Sat. Nov. 30, 2019 – hobby class today

Warmer and damp. Probably.

I have a class in my non-prepping hobby today so I’ll be out of touch most of the day.

The slow suicide of western culture may be continuing, but some individuals are fighting back…

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/11/update-london-islamist-stabber-was-previously-convicted-for-islamic-terrorism-was-a-guest-lecturer-at-cambridge-u-on-prisoner-rehabilitation/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7740295/Knife-attacker-shot-dead-London-Bridge-known-police-security-sources-reveal.html

But then–

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7740131/Moment-hero-bystanders-armed-fire-extinguisher-stick-chase-knife-wielding-terrorist.html

A bleedin’ NARWHAL tusk!

n

22 thoughts on “Sat. Nov. 30, 2019 – hobby class today”

  1. Looking to purchase another desktop PC – usually buy from the Lenovo Outlet but the pickings there are pretty thin right now. What brands are folks here preferring these days? Thanks.

  2. Looking to purchase another desktop PC – usually buy from the Lenovo Outlet but the pickings there are pretty thin right now. What brands are folks here preferring these days? Thanks.

    Most of the people here will tell you to build a desktop. A lot of the regulars date back to when our late host was actively building PCs and keeping his O’Reilly book up to date.

    That said, the PCs we had at the University before I graduated a couple of years ago were Dell desktops, predating me being there and fairly solid construction. The biggest problem we experienced was that the cooling fans would eventually get noisy. I never had one which simply would not turn on, and I never saw the symptoms of a dying power supply even though the machines were on 24/7 for two years without sleep mode while I was there.

  3. @Alan – the brand name desktop PCs are charging premium prices for bottom line components. Your best bet is to build your own. While the cost may look like more you will be getting just what you want, have a machine that is upgradeable, and have a feeling of pride that you built it.


  4. the brand name desktop PCs are charging premium prices for bottom line components

    That’s my observation, too. Not for personal use, as a couple laptops and a RasPi suit my home needs now, but several employers and clients in the past few years have spent more than seemed reasonable for desktop units.

  5. @Alan – the brand name desktop PCs are charging premium prices for bottom line components. Your best bet is to build your own. While the cost may look like more you will be getting just what you want, have a machine that is upgradeable, and have a feeling of pride that you built it.

    I spent $150 on my last build from the ground up using identical components that I’ve seen in $400 Lenovo desktops, but every time I build from zero is a learning experience that consumes an afternoon. The last build was learning about AM4 and the way the memory slots work differently than the Intel boards I’ve used for most of the last 20 years.

    Update: I had an existing case/power supply so I’ll put the total cost of the self-built machine at ~ $200.

  6. @Alan: Built my first PC from a TigerDirect Barebones kit 15+ years ago. Picked that one by price, but subsequent builds were obsessively researched mostly at NewEgg and chosen component by component. Was fun, not at all difficult.

    Avoid bleeding edge tech as the price premium is too high, IMO.

  7. Looking to purchase another desktop PC – usually buy from the Lenovo Outlet but the pickings there are pretty thin right now. What brands are folks here preferring these days? Thanks.

    If you feel up to it, build a box. The problem with brand name boxes is that they use custom parts inside. When your power supply dies or your hard drive dies, you have to use their custom parts to fix things. Or, buy a new brand name box.


  8. Most of the people here will tell you to build a desktop. A lot of the regulars date back to when our late host was actively building PCs and keeping his O’Reilly book up to date.

    Been there, done that actually. You can count me as one of the (ir-)regulars (earliest post that a quick Google search turns up is from September of 1999 – yikes, been ‘here’ 20 years!), still with a copy of Bob’s book on the shelf and successfully completed a number of builds.

