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(Actually, I notice other people mentioning that you, yourself were suggesting the Kill-a-Watt years ago. So why aren't you just measuring your usage? It sure ain't gonna be appliance bulbs... Don't guess. Measure. Physician, heal thyself!)
Toggle Commented Nov 26, 2012 on For a Bit of Colored Ribbon at Coding Horror
You've tricked me into becoming obsessed with understanding and reducing my household energy consumption Reducing, maybe. Understanding? From your explanation, you bought into marketing (Energy Star is ... meh, and LED/CCFL bulbs are overrated). Buy a Kill-a-watt, or equivalent. Measure actual consumption - and you'll figure out pretty quick that it's almost certainly not your lighting. Then stop worrying about it, or turn off some computers (or at least make sure they're in sleep, if not hibernation), because I bet that's where your power usage is going. If you care. I suggest not caring - as other have said, your power usage is a) not all that high compared to real national numbers, but more importantly b) not important, as long as the bill isn't killing you. [Remember that time spent reducing your usage is time you're only getting "paid for" out of reduced bills. It's unlikely to be remunerative.] (In fact, the biggest difference I see between you and the allegedly-similar homes is in gas usage, especially in the winter. Put in more insulation, stop dicking around with lightbulbs - I'm sure, given that spike in February-march, and the way your curve doesn't match your neighbors, that it's not lighting using your power. I suspect computers, very strongly, for the power usage. But seriously? LED appliance lights? Those will most likely literally never pay for themselves.)
Toggle Commented Nov 26, 2012 on For a Bit of Colored Ribbon at Coding Horror
@Glenn Howes: I know you're just trolling, but Apple changing the color is actually a violation of the USB 3.0 specification, which makes the connector color Pantone 300C. But hey, all in the name of shiny! You should try reading the specification [29mb zip], Section, which says that color-coding is "recommended". Note, not "required". Since the justification given in the standards document is that it helps users tell one apart from the other because they may co-exist on a host, it's easy to see why Apple didn't - because every Mac is either "no-USB3" or "all-USB3". So, by "a violation of" you should mean "in compliance with", given that the color-coding is in fact optional.
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2012 on A SSD in Your Pocket at Coding Horror
Except now it's 2012, and fellow programmers are still writing long screeds bemoaning the awfulness of PHP! I briefly flirted with using PHP for a personal web project around 199... 6? 7? Back when they still openly called it "Personal Home Page[whatever]". It (PHP) was a barely-documented pile of random code then. It's kind of terrifying that people are still using it... deliberately. (Tati: That's not a Microsoft page; they just contracted registration for a conference out to some media company. Nobody has an obligation to dogfood such that they only use contractors who use their own tools.)
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2012 on The PHP Singularity at Coding Horror
But apps will always need websites, if for nothing else other than a source of data, as a mothership to phone home to, and a place to host the application downloads for various devices. Nope. All they need is an API they can talk to, which need not use HTML at all, or be visible in a browser. (And downloads? That's what a store is for.) Now, I agree that they're not going to remove the need for websites for other reasons - but they don't depend on them, strictly.
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2012 on Will Apps Kill Websites? at Coding Horror
(Actually, nevermind that bit about the 1/2" socket and replaceable chucks. I see they've changed their stock to have two braces with fixed chucks, which wasn't obvious from the thumbnail. Pity, really, though the lower prices help offset that.)
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2011 on Gifts for Geeks, 2011 Edition at Coding Horror
In re. the dremel note, if you're using a drill to drive or pull screws, that's why they're stripping. Wrong tool. Use a bit brace [ e.g.,180 ], and you'll never strip a screwhead again. (If you drive cheap screws without properly drilling a pilot, you might break the screw, but that's a mechanical issue, and your own damned fault.) (Either a nice, expensive one like Lee Valley sells, with a hex-bit compatible chuck, or a cheaper one, either vintage or new, with a shank-to-hex adapter. You'll never go back to ruining screws with a drill. Also useful for nuts and bolts work, with the same adapters, especially the very nice Lee Valley unit which has a 1/2" socket end and replaceable chucks.)
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2011 on Gifts for Geeks, 2011 Edition at Coding Horror
Pretty much all "modern" anti-aliasing is some variant of the MSAA hack, and even that costs a quarter of your framerate. That's prohibitively expensive, unless you have so much performance you don't even care, which will rarely be true for any recent game. While the crawling lines of aliasing do bother me, I don't feel anti-aliasing alone is worth giving up a quarter of my framerate and/or turning down other details to pay for it. Well, I don't know about that. Given that we don't need to tie mouse polling to frame scan these days, and that anything over, say, 60 fps won't really be noticeable, how much do we really need? Are you sure you're actually hitting framerate barriers that matter, now? (Ie, given that many games cap at 60, and many monitors don't do faster than 60-76hz refresh, losing 25% of your, say, 100fps gets you... still faster than it'll display. And still faster than you'll be able to see, most of the time if ever.) A $199 video card can run full-HD, high-detail, 4xAA (16x oversample) at a framerate fast enough that I don't notice the rate - which is all that matters. Given the slow adoption of greater-than-HD display sizes, GPU power is making the "problem" of AA go away at the moment; perhaps this will change when you can get the 27" super-HD monitors for a sane price.
