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Real Life — Why Now?
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Real Life

I have had uncertainty concerning the power as they are replacing utility poles all around me and have noted that there will be “minor interruptions” until they finish moving the lines and equipment from the old poles to the new.

To avoid any problems with my equipment I have been powering down whenever anyone gets into a bucket truck or I have to leave the house. Hopefully they will finish in the next few days and will stop deciding another pole needs to be replaced.

Update: They finally finished the poles that provide power to my street after I was without power for 3½ hours.


1 Kryten42 { 01.19.20 at 11:12 pm }

Glad things worked out well for you m8! 😀

2 Bryan { 01.20.20 at 3:41 pm }

At least they gave me time to shut things down before they cut the power.

Y’all can’t catch a break. In addition to the bushfires, now you’ve got dust storms followed by golf ball sized hail. The planet really has it in for you, aided and abetted by anti-science religious whackoes.

I can’t believe that you don’t have paid professionals to fight the bushfires. At a minimum anyone who is willing to fight fires should all medical bills covered and a decent insurance payout if they are injured or killed while working. Firefighting is a public good that should be publicly financed.

3 Kryten42 { 01.24.20 at 6:04 am }

No, I can’t catch a break. Australia can’t either, especially with a completely worthless Government. We are as screwed as the USA. *shrug*

Arm is healing. That’s the good news. Still on antibiotics until the wound at the upper end of the surgical incision heals, though it seems to be healing OK. It’s a lot smaller than wen the 2 stitches popped open a few weeks ago. Going to have a long scar, shoulder to elbow. The plate feels weird, but just a but uncomfortable now & then & gets itchy rather than painful where the surgery was. Just take panadol for that. Another 1-2 weeks then I can start rehab & retrain the muscles, 3-4 weeks I’m told. Have more movement & can use hand & forearm OK & some upper arm movement, but cant lift arm higher than chest or pick up anything heaver than a glass of water.

On the other side… Graphics card in my PC died last Sunday. I have an older Radeon R9 270X card, but I can’t find it. In a box somewhere. I have a lot of boxes! Can’t do much one-armed. Finally got the Intel i7 CPU internal Graphics working, but only at basic 1280×1024 resolution with std win VGA graphics drivers. Tried installing 4 different versions of Intel gfx drivers, but all hang on W10 start! Linux works fine. I truly HATE Windoze!!

I contacted an online Auction company I’ve used for years called Grey’s. They deal mainly with Company repossessions & closures. I’ve seen a lot of IT type businesses have been closing, so I thought they might have some decent cards in stock. And they did. They have a Sapphire R9 390X Nitro in original packaging (unopened) they they will sell me for AU$170. I’m seriously considering it. My Gigabyte 390X lasted almost 4.5 years & all my s/w & games are set up for it. I paid AU$565 (on a discount) 4.5 yrs ago, so $170 is fair. Especially as the latest AMD RX 5700 XT is priced between $650-$850 depending on brand & spec’s, but is only slightly better performance (3%-8% depending on the task or game). And as always, equivalent Nvidia cards are much more expensive.

I broke my glasses yesterday, being one armed has made me clumsy. I dropped them a few times. Yesterday, one of the arm’s snapped off. No idea when I can get them fixed or replaced.

The Agent looking after these Units was kicked out last week. The replacement doesn’t seem much better so far. Still want me to pay for the window. I said no chance & I’m happy to go to VCAT (Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal) over the dispute. They are sending someone to do the bi-annual inspection & to discuss that & other things tomorrow (Sat.) Plumber/Gas Fitter came to install the *new* (2nd hand) oven today. Has several problems. Oven works but he had to move the gas pipe & gasket/seal is missing so there is a hole where the pipe comes in. Grill doesn’t work & one stove top jet doesn’t work. So, I’ll tell him I’ll be referring that to VCAT, especially as it was supposed to be replaced over 4 years ago! Also as the old oven is sitting in my kitchen in the way, waiting for someone to remove it!

So, yeah… All up, I’m still pretty pissed off!

4 Kryten42 { 01.24.20 at 8:44 pm }

I just started this Twitter thread that’s gaining some traction… What do you think? (I’m bored but curious! Being one-armed with a limping PC & broken glasses sux!)


Haven’t been very active on T the past Month & my friends there have been concerned… So I decided that I should reply to their DM’s & post a few “current affairs” type tweets. And I’m getting better at mousing left handed! 😉 😆



5 Bryan { 01.24.20 at 10:36 pm }

Glad to hear that you’re healing, but I understand the frustration caused by the lack of accustomed abilities. I bought titanium frames with my last pair of glasses. Anything that would break them would kill me. I betting yours failed at the hinge, so you can’t just tape them together as a temporary fix. Since my cataract surgery I don’t need glasses for most things, but I would get headaches without them working on the computers.

Our biggest problem is greed. Big pharma doesn’t want to do R&D anymore because it reduces their profit margin and too many corporations don’t want to pay for real changes to address climate change for the same reason. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Greta Thunberg that she needed to study economics before talking about actions to take for climate change. Mnuchin studied economics and managed to bankrupt Sears and KMart. so that solution doesn’t appear to be very effective. Mnuchin, like Trump, inherited his money and job from his father.

