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The Spam Thread!
As I mentioned earlier, I am cautiously optimistic about the Switch, especially knowing Nintendo's half-baked and/or flat-out boneheaded moves they pulled off lately. If they did manage to renew the faith of those disenfranchised by their business model and practices, they should consider it as a cautionary tale on why riding too much on nostalgia and alienating those who meant well with their IPs is a foul move.
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Rant time... but about Windows 10.

When I built Pearl, I was pondering whether or not I should install Win8.1, or go with Win10. I ended up installing Win10, which for the most part, works rather well. There are some aspects of Win10 that kind of make me long for Win8.1, or even Win7.

The first is MS' constant promotion of their built-in apps over third party ones. See, when you switch your default browser to anything but Microsoft Edge (like Chrome), Win10 will occasionally place a small box over the Edge icon in the taskbar basically begging you to try it out. This happens when you open the third party browser. I think if you remembered to remove the Edge icon from the taskbar after installing your preferred browser, this won't happen. I also forgot that when you upgrade to a newer Windows build (such as the upcoming Creators update), all the default programs are reset to their defaults, and you have to set them again.

The second issue is forced device driver updates. I have no issue with automatic security updates, but they apply the same logic to device drivers. This is problematic with video cards since it can result in a sub-optimal or outdated driver being installed without your permission. I haven't been affected much by this since I always install the latest Nvidia drivers once they are confirmed to be stable, and Windows Update never has overridden my drivers. But for those who prefer an older driver version, Windows Update may keep reinstalling a newer driver that may not work for them. MS does have a troubleshooter you can download to disable updates for certain devices, but really, they should have kept device driver updates optional.

The third is occasional bugs stemming from baked-in features. OneDrive was previously a separate app you could install on Win7 or Win8. Win10 has this built in, and since I never use OneDrive, I disabled it to run at startup. In the last day or so, OneDrive has been starting up (even if it's not running) and showing the setup window whenever I use the Open File dialog in certain applications like Winamp or OpenOffice. I'd imagine a recent Windows Update introduced some sort of bug with OneDrive. You can disable OneDrive with group policies, but Win10 Home editions don't have these, so for now I just let OneDrive run at startup, and will plan on disabling notifications for it.

I sometimes wonder if I was better off with Win8.1 which remains supported until 2023. But these issues so far are minor, even if they can get a bit annoying.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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Afaik the forced driver installs can be disabled when you use a tool like DDU. I use the latter mostly as I wanted my video card drivers to be at a clean slate sans any issues relating to remnants that might be present in an upgrade.
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I installed the latest Firefox today.

Nothing wrong with Microsoft Edge, but it's apparent that it still has a way to go to even compare to the speed of the competition. There are also some glaring bugs that still need to be fixed. I considered Chrome, but instead went for Firefox. I haven't used it in nearly two years and I'm curious to see how it's come along. I'm also able to install the superior uBlock Origin adblocker as well.

I was also pondering whether or not I should downgrade to Windows 8.1. I know that Win10 hates it when you change default apps from the built in MS apps like Edge. It would also give me more control of Windows Update as well. But I might not either. It would be a waste of time backing up my documents anyway.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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By the time MS introduced an addon-capable browser intended to compete with the likes of Chrome and Firefox, 'twas a tad too late imo. At least they don't mind ad blocking.

As for downgrading, I'd stick to 10 too, as polarizing the reception of it is since updates are forced (unless you're on Pro or managed to hack it somehow on Home) and certain features are a bit of an exercise in frustration.
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Whew, finally got the Epic my friend donated to work properly rather than as a mere demo unit.
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(02-22-2017, 03:45 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote: Whew, finally got the Epic my friend donated to work properly rather than as a mere demo unit.

That's good to hear. Smile

In other news, my nice JVC mini-stereo I bought last year has a failing cooling fan. When the fan turns on, it barely spins for a bit before spinning proper, with a very loud whirring noise. The noise eventually goes away, but it's seemingly getting worse over time. I normally don't repair my own electronics, but I cracked the unit open. The fan is a fairly standard 12v brushless DC fan, similar to a very small PC fan. I would have ordered a new one, but it's soldered directly to a PCB on the top half of the shell. It uses no molex connector! That makes replacement impossible if you don't know how to solder wires.

