Author Topic: Hardware/OS Geek Thread  (Read 33615 times)

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Offline PANatsFan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #125: September 08, 2009, 10:24:57 PM »
Don't forget liberals and conservatives living together in peace and SF cheering all Nats equally :lol:

My $399 clearance special Compaq has lasted me almost 3 years now for the things I need a notebook for.  Battery is just about shot though.

I'd love to see Apple sell Mac OS for "PC" but it'll never happen.  They make their bread and butter on stylish overpriced hardware, not on their OS.  For those of us who want Unix-like OSes without the Mac tax, there's Linux.  Meh.  Great server, horrible desktop.

I believe we've come full circle now, yes? :P

www.titannotebook.com  - cheap generic batteries. Dirt cheap. I'm on my 3rd one, but the warranty covered everything except 1 way shipping.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #126: September 09, 2009, 08:40:04 AM »
www.titannotebook.com  - cheap generic batteries. Dirt cheap. I'm on my 3rd one, but the warranty covered everything except 1 way shipping.

Nice prices but the only one they've got for mine is a gigantic 12-cell monster.  I don't feel like adding the extra bulk and screwing up the typing angle when I'm rarely unplugged anyway.  My laptop is basically a living room computer so I can surf and watch TV at the same time.  Once in a while I'll take it with me when I'm out of town, but finding a plug is usually easy.

iPod touch (OMG Apple :panic: ) works fine as an ultraportable browser if I really have to access the web somewhere that doesn't have a plug.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #127: September 09, 2009, 09:15:19 AM »
http://lifehacker.com/5350771/windows-7-with-intel-optimizes-laptop-dvd-playing

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Microsoft's Windows 7 honchos recently showed off the power performance improvements of their soon to be released OS, playing a DVD on a Vista Ultimate and Windows 7 Ultimate laptop side-by-side. The Vista notebook showed 4.14 hours of life left, while Windows 7 offered 5.5 hours. The catches? Those improvements come by way of Intel-specific engineering, and Microsoft said real-world performance is due to vary based on other hardware. Still, it's worth knowing if you're the type to turn a flight into a cinematic marathon. [CNET]

:clap:

A few years ago I would have complained about screwing AMD, but AMD hasn't been relevant in the non-budget desktop CPU market for quite a while now, and I'm all for anything that improves battery life

And no this isn't a dig at Mac, I just couldn't find the other geeky thread.  Though I would venture a guess that there are similar optimizations on the Mac side.

Offline Nathan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #128: September 09, 2009, 04:05:32 PM »
There is a geeky thread in uncensored.  Since it seems that the Snow Leopard / 7 conversation has run its course for now, maybe merge them into one big "Geeky Thread" for all computer / tech conversation in the Red Loft?
http://lifehacker.com/5350771/windows-7-with-intel-optimizes-laptop-dvd-playing

:clap:

A few years ago I would have complained about screwing AMD, but AMD hasn't been relevant in the non-budget desktop CPU market for quite a while now, and I'm all for anything that improves battery life

And no this isn't a dig at Mac, I just couldn't find the other geeky thread.  Though I would venture a guess that there are similar optimizations on the Mac side.
Before I switched to Macs and built my own rigs, I was an AMD fanboy.  It is sad that they have lost their edge against the giant.  I thought the Phenom X4s were supposed to be be like 85% the performance of a Core i7 (WTF is up with these names intel?) for a lot less cost?

When I was PC laptop searching a year ago I made sure to steer clear of any AMD models due to the craptier power consumption compared to Intel.  The only bad part was that a lot of the Intel models also had Intel graphics which are absolutely HORRIBLE!

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #129: September 09, 2009, 04:30:40 PM »
Best thing AMD has going right now is the Phenom II line, and even those are barely neck-and-neck with the old Core 2 Duo/Quad family.

I remember paying $400+ for the first Athlon 64 3400+.  Those were the days.  That said, I can't really complain about Intel's current line of products.  The stuff I've been upgrading along the way for the last 3 years has been practically bullet-proof.

Offline NatsAddict

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #130: September 11, 2009, 05:14:34 AM »
They should lie about the reason - "exceptionally high traffic" is just proof that everyone slamming his site is working.

Off-Topic - I like to dabble in Linux desktop distros, but I will never be able to take them seriously until one of them manages an interface that doesn't look like it came out of a time portal from 1999.  I know it's just "pretties" but still.

FileZilla :thumbs:  great app.

[ot]
Oh, you gotta dabble again, especially with KDE 4.3.

I use  all major desktops.  In my office, I have desktops/docked laptops running Mac OS X Leopard (haven't install Snow Leopoard yet), 3 linux distros: Fedora 11 (gnome & kde), SuSE 11 (gnome & kde), Ubuntu 9.04 (gnome only), and4 windows "distros": 7 (still just getting familiar, with a way to go before being knowledgable - some nice enhancements for windows, but nothing significant that I haven't had on linux for years), Vista Ultimate, Vista Home, and XP.  I find all of them at least acceptable, though I'd say Fedora and OS X are top shelf (one thing - why in the hell doesn't apple offer a wireless keyboard with a numeric keypad for the iMac - not that is matters since I can't stand the touch of their keyboard anyway and got a LogiTech one - MacBook Pro though is by far the greatest of the numerous laptops I've owned), Ubuntu and Windows 7 notch lower, Vista and SuSE another notch lower, and XP bottom shelf.  I almost never use XP anymore, not even for testing.  It is definitely the runt of the litter.  Really, all it ever does is piss me off.

