Something Random

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
2,907
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
Due to an administrative billing error with our ISP, we had our service restricted/shaped to 256/256Kbps (down/up) yesterday.... (all corrected now).

It was an eye opener to see how bloated the web has become, and what interesting, was the customer portal (for accounts/services/payments/etc) with the ISP become unusable when service was restricted to this speed.... eg for a simple account login took 30secs, and get get the main accounts summary page took 3 mins to load... and the account payment page took 3 attempts to load, often resulting in a timed out error...
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,696
Location
USA
Due to an administrative billing error with our ISP, we had our service restricted/shaped to 256/256Kbps (down/up) yesterday.... (all corrected now).

It was an eye opener to see how bloated the web has become, and what interesting, was the customer portal (for accounts/services/payments/etc) with the ISP become unusable when service was restricted to this speed.... eg for a simple account login took 30secs, and get get the main accounts summary page took 3 mins to load... and the account payment page took 3 attempts to load, often resulting in a timed out error...
It's like some countries where you are out in the woods with satellite.
 

sedrosken

Allergic to Sunlight
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
995
Location
The Sticks
We're still on 3mbps/768kbps down/up normal service out here, but with even more people using it even more demandingly I've taken to just sticking to my phone for internet things. There's a reason I opted for an unlimited data plan when I got my V30. Home internet's still fine for extremely light browsing (forums and text-only news/wiki viewing) and IRC/Discord so I'm not entirely out in the woods yet.

I may have already said this but I'm still taken aback by how much cleaner the sound output from Samsur's Audigy2ZS is than the analog out from my main's integrated HD Audio codec. Has me tempted to either move my stereo to the other side of the room to hook up to Samsur instead or steal the Audigy2ZS for my main, which I haven't had open in so long I don't remember if I have a PCI slot in it or not. I have an Audigy SB0090 to put back in this one, so it's not like it loses much from the deal.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,277
Location
Monterey, CA
Lunar, I set my keyboard on it on my desk. That way I don't have to look up while I hunt and peck. This is why I needed such a large screen.

I kid, of course. I bought two, one works and is in use. But the setup looks kinda sad with that spare VESA mount sitting unused.

http://prntscr.com/lh1tq2

That is going to be so many pixels.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,696
Location
USA
Lunar, I set my keyboard on it on my desk. That way I don't have to look up while I hunt and peck. This is why I needed such a large screen.

I kid, of course. I bought two, one works and is in use. But the setup looks kinda sad with that spare VESA mount sitting unused.

http://prntscr.com/lh1tq2

That is going to be so many pixels.
So you bought two really short screen displays to stack on top of each other? Are you monitoring some process?
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,277
Location
Monterey, CA
A part of my job is monitoring stuff, that will be on the top screen. Keep in mind each one of these screens is 5120 x 2160 pixels, and 34" diagonal, so "really short" probably isn't the right description.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,696
Location
USA
A part of my job is monitoring stuff, that will be on the top screen. Keep in mind each one of these screens is 5120 x 2160 pixels, and 34" diagonal, so "really short" probably isn't the right description.
How are the pixels relevant other than making the image possibly smoother?
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,097
Location
Michigan
I bought a number of used CDs in the past 2 weeks. Today a large number of them arrived in my mailbox. I thought I had seen it all in my used CD buying over the past years, but today I was surprised. One of the jewel cases had a burned Verbatim CD-RW in it instead of a pressed disc. :scratch:

It appears to be a burned version of the disc that's supposed to be in it. Gloria did not do a good job inspecting it. :nono:
 
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DrunkenBastard

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
613
Location
on the floor
Had the Nokian Hakka 9s mounted for their second season on the car today. Conditions were marginal on way to shop, its been many years since I've driven an all season tire on snow and ice. Terrifying.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,696
Location
USA
I bought a number of used CDs in the past 2 weeks. Today a large number of them arrived in my mailbox. I thought I had seen it all in my used CD buying over the past years, but today I was surprised. One of the jewel cases had a burned Verbatim CD-RW in it instead of a pressed disc. :scratch:

