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  • Showing only topics in ~tech with the tag "ask.advice". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. Privacy woes and autonomy, where do I go now?

      I'm very sorry, but this is going to be rant. One that may seem to come up almost daily, but I still feel the need to vent. Every day I feel like I'm jumping through hoops to keep a little bit of...

      I'm very sorry, but this is going to be rant. One that may seem to come up almost daily, but I still feel the need to vent.

      Every day I feel like I'm jumping through hoops to keep a little bit of privacy and autonomy, without ever winning. DuckDuckGo is my search engine, use a paid mail provider, I try to stay away from anything Google and Meta, use only Signal, ad blocking everywhere, hosting most services locally, etc. It seems, however, to make no difference in the long run. The user-profile-building just seems to enter the home faster than I can mitigate it. Kids install some new app or new hardware ends up listening in, privacy infringement is there.

      The reason I'm starting this post now is because I switched ISP and TV provider recently, but it has been on my mind for a long time. Finding one that isn't owned by one of huge 3 parent companies, is almost impossible here. After a year of deciding, I finally figured it was time to throw in the towel and just pick the least bad option. Yesterday was the day of switching and it has been such a frustrating process.

      The provided router doesn't allow me to turn off its WLAN. I live in a city, so the airwaves are already crowded enough as it is. No need to keep that antenna on, but screw me, that's not possible. Opened up the device to just remove the card, but everything is soldered on the board and disconnecting the antennas didn't do shit.
      It's possible to buy a modem/router myself, but it'll need to follow their requirements and will set me back $200. It would be okay if the rest of the service was great, but here comes the TV part!

      The device they use for TV is apparently Android TV. I assumed it would be IPTV with this subscription, but Android TV isn't that. Booting the device makes it immediately clear they are here to harvest data. It makes me so unhappy that a service I'm paying for, is also making money on the side by collecting data. To get a quick idea of what's being done, I routed the box through wireshark to sniff DNS traffic. It's riddled with domains used for data collection and ads. That combined with the features this box wants me to agree to (location, using the mic, access local network, sign into PlayStore, make a profile including real life information) does not make me trust this device. So I've decided to not play and will be sending it back.

      People around me are pretty conscious about what they do online, but compared to them I'm highly paranoid. Wherever I look, there are privacy issues. It seems impossible to escape from. How are other people dealing with this?

      UPDATE: I don't know if anybody is really interested, but I thought I would update anyway. I decided to listen to my gut and I cancelled the subscription. It feels like the best decision I've made in a long time. It's nice to feel like I'm still a little bit in charge, even though I know that's also just a false sense of autonomy. Suck it, Google! You're not the boss of me :-)

      33 votes
    2. Is Nebula worth it?

      Is anyone here using https://nebula.tv? Multiple creators I watch are on there, and I'm considering getting a subscription, but I'm just not sure if it's really worth it. Most channels on there...

      Is anyone here using https://nebula.tv? Multiple creators I watch are on there, and I'm considering getting a subscription, but I'm just not sure if it's really worth it. Most channels on there don't seem to upload any exclusive content, so I'll basically just get the same videos but for $5/month instead of for free. I've also heard that the app and UX isn't that great.

      People who use the service, what makes it worth it for you? Is it just a way to support the creators more?

      61 votes
    3. Can old, poorly wired electrical outlets cause a PC to freeze?

      Fellow PC builders, here's a fun one for you. I took some "old" and no-longer-used PC parts and built my sister-in-law a gaming PC for her and her stepdaughter to use. It was a Christmas gift so...

      Fellow PC builders, here's a fun one for you.

      I took some "old" and no-longer-used PC parts and built my sister-in-law a gaming PC for her and her stepdaughter to use. It was a Christmas gift so the stepdaughter could play the Sims.

      She has called me three times to tell me it's completely frozen - like hard locked, dead freeze, screen is displaying the last frame it was on but you can't interact with the PC in any way until you reset it with the power button.

      She let it sit for an hour before she gave up. Two times this happened while stepdaughter was playing the Sims 4 and once it happened while my brother-in-law was watching YouTube videos.

      Obviously, I went through the usual things you'd think in this situation and I had her bring the PC over so I could do some digging. Fully expecting to find a hardware issue, I tried the following:

      1. I ran the Sims while also watching multiple YouTube videos in the background. Couldn't replicate the issue after about two hours.

      2. I obviously checked the temperatures while gaming and YouTubing, checked the usual performance metrics and everything was great.

      3. Ran OTTC stress tests - all of them. Under heavy loads, this thing was doing fine. Even at 100% utilization, the memory, graphics card, and cpu were fine. Did a power test too, fine. Did a "combined" stress test and all was fine.

      4. Ran mem86, no issues with the memory, no bad sectors or errors.

      5. Played Skyrim on ultra for several hours. This was a really fun way to troubleshoot.

      6. Checked the event log from the day she had freezes. I can see where the event happened because leading up to the unexpected "power off" event, there were a ton of events related to various processes timing out. Seems like it was unable to connect with services and run certain background processes while it was frozen? I didn't see anything that really stood out to me as being a possible cause except...

      7. in the event viewer, there were a few events related to Microsoft family safety. I set this up at the request of SIL so stepdaughter wouldn't get into anything she shouldn't. In the Event Viewer, it seems like maybe it wasn't verifying something correctly or didn't have permissions it needed? Upon Googling, I found some other folks with this error but I couldn't find anything about whether it caused freezing or not. Seems like one of the many events that just gives a warning but doesn't have any effect. One guy who had this issue had his computer freeze but disabling the family safety entirely did nothing. People in the comments thought it probably wasn't related. I also found another event that Google wasn't very helpful with. Might have been related to sound card but my sound card drivers are up to date and again, I have not been able to replicate the issue even when gaming and watching videos, so I don't know if it's related.

      8. I ran the Windows System Files Checker and found no issues related to my Windows install.

      I can't figure out why this would be happening only at her house. She says it froze after one hour of use every time. This brings me to the title of this post. My SIL moved into a really old house with sketchy wiring. My FIL told her the wiring is so bad that she needs to get it fixed immediately or risk a fire, so she's working on that. This house has a butler stairway, asbestos, and plaster/lathe walls if that tells you what we're dealing with here. This is the ONLY thing I can think of that would possibly be different between the two setups and maybe explain the freezing, but it just seems so unlikely to me that this is the cause.

      Help?

      21 votes
    4. Does something like a charity fund for FOSS exist? If not, do you think it could be a good idea?

      There are a lot of awesome open source projects that I'd love to donate to, however, I can't afford to donate to all of them. It would be great if there was something like a charity fund (eg....

      There are a lot of awesome open source projects that I'd love to donate to, however, I can't afford to donate to all of them.

      It would be great if there was something like a charity fund (eg. GiveWell), but for FOSS. So a lot of people donate to it, and it distributes all collected money between some curated projects (most influential/important/promising/underfunded/etc.).

      Do you know if something like this already exists? if not, could it potentially be a good idea to do? It seems like the idea of donating to open-source is currently more prominent in the community due to the xz backdoor thing.

      23 votes
    5. Confused about headphone impedance

      I have a guitar multi effects that has a headphone out with 47Ω I want a budget somewhat neutral headphone to use with it and I am getting confused with the answers I found so far. The AKG K240...

      I have a guitar multi effects that has a headphone out with 47Ω

      I want a budget somewhat neutral headphone to use with it and I am getting confused with the answers I found so far.

      The AKG K240 mk2 (55Ω) seems to be a popular choice with people who own another multi effects (HX Stomp) with a different impedance (I think it's 12Ω).

      This headphone is within my budget, but it seems too close to the 47 output of my multifx.

      Will I have a problem with this?

      I read somewhere that the headphone impedance should be much bigger than the output impedance, but another text I read somewhere explained that they should match closely.

      I'm really confused about this.

      5 votes
    6. I don't think I'm 'grokking' how the fediverse works. (Or at least, how following federated accounts works)

      I'm taking some time to set up a mastodon account, and am currently confused about how following other federated accounts is supposed to work. Let's use https://lemmy.world/c/comicstrips as an...

      I'm taking some time to set up a mastodon account, and am currently confused about how following other federated accounts is supposed to work.

