Something Random

jtr1962

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Looks like the GOP finally made it official that they want to turn the US into a Christian theocracy. I've been saying this for years.

 

Mercutio

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I came home to a cat who is probably dying. He's 19 and I had an idea that this might come soon, but he wants to be on cool tiles in the bathroom tonight, so my roommate and I are hanging out in this tiny little room with him, watching news coverage of the congressional hearings on a laptop while we take turns being the warm thing on which he sets his head. It's a weird night and a weird scene. We're both trying to figure out how to stay in here with him before his last trip.

You always think there's going to be another day.
 

jtr1962

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Just keep him company and keep him comfortable. Probably not much else you can do.

I sadly went something similar with Jeannie in late 2020 to early 2021. At first I didn't think it was anything life-threatening. In late November 2020 she had diarrhea for over a week but recovered. Then she got a bad fever about a week later. I thought it was maybe cat flu or some other illness. I nursed her through it. A few days later she seemed to be on the path to recovery. Her appetite returned slowly but I noticed bloating around the abdomen. Her appetite came and went. She was very lethargic most of the time. Until she got sick she was a little overweight for a while, which is why I didn’t pay much attention to the bloating. I had assumed she just gained a little more weight.

Remember we were still in the pandemic, so I didn't take her to the vet as quickly as I might have at any other time. My brother saw her condition, and said he'll take her to the animal hospital on Long Island which he uses. This was on January 16. As they were running tests and stabilizing her I was on pins and needles the entire time. They said most likely either FIP or cancer. They put her on prednisolone and sent her home on January 18. Basically the choice they gave me was palliative care or euthanasia. I'll remember January 18, 2021 as one of the best days of my life because when Jeannie went to the hospital I wasn't sure I would ever see her again alive.

I spent tons of time looking for homeopathic remedies while I was nursing her along. Unfortunately the fluid was building up in her abdomen again. I took her to my local vet on February 16 to have the fluid drained. That helped a little but she was really weak. I ordered some mushroom-based remedies which allegedly could help with cancer. I weighed her regularly to monitor any more fluid build up. Her weight stabilized a few days later which I thought was a good sign. I figured when the remedy comes maybe it'll start reversing the cancer (had to be cancer because FIP would have already killed her by this point). When I was lying down with her as the sun set on February 22 I noticed a very colorful sunset which reminded me of some of these Rainbow Bridge cards. I was thinking I hope this isn't a bad omen.

Around 8 AM on February 23 she tried to move her bowels. Evidently it was difficult. Constipation was one of the side effects of prednisolone. She passed out with her eyes open. For a few more hours breathing and a heart beat continued but I knew she was gone. By about 1 in the afternoon she died. I've spent the last year and change in a deep depression. Given my mother's state and the pandemic, she was the only source of joy in my life. I had hoped she would still be with me when we came out of the other side of the pandemic. The real tragedy though is she was healthy until this hit. At almost 14 when she died, she could have lived 6 or 7 or 8 more years if the cancer didn't strike. And I had been adding Nutrathrive to her food for years. This has some of the same mushrooms which help prevent cancer and other ailments.

All my other cats died already. At this point I'm catless. Jeannie was one of the two cats I had a special bond with. The other one was Tiger who passed in 2002. I really wish cats lived a lot longer.

Jeannie on Bed.jpgJeannie on Lap.jpg
 

sedrosken

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Looks like the GOP finally made it official that they want to turn the US into a Christian theocracy. I've been saying this for years.


Does she not realize that under such a system, she'd have no rights or opinions? Does she think that she'd somehow magically be considered an exception and allowed to stay in Congress? She really seems to want to go back to having to ask her husband if it's okay if she says things.
 

sedrosken

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As far as laws that might make it illegal for women to leave the state if they're pregnant, good luck with that in court. This violates multiple parts of the US Constitution. Besides, what if women just decide to leave their home state permanently? If they never return, hard to see how they can be charged with anything.

I think the red states are going to have a mass migration of women to blue states. And I think many of the ones who remain will be very reluctant to have sex with their partners. It'll be funny if the need of these legislators to get laid is ultimately what puts a stop to this lunacy.