As a property manager, I can’t believe that the management company can get away with that kind of crap. Florida isn’t exactly consumer friendly, but tenants would be living rent-free with repair delays like you’re talking about. It would only take more than a week to replace a stove if it was on order and we were waiting for it to get here.

I had to switch hands for the mouse a couple of decades ago because carpal tunnel syndrome. Now I switch every few months to avoid the problem. Of course it was my choice, but you didn’t get to choose.

The $170 sounds good because the factories in Asia are going to be shut for the Lunar New Year and China is in shut down with the latest virus they have spawned. There are a number of people who believe that climate change is going to make things worse.

6 Kryten42 { 01.25.20 at 3:40 am }

Thanks as always my friend! 👍😊

Yeah, my frames are Titanium. Cost me about $480 4 years ago. I had a look with a good magnifying glass I finally found. Looks like the tiny screw fell out at the hinge, so good assumption (and I am unsurprised of course)! 😉

Well… The new agent for this property spent some time checking everything & was disgusted & unimpressed! I have to admit to being surprised! BUT… I’ll wait to see what comes of it! The Landlord (I’ve known for about a Decade now) is a lying, stingy (though quite wealthy – owns a large number of rental properties around AU & breeds Greyhounds for several professional racing owners), back-stabbing b*ch. Her husband is somewhat better, but she wears the pants & suit! Spoke to the two who witnessed my accident, they told me she said to the agent that I was just “putting it on” regarding the accident! They told him they were two of three witnesses willing to testify to the accident & that he has the foresight to take photo’s! She glared & walked off hurriedly. We’re going to get a Statutory Declaration signed & witnessed at the Police Station on Tuesday (Mon is Australia Day). I also told him I will refer all the outstanding repairs & promised repairs by the Landlord after the Stat. Dec. Going for the throat!! Going for full compensation for the accident & everything else over the past 7 years. There are many witnesses. I’ll leave all that to the lawyers.

I was surprised because the new agent admitted that I do have grounds, including for the accident, and should do what I feel I should if the Landlord doesn’t do what they should. 🤔😒

I guess we will see.

I FINALLY got the CPU iGFX working at the display resolution of 2560×1440! Color me surprised! It was really tricky… I had to set the minimum shared RAM to 1024 MB & the maximum to MAX in BIOS and a few other changes! Such as changing the OS from Win8/Win10 to “other” and a few other changes in BIOS. Then, instead of using the standard gfx driver, had to use the “Micro$oft Basic Display Driver” that was well hidden (of course!) Weirdly, the only resolutions I could use were: 2560×1440, 1280×1024, 1024×768, 800×600. It also set the RAM used as: “Shared System Memory: 15845 MB”! Good thing I put 32 GB in this system! 😆

One good thing about loosing the R9 390X graphics card, is my power consumption dropped hugely! Went from an average usage (PSU output) of 476W to 48W! I took screen cap’s of my Corsair LINK (system management) s/w today & compared to one I took a year ago. Power in is 62W, out is 49W for an efficiency of 80% (which is VERY good at such low levels). Sweet spot for a good PSU is between 40%-60% of maximum load (which for my Corsair HX1000i Platinum is 400-600W with a 50% load efficiency rating of 93%. Also, system temp’s are a lot lower! I checked at 26C ambient temp. With all case fans & water cooler radiator fans set to their lowest “Quiet” setting, around 900 RPM, the CPU temp was 26C at load! At “Balanced”, about 1,325 RPM, CPU temp fell to 25C (tested after 10 minutes @ load). At “Maximum” (2,950 RPM), CPU temp wobbled between 24C & 25C. So of course, I left them at “Quiet”! The 390X used to sit at load around 70-80C, so it was a heater! If I only used this PC for browsing etc., I’d leave it as it is! But it’s a Multimedia & Gaming system. And that requires a high-end Graphics card, unfortunately. Oh well… Can’t have it both ways. 😉 😀

I know a geek like you wanted to know all that, right? 🤭😏

Ohhhh! That reminds me… Been meaning to ask if you’ve had time to play with your Raspberry Pi? I have recently… Not a lot else to do! And I can (kind of) use it one handed. 😉 😆

Just had dinner & took my evening med’s. Arm is a bit sore after using it for awhile today, but OK in general. 🙂

7 Bryan { 01.25.20 at 11:18 pm }

I’m running ubuntu Mate on the Pi and it works like the big machine, if a bit slower. I messed around with the Raspbian and then moved up to Mate as the 3+ makes it possible. I could live with the Pi for most of what I due now, and could definitely make due with the 4.

You should be able to get a kit for $10 or less to fix the frames. Check your local general purpose on-line store. It includes a selection of screws as well as precision screwdrivers. I can tie my frames in a knot and they will bounce back. After severely bruising my nose when I hit either corner of plastic frames, I switched to titanium. They are so much lighter.

Actually I am interested because you have told me that if I wanted to use a better graphics set up I would also have to look at improved cooling and a larger power supply in my current box. That graphics card was using as much power as my motherboard and disk drives. At least you don’t need a electric kettle to make a cuppa 😉

Damn, I would have taken you the emergency room and covered medical for an accident on the property that wasn’t obviously your fault to keep lawyers out of it. Liability insurance would cover it, but only if we acted quickly to reduce the liability. I’m sure Australia is friendlier to tenants than Florida, but nothing you’ve said would signal a win for the owner even in a Florida court and there are plenty of lawyers willing to work on contingency here. “Witnesses willing to testify” is not what that woman’s lawyer is going to want to hear. Her attitude is not going to endear her to her insurance company.