      Let's use https://lemmy.world/c/comicstrips as an example. I go to that link and I see posts from other federated sites, as well as posts made directly on lemmy.world (I presume). I can also view all posts from that community in r.nf as well (https://r.nf/c/comicstrips@lemmy.world). I see all the same posts from the lemmy link.

      What I don't understand is why, when I follow @comicstrips@lemmy.world on mastodon I only ever am shown replies and boosts from the account. I don't see the original image post, which I was expecting.

      What am I missing? For what it's worth I'm using Phanpy to interact with mastodon, but am experiencing the same behavior on mastodon.social as well.

      17 votes
    7. I just switched to an iPhone, what should I do to make the most of this change?

      Basically the title. I've been an Android user since 2012, but have have an iPad and a Macbook that I really like, especially how well they work together. My pixel 5 was on its way out, so I...

      Basically the title. I've been an Android user since 2012, but have have an iPad and a Macbook that I really like, especially how well they work together. My pixel 5 was on its way out, so I finally took the plunge and bought an iPhone 15 Pro earlier this week. I'm still getting everything set up, and I'm particularly excited to play with the different focus modes and shortcuts. I'm curious what apps and features should I be using to make the most of this switch?

      38 votes
    8. Looking for advice on replacing my motherboard

      Back in 2022, Tildes helped me build my current PC (Thanks everyone!). Back then I knew that eventually I would have to replace my motherboard, which underwent corrosion and became unreliable. I...

      Back in 2022, Tildes helped me build my current PC (Thanks everyone!). Back then I knew that eventually I would have to replace my motherboard, which underwent corrosion and became unreliable. I never turn off or even put my PC to sleep because, otherwise, it won't turn on for hours. I'd like to change that. I'm pretty confident that is an issue with the motherboard, which underwent repairs before. Other components are much newer and my power source is top notch.

      Here's the machine on PC Part Picker. Should I just buy the same motherboard again? I mean, I don't have any complaints, I just happened to live by the sea back then, leading to premature failure. But it's still working. It's cheap, too.

      I might be up for a better processor, but price is a concern. What would be the next affordable step from what I have now? In any case, the CPU is rarely an issue for any of my tasks, and the only game I play that could use a more powerful processor is World of Warcraft, which I only play intermittently anyway. Maybe it isn't worth it.

      I'm getting a 1TB SSD, those seem to have gotten much cheaper since 2022!

      Because, unlike me, most Tildes users are in the US, Canada, and Europe, when taking prices into account, multiply them by 5 in your head to have a sense of what that expense means in my country.

      Thanks!

      7 votes
    9. Can noise canceling headphones be effective against non continuous noise such as music?

      I already have the best ear muffers money can buy in my country, and it is still not enough. I cannot use ear plugs because of my tinnitus hearing aids. I'm in an area with a lot of noise and this...

      I already have the best ear muffers money can buy in my country, and it is still not enough. I cannot use ear plugs because of my tinnitus hearing aids. I'm in an area with a lot of noise and this is not going to change. The main issueI face is loud music. Could a noise canceling headphone provide some solace?

      17 votes
    10. How can I completely and permanently remove the ability to access the internet from a Debian derivative?

      The machine will be a laptop. So let's say I'm doing this on Antix Linux or MX-Linux, which are both based on Debian. I already set up everything that I want. Now I wish to make that installation...

      The machine will be a laptop.

      So let's say I'm doing this on Antix Linux or MX-Linux, which are both based on Debian. I already set up everything that I want. Now I wish to make that installation incapable of accessing the internet ever again -- even if I want it to. However, I wouldn't want to achieve that in a way that will negatively affect any application I might need. How can I do that?

      You may be curious about my motivation. It is simple: that machine should be only for writing and nothing more. Maybe I'll use YLINAT, @Areldyb's Timasomo project.

      For the purposes of my usage, it is nothing more than an electronic typewriter with a screen. That is a drastic measure but I have ADHD and I need to write. I'm afraid that if I don't do something about it I'll see myself in a difficult situation regarding deadlines. I'll just take the laptop with me to a quiet place and leave the cell phone at home.

      Every day I will take my writing off the laptop via USB and back it up.

      16 votes
    11. Is a NAS for me?

      Hi, I keep reading about this thing called a "NAS" and I don't have in my social network a bunch of reasonable geeks to figure out if this is something for me or if it is overkill and I can get by...

      Hi, I keep reading about this thing called a "NAS" and I don't have in my social network a bunch of reasonable geeks to figure out if this is something for me or if it is overkill and I can get by with less -- trying to be frugal and all.

      The Situation

      At the moment, I have a Raspberry Pi 3 (that a colleague gifted me) which runs Jellyfin, mostly for music. I'd use it for watching series and movies, but given how slow it is at transferring files and the fact that it has a 1GB (maybe 2GB) RAM... I was afraid to break it. On top of that, its storage is a years-old external hard drive.

      I use Jellyfin mostly to have music on my iPhone. I can access it when I'm out and about on Tailscale. I hope to find a solution for my photos as well.

      I'd also occasionally use the pi to experiment with some self-hosted open-source apps.

      I constantly find myself wanting to upgrade because I want to also backup my important photos (with face recognition if possible) and documents "offline" (i.e. in my local network) to something more stable than an aging hard drive. They're all in the cloud, but a second backup option could be great.

      What I understand from reading about NAS's is that I basically have one, it's just not... reliable?

      The Question

      I understand there is definitely a buy-in cost for buying an actual NAS, I'd like to know how much... so that I can make an informed decision on if and when I would buy it. What is an entry-level NAS and how much will it cost? What could it NOT do that an RPi could, and vice-versa? Am I missing an in-between or even an alternative solution for my use case? Is it overkill and should I just upgrade the pi? What are my options?

      Thanks in advance for reading my post!

      20 votes
    12. Teaching coding to an eight year old with Scratch?

      I have a relative whose 8 year old has shown a keen interest in coding. He even takes books out of the library about coding even though he's never done it and I dont think he understands most of...

      I have a relative whose 8 year old has shown a keen interest in coding. He even takes books out of the library about coding even though he's never done it and I dont think he understands most of what he's reading. Seems like a little Bill Gates just dying to get started.

      I used to teach LOGO to kids back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and I looked at some recent versions. Its good, and the logic is all there, but the end results are fairly mundane for a kid who's already experienced amazing video games. Then I stumbled across Scratch, a much more visual programming tool and it seems to fit what we need. Scratch allows kids to make animations, simple games, even do motion detection, music all with sprites that they can manipulate using drag and drop coding blocks. Lots of online video tutorials that he can follow himself too. https://scratch.mit.edu/

      Before I dive headlong into Scratch, just wondering if there are other even better tools for teaching coding to kids? Or what your experience might be with them?

      20 votes
    13. Help: Dual sim mobile phone replacement

      I bought a Pixel 6 Pro unlocked a couple of years ago as my long term phone. It's what I like to do, buy a phone for 5+ years of use and get a cheap sim card. It's fine. If I could choose again I...

      I bought a Pixel 6 Pro unlocked a couple of years ago as my long term phone. It's what I like to do, buy a phone for 5+ years of use and get a cheap sim card. It's fine. If I could choose again I would have got the Samsung flagship instead.
      I've since moved country and I'm in need of a dual sim phone (because I don't want 2 phones) for my home country and new one. But guess what, Pixel 6 pro is a single sim phone.
      So that puts me in an uncomfortable position where I don't want to get a new phone yet (I'm 3 years out what I wanted to run this phone to) but I'd hate to get a second, crap phone just for a new number.

      If I need to replace the Pixem, I would like to get another flagship (or close to) if possible. I like the bells and whistles. I simply wanted to avoid rebuying so early and see if there were options I had not yet considered.

      It was suggested to try and recycle the Pixel, I'd get maybe €200 for it if I'm lucky, and it would help taking the cost out of a replacement flagship, but would still be expensive.

      Any other suggestions for how I could navigate this?

      Edit: thanks to @thecakeisalime for the esim suggestion. I've contacted my home network and got transfered to an esim in genuinely 15 minutes. That's opened the sim slot for the new number. Pretty much perfect solution!

      9 votes
    14. Hosting a company website on our own?

      Edit: I appreciate everyone's suggestions and recommendations! After speaking with my co-worker, I think we'll got with a Managed WordPress solution. Still have a lot more to discuss and figure...

