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shopping for a laptop again (DigitalStorm sucks)

 
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paul wheaton wrote:As of about 25 minutes ago, I switched to mint.


Cool.


I see that i am using "linux mint 17.1 rebecca" - gnome/kde? maybe it doesn't matter?


KDE generally has gear shaped logos floating around. Some of the newer Mints have XFCE which is very Gnome2 like and still being actively maintained and updated. It is the general choice for those who liked gnome2, don't like gnome3 (gnome session) and still want something with support. Both Xubuntu and UbuntuStudio are xfce based. I use it on a daily basis. It seems a bit more stable than KDE in my use because it has less B&W (bells and whistles).


Chrome seems to be working really great.


Yup, but you probably have chromium if it came with Mint, Chrome is Google's variation and only mostly open (whatever that is). They are both based on the same code base.

I have heard that Chrome/Chromium are easy for web robots to trace your viewing habits with. That is they are built so that google can watch where you go and built a profile by finger printing. I don't know if this matters to you, but some people will not touch Chrome for this reason. However, in your case being able to watch netflix was one of your requirements and Chrome is the "go to" for that. (this applies to the win/osx versions too)


I'm told that jason got netflix working on this. And i have a new way to record skype calls. And I found a linux based video editor i'm going to try.



All good stuff, I would like to have your comments on the video editor as part of UbuntuStudio (Len is a sometimes dev for UbuntuStudio) is video creation. We include more than one video editor (I have had more luck with KDenlive than openshot) but I am not much of a video nut. Any comments would be helpful in selecting the best video editor(s) to include. Ardour (an audio DAW) now has a video mode for adding audio to Videos, by the way.


I need to get an ftp client this morning - any suggestions?



Open your file manager (Nautilus, files, thunar or whatever) look for "Go" on the menubar and "open location". It should give you a text dialog, type in sftp://system.I.like/location/I/want/to/start/at/ and you should get a user/password dialog to log in. The remote system will then look like it is another disk on your local system. You should be able to directly edit files on the remote system without having to make a local copy. This is what I use for editing webpages on the server here. I open the file or directory with bluefish and edit/create as if it was local.

Note: I have described what I do with Thunar, so the steps using Nautilus or other file browser may be different, but all of them I have tried seem to allow using ftp or sftp (please use sftp) OOTB.
 
Len Ovens
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Len Ovens wrote:
All good stuff, I would like to have your comments on the video editor as part of UbuntuStudio (Len is a sometimes dev for UbuntuStudio) is video creation. We include more than one video editor (I have had more luck with KDenlive than openshot) but I am not much of a video nut. Any comments would be helpful in selecting the best video editor(s) to include. Ardour (an audio DAW) now has a video mode for adding audio to Videos, by the way.



I forgot to mention Blender (blender demo) which while primarily known for it it's 3d design and animation abilities also includes a complete video editor as well. People seem to either love it or hate it. It opens by default in the 3d object creation window, but can be configured to open to the video editor window instead.

There are also a few free, but not open video editors that I have heard good things about, I don't remember their names though because I don't have them in my menu
 
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Open your file manager (Nautilus, files, thunar or whatever) look for "Go" on the menubar and "open location". It should give you a text dialog, type in sftp://system.I.like/location/I/want/to/start/at/ and you should get a user/password dialog to log in. The remote system will then look like it is another disk on your local system. You should be able to directly edit files on the remote system without having to make a local copy. This is what I use for editing webpages on the server here. I open the file or directory with bluefish and edit/create as if it was local.

Note: I have described what I do with Thunar, so the steps using Nautilus or other file browser may be different, but all of them I have tried seem to allow using ftp or sftp (please use sftp) OOTB.



I followed these directions when you gave them and my system was not a match. I got far enough along to learn that my password was not working. So I contacted the host and this morning I've been told of "the right password". So I am trying again now, and cannot seem to get back to where I was.

... .... .... AH! For me, I have to go through "file" instead of "go"

It's working!
 
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Is there a way to tell it to "sleep"? I have "lock", "logout" and "shutdown". I want to go to bed but come back in the morning with everything the way I left it. But it uses much less power.
 
Len Ovens
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paul wheaton wrote:Is there a way to tell it to "sleep"? I have "lock", "logout" and "shutdown". I want to go to bed but come back in the morning with everything the way I left it. But it uses much less power.



Differences from xfce to whatever DE you have. In my case the "Logout" selection on the main menu has a suspend selection. KDE (which my wife uses) has "sleep" under "leave".

