Category : Technology

macOS vs Windows vs Linux on the same hardware

I’ve found myself in somewhat of an atypical situation recently: I have three different operating systems (OSes) installed on my desktop computer. This gives me the ability to make somewhat of an objective comparison about how each system functions for the tasks I care about, and so I thought I’d use this opportunity to do just that. A couple of disclaimers before I start. First, this is not a comparison looking at technical details. Rather, it is designed to show […]

Electric cars: how far is there to go?

The electric car revolution has been underway for a few years now. Elon Musk and Tesla have clearly had quite a lot of influence on the future of electric vehicles from a technology standpoint, whilst cars like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, and BMW i3 have tried to bring electric motoring to the masses. Yet, we still have some way to go before electric cars become the norm. In this article, I want to briefly cover some of the main […]

Fixing a hot-cold switching Triton shower

A while ago, my Triton electric shower started cycling onto ‘low-pressure’ mode every 10-15 seconds. This meant that the water would flip between hot and freezing cold. Not pleasant. A bit of internet searching revealed that this is a fault in a safety sub-circuit, which is ordinarily supposed to turn to cold water when it thinks that you are at risk of getting burnt by the water. The solution to this problem came from this handy thread.¬†Apparently, it is caused […]

Digital goods as public goods

Talking about public good provision is a staple in pretty much any economics course. Contrary to what intuition might suggest, a public good is not necessarily one provided by the government. Rather, it is defined in terms of two key characteristics: rivalry and excludability. A rival good is something that diminishes once it is consumed. If there are two burgers and I eat one, there will be one left for you. If there was only one burger and I ate […]

Use HiDPI mode to turn your Mac into a HTPC

Now that the age of traditional TV is nearing its end, more people are looking to hook up ‘smart’ devices (basically some form of computer) in order to allow them to surf the web and watch videos from the comfort of the living room. Whilst many TVs have ‘smart’ features built-in these days, and there are many inexpensive devices that you can plug in for those that don’t, nothing beats the flexibility of having a fully-fledged computer connected to your […]

Computer transplant: Define Mini -> Define C with Kraken X62

My old desktop has been chugging along nicely for a good 4 years. I originally built it in a Fractal Design Define Mini, because I wanted a relatively compact case to suit my mATX motherboard, and a quiet computer. It does the quiet thing extremely well. However, it’s a really inefficient use of space in there. The cables are a mess to sort out, and adding drives becomes an exercise in rage control. Thankfully, modern case design has disposed of […]

Towards a better review system

The five-star review system you find on most websites today is inherently flawed if you want information about how good something actually is. Famously, on websites like Amazon, there is a ‘J-shaped’ distribution of review scores. That is, there is a small mass of 1-star reviews; relatively few 2-star, 3-star, and 4-star reviews; and a huge mass of 5-star reviews. This, on it’s own, means that most reviews are somewhat useless. But, when you remember that some of these reviews […]

The battle for the PC gamer

It’s as if someone has flicked the switch this year in the minds of Microsoft and Sony. It used to be that console manufacturers would focus on getting as many people on their own platform as possible. This meant drawing in people from every other market to theirs. This is fine in principle. The problem is that in practice, consumers are not homogeneous in this way. There are plenty of people for whom a certain product line will not work, […]

Useful LaTeX packages for writing papers

LaTeX is amazing for producing beautifully typeset documents. However, it can also be a bit of a clunky pain in the backside. Granted, much of that pain comes from tables, but there are other niggles here and there that can make your life a bit miserable. Hopefully, a CSS + HTML based solution may take over as a more modern and efficient markup language for typesetting in future. For now though, here are a few LaTeX packages I use frequently. […]

A Desktop for a desktop

Once upon a time, desktop computers actually did fit on your desktop (though they looked pretty horrible). Even then, though, they were quite cumbersome. With the ATX motherboard standard, and the rise of more popular ‘tower’ enclosures, PC cases seem to have gotten bigger, and usually end up being relegated to the floor. At the same time, though, the trend in recent years has been towards mobile computing. Since CPUs and GPUs have become smaller, cheaper, and more power efficient, […]

Linux Porting: A Golden Opportunity

Steam OS was released in its first iteration almost a year ago. It was Valve’s attempt to move towards a PC gaming operating system that emulated the experience of consoles, without the impracticalities and overheads of Windows. It also avoid various legal and licensing issues with Microsoft that are costly and undesirable for games developers. For those of you that aren’t aware, Steam OS is a Debian-based Linux distribution, centred around Valve’s Steam content distribution and management platform. Early experiments […]

Film vs digital: another case of the nudge

I’ve read a lot of stuff about photography lately. One argument that keeps popping up, especially with older photographers, is that they prefer traditional film cameras to modern digital cameras. What reasons do they come up with for this? Although some prefer the colours and grainy feel of older photos, most reasons boil down to some sort of nostalgia factor. Those of you below a certain age threshold may not have used or even seen a film camera. So what […]