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Other What Makes Your Life, Meh?

Discussion in 'General' started by Mr_Mistoffelees, 10 Aug 2023.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I can go one better: I haven't even had to port my number, 'cos I'm too lazy to change networks. Had this number since before Sony got together with Ericsson - my first phone was one of those with the extendible plastic antenna which I'm fairly certain did nothing but make you feel better about the terrible reception you were getting...
     
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  2. ElThomsono

    ElThomsono Multimodder

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    Lol, the pair of you locked in at two guineas per annum for unlimited wireless telegraphy.
     
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  3. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I have now changed it from a mobile number to my secondary email account. Problem is? still takes 30 days. Ah well, I just need not to mess with it any more now.
     
  4. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    Had that set up for a while, ever since I was offered a “password-free” account (no password ever needed, it just pings for 2FA on the registered device).

    I need MS Authenticator set up for work accounts anyway, so I’m used to managing Authenticator apps.
     
  5. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    This... unholy abomination... of cables.

    [​IMG]

    (that second Type-C on the Macbook is a troubleshooting thing that's strictly temporary)

    My desk shares three devices: gaming PC, mini PC for non-gaming, and Macbook Pro for work. I want a simple solution to swap peripherals and, in the case of the latter two, displays between machines. (The gaming PC can have its own permanently-wired display cables because that machine is only disconnected to move it. And in case you're wondering why a second PC for non-gaming duties, it's a question of idle power consumption - the gaming PC's idle power draw is roughly an order of magnitude greater than the mini PC.)

    I do not want to plug/unplug a million cables every day when I put away the work laptop - I preferably want One Cable To Rule Them All. I've had the Dell WD19TB dock for a few years and, until the mini PC entered the scene, it worked fine. One Cable To Rule Them All (power, displays, peripherals) for when I'm using the Macbook, and one peripheral cable for when I'm using the gaming PC.

    Even though this Macbook's chip (M2 Pro) can apparently support 2x 4K 60Hz independent (i.e. not mirrored) hardware-accelerated displays via Thunderbolt 3, it cannot use two video output ports on this dock. Dell claims that this is because macOS does not have support for MST - DisplayPort multi-stream transport. Instead you have to connect the second display either directly to the Macbook (nope - violates the One Cable To Rule Them All directive), or use the dock's Type-C Thunderbolt "passthrough" port. So, OK, fine - one monitor via HDMI, the other via DP-over-Type-C to HDMI, both plugged into the dock - job done.

    Enter the mini PC, the Asus PN50, which does not support Thunderbolt because it's a Zen2 APU. It does support DP over USB Type-C, so I can use two monitors via the Dell dock. Except it can't use that "passthrough" port on the dock to drive a display - because it doesn't support Thunderbolt and that "passthrough" port is a Thunderbolt port. It has to use any two of the three available display connectors on the dock - if I use 2x HDMI then it drives both monitors just fine.

    I cannot leave the 2x HDMI and the DP-Over-Type-C-to-HDMI cables all plugged in to the dock at the same time when using the mini PC - the PC freaks out and keeps making the "device disconnected" noise until I unplug the Type-C-to-HDMI from the dock.

    I cannot leave the 2x HDMI and the DP-Over-Type-C-to-HDMI cables all plugged in to the dock at the same time when using the Macbook - it freaks out about which displays it should be using and ends up disconnecting the secondary display.

    Why did Type-C have to be so godsdamn complicated?! Couldn't we just leave it as a godsdamn data bus?! You know... something like a Universal Serial Bus?!
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2024
  6. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    As you've got three machines to two monitors, this might not be what you're after - but it's neat anyway, and it could be of use in conjunction with a traditional KVM: The DeskHop.

    Y'know software like Barrier and Synergy, where you can share a keyboard and mouse between two machines over the network? Well... this is kinda that, except it happens entirely in hardware. You hook the thing up to both machines, and when your mouse hits the edge of the screen on the first it immediately jumps to the second. Entirely invisible to the host - if your machine understands USB HID, it'll work.
     
  7. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    HMRC - you don;t need to submit a tax return
    Also HMRC - you need to submit a tax return we'll fine you £100 if you don;t

    so one SA100 later... that's 3 minutes of my life i'm never getting back
     
  8. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    That's a great looking piece of kit, but sadly probably won't fit what I need. I disconnect my work laptop and put it away when I finish, it helps to maintain a disconnect between "work mode" and "fun mode".