Generally, if you are using a laptop, it will suspend on lid close. (at least that is the Ubuntu default)

My settings manager, might be called control panel, has a power manager applet for setting up power settings the system and has different setting available if there is a battery installed or not. So the battery section is grayed out for me. In the general section it has settings for hibernate and suspend buttons which a lot of laptops have and some keyboards too. I notice mine are set to do "nothing" when pressed, so make sure they are enabled. Under "on AC" there is a selection for "Put computer to sleep when inactive for:" with a slider to set how long. (Inactive being no keypress mouse input, some video apps turn this off so you can watch the whole video without screen blank) There is in my setup an extended setup that allows me to choose between "hibernate" and "suspend" for sleep mode.

Quite honestly, I have done everything to turn suspending and hibernating off. This is because I do audio recording where I may be controlling my daw from something that is not sensed as "activity" like a midi controller. In fact I generally turn off the screen saver while tracking too. I tell you this not to dissuade you from using this feature (sleep), but so you know why I know less about this than other things. Basically, I took your question and started looking in my menu for answers. The laptop lid thing is just something I had seen discussed on one of the IRC channels I watch.

I have done lots of things to cut down power use, but when it comes to audio, sound is first. I will use a class A tube amp over a class D if I like the sound (as much as 10X power use difference for the same level of output). I run with the cpu governor set to "performance" (top speed all the time) so that I have no audio dropouts. I would use class D for Front Of House though. It is all about priorities.
 
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Does it have to be a laptop? There are quite a few of small-scale towers that would have low power consumption along with the option of upgrading. That is if you are still in the market for a new PC
 
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oops, disregard my post. Didn't realize there was more than one page to the conversation!
 
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First - having really good luck so far with linux mint.

For the last few days my external monitor has been flaky. This morning it died. It even made a sizzle sound.

I had to go to town anyway, so I picked up a new monitor at costco. Got home, plugged it in ... the quality is terrible. It is supposed to be 1920x1080, but it seems like it might actually about 1111x888 and trying to adjust. And the lighting is weird. Looking at it gives me a headache.

So I ordered a different monitor from amazon.

But as long as I am re-evaluating computer stuff ... I'm glad to be back onto this low power laptop. I especially like that when there are no apps running, it needs only 300 megs of memory. The downside is that once I get a lot of chrome windows open, I run out of memory. And I'm told that this thing cannot support more than 8 gigs of memory.

So, some day it would be nice to get a laptop that: gives zero money to microsoft; has this 17 inch screen (about right for me); the a/c adapter is the same size as this one (65 watts) or smaller; has a lot more memory.

But it seems that my criteria is very unusual.

 
Len Ovens
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paul wheaton wrote:First - having really good luck so far with linux mint.



Good


For the last few days my external monitor has been flaky. This morning it died. It even made a sizzle sound.

I had to go to town anyway, so I picked up a new monitor at costco. Got home, plugged it in ... the quality is terrible. It is supposed to be 1920x1080, but it seems like it might actually about 1111x888 and trying to adjust. And the lighting is weird. Looking at it gives me a headache.



13**x768 is real popular... at least for TVs. I am using TVs for my son's computers, one is 1366x768 and the other is 1360x768. They both list 1920x1080, but they don't look good, so I set them to their native resolution and they are fine. I use two HP 20" walmart specials ($89 each) they are 1600x900. They have been good to me so far and they colour match.


So I ordered a different monitor from amazon.

But as long as I am re-evaluating computer stuff ... I'm glad to be back onto this low power laptop. I especially like that when there are no apps running, it needs only 300 megs of memory. The downside is that once I get a lot of chrome windows open, I run out of memory. And I'm told that this thing cannot support more than 8 gigs of memory.



I was thinking that was a lot, but I am remembering you mean over 100 windows open at a time. With 14 tabs, a couple of pdf readers, 4 terminals, sudoku and some other bits I have 1.2GB used and my swap shows no use at all since I booted a month ago. What is your swappiness set to? Normal Ubuntu is 60, 10 is better for most uses other than server. Swappiness of 60 means that when you have used 40%ish of your memory the OS starts swapping stuff you haven't used for a while out (not good for audio) Swappiness of 10 means things have to get close to 90% full before things start to get swapped. Most audio app use memlocks to avoid getting swapped out, but something not audio related like the pager can stop audio dead if the OS decides to swap it in all at once.

cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
will show what you have,

To change the system swappiness value, open /etc/sysctl.conf as root. Then, change or add this line to the file:

vm.swappiness = 10

Reboot for the change to take effect

You can also change the value while your system is still running

sysctl vm.swappiness=10

( taken from : http://askubuntu.com/questions/103915/how-do-i-configure-swappiness )


So, some day it would be nice to get a laptop that: gives zero money to microsoft; has this 17 inch screen (about right for me); the a/c adapter is the same size as this one (65 watts) or smaller; has a lot more memory.

