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May 2019
Misc Pics (41 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 24-May-2019  14:08:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

New toy is here! Thanks to Doc-of-FC this week:

Wednesday Lunchtime (16 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 22-May-2019  12:49:00 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Waiting for my new laptop to turn up.. my precioouusssss..

One of the internet's furry celebrities, Grumpycat, has died. A statement says she died on Tuesday following complications from a recent urinary tract infection. The cat from Arizona had "helped millions of people smile". Grumpy, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, went viral in 2012 after photographs of her sour expression emerged online. Her image quickly spread as a meme.

Matt noticed Apple have refreshed the MacBook Pro line with new CPUs and, probably more importantly, an updated keyboard which hopefully addresses the faults of the current one. This marks the fourth generation of the butterfly keyboard that has divided users and seen some widely publicized hardware failures that resulted in an ongoing repair program from Apple. Apple claimed significant improvements to reliability in the third generation that shipped with laptops introduced in 2018, but users continued to report issues.

Google have restricted Android on Huawei devices following the US Government's sanctions against the company. Existing Huawei smartphone users will be able to update apps and push through security fixes, as well as update Google Play services. But when Google launches the next version of Android later this year, it may not be available on Huawei devices. Future Huawei devices may no longer have apps such as YouTube and Maps. Discussion here.

NASA are giving everyone the opportunity to send their name to Mars. NASA's Mars 2020 Rover is heading to the red planet. Submit your name by Sept. 30, 2019, and fly along! And maybe get spammed or something, I dunno.

BBC have an interesting article about computing's first "killer app". So he wrote a program for the new Apple II personal computer: an electronic spreadsheet. His friend Bob Frankston helped him sharpen up the software - and, on 17 October 1979, VisiCalc went on sale. Almost overnight, it was a sensation.

Also on the retro theme, here's a blog about restoring an IBM System 360. Following our last visit we had realised a number of things: We needed to remove the front door. We needed to construct a ramp capable of taking the weight of the machine and peripherals. We needed to secure the building again. We needed to un-cable the machine and eventually recover the cables from under the floor. We decided the best way to tackle this was to fill a van with tools in the UK and drive to Nuremberg.

This has been sitting in my news file for a while, but I can't quite work out what to say about it. So I'll just tell you what it is. It's a vegemite on toast flavoured spirit. In a fit of patriotism, Aussie distillery Archie Rose has created a brand new spirit that *tastes* like Vegemite on toast. To make the drink – cheekily dubbed ArchieMite – a house-made ‘mite spread’ was mixed with 15 kilos of Sonoma sourdough and 25 kilos of Pepe Saya butter. I like Vegemite, and I'm famously a fan of vodka, but I dunno about this one.

Team Group MP34 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD (16 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 21-May-2019  17:05:06 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I've taken a look at a new SSD from Team Group. It's not as exciting to look at as the previous RGB one of theirs I reviewed, but I think it's still worthy of your attention:

click for the review!

Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 21-May-2019  16:55:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Silicon Power XPower Turbine 16GB DDR4-3200 Memory Kit on FunkyKit.
Ballistix Elite PC4-28800 4x8GB DDR4 RAM on APHNetworks.

ADATA SX6000 Pro 1 TB NVMe SSD on TechPowerUp.
Samsung 883 And 983 DCT SSDs on HotHardware.

Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB on HotHardware.
Aerocool Tor on TechPowerUp.
Fractal Define S2 Vision RGB on GamersNexus.

Plugable USB-C Cube Docking Station on Tweaktown.
NZXT HUE 2 Ambient Lighting Kit v2 Monitor Back Lighting Kit on APHNetworks.

Input Etc:
CORSAIR K83 Wireless Entertainment Keyboard on NikKTech.
Glorious Model O Mouse on TechPowerUp.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Gaming Router on Guru3D.
GIGABYTE AERO 15 Classic-XA laptop on Vortez.
be quiet! Dark Rock Slim CPU Cooler on NikKTech.
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 Motherboard on Tweaktown.
ASUS ROG Strix XG49VQ Review: 32:9 Gaming Goodness At 144Hz on Tweaktown.