Well guess what, Missouri's already trying. To make it illegal to get an abortion out of state, at least, if not totally blocking their right to travel like I was thinking. I guess that's coming. And I really wouldn't bet on this Supreme Court stopping them.
 

Mercutio

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yBGmjIO.jpg


He was 18 or 19 years old. It's hard to know exactly, but he was grown in 2005. Someone dumped him by my apartment. Instead of running off, he saw me getting out of my car and asked to come in. I named him Hiro Protagonist after the main character in Snow Crash, because he had golden fur like the cover of the book. He'd wait by the door for me to come home if I left, and he was never more than an arm's length from me. He has a bed here on my desk. This tiny gentleman radiated calm and offered affection to everyone he met.

I have two other cats of my own, and a kitten whose owner doesn't have a stable life for a pet, but every cat is different and I've never met another one like this guy. I've seen four other cats to the end of their lives over the years and it does not get easier. He's usually my shadow. Now I keep looking for someone who isn't here any more.

I really do think getting pets good food keeps them healthy for a much longer life. I give everyone chondroitin and feed them high protein foods, and almost all of my pets have lived at least 16 years.

There is a lot of joy in the time we share with our pets. Better to remember that than one crummy day.
 

jtr1962

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Just take it one day at a time. He sounded like a really sweet cat. I still sometimes hear mild creaking sounds coming from my bed similar to when Jeannie walked on it. It would be a great comfort if we knew with certainty that something of them is still around after their body is no longer.

Unfortunately Jeannie's last day, and last few weeks, keep playing over and over in my mind. I really wished I could have had a few more years with her.

Nine cats for me over the years:

Kimba (1970-1984)
Tabitha (1984-1998)
Suzette (1987-2003)
Tiger (1987-2002)
Lucky (1987-2007)
Baby (2005-2017)
Belle (~2003-2017)
Leno (? - 2012)
Jeannie (2007-2021)

Except for Belle, Leno, and Jeannie we had them all from kittens. All of them except Kimba and Leno started out as strays we rescued. My mother got Kimba from someone walking around with a shopping bag of kittens when we were kids. Leno was originally a neighbor's cat but he decided he wanted to be with us. We got Belle and Baby from my sister. Baby was one of Belle's kittens. Jeannie started out as a stray rescued by my brother. He knew her as a kitten. He kept her in his basement for a long time, not really sure what to do with her because he already had a cat. When Hurricane Irene hit on August 28, 2011 my brother came to stay with us for the duration, since his house is near the water. He bought his cat and Jeannie. I told him to just leave her here. I really only had her 9 and a half years, even though she was close to 14 when she passed.

Most of them made it into their teens. Lucky made it a few months short of 20. I think Belle and Baby, being all white, had congenital issues. My sister had Baby's two siblings. They died with weeks of each other at 11. Belle and Baby died on the exact same day. Leno was only about 4. He kept getting weaker in mid 2012. He died at the animal hospital. The doctor said most likely either diabetes or cancer.

Hopefully more cats will come into my life. We always seem to have some outside. If any look like they want to come in, I'll consider it.
 

sedrosken

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Man, fuck cancer.

This might sound childish, but I actually did watch Technoblade, a guy who played Minecraft on YouTube. It was more for his particular style of humor than anything, because otherwise Minecraft has a tendency to bore me. I'd heard he had cancer, but from his attitude and all I was 100% certain he'd beat it. I thought he had already, in all honesty.

He did not.

He was younger than I am by just a few short months.
 

sedrosken

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I've already compromised on comfort for energy savings. I knocked my "cool" threshold to 76, and now 78F on my thermostat. Honestly at this point it seems like my AC is on 24/7 regardless. Might as well set it to 68 or 70 and be done with it. Power costs aren't exceptionally high in my area, yet at least, but 13.5c/kWh isn't exactly fantastic either. My insulation must not be particularly great -- sucks, since I'm the middle unit, so I don't even want to know how bad it'd be on the ends.
 

jtr1962

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They're about $0.30/kWh for me. That includes the delivery charge, which is actually more than the supply charge. ConEd wants another rate increase, so we might be looking at $1/kWh in the not too distant future.

New windows helps a lot. As renter, that's out of your control unfortunately.
 

