Slowdown in posts?

Is there not much to be excited about in tech?

JW is our main news poster and is still ill I believe, so there have been fewer stories posted. If there is something you want covered, please send a link and the others who post news stories will take a look.

Talking to people I know around in the IT world, it seems since M$ has had a bad attitude to it’s customers, a lot of interest in PC computing seems to have waned very badly. The feeling of no proper control has cause despondency for a lot of enthusiasts. Some of them have been crazy enough to change to Apple!? As if that’s any better.

Linux, well if a proper complete distro was produced it might get more people using it.
My enthusiasm has all but gone now, I’m using this Windows 7 rig for most things and the Win 10 rig is only switched on rarely. I really do not like 10, it’s not so intuitive as 7 although a few bits are better, it doesn’t make up for the loss of 7’s good stuff.

I will never be updating any more as being forced to use 10 is abhorrent to me. When this rig dies I have a large screen Android tablet that will do me for email and internet and the 10 rig will be used for mostly apps that don’t need a net connection.
So, I’m probably one of many that have lost the fun and sometimes mystery of computing as a hobby. No wonder things are slow. It seems to be an end of an era that was great fun and absorbingly interesting, now it’s just boring and over controlled.

The one thing that helped Microsoft become a world force in software was a covenant between consumers and developers which is now broken and some could argue was broken with the direction of Windows 7/8 Development let alone W10. I agree M/S is now no better than Google’s exploitation of Linux/Android fusion. The big names in hardware… Intel, Amd, Nvidia and DDR makers have spun a web of slow innovation and higher prices during most of the last decade. My desktop is from 2010.My laptop is from the beginning of last year-- but I went without one for a long time due to the fact that I had a tablet that I could output hdmi video to my tv or watch video on.
It finally became obsolete with the invention of the h.265 codec (which I believe is flawed due to some bad encodes not working universally as did h.264 and regular mp4). To be sure, the big names are innovating to the high end of the market and could care less about supporting the low end (mainstream) anymore and Microsoft has joined that revolution. Is it no wonder that W10 was developed with LESS security, less access to diverse OS & hardware options, crippled/compromised ability to use encryption successfully.

For some, it’s gotten to the point of choosing not to have these innovations on such terms and I suspect that choice transcends generations as well.

For me, I’ve decided to try taking a step beyond the PC and got this to tinker with . . .

I haven’t played around with electronics in probably about 20 years. I remember as a child being fascinated with electronics, tinkering with circuits and that I would be an electronics engineer / circuit designer. That was until I got my first computer, the Atari 800XL.

One thing this Arduino kit reminds me of is how home computers were supplied, with a thick instruction/tutorial manual with various projects to try. For example, the book I had for the Atari taught BASIC.

Indeed that’s what happening with clients at work. In theory you would think that a Word document edited on a Mac should open up fine on a PC and vice versa. In reality, the formatting goes in a mess as Windows and macOS provide different fonts. So when I open a document that was edited on a Mac written in Helvetica and Gill Sans (macOS native fonts), Windows substitutes the fonts with something else. The same occurs vice versa where Calibri is a Microsoft font not present on Macs unless Microsoft Office for Mac is installed.

The other thing is the rapid loss of quality DVD/Blu-ray drives. Pioneer seem to have stopped making them and cases with the 5.25 bays are in short supply. Decent discs are hard to find and very expensive when you do. I still use the discs, am I the only one?

Using flash drives is a pain in the neck, some of them die rapidly, even to expensive ones. I don’t trust my stuff on them, I back up my FLAC files on to my NAS and a separate external enclosure with an enterprise class HDD in it. I was recently forced by M$ to use Outlook in Office instead of Windows live mail. What a pain that is, way to complex for simple home email use and it’s so slow!

It’s not surprising the posts are slow, the occasional grumpy reply sure doesn’t help either. What’s to get exited about?

Sean, I’m not sure the Arduino boards are available in the UK they look fun, we do have the Raspberry pie boards here and I gather they are good to learn coding and computing on. Not my thing now, too old to see that well and have little dexterity for building the things. I would be like a navvi trying to repair a watch with a pickaxe!

The Arduino is a lot more basic than the Raspberry pie and personally find it a great way of learning electronics as there’s no OS to worry about - Just write some code, click compile/upload and watch the board do its magic, much like typing and running some BASIC code on an old 8-bit home computer.

The main difference here is that the Arduino manipulates a series of I/O pins (digital, analogue and PWM), e.g. apply 5V, which can be linked up to relays, sensors, switches, electronic circuitry (e.g. LCD/OLED display) and so on.

It has 32KB of flash, 2KB of SRAM and 1KB of EEPROM, so definitely not something for a full blown OS. :disagree:

A good example of a use would be a home-made data logger, e.g. for monitoring temperature, humidity, lux levels, motion, etc. with suitable sensors attached. Another example would be a home-made Christmas light controller, e.g. if you would like the lights to flash a certain sequence or respond to sound (like a disco light), etc.

