Something Random

sedrosken

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Personally, I mostly just use it for window management (handling my tiling with RWin+numkeys) and I'm just much quicker entering in numbers with it than the number row. I don't really do much with spreadsheets, but I'd been thinking about it a little bit for doing a little budgeting.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
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Just like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy a safe and pleasant holiday period.

For all others who also celebrate other events at this time I also wish a:

  • Happy Hanukkah
  • Io, Saturnalia!
  • Happy and Joyful Kwanzaa
  • Happy Constitution Day
  • Joyful Feast of Winter Veil
  • Happy Malkh-Festival
  • Happy Festuvus
  • A peaceful Anastasia of Sirmium feast day
  • And reasons greeting for those that celebrate Newtonmas

PS. Apologies if I missed a holiday you celebrate.
 

sedrosken

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Funny, I actually used Netscape 4 on the 486 for a short time before I figured out just how much faster IE 5.5 (6.0 SP1 on 98lite) is on the same machine. Night and day difference -- but Opera 8.50 is the best of all worlds for such a machine, it can render more modern sites than either and has tabs while still running acceptably within 32MB of RAM on a DX4-100. I never bothered with the email component -- I use ProtonMail, and the Bridge application only seems to work for serving to an email client running on localhost. It requires TLS anyway, something I'm pretty sure Communicator 4 has no concept of. If I ever get a VPS and domain like I was wanting, I might see about it then...
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I understand that air travel isn't a great idea right now, but I've had my recent Covid infection, have a permanent four day work week and I'm two train rides and a 4 block walk from my place to O'Hare. Might as well put those Antibodies to work!

I paid $34 for a round trip flight to Atlanta; a couple weeks ago, I paid not much more to visit Miami. I'm fine with missing a night of sleep and in return, I've had a few to-die-for meals (take-out, naturally), seen cities I've never visited and gotten a nice break from the crappy winters of the upper Midwest. Atlanta isn't as nice as Miami, but I'm glad to be somewhere there isn't any snow. There's plenty of outdoor art here and I'm fixing to walk around and see all of it. I have my camera, a laptop and a couple changes of socks and undies

I wanted to go to New Orleans this weekend but the timing on the flights didn't work out. I'm still kind of tempted to go in February because people are decorating their homes for Mardi Gras, but I think it's a better time in March, which might very well be the most comfortable time to go anyway.

Ironically, the week I was infected with Covid, I was supposed to spend a week in Bryce Canyon, Utah with a friend, a trip we'd planned a full year ahead of time. I decided the plane trip wouldn't be terribly safe, and I wound up having a face to face meeting with a redhat sort who said "It's just my allergies" every time he hacked and coughed into the mask he was only halfway wearing. I only go in to my office maybe twice a month, but one of those days it still got me.

I don't think I'm immune to reinfection, but after 9 months of getting groceries delivered, cooking every meal at home and only seeing other human beings in on Skype or Amazon Drop-ins, I'm glad to see something new in the world, even if it's an empty downtown on a January morning.
 

Handruin

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That's great you're out and able to travel. I didn't think you liked going out to travel and see the world? I enjoyed Bryce when I got to see it back in 2012. Unfortunately for us at the time the altitude change kind of hit us at that point in our trip along with some other fatigue so we didn't explore Bryce as much as some of the other parks. We kind of just chilled in the car and took in the scene. Zion was more enjoyable for us and maybe you could hit both if you have a car and time. They're about 75 miles apart if you ever get out that way in the future. There is another scenic route if you go a little further west to Brian Head before heading south to Zion. Brian head is near 12,000' elevation which is neat for a short visit.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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My best friend keeps moving to huge cities, which has necessitated an adjustment to my life. When her income was higher, she'd just fly me out to places she was visiting, which cultivated some good travel habits and also proved to me that I can get away with quick trips to hub cities and tourist destinations.

My folks also have a time share with worldwide availability that they never use. I was able to spend an entire month in Vegas in 2019 and I have tentative plans to visit Southeast Asia with my friend as a graduation present if she ever gets around to finishing her last semester and the rest of the world decides our passports are worth worth having.