I don’t see that you have a choice. Apparently she is only going to respond to legal ‘force’ when common sense would have cost her a good deal less.

8 Kryten42 { 01.26.20 at 12:39 am }

Damn!! Just spotted another bad error! 🙄🤷‍♂️
” checked at 46C ambient temp” –> ” checked at 26C ambient temp”

Sadly, my neighbor who helped me (and is the *Handyman* & gardener for these units), Had an accident himself. Had something toxic & ended in ER on dialysis & a full transfusion! Poor sod! Spent the last 4 day in Hospital & came home Fri. Night for the inspection yesterday. Jenny (Landlord) was there & Dean (neighbor) was pretty weak (of course) and she said to the Agent he was “putting it on” also! Agent had the good grace to look disgusted and left her to talk with Dale & apologized! Dale’s friend & Biz partner Ray is coming over later to check the kitchen floor under the lino, because Dale’s Unit (#1 & #2, I’m in #3) had the floor under the lino covered in black mold! I told dale he had to get that fixed immediately, especially in his current health! Those spores can cause a lung infection pretty fast & they are exposed to the air now he lino has been removed! The Agent said he’d get on it, but it’s weekend (with Mon. a public holiday).

Man… what a total mess!! Oh… And Dale said that when his kitchen is renovated, Jenny said she’ll be raising the rent (didn’t mention the mold AT ALL)!

Also, dale told me this morning that when the Agent raised the problems with the *new* oven, she said something like “He has a microwave. That’s good enough”, and walked off. Dale said the Agent just shook his head.

From what the agent said about the new Victorian State Tenancy laws that have just come in, all these units will have to be renovated. All the kitchens (including range hoods), bathrooms, front & rear doors replaced (they are all internal doors, thin plywood with cardboard filler, not solid wood exterior doors. Reverse cycle A/C units (mine & #1 are the only ones with A/C, because the old gas heaters blew up).

Info here if curious:

New laws awaiting final approval due to come into effect July 2020:

I have a Hospital outpatient appointment Tuesday Morning (no doubt with the usual 2+ hour wait!) But after that, I’ll be seeing Legal Aid & the local VCAT office and getting the Stat. Dec’s.

There is a professional law firm that takes on cases like this pro bono, depending on their chance of getting paid of course. Might get in touch with them after the Stat. Dec’s etc. If they take it all on, my chances are pretty good. 😉 😀 Let you know how it goes.

9 Bryan { 01.26.20 at 9:51 pm }

That woman sounds like she is trying to get sued. Make her happy,M8, and sue her. You can’t bake in a microwave.

If he has the lino up, chlorine bleach is the first step, then you have find the source of the water. If you’re lucky, it’s a leak that you can find and fix. If it’s concrete it may be ground water soaking the slab and you have to seal. When it comes to mold and mildew, Florida is ground zero. When we were installing carpet we would spread boric acid powder before putting down the padding to prevent mold. If they are gluing down the lino you can’t do that.

That woman is milking the properties for all they are worth, so you should milk her for a solid down payment for a house. 😈

That law firm is working on “contingency”, and they can make money doing it. It sounds like you have a solid case, and if the owner has insurance they are going to want to settle. That’s why it is good to have a lawyer on your side. The insurance company is not going to offer any more than a minimum, so you need someone to negotiate for you.

Take notes and include dates and times, as well as witnesses. It’s not a jungle but it is a form of warfare… except you can get clean laundry and decent meals. 😉

10 Kryten42 { 01.28.20 at 3:27 am }

Agree! Funny you should mention being sued is her goal… I had dinner with Dale last night who told me Ray had spoken to the Law firm I mentioned and they have served her on his behalf. She can either settle (for a large sum) or end in court & if charged on any of several grounds, could loose her ability to manage or even own Properties, breed Greyhounds & other pies she has her fingers in. Turns out, there are very few in this large town she hasn’t screwed (financially at least). Discovery should be a blast! 😆

I have an appointment Thursday for the same. Should be… Interesting. 🤔🤷‍♂️

Just got home from my Outpatient appointment an hour ago. Only one Doctor on duty in the clinic, with many people waiting as yesterday was a holiday. So I have the expected 2+ hour wait (appointment was 3 PM, in just after 5:15.) The 2 wounds that opened are almost fully healed, & the rest of the incision is healing well. Back in 2 weeks for X-Ray & checkup. So far, so good! Got more movement & can lift my arm up now, not straight up yet, but elbow a little above shoulder now, before shoulder complains. I call that progress. 😀

I meant to say about the Pi… I was thinking of putting Mate on my 3+. And yes, the 4 looks tempting! But I haven’t even had time to do what I wanted with the 3+ to justify it. And I need a new gfx card anyway! I have the $170 for when it’s available to buy. Hopefully in a couple weeks, before I do break a window throwing the PC through one!

