• Activity
  • Votes
  • Comments
  • New
  • All activity
  • Showing only topics with the tag "hardware". Back to normal view
    1. Tech recommendations request: looking for a Linux-friendly 13" laptop

      Final update: See here. Update: Thank you ALL for your valuable feedback. I'm definitely looking into refurbished models now and I have a lot better grasp on what what I should be considering. I'm...

      Final update: See here.


      Update: Thank you ALL for your valuable feedback. I'm definitely looking into refurbished models now and I have a lot better grasp on what what I should be considering. I'm going to do some digging and a ridiculous amount of overshopping over the next couple of days, and then I'll let you all know what my final pick is!


      Hey techy Tildes! I'm back with another support request from you knowledgeable and helpful folks.

      I need a laptop that does exactly three things: gets me online, displays PDFs, and runs office software. I have a large number of online courses that I have to take in the coming years, and I need something that I can just grab while on my couch or in bed to work on papers and assignments, hence the 13" size preference. Long battery life would be highly preferable.

      I looked for options that come with Linux preinstalled, but there's really nothing available that hits what I'm looking for -- there isn't much of a market for 13". As such, my plan is to just buy a standard Windows laptop and then put Linux on it, but I have no idea which particular hardware will play nice with a Linux installation. Budget would be sub-$500 (if possible). I don't need the laptop to do anything other than stay on for a long time and let me type, so I have no need for a powerhouse.

      Can anyone point me in the right direction with some recommendations?

      13 votes
    2. Playdate handheld console release thread

      Playdate announced on Twitter that they are beginning shipping today: Oh! A new Playdate Update video is here! It recaps the great developer things we've released this year, like Pulp and the...

      Playdate announced on Twitter that they are beginning shipping today:

      Oh! A new Playdate Update video is here!

      It recaps the great developer things we've released this year, like Pulp and the Playdate SDK. Please enjoy it. https://youtu.be/BmrtkBmFSn4

      There's one extra important bit in the update. Playdates in Group One will begin shipping…

      …today.

      The embargo on reviews also lifted:

      Also, ArsTechnica released reviews of all of the Playdate games. SPOILERS ahead:

      20 votes
    3. PC cases without transparent side panels

      Hi folks! I am, unfortunately, probably going to have to build a new PC soon; my beloved Thelio-r1 is slowly failing, and while my original plan was to buy a Ryzen 7 5800X and keep riding this PC...

      Hi folks! I am, unfortunately, probably going to have to build a new PC soon; my beloved Thelio-r1 is slowly failing, and while my original plan was to buy a Ryzen 7 5800X and keep riding this PC for another three to five years, I don't know that I'll actually be able to make that work.

      I like the NXT H510 I used for my boyfriend's gaming build, but the thermal performance isn't amazing and, most importantly, I hate tempered glass!

      Yes, I understand that people want to show off their (ridiculously!) expensive components. I understand that lots of things have RGB. However, metal is cheaper, easier to work with, doesn't shatter, and I can modify it if I need to.

      So, does anyone know of a good mid-tower PC case with decent airflow, up-to-date features (no 5 inch bays, good cable management hardpoints, a cable hiding bay, etc.), and no tempered glass or, preferably, acrylic?

      Thank you!

      16 votes
    4. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) recommendations and advice

      Hello everyone, I usually do my own research, and then I try to find multiple matching results and afterwards, read specifically in detail about each recommendation, but, I have to be honest that...

      Hello everyone,

      I usually do my own research, and then I try to find multiple matching results and afterwards, read specifically in detail about each recommendation, but, I have to be honest that for UPS recommendations that I’ve seen, it seems to be a very personal recommendation depending on the wattage and connected devices.

      First of all, most people recommend CyberPower or APC, but I’ve also seen some recommendations for Eaton. Is there any other brand that I should be looking into?

      The devices I would like to connect to a UPS would be: desktop, TV, Apple TV, NAS, router and probably my Nintendo Switch.

      There are some general things I've found out while searching that I think I would like some confirmation:

      • I actually think I should buy two UPS's, or? I think just one for the desktop and another one just for the remaining devices, since the desktop uses a lot more wattage.
      • Pure Sine Wave: It does not matter for smaller stuff (routers, etc) but it seems that anything above 70 W, it should use a UPS with this. So, that would mean I need pure sine wave, since my desktop and TV definitely use more than 70 W of power.
      • Some people said to search for a UPS with line conditioning so that you always get a perfect sine wave. Would you agree?
      • USB connection (not a faux USB!) so that the NAS detects the power failure and shuts down gracefully.
      • It is important that the UPS has removable battery for better longevity.

