Random Tech Questions you want answered.

i only backup once a week, i should really just plug them in on backup day and unplug them in the evening.

Do it while the system is down in both cases and you should be okay.

For people who use filmora. I updated to the latest version and now exporting video takes over an hour instead of 15 minutes. Any know a fix?

I don't know that program specifically, but I would double check and make sure the update didn't change your video export settings.

What's a good database program for Mac OS and/or iPad?

I'm about to take charge of a bunch of summer camp programs. I need a good way to keep track of employees, what they're trained and certified to do, and also an inventory of equipment that includes purchase dates and usage history. Some sort of cloud features or cross-device syncing would be good, but I need something that can function without a constant internet connection.

My boss has been tracking stuff with Google Sheets and I'm a bit tilted by that.

Years ago I used a program called Bento for something similar, but that seems to have died a long time ago.

Check out Collections.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/collec...

Neat little simple database app for iOS and macOS.

Google's new restrictions to extensions (read: ad blocker murdering) starts rolling out next week with nag warnings.

Another reminder to use the non-profit browser whose entire reason for existence is to empower users, not an ad company's browser that exists to be a data harvesting and advertisement delivery engine.

So, currently we have an Xbox One X, and an Xbox One S, with the S on an old TV and set to me as owner. This was the advice so that I can be on the newer/bigger TV with the X, and one of my kids can be on the S, so that that Xbox has access to all my games and gamepass, even when I'm not signed in there. On the X, they can first sign me in, then switch to their account, and again still play all the games.

So. First question:
What happens if we get an Xbox Series X now? I assume we put the new one on the big TV, but can I not declare that as "my" xbox, and then switch the One X to be "mine" so that all my games are available on it, and then...what are we doing with the S if anything? And whatever else you can think I need to know about that...I do know that you can't switch around the ownership thing more than once a year or something, so I want to make sure we're all good to go before messing with this.

Second question:
For the series X, you have to buy really expensive memory cards, not an external hard drive? We have a 2TB hard drive for the One S, and a 4TB hard drive for the One X. What am I trying to get for the Series X exactly, and why? (only the cards can do "fast stuff" is the extent of my knowledge).

If there was some not-that-expensive family thing for gamepass, i'd certainly consider it. But right now, everything is bought on my account, and my account has ultimate.

thanks so much in advance to whoever knows how this actually works...

You can set one console as your home console where all your games are available to everyone there. (I think you can only change this so many times a year to prevent gaming the system)

You can play your games on any console, you are signed in on, but others cant play unless it's your home console. There is an exception where others can play your same screen coop games with you on non home consoles. (e.g. Diablo or split screen games like Halo or GoW.)

So just plan accordingly.

The expensive memory cards are just external NVMe drives (Fast solid state drives) with a proprietary connector. Prices have come down but they still are a bit higher than the standalone PC drives. But those are only needed if you want to run games off them. For me I use an external USB NVMe drive and just transfer over games, to the internal drive, when I want to play them. So the internal drive is for games I'm currently playing and the USB one is to "store" them so I don't have to redownload.

EvilDead wrote:

For me I use an external USB NVMe drive and just transfer over games, to the internal drive, when I want to play them. So the internal drive is for games I'm currently playing and the USB one is to "store" them so I don't have to redownload.

Yes, this is how I do it too.

That's a big relief...prices in Greece are looking great for a 5TB regular harddrive, and yet very terrible for the fast memory card thingies.

Still not sure how/if we'll want to use the Xbox One S, the third one, because I think it'd make much more sense for the Xbox One X to take its place as the xbox i "own", while the Series X will require my sign in, just like we've been doing it or the One X and One S til now....

Maybe gamepass core on the S if we reallllly want to play 3 people at once?

Curious question:

I have always been led to believe that full screen will always produce more FPS than Full Screen Windowed.

I purchased Robocop yesterday on steam, and fired it up, and I was shocked to see that windowed full screen produced significantly more FPS vs. regular full screen. In the order of 20-40 FPS better with the only setting changed full screen vs. windowed full screen.

My specs:
2x 1440p gsync monitors (identical 144hz), I only game on 1 though, other just stays as windows
nVidia 4080 card (not super, not ti)
vsync OFF in game, ON in nvidia settings
DSR ON (so its running 4k resolution, then downscaled to fit monitor)
DLSS ON (in game setting)
Low Latency and Frame Gen ON (in game setting)

I didn't even think DSR would kick in with Full Screen Windowed, but it most definitely did.

Have I just been wrong in my thinking all this time?

