Dave Garrett

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About Dave Garrett

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    Groove Merchant

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  • Location Texas

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  1. Computer Gurus: Computer Basics

    Hardcopy computer reference books are notorious for becoming outdated quickly, and I say that as someone who's sitting next to a bookcase full of them as I type this. Probably better to find online resources/references for basic stuff - perhaps something even more streamlined like this quick reference card for Windows 10 might be useful: https://www.customguide.com/cheat_sheets/windows-10-quick-reference.pdf For specific questions, I've rarely failed to find the answer to a technical question by simply Googling the question or several targeted keywords. You'd be surprised how often even IT professionals turn to Google to figure something out. You don't need to memorize everything when you've mastered the ability to locate relevant information quickly.
  2. Post a pic

    Must be part of Pizza Rat's posse.
  3. Do you wear a watch?

    I've always considered watches to be jewelry. I've never been big on jewelry, but when I still worked in a formal office environment, I wore a watch, a wedding ring, and a college ring. I haven't worn anything but a wedding ring for the past several years, as I primarily work from home and telecommute now.
  4. Ginger Baker (1939 - 2019)

  5. A couple of sites that have general guidelines: https://success.highfive.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001923611-Recommended-TV-Picture-Settings-all-brands- https://www.rtings.com/tv/learn/how-to-calibrate-your-tv There are other sites out there that have ballpark settings for specific TVs - they can usually be found by Googling the specific manufacturer and model of a TV and "recommended settings". Going a bit further, there are several calibration discs that can be used to fine-tune things with more precision than generic recommended settings. Spears & Munsil has one for UHD/4K displays: https://www.amazon.com/Spears-Munsil-Benchmark-Blu-ray-Disc/dp/B07Q2KBDKV Note the reviews which point out that you have to get the detailed instructions for use from S&M's website as there's no documentation included with the disc. S&M also had an earlier version for 1080p displays (Disney's WOW and Digital Video Essentials were two other 1080p calibration discs that were generally well-regarded). Using one of these discs will get you about as far as you can go short of hiring an ISF-certified professional to calibrate your TV.
  6. aka the "soap opera effect", hence the shot live to video look. I haven't made the leap to 4K yet - still using a 1080p plasma panel. When I bought it, the first thing I did upon setting it up was to turn off motion smoothing and crank the torch-level brightness and jacked-up sharpness settings way down. Those changes alone probably got it to within 80% of what a professional calibration could accomplish.
  7. I've never been a fan of the near-religious devotion espoused by both Mac and Windows camps. Use the proper tool for the job at hand, and if there are two reasonably equivalent alternatives, well, then it comes down to personal preference. The first desktop computer I ever bought 30 years ago was a high-end Mac IIx. It was eye-wateringly expensive, and wound up getting stolen a year or two after I got it when my apartment was burglarized. Ever since then, I've owned Windows machines, mainly because they've usually been a lot cheaper than Macs, particularly when you build your own machines, as I did for a long time. When it comes to phones, my first smartphone was an iPhone 3G, and I've been sold on iPhones ever since. None of the things that tend to perturb Android devotees about Apple's hardware and OS (non-user-serviceable battery, no ability to add storage via memory cards, limited user control over the filesystem, etc.) have ever really been an issue to me. Having worked in IT professionally, I can tell you that most of the network and infrastructure guys I've known have been solidly in the Android camp due to Android's vastly superior access to nuts-and-bolts configuration settings within the OS by end-users, but again, that has yet to really be a deal-breaker issue for me. As with many other things, it's frequently a matter of what one is already used to and comfortable with.
  8. I think you've got the right idea as far as the 11 being the "sweet spot" of Apple's newly-revamped lineup. If you don't need (or want) the top-of-the-line camera or OLED screen, the 11 provides a lot more bang for the buck than the Pro models, just like the XR did in last year's lineup. I'll admit to being awfully tempted by OLED screens every time I look at one, but so far not enough to pay the required premium to get one. mjzee's advice is spot on. I'd just add that if you're not under contract with a carrier, you may want to think about buying the phone from an Apple Store instead of an AT&T-affiliated store, particularly if you intend to purchase an AppleCare plan. Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program includes interest-free financing of the phone over a 2-year period and AppleCare, and if you choose to do so, you can trade in your phone and upgrade to a new one every year, otherwise you own it outright after the two-year note is paid up. It's a pretty good deal even if you don't intend to upgrade, now that carriers no longer heavily subsidize the cost of phones the way they used to. I have a 3-year-old 7 with 128GB and will probably replace it with an 11 this year. I almost bought an XR last year, but wound up procrastinating long enough that I eventually figured I'd just wait until this year's new models were released. I used to always be bumping up against the memory limit with older iPhones I've had with less memory (32GB and 64GB), but haven't gotten close to doing so with this one, however, I don't store a lot of music on it either, mainly just apps, photos, videos, and ebooks. Oh, and the ability to read/reset trouble codes in my car's ECU using my phone is a function I can't live without, but I'm damn sure not paying a carrier a monthly subscription cost to do so. I use the OBD Fusion app and a $20 OBD II wi-fi dongle I got from Amazon that plugs into my car's data port. Arguably of questionable utility with a relatively new car that rarely throws codes, but for those of us with older cars it's a godsend.
  9. Patti Smith