KDE has the better eye candy, quite arguably better than 7 (actually, so does gnome), but both have had for a couple years what MSFT is just now providing, though not necessarily all in a default installation.  Even on gnome, on a 4-year old POS Compaq Presario laptop, I can page through apps in a manner similar to the sliding album covers on iPhone, far better and faster than Aero, and have a 3-D desktop. If you are familar with Safari and its 3-D tabs display - that's native to gnome as well, only for selecting apps. Actually, I can have several 3-D desktops running at once.  KDE 4.3 provides perhaps the best eye candy of all the desktops, and its plasma taskbars may get me to switch from gnome (another nice thing about linux, you can choose the type of windowing system you want each time you login, though a bit more of pain to setup on Ubuntu, but couldn't be any simplier on either Fedora or SuSE - with your background, I'd recommend Fedora 11 if you decide to dabble again). 

What I like about gnome is the easy navigation (why hit start/programs when I can just click on Applications - and the System menu is way better than the control panel) and best of all desktops taskbars (though KDE 4.3 plasma taskbars may take the lead), though the taskbar itself is antiquated on any desktop thanks to gnome Do (also runs in KDE).  Windows 7 doesn't even offer anything like  gnome Do. gnome Do could probably be best described as a graceful integration of Windows 7 Jumplist, Search, PowerShell and Taskbar.  As for the icons, linux has many more theme available than does windows. A linux user can easily customize every last thing about the taskbar(s) he/she wants - not most things, every last detail.

Linux doesn't require all the signed drivers and DirectX10 drivers in order to provide all the same eye candy as 7.  All the new pinning,  show desktop, snap, searching in 7 - linux has had for several years.  Jumplist is a nice new windows feature that may save 2 or 3 seconds a day, but still very antiquated compared to gnome Do. Some of the "big" features Microsoft is touting has the linux community laughing its ass off.  Large icons and thumbnail hovers - it has been so long, I can't remember linux not having them.  The new easy to use taskbar in Window 7 - still not up to linux standards.


The icon to the left of filezilla - Komodo IDE, is an excellent development environment.  I've used about all the major and some minor commercial ones, (Komodo offers a free editor which itself blows away most commercial IDEs - I liked their freebie better than Zend, NuSphere and Coda), and Komodo is by far my favorite.  Plus, it runs under Linux, OS X, and Windows.  It also adds extensions exactly like Firefox.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #131: September 11, 2009, 09:20:56 AM »
^^^ I'd have to respectfully disagree with about 9/10 of what you said there.

Unless you have some super secret builds of all those distros, none of them comes anywhere close to touching 7 out of the box for eye-candy, and I while I know you can spiff them up (spent a whole day at work once doing so to an old P4 box :lol: ) I really don't care to spend that much time on my personal machines just to get the basics working.

When I use 'nix, I'm more comfortable in a terminal window than anything else.

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I find all of them at least acceptable, though I'd say Fedora and OS X are top shelf (one thing - why in the hell doesn't apple offer a wireless keyboard with a numeric keypad for the iMac - not that is matters since I can't stand the touch of their keyboard anyway and got a LogiTech one

So you'd say Fedora w/ KDE is the cream of the crop?  Agreed on Mac keyboards.  Ugh.  Just not enough feedback for me.  Does that make me old-school? :lol:

Windows 7 doesn't even offer anything like  gnome Do. gnome Do could probably be best described as a graceful integration of Windows 7 Jumplist, Search, PowerShell and Taskbar.  As for the icons, linux has many more theme available than does windows. A linux user can easily customize every last thing about the taskbar(s) he/she wants - not most things, every last detail.

I don't know anything about Do but from the previews on their website it doesn't look much different than a free-floating version of the pinned apps on the 7 taskbar to me.  Linux is obviously endlessly customizable, and I do wish Windows was a bit more so, but Linux is almost TOO customizable.  At some point you just need to use the apps and get things done instead of tinkering with the OS.  IMHO Linux is nowhere close to providing the kind of OOBE that Windows does, and even most advanced users aren't going to have the patience to get everything working correctly.  Don't get me started on hardware compatibility.  Better forget about 'nix if you are a cutting-edge hardware type and don't have a lot of patience.

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Linux doesn't require all the signed drivers and DirectX10 drivers in order to provide all the same eye candy as 7.  All the new pinning,  show desktop, snap, searching in 7 - linux has had for several years.

I personally think this statement is misleading as the OOB implementations of what you're referring to are crude at best.  Also refer to my above thoughts on hardware compatibility.  If you want a little eye candy on older hardware, 'nix *can* be a good option.

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Jumplist is a nice new windows feature that may save 2 or 3 seconds a day, but still very antiquated compared to gnome Do. Some of the "big" features Microsoft is touting has the linux community laughing its ass off.  Large icons and thumbnail hovers - it has been so long, I can't remember linux not having them.  The new easy to use taskbar in Window 7 - still not up to linux standards.

Funny, I don't recall seeing any of the features you mention in any OOB distros I've tried.  The 7 taskbar is light-years ahead of anything I've seen in 'nix.  Window wobble doesn't impress me, and I usually disable most animations regardless of what OS I'm using anyway.  Waste of time.

