheral equipment is worth much more than whatever nonsense I've got in my computer." Post-'06ish computer hardware is Good Enough™ for most purposes.

What this means is:


  • Not a mouse. Prolonged mouse use leads to discomfort. Switching hands once in a while seemingly works, but ultimately you're just messing up two hands instead of just one. Touchpads and trackballs are both more comfortable for pointing, but trackballs are more precise and even the best touchpads tend to be somewhat uncomfortable for clicking. Unfortunately I don't think there are any truly high quality trackballs in the way that there are truly high quality mice, but mice are just too fundamentally flawed to make it matter.

  • A mechanical keyboard or equivalent. A typical rubber dome hurts your fingers when typing longer texts because you have to pound the keys all the way down for them to make contact. Besides, precision makes its return. It's much easier for key presses to fail to register on a rubber dome. I happen to own a das keyboard, but there are plenty of decent options to choose from.

  • A good monitor. Low-resolution and certain types of backlight tire the eyes. In the long term I'm sure that can only hurt your eyesight. That being said, a truly good monitor doesn't exist yet. The screen on my Kobo Aura H2O probably comes closest, but even if I could use it as a monitor it'd be a tad small at its puny 6.8"... To be perfectly clear, the perfect monitor would look very similar to a high quality book or magazine. But I'd settle for the cheap newspaper/paperback look of the H2O (which, I must emphasize, is the very best I've ever seen in computer display technology -- I mean "cheap newspaper" as an enormous compliment).

  • A monitor arm. Ignore whatever stand a monitor comes with. I recommend the Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm, Tall Pole (http://www.ergotron.com/ProductsDetails/tabid/65/PRDID/523/language/en-US/Default.aspx). (I own the one with the regular pole. I wish it were just a little bit longer.) Even though your good monitor is intended to last for the better part of a decade, this should last many years longer. Together with your virtually unbreakable mechanical keyboard, with any luck it might last for decades of use. Of course I can only vouch for a decade yet. But perhaps something like the WorkFit S (http://www.ergotron.com/ProductsDetails/tabid/65/PRDID/559/language/en-US/Default.aspx) to easily switch between standing and sitting would be better depending on your use case.

  • A good chair, although like with both mouse and monitor I'd say the best chair is not a chair. I like my Topstar stool (http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00JQIREE2?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00) because I can wobble around and stuff, but it doesn't have any of the disadvantages of e.g. an exercise ball.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-29, 12:53:00


  • Not a mouse. Prolonged mouse use leads to discomfort. Switching hands once in a while seemingly works, but ultimately you're just messing up two hands instead of just one. Touchpads and trackballs are both more comfortable for pointing, but trackballs are more precise and even the best touchpads tend to be somewhat uncomfortable for clicking. Unfortunately I don't think there are any truly high quality trackballs in the way that there are truly high quality mice, but mice are just too fundamentally flawed to make it matter.


Can you flesh out the point about precision a little more? In my practical usage, I have found touchpad better than mouse in many ways, including in terms of precision, but my (limited) experience with trackball does not give any reason to assume that trackball could be more precise for pointing than mouse.

Trackball is better for the way the hand is placed on it, and because trackball is static - it has its own place on the desk, not to be dragged around. By the way, what do you think of a scroll wheel to be pulled with midpalm?

  • A mechanical keyboard or equivalent. A typical rubber dome hurts your fingers when typing longer texts because you have to pound the keys all the way down for them to make contact. Besides, precision makes its return. It's much easier for key presses to fail to register on a rubber dome. I happen to own a das keyboard, but there are plenty of decent options to choose from.



    • A good monitor. Low-resolution and certain types of backlight tire the eyes.


    You earlier spoke about switching off the monitor for pauses of thinking. I have the habit of closing the eyes very often, occasionally typing with the eyes closed. Same effect, even though the monitor is still using up power.



    • A monitor arm. Ignore whatever stand a monitor comes with. I recommend the Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm, Tall Pole (http://www.ergotron.com/ProductsDetails/tabid/65/PRDID/523/language/en-US/Default.aspx). (I own the one with the regular pole. I wish it were just a little bit longer.) Even though your good monitor is intended to last for the better part of a decade, this should last many years longer. Together with your virtually unbreakable mechanical keyboard, with any luck it might last for decades of use. Of course I can only vouch for a decade yet. But perhaps something like the WorkFit S (http://www.ergotron.com/ProductsDetails/tabid/65/PRDID/559/language/en-US/Default.aspx) to easily switch between standing and sitting would be better depending on your use case.


    Looks like a good idea, except that they take up space on the desk. Monitor arms like this might be more essential for people who do graphical work or coding so that pixel-perfect precision on the screen matters. My work is simply to type common language into a few huge windows on the screen.



    • A good chair, although like with both mouse and monitor I'd say the best chair is not a chair.


    For some reason, employers think a good armchair is the best choice, while I have found it to be the worst. Luckily in the most recent overhaul of the offices by my employer, the armrests of the chairs were detachable and I detached them, leaving a fairly decent thing to sit on.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-29, 15:52:03
Can you flesh out the point about precision a little more? In my practical usage, I have found touchpad better than mouse in many ways, including in terms of precision, but my (limited) experience with trackball does not give any reason to assume that trackball could be more precise for pointing than mouse.

Really? I find that being able to use one or two fingers or my thumb gives higher or at least easier accuracy than I could ever get with my wrist. But as far as that goes bigger balls may be better. I also have an el cheapo Logitech trackball which doesn't strike me as particularly precise. Let's just say YMMV but who cares since you're not killing your wrist?

By the way, what do you think of a scroll wheel to be pulled with midpalm?

I'm not sure I understand, but it doesn't sound too attractive on the face of it.

Looks like a good idea, except that they take up space on the desk.

Huh? Space saving is a major advantage of a monitor arm, although I would advise one primarily for the sake of your body and freedom of movement. Mine goes up and down and around and tilts all the time.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-29, 16:49:24

Can you flesh out the point about precision a little more? In my practical usage, I have found touchpad better than mouse in many ways, including in terms of precision, but my (limited) experience with trackball does not give any reason to assume that trackball could be more precise for pointing than mouse.

Really? I find that being able to use one or two fingers or my thumb gives higher or at least easier accuracy than I could ever get with my wrist. But as far as that goes bigger balls may be better. I also have an el cheapo Logitech trackball which doesn't strike me as particularly precise. Let's just say YMMV but who cares since you're not killing your wrist?

Speaking of wrists, I have been a constant a table tennis player since early teens. It probably has helped my wrist to survive.



By the way, what do you think of a scroll wheel to be pulled with midpalm?

I'm not sure I understand, but it doesn't sound too attractive on the face of it.

Look at the picture again. There's a huge empty area staring at you. How about some function there, a button for midclick or a wheel for scroll? And you could move it with thumbs as well as with midpalm.

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fpisces.bbystatic.com%2Fimage2%2FBestBuy_US%2Fimages%2Fproducts%2F9809%2F9809183_sa.jpg&hash=aded1b747239f614a49eaea744c96fb2" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://pisces.bbystatic.com/image2/BestBuy_US/images/products/9809/9809183_sa.jpg)


Looks like a good idea, except that they take up space on the desk.

Huh? Space saving is a major advantage of a monitor arm, although I would advise one primarily for the sake of your body and freedom of movement. Mine goes up and down and around and tilts all the time.

Well, I understand you can put up the monitor arm in a space-saving way, but the leg where my new monitor stands on is not in my way either. I understand the advantage of the monitor arm and why someone would need that advantage.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-29, 19:10:56
Look at the picture again. There's a huge empty area staring at you. How about some function there, a button for midclick or a wheel for scroll? And you could move it with thumbs as well as with midpalm.

With that design it looks like it should five buttons. They're probably afraid that it would compete too well against their more expensive products if they made it that way.

(https://polymathicmonkey.smugmug.com/photos/i-pfmXqV2/0/O/i-pfmXqV2.png)

The fifth button you could press with your palm or thumb. I suggest middle-click. That makes a default configuration of something like

[html]
left clickright click
backforward
middle click
[/html]

Seems like that'd make for a killer el cheapo trackball as opposed to a mediocre one. Although ultimately it comes down to the quality of the actual ball part.

Well, I understand you can put up the monitor arm in a space-saving way, but the leg where my new monitor stands on is not in my way either. I understand the advantage of the monitor arm and why someone would need that advantage.

A traditional monitor takes up space on your desk. With a monitor arm, you can still use the space underneath your monitor even when you don't push it back. But yeah, the combination of monitor arm and keyboard tray (I made that one myself) allows me to use my desk as if no computer were present at all. I just have to push my keyboard under the desk and the monitor to the back and it's as if I were right in 1950. Well, except for the gigantic typewriter taking up all of my desk space. It's as if I were right in 1850. :P

Anyway, the desk space is merely nice to have. The real utility of the arm is to have the monitor at a proper height so you don't slouch and to be able to move the monitor around pretty much any which way you please.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Macallan on 2015-10-29, 20:28:40

I have three desks at which I work on computer a lot. At first I thought of getting a trackball for all of them, but it only took two days for me to get used to use the mouse with left hand, and it immediately helped, so I'm happy with a trackball on just one desk.

I'd love to have a left-handed thumb-type trackball. Then again, these days even the right-handed ones are kinda difficult to find - the only one I see here occasionally is a wireless logitech, and I don't want a wireless one.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-29, 21:18:43


I have three desks at which I work on computer a lot. At first I thought of getting a trackball for all of them, but it only took two days for me to get used to use the mouse with left hand, and it immediately helped, so I'm happy with a trackball on just one desk.

I'd love to have a left-handed thumb-type trackball. Then again, these days even the right-handed ones are kinda difficult to find - the only one I see here occasionally is a wireless logitech, and I don't want a wireless one.

In the spring this year I visited the United States. Among other things, my plan was to find out about the latest developments in the trackball area. I heard in the shops that they were a dated product, on the way being replaced with trackpads and such. That's what I heard in computer shops in New York and some shops didn't even have any such thing. Staples still had a fair selection of mice and some trackballs, even though I didn't buy anything there.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-29, 21:59:13

(https://polymathicmonkey.smugmug.com/photos/i-pfmXqV2/0/O/i-pfmXqV2.png)

The way the extant buttons are done, I would like them smaller, because they are too touchy. I want some free space to rest fingers when not pressing anything.


A traditional monitor takes up space on your desk. With a monitor arm, you can still use the space underneath your monitor even when you don't push it back. But yeah, the combination of monitor arm and keyboard tray (I made that one myself) allows me to use my desk as if no computer were present at all. I just have to push my keyboard under the desk and the monitor to the back and it's as if I were right in 1950. Well, except for the gigantic typewriter taking up all of my desk space. It's as if I were right in 1850. :P

Anyway, the desk space is merely nice to have. The real utility of the arm is to have the monitor at a proper height so you don't slouch and to be able to move the monitor around pretty much any which way you please.

There are some people at my job who are unable to sit through the workday. They have to stand up, so the whole desk must be redone for them, and such monitor arms and stools more for leaning, not so much for sitting are a good idea for them.

As for me, I am able to sit immobile all day, if the chair is right. And I hardly need any deskspace. Isn't one of the ideas with computers to reduce the need for paper stuff? In my case, I have near-eliminated such needs. The desk is just to hold the monitor and keyboard, nothing else. But sometimes I think it would be nice to have a very changeable desk, to set it to any arbitrary height easily any time. Changeable chairs like that are hard to do right. Desks should be easier.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Macallan on 2015-10-29, 22:15:06

In the spring this year I visited the United States. Among other things, my plan was to find out about the latest developments in the trackball area. I heard in the shops that they were a dated product, on the way being replaced with trackpads and such. That's what I heard in computer shops in New York and some shops didn't even have any such thing. Staples still had a fair selection of mice and some trackballs, even though I didn't buy anything there.

Yeah, sadly that matches my experience. The few you can still buy tend to be expensive too.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-29, 23:17:04
Is Wacom tablet something like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LptmBhrX5Gg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LptmBhrX5Gg)

Yes, a tablet with a pen. It reacts to pressure as well as all the other movements.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-29, 23:18:40
n the spring this year I visited the United States.

Blasphemy.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Macallan on 2015-10-30, 02:54:53

Blasphemy.

I love the smell of blasphemy in the morning.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-30, 06:35:13
I love the smell of blasphemy in the morning.

Hell ain't a bad place to be...  :devil:
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: ersi on 2015-10-30, 17:14:43

n the spring this year I visited the United States.

Blasphemy.

European Union is also blasphemy, but I live there. Soviet Union is also blasphemy, but I was born there. Seems to be my fate.

By the way, Frenzie, I just ran into a direct need for the monitor arm. Namely, I occasionally read e-books and pdf's on the netbook screen by

  • putting Qpdfview into presentation mode

  • turning the orientation 90 degrees and

  • holding the netbook like an ordinary book.


This new wide monitor would serve as a good reader if it could be physically portrait-oriented the same way, but I have no ideas how to improvise a suitable stand for it right now.
Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-30, 23:17:34
By the way, Frenzie, I just ran into a direct need for the monitor arm. Namely, I occasionally read e-books and pdf's on the netbook screen by
    This new wide monitor would serve as a good reader if it could be physically portrait-oriented the same way, but I have no ideas how to improvise a suitable stand for it right now.

    You are indeed a very complicated person... You got a nice big monitor, just connect it to your computer and use it.
    I'm sorry but I don't understand what's the problem. Everybody reads e-books and pdf's and much, much more.

    What exactly is the problem? You want the monitor vertical?
    I told you before, get a good Nvidia so it can display in vertical mode. As for phisical problems, you monitor's base should allow for turn the monitor vertical. If not, improvise, simple as that.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-10-31, 07:48:15

    What exactly is the problem? You want the monitor vertical?
    I told you before, get a good Nvidia so it can display in vertical mode. As for phisical problems, you monitor's base should allow for turn the monitor vertical. If not, improvise, simple as that.

    Yes, I want the monitor vertical, physically. And yes, I said I gave a thought to improvising an arm or leg for that, but no, it's not that simple. My current lifestyle does not generate the kind of crap that would solve problems like this.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-31, 10:26:17
    My current lifestyle does not generate the kind of crap that would solve problems like this.

