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  • Showing only topics in ~tech with the tag "ask.recommendations". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. Help me ditch Chrome's password manager!

      I've been trying to reduce my reliance on all things Google, and one of the big ones is password management. I've tried several times to make the jump, but every time I start researching options...

      I've been trying to reduce my reliance on all things Google, and one of the big ones is password management. I've tried several times to make the jump, but every time I start researching options I'm overwhelmed by the selection. There are a lot of popular options out there, and I really don't have the time/energy to endure a misstep. So without a clear idea of which manager will check all of my boxes, I end up bailing on the process and keep using chrome's built in option.

      So to start, here's what I like about Chrome:

      • Automatically offers to store passwords without extra clicks
      • Autofills automatically where it can, and gives me an easy choice when it can't
      • Works everywhere I need passwords. (basically everywhere I browse the internet since chrome works everywhere)
      • Minimal overhead. This is hard to beat since Chrome just includes it, so I'm fine with a little extra setup if necessary.

      I used to use keepass portable on a thumb drive (I want to say circa ~2009ish), but it became really inconvenient as my usage shifted more to mobile devices.

      I see this as a first step to also reducing my reliance on Chrome so I can start to consider other browsers. Right now I feel locked in to Google's ecosystem, but I know I can break it up if I don't get too bogged down by choice. Much appreciate any help. :)

      20 votes
    2. Chrome/Firefox Plugin to locally scrape data from multiple URLs

      As the title suggests, I am looking for a free chrome or firefox plugin that can locally scrape data from multiple URLs. To be a bit more precise, what I mean by it: A free chrome or firefox...

      As the title suggests, I am looking for a free chrome or firefox plugin that can locally scrape data from multiple URLs. To be a bit more precise, what I mean by it:

      • A free chrome or firefox plugin
      • Local scraping: it runs in the browser itself. No cloud computing or "credits" required to run
      • Scrape data: Collects predefined data from certain data fields within a website such as https://www.dastelefonbuch.de/Suche/Test
      • Infinite scroll: to load data that only loads once the browser scrolls down (kind of like in the page I linked above)

      I am not looking into programming my own scraper using python or anything similar. I have found plugins that "kind of" do what I am describing above, and about two weeks ago I found one that pretty much perfectly does what is described ("DataGrab"), but it starts asking to buy credits after running it a few times.

      My own list:

      • DataGrab: Excellent, apart from asking to buy credits after a while
      • SimpleScraper: Excellent, but asks to buy credits pretty much immediately
      • Easy Scraper: Works well for single pages, but no possibility to feed in multiple URLs to crawl
      • Instant Data Scraper: Works well for single pages and infinite scroll pages, but no possibility to feed in multiple URLs to crawl
      • "Data Scraper - Easy Web Scraping" / dataminer.io: Doesn't work well
      • Scrapy.org: Too much programming, but looks quite neat and well documented

      Any suggestions are highly welcome!

      Edit: A locally run executable or cmd-line based program would be fine too, as long as it just needs to be configured (e.g., creating a list of URLs stored in a .txt or .csv file) instead of coded (e.g., coding an infinite scroll function from scratch).

      8 votes
    3. Any RSS feed recommendations that aren't news?

      Just recently started getting into rss feeds. Have set up a feed reader and some feeds for my favorite sports team and some news sites and blogs that interest me. But whenever I look up some...

      Just recently started getting into rss feeds. Have set up a feed reader and some feeds for my favorite sports team and some news sites and blogs that interest me. But whenever I look up some recommendations for new feeds to follow, I'd say 90%+ of the recommendations are news sites like the BBC or NYT as well as tech news sites.

      Does anyone have any feed recommendations that aren't just news websites? Maybe an interesting blog or something entirely different? Thanks.

      I'll drop an interesting one that I found right here on tildes a few days ago, about life in Antarctica: https://brr.fyi/

      60 votes
    4. How do you store ”loose” tech hardware?

      Hesitating between posting this as a comment or a topic but here we are. While reading this Tildes post (and the blog post) about tiny undervalued hardware, a curiosity sparked in my head. How do...

      Hesitating between posting this as a comment or a topic but here we are.

      While reading this Tildes post (and the blog post) about tiny undervalued hardware, a curiosity sparked in my head.

      How do you organize and store your cables, tiny hardware, and other stuff? Mine are like a bunch of rat tails tangled up inside a plastic box.

      I live in a small apartment (for now) and would like to hear your thoughts. And recommendations.

      We don’t have to limit ourselves to just wires and cables. For example, I also have old phones, external CD players, etc.

      Bonus points if it’s portable and you could travel with your “tiny hardware”.

      22 votes
    5. Looking for an app with calendar, timetables, reminders, timers etc

      Ideally an all-in-one app with sync to a Windows or browser app. For paid apps, preferably a one-time purchase rather than subscription. I like organizing and customizing, so user freedom is...

      Ideally an all-in-one app with sync to a Windows or browser app. For paid apps, preferably a one-time purchase rather than subscription. I like organizing and customizing, so user freedom is pretty important too. Bonus points if you've found the app useful for ADHD.

      Google Calendar worked pretty well, but now I'm looking to build habits for hobbies and studies, while also keeping up with occasional appointments. I think it'd be much simpler to just have everything under one app.

      15 votes
    6. Recommendations for wireless earbuds for extended PC use?

      I've always been a speakers kind of guy because I'm not a fan of how bulky headsets are, but because of the fun of Zoom meetings and things, I've kind of gotten over my hatred of headphones. That...

      I've always been a speakers kind of guy because I'm not a fan of how bulky headsets are, but because of the fun of Zoom meetings and things, I've kind of gotten over my hatred of headphones. That said, I'd still prefer to commit to earbuds rather than big, bulky GamerTM headphones long-term. Instead, I'd like to pivot to earbuds.

      So my first problem is: I've always been under the assumption that 2.4Ghz dongle is superior to Bluetooth, but apparently modern Bluetooth is almost/practically as good. If that's the case, I wouldn't care about getting a Bluetooth-only set, but that does mean dropping more money on a dongle for my PC.

      My other caveat is that I hate having to pause what I'm doing to charge something. The only wireless thing I own is a headset I use for Zoom meetings and things, and it's a Arctis Wireless that can easily do 20+ hours without a charge. I would be using these for my weekly RPG that I run online, which is almost always 8+ hours long, not counting me watching videos/listening to music in the leadup to to the game.