      Edit: I appreciate everyone's suggestions and recommendations! After speaking with my co-worker, I think we'll got with a Managed WordPress solution. Still have a lot more to discuss and figure out, but I suspect that'll at least put us on the right footing. Thanks!


      Hello Tilderinos. I need your knowledge and advice.

      The organization I work for wants to build a new website. Traditionally, we've used an AMS, which is an Association Management System. These are typically used by non-profits, which is what we are, a voluntary regulatory non-profit. It combines a CMS with a CRM in a proprietary package. It's also entirely hosted and managed by the AMS developer, which is typical for these platforms. Basically a turnkey solution.

      We have a web designer/developer-yet-doesn't-want-wear-the-developer-mantle and me, who's really more of a desktop support/low level sysadmin for our small organization. I'm jack of all many trades, master of none.

      Our web designer is really interested in either self-hosting WordPress or even looking into a headless CMS. He wants more creative and functional control over our website than what we currently with our AMS. We are very limited to what we can do right now, since we're playing in the AMS' sandbox with only some HTML/CSS and light JS use. Anyway, from there, we'd use API calls to query the new CRM that's currently being built out (it's a proprietary one, akin to Salesforce) to generate dynamic content.

      I could go out and get webhosting at like a GoDaddy (I wouldn't use GoDaddy) or somewhere like that. I've done that before for some smaller auxiliary sites. Sites that, if they go down for a day or two, it's kinda NBD, while I try to figure out what's going on and reach out to the webhost for assistance. I literally just did that earlier this week on one of those sites.

      But this would be our main website. And we have a global customer and stakeholder base. People are always on our website 24/7. I'm hesitant to commit to doing it this way because I feel like there's so much that would drop into our laps that we don't know how to handle. What happens when the site goes down for some reason? Is there a failover? How do I even set that up? How do we do backups and rollbacks? How about security issues? How do I harden the site and system? What happens if we do get hacked? We've discussed the issues with WordPress, which are many. How do we deal with all those issues on our own? I don't know the answer to any of these.

      Like I said above, we don't have to deal with any of those questions right now. Our AMS provider deals with all that. I'm sure they have a team in a NOC or similar that watches the infrastructure 24/7. Part of what we pay them is so they can handle all that. No way in hell my co-worker and I are willing or able to do all that. And it's not that I'm not willing to learn how to do all this stuff, but to me, this seems like the wrong venue and time to be learning on the fly.

      Idk. Are my concerns overblown? Is it really just as easy as getting some webhosting space somewhere and installing WP or some headless CMS and letting my web dev go to town? I know my co-worker could build the site out. I'm just not sure if I could support it all during and afterwards.

      Any advice or suggestion would be appreciated. Because right now, him and I are going around in circles trying to figure this out, ha. Thanks.

      17 votes
    15. [SOLVED] Debugging a slow connection between local devices in only one direction

      [SOLVED] ... well, this is in many ways very unsatisfying, because I have no idea why this worked, but I seem to have fixed it. Server A has two Ethernet ports, an Intel I219V and a Killer E3100....

      [SOLVED]

      ... well, this is in many ways very unsatisfying, because I have no idea why this worked, but I seem to have fixed it.

      Server A has two Ethernet ports, an Intel I219V and a Killer E3100. Several months ago, when trying to debug sporadic btrfs errors (I had my RAM installed incorrectly!), I had disabled some unused devices in BIOS, including the Killer Ethernet port.

      Since I had no other ideas, and it seemed like this was somehow specific to this server, I just re-enabled the Killer port and switched the Ethernet cable to that port. I'm now getting 300 Mb/s transfers from my wireless devices to my server, exactly as expected.

      I'm gonna like... go for a walk or something. Thank you so much to everyone who helped me rule out all of the very many things this could have been! I love this place, you all are so kind and supportive.

      Original:

      I'm trying to debug a perplexing networking situation, and I could use some guidance if anyone has any.

      Here's my setup:

      • UniFi Security Gateway
      • UniFi Switch Lite
      • Two UAPs
      • Two servers, A and B, connected to the USW-Lite with GbE
      • Many wireless devices, connected to the UAPs

      Here's what I'm experiencing:

      • Network transfers from the wireless devices to server A (as measured by iperf3 tests) are very slow. Consistently between 10 and 20 Mb/s.
      • Network transfers from server A to all devices are expected speeds. 900-1000 Mb/s to server B, 350-ish Mb/s to wireless devices.
      • Network transfers between server B and all devices (in both directions!) are expected speeds.
      • Network transfers from the USG to server A also seem slow, which is odd. Only about 60 MB/s.
      • Network transfers from the USG to server B and the wireless devices is about 300 MB/s

      So, specifically network transfers from any wireless device to server A are slow, and no other connections have any issues that I can see.

      Some potentially relevant details:

      • Server A is running Unraid
      • Server B is running Ubuntu
      • Wireless devices include a Fedora laptop, an iPhone, and a Macbook Pro
      • UniFi configuration is pretty straightforward. I have a few ports forwarded, a guest WiFi network (that none of these devices are on), a single default VLAN, and two simple "Allow LAN" firewall rules for Wireguard on the USG. No other firewall or routing config that I'm aware of.

      If anyone has any thoughts at all on how to continue debugging, I would be immensely grateful! I suppose the next step would be to try to determine whether it's the networking equipment or the server itself that is responsible for the throttling, but I'm not sure how best to do that.

      15 votes
    16. Tips for Docker security on a NAS?

      How do you make sure that your Docker containers don't go rogue and start snooping around or contacting external servers that they shouldn't be talking to? Is there a network traffic monitoring...

      How do you make sure that your Docker containers don't go rogue and start snooping around or contacting external servers that they shouldn't be talking to? Is there a network traffic monitoring program that I could use? Or a service that would notify me about vulnerabilities in containers that I have installed?

      Some background:

      Last year, I asked help setting up my new Synology NAS, and many of you wonderful people offered some really, really good advice. I have recently started to play around with Docker containers more, and I am a little uneasy about the idea that my NAS is home to my files, my own scripts, and Docker containers made by other people, and that it is always on and these containers have constant internet access. I don't have the time (or frankly the skills) to verify the contents of the containers beyond making sure that they come from reputable sources, but I would like to have a bit more peace of mind and make sure that things remain private and secure.

      My setup at the moment is the following: I have a Synology DS923+ and I manage Docker containers with Synology's Container Manager, using docker compose files. I have so far put all containers into the same virtual network (perhaps something I need to think about), which is a separate IP range from my other devices, and has internet access through my DNS. I use Synology's DNS Server (for everything in my home network) and Reverse Proxy so that I can use local domain names and HTTPS. For HTTPS, I have made myself a certificate authority and created the necessary certificates and installed them on my devices. No ports are opened on the router and things like UPnP are turned off. I use Tailscale to access my home network when not at home. And while I have not yet done so, I have been considering setting up some firewall rules, for instance to restrict access to the DSM. I use 2FA for the NAS and its SSH is turned on only when I need to use it.

      12 votes
    17. Tips on building keyboard-centric workflow

      I do not like using mouse. I feel it disturbs the flow of things I am doing. Moreover, I like quickly pressing through a bunch of keystrokes that results in what I want. There is a sense of...

      I do not like using mouse. I feel it disturbs the flow of things I am doing. Moreover, I like quickly pressing through a bunch of keystrokes that results in what I want. There is a sense of satisfaction in that.

      For starters, I use Vim and love it. I liked it so much that all my browsers have Vim-like keybindings (through Vimium or Tridactyl). But that is as far as I have gone in making my life easier (apart from switching windows via Command+Tab, but for all else I need to use mouse).

      I recently bought a MacBook and it is kind of disappointing that the keybindings are not so intuitive or don't exist natively as they do in Windows. For example, resizing the window was easier on Windows with Win+arrow. There are many such things I find lacking on Mac. Broadly, I am asking for what other improvements can I bring into better my keyboard-centric workflow.

      19 votes
    18. Is there a markdown editor which let me open .md files from Windows?

      I have looked at various editors, but those I came across all had their own build-in file navigator which they insisted you'd use. I always hate that; it's the one thing I dislike about Godot. So...

      I have looked at various editors, but those I came across all had their own build-in file navigator which they insisted you'd use. I always hate that; it's the one thing I dislike about Godot. So is there one where you can simply open your .md files directly from Windows?