Glad you’re enjoying your Pi… It’s a neat & fairly flexible bit of kit! 😀

Be well Bryan, I hope you have tail winds for awhile m8. 😀

11 Bryan { 01.28.20 at 10:19 pm }

I plugged the Pi into the 32″ TV that I don’t watch and with a wireless keyboard & mouse I can sit in the recliner and do my business. The router is just behind the TV so I use a cable instead of the WiFi. If you have a kid, a Pi beats the hell out of paying for a decent pad or an Smartphone. There are all kinds of projects for Pis out that are dirt cheap and you can store data on a thumb drive.

That woman has the same attitude as Trump – maximize profits and screw the customers. People like that need to have great lawyers to stay out of bankruptcy. Bad-mouthing people who have medical and hospital records to prove their claims is really dumb. It also pisses people off and makes those who wouldn’t think of suing anyone start talking to lawyers. Sounds like she’s going to be buying yachts for a law firm with her attitude. In Florida our version of CenterLink would be suing her for what it’s paying you.

It sounds like you are on the mend. Yeah, waiting to be seen at a doctor’s office or emergency room is a major pain. My Mother had the best insurance going with absolutely no co-pays for anything, and she still had waits like that. What really got her was that if she was late they would charge her, but they didn’t cut the bill when they kept her waiting.

My washer and dryer died but they should be be back on line or replaced on Thursday. It would have been sooner but I needed to move things. The dryer was a relic from the 1970s in “Avocado Green”. The problem is minor but you can’t get parts for it. After 50 years it had a right to “retire”.

12 Badtux { 01.31.20 at 3:09 pm }

Let me guess, the dryer was a Frigidaire. When Keith McLoughlin took over as CEO of Electrolux (the parent company of Frigidaire), in typical American (as vs Swedish) practice he discontinued all the old models and all parts production for the old models. The pump went out on my dishwasher, usually a cheap easily purchased part, and nope. Ended up with a new GE (Haier) dishwasher, which I detest, but the landlord wasn’t willing to dish out for a Whirlpool.

Which, BTW, I can still get parts for the 1980’s model Whirlpool washer and dryer in the garage.

McLoughlin is gone at Electrolux, btw, they put a Swede back in charge. Because even they finally figured out that American-style management is no way to run a business.

13 Bryan { 01.31.20 at 5:06 pm }

As a matter of fact it was a Whirlpool, but an “avocado green” model from the 1970s and three out of four parts are available because it is the standard 27″ drum. The problem is a track that the support rollers moved in which was eliminated in later versions. The belt, rollers, and felt gasket are all available but that cheap plastic track that barely lasted a half century isn’t. I got a used Kenmore (a
Whirlpool by any other name) with the same belt, rollers, and gasket, but the rollers rest directly on the drum.

14 Badtux { 02.01.20 at 3:07 am }

Only half a century, lol. The new designs are lucky to last a decade. The electronics are usually what goes out on them, and of course decade-old electronics are no longer available. When I bought a new washer and dryer I deliberately bought the basic Amana (Whirlpool) appliances that had no electronics in them at all, because I learned my lesson on that one with a fancy dishwasher a few years back.

15 Bryan { 02.01.20 at 9:34 pm }

Electronics are the curse of the backyard mechanic. I fixed a bad set of points on a 1967 MGB with a book of matches. The striking surface cleaned them up and the double thickness of the cover was close enough to set the gap. These days you need an interface and an app to find out what failed and then have to wait for a replacement ‘black box’ to arrive. Everything has a processor chip and when it goes down replacement is the only option.

When my Mother bought her last gas stove, she made sure to get one that still used pilot lights so it would work when the power went out. Today’s equipment may be more efficient, but they are a pain to repair. I just got my washer back. Forty bucks parts and labor to replace the clutch. That beats the hell out of one of the computer based controls on a 10,000 btu air conditioner – part alone is $150 and they get knocked out by power surges.

16 hipparchia { 02.04.20 at 7:49 pm }

I finally had to give up on repairing my 40 year old Kenmore washer not too long ago because of the lack of some cheap part or other. now its companion dryer has gone on the fritz and i’m hoping it’s only a belt, which also may no longer be available, but one can always hope…

I did replace the washer with the nearly-present-day whirlpool equivalent, probably the last of its kind (no fancy schmancy electronics), which I got at one of those scratch&dent, end of year type sales.

17 Bryan { 02.04.20 at 8:09 pm }

If your dryer is only 40 years old and has a drum with a 27 inch diameter, you can get the parts on Amazon. My problem was a 50 year old dryer with a special track for the support rollers. That design didn’t last long. You can get instructions on replacing the belt on YouTube. It’s really simple.

I use a local thrift store that gets donations from the military families leaving or upgrading their appliances.

18 Kryten42 { 02.06.20 at 8:41 pm }

Hi all 😀

Things got pretty hectic. It was doing my head in for awhile. Finally started Physio, which as expected made things a bit worse for awhile.

Ah yes… The reliability & longevity of some old machines. We’ve chatted about that before. Especially when you DON’T want or need any pretty bells/whistles! You just want it to do what it was designed to do! Like mobile phones… I really do miss the older “talk” only phones. Though, SMS was useful. Now, you can’t even replace the battery without proper tools etc. or paying an extra $85 service fee! BAH!