      So yeah, with that in mind-- low latency and battery life are my big things, and I don't care about a microphone at all, but I'd like it to be fairly budget-friendly. Again, it just seems like... since I last used headphones 15+ years ago, things have changed a lot and even just googling and reading opinions on reddit-- all the opinions are varying and often opposing on what I should be shooting for.

      I don't care all that much about brand loyalty, or what color it is, or anything like that, either. So, what all would anyone here recommend?

      15 votes
    7. What are some cheaper alternatives to Grammarly that are equally as good?

      As a non-native English speaker, I use Grammarly's free tier daily. It is invaluable to help me catch common mistakes, as well as to get a better understanding of the language through the...

      As a non-native English speaker, I use Grammarly's free tier daily. It is invaluable to help me catch common mistakes, as well as to get a better understanding of the language through the explanations it provides. I will need to write even more English in the next few months, so it seemed like a good idea to get the Premium subscription. Unfortunately, Grammarly's pricing ($144 for the year) is prohibitive when converted to Brazilian Reais. And even if I am capable of making that payment now, I would rather avoid becoming dependent on something that is so expensive for me. So, what are some affordable alternatives to Grammarly's Premium subscription?

      Just to be clear, I am aware that it is not ideal to rely too much on that kind of tool. Rest assured that my domain of English is enough that I am entirely capable of taking the suggestions as extra help and not as a crutch.

      20 votes
    8. Does anyone know a search engine for news articles only?

      I’m looking for a search engine just for news; kind of a Google News competitor but something independent. Any ideas? I know of Ground News, it’s already pretty good though it’s less search engine...

      I’m looking for a search engine just for news; kind of a Google News competitor but something independent. Any ideas?

      I know of Ground News, it’s already pretty good though it’s less search engine and more aggregator. Open to hear more.

      18 votes
    9. Are there any affordable digital compact cameras out there with a zoom lens?

      Most of my photo-taking is done with my Smartphone but it really lacks a proper zoom feature. I'd like to purchase a cheap compact camera with a zoom lens. Is there anything out there you would...

      Most of my photo-taking is done with my Smartphone but it really lacks a proper zoom feature. I'd like to purchase a cheap compact camera with a zoom lens. Is there anything out there you would recommend?

      edit

      Bonus if it has a USB-C interface. I hate carrying multiple cords around.

      14 votes
    10. What are the best websites/programs for creating mood boards / image collages / 'visual lists'?

      Hullo! I'm very much a list person, but I'm also very much a visual person. So, I've found that simple grids of images work really well for me when I want to plan and organize information,...

      Hullo! I'm very much a list person, but I'm also very much a visual person. So, I've found that simple grids of images work really well for me when I want to plan and organize information, aesthetics, etc. However, I've struggled to find my ideal website or program that allows me to do this.

      My wants:

      • To upload images with minimal clicks. (My workflow would likely be to find an image somewhere, get the image's URL, navigate to a page, and upload via URL, without necessarily needing to enter form fields or save an image locally first.)
      • To display medium resolution images as clear thumbnails (e.g. anywhere from 200x200 to 500x500). Enough for detail, but not necessarily "HD".
      • To offer the ability to crop (or even just display) images as square thumbnails (for the purposes of a neat and uniform grid) without me having to go through https://squareanimage.com (real website!) for every single image.
      • To categorize images into groups (i.e. to display a set of images as a coherent little grid/gallery). I'm not picky about whether this is done via fixed category pages, or tags + filtering.
      • To maybe add extra information attached to each image (e.g. descriptions, links, etc.) without necessarily cluttering the grid.
      • As for whether the service is public or private, cloud-based or local, I don't really mind!

      Some of the options I've tried:

      • Wordpress: Really nice grid-based themes, but the "blog post"-based system feels cumbersome for what I'm trying to do (images only). So many clicks to add images and make new posts.
      • Tumblr: Lovely for content discovery, the quick reblog feature saves a lot of clicks, and tagging is flexible. But, this has many of the same downsides as Wordpress (lots of clicks to upload your own images, post-based system), and Tumblr as a platform is so much more than what I'm looking for (don't want/need social features).
      • Pinterest: 10/10 for content discovery -- their image similarity algorithms and image search are unmatched. Wonderful for quickly spinning up a collage of themed pictures. But, horrid for uploading new pictures, given that they'll become public pins with comments/links/etc. Too many clicks + unnecessary fields. I worry about attribution for artists with Pinterest specifically -- I don't want to perpetuate a lack of attribution with publicly re-shareable images. Also, the collages are very busy with ads and unnecessary text. Plus, it's kind of cumbersome to reorganize images between boards if you want to change your board scheme.
      • Pinry: Open source, self-hosted version of Pinterest. Was a bit too rough around the edges the last time I tried to use it, but maybe it's good enough now?
      • Are.na: A bit too... New York trendy? For my tastes. Also, the social elements aren't really my thing... Also, costly!!!
      • Google Keep: Surprisingly good? Perhaps the best option I've tried? For image notes, it's very flexible with regards to grid-based layouts, tagging, adding optional details, adding multiple images to a single note, etc. My main criticisms are that uploading images and tagging notes does take quite a few clicks; the grid stops being aligned the moment your notes begin to differ (e.g. add images of varying size, add titles/details, etc.), so it can start to look a bit visually cluttered; the UI doesn't seem to be designed with many tags in mind; the default layout shows all notes (I never want this).
      • Local files and folders: Dead simple, but with very few features. Thumbnail views in file explorers are really space inefficient compared to grid-based image galleries.
      • Random photo organizing software: Largely geared towards actual photos taken with an actual camera (real life subjects, camera EXIF data, organizing by date taken, etc.). Too many unnecessary features for my needs, not enough features geared towards digital non-photo images (e.g. graphics).
      • "Speed dial" new tab pages for browsers: Helps me organize bookmarks! I like being able to see the icons, like a desktop for webapps. I will use image grids for everything.
      • Artwork grids in media libraries / tracking websites: Plex, MusicBee, Letterboxd, Goodreads, Anime-Planet... you are heaven to me.

      Here is a gallery of screenshots for websites/services I have tried, to give you an idea of how I use these services. The first one (tumblr) is the closest to visually ideal (dense + uniform grid), but Keep is the closest to ideal feature-wise. Surely there is a website or service I'm missing that could be the best of both worlds!