      Edit: What I'm after is WYSIWYG, not just synstax highlighting.

      20 votes
    19. Advice for anger management when dealing with frustrating technology?

      I'm curious how you tech oriented people handle this and whether you react in the same way to tech frustrations as I do. Advice is welcome. I hate hate hate the black box aspect of dealing with...

      I'm curious how you tech oriented people handle this and whether you react in the same way to tech frustrations as I do. Advice is welcome.

      I hate hate hate the black box aspect of dealing with computer technology. When I try to do something and it fails to work for reasons that are opaque or inscrutable it causes me to react with rage. I haven't quite thrown my computer out the window when something fails to work as expected, but I want to and it ruins my mood and makes me irritable and difficult to deal with until the problem is solved.

      Do other people react the same way? How do you mitigate this? I'm currently needing to learn and use more tech skills and interact with more programs than I have in the recent past. What advice do you have?

      Thanks

      53 votes
    20. Is Apple Music on Android good?

      So before the question let me add some context: I'm planning to move from iOS to Android, mostly because how difficult is to backup photos from iPhone into my computer. I don't want my photos on...

      So before the question let me add some context: I'm planning to move from iOS to Android, mostly because how difficult is to backup photos from iPhone into my computer. I don't want my photos on iCloud so I make my backups copying all the photos and videos into my computer, I currently use Fedora Linux and keep my photo library on digiKam which I think is better than the Apple Photos app for Desktop. It certainly was easier when I used my Macbook for that, but being a Macbook from 2015 the battery is almost dead and I no longer use it.

      Recently I saw reviews for Android phones from last year and fell in love with the Asus Zenfone 10, I love small phones and that one looks amazing, but I'm still tied to the Apple ecosystem, and the service that I would miss the most from them is Apple Music. So that is actually the only reason that I'm still using an iPhone, (that and the camera which was pretty amazing back when my iPhone13 was released).

      So I'll have several options:

      • Keep using iOS and suck it up, maybe even giving up and doing my backups to iCloud (it's 10 years worth of photos and videos).
      • Move to android and use Spotify like everyone else. (I really don't want to go back to Spotify so that's the last thing I want to do).
      • Use Apple Music for Android. Which I really don't know how good or bad it is. I'm even surprised that there's a version for Android.
      • Just have an mp3 library like in the good old days. This is a viable solution since I listen to music almost exclusively by albums and it's easier to download music album by album than song by song. But that also means I'll need to be caring around my music library and making backups of it.

      So the question is: have anyone here used Apple Music on Android? Is it good?.

      16 votes
    21. Question about GDPR

      I am in the EU. I asked a company in which I had an account to delete my account. They told me they would do that as long as I sent them an ID and a postal address. This is to ensure that "I am...

      I am in the EU.

      I asked a company in which I had an account to delete my account. They told me they would do that as long as I sent them an ID and a postal address. This is to ensure that "I am the right person".

      I never gave them an ID and a postal address in the first place so how would that verify anything, and I'm using the email that I used to sign-up with them to ask for the deletion.

      Am I in the wrong to believe that this should be easier? Are they misinterpreting the GDPR or am I?

      What are my options if I do not want to send my ID and postal address?

      --

      Their arguments are:

      Article 5(1)(f) of the GDPR requires us to meet security obligations in data processing. Since data deletion is permanent, we need to ensure that the request is indeed from the person concerned.

      Furthermore, Article 12(6) of the GDPR states: "…when the data controller has reasonable doubts concerning the identity of the natural person making the request referred to in Articles 15 to 21, he may request the provision of additional information necessary to confirm the identity of the data subject."

      10 votes
    22. ZFS is crud with large pools! Give me some options.

      Hey folks I'm building out a backup NAS to hold approximately 350TB of video. It's a business device. We already own the hardware which is a Gigabyte S451 with twin OS RAIDED SSD but 34 X 16TB SAS...

      Hey folks

      I'm building out a backup NAS to hold approximately 350TB of video. It's a business device. We already own the hardware which is a Gigabyte S451 with twin OS RAIDED SSD but 34 X 16TB SAS HDD disks. I used TrueNAS Scale and ZFS as the filesystem because... It seemed like a good idea. What I didn't realise is that with dedupe and LZO compression on, it would seriously hinder the IO. Anyway, long story short, we filled it as a slave target and it's slow as can be. It errors all the time. I upgraded to 48GB of RAM as ZFS is memory intensive but it's the IOPs which kill it. It's estimating 50 days for a scrub, it's nuts. The system is in RAID6 and all disks dedicated to this pool which is correct in so far as I need all disk available.

      Now I know ZFS isn't the way for this device, any ideas here? I'm tempted to go pure Debian, XFS or EXT4 and soft raid. I'd rather it be simple and managed via a GUI for the rest of the team as they're all Windows admins as well as scared of CLI, but I suppose I can give them Webmin at a push.

      I'm about ready to destroy over 300TB of copied data to rebuild this as it crashes too often to do anything with, and the Restic backup from the Master just falls over waiting for a response.

      Ideas on a postcard (or Tildes reply)...?

      UPDATE:

      After taking this thread in to consideration, some of my own research and a ZFS calculator, here's what I'm planning - bear in mind this is for an Archive NAS:

      36 Disks at 16TB:

      9x16TB RAID-Z2
      4 x VDEVs = Data Pool
      Compression disabled, dedupe disabled.

      Raw capacity would be 576TB, but after parity and slop space we're at 422TB usable. In theory, if we call it 70% usable, I'm actually going to cry at 337TB total.

      At this moment, the NAS1 server is rocking 293TB of used space. Since I'm using Restic to do the backup of NAS1 to NAS2, I should see some savings, but I can already see that I will need to grow the shelf soon. I'll nuke NAS2, configure this and get the backup rolling ASAP.

      My bigger concern now is that NAS1 is set up the same way as NAS2, but never had dedupe enabled. At some point we're going to hit a similar issue.

      Thank you for all of your help and input.

      16 votes
    23. Custom phone OS - long term opinions?

      I am and have been on a bit of a quest to make my computing devices suck less. Over the last few years I have migrated all of my laptops and desktops over to various Linux flavors. My experience...

      I am and have been on a bit of a quest to make my computing devices suck less.

      Over the last few years I have migrated all of my laptops and desktops over to various Linux flavors. My experience with this process is that each flavor has their own quirks that need to be ironed out, but after getting things running there is little in the way of maintenance. Things kind of just work nowadays.

      I have been looking into getting something like (but not necessarily) LineageOS on my phone. As I am looking into this and reading forums on the subject, it seems like a perpetual arms race between application developers and application users. One puts in a way to check for root, then there are root hiders, then there are root hider checkers, then there are root hiders that you build with custom names, etc.

      I want my device to not suck.

      I don’t want to be going in and fighting with my banking applications every time there is an update. I am totally willing to fight a painful setup once.

      Is a custom phone OS something that is essentially only viable to use if you are driven by spite? Am I reading too much into the struggles that are posted in various forums? I am looking for any input for anyone that has used a custom OS short or long term.

      26 votes
    24. Are there any downsides to installing a newer (unsupported) macOS on an older MacBook Pro?

      I happen to be in possession of a 2013 MacBook Pro that runs macOS 11 Big Sur and it's decent for that. Let's say I wanted to run the latest apps and macOS on it, things that don't work on Big...

      I happen to be in possession of a 2013 MacBook Pro that runs macOS 11 Big Sur and it's decent for that.

      Let's say I wanted to run the latest apps and macOS on it, things that don't work on Big Sur. I know there are unofficial ways to get those on the MacBook, OpenCore Legacy Patcher is what most articles recommend that I've seen.

      Has anyone here tried that, and were there any big problems with that setup? Were there any broken apps or features after upgrading? Did everything become slower?

      13 votes
    25. Help me understand Dell Latitude model numbers

      This link gives some useful detail about Dell Latitude model numbers. https://en.tab-tv.com/dell-latitude-identification-and-decoding-of-the-laptop-model/ Unfortunately, it only goes up to 2017....

      This link gives some useful detail about Dell Latitude model numbers.

      https://en.tab-tv.com/dell-latitude-identification-and-decoding-of-the-laptop-model/

      Unfortunately, it only goes up to 2017.

      The first digit is the "series". There are several series, higher numbers are better.