Anyway… regarding my Landlord… I mentioned a friend’s partner was going to sue her. She was served a couple weeks ago, but never sent a formal response to the summons. The court has tried 3 times & she has ignored them. So I guess they win by default. Not sure what will happen as this is a civil suit. If it was criminal, the Judge would give the maximum penalty plus our equivalent of contempt, and a few other charges! Long jail term. She’ll be facing a large fine for sure. Haven’t had time to proceed with mine as it’s complicated & I really have been busy. Also wanted to see what the outcome of the above suit was. Probably split it into a tribunal hearing for the Unit maintenance crap, and legal suit for the accident.

Glad you got your washer/dryer sorted Bryan. You had a good run! I hope you get a good result Hipparchia! 😀

Good luck to us all! 🙄🤷‍♂️

19 Bryan { 02.06.20 at 10:38 pm }

If she defaults the lawyers will file for the amount of the suit and fees. The lawyers will go after her for their money. In the US they would put a lien on her assets and then sell them if she doesn’t pay up. Depending on your laws, they may be able to seize her bank accounts, stock portfolios, and/or real estate. She could be out on the street with her puppies if she messes around and tries to ignore law suits.

I think you’re right to split the two parts. The tribunal will probably provide you with a quicker resolution and should have some sway on her professional property licensing as leverage. She obviously doesn’t think she has to respond to courts. Real estate people all have a bit of Trump in them.

Not all technology is an ‘advance’, just look at the mess in the Iowa caucuses. I loved my Samsung slider with a full mechanical keyboard and a replaceable battery. A charge lasted for days and texts and phone calls were all I needed. You have to live in India to get a cellphone that is just a phone.

The physio should speed recovery and minimize any loss of function. It’s amazing how quickly muscles atrophy when you don’t/can’t use them. It helps to have a professional guide you so you don’t overdo it, but do make progress.

It looks like rains are helping with the bushfires, but you didn’t need a category 4 cyclone to come ashore in the North. We are sending you good thoughts and hope things smooth out real soon. Y’all have had more than your share of problems, as a country and an individual.

20 Kryten42 { 02.07.20 at 8:21 pm }

Agree m8. And thanks for the good thoughts. 😀 They are always welcome.

We even had a group of tornado’s here in Vic. a few weeks ago, created by fires apparently. But these weren’t the firestorm columns (firenado’s I think some call them) created by intense fires, we’ve had those before. I think we may have had a tornado before… Not really sure! If so, they are very rare here.

Anyway… enough about all that! I have a techy/geeky conundrum of my own now. 😉 😆

So… You know I was going to get that replacement R9 390X for $170. It really is a good deal. But I just saw an old review where just for fun, they decided to set up 2 R7 270X cards in crossfire (essentially converting two cards into one). And the results blew them away! Now, after next week, I should be able to use my arm enough to move & search through my boxes (carefully) for my R9 270X OC card (which was the best at the time for a mid-range card).

Based on their results, if I can find another one of those (which should cost less then $50 even if unused), I think they would achieve very similar performance results & even better in some cases than the 390X, but it would still use quite a bit less power & generate much less heat & fan noise!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any so far, especially unused, anywhere. Not surprised really, they were quite a good card for most people who are holding on to them. One of the online Tech review sites I use, had some fun when they were released & did a Crossfire (2 card) review. 🙂

You can see the performance in a couple games I still play here (though the resolutions are higher than I’d use on my wide-screen display, so my performance should be a little better. I’d use: 1024×768 (720p), 1920×1080 (1080p) or 2560×1440 (2K or 1440p):

Then… I woke up in the wee hours as a thought nagged me! I knew I wouldn’t sleep & got up (was about 3:30 AM). And did some searching…

The holy grail for years from around 2014 until 2018 was the insane AMD Radeon R9 295×2 based cards. They had two R9 290X cores + 8 GB RAM (2 x 4GB), overclocked & water cooled (they HAD to be!) I really wanted one back then… But they cost (at launch) US$1,500!! A year later, when I built this system, I was seriously considering it (and one reason why I bought a high-efficiency 1,000W PSU!) But the price hadn’t dropped much (around US$$1,300) and you couldn’t get one anywhere! Seems everyone into Bitcoin mining (especially the Chinese) were buying every one of them they could! A couple of years later, they began realising it was a stupid idea as the cost of the card + the cost of cooling it & the power consumption was severely reducing their bitcoin returns. So they began dumping them & they appeared on the likes of eBay around 2016-17 @ half price or better.

There are 2 problems, one is that they need ~630-680W power (AMD claimed 500W, but that was marketing!) which my PSU can handle. They don’t support the current DirectX12 that many recent games of the past 1-2 years support (though they do mostly still support DX11.2 which the card does support).

So, I found one on eBay last night, here in AU for AU$350 (US$235).

A brief review & performance here:

OH! I came across this one… That was so unusual, I was laughing after the intro! I’m sure you’ll quickly discover why! (you can pretty much ignore the review, as it was done for a 4K (3840×2160), even though he say’s he’s not impressed by gaming at that resolution! Well… DUH! You’d need a minimum of >8 GB GRAM for a start (why new 4K capable GFX card’s have 11GB (nVidia) or 12GB (AMD) & DX10-11 were not designed for 4K and neither were Win7 nor any gfx card drivers!) 😆


So…What to do… What to DO??!

