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  • Showing only topics in ~tech with the tag "hardware". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. 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
    2. 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
    3. 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
    4. 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
    5. G-Sync/Freesync - What's your opinion?

      This was tempting to post in ~games but think it suits ~tech better. What are your thoughts on these monitor frame sync technologies? Have they made a big difference to your gaming experiences?...

      This was tempting to post in ~games but think it suits ~tech better.

      What are your thoughts on these monitor frame sync technologies?
      Have they made a big difference to your gaming experiences?
      Could you do with out it?
      What about G-Sync vs Freesync?

      20 votes
    6. Realized my screen is 144, not 60 hz

      Yes, yes, I know, the classic blunder 😅 I just have to say though, the difference is insane, I mean what the actual fuaæosiuhrfjk!? I have been on 60 hz screens my entire life, only upgrading to...

      Yes, yes, I know, the classic blunder 😅

      I just have to say though, the difference is insane, I mean what the actual fuaæosiuhrfjk!?

      I have been on 60 hz screens my entire life, only upgrading to 1080p in 2015 or so, and I bought my current screen from a friend a year or two ago -- I guess that's why I never realized it was 144 hz, not 60 hz!? But playing WoW with another friend yesterday, we started talking about specs and refresh rates came up, so she even offered that I could borrow her second screen because she felt so sorry about my only having 60 hz. So for fun and just to be sure, I went to check my settings and yup, it said 144 hz in there! "Surely not", I thought... so I clicked it and absolutely surely fucking yes, it instantly looked a million times better??? I laughed so hard because it is both amazing and I am an idiot because I have seen this exact meme dozens of times and I cannot believe that I am a victim too 😂

      The colors are so much richer, the movement of everything was so much smoother. I mean seriously, my mind is still completely blown now a day later. This is a great christmas present for myself, and it was free!

      I don't think any other computer upgrade has ever had this big an impact. Blew my mind!

      37 votes
    7. 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
    8. 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
    9. 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
    10. 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
    11. 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
    12. 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
    13. 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
    14. 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
    15. 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
    16. 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
    17. Do you think you'd use a hardware-based file sharing solution?

      All major operating systems have their own file-sharing protocols (AirDrop, Nearby Share, etc.) which are incompatible with each other. There do exist apps for "cross-platform file sharing",...

      All major operating systems have their own file-sharing protocols (AirDrop, Nearby Share, etc.) which are incompatible with each other. There do exist apps for "cross-platform file sharing", however, they require installation on both the sender and the receiver devices, which makes it a bad solution for quickly sending files to other people.

      I was thinking about making a file sharing solution that acts as a bridge between those different protocols and only requires action from one of the parties. However, there's a huge issue with AirDrop - it uses a custom networking protocol called AWDL. There are open implementations like OWL, but they still require low-level wifi access, so it can't be run on Android without kernel modifications.

      This means that the only way this can be implemented is by using a physical device, eg. a Raspberry Pi Zero W or a similar microcomputer that runs a custom firmware. An obvious problem is that it requires a lot of effort - you need to buy a Raspberry, flash it with the firmware and carry it around with you, just to be able to send or receive files to other devices without using third-party websites.

      So I'm personally not sure if that's worth making. But maybe you'll still be interested? Is this a big enough problem for you to want to use a hardware solution?

      21 votes
    18. 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
    19. Thoughts on the Meta Quest 3?

      The release of the Meta Quest 3 seems to have been slowplayed but my take is that Zuckerberg is still going full force ahead with MR but doesn't want to have a fiasco like the last round of...

      The release of the Meta Quest 3 seems to have been slowplayed but my take is that Zuckerberg is still going full force ahead with MR but doesn't want to have a fiasco like the last round of publicity about "the metaverse” when people were mentioning it in the same sentence as blockchains and NFTs.

      I read a lot of very positive reviews about the hardware

      https://www.theverge.com/23906313/meta-quest-3-review-vr-mixed-reality-headset

      https://www.reddit.com/r/QuestPro/comments/17631ja/24_hours_in_my_quest_3_review/

      https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/meta-quest-3

      so I got one and I am really impressed. It comes with a very convincing demo where cracks appear in the ceiling and walls of your room opening views onto another planet and then aliens come into your room that you have to shoot with the controllers to stuff them into a tube. I am showing this demo to people on the hopes I can sell some kind of MR exhibit to a local museum.

      Karl Guttag could show that the MR quality is "awful" from an eye chart perspective but the motion-to-photon is really excellent, you can throw and catch a ball just fine wearing it, and it is totally practical to walk around the house, interact with people, read (large) text to copy, use a touchscreen, etc.

      I get the feeling too that they are doing many of the right things to market it, for instance, it comes with a license for a major game that comes out in two months which will might give people who don't click with it right away a chance to re-engage. There is intensive notification based marketing with discounts and stuff which is totally textbook for a new app store and that I like at the moment but it is possible it just won't connect if the product isn't up to snuff.