      The second digit is the screen size. 1=11", 2=12", ..., 7=17".

      The third digit is the year. 1=2010, 2=2011, ..., 7=2016, 8=2017.

      The forth digit is connected to form factor - standard, removable screen, transformer.

      My question is whether there's a similar decoder ring for newer models.

      EDIT:

      Okay, so, newer models appear to follow similar convention, with slight changes to last two digits for year.

      eg, Dell Latitude 9510 = premium ultrabook, 15" screen, released 2020.

      eg Dell Latitude 7440 = ultrabook, 14" screen, released 2023

      The first digit identifies the range:

      • 9 = premium ultrabook
      • 7 = ultrabook
      • 5 = mid range
      • 3 = entry level

      The second digit is the screen size:

      • 5 = 15"
      • 4 = 14"
      • 3 = 13.3"
      • 2 = 12.5"
      • 1 = 11.6"

      The last two digits give the release year:

      • 90 = 2018
      • 00 = 2019
      • 10 = 2020
      • 20 = 2021
      • 30 = 2022
      • 40 = 2023
      15 votes
    26. Fighting with Fitbit's tech support

      I doubt I'll find any new ideas, but maybe someone here has one. I'm running out of places to turn, with no solution. I have been in a fight with Fitbit support for a few weeks now over their push...

      I doubt I'll find any new ideas, but maybe someone here has one. I'm running out of places to turn, with no solution.

      I have been in a fight with Fitbit support for a few weeks now over their push to migrate everyone to a Google-linked Fitbit account. I'm pretty sure what I've found is a rare edge case of a bug, or rather, an unaccounted for set of conditions when trying to migrate.

      A long time ago, 2017 I think, I created a Google-linked Fitbit Account (via oauth, "Login with Google"). I used it briefly and then stopped, and completely forgot about its existence.

      In 2022, I got a Pixel Watch and created a new/second Fitbit Account with a different email address, as I did not remember I had a Fitbit account already and I wanted to use a masked email address through my personal domain.

      With the push to migrate all Fitbit accounts to Google accounts, I decided to try to do so last month. When I attempted to migrate my second account to a Google account, I got an error that I already had an account registered under my Google account. So I logged in to that old 2017 Google account and initiated its deletion. It told it me would take 30 days to delete it, so I waited 31 days.

      31 days later, I tried to migrate my second account to a Google account. When I try to do so, I get an error:

      Can't use Fitbit with this Google Account
      This could be because you're using a Google Workspace account, or because your account is supervised.
      

      My account is neither a child account, nor a Workspace account, it's a standard (adult) account I've had for something like 16 years.

      So I tried to see if my old Google account was perhaps not deleted after all. I tried to log in to my old account via oauth (Sign In > Continue with Google), and I get a different error:

      Sign in again to continue
      Since you deleted Fitbit from your Google Account, you’ll need to sign in again as a new user.
      

      I suspect that what happens when I deleted my old/original Google account is that it wasn't actually deleted, but made inactive with some "deleted" flag, but the account hasn't been purged. As a result, I'm unable to migrate my new account to the same email address I used for my old Google account.

      Reaching out to Fitbit, they continually put the blame on Google for reporting my account as a workspace/supervised account, and the only solution they'll offer me is "You should create a new Google account". Google has also been unable to help, but that doesn't surprise me, as I don't think it's an issue on their end. Requests to Fitbit to escalate my case to a higher tier of support and/or someone from some type of database team have been stonewalled, and I think that Fitbit support has now just stopped responding to me entirely.

      Does anyone have any idea where I could turn?

      14 votes
    27. Someone registered their phone subscription using my email

      Hello, as the title says: someone registered their phone subscription using my email. It doesn't make sense as I (obviously) never permitted this stranger to use my email for their subscription. I...

      Hello, as the title says: someone registered their phone subscription using my email. It doesn't make sense as I (obviously) never permitted this stranger to use my email for their subscription.

      I say stranger but I now know their first name, their last name, their billing address, and their phone number by now. It's crazy.

      I would just like the emails to stop coming! I know I could just make a filter to forward everything from this domain to spam but is there a way to actually make the phone company to stop sending me things?

      The emails are coming from a language that I don't know how to speak (so calling customer service is not an option here).

      I tried using the "forget password" option but for some reason that's not arriving to me. Probably it's pinging their phone first to verify that it was them who initiated it.

      The best customer service I can find is by WhatsApp but it's a robot that always asks the stranger to verify that it's them.

      42 votes
    28. Looking to "compile" some of my phone's videos into an .iso to send to family; I use Linux

      So as the title states, I am realizing that most folks don't have CD readers. I do, and I can burn my phone's videos to one, but... I also use Linux these days. I have a CD burner somewhere around...

      So as the title states, I am realizing that most folks don't have CD readers. I do, and I can burn my phone's videos to one, but... I also use Linux these days. I have a CD burner somewhere around here, but honestly I just want to do a "zip file" type option, where I can just group the videos and get them on a usb stick to send out.

      Everything I find on the 'net is about burning CDs and whatnot... which isn't my goal. Honestly, I think windows did this just easy-peasy with select and "burn to image" or whatnot. But I dunno how with Linux (Arch/i3).

      Edit: I'm asking because I don't see any options in pacman. It may be in yay, but it's my bedtime...
      Edit 2: Lots of folks asking why I want an ISO and not just copy the files; my dad states their TV will play videos 'in a DVD format from a USB stick' (and I don't know how accurate it is, but it's what was requested).

      16 votes
    29. Inquiry: Looking for a frontal hotswap PC case

      I'm hoping I might have some recommendations for a computer chassis. So far I've gotten away with using a couple of Fractal Designs, even got my hands on an old Cooler Master XB Evo recently that...

      I'm hoping I might have some recommendations for a computer chassis. So far I've gotten away with using a couple of Fractal Designs, even got my hands on an old Cooler Master XB Evo recently that I never got to put into use.

      Basically, I'm looking for a chassis with something like 6-10 hotswap 3.5 drive bays. Preferably horizontal, but vertical is begrudgingly acceptable. Are any of you aware of such a chassis, or am I forced to start looking at racks instead?

      Alternatively, do any of you have experience with hacking together a case and installing drive bays?


      Bit unrelated side-note: The front micro-jack in one of my cases has broken off (headset wire looped around the office chair) and Fractal Design wouldn't sell me a replacement. Any idea where I might find a female audio connector? I'll happily do a bit of soldering if necessary, I just don't know what the part called or where to look for it.

      14 votes
    30. Help with strange Windows 10 behavior/files. Do I have a virus?

      Edit2: I'm a mac user who doesn't understand how windows explorer works. Leaving the post for some hapless mac user who may come along. Windows explorer doesn't report how it is traversing the...

      Edit2: I'm a mac user who doesn't understand how windows explorer works. Leaving the post for some hapless mac user who may come along. Windows explorer doesn't report how it is traversing the directory tree, leading to some confusion about where the search result is, which happens to be waaaay down in a zip of a mac application installer I had inadvertantly archived on the Windows disk. I would ask any windows users, how do I make powershell ls | select-string "text" behave like ls | grep "text" on unix?

      edit3: Also, why the fudge would windows explorer search find <weird characters>net but not dotnet when typing 'net' into the search box?

      So I download the occasional, um, linux distro installation video. I use a vpn and private firefox windows for most.

      I'm doing some clean up today, and find a file with a bunch of strange characters, including the text characters, "net." "M⌐⌐v├▒├┼⌐▒net" is the filename listed in the properties window. Inside are a series of .ase files with mostly unrecognizable names.

      I don't see the filename when doing an ls in powershell of the directory reported in explorer.

      doing ls | select-string "net" in powershell results in an unending peristalsis of weird text like you might get from a binary file viewed in a text editor. I do notice, however, that some of the text might be from inside a zip file. But why is select-string searching inside the zip file? ls seems to ouptut only filepath information. Upon further investigation, the zip file is several directories down, it appears adding | select-string to ls makes ls travel the full tree. Wut?

      And when I say undending, I mean it kept going until I hit ctrl-c.

      Any ideas to what is happening here?

      Incidentally, I opened one of the ASE files by right-click->view file in notepad+, which never launched.

      Edit: lots of edits.

