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Everything posted by zkissane

  1. zkissane

    Think This $99 PC Will Fly?

    I don't know if any PC at $99 (or any "civilized") price will fly. Maybe if you took a pocket PC or something and strapped it to an R/C airplane it would count, but other than that, I doubt it. One could always try though.
  2. Also, a Star Trek movie that broke the phenomenon of even-numbered Star Trek movies being pretty good and odd-numbered movies being crap (it was #10 and it was crap).
  3. zkissane

    Bring an 8 core Mac Pro to its knees?

    Macs aren't as bad as people make them out to be. I have not found them to be as good as the Mac zealots claim (I have and use a Macbook on a daily basis), but they're not terrible. All shapes and sizes.
  4. zkissane

    Train Accessories

    I'd take water, too, or a convienient way to carry water. I've never taken a train before, but even a half day of airplanes and airports powered only by pop/soda/Coke and airline snacks makes me feel bad (headache, dry mouth, lethargy). Don't get me wrong, I gotta have a pop/soda/Coke at certain points in my day, but if that's all I drink, I'm in trouble.
  5. Dammit, I bought this new porn DVD but when I put it into my XBox it comes up as Madden 07. Worst porn flick ever.
  6. zkissane

    What are your rainbow six vegas framerates?

    Well, that's 2/2 in crappy ports from the 360 to the PC for Ubi. Splinter Cell: Double Agent is the most bug riddled game I've played since Savage: The Battle For Newerth. I can't load my game in between the Iceland mission and the prison mission; crash to desktop every time. It's the first game I've played since the Windows 98 era that doesn't handle alt-tabbing gracefully (crash to desktop again, every time). The framerates are also less than spectacular on my machine.
  7. zkissane

    PS3 hard drive: can I do this?

    Though I have very strong opinions on the subject, I will make no comment on Bush's success or failure as a president. However, there is no public record of an IQ score for him: http://www.csbsju.edu/uspp/Election/bush011401.htm http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/presiq.htm The closest that exists is his SAT score, a 1206, which put him in the top 16% of college bound students at the time.
  8. zkissane

    better to buy or build a desktop?

    Another perspective: If you're talking about computers for other people, give a lot more thought to buying an off-the-shelf PC. Unless you like being someone's go-to computer guy, don't build them a PC. Personally, I hate working on other people's machines. It seems like the problem they have is only the tip of the iceberg. And after you fix their problem (which often takes twice as long as you expected it to), and you tell them "don't do X unless you want to do this all over again", a month goes by and you're back in front of it and it has the same problem.
  9. It's simple physics. There are 3 ways to get a hard drive to pump data out faster: 1) Make the platter(s) spin faster 2) Increase the data density of the platter(s) 3) Use a more efficient filesystem #3 is obviously beyond the control of hard drive manufacturers. #1 has the downsides of increased wear, temperature and noise. #2 requires advances in materials science and in the reader thing on the head. Flash memory is OK, but it has its flaws. Hard drive failure rates are described by a curve called the "bathtub curve" (i.e. early DOAs are high, few die in the middle of their expected lifetime, and more and more fail as they approach the end of their expected lifetime). Flash memory is more linear; the more you write to it, the more it wears out. This makes it OK for occasional write things (camera memory, BIOS memory, thumb drives) and applications where drive failure is relatively consequence free (like Vista's ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive). It's not good enough to use as a normal hard drive; everyday use is simply far too write intensive (think about how many times your swap file gets written to).
  10. zkissane

    Recommend an Xbox hockey game

    My friend and I have a blast whenever we play Ice Hockey for the original NES. I bought a used Xbox about a month ago and now I'm looking for a hockey game for it. Looking on Amazon it seems that it's a 2 horse race between EA's franchise and 2k Sports'. I read users' reviews on Amazon about each of the games but neither one really wowed me. I know there are some hockey gurus here (cough cough Happy cough) so I was wondering what people thought. Finding used games shouldn't be a problem and, with respect to the Xbox game pricing scheme, money's not really an issue (i.e. if you convince me that there's a $40 hockey game that's really good, I'm OK with spending that $40). Neither my friends nor I know enough about the NHL today to really care about accurate rosters, career/franchise/dynasty mode, or things like that. I also don't subscribe to Xbox Live and don't plan to. I'm basically looking for a game that would be fun to play with friends. Supporting 2 players is good, 3 is better and 4 is awesome; allowing combinations of co-op (something like 4 of us humans on a team against the CPU) and head-to-head (2 on one team and 2 on the other, backed up by CPU teammates) would really be awesome. Thanks for the help.
  11. zkissane

    So Ya Think You Want to Go to Vista Huh???

