Is Dexterity overpowered compared to Strength?

Finesse weapons allow you to use Dex for attack and damage rolls. This allows most of classes, including even some first-line fighters, to dump Str for Dex – you do not lose in attack rolls, only a little bit in damage rolls (there are no finesse two-handed weapons, but a rapier with d8 dmg is still pretty good), you gain a lot in AC, and as a bonus you have excellent ranged attacks. You cannot really grapple etc., but you easily avoid such attacks.

Having low Str incurs some limitations like lower carrying capacity, but this seems to be more than offset by having good Dex skill checks. All in all, having a power-focused fighter against a fighter with this kind of optimization, my bets would be strongly on the second one. Am I missing something?

(Of course, the DM can have something to say on that, and it may also look like poor role-playing; but let’s put aside those for now.)

europe – Is it cheaper to book Dutch train tickets online in advance compared to paying on the day?

I am going to the Netherlands and might need to get a train. (Between Eindhoven and Amsterdam). On (the large train operator that does that route), they list the price as €17.90ish. That’s for booking it online.

However, I’m not sure what price it’d be if I were to turn up on the day and buy a ticket for the next train going that way.

Here in Ireland if you book train tickets online in advance, it’s much cheaper than if you arrive in the train station and want to buy a ticket for the next train. (e.g. €20 online vs. €60 last minute in some cases). Is this the same in the Netherlands with NS or is it the same price regardless of when you book?

Update I don’t care what sort of train to take, I just want to get from Eindhoven to Amsterdam.

Money isn’t too much of an issue, I just don’t want to be asked to pay €50 per ticket when I could have got it for <€20 had I only booked online!

seo – How can I increase the value of one page compared to other pages?

I have the following structure in my website :

          Cat-1                           Page-A                   Blog-Page
            |                               |                          |
      ----------------               ----------------           ----------------
      |              |               |              |           |              |
  Product-1       Product-2      Product-1       Product-4    Post1          Post2

Product pages are categorized between two types of pages: Category Pages(Cat-1) & Special Pages(Page-A)
In my business, the priority of my pages is in the following order:

  • Special Pages(Page-A)
  • Category Pages(Cat-1)
  • Post Pages(Post-1 , Post-2 and …)
  • Product Pages(Product-1 , Product-2 and …)
  • Home Page(

My problem here is that Google has prioritized pages as follows (base on search result):

  • Product Pages(Post-1 , Post-2 and …)
  • Category Pages(Cat-1)
  • Special Pages(Page-A)
  • Post Pages(Post-1 , Post-2 and …)
  • Home Page(

Sitemap details for each entities :

  • Special Pages (changefreq : daily, priority : 0.9)
  • Category Pages(changefreq : daily, priority : 0.9)
  • Product Pages (changefreq : daily, priority : 0.7)
  • Post Pages (changefreq : weekly, priority : 0.6)

How can I get this valuable to Google?

dnd 3.5e – Compared to the other Epic Feats that are readily available at level 21, is Multispell as obviously imbalanced as it appears?

It seems obvious to me that the Epic Feats are imbalanced – that is to say, that there is a great disparity in the relative power of the feats with comparable requirements – but a lot of this is made hard to quantify because the feats that appear the most broken cannot easily be taken at level 21. After realising that, I turned my attention to the Epic Feats that can obviously be taken at level 21. Among these, Multispell drew my attention. It reads:

Multispell (Epic)
Quicken Spell, ability to cast 9th-level arcane or divine spells.
You may cast one additional quickened spell in a round.
You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.

This seems easy to obtain at level 21 and obviously game-destorying, particularly when compared to other Epic Feats like Polyglot (there’s a spell for that, and I think that you need to be past level 21 for this anyway?), Armor Skin (oh wow, +1 AC!), and Storm Of Throws (I don’t even know why you’d want this). Am I correct in my assessment, or is there some balancing factor somewhere that makes this feat not as broken as it appears when compared to the other Epic Feats that can easily be taken at level 21?

macos – Weird folder setup in Big Sur compared to Mojave. Lots of questions

macos – Weird folder setup in Big Sur compared to Mojave. Lots of questions – Ask Different

gui design – Usability of colour pickers in HSL format compared to RGB and HEX

Reading a recent article about HSL colour pickers being more user-friendly, I thought about the reason why the RGB and HEX colour pickers exist and who they are catering for, and it seems quite obvious that these types of colour pickers are created by and for designers and developers because this is the convention and way that we have been specifying colours since the early days of the web. It is in contrast to the CMYK colour palettes that people who work in the physical print medium as opposed to the digital medium.

But since there is so much focus on self-publishing on the web, and more tools to allow the everyday designer and developer to contribute to the plethora of sites that already exist (and we need to if we want to move towards web 3.0 and beyond where everyone is an owner and contributor), it is interesting that the HSL colour pickers are not getting the popularity that it probably could be getting.

From a UX designer perspective, isn’t the HSL colour picker more user friendly for the general users (and even designers)?

Is there a particular reason (other than the fact that RGB and HEX colour pickers make up the overwhelming majority) that HSL colour pickers shouldn’t be more popular?