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The icon to the left of filezilla - Komodo IDE, is an excellent development environment.  I've used about all the major and some minor commercial ones, (Komodo offers a free editor which itself blows away most commercial IDEs - I liked their freebie better than Zend, NuSphere and Coda), and Komodo is by far my favorite.  Plus, it runs under Linux, OS X, and Windows.  It also adds extensions exactly like Firefox.

Admittedly I don't do a lot of coding, but that sounds nice.  I'll definitely check it out for the next time I'm working on the forum.

If you want my opinion, the Linux Desktop movement is self-defeating.  All the best 'nix apps have very good Windows ports or native binaries, so why would I switch to 'nix if I don't need to?  Firefox, Pidgin, and FileZilla are some of my faves.  I know there are plenty of others.

I like Linux heaps for server and command line stuff, but I think if the 'nix geeks are serious about challenging MS, they need to reach a stable point in under-hood development, sit on it, and work entirely on the OOB UI experience.

PS - if you're griping about Start/programs, you haven't fully embraced pinning things to the start menu and/or new taskbar.  I rarely ever go digging in All Programs.  Even if something I want isn't pinned, tapping the windows key and typing the first few letters of what i'm looking for in the search box brings it up right away.

Jump lists...  I'm starting to find uses for them.  I think they'll be a lot more useful once more apps are programmed to take full advantage of them, but even now I have found it handy to pin a few oft-used items to jump lists.

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I almost never use XP anymore, not even for testing.  It is definitely the runt of the litter.  Really, all it ever does is piss me off.

At least we agree on this :lol:

I run XP on a VM for when I absolutely have to use it, but otherwise it's not longer installed on anything I own or control.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #132: September 11, 2009, 09:46:05 AM »
Oh NatsAddict btw - I don't know what your preferred method of "alt-tabbing" is (for lack of a better description) but I use a nice little freeware app called "switcher" for Vista/7 that mimics Mac Expose.  Works very smoothly and is highly customizable.  Give it a look if that sounds like something you'd like.

Offline sportsfan882

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #133: September 11, 2009, 11:53:10 AM »
I run XP on a VM for when I absolutely have to use it, but otherwise it's not longer installed on anything I own or control.
chief, what is the purpose of a virtual machine?

In one of my classes the other night I made two virtual machines (win xp pro sp3, linux fedora) with VMWare. It's pretty neat and everything that I can run those right on my laptop but what is the real use?

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #134: September 11, 2009, 12:39:17 PM »
At work I use XP on Active Directory in a VM because I need to be connected to AD for work purposes, but I don't want to be restricted by group policy on my main desktop.  Dual displays at work, so I usually just run the XP VM fullscreened on the secondary display.

You can use them to run virtual servers.  I actually ran the forum off of a 'nix VM for a few days back in late 2006/early '07 :lol:  The hosting that the forum runs off of now is a VPS (Virtual Private Server), which is just a fancy way of saying that it's a VM.  I created a super-lightweight xampp-based VM for a friend of mine to test web stuff with.

I've used them before to test out customized builds of Windows XP or check out Live Linux distros.

Basically anything that you'd want to do on a separate machine, without needing an actual separate machine to do it.

Offline Nathan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #135: September 11, 2009, 03:46:19 PM »
Oh NatsAddict btw - I don't know what your preferred method of "alt-tabbing" is (for lack of a better description) but I use a nice little freeware app called "switcher" for Vista/7 that mimics Mac Expose.  Works very smoothly and is highly customizable.  Give it a look if that sounds like something you'd like.
:panic: :panic: :panic:  :icon_mrgreen:


VMs are great for those of us that need or want to use multiple OS's.  For instance in my Unix class the college didn't want to install Linux on all the PCs in the lab so they used a VM and installed Fedora in it.  I run XP in a VM on my Mac for when I need to compile some code for one of my Comp/Sci classes into a Windows executable.  Much faster than rebooting into Vista or 7 just to do it. 

VMware has a cool feature on their Mac product (don't know about the Windows version) called "Unity".  Instead of running Windows within a window, you have Windows err... windows  side by side OS X windows.

I use XP in my VM due to the lighter weight.  I tried running Vista and it didn't work too very well on my 2.5 year old iMac.  I haven't tried 7 on my new MacBook Pro to see if it runs any better.



Hey Chief, remember how I was telling you about the heat issue on my Mac with 7?  Well I have found out that it is indeed because only the dedicated 9600m GT GPU is enabled.  Nvidia says it doesn't support the 9400m + 9600m GT hybrid under Windows.  Seems like BS to me, PC makers have to have some systems with the same configuration.  I'm pretty pissed about it.  I can run OS X on the 9400m and the MBP stays completely cool but if I boot into 7 it gets hot.  I don't know if it is Apple's fault for some weird code in the chipset or nvidia really doesn't support them both.  Either way, someone needs to get me a driver so I can live in OS X + Win7 harmonious bliss.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #136: September 11, 2009, 04:41:47 PM »
:panic: :panic: :panic:  :icon_mrgreen:

I run it in the background on startup but I don't actually use it that much.  In fact, I don't even use alt-tab that much anymore.  I find WINKEY+# mostly does the trick (restores/minimizes the corresponding pinned app on the taskbar, or tabs between windows of that app if there are more than one).  To be fair though, I don't use OS-level app switchers much at all anymore since my browser, IM client, and preferred editor all use tabs.  WINKEY+# is still nice for quickly switching apps though, especially as it's right next to CTRL-TAB, which is what most apps use to cycle tabs.  Only on the rare occasion that I actually let my desktop become cluttered do I need switcher.  It's very nice to have in those instances, though.