Misc Pics (27 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 17-May-2019  14:35:08 (GMT +10) - by Agg

For no particular reason, I'd like to give a shout-out to Anthony and chums at The Sizzle, a daily Australian tech nerdery newsletter thing. Always an interesting read. Anyway, it's Friday again:

Friday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 17-May-2019  14:29:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio Visual:
Razer Hammerhead Duo In-ear Headset on MadShrimps.
Acer Nitro XV273K Monitor on TechSpot.
Logitech Harmony Express remote on Tweaktown.
1MORE Stylish True Wireless In-Ear Headphones-I on NikKTech.
1MORE Stylish True Wireless In-Ears on Vortez.
1MORE Stylish True Wireless In-Ear Headphones on TechPowerUp.

Samsung EVO Plus 512GB microSD on Tweaktown.
WD Black SN750 w/Heatsink on LanOC.
Crucial BX500 960 GB SSD on Modders-Inc.
Asustor Nimbustor 4 (AS5304T) 2.5 Gigabit NAS on Guru3D.
Samsung 883 And 983 DCT SSD Review: Enterprise Class Storage At Consumer Prices on HotHardware.
Asustor AS4004T NAS on Modders-Inc.

Scythe Kotetsu Mark II TUF Gaming Alliance CPU Cooler on FunkyKit.
be quiet! Dark Rock SLIM CPU cooler on Guru3D.
be Quiet! Dark Rock Slim 180W TDP CPU Cooler on Modders-Inc.
be quiet! Dark Rock Slim CPU cooler on TechPowerUp.
Noctua NH-U12A CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.
be quiet! Dark Rock Slim CPU cooler on Vortez.
Noctua NT-H1, NT-H2 Thermal Compound and NA-SCW1 Cleaning Wipes on FunkyKit.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Stormforce Crystal RTX 2070 (Ryzen 2600) on Vortez.
GIGABYTE Aorus 15-XA (Coffee Lake-R) Laptop on Tweaktown.

Input Etc:
Tecware Phantom RGB Keyboard on TechPowerUp.
Corsair Glaive RGB Pro mouse on Vortez.

Ballistix Sport AT DDR4-3200 CL16 2x8GB memory on TechPowerUp.
NZXT HUE 2 Ambient RGB Lighting Kit on ThinkComputers.
Thermaltake Toughpower GX1 700W Power Supply Unit on NikKTech.
Lian-Li Lancool One Digital PC Case on eTeknix.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming OC video card on Guru3D.

Wednesday Night (9 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 15-May-2019  23:31:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Intel have revealed a new CPU vulnerability like Meltdown and Spectre, but related to Hyper Threading. The vulnerability affects most of the company’s processor SKUs, except the 8th and 9th generation chips, which Intel said includes hardware mitigations against this flaw. More info on Wired, with some in-depth details on the Chrome OS page. The BBC report it is now being called Zombieload, and there's a discussion thread here in our Intel Hardware forum.

The trade war between the USA and China is starting to affect consumer electronics pricing. AAPL fell almost 6% in yesterday’s trading in response to concerns about the impact of Trump’s tariffs on products imported from China. While it had initially appeared that Apple had escaped the current round of tariffs, some accessories are now taxed at 25%, and Apple’s component costs have also risen.

In a bizarre move, Adobe are telling people they are not allowed to use old versions of Photoshop, with legal ramifications. It’s yet another example of how in the modern era, you increasingly don’t actually own the things you’ve spent your hard-earned money on. Adobe this week began sending some users of its Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, Premiere, Animate, and Media Director programs a letter warning them that they were no longer legally authorized to use the software they may have thought they owned.

Perth will be getting a new supercomputer soon, or at least, half of it. The SDP functions will be split across two supercomputers, one in Perth and one in Cape Town, to be close to the SKA-low frequency and SKA-mid frequency sites in each respective country. When fully functional, the combined power of the SDP is expected to produce the world’s fastest supercomputer, SKA Organisation’s SDP project manager Maurizio Miccolis said. It's for crunching data from the Square Kilometre Array.

TechSpot have posted part two of their How CPUs are Made article, this time with a focus on CPU design. Now that we know how processors work at a high level, it's time to dig inside to understand how the internal components are designed. This article is the second part in our series on processor design. If you haven't read part one yet, you'll want to go over that first or else some of the concepts in here won't make sense.

Ever made a typo? Ever had that typo go to print? Ever had it printed 400 million times? The Reserve Bank was left scrambling for answers on Thursday morning after radio station Triple M posted a photo on Twitter sent in by an eagle-eyed listener. The photo shows the RBA’s new $50 note under a magnifying glass and reveals an embarrassing typo in the reverse text, which features excerpts from Edith Cowan’s maiden speech to Western Australian Parliament.

