Random Tech Questions you want answered.

Probably a physics question here:

Why hasn’t anyone made computer screens or TVs that compensate for bad vision? I mean, instead of wearing glasses your screen just blurs it the right way for your bad eyes?

I found a few articles about this years ago, but I also had an engineering prof saying the physics don’t check out...

Any optic guys here?

For me, as a non-optics guy, I wonder whether the main problem is maintaining a fixed focal length to the lens. That is, with glasses and contacts, your eye lens is a fixed distance from the corrective lenses. When you get even a small distance out of that range, the correction starts to fail.

How would you maintain that distance from a corrective screen? And if you argue that an adaptive system could be used, what would be the cost of that?

FiveIron wrote:

Probably a physics question here:

Why hasn’t anyone made computer screens or TVs that compensate for bad vision? I mean, instead of wearing glasses your screen just blurs it the right way for your bad eyes?

I found a few articles about this years ago, but I also had an engineering prof saying the physics don’t check out...

Any optic guys here?

I'd guess the economics of it just don't add up. Sink R&D costs into a product that would, probably, cost an arm and a leg only to compete against eyeglasses which can be had for a pittance?

FiveIron wrote:

Probably a physics question here:

Why hasn’t anyone made computer screens or TVs that compensate for bad vision? I mean, instead of wearing glasses your screen just blurs it the right way for your bad eyes?

I found a few articles about this years ago, but I also had an engineering prof saying the physics don’t check out...

Any optic guys here?

Because optics doesn't work like that.

The function of the lens in your eye is to take rays of light emanating from a single point on the object you're looking at (going in slightly different directions, but close enough that they all reach your eye), and bend them so they all reach a single point on your retina. In a perfectly functioning eye, this means that light from each point in the scene in front of you goes to a corresponding point on your retina, giving you an accurate image of the scene.

If your eye has a misshapen lens, the incoming light from any given point doesn't all converge on a single point in your retina, and you see a blurred, out-of-focus image, because each sensor cell in your retina is receiving a mixture of light from multiple points instead of only one. Corrective lenses augment your eye's lens to make it focus properly.

You can't correct this by pre-blurring the image, because that just means that each point in the image already contains light from multiple points in the original scene. There's no way to separate them again.

In theory, you could make this work by using a (hypothetical) lightfield display, a kind of holographic display that can send different light in different directions in a finely controlled way. You may have heard of lightfield cameras, which can be found (in a fairly primitive form) in some high-end phones these days, and use a similar principle in reverse to record an image whose focus and depth of field can be adjusted after the fact. Doing this with outgoing light is only a theoretical possibility, well beyond current technology.

TLDR: Bad eyesight makes things look blurry. Already blurry things will be MORE blurry.

LouZiffer wrote:

TLDR: Bad eyesight makes things look blurry. Already blurry things will be MORE blurry.

But what if instead of the screen showing things blurrier, they showed them ANTI-blurry to compensate for your blurry vision? Like, we cranked the "Sharpness" control up past 100%. Pretty sure the math checks out here.

Why aren't we just jacking into the optic nerve directly and bypassing our faulty sauce-pouches and their astigmatic lens BS?

Spinal Tap it!

FiveIron wrote:

Probably a physics question here:

Why hasn’t anyone made computer screens or TVs that compensate for bad vision? I mean, instead of wearing glasses your screen just blurs it the right way for your bad eyes?

I found a few articles about this years ago, but I also had an engineering prof saying the physics don’t check out...

Any optic guys here?

Five-foot lenses are expensive. Like, you wouldn't believe how expensive.

maybe if you could add a sheet of liquid lenses it might be more practical, but still waaaay impractical.

Math wrote:
Jonman wrote:

I dropped a new TB SSD into my machine last year, and exclusively use it for installed games. Didn't remove any drives, so wasn't moving OS or anythng, so I was just shuffling installed games over to it. Most of which I did inside of Steam (right click on a game in your library, go into Properties, and in the Local Files tab, there's a "Move Install Folder" option. Other platforms weren't as slick (Epic, Xbox Games Pass) and required reinstallation.

You can do it without a full re-download on Epic too if I recall:

  • Copy game's directory to temporary location.
  • Uninstall the game through Epic.
  • Begin to reinstall game in Epic, choosing new location.
  • Pause download in Epic. (Maybe cancel it? I can't remember 100%,)
  • Copy the files from your temporary location to the new location.
  • Resume download and it should finish near-instantly.

