Author Topic: Computer Woes  (Read 19410 times)

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xylothrill

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Computer Woes
« on: June 06, 2008, 03:55:05 am »
My faithful, dependable mac's hard drive bit the dust yesterday. It wouldn't boot OSX or Windows and disk utilities could not fix it. That thing served me well for four years, it must have been. Since there's not an Apple store near me and I don't have the patience to wait for one to be delivered, I decided to go with a cheap E-machine. Vista's a lot faster than it was on my old mac but it's still not as fast as OSX was. I'll have to work on getting Linux installed on this thing. In the mean time, I'm going to be restoring everything I had on that computer by hand. Thankfully, I'd written all my login and passwords down or I'd be SOL! Back-ups on the same hard drive are no good when that hard drive is fried.

Now, if I had invested a lot in Mac programs, I'd probably have gotten another Mac but thank God for free software! That's usually all I've ever needed.

Satya,
I know you use Linux. It's been a very long time, maybe a decade, since I've used it. Which distribution do you use and which GUI? I've used Gnome and KDE.

Craig

Satya

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 05:25:27 am »
Satya,
I know you use Linux. It's been a very long time, maybe a decade, since I've used it. Which distribution do you use and which GUI? I've used Gnome and KDE.

I feel for you. :(

I use Mandriva, KDE.  I'm mostly happy with it.  I thought about Debian, but I am so used to the other that I probably won't switch anytime soon.

xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2008, 11:59:57 am »
I tried to do a net install of Debian but it doesn't appear to support wireless network adapters. :-(

Satya

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008, 04:50:32 am »
Didn't they have a hardware compatability list at the download site?  Is the adapter brand-spanking new on the market?  As you know, Linux, being open source, is dependent on a team of dedicated programmers to come up with drivers to support new hardware.  Whereas most hardware makers think only of MS operating systems, systems so insecure and shoddy that they need to install regular updates to fix stuff for which they never tested.  Search and see if their aren't drivers for it. 

Look into Mandriva too.  It has a new release as of April, it's very easy to configure, and is software developer friendly.  Both distributions have many of the same programs.

Dust yourself off and try again, try again.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 05:42:54 am by Satya »

xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2008, 10:43:19 am »
That had occurred to me actually. The cheap computer I bought is not top-of-the-line but it is new. I suppose the network adapter is pretty new too.
I tried installing Debian on the 4 year old mac but alas even linux is finding problems with the hard drive.

Mandriva starts to boot from the DVD on both computers but then hangs. I suppose I'll just suffer with microsoft until the Linux drivers catch up. I'll search to see if there are new drivers not included with the current distributions but then. I'd have to use Debian. I have only the core installed so I'd have to install the drivers from the command prompt. I can do it if there are good instructions. Once I get internet access, I can download the rest of the packages from the installer.

Thanks for your help!

Craig

xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2008, 12:57:23 am »
I've FINALLY found a distribution that would install. It's Kubuntu! I'm amazed at how far linux has come! It installed, and then updated itself. If I want to install a program I just browse through adept, pick what I want and poof! It gets installed like magic! Way better than Microsoft. More secure and no worries about viruses. You can also work with two windows side by side without all of the other ones coming forward.

Thanks for turning me back on to Linux!

Craig


Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2008, 01:33:26 am »
Craig,
I've considered moving to Linux, however I've been concerned about support for the programs I use often like Photo Shop, Visio, Real Player, Quick Time, Adobe Acrobat, not to mention the entire MS office suite, Word/Excel/and others.    Have you had any problems here?

