guest - flak

razer blade stealth

I tried out a new laptop.


I’m actually very happy with my 2015 Thinkpad X1 Carbon. But as I slowly adopt more USB-C devices, I would like to consolidate on that as a charger format. USB-C laptops have been available for a while, but in the wake of meltdown, I saw no reason to purchase anything that wasn’t fixed. Finally, my gaming desktop is also in a satisfactory but aging state, and the possibility to replace it with a laptop and eGPU is enticing.

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Posted 2018-12-22 22:16:39 by tedu Updated: 2018-12-24 04:04:46
Tagged: computers review

surface pro

Decided to go full dark side. A few notes about the new Surface Pro and my setup. Until yesterday Amazon was telling me that my order would ship on the 15th to arrive perhaps next week, but then miraculously it shipped and arrived all in the same day. So about a day of playing with it.

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Posted 2017-06-16 06:45:44 by tedu Updated: 2017-06-30 04:49:31
Tagged: computers review windows

samsung chromebook plus

Apple announced a new iPad today, so I bought a chromebook. Actually, I bought it a few days ago; it just happened to arrive today. It’s a 2 in 1 flip around touchscreen tablet laptop all in wonder. I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently on my other chromebook, but sometimes I wish the keyboard would just go away. And when I’m reading on an iPad, I wish I had a keyboard. Technology is all about convergence, right? Bring on the singularity.

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Posted 2017-03-21 20:46:37 by tedu Updated: 2017-06-16 01:41:42
Tagged: computers review

Mini Metro

A fun iPhone (and many more) game. Your job is to build and manage an ever growing subway system, until eventually unhappy riders revolt. The gameplay is fairly simple, with very few different types of resource to manage, but each play through is different. I’m still working out a few strategies, but just when I think I’ve nailed it, I’ll get an uncooperative map. It’s both like and unlike Flight Control. In many ways better. More variation. The intensity builds up over time, but it never demands unblinking concentration. More strategy than action. The game strikes a very good balance between abstraction and realism. Station types and passengers are just shapes like circle and square, but it’s easy to imagine them as residential and commercial districts.
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Posted 2016-11-14 20:01:17 by tedu Updated: 2016-11-14 20:07:19
Tagged: games review

HP Chromebook 13

Finally got a chromebook. I was interested in the HP Chromebook 13 since it was first announced as a kind of cheaper Pixel. But then it spent several months on HP’s out of stock list. Now it’s back.

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Posted 2016-07-10 14:35:28 by tedu Updated: 2016-08-21 22:19:34
Tagged: computers review

iphone 6s plus

Replaced my 5s with the new top of the line, 6s plus. Kind of an awkward name. I propose 7P and 7Ps for the next gen.

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Posted 2015-10-30 01:44:46 by tedu Updated: 2015-10-30 01:44:46
Tagged: gadget review

Zenbook UX305

Another new laptop to play with, the ASUS Zenbook UX305 (or UX305F sometimes). I’m a little late to the party, these have been available for some time. Amazon had a $100 rebate off the regular price, which puts it at pretty fair price I think ($599). I was looking for a second laptop, one specifically to serve as a “second” laptop, to run Windows when I wanted, etc. My laptop lifecycle seems to involve running Windows for a bit, then eventually giving up and installing OpenBSD. I’ve spent the day playing with this thing, so here are some early thoughts. It’s not my intention to use this laptop as a primary machine (although one could), but I think I’ve gotten a feel for what it would be like. The Anand Tech review is more complete than here.

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Posted 2015-10-07 01:55:54 by tedu Updated: 2015-10-20 02:56:39
Tagged: computers review

cheap earbuds

I consume earbuds at a fairly constant rate. They get lost, or washed, or fall apart. And then I need new ones. Unlike the collection of large headphones, or “cans” if you will, that I’ve accumulated over the course of ten years without casualty, earbuds are practically disposable. So I don’t like paying a lot of money for them. Nevertheless, I want a product with some level of quality.

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Posted 2015-09-19 22:03:40 by tedu Updated: 2016-08-24 01:17:55
Tagged: gadget review

Indego - Philly bike share review

Joining the ranks of bike share programs in other cities, Indego is Philadelphia’s version. The basic concept is the same and pretty simple. You check out a bicycle from one of many kiosks located about the city, ride around, then return it to an empty dock when done. The program is manufactured by B-cycle but owned by Philadelphia; it’s similar but not identical to programs in other cities, such as Austin or Denver.

