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Reply 500 of 516, by BetaC

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As a followup, I took the second part of the A+ certification, and managed to actually score better than my first part. Once CompTIA tells CompTIA that I have passed both, I will have an official A+ certification, which, sadly, means I can't really say no to fixing family computers. I'm literally certified to do so.

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Reply 501 of 516, by chrismeyer6

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BetaC wrote on 2021-08-19, 06:39:

As a followup, I took the second part of the A+ certification, and managed to actually score better than my first part. Once CompTIA tells CompTIA that I have passed both, I will have an official A+ certification, which, sadly, means I can't really say no to fixing family computers. I'm literally certified to do so.

Congratulations on the A+. I was and still am in that boat with my family for fixing their computers and networks.

Reply 502 of 516, by BetaC

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-08-19, 12:25:
BetaC wrote on 2021-08-19, 06:39:

As a followup, I took the second part of the A+ certification, and managed to actually score better than my first part. Once CompTIA tells CompTIA that I have passed both, I will have an official A+ certification, which, sadly, means I can't really say no to fixing family computers. I'm literally certified to do so.

Congratulations on the A+. I was and still am in that boat with my family for fixing their computers and networks.

Thanks, and yeah.

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Reply 504 of 516, by 386SX

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Finishing a low power test computer...and I'm ready for Unreal Engine 5 future games now with the GT610 PCI, expecting 4K gaming @ 120fps with the power of the Atom dual core 1,9Ghz cpu, 4GB DDR3@1066, SSD SATAII and my fastest PCI vga for it. 😁
Photo of the system config:
Atom-GT610-PCI.jpg

Reply 505 of 516, by shamino

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386SX wrote on 2021-08-21, 17:33:
Finishing a low power test computer...and I'm ready for Unreal Engine 5 future games now with the GT610 PCI, expecting 4K gaming […]
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Finishing a low power test computer...and I'm ready for Unreal Engine 5 future games now with the GT610 PCI, expecting 4K gaming @ 120fps with the power of the Atom dual core 1,9Ghz cpu, 4GB DDR3@1066, SSD SATAII and my fastest PCI vga for it. 😁
Photo of the system config:
Atom-GT610-PCI.jpg

A low power system like that is very practical for everyday stuff when you're not playing games.
I wish my main desktop wasn't a power hungry gaming build from 2009.
I've tried to retire it to WinXP gaming - but I can't seem to find a replacement for it that sticks.

I have a rarely used "utility" PC with a passive GT520 in it - same thing as a GT610. It's great for video playback without taxing the CPU.

Reply 506 of 516, by 386SX

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shamino wrote on 2021-08-21, 17:50:
A low power system like that is very practical for everyday stuff when you're not playing games. I wish my main desktop wasn't a […]
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A low power system like that is very practical for everyday stuff when you're not playing games.
I wish my main desktop wasn't a power hungry gaming build from 2009.
I've tried to retire it to WinXP gaming - but I can't seem to find a replacement for it that sticks.

I have a rarely used "utility" PC with a passive GT520 in it - same thing as a GT610. It's great for video playback without taxing the CPU.

Sure and in fact I tried that external vga hoping to offload the cpu as much as possible but unfortunately in most of this low power boards they choosed to put a PCI bus (through a PCIe bridge probably) instead of PCIe native lines. The mini pcie connector's desoldered by factory; even if not as fast as the PCIe variant, these do a great job in old DX9 games. The GMA/SGX gpu can be used on x86 o.s. but slower (consume 1/5 of the external vga wattage).
I tried the x86 o.s. limiting ram to 3GB if I'd want to use the internal vga into a more compact case, but I could install the x64 one with this ext vga loosing the possibility of the onboard gpu but for the 1GB unused ram. It reach 7000 points in 3DMark2001, 2083 points in 3DMark05, decodes 1080p H264 60fps with low cpu impact (15 to 20% cpu, probably 30<>50% gpu video engine usage). Total power usage at the wall is lower than 37 watts in 3D tests (dvd drive in standby obviously) and 27 watts in idle/desktop.