    Was looking to get this off the to-do list in less time but sounds like (still) not the best path.
    If so, since Intel is no longer building its own motherboards what is the best alternative? Gigabyte, ASUS, other?
    What CPU (Intel?) would be good for a higher-end mainstream PC?
    Thinking of a 250 or 500 GB SSD for C: (OS, apps) and 500 GB or 1 TB for D: (data), what brands are reliable these days?
    Antec still good for a case and power supply?
    Crucial for RAM? (thinking 8 or 16 GB – planning on Win 10 Pro – where best to procure a copy?)
    DVD-RW?
    That should be a good start – maybe grab some deals on Cyber-Monday…

  9. @alan, Unless you want to build it for other reasons, I’d just get a dell from their small business offerings. I am using one now, that I’ve used for 5 or 7 years… with no changes that I can recall. i7-4770 @3.4 with 16GB ram. I wouldn’t buy from their home user offerings.

    I can’t recommend buying a Dell from costco if there is any chance you will upgrade. The means to do so are absent, like memory slots, or SATA ports. The Costco dell really is a different machine. (It’s possible, but you will have to add things, and jump thru hoops.)

    On the other hand, I gave my dad a tiny little wintel pc, that is essentially a phone without the screen or radios. It worked fine for casual games, skype, youtube, and browsing/email. It was about $140 with an extra 64Gb SD card.

    HP business products are still good as far as I know. Again, I’d avoid their home user products.

    n

  10. I personally would no longer build a system from parts. I have done several over the years. The biggest issue is warranty support. It becomes a urinating contest between the vendors and the builders with the vendors blaming others. There are few reasons to custom select parts individually. Performance on almost all machines is more than good enough.

  11. @Alan: i almost (but not quite) built a hackintosh last year, and that user community has a number of reasonable builds with current hardware. Pretty much anything that runs OSX should run Win10.

    https://hackintosher.com/builds/

    I echo the cautions here against consumer grade pre-builts- a friend bought a top of the line $2000 laptop from dell last year and had horrific issues. After *months* of arguing with them they got a replacement, but the phrase “never again” was used a lot.

    The Microsoft store will sell you non-bloatware systems from major manufacturers, at a pretty steep price.

  12. I personally would no longer build a system from parts. I have done several over the years. The biggest issue is warranty support. It becomes a urinating contest between the vendors and the builders with the vendors blaming others. There are few reasons to custom select parts individually. Performance on almost all machines is more than good enough.

    Yup. If you build your system, you are the guarantor. No other warranties apply anymore unless there is a total failure of the part and even then, I’ve had vendors (newegg, cough, cough) refuse to send me a new one.

  13. HP business products are still good as far as I know. Again, I’d avoid their home user products.

    HP business grade laptops aren’t that great anymore. We lease them where I currently work.

    The guy who ran most of Compaq’s laptop designs in the decade before the merger was shown the door not long after the ink was dry on the paperwork. He was in grad classes with me, and the university cut him a deal for a PhD and a clinical teaching slot in return for having his name and reputation remaining in the department.

    I’m guessing that HP just takes Intel’s designs and slaps the logo on them.

    Lenovo ThinkPad is the last true business grade laptop standing, but you’ll pay a premium.

  14. Yup. If you build your system, you are the guarantor. No other warranties apply anymore unless there is a total failure of the part and even then, I’ve had vendors (newegg, cough, cough) refuse to send me a new one.

    I’ve only had one motherboard fail, and that was during the 2007 fake Japanese power cap fiasco.

    The most common failure these days is the power supply. Memory can fail — I’ve seen that — but Crucial and Kingston offer lifetime warranties.

    I expect hard drive failure. I don’t trust drives beyond the warranty period.

  15. I have always built my own desktops starting with an AMD 386 clone (probably in the 1990s – not sure on dates). None of them have been Intel. AMD is cheaper at roughly the same performance points and while mostly AMD can’t match the best from Intel, I don’t need the fastest machine. Usually ASUS motherboards. They are very reliable – I am writing this on an AMD Phenom that stated with WinXP, and is now on Win10 – so let’s say about 10 years old. I had to replace the power supply, but it was from an older box so that was about 5-7 years ago. I have been thinking I should probably replace this desktop, but it is not causing problems. If I go ahead it will be with AMD since they are quite competitive or beating Intel on price and outright performance now. If you are looking for a laptop, I bought a refurbished Dell from Staples. Works fine – I won’t/can’t build that.

