[Rant] Tech Whine Like a baby thread

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Hey @DarkAudit, USB extension cables are not meant to be used that way. USB is only 5V, so it has trouble pushing over long distances (more than 10 feet/3meters) without a powered hub to help repeat the signal. Also, when using anything that requires a high- or super-speed USB connection (i.e., any USB 2 or 3 connection), the longer cables vastly increase the chance of data transmission corruption due to increased EMI...which could result in your disconnects.

—Patrick
 
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Places I've worked at before that needed long USB lengths use powered USB to Ethernet back to USB connections - there isn't a guarantee that it would work for a WiFi connection. It's not a cheap solution, but it's the only way around the length issues.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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The wifi in my half of the building peaks at ~20Mbps down/12 up. That's another issue which is being addressed above my level. In my room, the speed drops to ~10Mbps down at the desktop PC no matter which USB port I plug the wifi stick into. I picked up some 6ft USB extension cables, and strung three of them together to have the stick closer to the door. I'm able to get close to the full bandwidth that way... for about half an hour. Then the stick disconnects and cannot find an access point until I physically disconnect and then reconnect it. At the desktop ports, the connection is more or less stable for as long as I'm using it.

I haven't yet tried removing any of the cables in the chain to see if one has gotten flakey. I'm thinking the setup just isn't viable and I should seek other options until the new access points arrive.
Have you considered something like building a parabolic reflector out of aluminum foil?
 
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Well, duh. Here I was bitching up a storm about Crunchyroll streams always choking no matter how fast my connection was, and here I am with the cache still set to the default 100KB.

Turned that way up, and it's mostly fixed now. Still freezes every once in a while, but PEBKAC indeed.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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Well. It seems our wireless access point control software (Ubiquiti Unifi) decided to ERASE ALL ITS OWN DATA. No asking, no nothing... just went in to check some settings and got the "let's start setting up your network!" wizard. All gone.

So. If you use Ubiquiti stuff... frequent fucking backups.
 
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My computer keeps saying random USB devices are malfunctioning, but when I restart they're fine. Is this a problem I should worry about? Because it keeps happening.
 
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My computer keeps saying random USB devices are malfunctioning, but when I restart they're fine. Is this a problem I should worry about? Because it keeps happening.
If it's Windows 10 and you're trying to use USB 3.0, you could have an issue if you're on the Spring Creator's Update (build 1833). The only "solution" I was able to find was to switch back to the USB 2.0 slots on my motherboard.
 
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My main computer died in the middle of playing No Man's Sky. Like it just went down. No explanation. I unplugged it, and it's not the cable or something simple like that.

It won't even POST.

Spoiler of specs (from late 2012) :
These are from my purchase order, so I know they're accurate.

Seasonic M12II 520W EPS12V 20/24PIN ATX PFC 80+ Bronze Modular Connectors 6PIN PCI-E 120MM Fan
Corsair Vengeance Blue CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit (bought another kit to bring to 16GB total later)
Antec P280 XL-ATX Tower Case Black 3X5.25 2X2.5 6X3.5IN 2X120MM Top 1X120MM Rear Front USB3.0 No PSU
ASUS P8Z77-V Lk ATX LGA1155 Z77 DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 3PCI SATA3 SLI DVI HDMI DP USB3.0 Motherboard
Intel Core i5 3470 Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.2GHZ Ivy Bridge 6MB Retail
EVGA GTX 960 (bought later)
There's a little light in the bottom-right of the mobo which according to the manual, says it means that it's in standby. But holding the power button on the top does absolutely nothing (and neither does shorting the two pins that's connected to with a screwdriver, which the FAQ from ASUS actually suggests!). The best I can tell all the connection are there that are supposed to be (it hadn't been moved or anything like that recently). I have not yet gone to the point of actually disconnecting all the stuff inside (since it should theoretically "run" minimally with only mobo, cpu, ram, and PSU) to see if one of them is the problem.

Suggestions?
 
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After that, I'm afraid it's usually check all of the capacitors and see which one, if any, has let its magic blue smoke escape.
 
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If it’s still getting trickle power (the light on the board) then I suspect PSU or MLB, and looking for swollen/blown caps is an easy enough thing to do without too much disassembly.

—Patrick
 
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If it’s still getting trickle power (the light on the board) then I suspect PSU or MLB, and looking for swollen/blown caps is an easy enough thing to do without too much disassembly.
PSU = Power Supply Unit
MLB = ?

