Teh Squeaky Wheel
Happy Empty Nest Tuesday, Gerbils.
So, for several days I’ve been trying to repair our “TV” laptop. This is a cheapo Dell with windows 10 that I bought a few years back for between 200 and 300 bucks. Naturally I didn’t expect that much from it. But it has been a constant pain since the getgo. Periodically freezing and/or crashing.
I tried to reset it using the onboard Dell repair app. Since basically I keep nothing on it except a browser or two so we can watch various internet stuff on it that we can’t get on the ROKU stick.
Well… Finally after all this time, it experienced one crash too many and kept going into a long disk repair routine after every restart. (Which by the way, accomplished nothing.)
Anyway, even at it’s best, it was always a piece of crap. But it always sorta worked.
The only peripherals plugged into it were the the TV HDMI port, and a Logitech Wireless Keyboard and Mouse combo I bought up the street at Staples back when I bought the laptop.
So At some point, after 3 days of trying to run the repair partition. I said fukkit.
I went to distro-watch to see what the most popular Linux distro was these days, Which was Linux MX version 19. I downloaded an ISO and burned it to a DVD-R
Changed a few bios settings on the aforementioned laptop.
Then once I booted to the DVD, I made sure to delete all the Dell shit partitions before installing MX 19.
So…. Long story even longer: EVERYTHING WORKS!!!
The wireless mouse/keyboard both work. I installed Brave Browser as my default. But it comes with firefox also. I had to switch the primary sound source to the HDMI channel, but you’d have to do that in windoz also, if you wanted to use the HDMI sound stream.
Also, it’s much peppier than before without all whatever Dell Bloatware had been on it. It’s a perfect TV laptop now.
I shoulda put Linux on it long ago.
I may even revisit the HDMI framing issue that I could do nothing about under Windoz. With X, you can do just about anything so I might be able to create a border around the destop area so the TV doesn’t cut off a bit of the full screen display
(This, by the way, is caused by the fact that my TV is kinda Oldish and has no setting to act like a full screen monitor under HDMI. Although it can do so under a VGA Input (which this laptop doesn’t have.))
Nest-Emptying Greetings, Wheelizens!
Hi, dv8! Congrats on successfully re-purposing your carptastic laptop; teh yay.
Haven’t read much news yet this morning, so I don’t know what new lawless carp took place across this nation overnight.
Hoping to read about some righteously dead looters and well-smeared asshats on pavement, as I’ve had more than enough re chaos. (And I’m sure you’ll all be stunned to know I’m way more pissed-off than usual.) 🙂
I’m even answering you on said laptop. I can’t believe the vast improvement in performance.
That’s teh awesome; so glad you significantly improved the utility of that (formerly POS) Dell.
My inbox is an opportunity-laden horror; I’d best get back to slogging through it. 🙂
Learning Linux has always been one of those things I think I should do but never have. Perhaps it’s time.
Fortunately, the act of “Learning Linux”(tm) is no more complicated than downloading an ISO, burning it and installing it. For the last 10 years or so, The process has been fairly painless for the uninitiated. In probably 99% of cases, to quote game developer Todd Howard: “It Just works”
There’s some cultural stuff-- like what the open source apps are called. There is also a thing called “WINE” which allows you to run your favorite windows programs on linux--and it works pretty well these days, But generally, you’ll find that the more common apps are pretty intuitive and similar to the windows apps you know.
MX comes with Libre Office. If you can use MS Office apps, it’s all the same.
If you know Adobe Photoshopt (which I don’t) Gimp will feel pretty familiar, etc. A lot of stuff that many of us are already using under windows, actually originated in UNIX Land somewhere, OBS, Audacity, Open Office, Libre Office, Openshot video editor, and many others.
And in the event that something doesn’t work right out of the box, there’s always google, and usually I have In the last 10 years, found a solution pretty easily.
Plus, the Client/Server architecture of Linux applications makes them much leaner and more efficient.
And these days, most Linux distributions have access to proprietary CODECs instead of having to rely on only open source facsimiles. Kevin Carmony (sp) pioneered the “Hybrid” linux distribution which made use of theses ideas in the late 2000s. This made Linux all the more usable by end users giving them an even more familiar experience.
I only have one home PC with Windows that I use primarily for personal use and occasional work/professional. I don’t want to mess with it -- might be best to maybe buy a cheap machine and play with Linux on it?
And if I had only looked up, I wouldn’t have to ask!
yeah, you can run it right off the DVD or a thumb drive, then you don’t have to mess with your windows installation. But you can get some 5 to 10 year old laptop and do pretty well. Linux can breath new life into most any old hardware.
Right now, MX 19.2 is pretty lean and runs on older hardware. They have a 64 bit (which I’m using on this crappy Dell) and a 32 bit version. IF you boot up from the DVD, you’ll see exactly what the default installation will look and act like without installing anything on your PC.
And there are several installation options from there when you are ready, including dual boot, and some virtualization options.
Yeah, so just try putting it on some old laptop or PC you have lying around. Also, these days, you can sample rund the linux right off the CD/DVD you burned. sometimes you can even run it under windows right from windows 10 because if you open the ISO files, often they mount as virtual drives and you can just go from there.
