• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Dontwalk

  • Rank
  1. Things That Improve Your Life

    Open the Registry Editor (start > run > regedit) go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\MouseChange "MouseTrails" to -1 and log out or restart your PC. This will let the mouse cursor be affected by F.lux, or color management software.
  2. Thanks for posting that. It certainly used to be competitive with the better paid applications. I guess that has changed since I last checked up on reports. (which has been a while, admittedly)
  3. Because it can wreck the bearings by spinning the fan too fast. Just hold it in place and blow the dust off the fins. Because you paid for it with your Windows license, it integrates better than most AV solutions, it has a minimal footprint/performance impact, and it gets completely out of the way. Usually scores very well on AV tests too.In Windows 8, it's completely integrated into the operating system, rather than requiring you to install it. Not really a solution, but you could use a web browser which tells you (IE10 tells you, and lets you view what you have typed before submitting) or look for software for your keyboard. Maybe I'm just weird, but I really dislike that most computers, phones and tablets now have a front-facing camera. You never really know whether that app is taking photos of you using it or not. At least with the older MacBooks (not sure about current models) they had a green LED that lit up whenever the camera was being accessed. I just cut out a small circle of tape and stick it over them. The front-facing cameras on most devices are actually fairly useless anyway.
  4. Have you recently switched to the Steam beta? It’s a different application as far as Windows is concerned, so it needs its own preferences. I suspect that updates to the Beta or even the regular version could cause this as well. I recommend using Microsoft Security Essentials. You paid for it with your Windows license, why not use it? Windows doesn’t have anything built in which tells you this—you must have installed some drivers with your keyboard. (or Windows did automatically—7 & 8 seem to do that with some hardware) Usually most keyboards have an LED to indicate whether Caps Lock is on or not though. BUT YOU CAN USUALLY FIGURE IT OUT ANYWAY.Maybe check the manufacturer’s website and see if there are newer drivers to download. It works, but I don’t recommend it. It might seem daunting at first, but you are better off disassembling the laptop for cleaning. Ever built Lego? It shouldn’t be much more difficult than that, and there are usually instructions for your model online.The problem with using a vacuum cleaner on it, is that it can wreck the bearings on the fans. And you never want to use a vacuum cleaner inside a PC, because they can generate a lot of static electricity, and that’s death to many electronics. In the PC repair trade, we have specially designed ESD Vacuum cleaners that don’t carry a static charge, that typically look something like this: Often the thermal paste is improperly applied in notebooks, or it’s cheap stuff that loses effectiveness in a year or two, so you may want to replace that as well if you are disassembling it. Be sure to use a non-conductive thermal paste, and you only need a tiny spot on the center of any chips that have a heatsink attached. (CPU/GPU) If you want to get fancy about it, a small X on the center of the chip will provide the best coverage. Don’t spread it around, just attach the heatsink and let the clamping pressure do the work. If you spread it out with a spatula or a flat card, you are potentially creating voids between the heatsink and chip. If any comes out the sides, you have applied too much, it should only result in a very thin layer covering most of the surface of the chip. (the actual CPU/GPU die is only a tiny area in the center of the heat spreader—maybe 1/3 to 1/4 at most) If you are unsure, a tube of thermal paste usually contains enough for several applications (tip: put it in a ziploc bag with the air squeezed out, and put that in a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes before application) so you can apply what you think is right, pull the heatsink off, and see if you've done a good job. You need to clean the old thermal paste off and reapply if you do this though—you can’t pull it off to inspect it and then put that back on. Same thing as the vacuum cleaner—don’t let the fan spin freely if you choose to do this.
  5. Show me your desk/gaming space

