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  1. Mercutio

    Windows 11

    Apparently Windows 11 has leaked. I haven't heard about anything but cosmetic changes yet, but we'll all be complaining about it soon enough. Might as well make a thread. The biggest change I'm aware of is a move of the Start button to the center of the dock, which, one, who cares? And two...
  2. Mercutio

    Kidsafe Android?

    Here's a funny issue. Not my deal but somebody asked me and I have no goddamned idea. Android has had multi-user mode on devices since KitKat. Not every Android device vendor supports mutli-user, even on Lollipop. Somehow, it's optional and apparently less common on devices with Intel CPUs...
  3. Mercutio

    Anyone else have a problem with web videos pausing their display?

    This is driving me mildly nuts and I've done a few rounds of testing without making any headway, so I'm just going to ask others. My main desktop (Haswell-E, 80GB RAM, GTX970) freezes when I encounter certain web videos. The freeze lasts 1.5 seconds or so, just long enough to be annoying but not...
  4. Mercutio

    Intel lays off 10% of its workforce

    This is probably news. What's going on in the world of semiconductors that Intel no longer feels like it needs 10% of the people who work there?
  5. Mercutio

    The emoji key needs to die

    Can anyone explain to me why the Android keyboard sometimes truncates the spacebar in favor of a key devoted to inserting graphical smiley faces? I've tried all four of the keyboards on my phone and they all do it in at least some applications, most notably Hangouts, but also Skype and other...
  6. Mercutio

    To pull an SSD or not to pull an SSD

    I have a Hyper-V host with four Samsung 850 Pro drives in it, each home to a guest OS install and nothing else. There's also a Intel SSD with the host OS install, but the host is perfectly well behaved and in fact I think it's only ever restarted for Windows Updates maybe five times, total. Two...
  7. Mercutio

    Desktop Picasa is going away

    I like the desktop Picasa application for managing personal photos. I like that it recognizes faces. I like that it's easy to add tags and I like that it integrates with Google's online photo galleries since I was actually using Picasa even before Google bought it. But, like a lot of things...
  8. Mercutio

    Firefox/Palemoon Android Issue

    I've found that I can't submit a form on SF using recent builds of Firefox or Palemoon for Android. I'm just checking on my phone and a couple tablets. I'm definitely logged in. It's just like the "submit reply" button doesn't do anything. Can anyone else replicate that?
  9. Mercutio

    Laptop whines on battery power

    I have an HP Powerbook 4550 sitting here that makes a loud, high-pitched whine when it's running off battery power. AFAIK, it's hardly ever used on battery, but I replaced the hard drive in it today and the first thing the user told me is that "it never used to do that" whereas I had assumed it...
  10. Mercutio

    A goddamned miracle

    iOS 9 will introduce the concept of lower case letters to the default on screen keyboard. Apple device owners can expect basic literacy to follow sometime thereafter. No word yet on when Apple invented the concept of letters but I'm sure we'll hear all about it soon enough.
  11. Mercutio

    Phone mounts

    So what do you all use for phone mounting in your cars?
  12. Mercutio

    Interesting Performance Comparison

    I saw this on Slashdot and thought it was interesting: Phoronix Compares Socket 478 Netburst devices to modern Intel and ARM CPUs.. I've been telling people for a while that the CPU in my cell phone is probably faster than their XP-era Pentium 4 and it turns out that it's almost certainly true...
  13. Mercutio

    Oh look it's new Desktop CPUs from Intel!

    Broadwell-DT parts. Usual story: Improvements in power efficiency due to die shrink and modest per-clock performance improvement. Yawn. These guys add a potential L4 cache and apparently offer slightly-better-than-AMD integrated graphics, which I have to say is something I would not have guessed...
  14. Mercutio

    Infiniband and 10Gb networking

    Ebay seems to have a lot of inexpensive Infiniband controllers. Looks like there are quite a few PCIe 10GbE adapters for under $40, but I can't tell what if any transceiver is being sold with them. We'd probably be talking about $30 per meter of cable but that's still substantially cheaper than...
  15. Mercutio

    Power weirdness

    When I do the math on my big file server, it should have a continuous draw of just under 600W. I've gone through three Gold-rated 850W PSUs (PCP&C, Corsair HX, Seasonic - all rated for 50C operation) in the last eight months, the latest just this morning. The PSUs all fail in the same way: some...
  16. Mercutio

    Longer-haul wireless

    I have a classroom site that is presently served by the world's slowest DSL. On a very good day (as in, I saw it one time while the telco people were on premises), it speedtests as high as 384kbps but is normally in the 128 - 192kbps range. I have two other sites within three and a half miles...
  17. Mercutio

    i3 GPU weirdness

    I'm sitting in front of a Toshiba Satellite A5005 with a first-generation Core i3 CPU in it. It absolutely refuses to operate with GPU accelerated drivers. Standard VGA? Fine. Software rendering in X? Fine. But if I try to start a GUI that matches the purported capabilities of the panel and the...
  18. Mercutio