      How would I choose a UPS? Do I need to see the total wattage of all my devices and then pick the UPS accordingly? Anything I'm missing?

      My budget would be up to €100 or €150 in case it is really worth it.

      Thank you in advance for all replies.

      13 votes
    5. Need a new laptop with GPU

      So my ten year old HP workhorse has finally decided to call it quits and I'm in the market for a replacement. As I'm doing my own research I've found I've become so hopelessly behind on the new...

      So my ten year old HP workhorse has finally decided to call it quits and I'm in the market for a replacement. As I'm doing my own research I've found I've become so hopelessly behind on the new range of GPU's that I thought I'd get some opinions from the experts.

      I'm looking for a lower end laptop with a GPU relatively in the "budget" range of $1000-1200 USD (<1500$ CAD). Nothing I run is particularly power hungry graphically but I would like to be able to operate at maximum settings. For reference one of the games I partake in has a minimum requirement of a GeForce GT 740, so it isn't hard to find a rig that surpasses that easily, however I would like to attempt running the game with hi-res texture packs and at ~60 fps for the first time which will require a little extra juice. Anything over 4gb of ram (preferably 8) is fine.

      In addition to that I place priority on semi solid construction. I'm not looking for MacBook pro quality but I also travel a lot and work in demanding environments so a flimsy laptop isn't going to fly. Screen quality would also be a nice bonus but I don't care about 2k/4k quality, 1920x1080 is more than enough for me. I care very little about battery life as plugins are almost always available to me, the aesthetic of the laptop is also unimportant, a boring Lenovo is perfectly fine. Finally, while I don't want to carry around a brick, a thicker/heavier laptop is fine.

      Any personal opinions on the topic would be greatly appreciated.

      9 votes
    6. Framework laptop review

      I've seen a few posts about the Framework Laptop on Tildes and since I received mine, I thought I'd do a write up for it. I've been using the Framework laptop for a few weeks now and it's been...

      I've seen a few posts about the Framework Laptop on Tildes and since I received mine, I thought I'd do a write up for it.

      I've been using the Framework laptop for a few weeks now and it's been great so far. I was originally skeptical but I decided that I would take a shot at it as I've been growing increasingly unhappy with the design decisions that Apple has been making with MacOS.

      I ordered the DIY kit, which was nice since I already had an NVMe SSD I could use with it, so I ended up saving about $150. It only took about 20 minutes to get the RAM, SSD and wifi card installed.

      Specs:

      • Intel i7-1165G7
      • 32 GB of RAM
      • Intel WiFi 6E card

      Total cost: $1,422.03.

      Unfortunately my first laptop arrived with a dead display. The Framework support team was pretty helpful and quickly sent out a new one, which works perfectly.

      After toying around with Linux Mint and a few other distros, I ended up installing the Windows 11 beta. Getting the drivers installed was easy, since Framework offers a single download that runs one script to install all necessary drivers in unattended mode. Just hit one button and restart - all the drivers are installed. I wish all manufacturers offered something similar.

      Overall construction is great. For something as modular as this, it feels extremely solid and well built. While the build quality isn't equal to something like a MacBook, I'd say it's on par with a Dell XPS or similar high end machine.

      The screen is nice and bright, with accurate colors. I've always been a fan of 3:2 screens on laptops and moving from a MacBook Pro with a 16-inch 16:9 display to the 13.5-inch 3:2 display on the Framework doesn't feel like losing too much real estate. Having the taller display is great for sites like Tildes, where it can fit almost the same amount of content as a much larger screen.

      The keyboard and trackpad are both great. The keys remind me of the older pre-2015 style MacBook keyboards before they switched to the butterfly mechanism. They are bouncy and responsive, with a nice feedback that doesn't feel too harsh like the butterfly keyboards do. The trackpad is pretty good and it uses the Windows Precision drivers, so it supports swiping and pinching if you like that. It does sound a bit louder than my MacBook Pro's trackpad.

      The speakers are a bit disappointing. The max loudness is pretty anemic. Even in a normal acoustic environment (A/C running in a house), you have to actively listen to hear. Coming from a MacBook Pro 16-inch, I would say that the speakers are the biggest downgrade.