This amused me: modding a Roomba so it swears when it bumps into things. I could offer a summary of the video itself, which includes a public exhibition of the device in a Target retail store, but I don't think I could do it justice. If you can handle a bit of swearing, you should just watch it, because it's amazing. Strong language warning, obviously.

Tuesday Morning Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 14-May-2019  09:40:06 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio Visual:
Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB Camera Gimbal on TechPowerUp.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless Bluetooth Earphones on APHNetworks.
Sennheiser GSP 550 headset on TechPowerUp.
Reolink Argus Pro Wire-Free Camera on Tweaktown.
Roccat Khan Pro Hi-Res Headset on eTeknix.
Edifier G4 Pro Headset on Guru3D.

Input Etc:
Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless mouse on LanOC.
Thermaltake eSports Draconem RGB Touch Edition Mouse Pad on FunkyKit.
Corsair Glaive RGB Pro Gaming Mouse on FunkyKit.
Logitech G502 Lightspeed wireless mouse on TechReport.
Razer DeathAdder Essential mouse on TechPowerUp.

RAGE 2 Benchmark Test & Performance Analysis on TechPowerUp.
Katana ZERO game on OCClub.

Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4-3600 Memory on TechnoYard.
Ballistix Sport LT 64GB DDR4-3200 White Memory on FunkyKit.

Western Digital Black SN750 with Heatsink SSD on Tweaktown.
Patriot Viper VPN100 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD on NikKTech.
Silicon Power P34A80 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD on NikKTech.
WD Blue SN500 SSD Review: NVMe Performance, Dirt Cheap on HotHardware.
QSAN XCubeNAS XN8008T NAS Server on NikKTech.

SilverStone UC03-PRO and UC04-PRO USB Station on APHNetworks.
Hercules P32 DJ and Hercules DJ Control Instinct P8 on OCInside.
Corsair AX Series 1000 W PSU on TechPowerUp.

Misc Pics (35 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 10-May-2019  16:02:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Bit late this week, still lots going on in the real world. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday Evening (10 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 9-May-2019  18:03:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The ACCC have formally opposed the TPG-Vodafone merger in Australia. Australia already has a very concentrated mobile services market, with the three network operators, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, having over 87 per cent share. Similarly, the fixed broadband market is concentrated, with Telstra, TPG and Optus having approximately 85 per cent share. “Broadband services are of critical importance to Australian consumers and businesses, across both fixed and mobile channels,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

Meanwhile we have once again dropped down the broadband rankings to 62nd fastest, behind technology powerhouses Kazakhstan and Barbados. For those who used the online service, Australian households notched an average of 35.11 megabits per second for March which is considerably lower than the global average of 57.91 Mbps. Singapore topped the ranking with a super fast 199.62 Mbps average speed — more than 5.6 times faster than Australia.

Cray and AMD are planning to build the world's fastest supercomputer, for the US Government. AMD and Cray have announced that they're building "Frontier," a new supercomputer for the Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The goal is to deliver a system that can perform 1.5 exaflops: 1.5×1018 floating point operations per second. By way of comparison, a single Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU manages about 14 teraflops of compute performance with 32-bit numbers. Frontier will achieve 100,000 times more. The fastest supercomputer in the Top 500 list weighs in at 200 petaflops, or 0.2 exaflops. As things stand, it'd take the top 160 machines on the list to match Frontier's performance.

Tech Report have an interesting article about going solar in the USA. There are a lot of reasons I decided to have a big honkin' solar array installed on my roof. I'll get to the tangible ones shortly—backed by cold, hard data. The main reason that comes to mind, though, is less concrete. It's a feeling, or an instinct; a desire to realize the expectations of my 20th-century childhood as a 21st-century adult. This is something I've wanted even before I plopped down my first solar power plant as an 11-year old SimCity 2000 mayor. My infatuation with solar arrays has grown. We have a general solar installation discussion thread here in our Lifestyle forum.

Thursday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 9-May-2019  17:29:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Input Etc:
Cooler Master SK621 Keyboard on TechPowerUp.
Cooler Master SK621 Wireless Keyboard on Modders-Inc.
SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Keyboard on FunkyKit.
Cooler Master SK621 Low Profile Keyboard on ThinkComputers.
Cooler Master SK621 Compact Low Profile Gaming keyboard on Guru3D.
Cooler Master SK621 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard on APHNetworks.
Corsair's Ironclaw RGB Wireless and Glaive RGB Pro gaming mice on TechReport.