Thus, I decided to buy one of those mini-amps for the retro gaming TV. Tinny TV speakers no longer do for my game sound. The majority of soundbars and speaker sets won't work since they don't use magnetic shielding, and end up distorting the CRT picture. I saved the JVC speakers, which are 8ohm, and made sure they are compatible with the mini-amp I ordered. As for music, I plan on using Pearl for that. I play most of my music with my computer now, making a dedicated stereo system redundant. However, I still need a radio, and that is where I'm having trouble at the moment. I don't want a boombox. I would like something high-end like a Tivoli model one, but those cost a pretty penny. There are smaller radios around, but most use batteries and are designed to be portable. The radio would have to be something like the aforementioned Tivoli. I'm currently looking on eBay and Amazon for one, but it may be a while before I can get one to my liking.

Speaking of Pearl, I'm on the fence whether or not I should downgrade to Windows 8.1. I have talked about this before and understand the benefits of using an updated OS. I still don't like the idea of forced driver updates and how MS really pushes you into using the built in default apps and Cortana, which I hardly use as is. Win8.1. support lasts until 2023, a full six years. By then, I will likely have upgraded Pearl to new components by then which would require a jump to a newer Windows release.

At least with Windows 8.1, you still had full control over all system updates and it never begged you to use built in apps like Groove Music or Photos. It doesn't have Microsoft Edge, but Firefox is ten times better. It may also yield a slight performance gain since older OSes don't use as much resources as newer versions... at least that was the case with earlier Windows versions.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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Well it's your call with the PC anyway, so there's no big deal with downgrading to 8.1.

The fan problem reminds me of that old power supply I dealt with circa 2009-2010. As it turns out, the fan's suffering from binding issues with the bearing or something, and while I did yolo for a bit by running the PC with the PSU fan stuck, it would be way too dangerous to do so hence the need for a replacement unit.
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(03-03-2017, 02:00 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote: Well it's your call with the PC anyway, so there's no big deal with downgrading to 8.1.

The fan problem reminds me of that old power supply I dealt with circa 2009-2010. As it turns out, the fan's suffering from binding issues with the bearing or something, and while I did yolo for a bit by running the PC with the PSU fan stuck, it would be way too dangerous to do so hence the need for a replacement unit.

I decided that I will downgrade to Win8.1 and try it for a while. I still do have my Win10 license key, so if the need ever comes, I can get an updated ISO and return to Win10.

One thing is for sure... my copy of Corel Photo Studio will work properly. It has issues with Win10.

I have a bit of appreciation for Win8. Sure it has issues with the UI features, but if you can get past those, it's a rather solid OS. I think the same way with Windows Vista.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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Time to brush off the dust here.

First off... I decided to back off on the Win10 upgrade since I learned some apps won't work on Win8, namely Facebook Messenger. :/ I'd imagine more Metro apps will drop Win8 support in the coming years.

Secondly, I firmly decided to spring for the New 3DS XL. I managed to try one out at Best Buy during a recent family road trip. They had a demo station set up with a New 3DS XL. The larger screen is amazing, despite being the same resolution as a small 3DS. amiibo support will be improved too as you don't need to fiddle around with an external NFC reader. The color of the New 3DS I plan to get is "New Red," closely matching my current model. If not that, then a Black one will do. I don't really care for the "Galaxy Style".

This is the perfect segue into my main topic... 3DS AR. All 3DS consoles come with "AR Games" and a set of six AR cards. I only played a little bit of AR Games, but it seems very fun and interesting to look at. There is another AR game in the form of "Face Raiders", where the front camera takes a picture of your face and transforms it into a flying head in a bizarre shooting game.

From what I understand, AR never really took off with the 3DS. Looking at Nintendo's website, only 12 games (US release) ever used AR capabilities, and Nintendo never made more AR cards beyond the original 6. Nintendo seemingly missed out on an opportunity with building 3DS AR as it could have been a very strong selling point beyond the 3D gimmick. Since the 3DS' release, smartphone apps with AR have started to become commonplace. There is a McDonald's app that lets you scan your Happy Meal toys to unlock games, and there was a Dr. Pepper promotion where you download an app called "Blippar" and scan the Dr. Pepper logo to unlock an exclusive DC comic book.

Nintendo may be missing another opportunity to bring AR to the mainstream. They could have put an integrated camera on the Switch as it would enhance the devices mobile capabilities and allow deeper AR experiences with the more powerful hardware. Obviously, such AR games wouldn't work while in the TV dock, but it would be nice to show off in handheld mode.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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