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This has large megawotsits and many cyberdoodahs


I got up this morning, hopped on my bike and…dead as a doornail. The battery was fine — showing four bars out of five charge — Thursday afternoon and a brick on Friday morning. It won’t take a charge at all, so it’s the battery, not something mechanical. More fun!

I had to walk to work. I had forgotten how much that sucks.

I’m not complaining (much). If all my bad news involves computers and bicycles (instead of, say, biopsies and blood work), I’m not going to poke the fates with a stick.

Anyhow, I was home and footsore and sitting in front of my jittering computer screen feeling sorry for myself, when I suddenly thought, “hol’ up, hol’ up, modern motherboards have a built-in VGA, don’t they?” Yeah, they do. I just pulled the dead card, plugged the monitor into the back of the machine and…it’s surprisingly good, really. It’s running Photoshop and everything.

I imagine it would shatter into a squillion pieces if I asked it to play The Witcher, though.

It’s surprisingly hard to pick the best card for doing 3D modeling and rendering. I mean, at the consumer level. That’s because every program is different — some lean on the CPU, some lean on memory, some lean on the GPU or the graphics card’s memory. I know what programs I’m using now, but who knows if I’ll be using the same ones a year or two hence? Anyway, I think I’m going for the one in the picture. Not cheap, not expensive, best all-rounder.

Unfortunately, I have to go to work for a while tomorrow, Saturday that it is. And I have to do it on a bike with no motor assist. Pity me.


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: July 8, 2016, 10:21 pm

Cant you sweet talk your husband in giving you a ride?

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: July 8, 2016, 10:43 pm

I have this mental image of Mary Poppins on her bike, and that is what I think of when I think of England.

But then I think that modern London probably lookes like NYC gridlock on the BQE. (Brooklyn – Queens – Expressway)

And then the two images merge, and there is Mary Poppins on her bike riding between the rows of gridlocked imobile cars, singing the Sound of Music.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2016, 11:38 pm

Mary Poppins? More like Elvira Gulch.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 8, 2016, 11:39 pm

Is that a video board, or a hovercraft?

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 9, 2016, 12:14 am

First World Problems…. We gots ’em.

I have to decide by 10 July I guess if I am going to ‘upgrade’ my laptop from Win 8 to Win 10. I am not real enthusiastic but I do hate 8 and so I guess I will on my Sony Vaio. I really almost never use it. Bought it for Mrs. Vegetable at her request when Win 8 first came out and it caused so much angst between us
Her “It wants another update but I’m afraid after last time”.

Me ” I can’t even find the Control Panel on the ^*%+}?!! thing – it took three days to set up the Wifi!”

So, after realizing we both hated the damn thing,, we just bought her an AirBook and never looked back.

So is Win 8 going to make me happier? I use my iPad most of the time…. But what the Hell, I guess I must. Wonder what will stop working this time.

(Grumbles and waddles off to the liquor cabinet before starting )

PS – what kind of a graphics card requires Three cooling fans!??

Comment from Giles
Time: July 9, 2016, 1:16 am

Personally I’d go for a 970 rather than a 770. Don’t know what the prices are now but if you’re concerned about Windows 10 driver support it’s probably better to go for the latest chipset rather than an older one.

(Aside: there were some known problems with the 970 and its memory management in the early days. I believe they’re all sorted in recent drivers, but I’m not a gamer so I can’t be sure. Elite: Dangerous plays pretty well on the Occulus with a 970, though…)

Comment from The Neon Madman
Time: July 9, 2016, 2:06 am

Some Veg:

If I can’t use Win 7 anymore, then I go to Linux – probably the Fedora distribution.

Mz. Weasel:

Can you pass us some info about your experiences with the electric bike? My wife is much interested in one, but hesitant at the price (here in the States, about $2300). The word I am getting is that these are the hot trend in the rest of the world, and the US is way behind the curve.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: July 9, 2016, 3:18 am

I got a GIGABYTE Radeon R9 380 with DirectX 12 and 4 gigs of GDDR5 memory last November…been working really well.

Re Linux: I’ve been testing a bunch of distros in VirtualBox VM’s for a while…so far, the easiest/bestest one is Linux Mint, by far, at least for desktop version. I use CentOS 7 on my VPS but that’s console only. I like Arch for console only as well, lots of packages for it but it’s the least automatic distro out there.

Comment from bds
Time: July 9, 2016, 6:16 am

I have a 770 and I like it a lot. It is a few years old and still works very well for me, but I would second Giles’s advice to go for a 970 or at least 870. NVIDIA just released their newest (1070) so the older cards should go down a bit. The newer cards are actually more efficient too, so use less power, run cooler, etc.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 9, 2016, 7:22 am

Oh, you guys — you’re quite right! I meant the 970. I grabbed a picture of the wrong one! Duh.

Some Veg: I’m a confirmed Windows hater, so you can take my word for it when I say…I kinda like Windows 10. There are bits of it I find awkward to navigate, but I’ve done the transition twice (once at work and once at home) and I’m not sorry. There’s a lot of spyware shit you have to disable, though.

Neon: I absolutely adore my electric bike, but a good one ought to be cheaper than that in the States. What the really cool kids do is buy a bike they love and a motor kit and electrify it themselves. That way you get exactly the bike you want and exactly the motor you want, and it doesn’t scream “electric bike” to other cyclists (some go way out of their way to disguise the motor). And it’s cheaper.

But I didn’t go that route for the first time out and I do love my Regency. My main advice is: test drive. Ebikes come in three flavors: motor in the front, motor in the middle and motor in the back. They all feel different.

I have no idea why, but factory electric bikes have an unusually heavy frame (safety issue? Truly, I don’t know). That’s why I’m dreading riding it in without the motor today: it’s a big fat heavy beast. But it still beats walking (I hope).

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: July 9, 2016, 8:08 am

I live in a hilly area and riding a bike is impossible. That is why an electric bike seems like a great idea.

Comment from The Neon Madman
Time: July 9, 2016, 4:25 pm

Mz. Weasel:

Thanks. Apparently the US is way behind the curve on this – they have only started appearing in bike stores, and usually no selection. Any given store might have 3 samples of one make/model. From what I have read, electric bikes are hugely popular in Asia, fairly popular in Europe and damn close to unknown in the States. I’ll do some more looking around. The wife likes to ride, but has respiratory issues – short hauls are OK, but can’t keep up with me on the long ones.

Comment from Nina
Time: July 9, 2016, 7:22 pm

I’d like an electric bike to help me get some muscle tone back after chemo is not kicking my butt quite so hard…but shouldn’t the battery last longer?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 9, 2016, 9:33 pm

It wasn’t too bad today, riding it without the motor assist. I ran in a very low gear and walked it up the steep bits.

Good thing, because I’ll be stuck doing this at least through Monday.

Comment from Nina
Time: July 10, 2016, 2:12 am

Consider it a workout!

Comment from MikeW
Time: July 11, 2016, 1:46 pm

Hey, Stoaty-Oats,
I’m thinking that this is your kind of fun…

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: July 11, 2016, 8:06 pm

I have in the past month bought two 970s for new builds, and like them. As bds mentions the prices are pretty good now with the new 1080 and 1070 out, plus AMD just released the RX480 which appears to have sold out everywhere that carried them.

The RX 480 is aimed right at the 970 and retails at $200 US for the 4G version. If you can find one it will cost less than a 970. As soon as they’re available again I plan to grab one and stick it in one of the new builds. That will let me put the extra 970 in the other and try out SLI.

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