I only play borderless window so I dunno.

Having that 2nd monitor for voice in multiplayer or browser guides, maps, etc in single player is too useful to me and I hate alt tab hiding the game

Carlbear95 wrote:

Curious question:

I have always been led to believe that full screen will always produce more FPS than Full Screen Windowed.

I purchased Robocop yesterday on steam, and fired it up, and I was shocked to see that windowed full screen produced significantly more FPS vs. regular full screen. In the order of 20-40 FPS better with the only setting changed full screen vs. windowed full screen.

I think exclusive full screen would have been the right choice anytime prior to a few years ago, but technology has changed. I've moved over to full screen windowed because it generally seems to preserve my preferred settings better, especially in our new Variable Refresh Rate world.

I'm working for a summer camp. We do a lot of our communicating with handheld radios. We've also been beefing up our Internet infrastructure for our registration software and other administrative things. Is there any way I can plug a radio into the network here and tune into the voice coms while I'm away from the base camp? Bonus if I can transmit. I tried Google, but I couldn't figure out how to tell it I wasn't asking how WiFi works.

This may be more than you want to spend, but sounds like this would do what you want. Searching for "radio over IP" might get you some other options.

I dunno... that seems designed to connect SIP phones and devices to the radios. In other words, I think you'd have to have a SIP device that could hang out on the Internet and just monitor the comms to get the desired effect - like a base station. The gateway would connect the radios to phones, but radio to internet to radio? Something about that seems like you'd need another SIP gateway to connect your radio too, and even then, the calls would like phone calls, not like a radio scanner.

I could be completely wrong. I see wifi radios that don't use radio bands, and radio band handhelds that connect to SIP, but I don't see radios with - essentially - IP gateways built in. Put that way... I think part of the problem here would be the analog to digital to analog conversion. I *did* find software to monitor and control analog radio scanners, but at each end, there's a computer to do the conversions...

If you're not that far away from base, what about a simple radio frequency scanner? Not gonna help you if you drive 12 miles to town, but then, isn't that what cell phones are for? Someone could radio base and they can call your cell from there, right?

What kind of handheld radios are you using? Do they have IP NICs?

Also, are you a commercial entity? Or a non-profit? If the former, you can't use amateur band radios... You'd need a commercial license. You might want to check this, IANAL, but that's my understanding from previous use of amateur band radios.

This is a Scout camp. My understanding is we use a commercial frequency. But that knowledge comes from before HDTV came along and reshuffled all the radio band allocations. We used to have to do regular station IDs, but that hasn't happened in years.

I suppose I could take an old PC and a spare radio and pipe the ear piece output into the computer's line-in and put that in a Discord channel. That would let me listen in when I'm at home and such.

This is the most common type of radio we're using though some folks have acquired other models that they use. We've also got a bunch of old beat-up Motorola HT 1000 units that the railroad gave us when they stopped using them.

I've had a few instances of my computer locking up with fans going full speed while playing games. I first noticed it with DOOM Eternal, but I couldn't isolate a reproducible instance of it misbehaving. Today I tried out MythForce (got it free from Prime Gaming) and I was able to reproduce it reliably after a couple of levels into the game. Because it is locking up the computer with the fans blowing hard, I doubt it is a software problem.

Of course the first things I tried were turning it off and back on again, updating video drivers, verifying game files... the usual troubleshooting.

I installed Open Hardware Monitor and had it log everything while I played. I'm not absolutely sure I'm reading the data right, but I did notice at the end of the log the fans were going 100%. The GPU got up to 66C, which is comfortably below the limit of 87C for the GTX 2080 Super. The CPU package got as high as 87C, which seems a bit too close for comfort to the Ryzen 7 3800X max temp of 95C, especially given the idle temp is 50C or lower. Logging latency might mean that it actually reached a higher temp and caused the overtemperature protection to kick in. The power draw for GPU+CPU was high, but nowhere near the limit of the 750W PSU in the PC.

I'm going to open up the PC and try to have a look at the CPU cooler to see if the fins are full of dust bunnies or something, but before I do that I thought I'd drop the Open Hardware Monitor log (csv format) here to see if anyone could make more sense of it than me.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qi5...

Something I find confusing is that it looks like the fault happened a few seconds before the logging stopped. To me that looks like Open Hardware Monitor was still going after the fault, after the video output stopped. I don't know enough about the system to know if that is possible, given the symptoms. But I guess if the CPU got too hot it might kill the display output even if the GPU was still okay.