    SMB Weirdness

    I did an in-place upgrade from Server 2008r2 to Server 2012r2 for my main workstation a few days ago and I've been fighting with something weird ever since. My file server runs Server 2012 (not r2) and is normally connected 24x7 to an OpenVPN end-point. It's been running that way for a couple...
  19. Mercutio

    Windows 10

    This can be the thread about Windows 10. I'm sure we'll need one of those. So far, what we know is that it has an unholy combination of start menu and start screen, modern style apps can be made to run in windows, virtual desktop support, apps can be docked to corners and the standard console...
  20. Mercutio

    Asus boards and AHCI mode

    I guess it might just be me, but seemingly every Asus motherboard I've picked up that was manufactured in the last three or four years will auto-select the disk controller to IDE mode after a power loss. I have this problem with workstation boards and budget desktop products. I don't have THAT...
  21. Mercutio

    Windows 8.1 Generic Product Keys

    Windows 8.1 has some really weird upgrade mechanics associated with it and it's really picky about what kind of product key it will take. If you find yourself in the position of needing to install Windows 8.1 but only have a Windows 8 product key, as might have happened for PCs sold at retail...
  22. Mercutio

    Excerable organization announces increased incipient data loss capabilities

    10TB drive announced from WD/HGST.
  23. Mercutio

    Up to date Malware Removal

    It's back to school time, which for me means getting to look at or hear about the malware that's been on high school and college students' computers since May, the last time they actually looked at a device other than their phone. I have a standard procedure that works pretty well (install...
  24. Mercutio

    Cheap thumb drive

    A company called is offering Lexar 32GB USB3 thumb drives for $12 on Ebay. I bought a couple and they came in the same obnoxious retail packaging as the ones I've seen at Microcenter.
  25. Mercutio

    Fixing UEFI BSOD Errors after disk clone on Windows 7 or 8

    I spent a while experimenting with a proper way to clone a drive on a few Windows 8 machines that were configured to boot off UEFI. So far, exactly none of them have worked 100% properly. The most likely error I seem to run in to is an error in the Windows startup files on the System partition...
  26. Mercutio

    Strange laptop repair/parts-finding issue

    One of my students brought me an Inspiron 1750 this morning. He had attempted to replace its keyboard and in fact had downloaded the proper documentation and followed along. Normally, a keyboard repair is dead simple but in this case the guy broke the little keyboard ribbon cable retention...
  27. Mercutio

    Frontpage Replacement for not-web people

    I just found out that one of the people in my office still maintains a few web sites with Frontpage. By itself, no, that's not a big deal. It makes code that works and hey, at least it's not shitting Javascript all over everything. But thinking of a straightforward replacement, the only thing...
  28. Mercutio

    Newegg Premier

    Newegg is now offering a competitor to Amazon Prime. Here's the web page for it. It's $50 for 3-day shipping, which doesn't seem all that helpful, but free returns and supposedly better service might make it worthwhile. I'm undecided. Newegg's customer service is atrocious but I still buy from...
  29. Mercutio

    Windows Backup: "System Writer is not found in the backup"

    Has anyone run in to this before? I have a relatively new Server 2008r2 system, perhaps six weeks old (running as a virtual machine on an ESX 5.5 host, if that matters). Backups worked fine until Saturday night but since then, when I try to fire off a backup, I get this error message: "System...
  30. Mercutio

    Free DVD Copying options

    My workflow for dealing with discs is to use Handbrake with AnyDVD HD. I never write back to disc and I've owned my copy of AnyDVD for something like 10 years now. That system obviously works, but I can't justify telling someone to go buy a $150 program just to copy a few discs. I know DVDFab...
  31. Mercutio

    BT Headphones

    I almost hate to ask this, but does anyone have any strong opinions about bluetooth headphones? I've had BT headSETS that were pretty crummy for audio quality, but I'd like to find something I can use with my phone while I'm working out that: 1. Doesn't require a cord and works with my phone or...
  32. Mercutio

    What constitutes "basic computer knowledge" in 2014?

