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Home of my tech rants, free programs, and a story or two…

I built an AMD Ryzen system…

So the system that I gave my father that had an old Intel Core i5 3570K was showing signs of instability. Well, I did have the chip overclocked for quite some time to 4.4 GHz when I was still using the system so who knows, perhaps the overclock for three years resulted in a degraded chip. Anyways, we did a quick trip to Microcenter and got a cheap B450 board and a Ryzen R5 2600X and put a new system together while cannibalizing some parts from the previous system; mainly the video card, hard drives, case, fans, and power supply.

When all was said and done, we had a new system for under $400. A new motherboard, processor, RAM, and a 1 TB NVMe SSD. I have to admit, it was quite fun being able to build a system with AMD again after so many years going with nothing but Intel. I did have to downclock the memory by 33 MHz due to slight system instability but that’s all I needed to do to fix it. It was fun building it, it’ll probably last him a good five years.

DSLReports, you are dead to me…

I talked some time ago about how I stepped away from DSLReports, I went back to the site after a month of not visiting it and kept going to it for some time until I once again got into it with the moderators over what was essentially very stupid stuff.

I don’t agree with a lot of the community and this is where I got into it with the moderators on several occasions which usually involved my posts being removed with no way to repeal the decision, or at least the moderators gave me the idea that they didn’t give a crap. They didn’t even care about the fact that I’ve been there for over ten years, I donated to the site and otherwise was considered to be an MVP. No, it appears that if you didn’t toe the site’s company line and agree with the community at large, the moderators tended to act like jackbooted thugs.

I’ve since moved to TechPowerUP and in the two years there I’ve not gained the ire of the moderators. Well OK… I did once but that was it and I’ve not had any run-ins with the moderators since. They tend to apply a rather light touch when it comes to moderating at TechPowerUP whereas at DSLReports it often felt like you were having Thor’s Hammer from the Marvel movies come down on your head. Sure, there are times when the moderators have had to step in but they usually let threads progress without any intervening unless of course things got really out of hand.

Oh… and they’re not nearly as politically one-sided at TechPowerUP. I’m participating in two threads in the lounge forum and I’ve on multiple occasions expressed political opinions that make me appear to lean to the right, this very act alone on DSLReports would have had me banned for a week (or more) simply by leaning right. If you didn’t get the idea that DSLReports is run by a bunch of leftists, you weren’t reading my post.

So yes, DSLReports… you are dead to me. I won’t be coming back. You lost a long-time member and I don’t care.

The Death of Star Trek

Yes, I know… this isn’t a normal tech blog post but I think it needs to be said here. The Death of Star Trek is upon us, they’ve pulled the fourth Kelvin timeline Star Trek movie because the third one bombed so badly.

Now why did the third movie bomb so badly? It’s very simple Hollywood, I’m going to give you the answer is such simplistic terms that even you Hollywood idiots can understand. YOU DIDN’T GIVE US FANS WHAT WE WANTED!!! Instead of listening to what the fans wanted you listened to SJWs and the woke media. There’s a phrase that goes around the Internet… Get woke, go broke. Yep, that’s what happened. You got woke and now you’re wondering why you’re broke. Duh. The so-called woke people and the SJWs that you pandered to only represent a small portion of the market and they aren’t going to pay money to see your stuff so going after them is an economically bad idea.

Do you want to know how to make more money than God? Do you want to have the money rolling in so fast and in such huge quantities that you won’t know what to do with it all? You won’t be able to stash it away fast enough? The answer is… LISTEN TO THE FANS!!! Go to the Star Trek conventions, sit down and talk to the fans and really listen to us and take what we say to heart. Then and only then when you actually listen to us fans will you have something that fans will want to pay good money to watch and even buy on DVD/BluRay.

AMD Ryzen… today vs a year ago

Some people may remember that I wrote a rather glowing review of the Intel Core i7 8700K (review linked here). At the time it was the best processor one could buy at the time if you were a gamer. Ryzen version 1 had issues, clock-for-clock AMD was indeed slower than Intel and game benchmarks did indeed show it. Frames per second was lower on Ryzen than Intel… back then.

Fast forward to today and that performance gap isn’t quite as large as it once was. Some of this is in part to changes with Ryzen v1.5 or the Ryzen 2000-series of processors but also due to changes in nVidia GPU drivers that were shown to heavily favor Intel CPUs. Now that performance tweaks to nVidia GPU drivers have seen improvements to the operation of them on AMD along with kernel level improvements in Windows itself AMD Ryzen is no longer seeing the performance gap that it once had.