Last edited by 386SX on 2021-08-21, 18:59. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 507 of 516, by BitWrangler

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Nice, I've got a Johnstown Atom board with the N270 I need to do something with. It'll only take 2GB though, and being 1.6Ghz single is probably just under tolerable for modern surfing. Maybe it gets to be a pihole or something.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 508 of 516, by 386SX

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Still I like the old early Atom cpus, in their times netbooks were amazing. The N270 even if single core still had SSSE3 instructions and the external onboard GPU should have even more old DX6 retrogames compatibility compared to the later integrated gpus if I remember correctly. To solve the video decoding part I remember I installed back in those times, an external mini-pcie decoding card that did a great job up to 1080p on most codecs of that time and no cpu impact but an external VGA would solve it.
Next future upgrade maybe a PCI-PCI-EX adapter and a GT1030 low profile I was thinking until I stay below the ~25 watts bus limits. 😉

Reply 509 of 516, by shamino

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Set up a new Netgear "Nighthawk" router. As the name implies it's a lot like an F-117A Stealth fighter for your house but it doesn't fly or drop bombs, instead it throws network packets.
It's not "Wifi 6" but my stuff can't use that and they cost more. By the time I have anything compatible, 6GHz will be a thing and the current implementations will be obsolete anyway.

The initial setup sucked. You can't just plug a Cat5 in and open the config in your browser anymore, that would be barbaric. The UI experts guard that page with wizards now.
I couldn't navigate that nonsense on a comfortable PC because the default IP wasn't routable on my LAN, and couldn't change it until the wizards were slain.
Anyway I'm past that now, I finally have access to the config menu and I also have a shiny new "Netgear account" that I don't need. Looking forward to the spam.

I'm impressed with how fast the connection is to an Asus PCE-AC88 card I installed in my modern gaming PC a few months ago. The raw/whatever connect speed fluctuates between 1.1-1.3Gbps, but the iperf results are more like 600Mbps which is still good for wireless.

I'm disappointed that in practical reality, there aren't nearly as many usable 5GHz channels as I thought there were.
Newer routers use 4 adjacent channels nowadays.
So some people use 36-40-44-48.
And more people use 149-153-157-161.

There's a huge gulf in between with nobody there, so I thought I'd use that. It worked great on the PCs, getting me a more consistent 700Mbps in iPerf instead of a choppier 600Mbps.
But the Rokus couldn't see it at all.
Turns out there's legal caveats with that whole middle range, so some devices don't support it. Which makes it effectively useless if you own just 1 such device.

So basically you have 2 channels to pick from. ie 2 different sets of 4 adjacent channels that you and all your neighbors are using.
Good thing we have concrete walls in FL or the interference would be a lot worse.

Reply 510 of 516, by BitWrangler

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Yah, I had a more recent netgear wifi extender I picked up for pocket change and it wanted email, so I gave it a completely fake one and it took it and carried on. It appears it is only a "rental" until netgear goes tits up or turns off servers though because it pings home for hell knows what. I think I am avoiding netgear stuff now.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 511 of 516, by bjwil1991

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Got ThinLinx installed on my Raspberry Pi 3B+ and ordered the license for it and got it installed. Tested the RDP (Microsoft) function to see how it performs and there's a drawback: it doesn't like it when I enter my laptop's PC name as it says it's not found, but when I enter my IP address, it asks for my credentials.

It'll be utilized for connecting to my mom's desktop so she can get the recipes easily without having to walk up and down the stairs to figure out which other ingredient is required for either lunch, dinner, or desserts (including birthday cakes/pies). All that's left is a computer monitor with speakers (or an HDTV), a mouse, a keyboard, and a VESA mount for mounting the Raspberry Pi so that the cables are well hidden.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from the Compaq Portable 1 to FX-8350
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/retropcuser

Reply 512 of 516, by bjwil1991

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Currently backing up my GameBoy, Color, and Advance games onto my laptop (ROMs and saves + RTC) and got the RTC patch on my Ruby ROM (Sapphire has a glitch) for testing purposes. Also backing up my data from my phone (documents, downloads, and more, which will get archived on Google Drive).

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from the Compaq Portable 1 to FX-8350
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/retropcuser

Reply 513 of 516, by BitWrangler

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Plugged a dollar store "gaming mouse" into my main laptop, I have hammered a Verbatim cheapy to death over 3 or 4 years, and got fed up with it's glitchy buttons. It's the Dollarama "Tech 1" brand. Initial impression is that it was very light, but that's not entirely a bad thing for strain in long term use, if it survives to long term use. It doesn't feel that flimsy despite that. You only get the standard left right and middle scroll. Left and right seem like low tension microswitches, click reliably. Scroll wheel is plastic rather than rubberised, feels odd at first. I could also regard this as a benefit having had so many rubber ones go sticky or even full on "gooey" on me. Wheel felt stiff and hard to click at first, but after a day it either wore in or I got used to it. Resolution seems about twice what the verbatim one was but not sure what that was in the first place, so 800-1600, 1000-2000, 1200-2400??? IDK tracks well. Cord has that woven mesh jacket so feels very slightly premium. USB plug however is twice the length it needs to be, like thumbdrive size almost, which is probably bad for leverage on your USB ports if you're clumsy. Yah, and it glows, cycles through colors, I don't know why but I thought there would be an apparent method to disable that, nope, nor a pause button if you just wanted it to stay one color, so yah, a bit puh-sychodelical. Wouldn't recommend leaving it plugged in where you're trying to sleep. Doesn't feel flimsy, but neither does an egg clasped in your hand, drop it on the floor and crack, not sure if this would take many drops, but then again it's light, so not a lot of momentum to arrest, just don't drop it then step on it I guess. Overall, it's a mouse, it mouses adequately. Good value for money I guess, but you can see where they saved you every cent. Pros, wouldn't add much heft to your laptop bag, you can lose it and not care, 7 year old kids will be green with envy. Cons, plug sucks, long term durability in question, but if you got a year out of it you couldn't really complain. Bad scrollwheel feel initially. Final score, silver ratio out of pi platypuses. (A star being lofty, heavenly, a guiding light, a platypus being the prime natural example of WTF)