    It’s a “Happy Hacking Keyboard” (not my photo, but one which shows the layout) and once you learn the layout, it doesn’t require you to move your hands away from the home position at all, unlike regular keyboards. Losing the number pad at the side lets you bring the mouse in closer, which helps reduce arm movements further.The reason I went with the blank keys was to force me to learn to touch-type properly (many people think they can touch-type, until there are no letters to glance at) and it lets me try and learn an alternative layout to QWERTY, to further try and reduce RSI. I actually wish it was slightly more symmetrical by having a second Fn key on the left. The ◇ key functions can be changed by flipping some DIP switches on the back of the keyboard though, so the left “windows/command” key acts as a second Fn key the way I have things set up. I actually keep the tower in another room and run HDMI through the walls. If it were not for the noise, it would make a lot more sense to keep it in here to heat the room up a bit. But then I would hate it in the summer… Thanks. Unfortunately, I just had the Samsara Blu-ray playing while I was taking photos, so it’s not really a wallpaper, and the camera boosted the colors a bit. Here’s the image if you want it though: Huh?EDIT: To maybe save some further questions: Chair: Herman Miller Embody in white (no, I don’t recommend it, especially not in white - it looked better in my last place) Keyboard system: Humanscale 6G Keyboard: Happy Hacking Keyboard Type-S Mice: Razer DeathAdder 2013, Razer DeathAdder Left Hand Edition Headphones: Sony MDR-7520 (yes, I disconnected the cord for the photo) Controller: Wireless Xbox 360 controller for PC Mystery object: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 Television: Sony KDL-46HX900 PC Case: SilverStone FT02
  6. Show me your desk/gaming space

    Short version: RSI problems. Rather than just buying a left-handed mouse, switching between hands throughout the day is less repetitive action. Finding a mouse that was a good fit for my hands helped a lot too - I was lucky that it also came in a left-handed version.And other people basically find it impossible to use the PC with a left-handed mouse, though they don’t like my keyboard much either…
  7. What does your view look like?

    Maybe it’s because I do a lot of work with display calibration, that I am so used to how things look at D65, but my perception is “that is a white piece of paper, but it looks yellow/orange under this light”. There is a German company called Androv Medical that I sourced them from. Their Kelvin ratings for the lamps are wrong, but in a good way—I prefer that it is 5000K rather than the advertised 6000K. I use an i1Pro which samples at 3.5nm but gives readings in 10nm steps. No, but they are a lot cheaper, and those lamps were specifically bought because I needed a “daylight” light to work under. I still use halogen lamps in the bedroom and other places around the house for lighting at night, because they don’t have that blue spike in their spectrum that interferes with melatonin production. Yes, I apologize for taking this so off-topic.
  8. What does your view look like?

    Yes, but when there are articles going around tech blogs praising the quality of them, you expect to not have to do any kind of research to buy a lamp. Most people will just pick up whatever is in their local store.It just seems like the technology isn’t ready yet, but marketing pretends that it is. That’s true, but the lamps I purchased are rated as 93 CRI (I thought it was 95 but mis-remembered) at 5000K (we needed a couple of “daylight” lamps for one location) and the newer ones now seem to be rated at 96 CRI. Finding anything over 80 CRI with LED seems very difficult, especially if you need higher wattages. I can get a 160W equivalent CFL, but nothing above 75W in a standard bayonet/Edison fixture with LED, though it seems like 100W equivalents are on the way. The problem with these high wattage LEDs is that their efficiency also seems to drop off considerably compared to more modest lamps. If I recall correctly, the argument is that measuring CRI at low color temperatures is not comparable to CRI ratings for higher temperature lamps. So while a 2700K incandescent might measure 100 CRI, it’s not actually useful information, because everything looks orange under it regardless, so you can only compare CRI between bulbs at the same temperature, and CRI is likely to be higher at lower CCTs. Well not all CFL lamps are bad, and while the ones I own are not as good as I remembered, they aren’t terrible either, nor were they extremely expensive like LEDs are right now. Those CFLs are a perfect D50 white color too—no green/magenta tint that is common with many 5000K lamps. (CCT does not denote a specific color)I never did get around to measuring the Philips LEDs I purchased though. (note: it just happens that the display calibration hardware I own is also capable of measuring the spectrum and CCT of other light sources—I don’t do anything light related for work purposes) I’m all for saving energy, but it seems like we don’t have any truly good alternatives available yet—nothing comparable to the standard halogen lamp, and LEDs don’t seem to justify their cost over the better CFLs. (rather than the cheapest ones, which are terrible)
  9. What does your view look like?

