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Author Topic: The Generic Computer Advice Thread  (Read 205395 times)

Trekkin

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3840 on: January 18, 2019, 12:34:33 am »

Ohhh, I getcha.
Yeah I guess I could do that, assuming whatever OS I go with isn't too big a file to download at the library. Might have to buy a new flash drive, though.

I have no idea what OS to go with, mind. I'm pretty sure my laptop was running *shudder* Windows 8. I'd really rather go back to something older, but I guess it doesn't matter too much if I'm just making an external one?

Yeah, it won't matter too much. My natural inclination would be to reach for Linux Mint Cinnamon, which is only 2 GB to download, but we can definitely go smaller.
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AzyWng

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3841 on: January 18, 2019, 01:54:30 am »

Whenever I get a ping on Discord, the sound goes messed up. I'm not sure how to describe it other than "it plays the very first few milliseconds of the sound on repeat for several seconds". This also happens when I'm watching a youtube video at the same time, which causes the sound to get messed up in a similar fashion.
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Lord Shonus

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3842 on: February 04, 2019, 02:20:12 pm »

I have a spare USB 3.something header on my motherboard, but don't have any 3.x front ports remaining. The obvious solution is to get some ports that are in a stadard PCI-slot cover plate for two additional back ports. I know this product exists, because I have seen it before. I cannot find this product, because I am not sure what it is called.
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wierd

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Lord Shonus

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3844 on: February 04, 2019, 02:41:03 pm »

Thank you. That is exactly what I wanted. I just couldn't find the right search terms.
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wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3845 on: February 04, 2019, 03:01:17 pm »

The magic keywords appear to be

"USB 3.0 bracket"

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Lord Shonus

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3846 on: February 04, 2019, 03:17:04 pm »

That was  the problem. I was calling it a "shield" or "Dust cover". The term "bracket" didn't occur to me.
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methylatedspirit

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3847 on: February 07, 2019, 09:52:20 am »

Today I was compressing my old DF installs in 'parallel' (manually started compressing each folder as fast as I could). The part that confused me was the fact that my CPU (Intel Core i5-4460 @ 3.20GHz, if that helps) refused to go any higher than like, 2.7GHz during this process, despite the fact that utilization went up to 90%. I play and store my DF installs on an external USB hard drive, since I do occasionally play DF on my laptop. Is there a reason for this?
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Gentlefish

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3848 on: February 07, 2019, 09:59:18 am »

Probably throttled by USB read/write speeds if it isn't USB 3.0 and maybe even if it is.

methylatedspirit

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3849 on: February 07, 2019, 10:13:35 am »

That, and DF seems to have some kind of obsession with generating thousands of tiny files in its worlds. It's a bit of a pain to transfer DF worlds despite their relatively small size.
Speaking of tiny files, what metric measures the number of 0-byte/very small files that can be read/written per second by a hard drive or other storage medium? After all, manufacturers seem entirely fine with reporting read/write speeds for a continuous stream of data, so what gives?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 10:17:05 am by methylatedspirit »
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Starver

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3850 on: February 07, 2019, 11:04:04 am »

Different OSes deal with 'file boundaries' differently, often to do with whether they 'waste' a whole file-block with [0 or 1?] to [blocksize-1] file or file-end fragments, or save up all the fragments and pack them nicely into as many sub-indexable blocks as can be allowed for by that FAT-equivalent for sub-allocation and/or tail-packing.

And if transfered stream-wise, some flatfile-ish streams handle null-content files (and tailings) better than others, however the storage hardware and FS ends up optimising the actual emplacement of the received data.


Though, to be honest, it's been many a year since I've had to worry about the exact mechanics. It's mostly the human component that's the slower factor that could be sped up by changes to process, even if you're sat there waiting for a few hundred gigabytes of files to move between USB thumb-drive and external HDD while shuffling data across media. I used to know much more about the various FATs, NTFS, NFS, ext (and the earlier extNs), ADFS/GDFS (Acorn, not Microsoft, and Graduate respectively) but I'd have to dig up manuals or wiki pages to refresh my knowledge, and I've no idea how/if they've tweaked NTFS since anyway. Never mind how the USB drivers interact for streaming and hanshaking them through the serial bus. (I've been fighting for years with a Win2K machine over this. It should be non-caching when I move files onto a stick, for immediate removal upon completion, but after it has 'copied' if I do too much else it can suddenly pop up saying it is failing to copy one of the files. Best to leave it a few minutes during and after copying and go and do something else.)
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AzyWng

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3851 on: February 12, 2019, 09:57:00 pm »

There's an issue I have with the mic that goes with my headphones.