      10 votes
    11. Decent Android mobile phones with good audio (and has a 3.5mm jack) recently released?

      Hi all, Been looking for a new mobile lately to replace my V20 (still havent found one but my criteria has changed). Looking for (im trying to avoid buying an mp player - not as if there are many...

      Hi all,
      Been looking for a new mobile lately to replace my V20 (still havent found one but my criteria has changed). Looking for (im trying to avoid buying an mp player - not as if there are many options left)

      3.5mm headphone jack
      good/great audio (has good internal dac -- not looking for great speaker output)
      good battery life
      5G
      dual sim
      has to be something that lasts (had V20 for 7 years)
      Not going to be used for gaming. Mainly scrolling, forums etc
      Any suggestions ?
      Or am i stuck with something in Sony range (i know bit overpriced but oh well..)
      or getting an older V60 (not keen as the battery life wont be good now imho).
      thanks
      N

      28 votes
    12. Can anyone recommend a printer/scanner combo that works with Linux with no additional drivers?

      I'm looking for a black & white laser printer with a scanner for home office use. The only fancy thing about it is that I'm running Linux and I don't want to install any driver packages from the...

      I'm looking for a black & white laser printer with a scanner for home office use. The only fancy thing about it is that I'm running Linux and I don't want to install any driver packages from the manufacturer. I want to plug it into any laptop running any Linux distro and start printing and scanning with no fuss.

      Brother printers are very popular, but if I search for any Brother printer and "linux", all I can find is stuff about the drivers and how to fix the various issues that come with those.

      If I understand correctly, modern printers should just work via something called IPP/AirPrint and they should also work over USB. Is that correct?

      What about the scanner? Does that also just work over IPP?

      29 votes
    13. I'm looking for a project management tool similar to gantt but... different

      I'm wondering if this type of tool exists. Basically, I am senior dev of a 3 man dev team at a non-tech company. I maintain 60 or so web apps for our 300-400 users (all internal apps) as well as...

      I'm wondering if this type of tool exists. Basically, I am senior dev of a 3 man dev team at a non-tech company. I maintain 60 or so web apps for our 300-400 users (all internal apps) as well as act as jack of all trades when it comes to SQL, IIS, self hosted and cloud hosted windows server boxes, VMware, etc. Basically, I have a lot of spinning plates.

      We are in active development but we get interrupted a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Because of this, we don't really work based on deadlines but more on timelines. Upper management knows that things get priority over other things and we have to move things around and pivot a lot, so as long as we can explain why a project took 6 more months than we projected, it's fine.

      So having said all that, I'm looking for a timeline system similar to gantt but I want the ability to have more than one "timespan" per task/row.

      So for example let's say I'm building a to-do app and one of the tasks is to figure out the theme/color scheme of the app. I think this will take 3 days, and I don't really need to be more specific than that, they aren't trying to micro manage. However, I got interrupted and pulled off the project in the middle of that task, so I worked on it for 1 day, I had other things for 3 days, and I came back to finish the last two days.

      In this case, in a gantt chart, your task can only be one "timespan" per "row" and in order for me to chart what actually happened, I need to add multiple subtasks to that task and the task ends up taking 3 rows of space.

      This is rough to read and annoying to have to rearrange and insert new subtasks and rearrange subsequent tasks along the timeline.

      Is there a tool out there that handles this more "ad-hoc" scheduling that I'm looking for?

      Ideally what I would like is for me to be able to put together a full estimate of time for the project (say 3 months) with the ability to cascade schedule changes down when a task in the middle goes on longer than expected or gets interrupted.

      I would like to have categories or color mapping so we can see which timespans are interruptions and which are tasks done and tasks to do.

      Am I asking too much? Does gantt have this ability and I've not found the right vendor?

      Right now my temporary solution is excel but it's a beating to have to go shift things every time I have an interruption, I feel like I spend more time explaining what happened than I do actually programming, haha

      Edit: I've seen things like Monday.com and Microsoft project, but these are really heavy and too specific for my needs, I don't want a lot of context or setting up a kanban board or anything like that, I just want effectively an interactive timeline with simple "I'm doing this for x days" and not much else in terms of percent complete, details of the task, sprint integration, etc.

      Think trello in complexity, just time-based and sideways 😅

      I don't want to be a project manager, I don't have time for that - I just need the ability to quickly track interruptions and be able to use it as backup if upper management comes poking around

      24 votes
    14. Recommendations on portable power stations

      After one too many blackouts for the past few years, we're in the market for a backup power solution. Guidelines include: Would rather have multiple smaller units than one large one. Should be...

      After one too many blackouts for the past few years, we're in the market for a backup power solution.

      Guidelines include:

      • Would rather have multiple smaller units than one large one.
      • Should be enough to charge phones, watch a television, run the Keurig. If it can spike up enough to run a heater or keep the fridge from spoiling, that's a bonus.
      • Would like to keep it at ~$300 a unit.

      We're looking into a whole home generac as well, but this is more of a bandaid trial solution for now.

      23 votes
    15. Recommend me a digital clock?

      I have been having a lot of trouble finding a digital clock. I don't even know where to ask for recs, I tried a couple subreddits but there is no /r/digitalclocks so I'm trying a more general...

      I have been having a lot of trouble finding a digital clock. I don't even know where to ask for recs, I tried a couple subreddits but there is no /r/digitalclocks so I'm trying a more general place here and maybe someone can help?

      My requirements (I'm in the USA so that's where the time finding needs to happen):

      1. It autosets the time based on the radio signal
      2. It automatically detects DST
      3. Backup battery so if I get a power failure it doesn't lose the time
      4. The time is the only thing on the display. (Although, this seems to be the hardest one to find, so, if it also shows the temperature or something, that's ok, as long as the time is a lot bigger than anything else)
      5. Not willing to spend more than $50 on a clock
      6. Needs to be LED not LCD, i.e. I want to be able to see the time in a dark room without pressing a light-up button or anything

      Additional bonuses:

      1. If it has a rainbow display
      2. If it has a USB charging port
      3. Big numbers, like at least 1.5" tall

      I don't care about the alarm or any overhead projection features.

      If you have a digital clock that you love that meets these requirements (or at least mostly does) I would like to hear about it!! Thanks!!