      The main draw of the Framework is the expandability and upgradability.

      The Framework modules are a fantastic idea and I love them. While they don't save you from having to carry around adapters, it is really nice to have those adapters slot in to your machine and feel more integrated. I purchased 2 USB-C, 2 full-sized USB, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI adapter. Being able to just slot in a USB A port and swap it for a display out one on the rare occasion that I need it has been great. I love being able to adapt the ports on my laptop to a situation without having to have dongles coming out of the side of my laptop.

      The adapters are tiny and easily fit in any backpack or carrying case. I'm really curious to see what new adapters they offer in the future and what crazy niche ones third parties come up with. I'd love to see a cellular modem jammed into one of these things. Or maybe one that can hide a dongle for my wireless keyboard and mouse?

      Battery life is...fine. It's an all day machine, but you'll definitely need to charge it every day if you're using it a good deal. The battery is on the smaller side, but it gets me through a normal work day so that's good enough. But when the battery goes bad (as all Lithium-Ion batteries do), it's an easy fix.

      In terms of upgradability, getting into the laptop is dead simple. There's five screws on the bottom and then entire top deck (keyboard and trackpad) comes off. Everything is easily accessible and sensibly laid out. It's also all labeled with QR codes that take you to specific guides on how to install/upgrade those components. I think the educational component is great. It really shows people who would have never thought to upgrade their RAM or storage how easy it can be.

      That's the big selling point for me. If I decide in a year or two that I need more than 1TB of storage, I can just buy a larger drive and stick it in there. Or if my display dies, I can get a one for a lot less than the cost of replacing the laptop. Or if the keyboard or trackpad dies, then I can easily replace just that component. On my MacBook Pro, replacing the keyboard is an $800+ repair, since it involves replacing the entire top case, which includes the motherboard and other expensive components.

      For years we've been hearing from manufacturers that they can't make a laptop thin, light and upgradable. This laptop proves them wrong.

      My biggest concern is the long term viability of the company. It's nice that they made an upgradable laptop, but if they aren't around in a year or two to keep selling replacement parts, then it doesn't matter much.

      Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the Framework and I plan on keeping it and making it my daily driver.

      EDIT: I forgot to mention my absolute favorite feature, one that I've missed ever since Apple went all USB-C on their laptops: It has a light on the side to tell you if it is currently charging or fully charged!

      40 votes
    7. Synology NAS Recommendations & Questions

      Hey everyone! Sorry if this is a long post, but I've done my research and I would like to make a few questions. I've decided that I would like to buy a NAS mainly to storage all of my documents,...

      Hey everyone!

      Sorry if this is a long post, but I've done my research and I would like to make a few questions.

      I've decided that I would like to buy a NAS mainly to storage all of my documents, photos and videos, so that, I can access them from multiple devices and also use it to upload important documents to Backblaze B2. Then, I've actually discovered that I can install a few Docker containers and I could use it as a media server (Jellyfin) and serve the content to my Apple TV (neat!).

      I considered a QNAP (better hardware for the price) but everyone recommends Synology instead (because of the stronger security and better overall software), but to be honest, I'm not sure what should I get.

      My budget would be to buy a NAS (without counting the disks) below €1000. Ideally, €500-600 but I don't mind stretching to the €700 mark, if it is really worth it.

      Spoiler alert: I think, it should be the DS920+ (4-bay) or the DS1520+ (5-bay). I think a NAS above 4-bay is better for future-proofing.

      Looking here in Germany at price comparators, I could buy the DS920+ for €663 and the DS1520+ for €750. But these prices seem to be at an all-time high :(


      Questions & Assumptions:

      0. I'm not sure if the price difference of about €100 is worth the premium to get the 5-bay model. There are only two differences between these two models: The 5-bay has one extra slot, and it has 4x 1 Gbe LAN ports instead of 2x 1 Gbe. All the rest is the same. What is your opinion?

      1. I've read that if you run a few containers (~10) it consumes quite a bit of RAM (~3 Gb), so it should be ideal to have at least 8 Gb. This is the reason I've said that I think I can only choose the DS920+ or DS1520+. Looking at official Synology resellers, these models, seem to come already with 8 Gb, and they are within my budget. Is my research wrong?

      2. These two models, have an encryption engine. I think this is necessary to encrypt my files before sending them to Backblaze, or?