Note that the plain single 6970 still puts out over 40 fps on that scale. Faster refresh than television, and this is on a 27" monster monitor (2560x1600 means a 27" ala Dell or Apple) on maximum quality. As you sort-of state, this is all a complete waste of time. But then, people who can buy a $900-1000 monitor for gaming can afford two high end video cards for marginal improvement, I guess... (I have a 6950 at home, and I cannot get it to be "slow" in maximum quality on any game I've tried on a 1080p monitor.)
Toggle Commented Oct 20, 2011 on Multiple Video Cards at Coding Horror
(Also, more directly on point - "serving at the pleasure of the king" in the sense that "the OS might incorporate your functionality" is universal. There's no OS where that's impossible; Windows does it, though not quite as often. Android phone sellers can do it, as they want. Google sure will.)
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2011 on Serving at the Pleasure of the King at Coding Horror
If Microsoft added a feature to Windows that duplicated a popular application's functionality, developers would be screaming bloody murder and rioting in the, er, blogs and web forums. ... Really? Well, maybe the ones who just got put out of business would be. But who the hell cares about them? Do they have some sort of right to be effectively subsidized by the core OS never improving in a way that obsoletes their product? OSes don't exist to make developers money. They exist to make money for the producer. And they do that by making users happy, because then users will choose that OS rather than the competing platforms. Users are not happy that they need "your" app (Instapaper or whatever) to read something offline. Users are happy when they system comes with a good tool for that. (Also, for information's sake, are you new to following Apple? Because Apple's always done this sort of thing before. A lot. It's commonplace - remember Stuffit? Nope? Indeed, because nobody's bought it in years, since OSX included compression and archiving in 10.3 rather than bundling Stuffit's free version. And Microsoft does it too - who buys or even installs the "free" WinZip anymore, now that Windows has built-in Zip support? The ten people who need some special feature that the base OS doesn't include [and who don't prefer 7zip]. It's universal because it's such an obvious idea, and so good for end-users. Dave Haynes' examples are even better - MSSE is brilliant, and I don't care if the people at Symantec and Kaspersky don't like it... Actually, having used their products, I hope they choke.)
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2011 on Serving at the Pleasure of the King at Coding Horror
1) re. the XKCD - he ignores that many sites have a password length limit - and a few of them, at least, will be silently truncating, which makes a phrase worse than using linenoise. Also, I don't know about him, but in my world, the sites I care about all limit login attempts or speed, so you can't brute force - the "1000 guesses per second" problem is solved by not having the same password on every account; use different ones on banking and Important accounts - none of which will tolerate that sort of behavior from outside, and a shitty generic one on useless sites like forums because who gives a damn about forums. And lastly, the Bad People don't care about my account. They care about getting "easy" accounts; the people who use "Password123" and the like are all screwed. On your suggestion - I absolutely reject any centralized system where a single point of failure breaks everything and a single security issue compromises everything I do. Have fun pushing it - I ain't taking it. I mean, sure, it makes your life as a website operator easier. Good for you. Not my problem as a user, however. I don't care about making your life easier (nothing personal!); I care about mine, and "magical browser-based just works once you give a browser your master super-password" is BAD. I don't want to have to give Someone Else's Computer my Master Credential Authorization to, say, play Kingdom of Loathing. No. Just no.
Crypth: MTBF is not not NOT "expected lifetime". The three year warranty is there because they expect it to last three years, not "a million hours" (114 years). MTBF/MTTF is, at best a statistical measure of how long you should expect to go between failures if you have a large mass of drives operating. - MTBF is, really, a damned lie when it comes to computer storage.
Allen said: QOS should be handled at the local end, not in aggregate - just because I'm using torrents shouldn't mean I lose out compared to all your Skypers out there. Well, if the pipe is 99-100% full, I think it damned well does mean exactly that, because their traffic uses very little bandwidth but is seriously negatively impacted by latency issues. Whereas your BitTorrent traffic doesn't give a damn about latency, comparatively, but will soak up 100% of available bandwidth, by design, whenever possible. I can't see how VOIP can even work on a "full pipe" - which is what BitTorrent makes every pipe without QoS. And if we want to even pretend to be "fair", the giant brute protocol that wants 100% utilization can wait a few slices until the VOIP packets that want low latency can get transmitted. If your moral argument boils down to "screw other traffic if it makes for even the slightest slowdown for mine", well... that works both ways, and there's no obvious reason why BT should be privileged over VOIP rather than the reverse. Indeed, since more and more people using VOIP for their only home phone, or even for emergency services, well... I assure you that if you get lawmakers involved making a policy decision between "BT users stealing movies" and "Grandmas using MagicJack who can't call an ambulance because of network congestion", you are going to lose. And you'd much rather lose a tiny bit of speed to QoS privileging VOIP latency than to the solution the lawmakers will come up with, because it will be less efficient and won't care at all about your traffic or preferences. (This is why I oppose NN legislation, again. Because lawmakers are incompetent at network administration, just as they are in every other area.)
