ubuntu-ca Digest, Vol 73, Issue 5

Hugh McDevitt crustyasp46 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 2 13:30:16 UTC 2011


My computing needs are rather simple, although of late I do  much more
experimenting with the how to do technical aspect of computing. But
normally I just do the average Joe type of computing, Email, web
searches, games, ( the older generation type, or retro, using Mess
emulator, or Dosbox ). More recent games if I am interested can be
played on a console.

I like exploring about how to do things, with the computer, not that I
am knowledgeable, but have a thirsty curiosity.

I think, I would probably stay with a desktop, although a laptop is a
convenient way to take your system on a trip or to the cottage, I do
not really require a laptop. I would just like to try to get a
computer that is more reliable than what my last two have been. Run
well for 6 mths. then in for warranty service, to have them do a
system recovery, and update windows, which lasts for 3 months or so
and they tell you the start up problem is a virus and do yet another
system recovery and update of windows.

There is a period of 8-10 weeks that I need to  use Dial up, but have
found that there is a USRobotics usb modem that is virtually plug and
play with Debian,

And I think, that my most important discovery of late, is that I don't
require windows to do what I want to do on the computer. If I wish to
keep my aged grey matter from becoming mush, then why not try to learn
something new, which in the long run may be interesting and eye
opening?

I will also do a search on theNvidia ION / Atom-basedHTPC machines,
and do some research on compatible hardware for possibly building my
own. I may get back to you Leigh on the possibility of you building me
one, if I get to the point that doing it myself is beyond my
capabilities. Thanks.

