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Poll

Mark your preference(s)

  • Gaming station full monty (complete with elaborate hardware controls and sound system)
    2 (12.5%)
  • Home workstation full monty (printer-scanner, music instruments and/or home cinema)
    3 (18.8%)
  • Modest homebox (just the absolutely necessary peripherals)
    1 (6.3%)
  • Laptop/netbook (hardware keyboard separate from the screen)
    3 (18.8%)
  • Big-screen tablet (software keyboard)
    1 (6.3%)
  • Smartphone
    3 (18.8%)
  • Gaming console with internet connection
    0 (0%)
  • Different devices on different occasions and for different purposes (specify in the thread)
    3 (18.8%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Topic: The Hardware Thread (Read 42530 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 #200
What a pointless thing a TV is and I just bought it, an LG 49UM7400. It is like a huge smartphone minus touchscreen and Google Play. Luckily the LG Magic remote that came along with it is pretty good at point-and-click, and attaching a keyboard to the USB actually helps in typing the alphabet.

The most amazing thing about it is that Galaxy Note 4 is able to share the screen with it. I had given up hope that screen sharing could ever work with anything. Moreover, it has been made easy to plug in the USB stick to the TV to see photos and videos on the stick.

So now I have two devices that can play 4k video without stuttering: smartphone and TV. Maybe I will upgrade the graphics card on my home computer at some point too.

Maybe there is a way to hack into the TV and get to something like tty, because the opsys is basically a reduced Android. Some other year.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #201
Funny, I bought a TV a couple of months ago as well, a Sony. It's one of the "cheap" models without Android. Nice & fast; I've seen some "smart" TVs that take like 50 minutes to boot up. It's the first TV I've had in my house in 12 years, and back then it was a used CRT.[1] Also had to get a new receiver for UHD; kept the old speakers of course. It's actually more of a real upgrade than I anticipated. Dolby Digital and DTS just don't sound all that great in the rear channels. It also plays bluetooth, which I find convenient in the morning and occasionally during other parts of the day. And on low-quality sources like bluetooth and mp3 it can use some kind of algorithm that actually succeeds at making it sound better.

We also got a Blu-Ray player to go with it. The old DVD player from '07 broke and unfortunately needed replacing. There were these €30 ultra-cheap Chinese things or a €60 seemingly decent LG bluray player. Well, it's pretty good so far anyway. We'll just have to wait and see if it also lasts a decade.

With the TV we were also able to reconnect the Wii. Now it's "retro," I suppose.

PS I don't know how it is on LG, but I had to put in special effort to get the best image quality out of my TV.
Not really sure why everyone was in a hurry to "upgrade" to much worse looking screens anyway.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #202

I've seen some "smart" TVs that take like 50 minutes to boot up.
Maybe I got lucky, but my smart-TV boots up literally in a second. One second, not two.

It's actually more of a real upgrade than I anticipated.
I am also pleasantly surprised in this aspect. The 4k screen is worth it, and the internal processor is adequate for it. And I don't remember ever having a remote so intuitively operable that there is no need to look at it. It happens to have a scroll wheel so I can scroll down the webpages in the big screen. This one is a keeper.


  • Last Edit: 2020-02-09, 21:02:48 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #203
Maybe I got lucky, but my smart-TV boots up literally in a second. One second, not two.
It's probably a problem from the past by now, something I effectively skipped over. But in any case, while I think the "TV" part of a  TV (i.e., the digital tuner) is cute and all, I'm just not interested in a cable subscription for it. I just use it as a giant monitor for PC, Wii, and DVD/Blu-Ray player.

In case of emergency the TV can also play YouTube and Netflix by itself.

I picked up a Steam Controller for €15 btw. It makes for a pretty good PC remote.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #204
But in any case, while I think the "TV" part of a  TV (i.e., the digital tuner) is cute and all, I'm just not interested in a cable subscription for it. I just use it as a giant monitor for PC, Wii, and DVD/Blu-Ray player.
Same here. I bought just the device, no subscription. Four months earlier the same device was pushed with a little bit higher price with a digital-TV subscription attached. Now it was offered for a bit less by itself and I finally took it. It was worth the wait.

In case of emergency the TV can also play YouTube and Netflix by itself.
I don't subscribe to Netflix either or any of those other things. I only play YT and the webbrowser on the TV thingie. And the USB stick and the computer over HDMI. It is plenty enough.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #205
I don't subscribe to Netflix either or any of those other things.
We don't either, but it's hard to forget about because they stuck "YouTube" and "Netflix" buttons on the TV remote.

(We do watch YouTube. Just don't subscribe to YT Premium.)

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #206
[...]they stuck "YouTube" and "Netflix" buttons on the TV remote.
I have "Netflix" and "Amazon Prime" buttons on my remote, neither of which I have any use for. However, they are placed so that they are not in the way. I don't even feel the need to reassign them. Reassigning would probably not be possible anyway.