      3. A lot of people seem to say to simply pick Synology's hybrid RAID setup called SHR-1 or SHR-2. I would go the easy way here and pick one of those two. Would you think that is a bad idea, and it is better to pick a specific (standard) RAID? I've read about the long long long RAID rebuild that could happen in some situations, and picking the "right" RAID could decrease the rebuild in days (or weeks!!!!).

      4. In case, I choose a NAS model with Nvme cache slots, most people say it is not worth it to use if you are not running Virtual Machines and the SSD’s "burn" really fast. I have no interest on VMs.

      5. Most people say to pick an Enterprise (Server) HDD instead of a NAS HDD mainly because price is similar in some cases and Enterprise has longer life and warranty. I should also pick a CMR HDD which is helium filled. 5400 rpm would be preferable to 7200 rpm because of the noise. Sadly, all Enterprise HDD's and most of NAS HDD's are 7200 rpm. Is the noise difference that big? The NAS will be in our living room.

      6. Is 8 TB still the best cost per Terabyte?

      7. I was extremely sad to hear that the Hitachi hard drive division was bought by WD. I've had lots of misfortune with WD drives (and let's not forget the debacle with the SMR and CMR drives) and I would prefer not to give money to them, but, nevertheless, I'm still tempted to buy the Ultrastar drives that belonged to Hitachi. Does anyone know if WD kept the components, manufacturing processes, staff, etc., that made these brilliant disks?

      8. Following the HDD topic, what is your experience with Seagate or Toshiba drives?

      9. These two NAS models have the same Intel Celeron CPU, which supports hardware transcoding. To be honest, I don't know in which cases would that happen. It seems if I use Infuse on the Apple TV it would never transcode (and instead direct play) because Infuse would do the transcoding in software. Should I take in account that hardware transcoding is a must-have or a nice-to-have?

      10. Would you recommend having a CCTV system connected to the NAS? Should I dedicate one entire HDD just for the NVR system? Would a standalone NVR device be better?

      11. My last question is: Should I just wait for the new model of the DS920+ or DS1520+? The 20 means it was launched in 2020 (in Summer specifically) and it seems Synology refreshes the model every two years., that means, a new model would be available in Summer this year. Most people say it is not worth the wait because Synology is very conservative in its model updates/refreshes. People are saying that a better CPU will be of course available (do I even need that for my use cases?) and probably upgrade the 1 Gbe LAN ports to 2.5 Gbe or 10 Gbe (10 Gbe I really doubt it). I've read that a 4K stream does not fill a 1 Gbe bandwidth, and you could theoretically have three 4K streams in a single 1 Gbe connection. If all else fails, I could just do a link aggregation of the two ports to be 2 Gbe, or?

      12. Anything I'm forgetting? Should I be careful with something in particular?


      I know I should buy a UPS too, but I think I'll create a separate post regarding this topic because I would also want a recommendation regarding a UPS for my other devices.

      I know that I could actually build my own NAS and use Unraid for the OS. Furthermore, I'm just at a time in my life with too much on my plate (baby and small child) and having something that just works is preferable. When they are older and more independent, I'll have more time to investigate this option :)

      Again, sorry for the long post. Thank you everyone!

      12 votes
    8. Help needed: slow external hard drive

      I've got a 2TB Toshiba drive (formatted as NTFS) that has become very slow and I was wondering if anyone here as any ideas what the problem could be and how I could fix it. All the data I'd need...

      I've got a 2TB Toshiba drive (formatted as NTFS) that has become very slow and I was wondering if anyone here as any ideas what the problem could be and how I could fix it. All the data I'd need off the drive is backed up, but I would at least like a drive to put it back on to!

      In short, it became slow after I had to force power-off the system it was connected to (Pop OS installed on another external drive which I unplugged by mistake) and I haven't bothered to try to fix it in the six months since.

      I've tested it on Pop and it takes about 10-20 minutes to mount, and 2 minutes to unmount and safely remove. The data itself seems fine but performance is slow, accessing a 20MB image takes several seconds and selecting the drive in GNOME Disks caused it to freeze.

      The drive sounded louder than normal, especially after plugging in.

      On Windows, the drive was recognised and browsable immediately, but browsing through folders was very slow - opening some folders causes Windows Explorer to freeze for a while. Some of my double-clicks were mis-recognised as click-to-rename, which took several seconds to activate and during which time Task Manager reported the average response time between 5000 and 11000 ms.

