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Poll

Mark your preference(s)

  • Gaming station full monty (complete with elaborate hardware controls and sound system)
    1 (7.7%)
  • Home workstation full monty (printer-scanner, music instruments and/or home cinema)
    2 (15.4%)
  • Modest homebox (just the absolutely necessary peripherals)
    1 (7.7%)
  • Laptop/netbook (hardware keyboard separate from the screen)
    3 (23.1%)
  • Big-screen tablet (software keyboard)
    1 (7.7%)
  • Smartphone
    2 (15.4%)
  • Gaming console with internet connection
    0 (0%)
  • Different devices on different occasions and for different purposes (specify in the thread)
    3 (23.1%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Topic: The Hardware Thread (Read 22899 times)

  • ersi
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The Hardware Thread
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.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #175
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.  

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #176
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 variety didn't exist at the time.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #177
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:


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.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #178
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.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #179
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 anymore and now another said Google cannot innovate. Google's founders have separated themselves to a holding company a good while ago.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #180
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.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #181
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.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #182
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