      12 votes
    31. Seeking advice for solving USB-C hell on new laptop

      Edit: I changed some windows settings based on advice here. The situation is improved and I am going to see how things go before buying new equipment. Thank you everyone So I recently bought a new...

      Edit: I changed some windows settings based on advice here. The situation is improved and I am going to see how things go before buying new equipment. Thank you everyone

      So I recently bought a new laptop. I use an external mouse, keyboard, headphones etc, all of which come with usb A connectors that worked well with my old laptop.

      When the new laptop arrived there weren't nearly enough ports for either usb A or usb c so I invested in a peripheral that links four usb a connections to one usb c connection on the laptop. Edit, it is powered and plugged in. Now the connection with everything plugged in seems to be intermittent and the mouse and external keyboard don't work reliably.

      I have read a couple of articles and I am even more confused but they seem to be saying that usb c is not plug and play the way usb a was. What the fuck. Why do this like this? What do I do now?

      I just spent significant money on this computer and I don't want to replace a functioning mouse and keyboard

      13 votes
    32. Building a home media server on a budget

      Hi I figured before I start venturing into other forums dedicated to this sort of thing, I'd ask here on Tildes since I'm at least comfortable with the community and how helpful they can be here....

      Hi

      I figured before I start venturing into other forums dedicated to this sort of thing, I'd ask here on Tildes since I'm at least comfortable with the community and how helpful they can be here.

      I'm tired of all of the subscription services I have, movies and TV shows disappearing from them, buying a film on Prime and only being able to watch it offline through a specific app. Even then, half the time we're watching comfort TV shows that we have on DVD already (X-Files and Friends for instance).

      So I figured that building a home media server would give me the chance to cut the cord with a couple of these services and allow us to start using and controlling our own data again.

      I have a budget of around £300 (I could perhaps push to £400 if needed) and I'm honestly not sure at all where to start. I have knowledge on how to build brand new, medium to high end gaming PCs as I've done it since I was in my late teens and built my first PC with the wages from my very first job but building a budget minded PC for use as a home media server goes completely over my head.

      I've noticed that a lot of the pre-built NAS or media server boxes are very expensive so my first thought was to buy a refurbed workstation or small form factor PC that has enough "oomph" to do the trick but I don't know what ones to even start looking at and then I start to feel a little bit out of my comfort zone.

      Things like getting the right CPU in these refurbed machines that offers the features I'm looking for like hardware transcoding etc., integrated GPU's, ensuring there's enough SATA ports for multiple hard drives and an SSD for a boot drive, and then to top it all off ensuring that while achieving these features the thing shouldn't draw too much power when idling as it'll be on for long stretches of time, if not left on 24/7.

      I've also got no knowledge of Linux, I've never even looked at it but if it's genuinely easy enough (for someone with next to no Linux experience) then I'd be happy to give it a shot if it offers better performance compared to using Windows 10 or something.

      All the server will be used for is watching TV shows, perhaps the odd film, listening to a bit of music perhaps and the odd podcast now and again. Simultaneous streaming will be fairly minimal, perhaps 2 streams as me or my partner watch one thing and our daughter watches another on her tablet. In regards to streaming outside the house that will also be almost non-existent, perhaps, again our daughter watching a kids TV show like Pokemon or Fireman Sam on her tablet when we're out but me and my partner don't tend to watch anything when we're outside the house, certainly not TV shows or movies anyway.

      Redundancy isn't something I'm too horrendously worried about, I wouldn't be storing anything like photos that we wouldn't want to lose on it and while it'd be annoying, losing a drive with TV shows or films on it wouldn't be the end of the world.

      Any help would be massively appreciated, thanks.

      36 votes
    33. Help fixing an old Sony TV

      Hi Tildestrians! I recently acquired a broken Sony TV from work. Its older, but its 4K, and would be a substantial upgrade over my current TV, so I am hoping to fix it. My usual willingness to...

      Hi Tildestrians! I recently acquired a broken Sony TV from work. Its older, but its 4K, and would be a substantial upgrade over my current TV, so I am hoping to fix it. My usual willingness to tinker and google prowess has failed me. I am hoping one of you can provide some guidance.

      Its a Sony XBR-55X850B. It is showing an error code of 7 flashing red lights. I tracked down the service manual (Sony, you should really have this available to customers and not locked behind an "authorized service center" certification), and it says the motherboard needs to be replaced. I found a replacement motherboard on ebay (it was for the 65 inch version, but that should not make a difference). I installed, and it gave a different error code. I think it was flashing green and orange. Based on my research, that means it needs new firmware to be flashed. Sony's website doesn't still have the firmware file for that TV (should be illegal in my opinion), and tells you to contact support. Support seemingly can't give out the firmware file either. I found a firmware file on Softpedia, but I have no idea if it is legitimate or even still a working file. Threw that on a fat32 drive, and couldn't manage to get it to update. I tried multiple drives and all usb ports over the course of 2 weeks. I ended up pulling the new motherboard and returning it (thankfully I was able to return it for full price). Now I am stuck with a TV panel that works perfectly, except for the motherboard, and I seemingly can't replace the motherboard.

      This got me thinking: I don't need anything fancy. I want a display with an HDMI input that takes 4K signal and puts it on the screen. I truly don't need anything more than that. Even an IR remote for power is optional, because I could plug it into a smart outlet. I don't need the speakers because I have a receiver. I know you can get bypass boards to turn laptop screens into monitors. They take the place of the support circuitry on the laptop motherboard and give you a display input, and nothing more. Is there anything like that I can get for this TV? I don't know where to start on that search.

      Or are there any other routes I should explore before junking this TV? It feels really bad to throw out a perfectly good 4k panel just because the motherboard is broken.

      11 votes
    34. Audio/video system for a small bar

      I'm helping some friends setting up a bar/little restaurant. they have some tvs and are looking for an audio system. The idea is that they can put on some music videos/sports and it shows up on...

      I'm helping some friends setting up a bar/little restaurant. they have some tvs and are looking for an audio system.
      The idea is that they can put on some music videos/sports and it shows up on all TVs and audio goes to their (to be bought) soundsystem.

      all this has to be as cheap as possible, as we're in a low income country.
      The environment is quite loud. so it needs some power.

      So I think I just gonna buy a cheapish hifi-system with 4 passive speakers, connect it with their "smartest" tv (they are all off-brand) and run audio cables to the different areas and speakers.

      how to synchronize the tvs I still have no idea, but it is not really a priority

      So my questions

      • What is something like this even called? with the keywords I tired i only find nothing or very expensive pro solutions.
      • how would you resolve the video part? 3x 15m HDMI cables seem quite expensive, but might be the only solution. how do i split the signal?
      • might it be better to buy active speakers and use a small mixer?

      If you have experience in this I would be very happy for your advice/opinion.

      9 votes
    35. Advice on GPU upgrade wanted

      So I'm in the market at the moment for a GPU upgrade. I haven't spent a dumb amount of money on something stupid in a while now and I'm thinking this Christmas season is the time. My only problem...

      So I'm in the market at the moment for a GPU upgrade. I haven't spent a dumb amount of money on something stupid in a while now and I'm thinking this Christmas season is the time. My only problem is, I've been really out of the loop since the Great Shortage. I've heard AMDs cards these days are actually more than complete jokes, and NVIDIA has been getting too big-headed and making some poor consumer choices. So a switch to AMD sounds like it might be viable for me.

      At the moment, I've got an RTX 2070 8GB. I've read that lately, games have been utilizing VRAM like crazy so I want to bolster my numbers on that front. Was looking at 12GB cards since the 24GB ones are all ludicrously priced. At the moment, I'd say my budget is around 500/600 USD. Is AMD worth switching to at the moment? Or should I go for something like a 4060?

      21 votes
    36. Advice on making a full snapshot/backup of a running Linux system (Debian)

      Hi all, I’m looking for advice re making a full snapshot/backup of a running Linux system (Debian). In an ideal world, should an issue occur, I would like to be able to load a live USB with the...

      Hi all,

      I’m looking for advice re making a full snapshot/backup of a running Linux system (Debian).

      In an ideal world, should an issue occur, I would like to be able to load a live USB with the backup, boot and write from that.

      Timeshift seems to be an option but I’m wondering how the above would work in my case. A few questions.

      1. My disk is fully encrypted with LUKS. Would this pose a problem?
      2. I would like to write my backups to a veracrypt container. Would this pose any issue? I’m not sure how I would boot from a live USB in this case I could not decrypt the USB.