After a lot of research, it’s clear I won’t be building a new system until next year, maybe after mid year. it will be based on the Zen 3/Ryzen 4000/600-series chipset (probably released late this year) or… Maybe wait for the Zen4 which will have a much better chipset & CPU spec’s & require a new socket (rendering upgrades from Zen3 needing a new MoBo)! Also the next-gen next-gen Navi/RDNA2 graphics cards which will be a full redesign and NOT a refresh!

*sigh* Decisions… I’ll just have to think about it some more. At least it will take my mind of all the other crap for awhile! 😉 😆

OH! Yes, the Tribunal usually gives a result in 14 days, with 14 days to resolve it. Lawsuits take longer. 🙂

21 Bryan { 02.07.20 at 10:44 pm }

The eternal question – do I build now or wait for the next iteration of standards and CPU sockets. The curse of gamers – will they have the drivers for the new hardware or will I spend a lot and get the game on half my monitor with frame stuttering and a new driver every week that introduces a new problem. 😉 I remember that from DOS when I was a player. I got off cheaply. That R9 295 X2 costs more that my last build. It should make coffee and bring in the newspaper for that kind of money. I know, I’m an old fart chasing kids off my lawn and yelling at clouds.

With Intel having problems, AMD has no incentives to drop prices. Maybe you should hang tight to see what a law suit might bring you, so you have a better idea of your options. Use the R7 260 X to tide you over while you wait for the tribunal to do its magic and see what the law suit brings.

22 Kryten42 { 02.09.20 at 11:46 pm }

Yep! Always the question. 😀 But I learned log ago, that unless the system completely dies, always wait for the next new cycle to start. Used to be new, refresh, new… then it was 2 refreshes, now it’s 3! And the improvement is almost always not worth it.

A lot of Intel & nVidia fan boys/girls are finally waking up to the fact they are being screwed for their loyalty. I knew that well over a decade ago! I only went Intel for this build because it was the best of the AMD/Intel options in 2015. Not just the CPU, but the chipset had the features I really wanted & AMD didn’t. Now, the show will definitely be on the other foot! Intel has been resting on their laurels & been complacent. AMD are striking hard now. Good to see! Also, Intel STILL Haven’t fixed the design flaws for those serious security flaws, whilst AMD has (in the next generation where the last one will be fixed). So, no more loosing 10%+ performance with a W10 s/w patch & BIOS patches with AMD.

I’m not holding out for any payout. I also learned long ago… Hope for nothing & maybe be pleasantly surprised. Especially as you know what my luck is like. 😉 So, we’ll see.

Spent the day at the Hospital doing Outpatient stuff. X-Rays (that were actually painful because I had to hold my arm in ways I haven’t since the accident), & MRI/CT for my head & heart. Because I’ve been having dizzy spells, nausea & other such issues now & then. And a Physiotherapy session. Good news is that the bone, incision, muscles & tissue are healing nicely (the Doc said). Judging by the X-Ray’s, the top of the humerus is about 25% healed. He said it’s a good sign that everything is working OK as it is normal to heal from the top down. rest should take about 8-10 weeks he thinks. So I’ll get another Med. Cirt. Yayyy… Anything to get CL off my back for as long as possible! 😀 Don’t know if the plate will be removed or not. There are a lot of screws in it! 😆

Oh, I also no longer need a dressing or that damned stupid nylon sling! My upper arm had a rash from the sweating it caused with the humid days the past couple weeks!

I hope all is well with you & family/friends M8. 😀

23 Kryten42 { 02.10.20 at 10:24 pm }

I thought I’d do a quick post about a company that creates free & very useful small tools to help with W10/M$/3rd Party *stuff* that a user shouldn’t need to deal with. I went to the site to d/l the latest version of a tool I use when I need to update w10 called CloneApp & CloneApp UA which helps with easier reinstall of my app’s (settings etc.) I also use their Roboget tool.

I saw they have a new tools that look very useful! Called Debotnet (or D<botnet") that manages & controls all the nosy anti-privacy *features* M$ & many 3rd part s/w developers love. Anyway, see what you think. Oh… One thing I do love about their tools, is that they are "rule based" sripts that are updated as/when needed. So the s/w itself doesn't need updating other than for bug fixes or feature updates. 😀

mirinsoft – Apps

24 Bryan { 02.10.20 at 10:36 pm }

The only way to remove the plate would involve more surgery, so I would imagine they won’t want to do it. I know a number of people who have permanent ‘splints’ that require a pat-down to get on an airplane because the magnetic sensors go off.

Yeah, the X-Ray techs want you to twist your body in weird ways that would be annoying if you were injured. I had a shoulder injury back in the 1970s and they had me messing around with a pail of sand to see if the shoulder was dislocated. I think a fair number of them are torturer wannabes.

It sounds like you are healing faster than I would have guessed which is good news.

I just realized my last build will be 8 years old in the summer. AMD is complaining about the graphics portion of my APU no longer supported, so I guess I’ll start looking at motherboards and processors. By the time it’s 10 years old I will have made up my mind. 😉

When you are suing a jerk they aren’t going to be reasonable and will hide assets at the drop of a lawsuit. There’s always a chance that an insurance company will intercede and settle to avoid large losses. CenterLink should go after her, like Florida would do in similar circumstances. You’re right – don’t expect it and the system may surprise you.

Building a new box is good therapy. You just need your doctor to give you a prescription for it 😈

First the fires, and now the floods. Climate change really has it in for Scomo. Speaking of dumb politicians – Trump thinks that warm weather to take care of the coronavirus, so there’s no need to take any action to contain it.