I started taking 3 day trips in 2018. I don't mind renting a bedroom off airbnb. Usually I hit art museums or sculpture gardens and I'll get one nice meal or take in a comedy show. A weekend like that might cost $200 all in if I'm careful.
 

sedrosken

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Speaking of travel, I'm due to fly down to the Destin/Ft. Walton area on the 3rd to see my Aunt and Uncle down there and scope out the situation down there to plan for a move. Just paid off my student loans from my failed venture in University and they're trying to get me to go back... I'll probably go for it, but maybe not right this second. I have no desire to put myself in yet more debt, especially if I have to have someone co-sign again. That shouldn't be a problem, I have credit of my own now, and pretty damn good credit for someone my age, but I'm still a bit anxious and kinda just want to live a while before I take that on again. I'm scoping out job opportunities (turns out experience in customer service and management actually helps, especially with customers as volatile as truckers!) and places for me and my cousin to live. He's moving out of his mother's place, we're splitting expenses and I'm half-convinced I'm supposed to be keeping him out of trouble too.

As for the trip, I'm packing a backpack with my laptop and a few days worth of clothes (I'll have access to laundry) and I'm gonna carry it on since I don't want to pay to check a bag. I'll have about an hour's layover in Atlanta around noon -- I'm told I'll need that long just to get to the other gate I need to get to, but I have hopes of catching a quick meal too. I plan to be very careful and distance as much as I reasonably can, and of course I'm bringing plenty of masks. I didn't want to drive the whole way down there because I know my car won't make it there, much less make it back. I'm planning to scrap it before the move -- I'm undecided as to whether I'll get another before I go or if I'll get one down there. It'll be a pain in the ass to either tow it or drive it, but the taxes in FL are higher, so I'll definitely pay for the privilege of buying one there...
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I'll be at ATL at noon EST but I'm anticipating a hassle.

sed, look in to Western Governor's University. It's an online-only school that is formed from a partnership of community colleges in 34 states. You can take as many courses as you want in a single semester and your credits freely transfer to in-state community colleges nationwide. They charge ~$3000 per six month term. They offer IT, business, teaching and nursing degrees. If can handle non-structured learning, that's a fantastic deal.
 

sedrosken

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sed, look in to Western Governor's University. It's an online-only school that is formed from a partnership of community colleges in 34 states. You can take as many courses as you want in a single semester and your credits freely transfer to in-state community colleges nationwide. They charge ~$3000 per six month term. They offer IT, business, teaching and nursing degrees. If can handle non-structured learning, that's a fantastic deal.
I've definitely added it to the list of things, but for now the goal is to just get down there in the first place. In that regard, my trip down was a success -- I'll be rooming with my cousin and his mother to start (they have a spare room) and we're thinking within a couple months we'll go in on a 2br place together closer to the middle of the Destin/FWB/Shalimar area. I've got a job lined up too (albeit not one that's significantly better than where I'm at now -- but for a week I'd say I did pretty good getting one at all) and I'm making tentative plans -- my cousin has a car, and mine won't make it down, so I'm selling mine up here for scrap just before I leave. I'm going to decide what I'm leaving (some stuff I'm not enthused about taking with me my cousins here have expressed interest in), throwing away, and packing, I've put my two-weeks' notice in where I'm at, and make sure my failed project scrap gets taken to recycling before I go. In this regard my relatively simplistic lifestyle has been a boon -- I really only have a mattress (I'll get a more appropriate bedframe for it when I'm down there, I was borrowing a frame from family up here), a chest of drawers, and a desk as furniture and my worldly possessions can pretty much fit in a small u-haul trailer.

Plans right now include getting down there, then getting money together for a deposit/first month's rent on our own place -- we're thinking FWB, it's a more central location and the rent's cheaper anyway, and between my taxes and this next stimulus that's supposed to hit I think I'll just about have it -- and then getting a car once that's squared away since there isn't the driveway space for three vehicles anyway. I'm probably finally going to sit down and let myself get talked into a nice used car, with a down payment and hopefully shorter-term financing, since I don't think I'll have the timeframe for saving up to get it outright. ...Which means being forced into full-coverage insurance, which is a big expense since I'm under 25. I've tentatively discussed being put under someone else's insurance until I hit 25 and just paying the difference, but I wonder about what effect that'll have, whether it'll make them think I had a lapse in coverage for however long, or if it'll somehow otherwise adversely affect my rates. It'll be something to talk with an insurance agent about, I'm sure, but my record is probably a help -- two years on the road and no accidents or claims of any sort, no citations, nothing.

Somewhere in there will be the "getting a better job and/or pursuing education/stuff for a career" stage. Since there are a lot of government contractors in the area, I don't know how wise it is to say my exact plans in that regard, so I'll leave it there.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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One of the things I keep looking at as I travel is to find a different place to live. It's 11F in Northwest Indiana right now and there are about two feet of snow on the ground. I really do wish I could move somewhere snow isn't. I really had high hopes for both Atlanta and Austin, but both those places are gentrifying like mad. I pay just over $500/month for my place and every time I get inspired to look at apartments anywhere besides here, I get really, really sad.
 