      I tried Horizon Worlds and ran into the problem of not being able to succeed at the fishing minigame (in real life I've only been able to catch sunfish and smelt, but you really can fill up your freezer with zero skill with the later) and also the way it is weirdly empty. I have some content that I think could be put in there which I think is often a good idea on a new platform that is heavily promoted (e.g. easy to get free publicity and other benefits from the platform) but that emptiness might mean they don't feel pressure to get content. VRChat was more fun but showed me the challenge of onboarding people to that sort of thing, I got into an entrance room where I met one person who was actually attentive and trying to communicate and I think a lot of kids who were "doing their own thing", I figured out some of how to interact in that space but the problem of "getting gud" while sharing the space with other people who might be annoyed seems tough.

      My take is that the software is not up to the hardware right now but as a software developer I think that’s a great problem to have.

      If you're excited about Apple Vision I think you should be excited by this. Any thoughts? Anyone tried the MQ3? Anyone developing content for it?

      19 votes
    20. 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
    21. 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
    22. 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
    23. 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
    24. 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
    25. Are the memes about setting up and troubleshooting printers overblown nowadays?

      I haven't really messed with printers in probably 15 years or more, but it felt like any time they were brought up, there were two flavors: Older printers, which decided if they wanted to work or...

      I haven't really messed with printers in probably 15 years or more, but it felt like any time they were brought up, there were two flavors:

      • Older printers, which decided if they wanted to work or not based on absolutely nothing at all
      • Newer printers, which are covered in DRM and mostly a nickel-and-diming scam

      Now, for the former I remember having some issues, but generally just clearing the printer's cache (or whatever it was called) would fix most of the problems. I think the bigger issue is that I always helped people set up cheap Walmart-sold inkjet printers that had more hardware issues than software, along with ink that would go to shit instantly.

      But I was out today at a thrift store and they had a Brother for $25, with an entire extra unopened toner cartridge (I think that's what it's called?). I asked them if it worked, they said it did, but if it didn't I could return it by tomorrow.

      So I brought it home, assuming something would be wrong with it, but in about 10 minutes I had it plugged in, connected to my wifi network, and connected to my computer. I tried scanning-- it worked fine. I tried copying-- it does that no problem. It took longer to install the drivers on my PC than set up the printer itself.

      So are printers really as straight-forward as I experienced with this cheap used one, or am I just lucky?

      21 votes
    26. Is an iPad enough for college students these days?

      I'm normally the tech guy in my social circles and can make good recommendations but its been a few years since I was a collage student so when one of my associates who is about to start her...

      I'm normally the tech guy in my social circles and can make good recommendations but its been a few years since I was a collage student so when one of my associates who is about to start her college journey as a dental student asked me for my recommendation, I wasn't sure exactly what to recommend.

      My first thought was an iPad paired with an Apple Pencil and a Logitech portfolio case. This was because she mentioned lots of note taking and drawing. I figured that option gave her the most bang for the buck and versatility to accomplish any tasks necessary while also having longevity to get her threw the next few years. As for what model, I haven't really figured out just yet.

      My main drawbacks here are that iPads still don't fully replace a Mac or PC. I don't know what software her college will require and while many schools are modernizing some are still not quite there yet and may require specific software that can't be run on iPads.

      Of course the solution to that problem is to purchase a MacBook as well. That should handle most any applications and maybe make longer essays and research papers easier to get through. Ideally that would be option number one, but obviously that's very expensive, and while I do not know what her and her families fiscal background is like, I think its safe to assume that in this economy, even with educational discounts, that's not the most feasible option for most students.

      On the other hand just purchasing a MacBook instead of an iPad would work but not be as versatile since apple has yet to produce a 2in1 like the Microsoft Surface. Speaking of 2in1's I thought about the Microsoft Surface and even some Samsung 2in1's with their s-pen equivalent, but longevity has never really been Windows or Chromes OS's strongpoint. Not to mention I really am not a fan of Chrome OS and its many limitations. I know there is a lot of schools that use them, but they also tend to end up unfixable and unsupported.

      Again... its been a minute since I was a student, so maybe there are things that I am not thinking about or realizing. I told her I would think about it and come back with some recommendations so I figured I'd ask here for some real life experience while I do some research on the subject.

      EDIT

      • Her major is dentistry
      • She curranty has an iPhone
      • I'll ask her to check her schools requirements
      • I'll reply to everyone soon, I just wanted to make those things known for everyone.
      • Thanks for all the input so far!
      35 votes
    27. What's your method for shopping for laptops?

      Just wondering how other technically inclined individuals go about this. For my daily driver machines I usually buy Macs and build towers, which are simple enough — on the Mac, figure out needs...

      Just wondering how other technically inclined individuals go about this.

      For my daily driver machines I usually buy Macs and build towers, which are simple enough — on the Mac, figure out needs and slightly overbuy, and on towers put some research into parts to find those with the best reviews and bang for buck. Pretty straightforward.

      I also keep around a generic x86 laptop though, and I might be replacing the one I have currently in the coming months. Shopping for its replacement unfortunately is not so clean and simple. There is to my knowledge no laptop-shopper analogue of PCPartPicker for laptops for instance and retailer search tools are terrible (especially Amazon's), which makes filtering out the noise practically impossible. It gets even harder if you're looking for certain features and especially less tangible things like build quality, QC, and battery life. Review sites often aren't of much help, with skin-deep reviews that frequently miss major points and pay little mind to things that may become issues in long-term usage.

      And yet clearly, plenty of people are buying laptops, which brings me back to the topic question. How does everybody go about their laptop shopping?

      26 votes