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VMs are great for those of us that need or want to use multiple OS's.  For instance in my Unix class the college didn't want to install Linux on all the PCs in the lab so they used a VM and installed Fedora in it.  I run XP in a VM on my Mac for when I need to compile some code for one of my Comp/Sci classes into a Windows executable.  Much faster than rebooting into Vista or 7 just to do it.

This is what I use VMs for a lot of the time as well - I don't like having to interrupt my work or get out the laptop just to do other-OS tasks.

Quote
VMware has a cool feature on their Mac product (don't know about the Windows version) called "Unity".  Instead of running Windows within a window, you have Windows err... windows  side by side OS X windows.

Yeah I've used it a few times but it seems kinda clunky to me, and I prefer not to mix things up anyway.

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I use XP in my VM due to the lighter weight.  I tried running Vista and it didn't work too very well on my 2.5 year old iMac.  I haven't tried 7 on my new MacBook Pro to see if it runs any better.

I haven't actually tried it yet, but judging by how snappy 7 feels over lowish-speed broadband on RDP, I'm thinking it should be fine on a VM.  Helps if your CPU supports HW-level virtualization.

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Hey Chief, remember how I was telling you about the heat issue on my Mac with 7?  Well I have found out that it is indeed because only the dedicated 9600m GT GPU is enabled.  Nvidia says it doesn't support the 9400m + 9600m GT hybrid under Windows.  Seems like BS to me, PC makers have to have some systems with the same configuration.  I'm pretty annoyed about it.  I can run OS X on the 9400m and the MBP stays completely cool but if I boot into 7 it gets hot.  I don't know if it is Apple's fault for some weird code in the chipset or nvidia really doesn't support them both.  Either way, someone needs to get me a driver so I can live in OS X + Win7 harmonious bliss.

I've seen Sonys before with dedicated nvidia cards working beside integrated Intel graphics.  They had a little switch marked "stamina/speed" for switching between the two depending on what you wanted, but I've never personally seen or heard of a PC notebook with dual non-SLI nvidia cards.  Is there no way to run the 9400 and disable the 9600?

Offline PatsNats28

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #137: September 11, 2009, 06:15:32 PM »
Getting a MacBook Pro, should arrive Monday or Tuesday.

Offline Nathan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #138: September 11, 2009, 07:15:14 PM »

I've seen Sonys before with dedicated nvidia cards working beside integrated Intel graphics.  They had a little switch marked "stamina/speed" for switching between the two depending on what you wanted, but I've never personally seen or heard of a PC notebook with dual non-SLI nvidia cards.  Is there no way to run the 9400 and disable the 9600?
No way that I can find.  I'm pretty down on Apple right now for it.

Offline Nathan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #139: September 12, 2009, 04:02:48 AM »
Just ran some browse benchmarks.

Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.  First on the integrated 9400m and then with the 9600m GT on Snow Leopard 10.6.1 (yes, there is already an update).  The only one that really got a boost was Safari, I'm not sure if the 64 bit version of Safari vs 32 bit versions of Firefox and Chrome had anything to do with it.

I did notice that Firefox made the Mac run hotter when benchmarking than wither of the other two browsers.  In fact, Firefox with the 9600m GT turned on ran about as hot as Windows 7 does at idle.  It has to be a driver issue as to why 7 runs so hot on the MacBook Pro.  I'm still upset about it.

Here are the screen caps for the 2 tests.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #140: September 12, 2009, 10:00:50 AM »
Futuremark is still peddling benchmarks?  And for browsers now? :doh: :lol:

Offline PatsNats28

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #141: September 12, 2009, 11:29:50 AM »
Chief I have to say, I thought of you as a Mac type of guy.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #142: September 12, 2009, 12:31:27 PM »
Chief I have to say, I thought of you as a Mac type of guy.

I really don't have anything against them, I just like being contrary :lol:

Offline sportsfan882

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #143: September 12, 2009, 12:43:30 PM »
I really don't have anything against them, I just like being contrary :lol:
that's obvious :clap: :clap:


Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #144: September 12, 2009, 05:47:14 PM »
that's obvious :clap: :clap:

It's not just for the sake of it, I just can't keep my mouth shut if I disagree :lol:

NatsAddict, I threw the latest Ubuntu on my clearance special laptop and installed Gnome Do.  It's alright.  I'd still need to mess with it a bit more to give a final verdict, but so far I'm not seeing that it does anything that the taskbar and start menu search function in 7 (or Vista for that matter) don't do quite well.

The default Ubuntu Gnome theme is still the same hideous clay abomination they've been using since, what...  v6?  I'm trying to add some other themes, but they're all beryl or emerald themes and either I'm doing it wrong or neither of those are the default window manager.  Attempting to install either or both, but the auto-installer for Ubuntu only allocated the minimum amount of space necessary to install beside 7, so I need to burn a copy of GParted Live and resize the partition before I can do anything.  Tried doing it from within the desktop, but it won't let me.  I'm guessing there are probably ways to do it from a terminal, but my terminal-fu is a bit weak in that area :doh: :lol:

Messed around with Fedora 11 KDE at work some yesterday.  From what I saw, the default setup is at least a lot nicer than the blah setup that comes OOB with Gnome.  I'd mess with it some more at home, but for some reason it hangs on boot on my laptop.

