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Release Notes: August 2017, Part 1

Site Improvements

  • The +30 rep earned from getting an "Answer Accepted" is now exempt from daily rep limiting.
  • We improved the Guide time range slider. Now, the slider will:
    • No longer auto-change to a single knob if the minimum value is 0
    • Conditionally expand upwards if the single knob is at the minimum value
    • Preserve both slider positions when toggling between single times and ranges

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where clicking on a featured guide would not link to that guide.
  • Fixed a bug on the product page where entering an invalid product option showed a 'No Image' placeholder.
  • Fixed the layering of elements on device pages so that the Parts & Tools Dropdown is no longer hidden behind device banners.
  • Out of stock products will no longer be featured on the front page.
  • Fixed a bug that allows you to add links to anchor tags on your current page without the wiki exploding. Previously, URLs that linked to anchor tags on the same page broke.
  • We fixed a couple bugs with the username autocompleter, so that you can now successfully mention other members using the `@` symbol followed by their username.
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So you're saying we can get more than 200 per day for accepted answers? I want to make sure I heard that right.

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@pccheese...really? This again?

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@lexahall Thank you Ma'am! @pccheese I am in a donating mood If you would like some points let me know bro, I see if I can donate those to you. Trust me, that is not what matters. Not in the least ;-)@theimedic you got that right ;-)

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I'll believe when I see it. Now the Ace of Answers only works half the time. Oldturkey hasn't gotten a nice answer badge since 11/1/16. Sorry, I'm a little hostile on this since it's been going on for 8 years and I'm tired and grouchy, obviously

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@oldturkey03 Your back! Glad to see you and your family is doing fine. Is it too bad there now?

@theimedic I don't consider it too important, but it does serve a purpose. The most important kind of rep is you or @mayer saying "Good job" to one of my answers. But I like for average people to be able to take advise from me instead of the guy who will answer one question then never come back.

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I have a feature request I think would make sense in the next release notes.

Some guides on this site should not have a time set. While the reason will vary per guide (along with how the author feels) and many authors will be incorrect in their assumption to not have a fixed time, but in some cases the author is going to be right to make this assumption. It should be up to the author, but if the author is wrong they need to listen to why they are wrong and not assume it's because their readers want a time on a guide where it doesn't make sense to have one on.

At least from my guides where I have a time set to fill in the blank I don't want a time on the guide (because it does not make sense and should not be there) is my 2008-2012 Laptop Linux config guide. I also feel the same way about the Desktop guide, but that's much more of a WIP that I'm not going to make it public for any long term period of time. Granted the Laptop guide is not 100% finished, but I published it because it took me so long to do it that I'm sure the community lost faith in the project. Making it public is my way of showing I can handle these kinds of guides, even if I'm not done with the pictures or procuring reliable hardware.

While I don't think there should be a set time for that guide, I chose to max it out for the sake of completeness right now. The alternative was to ignore it and hope someone doesn't suggest a time that's incorrect that I have to watch for and remove it as it comes up. Granted I am tracking changes and I will get notified, but having to do that all the time will get old and is not efficient. If iFixit allowed me to say that there is no set estimate for the guide and prevent regular users (but allowing admin or a moderator to step in) from adding a time to the guide, then I could safely remove the time altogether.

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I mean, I guess I agree. If someone doesn't complete a guide or repair in time, they may get in their own heads. Which is a difficult place to be, while completing a difficult task for the first time. Even if just a little more time than expected were to be added. It might improve the psyche of the person trying one of these guides for the first time

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That's why I maxed it out as a short term solution for this guide. For more normal guides, I overestimate by ~30 minutes-1 hour. I marked that as difficult as cheap insurance. The idea is if a beginner follows it, they have prior warning of how bad some machines can be.

Something like this example guide shouldn't have a time, since some systems are worse then others. I know this from experience - some machines are easy, while others (I'm calling you out, HP!) are more difficult to work with.

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And then there are older Dells, which have upgradable everything. I overhauled my Dell Inspiron 6400 with everything but a new screen, motherboard and ODD.

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Generally not in that way, @pccheese. What I am referring to is more to do with how well these machines work stock. Some of them are really good as-is but others need work.

You are right that serviceability can be a big part of the machine you pick (I don't use HP fpr these kinds of guides because HP makes their machines hard to work on and clings to the idea that the idea of a WLAN WL is still accepted). However, in terms of the config guides, it's very small. I want to assume you already picked a machine, tweaked the hardware as needed and it's fully built before you start the actual guide. However, this is the real world and many people don't do that so it also has to act as a reference to help someone pick a machine that will work well for the purposes of the guide and final build.

Now onto Dell. Generally speaking, Dell's OOB compatibility is very good (but there are exceptions here, as always). This is because Dell uses QCA cards if the laptop shipped with Dell branded wireless, but some of the older ones ship with Broadcom cards (which have a poor track record in Linux). I have also seen Dell machines that don't use dual band cards as well. If you are not in one of those 3 groups, then you are probably okay unless you want to install something like an Intel card or reduce the hardware in the machine that requires Non-Free firmware.

Overall, 3 groups should replace the card the laptop came with:

* Pre 802.11n

* No 5GHz support (2.4G only)

* Broadcom Dells

However, I also think Dell made major mistakes at one point.

One area I have to shame Dell for is 2010-~2012(?). These machines are known to have such a variance in the 2.5" hard drive position thay you need to look at the machine itself and figure out how it is done and make sure you are getting a machine that has a hard drive the end user can easily access. Some of these machines even put the hard drive under the motherboard, and these are the worst ones to deal with. After you visually see it's one of those machines, then you probably want to read the service manual. Dell put these machines to rest many years ago, but the fact they made so many means you need to know about them to avoid unknowingly buying one. I'm not as concerned about blade SSDs as I am with 2.5" drives, but some manufacturer will find a way to make replacement difficult (I'm looking at you, HP).

The thing is any sane laptop manufacturer knows better then to use a WLAN WL and to make their laptop serviceable. While I consider Dell to be a sane company, others aren't as good in this regard (I'm looking at you again, HP!). HP has managed to fail to design a cooling system, hid the defect but had to admit to it and repair the machines because they were sued. Of course, I am referring to the 2007 DV Series machines with nVidia graphics. I swore off of HP after that and boy am I glad I did. I tried one of their new machines because it's been 10 years since that nVidia mess happened (for reference, I tried the Pavilion 15 P series) and I regret recommending it now that I know they are burying the RAM under the bottom half of the motherboard with no access panels. I'm done with HP after the nVidia mess and the P series machine. While I crap on the buried hard drive Dells, it's NOTHING compared to what HP has managed to do wrong.

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Thanks for your input @nick! We appreciate the suggestion and will take it into consideration.

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