Satya

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2008, 02:22:03 am »
Good deal, Craig.  I will look into that distribution ... sounds very Paleo <g>.  Yeah, no worries about viruses and all that.  I mean, the whole set up is so much safer than MS.  However, Fedora is by far the most secure distribution afaik.  I am now leaning towards that on my main pc.  I have 2 networked together and the other has XP and the new Mandriva.  I can have it all!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fedora_%28operating_system%29#Security_features
"One of the security features in Fedora is Security-Enhanced Linux, a Linux feature that implements a variety of security policies, including mandatory access controls, through the use of Linux Security Modules (LSM) in the Linux kernel. Fedora is one of the distributions leading the way with SELinux.[19] SELinux was introduced in Fedora Core 2. It was disabled by default, as it radically altered how the operating system worked, but was enabled by default in Fedora Core 3 and introduced a less strict, targeted policy.[20][21]

"Fedora also has methods in place to prevent buffer overflow exploits and root kits from functioning. Compile time buffer checks, Exec Shield and restrictions on how kernel memory in /dev/mem can be accessed help to prevent this.[22]"


Lex, Flash does not support Linux for a 64 bit cpu.  If we would have gone with the 32 bit version of the os, all would be well.  That is what we'll do next time.  All other programs are fine, even my Java IDE has a Linux version.  And as more and more people go with it, the more it will be supported.

xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2008, 02:24:34 am »
Hi Lex,

I suggest going to mandriva.com and downloading the Mandriva One live CD.
You can then boot from the CD and check out the gimp and office programs.

You could also easily install Linux on your free space and have a dual boot system.

I got it installed right before going to work so I didn't have the time to check out all the program thoroughly. I'll do that tonight when I get home.

Craig

xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2008, 12:27:07 am »
Good deal, Craig.  I will look into that distribution ... sounds very Paleo <g>.  Yeah, no worries about viruses and all that.  I mean, the whole set up is so much safer than MS.  However, Fedora is by far the most secure distribution afaik.  I am now leaning towards that on my main pc.  I have 2 networked together and the other has XP and the new Mandriva.  I can have it all!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fedora_%28operating_system%29#Security_features
"One of the security features in Fedora is Security-Enhanced Linux, a Linux feature that implements a variety of security policies, including mandatory access controls, through the use of Linux Security Modules (LSM) in the Linux kernel. Fedora is one of the distributions leading the way with SELinux.[19] SELinux was introduced in Fedora Core 2. It was disabled by default, as it radically altered how the operating system worked, but was enabled by default in Fedora Core 3 and introduced a less strict, targeted policy.[20][21]

"Fedora also has methods in place to prevent buffer overflow exploits and root kits from functioning. Compile time buffer checks, Exec Shield and restrictions on how kernel memory in /dev/mem can be accessed help to prevent this.[22]"


Lex, Flash does not support Linux for a 64 bit cpu.  If we would have gone with the 32 bit version of the os, all would be well.  That is what we'll do next time.  All other programs are fine, even my Java IDE has a Linux version.  And as more and more people go with it, the more it will be supported.

Kubuntu does sound paleo and it means "towards humanity" in the African language Memba and it means "free" in Kirundi!  Kubuntu is the KDE version of Ubuntu, which means "humanity to others"
This distribution was started by a wealthy South African man who's aim is to spread linux. He or Canonical, his company will send out free CDs. You pay nothing. He foots the bill for the CD and even the postage. He also funds development of this distribution.

As for security, I'd be willing to bet that even a four-year-old distribution of the least secure Linux distribution would still be far more secure than anything Microsoft offers right now.

I've opted for a dual boot system with Vista only because I need iTunes to update and sync my iPhone. I hear it can run under Wine (windows emulator) I'm downloading it as I type. I'll let you know if it works.

Lex,
Do you have a 64 bit processor?

Satya,
Is it possible to install the 32 bit version on a 64 bit computer?

My old Mac has a intel core duo. Those processors are 64 bit but it's disabled. It save them money from not having to develop two different chipsets. So, they can charge more for the 64 bit even though it's the same exact chip!

Craig


xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2008, 12:48:13 am »
Craig,
I've considered moving to Linux, however I've been concerned about support for the programs I use often like Photo Shop, Visio, Real Player, Quick Time, Adobe Acrobat, not to mention the entire MS office suite, Word/Excel/and others.    Have you had any problems here?