For GOG.com games, you can go to "manage game" then "import game" and point it to the new folder on the new drive. I will then do a verification check, maybe some small updates and it'll work.

edit: I should add that this only works if you're using their Galaxy client

I suspect this is a dumb question, but I'm not sure if it's dumb because the answer is obviously no or obviously yes So I will just ask it!

I am looking at NVME SSDs because I hear they are much nicer than the SSDs from the earlier 2010s and because my ~256gb SSD isn't really usable for much other than Windows anyway. I understand that many NVME SSDs plug into PCIE ports. My motherboard is an msi Z87-G41. Would an NVME SSD like this one (chosen more or less at random) work with my motherboard? I *think* the answer is no, because that looks like it needs a PCIE 4.0 slot and my motherboard's specs suggest it only has PCIE 2 and PCIE 3 slots? But perhaps I could use this one which seems to be a PCIE 3.0 interface?

From looking at all that, I kinda think I get it, but feel like there is a very wide margin of error in my reading of this stuff such that I could be entirely wrong. If anyone actually knows what they're talking about and wants to clear this up for me, I'd appreciate it!

Technically it wouldn't matter how blurry the image was, no?
A blurry image should have no bearing on how much your imperfect lens distorts it you would think...

mrlogical wrote:

From looking at all that, I kinda think I get it, but feel like there is a very wide margin of error in my reading of this stuff such that I could be entirely wrong. If anyone actually knows what they're talking about and wants to clear this up for me, I'd appreciate it!

The port it needs is an M.2 2280. It'd be a special port on the motherboard, which yours doesn't have. The SSD is installed so that it's sitting parallel to the motherboard itself, not perpendicular like a traditional PCIe card would. Here's a picture of a motherboard similar to one I had, and I outlined the M.2 port in lime green. Each hole to the left is a different form factor, and you place a post that matches the length of the device you're adding. Then you insert a screw into the top of the post, and this holds it in place.

Edit: And as this might be the next logical question, I would not upgrade my motherboard to utilize an M.2 SSD over a SATA SSD, unless I was already planning to upgrade anyway. From a user perspective, you won't see noticeable increases in performance between the two. The biggest advantage is the lack of cables required for it to work.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/t68KN9E.jpg)

A few additional things, on top of PurEvil's helpful pic.

The NVMe drive you posted expects to use PCIE 3.0, not PCIE 4.0. More specifically, it's a "PCIE 3.0 x4" card, which has additional bandwidth. PCIE is funny, though, and is backwards/forwards compatible - you can plug a PCIE 3.0 x4 M.2 NVMe drive into a motherboard/slot that's capable of only PCIE 2.0 x2 and it'll work, but you won't get the full performance benefit that the drive can theoretically hit. My motherboard (MSI Z97) has PCIE 3.0 riser card slots, but only an PCIE 2.0 x2 M.2 slot. I accidentally did exactly this, before I fully researched all of this crap). I subsequently bought a PCIE riser card which has an M.2 slot, and was able to use the full PCIE 3.0 x4 that my motherboard supports. I think you should be able to do the same with your motherboard, if you have a free PCIE slot. Unfortunately the card I linked above is out of stock at Amazon, but there should be similar ones available.

PurEvil wrote:
mrlogical wrote:

From looking at all that, I kinda think I get it, but feel like there is a very wide margin of error in my reading of this stuff such that I could be entirely wrong. If anyone actually knows what they're talking about and wants to clear this up for me, I'd appreciate it!

The port it needs is an M.2 2280. It'd be a special port on the motherboard, which yours doesn't have. The SSD is installed so that it's sitting parallel to the motherboard itself, not perpendicular like a traditional PCIe card would. Here's a picture of a motherboard similar to one I had, and I outlined the M.2 port in lime green. Each hole to the left is a different form factor, and you place a post that matches the length of the device you're adding. Then you insert a screw into the top of the post, and this holds it in place.

Edit: And as this might be the next logical question, I would not upgrade my motherboard to utilize an M.2 SSD over a SATA SSD, unless I was already planning to upgrade anyway. From a user perspective, you won't see noticeable increases in performance between the two. The biggest advantage is the lack of cables required for it to work.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/t68KN9E.jpg)

To follow this up both of the NVMe drives you posted are PCIe 3.0 drives not PCIe 4.0, but PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives are backwards compatible with PCIe 3.0 (and vise versa). They do make m.2 PCIe expansion boards that allow you to install one of these m.2 style drives on a PCIe card (some models support up to 8 drives in a16x slot using a PCIe switch) in a regular PCIe slot on your motherboard. Booting to such cards can be easy or hard depending on your motherboards firmware.