Edit: subsequent beating of google with a rubber hose has revealed highly similar offbrand cheapo mice claiming 1600 DPI.

Last edited by BitWrangler on 2021-09-22, 01:23. Edited 1 time in total.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 514 of 516, by Caluser2000

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-09-20, 21:34:

Plugged a dollar store "gaming mouse" into my main laptop, I have hammered a Verbatim cheapy to death over 3 or 4 years, and got fed up with it's glitchy buttons. It's the Dollarama "Tech 1" brand. Initial impression is that it was very light, but that's not entirely a bad thing for strain in long term use, if it survives to long term use. It doesn't feel that flimsy despite that. You only get the standard left right and middle scroll. Left and right seem like low tension microswitches, click reliably. Scroll wheel is plastic rather than rubberised, feels odd at first. I could also regard this as a benefit having had so many rubber ones go sticky or even full on "gooey" on me. Wheel felt stiff and hard to click at first, but after a day it either wore in or I got used to it. Resolution seems about twice what the verbatim one was but not sure what that was in the first place, so 800-1600, 1000-2000, 1200-2400??? IDK tracks well. Cord has that woven mesh jacket so feels very slightly premium. USB plug however is twice the length it needs to be, like thumbdrive size almost, which is probably bad for leverage on your USB ports if you're clumsy. Yah, and it glows, cycles through colors, I don't know why but I thought there would be an apparent method to disable that, nope, nor a pause button if you just wanted it to stay one color, so yah, a bit puh-sychodelical. Wouldn't recommend leaving it plugged in where you're trying to sleep. Doesn't feel flimsy, but neither does an egg clasped in your hand, drop it on the floor and crack, not sure if this would take many drops, but then again it's light, so not a lot of momentum to arrest, just don't drop it then step on it I guess. Overall, it's a mouse, it mouses adequately. Good value for money I guess, but you can see where they saved you every cent. Pros, wouldn't add much heft to your laptop bag, you can lose it and not care, 7 year old kids will be green with envy. Cons, plug sucks, long term durability in question, but if you got a year out of it you couldn't really complain. Bad scrollwheel feel initially. Final score, silver ratio out of pi platypuses. (A star being lofty, heavenly, a guiding light, a platypus being the prime natural example of WTF)

Scroll wheel? Kwal man.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 515 of 516, by bjwil1991

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Got my PSP working again. Had to press and hold the home button while flicking the switch and repaired the firmware by installing the 6.20 OFW and going back to 6.61, along with the CFW LME-23 + Infinity 2.0.3 installation. The PSX games (PSP-eBoot) were a pain to get them to work and after finding out which files were missing, the games sprung to life again. Also got the screen to look better, but it's still a mess and I'm getting further to getting this thing to look better.

And I'm still backing up my GB, GBC, and GBA games (about 10 titles left and it's all set) along with my phone.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from the Compaq Portable 1 to FX-8350
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/retropcuser

Reply 516 of 516, by Standard Def Steve

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I bought these Guinness World Record books at a yard sale the other day because they were cheap and shiny. So shiny that they reflected the early morning sunlight directly into my eyeballs, which gave my retinas some OLED-like image persistence for a few seconds. 😜

They were missing the 2001 book, unfortunately. Oh well, no biggie. It's not like 2001 was a great year or anything.
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Ten Gigahertz
5 Groovy GHz: Ryzen 9 5900X | GTX 1080 Ti | 64GB DDR4-3600 | 2TB NVMe, 8TB HDD | Win 10 & 11
5 Troll GHz: AMD FX-8350 | Radeon R9 Fury | 16GB DDR3-1866 | 500GB SSD, 2TB HDD | Win 8.1