Still it’s better to just dedicate a machine to whatever version you want. Distrowatch.com is the best way to find out what Linux distribution is the most popular at the current time.
Happy Tuesday and good morning Dv8 and Fatwa.
A mostly quiet night in LA -- not sure if this is the beginning of the end of protests and riots or if it’s just taking a breather. Figure the next ignition point could be the George Floyd funeral.
LAPD made hundreds of arrests yesterday for curfew violations. Sending a message. I’m curious though, not knowing the law, if a lot of that was strategic intelligence gathering. After an arrest, can the police legally look at your cell phone and review your contacts and messaging?
Pretty sure cops need a warrant to search the data on your phone even after a legal arrest. They may physically examine it (remove it from a case, remove battery, etc.) but the data is, IIRC, considered “papers and effects” re the COTUS.
I’m about at the end of my damned rope where petty bullshit -- like going the “wrong way” down an aisle at the store -- and petty people (Karens) are concerned.
Serially…I’ve had all the bullshit I can tolerate from wannabe tyrants.
I saw Petty Bullshit open for Limp Dishrag at the Roxy. Interesting crowd.
Happy Tuesday, Gerbil Nation!
Good morning, dv8, Fatwa, and Sven!
Man, was yesterday a long day! Today isn’t looking any better, and I’m ending Wednesday with a contentious meeting where the parent is bringing in a legal advocate. On top of that, I’ve got a carp-tonne of other people’s work to review. I am more than ready for this week to be done.
dv8 -- glad you managed to not only save, but improve your laptop.
Hello, Paddy. Are you working for Jim teh Roofer now? Your day sounds suspiciously like Fatwa’s.
Still surprised by the lack of mention of Justine Damond’s murder in Minneapolis in the context of “white privilege” and how these things never happen to white people. Also surprised that no one wants to discuss that more blacks are shot and killed by black police than by white.
Software testing this morning with the music on and this song came up. It’s a good one.
LA extends its curfew for another night beginning at 6 PM. Right now, out in Hollywood, there’s a march going on with crowd estimates in excess of 10,000.
At least we aren’t in fire season, yet.
There’s a rally planned for Saturday in nearby Simi Valley. Boy, twitter sure hates the people that live there.
Watching the local news. The talking heads get so excited when something happens, like some black guy hugging a National Guardsman, that shows that things are changing and we all can get along and how amazing these young people are. How passionate.
It’s enough to make me puke. It’s like a beaten dog slobbering over its owner when it pats its head.
You guys make PC virtuosity sound so easy!
In my world, there’d be sparks and then the power would go out and all my neighbors would be mad at me. And ‘den the power company might balk once at our property because we have a “wild pack of dogs”.
(Seriously, contractors showed up at the gate one morning and the dogs were there doing their job: Bark! Bark! Who goes there?!?! I asked ’em for two minutes to get the dogs in and I’d let them down the drive to the pole. Took less than two minutes to get the pups in the house, the contractors were here for twenty minutes and. the. dogs. stayed. in. the. house. Still, it’s been “duly noted” that we have a “wild pack of dogs” in our file.)
As you might imagine, it’s a little warm here. *Our* peaceful protest was held south of downtown across the street from a karaoke bar, if the picture in the paper is where I think it is, not much in the way of attendance (the paper says “dozens”). I’m sure the thesaurus was lacking this morning.
The Accidental Texan© has been granted the ability to hit our former employer with a class action lawsuit. And he’s gonna go for it. Should be some interesting spectating.
Now I’m going to see if what “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” taught me last week tastes good. At least the pico is s00per fresh.
:: fingers crossed ::
The Dell laptop I bought in 2007 had Vista (spit) and it was a real dog. I was so disgusted with it that I was considering tossing it when Microsoft offered a download of Win 8.1 for $40.00 so I tried it. It was amazing what a difference it made, between ditching Vista (spit) and the Dell bloatware it became a much more usable computer, so I expect Linux would make a huge difference.
I put Win 10 Pro on my main desktop in December and at that time I considered replacing the PC as I built it in 2012/2013, but it works well so I just upgraded some of the components and it is working fine. I put in a Sandisk 500GB SSD for my boot drive and I just recently put two 6TB HDDs in a RAID 1 array for my storage drive, with a 6TB external drive I can connect to do backups on that and the boot drive. I got a program that syncs the Ext drive to the RAID drive very quickly, so I am protected against almost anything. I take a backup with drive image every day on an internal drive but I also take one on the external drive a few times a week so I have one off line. I have eliminated several internal and external drives by going to bigger drives. I put an 8TB drive internally for my movie collection and use the 10 TB external drive as backup, connecting it when needed. I added some USB3 hubs with switches to connect and disconnect the external drives without having to handle the cables. Cleaned things up and I am pretty happy with how it all works. The hardware is easy to work with but I am never confident messing with software, just a noob, so I stay with Windows. I am thinking more about Linux as I read more. It seems more mature than when I looked before.