This in turn is a good thing for consumers, no longer are you beholden to Intel if you want great performance. You now have AMD to look at to get more performance per dollar than with Intel. This is what healthy competition looks like.

Windows 10… an unmitigated disaster

Recently Windows 10 has been plagued by a series of not just one but several Windows Updates that have had to be pulled from distribution because of, as Microsoft puts it… “unforeseen issues”. Unforeseen? Yeah… only because you fired your whole entire software QA team!!! Now had you, Microsoft, actually kept your internal software testing team instead of “dog fooding” it to their own users they would have caught the issues before they even came to light.

This has been an ongoing issue, Windows Updates causing issues that range from minor glitches to BSODs. This time, Windows 10 version 1803 Build 17134.441 (KB4467682) has been pulled according to this HardOCP front page article. Apparently the update is causing BSODs on get this… THEIR OWN DAMN HARDWARE!!! The update is causing issues with their older, yet still supported, Surface Book 2 lineup of products.

Come on Microsoft… you’re really taking the art of failing to an all new horrible level.

The Intel Core i7 8700K

I’ve recently upgraded to a new Core i7 8700K processor. OK, not recently, I bought it about four months ago. I previously had a Core i5 3570K that was overclocked to 4.4 GHz and I had that for nearly five years. Unfortunately that older system just wasn’t keeping up with the demands that I had on my system. With the Core i7 8700K, even at stock boost speeds of 4.3 GHz, it’s miles ahead of what I had before. It positively smokes the 3570K in every single task that I have thrown at this new system. If this new system could talk it would tell me that it’s not even sweating whereas my older 3570K-based system would have been breathing heavily.

With that said, the Intel Core i7 8700K represents the best damn processor Intel has come out with in the last six years. What more could you want? It’s got six cores and twelve threads, more computing power than most users would ever need. But I have to hand it to AMD though, without AMD Ryzen nipping at Intel’s heels I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the 8700K would have been just another four core, eight thread processor; same as the old. It’s funny, now that we have competition in the processor space with AMD back in the headlines, PC sales have shown some actual growth. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be because there’s some actual improvements with actual new processors from Intel and not just the same warmed over crap that they’ve been shoveling our way for the last eight years? Yeah… I think so.

I love my new 8700K based system, it positively kicks ass in every way and chews through every computing task that I can hand this thing with ease. Thank you Intel, thank you for actually getting off your butts and putting out something that was worthwhile to upgrade to.

Stepping away from DSLReports.com

I’m stepping away from DSLReports.com, if you ask me the DSLReports community has turned extremely toxic as of late. There’s a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) along with paranoia going on in that community. Any time there’s some kind of program that even makes the slightest of outgoing communication the entire community jumps onto the FUD bandwagon and claims that they have to be spying on us.

Now don’t get me wrong, there have been real situations where spying has taken place and I have brought this up but only after some research into it to back up my claim. See the front page article regarding Microsoft telemetry as an example. That’s a real example. The same can be said about Google Android as well which I refer to it as Google’s spying Trojan horse.

My problem is that as soon as there’s any tiny sign of outgoing communication people around DSLReports jump onboard the “It must be spying!” bandwagon. The paranoia is festering on that site. Does anyone want facts? Nope, we don’t need no stinkin’ facts just as long the story fits the site’s paranoid narrative.

So I’m stepping away. It may be a long time until I go back, I may never go back to that site. People need to chill out, not everyone is spying.

Windows 10 Diagnostic Data

OK so I did some deep diving into the app Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer that’s part of the new Windows 10 Fast Ring Build that was released recently and to be honest, it was an eye-opening experience.

If I am using the app correctly (and I most likely am) there is a toggle that will show you what is being collected and sent based upon the diagnostic level you have chosen (Basic vs Full). After seeing some of the data that’s being sent to Microsoft I would suggest that everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE changes their diagnostic mode to Basic. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200… CHANGE IT TO BASIC RIGHT NOW!!! I’m not even kidding here!

Now onto why. Oh man, yeah… this is a doozy even by my standards. So I opened Microsoft Edge and went to my web site, closed Microsoft Edge, and then launched the Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer app and did a search for a String in the data containing my domain name. Much to my horror, it was there!!! And worst of all, it was being sent to Microsoft as part of a sampling group. Microsoft even told me that my system was part of the sample group. Now I don’t know if this system is part of the sample group because I am running a Fast Ring build. No, I don’t use this system for every day usage; it’s only a VM for testing purposes.