It no longer appears to work.

It won't pick up sound when it's selected as the default audio device (I can tell it's the device being used and not the laptop mic because my laptop mic doesn't pick up any sound at all when the headphone mic is active).

Audio troubleshooter hasn't been too helpful. Removing the mic from the headphones and putting it back in doesn't appear to help either. Restarting my laptop also hasn't had much of an effect.

I guess I'll shut the laptop down and turn it on, but I dunno how helpful that will be either.

EDIT: Mic is working now, but it only appears to be picking up one channel (The Right channel, that is). That means that only things on the right side are picked up...

DOUBLE EDIT: False alarm, it seems. The mic itself and both channels appear to be functinoing normally...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 10:21:01 pm by AzyWng »
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Starver

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3852 on: February 12, 2019, 11:00:09 pm »

Assuming it's a standard 3.5mm audio jack (and not something like a cabled USB plug or even a bluetooth-to-USB-dongle setup) have you got any other audio devices that can take its input (dictaphone, perhaps a mobile phone that hasn't gone the proprietary connector root) through which you can debug what's what? Or another person's laptop?

Not sure about your removal of the mic from the headphones, because all mic/headphone combo sets I've had have been inseparable short of (possibly damaging) dissassembly.

Also, mics, regardless of the headset (sometimes stereo; sometimes mono, especially just-one-ear versions) are only mono. Overwhelmingly, at least, unless you've got something very fancy. I suspect that the mic jack is of a mono-form (the second in this image) rather than stereo (the third in that image) and it's the socket that's stereo-capable but isn't connecting properly with the internal left-leg that would normally be electrically equivalent to the right leg.

So now the question is have you got any other mics you can test? (The laptop mic is inbuilt, I presume, so not available to plug in, similarly, in any way.) It could easily be a bit of fluff stuck in the socket (I keep having to extract fluff from my tablet's headphone-out port, from the bottom of the various pockets it gets slid into) that at one point misaligned it to not work at all but now is merely misaligning it to the current problem. If it's exactly the same then I'd be seriously peering into the socket with some illumination (which you can do anyway, but before you think it is the problem you can spend ages trying to look there without thinking you ought to see something).

Cleaning anything out is tricky. I use a pin, the head, not the point, to carefully see if I can 'hook' any fibres out of the recesses with the "mushroom head" shape, but I know it's possible to damage the innards. Caveats apply, which is why I'd encourage you to see the fluff before picking away with increasing severity in hopes of finding it. It may be possible to damage the make-to-detect microswitch or alternate centre-pin detection at the base of the socket hole that governs the behaviour of the switch (mechanically or logically) to override the inbuilt mic, that's obvioysly working.


The other option to inward sound being only on the right channel is that you've moved the (software) setting stereo bias full over when you were trying to fiddle the (for other reasons?) original non-workingness. Having inadvertently repaired the original issue (e.g. switching off and on again, having cleared the badly set bit in the driver's working memory) you are now suffering from your other fiddlings.  But I don't think that's likely for you to have missed (seen it and fiddled with it while fiddling, missed it entirely when re-fiddling), just putting it out there.


That's the sort of sequence of investigation I'd attempt if you brought it to me with that problem (maybe without quite so readily poking the socket, if it wasn't my device to take my own risks with). If the tests come up weird (only that mic works improperly with only that laptop, every other combination working and there being no obvious physical difference between plugs to perhaps be a borderline failure with the inscrutable insides of the slightly different laptop socket) then I'd have to look for another approach. Ditto if I'm wrong about it being a 3.5-phono connector from the start. (But if it's a composite stereo-out/mono-in three-channel 3.5 plug handling all audio IO in one ("TRRS", Tip/Ring/Ring/Sleeve, or even "TRRRS" with another ring) then it could yet be the same as per misalignment, but I'm not entirely sure which Rs and which of the T and S actually does what, without looking it up of hooking one up to test.)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 11:11:25 pm by Starver »
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BigD145

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3853 on: February 14, 2019, 08:06:43 pm »

A physically loose headphone/mic jack motherboard connection will also cause your problem. It's the simplest cause. It can be an intermittent problem. Working for awhile and then not.
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methylatedspirit

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3854 on: February 14, 2019, 11:51:32 pm »

Is it safe to use a PC if the mains power coming into the PSU is unstable? (That is, the input voltage isn't constant, but varies drastically over time)
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