    A more traditional KVM was what I thought of when lockdowns first struck, but finding a reliable KVM supporting multiple DP1.4 connections is not an easy task - especially if you want one that actually works. The YouTube channel Level1Techs has released a range of KVMs that do exactly that and are reported to be extremely reliable - the catch is that they are not cheap. The model for 2 displays and 4 PCs starts at $699 - $759 if you want USB3 10gig. Wanna go a bit cheaper? The 2 display/2 PC version starts at $449 (again, more for USB3 10gig).

    That's a "no" from me, dawg...
     
  9. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    More computer woes...

    Bought a Thinkpad T490 from eBay a year ago. Immediately wiped it and installed Pop!_OS. Great little machine with decent specs, served me very well.

    Sold it on here a while back, and right as I was wiping & installing Win11 for the buyer I noticed the dead pixel. I use dark modes frequently, I'd totally forgotten that it even had a dead pixel. Refunded the buyer and I removed it from sale.

    Came to re-install it at the weekend because, actually, it would be handy to have a laptop to use now and then. Decided to use Win10 this time instead of Pop!_OS or some other Linux distro. Once re-installed I was presented with this:

    [​IMG]

    Huh.

    Created a new install USB, wiped TPM and all other secure keys stored in BIOS/UEFI, wiped the drive again, and re-installed again. Same thing: wants me to log in to a BT Plc account.

    WTF...?

    I've since learned that this can happen when a corporate device is not fully removed from Azure AD, or Intune, or whatever the hell it's called. Once you've set up the internet connection during the install process, Windows "phones home" to Microsoft with a device identifier (service tag, asset tag, hardware ID hash, something similar) to see if it's already registered somewhere; in my case it seems that Microsoft reported this machine as belonging to BT Plc, and so presented me with the BT Plc OOBE. There's no way to stop this unless that company removes this device from Intune (or whatever).

    The eBay seller I bought this from has now deleted their account (or had their account deleted by eBay).

    Soooo... was this thing stolen, or.....? It's probably more likely that some underpaid and overworked IT admin just didn't remove the machine from their device portal before sending it off for recycling, but I've got no way of knowing that for certain.

    I'll double-check the BIOS/UEFI settings again, but I think I'll have to go back to some kind of Linux distro for now!
     
    Last edited: 8 Feb 2024
  10. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I had similar crap the other day, only with my own account.
     
  11. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    "Sorry we missed you," says DPD. "Your parcel will now be delivered to your nearest Pickup Shop."

    First, you didn't miss me. And I can prove it, 'cos I had a parcel delivered by a different driver just 20 minutes prior... from DPD. There's a photo of the door open and someone receiving the parcel and everything.

    Second, that's not my nearest Pickup Shop. In fact, by your own map, it's the fourth nearest - 1.7 miles to 0.2 miles for the actual nearest. I'm not carrying a 10kg dehumidifier 1.7 miles on foot.

    Couriers, eh?
     
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  12. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    I guess DPD doesn't stand for "Delivers Personal Dehumidifiers"
     
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  13. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    Ugh, bloody DPD…

    I’ve got bike gear to return to SportsBikeShop, but I can’t get the parcel to a drop-off store to use their free returns service. So I pay for it myself with DPD and book a collection from the house. This cost me £25, but I’ll happily pay it.

    Dude was supposed to be here between 0900-1000 yesterday. Not long after 9 I saw the DPD van pull into my street… and leave again after about 15-20 mins. No big deal, might be a separate van for collections. Still nothing by 1100, so I check the tracking:

    [​IMG]

    The driver is a liar, because nobody even attempted to come to the door. My doorbell pings my phone when someone rings it, my doorbell pings my phone when someone approaches the door, and furthermore I can damn well see the street from where I sit at my desk. I’d have damn well known if someone had come to the door.

    I’ve re-booked it for today and they’re due within the hour. It’s the same driver as yesterday though, so I fully expect him to just lie to me again.
     
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  14. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    Sometimes, you have to go full Karen on these companies.
     
  15. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    The muppet actually turned up about 10 minutes after my little rant :grin:

    Had they failed to collect a second time, I’d have gone back to DPD for refund and let Royal Mail handle it instead.
     
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  16. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    upload_2024-2-11_10-25-52.png

    How?! It's months away!
     
  17. yuusou

    yuusou Multimodder

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  18. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Half the point of the holiday was giving the kids their first experience on a plane. It's not too bad, though - we've rebooked on a flight a few hours later.
     
  19. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    Maybe they lost their slot at one airport or the other, for reasons?
     
  20. Yaka

    Yaka Multimodder

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    picked up a way nasty bug, cant seem to be rid of it, everything attached to my head aches. and its frigging boring not being able to do or read anything.
    my blurry vision has just about gone so thats the only positive thing this past 9 days
     

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