Offline NatsAddict

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #145: September 15, 2009, 02:47:25 PM »
NatsAddict, I threw the latest Ubuntu on my clearance special laptop and installed Gnome Do.  It's alright.  I'd still need to mess with it a bit more to give a final verdict, but so far I'm not seeing that it does anything that the taskbar and start menu search function in 7 (or Vista for that matter) don't do quite well.

The default Ubuntu Gnome theme is still the same hideous clay abomination they've been using since, what...  v6?  I'm trying to add some other themes, but they're all beryl or emerald themes and either I'm doing it wrong or neither of those are the default window manager.  Attempting to install either or both, but the auto-installer for Ubuntu only allocated the minimum amount of space necessary to install beside 7, so I need to burn a copy of GParted Live and resize the partition before I can do anything.  Tried doing it from within the desktop, but it won't let me.  I'm guessing there are probably ways to do it from a terminal, but my terminal-fu is a bit weak in that area :doh: :lol:

Messed around with Fedora 11 KDE at work some yesterday.  From what I saw, the default setup is at least a lot nicer than the blah setup that comes OOB with Gnome.  I'd mess with it some more at home, but for some reason it hangs on boot on my laptop.

The main difference in the distros is the installer.  I never had Ubuntu with a VORP of even 1 until Jaunty (version 9.04).  Unlike other distros, Ubuntu offers virtually no configuration options during an install.  It installs what is decides upon, and you get no say on which apps to include or exclude.  That's a weakness in the linux community, but is the accepted norm in the Windows world.  But, you can add (or remove) apps later, and do so in a means that I find much easier than what is available with Windows.

I had a reply all set to post a few days ago, but with all the quotes etc., it was over the character limit.  I didn't have time to fix it as I was heading out the door and went out of town for a few days, so never got back to it.  So, here's the Reader's Digest version:

Until 2006, I would have agreed with everything you said, except perhaps for the hardware.  Installs used to be a royal pain, but it was still worth it in order to get a server going (and the GUI wasn't as important - though I did use to install servers without a GUI at all - I guess I liked the command line, too.)

Actually, linux has lead Windows with hardware compatibility, and was a couple years ahead of Windows in supporting 64-bit.  The problem was again the distro including the drivers.  All the drivers existed, but the distros didn't necessarily include them.  Since 2006, the most advanced hardware has run with the then current distros right out of the box.  One of my guys built a new Xeon 7330(?)-based server earlier this year, and everything ran right off the Fedora DVD.  Back in the day (2005 & earlier), RedHat (now Fedora Project) in particular didn't even include a suitable set of video drivers.  There's a GUI?  Ok, I'll take your word for it.  It was pretty pitiful, but well worth the effort for a server.  It technically was a GUI, but it was on a 800x600 resolution.  

Linux is widely used on servers because of how well it does run on the high-end hardware.  According to Netcraft, this site running on Fedora.

As for which drivers are included in the kernel, that is the distro, but I haven't had any driver not install in the past 3 years other than an atheros wireless card when installing Fedora 9(?).  Even then, you just add another repository (I think it was madwifi), and it takes care of it (assuming you have a wired connection to get to the repository, or copied the driver from another machine).  Now, most distros include a wide variety of hardware support, and it is rare that a driver needs to be downloaded during installation.  Even then, so long as it isn't a network adapter that is needed, it will do so during the install.

I haven't played with the live-CDs, so my experience isn't the same as yours.  The live-CDs are generally crippled, especially prior to the 2.6 kernel when they started using ram for disk i/o.

One thing I haven't found in Windows 7 yet is a "drawer,", with is a pinned item that can contain other pinned objects, including another drawer.  

Here are some 2006 clips of Ubuntu:

YouTube
You may want to turn the sound off.  The guy is hung up on the "cube" effect, and doesn't show much else.  He doesn't even use but about 1/3 of the cube effects.  There are all different effects that you can add if you want more eye candy.

This other 2006 clip shows the "Wolf Blitzer" effect that he uses on CNN, and some of the touch screen capabilities that linux has had fro Ubuntu has had for .  Again, watch the sound because the moron thinks his whistling adds to the video, and then about half way through knocks over his mic and drops and f-bomb.  
YouTube

All the 3-D, pinning, etc. and virtually every other "new" feature in Windows 7 desktop has been around on linux for a few years.  I was thinking that maybe you had an ump or two in your family tree, and then saw your later post about how you are using live-CDs, and that's probably the difference.  Also, why would you look for a feature that Windows doesn't have?  And let's face it, live CDs don't exactly come with a lot of documentation.

Also, I find that linux generally includes better accessories than Windows for viewing PDFs (even the 3rd party windows PDFs), PDF editing that beast even the 3rd party non-Adobe editors on windows, screen shots, docking, CD/DVD burning, FTP, gimp is available for windows as well and is a much better imaging tool than any basic thing OOB with windows, even the calculator.  I love the repository system for linux, though it took some getting used to at first.  I'll take your word on the basic IM,apps as that is something I don't use.  I also like open office more than MS Office.  I find being able to open document from any version of MS Office a nice feature in an office suite.  I'll also take the linux screen snippets over sidebar (real resource pig - at least in Vista) with only one regret - I like the gold price sidebar gadget available for Vista).  Also, every major distro includes Firefox OOB.  I find the Evolution e-mail client superior to all others, but still use Thunderbird anyway just for consistency across across platforms.  In fact, most of my main tools are all cross-platform.