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2011 on The Importance of Net Neutrality at Coding Horror
Yep, I'm piling on. Fuck net neutrality. Right in the orifice, with some sort of uncomfortable implement. Bill Bennett covered this in detail literally years ago when Google was first pushing Net Neutrality (aka "Don't make us pay for our fair share"). ThePsion5: Well, my account is old, and I'm not working for a telco. I just want to have QoS available, and I'm not delusional enough to think either A) "They want to charge me to use Facebook!!!!!!!!" (No, you didn't argue that. Yes, "Net Neut" people have, with their cute little graphics and uninformed rants based on, well, nothing at all, actually.) B) That the State's dead hand is going to provide a better bandwidth experience than a provider that will lose my money if I go to its competitor. Here where I live, and indeed for a whole lot of people, if my DSL provider tries to bone me, Cable will compete. Or Clear with their WiMax system. The vast majority of US consumers of broadband have multiple non-satellite options! (PS. Are you being paid by Google? Or do accusations like that only work in one direction? )
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2011 on The Importance of Net Neutrality at Coding Horror
My old home i7-920 has 6GB. (It's one of the early four-slotters, but only using three, to actually be triple-channel.) My newer office workstation has 9GB. Nothing wrong with 24, especially if you "really need it" - but on the other hand, not much point in buying ram that won't be "needed"... before it's time for a newer CPU/MB.
One reason that Google will produce "worse" SEO-spammed results than other search engines (which nobody seems to have noted in my quick scan) is the obvious one. Spammers don't gain jack from trying to optimize their Bing or Yahoo results. Google has the most impact, and thus it's the thing they'll put the vast majority of their effort into gaming.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2011 on Trouble In the House of Google at Coding Horror
@Michael: Yes, it is a myth. I brought it up not because I'm ignorant about the "facts" about the Dvorak layout, but because I've done skeptical research on the subject. See: ("The consistent finding in the ergonomic studies is that the results imply no clear advantage for Dvorak") That YOU personally prefer Dvorak, as well as the current record holder, suggests nothing at all; previous record holders did not use Dvorak, after all. At the time, would that have "proven" that Dvorak was inferior, because "the record holder uses Sholes"? If not, why not? If so, then isn't the proof-by-record-holder-of-the-moment move invalid? (I maintain it is.) I've never seen evidence that - with equal training - one or the other of the two is significantly superior to the other in ergonomics or speed that did not involve cherry-picking. If you cherry pick, you can "prove" that Dvorak is a lot better than QWERTY/Sholes. And if you cherry pick, you can "prove" the reverse. None of the serious studies suggest enough benefit to either to be worth re-training - or that the "inherent" benefits of Dvorak are all that great. (See #2 link above; Dvorak himself didn't know about every ergonomic issue involved, unsurprisingly.
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2010 on The Keyboard Cult at Coding Horror
I'm another vote for the Apple aluminum keyboards. I hate noisy keyboards (literally, a coworker with a buckling-switch keyboard made it impossible for me to work while he was typing rapidly). I see no need for such extreme feedback, either; the Apple Keyboard provides more than enough, and more than enough travel. Jeff: 150wpm? You do realise that makes you an insane outlier, right? (And, Dvorak, people? That myth's been busted, you know. Train as much for QWERTY and you'll get equivalent results.)
Toggle Commented Oct 26, 2010 on The Keyboard Cult at Coding Horror
Jeff said: "the last major firmware update for it was a year and a half ago" So? Is there a bug in the old firmware you need fixed? No? Then what's the point of an update? Updates for updates' sake? (Contra MJ, many things don't need to be "improved", especially at the cost of stability. A router that does everything it needs to is a finished product, and calling it that is not "laziness", but realism. Some of us, for instance, have better things to do than waste time trying to make an 802.11g router useful in an 802.11n world. Really, the WRT-54G was a great product. In 2004.) (I'm glad you're happy with dd-wrt, Jeff, but looking at the docs on eg. how to set up repeating makes me glad I went with a Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme setup. That and the automatic discovery, etc., which makes the latter solution much more appropriate to the "mainstream" market. The cheaper Buffalo is nice if all you have is N hardware running in 5 ghz; if you have any mixed-mode stuff [eg. various gaming hardware that doesn't do N, or old hard-to-upgrade laptops like ones with a firmware whitelist for the wireless cards] the dual-band option is really worthwhile, since you can get both fast 5ghz connections on the N network and still use your G stuff. Without collision, even. And when you're already buying a dual-band router, suddenly that Apple stuff doesn't look as expensive...)
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2010 on Because Everyone Needs a Router at Coding Horror
My real question is... why bother in an HTPC? You shouldn't be rebooting it very often; it should be in S3 suspend. And that 4gb cache isn't going to matter with your AV software in RAM and all your media files being far larger (or not played so often as to be in the cache, or so small as to just be a blip of a read, eg for MP3 audio). Am I missing some notional benefit in an HTPC application that would make it worth the extra cost?
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2010 on Revisiting Solid State Hard Drives at Coding Horror