    In that case, you have just two solutions ersi:

    a) get someone to hold the monitor vertically for you. Don't let the person to start complaining until you finish your DnD posts.
    b) lay down on the desk and put your head paralell with the monitor. Good solution but will probably create another problem, you'll need your keyboard vertical...

    :)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-10-31, 10:57:41
    The reorientation is not for DnD posts, but to read PDF's more conveniently. Anyway, the monitor is big and clear enough so that I don't actually need to reorientate it too badly. In fact, it's so big that I physically cannot reorientate it on this desk - not enough space :)

    Meanwhile, I have found monitors on sale that can pivot on their legs. Pretty cool. One of those will probably become my extra monitor at another desk.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-31, 14:35:13
    but to read PDF's more conveniently.

    Never found a way I can read documents with more than one or two pages but to print it.The monitor interface simply is not adequated for long documents.

    For long that I heard about what would be the solution but it didn't arrived yet to the market, some special ink at the blank pages of a book. Then, just insert a chip in the side part of the book (or usb, or whatever) and the letters will appear as if printed in the pages. :)

    With only one physical book we can have the biggest library in the world.

    I don't understand why really good inventions never appears.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2015-10-31, 15:09:36
    Never found a way I can read documents with more than one or two pages but to print it.The monitor interface simply is not adequated for long documents.

    I largely agree, except that the "monitor" on my ereader actually is adequate for what it is. Its advantages like a built-in dictionary and choosing your font-size weigh up against its disadvantages like its small size, no note taking capability in a way that is usable and no way to easily flip around between one section of the book and another. Electronic bookmarks don't work nearly as well.

    For computer monitors, any mid-range tablet these days has a nicer display than almost all "proper" computer displays out there. My UHD monitor is okay but nothing special in comparison. Of course the principle of backlight is fundamentally uncomfortable no matter how nice and sharp the display gets, but trust me, reading on my UHD monitor is significantly nicer on the eyes.

    For long that I heard about what would be the solution but it didn't arrived yet to the market, some special ink at the blank pages of a book. Then, just insert a chip in the side part of the book (or usb, or whatever) and the letters will appear as if printed in the pages.  :)

    And write on it with a special pencil. :P
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-10-31, 15:50:44
    Do not forget the required special eraser... :)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-11-05, 20:25:35
    This is what I had in mind.
    (https://vivaldi.net/media/com_easysocial/photos/6757/88160/img704_original.jpg)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-11-05, 23:51:43
    This is what I had in mind.

    The "kalender" is from 2014. Get a new one.

    I seen no problem for such display. Just follow what I said before.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-11-06, 08:15:57

    The "kalender" is from 2014. Get a new one.

    I should get a calendar that displays about five years at once.


    I seen no problem for such display. Just follow what I said before.

    The thing with reading PDF's at full resolution is that after I set the PDF reader into presentation mode and turn the image, the monitor has to be reoriented physically to match that. And when this purpose has been served, turn the monitor horizontal again.

    Notice the shelf in the picture. The bigger monitor had no space there vertically (and its stand only allows for very limited movement). I took the bigger monitor to another desk.

    This smaller monitor is LG. It has the same resolution, but it's considerably smaller, 22 inches. It has a bunch of energy-saving quirks, one of which made me think at first, for half an hour or so, that the monitor cannot even connect to Linux computers but needs a special driver on the disk. The bugger kept saying "no signal" and switching itself off. Luckily I figured things out by now.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-11-07, 00:15:54
    Is that vertical monitor at the left in the picture showing a pdf page???
    That is not Adobe Reader, is it?
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-11-07, 02:50:10
    It's Qpdfview. The book is a scan of the commentary of Panini's grammar. In Mate, you should have Atril to open PDF files.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-11-07, 13:37:03
    Yes, I have Atril in Linux.

    The idea of a second vertical or horizontal display is a real good one. I use it for work for long time and got totally addicted to it.
    Text edition, excel sheets, project, digital photograhy and for just general workflow it works great.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2015-12-12, 21:54:40
    On monitors

    http://tiamat.tsotech.com/surface-book-incapable-of-dual-4k-at-60hz
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-13, 08:31:01
    From the same blog
    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Ftiamat.tsotech.com%2Fimages%2Fhd-sucks.png&hash=b702eeaa74c1ae037731471159ad01f0" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://tiamat.tsotech.com/images/hd-sucks.png)
    This evaluates my 27" Samsung HD as a "What is this I don't even" type of product. And, indeed, more pixels should be commonly available at this size.

    However, for me it fulfils its purpose on the particular desk where I put it. I absolutely need it to cooperate with my netbook, and it does so very smoothly. My netbook cannot do any better. I don't need to turn the 27" screen vertical, because a webpage in text browser or a pdf shows up well enough in it in half screen. And when I occasionally watch a movie, the screen is perfect for that, better than I have ever had. So, my requirements are rather low-end.

    The other monitor is a 21" LG. Along with lesser size, its screen quality is noticeably worse, while the resolution is the same. Due to the worse screen quality and occasional minor flickering, it really needs a pivoting leg to show text upright properly - and it has such a leg. So, not complaining too much about that one either.

    As was becoming evident, before looking for better monitors, we need better GPUs first.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-20, 07:31:51
    The same blog lists these features for an ideal display:
    Quote from: http://tiamat.tsotech.com/ideal-desktop-displays


    • Usable screen real-estate for displaying code and tools throughout the entire field of view, minimizing bezels, scrolling, or window shuffling.

    • Concave screen surface centered around the programmer's point of view.

    • High pixel density to display text and information clearly.

    • High refresh rate to avoid the sensation of input lag.

    • Matte screen surface for use within office spaces without glare.

    • Good color accuracy.



    This list assumes a few things that are not easy to accept. I would particularly take issue with the first two points.

    Point one. If "bezels" means the frame where the screen is embedded, then in some sense I understand that they should be as thin as possible. However, the frame may also provide useful feedback with e.g. an indicator light to show whether it's turned on. So, frames should be no wider than needed, but they have their use, particularly the protective purpose when moving monitors.

    My 27" Samsung has a very thin frame and it's totally cool. There's just one button (to navigate the display menu) behind the screen near the edge of the frame, so it's still accessible. That's cool too. There's a small indicator lamp in the front in the frame and I deem it necessary - it blinks when the monitor is plugged in but not outputting anything.

    The other monitor has a bit wider frame edge with more buttons on the front. If the buttons are sensible (in this case they are, in my opinion, for example a Reader mode button that somewhat optimises the settings for text contrast), that's how they should be.

    If you don't want frames at all, then you must be wanting to fit monitors seamlessly against each other. This is a special user case that cannot be generalised. Ideally, one monitor (to complement the first screen) should be enough. Two (extra) monitors should be the maximum. And I would not want them all seamlessly against each other. In my environment, some space between the monitors is important. There has to be some deskspace between the keyboard and screens where to put e.g. papers/books. Coworkers should be able to catch your attention without waving their hand in front of your eyes. And you have to be able to see out of the window by only slightly turning the head, without taking a step. Otherwise you would go nuts with work, that's for sure.

    Don't look at screens too close. Particularly when watching movies, keep a distance a few metres.

    Point two. If "concave" means curved (or worse - hollow), then this cannot be idealised either. You may want to change the orientation of the monitor from horizontal to vertical now and then depending on the kind of things that you need displayed. Only a flat monitor is good enough for this.

    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2015-12-20, 10:32:43
    This list assumes a few things that are not easy to accept. I would particularly take issue with the first two points.

    I'm inclined to agree. I don't think it's particularly desirable to fill up your entire field of view, especially with a light-emitting monitor. But I do know where he's coming from. I can easily lay out several books or journals next to each other on my desk, but on my monitor I have to switch back and forth. A second monitor of the same type I've got now right next to it would definitely help with that, but I'd also hate the loss of non-monitor view that'd come along with it. Of course that wouldn't apply if I were looking at a wall rather than (partially) into the room. On a wall I still don't know whether it would be desirable, but at least there would be no obvious downsides.

    Another point where I'd disagree is that even though I consider 16:9 a travesty, above a certain size it's really not that bad. My 24" monitor is roughly the same height as an A4 sheet of paper, which was still a little obnoxious on FullHD because of a lack of pixel density, but it's acceptable on UltraHD. On 27" a sufficient pixel density (which would mean more than UHD, but that aside) means you have the vertical space of A4 plus space for vertically oversized GUI elements like you get in many current operating systems. Of course, sometimes having more space is nice. On your desk, even a small one you can typically easily 6 A4 sheets of paper next to each other. But I think to me this doesn't necessarily mean that I'd want a bigger monitor, but rather that I'd want a better e-reader or two on the side.

    I'd like to expand on my oversized GUI remark as well. For you see, somehow over at Apple and Microsoft they think all GUI elements should simply be scaled x2. I think that's an outdated paradigm, necessitated by a former lack of pixel density. I use my menu etc. at what you might call x1.4 (DPI setting of 130), while I use most of my content at what you might call x1.8 to x2. It used to be that smaller than 10px was illegible on account of too few pixels. Now 16px gives me the same size 8px used to, except it's perfectly legible.

    Point two. If "concave" means curved (or worse - hollow), then this cannot be idealised either. You may want to change the orientation of the monitor from horizontal to vertical now and then depending on the kind of things that you need displayed. Only a flat monitor is good enough for this.

    That does raise the point that perhaps a second monitor on the side should be vertical (at least in the present climate), but I think it's overlooking the fact that this guy's ideal monitor is a ~55" complete field-of-view filling beast with a 5:4 aspect ratio. I'm pretty sure he's not saying a "small" 24" or 27" monitor should be curved.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-20, 12:30:24

    Point two. If "concave" means curved (or worse - hollow), then this cannot be idealised either. You may want to change the orientation of the monitor from horizontal to vertical now and then depending on the kind of things that you need displayed. Only a flat monitor is good enough for this.

    That does raise the point that perhaps a second monitor on the side should be vertical (at least in the present climate),...

    You mean like having two (extra) monitors, whereof one horizontal, the other vertical, for different purposes? I'd prefer a single one that I can rearrange for different purposes. There's a limit to multitasking and, after a certain number of hours, there's a need to grab something else than a mouse.


    ...but I think it's overlooking the fact that this guy's ideal monitor is a ~55" complete field-of-view filling beast with a 5:4 aspect ratio. I'm pretty sure he's not saying a "small" 24" or 27" monitor should be curved.

    Actually, I think I saw some pics on the blog that show curved monitors of that size. For example, this image was attached to the first article you linked.
    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Ftiamat.tsotech.com%2Fimages%2Fsurface-book%2Fsurface-4k.jpg&hash=796874cc637ba373f6e3bb19bd3a0223" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://tiamat.tsotech.com/images/surface-book/surface-4k.jpg)
    Are they curved? Somewhat, looks like. (I couldn't find the YT video in the picture, but I found this cool review of Surface Pro 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKcMqCAYkpk which seems to be an ad for dockable GPU's at the same time, if I'm getting it right. I didn't know such things existed.)

    But yes, I am overlooking that his ideal monitor would be an oversized beast. I'm deliberately overlooking this because virtual content of such size, particularly at close range, would be mind-numbing sci-fi, a present and future that I don't want. Such a monitor would be literally radiating your brains away.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2015-12-20, 13:48:33
    You mean like having two (extra) monitors, whereof one horizontal, the other vertical, for different purposes? I'd prefer a single one that I can rearrange for different purposes. There's a limit to multitasking and, after a certain number of hours, there's a need to grab something else than a mouse.

    No, I meant only one extra monitor, not a "second second" (=third) monitor. :P Sure, you might flip the orientation of the extra monitor, but the most sensible default configuration would probably be one horizontal and one vertical. Maybe not. I don't know; I merely put my laptop next to my screen sometimes (using Synergy (http://synergy-project.org/) for control) to display some documentation or whatnot. But actually I've hardly ever done that anymore over the past year, ever since I acquired my UHD screen. I can comfortably put two things side by side, combined with a couple of workspaces that serves my purposes. I don't know how I ever got anything done without workspaces on Windows in the past.

    Actually, I think I saw some pics on the blog that show curved monitors of that size. For example, this image was attached to the first article you linked.

    Right, in that scenario it does make some sense.

    Such a monitor would be literally radiating your brains away.

    As you know, my ideal monitor contains no light source, but only reflects environmental light. For a monitor similar to a sizable painting, it makes the difference between a nightmare and something I'd at least consider getting if the price weren't too high.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-20, 14:31:49

    Such a monitor would be literally radiating your brains away.

    As you know, my ideal monitor contains no light source, but only reflects environmental light. For a monitor similar to a sizable painting, it makes the difference between a nightmare and something I'd at least consider getting if the price weren't too high.

    It would radiate the brains away even by purely environmental light. I have been to Louvre. Oversized paintings are a nightmare. No wonder those rulers and courtiers lived as if in a different world compared to normal people - the paintings and frescos on the walls and ceilings convinced them they actually were a different world. Luckily we actual normal people only visit a day and then walk away.

    In scifi movies you see translucent touchwalls. The virtual content on such a screen surrounds the person from every angle. The person is enclosed in it. Even if the screen doesn't emit light of its own (unlikely; it has to emit something to alert you occasionally), the virtual content impresses itself on you, intertwining itself with the mind. Technology like this is the next plan, I suspect.

    I prefer sizes that can be physically handled, taken and put away as needed. If it's too big to be lifted and carried by one hand, then it's too big. My 27" Samsung is just about the limit. It's a decent movie screen and reasonable for two text documents side by side (with better resolution it would be good for more, but at this resolution I don't make the mistake of staring it too close). Bigger than this would be too big. The next monitor I bought was considerably smaller.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2015-12-20, 16:17:28
    It would radiate the brains away even by purely environmental light. I have been to Louvre. Oversized paintings are a nightmare.

    Perhaps things have changed since I was there in '02, but the Louvre isn't exactly an example of a museum with very good lighting.

    I prefer sizes that can be physically handled, taken and put away as needed. If it's too big to be lifted and carried by one hand, then it's too big.

