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

Apple iOS and Sideloading, a mistake of galactic proportions…

Yes, I’m going to go there so hang out… it’s going to be a wild ride.

First of all, I am, in fact, a traditional computer user. I’ve been using computers since the early days of computers. We’re talking back when Windows 3.1(11111) for Workgroups was the cat’s nuts. I remember tweaking autoexec.bat and config.sys files and feeling like I was playing with arcane magics. I remember playing with DIP switches on the motherboard and daughterboards to manually set IRQs back before we had such fancy things like Plug-and-Play. I remember dealing with IRQ conflicts and all the headbanging against the wall hell that came with it. I remember DLLHell with Windows 95 where if you installed one program it might install a version of a DLL that’s newer than that of another program might expect and thus program number one might not work. Yes, I was around for it all. I even have a fully tricked out gaming PC with RGB-puke spewing out of his glass-paneled desktop case. I built my own systems by going to Microcenter, buying parts, and lovingly putting them together with my own two hands.

However, I also know that this kind of ecosystem and environment isn’t for everyone. Even as an experienced computer user, I see the pitfalls of it. We’re talking about everything from viruses, to malware, to ransomware, and every God damned piece of shit in between. I know how to handle it; I know how to keep myself safe. But I also know that I am, in fact, in a very small minority of computer users. Most computer users don’t have any idea what they’re doing and I’m not saying that as an insult. These people may be doctors, lawyers, scientists, and other various professions that represent a level of genius that I can’t even hope to imagine being. But you know what? While they might be geniuses in the own right, they have no want to have to deal with knowing how to use and to keep a computer safe and secure and their data out of the hands of bad guys.

This is where Apple iOS comes in. It represents what is essentially a console in your hand. It holds your hand everywhere you go. It allows you to download apps, run them, and otherwise be safe and secure in the idea that your system and your data on it will be safe. If you want to remove/uninstall an app, you really don’t have to think about it; you just hold your finger on the app icon until it starts to jiggle and click the X overlay and boom, it’s… gone. No worrying if an uninstaller left something behind that might come back to haunt you later. No worrying if a piece of it is still there taking up disk space on your system. When you remove an app on iOS it truly is gone.

On Windows, Linux, and yes… even MacOS, this is not true for these represent traditional computers. And let’s be honest with ourselves here, Windows is a virus/malware filled cesspool of filth. I, as a traditional computer user, have to be on guard all the time to make sure that nothing happens to my system or the data that’s on it. I have to be ever vigilant of what will come down the pipe and threaten everything that I have on my system. Meanwhile, I have my iPhone where I don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff. I can (largely) throw caution to the wind and just use it.

As for sideloading on iOS… I’m sorry, I don’t agree. Sideloading will, in fact, open a door into an otherwise secure system built for people who largely don’t know and don’t care to know how to use a computer and once that door is open, it will open it up for all kinds of garbage and filth and it’ll never be able to be closed. Oh, but you can say that you can turn the option off. Yes, but if the option is there, it can be abused, exploited, and otherwise used against the user. Basically, I’m saying that sideloading has no business on iOS. Period.

Chapters 5 and 6…

Chapters 5 and 6 of the second book of the Space 2315 saga have (finally) been posted.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

I can finally say that I have had a shot of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Well, here’s my critique. It’s good. I’m not denying that it’s good. However, is it as good as the price tag would suggest? Not by a long shot. It’s smooth, real smooth; but in a way, it’s too smooth. There’s hardly any definition to it. With that being said, I’d rather stick to Johnnie Walker Black Label. It’s cheaper, a whole lot cheaper, but if you ask me it’s better. A high price tag doesn’t mean that it’s going to be good.

Disabled CloudFlare…

I had to disable CloudFlare on this web site, it was messing up a lot of things like renewing my Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the how and why it wasn’t working. Not only that but there were a lot of things that the free plan that I was using didn’t allow me to do and that I’d have to upgrade paid services and for a web site that generates me no money, I can’t see myself as wanting to put the money into that level of CloudFlare service. The free CloudFlare plan is just too restrictive for me. For instance, I wanted it to cache dynamic pages since WordPress pages are dynamically generated and oh yeah, you need to pay for that! Nope. That’s not going to happen.

Everything has gone back to the default name servers to get this site back up and running.

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.