A Guy that lives in British Columbia has an interesting you tube website called AvE, he uses Arduinos for operating all sorts of modified equipment like milling machines etc. It’s worth a look, I think you will find it fun if you don’t mind a bit of bad language and he always says “keep your D**K in a vice” at the end. It’s real skookum and it chooches good. (you will see what those words mean after watching some of his vids) You may get some ideas for your Arduino.

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I have a ton of quality discs, because I overbought when the Optical scene was in full swing. I also have a ton of BenQ Burners 1620,1625,1640, 1650 ,1655. Some are rebranded like the Sony 810, and the Plextor 740, all BenQ 1640s. Now if I ever get the energy I will Ebay them. I remember back in 2005,2006, driving to every Staples in a 25miles radius to buy all the Sony MIJs. LOL.

I still have some optical drives in a box, nowdays I only use one drive and this is when I need to burn an audio CD.

I still have a few TY made in Japan CD-R and some Verbatim DVD’s those are more than enough for what I need.

Sfunny really, I gave up looking for a Pioneer 209 DBK, everywhere was saying “end of life” then I found one on an online shop I rarely use. So I ordered it. (OEM only though) I stocked up on the good Verbatims a long time ago and last year I bought a shed load of Falcon archive single and double layer DVDs and an other load of Falcon BD 25 Gig discs. That lot should keep me going for a while.

What I find is a bit annoying, is the supply of software on CD, or DVD when you buy a camera, surround receiver etc. I suppose you then have to buy an outboard drive to install the stuff if you’re lappie doesn’t have an ODD drive. I suppose if you’re lucky, you can download the software. if not, more expense, or you’re well stuffed. I buy loads of music on CD/DVD, so it’s obsolete then???
It’s outrageous and I’m going to swat a fly I’m so angry. :wink:

For some ungodly reason, back in 2005 I thought that DVDs were here to stay forever, I loved our Optical drive forum so much , it was the highlight of my day to see what Firmware Dee and Liggy had come up with, My Nec drives and my BenQ drives were like my most prized possessions, and my Sony MIJ with the white tops, were so valuable to me, I couldn’t buy enough of them. At one point I had so many I couldn’t fit the clothes in my closet anymore. I sold a lot on Ebay, and I still have hundreds left. LOL. That forum was so interesting to me, I must have spent 10 hours a day on it.

I used to love the old CD Freaks as well, it was interesting and fun, but time moves on, we’re old school now and the next generation seem to have little interest in actually making stuff and making it work. I would build a gaming machine back then, now, this new tech demographic just go and buy a gaming laptop.
I’ve noticed so many of the new generation have no, or little idea how their computers work, they don’t care either. They would rather get me to sort out a simple problem than learn how themselves.
It’s like the music, the average time people listen to a track on stream is 4 seconds. I believe 9 seconds is the minimum for royalty payments to get paid. Well that ain’t working is it.
The general consensus is that there is no riff/hook at the start of the track, so it’s instantly boring, hence 4 seconds.
Hey, what’s wrong with being involved and a part of an interesting hobby, rather than just the cursory use of it? (Maybe we should take this thread to the cat box?)

I would have liked to seen pictures of that. Can not compare to the Hollywood portrayal of techies in the BBT. My collection hardly completed ONE SHELF (and assorted nooks). I’m still warehousing my previous pc build and obsolete pc hardware which I will probably throw away sooner or later. I wish someone would build a museum or interactive historical library of devices and technology (which spans the decades). Many young people have not known the joys of pressing play on analog media with linear rewinding and fast forwarding. All of us are moving forward in linear time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have something nostalgic and retrospective about where we’ve come from and not just some ABSTRACT pictures and videos on the internet.

It seems the same even with people asking questions before buying products on Amazon. I’m sure most people here periodically get e-mails titled like “Sean: Can you answer this question about …”.

Usually I answer questions on products that are unlikely to be reviewed (e.g. vacuum cleaner accessory), but when it comes to products like hard disks and SSDs, I wish I could tell people to ask the questions on the forum. I’m sure many of them have read the reviews, but when they still have questions, they ask Amazon customers rather than ask the experts that reviewed the products.

Yes Sean, some of the reviews on Amazon are hilarious. The best ones are usually the 1* the people are obviously totally stupid where the item is concerned. A great read for a good laugh.
Sometimes I get questions directed at me from various suppliers, Well, if you can call it a sensible question?
The best one was “Will this DDR 2 memory fit in to a toilet roll tube” WTF! I did answer, “Yes, but it will fall out of the other end.”

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LOL, people certtainly make you wonder at times! :smiley:

I recently found someone with the initials “J.W.” (no comment) trolling (I hope) amazon reviews with this stuff:
Made me chuckle :bigsmile:

Its a rare thing people even know what the hell it means to have a high quality substrate dye on a disc these days. They just burn and hope for the best. I doubt the China factories are sharing much info about QC and independent lab tests aren’t really doing much of a watchdog job these days. More often you see only anecdotal crowd sourced info on products being “BAD” or “GOOD”-- and don’t think companies such as Apple, Samsung, Sony and other big names haven’t manipulated this with FAKE reviews to influence that crowd sourced reviewing! I really don’t like crowd sourced reviews, it mainly keeps retailers more honest, unless they are trying to influence these too. It works wonders for ebay sellers and gives you an idea which ones to stay away from.