    Ah, but my hypothetical 55" reflective monitor would just roll up and be easily transported in a cardboard tube, much like a real painting. ;) But yeah, 1.4m diagonally seems a bit excessive unless you want to use it from fairly far away. Which for your eyes might not even be a bad idea, come to think of it.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-20, 17:01:18

    Ah, but my hypothetical 55" reflective monitor would just roll up and be easily transported in a cardboard tube, much like a real painting. ;)

    Sort of cool idea, but wouldn't this mean you would also need to carry along the stand to put it on so that it would stay straight and smooth? You know, like with a real painting. When you paint, then the canvas is stretched on a stand, and when you display the painting, then it's on a wall, stretched in a frame. When it's rolled up, it's not in a usable mode.

    On a related note, I have been eyeing some of them flexible keyboards. Some are done so that they light up nicely in the dark.
    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fep.yimg.com%2Fca%2FI%2Fyhst-39083765508394_2271_600622318&hash=4446e57a8c28476fcb3e1e549d16d13b" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-39083765508394_2271_600622318)
    Seems like an awesome thing to roll up and take along anywhere, right? I actually don't think so. Such malleable things are only as good as the surface where you put them on. To me it seems that if you don't find sufficient surface, e.g. you are stuck on a train or in a tent, then you cannot use it. Solid shape is better for a keyboard, because it doesn't need any other surface. I'd say it's the same with screens.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2015-12-20, 17:51:29
    Sort of cool idea, but wouldn't this mean you would also need to carry along the stand to put it on so that it would stay straight and smooth? You know, like with a real painting. When you paint, then the canvas is stretched on a stand, and when you display the painting, then it's on a wall, stretched in a frame. When it's rolled up, it's not in a usable mode.

    Last I checked monitors also came with stands. In fact the stand that came with my monitor is a lot harder to transport than the monitor itself or even than my much superior monitor arm. I'd much rather they sold monitors without stands. There's the VESA standard for a reason. Anyway, a painting, frame and all, really isn't that heavy. In rolled-out form you just have to be a little more careful with it.

    Seems like an awesome thing to roll up and take along anywhere, right? I actually don't think so. Such malleable things are only as good as the surface where you put them on. To me it seems that if you don't find sufficient surface, e.g. you are stuck on a train or in a tent, then you cannot use it. Solid shape is better for a keyboard, because it doesn't need any other surface. I'd say it's the same with screens.

    I've hardly got anything useful on my desk other than a couple of pens and some paper that I could easily take along on a train. Even my Le Petit Robert which is currently lying in front of me is far too unwieldy for that. As far as I'm concerned these are almost completely separate matters. Anyway, that's just a general point. On the matter of keyboards I'd say the sturdier the better. My keyboard weighs 1.36 kg thanks to the steel backplate. Should monitors be sturdy? I don't know; I kind of like the idea of a sheet between sheets except it can change at will.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-21, 05:11:08

    Last I checked monitors also came with stands.

    They do. Monitor stands and arms are inevitable when you intend to use the monitor. A rolled-up monitor would win some space only as long as you are merely carrying it without using it, such as taking it home after buying. It would be a more substantial win if there were public stands for monitors in many places (according to VESA standard or such), just like there are places to charge the mobile phone right now.

    But tablets have already been invented, so monitors are already as portable as can be. Still I see no use for a tablet myself. This year they were pushed particularly aggressively, but I managed to buy not a single tablet.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-12-21, 11:20:24
    In your quest for the perfect monitor you're forgetting this:
    Quote
    Project description
    Redshift adjusts the color temperature according to the position of the sun. A different color temperature is set during night and daytime. During twilight and early morning, the color temperature transitions smoothly from night to daytime temperature to allow your eyes to slowly adapt. At night the color temperature should be set to match the lamps in your room. This is typically a low temperature at around 3000K-4000K (default is 3700K). During the day, the color temperature should match the light from outside, typically around 5500K-6500K (default is 5500K). The light has a higher temperature on an overcast day.


    Download page (http://jonls.dk/redshift/). I doubt very much that it works correctly but who knows... :)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2015-12-21, 11:25:05
    In your quest for the perfect monitor you're forgetting this:

    That's not an issue if the monitor only reflects light. Anyway, I don't change the color temperature during the day, but I do change my monitor brightness. It's at "0%" if I use it at night and usually about 15%-20% during the day. I can't fathom for the life of me the people who complain about a lack of brightness in monitors.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-12-21, 11:40:03
    That's not an issue if the monitor only reflects light.

    Are you using a mirror instead a monitor? vanity... :)

    I know nothing about monitors that only reflects light.
    Color temperature and brightness are two unrelated things. Many times I enter into buidings where the light's color temperature it's simply not adequated for human beings. Maybe it can be used in a morgue.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-21, 12:30:20

    I know nothing about monitors that only reflects light.

    Kindle (the e-reader) has them and they are marginally becoming available more broadly. The third image in this article is most relevant http://www.wired.com/2010/01/the-pixel-qi-display/

    One more cool article http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2015/01/15/paperlike-13-3-e-ink-monitor-by-dasung-tech-videos/


    Color temperature and brightness are two unrelated things. Many times I enter into buidings where the light's color temperature it's simply not adequated for human beings. Maybe it can be used in a morgue.

    Sure enough, but I never understood what color temperature refers to. There are too many parameters to set in monitors. For my purposes, there are two issues I pay attention to: brightness on one hand and everything else on the other. "Everything else" involves most crucially what I would call contrast or clarity (not the same thing what is called "contrast" in monitor settings, but a broader subjective impression achieved by tweaking several parameters).

    By tweaking colors ("hues" and "temperature" and whatever they may be called in the settings), my aim is to achieve the best distinction between one thing and another, such as readability of font types against the background. This done properly, it never needs to be touched again, hopefully. The only other thing to change is brightness (monitor backlight) according to current daylight (or roomlight).
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-12-21, 13:27:32
    By tweaking colors ("hues" and "temperature" and whatever they may be called in the settings), my aim is to achieve the best distinction between one thing and another, such as readability of font types against the background. This done properly, it never needs to be touched again, hopefully. The only other thing to change is brightness (monitor backlight) according to current daylight (or roomlight).

    Not exactly. Color temperature (back in my days of photography we call it "white balance") means that a page of white paper will be blueish if lightned by a fluorescent light or yellow/orangeish if lightned by an incandescent light. But you want a white paper to be... white.

    You must have noticed that by sunset all colors turns much more orangish than at noon.

    White balance turns into an obession for those that enjoys photography. Many monitors are not displaying the correct color temperature.
    It also affect plants, therefore lamps for horticulture must have a certain color temperature for promoting growth.

    If you like complication read the wikipedia article about it. :)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2015-12-21, 15:07:53
    Color temperature and brightness are two unrelated things.

    True. Actually my monitor does have a quick "warm" and "paper" preset, but the "warm" is basically the same as my factory-calibrated custom setting. "Paper" is yellowish on the whites. There are other presets like "cool" which is absurdly blue. So is "movie".

    Kindle (the e-reader) has them and they are marginally becoming available more broadly.

    My Kobo H2O uses the same display technology but Kobos are actually slightly nicer to look at than Kindles because of a different touch technology.

    One more cool article http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2015/01/15/paperlike-13-3-e-ink-monitor-by-dasung-tech-videos/ (http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2015/01/15/paperlike-13-3-e-ink-monitor-by-dasung-tech-videos/)

    If it weren't almost twice the price of my current UHD monitor I'd buy it in a heartbeat for typing a document, displaying a PDF on the side or even just for e.g. browsing DnD or reading newsfeeds. As it is I could buy a very nice new computer for that amount and still have money left for a new laptop. And given that the fundamental parts of both my computer and my laptop are from '09, they will need an upgrade within the next year or two anyway.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-21, 15:57:23

    Kindle (the e-reader) has them and they are marginally becoming available more broadly.

    My Kobo H2O uses the same display technology but Kobos are actually slightly nicer to look at than Kindles because of a different touch technology.

    I am completely left behind in e-reader category. Do modern e-readers have hardware connectivity (USB, 3,5mm audio out, ...)? Would a computer recognise it as an extra display? Perhaps they have evolved so that you can browse in them the whole internet and a variety of file formats? Or are the users still bondaged to a single e-store and able to read only their purchased e-books?
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2015-12-21, 17:41:02
    I am completely left behind in e-reader category. Do modern e-readers have hardware connectivity (USB, 3,5mm audio out, ...)?

    All probably have USB connectivity. Audio output is something e-readers initially had, but few do anymore.

    Would a computer recognise it as an extra display?

    Wouldn't that be nice. No, even though most run on some form of Linux they're quite locked down. Kobo is a little more hacking-friendly than modern Kindle though.

    Perhaps they have evolved so that you can browse in them the whole internet and a variety of file formats? Or are the users still bondaged to a single e-store and able to read only their purchased e-books?

    Kobo devices come with a built-in browser, but it's not very good. It works quite nicely on proper sites without too much cruft like this one, but imo it's not worth it.

    Or are the users still bondaged to a single e-store and able to read only their purchased e-books?

    I think you can easily put books from e.g. Project Gutenberg on all of them, but in principle they're all bound around some silly store. My main reason for obtaining the device was actually to read out of print stuff from e.g. DBNL, Archive.org and Project Gutenberg and KOReader (https://github.com/koreader/koreader) works significantly better for me than the default software.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-23, 15:22:51
    This year I have zero ideas for Christmas gifts. I was walking in and out of various shops today, but ended up buying nothing.

    Somewhere along the way, however, there were e-readers that I touched here and there. They were Pocketbook Basic 2 and Pocketbook Touch Lux 3.

    The main difference between the two is that Basic has no touchscreen (operable only via hardware buttons) and no backlight, while Touch Lux has a touchscreen, backlight, and hardware buttons too. The price difference was almost double, but the added features are probably worth it. The eink (or eInk or e-ink) screen looks fantastic. The backlight on Touch Lux made me remember the times when I was reading at night secretly when mother had forbidden it.

    Navigating in the devices I managed to find menu items like Apps and Pictures. Among Apps there were some basic games, such as Snake and Chess. Pictures look grayscale with that screen, but perfectly sharp and well defined.

    The devices look promising. Perhaps they even allow installing a custom reading app, even though the inbuilt one seemed adequate. If I got it right, the reading app was called Adobe Reader, so it should display pdf files too, even though all books on board (500 preloaded books in various languages, such as French and Russian) were in epub format.

    On the downside, I didn't see any meaningful sockets to connect the things to computer. In an online review for Touch Lux 3 in French I saw that lack of audio was listed as a minus. Perhaps a USB socket is there, I tried to look for it, but I couldn't find it. And I had to be doing something else anyway, so that's about it.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-24, 09:29:26
    Ah, an important note on the e-readers I saw. Both Basic 2 and Touch Lux 3 had wifi and a web browser. So the internet is not just for syncing your ebooks against the shop, but also for going to any website and read anything. Wonderful (with UserCSS and such to force the text flow properly even in badly designed websites it would be perfect). And on Pocketbook website I discovered Pocketbook Ultra, which has camera, image-to-text and text-to-speech (mp3). Amazing.

    Given the way e-readers are, I would like to see something like global fonts implemented, i.e. having a set of fonts that is displayed no matter what app I open up. You know, like in a terminal emulator you set the fonts (and sizes and colours) and then every app opened in the terminal emulator displays them and cannot display anything else. Even so, the original fonts were quite uniform and the devices look attractive.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Belfrager on 2015-12-24, 11:23:34
    Why not a tablet instead the e-reader?
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2015-12-24, 15:33:31
    And why not a laptop instead of a tablet?

    E-reader's screen is great. If laptops had those screens, it would be progress. Or at least choice.

    Anyway, as said, I didn't buy an e-reader. And not going to. I can read pdf files in my mobile phone too. I am already overgadgeted.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-01-05, 15:01:40
    The main difference between the two is that Basic has no touchscreen (operable only via hardware buttons) and no backlight, while Touch Lux has a touchscreen, backlight, and hardware buttons too. The price difference was almost double, but the added features are probably worth it. The eink (or eInk or e-ink) screen looks fantastic. The backlight on Touch Lux made me remember the times when I was reading at night secretly when mother had forbidden it.

    To me frontlight* is useless (ymmv), but all of the best ereaders have it. Hardware buttons are nice to have but I'd let other features take precedence when deciding.

    * Kobos have frontlights, and I'm pretty sure Kindles do too. I don't know if eInk can even do backlight. Meaning the light very ingeniously shines from the side so that it's reflected off the surface as if you were shining a light at a book rather than shining straight in your eyes like a normal screen.

    On the downside, I didn't see any meaningful sockets to connect the things to computer. In an online review for Touch Lux 3 in French I saw that lack of audio was listed as a minus. Perhaps a USB socket is there, I tried to look for it, but I couldn't find it. And I had to be doing something else anyway, so that's about it.

    All devices should have a micro-USB port for charging/data use. If it used some proprietary plug instead, I'd say that's reason enough not to buy.

    Why not a tablet instead the e-reader?

    I already have a mini-tablet. It's called a "smartphone" and actually it works quite well for reading comics. But besides the screen that looks similar to a somewhat cheap newspaper,** also note that my ereader needs to be charged less than once a month.

    ** This sounds negative, but it means it is still the best-looking, most comfortable computer display I have ever seen.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-01-05, 17:00:42
    To me frontlight* is useless (ymmv), but all of the best ereaders have it.

    What's the difference between frontlight and backlight? In one review I read that the kind of frontlight that Touch Lux 3 has consists of lamps along the edge of the screen and in the dark it's disappointingly visible how the light distributes unevenly, whereas an LED backlight would invariably be even. Is this accurate? Are there more differences between frontlight and backlight?
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-01-10, 11:22:52
    What's the difference between frontlight and backlight?

    A backlight shines a light into your eyes; a frontlight makes the light reflect off the "paper". And at least on the H2O, the lowest 0-10% of brightness are actually wonderfully dim, which is to say usable in the dark or low-light environments. If/when I ever fly across the Atlantic again or some such, I could see myself using that.

    I read that the kind of frontlight that Touch Lux 3 has consists of lamps along the edge of the screen and in the dark it's disappointingly visible how the light distributes unevenly, whereas an LED backlight would invariably be even. Is this accurate?