Handruin

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Mine are at $0.31/kWh avg here and Eversource is petitioning to raise the rates here also. I take the full bill and divide by the purchased amount to include all the fees, delivery, etc. The past several years the avg was $0.24/kWh for comparison. I feel very lucky to have been able to install 10.3kW of solar back in 2019. They generate about 11MWh/year so far which has been very helpful.
 

sedrosken

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I wish I could put solar up, but of course, I rent. Something to think about when I finally buy a place.

I impulse bought a new TV for the living room, a 43" 4K HDR job from Sceptre. I caught it on sale for $220ish after tax on Walmart.com. It doesn't have any smart junk in the TV itself, which I consider a plus -- I prefer external devices to add "smart" functionality, I have an external Roku -- though I might have to upgrade to a 4K model. I could have spent a little more and crammed in a 50 or 55", but from Sceptre such a thing was either about a hundred bucks extra or omitted HDR.

I didn't exactly need a new TV, but I was using my Trinitron I was talking about here roughly this time last year in the living room, and watching 1080 or 720p content squished to fit on a 480i screen, albeit a good one, gets old. Plus, it's a 27" -- better for the consoles I keep it connected to than content consumption. I moved it into the office where I can more easily connect those consoles to my network for convenience.
 

Mercutio

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I'd never bothered to check my power rate. It's $.13/kWh for me. I don't know if that's because I'm living in an apartment vs. a single family home but holy crap you guys are getting killed.
 

jtr1962

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Mine are at $0.31/kWh avg here and Eversource is petitioning to raise the rates here also. I take the full bill and divide by the purchased amount to include all the fees, delivery, etc. The past several years the avg was $0.24/kWh for comparison. I feel very lucky to have been able to install 10.3kW of solar back in 2019. They generate about 11MWh/year so far which has been very helpful.
That's a good guideline for what I would get with solar since I'm more or less in the same area of the country as you. Figure roughly 1 MWh/year per installed kW. Since I plan to put the panels on the garage, I'm probably limited to about 6 kW. That said, there are some newer panels in the pipeline with could increase efficiency by at least 50%. Maybe 8 or 9 kW might be possible. My usage for now is hovering around 6,000 kWh per year. I'd like a little extra capacity for when I go to geothermal heating/hot water. And also so I can crank up the ACs more in the summer. Right now I have them at 78, which is the limits of my tolerance. I'd prefer to go at least 5 degrees lower, better yet 10.

Yeah, on the coasts we get killed for electricity. It's the same rate for apartments or SFHs.
 

Handruin

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I looked into it briefly and iny area the majority of electrical generation is by natural gas and those prices have gone up considerably in the past couple years. Merc, I think in your area electric generation is primarily by coal so that may be helping the cost to stay low.
 

jtr1962

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I looked into it briefly and iny area the majority of electrical generation is by natural gas and those prices have gone up considerably in the past couple years. Merc, I think in your area electric generation is primarily by coal so that may be helping the cost to stay low.
I don't know about you but a lot of the cost for me is delivery. For example, on the last bill:

1657230797426.png

There's the basic service charge per day. This varies slightly depending upon the length of the billing cycle, but on average it's around $18. The delivery charges are north of $0.16/kWh once you account for sales taxes and surcharges. As you can see the supply charges are about $0.11/kWh, although this varies a lot. I've seen it as low as $0.06/kWh, and as high as $0.15/kWh.

The cost of gas has gone up a lot. We just use it for cooking and drying clothes. The total gas portion was under $30 a month three years ago. Usage has been constant at 7 to 8 therms per month.

BTW, the utilities switched from coal to gas because it was cheaper. Now that situation may be temporarily reversed, but we're still shutting down coal plants in this country. And commercial wind/solar costs less than any other generation method at this point. If we want cheap power not subject to constant price fluctuations renewables are the answer.
 
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Mercutio

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Someone who was not me dropped a laser printer on me today. I have at least four broken toes. Earlier in the week, someone knocked me down while I was taking photos at a protest, breaking a $1000 camera lens. To top it off, TSA removed an envelope with about $400 in cash from my carry on while they were "examining" my camera with a broken lens.

I am very much not having a good week.
 

Handruin

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Damn you are having a rough week, sorry to hear that. I hope your foot heals up quick but that does sound painful.
 

