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Author Topic: The Generic Computer Advice Thread  (Read 289115 times)

Maximum Spin

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4275 on: September 07, 2020, 11:54:23 pm »

Here's something I just heard about people may be interested in trying out, it's a version of the Windows 10 ISO with all the update features, telemetry etc stripped out of the base install
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwkiU6GG-YU
https://ameliorated.info/
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I feel like I should probably point out that this is definitely 100% illegal to produce, download, use, and/or distribute..
I didnít know giving updates free of spyware was illegal, I would have thought spyware was illegal
Spyware is not illegal, and modifying software which you don't own in contravention of the license under which you are allowed to use it is illegal, as is downloading, using, or distributing tools to do so.
you are in the grey-maybe of legality when it comes to modifying their OS in this fashion.
There is no such thing and whoever told you there is wants you to be sued. Software use licenses are, in fact, enforceable because you do not own the software: Microsoft does. It's like you've been given a company car and you think it's maybe legal to add a nitro booster. Car is not yours.

I don't even think this is a good law but it is, in fact, the actual law.
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wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4276 on: September 08, 2020, 12:16:00 am »

The issue is that the terms of their agreements are not legally enforceable; Not that user agreements are unenforceable en mass.

Learn to read please.


EG, I can make a license that requires you to self-castrate, and demonstrate proof within 30 days of purchase-- Such a condition is not legally enforceable.

It does not mean however, that I am unable to make contracts to use whatever software I might write.  Just that the terms of those contracts must be within the boundaries of enforceability, typically codified on some version of English Common Law, for most contracts in the US and the UK (and on whatever political rules are present for the rest of Europe.)

In the US at least, there are rules against forcing contractual terms from positions of unfair legal advantage that are unconscionable.   While "Contracts of adhesion" are enforceable, they are given a very dim view by the courts, and terms can be struck from them for being unenforceable by the court system, and this happens routinely.

https://www.universalclass.com/articles/law/contractual-situations-and-conditions-that-are-improper-and-unfair.htm

In my specific example, where I would demand that the end user castrate themselves and present proof, it falls clearly inside the exceptional cases of unconsionability and duress.

In terms of shrinkwrap licensing, this has had some time in court (but not nearly enough.)

basically, it has been found (and precedent established) that such shrinkwrap agreements CANNOT circumvent or remove federal rules governing copyright, which includes abilities to reverse engineer or produce compatible software.

http://euro.ecom.cmu.edu/program/law/08-732/Transactions/ShrinkwrapFenwick.pdf

Additionally, they cannot override or replace other agreements made explicitly with the creator of such software. (EG, if you are another company, and negotiate a separate licensing deal, the shrinkwrap license does not apply.)

There certainly is a grey area here-- However I would argue that the removal of the authorization framework constitutes a criminal offense under the DMCA's "No circumvention" verbiage.  There would, however, be exceptions to that under certain rare circumstances. (that end users are VERY unlikely to qualify for, unless they are a library or something.)


IF, however, you DO IN FACT have legal license to use the software (such as via being granted through a purchase transaction), the terms of the software license cannot forbid you to make these kinds of changes, as was ruled in the cited cases in the PDF.  In that framework, you are in fact allowed to modify the software in this fashion; Microsoft is just absolved from any fault or harm this may cause you.




« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 12:19:22 am by wierd »
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Maximum Spin

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4277 on: September 08, 2020, 12:24:04 am »

There certainly is a grey area here-- However I would argue that the removal of the authorization framework constitutes a criminal offense under the DMCA's "No circumvention" verbiage.  There would, however, be exceptions to that under certain rare circumstances. (that end users are VERY unlikely to qualify for, unless they are a library or something.)
... so you agree that this specific licensing term, the only one I'm talking about, is enforceable. Okay. Glad we're in agreement.

I agree that courts are unlikely to support your hypothetical castration license unless you are unlucky and get a really castration-happy judge, which I have just realised probably exists somewhere in America. Hopefully if the judge orders specific performance you can get an injunction pending appeal.

("reverse-engineer or produce compatible software" would not include removing portions of the existing software in contravention of the license, to be clear. The whole point of my position is that this is not fair use, and therefore the company can tell you whether or not you are allowed to do it. You could run a decompiler or disassembler on it to help write compatible driver software, but by existing precedent not change the program to convince parts you don't like not to run.)

ETA: Something else I think you're forgetting is that the "shrinkwrap license" precedent is predicated on the assumption of licenses *literally inside the shrinkwrap on a CD jewel case* so that you don't know what you're agreeing to until after you've bought and opened it. That is why companies stopped doing that, and I don't even know if you can GET Windows 10 on a CD, I guess probably, but more importantly it's not being done here. The analogy just doesn't apply, and courts are capable of recognising this.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 12:26:58 am by Maximum Spin »
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wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4278 on: September 08, 2020, 12:32:52 am »

The key rhetoric was "As long as you are not violating MS's copyrights".