      11 votes
    16. Need help finding a monitor

      Sometime this year, probably around the middle of the year or later depending on my welfare, I want to replace my two monitors with an ultra wide. I do have some preferences, such as: OLED...

      Sometime this year, probably around the middle of the year or later depending on my welfare, I want to replace my two monitors with an ultra wide.

      I do have some preferences, such as:

      • OLED Preferably
      • Built in KVM
      • 120hz or above refresh
      • Has the ability to show two separate computers screens at once. Just in case I'm not being clear, two separate computers are plugged in as inputs and it can output the display for both on the same screen by dividing the screen in half. I've only seen this feature on one monitor, an ultrawide ASUS one but that was roughly $2000. This is probably the most 'nice to have' feature.

      Would appreciate any suggestions or recommendations. Thanks.

      Also, I have two monitors I would like to sell when I replace them, these being an ASUS VG27AQ, and a Dell S2721QS. Both of them are in perfect condition, other than being slightly dusty. What would be a fair price to list them for when selling?

      15 votes
    17. Teams bluetooth audio compatibility sucks. What options do I have?

      Hey! So I used to be fairly warm to MS Teams but I utterly despise its call handling. I have three Bluetooth audio devices that I used regularly - a set of Edifier earbuds, my expensive Sony...

      Hey! So I used to be fairly warm to MS Teams but I utterly despise its call handling. I have three Bluetooth audio devices that I used regularly - a set of Edifier earbuds, my expensive Sony WH-1000XM5 pair, my CX-5 audio, and my Bluebus that integrates into my old BMW's hands free system. All of these work perfectly fine when I call someone via regular-ass phone calls. When I use Teams, all hell breaks loose. The edifiers work perfectly fine, so I know Teams is QUITE capable of handling these all ok. My CX-5 system won't do microphone audio when Android Auto is connected, but works fine on Mazda's infotainment call handling. In my BMW it won't handle the microphone but plays audio. On my Sony pair of headphones, it works great... And then about every ten minutes it disconnects, consistently, so I can't use them.

      In theme with the other ongoing thread, nothing gets my gears moving like tech not doing what I'm asking it to. Teams barely has any options on Android for audio, so there isn't much of anything to tweak. Does anyone have any ideas of where to start? Is there something similar to Windows solutions like Virtual Audio Cable which could set up a virtual BT device to pipe audio through and simulate it being something else for Teams? Thanks all!

      19 votes
    18. Are there other good aggregator sites?

      Tildes and Hacker News are my go to sites for general conversation, and information and I find being largely text based is what keeps the quality of the sites from devolving. Are there other...

      Tildes and Hacker News are my go to sites for general conversation, and information and I find being largely text based is what keeps the quality of the sites from devolving. Are there other similar sites?

      64 votes
    19. Reducing the friction of publishing online?

      I'm looking for ways to make it easier to publish on my personal blog. I've had WordPress blogs in the past, and I find that they set up a constant grind of upgrading — upgrading core, upgrading...

      I'm looking for ways to make it easier to publish on my personal blog. I've had WordPress blogs in the past, and I find that they set up a constant grind of upgrading — upgrading core, upgrading plugins, reconfiguring the upgraded components, fixing the things the upgrades break...

      It was stealing too much of the little time I have to devote to my blog. So, when I built my current blog, I built in on a static site generator (11ty). It took longer to set up than just writing HTML and CSS, but it does make it a bit quicker to get something up since it will build pages from markdown, and it doesn't require a ton of upgrading every time I want to sit down and write something. Sure, I could upgrade a library or two each time I sit down with it, but it's just spitting out HTML so I don't really need to.

      That said, it's still more friction than I want. I'm currently obsessed with mmm.page. I love the playful UI. I love the design language it encourages. I love how it makes the tech get out of the way and puts you closer to getting your content out. That said, there are several things I don't love:

      1. It's not accessible. I can't pick which elements to use. I can't write alt text for images.
      2. It's not open source. This means a lot of things. It means when the developer loses interest, it will die. It means we can't evaluate it. It means we can't self-host it. Speaking of these...
      3. Development seems to be slow. There's one item on the roadmap. It was suggested in April. I have a feeling it's not making the money the developer had hoped and they've lost enthusiasm for it.
      4. We can't self-host it. Now, this means I'm stuck paying $10 a month. Tomorrow, that could go up to $20, and there's nothing I can do about it.
      5. There's no easily apparent escape hatch. I guess I could just download the pages it wrote and host them elsewhere, but that's probably not ideal. If the developer does decide to close up shop or double the price, I want an easy way to take my site and go somewhere else.
      6. As far as I can tell, it doesn't support RSS. I am a staunch believer in RSS, and I believe the web sucks without it. I won't want to run a site that doesn't offer it.

      All these problems leave me with a web site that provides too much friction and a solution to that problem that leaves many others in its wake. Does anyone know of an alternative that's similar that could address some or most of these issues? I'm a developer and I still would like to be able to publish online without doing developer-y stuff, so it's easy to see how social media has been able to bottle up so much content on the web. I'd love to think there's something that could bring us out of this dystopia... or at least make it easier for me to share a list of the games I've been playing recently. 😅

      26 votes
    20. E-ink tablets for note-taking

      I like to write notes for work and sketch/draw in my spare time. I'm about to finish another paper notebook, and I noticed a few ads for the ReMarkable & decided to check it out. A few YouTube...

      I like to write notes for work and sketch/draw in my spare time. I'm about to finish another paper notebook, and I noticed a few ads for the ReMarkable & decided to check it out. A few YouTube videos later, I'm now quite interested in getting an e-ink tablet to replace the notebooks I've been going through.

      Thing is, with this type of technology I'm always a bit worried that I won't use it enough to justify the price. If anyone has one of those - have they managed to replace the classic paper/pen combo for you? Do you regret your purchase or are you happy with it?

      If anyone is curious, I was specifically looking at the ReMarkable 2 and the Supernote Nomad. The ReMarkable seems to be the most popular choice, but I really like how the Supernote emphasizes repairability (notably, the battery is replaceable). I'm also very much open to other suggestions if you have any!

      29 votes
    21. In general, which laptop maker (OEM) provides the best compatibility for Linux desktops in terms of driver support and things like wifi, bluetooth, power efficiency, etc?

      On most laptops I've had to deal with, Linux was at least installable and bootable, the only exception was perhaps the cheap bay trail tablets and notebooks released around the years 2017-19 that...