Mercutio

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Well the good news is I only have two broken toes and one that's only fractured. There's just a giant ugly bruise on my big toe. I have a walking boot for at least a month.
 

sedrosken

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Ok. The verdict is that for my use I probably should have just got the normal 4K TV at 55" for the same price, because HDR just blows out the colors. It looks fine on live-action shows actually filmed in 4K but for much of my old content which is de-interlaced 480i, particularly animation, it just looks wrong. It's nice to have the option for the future, I guess? But I turned it off and left it off like 5 minutes into one of my 'guilty pleasure' shows, Code Monkeys. I call it such because the jokes are extremely dated and rely on a lot of stereotypes that these days I personally find rather distasteful, but it reminds me of my childhood when I could actually watch it on G4. With HDR on it looked a lot like those "deep fried" memes you'd see on the internet a couple years ago, with it off it looks fine. Black levels are serviceable, contrast is OK, colors are actually completely fine. For $220ish after taxes I expected something way worse.

Also the speakers suck so bad I immediately liberated my THX-certified Klipsch 2.1 set from my PC. I rarely use it there, usually I prefer my headphones anyway, so it's not a big loss to move them to my TV. They did put a 3.5mm jack they intended for headphones according to the manual on the back -- like, who uses headphones with a 43" TV -- but I'm thankful it's there. There's also a TOSLINK port for SPDIF output, but I'm not quite that bougie yet.
 

Handruin

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Is your TV forcing and switching to Rec. 709 for 480i content? Can you not just turn off HDR when viewing those? That seems like a bug.

My projector does weird things with 4K HDR from Netflix so I often disable it because they way over saturated the content. Most everything else doesn't enable HDR/HDR10 on my setup when it isn't available in the source material.
 

Mercutio

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I've found that local HDR content played back through Kodi oversaturates as well, especially toward green hues. The one place I've found that I actually appreciated having it was while watching the later seasons of the Expanse through Amazon. I think I've decided that HDR is mostly something like motion smoothing, where it really pleases some people and really bothers others.
 

sedrosken

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Is your TV forcing and switching to Rec. 709 for 480i content? Can you not just turn off HDR when viewing those? That seems like a bug.

My projector does weird things with 4K HDR from Netflix so I often disable it because they way over saturated the content. Most everything else doesn't enable HDR/HDR10 on my setup when it isn't available in the source material.

I honestly have no idea. It probably is a bug, but I just turned HDR off and called it a day. It looks fine without it.

I was using my Roku Express 4K+, which only offers one option to configure the display -- do you have a 4K HDR display, a regular 4K display, a 1080p or 720p display. I just set it to regular 4K to stop it blowing out the reds on everything. Again it looks fine on live action stuff but completely ruins the picture on animation.

Granted, I'm probably having so many issues because I'm self-hosting my stuff with Plex. I'd have a smoother experience had I wanted to pay for streaming services.
 

Handruin

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I stream many things via my local Plex server, many of which are full remux rips of my UHD movies which support HDR and they have always displayed great during direct play with no transcoding. The times in the past where I've seen issues with Plex is if someone streams a 4K movie onto a display that does not support HDR and Plex will not tone map properly. I think that has been addressed in newer version of Plex.

Otherwise my biggest issue has been Netflix with HDR. Amazon has been fine, as has Disney+, HBO Max, and Plex.
 

sedrosken

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God help me, I'm starting another project.

I have obtained a "Blue Falcon" board from a friend, a 486 VLB/ISA board with (curious) onboard COM/LPT, IDE and floppy. The interesting part is that it uses an IBM "Blue Lightning" chip, a BL3-75. Based on the Cyrix 486SLC/DLC, this has better cache design I'm told, and can apparently hold its own even against a "real" DX4-100 despite the 25MHz IO. With the K6 to take up the slack for later DOS games that wouldn't run well either way such as Duke3D and Quake, I don't feel the need to push it as far as my last 486, but I am curious to see how it'd perform actually clocked at 100MHz. Questions for later, perhaps.

So with that acquisition, I need a case, but that's also kind of funny, because the K6 motherboard has an ATX power plug and switch header despite being a baby AT board. So all I really need to do is, ahem, fabricate another "AT" IO shield. The funny part is that, despite being no larger than a mATX board, it needs a full ATX case because of the slot placement.