SecureUSB BT Flash Drive on Tweaktown.
LaCie Mobile Drive 4TB on Tweaktown.

Audio Visual:
MSI Optix MAG241C Curved Gaming Monitor on FunkyKit.
FiiO BTR3 Bluetooth Headphone Amp on NikKTech.
Razer Nommo Chroma Speakers on ThinkComputers.

Noctua NH-U12A CPU cooler on TechPowerUp.
Noctua NT-H2 Thermal Compound and Cleaning Wipes on HWAsylum.
Reeven E12 RGB RC-1208RGB CPU Cooler on APHNetworks.

Performance Testing Intel’s Core i9-9980XE 18-core CPU In Linux on TechGage.
Lenovo Legion Y740 Gaming Laptop Deep Dive Review With Benchmarks on HotHardware.
FSP CMT340 case on TechPowerUp.
T-FORCE XTREEM DDR4 3600MHz 16GB Kit memory on BabelTechReviews.
Radeon RX 560/570/580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060/1650/1660 Linux Gaming Performance on Phoronix.
Belkin Wemo Smart Plug and Dimmer on Tweaktown.

Monday Night (11 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 6-May-2019  23:54:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Ok, let the news catchup begin!

Some links from metamorphosis about chiplets: Quite a bit of info about the new wave of CPU design using 3d stacking and 'chiplets'. Doomed as Moores law is, it's still interesting to see its death throes. Info here on PCGamesN, here on Engadget and an older article here on Wired. “That technique of putting more and dies is going to run out pretty quick,” says Forrest Norrod, senior vice president and GM of AMD’s datacentre group, “because there’s a physical limit to how many die you can put into a given socket area. We’re already at the point where today’s CPUs, the packages, are pretty darned close to the size of the original iPhone. They’re huge. You can’t get any more area in two dimensions, so what do you have to do? You go up.”

On a related note, TechSpot have an article on how CPUs are designed and built. We all think of the CPU as the "brains" of a computer, but what does that actually mean? What is going on inside with the billions of transistors to make your computer work? In this new four-part mini series we'll be focusing on computer hardware design, covering the ins and outs of what makes a computer work.

SuperMicro are apparently shifting manufacturing away from China because of the spy-chip rumours, despite there still being no evidence. Super Micro Computer, the California-based server maker at the heart of spy chip allegations last autumn, has told suppliers to move production out of China to address U.S. customers' concerns about cyber espionage risks, according to industry sources familiar with the matter.

It's been 20 years since the first mass-market optical mouse appeared. Twenty years ago, in April 1999, Microsoft introduced an update to its IntelliMouse line of input devices. On top it didn’t look much different than its predecessors—it still had a few buttons and a scroll wheel—but underneath it introduced a technology to the masses that brought an end to the prehistoric days of cleaning dirt and grime out of computer mice.

Callan spotted this git ransom hacker. Hundreds of developers have had had Git source code repositories wiped and replaced with a ransom demand. The attacks started earlier today, appear to be coordinated across Git hosting services (GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab), and it is still unclear how they are happening. What it is known is that the hacker removes all source code and recent commits from vitcims' Git repositories, and leaves a ransom note behind that asks for a payment of 0.1 Bitcoin (~$570).

Tweaktown explore whether bigger or faster NAS cache is better. Today we will use a Synology DS1819+ with a special dual M.2 2280 add-in card with two NVMe SSDs used as a read and write cache. We use Intel's 118GB Optane SSD and Samsung's 1TB 960 Pro flash-based SSD.

TechSpot share their thoughts on the ten most anticipated games of 2019. The good news is, despite the hiccups of the past, the future is looking considerably brighter for PC players in 2019.

Monday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 6-May-2019  23:24:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Apex Motherboard on HWAsylum.
AMD Athlon 220GE and 240GE processors on Guru3D.

TerraMaster D5 THUNDERBOLT 3 5-bay DAS on TechPowerUp.
Western Digital Blue SN500 NVMe M.2 SSD on Vortez.
Seagate IronWolf Pro ST14000NE0008 14TB Hard Drive on APHNetworks.
Lexar Professional 1TB SDXC on Tweaktown.