      On most laptops I've had to deal with, Linux was at least installable and bootable, the only exception was perhaps the cheap bay trail tablets and notebooks released around the years 2017-19 that came with Intel Atom processors. These weird devices came with a 32-bit UEFI and 64-bit architecture, thus making it pretty much impossible to even boot with something other than the Windows 10 version specifically made for them. Legacy BIOS support wasn't there and Linux driver support was like terrible.

      But other than that, based on my own experience, at least Dell laptops seem to have out of box support for Ubuntu and Debian. I think some even come with Linux or FreeDOS pre-installed.

      And from what I've heard from others and online, Lenovo usually has first class support for Linux and especially the Thinkpad line seems to be a favorite of many Linux enthusiasts. Also heard some good things about Asus in this regard.

      I don't even mind if the laptop comes pre-installed with Windows (guess the OEM has to do that in some cases depending on their terms with Microsoft?). All I want is that it should be relatively painless to boot to UEFI/BIOS, be able to install Linux and drivers for WiFi, Bluetooth, efficient battery life, etc. (which are pretty much necessary in laptops these days).

      40 votes
    22. Refurbed Lenovo ThinkPads - whats the "current gen"?

      I'm in the market to hurl at a wall upgrade our badly ageing general use family laptop (Lenovo V110). I've used ThinkPads in the past for work and due to their ubiquity there is a value to be had,...

      I'm in the market to hurl at a wall upgrade our badly ageing general use family laptop (Lenovo V110).

      I've used ThinkPads in the past for work and due to their ubiquity there is a value to be had, I believe, in corporate refurbs.

      However, it's been a good few years since I used one - think it was a T440 - and am looking for some advice on what the most recently obsoleted gen is that I should be looking for, or where people have found a sweet spot on price/performance. Any pointers?

      16 votes
    23. Recommendation request: Computer monitor with built-in speakers/soundbar

      Desk space at my home is very limited. Right now I have a set of speakers hanging out behind my external monitor, but I'd really rather get rid of them entirely and just have the speakers/soundbar...

      Desk space at my home is very limited.

      Right now I have a set of speakers hanging out behind my external monitor, but I'd really rather get rid of them entirely and just have the speakers/soundbar built-in to the monitor itself. It would give me a lot more room to work with because I'd be able to push the monitor back further on the desk.

      Also, presumably (and correct me if I'm wrong here), having the speakers powered by the monitor and fed audio through HDMI would free up a lot of cabling clutter as well. My setup is already very messy (2 laptops and a KVM switch), so cleaning it up will give me some relief (my theme of 2023 is "Simplify").

      I know nothing about buying computer monitors. When I look them up, I'm not even sure which type I should be looking for (IPS? OLED?).

      I do plan to game on it, but most gaming-focused monitors seem like overkill for someone like me who will primarily have it hooked up to a middling 5-year-old laptop that plays mostly indie stuff. I do occasionally play the more intensive/prettier game, but those are usually usually far between and definitely not a priority that's worth spending a bunch to target. I tend to tank the graphics settings on games like that anyway to keep my laptop from becoming a cooking surface, and I'll take a smoother framerate over better eye candy all day, every day.

      What are the trusted brands (if any)? What pitfalls should I look out for? If anyone can help point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it!


      My use case: general browsing and (mostly casual) gaming

      My computer: System76 Oryx Pro 5 (2019), NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Pop!_OS 22.04

      My budget: ultimately whatever is necessary to get a quality product, but hopefully no more than $300 USD or so?

      Preferred Size: 24" -- absolute maximum I could do is probably 27"

      Key Feature: built-in speakers or soundbar

      Let me know if there's any other key information I can provide that would help.


      Questions I Have:

      • Will buying a higher resolution monitor (e.g. 4K) tax my graphics card more because it's rendering at a higher resolution, or can I just scale down the display resolution to something less intensive?

      • Same question as above, but for refresh rate.

      • Would audio be transmitted over HDMI, or would I have to have a cable from the headphone jack (or some different method I'm not aware of)?

      14 votes
    24. It looks like Facebook will be forcing me to switch to Messenger. What are my options?

      Today when I opened Messenger Lite there was a message from Meta saying " your chats will be moving to Messenger" and that Messenger Lite will stop working on September 18. I actively switched...

      Today when I opened Messenger Lite there was a message from Meta saying " your chats will be moving to Messenger" and that Messenger Lite will stop working on September 18. I actively switched from Messenger to Messenger Lite several years ago because the regular Messenger app was draining my battery. Are there any alternatives to Messenger Lite on Android? Perhaps even FOSS?Or will my only option be to move to the old Messenger app if I want to use Facebook messenger? I have some work related groups on Messenger that would be tough to move to another platform, so Please don't just say "use Signal" or something similar.

      28 votes
    25. Can someone please recommend me a no BS printer I can use like half a dozen times a year

      By no BS I mean none of those online requirements or ink subscription nonsense. Scanning isn't a huge focus but having at least some multi-page scanning functionality wouldn't hurt. I've heard...

      By no BS I mean none of those online requirements or ink subscription nonsense.

      Scanning isn't a huge focus but having at least some multi-page scanning functionality wouldn't hurt.

      I've heard Brother is the go-to brand in the past but are they still? I thought I heard they were also starting down the anti-consumer path but I could be wrong.

      I'm not kidding when I say I print like half a dozen times a year so whatever type of printer it is the ink/toner/whatever needs to have a long shelf life.

      Thanks!

      58 votes
    26. Email provider recommendations? (Privacy-focused, paid-for)

      I have self-hosted my email for many years, but am finally encountering some straws that may be breaking the camel's back. A few email providers are now rejecting my server's mail, Microsoft in...

      I have self-hosted my email for many years, but am finally encountering some straws that may be breaking the camel's back. A few email providers are now rejecting my server's mail, Microsoft in particular (@hotmail, @outlook). (In case you're wondering, I already set up SPF, DKIM, DMARC, etc. and none of that is the issue.) Self-hosting was fine, and the technical admin work was never really an issue. I'm just tired of the external factors that are beyond my control, like belonging to an IP range that is scored badly by some random blocklist company.

      So, I'm now shopping for a good email provider. Privacy and security are important to me, and I am more than willing to pay for email, so all the usual "free" email providers are out of the question. (Update) Also, client access (IMAP, SMTP) is a must.