Handruin

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Are you aiming to keep the same employment you have now when you move or are you looking at the salaries local to the region you're aiming for? You might be able to get away with reduced snow or no snow in Arizona or some parts of southern Virginia. If you're still in IT and looking you might find work from home gigs that could support your move to a new location even if rent does go up.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I've been able to shift everything I do to 100% remote over the last five years. In theory the people I work with shouldn't have a problem with a move, but my skill set still marks me as a generalist, which doesn't look that appealing for corporate work, especially as someone who doesn't have any interest in a management role. I suppose I could start a MSP and do that anywhere. I've basically been doing that anyway, but finding new customers sucks hardcore, especially since you wind up competing with Microsoft, Amazon and Google these days.
 

Handruin

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I don't see any issue with being a generalist. That has worked for me over the past 20 years and it's been a mix of large and small corporate startup. The devops role is pretty hot these days and fits being a generalist. Many want cloud experience. I wouldn't want to find customers for an MSP startup either. You'd probably need to focus on small business in a local region but with more on-prem work versus remote.
 

Handruin

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Loads of people make it through the corporate machine at various skill levels if you're willing to play their game. Could offer a more-stable way to gain some income while you look for something more suitable. You obviously know what's best for you and why it doesn't work but using it as a temp means isn't bad either.
 

sedrosken

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Sold my RX480 for more than I paid for it in this recent round of crypto nonsense. I can wait until my next upgrade -- a friend of mine is sending me his 380, since he's not using it, and I don't have an iGP to use in the meantime since I have a proper Ryzen chip.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
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So, Facebook in order to comply with proposed Australian Law, has decided to remove all news articles and links to mainstream media sites, as well as pages for the news media, etc, rather than have to pay a fee to the media outlets... And most of the news papers are crying foul on Facebook?


Google has decided to negotiate payments to the mainstream media instead. Microsoft are currently unaffected by the proposed law and have backed it? (Note: In Australia, Microsoft Australia operates very closed with News Corp Australia).

IMHO, these new proposed laws are deeply flawed in many aspects, and while some aspects appear to be sound, others simply range from WTF to completely unworkable.

Disclaimer: I do not and have never had a Facebook account.

Another perspective:

PS. I've seen various posts that some US politicians are looking at what is happening here, and are looking at proposing similar laws in the US depending on how it plays out here.
 

fb

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sedrosken

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I'm settled in for the most part and started at my new job. It's not anywhere near as stressful as my last, but I can definitely see it getting crazy once we're in the tourism season especially with stuff reopening.

I managed to blow through 75% of a 1.25TB monthly data cap on the cable letting Steam finally finish up its queue I'd had set up for... something like a year now? I'd leave my machine on for literal weeks at a time up in Kentucky to download one of these games. They download here in, like, an hour, tops. Needless to say I tightened the belt immediately -- throttled my PC as a whole back down to 3mbps, and steam to 1KB/s to functionally make it unable to fetch anything until the rollover. I'm going to see about upping to an unlimited tier, as well, and paying the difference plus my share. I don't see myself using anywhere close to that much in a normal month, but I want the peace of mind of not having to worry about it at all. I'd heard about cable companies planning to implement these caps but I'd (mistakenly, obviously) assumed the massive public outcry made them backpedal. I finally understand what people mean when they say cable companies are evil.

I just wish I could then, in turn, step down to a tiered plan on my phone -- most of my phone stuff I do at home, on the WiFi, so now I have no need for unlimited LTE, but alas, my phone is only on promotion if I have an unlimited plan. Thankfully the minimum one isn't too expensive -- in fact, to jump down to tiered data and knock the phone back up to normal price would actually be more expensive! It's just a shame my new hometown is all but completely an AT&T dead zone... I get one bar consistently throughout the house, nothing in the laundry room, and maybe two on a good day upstairs next to the window. Then again, Verizon and co. don't do much better out here, either -- my cousin's got Verizon and he gets roughly the same signal. In other phone-related news the battery that was the Achilles' heel of it before now isn't an issue. Now that the novelty has worn off and I'm not on it every spare minute, it actually lasts all day and then some, easily.