Lex,
I have checked out Open Office and the Gimp. They look feature rich but I don't normally use these types of programs much. I know there are tons of plug-ins for the Gimp. http://www.gimp.org/about/introduction.html

Visio ----> Kisio
Acrobat has a linux version
Microsoft Office ---> Open Office  http://why.openoffice.org/why_great.html
Real Player has a linux version
Quicktime-----> Quicktime 4 Linux http://heroinewarrior.com/quicktime.php3

Also, Firefox has built-in spell checking so you won't have any problems posting on sites without a spell-checker. It's very easy to use. The misspelled word becomes underlined in red. You simply right click on it and choose one of the recommended words.

You can download a live demo CD here: http://www.mandriva.com/ When you get the time, try it out. I'd like to know what you think. I liked the look and feel of Mandriva but Kubuntu was the only one up to date enough to run on this computer. It's growing on me though and I do like the name - sounds like something a caveman would say. 

If you do decide to install it. I'd recommend keeping your windows partition and installing it on the free space. It will install the boot loader of your choice so when starting up your computer you'll be prompted to choose which OS to boot up. If you're not there, it'll time out and boot the default OS. Make sure you back up any important files before installing just in case. You might want to defragment your hard drive first so that the free space will be contiguous for the linux partition.

I hope it works for you!

Craig
« Last Edit: June 19, 2008, 12:49:57 am by Craig »

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 01:31:05 am »
Craig,
Thanks for the info.  Looks like most of the bases are covered, however I'm a huge user of Photo Shop.  Any idea if there is a similar product available for Linux?

xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2008, 01:44:10 am »
Lex,

Sorry I forgot to mention that the Gimp is the Photo Shop equivalent http://www.gimp.org/
Craig


xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2008, 01:32:26 am »
Satya,

Have you tried Gnash for your 64 bit computer? It's a flash clone that is 64 bit compatible.

http://wiki.gnashdev.org/Gnash It's still in beta but they say you can at least see youtube videos with it.

Craig

Satya

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2008, 02:48:49 am »
Is it possible to install the 32 bit version on a 64 bit computer?

Yes, it is possible.

Satya

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2008, 02:56:04 am »

Have you tried Gnash for your 64 bit computer? It's a flash clone that is 64 bit compatible.

http://wiki.gnashdev.org/Gnash It's still in beta but they say you can at least see youtube videos with it.

Craig

Craig, thanks.  No, I wasn't familiar with that.  I think Mandriva has something like that too, but I think it didn't work right or something when I tried.  We shall see what Fedora has included too.  I'd like to be able to use the full capabilities of my machine.

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2008, 09:23:36 am »
I had Linux years ago when it first started.  Today's version is sure a far cry from what I was running in 1990s, but it still seems to require a bit of fussing about to find drivers and compatible programs.    Now that I'm retired I just want something that runs the programs I use with the least hassle.

I'm actually considering a Mac.  Craig, If money were no object would you have replaced your Mac instead of going with Linux?  The latest Macbook Pro looks pretty good.  Mac's also have really good support for running windows inside OS X with very little performance hit.

Just trying to find the best fit,

lex

Satya

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2008, 10:31:30 am »
I had Linux years ago when it first started.  Today's version is sure a far cry from what I was running in 1990s, but it still seems to require a bit of fussing about to find drivers and compatible programs.    Now that I'm retired I just want something that runs the programs I use with the least hassle.

Linux might require a tech savvy person if the hardware is brand new.  If not, Linux will be the better choice as all the hardware will be supported.

I'm actually considering a Mac.  Craig, If money were no object would you have replaced your Mac instead of going with Linux?  The latest Macbook Pro looks pretty good.  Mac's also have really good support for running windows inside OS X with very little performance hit.

Mac makes you take all hardware as one package; you can't build your own, and it all must be Apple in order to work right.  And that's why it's stable.  But it's a bloody rip off in this day and age.  The bottom of the line iMac is pretty comparable to the pc we bought our son for Christmas (though his has more umph in places), yet we paid less than half the money for it.  If you have a good chunk of change, the Mac is a good choice, as all that software that you have to buy along with the hardware is insanely expensive.  Linux is free and runs on a home-built, high-end pc.  We spend about $500 for the good hardware guts that we can pick and choose for best value/performance and get the software for free.