25 Kryten42 { 02.11.20 at 6:25 pm }

Surgeons & Doc’s were discussing the plate whilst I was waiting to find out when I was leaving.

You could be correct about the X-Ray tech’s!🙄😒

Ehhh… I’ve always healed fast & it always surprises everyone! 😆 I have an appointment today for MRI/CT scans & Cardio tests. Should be fun.🙄🤷‍♂️

Maybe wait for the new AMD APU & chipset next year. Should be very reasonably priced APU’s & MoBo’s for your needs. But even the current ones would be a lot better than what you have. I’d chose the Ryzen 5 over the Ryzen 3, because for the extra $ (maybe $20-$40 depending on model) it’s worth it. Especially at the 5 has the current Vega 11 Graphics core & the 3 has the Vega 8. Honestly, for the price difference, I don’t know why AMD bother with the Ryzen 3 based APU’s. They could have reduced the price by just having the 5 based line, instead of the cost of fabbing 2 lines.🙄🤷‍♂️

I’ve seen the current *top line* APU’s (Ryzen 5 3400G & Pro version) selling in the US for under US$100 (on sales) & compatible MoBo (latest AM4 MoBo’s work best, older ones will need at least a BIOS update). Their GPU is good enough to even play recent games decently (at 1080p & some reduced settings. Also good for video de/en-coding). A complete system with decent enough SSD should be less than US$1,000. (just an example). And Intel i5 equivalent would be a few hundred $ more and not as good. A relatively minor problem is that it looks like the AM4 socket will be EOL by years end. So any future APU update would need a new MoBo.

You can do your own comparisons between APU’s/CPU’s here (compare your current one for example):

Good fun! 😉 😀

Oh… I saw a tech article on the weekend where TSMC (who manufacture the AMD chips) is on track with their new 5nm process, slated for Q2 2020. They increased capital expenditure last year to ~$15 billion for the new process. Intel still haven’t even cracked 10nm yet! Their first production will be RAM, especially the GFX RAM & future DDR5 (slated for later this year now that JEDEC has finalized the spec last year).

I suspect that the delay in AMD announcing the next gen CPU’s/GPU’s & hinting it will be next year rather than the Q3 this year, is because they could be considering moving to 5nm instead of the 7nm+ bump. Makes sense. Why wast $15bil if nobody will use the process?🤔 TSMC stated the 5nm process will have significant speed improvements & reduced power requirements, both issues for AMD.

Now that my friend is waiting on his court case to be resolved, he signed a Stat Dec as a witness to my accident & the reasons why it’s the fault of the property landlord/agent. In his capacity as a professional property renovator/builder, he warned & cited several issues to the Agent/LL regarding this property last year. Should be interesting! I should have a copy soon. We’ll see what happens. 🙂

The new Agent (property manager) is dropping off a new lease tomorrow & promised no rent increases or other surprises for 12 Months. I’ve only been waiting 4 years for a new lease (on my list of complaints). I suspect she’s guessing something is up as she’s been going out of her way to be accommodating & even kind! Hasn’t mentioned the Window since the inspection, though it’s supposed to be repaired within 14 days. it’s been over 2 Months now (also on my list). And no, I won’t be giving any hints! I’m always very suspicious of property agents on a good day!

26 Kryten42 { 02.11.20 at 8:04 pm }

You got me thinking about maybe building my own HTPC system for things I don’t need a high end (expensive) system for! Including Internet tasks, watching video’s at a good quality, low-mid range gaming (I still play a lot of those), general tasks. I did some searching for current HTPC builds using the Ryzen 5 APU for sub $1,000. I found several for under $800.

Here is an example for ~US$500 which can be expanded or reconfigured.


This is just an example of what can be done on a reasonably low budget. Last time I looked for a decent low-end system (2018), it was at least $300 more expensive. Prices have dropped, which is nice to see. 🙂

I’d probably change the PSU to something like the “CORSAIR SF450 [CP-9020181-NA] 450W SFX 80+ PLATINUM Modular PSU” currently @ ~US$110 for better quality, warranty & higher efficiency.

PS: Thanks for giving me something to do other than being annoyed at medical practitioners & estate agents! It’s also a good laundry day… Warm (27C), decent breeze, low humidity & no smoke! 😉 😆

27 Bryan { 02.12.20 at 10:00 pm }

As far as a build goes I just need an APU, motherboard and RAM to pop into my existing case. I don’t need or want a light show to write letters, search the Net, or answer e-mail. My two 1TB drives in the current box are WD Blacks and I have two more 1TB drives that I use for back-ups. I have my Win XP box that I need to install Linux on as I no longer have the client that used that OS. The Win 7 desktop and laptop still work but I can get a refurbished Win 10 machine for less than a Win 10 license if I need one. Thinking about a build is more interesting than actually doing it.

If they can do 5nm, it only makes sense to do it. Intel isn’t competitive on desktop chips and is have trouble getting their design debugged and reduced. AMD has the time and should do it to set Intel further back.

I agree with you on spending on a good power supply. My original PS on that box died, so I bought a a much better one to replace it. I prefer power supplies that are a bit oversized. They run cooler and last longer.