    Here's a fun, simple question for everybody: What do you think constitutes basic computer knowledge in 2014? A few thoughts: Windows presently has at least three radically different interfaces. XP, Vista/7 and 8 all behave differently, meaning that instruction using rote memorization is...
  33. Mercutio

    Everyday monitors

    Granted that the collective membership of SF probably sits around Dell Ultrasharps and 50" TVs for the most part, but does anybody have any strongly held preferences about all around decent monitors at this point? I need to buy about 60 of them. Amazon has been selling Asus VS247Ps for $150...
  34. Mercutio


    Is anyone using BTSync, perhaps as an alternative to rsync for replicating a directory structure across the Internet? I was able to copy around 45GB of .jpgs from my apartment to a file server in my office overnight, which as a proof of concept suggests that that it would work very well as an...
  35. Mercutio

    Lenovo Table PC

    TABLE. Not Tablet. Though apparently it'll run for two hours on a charge. It's a novelty item for sure, but I can't recall a time that an all in one desktop system genuinely caught my interest prior to this.
  36. Mercutio

    Amazon EC2

    Has anyone ever put together an Amazon EC2 instance? The pricing estimator is a little overwhelming.
  37. Mercutio

    Random SATA craps

    I have a few things I'm not really using. Maybe someone will be interested, maybe not. I'll probably Craigslist this stuff next week if there aren't any takers. * SuperMicro 5 3.5" to 3 5.25" hotswap SATA 1.5Gbps bay enclosure. Beige. Loud as hell with stock fan. * Off-brand (Vantec or Norco...
  38. Mercutio

    Seagate does not have a News Thread

    Seagate announced the other day that they're discontinuing 2.5" 7200rpm drives in favor of high capacity 5400rpm models and hybrid drives for performance. Seagate also announced some 3.5" hybrid drives. I've had a few hybrid drives and, other than a modest subjective improvement in boot/resume...
  39. Mercutio

    NIB Xeon 5570

    I have a new in box Xeon 5570 here. 2.93GHz Quad Core, Hyperthreaded. This is an SMP-able i7 CPU. I'm probably going to try to move it on Ebay but if anyone from SF wants it, I'll sell it for $100. Yes, you need a workstation class board for it. They sell on Ebay for ~$100 - $200. I thought I...
  40. Mercutio

    WSUS Third Party Updater

    Do you have a Windows Server with WSUS 3.0 installed? You can make it a crapload more useful with Local Update Publisher.
  41. Mercutio

    Intel to cease manufacture of desktop motherboards Not any time soon, but that's still a pretty huge issue for those of who build and maintain systems.
  42. Mercutio

    Personal Music Players - I need to scratch an itch

    First of all, I do have a preference for personal music players, the Sandisk Clip+, which supports .flac, has a simple UI, long battery life and a microSD slot. BUT: I want to manage music players for other people. Remotely. Over the weekend one of my customers paid me in part to put a bunch...
  43. Mercutio

    Wired Article on Engineering reliability and warranty data

    This was absolutely fascinating to me.
  44. Mercutio

    Desktop, Notebook, Tablet, Other Tablet, Phone

    I don't know how many people this applies to, but I am actually so blessed as to have multiple computer systems that I can (if I so choose) use every day. What I'm thinking about right now is the ways that all this stuff has changed how and what I do. I still prefer to use a desktop when I have...
  45. Mercutio

    So this is a thing

    Microcenter apparently sells weirdo off-brand large-format computer screens. Like this one. That's a 27" IPS screen with a 2560x1440 resolution and 1000:1 contrast. There are also 32" models, though the one I go to doesn't have any right now. Apparently they're B stock that were made for sale...
  46. Mercutio

    Stupid Google Tricks

    Found this on Boing Boing. A few of these I had never seen before.
  47. Mercutio

    Grippy pad!

    A couple months ago, I saw a news post somewhere or other that introduced me to the Grippy Pad. It's a little mat of just-sticky-enough stuff that you can more or less slap on anything and will more or less hold anything that's placed on it. It's meant to do things like hold cell phones and...
  48. Mercutio

    Old i7 vs. New i5 (or Xeon E3)

    I have four i7/9x0s sitting around. Two of them even have nice, expensive motherboards (1366 boards are STILL ridiculous) that have barely been used, to the tune of perhaps 50 power-on hours. Another board I have had a lot of power-on time before I retired it a few months ago. I have a nice...
  49. Mercutio

    For Sale: Thinkpad T520 4239-46U Core i5-2520 4GB 1366x768

    I have for sale one Thinkpad T520 model 4239-46U. It's a pretty bare-bones model as far as T-series Thinkpads go, 2.5GHz i5-2520. 320GB hard drive, 4GB RAM, Windows 7 Professional. I figure if one of you guys buy it, you'll probably wind up sticking in a different hard drive and adding more RAM...
  50. Mercutio

    Reasonable drive configuration for an entry level file server

    Putting aside the issue of drive capacity for a moment, what do you all think is a reasonable configuration of drives for a basic file server? One drive, OS + data? One drive for OS and data + a backup target? One drive, cold spare + backup target? One drive for OS, one drive for data, backup...