And honestly, I don't have the time to tinker, nor the components to "swap out" to see if one of them fixes it. I have no way of correctly diagnosing a bum power supply for instance. I'm taking it to a small local shop that does this kind of thing and I've bought from before (minor stuff, never repairs). They don't charge too much, and they have a reasonable maximum charge. It's worth it IMO.
 
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MLB = Main Logic Board.

Troubleshooting this kind of issue usually requires reducing the computer to as minimum a configuration as possible and then adding parts back in until the suspect part is isolated.

So reduce the computer to just the CPU/HSF (HeatSink/Fan), one single stick of RAM, the MLB, the PSU, and the case (no GPU yet) and even though you won't be able to see anything because no GPU, you would still be able to tell if the fan keeps spinning (i.e., the computer stays on). Then you add the GPU and monitor back in and see what you can see (hopefully a BIOS/EFI screen or "no system found" alert since HDD/SSD are still disconnected). Then continue the add-in process.

--Patrick
 
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MLB = Main Logic Board.
Do you mean the Motherboard? Just checking

As for the rest, it doesn't need a GPU (the mobo has output from the CPU's graphics), but the repair guy suspects the PSU as the culprit. We'll see how it turns out. I'm hoping that's it, as that's swappable easily.
 
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Something tells me that I should be very glad our house wasn't built any earlier than 1980 - and that something is how badly this one is already wired for phone and cable. In our living room, against the outer wall, is a baseboard heater. One length of coax cable comes up from downstairs from each side of that heater. One is connected to the outside world, the other is not. The coax in the bedrooms and downstairs are all apparently tied to the one that isn't connected to the outside world. There are also three separate inbound phone lines to this house. One goes downstairs and might be connected elsewhere in the house. One goes upstairs and might be connected elsewhere in the house. The third was apparently an intercom line only, and the only place we can find a jack for it is outside on the deck - where you would normally find an electrical outlet. There are no electrical outlets on that deck. Also, we've discovered a small satellite dish on top of the house, but we're not sure which service it used to belong to, or which sets of cable it may have been feeding. Hopefully I can find ends of all of these and tie them all together with the appropriate patch panels and avoid just having 83 splitters joining various random bits of coax throughout the walls.
 
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Do you mean the Motherboard? Just checking
Main Logic Board/Logic Board/System Board/Motherboard/Mainboard - these are all names for the same thing.
It smells like a PSU issue to me, too.
The symptoms strongly suggest a failed PSU, but there is also the possibility that this could be the motherboard not returning/respecting a valid PWR_OK signal.
It is possible to "hotwire" a PSU to quick-n-dirty test it by shorting this line to the 5V rail, as shown here:

This is not a guarantee that the PSU is working properly, but if you do this and the PSU does not fire up, then it is a guarantee that the PSU is not working.
Something tells me that I should be very glad our house wasn't built any earlier than 1980 - and that something is how badly this one is already wired for phone and cable. In our living room, against the outer wall, is a baseboard heater. One length of coax cable comes up from downstairs from each side of that heater. One is connected to the outside world, the other is not. The coax in the bedrooms and downstairs are all apparently tied to the one that isn't connected to the outside world. There are also three separate inbound phone lines to this house. One goes downstairs and might be connected elsewhere in the house. One goes upstairs and might be connected elsewhere in the house. The third was apparently an intercom line only, and the only place we can find a jack for it is outside on the deck - where you would normally find an electrical outlet. There are no electrical outlets on that deck. Also, we've discovered a small satellite dish on top of the house, but we're not sure which service it used to belong to, or which sets of cable it may have been feeding. Hopefully I can find ends of all of these and tie them all together with the appropriate patch panels and avoid just having 83 splitters joining various random bits of coax throughout the walls.
Multiple-family dwellings FTW!

--Patrick
 
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Update on my woes: back up and running. Took it to the shop, and he'd seen a "flash" when trying to power it up. Apparently there was arcing happening somewhere on the video card. Took that out, got a "detected weird power stuff" from the BIOS (though the BIOS also says that if there's been a power outage), so for safety's sake replaced the PSU as well as the video card. Runs w/o a video card if needed (that type of Mobo/CPU it can do that) so we were fairly sure it was ONLY the video card that was the problem, but you never know, so new PSU as well just to be 100% safe.