With all of that said, I then toggled the mode to Basic meaning it would show only the data that your system is sending if your system was set to Basic mode and sure enough, the most damning of data was not included in the data set. Let me repeat that… in Basic mode the most damning of data was NOT included in the data set. Below are links to the two data sets.

Basic Mode Data
Full Mode Data

As you can see between the Basic Mode and the Full Mode that the Full Diagnostic Mode collects and sends a hell of a lot more data than Basic Diagnostic Mode. I have uploaded both files for people to see exactly what is being collected and sent to Microsoft.

Let’s just put it this way… if you have any want for privacy, even a little bit, Full Diagnostic Mode is DEFINITELY something you want to avoid like the plague!

Identity Politics

I usually don’t write about politics here because it usually ends up in nothing more than a series of insults being traded between one another in the comment section. I feel I have to write this because of the current political climate in the United States.

First of all, I voted for Trump. There, I said it! But you know what? I WANT MY VOTE BACK! I have realized that we have made a huge mistake voting this person into the highest office in the land. He is the equivalent of a man-child, everything negative said about him no matter how small it may be provokes him into going into a Twitter rant. That is completely unbecoming of the President of the United States let alone any leader no matter what position he or she holds. A leader needs to know when to simply brush something off their shoulders as if it doesn’t matter. Now I’m not saying that he shouldn’t defend himself but the way he has been defending himself lately reminds me of a four year old in a temper tantrum.

The people on the extreme Left (one of the commenters below pointed this distinction out to me) likes to call anyone on the Right as a White Nationalist. They can’t stand the idea that many on the right want to put America first. They also call anyone on the Right bigots, sexists, and whatever other -ist word you can come up with. I’m going to set the record straight here… Not everyone on the Right are like that, I certainly am not. Yes I believe that America and her people should be put first before the needs of other nations. Why that is a problem I have no idea. Shouldn’t it be a nation’s job to stand up for her citizens? Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with that!

Now onto the subject of my post here, Identity Politics. Titles. Yes, titles. It’s the thing that separates us more than what unites us. Every single person living in the United States is an American. But a lot of people like to put words in front of the word “American” like Puerto Rican American, African American, Asian American, Polish American (my grandmother thinks of herself as that), Spanish American, Mexican American, and so on and so forth. Yes, those words in front of the word “American” are titles and they serve as nothing more than something to separate us, to keep as fighting with each other. Here is an idea… let’s drop those titles.

Instead of Puerto Rican American, call yourself an American.
Instead of African American, call yourself an American.
Instead of Asian American, call yourself an American.
Instead of Polish American, call yourself an American.
Instead of Spanish American, call yourself an American.
Instead of Mexican American, call yourself an American.

See what I just did there? I dropped the title in front of the word “American”.

I bet you are asking why I did that? And I know, many people in those groups are going to start screaming bloody murder because of what I just said above but I want you to sit there and ask yourself two simple questions. Why does it bother you so much? Why do you cling to the old titles? Those titles serve only as a way to separate us, to keep as fighting with each other. There is far more that unites us rather than what divides us, or at least, there should be. And what is that reason? One word… American. We are all Americans, it doesn’t matter where you came from, we are all Americans. If we as society can only learn to drop the titles, the things that separate us, we will finally be able to unite all of ourselves under one flag, one nation, one people. The United States of America. Then, and only then, will we have the harmony that I truly believe America can have.

We are all Americans, remember that next time you approach someone of a different race. Put that aside and embrace that person not as a different race but as a fellow American. That is how you create harmony, that is how you unite us all under one common cause.

I know that this isn’t going to be easy, it’s probably going to be the hardest thing that society will ever try to do. For decades the idea of holding onto your cultural identity was seen as the thing to do if you were from somewhere else. Things like how you celebrate holidays, family traditions, etc. I’m not at all saying that you should throw those things that make you who you are away, no… that’s not what I’m saying at all. Unfortunately some people are going to think that I’m referring to that kind of stuff but that’s not true. You can still hold onto your cultural heritage while uniting with everyone else as one people in this great nation of ours.

Oh, and while we’re at it… let’s get rid of Right and Left, Democrat and Republican.

Wow Microsoft… just wow.

So I’m sitting here writing some code in .NET and I have myself a File System Watcher in my code to check if a file has been changed and if it has, it’s supposed to load the file and process any changes. In this case, it’s a log file and if the log file changes anywhere else in the program the log viewing window should reload it. Seems right? Yes.

OK, so now onto the bug. Apparently there’s a bug in which the File System Watcher will fire off multiple file changed events one after another even though there was only one change to one file. Yes, that’s right. Multiple events.

So here’s the code…

Of you want a VB.NET example…