My concerns are running development apps on a stable platform that performs all tasks rapidly, and linux does that for me better than Windows, though 7 appears to have caught up in the performance other than disk i/o.  If all I did was office apps, e-mail, and browse and never used any of the accessories, I'd call it a draw.  Linux pinning still seems to be a generation ahead of 7, though 7 counters with the jump list.

I am not saying that linux is leading by laps in a 500 mile race, just that the race is much closer than most people realize, and for my particular purposes linux (Fedora) wins by a few car lengths.  For development, I find linux a better platform.  And, as you said, why switch if what you have is doing everything?  Of course, that applies to the XP crowd, too.  I'm a bit surprised MSFT hasn't offered an easier upgrade path.    

There is a gnome theme to make it look like OS X (get a Mac, then) and several Vista themes for KDE and gnome.  Ubuntu is the only one of the three distros (the others being Fedora and openSuSE) that doesn't offer both KDE and Gnome on the same "sub-distro."  If you want KDE, you have to get Kbuntu.

As for Fedora, no, I do not use KDE with it.  I prefer gnome.  I find KDE too much like, well, windows and too bulky.  It's not a big difference in time, but I find instant gratification takes too long, and gnome easier to tweak to most instantly serve my requests (and without any, "Hey Bill!  I'm clicking my ass off here!" moments).

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #146: September 15, 2009, 04:10:46 PM »
The main difference in the distros is the installer.  I never had Ubuntu with a VORP of even 1 until Jaunty (version 9.04).

:rofl: only on WNFF do Linux and VORP come together

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Unlike other distros, Ubuntu offers virtually no configuration options during an install.  It installs what is decides upon, and you get no say on which apps to include or exclude.  That's a weakness in the linux community, but is the accepted norm in the Windows world.  But, you can add (or remove) apps later, and do so in a means that I find much easier than what is available with Windows.

Ubuntu's not bad once you install it and start digging, and I will grant you that the app install system is very nice, but it still doesn't solve the problem of installing apps that have to be installed manually rather than through apt-get, and moreover I'm just not that interested in re-inventing the wheel only - spending so much time to get the OS "just so" to turn around and realize that now I have to find 'nix equivalents to all my favorite apps and learn how to use them, too.

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Actually, linux has lead Windows with hardware compatibility, and was a couple years ahead of Windows in supporting 64-bit.  The problem was again the distro including the drivers.  All the drivers existed, but the distros didn't necessarily include them.

Yeah this I knew, but it's a technicality to blame it on the distros.  It wasn't Microsoft's fault that none of the idiot OEMs wrote Vista drivers until the 11th hour, but they ended up shouldering all the blame for it anyway.

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Linux is widely used on servers because of how well it does run on the high-end hardware.  According to Netcraft, this site running on Fedora.

Yup, I mentioned this somewhere else in this thread or elsewhere in the forum...  can't remember.  It runs on CentOS, actually, which I think is a Fedora variant.  I've already professed my love for 'nix as a server OS.

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As for which drivers are included in the kernel, that is the distro, but I haven't had any driver not install in the past 3 years other than an atheros wireless card when installing Fedora 9(?).  Even then, you just add another repository (I think it was madwifi), and it takes care of it (assuming you have a wired connection to get to the repository, or copied the driver from another machine).  Now, most distros include a wide variety of hardware support, and it is rare that a driver needs to be downloaded during installation.  Even then, so long as it isn't a network adapter that is needed, it will do so during the install.

Again I feel like we're comparing apples and oranges...  servers, great.  Desktops, not so much.  I may be wrong as I've been running the same hardware at home for almost 2 years now, but when I used to stay on the cutting edge, 'nix support ALWAYS lagged behind Windows.  This is especially true with consumer video cards.  I know the blame there lies with Nvidia and ATI, but the result is what matters.  I'd agree that things have improved a lot in the last 3 years, but video and wireless drivers are still trouble spots for most 'nix desktops I've given a whirl.

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I haven't played with the live-CDs, so my experience isn't the same as yours.  The live-CDs are generally crippled, especially prior to the 2.6 kernel when they started using ram for disk i/o.

LiveCDs are generally okay - I really only use them to do a spot-check for network connectivity.  If a distro can't get me on the web out of the box, I won't even consider it.  When I first got my current laptop, it was all bw43cutter this and that and a bunch of other stuff that was way too much hassle for me to ever bother.  Distros have caught up since then and getting wifi to work on my laptop now is just a matter of activating the proprietary driver.

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One thing I haven't found in Windows 7 yet is a "drawer,", with is a pinned item that can contain other pinned objects, including another drawer.

I'm not quite sure what you mean.  Maybe you could illustrate with a screencap?

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Here are some 2006 clips of Ubuntu:

Yeah, I've seen that stuff and implemented most of it myself before in the course of fooling around, but again I just don't see the point in fussing with it when Windows looks great and works great for me with minimal effort.  I think the problem is that too many 'nix themes try to look like something they aren't, and end up doing so poorly.  Linux just doesn't have what I would consider an "identity" on the desktop.