      Attempting to load an audio file resulted in lots of buffering. Task Manager reports an active time of 100% (even when not loading files or folders) and the activity never exceeded 100 KB/s (and doesn't sustain it for more than a second). Ejecting the drive takes forever - after ejecting it using the tray icon, the tray icon is not removed (even though there are no other drives connected or listed) and the active time is still 100% with the indicator LED blinking non-stop. The system did not enter sleep right away after me asking it to either.

      All of that to say, does anyone know what the issue could be, or how I could find and fix it? Thanks!


      Edit: fixed and normal functionality restored (at least so I can check the drive a bit easier) using Scan & Repair in Windows (see my comment).

      4 votes
    9. Has anyone with a WD NAS formatted drives for another system?

      This is a total longshot. I moved away from a WD My Cloud EX4100 w/ 3x WD Reds to a new box. I bought two more drives for the new one to make the move easier. After the move I took the drives out...

      This is a total longshot. I moved away from a WD My Cloud EX4100 w/ 3x WD Reds to a new box. I bought two more drives for the new one to make the move easier.

      After the move I took the drives out to format them only to find that each 4TB drive shows a partition of 1.8TB on any other system (diskpart with W10 LTSC, Disk Utility MacOS, and GParted with Ubuntu.) Inside the EX4100 the drives show their full capacity.. and I just don't get it.

      I reached out to their support, but I don't expect much of a response.

      Anybody have any idea why the heck this could be happening? This seems crazy. I don't mind buying more drives, but it seems like a waste when I've got 12TB just sitting there.

      7 votes
    10. Would this be alright for a NAS?

      Right now I've got a shitty WD EX4100 and everything was sort of running along nicely with docker and all, but today it rebooted and decided that it didn't want to do anything with docker anymore....

      Right now I've got a shitty WD EX4100 and everything was sort of running along nicely with docker and all, but today it rebooted and decided that it didn't want to do anything with docker anymore. I got the thing before I got into Linux and its time to move on.

      Someone locally is selling the following for $250CAD

      • Quad core Celeron @ 2Ghz
      • 8GB RAM
      • Fractal Node 304 case
      • 2x WD 2TB Red 3.5" hard drives
      • 120GB Kingston SSD
      • 700 watt semi-modular power supply

      All I run are the following:

      • nzbget
      • sonarr
      • qbittorrent (but I'll switch to a better one)
      • serve up content to my HTPC (running Kodi, so no transcoding or anything)

      I don't need the drives that come with it. I'll be putting in 4x 4TB WD Reds. Right now the box is running Open Media Vault 6, so I'll give that a swing, otherwise it'll just be Ubuntu server.

      How does this sound? I'm not opposed to spending some money on a new NAS, I just want something simple that I don't have to fuck around with too much.


      I ended up going with the HP Proliant

      OS: Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS x86_64
      Host: ProLiant ML310e Gen8
      Kernel: 5.11.0-43-generic
      CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 (8) @ 3.700GHz
      GPU: 01:00.1 Matrox Electronics Systems Ltd. MGA G200EH
      Memory: 32GB
      

      It's pretty good so far. Thanks everybody!

      8 votes
    11. Webcams

      There was a very brief period of time in the late 90s early 00s when the word “webcam” had just started existing and entering the popular discourse; and where that word was practically synonymous...

      There was a very brief period of time in the late 90s early 00s when the word “webcam” had just started existing and entering the popular discourse; and where that word was practically synonymous with “sex show”.

      I think around the time I first heard that word, having a webcam usually meant you would use it to do nude shows with.

      They weren’t integrated with computers back then (laptops were super expensive and not popular yet, and they weren’t a mainstream laptop accessory until way later). So if you had a webcam, you had to really seek it out and pay quite a bit of money for it. It made little sense for people to buy them just to use them for personal reasons and most jobs didn’t have a utility for them.

      … except sex work. Live, paid access cam shows immediately caught on. And people would see those in ads (ads tended to be trashy with zero quality control back then, even automated. Worse than now, I swear), and associate “webcam” with “webcam show”.

      There was no reason to otherwise hook up a camera to a computer if not to stream its contents to the web, anyway. The first webcam, that famous coffee pot, was just that: a web-connected camera. Web cam. Wikipedia talks about “Jenni cam” — I wasn’t on the anglosphere’s internet at the time so this escaped me, but it does seem to agree that the concept entered the mainstream not via videoconferencing, but via cam girls.

      5 votes