I'm far more disappointed in the R9 380 than I thought possible. It being the 2GB variant, Doom Eternal even at minimum settings consumes a gigabyte more VRAM than the thing has. Forza Horizon 3 is constantly throwing "low video memory" notices, and stutters badly. Having a decent connection, I actually want to play some games for once... I may have to upgrade sooner rather than later. Even just sidegrading to the same thing with a bit more VRAM would make it way more tolerable. The thing doesn't even undervolt well -- anything below -100mV makes it crash in BeamNG, even if it was good at -160mV in Kombustor. At 190W, the MSI Armor cooler has to work pretty hard to keep the core below 70C. I don't have access to custom fan curves like I had (and took for granted, and abused to get a pseudo-silent mode) on my 480. Overclocking it is a no-go -- not that it matters, because the games it would help with would benefit more from having double the VRAM -- it slams right into the power limit. I've been sort of spoiled by the 480 -- this 380 is roughly equal to the GTX960 I had before, only with half the VRAM, and I just can't make do with low-detail textures anymore... I forgot how awful Borderlands 2 looks at anything below High. The only thing I can't complain about was the price, I was given a fantastic deal on it... it's just a shame how poorly 2GB cards have aged recently.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I know two people who have purchased $1500 HP gaming rigs entirely to get RTX3070s. Unfortunately, the graphics card / new console / AMD CPU thing is about to get worse since apparently Taiwan is running out of water for drinking, let alone industrial applications. That's ugly.

I have family that lives in rural central Illinois and in the no-bandwidth boat you're describing, sed. I was on dial up well into the 2000s and I know that pain all too well myself, but it's still a case of haves versus have nots. We've had 25 years to get internet infrastructure in some kind of working order but there are still tons of places where even 5Mbps down is a pipe dream. I don't think that's going to get fixed short of an actual regulatory mandate.
 

sedrosken

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Actually -- I have cable now. It's great aside from the cap, and I'm still convinced I can pay the difference and get upped to an unlimited tier, we just haven't made our way into their office or got on the phone with them yet. We've been a bit busy with work and sadly it seems like that in particular is just going to get worse as we come into season. I have more bandwidth now than I even know what to do with -- we pay for 350/30, and, get this, we actually get it. I only throttled my PC back to make it harder to blow through the rest of our monthly allotment, and since I'm used to those speeds I'm fine. Besides -- I actually get a full 3mbps when I'm throttled, instead of the crapshoot I had up in KY. I'm doing great on the internet front.

As for GPUs, I was mostly just griping to gripe. I know the nature of the market right now -- it's why I capitalized and sold off my 480 in the first place -- I'm just going to have to sit and wait. I'll keep an eye out for a 1060 or something to get me back in proper business, but I'm not holding my breath and honestly I have better, more important things to do right now anyway. And plenty of games in my library don't need anything close to even what I already have. First world problems, y'know. Luckily I have very simple needs, 1080p144 is well within the reach of any midrange card anymore.
 

Handruin

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I also know someone who bought a pre-built to get a 3070 and to make it worse, the card arrived broken. Now he's trying to get through their stupid RMA to get a replacement on it. There was a brief glimpse of an in-stock alert on 3080 founder's edition yesterday but were gone instantly.
 

sedrosken

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Walked into the Cox office and got upped to the unlimited tier for $50 extra a month. It seems pretty scummy but oh well. Plus, we managed to get in early enough into our billing period that it just got applied immediately -- I don't need to worry about overages or throttling for this month. And not a moment too soon, either -- we managed to run out the last quarter of our allotment a couple days ago, and I was conserving every little bit so I wouldn't have to pay much more than one or two rounds of overages.
 

sedrosken

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Nabbed a Trinitron TV locally for a pittance to RGB mod for consoles and such. It's a very nice set, the Sony KV27-S42, and even has a remote -- a rather battered and aged one, the original in fact. For roughly an hour's roundtrip and twenty dollars I got something that on eBay would have set me back 180+120 in shipping with no guarantee it'd even arrive in one piece.

Yes, I know how to be safe when poking around a CRT -- don't worry, you won't be rid of me just yet.

My plan is to have S-video and RGB for main inputs for consoles and maybe a movie player, and use the coax input with a DTV converter and a set of rabbit ears for local news/weather since I don't watch TV beyond that.
 

sedrosken

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I upgraded to a 27" 1440p monitor and my first impression is that everything's so small! I can't be getting old person eyes yet... I can still read it, but it's definitely going to take some getting used to. I will definitely have to wear my glasses at all times now.
 
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