It appears to be a burned version of the disc that's supposed to be in it. Gloria did not do a good job inspecting it. :nono:
It's like the cell phones, but tires. I try to avoid those frozen countries in the winter.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
14,696
Location
USA
Somehow my reply was in error. I'm not surprised about the burned CDs. That was an issue starting in the 90s when the CD-R arrived in volume.
I experienced several of those bogus discs when I was in developing nations. Unfortunately they used some heavy duty wrapping machine and it was not possible to open the discs ahead of time.
Who is Gloria?
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
12,785
Location
USA
Had the Nokian Hakka 9s mounted for their second season on the car today. Conditions were marginal on way to shop, its been many years since I've driven an all season tire on snow and ice. Terrifying.
I just put my Blizzak LM32s on today because we're supposed to get a small amount of snow. I'm considering getting new snows to replace these with the Nokian Hakka R3 since I don't need studs in my area. I hear great things about the Hakka 9s; do you like them?
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,097
Location
Michigan
Unsubscribe is worthless. It doesn't seem to stop the bastards. :mad:
Tell me about it. I bought tickets through Ticketmaster for one event at one venue and now I get spammed with e-mails for that venue. I click the unsubscribe link and it takes me to a webpage where I can check what I want to receive about. Everything is unchecked, but I keep getting e-mails. I've taken to flagging them as spam.
 

DrunkenBastard

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
613
Location
on the floor
I just put my Blizzak LM32s on today because we're supposed to get a small amount of snow. I'm considering getting new snows to replace these with the Nokian Hakka R3 since I don't need studs in my area. I hear great things about the Hakka 9s; do you like them?
Yes, very satisfied with the Hakka 9 performance. Absolute control when cornering (RWD) in the crappiest of conditions The only time these failed me was when I beached the car in a severely unplowed intersection, but I can't blame them for that. Downside is they are reasonably loud due to the studs, and suffer some in wet weather performance like all studded tires. My previous snow tires have all been non studded (Nokian and Blizzaks). For my youngest son and his first winter driving by himself in his pickup truck I've ordered Blizzak DM-V2s, I gave him the option of studded tires but he declined due to noise. I don't think he has the discipline to drive very gently for a few hundred miles to bed in a set ot studded tires anyway. Going to go with a bunch of horse stall mats stacked for weight in the pickup bed (RWD).
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,277
Location
Monterey, CA
Tell me about it. I bought tickets through Ticketmaster for one event at one venue and now I get spammed with e-mails for that venue. I click the unsubscribe link and it takes me to a webpage where I can check what I want to receive about. Everything is unchecked, but I keep getting e-mails. I've taken to flagging them as spam.
If you are willing to pay for a domain and have someone competent manage it for you (I'd recommend Google), you can do neat things. I have all addresses at the domain (ddrueding.com) delivered to my inbox. Every time I need to enter and address somewhere I give them a unique address. This way any time I get spam I know who originally handed out my address, and can block the address entirely.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,097
Location
Michigan
I got another batch of used CDs today in the mail. The eBay seller that I've bought the most CDs from, decluttr_store, pretty much straight up lies about the condition of their discs. They list everything as Very Good with the added note of “This product has passed our meticulous quality checks and is guaranteed to be in great condition.” when they're rarely in that condition. It's clear they don't check anything. I've continued to buy from them because they're the cheapest on the discs (that I buy from them) and the discs usually rip to FLAC fine despite some scratches on some of the discs. I don't care about the condition of the cases or artwork. Further, when they've shipped me bad discs, things with missing discs (only 1 CD of a 2 CD set), or the wrong disc in the correct jewel case they would issue a prompt refund when I complained without wanting the disc back. Because they list everything as "Very Good" condition buying from them is a rather low risk to me because eBay will side with me on the condition of what they send not matching if I needed to force a refund out of them (hasn't happened yet).