    Those lamps have been fine, though the light quality could be better and they aren’t used as often here, but their GU10 lamps have been incredibly unreliable for me—even the newest ones with more efficient LEDs and a revised heatsink design.The last time one died, I replaced the 6W LED (“50W equivalent”) with an old 50W halogen while waiting for another replacement, and it was startling how much better the light quality was from it. These were not cheap either—equivalent to $30 each. It’s a huge energy saving when you go from a fixture that used 200W and now only needs 24W, but that only pays off if the bulbs are reliable, and the light quality is good enough that you won’t want to replace them when something better comes along. Maybe it was my fault for now having done the proper research, but when the bulbs are being praised as “true replacements” you shouldn’t expect to have to do research before making a purchase. Now that I have done a lot of reading on the subject, I wouldn’t use LEDs for anything other than accent lighting, at least not until they have the CRI rating above 95% at 2700–3000K (which better CFL lamps seem to be approaching now) and avoid having a large spike in the blue end of the spectrum. As far as I’m concerned now, current LED tech just exploits people that have good intentions (being “green” or saving money in the long-run) because it probably won’t pay off, and it looks like we will see considerably higher efficiency (which means better reliability) better quality light, and much lower costs within the next few years. And now there is also talk of OLED lighting coming to market.
  10. This is the new (console) shit!

    The original PS3 hardware was problematic too—it just took longer to manifest. I had my launch 360 RROD, and my launch PS3 YLOD.At least the updated 360 design was a lot cooler & quieter than the launch system. My slim PS3 still put out a lot of heat (though not as much as the launch PS3) and was very noisy. I hate that PWM fan they put inside it. I don’t think I have had any other console hardware die on me yet, just the PS3 and 360. My launch Wii would probably have died too, if I had left Wii Connect 24 enabled. Because it got such infrequent use though, I always unplugged it once I was done playing. I think this generation of hardware as a whole felt rushed, and all three systems were similarly unreliable in my experience. The only other system I’ve had trouble with was a Dreamcast, but that was a relatively simple fix by opening it up and cleaning the contacts. Never had a problem after that. Don’t get me started with Apple. I’ve never had so many computer hardware failures in my life. I’m just very glad I purchased AppleCare with them, because it paid for itself several times over. With the release of OS X 10.6 onwards, they have gradually been taking the operating system in a direction that I don’t want it to go in, and it’s now at the point where I prefer Windows 7/8 over the latest incarnation of OS X. So I just built my own PC, and haven’t had any hardware problems since. And I don’t know what the general consensus is on Windows 8 around these parts, but in my opinion once you pair it with a Start Menu replacement like Start8, it is better than Windows 7 in every way—and I don’t even use Metro. I like my iPad, and don’t have a smartphone yet, but am starting to get a similar feeling about it as I did with OS X. iOS seems to be stagnating while the other mobile operating systems are continuing to innovate. I’m not sure I would want an Android device yet, but some of the hardware is starting to look pretty nice (such as the Xperia Z, which I like a lot more than the iPhone 5) and it’s tempting to switch. I’m just not sure the app ecosystem is there yet though.
  11. What does your view look like?