Overall the PC is very stable. I have only had these problems with DOOM Eternal and MythForce. I have played several other games with no issues. The PC was a hand-me-down from a friend after my 12 year old PC bit the dust last year. I'm very happy with it, but I'd be happier if I could play these games.

If those games have an option to set frame-limits, try that - i.e. limit to 60fps, or enable VSync. Might be that your PC is generating hundreds of FPS, wastefully, and overheating as a result. I noticed that happening in FF14 recently, but thankfully the game has an option to "limit FPS to screen refresh rate" (144 in my case); prior to that it was getting up to like 300 FPS and getting too warm for my liking.

Vargen wrote:

This is a Scout camp. My understanding is we use a commercial frequency. But that knowledge comes from before HDTV came along and reshuffled all the radio band allocations. We used to have to do regular station IDs, but that hasn't happened in years.

I suppose I could take an old PC and a spare radio and pipe the ear piece output into the computer's line-in and put that in a Discord channel. That would let me listen in when I'm at home and such.

This is the most common type of radio we're using though some folks have acquired other models that they use. We've also got a bunch of old beat-up Motorola HT 1000 units that the railroad gave us when they stopped using them.

Sorry, I missed this before.

First, there's this important line in the FRS regs: "You may not interconnect FRS transmitters and radios with the telephone system." I'm pretty sure your Internet service makes use of the phone system. This would mean you need to function according to GMRS rules, and get licensed. It kind of sounds like the ball got dropped over the years. I would not put transmissions from an FRS device onto the Internet.

Secondly, check to see if National (Scouting) has any guidance on camp communications systems. You could bring yourself into compliance if they do.

Third, honestly, I don't see a legal way to do this without spending a bunch of money, and even just hoping no other users show up and complain to the FCC that you folks were not respecting the rules, you'd be out significant money (hundreds at least) to get a device that would enable what you want to do. Me, I'd make sure I have cell phone repeaters and just use those if I needed to get offsite contact. In the long run, that's probably the best way to do it unless you want to set up a full-blown radio comms systems based on, say, an emergency services architecture. Phones are much more present these days than HAM gear and could actually be more functional in an emergency.

merphle wrote:

If those games have an option to set frame-limits, try that - i.e. limit to 60fps, or enable VSync. Might be that your PC is generating hundreds of FPS, wastefully, and overheating as a result. I noticed that happening in FF14 recently, but thankfully the game has an option to "limit FPS to screen refresh rate" (144 in my case); prior to that it was getting up to like 300 FPS and getting too warm for my liking.

Yep, both are limited to 60 fps, and I keep vsync on so that VRR works. Might be a bug related to that, like, maybe the game's physics sim isn't restricting itself to the GPU frame rate, so the CPU is getting overworked. But if that was happening, I would think I'd be able to find more complaints about it online.

BadKen wrote:

I've had a few instances of my computer locking up with fans going full speed while playing games. I first noticed it with DOOM Eternal, but I couldn't isolate a reproducible instance of it misbehaving. Today I tried out MythForce (got it free from Prime Gaming) and I was able to reproduce it reliably after a couple of levels into the game. Because it is locking up the computer with the fans blowing hard, I doubt it is a software problem.

Of course the first things I tried were turning it off and back on again, updating video drivers, verifying game files... the usual troubleshooting.

I installed Open Hardware Monitor and had it log everything while I played. I'm not absolutely sure I'm reading the data right, but I did notice at the end of the log the fans were going 100%. The GPU got up to 66C, which is comfortably below the limit of 87C for the GTX 2080 Super. The CPU package got as high as 87C, which seems a bit too close for comfort to the Ryzen 7 3800X max temp of 95C, especially given the idle temp is 50C or lower. Logging latency might mean that it actually reached a higher temp and caused the overtemperature protection to kick in. The power draw for GPU+CPU was high, but nowhere near the limit of the 750W PSU in the PC.

I'm going to open up the PC and try to have a look at the CPU cooler to see if the fins are full of dust bunnies or something, but before I do that I thought I'd drop the Open Hardware Monitor log (csv format) here to see if anyone could make more sense of it than me.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qi5...

Something I find confusing is that it looks like the fault happened a few seconds before the logging stopped. To me that looks like Open Hardware Monitor was still going after the fault, after the video output stopped. I don't know enough about the system to know if that is possible, given the symptoms. But I guess if the CPU got too hot it might kill the display output even if the GPU was still okay.