    If someone says it, I'm sure there's at least a grain of truth for the Touch Lux 3. For e.g. the Kobo Aura H2O, the frontlight is rather beautifully even. There is a gross inaccuracy in that statement, however, which is that backlights are seldom homogeneous. Even the best of screens have some degree of backlight bleeding. Actually I suspect that any unevenness in frontlights would appear rather similar to backlight bleeding, seeing how they are more like front-side lights.

    Anyway, an E Ink screen with a backlight (if such a thing is even technically possible?) would defeat the entire purpose. It'd have the same effect as a regular LCD display. Sure, you'd still have the better battery life of E Ink, but that's just a convenience, not a reason I own an ereader. Then again, provided you could still turn it off I guess it wouldn't be so bad.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-01-10, 14:27:18
    I upgraded to pretty much a top-of-the-line 2014 motherboard+CPU two days ago. Linux booted in approximately a second, which surprised me because it previously took about four to five seconds. I knew my SSD would perform better, because it's faster than the 3 Gbps SATA link on my old motherboard, but I hadn't expected more than about a 50% reduction.

    What was more surprising to me is that Windows 10 also booted up without any issues. It took a minute or maybe two to do whatever Windows does, but as recently as Windows 7 it'd basically just error out if you changed the motherboard. Something I've considered to be a self-evident advantage of Linux for over a decade has thus finally been reduced to the minor advantage it should always have been. The minor advantage being that in Windows you do need a license capable of switching out motherboards, or it'll start complaining about that...

    In other news, somehow Windows managed to gobble up all of the 80 GB I'd allotted to it, which caused some issues including not being able to e.g. uninstall the Microsoft Office 365 I can no longer use (which took up a few GB). I can't fathom where it all went.

    PS Windows 10 does not support floppy disks that were compressed with Microsoft Drivespace 3, a tool that came with Windows 98. In order to rescue the data on this one floppy disk I simply copied the whole thing (dd if=/dev/fd0 of=floppy.img), and once I'd finished upgrading my computer I mounted that in a virtual Windows 98 installation. Much to my surprise, Windows 98 booted in under a second, although I suppose I shouldn't have been. After installing Drivespace from the Windows 98 CD-ROM, I could finally access my floppy disk to rescue a silly story I wrote in '98 or earlier. Fun fact: Microsoft Word can't open older WPS (Microsoft Works) files after version 2000 or so, but LibreOffice does so without complaining.

    PPS Opera/Presto is workable on UHD again thanks to my new CPU. I'd been forced to abandon it after installing a UHD screen because it had just become too slow.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-01-10, 15:57:04
    What's the specs of the top-of-the-line motherboard+CPU? And what did you do with the old motherboard?

    As for me, yesterday I purchased a near-top-of-the-line mobile phone on the web (from my official mobile provider with whom I have stayed for 15 years, so I know it's safe). It hasn't arrived yet, so I have no tactile impressions. It's Xperia M5, chipset Mediatek MT6795 Helio X10, CPU Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53, GPU PowerVR G6200.

    The absolute pinnacle of top-of-the-line mobile hardware would be, as far as I know, Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801, CPU Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400, GPU Adreno 330, present in for example Xperia Z3 and LG G3. Unfortunately my provider had run out of Xperia Z3 Compact models and they won't acquire more just because of me.

    Until now, and still for the time being, my mobile phone was LG Optimus P500, which I had got as a free offer. A very slow CPU, limited internal memory, but a rather sane interface (which I enhanced further to perfection), set of programs, and battery life. It has served my mobile internet needs extremely well. It has been perfect for my needs. I think I will give it a place of honour on my shelf until I die.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-01-10, 16:18:11
    What's the specs of the top-of-the-line motherboard+CPU? And what did you do with the old motherboard?

    Top of the line 2014 motherboard + CPU. It's a bit cheaper. Even more so seeing how I didn't pay full price. ;)

    ASUS Z97-AR
    i7 4790

    The old motherboard is in a box in case I might need it for some reason.

    Besides being surprised at just how significantly faster it feels in some applications -- I suspect e.g. the Firefox devs must have machines like these or better -- it also barely produces any heat. I think 36° C is the highest I've seen it go under minor load, idling at about 33° C. The back of my computer simply feels cool. The old CPU (admittedly meant to run at higher temps) was at 45-50° and you could clearly feel its heat output.

    NB I don't use the stock cooler, but a bequiet! SHADOW ROCK SLIM BK010. On the old AMD CPU it was basically a requirement because of how whiny its stock fan was, which incidentally is nicely demonstrated by AMD in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soc5x_4IACQ).

    As for me, yesterday I purchased a near-top-of-the-line mobile phone on the web (from my official mobile provider with whom I have stayed for 15 years, so I know it's safe). It hasn't arrived yet, so I have no tactile impressions. It's Xperia M5, chipset Mediatek MT6795 Helio X10, CPU Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53, GPU PowerVR G6200.

    I like Sony hardware, but I'm slightly less enthused about their software support. On account of a combination of my old battery degrading and my 2011 Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray just being too outdated (mostly too little RAM) I acquired an Italian model Zenfone 2 last month. ASUS doesn't sell them in the Benelux, although I actually got mine from France. Thanks to a little scratch on the box I got it for €50 cheaper and for a phone of its caliber it's not that expensive to begin with -- although around the edge of what I'd consider spending on a phone. Weird stuff really, but I'm not complaining. Anyhoo, the top-of-the-line Zenfone 2 comes with an Intel Atom Z3580 (2.3 GHz) and 4 GB RAM. I don't intend to replace it any time soon.

    Unfortunately my '09 laptop suffers from a completely dead battery and my '10 netbook suffers from having become too freaking slow. I don't really need any at the moment and the netbook suffices for simple typing (not really for browsing, except in e.g. Netsurf or Links 2), so I'll soldier on with my old stuff. That being said, just yesterday the Chinese Cube i7 Stylus showed up on my radar as a possible replacement for both. (One review here (http://techtablets.com/cube-i7-stylus/review/).)

    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-01-10, 17:22:46
    My netbook (Intel Atom Dual Core 1.66GHz with integrated graphics) has ceased to be satisfactory for internet browsing. I would blame the internet, but also downloaded videos starting at around 1080p tend to be beyond its capacity. (Seems to be somewhat to do whether they are mp4 or mkv, but definitely a matter of CPU/GPU capacity, not of codecs). For a while I thought about upgrading some bits of hardware, so I went to a shop that does that kind of things. The guy at the shop said that the CPU (this model in general) is "coffee" and therefore the machine merits no upgrade. He convinced me. I walked out of the shop without buying any type of service.

    My bestest laptop is mobile enough, so the netbook is actually superfluous, except for a more comfortable shape and size. I have been thinking about e-readers and tablets lately, but those are functionally close to modern smartphones, so eventually I ended up buying a smartphone.

    Modern smartphones have whopping huge screens. A 4.5" screen feels like a tablet for me. The market has decided that e-readers have 6" screens and tablets begin at 8". The most popular tablet size is 10.1", but for me 3.2" on LG Optimus P500 has been quite adequate. P500 is 113.5x59mm, they don't make comfortably small smartphones like this anymore.

    Xperia Z3 Compact is 127.3x64.9 mm with a 4.6" screen. While it can arguably be called compact compared to the fuller Xperia Z3 (146x72mm, 5.2"), Xperia M5 (145x72mm, 5") and LG G3 (146.3x74.6mm, 5.5"), my current old Optimus P500 is the best fit among them sizewise (including the screen size, I'd say). It is optimal, perfect. My new freshly-acquired M5 is labelled a smartphone, but from my own point of view I purchased a 5" screen tablet to complement or replace my netbook. The phone functionality is a nice extra on it.

    The cameras on M5 are absolutely fabulous (main 21.2MP, secondary 13MP, compared to a single 3MP on P500). I wonder if the device can take a selfie of itself.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-01-10, 17:29:56
    My netbook (Intel Atom Dual Core 1.66GHz with integrated graphics) has ceased to be satisfactory for internet browsing. I would blame the internet, but also downloaded videos starting at around 1080p tend to be beyond its capacity.

    Yep, similar specs here. Btw, I think Atoms are usually single-core with hyper-threading? Note that if you download a video with youtube-dl it'll usually play just fine in e.g. mpv or VLC, even if it won't work properly in your browser or Flash.

    The guy at the shop said that the CPU (this model in general) is "coffee" and therefore the machine merits no upgrade. He convinced me. I walked out of the shop without buying any type of service.

    I don't know what that means, but Atom CPUs are soldered on. You basically can't upgrade them, or at least not without a significant time investment. Which is to say it might be interesting as an educational experience, but otherwise you're better off just buying something new.

    Modern smartphones have whopping huge screens. A 4.5" screen feels like a tablet for me. The market has decided that e-readers have 6" screens and tablets begin at 8".

    I have a 6.8" ereader for a reason. 6" is tiny. 6.8" is too small as well, but I'm not going to pay $1000 for that nice big Sony ereader.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-01-10, 18:19:12

    Yep, similar specs here. Btw, I think Atoms are usually single-core with hyper-threading?

    Whichever way I extract the info, it shows Dual Core. This is my netbook http://il.packardbell.com/pb/en/IL/content/model/NU.BXQET.001


    Note that if you download a video with youtube-dl it'll usually play just fine in e.g. mpv or VLC, even if it won't work properly in your browser or Flash.

    It's a given that stuff plays worse over internet. However, also youtube-dl'ed things have hickups at certain quality (which I'd say is 1080p, even though I have no idea what 1080p means). My oftenmost used media player is Mplayer, certainly on the netbook.


    The guy at the shop said that the CPU (this model in general) is "coffee" and therefore the machine merits no upgrade. He convinced me. I walked out of the shop without buying any type of service.

    I don't know what that means, but Atom CPUs are soldered on. You basically can't upgrade them, or at least not without a significant time investment. Which is to say it might be interesting as an educational experience, but otherwise you're better off just buying something new.

    Mu humble plan was to simply buy more RAM (there's 1GB originally). Even this would not be worth it, the guy said.


    I have a 6.8" ereader for a reason. 6" is tiny. 6.8" is too small as well, but I'm not going to pay $1000 for that nice big Sony ereader.

    We apparently have different considerations. When I read books, I normally read paper pages. The smartphone (or tablet, as I tend to think of it due to its screen size) must, first and foremost, do 4G internet for me (I have no broadband, never subscribed to internet via cable in my life; P500 did 3G) and phone calls. If I cannot operate the phone with a single hand when making calls (pressing with the thumb), then it's too big. M5 is probably too big, but it's something I must live with now. All other functions are just extra fluff. Good if I can read pdf's on it. Good, but not overly vital. And nice to have those cameras, but I don't really have much use for them. Z3 Compact (smaller screen, better CPU/GPU, same price) would have been better for me, but unfortunately I found out about it too late; other customers were quicker.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-01-10, 18:46:24
    Whichever way I extract the info, it shows Dual Core. This is my netbook http://il.packardbell.com/pb/en/IL/content/model/NU.BXQET.001 (http://il.packardbell.com/pb/en/IL/content/model/NU.BXQET.001)

    Huh, 2 cores, 4 threads. Interesting.

    http://ark.intel.com/products/58916/Intel-Atom-Processor-N2600-1M-Cache-1_6-GHz
    We apparently have different considerations. When I read books, I normally read paper pages.

    Yes, so smaller than paper pages is an inferior experience. But really the width is more relevant than the diagonal.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-01-10, 19:52:13

    We apparently have different considerations. When I read books, I normally read paper pages.

    Yes, so smaller than paper pages is an inferior experience. But really the width is more relevant than the diagonal.

    Ah, finally I see your point. You aim at a paper-like experience when reading on screen. That's a noble-ish aim.

    However, I also have a point, which comes from a whole different perspective. A book is a book is a book and no gadget will ever replace it. Some people say never say never, but this thing is dead sure as hell and can be stated confidently.

    Consequently, when reading on screen (and yes, I have read several books as webpages or pdf's) I respect the specific qualities of the medium. Screen is different from paper, even when it's e-ink screen. Paper needs light on it in order to be seen. Screen provides its own light. On paper, black text on white is natural in order to highlight text. On screen, light text on dark background is better than any other way, for the same purpose - to highlight text by toning down the self-illuminating screen everywhere except in the letters. The screen radiates and this radiation must be diminished. Edit: Smaller screen size is one of the ways to diminish radiation. Even reading paper books is has its bad effect on the eyes, much more precautions are needed with screens.

    The way terminal emulators display, format, and flow is more preferable than the way web design works, so when I set my own fonts and colours to read text on screen, I aim at a UNIX terminal-like experience instead of something paper-like or, worse, billboard- or neon-sign-like with bells and whistles.

    Oh, but I remember I said something about having acquired a tablet to replace my netbook, which would make it seem I bought it for videoing and gaming as well. The truth is that there were so many considerations at play that it's tough to orientate when talking about them. 4G internet and phoning were the most important considerations, as my well-served P500 is close to toast. Secondarily, I paid some attention to CPU/GPU capacity as my almost equally well-served netbook is also close to toast. However, to properly replace the netbook, the M5 will likely need a bluetooth keyboard (such as those sometimes packaged with tablets), if a sane software keyboard has not been invented meanwhile.

    This is where things become tricky, because a sane software keyboard is about as unimaginable as a sane bluetooth keyboard. For example:

    • Do you know of a software keyboard which is at the same time a good text editor? When I need to write anything lengthier in devices (phones and computers), I mostly open up a text editor, but it would be neat to begin typing where the text has to end up eventually, such as in a Reply textarea, except that during my typing I want the screen to display as if I were typing into a whole-screen text editor. Such would be a sane software keyboard in Android.

    • Do you know of a bluetooth keyboard for Android where I would be able to set locales (and reassign keys) as if on a real keyboard? Or, even better, perhaps you know of a way to connect a normal USB keyboard to phones and tablets and devices like that, without a need to buy yet another gadget.



    Edit: I found a probable answer to the second question http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-connect-a-usb-android-keyboard/
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-01-11, 09:44:01
    However, I also have a point, which comes from a whole different perspective. A book is a book is a book and no gadget will ever replace it. Some people say never say never, but this thing is dead sure as hell and can be stated confidently.

