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The Spam Thread!

This video has a bit of strong language, but it perfectly illustrates the major pitfalls with digital distribution and streaming content. Oh, and SecuROM too. Shame too, since this particular TRON game looks rather fun.
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(12-09-2019, 04:38 AM)cpd2009 Wrote:
This video has a bit of strong language, but it perfectly illustrates the major pitfalls with digital distribution and streaming content. Oh, and SecuROM too. Shame too, since this particular TRON game looks rather fun.
tfw you abhor the idea of pirating yet you're forced to use a no-CD crack because it's either your computer doesn't have an optical drive (as in my case) or said copy protection is now obsolete and unsupported by Windows. Heck, modders over at GTAForums list compatibility for the HOODLUM EXE used on GTA San Andreas and while they don't link to it for legal reasons, they recommend that one should you mod or downgrade your Steam purchase to a more editable release.
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Trying some new software for Windows. The first is FireAlpaca, a free digital painting program from Japan. It appears to be an alternative to another Japanese digital painting app called PaintTool SAI which is shareware. I don't know how I first came to know it, but it may have been from browsing some illustration tutorial or speedpaint on YouTube. In regards to FileAlpaca, I was able to get my Graphire 4 tablet working in Windows 10. I simply installed the last driver for the tablet, which is meant for Windows 7. Tablet pen and pressure sensitivity work along with the pen buttons.

As for video editing, I came across another well known program that I never knew about called DaVinci Resolve. It's an advanced NLE like Adobe Premiere, and comes in both free and paid varieties. The free version is limited to single GPU rendering and resolutions up to UHD, while the paid version gives you those plus a whole host of other features that are really meant for professionals. Since I'm just a guy who uploads to YouTube every now and then, the free app will do just fine. Smile
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DaVinci Resolve sounds like a good deal... Except I'm more used to Magix Vegas lol.
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It's getting close to that jolly time of year, nearly a week before Christmas. I was talking to my mom on Skype earlier this evening, and she mentioned that she wanted my help backing up her photos and documents to a flash drive just in case her ancient HP AIO PC bites the dust. It's already getting painfully slow with all the new Windows feature updates. She really could use a new PC, but she doesn't have the money right now to buy the parts off the list I sent her. I don't know when she will either.

With that in mind, the thought of gifting Pearl, my Intel i3-6100 desktop, to my mom has once again crossed my mind. I know I already just got it set back up the way I want it, but if I were to give her my PC, Christmas would be the perfect time for it.

Obviously, I would be stuck with Greta after I give her the computer. I could make her my daily driver once again. I'm honestly surprised that Greta is still a very capable laptop at seven years old. Web browsing and games still run fine, though Webkinz is a bit on the slow side. She is capable of capturing video with that little USB device if I stick with the stock Honestech VHS to DVD software it comes with. Her GeForce 710m would come in handy for video encoding as it supports NVENC/CUDA. An SSD upgrade would be in order too. 1TB would be perfect, and NewEgg has a WD Blue 1TB SSD for only $99. It won't take me long to save up for one. Greta won't last forever, but with her current SSD and battery upgrades, I can get a few more years out of her until I can save up for a MS Surface Pro tablet. More on that in the coming days.

Another option is to save up for parts needed to build a new rig, or just go on eBay and get one of those Dell Optiplex towers and refurb one of those instead. Time is of the essence, and I need to make a firm decision quickly if I do plan on gifting her Pearl. I'd hate to see Pearl go, but it would make my mom so happy to have a computer that isn't so slow and one that I know is more reliable. At least she would have a GeForce 750Ti so her Mahjongg and Solitaire games can be played at max settings! Tongue
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If you're intent on giving away Pearl, one option would be to use Greta for the time being then save up for some parts to build a new Ryzen rig for yourself. Pearl may be running off ageing hardware, but at least she's far cry from what your mum used to work with.
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I'll go ahead and outline the pros and cons of my future PC options here to help me make a decision:

Pros of Greta as a daily PC:
-Portable. I can take her anywhere I go.
-Performance is rather good for her age thanks to SSD and maxed out RAM. (8GB)
-Dedicated GeForce 710m GPU alongside Intel IGP. Not as good as a desktop GPU, but has good NVENC/CUDA support.
-Built in webcam for Skype calls, eliminating need for separate webcam.