      For now, I am eyeing

      • Fastmail Standard plan @ 5 USD / mo
      • Proton Unlimited plan @ 10 USD / mo

      Proton is looking to be my choice among those two, as I like the replyable email aliases feature. 16 times the storage doesn't hurt, either.

      Any other recommendations in the same vein as these two, and in the same price range?

      35 votes
    27. Seeking advice for choosing an inexpensive, plug and play headset with microphone for recording presentations and participating in video chat

      Basically the title. I've been told my voice is too soft on zoom in spite of having tried many options. Before I buy new hardware, I'm asking advice. I have to record a presentation soon, so this...

      Basically the title. I've been told my voice is too soft on zoom in spite of having tried many options. Before I buy new hardware, I'm asking advice. I have to record a presentation soon, so this is important.

      What advice can you give?
      Thank you

      19 votes
    28. Help me find an e reader

      I am looking for an e reader with specific features, honestly I don't know if what I want even exists, but I figured this might be a good place to ask. Here's my wants: Charge via USB-C Open,...

      I am looking for an e reader with specific features, honestly I don't know if what I want even exists, but I figured this might be a good place to ask. Here's my wants:

      • Charge via USB-C
      • Open, allows .epub files (I understand some brands don't)
      • interfaces with Calibre
      • Does not have any wireless radios ie bluetooth, wifi (I know lots of people would say just turn those features off, but I would just prefer the device doesn't have them to begin with)

      Have you guys seen any devices that meet this criteria?

      12 votes
    29. Wordpress hosting

      My girlfriend has started a small business and is looking into a blogging platform. What she has tried so far hasn't been great. She has decided to go the WordPress route and this is where I am...

      My girlfriend has started a small business and is looking into a blogging platform. What she has tried so far hasn't been great. She has decided to go the WordPress route and this is where I am involved.

      Any suggestions for hosting providers? What features should I be considering or anything else I should be aware of when it comes to picking a provider?
      Right now I am looking at Bluehost vs Hostinger. Bluehost just seem to be the most advertised. Hostinger seemed to offer more for the same cost.

      12 votes
    30. Looking at getting a new phone - help with my odd requirements?

      Well, maybe they're not that odd, but I've not really been paying attention to what phone manufacturers are up to these days, so I need some help with what will work for me. I've previously had a...

      Well, maybe they're not that odd, but I've not really been paying attention to what phone manufacturers are up to these days, so I need some help with what will work for me. I've previously had a huawei p10 lite (which I only sold after the news of them selling data to the Chinese government), Pixel 3a (i used that until it dying breath and then sold it for parts), and now I have a RealMe 8 5g, but I'm having charging issues with it. I might look at getting it fixed, but depending on the cost I might sell it on and buy something else.

      MUST HAVES:

      • Headphone jack. I'll die on this hill and I will get a phone with a headphone jack as long as they are available to me.
      • good battery. It's the main reason I went for the RealMe 8, the battery has just been fantastic so far.
      • No bloatware. I'm ruling out Samsung, and anything similar that is full of extra junk I can't get rid of. As close to pure android as possible is best.

      IDEAL

      • good for games. the heaviest duty game I play on my phone is TFT, and then I move around between various puzzle and idle games for when I'm travelling or on my lunch break, but I don't need it to be super powerful.
      • wireless charging. Nearly put this as a must have, but I could definitely live without it.
      • Not chinese made/owned. Also nearly put this as must have, but I don't want to limit myself massively.
      • under £250 I very rarely spend even that much on a phone, but I'm open to treating myself a bit.

      I don't care about the camera really. I'm a photography hobbyist and so if I want to take good photos for memories I'll just take a camera with me. If it's good then thats a bonus but its near the bottom of my list of things I think about.

      What would there be out there for me? I've always liked the look of Sony phones but they're typically a lot of money, how do they fit in with my requirements? I've also been looking into the Fairphone but it really is out of my budget, and i don't know how it runs.

      Thanks in advance for any help :)

      26 votes
    31. Can someone recommend me a great bluetooth keyboard for my home office?

      Looking for a good wireless (probably bluetooth, but happy to hear if something other than bluetooth is recommended for a good reason) keyboard to use with my home laptop/dock setup. I've ben...

      Looking for a good wireless (probably bluetooth, but happy to hear if something other than bluetooth is recommended for a good reason) keyboard to use with my home laptop/dock setup.

      I've ben using my laptop's keyboard while plugged into my dock which is probably less than ideal ergonomic-wise and am looking to improve things.

      I don't need to be a fullsize or compact keyboard - I think my sweet spot would be middle size with a number pad. I'm somewhat aware of mechanical keyboards but will admit my complete ignorance as to their benefits (other than sounding nice when you type?) and so am open to those if there are more tangible benefits that I'm just totally ignorant about. Battery life would be important as charging it constantly could get a bit annoying.

      Appreciate any input you all have!

      25 votes
    32. Headphone recommends that actually block out voices

      I'm on the search for a good, over-the-ear headphones that actually blocks out background voices (not just noise). My wife and I share a home office and she is on a lot of calls. I'm looking for...

      I'm on the search for a good, over-the-ear headphones that actually blocks out background voices (not just noise). My wife and I share a home office and she is on a lot of calls. I'm looking for headphones that are comfortable to listen to for long periods of time and really muffle the outside world. I have two headphones I've been using, Sony MDR-7506 and Bose QC45. The Bose does great with blocking out ambient background noise like fan hum. However this has the effect of accentuating my wife's voice. Her voice is tinny but more clear even when listening to music. The Sony does a better job of blocking all noise and attenuating her voice, but I can still hear it.

      Wired is better since I run multiple computer through a mixer so I can hear all the computers at once when I have the headphones on.

      25 votes
    33. Do you know any other good online communities?

      So far I only managed to find two online communities in which people are able to hold a productive discussion and share interesting stuff - Tildes and LessWrong. Do you know if there are any other...

      So far I only managed to find two online communities in which people are able to hold a productive discussion and share interesting stuff - Tildes and LessWrong. Do you know if there are any other great online spaces like this?

      65 votes
    34. Anyone have recommendations for a CD player I can charge via USB and play via BT (or USB) in my car?

      A recent post here made me realize how much I really wish I just could pop in a CD while driving (you can skip those, and I can make mix CDs, so no need for cassettes haha). I commute a decent...