    Of course not, but that isn't going to help me much with a rare old book or an electronic-only magazine. To me an ereader isn't necessarily meant to replace readily available paper material, but to replace light-emitting screens where it makes sense. That being said, for the cheapest, lowest quality paperbacks a reasonable ereader can also be an improvement.

    Consequently, when reading on screen (and yes, I have read several books as webpages or pdf's) I respect the specific qualities of the medium. Screen is different from paper, even when it's e-ink screen.

    But in all of your examples, E Ink aligns with paper. :) Where it fails is that the simple act of reading an article while pointing out interesting passages and flipping back and forth etc. is tough to say the least. Meaning it's best suited for "consuming", not "producing" or actively interacting with what you're reading. Of course it depends a bit on the specifics; for actively interacting with something from the library book I use a separate notebook (unlike some barbarians...) and the same method works for an ereader.

    Edit: I found a probable answer to the second question http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-connect-a-usb-android-keyboard/ (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-connect-a-usb-android-keyboard/)

    Yes, provided the device supports USB OTG that works. I own this very one (http://www.dx.com/p/micro-usb-to-usb-female-otg-data-adapter-cable-for-tablet-pc-black-162930#.VpN2EzpqzTE). That being said, I don't really use it. At home I've got a computer and I don't have a portable keyboard that'd connect to it for elsewhere.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-01-11, 11:40:35

    To me an ereader isn't necessarily meant to replace readily available paper material, but to replace light-emitting screens where it makes sense.

    It would make sense to use such a screen as an all-round monitor or as a secondary screen. As long as this is not possible/affordable, E Ink doesn't make enough sense.


    But in all of your examples, E Ink aligns with paper. :)

    I have a different impression. It's still a screen, an electrical appliance. When I stroked it in the store a few weeks ago, I felt it would gain decisively from colour options that I usually prefer on screen - light text on dark background. I'd certainly want it when the frontlight is switched on. But I couldn't find terms like Colour Settings, Dark Theme or such in the menus. A paper page of text, on the other hand, would suffer from inverse colours.


    Where it fails is that the simple act of reading an article while pointing out interesting passages and flipping back and forth etc. is tough to say the least.

    This would be a limitation of touchscreens (as input method) in general, I assume. In my P500 (Android 2.3 Gingerbread under a 3.2" screen), attempts to copy and paste stuff are sheer pain and frustration. A clipboard manager helps to paste stuff already copied, but to copy stuff first is via dolorosa. And I don't expect Android Lollipop to be any better, whatever the screen size. Touchscreen is unsuitable for copying as a matter of principle.

    It makes sense to place the cursor by means of touch, but it doesn't make sense to draw with hand to make a selection. It's an inaccurate move and the screen easily misinterprets the draw as a loung touch, as a tap or as a swipe, when you aim to select with precision. In Android there should be a terminal emulator analogue of moving the cursor by means of keyboard, then setting the cursor as a starting point of selection, then expanding the selection, and copying the selection to clipboard - all distinct operations by means of keyboard, like arrow keys, Ctrl+arrows and Shift+arrows in GUI text editors. There must be software keyboards to address these issues.


    Edit: I found a probable answer to the second question http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-connect-a-usb-android-keyboard/ (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-connect-a-usb-android-keyboard/)

    Yes, provided the device supports USB OTG that works. --- At home I've got a computer and I don't have a portable keyboard that'd connect to it for elsewhere.

    The specs say our devices support USB OTG. The only thing now is to use it. If I want my new itzy glitzy smartphone to work as a replacement for netbook, I will have to decide on a keyboard to carry along.

    This would have made an excellent choice for a travel keyboard, but it's sold out in my country. (Not sure though if the phone would be able to power the backlight.)

    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sven.fi%2Fupload%2Fiblock_photos%2Fkeyboard%2Fcomfort_7200_el%2Fcomfort_7200el.jpg&hash=33edfc6f21cf71a73a3fb5b73a8be7b8" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.sven.fi/upload/iblock_photos/keyboard/comfort_7200_el/comfort_7200el.jpg)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-03-26, 17:04:28
    Just found out about another input device - Cintiq.

    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.wacom.eu%2Fuploads%2Fimages%2Fcintiq13%2FDTK1300HD_InUse_461_RGB_LowRes.jpg&hash=2e79952e99ebc9698f7dc4dbd3592169" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://shop.wacom.eu/uploads/images/cintiq13/DTK1300HD_InUse_461_RGB_LowRes.jpg)

    Basically a touchscreen tablet, but much finer. Best of them come pre-loaded with Corel software for animators. (Maybe I am indeed using this animator word wrong.)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-03-26, 17:19:50
    If you were a professional illustrator, such a pen display would probably be an extremely worthwhile investment. But seeing how the cheapest start at €700 or so, they're not within range of regular people. Besides which, a regular drawing tablet in the €100-200 range is a terrific input device, and even the el cheapo models aren't horrible.
    Title: SIM disaster
    Post by: ersi on 2016-05-05, 08:05:50
    There were rumours on the internets that Xperia M5 simply shuts itself off and does not move itself after that. Some people respond to these rumours that before this happens, you must reset your internet settings and there will be no problem.

    As soon as I acquired my Xperia M5 (and managed to switch it on), I reset the internet settings. I never had a problem with it after that. However, a week ago it received a major update. Not as major as Android 5 to Android 6, which is what I am expecting any day (week, month) now, but still a fat update involving hundreds of megas. I applied the update. No noticeable changes inside the phone after that.

    Yesterday, the phone switched itself off and never recovered. I had not reset the internet settings after the update. I took the phone to repairs. They will probably overwrite the opsys, a routine procedure to fix any and all smartphone problems. It will be interesting to see if I will get the phone back with specific Xperia Android or something else, such as a Galaxy version or whatever. Somehow the repair dudes, even though they are totally official and authorised, care little about these things.

    For now, I am without internet-on-the-go and also without home internet, because my Xperia M5 was doing all internet for me. My GSM provider offered a replacement phone, but I generously refused it. I thought I could manage with the old phones I already have. In fact, I was not angry at the events thus far, just a bit excited to get back to my old phones. Which took a frustrating turn.

    SIM card is a little hardware thingy that you put into your mobile phone. The SIM card is specific to a particular GSM provider and they will charge you for the network events that occur through your particular SIM card. Everybody knows this. I should not even be saying this.

    Owners of newer smartphones must have noticed that the shape of SIM cards has changed lately. There are things called micro-SIM and nano-SIM. The explanation that goes along with the change of shape is that mobile internet has evolved from GPRS to EDGE to 3-5G. In reality, to provide those services, you don't need to change the shape of SIM, just the chip on it. (And I remember occasions when you didn't have to change the SIM at all for certain new services, even though the GSM provider falsely claimed you do.) The overall shape of SIM could have been kept the same, because phones have actually gotten bigger meanwhile, not smaller. They have evolved from a tiny phone with additional functions into multi-purpose tablets with phone call function.

    Hardware-wise, the changes of shape of SIM cards look as follows.

    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fostic.wp.tem-tsp.eu%2Ffiles%2F2012%2F05%2Fsimcard.png&hash=1da8a22a1ab722479897cfb8b443b299" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://ostic.wp.tem-tsp.eu/files/2012/05/simcard.png)

    At first, SIM cards looked as big as the bigger entity. The bigger entity is that which goes into older mobile phones. I knew this when I took my new Xperia M5 to repairs and was contemplating about a replacement to it. I wanted to use my old LG P500 again. I was missing it, a perfect smartphone about which I never had any complaints, except about things external to it, such as Opera Mobile version 14 and web evolving so that move from 3G to 4G mobile internet became eventually mandatory.

    When I took my Xperia M5 to repairs at my GSM provider, I specifically asked to be given an older full-sized SIM card - old SIM card in one piece which would securely go into my old LG P500. However, there on the spot, it just happened that I had my (even older) SE W200 with me. So the service dude took the nano-SIM out of the Xperia M5, added some rings to it as pictured, inserted that into SE W200, and it worked. This way I had to be convinced that I don't need an older SIM card.

    Now, I understand that they maybe don't have any old full-sized SIM cards anymore. Still, the proper way to make SIM backwards-compatible is a solid adapter as follows.

    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.imore.com%2Fsites%2Fimore.com%2Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Flarger%2Fpublic%2Ffield%2Fimage%2F2012%2F09%2FNano_SIM_Camparison_0.jpg&hash=139ab54183d2cc6693dc200b4ab1ea9c" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://cdn.imore.com/sites/imore.com/files/styles/larger/public/field/image/2012/09/Nano_SIM_Camparison_0.jpg)

    But I was left with a nano-SIM with rings around it. I went home with my SE W200, took out LG P500, removed the shaky compound SIM from SE W200 and tried to insert it to LG P500. Not only did the compound fall apart, but the largest ring which remained in the LG P500 was unremovable due to the structure of the SIM socket in LG P500. I tried to carefully yank it out, because, you know, I had to get the compound SIM together again to use it anywhere, such as in SE W200, to be able to at least call, if not more, but as I was yanking it out, it broke some pins in the socket of LG P500.

    This way my LG P500 became unusable yesterday. It's very frustrating mainly because the change of shape of SIM have been absolutely unnecessary, unjustifiable. And because I knew that if I didn't get the old SIM, something evil would happen. And of course I was right as I often am. Things are very bad when I am right.

    For now all I have is SE W200, a tiny phone whose best feature is the still-awesome Walkman mp3 player. Unfortunately, this phone device originated in an era when there were no standard connectors, so no 3.5mm for earphones or such. Still, I can spend some good nostalgia time with the Java apps I once upon a time installed on it, such as Opera Mini version 4, Google Maps version 2, and Readmaniac.

    What lesson to draw from this? Life is so stupid these days that there is no lesson. It's best to stay away from this life.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-05-05, 15:37:14
    Micro-SM makes a lot of sense 'cause normal is so big. Nano I'm not so sure unless it offers more than just being smaller.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-05-05, 16:21:02
    This cannot apply so generally. Smaller SIM cards make sense in smaller phones if you need to fit in more other hardware. As it is, there's no shortage of space in modern smartphones.

    Also, I would dispute the design of microSD and SIM slots in Xperias (probably similar in Galaxies, not sure about other current smartphones). In Xperia it looks like this:

    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.soyacincau.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F11%2F151127-Sony-Xperia-M5-Dual-Review-16.jpg&hash=b8b45dc908d5d13a23a4773886782ab9" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.soyacincau.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/151127-Sony-Xperia-M5-Dual-Review-16.jpg)

    Here you cannot visually identify which place is meant for the SIM card and which for the microSD. Also, you cannot visually identify which way they should go. And when you stick them in, you don't get tactile feedback if they went all the way so that you can stop pushing. This is bad design. There used to be good design not too long ago.

    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gadgetlite.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2010%2F12%2Flg-optimus-one-p500-android-mobile-phone-review-gallery-01.jpg&hash=c0c2701edae8055ecfcd258dc0e2b7a1" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.gadgetlite.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/lg-optimus-one-p500-android-mobile-phone-review-gallery-01.jpg)

    By the way, sizes of SIM cards have absolutely no connection to features. The chip contains all the features and the size of the chip has not changed. In my (moderately informed) opinion, the sizes of SIM cards have been changed mainly to symbolically distinguish between generations of smartphones. In other words, the breakage of intercompatibility is intentional and done for no other reason than to precisely break intercompatibility, to evade a standard that had been formed.

    Edit: The way I feel it, the worst aspect in the events with me was that I knew for a fact that I need a solid full-sized SIM card in one piece, not a cobbled-together fall-apart thing, and I said so, but the service dude made it appear that nano-SIM-on-strings is something legit. It isn't. It broke my perfectly functional LG P500 for no good reason. I just looked things up and you can get SIM adapters (just like SD adapters to make a microSD full-sized again to fit into older and bigger devices) for three euros. It should be common sense to provide those to customers.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-05-13, 14:41:18
    On this Friday the 13th, a little bit of consolation after my SIM disaster. My Xperia M5 has been officially pronounced dead and I will get my money back. No dispute by the seller. Except that meanwhile I lost my older perfectly functional LG P500 and I had to purchase broadband to my apartment.

    My next smartphone, if any, will have MHL.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-05-13, 18:39:41
    This cannot apply so generally. Smaller SIM cards make sense in smaller phones if you need to fit in more other hardware. As it is, there's no shortage of space in modern smartphones.
    My phone supports two SIM cards. I don't actually use that functionality, but it'd be a lot more awkward inside the device with my "old" SIM (same one really; just with a part cut off).
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-05-13, 18:45:41
    This cannot apply so generally. Smaller SIM cards make sense in smaller phones if you need to fit in more other hardware. As it is, there's no shortage of space in modern smartphones.
    My phone supports two SIM cards. I don't actually use that functionality, but it'd be a lot more awkward inside the device with my "old" SIM (same one really; just with a part cut off).
    When the phone supports two SIM cards, I think it's even more vital that it support original size SIM's, such as your grandma's.

    Anyway, a lesson to everyone from my SIM disaster - use the proper adapter or different SIM's in one piece. Otherwise ruin easily follows.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-07-11, 13:46:17
    Intel computers come with built-in back doors: http://mentatul.com/2016/07/11/all-your-computers-are-belong-to-us/
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-08-05, 11:37:10
    This one took embarrassingly long for me to figure out: Make Kensington trackball midclick emulation[1] work again[2]

    STEP 1: Identify the device
    Code: [Select]
    xinput list
    The trackball should be recognisable in the output. In my case it's "Primax Kensington Eagle Trackball"

    STEP 2: Identify the relevant property of the device
    Code: [Select]
    xinput list-props "Primax Kensington Eagle Trackball"
    In my case, the relevant row looked like libinput Middle Emulation Enabled (291):        0 whereof "libinput Middle Emulation Enabled" is usable in the next step.