      Essentially I’d like a step-by-step guide to backing up my full system (including all files in home) in such a way that I can easily roll back should the worst happen. Do any of you know of such a guide or can perhaps offer some help?

      10 votes
    37. How do you keep your keyboards non-sticky?

      Hi. I work from my tiny studio and I only have one table for eating and for the computer. Might be a very silly question but: I'm usually too lazy to put the external keyboard away when I'm having...

      Hi. I work from my tiny studio and I only have one table for eating and for the computer.

      Might be a very silly question but: I'm usually too lazy to put the external keyboard away when I'm having lunch and so the keys eventually get sticky with oil from the food and whatnot. Is there some way to clean them? Is there a type of keyboard that would be easier to clean?

      The spacebar and the ctrl / shift keys in particular are the ones to get sticky first.

      I understand that one solution would be to just put it away while eating -- and maybe that's the best solution? But maybe there are alternatives?

      Thanks in advance.

      Edit: Thank you again to everyone for taking the time helping me with my silly problem. Especially to the ones who tried their best not to be judgmental. :)

      15 votes
    38. How to use the YouTube website?

      Youtube has become rather broken of late. The nagware popup complaining about my ad blocker can no longer be removed. I don't want ads and I certainly aren't going to pay. So far, I download the...

      Youtube has become rather broken of late. The nagware popup complaining about my ad blocker can no longer be removed. I don't want ads and I certainly aren't going to pay. So far, I download the videos via Jdownloader. Is there a less bothersome way? How do you go about it?

      25 votes
    39. Installing a SATA SSD in a Lenovo x270 (shielding vs no shielding)

      Hi all, Has been a while :) I'm having an issue with upgrading an SSD on a Lenovo x270 and thought I'd reach out for some advice. I'm installing a SATA SSD (Crucial BX500) but the original caddy...

      Hi all,

      Has been a while :)

      I'm having an issue with upgrading an SSD on a Lenovo x270 and thought I'd reach out for some advice.

      I'm installing a SATA SSD (Crucial BX500) but the original caddy in the laptop is for a NVME M.2 PCIe SSD. The only part I can use of the original caddy is the plastic shielding that can fit around the new drive.

      The issue is, now I have no shielding. The new drive will fit in the 2.5 inch slot the old drive was in but it rests on top of only two small pieces of foam glued to the board. Do you think this is an issue? Should I shield it somehow? Perhaps EMI tape? If so, should I shield both the top and bottom of the drive? There's no caddy I can find for this use case in Europe.

      Any help would be appreciated.

      p.s I am following this article: https://techblog.paalijarvi.fi/2020/01/02/32gb-ram-for-thinkpad-x270-and-other-pimp-ups/

      As you can see, in their case, some metal foil (an EMC cover?) came with the eBay cable they bought to support the SATA connection. I'm wondering if that's nesscary.

      10 votes
    40. Software development jobs for people that want to have a life outside of work

      Hey there! Back when the pandemic was in full swing, I stumbled upon a comment that shared a link to a website with a title quite like this post. I can't quite recall if I saw the comment on...

      Hey there! Back when the pandemic was in full swing, I stumbled upon a comment that shared a link to a website with a title quite like this post. I can't quite recall if I saw the comment on Reddit, the orange site, or even here. The site was quite basic, and claimed to have a list of jobs from companies that understood that its workers would like to have a life outside of work

      The job market has changed a lot since the pandemic, but if any of you awesome folks happen to know where I can find a good part-time software development job, I'd be seriously grateful.

      38 votes
    41. AI overview for tech illiterate TV people

      Hey folks I've got a couple of months to put together an overview for tools that a company could use as part of television production and I'm hoping for your input. It goes without saying that...

      Hey folks

      I've got a couple of months to put together an overview for tools that a company could use as part of television production and I'm hoping for your input.

      It goes without saying that everyone in the tech world is pushing ai heavily. Having been in IT for almost 3 decades I know what to watch, look at, out for, etc. AI is still very much regurgitation of its input but the input is vast. What I have right now is some bare bones of what I want to throw around for insight and discussion for what would help people in TV production tool wise.

      For those that do not know how TV production works it's a simple idea: you generate a huge raft of ideas for shows, absolute basic outline of what the show would be about and put that in to a paper. You then sit around in your research/Dev dept and pitch to each other and the ones that people go "yeah, that could make a good show" get some extra meat added. Those ideas get pitched to dept heads who then take the best ones to channel/broadcasters execs and see if any get hooked at all. If they do, they get given some development funding to put together a taster/pilot/video version with the funding they have. This means shot on camera, run through an edit for cutting, audio, graphics, etc, still in its infancy and development state. This video and a bigger padded Treatment (documented idea with its bones, flesh and now make-up added) goes back to the broadcaster and you wait for feedback. If you get lucky you get a greenlight and order for X amount of shows and then you have a production. The production is taking the idea to it's full potential, shooting it, audio and music, graphics, the works and that's what you see on TV.

      I'm after working out what tools AI offers today that would help them with this process. Right now, ChatGPT v4 will generate some great treatment ideas for shows, except I would imagine these shows already exist or have been tried to channel/broadcaster before? AI is regurgitation and not thoughtful to its own ideas and imagination. I suppose with great prompts it could generate great output.

      Okay, that's the process and I'm rambling. Right now I have a short list of LLMs such as ChatGPT and Bard types that will help with the idea stage for researchers. I could use some decent links for prompters to help the research know how to ask AI for what they want out of it.

      When it comes to generative AI for graphics I only have experience with txt2img using the likes of DALLE and Midjourney, along with some inpainting for changing images with lies, I mean, graphics (insert plane on fire, etc).

      Does anyone have any other ideas and tools which would help production or useful things I can look at and research myself to see how they could be helpful? Auto audio generation? Graphic building that takes less time? Think of those great show intros for the likes of Game of Thrones, can that be done using AI yet or are we no where near that level for AI? Even basic video edits, where are we for AI help? Can we feed it some clips and have it autostitch based on an input document? If so, what tools should I be looking at and researching?

      I'm asking here before I plop search terms in Google and Bing and then get swamped with whichever has paid the most or played the SEO game to be top of the pages. Asking for real human input is definitely better than asking AI which may actually be the whole point of my talk when it happens.

      Thanks for listening and any help/pointers/sites you can give.

      UPDATE:
      I went off and did some research. Enjoy these if you want. I had issues linking so if a mod wants to go ahead and do that, feel free:

      Pre-Production:

      Treatment idea generation

      Generating a great idea is usually through using knowledge and research, but these days you can literally ask an AI engine to come up with a show idea. Here I will list some good AIs that use a very large language model (LLM) to come up with ideas:

      ChatGPT4 from OpenAI

      ChatGPT is the best known AI out there, but essentially it's the AI that everyone uses. What's different is the data that is fed to it. ChatGPT from OpenAI has a lot of knowledge, however, it's generally backdated information and not up to the minute.

      You.com

      Built on ChatGPT4 AI. Data fed in more up to date as it's based around a search engine. Due to the plethora of sources being fed to the You.com Chat bot, you may find some more interesting results and ideas.

      Bing.com - Chat

      Directly leverages the latest version of ChatGPT4 from OpenAI but uses additional media from Microsoft sources. Responses are more natural due to the Turing Natural Language.

      Copy.ai

      A fun LLM designed for advertising agencies and the alike. The difference here is you can upload a back-catalogue of your own data for it to analyse to take on your brand voice, mix up your ideas and generally become one of the family.

      Prompting

      Just from picking one of the four AIs listed above, you can straight out ask for a basic show idea. All of them came back with interesting ideas from the prompt of "Generate me a great show idea for a television production treatment. The show should be a documentary for daytime viewing."