Mid Market Hosts Compared: DigitalOcean vs. Vultr vs. Linode

There’s three companies that I think of as mid-market hosts:

What do I mean by mid market?  They’re between two extremes:

  • Tech behemoths like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google with their big public clouds.
  • Smaller companies which don’t have 9-digit revenues and hundreds of employees.

For example, DigitalOcean in 2019 had $250 million in revenue and 530 employees.  Linode has about $100 million in revenue and 200+ employees.  This doesn’t make them necessarily better than many of the hosts we feature here, just bigger.

Some other distinguishing characteristics:

  • Big, by hosting company standards
  • APIs and features that are custom to their platform, though not as extensive as AWS.
  • Hourly billing
  • Bundled bandwidth (unlike public cloud)
  • Backups/snapshots and similar features
  • Custom control panel that’s much more sophisticated than Solus but maybe not as wildly dense as big public cloud choices
  • Many locations

The interesting thing is that they’re converging on the same point, both in terms of features and pricing.  The pricing between DO, Linode, and Vultr changes year to year but it’s not that different.

Your choice between these three is probably going to come down to which service attribute they emphasize, the network location, and if they have the specific feature you want.  Speaking of features…

Feature Comparison

DO Linode Vultr
API ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Backups ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Block Volume/Addon Disk ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Custom ISO ✖︎ ✖︎ ✔︎
DDOS Protection ✔︎ ✖︎ ✔︎
Floating IP ✔︎ ✖︎ ✔︎
Hourly Billing ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Load Balancer ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Scripts on Installation ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Snapshots ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
SSH Keys on Installation ✔︎ ✖︎1 ✔︎
Object Storage ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
One-Click Apps ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Kubernetes ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Datacenters 11 13 17

1 Possible with “StackScripts” (scripts run at install time).

Digital Ocean

DigitalOcean was famous for throwing around crazy promos, and that seems to have settled down.  But yeah, they’ve got venture capital money (and have filed for an IPO).  I like DO a lot, as I’ve always found performance excellent and their API to be easy to use.  I’ve just never gotten stuck or seen glitchiness with DO.  Every quarter or two, they roll out new features: load balancers, block storage, etc.







Vultr is just like DO only different.  Well, that’s the feeling anyway.  Slightly different network locations, slightly different feature set.  I’ve had a very good experience there and they are a bit more feature-ful than DO.

And unlike DO they advertise on LEB and have participated on LET, so what’s not to love!







Linode has been around a very long time, and to some extent they have benefitted from being early.  I don’t find their offerings as good as DO or Vultr, to be honest, because they’re not as feature rich.  For a long time if someone said “I just need a basic Linux VPS that is really reliable and I’ll pay a little more for that” I’d suggest Linode, but now they’re not really special any more and have somewhat fallen behind the better funded DO and Vultr.  That’s not to say Linode is bad – by no means.  They’re still a good provider, and continue to fight aggressively in the marketplace, but they don’t have all the features.




I’m Andrew, techno polymath and long-time LowEndTalk community Moderator. My technical interests include all things Unix, perl, python, shell scripting, and relational database systems. I enjoy writing technical articles here on LowEndBox to help people get more out of their VPSes.

Why there is more shutter lag when using live-preview as compared to viewfinder?

There is more shutter lag because the shutter has to close first before opening again to expose the shot. When you turn on live view, the mirror is raised and the shutter is opened, so the image formed by the sensor can be fed constantly to the LCD. When you take a shot in live view, the shutter closes again to ‘reset’ the sensor before the actual exposure is made.

When shooting with the viewfinder, the process (simplified) is:

Press button -> mirror lifts -> shutter opens -> light hits sensor which registers it -> shutter closes

When shooting with Live View, the process is:

Press button -> shutter closes -> sensor ‘resets to 0’ -> shutter opens -> light hits sensor -> shutter closes

Essentially, the mirror lifting is a quicker process than the shutter closing and the sensor ‘resetting’.

graphs – Concrete example of an admissible A* heuristic compared to Djisktra

As I understand it, A* is a general form of Djikstra where the selection of the next node to visit can be based on something other than the actual distance. For example, with Djikstra, you’d use a priority queue ordered ascending by distance and shift off the head of the queue to decide where to visit next. But with A*, the order of the priority queue can be based off of the actual distance and/or another factor (the heuristic). The heuristic is considered admissible if the value it returns is guaranteed to be equal to or less than the actual distance. In other words, Djikstra is a form of A* where the heuristic always returns the actual distance.

So, what is a concrete example of an admissible A* heuristic?

It seems like writing a heuristic function that always returns an equal to or lesser value than the actual distance would require some magical insight about the graph obtained if I already knew the shortest distances.

Conditional Formatting one column of date/time data compared to another colum date/time data 4 hour breach and 1 hour breach

I’d like to conditionally format one column’s date/time cell data if the time is over one hour after the date/time cell data on the same row in the previous column by making it red and bold. Can anyone help with this? I’ve tried to look at similar questions on here but can’t seem to make it work.


If A2 has 21/01/2021 8:00
and B2 has 21/01/2021 9:05
and C2 has 21/01/2021 8:37

then B2 data will be formatted red and bold because the hour has been breached, wheras C2 data will remain non-bold and black.

I also need a similar formula for a 4 hour breach.

Can anyone help please?



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