It’s nice that you are healing well and quickly. It is also nice that the heavy rains are taking the smoke out of the air and putting out some of the bushfires. I’m back on my allergy meds as spring seems to be coming trees and plants are awakening way too early. Meanwhile you are waiting for autumn and cooler temperatures. It took a while for me to adjust to those differences.

It seems like your landlord may have finally figured out that she is in trouble. Too bad you can’t assume that she will do the right thing, only that she will be less blatant about the abuses. I manage apartments and I just can’t believe how stupid she’s being.

I need to check on my puppies and get some sleep. Take it easy – no cricket or rugby for a while…

28 Bryan { 02.12.20 at 10:02 pm }

Oh, this thread is going to time out shortly. I’ll try to remember to put another post up as the race ends.

29 Kryten42 { 02.13.20 at 7:02 am }

Yes, your computing needs are quite different to mine. I’ve seen some refurbished systems in my searches, some very well priced. But with my heavy daily use, I can’t trust them (I learned from experience). We certainly have very different storage needs as well as computing! 😆 I stopped by my local PC store I have a good deal with. I can now buy a Samsung 2TB nVME M.2 high-performance Pro SSD (with 5 yr warranty)… For almost the SAME price I paid for my 512 GB ones in 2015/16 (about $30 more)! And they have a special on where the 4TB SSD is about $30 more than I paid for a 1TB. The prices have dropped fast.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to compare the Ryzen 5 3400G APU to my i7-6700K CPU… The Ryzen beats it in most performance measures (and the AMD GPU slaughters the Intel iGFX also! No wonder Intel are using AMD GPU in their Mobile CPU’s!) Though, I can (and do) overclock the i7 to 4.7 GHz with no problem. Still, the 3400G is a good chip!


OK. I’ll sign off on this thread! Physio tomorrow… I was telling my friend *H* in an eMail, the downside to healing fast plus the daily Physio, is that I get tired fast also. (There is always a price to pay). Going to sleep the whole weekend! And woe betide ANYONE that wakes me!!👿

30 Bryan { 02.13.20 at 9:18 pm }

I did a lot of database work so fast disk drives were the most important thing for me. I did use NEC V20s on the PC-compatible boxes I built which were 5MHz chips rather than 8088s because they were “cheaper, better, faster” than IBM PCs, especially equipped with Hercules-compatible graphics cards and a decent monochrome monitor. I was doing business stuff, not artistic so I didn’t bother with color until the VGA standard was out. My clients needed readable screens, not a Crayola crayons basic box of 8 colors.

I have two refurbs, but I added memory and new drives. For the price of a new software license I got the software and a box to run it on. Nothing that is important or ‘mission critical’ sits on less than three machines, as well as burned DVDs. I also don’t overclock, so they operate on Florida time – slow and easy. I know that SSDs are faster than spinning rust, but I can’t convinced myself to trust them.

Yeah, healing really burns calories. The body is stealing everything it can to repair the damage. Sleep is good – enjoy your weekend 🙂

31 Kryten42 { 02.13.20 at 10:13 pm }

Just a quick update…

I FINALLY got the Intel iGFX drivers working!! Taken ages to find the combo of versions. Intel tie their drivers to the CPU Generation (6th in my case), the Win 10 version (1809 for mine) & iGFX version (HD 580 in my case). It seems the issue is because I’m using the Corporate LTSB (LTSC now) branch, which is only (officially) updated very 2 years (which is why I got the license, plus it’s actually cheaper then the Pro consumer license!) Had to hunt for the older versions of the drivers, install the 2016 full version then 2 updates.

Anyway… It’s a LOT better than the crap M$ standard gfx driver they bundle with w10. 🙁

I even managed to play Destiny 2 for an hour! I really did not think I could. I knew I’d have to reduce display size & GFX settings, but wasn’t as bad as I ‘d thought! Runs fine at 1920×1080 and medium settings with anti-aliasing & high textures set. I still have to find my 270X! I had a look through some of the less heavy boxes I have, but of course it wasn’t there. Oh well. I should be happy with what I have now I guess! 😉 😀

I remember the V20’s fondly! I had a couple systems built using those. 😀 I think I even had 1 MB RAM (though, that may have included a 128KB *high-speed* cache module…) in one & a 20MB HDD! 😆

You have a great weekend also m8! I hope you are not working, especially on the Apartments! Thanks for the wishes & chat! Much appreciated. 🙂

You’re correct about the energy requirements. And the brain doesn’t mess about either… Basically just tells the body “OK! I need to work now! You can sleep & leave me alone!” 😉 😀

32 Bryan { 02.14.20 at 3:03 pm }

Yes, the V20s accepted the 1MB RAM and you could use the RAM above the 640K M$ limit as a RAM drive or for networking with the right software. The 20MB Seagates were the common build.

Yeah, the M$ generic drivers are a bit arthritic be they for printers, displays, or graphics. I would do a search in a few online depositories of drivers whenever I changed devices. I knew that whatever came in the box was outdated and flawed. Alas most of those sites have disappeared or fallen into the swamp of adware/malware.

Games are good mental exercises and they help to push things over to the subconscious levels where problems are often solved or knowledge revealed.

Actually I’m doing a roach raid on one of the apartments: diatomaceous earth, bug bombs, roach gel, and roach baits – full on chemical warfare against German cockroaches.