      Prompting is the hardest part of any AI interaction, the results can wildly vary depending on what and how you ask. Due to this, there's a new type of website to help with prompting:

      https://promptperfect.jina.ai/prompts

      Using the line from above about generating a great show idea, promptperfect injects a lot more information into the prompt before running: "Please create a compelling show idea for a daytime documentary television production. The show should be engaging and informative, catering to a broad daytime audience. It should focus on a specific topic or theme that is both educational and entertaining. The documentary should be well-researched and provide in-depth information on the chosen topic, presenting it in a visually appealing and accessible manner. The show should aim to captivate viewers and leave them with a better understanding and appreciation of the subject matter. Additionally, please provide a brief outline of the structure and format of the documentary, including the number of episodes, approximate runtime, and any unique features or storytelling techniques that will make the show stand out." The quality of the Treatment created will be far superior to the initial request.

      https://webutility.io/

      An interesting take on generation of prompting. It breaks down the prompts to dropdown boxes with key words such as create, design, analyse along with the focus type. This forces the ai to create some more complex and well thought out documentation for a treatment idea with explanation of how it got to where it did.

      AIs to help with show production

      Location finding/scouting

      With the latest AI image searching features, you can now upload an image and get a "related" search. Using this technology, you could, for example, look for English Country Gardens that you would like to film out of. Uploading this image would give you a list of locations, similar places and website associated with the image:

      On each of the following sites, in the search bar, click the Image Icon to upload the image:

      https://www.bing.com/images/
      https://images.google.com/

      Scheduling (not specifically AI)

      Scheduling shoots should be simple. We've seen all the fun from an Excel spreadsheet that's laid out like a calendar, through to the most complex diary entries in a shared Google calendar. We already have the tools for this in Microsoft Office:

      Microsoft Bookings: This is a great tool for scheduling a diary of a single person or a whole team. It allows to have a Web Page where people can book in time for appointments, whether virtual or in person. Perfect for a researcher trying to book interviews with a host. The AI lies in the ability to cross search a calendar and pick associated times available.

      Microsoft Planner: A tool for project and time management. Breakdown the show in to buckets (categories) and assign out tasks to people and teams, due by dates or exact dates, etc. You can even keep all of the documents in the plan.

      Microsoft Shifts: Team management for your production using Shifts. This allows you to schedule team members in Teams, allowing them to clock in and out, as well as specifying when they need to be available.

      The three tools all work with the Outlook Calendars so each person knows what their plans are well in advance.

      Post-Production

      This is the one most people are interested in for AI at this time. The tools used for image generation, manipulation, etc. The market is currently being flooded with tools and not all of them are equal, but here's a few ones to watch and use.

      Auto-Clipping & Social Platform

      OpusClip, using the power of OpenAI, can take a long video and create 10 viral clips from it at the click of a button. The AI behind it analyses the video, looks for compelling sections and highlights, then seamlessly rearranges in to short videos. This tool will be great for generating short promotional videos of long form shows, documentaries, etc.

      Descript is a great tool that can take a video, give you a transcription, then you can edit the transcript, where it then edits the video to match. You can remove words, create studio quality audio from a standard mic, remove common error words such as um, and er, etc. One of the bigger cool things it can do is voice mimic using AI. You read it a line and then you can type out a whole transcript and it'll narrate it in your voice and allow export.

      AI Generative

      Moving on to the more scary AI platforms, we have completely generative AI. This is where AI generates absolutely everything including the "avatar" of the human speaking. It's getting so real, you could probably make a documentary using nothing buy AI voice for narration and even have an interview with the AI Avatar.

      Video Generation

      Synthesia has 120+ voices, over 140 AI Avatars and an editing tool that is extremely easy to use. Mostly aimed at Sales, Training and Marketing Teams, but could easily be used to create development tasters and cuts by mixing in the AI with real video. An example video here.

      AI Studios from DeepBrain is another tool, similar to Synthesia. The avatars are based on real humans being recorded but then converted in to AI models. Again, lots of models, full text to video.

      Spline AI is a 3D modelling engine that will generate models from text prompts. It's still in Alpha stages but specifying something like "A cube", "rounded corners", "floating", "spinning slowly" will generate exactly that. This tool is aimed at animators but is likely where CGI effects will head.

      Still Image Generation

      Txt-2-img is amazing and growing at an ever rapid pace. With the wealth of images out there to learn from, the styles, etc, it's no wonder it's doing great. However, it's far from perfect, even now. You'll often find that it adds limbs or fingers to models, shadows completely wrong, crazy styles that are not what you asked for, and that's just the start of the issues with it. However, when it gets it right, it's amazing.

      DALL·E3 from OpenAI is the current leader in image generation. If you need to whiz up a picture of a steam train, crossing a suspension bridge at sunset with a woodland in the background, this is the tool of choice.

      Bing Image Creator is probably the second biggest right now and has very good accuracy of text to image due to the absolutely huge database of images with high detail being fed to it by Microsoft. It's also free.

      I'm not going to list too many more as a lot of them stray off in to fantasy land, being trained on Anime, comics, however, DeepAI definitely deserves a mention. These are the folks behind a lot of the viral videos where you can scan your face and and speak a few lines, then it adds you to a section of a movie as a "Deep Fake". You can have it chat, generate images and even AI edit images with txt-2-img.

      Video Edit Tools

      The biggest AI enhancers right now are tools that help in the Edit at a professional level.

      Topaz Video AI is one of the leading tools in Post production. Upscale footage from SD to 8K and HD to 16K. Full denoise, sharpening, 16x slow down with AI interpolation including building new frames. Corrects people and faces. AI Stabilized video to stop bounce and tracking issues. This is a complete Post Swiss-army knife.

      Adobe After Effects which everyone knows. The Adobe AI, called Sensei, is under constant development. Easy animations of text and logos via text to video, rotoscoping video objects to remove the background of a person and replace, or removal of all objects in a scene using AI generative filling is all extremely easy.

      Adode Premiere deserves a mention, but again, this down to Sensei. The current AI tools coming in to the suite are things such as Auto Rough Cut using the transcript to generate the video, full auto transcription with subtitle creation for multiple languages. Auto Colour will fix most colour issues using AI to save time in grading. AI Morph Cut adds visual continuity to cut transitions, remix for music matching with visuals, and Auto Ducking – popping dialogue over background audio to make sure you can hear voices correctly.

      ColourLab AI is a new kind of grading tool where you no longer need to spend time with an artist grading every scene. The tool is a plugin to Davinci or Premiere and will do cool things such as film grain matching or stock emulation, which allows you to match any scenes together to look exactly the same. Take a video of a pigeon flying over a statue in London, and have it grade using a still frame from The Martian to get those awesome colours automatically, for the whole scene.

      Audio/Narrator/Voice Over

      The final piece is the new voiceover AI generation. No longer do we need voice over artists. In fact, Hollywood thinks the same and fired the whole staff of Snow White and replaced the Dwarfs with CGI and AI voices.

      Altered Studio can change any persons voice, in any way you wish. Record your voice for narration and then adjust it to be male, female, Elvern, whatever. It also does full transcription and allows for VO with text-to-speech using AI voices.

      A quick shout out to a member of Tildes who wants to remain anonymous for some of the cool links that they sent over - much appreciated.

      6 votes
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      I've been toying between that or just grabbing an old server off craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for $25-$30 and just going to town from there. What do you guys recommend?

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      My question is - are there any other things that are good (or necessary) to purchase to go along with it? Asking because I am going to have to buy it online (one of the authorized sellers), and since I'm going to pay for shipping, I only want to make one purchase. So, if there's other things I need to get, I'd love to know.

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      Is there a catch or is it really a free lunch in this regard?

      17 votes
    48. Upgrading my Gaming PC or starting afresh

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      • PSU - EVGA Supernova 850 T2
      • RAM - 32GB, 4 sticks of G.Skill Trident Z 3200 DDR4
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      • Case - In Win 904 plus - large and spacious case
      • Storage - Couple of Samsung SSDs
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      2. Replace MOBO, GPU, and get a new CPU and CPU cooler. The PSU is 6 years old but it's decent quality and 850 watts should be enough?

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      • Play some current AAA games like Baulder's Gate 3 and Elden Ring decently, at medium-high settings (not ultra), and don't need super high FPS.
      • Ideally supports 4k resolution for desktop use but for gaming I'd be mostly sticking to 1440p/1080p.
      • I don't want to overclock (those days are over)
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      I'm at a bit of a loss at what to do, and there are not many PC-building threads here on Tildes, so I thought I'd ask for some advice. Anyone have opinions on option 1 or 2 above, or is there a third option I'm not thinking of? And does anyone have part recommendations? Thanks in advance.

      27 votes
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      GitHub's 2FA requirement is about to lock me out of my personal account, so I figured it's time to get a grasp on this:

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