  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #207
https://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_G84-4400

This one is ridiculously expensive. In addition to other features, it is missing legs, Win and Menu keys. It apparently is some historical celebrity or curiosity and I had to pay attention to get the USB version instead of PS/2.

Its positives are trackball, low profile, and near-portability. Also colour, as it has slowly dawned on me that I like light keyboards better than dark ones. This keyboard has almost enough to make me keep it.

  • ensbb3
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #208
I picked up a Steam Controller for €15 btw. It makes for a pretty good PC remote.
I'm still using my phone as a pc remote when I am looking at it on the TV, which is the only thing I use the TV for. Apps have gotten pretty good these days, my current has custom remotes for applications and let's me make my own, but I have considered getting a Steam controller to replace the PS4 controller that broke, for casual gaming. I miss my phone that had an IR transmitter from years ago. Not sure why they removed the capability, it was nice only needing my phone to turn off TVs anywhere in the house.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #209
(We do watch YouTube. Just don't subscribe to YT Premium.)
Youtube is getting very naggy about login. On smartphone the YT app boldly switched my status to logged-in at some point and there was no way to get out, so I uninstalled the bastard and I am now using an alternative on smartphone.

On TV, the YT app keeps nagging nastier and nastier as I refuse to update it and it does not have enough data to log me in. We'll see who wins in the end. Probably must figure out a way to install some ordinary opsys on the TV at some point.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #210
Haha, indeed. Best bet is probably some external device unfortunately.

  • ensbb3
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #211
You could use a Raspberry Pi or Tinkerboard (single board pc). You can use Android or Linux and do as you want but still not cost much. The Pi has a better community behind it but mines still in the box. Tinkerboard is good, older version of Andro at last check, specs a bit higher just not as big a community.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #212
The Colour Maximite 2 is a small self contained computer inspired by the home computers of the early 80's such as the Tandy TRS-80, Commodore 64 and Apple II.

It uses a USB keyboard and outputs to a standard VGA monitor.  Programs are saved on a full size SD card and it includes its own sophisticated BASIC interpreter with a full screen program editor.
What a cute little idea :)



And I recently heard that some heavy-duty retro-looking keyboards are being re-manufactured, which is awesome https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/

But it would be even more awesome if somebody would re-create some of those amazing old-time built-into-the-keyboard laptops - not the microcomputers where you attach the screen, but those that come with a screen. And these days it should be an eink screen. My favourites in this form factor are TRS-80 Model 100 and Panasonic Business Partner CF-150B.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #213
Or maybe Quickpad Pro



I definitely like the ultralong battery life and the fact that it has an opsys as opposed to a text editor and a few other preinstalled apps and nothing else. Possibility to install own apps always beats whatever apps come preinstalled.

Additionally, it is quite important for me that the machine is as widely Unicode-capable as possible, able to handle e.g. Indian and Chinese characters. Such characters cannot be all the same size, therefore some green fixed-font LED screen is far too limiting. Word processors or text editors should be able to render various fonts in various sizes, because sometimes you want to see DejaVu, sometimes Courier, etc.

And the tty should see at least 80 columns.

Edit: Therefore Freewrite/Hemingwrite is no good, despite its eink screen. From what I have seen in the reviews, its battery lasts only three hours. Its functionality is limited to the proprietary text editor where you can move back only by backspacing over the written text. And you can only transfer your writings through the proprietary app of the company. And there appears to be no resizing of the text.

Even if somebody figures out a way to install a real opsys on it or at least more text editors and make a direct USB file transfer work, it won't wash due to low battery life.
  • Last Edit: 2020-07-28, 11:10:07 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #214
Therefore Freewrite/Hemingwrite is no good, despite its eink screen. From what I have seen in the reviews, its battery lasts only three hours.
...what? My 2016 laptop's battery has reached some pathetic value like 50% health and it can still do that.

  • ersi
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Re: The Hardware Thread
Reply #215
Yes, terribly lousy battery life for a monofunctional device. I would start be happy with at least a week as with eink devices in general.

Edit: Its update promises 4 weeks of battery life tho https://getfreewrite.com/products/freewrite-traveler

Edit2: Oops, looks like I misread that particular review. The reviewer said, "I don't know how long the battery lasts, but I tend to write in three-hour blocks and then put it on charge." This may only describe the habit this non-techy reviewer has with charging, not how long the device lasts. The device may last much longer.

Still, for me it would be super important to have the text editor of my own choice and an open file system to have the incentive of buying this thing. Onyx Boox Max 3 with a bluetooth keyboard attached easily trumps Freewrite/Hemingwrite, assuming that Termux works on the Onyx immediately and an ARM-based Linux may be installed on it.

And meanwhile I found Pomera which looks much much better https://www.geeky-gadgets.com/pomera-pocket-typewriter-15-05-2018/
  • Last Edit: 2020-07-29, 07:52:29 by ersi