Sunday, August 23, 2020

Rock Pi 4C: Dual Display M.2 NVMe SBC

I bring this up because it seems like much power for the money.  I am impressed with what single board computers can do.  The CPU benchmark is about 2/3 of my laptop and about 1/3 of my desktop computer.  Of course, you are stuck running Linux.

The Raspberry PI 4 is much more powerful than the Raspberry PI 3 that I have.  Still, it benchmarks like a very low-end laptop.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Microsoft Just Revealed How INSANELY POWERFUL The Xbox Series X Will Be.

I've been interested in how powerful the XBox Series X is going to be, because I can't build a computer this powerful for $1000, and maybe not even $1200. I want a computer with this much power.

Well, this video reveals that the custom APU chip, the central processing unit with the GPU built in, is going to cost over $500 by itself. That doesn't include any other parts.

Rumor has it that Microsoft plans to take a $200 loss on the system. The rumored price is $599. They can make that up with subscription services.

I want AMD to sell me the APU. It will never happen. They have revealed plans to release a video card with the same GPU technology.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

How Nebraska elites screw farmers & get away with it.

In theory, if I don't like Apple's repair policies then I don't have to buy Apple products. 

However, I feel like Apple has engaged in some monopolistic practices that are pretty questionable, like using the law to throw someone in jail for charging a nominal fee for burning an install disk on software that Apple gives away for free, and using the customs agency to confiscate refurbished Apple parts as "counterfeit", even though the Apple parts were sold as refurbished.

Apple should not try to monopolize repair manuals and repair parts in such a way that only Apple can do the repairs.  Most of the time Apple will tell a customer that it is way too expensive to make the repair and that the customer needs to buy a new item.  One extreme example of this was when Louis Rossmann was able to repair a loose connection in a couple of minutes that an Apple repair person said would cost $1,000 to fix.

When I buy a product, especially an expensive product, there is an implied contract or at least assumption that if I need it repaired then I can get it repaired and at a reasonable cost.  If a company deliberately makes this difficult or monopolizes the repair service, then I feel that I am being denied reasonable choices that I should be allowed to make.

This issue is by no means limited to Apple.  This is spreading to other products as they get more high tech.

Government interference in the marketplace often causes more problems than it solves, so I don't necessarily have a good solution.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Google's Friendliest Smartphone - Pixel 4a

Maybe because of competition, we are entering an era of cheaper mid-range phones that have some really good specs.  The new iPhone SE has top-notch internals and camera with a 4.7" screen.   However, I prefer my 5.5" screen on my iPhone 6s+.

This low-cost Google phone has a 5.8" screen.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Mythbusters Demo GPU versus CPU

I don't know that this has much to do with CPU's or GPU's, but it is typical of Mythbusters taking things to the extreme.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Commodore History Part 3 - The Commodore 64

This guy is a huge Commodore 64 fan, understandably so.  However, in terms of inflation adjusted dollars, it was expensive in 1982, like $1580 in today's dollars.  Even more so if you bought any of the many Commodore 64 accessories.  

A company called Sinclair came up with a cheap computer called the Spectrum that was enormously popular in England and Europe, and Timex sold an upgraded version of the Spectrum in the United States.

So I had to write this:

"In 1983 I got a Timex Sinclair 2068 for $200.  It also had a great sound chip and a 3.58 MHZ Z80 and a keyboard that I actually liked.  It had many advantages over the Sinclair Spectrum.  It was much computer for the money, compared to the $595 for the C64, equal to over $1500 today, which for me was way cost-prohibitive.  I temporarily had a healthy business selling software I wrote for the 2068.  I loved this machine.  I'm sure that I would have loved the C64 more with the better graphics, but the cost was a huge issue."

I am actually very proud of the business that I ran selling 2068 software.  This helped me get computer jobs later, and eventually, I worked in the console videogame industry.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Get Free Coffee at Panera Bread

I've been getting free coffee for about 3 weeks.  I need to cancel the coffee subscription by the end of September in order not to be charged.