The K6 is also getting plenty of parts leftover from my defunct mATX PIII build, such as its drives and power supply, since it's leaving most of its current hardware behind for the 486 -- this includes the Yamaha sound card. I'm hoping my issues with it on the last 486 boiled down to the ISA bus being out of whack and the Yamaha card being sensitive to any deviation from spec -- certainly the other reason for not using it over the Vibra (the crappy drivers, rendered moot by the existence of UNISOUND) doesn't outweigh the fact that the Vibra is kind of a noisy POS, OPL3 or no.

The K6 is, therefore, being 'upgraded' to the YMF744 and a copy of Windows ME hacked to bits with 98lite. The Sensaura 3D sound was something I enjoyed immensely, as it was perfectly serviceable on speakers, something Aureal A3D can't really lay claim to. I forsee much less DOS usage in its future as the 486 will naturally be taking up 95% of that role, so I don't need real-mode access, since what it will be doing there ought to run Fine™ in a 9x DOS box, especially since the chipset ought to properly support DDMA. Also, the out-of-the-box USB mass storage support would be nice instead of fighting with the nusb driver suite for 98. I'd run 2000 but the lack of lightweight shell options for it on a 128MB system is bad enough, the fact that the Voodoo3 was never really supported well on NT is what put the final nail in the coffin of that idea.

If I have the room, I'm going to swap in my PCI SCSI card too, if not, the K6 simply won't have SCSI anymore. I can confine my SCSI shenanigans to the 486 anyway, especially since I'm going to be installing 98lite there.

An interesting point is whether or not the 486 board has a socket for a math co-pro. Being essentially a hotrodded 386, the 486BL includes no co-processor on the chip itself and most software will ID it as a 486SX. I think the board has a Socket 2 for "regular" 486s but I don't remember seeing a 387 socket in the pictures. We'll see. If it does have a socket, I'll see about getting a FasMath or 387 of some kind -- at 25MHz it'll definitely be pokey, but nothing really uses it even if Windows checks for the presence of a co-pro to decide if it'll install or not. If not, I may have to rethink Windows entirely. 😬 Maybe there's a x87 emulator driver for Windows 9x? I vaguely remember there being such a thing for 3.x...

I won't be upgrading the CPU since that's the only really interesting part of the whole thing. If I throw my Am5x86 at it, it just becomes another boring "fast" 486. Nothing special. As it is, the BL chip ought to provide some personality if nothing else.
 
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Mercutio

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Back in the day before I started college, I was running OS/2 on a high end 486. That might be another interesting project to go along with your collection of legacy hardware.
 

Handruin

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That's a fitting name. I enjoyed when their browser would return web error codes as haikus.
 

sedrosken

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Being actual IBM hardware (due to licensing restrictions, IBM could only sell these chips as part of a completed computer or motherboard) this probably has more of a right to run OS/2 than normal.
 

sedrosken

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Update, I have ascertained that it does indeed have a 387 socket. I'm torn on whether I want to search for a FasMath or a regular 387 -- I don't expect to use it a ton, and no matter what I pick it'll be blown into the weeds by a real 486 FPU, much less a Pentium or better -- but I do know I want one rated for 33MHz, as I plan to at least attempt to run the bus at 33MHz and overclock the CPU to 100, and I'd like one less thing to consider a variable in stability. I have it on pretty decent authority (a few forum posts) that the real-deal Blue Lightnings overclocked pretty decently usually, but I won't be too sad if it doesn't quite cut it, since I have another machine capable of pulling up the slack in later DOS titles, at least the ones that are Win9x DOS box friendly. The point here is to have something that's a bit more compatible -- CGA/EGA titles like to display weird on that Voodoo3, especially once I turn on write-combining for the framebuffer range. Having a turbo toggle also certainly doesn't hurt, but in my experience on fast 486s the turbo toggle doesn't do quite enough to mitigate speed-sensitivity issues, I may have to pull a Phil and disable caches when I'm playing around with really early software.
 

sedrosken

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Okay. So. I got ahold of a nice little turn-of-the-century Celeron build through a client -- one smashed hard drive right in front of him later, I was the proud owner of a machine with a no-name (but decent make) ATX case, dead optical drives and floppy, questionable power supply, but a mint Intel D815EAA board. As originally specced out it had a Celeron 700 (66MHz bus, ew) and 128MB of PC66 memory. I got it to run stably, then chucked my spare 1GHz PIII and a couple 256meg PC133 sticks at it, as well as the Voodoo3 and an Audigy2ZS I have spare since this actually has the CPU power to make use of EAX without the framerate taking a dive.

