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InitialsDiceBear„Initials” ( by „DiceBear”, licensed under „CC0 1.0” (
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HP bricks ProBook laptops with bad BIOS delivered via automatic updates — many users face black screen after Windows pushes new firmware
  • It's pretty ridiculous not to have a way of recovering from a failed update.

    On my desktop, I just have to plug a flash drive with the BIOS image into a specific USB port and press a button on the motherboard. It doesn't matter if the BIOS is broken and it doesn't even require a CPU or RAM to be installed.

  • EVs Could Last Nearly Forever—If Car Companies Let Them
  • The LEDs will also fail from overheating. LED bulbs don't last long in fully enclosed fixtures that were designed for incandescent bulbs.

    If the bulb starts flickering, that's usually a bond wire failure in an LED. When the LED heats up the bond wire loses connection and it will reconnect when it cools down again. The LEDs are in series, so if one fails, the entire bulb goes out. Flickering can also be caused by a capacitor failure in a switch mode supply, but most LED bulbs use linear regulators with a high voltage series string of LEDs now, which also increases the chance of a bond wire failure.

    The early LED bulbs that cost a fortune had huge aluminum heat sinks to keep them cool. The few that I had all lasted until the LEDs got dim.

  • Physical Media (Blu-Ray, Music CDs)
  • I always rip my CDs and blurays so I can stream them from my server. It's much more convenient and I don't have to worry about the disks getting scratched. The disks are only used as a backup or if I want to re rip with a different video codec in the future.

    I will not buy digital media if access can be taken away from me.

  • 512MB ram is nothing now
  • I used to run a GUI on a Raspberry Pi B+ and it was doable, but that was a decade ago and many programs have gotten a lot more bloated since then. Of course if you are just running your own software, you can optimize it to run with very little RAM.

  • Linux on old School Machines?
  • If the machine has 4GB of RAM, then MATE, XFCE, LXDE, and LXQT will work well. I've used all of them on older computers. The distro doesn't really matter. If it has 8GB of RAM or more, it will run any DE you want to use.

    If the machine has less than 4GB of RAM and can't be upgraded, it's not going to be very useful. Sure, you can put a lightweight window manager on them, but they are not going to run a web browser well. They could still be used for teaching students how to install Linux though.

  • I got another oscilloscope from a ham fest.

    I picked this little scope up from the Seapac swap meet a week and a half ago for $3. It turns out that all it needed was some contact cleaner to get it working again.

    This is a portable scope that can run from 12V DC as well as an internal battery. I don't have the battery for it, but I could probably put some 18650's in there if I disable the built in charger.