    It’s interesting to hear you say that—they must be using low-pressure sodium vapor lamps there too. I naively assumed that most residential street lighting would be low-pressure sodium lamps worldwide, unless their city council had been conned into buying LEDs, because they are cheap, efficient, and last a long time—and it’s all I’ve ever seen in my travels. Now I’m curious to know what kind of street lighting is used around the world.Other types of lighting make sense in city centers where you have people walking around all night and going to bars and clubs, but not in residential/rural/commercial locations really. They put out almost 200 lumens/watt, but are completely monochromatic. No blue/green/UV light, so they don’t attract insects. High-pressure sodium lamps have better color rendering (closer to an incandescent bulb) but have a higher color temperature, and are about 25% less efficient, putting out about 150 lumens/watt. Metal halide lamps have even better color rendering, but start to have some light in the blue spectrum, and are even less efficient, at about 100 lumens/watt. LEDs on the other hand try to replicate daylight either using RGB LEDs, or more commonly now, “white” LEDs, which are really just blue LEDs with a yellow phosphor coating. This means they appear to be a “daylight white” (5000–6500K) but actually have a large blue spike in their spectral response. Current LEDs in production peak at about 100 lumens/watt (typically more like 70 lumens/watt) and are limited to about 100 watts maximum due to the amount of heat they produce. For reference, a typical low-pressure sodium lamp operates around 120 watts, and puts out 200 lumens/watt. While LEDs produce less heat than other lamps, it’s concentrated into a very small area, and is more problematic. As a result of this, retrofitted street lamps often suffer from color shifting and a loss of light output because they cook the phosphor due to insufficient cooling. More modern fixtures designed for LEDs don’t suffer from that issue, but have proven to be unreliable thus far—and the only way they are worth their high upfront cost, is if they last the claimed 10–15 years. On a more personal note, I replaced about half the lighting in my home with the best Philips LEDs last year, and more than half of them have failed already. They happily replace them under warranty, but the whole point of LEDs was their supposed efficiency and longevity. Color rendering and light output still needs a lot of work too—they were such a waste of money, and I would be very skeptical of any longevity claims made by LED manufacturers now. It is claimed that LED street lighting produces less light pollution because they are highly directional lights and don’t send much light upwards at all. That may be true if you are only considering astronomy, but the goal of LED manufacturers seems to be to create a “daylight” type of light, and I’m sure you can imagine the kind of problems that 24 hour daylight will cause. In more rural areas it will affect wildlife, and in residential areas, it will interfere with melatonin production & sleep. There’s a reason that blue LEDs on electronics are bad, and that you shouldn’t be looking at a computer screen right before you go to sleep. If you aren’t doing anything color-critical on your computer, you may want to look into using f.lux. LED street lighting also kills your night vision, unlike those low-pressure sodium lamps, and causes glare problems for drivers at night if the fixtures are not properly designed or installed. (most are not) Due to low-pressure sodium vapor lamps being monochromatic, they are also much safer for driving aside from the glare issues with LED, because it improves contrast at night, and allows the light to penetrate rain & fog with minimal dispersion, so you always have a clear view. If my city wanted to switch from using low-pressure sodium lamps to LEDs to give the appearance of “going green” I would actively oppose it. …and now I really want to play SimCity for some reason, even though I’m quite sure it won’t go that in-depth with the city planning.
  12. This is the new (console) shit!

    It will not be another “$599” debacle—expect the PS4 to be very aggressively priced. Sony has a lot more at stake riding on the success of the PS4 than Microsoft does on the next Xbox. Let’s say that it shouldn’t be more expensive than other “next gen” hardware being sold…
  13. What does your view look like?

    Thanks, sodium-vapor lamp. (and privacy film because this is right on a busy street)
  14. Is it really irrational if there are specific things I can pinpoint that I find offputting about a large number of films made before a certain time? They aren’t specific to B&W but more common. (I’m not sure if that comment was directed at me or not) It doesn’t impact my enjoyment of the films, it just raises the barrier to entry for me. If someone recommended a B&W film to me, I would not object to it, I just never actively seeked them out.I didn’t bring it up in my post, as I wasn’t sure whether it was this episode where it was mentioned, but I did also pick up Sweet Smell of Success at the same time, and am going to watch it later tonight. I’ve ordered a copy of Gun Crazy, and ended up watching a number of other B&W films the last time the topic came up on Idle Thumbs. I’ve actually got an increasing stack of B&W titles to get through now, maybe in the range of 15–20 at this point, as I tend to stockpile films so that I always have something to watch depending on the mood I’m in—and Chris is directly responsible for my interest in them. I just find it difficult to get started watching B&W films—once I do, I haven’t been disappointed by anything thus far, and am usually in the mood to watch at least a couple more once I start. It’s too bad we don’t have an Idle Film Club in addition to the Idle Book Club.