Lockdown fiddling

From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)14 Apr 2020 20:17
To: william (WILLIAMA) 33 of 76
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From: william (WILLIAMA)14 Apr 2020 20:20
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 34 of 76
How odd. I wonder what they're associated with. The Yorkshire bank?
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)14 Apr 2020 20:25
To: william (WILLIAMA) 35 of 76
They're associated with one Steve Manthorp (& Co.).

https://twitter.com/manthorp/status/848447314083676161
From: william (WILLIAMA)14 Apr 2020 20:34
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 36 of 76
Messrs Manthorp & Gulzar - how curious
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)14 Apr 2020 20:51
To: ALL37 of 76
Update on my lockdown diversion: this morning it would not boot, freezing mid-post, unresponsive to 3-finger salute. Thought I might have done something terrible by impatiently hot-plugging a ps/2 mouse yesterday. (the k9mm-v is usb-finicky).

I decided to try clearing the cmos. Shifting the sound card and some sata cables out of the way, I had just enough room to grasp the jumper (MrsD.'s cosmetic tweezers not up to the job). After it came back to life, I ran updates on Fedora 31, installed xfce desktop to it and turned my ministrations to xp, which was mysteriously ignored by the FC31 grub two -- it's now a subitem in the Windows 7 boot menu, listed as "fucking old windows" or words to that effect. The OS that dares not speak its name.

Where Win7 was running quite snappily yesterday immediately after the install, I found it sluggish, and messed around with the memory cache settings, which seems to have helped. No doubt Win7 wants a lot more ram than xp, but the mb is maxed out at 2G  :-( .

I did a brief trial run of Dead Island Riptide on it. It ran about as well as under xp on this old rig, which is to say not great, but playable. I need better headphones though.
From: william (WILLIAMA)14 Apr 2020 22:06
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 38 of 76
Life, and old laptops, are like that sometimes
From: Manthorp15 Apr 2020 09:27
To: william (WILLIAMA) 39 of 76
Still got a handful of them left, too.
From: koswix15 Apr 2020 09:53
To: Lucy (X3N0PH0N) 40 of 76
Oh well that's better then. Always thought it was odd that the Pi3 added gigabit ethernet onto an already crowded bus.

Kind of stupidly amazing how much processing they've crammed into these ARM SoCs. I mean I'm considering replacing a quad core Xeon tower with something a bit bigger than a credit card >.<
From: koswix15 Apr 2020 09:58
To: william (WILLIAMA) 41 of 76
I'll have a look at that. Still kinda want to resurrect the proper server, but if it's totally dead I'll remove the motherboard etc. and put a Pi4 in an IBM tower case  :'-D 
From: william (WILLIAMA)15 Apr 2020 12:01
To: Manthorp 42 of 76
It all comes back to me now 41886.1
From: william (WILLIAMA)15 Apr 2020 12:03
To: koswix 43 of 76
A proper MAN'S solution. None of this snowflake, nouvelle cuisine, coronavirus-catching, miniature nonsense.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)15 Apr 2020 14:32
To: ALL44 of 76
I've about chalked up the Win7 experiment as a fail, due to 1) jim# likely won't pass activattion in 30-days -- though there's a hack to extend that a couple of times, and 2) the hardware's too sucky for it anyway, certainly for Steam games. Which is, after all, why I built a new one.

So I went back into xp and installed my store-bought dvd of Ghost Recon AW2 and fired that up. It plays pretty well at 1920x1080/medium settings, but could be improved with further tweaks. Game play, graphics etc. hold up pretty well for a 2007 release, plus there's a vast library of mods, including some awesome user-made missions, guns and whatnot. I've got most of it squirrelled away on disk(s), somewhere.