    STEP 3: Change the relevant property
    Code: [Select]
    xinput --set-prop "Primax Kensington Eagle Trackball" "libinput Middle Emulation Enabled" 1
    So, the property was 0, now it's 1, and pressing left and right buttons at the same time has the effect of midclick again.
    midclick emulation = pressing left and right button simultaneously works like middle click
    It seemed to be working the first half year, but recently I began suspecting that Chrome-ish browsers don't accept pasting from primary anymore. Then I discovered that actually paste from primary does not work anywhere anymore when I use my dear trackball, while it works when using mouses and keyboard. So there must have been some recent changes in the way Linux handles my trackball.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-08-08, 10:27:01
    Note that you can make those changes permanent in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

    Code: [Select]
    $ cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf 
    Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "Kensington Trackball"
    MatchProduct "Kensington Expert Mouse"
    Option "SendCoreEvents" "True"
    Option "ButtonMapping" "0 1 2 4 5 6 7 3"
    Option "ScrollMethod" "button"
    Option "ScrollButton" "1"
    EndSection

    I also wrote a bit about this kind of thing here: http://fransdejonge.com/2016/05/xorg-conf-emulatewheel-stopped-working-on-libinput-update/
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-08-08, 17:15:23
    Note that you can make those changes permanent in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

    Code: [Select]
    $ cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf 
    Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "Kensington Trackball"
    MatchProduct "Kensington Expert Mouse"
    Option "SendCoreEvents" "True"
    Option "ButtonMapping" "0 1 2 4 5 6 7 3"
    Option "ScrollMethod" "button"
    Option "ScrollButton" "1"
    EndSection

    I also wrote a bit about this kind of thing here: http://fransdejonge.com/2016/05/xorg-conf-emulatewheel-stopped-working-on-libinput-update/
    In my case, this xorg.conf section would be much shorter, I guess. After the identifiers I would include a single option corresponding to my step 3.

    Since nobody else uses the trackball, I only need to make the option permanent for my own username among other login commands in .xinitrc or the like. Maybe I will some day put it into xorg.conf too.

    By the way, only one Manjaro installation of mine uses libinput where the problem occurred. The other Manjaro, installed from a different ISO, has Evdev which has kept working fine.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-08-08, 17:20:40
    That might actually be a superior option for ease of backup and the like.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-08-08, 19:48:21
    Who of us doesn't have a Qualcomm CPU in our phone? Any hands? :D

    Quote from: How Qualcomm Flaws Left 900 Million Android Devices Vulnerable to Spies, http://fortune.com/2016/08/08/qualcomm-android-quadrooter/
    It's now up to phone and tablet manufacturers to plug the "QuadRooter" holes.

    Security researchers have found a series of security holes in almost a billion Android devices that use chipsets from Qualcomm.

    The Check Point researchers said in a blog post on Sunday that attackers could use the flaws to gain root access to the device, which would mean gaining control over the phone or tablet and the data on it--a spy's dream.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Barulheira on 2016-08-08, 19:56:46
    I don't. :)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-08-09, 06:39:53
    Who of us doesn't have a Qualcomm CPU in our phone?
    I've got an Intel in my phone. My old phone does, but that's not a quad core. ;)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-08-09, 12:59:53
    Ah, yes. Zenfone 2 has Intel Atom. Have you taken a look at Zenfone 3 (http://www.gsmarena.com/asus_zenfone_3_deluxe_zs570kl-8129.php) series? It's a massive upgrade on every front, except display.

    In comparison, the latest Galaxy Note (http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_note7-8082.php) turns this once-great name into a cheapo. Looks like Galaxy Note 4, aging by now, will remain the best offering in this line.

    Qualcomm chip + Adreno GPU used to be a sure sign of quality until a few days ago :)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-08-09, 17:42:17
    Ah, yes. Zenfone 2 has Intel Atom. Have you taken a look at Zenfone 3 (http://www.gsmarena.com/asus_zenfone_3_deluxe_zs570kl-8129.php) series? It's a massive upgrade on every front, except display.
    I have negative interest in an upgrade to a device I've had for about 10 months. I'll be unhappy if I'm forced to replace it in any less than three years. But is your "massive" sarcastic? :) The camera could be better, but just because it has more megapixels doesn't mean it is, and other than that I see no worthwhile improvements (unless it has better battery life). There's a different CPU and a fingerprint scanner that I could care less about.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-08-09, 18:40:50
    But is your "massive" sarcastic? :)
    The sheer number of megapixels means the camera is inevitably better, certainly the front one. Zenfone 3 does 4K video, Zenfone 2 doesn't. More both internal and external storage, on the best models also more RAM. The new ZenUI could be better.[1] Etc (if applicable).

    Depends on what really matters, of course. I for example regret the loss of a real radio in the modernmost phones.
    I have now seen that interfaces on different Androids can be very different. There is a vast difference in having just full-screen apps versus the multi-window interface of a Galaxy Note. The multi-tasking is admittedly limited compared to a computer (such as a netbook), but it's appropriate given the similarly limited screen size.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-08-09, 19:12:49
    The sheer number of megapixels means the camera is inevitably better, certainly the front one.
    It really doesn't. :) My wife's old 6 megapixel DSLR will obviously outperform any stupid phone. I have a 6 megapixel P&S that might be outclassed by the current top-of-the-line phone cameras like Samsung Galaxy S-whatever, 7? That being said, my phone takes much better videos. The poor P&S can't handle video at more than 640x480.

    I'd overlooked the internal storage. The external storage thing is probably a half-truth. In a rare case of honesty manufacturers tend to go by certain artificial Windows-related limits that you can easily ignore in e.g. GParted.

    Radio was cool to have, but I never used it on my last phone. I don't even know if my current phone does that.

    It does seem like a slightly bigger upgrade than I gave it credit for (although I certainly wouldn't go for "massive"), but it seems to come along with a price upgrade to match.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-08-10, 09:43:47
    The sheer number of megapixels means the camera is inevitably better, certainly the front one.
    It really doesn't. :) My wife's old 6 megapixel DSLR will obviously outperform any stupid phone.
    When I recall my experience with Xperia M5, then you are right in the sense that for the whopping number of megapixels, the camera performed astonishingly poor. Particularly in the dark things got noticeably pixelated. Actually, mere shadows were enough. Then again, just installing another camera app fixed all the problems and made it a brilliant photography tool (as long as it stayed alive otherwise).

    Edit: Ah, and once upon a time I was on a trip with a friend. We both photographed it with the devices we respectively got, LG P500 phone (3 MP) and a dedicated digital camera (16 MP). The phone pics were tons better, either because the camera on it was inexplicably better or I must have a genuine gift. /edit

    Radio was cool to have, but I never used it on my last phone. I don't even know if my current phone does that.
    Radio has its use when you are abroad and there's no internet. Mobile internet when roaming is currently as badly priced as mobile internet in general was 15 years ago.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-08-11, 13:31:10
    Edit: Ah, and once upon a time I was on a trip with a friend. We both photographed it with the devices we respectively got, LG P500 phone (3 MP) and a dedicated digital camera (16 MP). The phone pics were tons better, either because the camera on it was inexplicably better or I must have a genuine gift. /edit
    It's all about the lens and sensor. Megapixels are largely (but not completely) irrelevant. In any case, a phone is a priori unlikely to have either lens or sensor quality compared to even low-end dedicated cameras. For example, the surprisingly good camera on my Zenfone 2 is in most circumstances clearly inferior to my '05/'06-era Samsung P&S, 13MP vs 6MP notwithstanding. I suspect that the 16MP camera you mentioned also won't be much better in practice (assuming a similar price range). Of course the Zenfone 2 only has a mediocre cameras for a phone, but even the best Nokia or Sony camera phones only have mediocre cameras period.

    Now I'm not saying sensors haven't improved by leaps and bounds -- they have. Light sensitivity is almost certainly much better today than ten years ago (particularly on smaller, cheaper sensors, like in phones and non-DSLR cameras), but besides needing at least about 4MP for reasonably-sized prints it's mostly down to optics. And good optics from a 100 years ago are still good optics today. (Mount compatibility is another story.) Phones cannot have very good optics for simple space reasons.

    If/when I buy a new camera, I've got my eye on something like the Sony α6000 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_A6000) or perhaps rather one of its successors. My wife is dismissive of mirrorless cameras and I'm not happy about the prospect of having to acquire new lenses (or an also quite expensive A-Mount to E-Mount converter), but I think the weight and image quality kind of speak for themselves.[1]
    My camera weighs half a kilo without a lens. The Sony mirrorless cameras weigh "only" 300-350.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-10-14, 20:07:44
    With my '08/'09-era laptop being unusable as a laptop on account of a dead battery, and the '10 netbook just becoming too slow for actual use, I was unhappily forced to acquire a new laptop. I somewhat unexpectedly ended up with an Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FC004T 13,3". I say unexpectedly because I put in an off-handed €505 bid for a barely used one that was bought in July and I won. Not bad I think, given that it sells for about €800 new.

    I have to say I'm quite pleased with the device. More than I had expected, because I hate laptops. The screen can actually go as dark or quite possibly darker than my first and best laptop from '04. You might even be able to use this in a pitch black environment without blinding yourself, and that's saying something. There's no fan, so no noise, and it doesn't get very hot at all. I have effectively sacrificed a physical network port for a thinness I don't really care about (although it's kind of nice), but on the flipside it seems that thicker laptops with a physical network port are also a lot heavier.

    So yeah, I'd say this device is worthwhile. It sports a sufficiently sharp 1080p screen -- nothing special, but a nice change of pace from the 1366x768 disease we've had the past decade or so. It works great on Linux, given a sufficiently recent kernel (otherwise no touchpad for you). The only real problem (besides not being the most user-friendly for opening and replacing components like the SSD) is that it's got a fair bit of backlight bleeding. I imagine it's quite bad if you care about that sort of thing, but it's a laptop. These are workhorses, not movie machines.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The battery life on this thing is great. I realize that it's become the norm nowadays to say that less than 6 hours is terrible, even though just a few years back 3+ hours was positively outstanding, but it's very nice regardless. I guess just a few more years and maybe phones will have usable battery lives too. Except the weird thing is they used to...

    PS Obviously the keyboard is rubbish too. But you know, for a laptop keyboard it's not bad. For a thin laptop it might even be outstanding. Much better than Apple, for example.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-10-15, 07:01:52
    Congrats for the new laptop.

    The battery of my own laptop is beginning to ail too. It survives just below two hours of continuous usage. New battery costs about/above 60 e. No other complaints. Meanwhile I did a significant upgrade to the laptop, replacing the HDD with an SSD.[1] I could double the RAM too, if I wanted. This laptop will serve me at least as long as it has already served.

    The netbook works too. Still usable for everything I need with software selected by experience. Except that it's been largely superseded by my new mobile phone.

    I guess just a few more years and maybe phones will have usable battery lives too. Except the weird thing is they used to...
    You mean back when they had hardly a screen worth mentioning? Let's face it, they have ceased to be mobile phones. They are phablets now. If you seriously want a mobile phone with old-time battery life, I can recommend this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21LK9J1G454).[2]

    Here's a very early mobile phone. NMT network, not even GSM yet. Only usable if you had a car. Only top officials and businessmen could afford them, when funded from the state budget.

    (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b2/12/3d/b2123d67c8b1266c939f05118355956f.jpg)
    The HDD fit nicely in the computer box that I am building. No waste.
    No joke, really. I have bought these to my parents. Better than MyPhone. MyPhone has buttons on the side, so old people accidentally press them while talking and unexpected stuff happens. Maxcom's sides are clean. And the UI is more sensical too, direct copy of old Nokia.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-10-15, 08:10:30
    You mean back when they had hardly a screen worth mentioning? Let's face it, they have ceased to be mobile phones. They are phablets now. If you seriously want a mobile phone with old-time battery life, I can recommend this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21LK9J1G454).[2] (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=474.msg66503;boardseen#fn2_4)
    Nah, my phone lasts a few days and that's good enough for me. Still, it was nice that my last feature phone lasted a week even with browser (Opera Mini), e-mail, calendar and such. Also, according to the Android battery stats the big culprit isn't the screen but "Android OS". I think it's a catch-all for Wi-Fi, GPS, etc.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-10-15, 10:05:10
    In my case, phone battery consumption breaks down as follows:

    Phone in stand-by mode - 5%
    Android OS - 4%
    Google Play services - 4%
    Display - 3%

    "Android OS" is a big gobbler, but the display is not far behind. The differences in the calculated percentage are marginal.

    My Galaxy Note 4 lasts about half a week with a single charging. I of course use the mode that switches most background activity off on standby, plus I have specifically went over the entire list of apps to block/minimise their permissions. For example I think it's a good idea to turn off notifications from nearly everything.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-10-15, 13:17:52
    For example I think it's a good idea to turn off notifications from nearly everything.
    I simply turn off autosync. I only enable it selectively. Same for wifi, and mobile data is also (almost) always off. Constant notifications? Hah, who cares about the related battery drain -- that's just madness. It's the same way with nonsense like the Apple watch. What's it good for? Not being a watch, because it has an annoying, quite noticeable delay before it shows you the time. Notifying you whenever you received an e-mail (or worse, a Whatsapp)? Talk about my worst nightmare...

    Anyway, last month I used my phone as a GPS, so it was on (screen and all) for a good two to three hours. I was quite pleased that it was still at 2/3rd battery (further supporting my stance that nothing is heavier than some "light" browsing), but I was actually quite surprised to learn that the screen counted for only 10-20% or so, while Android OS was good for the vast majority of battery consumption, close to 70%.

    If I remember I'll check what a more normal battery usage pattern looks like for me.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-10-15, 13:49:41
    I simply turn off autosync. I only enable it selectively.
    Autosync of what? Some Asus-specific cloud thing? Or app updates in Google Play?