Overall the PC is very stable. I have only had these problems with DOOM Eternal and MythForce. I have played several other games with no issues. The PC was a hand-me-down from a friend after my 12 year old PC bit the dust last year. I'm very happy with it, but I'd be happier if I could play these games.

Yeah the temp worries me. Back when I got this AMD 3600 and kept the default fan I was getting some 80 or 85 temps. I can't remember but it's in the build a PC thread somewhere. I think it was idling at 65-70 too which seemed a lot.

I got an ID-cooling CPU fan replacement that was better and quieter, had solid reviews, and not as expensive as Noctua or whatever.

Idles in the 40s now. Spikes at 70-72. Stays in the 60s for most games. I don't worry anymore.

BadKen wrote:
merphle wrote:

If those games have an option to set frame-limits, try that - i.e. limit to 60fps, or enable VSync. Might be that your PC is generating hundreds of FPS, wastefully, and overheating as a result. I noticed that happening in FF14 recently, but thankfully the game has an option to "limit FPS to screen refresh rate" (144 in my case); prior to that it was getting up to like 300 FPS and getting too warm for my liking.

Yep, both are limited to 60 fps, and I keep vsync on so that VRR works. Might be a bug related to that, like, maybe the game's physics sim isn't restricting itself to the GPU frame rate, so the CPU is getting overworked. But if that was happening, I would think I'd be able to find more complaints about it online.

A frame rate limiter setting is an absolutely essential option for modern games. It is the very first option I look for now and if a game doesn't have one, I'll often throttle the game using the frame limiter variable in the Nvidia control panel. I can't stand the sound of my fans blasting up and my computer burning energy to generate extra fps that I can't even perceive.

BadKen wrote:

I've had a few instances of my computer locking up with fans going full speed while playing games.

This behavior often occurs with power supplies on their way out. If your other troubleshooting doesn't produce results, I would set my sights on the PSU.

I have G-Sync set up and I'm not sure I should limit to anything but the rated fps. Or... Should I set it to half that? or what?

Robear wrote:

I have G-Sync set up and I'm not sure I should limit to anything but the rated fps. Or... Should I set it to half that? or what?

What do you like? What do you perceive? For me, 60 fps is the point of diminishing returns. Also frame rate stability is more important for me. I can perceive differences above 60 fps, but they don't really matter to me and I would prefer to play at a solid 60 instead of bouncing between 63 and 105 fps.

Also, and I don't know if this is true or not, but I instinctually believe that a game is more likely to be able to maintain a stable fps if it has a little breathing room between frames to catch up on all the other things the computer has to do.

That said, I'll let an older game run at 120 fps if my fans aren't kicking up and it is staying locked at 120.

I have GSync and in most cases leave FPS unlocked and VSync disabled, and it works fine. It's a pretty rare case where a game runs CRAZY fast (multiple hundreds of FPS) that I look for an FPS-limiter flag, because otherwise core temps rise and the fans kick in.

Edit: GSync, not FreeSync. Was an AMD video card user for many years.

Robear wrote:

I have G-Sync set up and I'm not sure I should limit to anything but the rated fps. Or... Should I set it to half that? or what?

For best results, limit your framerate to a few frames less than the display max (eg. 116 for a 120hz monitor). Also, enable V-Sync in the NVIDIA Control Panel.

The reason for limiting slightly below the max refresh rate is because "framerate" is a lie, and variances in frametime means you can hit cases where the limiter doesn't actually prevent you from briefly exceeding the limit. Reducing the limit slightly is an inexact but easy way to give you a "buffer" that largely prevents the issue in practice.

Good news! When I turned on the PC, one of the fans started making a scraping noise. I turned off the PC to open it up to investigate, but when I turned it back on, the fan wasn't noisy. Fortunately turning it off and on several times made the fan misbehave, and it was one of the case fans. Fortunately I had a spare, so I replaced it.

Also noticed the CPU cooler fins were very dusty, so I cleaned that out as best I could without pulling it. The fins are pretty hard to get at with the CPU cooler fan still attached. The only instructions I could find for getting the fan off the cooler required the cooler to be removed from the CPU. I don't have any thermal paste, and to be honest, I don't trust myself not to screw it up. For example, it's easy to pull the CPU out of the ZIF socket when pulling off the cooler, and I did not want to deal with that.

Anyway, I buttoned it up and successfully got it powered up again. I found a stress test tool called OCCT and ran that to stress the CPU and GPU for ten minutes. No problems found, so I tried running MythForce again. No problems there either. So I think the combination of fan replacement and what CPU cooler dust removal I was able to do were enough to solve the problem. Time will tell.