I think this is my best bet for gaming on the old PC.
From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)15 Apr 2020 16:24
To: koswix 45 of 76
Yeah it's nuts. If I didn't game I could probably get by with one of these things as my main PC these days.
From: Serg (NUKKLEAR)23 Apr 2020 10:01
To: ALL46 of 76
I gave up on fiddling around; took my spare HP Microserver N54L (I have two - don't ask), bunged in two 12TB drives (shucked from WD Elements), a 2TB WD Black that I hadn't been using for ages, added unRAID and Bob's your awkward relative. Does everything fine, on the lookout for the 12TB WD Elements to drop in price again.
From: ANT_THOMAS23 Apr 2020 10:07
To: Serg (NUKKLEAR) 47 of 76
Is unRAID the one that costs? (but is probably worth it?)
How much were the 12TB drives when you got them?
From: william (WILLIAMA)24 Apr 2020 12:01
To: ANT_THOMAS 48 of 76
As an aside, I am falling out of love with ebay again. They seemed to be getting their act together for a few years, but things like removing their email contact addresses and pushing users into their automated routes are reducing my confidence in them. Ordered a Pi 4 cooler. It arrived very late (OK lets say that was the Covid 19 effect even though it wasn't actually posted until after the due-by date) and was a completely different model and type to what I ordered. So I started a return process. Great - it generates a reply paid label, But I noticed that there was a name and a street, but no house number. So I think maybe it's a well known business premises, or a tiny street without numbers. It certainly looked like somebody's name rather than a business name, so I checked on Google Streetview. It's a very long suburban road with, as far as I can see, no business premises at all. 

Back to ebay. Well, here I find that with a return in progress, the only option is to sent a note to the seller - no way of contacting ebay. So I do that. I say, I'm doing a return - is this  address on the label right or should there be a house number?

Fabulous. The seller replies completely ignoring my question. Send me a photo of what you received. I'll sort it out - only less articulate than that. 

By now, I don't want it "sorted out". I want a refund as I'm entitled to because I've bought a cheaper replacement that arrives tomorrow. I don't want to wait another month for a replacement I no longer need. I just want to know his house number - or that the address is correct.

And all of this would have been avoided if only ebay was reachable.
EDITED: 24 Apr 2020 14:02 by WILLIAMA
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)24 Apr 2020 12:53
To: william (WILLIAMA) 49 of 76
Unreachable by design.
From: ANT_THOMAS24 Apr 2020 13:03
To: william (WILLIAMA) 50 of 76
There's more and more getting like that. I'd happily settle for a proper Live Chat as well.

Then there's ones who insist on everything being difficult and online, but when you want to cancel something you need to call them and tackle their call centre. But at the moment they're saying "only NHS/Key workers can call us" - I'm looking at you Sky.
From: william (WILLIAMA)24 Apr 2020 13:41
To: ANT_THOMAS 51 of 76
"By design" as Mr Smith says.

There was a period when I thought ebay was improving. To be fair to them, they were always a site that brought buyers and sellers together rather than traders in their own right. But they began to look more and more like a trader and it's always been their policy to only make contacts and transactions through them, so they really need to have systems that can cope with more than the easy stuff. Unfortunately they have done the exact opposite and their systems are now impossibly inflexible which isn't a good mix when there are traders who reply to "tell me your house number" with "pls send pictures of what you received to me?
After you sent it, pls let me know.After I check the photos, I will solve the problem well for you.
Trust me!".
 
From: william (WILLIAMA)24 Apr 2020 14:02
To: ANT_THOMAS 52 of 76
And yes, Sky, Virgin, Amazon.

Amazon are more and more trying to resemble ebay and pushing difficult complaints towards third parties. I bought my daughter a car battery charger from Amazon for Christmas*. It was pulled out for its first use a couple of weeks back (working from home = flat battery) and died completely after 1 hour. You and I might think that a battery charger that fails during one use in the first six months of its life warrants a refund or a replacement or a fully paid repair. Not Amazon. Too late for a return they say. Once again the only option in their returns system at this point is to send a note to the third party supplier. What follows is too boring - but yes, very frustrating. The systems work fine for most people and they know that a good proportion of complainants will simply give up eventually. If they annoy/lose a small number of customers that's just a small overhead. Much cheaper for Sky, Virgin, Amazon than staffing phones/email addresses, or building a really responsive online system.

*she wanted one
EDITED: 24 Apr 2020 14:13 by WILLIAMA