Cons of Greta as daily PC:
-Upgrade options limited besides SSD and RAM. RAM already maxed out.
-Only three USB ports compared to Pearl's seven. No USB 3.0.
-One drive bay, so additional storage needs to be either an SDXC card or external USB HDD.
-Built-in DVD-RW drive. While I don't really use optical media on a PC as much as I used to, I'd have to use an external DVD-RW drive if the internal one dies.
-No audio line-input. Only microphone input.

As for building a rig VS refurbishing a business-grade Dell Optiplex or Lenovo desktop off eBay, I'd likely go for the latter this time around. While building a rig myself is normally the preferable option, it may take some time to save up money for the parts I need, even if I do go for a cheaper AMD-based rig. One of my older desktop PCs was a refurbed Dell Vostro that used an Intel C2D. While the RAM was capped at 4GB, I was able to get rather decent performance out of it. Newer Dell Optiplex towers should support more than 4GB RAM, but if I do decide just to refurb a Dell tower, I'll do my research on a particular model and take note of what kinds of upgrades I will be able to give it.

I noted that I'm considering saving up for a MS Surface Pro tablet. As I am starting to work on my drawing skills, having a Surface Pro would be a great tool for that. They are kind of expensive though. They have a $799 base model, but it's limited in both storage and RAM. I'd have to spend near $1,000 for a model that has decent RAM and SSD size, and that's not counting accessories like a keyboard cover and stylus. I could go with a used Surface Pro tablet. First or second gen Surface Pros are very affordable, and according to a YouTube video below, they can still be very capable devices today. The bad part is Surface Pro batteries aren't easy to replace. Who knows how much charge the batteries hold after all these years. If battery life becomes more of a concern going forward, it may be best to just acquire a decent used tablet/laptop convertible. eBay does list old Gateway M-285 tablets, which are the same model of my first laptop/tablet from college. They are very large and clunky, and I believe you can only go up to 4GB RAM with those.


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Forced to upgrade my Roku streaming box today. My old Roku Stick from 2015 is too slow to run Disney Plus and PlutoTV properly. Dollar General had a entry level Roku for only $20, and it's blazing fast compared to the old stick.
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Well, I have made the decision to gift Pearl to my Mom for Christmas. I had to let her know about it before Christmas, but she was very happy to hear about this. Smile I knew she would be happy, and after all, Christmas is a time to think about others, especially your own family members.

To free up space on my external HDD for data storage, I've been burning my stash of video files and radio recordings to DVD-R discs. It's been a while since I used DVD-R discs as a backup. Makes me wish I had a BluRay recorder. The BD-R media is kind of expensive last I checked, but being able to store at least 20GB+ data per disc would help cut back on the amount of discs I need. I also forgot how useful CDBurnerXP is. Who needs to buy Roxio or Nero when CDBurnerXP is free and just as good?

I'm still exploring options regarding whether to stick to a laptop or acquire/build a desktop later on. One thing is certain. If I do decide to build or refurb a desktop, I will switch away from standard HDD and use an SSD instead. I seen some video reviews of that SK Hynix Gold S31 series of SSDs and they get good marks in comparison to other name brand drives. SK Hynix is a well known OEM too.
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That's so 'swell of you. Same goes with Mum as I'm giving away the old Pentium CPU/mainboard combo to her, the only thing left for her being the case, PSU, hard drive, RAM and monitor. At least it's under $200 and she wouldn't have to worry about getting a new PC wholesale.
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