    Ran across this interesting 2015 piece from the Voice on Twitter earlier today: A Step-By-Step Walk Through ‘Just Kids’ and Patti Smith’s New York
  10. No value?

    This is certainly true (and it's why most of the Blu-rays I buy are non-mainstream titles that aren't available on any streaming service), but streaming is in its relative infancy now, and it's invariably the case that whenever a new format/delivery method comes along, whether audio or video, it's always the warhorses that get released initially. It takes time for a format to mature, but once it does, that's when the esoterica starts becoming available. Also, consider that for every audio format since the dawn of recorded music, there have always been titles that never wind up getting released on a newer format once it supersedes the previous one. Think about the music that was only available on wax cylinders and hasn't been made available again since then. Or 78s. Or LPs (God knows *that* list is near-endless). Or CDs. And inevitably, there will at some point be music that has only been released as a digital file, or via a streaming service. 'Twas ever thus.
  11. No value?

    I'd venture that the fact that studios don't "allow" DVDs to be ripped to a server has stopped very few film buffs with home servers, and they're not losing any sleep over the legal ramifications of doing so. Yes, there's a bit more involved than there is when ripping a CD, but it's still not an overly complicated process. I don't think studios care much about DVD or Blu-ray sales anymore - as an example, look no further than the drastic staffing cuts in the home video divisions of practically all the major studios over the past couple of years. The studio heads are probably almost rubbing their hands with unrestrained glee, because the ascendance of streaming and the accelerating obsolescence of physical media will allow them to return to a pre-VCR model where they once again have near-complete control over how, when, where, and how often movies are viewed, and consumers that want to gain and maintain access are forced to pay a subscription fee. The studios thus gain a recurring per-user revenue stream in perpetuity, instead of the one-time purchase of a physical disc. The big software companies like Microsoft and Adobe are well ahead of the studios in this regard, having shifted their cash-cow applications from one-time license purchases to the monthly/annual subscription model over the past few years. Many people hate subscriptions, but enough of them capitulate that it more than offsets the lost revenue from those who refuse to do so. The same thing will happen with movies, probably even more so as people are acclimating quickly to the idea of streaming services as a (for now) less-expensive alternative to cable television.
  12. Play ball! 2019 MLB season thread

    Ran across this SI piece a couple of weeks ago about a particular aspect of the game I was almost totally ignorant of: Mud Maker: The Man Behind MLB’s Essential Secret Sauce
  13. FWIW, Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, just acquired Tumblr a couple of weeks ago. Not sure if that'll eventually mean more integration between the two platforms or not, but either way Tumblr's certain to be in better hands than it was with Yahoo/Verizon.
  14. Post a pic

  15. Anton Webern's genitals

    I couldn't resist the urge to see what Google would turn up related to the search string "Anton Webern's genitals". I wish that I could report that an impressive amount of rarefied genito-musical depravity was the result, but sadly, the only two hits of substance were this post and your similar one at rmcr.