So, could have been much worse. Could have been just the PSU, but wasn't, sadly. The old PSU is probably still OK, I'll keep it around as a "test PSU" for the future.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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I got a new laptop, it arrived yesterday.

I haven't even installed any updates yet, and I'm already irritated at Windows 10. It only sees ONE of my network shares on my main PC. The least important one. Also, cortana refuses to do anything useful unless I sign in with a microsoft account. Which fuuuuuck that.

Almost makes me want to return it, and go back to using my creaky 11-year-old laptop that can barely run Left 4 Dead and cooks my lap like a george foreman grill under any kind of load.
 
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I got a new laptop, it arrived yesterday.

I haven't even installed any updates yet, and I'm already irritated at Windows 10. It only sees ONE of my network shares on my main PC. The least important one. Also, cortana refuses to do anything useful unless I sign in with a microsoft account. Which fuuuuuck that.

Almost makes me want to return it, and go back to using my creaky 11-year-old laptop that can barely run Left 4 Dead and cooks my lap like a george foreman grill under any kind of load.
I feel like I've stepped out of a cryo-chamber after a really long, terrible dream about how bad Windows 10 is, and how useless it is with their always connected garbage, to run smack dab into a real-life example of it. Dude, didn't you hear us bitching about this? What in the world convinced you to go out and buy a Windows 10 laptop? And, please, please tell me it's at least Win10 Pro, and not one of the neutered Home editions.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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I feel like I've stepped out of a cryo-chamber after a really long, terrible dream about how bad Windows 10 is, and how useless it is with their always connected garbage, to run smack dab into a real-life example of it. Dude, didn't you hear us bitching about this? What in the world convinced you to go out and buy a Windows 10 laptop? And, please, please tell me it's at least Win10 Pro, and not one of the neutered Home editions.
It is 10 pro, yes. And it's because I can't GET a windows 7 laptop anymore, and my old one finally just "literally can't even" anymore - it's from 2007 and even then it wasn't top of the line. It's always had a problem where it overheats and locks up (in fact, Dei and Terrik can tell you about the time I fell asleep on the couch and it literally burned a 4 inch long blister on my leg), and it's just been getting worse and worse. I need a laptop for my trip next week, though, so I had to bite the bullet and get one.

After this trip is over, I might experiment with loading ubuntu on it. Or I might not. We'll see.
 
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Microsoft is very clear about how things will be going forward.
You will choose a computer based on its specs, or build it yourself to your liking.
And then you will install WinX on it.
And then Microsoft will take possession of your hardware, and thank you for your generous donation.

Sales of new licenses of any version of Widows earlier than WinX ended Oct2016, so the only way to get Win8.1 or earlier now is through the secondhand market, and those people are of course smelling the opportunity and pricing accordingly.
Microsoft also only supports installation of Win8.1 or earlier on Intel 6xxx-series (Skylake)/AMD AM3+-series (Bulldozer/Piledriver) and earlier processors. So if your computer was assembled with parts from 2016 or later, there is a reasonable chance WinX may be your only choice.
Also Win7 final date is 2020 so if you ARE going to do it, you’d better do it before then.

—Patrick
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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Yeah, unfortunately it's an i7-7700HQ (Kaby Lake), so I don't think win 7 will install on it, even though I've got a spare OEM copy sitting here that I had intended to install on my server (before I successfully cracked Win Server 2016 enterprise on it :p )
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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The latest version of Messages for Android has added a dark mode. :thumbsup:

It also removed the option to choose what color each contact is. So now all my conversations have different colors than they did, and a lot of them have the same color. :facepalm:
 
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Did you know it's possible to catch a Twitter suspension in less than 12 hours, without posting a single tweet? It is. I don't know why, since I combed through the stupid link they sent me to their rules and quite obviously didn't violate any of them, but within 12 hours of creating a new Twitter account, verifying the email address, choosing two accounts to follow, and logging out (without sending or liking a single tweet, mind you); my account was suspended.
 
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Did you know it's possible to catch a Twitter suspension in less than 12 hours, without posting a single tweet? It is. I don't know why, since I combed through the stupid link they sent me to their rules and quite obviously didn't violate any of them, but within 12 hours of creating a new Twitter account, verifying the email address, choosing two accounts to follow, and logging out (without sending or liking a single tweet, mind you); my account was suspended.
Was your handle @totallynotarussianbot?
 
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