It's kind of like your jerky contraption.  It's easy and expensive for me to use my Excalibur dehydrator that cost $100.  And you make your own dehydrator for pennies that works the same.  Mac is like the Excalibur.  It's a big chunk for what it actually is.  With a bit of research and some home installation, you can do the same thing for much less.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2008, 10:49:22 am by Satya »

xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2008, 11:07:59 am »
 Lex,

I'm amazed at how far Linux has come. It installed my network adapter driver and my video card driver automatically. On windows I had to install them.

 If money weren't an issue or if I had invested in a lot of expensive software, I would have gotten another Mac. Then, I'd probably have made it a dual boot mac/linux system. My old one was a dual boot mac/vista system but I never used the vista.

The only time I had to restart my mac was when I'd get system updates and I could put that off however long I wanted to. I never had to restart it after installing a program. You download the program, it shows up as a mounted CD. You drag the icon from the virtual cd to the applications folder (or wherever you want really) and it's installed. You "eject" the virtual CD and it disappears. That's it! Some programs do come with their own installers but I don't think they're necessary. You won't be disappointed! It'll take a little getting used to. I still find myself looking for window menus or going for the left side of the window to close it. You'll get used to it and you'll love it.

Another factor in not going with a mac was time. I didn't want to drive all the way to Tampa or Miami to an Apple store and I didn't want to wait for a delivery. I'm a computer addict, you know! I was going through withdrawals. :-)

Since Apple switched over to intel chips, there is no need for an emulator, which is what really slows things down. Windows can run natively within the Mac OS.

One thing about Macs that I don't like is their Safari browser. I would go with Firefox instead.  The primary reason is that I like to hover over a link , look down at the bottom and see where the link is going to take me before I click on it. Safari doesn't do that. Firefox also warns you of impostor sites and phishing sites so you can avoid them.

Craig

Craig



Satya

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2008, 11:17:55 am »
PS.  I usually buy components and such from tigerdirect.com.  They have some great deals.

xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2008, 11:19:20 am »
Oh come on. We all know he wants a mac for the status symbol...like driving a beemer as opposed to ford pinto.  ;D

Satya

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2008, 11:24:55 am »
Oh come on. We all know he wants a mac for the status symbol...like driving a beemer as opposed to ford pinto.  ;D

Maybe the Mac is a status symbol with the artsy fartsy crowd who watches too many commercials.  Real men want a good bang for their buck. ;)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2008, 11:34:34 am by Satya »

xylothrill

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2008, 11:41:46 am »
Maybe I should get a $25 hard drive, put it in my mac, install Linux with a really good OS X theme. Then sell it for $500!   Just kidding of course.   ;)

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2008, 01:11:41 pm »
Thanks for the input.  The reason I'd consider a mac is that it is a complete package that I don't have to muck with.  All the hardware and software work together seamlessly.  I'd have to learn the ins and outs of the operating system but then if I move to Vista I'd have to do the same thing.

I know XP and it's foybles pretty well. Like an old shoe it's comfortable.  Unfortunatley there's also a hole or two in the sole and I occasionally have to put up with a blister or two.

Linux would require mucking with both hardware and completely new software.  When you are dependent on things like Photo Shop the also-ran programs just don't measure up.  I've also read that USB support can get messy and everything I have is USB -printer, scanner, photo printer, external audio processor, midi interface, digitizing pad, keyboard, Kurzweil keyboard,  - the works.  I have 6 USB ports on my current PC and two additional 7 port expanders.  All but 2 ports are used.  Also, my internet connection uses a PCI to PCMCIA cardbus32 adapter as I use an EVDO Sprint Wireless card as my only internet access.  I'm just not sure Linux had drivers and support for all this stuff.  As it is Mac just recently included support for the EVDO Wireless card.

Lex

Satya

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Re: Computer Woes
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2008, 09:05:39 pm »
USB is no problem with Linux now, but finding drivers and such can be a chore.  A mac is probably the best choice for you.  And, um, I was only joking about the "real men" comment.

Does anyone else find XP to be painfully slow to boot up?  I have noticed this on all the pcs I have ever used with it.  How does the osx compare? 

 

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