The creation of an alternative framework to satisfy other parts of the OS, (If created under appropriate restrictions as codified in US copyright law), is not illegal.  The deployment of those alternative frameworks are also, not illegal, and the software vendor cannot forbid you from doing so.

That is the source of the grey area.  It *REQUIRES* that the end user is on the up-and-up though.  You have legitimately entered a license agreement with microsoft, and have paid for your license.  The only issue I see, is that circumvention of the authorization framework constitutes a circumvention of a copyright protection system, and falls victim to "Not following copyright law". 

Since this is handled with scripts, and presumably they are well documented, it should be possible to prevent the neutering of the authorization framework.  Doing so will result in a build that would be legally compliant, assuming all other conditions are met.


RE: shrinkwrap licensing--

Often times, you are presented with the agreement upon installation of the software, not upon purchase.  This still constitutes a shrinkwrap license.  To qualify outside that, the software publisher must present the license agreement BEFORE a purchase transaction, so that the end user is able to reasonably decide not to complete the transaction.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 12:34:44 am by wierd »
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methylatedspirit

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4279 on: September 08, 2020, 09:30:25 am »

There's this thing called the Windows 10 Debloater, which sets out to do the same thing as that one. It operates on an existing install of Windows 10, rather than modifying an ISO of Windows 10, so I'm fairly certain this is perfectly legal, unless doing whatever you want with your own system is somehow illegal. Of course, Windows Update will probably add all the bloatware back in after updating, but there's no limit to how many times you can run it, so, really, who's the winner here? (Do check the blacklist in the GUI, though; it uninstalls pretty much every (UWP) app on your system by default, including the Windows Store.)
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bloop_bleep

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4280 on: October 11, 2020, 10:04:54 pm »

Hey guys. So my computer (laptop) recently ran out of battery and then refused to turn on when plugged in, with or without the battery attached. Also it does not shine the LED when plugged in. This led me to believe that it may be a power jack issue, as in fact the power jack was replaced in the past. However I opened it up and poked around with a multimeter, and found a couple things. Firstly, when plugged in there is a +20V potential at the power jack output pin relative to ground, so that individual piece seems to be working. Secondly, when not plugged in, there is a 50 kilo ohm resistance between the power jack output pin and ground. I have not YET noticed any shoddy soldering joints. Question: are these observations normal and what do I do from here?

EDIT: Also should there be continuity between the power jack and the positive battery terminal?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 10:23:17 pm by bloop_bleep »
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Maximum Spin

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4281 on: October 12, 2020, 01:57:27 am »

Hey guys. So my computer (laptop) recently ran out of battery and then refused to turn on when plugged in, with or without the battery attached. Also it does not shine the LED when plugged in. This led me to believe that it may be a power jack issue, as in fact the power jack was replaced in the past. However I opened it up and poked around with a multimeter, and found a couple things. Firstly, when plugged in there is a +20V potential at the power jack output pin relative to ground, so that individual piece seems to be working. Secondly, when not plugged in, there is a 50 kilo ohm resistance between the power jack output pin and ground. I have not YET noticed any shoddy soldering joints. Question: are these observations normal and what do I do from here?
I admit this is not my greatest area of expertise but these both sound normal to me. As a general rule the power jack output should not be grounded (this would be what we call "counterproductive"), so having a resistance there would be expected. It sounds like your adapter block is working fine, and the problem is within the laptop (where there are many possible problems).
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Lord Shonus

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4282 on: October 12, 2020, 02:06:21 am »

Have you tried leaving it plugged in overnight? It might rely on battery for the initial power-up (which often requires extra power compared to low-level running, and not be able to draw what it needs from the charger for various reasons. Some laptops I've had worked like that.
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Maximum Spin

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4283 on: October 12, 2020, 02:10:01 am »

Have you tried leaving it plugged in overnight? It might rely on battery for the initial power-up (which often requires extra power compared to low-level running, and not be able to draw what it needs from the charger for various reasons. Some laptops I've had worked like that.
Have you ever had a laptop that doesn't light up the charging LED in those circumstances? I agree that it's a good thing to try but I've always seen the LED on in such cases.
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wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4284 on: October 12, 2020, 02:13:51 am »

Since you have it apart to test with a multimeter, I would disconnect the battery, plug in the power cable, then test to see if there is a sense voltage across the positive and negative battery terminal leads off the mainboard.  (To charge a LION cell, the charge logic inside has to determine that there is a resistive load to know that the battery cells are connected. Additionally, testing for weak voltage against the SPI data pin and ground would let you know that the charge circuit is attempting to communicate with the battery's charge controller.)