On 4/2/11, ubuntu-ca-request at lists.ubuntu.com
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> Today's Topics:
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>    1. Re: Dedicated Linux Machine (Phil Woodland)
>    2. Re: Dedicated Linux Machine (Leigh Honeywell)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2011 21:52:31 -0400
> From: Phil Woodland <phil.woodland at gmail.com>
> To: The Canadian Ubuntu Users Community <ubuntu-ca at lists.ubuntu.com>
> Subject: Re: Dedicated Linux Machine
> Message-ID: <4D96815F.601 at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"; Format="flowed"
>
> Ok.... lets get a few things straight here....
>
> The majority of off-the-shelf basic hardware will work with Linux (ie:
> virtually any hard-drive, cd/dvd-rom, floppy, motherboard, and ram
> combination).
> Arguably any/all on-board audio and network cards are supported (there
> used to be exceptions, but I doubt it anymore).
>
> The bits that can get dicey are:
> Wireless networking (if you need it  you need to make sure your card is
> supported).
> Video cards (if you need 3D acceleration for games, modeling, or just
> fun effects.... there are really only two options AMD/ATI and Nvidia).
>
> The problem with buying a lot of the pre-built computers (laptops and
> desktops, although more-so for laptops) is that the manufacturers tend
> to modify things or add odd-ball stuff just a little to make their model
> unique. Which is all fine and dandy if you use Windows because they have
> drivers and software to accommodate. Having said that, I have built my
> computer and have purchased my laptop.... I was just careful with my
> laptop purchase.
>
> So, Mr. McDevitt:
> What do you want to use your computer for? What would you prefer, a
> laptop or a desktop? I don't recommend building a computer from scratch
> to just anyone... but it can be quite rewarding, especially if you have
> an interest in how things work. I'm sure I have enough spare parts
> around to make you a decent one even.
>
> Thanks,
> Phil
>
>
> On 01/04/2011 9:02 PM, Bob Jonkman wrote:
>> Nigel Computers in Burlington will build a custom computer without an
>> operating system. I wouldn't be surprised if he also sells
>> unencumbered laptops. Nigel told me that he has the support of the
>> local Linux community for that position. (Anyone here from a
>> Burlington LUG?)
>>
>>
>> Nigel Computers
>> 744 Guelph Line
>> Burlington, ON  L7N 3N5
>> +1-905-631-9555
>> sales at nigelcomputers.com
>>
>> http://nigelcomputers.com/store/
>>
>> Sadly, the Web site offers no pricing on most items, so I've passed
>> over his store when gathering purchase proposal quotes for clients.
>> Retailers, take note! No prices, no RFQ!
>>
>> --Bob (who has no affiliation with Nigel other than as a satisfied
>> customer)
>>
>>
>> On 2011-04-01 at 20:55:30  Hugh McDevitt wrote:
>>> I should clarify, what I am looking for. A tour of the local computer
>>> inquiring about a new computer totally compatible with a Linux
>>> distribution installed, ie; Ubuntu or Mint  drew a lot of umms and
>>> can't dos.
>>>
>>> I have a HP desktop with Vista on it, that causes problems constantly,
>>> and an old very finicky Toshiba laptop with Ubuntu 10.04, that just
>>> seems to die shortly after start up, then reboots OK then dies again.
>>>
>>> Am now thinking about a new computer, and do not want one with any
>>> version of Windows on it.I just refuse to pay anymore for an inferior
>>> product or in any way support it. I figure that if I am going to have
>>> a problem with an OS, I may as well go with one that at least is well
>>> supported through forums and formats like this, where answers always
>>> seem available almost immediately.
>>>
>>> I am not enthusiastic about going to anywhere like a box store to get
>>> a new computer to just have them or me uninstall a Windows version,
>>> and still in a sense support Microsoft.
>>>
>>> My new computer would probably be in the 500 -600 range, Laptop or
>>> Desktop is still undecided. And if I can not find anyone in the area
>>> to build one and set it up at the beginning for me, I just take the
>>> advice and try building a system myself with the hardware that supprts
>>> Linux  Thank you all that have responded.
>>>
>
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2011 22:38:04 -0400
> From: Leigh Honeywell <leigh at hypatia.ca>
> To: ubuntu-ca at lists.ubuntu.com
> Subject: Re: Dedicated Linux Machine
> Message-ID: <4D968C0C.1040002 at hypatia.ca>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> Ok, this got a little long - musings on far too much experience building
> laptops and desktops to run Linux ahead:
>
> On 11-04-01 09:52 PM, Phil Woodland wrote:
>> Video cards (if you need 3D acceleration for games, modeling, or just
>> fun effects.... there are really only two options AMD/ATI and Nvidia).
>
> Compiz and other fun stuff run quite nicely on on-board Intel cards,
> which have great Free driver support.  If you just want to play video
> and fairly lightweight games, I've found these to be a great option.
> Because the drivers are totally Free they tend to be stable.
>
> I'd highly advice a newbie user against ATI cards.  They aren't worth
> the pain.
>
>> The problem with buying a lot of the pre-built computers (laptops and
>> desktops, although more-so for laptops) is that the manufacturers tend
>> to modify things or add odd-ball stuff just a little to make their model
>> unique. Which is all fine and dandy if you use Windows because they have
>> drivers and software to accommodate. Having said that, I have built my
>> computer and have purchased my laptop.... I was just careful with my
>> laptop purchase.
>
> The particular thing to watch out for here: of late, a lot of
> manufacturers are locking down their consumer hardware to only accept
> certain PCI ID's of WiFi cards.  Which means: you can't replace the WiFi
> card without serious hackery.
>
> The big offenders here are HP, Lenovo, and ASUS - their CONSUMER, not
> their BUSINESS lines.  I've never heard of a business laptop having a
> locked bios, but it's entirely possible.
>
> The trick there is just to make sure the card the laptop comes with is
> supported on Linux.  My method for this is to take a Live-USB distro
> into the store with me, boot into that, do lspci at the commandline to
> get the model info, and look it up on my phone.  Simple, easy, and saves
> a return.
>
>> So, Mr. McDevitt:
>> What do you want to use your computer for? What would you prefer, a
>> laptop or a desktop? I don't recommend building a computer from scratch
>> to just anyone... but it can be quite rewarding, especially if you have
>> an interest in how things work. I'm sure I have enough spare parts
>> around to make you a decent one even.
>
> While I've built a bunch of computers in my day, if you're going for a
> desktop I particularly like the off-the-shelf Nvidia ION / Atom-based
> HTPC machines you can get these days - they are even sold without the
> Windows tax.  I run a 40" HDTV off one, it plays full 1080p video,
> Stepmania (Open Source clone of Dance Dance Revolution), and old games
> on DOSBox.  While it won't play the latest-gen games it's all this geek
> needs.
>
> -Leigh
>
>
>
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> End of ubuntu-ca Digest, Vol 73, Issue 5
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