In my haste to get it set up I just installed bog-standard Windows ME on it, didn't bother shell swapping, and frankly now I don't feel I need to -- this thing is greased lightning! Completely, utterly embarrasses the K6 in every possible way. I mean, it makes sense given it's at almost twice the clock and a 33% faster bus, but this is definitely more than that...

And the brainwave I had was that, with the PIII able to take up the slack with Glide patches and late DOS SVGA titles that play well with the Audigy's SB emulation (I plan to use General MIDI anyway) and a Win9x DOS box, and the 486 around for everything else... Do I even need the K6? Frankly it's probably much more valuable to someone else... Super 7 boards in working condition known to run the mobile K6s are not exactly in short supply but they are certainly sought-after. I'd have to be giving a deal to a friend, though.

An interesting anecdote to report is that, with KernelEx on ME, the FileFormatConverters pack to give pre-2007 Office the ability to work with Office XML formats works fine. Set every item in the Office12 folder to Windows 2000 SP4 compatibility mode, except for the excelcnv executable, that gets set to NT4 SP6a for some reason.

This is also supposed to work under 98/SE. It does not, in my experience, with weird results, usually an error or sometimes garbled text showing in Word. Then again this is usually on 98lite -- perhaps they reference the shell/shell32/shlwapi DLL files in a way I can't decipher with my hex editor, since they'd be in Unicode format.

Of course the hands-down best experience of my life with Win9x is with ME. The one that everyone hated. And I want to hate it too! Compared to 98, it's even more bloated and slow! And it cuts off access to real-mode DOS without a weird patch that leverages the use of the IO.SYS file from the emergency boot disk. But on the other hand it has baked in drivers for USB mass storage and has been, no competition, the most stable 9x experience I've ever had, period. I hate that I have to love it.
 
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Mercutio

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I can't think of a single thing that ME did better than 98SE. I think it was the OS that moved a lot of people to Windows 2000. 2000 itself is still shockingly functional other than no longer having access to an up to date web browser.

I'm using a native Linux desktop today for the first time in about a decade. I'm having a good time with it, but this is Ubuntu rather than Suse, which is what I've used in the past. It was refreshing to see both the Wifi and Radeon 6600XTs work from install time forward, but holy crap the base fonts are awful and GNOME still doesn't have a font configuration tool that's worth a crap.

This is a pretty crazy PC; I'm moving my Plex Server and Tdarr operations over to it since the file server where I was using those things is running on Haswell cores and doesn't have internal space (or power connectors) for big boy GPUs. The new guy is a Ryzen 5990 / 96GB / 2x 6600XTs. Hilariously, I just have it booting off a 250GB thumb drive plugged in to an internal USB 3 header. It's a little bit slow to boot up from the USB drive, but once it's up and running, it seems to work fine. I'm planning to reserve all the proper disk ports to try out zfs on Linux, which is one of the other goals for this setup. Zfs is also the reason I stuck so much RAM in it.

The GPUs came out of someone's mining setup; I paid $280 for the pair of them. Not sure I'm going to keep both. I might move them in to my main desktop and try using them with Resolve and Capture One, but I think for the time being that they'll help me most running Tdarr to re-encode terabytes of old video content.
 

sedrosken

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I can't think of a single thing that ME did better than 98SE. I think it was the OS that moved a lot of people to Windows 2000. 2000 itself is still shockingly functional other than no longer having access to an up to date web browser.

I know, right? Hence my surprise when it just... worked here. You know how prone 9x in general is to crashing and freezing, usually needing the reset button, as do I; however, I have not even ONCE so far suffered a crash or freeze so show-stopping that I couldn't gracefully reboot. Low bar to clear for NT-derivatives, but for 9x that's a pretty notable step up in stability.