      A recent post here made me realize how much I really wish I just could pop in a CD while driving (you can skip those, and I can make mix CDs, so no need for cassettes haha). I commute a decent amount and I'm using a Pixel with GrapheneOS. Adding a streaming service would just be one more piece of Google I'd have to add to my "work" profile. I'm listening to some great podcasts, but I'd rather go full nostalgia without ripping all my CDs.

      That being said, I'd like any recommendations. USB would be nice for the constant power option, but blutooth is doable as well. TIA!

      9 votes
    35. Does a motion sensor "point-n-click" mouse, akin to LG's magic remote, exist?

      So I'm looking for a solution that's basically just a remote to scroll the web while I'm slouched down in the couch. Something that doesn't require a flat surface to work. I'd also be interested...

      So I'm looking for a solution that's basically just a remote to scroll the web while I'm slouched down in the couch. Something that doesn't require a flat surface to work.

      I'd also be interested to hear your solutions for your living room PCs. Thanks!

      19 votes
    36. Looking for a good note-taking app

      Looking for recommendations for a multiplatform note taking app. Needs to support Windows and Android. Some things I'm looking for: Markdown support offline/local support (should be stored in an...

      Looking for recommendations for a multiplatform note taking app. Needs to support Windows and Android. Some things I'm looking for:

      • Markdown support
      • offline/local support (should be stored in an easily accessible and movable format e.g. markdown)
      • is free or only a one time fee
      • Syncing (either a one time fee via app dev or built in support for GDrive or OneDrive)
      • Mind mapping functionality (including linking between notes)
      • flexibility to be both a knowledge base and a place to keep todo lists and general small notes

      Obsidian hits most of these features but without paying $8/mo, syncing is a huge pain in the ass. I got it to sync between machines if I store my vaults in Google Drive, but I'd prefer to have them locally then synced. I don't mind paying for software, but I'm trying to avoid another monthly fee on top of everything else I'm paying for. I'm open to staying with Obsidian if I can solve the syncing issues, too.

      34 votes
    37. Recommended tablet/2in1 for ~$1200?

      My company has given me a budget of around ~$1200 to purchase a device. Its technically for "education" so my excuse is that I'll be doing online certifications with it, but the reality is that...

      My company has given me a budget of around ~$1200 to purchase a device. Its technically for "education" so my excuse is that I'll be doing online certifications with it, but the reality is that its going to be primarily a toy to play with, watch movies, play some light games, etc.

      Does anyone have any recommendations? I know the ipad pro is the big dog in town but I've never been much of an apple fan and don't have any skin in their ecosystem, I'm mostly an android guy but I'm not married to the idea of an android tablet.

      Here were some of the ones I've looked at so far:

      Surface pro 9

      Dell XPS 13 2in1

      Lenovo Yoga 9i

      Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+

      They all seem like decent options honestly, but I was wondering if anyone had first hand experience with them and could give some thoughts.

      13 votes
    38. Anyone have experiences with GP27U and 27M2V MiniLED monitors?

      I'm looking for a desktop monitor for mixed usage (work, gaming, etc.): MiniLED 4k 144Hz 27" Built-in KVM switch There are 2 well-rated monitors that fit this criteria: Cooler Master GP27U INNOCN...

      I'm looking for a desktop monitor for mixed usage (work, gaming, etc.):

      • MiniLED
      • 4k
      • 144Hz
      • 27"
      • Built-in KVM switch

      There are 2 well-rated monitors that fit this criteria:

      • Cooler Master GP27U
      • INNOCN 27M2V

      I'm in a bit of an analysis paralysis between these monitors. It's very hard to gauge anything without buying both and comparing in-person (I might actually do this).

      Going by the numbers alone, the 27M2V has x2 dimming zones making it "better". This monitor received a lot of praise for picture quality. Not so much for the rest (e.g. build quality, support, etc.). But I'm willing to sacrifice some of the picture quality, unless it's very noticeable, if it means better build quality and support from the manufacturer.

      I hear blooming occurs (even with the x2 dimming zones) during normal usage. Which is fine because, as I understand it, this feature makes sense when you're consuming media (movies, games, etc.). Not so much for everyday tasks. I don't really care about the blacks when developing or browsing the web. I haven't seen anyone do a comparison without going into graphs, charts, and checkerboards. Lab tests and numbers are one thing, but are the differences drastically noticeable to the eye when compared side-by-side?

      I currently have an LG 27GL850-B which has been going strong for ~2 years. I'm sure either choice will be a significant improvement, but I'd like to know if anyone here has any first-hand experience with either monitor before I make the jump.

      7 votes
    39. What should I look at on Google Earth?

      I opened up the Google Earth app on my phone wanting to browse random beautiful and interesting places, but it doesn't seem to have a good way to do it. (Maybe this is a limitation on the mobile...

      I opened up the Google Earth app on my phone wanting to browse random beautiful and interesting places, but it doesn't seem to have a good way to do it. (Maybe this is a limitation on the mobile app, and the desktop app is better?)

      For example, if I try searching for "wetlands", it only shows me a list of maybe 10 places near my current location.

      I tried searching the web too, but I mostly get "listicles" like "10 amazing places on Google Earth" but they're practically unreadable with the webpage being covered with ads.

      I found Earth View Gallery https://blog.google/products/earth/most-stunning-images-from-google-earth/ and it's nice but it's just a gallery of images with no contextual information (at least when viewing on mobile). It shows me beautiful pictures but no information about where the picture is from... I would have expected it to link to the spot on Google Earth.

      Anyway if you happen to have some recommended places for me to check out on Google Earth I'd love to see them! I like:

      • wetland-type habitats like marshes, pond systems, mangrove swamps
      • beautiful natural scenery in general
      • abandoned and/or ancient architecture

      But open to any interesting recommendations in general.


      Edit: It does seem to be slightly better on desktop. Searching on Google Earth works better, and Earth View Gallery does link to the location on Google Earth. I wish Google Earth had like, a built-in community feature for me to check out other people's public projects.

      22 votes
    40. Physical keyboard for android phone?

      I have a quandary. Even with a decent android keyboard (Typewise offline keyboard), I still find myself hampered by gettingnanstringnofnwordsnwhereni miss the space bar. Sometimes I miss n "A"...

      I have a quandary. Even with a decent android keyboard (Typewise offline keyboard), I still find myself hampered by gettingnanstringnofnwordsnwhereni miss the space bar. Sometimes I miss n "A" key. I am very out put by my likelihood of getting "out" when I meant "put" and vice versa.