To confuse things even more, m.2 is a connector. Some m.2 drives interface using SATA and do not support PCIe at all.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

To confuse things even more, m.2 is a connector. Some m.2 drives interface using SATA and do not support PCIe NVMe at all.

Fixed for how strange this whole situation is.

A quick overview of M.2 as it relates to SATA and NVMe.

Also, there are different variants of M.2 connectors (B key, M key, and B+M key), making it even worse. If you're buying a drive to fit into your M.2 connector (or buying a riser to fit your card), make sure it's keyed correctly.

merphle wrote:

Also, there are different variants of M.2 connectors (B key, M key, and B+M key), making it even worse. If you're buying a drive to fit into your M.2 connector (or buying a riser to fit your card), make sure it's keyed correctly.

These are the common ones but the spec actually has like 12 different pin layouts (less than 10 in use and only 5 that are in common use) with a lot of overlap between features from one type to the next. Most newish motherboards have settled down to having one or two M Keyed slots for NVMe SSDs and maybe one A or E Keyed slot for a Bluetooth/Wifi card (which is often just an USB 2.0 device in an M.2 form factor). With older boards it is kind of a wild west where you really need to read your manual.

Also because many CPUs (i.e. Intel ones) don't support for that many PCIe lanes they often share PCIe lanes between the m.2 slots and the SATA ports so you often lose access to certain SATA ports when you add in an m.2 card. Some motherboards detect the m.2 and disable the SATA automatically and other require you to adjust a setting in the EUFI settings.

I think this is all why I’ve become more of a console gamer.

Is it just the nature of bluetooth that using my headphones with two different devices means manually connecting every time I switch devices?

Or should there be a way to have it just connect whenever any paired device is available?

fenomas wrote:

Is it just the nature of bluetooth that using my headphones with two different devices means manually connecting every time I switch devices?

Or should there be a way to have it just connect whenever any paired device is available?

Depends on the headphones and device. Some can be paired to multiple devices and some can't.

Bummer! Ah well they were cheap.

fenomas wrote:

Is it just the nature of bluetooth that using my headphones with two different devices means manually connecting every time I switch devices?

Or should there be a way to have it just connect whenever any paired device is available?

Manually re-pairing or just reconnecting? If the latter, I have two devices paired to one set of headphones that I keep bluetooth turned off until I want to use my headphones. When I turn bluetooth on on only one device the headphones connect to it just fine. If both devices have bluetooth on then it’s just a matter of which device the headphones “see” first.

Just reconnecting. They connect to paired devices okay, but they only do it automatically to whichever device they were most recently connected to. Wasn't sure if that was a bluetooth thing or just how they're made.

Hah, thanks all for the helpful info--naturally it is somehow both more and less complicated than I thought. I had seen those PCIE cards that act as adapters for non-SATA NVME drives...if I do pursue this, I will think about that. I don't want to add another SSD to my SATA chain because the way things are laid out in my case, I recall the last time I added a drive to that I could just barely make everything fit and connect, so I assume adding another link to that chain will be a non-starter.

I looked up that motherboard, and you've got 1 PCIe 3 x16 slot, 1 PCIe 2 x16 slot that's wired x4 electrically, and two PCIe 2 x1 slots. (and two regular PCI slots, which are effectively useless now.)

There are no M.2 ports that I see, so if you want an M.2 drive, you'd have to use a cheapie adapter to plug it into the PCIe2 slot. The problem there is that the motherboard probably doesn't support NVME drives. Without BIOS support, you can't boot from that drive. After Windows starts, it should be able to locate and wake it up no problem, but it will have to boot from an SATA disk or SSD.

You'll be limited to PCIe2 x4 mode, which is still quite fast, substantially faster than SATA SSDs. Note that the difference in practice will not be that large. Programs may load a little faster, but it's not going to feel like a new system.

Basically, you could plug in a decent terabyte drive for about $120 for the drive, and another $15 for the adapter, and get better speed than you would on SATA. But it'll be a data drive only. You can load programs there, but not Windows. Or you can buy an SATA terabyte drive for about the same price, which will be a little slower, but which you can boot from.

You could bring an M.2 SSD with you to a newer system, but you'll have to reformat it to put Windows on it, so the transfer process could be pretty painful. Obviously, an SATA SSD would also move forward to a newer board, but you'll probably want to buy an NVME M.2 for a new system.

Is there an easy way to check what is taking up space on my SSD? The 'storage' option from the windows search bar doesn't tell me how much space individual games are taking up. I was surprised that on a 500GB SSD I only have 100GB free, when I only have MSFS 2020 and a handful of small indie games installed at the moment. Oh, and Fortnite. Most definitely not Indie, but still not very big. How much space does Windows wall off?