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All the 3-D, pinning, etc. and virtually every other "new" feature in Windows 7 desktop has been around on linux for a few years

I've never understood this line of thought.  Apple fans have been crying about MS ripping them off since forever, but who cares?  I see this with web browsers now, too.  Every major OS and browser has some really great unique features, and a lot of questionably useful ones.  I really don't think anyone should fool themselves that 'nix, Mac, and Windows haven't all creatively borrowed from one other over the years (or that the browsers aren't doing the same now).

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I was thinking that maybe you had an ump or two in your family tree, and then saw your later post about how you are using live-CDs, and that's probably the difference.  Also, why would you look for a feature that Windows doesn't have?  And let's face it, live CDs don't exactly come with a lot of documentation.

I don't use liveCDs if I actually think the distro is worth a shot.  I install so I can fiddle around and find the features Windows doesn't have.  The problem for 'nix is that most of them are easily duplicated by readily available free apps.  Window edge snapping is a great feature that I wish was native in all versions of Windows, but I've found several great small apps that run in the background with a minimal footprint and do it just fine.  Gnome Do was nice, and certainly made finding things easier, but objectively I didn't see that it did anything any better than the built-in search in Vista/7 or the taskbar in 7.

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Also, I find that linux generally includes better accessories than Windows for viewing PDFs (even the 3rd party windows PDFs), PDF editing that beast even the 3rd party non-Adobe editors on windows

I don't edit PDFs so I can't speak to that, but I find Sumatra PDF Viewer does the job just fine at 1.5 MB for viewing.

screen shots - prtscrn, alt-prtscrn, and the snipping tool in vista/7 aren't enough screencapping options for you? :lol:

docking - not exactly sure what you mean by docking but the new taskbar in 7 is great, imo.

CD/DVD burning - http://www.imgburn.com/ (does regular file/folder burning as well) - the built in burning features in 7 are quite capable as well, but I don't use them that often because I don't burn discs that often.

FTP - FileZilla and FireFTP are both more than capable enough for me.

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gimp is available for windows as well and is a much better imaging tool than any basic thing OOB with windows

You're comparing Gimp to mspaint? :rofl:  Try Photoshop CS4 or even Paint.NET (free).  Gimp is great and I'm not knocking it, but how does that make LINUX better than WINDOWS?  I think people get way too caught up in what the applications do and forget that we're talking about operating systems.  Windows doesn't NEED to bundle everything with the OS the way Mac and 'nix do just to provide basic productivity.  In fact, the US DoJ and the EU pretty much forbid it!

Installing Windows 7 is dead simple, doesn't take long, and gets you up and running with minimal effort, and gives you a few basic apps to get you started.  From there you're on your own, and there's a HUGE world of software options out there, MANY of which are free.  I thought that's what the idea behind 'nix was too, but now it seems like you're trying to promote Linux as a desktop based on the strength of it's bundled apps.

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even the calculator.

Admittedly I haven't spent a lot of time looking for Linux calculators, but the updated one in 7 is quite handy and good enough for most people who aren't doing calculus with it I'm sure :lol:

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I love the repository system for linux, though it took some getting used to at first.

For me, repositories are the only reason that Linux is even marginally tolerable as a desktop OS at this juncture.  Manually installing 'nix apps is (or at least was) beyond hellacious.

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I also like open office more than MS Office.  I find being able to open document from any version of MS Office a nice feature in an office suite.

Office suites are a matter of preference.  I don't switch because I don't need to.  Not sure what you mean about opening any version of Office docs.  2007 can do that, and 2003 with the (free) 2007 compatibility pack can as well.  If I'd ever had to pay for a copy of Office, then I probably would have used OO, but I haven't, and now that I have a technet sub, I won't.  At least not until whatever version comes after Office 2010 :lol:

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I'll also take the linux screen snippets over sidebar (real resource pig - at least in Vista)

I don't use widgets, gadgets, or any other similarly frivolous type of things, and in fact the gadget platform is always one of the first things I uninstall, but out of curiosity I re-installed it in 7 pro just now and threw a few gadgets onto the desktop and checked the sidebar process - 15 MB.  I'm not sure what kind of machines you're running, but I'd hardly call that a gross resource drain these days.  It is twice as much RAM as my entire first computer had, though :lol: (I can only imagine how many more times than YOUR first computer :P )

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Also, every major distro includes Firefox OOB.  I find the Evolution e-mail client superior to all others, but still use Thunderbird anyway just for consistency across across platforms.

Windows may start including other browsers soon as well - at least in Europe.  Regardless, I don't see what bearing that has on comparing OSes.  Firefox is usually one of the first things I install.  IE8 really isn't that bad other than being slow and nagging you about your "first time."  As for email - I'm an avid gmail user, so all email clients seem like very quaint and obsolete unnecessaries to me.

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In fact, most of my main tools are all cross-platform.

Same here.

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My concerns are running development apps on a stable platform that performs all tasks rapidly, and linux does that for me better than Windows, though 7 appears to have caught up in the performance other than disk i/o.