    How so? Part of the HD deal is that at no point should an end-user (even a technically proficient one) be able to get access to a decrypted HD data stream.
  12. zkissane

    So Ya Think You Want to Go to Vista Huh???

    What, do you think MS likes having to do this HDCP crap? What does MS make that needs it? They don't make movies or music. They've already got the copy protection for their products the way they want it. Trust me, I bet they put a ton of man hours into coding and testing that crap, and in the end it doesn't even protect their content. Seriously, if you want someone to blame for HDCP, blame the **AA. Blaming MS for implementing it makes about as much sense as blaming NVidia or ATI for implementing it.
  13. zkissane

    So Ya Think You Want to Go to Vista Huh???

    You guys act as if MS voluntarily did this. HDCP is going to be required for every piece of hardware that handles HD-DVD and the like. Even entertainment systems that have no PC in them at all will have HDCP. MS just wants to be on the HD bandwagon like everyone else, and HDCP is part of the price that content providers (read: **AA) insist on being paid.
  14. zkissane

    Funny PSU calculator.

    I have personally experienced problems of having an inadequate PSU (lockups in games, CD burners that refuse to burn) and have had to fix a computer that a faulty power supply managed to ruin (everything that was connected to the power supply was dead, like the motherboard and drives, but not the processor, PCI cards, or RAM). I won't make those mistakes again.
  15. My boss was riding his motorcycle down the highway (at about 65 mph), listening to his iPod when it came loose and fell off into the road. A pickup truck pulling an empty horse trailer came along, and the truck part missed it but the trailer ran over it. It has two huge scratches in the screen but otherwise it works just fine.
  16. Don't worry; they'll be doing that with the Zune.
  17. zkissane

    Dual gigabit LAN possibilties?

    We laugh at Ted Stevens calling the Internet "a series of tubes" but it can be a decent analogy in some instances. Imagine you've got two pumps that can pump water at 1,000 liters per minute (like your computer's two 1Gb ethernet ports). You have pipes in your house that can accomodate 1,000 liters of water per minute (like the Cat5 ethernet cabling around your house), so any time you use either one of those pumps you can saturate your house's capacity. Imagine you have a pipe from your house to a big water exchange facility (like your ISP) but that pipe can only accomodate 10 liters of water per minute. Even if you use both of your pumps, you will never get more than 10 liters per minute out of your house to the exchange. Similarly, if you have 1 computer with 2 ports of 1 Gbps Ethernet, and an ISP connection of only 10Mbps, you will never be able to send/receive more than 10 Mbps to/from your ISP. Having 2 ISP's with each NIC hooked up to one will sort of help, but not really. First, XP Home and Pro don't really load balance network connections. They usually just pick one and use it exclusively. Second, even if we pretend that XP will load balance, the Internet is basically a point-to-point network, so any sites that you connect to with both ISPs will simply assume that it's two different computers and will send the same data, which is redundant. In other words, suppose that you have AT&T as ISP 1, and your local cable company as ISP 2. If you try to connect to DFI-Street with both, the Street server will simply assume that the computer hitting it from AT&T's network is one computer, and computer on the cable company's network as another, independent computer and will send both the same data (this example neglects some other goings on as far as the OS is concerned as well). The only way you would really see a benefit here is to download content concurrently from 2 different providers using the two ISP connections (which again, assumes XP will load balance, and it assumes that at least one of the providers would saturate the bandwidth from at least one of your ISP's). Finally, suppose you did have a connection to your ISP that's greater than or equal to 2 Gbps. To use both NICs on your computer to saturate that connection requires something called channel bonding, which requires specialized NICs, drivers, and switches, all of which are prohibitively expensive for the home user.
  18. Microsoft won't crush Nintendo this time around; the Wii controller concept alone is winning fans in droves (in addition to its lower price and true backward compatibility with its predecessor). I think together, MS and Nintendo will deal a crippling blow to Sony (or, more accurately, Sony dealt a crippling blow to itself which MS and Nintendo were more than happy to capitalize on). I won't shed any tears for Sony, either. I also doubt that, even if MS were to take out Nintendo too, that its "monopoly" status would be a big deal. Video game consoles don't just compete with each other, they compete with consumer expectations. If people think a console is going to suck they won't buy it, even if there are no alternatives (which, even in this scenario, the PC would be at least somewhat of a competitor).
  19. zkissane

    Starting the holidays off in the worst way.