    Anyway, last month I used my phone as a GPS, so it was on (screen and all) for a good two to three hours. I was quite pleased that it was still at 2/3rd battery (further supporting my stance that nothing is heavier than some "light" browsing), but I was actually quite surprised to learn that the screen counted for only 10-20% or so, while Android OS was good for the vast majority of battery consumption, close to 70%.
    I have sat through some two-hour YT videos on the phone and also fairly pleased how the battery takes it.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-10-15, 17:32:11
    Autosync of what? Some Asus-specific cloud thing? Or app updates in Google Play?
    You should be able to get it in the quick settings dropdown. Without autosync you get no e-mail, no news, no nothing (other than calls and texts). Saves your battery too, but that's not not why I do it.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2016-10-15, 17:38:42
    Ah, that thing. It was never on and it never occurred to me to turn it on.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Macallan on 2016-10-27, 13:22:11
    PS Obviously the keyboard is rubbish too. But you know, for a laptop keyboard it's not bad. For a thin laptop it might even be outstanding. Much better than Apple, for example.
    Older ( or rather, ancient ) Apple laptops have downright nice keyboards. I've got a mid-1990s PowerBook 3400c here, the keyboard is almost Model M decent. Of course that makes the machine rather fat, but probably less than you'd expect.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-10-27, 14:24:19
    Older ( or rather, ancient ) Apple laptops have downright nice keyboards. I've got a mid-1990s PowerBook 3400c here, the keyboard is almost Model M decent. Of course that makes the machine rather fat, but probably less than you'd expect.
    Looks nice, except for the 3.3 kg weight. Almost three times as much as the 1.1/1.2-ish on my new laptop. :P
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-11-03, 10:30:14
    If you want proper wifi, just get Ubiquiti or Mikrotik.

    https://www.troyhunt.com/ubiquiti-all-the-things-how-i-finally-fixed-my-dodgy-wifi/
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-11-03, 17:05:13
    In the embarrassing stories department, I just spent about 15 minutes trying to fit a SATA cable into a SATA Express port. I thought it was a conveniently located open SATA port not completely obscured by my GPU, but apparently I originally left it open for a reason.

    I suspect I'll never use this port, but I guess we'll see.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Macallan on 2016-11-04, 06:12:29
    Older ( or rather, ancient ) Apple laptops have downright nice keyboards. I've got a mid-1990s PowerBook 3400c here, the keyboard is almost Model M decent. Of course that makes the machine rather fat, but probably less than you'd expect.
    Looks nice, except for the 3.3 kg weight. Almost three times as much as the 1.1/1.2-ish on my new laptop. :P
    Well, a full-sized keyboard does need some room. Probably takes up half of the volume.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2016-12-19, 08:51:59
    Printer DRM (presumably) strikes again.

    http://k1024.org/~iustin/blog/entry/2016-12-18-printer-fun/
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2017-01-20, 10:38:49
    Today I made the mistake of commenting on Not Always Right, about the touchpad on my new laptop.

    https://notalwaysright.com/new-line-enquiry/62662
    Quote
    They don't act the same. At least on my laptop you can't hold one button while clicking the other, so besides an inability to use "rocker gestures" I've also given up on my ability to simulate middle click by pressing both at once. I now prefer tap to click and two-finger tap to right click, whereas on my previous laptops with actual buttons I used tap to click and the buttons.

    I prefer tapping because it's almost impossible to move the mouse cursor with one hand/finger while clicking with another. The buttons aren't buttons as long as you keep your finger on there. You can move the mouse cursor in the button area as long as you didn't start trying to move the mouse cursor in the button area. The results are "hilarious" from unintentionally moving the mouse to zooming. So it wouldn't surprise me if the customer were having trouble clicking the checkbox because the mouse kept moving when they tried, because they were used to positioning with the one hand while clicking with the other. So no, they could have been mildly smarter about this whole affair, but to say those kinds of buttons "act the same" is nonsense.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2017-01-20, 11:51:01

    Today I made the mistake of commenting on Not Always Right, about the touchpad on my new laptop.

    Mistake because of the commenting atmosphere there?

    Frankly, I'm surprised that the recent developments in touchpad section (of which I am left behind) are so bad. I have experience with this thing (https://vivaldi.net/media/com_easysocial/photos/6757/40543/11f9fa136c5f2aeb1ede77f3cc334a72_original.jpg) (see, there's even no line there) and it functioned just as if the buttons were there. Under the plastic cover, there actually were tactile buttons there.

    Touchpad hasn't frustrated me (too much) yet, but I am quite happy with the trackpoint+mousebutton solution on this keyboard that I often carry along. Unfortunately not too many companies keep it in production these days.

    (https://shop.lenovo.com/ISS_Static/ww/ag/merchandising/options/images/large/_460_0_0B47189_V2.jpg)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2017-01-20, 17:13:11
    Mistake because of the commenting atmosphere there?
    We'll see. Essentially yes, but there's also the mistake of spending time on typing something like that where you can't possibly find it ever again (thank Facebook/Disqus/etc.). Hence why I copy-pasted it here.

    Frankly, I'm surprised that the recent developments in touchpad section (of which I am left behind) are so bad.
    They aren't. Two-finger scroll is fantastic, at least in Linux (in Windows it's not only meh but also the wrong way around). Our Wacom tablet is fantastic too as a touchpad, although I only plug that thing in if I want to draw something (plus my wife wouldn't appreciate me stealing it as a generic input device).[1]

    It's probably only because touchpads have become so good that some designers have started using them for everything, including being buttons. Well, plus I'm sure it's cheaper that way. You can click the bottom left and bottom right corners of the touch pad for, surprise, surprise, left and right clicking, but you can't do both at once. Perhaps on better models you can. Anyway, my touchpad doesn't frustrate me much, in spite of the lack of middle click. It's mostly redundant anyway. As for flip back/forward, right click followed by a tiny movement down and a left click is practically the same thing. But when someone posts what is effectively Apple-type marketing nonsense about it being no different, it kind of grinds my gears. It may not necessarily be worse in practice, and to a fair degree it's actually better, but one thing it does for sure is that it acts differently.
    To be clear, using the mouse with the pen has its uses, but without the pen it's a full-fledged, terrific multifinger touchpad. It even does palm detection properly so you don't get stupid stuff happening while you're trying to use the pen.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2017-07-18, 14:14:02
    Some people say they don't miss CD-ROM/DVD drives. To be fair, I rarely miss 'em on my laptop, but back around 2000 I used to have two drives. A DVD player and a CD-RW drive. Currently I'm watching a DVD and I'd like to rip some of my CDs at the same time. I used to be able to do that. Luckily it's a temporary concern.
    Title: No CD
    Post by: Barulheira on 2017-07-18, 21:20:29
    My car has a CD drive. I like it. I missed it so much when I had to rent a car that had USB, AUX, Bluetooth, etc... but no CD drive.
    Pity me.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2017-07-19, 11:36:03
    The car I sometimes drive has a touchscreen radio. Also controls at the wheel though.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2017-11-27, 21:26:34
    Quote from: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/22/business/laptops-not-during-lecture-or-meeting.html
    The research is unequivocal: Laptops distract from learning, both for users and for those around them.
    (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/11/26/business/26ViewArt/26ViewArt-master768.jpg)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2018-01-06, 10:19:28
    Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

    Talking about Meltdown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meltdown_(security_vulnerability)). Emphasis added.
    Quote from: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/02/intel_cpu_design_flaw/
    It is understood the bug is present in modern Intel processors produced in the past decade. It allows normal user programs - from database applications to JavaScript in web browsers - to discern to some extent the layout or contents of protected kernel memory areas.

    The fix is to separate the kernel's memory completely from user processes using what's called Kernel Page Table Isolation, or KPTI. At one point, Forcefully Unmap Complete Kernel With Interrupt Trampolines, aka FUCKWIT, was mulled by the Linux kernel team, giving you an idea of how annoying this has been for the developers.

    At the same time elsewhere,
    Quote from: Linus Torvalds, https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/1/3/797
    I think somebody inside of Intel needs to really take a long hard look at their CPU's, and actually admit that they have issues [...] Or is Intel basically saying "we are committed to selling you shit forever and ever, and never fixing anything"?
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-17, 15:09:25
    The first "affordable" 5k monitor has arrived: https://tweakers.net/pricewatch/1130227/iiyama-prolite-xb2779qqs-s1-zilver.html

    The 27" Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS-S1 is about €800 and can be connected with DP 1.3.

    I wonder how the price will develop. In any case I'm glad the many years of 16:9 FullHD hell are finally behind us. It's a pity we're still on 16:9 but at the increased sharpness it matters less.
    Title: 16:9 FullHD hell
    Post by: Barulheira on 2018-01-17, 20:11:52
    16:9 FullHD hell
    What the hell are you talking about?
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-17, 20:59:08
    Things seemed to be moving nicely in the right directly with the mass market appeal of 1920x1200 displays around '08 when suddenly they disappeared and it was all 1920x1080. On laptop screens the decrease in resolution and screen estate was even worse. I had no upgrade path for when my '07 monitor would break.

    2560x1440 on 27 inch? Possible, but I find 27 inch a bit large.

    Luckily when my monitor did break the Dell Dell P2415Q had just been released, making an actual upgrade (rather than a replacement) an option.

    Now I'm not one of those people who are saying things like "standing still is going backwards" or whatever, but the simple fact is that we had better stuff around '08/'09 than in 2012.

    The best laptop screen I've had was in '04. My current one is pretty decent too. Everyone's always weirdly obsessed with how bright they can go, but my current one can go really nice and dim so it doesn't blind you.

    Anyway, tablets are mostly nicer than desktop monitors, which is a thorn in my eye for something otherwise so unusable.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2018-01-20, 21:01:17
    16:9 FullHD hell
    What the hell are you talking about?
    He is probably talking about PPI and a few other parameters.

    I have no idea why 4:3 aspect ratio would be preferable to 16:9 as a matter of principle or strong opinion. Different aspect ratios serve different purposes. I like 16:9 very much because, when turned upright, it resembles a book page and is excellent for proofreading. Horizontally it generally accommodates two written pages neatly and 21:9 monitor accommodates even more and is thus good for translating or other tasks that require several windows side by side.

    And videos, they mostly come with 16:9 ratio, while classy movies sometimes have 21:9, so such monitors are good for most movies. Maybe 4:3 is also good for something, but to me it only reminds of the way-too-long era when I had a 800x600 monitor.

    And yes, I have monitors with all these aspect ratios, so my opinion should count.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-21, 09:31:59
    I have no idea why 4:3 aspect ratio would be preferable to 16:9 as a matter of principle or strong opinion. Different aspect ratios serve different purposes.
    1920x1200 is 16:10, not 4:3.

    Anyway, 16:9 is alright in UHD. I said 16:9 FullHD hell, while explicitly also including the 16:9 resolution 2560x1440. Even saying 16:9 FullHD hell is slightly dramatic of course, but that doesn't change the fact that we had superior run of the mill displays in the late '00s compared to the early '10s on pretty much all accounts. Price, size, and picture quality were all better.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2018-01-21, 10:12:06
    It sounds especially dramatic for those who were left behind of the developements of the late '00s, such as myself. To me this era was hell:

    (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.computermonitors.us%2Fcrt-480.jpg&hash=9583983c37a3e2df70f00f01b6d2e341" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.computermonitors.us/crt-480.jpg)

    And it lasted way too long. I began looking for an upgrade only a few years ago.

    Where I live, there are some places to obtain turn-of-the-millennium monitors for free. I'm sure something like this would apply to late '00s monitors also, if you know where to look.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-21, 11:18:24
    A run of the mill 17" CRT from around 2000 is an absolutely beautiful thing. 75 Hz or 85 Hz with high-res (e.g., 1600x1200) no problem, coupled with amazing colors. In the higher price segment Sony also has some marvelous flatscreen CRTs, available in 16:9 as well.

    I'd generally pick an LCD over a CRT, but mainly for size, weight, and to a lesser extent energy use considerations. Typical LCDs don't solve the main problem at all: backlit as opposed to reflective. (There is such a thing as reflective LCDs, but apparently no one thinks it would sell.)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2018-01-21, 11:39:35
    A run of the mill 17" CRT from around 2000 is an absolutely beautiful thing.
    Yes, if you like curves. But those curves also make it a waste of space. To me it was hell because the only place where those monitors could sit safely was on the desk, but on the desk they are too close up your face, particularly if the desk is against the wall. I prefer the screen at least as far away from my eyes as my hand can reach.

    That said, I kind of liked the all-in-one form factor of G3 era Macs. I considered buying one for a while, but never did. Now used ones can be had for 20 euros or less and I just might get one.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-21, 14:13:46
    Yes, if you like curves.
    I like that the color accuracy and liveliness on CRTs from the 1980s onward is stellar. If you put a TN LCD side by side with a CRT the difference is astounding. A VA LCD is pretty good and an IPS LCD might be able to match it for colors (not grays and blacks).

    To me it was hell because the only place where those monitors could sit safely was on the desk, but on the desk they are too close up your face, particularly if the desk is against the wall. I prefer the screen at least as far away from my eyes as my hand can reach.
    That's a pretty sad desk. :) But obviously my monitor arm could never work with a CRT; like I said I think LCDs are definitely worth it for size and weight. But back in the '90s literally almost every single display was superior in picture quality.

    (Possible exception for plasma screens, at least when new. But those are also all but gone now. Probably because they suffered from burn-in as bad as 1980s computer CRTs.)

    Btw, Apple always (?) used high-quality Sony Trinitrons in their better monitors.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2018-01-21, 20:11:08
    That's a pretty sad desk.
    Yes. After much experimenting with various configurations of desks and chairs, I arrived at this solution: I sit on the floor (on a cushion) and I place the keyboard and trackball on a small bench/stool in front of me. Another pretty good solution would be to sit at the shorter end of a wide and long desk, provided that the shorter end is not walled in. Desks require much space and I don't have much space.  
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-21, 20:52:22
    That sounds pretty good to me actually. Well, for just computer use anyway. I've greatly extended my desk space since '09 without actually changing my desk. First through my monitor arm[1], then a while later by making a keyboard/trackball tray. My desk is almost entirely available for unruly documents and books. Which is nice, because when I had less desk space it wasn't so much more organized as even worse because stuff was forgotten at the bottom. :P

    Then later we got three cats and now half my desk is cat hangout space, but that aside.
    I had to buy a new one because my old one didn't fit my desk. :( But it's giving my parents a much superior computer experience, or so I hope. Sadly the tall pole (https://www.ergotron.com/en-us/products/product-details/45-295#/) variety didn't exist at the time.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-23, 16:48:59
    There's a program called ddrescueview that can apparently tell you how your media is doing.

    https://jmtd.net/log/imaging_discs/

    This disturbing image is of a commercially pressed CD-ROM:
    (https://jmtd.net/log/imaging_discs/400x-moire_corruption.png)

    So much for me nostalgically connecting my DVD player to serve as a CD player yesterday... I guess I ought to rip all of them. :P

    Now the DVDs... those are just a loss in the long run I guess. That'd take way too much time and space.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-25, 15:32:20
    On Chromebooks, they've semi-replaced Caps Lock by a Search key.

    https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/turn-caps-lock-chromebook

    I get it, Caps Lock is really not that useful on a computer whereas on a typewriter they made for good headings, but I wonder how they came up with the Search key as the most useful thing to put in such prime real estate...