I don't know your specifics, but I can't say I've ever personally seen any Linux distro provide a faster desktop environment than Windows does.  Usually noticeably slower on the same hardware.  I don't doubt that it's faster for time-sensitive computational tasks - even XP beats it's newer brothers at that - but the difference is not worth measuring or worrying about for day-to-day tasks, especially if you're running reasonably modern/decent hardware.

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If all I did was office apps, e-mail, and browse and never used any of the accessories, I'd call it a draw.  Linux pinning still seems to be a generation ahead of 7, though 7 counters with the jump list.

Funny, I say the exact same thing about Linux.  "Put it on grandma's computer so she can check email and doesn't get any viruses" :lol:

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I am not saying that linux is leading by laps in a 500 mile race, just that the race is much closer than most people realize, and for my particular purposes linux (Fedora) wins by a few car lengths.  For development, I find linux a better platform.  And, as you said, why switch if what you have is doing everything?  Of course, that applies to the XP crowd, too.  I'm a bit surprised MSFT hasn't offered an easier upgrade path.

They are close in OS functionality, I'm not denying that.  I wouldn't even bother arguing who is ahead of whom, though I do think 'nix still takes more finagling to get everything working properly.  As I mentioned before, an OS is not an exciting thing, and comparing Linux apps to Windows apps to Mac apps misses the point of which OS is actually better vs which APPS are better.

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There is a gnome theme to make it look like OS X (get a Mac, then) and several Vista themes for KDE and gnome.  Ubuntu is the only one of the three distros (the others being Fedora and openSuSE) that doesn't offer both KDE and Gnome on the same "sub-distro."  If you want KDE, you have to get Kbuntu.

Yeah, I've installed variations of both of those themes in the course of fooling around, and found most of them to be tricky to install and just incorrect enough to look like cheap knock-offs.  Still better than most distros' default themes though.

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As for Fedora, no, I do not use KDE with it.  I prefer gnome.  I find KDE too much like, well, windows and too bulky.  It's not a big difference in time, but I find instant gratification takes too long, and gnome easier to tweak to most instantly serve my requests (and without any, "Hey Bill!  I'm clicking my ass off here!" moments).

You can find pretty much anything in Vista or 7 by tapping the windows key and typing whatever you're looking for...  same as the default installation of Gnome Do but with one less keystroke...  maybe I'm missing something but I don't see the difference.

Most of my 'nix GUI experience is with Gnome.  I may be wrong but I've always gotten the impression that KDE is sort of the red-headed stepchild of Linux GUIs.  Gnome seems to be much more popular.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #147: September 15, 2009, 04:32:33 PM »
IN CONCLUSION:

Everyone should use what they like best, and we certainly have no lacking for diversity of opinion around here! :lol:

Offline sportsfan882

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #148: September 15, 2009, 04:37:19 PM »
good info. :clap:

how long did it take you guys to type out those responses? :lmao:

Offline NatsAddict

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #149: September 15, 2009, 05:44:46 PM »
It looks like we are in agreement on most things.  I've never seen linux run slower than any version of windows, and until 7, it generally has proven faster and more responsive even on lesser hardware, and without the pauses.  Does 7 still do all the DRM checking on everyfrigginthing as it appears?

MSFT doess get a lot of knock for some really sh*ttily-written apps that are made for windows (*cough* Adobe *cough*).  With the educational pricing, I got the entire CS4 suite for $150, and still ripped myself off.  I think we both benefit from using cross-platform apps as they seems to be well written.

Supposedly the OS X was a KDE clone.  It looks more like the BSD gnome to me, though.  That brings up another thing about distros - some are more agressive and put out more bleeding edge apps in their distros (Mandrake).  Ubuntu is so conservative it makes Rush Limbaugh look like a liberal.  Ubuntu's own repositories still haven't approved Firefox 3.5.  I used ubuntuzilla's repository to get it.

As for Gimp and the others, its not a single package, but the entire set of accessories that are generally easier to work with.  I have to do more than I would like conversion between hex/dec, and with FAU baseball, the calc to verify manually calculations of web app stat formulas, and find the calc is easier to use without as much mouse/keyboard swaps.  Back in my CPA days, screws TI, Sharp, and the others, only the Monroe calculators for me.

Speaking of those days gone by, my first real computer (not counting a Heath Kit) had 512KB and TWO  double-sided double-density floppy drives.  It even had a CGA card.  It costs around $4,000 or $4,500 in 1981.  Somewhere I have Serial Number 6 of Netware (this is before Advanced Netware, Netware 286, etc.) on 5.25" floppies.  It ran on the 8088/8086 architecture.  I think we first use g-net, which ran at something like 160Kbps, then ArcNet, think ethernet, token ring - all with the amazing IPX if I sent it you got it protocol.  I also had and Apple ][,  moved up to and XT, AT, Model 80 etc.  I had a Compaq luggable when I was flying up to NYC to work every day - actually, I still have that machine and the XT around somewhere.  I remember getting all excited when modems got to 1200 bps, and started on my first wide area network connecting offices in Silver Spring, Manhattan, Pacific Palisades, Honolulu, and Anchorage.  Unfortunately, no software existed that would do that, so I found a couple of guys in TX with the same sort of problem.  We developed a piece of software that we sold, and is now known as pcAnywhere (and thus "retired" at age 27).  We also developed the original CAS engine that enabled PC faxing.  Ah, so nice not to dream in assembler anymore.


Trivia question, which came first, the fax, the computer, or the telephone?