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The Spam Thread!

Bandwidth caps have always been a rather sketchy practice anyway. I mean sure, bandwidth is finite and all, and there are a gazillion users sharing the same connection, but it all boils down to telcos abusing it to their advantage.

On to the good news with local telcos though: I've heard in the news that the National Telecommunications Commission is now urging them to provide free SIM unlocking services to those who have finished their contracts or whose cellphone instalment plans have been fully paid. One reason for this is to keep their customers from having their devices serviced at shade-tree technicians who might do something less than savoury e.g. steal personal data (and potentially use them for let's say sextortion, etc.). Not to mention that I find the interposer method of unlocking iPhones a little janky anyway - if I want something to unlock my phone I'd rather do that to a purely software method than add additional hardware or mess with the logic board or SIM tray.

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Last night, I decided to partition Pearl's spare D drive into two partitions, with one half for use as a Linux partition. Pearl now dual-boots Windows and Kubuntu 19.04, with the goal of finding a way of getting one of my video capture devices to work and record video with OBS.

The Vidbox is a strikeout, so far. I haven't even been able to pop the Vidbox open to see the chip ID which could help me try to find a kernel driver to load. Kubuntu does see the Vidbox as a Conexant capture device, but dmesg indicates no driver gets loaded upon connection.

The Dazzle DVC100 is a different story. Plug that in, and it loads a driver right away and you can see clear video output in OBS. Problem? No sound from the DVC100 audio input. I remember trying to get it working a while back, and it involved messing with command line stuff, and while I was successful in getting the audio stream unmuted, it wasn't playing correctly. Too slowly pitched and it went out of sync with the video.

At this point, I don't think Kubuntu will replace Windows, but having Linux running on real hardware allows me to experiment with my video capture devices and seeing what it takes to get them to work. That will be necessary should I ever want to go to Linux as my main OS.

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Been mulling about getting a Ryzen 3 2200G to give Samantha, my main gaming rig, a significant boost. But as of now my budget's tight and my hands are tied (purposely) as I've spent so much on things over the past few years.

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(06-20-2019, 10:26 AM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  Been mulling about getting a Ryzen 3 2200G to give Samantha, my main gaming rig, a significant boost. But as of now my budget's tight and my hands are tied (purposely) as I've spent so much on things over the past few years.

Same with me in regards to the budget, but I am trying my best to cut back on things I don't need whether it be new tech toys or fast food takeout.

Right now, I'm trying out OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, a rolling release Linux distro. The best part? You can still install KDE 3, which IMO was one of the best desktop environments for Linux back in the day. KDE 5 is rather nice, but at times can feel a bit bloated due to all the desktop eye candy it throws at you.

Turns out getting the Dazzle DVC100 to work may be easier than I thought. Like Kubuntu, the device is recognized right away and it doesn't take much to get the audio input working. I may have even found a solution for the low pitched audio. Fingers crossed... cause if I can reliably record video with OBS+Linux, there is a higher chance I may make the switch permanent. I'm still testing Linux on Pearl's spare 500gb drive in the same partition I used for Kubuntu. I have also been successful in getting some of my Windows casual games running under Linux too using Wine. As for the pinball sims, I have moved over to the Switch/Xbox 360 for those. Pinball FX3 got the rights to the Williams/Bally tables and they are far better than the old versions in Pinball Arcade.

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Okay. Looks like video capture under Linux will work. It just requires a bit extra setup and a bit of command line use, but once you get it going, it works quite well.

The distro I think would be best is openSUSE. It has this nice system configuration tool called YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) and it also has a very nice package management system too. Easy to add various repositories such as Packman, needed for installing non-free codecs and tools.

Right now, I'm making a test recording of a TV show with the Dazzle DVC100 + Guvcview. It's recording into MKV format. There is still some frame dropping, but it's nowhere near as bad as Windows 10. At the moment I am using the Nouveau driver as I have yet to install the Nvidia driver. Perhaps quality will improve after installing that...

If I can successfully capture and edit videos with OpenSUSE, I may be able to finally make the move over to Linux. Video capture is one of the few roadblocks I have come across. The Pinball sims aren't that big a deal anymore since I have those on my Nintendo Switch and it seems every Xbox-exclusive game I want to play (Super Lucky's Tale) is heading for Switch anyway. Tongue

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On the other hand... if I were to install Linux, I'd have to go through the whole song and dance of copying files to backup media, which is many many GBs due to most of it being videos and my digital photo collection. And for all of Windows 10's annoying quirks and issues, it has been remarkably stable even after the latest update.

As the saying goes... if it aint broke, don't fix it.

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In my case I mostly reserve Linux for building Android ROMs and apps. I mean, you could build them in Windows using the Windows version of Android Studio and with the Linux subsystem for compiling ROMs, but I don't want to go through all the trouble of that for now.

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I really wish the Windows Subsystem for Linux would let you run GUI apps out of the box. Apparently there is a way to get GUI apps to run inside that, but it's tricky, and app compatibility is hit or miss.

Anyway, I switched away from my 1080p wobbly Dell monitor to... a pair of 1280x1024 Dell Monitors?
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I was able to get these monitors for free, and all they needed was a bit of cleaning up. One only came with a VGA cable, and the other had no cords at all. Since I have plenty of spare cords laying around, I was able to get these up and running. No problems with the LCDs themselves. The left is a 1901FP, and the right is an E193FP. Both have a native 1280x1024 resolution. The 1901FP appears to come from the UltraSharp line, as the panel can rotate sideways, has built in USB hub, and adjustable height. This makes the dual display setup more comfortable to look at thanks to the higher angle I can adjust it to, as well as matching it with the height of the E193FP. As you can tell, it's sitting on the VCR I use for video transfers.

The 1901FP is running off DVI, while the E193FP is plain old VGA. I am considering getting a dual-link DVI cable at some point if my particular 750ti supports that.

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I also had a minor scare with my Azpen tablet. It was just sitting on my shelf for a few days, and I come to find out it won't turn on or respond to the reset button. After getting a bit panicked, I decided to just plug it into the charger for a while to see if it was just the battery ran down. Sure enough, it was, and the power button now responds and shows the battery charge status.

A similar issue happens when my old Alcatel Tracfone would drain it's battery. It also wouldn't turn on or give any sort of response until it was charging for at least 10 minutes. I think that Alcatel is also running on a Mediatek SOC.

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(06-26-2019, 12:41 PM)cpd2009 Wrote:  I also had a minor scare with my Azpen tablet. It was just sitting on my shelf for a few days, and I come to find out it won't turn on or respond to the reset button. After getting a bit panicked, I decided to just plug it into the charger for a while to see if it was just the battery ran down. Sure enough, it was, and the power button now responds and shows the battery charge status.

A similar issue happens when my old Alcatel Tracfone would drain it's battery. It also wouldn't turn on or give any sort of response until it was charging for at least 10 minutes. I think that Alcatel is also running on a Mediatek SOC.
Seems rather common with MediaTek-powered devices from what I can attest. Which is why I tend to top up my tablets' batteries every once in a while.

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