  16. One of my laptops is HP. Came with Win7. The hardware is good. The firmware (UEFI/BIOS) is lousy, lacks functionality and was never improved. All the software and drivers have long disappeared from their support site(s). Too many models and subassemblies.
    I have a much older ASUS laptop. All drivers are there and even better, they issued drivers for Win7 and Win8. (Have not checked for Win10).
    The latest 2 are Surface Pros. They are kept running although sometimes it is a matter of “If at first you don’t succeed …” 🙂 I am happy with those.
    And I will never buy an AMD GPU either built-in or stand-alone. Their drivers support is as bad as HPs.

  17. I’m with Ray: not planning to build any more machines. I’m just not up-to-date on the options any more, so there’s too much danger of buying incompatible components. There’s an internet shop here that let’s you pick out the core components you think you want, and will build a system around them, with guarantee. That’s how I’ll go when I next need a system.


  18. Crucial and Kingston offer lifetime warranties

    Good on paper, but getting them to honor the warranty is not easy, at least in my experience with a Crucial SSD that failed. Sent the drive to them, they found no problems. Tried the drive in two other machines, same issue. Crucial was adamant it was a problem in the machine. Other drives worked, but not Crucial. Finally sent the drive back with a threatening letter and Crucial replace as “a measure of goodwill”.

    internet shop here that let’s you pick out the core components you think you want

    Same here. Used them at my old job. Used them for my home system. Maybe a 5% premium over doing it myself. But no cut fingers and it works. I am more than capable of rolling my own but just don’t find it fun anymore. I guess I did it enough that it no longer interests me.

    latest 2 are Surface Pros

    I had a Surface Pro 3 that suddenly would not power on. Impossible to repair. It was three years old. Microsoft did offer credit for a new identical/b> machine. I opted instead for a Surface Laptop. I really like the machine and would buy another in a heartbeat.

  19. Good on paper, but getting them to honor the warranty is not easy, at least in my experience with a Crucial SSD that failed. Sent the drive to them, they found no problems. Tried the drive in two other machines, same issue. Crucial was adamant it was a problem in the machine. Other drives worked, but not Crucial. Finally sent the drive back with a threatening letter and Crucial replace as “a measure of goodwill”.

    I’ve only done warranty claims on Crucial RAM, and I haven’t seen a stick fail in a decade. They were good about the replacement, but RAM is their core product.

    The two Crucial SSDs I have are past the warranty period.

  20. Here is what I have at home.

    1. 2 Dell optiplex small form factor desktops. Both older Intel core i5’s. One is connected to the upstairs tv ( streaming and also hosts a Minecraft server), the other is in the garage. Both run CentOS 7.

    2. HP consumer laptop. Son’s laptop, a couple years old now. I added an ssd drive. It has a discrete nvidia graphics chip. He plays Rainbow Six on it, so it’s still plenty powerful.

    3. My wife has an off lease Dell Precision laptop. I swear by them, not quite as good as the old thinkpads, it more than good enough.

    4. My desktop is a home built. It’s now (wow) 6 years old. Asus motherboard and intel i7. I’ve upgraded the hard drive a few times, and put in a better graphics card a couple years ago. I can play Rainbow Six on it, so it’s still more than good enough. I have been getting the urge to replace it, but I can’t justify $500+ for now benefit. I’ll upgrade when there is a game I want to play and can’t. Since I usually play one game at a time for years, it could be several more years.

    5. I haven’t had a laptop since my circa 2007 Precision died in 2013. I do most web surfing on an iPad, which I’ve also upgraded a couple times. But now, a lot like pc’s, the hardware is just good enough. This iPad is around 4 years old and still plenty fast enough.

    6. Finally, I have a Dell poweredge T20 server. I maxed the ram (only 32 gb) and added a better raid card. It runs VMware ESXi 6.7 and hosts my windows virtual machines (dc’s, exchange server, Plex server). Next time, I’m getting an off lease poweredge. The baby Dell servers are too limited in ram capacity and hard drive capability.

    Oh, I do have a pi as well. My son and I built a console emulator, though we haven’t touched it in a while. I should find another project for it.

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