That would let you know if the problem is with a voltage regulator or power trace upstream, or if the problem is inside the battery, or whatever.
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BigD145

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4285 on: October 12, 2020, 09:23:37 am »

Potentially the battery itself has a logic board on it that has failed. If the power light is not turning on it could be the adapter but also could be a fault on the motherboard. A capacitor may have popped or something like that.
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bloop_bleep

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4286 on: October 19, 2020, 12:33:40 pm »

Well, I couldn't find the problem, the laptop was kinda old and breaking apart anyway, and a repair technician on YouTube said that if things go wrong with the charging port on a Lenovo model similar to the one I had there's an electrical design mistake that could blow the super IO chip that does the startup sequence, which is subsequently difficult to replace as it is soldered to the board, so... I got a new laptop! A faster one too, I think. However, I've noticed even on small loads it can get somewhat warm on the bottom, and Core Temp tells me it can reach temperatures of 86 C, even though most of the time it stays below that. The CPU is rated at a maximum temperature of 105 C. The fan sounds like it is working but there is a quiet sort of grinding noise. Is this something I should worry about?
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wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4287 on: October 20, 2020, 05:30:01 am »

New or used laptop?

If used, check for an invasion of dust bunnies in the radiator and heatpipe assembly. (and replace that thermal pad with real thermal compound)



If new...  Hmm...  Check online to see if other people have the same problem.
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bloop_bleep

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4288 on: October 20, 2020, 08:12:24 pm »

It's new, and yep, people online say they have similar problems with thermals. *shrug* It's an Acer too so apparently the BIOS manual fan control settings are locked out. Elsewhere on the interwebs it says 80 C might cause accelerated wear but shouldn't damage the CPU in the short term. It doesn't get that high too often anyway. People have reported 90 C temperatures under significant load.

By the way, I did your suggestions for the old laptop. I might still fix it at some point. Thanks a lot!
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methylatedspirit

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4289 on: October 20, 2020, 09:06:01 pm »

There's 2 ways of dealing with high temps on a laptop, and they can be combined if you're feeling lucky. Do the first one first; it's entirely reversible, unlike the second one.

The first way is to undervolt the CPU, literally feeding it less voltage than stock so it produces less heat. What I use personally is ThrottleStop; here's a guide on how to use it. Of course, you run the risk of system instability while undervolting, so I recommend doing a stress test on the CPU after you've undervolted it. If it crashes or spits out an error during that process, you've gone too low with the voltage, and you need to raise it by 5 mV. A round of Cinebench R20 is good enough for establishing baseline stability, but what you really want is something like Prime95 on the Blend torture test for at least 24 hours straight once you've dialed in a "stable" undervolt. I'd suggest even longer; I'd go for a whole week if you can.

On my laptop, I started with -100 mV offset on Core and Cache voltages, then I worked my way down to -160 mV, using Cinebench to establish that each successive undervolt was vaguely stable. Thankfully, I run Folding@home, so that's what I used as a stress test. I left my computer on overnight, letting it crunch numbers until it crashed. After a series of crashes due to the undervolt, I eventually converged on an undervolt of -140 mV, which appears to be stable enough to survive an entire week straight.

I wouldn't recommend starting ThrottleStop on startup, though; what I do is place it on the taskbar so that you can open it manually. This is to avoid bootloops if you end up with too low of a voltage setting and end up crashing because of that. If opening TS crashes your laptop, you can delete the "ThrottleStop.ini" file in the TS directory to reset everything back to defaults and try again.

I don't think this voids your warranty; worst-case, you can delete the ThrottleStop directory, and no-one's the wiser.

Please check if your laptop has an Intel or an AMD CPU inside; ThrottleStop works only with Intel CPUs, and to my knowledge, AMD (Ryzen and earlier) has no tools for undervolting laptops.



The second method is to repaste, replacing the thermal paste between the CPU die and heatsink to increase the rate of heat transfer from the CPU to the heatsink. This is a difficult process, and usually requires disassembly down to the motherboard for a standard laptop. Gaming laptops tend to be easier in this regard. This will almost certainly void your warranty, so do this at your own risk.

The theory is fairly easy once you've disassembled the laptop far enough to see the heatsink assembly:
1. Locate the heatsink.
2. Unscrew the screws holding it to the motherboard and take it off.
3. Clean off the stock thermal paste from the heatsink and CPU die with alcohol (isopropyl alcohol seems to be the stuff of choice, but ethanol works too; I used hand sanitizer myself)
4. Apply thermal paste to the CPU die.
5. Mount the heatsink back on to the board, then screw it back in.

Of course, this is a daunting task for most people. I was positively shaking when I replaced the thermal paste on my laptop. If you do this on a new laptop, prepare yourself for disappointment (at least in my case); you won't see much difference on your thermals, but depending on the thermal paste, it might hold up better over time.

As far as choice of thermal paste, you can't really go wrong with a well-known brand like Arctic, Thermal Grizzly, Cooler Master and so on. If it appears on a list of best thermal pastes, it's probably good enough. Be careful though, you want a thermal paste intended for air cooling, and you sure as hell do not want a liquid metal thermal solution. Without proper precautions, that leads to short-circuits, and can degrade the copper/aluminum on the heatsink itself.  I used Arctic MX-4 thermal paste on mine, since it claims that it'll last for 7 years, and that was what I had at the time.
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