If you didn't know, I'm sticking with 9x as opposed to 2000 or XP (realistically 2000 thanks to the 815E's 512MB RAM cap...) because of the Voodoo3 -- the NTs never got really good support for anything 3dfx, even through third party drivers. AmigaMerlin's stuff exists as does SFFT but it's all kind of hacky and intended for much newer systems (like, mid-range P4s) anyway. Between that and Glide patches for some DOS games that play fine in a 9x DOS box, as this is my only Voodoo-equipped machine, I kind of need to stay with 9x. I used ME specifically because it has native USB mass storage support and I couldn't be assed to fight with the nusb33e package for 98SE.

I'm using a native Linux desktop today for the first time in about a decade. I'm having a good time with it, but this is Ubuntu rather than Suse, which is what I've used in the past. It was refreshing to see both the Wifi and Radeon 6600XTs work from install time forward, but holy crap the base fonts are awful and GNOME still doesn't have a font configuration tool that's worth a crap.

Glad to hear it -- Ubuntu isn't my cup of tea especially these days but a good experience is a good experience nonetheless. Ironically I'm the reverse -- I tried SuSE for the first time a little while back and I'm really liking it by comparison. It's just far enough off the beaten path to challenge me a bit without being an exercise in frustration either by breaking itself every major update (Arch, Artix, possibly Void) or by being a nightmare to get properly configured (Gentoo). I might move my fileserver over to it sometime, it currently runs a Debian fork that uses OpenRC instead of systemd, which I dislike. It's become kind of a meme to hate on systemd, so I'll leave it at that.

This is a pretty crazy PC; I'm moving my Plex Server and Tdarr operations over to it since the file server where I was using those things is running on Haswell cores and doesn't have internal space (or power connectors) for big boy GPUs. The new guy is a Ryzen 5990 / 96GB / 2x 6600XTs. Hilariously, I just have it booting off a 250GB thumb drive plugged in to an internal USB 3 header. It's a little bit slow to boot up from the USB drive, but once it's up and running, it seems to work fine. I'm planning to reserve all the proper disk ports to try out zfs on Linux, which is one of the other goals for this setup. Zfs is also the reason I stuck so much RAM in it.

The GPUs came out of someone's mining setup; I paid $280 for the pair of them. Not sure I'm going to keep both. I might move them in to my main desktop and try using them with Resolve and Capture One, but I think for the time being that they'll help me most running Tdarr to re-encode terabytes of old video content.

Nice machine! Yeah, my fileserver boots from USB too. USB3 is "fast enough" and the OS pretty much lives in RAM, only time the USB gets changed is when I'm updating. Thus far I've stuck with an mdadm soft-raid rather than messing with ZFS, though once I finally am able to replace the current fileserver I'll probably play around with it.
 

Mercutio

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I definitely remember ME as a crashy POS. Everything based on 9x was bad enough that the standard practice was just to copy the OS files to the PC so the user could painlessly reinstall. I also vaguely remember supplying a boot floppy for ME users just in case they needed more DOS than they could safely get from within ME itself, but honestly ME was a thing for so short a time that the systems I'm remembering might've been something else. I don't even think ME was a fully realized option for consumer PCs for more than 12 months.

Ironically, the reason I wound up going with Ubuntu over Suse was that an updated ISO was going to take over an hour to download and I didn't feel like waiting. 3.6GB of Ubuntu downloaded in about 90 seconds. I don't much like Debian derivatives because one of its early maintainers was a dick to me on IRC in about 1997, but Ubuntu is a break from the Stallman fanactics that it's probably fine. I'm not going to fight over systemd. More or less every UNIX-derivative has some weird thing about it and I don't really care so long as I can make things work with a minimum of hassle. I remember thinking lilo was a lot easier to deal with than grub but we all wound up with grub eventually.

If I'm dealing with Linux, it's almost always a shell session, so it's been an interesting change of pace to have a machine with a decent GPU. I can actually use a graphical desktop on this system. I figured out that I have to set up containers to get Tdarr to do GPU transcoding, which seems a little weird, but once I'm sure that's actually working, I'm probably going to try this system out for games. Almost everything I own on Gog appear to run on Linux, so there's going to be some novelty with that as well. Maybe I'll finally sit down and play Shadowrun or Wasteland 3.

My roommate is actively protesting that I'm using this hardware for Linux, since she's stuck on a Ryzen 5 3450U, but she's the one who told me that desktops are for old people.
 