    Oh right. Google. Search. Meh.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2018-01-25, 16:18:49
    I would be okay with Caps Lock if it were positioned differently, somewhere out of the way. It would be fine if it for example worked by double-pressing Shift. Wait, that still means I am actually not okay with Caps Lock...

    And it would be great if in Android you could configure (a hardware keyboard's) Caps Lock out of the way.

    By the way, a few days ago some guy said Google cannot search (https://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/201x/2018/01/15/Google-is-losing-its-memory) anymore and now another said Google cannot innovate (https://medium.com/@steve.yegge/why-i-left-google-to-join-grab-86dfffc0be84). Google's founders have separated themselves to a holding company a good while ago.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-25, 17:23:46
    I agree that Google's not good at search results anymore but I don't think it sounds particularly plausible that they stopped indexing the "old" web.

    You can easily repeat the experiment using any "old" blog post. I tried one I wrote myself, entitled, in embarrassingly broken English: "observating people in the train."

    • Google returns three results that might be called relevant, none of which is my blog post because it auto-corrected it to 'Showing results for "observing people in the train"'. Force it to search for what I actually wanted to search (quotation marks are clearly not enough) and it shows the correct results
    • DuckDuckGo returns only my blog post. (Technically my blog post and a page referring to it.)
    • Quant also returns only my blog post as a properly relevant search result.
    • Yippy returns my blog post as the third result, nothing else is relevant.
    • Bing either can't find anything or completely ignores my quotation marks.
    • Yandex returns nothing. Which is more honest than the typical Bing/Google style of showing some nonsense no matter what.

    Anyway, I have no hard data but this is my basic experience over the last five years. Google isn't too bad but it puts too much bs in the way of things. Thinking it knows what you mean better than you, displaying nonsense when there are no relevant results, etc.

    Admittedly my blog is probably not "old" because it's still active. But this n=1 experiment still supports my general impressions from the last half decade.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2018-01-26, 18:58:00
    Google is an okay search engine when you are looking for something you don't remember properly. It tends to turn up results *something like* your search string. When you need to find things with precision, Google is less good. Google's business is guessing what people do *next* and what they *really* might think, as opposed to what they just typed. This reflects on the behaviour of the search engine.

    All this is exacerbated by the language problem. Google assumes the language (either English or your location) and starts guessing based on that, but I may have a whole different language in mind - because maybe I work for a company in another country or I could be a translator. Google's websites were okay as long as typing the locale part (.de or .se or such) also was a quick way of setting the desired language, but this has ceased to be the case and now I'm looking for alternatives and avoiding Google.

    This reminds me of the Gopher protocol that I had some contact with in early 90's. The library search system was Gopher. The digital library cards were Gopher pages and the search was inbuilt in the protocol as far as I understood. When searching, Gopher displayed all the currently active pages in the network, because search was inbuilt in the protocol.

    So, no web crawling, no storing and indexing of the crawler results to be fed to people who search. But in our modern WWW internet, a search engine is an intermediary, a business that is all the more profitable when it's skewed the "right" way. And of course it's skewed in accordance with the one who pays most.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2018-01-26, 19:05:19
    Speaking of Google being an ad company (regardless whether we're speaking search or YouTube), are DuckDuckGo's ads US-centric or something? I see an ad there only every once in a blue moon.

    https://duck.co/help/company/advertising-and-affiliates

    Then again, I just realized that if I explicitly search for buyable products (e.g., mouse or trackball) it looks like it gives directly integrated Amazon results. I guess I just don't normally search for very marketable stuff and Google responds by altering my search or search results in such a way that it ends up marketing things as much as possible.

    But hey, that's just a theory. ;P
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2019-03-11, 17:56:51
    At my new job I discovered some people are provided a thing called Mousetrapper. I did not know this thing existed. Did you?

    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2019-03-12, 06:47:10
    I hadn't heard of that specific device, but there are plenty of touchpads you can get. Personally I'd most seriously consider a small or medium sized Wacom touchpad since besides the newer multitouch gestures you can also use the pen on it.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2019-03-12, 16:48:25
    Today I got to try that Mousetrapper thing on Windows. The good:

    - Each button is individually remappable. It is particularly great that you can make the keys do copy and paste. However, the remapper is a proprietary Win app. Not sure how it would work under Linux.
    - Even if all else fails, it is a good armrest!

    The bad: The touch experience is somehow extraordinarily repulsive. And the touchpad and the keys, i.e. the function parts, are overly sensitive (too touchy).

    I will stick to trackball.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2019-03-29, 20:54:21
    Just in case, I acquired the trackball called Kensington Expert Mouse, hoping it might be about as good as Kensington Trackball with Scroll Ring or even better, because it (the former) has more buttons. It turns out that precisely the greater number of buttons is a problem.

    (https://c1.neweggimages.com/NeweggImage/ProductImage/26-125-017-13.jpg)

    The greater number of the buttons increases the desire to remap the functions and remapping is a hastle. The greater number of the buttons also increases the strain on the memory of where each function is and how to position the hand to find them. Due to this, the Expert Mouse model cannot be out of sight the way my Scroll Ring model can.

    Both models have a scroll ring, but the scroll ring of the Scroll Ring model definitely feels sturdier, more reliable and generally a better tool for the job of a scroll ring. Already on the first day I doubt the scroll ring of the Expert Mouse model can survive half as long as that of my Scroll Ring model has. Whereas I am quite sure my Scroll Ring model and its scroll ring will keep delivering in the future at least as long as they already have.

    There is a hole under the ball of the Scroll Ring model, allowing the dirt to fall through. There will be more dirt maintenance with the Expert Mouse model.

    The design of the entire body of the Expert Mouse model is flawed. I mean the idea that the entire device should be ascending the further away it is from you is wrong. I would prefer the device to be horizontally flat and as low as possible. Granted, due to the huge ball the device cannot be too low, but it surely should not be ascending the further away it is from you. Trackball should ideally be able to serve as handrest, but an ascending surface puts tension in the wrist.

    I tried the Expert Mouse model for a while the other way around, with the high end towards me, and it felt much better on the same level as the keyboard, but it would take too much configuring to remap the buttons and the ball to make it work. In comparison, the Scroll Ring model has a better overall design because it is able to serve as a handrest.

    At the desk where I put the Expert Mouse model, I have an option to place it on the lower level than the keyboard or a higher level. On the lower level it would be out of direct sight, making it hard to find the buttons groping in the dark. And the higher level might be too high. We'll see.

    Anyway, I will try to keep it. I like the original placement of the functions on the Expert Mouse model: the lower buttons do left-click and right-click. The upper left does mid-click and the upper right turns back (in browsers, but not in file managers).

    Maybe it would be cool to map the last button as double-click or paste, but I made a different change in the default configuration: Enabled the so-called button scrolling and mapped that button for scrolling. Now by holding down the button I can scroll by rolling the trackball instead of the scroll ring. (The scroll ring will keep working too.)

    Code: [Select]
    xinput --set-prop "Kensington Expert Mouse" "libinput Scroll Method Enabled" 0, 0, 1
    xinput --set-prop "Kensington Expert Mouse" "libinput Button Scrolling Button" 8
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2019-03-31, 12:21:18
    The Kensington Expert Mouse is a very flawed device, but also possibly the best there is.

    The design of the entire body of the Expert Mouse model is flawed. I mean the idea that the entire device should be ascending the further away it is from you is wrong. I would prefer the device to be horizontally flat and as low as possible. Granted, due to the huge ball the device cannot be too low, but it surely should not be ascending the further away it is from you. Trackball should ideally be able to serve as handrest, but an ascending surface puts tension in the wrist.
    I disagree. It actually results in a very natural finger placement. You rest the pinky and thumb on the lower buttons, leaving your fingers the top of the ball and the top buttons, which would be hard to reach if they weren't raised.

    Maybe it would be cool to map the last button as double-click or paste, but I made a different change in the default configuration: Enabled the so-called button scrolling and mapped that button for scrolling. Now by holding down the button I can scroll by rolling the trackball instead of the scroll ring. (The scroll ring will keep working too.)
    I also think a scroll button is great. It's much more elegant than traditional scroll wheels (or scroll rings).

    https://fransdejonge.com/2016/05/xorg-conf-emulatewheel-stopped-working-on-libinput-update/

    At work I had a Logitech mouse that scrolled more like this (http://xahlee.info/kbd/mouse_with_spinning_flywheel.html). It offered higher precision and much smoother control, albeit only vertically.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2019-03-31, 13:07:50
    The Kensington Expert Mouse is a very flawed device, but also possibly the best there is.
    When it's flawed, then what makes it the best?

    I find no flaws with the Trackball with Scroll Ring. Particularly the scroll ring is perfect, solid, and seemingly unbreakable, spinning almost freely. And I can rest my hand over the device without accidentally pressing or moving things, and then with minimal movement press things again as I want. And by "rest my hand" I mean of course that my hand is hanging downwards from the wrist.

    The only way to rest my hand the same way on the Expert Mouse is to have the wrist on the ball, and the hand hanging thus to the other side of the entire device, so that the buttons, particularly the lower buttons, are completely outside reach. On the Scroll Ring model, the wrist would rest most naturally just before the ball and before the scroll ring, leaving the buttons etc. within immediate reach when needed.

    The "uphill" versus "hump" body plan makes a decisive difference.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2019-03-31, 18:40:33
    When it's flawed, then what makes it the best?
    Whether the scrollring works is fairly immaterial because the scroll button is a vastly superior scrolling method. Unfortunately it's made even more superior by the lack of smoothness in the scrollring itself.[1] Whether the ring will cease functioning or not depends on the electronics involved in the specific model. Otherwise it'll keep on going not being smooth for many years.

    Setting aside the crappy infrared electronics behind the scrollring on some iterations of the Expert Mouse,[2] the scrollring is nevertheless one of the best traditional scrolling methods there is. It may be deeply flawed, but entirely compared to its unrealized potential. It's still vastly better than virtually all the horrible (read: standard) scrollwheels on the market.

    I also own an Elecom Huge. That one has a rather good traditional scrollwheel, as does my wife's Logitech MX Ergo. Compared to the Expert Mouse scrollring, it's worse. Even with the excellent scrollwheels on some modern Logitech mice it's tough to say which is better, in spite of sheer technical excellence of better, smoother modern scrollwheels. Make an actually smooth scrollring, ideally one that doesn't scroll in the traditional multiple lines but with more precision like a modern Logitech scrollwheel (or the scroll button), and you've got yourself an absolute winner.

    The lack of a hole at the bottom is a missed opportunity, but it was normal when the current design was first released in the mid-2000s. It doesn't make as much of a difference as you might think at first though, since cleaning is less about the sensor than about the build-up of goo on the roller balls. The only real difference is that you blow it out when you clean it, which you don't have to do on the other design.

    Also, the fact that its DPI is not only locked, but at a rather low value to boot is an automatic additional flaw in the modern era.

    Those are the areas in which it is flawed. The fact that a different device uses superior parts doesn't negate the fact that the design is rock solid. NB I'd sing a very different tune if the switches for the buttons or the actual ball weren't good. The device certainly isn't flawed where it truly matters.

    Of course if you can't find a way to use the design properly (but you do have to experiment with a few different hand positions) then it's a flawed device to its core. To me, that's what the Elecom Huge is. Very nice in principle. Many parts are technically better than on the Expert Mouse, if only because they're contemporary to the late 2010s instead of the mid 2000s. In that sense it's less flawed than the Expert Mouse. But the design is just terrible.
    You could consider taking out the magnet. It makes it slightly smoother.
    You can presumably replace them with working infrared modules from a mouse using the same scrolling mechanism. I'll explain it if you're curious.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2019-03-31, 19:48:43
    Is this Elecom Huge? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeoEphQah_w For me, one of the main points of getting a trackball was to find something ambidextrous, or for both hands simultaneously.

    Trackball Scroll Ring's scroll ring is near-free, pretty smooth, a definite winner compared to the Expert Mouse's scroll ring. I find my hand position on the Expert Mouse much more comfortable when the device is the other way around, the high end towards me, but unfortunately it cannot be used this way. That's another missed opportunity in this device.

    And yes, I agree that the DPI should be configurable. The DPI of common mouses usually is, so there is no reason why trackballs should be locked. Edit: the DPI should be configurable in addition to the trackball orientation. The trackball orientation should be configurable so that the user could place the device to any angle and still have the trackball gestures be harmonised with the screen.
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: Frenzie on 2019-04-01, 08:43:47
    If you can do it on Windows I'm not sure, but on Linux you can easily switch the angle on any pointing device. Something like this:

    Code: [Select]
    xinput set-prop "pointer:Kensington Expert Mouse" "libinput Rotation Angle" 180

    Edit: but on mine it has a slightly different name:

    Code: [Select]
    xinput set-prop "pointer:Kensington      Kensington Expert Mouse" "libinput Rotation Angle" 180

    The pointer thing is optional, but the Elecom Huge for example also has a "keyboard". Not that rotation matters for that, I suppose. :)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2019-04-01, 16:51:49
    And of course I need to make it left-handed too in that case.

    Ha, so it is possible to use it the other way around. The Expert Mouse just became twice better! (Twice better than earlier, still not as good as the Trackball with Scroll Ring.)
    Title: Re: The Hardware Thread
    Post by: ersi on 2019-04-06, 05:50:29
    This is my bedside setup now. It's been like this for a few years, but earlier with the Scroll Ring Trackball. For me it is very important to have the trackball somewhere on the same general line with the keyboard, in front of it or above it or below it, instead of to the left or right from it. Your Rotation Angle tip made it work well. Thanks!
    (https://ersi.vivaldi.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/308/2019/04/2019-04-06-08.38.24.jpg)