    It is ridiculous. And it's not expensive just because you live in Dallas; it's expensive for unmarried men under 25 everywhere. Based on what I've tinkered with on websites, it will be cheaper for me as a 25 year old unmarried male with no moving violations in the last 3 years to insure a brand new BMW 325xi (a 6 speed, 6 cyl., 220-ish hp, MSRP ~$38k car) with comprehensive and collision with a $500 deductible than it was for me, in 2001, as a 20 year old unmarried male with 1 speeding ticket, to insure a 1995 Honda Accord (5 speed, 4 cyl., ~150ish hp, KBB value at the time of about $9500) with comprehensive and collision with a $1000 deductible. Even if I hadn't had that speeding ticket on my record, it still would have been more expensive than the BMW would be for me now.
  20. zkissane

    More Stupid Freakin' Parents...

    Based on what we know of the story, I think there are far better ways to spend law enforcement and court time than "throwing the book" at these parents. Were they careless? Yeah. But I suspect that all parents have been careless (or at least not as careful as they could be) with their babies at least once. . happens, that's why it's called an accident. If it comes out that the parents drank too much and passed out or were doing smack and passed out, then, yeah, throw the book at them. Otherwise, I suspect that the guilt that they feel will be more than enough punishment for them.
  21. If the computers on your wireless network are not actively getting things from the Internet, the only bandwidth you are using is between those computers and the router. Your connection to your ISP is untouched. Routers are pretty smart devices. They only go to the internet when they need to.
  22. zkissane

    Child arrested for opening X-Mas present early

    Protectionism hurts far more people than it helps. Consider steel: As part of NAFTA, each of the participating countries got to make an exemption for a particular industry to the free trade laws. Canada chose their entertainment industry and the US chose steel (I don't remember what any of the other countries chose). Steel production has historically been the protectionist industry of choice for the US. The world market price of steel is quite low, much lower than what could sustain the American steel plants without protection. However, the US government puts a tariff on all imported steel to artificially raise the price so that American consumers of steel (such as the auto industry, but steel is also used in appliances, skyscrapers, the railroad, and surgical instruments, to name others) will "choose" American steel. OK, great, you've saved the steel industry and its accompanying jobs in the US. But what about US automakers? They have to compete with foreign automakers that do not have to buy steel at artificially inflated prices. This means that foreign automakers are able to churn out cars more cheaply than American automakers. You've now artificially raised the cost (i.e. lowered the competitiveness) of every consumer of steel in America to try to save the steel industry. You've created a net loss for them. How is that good? To put it another way, the left in America howls at the "high prices" of gasoline and prescription drugs, and lots of other stuff, and how they hurt the poor and all of that. Yet when people try to do things to lower prices on things lots of people buy (free trade agreements, Wal-Mart, cut regulations in the FDA, etc.), the left again starts howling about predatory pricing or job losses or the dangers of "underregulated" drug companies or whatever. Which is it? Either high prices hurt consumers or low prices hurt consumers. What the left is really saying is that they're for high prices in industries they like (steel, autos) and low prices in industries they hate (drugs, oil). That way madness lies. This discussion is geared toward the "America first" mindset; it doesn't even touch the notion that free trade benefits poor workers in poor countries far better than year after year of "foreign aid" doled out by the US does.
  23. zkissane

    Question about programers

    Keep in mind that up until about 20 years ago, most programmers wrote code for mainframe computers, so it wouldn't be unusual for such people to not have much knowledge of a personal computer.
  24. zkissane

    Can i run a mower engine without a blade?

    They put a flux capacitor on it and always thought 4th dimensionally. Duh!
  25. zkissane

    PS3 vs Xbox360

    Historically this isn't always true. Game developers have opted not to develop for certain consoles because the time and effort (which translates to money) isn't worth the potential extra market. I would say this is true now more than ever, as I suspect that many would-be and actual PS3 owners also own a 360. Spending a lot of time, effort and money to cater to a small fraction of their market is how businesses die.