Handruin

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I'm similar to you in my migration over to a Linux desktop and it being Ubuntu. I resisted for a long time and tried many alternatives, all of which frustrated me for various reasons. Now I use Ubuntu desktop regularly and I kind of forget I'm using it which is a decent sign. I still don't run it native on hardware. Most of the time I'm using a shell connection but for some situations I'll use the Chrome Remote Desktop utility to get me a rather decent remoter graphical session that I don't hate. I wouldn't game over it but for all things desktop/UI related, it works fine.
 

sedrosken

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"Desktops are for old people."

(looks around, sees 4 complete desktops and the parts to build at least 2 more)

Well, maybe I'm just an old soul.

I don't like a lot of things about modern Linux, but the name of the game there is modularity and customization, so I customize my way around them. I loathe GNOME, I dislike KDE Plasma, I would rather not use Cinnamon and about the most intensive shell I'd willingly run is MATE. Typically, I'm using a tiling window manager, because I'm using a display that isn't postage-stamp-sized and I'd like to make the most of it, but I use a lot of console applications so I don't really need anything more impressive. i3wm has pretty sane defaults and I've just about memorized its default keymap so I typically use that.

The main reason I don't like systemd is mostly philosophical, arguably semantic in nature. I greatly appreciate how much easier it is to admin -- I really don't like init scripts. Unit files are a godsend for when I actually need to roll my own services, so to speak. I also don't mind timers. I think they usurp cron but do so in a way that makes sense for a service supervisor.

I don't like how it keeps absorbing other projects. And I don't like how quickly large portions of it are basically being made dependencies for software that has no business being tied to an init system/system daemon suite. There was a joke going around years ago that, Soon™, the Linux kernel would be absorbed and redubbed systemd-kerneld. I now wonder if that's not actually going to be the case someday.

There's also quality control issues with some of the various portions of it -- networkd was always finicky for me back in the day, and on some machines even caused a race condition when no network was connected. Sure, you can use other networking daemons with it, but the one that's included and put front-and-center doesn't work? Ouch. Not to even get into the whole "binary log" thing journald had going on. I believe those two gripes have been fixed by now, but they colored my opinion of the whole thing quite badly.

I'm not about to have a holy war over it -- I use it, sometimes, especially when I'm feeling lazy. Some distributions, that's all you get with not even any other options. SuSE as far as I can tell is that way. Such is life. I'll eventually stop fighting the flow of it, like I did when Windows 10 came out and I initially hated that.
 

Mercutio

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You have to understand that init scripts have been around for a LONG time, and actual replacements for low-level stuff in the UNIX world happen very, very seldom. The last absolutely huge change I remember was the switch from a.out binaries (which didn't deal well with new-in-the-mid-90s systems with "large" amounts of RAM) to ELF. Even things like getting hashed passwords and /etc/shadow took some time to echo through different systems. I understand the objection to making a monolithic tool that does a bunch of different things rather than assembling something from more primitive ones, but I don't find that it's been limiting to anything I want to do.
 

sedrosken

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I don't even object to making a set of "preferred" system daemons, that integrate especially well, per se. I just wish they weren't packaged with the base systemd distribution, or circularly dependent on each other in some cases. I forget exactly what keeps you from ripping out parts you don't use, I just know that I've been thwarted on that front several times. I get that's not the point the devs were going for, and I don't really care -- for something this important design is, well, important. They make administration so easy and of course you can *disable* the networkd or journald component (and I often do!) and I know Windows is far worse with its 20+GB drive space footprint just for the OS, but it irks me especially on a Linux system when something is taking up room it doesn't have to be.

Maybe this just boils down to my particular neuroses. I don't know.
 

Mercutio

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On a toes-related note: My roommate secured a Media pass for me at Chicago's Lollapalooza festival, which happened over the past weekend. She officially knows the right people. I have another pass for the Smokeout (Country Music) festival this weekend. Neither of these things are really up my alley, but I'm still pretty let down to miss the opportunity to go and take photos at events like that.

I'm especially sad I missed the possibility of getting to tell the Metallica people to eat shit and die for ruining Napster 20 years ago. It'd be worth getting tossed out to do that.
 
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