Reeven E12 RGB RC-1208RGB CPU Cooler on APHNetworks.
CRYORIG H7 Plus CPU Cooler on NikKTech.

CMT340 Addressable RGB Mid-Tower on Tweaktown.
Cooler Master MasterBox Q500L on Vortez.

Audio Visual:
VAVA UST 4K Laser Projector on Tweaktown.
Razer Nommo Chroma Speakers on ThinkComputers.
Arlo Ultra 4K Single Camera Kit on Tweaktown.

Video Cards:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Review: Budget Gaming On Turing on HotHardware.
MSI GeForce GTX 1650 GAMING X 4G on OCClub.

Logitech G240 Mouse Pad on TechPowerUp.
Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 750W PSU on eTeknix.

Misc Pics (26 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 3-May-2019  15:08:06 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I know things have been quiet on the news page for the last month or so - April has been mental with real-world commitments and of course the school holidays. Back into it from next week! But in the meantime, thanks to mpot, Axe and metamorphosis this week!

Friday Lunchtime Reviews (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 3-May-2019  12:27:39 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
ASUS TUF Z390-Pro Gaming motherboard on TechPowerUp.
5.7 GHz on 28 Cores: Overclocking the Intel Xeon W-3175 on TomsHardware.
Intel Cascade Lake Xeon Platinum 8280, 8268, and Gold 6230 CPUs on TomsHardware.

Input Etc:
HyperX Pulsefire FPS Pro gaming mouse on TechPowerUp.
RIOTORO Aurox Prism Ultra Precision Gaming Mouse on NikKTech.
Corsair Ironclaw RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse on FunkyKit.
CORSAIR GLAIVE RGB PRO Gaming Mouse on MadShrimps.
Corsair MM350 Champion Series Gaming Mouse Pad on FunkyKit.
Corsair Ironclaw RGB Wireless mouse on Vortez.
Corsair Glaive RGB Pro Gaming Mouse on eTeknix.
Corsair Ironclaw Wireless Gaming Mouse on eTeknix.

LaCie Portable SSD 1TB on Tweaktown.
Samsung 883 DCT Enterprise SSD on Tweaktown.
Western Digital Black SN750 EKWB NVMe SSD with heatsink on Vortez.
Gigabyte Aorus RGB M.2 NVMe SSD on TomsHardware.
Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage on PCPerspective.
WD Blue SN500 M.2 NVMe SSD on TomsHardware.

Portable & Prebuilt:
ASRock DeskMini A300 (Ryzen 5 2400G) mini-PC on TechPowerUp.
LG G8 ThinQ Review: An Affordable, Capable Flagship Smartphone on HotHardware.
ASRock DeskMini A300 mini-PC on Anandtech.
NanoPI Fire 3 on JMDawson.

Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 3200 MHz 2x8 GB on Guru3D.
Patriot Viper Steel DDR4 on TechPlayboy.

Video Cards:
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 NVLink Performance And Analysis on FunkyKit.
GeForce GTX 1650 Tested without PCIe Power on TechSpot.
MSI GeForce GTX 1650 GAMING X 4G on Tweaktown.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Linux Gaming Performance & Benchmarks on Phoronix.
Palit GeForce GTX 1650 StormX OC Edition on Guru3D.
ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 AMP Extreme Core (8GB GDDR6) on FunkyKit.
EVGA GTX 1650 SC Ultra Black 4 GB on TechPowerUp.
Dual NVIDIA Titan RTX Review Compute with NVLink Performance on ServeTheHome.

Just Cause 4 Performance Analysis on OCClub.
CPUCores Review with 20 Steam Games – Does it Maximize Your FPS? on BabelTechReviews.

Alphacool Eiszyklon Aurora RGB LT Fan on TechPowerUp.
Corsair H100i RGB Platinum Liquid Cooler on HotHardware.
Asus ROG Ryujin 360 all-in-one CPU watercooler on OCInside.

Audio Visual:
Turtle Beach Recon 70 headset on GamingNexus.
Thermaltake Tt eSports Pulse G100 Gaming Headset on FunkyKit.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 router on Guru3D.
OWC 10Gbe Thunderbolt 3 adapter on Tweaktown.
Netgear Orbi Pro Ceiling on Tweaktown.

Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector on BigBruin.
NZXT HUE 2 Ambient RGB Lighting Kit on Vortez.

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