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Posted 2015-07-09 14:56:51 by tedu Updated: 2015-07-09 14:56:51
Tagged: business philly review

OpenBSD 5.7 highlights

The OpenBSD 5.7 release is still a month away, but the changes have been done for some time. The release page lists lots of changes, though certainly not all, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the big changes from the small changes. Annoying perhaps, but rewarding to someone who reads through the entire list looking for hidden gems. A few notes about changes I found personally interesting.

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Posted 2015-04-01 02:47:00 by tedu Updated: 2015-04-09 18:36:48
Tagged: openbsd review software

Godus review

A short review of Godus, iPad edition. It’s a modern update of Populus, one of my Super Nintendo favorites. You squish the earth around, let your idiotic worshippers build homes, and rain destruction on the blasphemous other tribe. It’s fun, especially to start, but then starts slowing down and running into some serious limitations.

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Posted 2015-01-05 17:15:08 by tedu Updated: 2015-02-03 08:54:27
Tagged: games review

iPad Air review

Very early thoughts. Upgraded from the iPad 4 because that was too heavy. Almost went with the new iPad Mini, but reading magazines is a primary use case for me and I wanted something that more closely matched a real magazine in size. Also, the Mini isn’t shipping yet while the Air is sitting on my lap.

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Posted 2013-11-05 21:40:31 by tedu Updated: 2013-11-14 15:33:47
Tagged: gadget review

Brother HL-3170CDW printer review

I bought a new printer, the Brother HL-3170CDW (sometimes stylized HL3170CDW, as on Amazon). It’s a small office color laser, with all the doodads (wireless, ethernet, duplex, color). I didn’t really need it, the HL-2070N black and white printer I’ve had for several years now was working fine, but every once in a while I wondered if I’d find use for a color printer. Maybe I was making due with B&W because that’s all that was available, and having a color printer would unleash a creative blast of fancy greeting cards. I mulled it over for a few years, but then the price briefly hit $170 on Amazon. Done.

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Posted 2013-10-10 22:27:48 by tedu Updated: 2013-10-10 22:27:48
Tagged: gadget review

roku three

Got the new Roku 3. I had the very first original Roku (video player) from not long after it came out, then the upgraded XD model which honestly changed just about nothing. The model 3 is significantly improved.

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Posted 2013-05-15 06:15:51 by tedu Updated: 2013-05-15 06:15:51
Tagged: gadget review

Panic Prompt ssh client

One of the things I used to like about my phone was the fact that it didn’t have an ssh client. Going to a bar and drinking is a great accompaniment to reading about obscure server config tweaks, but less ideal a place for trying them out. I count the inability to screw things up as a feature. But then I wrote a mail system in ruby which required 24/7 care and feeding, and suddenly I couldn’t leave the house without a baby monitor.

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Posted 2013-04-30 17:00:32 by tedu Updated: 2013-04-30 17:00:32
Tagged: review software

m4 msata upgrade and OpenBSD

When my T430s arrived, OpenBSD didn’t yet support Sandy/Ivy Bridge graphics, so I stuck with Windows and OpenBSD in VMWare. Things change and now I want to run OpenBSD natively. I’m using TrueCrypt on the whole drive and trying to resize that while introducing another boot loader seemed a risky proposition, so I cheated a little by taking advantage of my laptop’s mSATA port and installed a 64GB Crucial m4 mSATA SSD, a trivial upgrade.

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Posted 2013-04-25 15:58:28 by tedu Updated: 2013-04-25 16:05:21
Tagged: computers gadget openbsd review

it’s a hard turk life

I signed up for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service a little while ago. As a worker. My theory was, I’m sitting around watching Glee, but there’s all this plot and drama stuff I don’t care about happening between the Journey song performances. I could read or code or something, but then I get sucked into that and miss the song. A micro tasklet I could complete in a few seconds sounded like just the thing, and making five cents a minute was five cents more than I normally make watching TV.

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Posted 2013-03-07 19:28:20 by tedu Updated: 2013-03-07 19:35:22
Tagged: business review