      I am becoming a part time worker / primary parent while my wife goes back to a full time job, which means I do a lot of waiting in places where I'm typing extended sections of text (like this one) in places where its not really practical or appropriate to pull out a laptop.

      What I really want is a physical keyboard for my phone. It seems like there are a lot of folding and non-folding options that are meant to work on a table with the phone as a screen. But if I could do that, I could pull out my laptop.

      If I had a wish that could get me anything, I'd like a split thumb keyboard where the two halves sandwich (and grip) the phone the way the joycons go on a Nintendo switch.

      The best thing I have found so far is this keyboard puck. I have bought a similar device for HTPC, and it is surprisingly easy to use. This still has the downside of requiring the use of with hands and not having a way to hold the phone. Maybe I could 3D print some kind of mount, but something with a built-in mount would be much better.

      I'm wondering how others have solved this problem? I'm open to almost anything that makes me a faster /more accurate typist on the go.

      20 votes
    41. Request - Suggestions of a laptop brand or style for someone who is clumsy

      I don't want to pay an extra thousand dollars for 'rugged' design suitable for military deployment, but the user in this case is not well coordinated at all and it should be able to survive being...

      I don't want to pay an extra thousand dollars for 'rugged' design suitable for military deployment, but the user in this case is not well coordinated at all and it should be able to survive being dropped.

      I otherwise need sufficient memory and speed to boot reasonably quickly and to run standard text, spreadsheet and database programs without annoying lag.

      9 votes
    42. Getting back into running and looking for a simple tracker app (android)

      my old regular app has been dead since it got underwent featurecreep and got bought out by underarmour. lots of apps now have way too many features.. social this, calorie burning that. i know its...

      my old regular app has been dead since it got underwent featurecreep and got bought out by underarmour.

      lots of apps now have way too many features.. social this, calorie burning that. i know its probably a good thing for them to branch out but i'm one of those luddites that prefer simple and to-the-point apps with no social features, no account needed, etc.

      all i really need from the app is gps distance tracking and a clean interface with some basic readouts for pace and whatnot. having audio readouts for pace every kilometer was a nice feature but ideally the app would be simpler than that.

      if all else fails i know i can just fallback on one of those 'full featured' apps like strava but i figured i'd ask here before i got too tied into any particular app (creature of habit)

      7 votes
    43. E-reader purchasing advice

      So for various reasons I can't use paper books very well. I've been reading almost exclusively on epaper for... 15 years or so now? My current reader is a Kobo Aura One which has done very well...

      So for various reasons I can't use paper books very well. I've been reading almost exclusively on epaper for... 15 years or so now?

      My current reader is a Kobo Aura One which has done very well but is starting to get a bit tired - the screen is a bit scratched up and the battery life is measured in days rather than weeks (at around 1hr/day reading with the frontlight on low). Plus the usb socket has done that annoying thing where the cable needs to be at the exact right angle in order to charge.

      So I'm in the market for a new one. I'd like it to be >7 inches, 300ppi (same spec as the Aura One or better). Overdrive support is nice but not essential. EPub support is a must, as is orange/red frontlighting. Linux slightly preferred over Android. Battery life in weeks. Waterproof doesn't matter. Cloud sync, bluetooth, audiobook support, apps (other than a decent reader), note-taking - I don't care about. It's for reading books, nothing else. Budget is not a huge issue but I don't want to spend more than I have to.

      I have had zero time for the last few weeks to look into what the market is doing now and it's been many since I paid much attention to the world of ereaders, so anyone who is more up to date than me who can offer some suggestions would be much appreciated.

      27 votes
    44. Recommended tablet apps for Android?

      I got a tablet a few years ago, and I've struggled to use it as anything other than a big phone. Sure, it's really nice watching videos on the larger screen, and messaging is nicer too. Do you...

      I got a tablet a few years ago, and I've struggled to use it as anything other than a big phone. Sure, it's really nice watching videos on the larger screen, and messaging is nicer too.

      Do you guys have any recommendations for apps that are either tablet only, or have a much better experience on a tablet? I have a Galaxy Tab S6 Lite running Android version 13.

      On a semi-related note, I am looking for good emulators for android(NES, SNES, Genesis).

      10 votes
    45. Suggestions for a new Android phone, please

      Hey all, hope everyone is doing well today. I've been using a Pixel 6A for going on a year now, and I'm not very satisfied with my purchase. It's a decent enough phone, but it seems that the...

      Hey all, hope everyone is doing well today. I've been using a Pixel 6A for going on a year now, and I'm not very satisfied with my purchase. It's a decent enough phone, but it seems that the fingerprint reader doesn't work more than half of the time, and Google Assistant is about as reliable. It also just has a lot of weird little things that add up (for instance, plugging in the battery may not indicate that it's charging until you unlock the phone). Not to mention that I'm just not fond of the company these days, and I'd like to gradually ween myself off of their applications and such.

      I actually upgraded to this phone from a Moto G6 plus (bought for >$200 via Amazon, compared to this $500 device), and I find myself wishing I hadn't hopped in the hot tub with it in my pocket that day.

      With that said, what sort of alternatives do you fine people suggest? I'm not too concerned with specs (as long as it plays Pocket Trains, I'm happy lol), mostly battery life, Android, and sustainable company practices if that's still a thing in tech.

      Currently looking at the Fairphone 4, but was wondering what else may be floating around out there. Thanks in advance, and have a great day.

      68 votes
    46. Minimalist android launcher suggestions

      I'm looking for suggestions for a free, customizable minimalist launcher for my android smart phone. I am currently using indistractable, and while I like how it looks and the core functions, I...

      I'm looking for suggestions for a free, customizable minimalist launcher for my android smart phone. I am currently using indistractable, and while I like how it looks and the core functions, I don't like that I can't redirect certain apps, and it seems to have problems syncing my calendar. Ultimately, I'm not opposed to buying the premium version of this, but from my understanding that wouldn't provide the functionality I am looking for.

      I did a little bit of researching and right now I'm looking at Lawnchair 2, Takan, and Olauncher as alluring alternatives. Does anyone have any experience with these, or any other recommendations? Primarily something that is entirely free, but if there is something that has a one time payment that really knocked your socks off I'd be open to that as well.

      27 votes