Out of today's batch of used CDs most were from them. Two of the CDs are so badly scratched and damaged I don't think you could get a disc in that condition short of intentionally trying to damage it. Of course both were listed in "very good" condition. Both have multiple tracks that are completely unrippable. Another disc that came from them today was a CD+DVD set. The CD ripped fine (wasn't in very good condition though), but the bottom of the accompanying DVD was just trashed with lots of scratches and abrasion.

So I go to initiate the return process to get my refund for the 3 items and this time I have to send them back... I mean they are damaged and I'm not trying to scam them, but it's a pain in the butt to print out the labels, put the discs in padded envelopes (using ones that they or other discs came in), tape up the envelopes, & the tape the printed label on to return them. On the other hand I do get a bit of schadenfreude knowing that by making me ship the disc back to them they're losing even more money. Shipping both ways on a $4 CD has got to be more than $4 and they'll still have to refund me the $4. If it costs them enough money maybe they will actually screen what they're selling. I actually contemplated using nice robust heavy packaging to add insult to injury but resisted.

Other sellers, like glenthebookseller or worldofbooksusa whom I've bought CDs from on more than one occasion on eBay send out better condition discs. I've also bought a few CDs from different Goodwill shops on eBay. They usually list CDs as good or acceptable so I generally tended to not buy from them, but every disc I've gotten from them (so far) has been basically scratch free and in much better condition than advertised. Not a huge sample size so far, but enough to make a positive impression. They've been moving up in my buying consideration as a result. Otherwise I generally avoid anything below "very good" condition to avoid the possibility of interpretation if a dispute were to happen over a disc that won't rip. I've bought a fair number of discs from random people (not commercial operations). They tend to send decent discs, but I'm usually only buying one or two items from them so not a big sample size for any given seller.

I've also bought a few used CDs from the Discogs marketplace. Their marketplace is a minefield if you're not very careful. Their rating scale is really messed up IMHO. A CD listed as "very good" has this description. "Quite a few light scuffs/scratches, or several more-pronounced scratches. This has obviously been played, but not handled as carefully as a VG+. " Very good+ has this, "A few minor scuffs/scratches. This has been played, but handled with good care - and certainly not abused." I've had to polish a much greater percentage of CDs bought from their marketplace to get them to rip cleanly than any other place I've bought CDs from. The ratings make no claims about playability either (in contrast to eBay's), so you have little grounds to complain or get a refund if you get a disc that won't rip. As a result their marketplace is my last resort if eBay and Amazon fail me, but I rarely buy on their marketplace.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,097
Location
Michigan
How much did you pay for your Stereo equipment, dude? ;)
That's a totally different equation... I'm all about value for my money. I didn't buy my gear from the most expensive retailer either. I can buy 2-3x as much music for the same amount of money. Lastly, I can help to starve the RIAA beast by buying used CDs.
 

sedrosken

Allergic to Sunlight
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
995
Location
The Sticks
Personally if I'm buying a CD it's usually from local thrift stores, so I can put hands on the disc myself to make sure it's in decent shape, or I'm buying shrinkwrapped discs on the cheap off ebay as well. I too buy them just to rip to FLAC, and if I can do anything to help kill the RIAA I damn well will. Haven't had any problems yet, but I'm supremely lazy and also in possession of a Spotify Premium subscription, so I don't exactly get the bug too often. I'm in fact more likely to burn CDs than I am to rip them.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,097
Location
Michigan
Do you use Exact Audio Copy (www.exactaudiocopy.de), or something similar, to try to get the best quality from your CD rips?
Yes to EAC. There's a now somewhat dated guide that I wrote up here. EAC now has AccurateRip and CTDB comparison capability built it. Combining those with my routine of using the secure mode and effectively ripping each disc twice and comparing them using EAC's test and copy feature the rips exact and correct.

I also started a more recent thread on repairing bad rips of damaged discs using CueTools here.

I should point out that I have subsequently discovered that EAC may not rip a damaged disc in a way that allows it to be repaired by CueTools. I will make a follow up post in the thread.
 
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