But it seems that my criteria is very unusual.



A bit odd... try finding anything new with a firewire port... I know a number of people who are trying, most have ended up on the used market.
 
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One thing I noticed about Chrome is when you open lots of tabs, keep them all open for a while, and then you close most of them, it still takes more memory than what it was BEFORE opening those tabs. For whatever reason, it doesn't free up that memory until you restart chrome.
 
paul wheaton
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Len,

My swapiness is, indeed, currently 60.

I tried the sysctl thing and it says "permission denied".


When memory usage gets to about 6 gigs, everything pretty much stops running for several minutes. I then need to figure out which windows I need to sacrifice.

 
Len Ovens
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paul wheaton wrote:Len,

My swapiness is, indeed, currently 60.

I tried the sysctl thing and it says "permission denied".



sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=10

Might work better... sorry. Use sudo any time you need to do something as root. It will ask you for _your_ password (not the root pw).


When memory usage gets to about 6 gigs, everything pretty much stops running for several minutes. I then need to figure out which windows I need to sacrifice.



The kernel is making use of all the empty space for disk buffers and other transitory things. The thought being that people often hit the same disk space a number of times in a row and so leaving it hanging around in memory allows for fast disk access because the disk doesn't need to be reread. This is helpful for things like directories when one is doing something to a number of files in the same directory or even when editing a file that gets saved frequently. It also means saving a file can happen quickly as it just goes to memory and is written to disk over time. With a high swappiness setting, the disk buffers (and other things) are prioritized over applications that haven't been used in a while. This _is_ helpful sometimes when dealing with archives and other server type things, but also makes the desktop environment less usable. For whatever reason the generic kernel has been defaulted to 60. I would think that a server admin would be more likely to be able to change swappiness settings than a desktop user and so the swappiness should default very low... but who listens to me anyway?
 
paul wheaton
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Change is in! Now gonna see if it works better.

 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton wrote:Change is in! Now gonna see if it works better.



Same prob. I get to 6.2 gigs of memory used and the whole system freezes for a few minutes.
 
Len Ovens
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paul wheaton wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:Change is in! Now gonna see if it works better.



Same prob. I get to 6.2 gigs of memory used and the whole system freezes for a few minutes.



Has there been a reboot since you ran the above line? A reboot would reset the swappiness.

To change the system swappiness value, open /etc/sysctl.conf as root. Then, change or add this line to the file:

vm.swappiness = 10

Reboot for the change to take effect.



So:
sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

make the above change and then reboot.

Does the tool you use to see the memory used also show the amount of swap space used? Here is what my system shows:


len@music:~$ top

top - 08:09:03 up 2 days, 17:17, 4 users, load average: 0.05, 0.16, 0.20
Tasks: 207 total, 1 running, 206 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
%Cpu(s): 2.1 us, 0.5 sy, 0.0 ni, 97.3 id, 0.1 wa, 0.0 hi, 0.0 si, 0.0 st
KiB Mem: 7853908 total, 3694264 used, 4159644 free, 566716 buffers
KiB Swap: 3071996 total, 0 used, 3071996 free. 1602552 cached Mem


I have nothing against using a GUI task manager, I chose top because I could easily copy/paste to this message.

So while I have 3Gb of swap (too small really, should be at least as big as ram for sleep to work right) it is not being used at all. The only other thing that may cause slowdowns I can think of is WiFi, but not normally that long (enough to cause audio dropouts has been my experience).

Whats running (aside from DE and OS):

Firefox with 16 tabs (not many)
Package manager (forgot to close)
two terminals (one idle and the other running ssh)
file manager
text editor
Ardour (a full digital audio workstation with 10 tracks set up and some plugins for eq etc. it is using about double what FF is right now)

Cpu is idling at 800Mhz (out of 3.6Ghz max) If I was really doing audio I would be in "Performance" mode instead of "Ondemand".

But you do need to know if the slow down is actually being caused by swapping or not.
 
paul wheaton
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Here is the advice from theoatmeal about how to fix any computer. I think that while the part about linux is not true, there is a lot of truth to it.


- -


You can also change the value while your system is still running

sysctl vm.swappiness=10



This is the one I did.


And then the updated one:

sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=10



So, are you saying that I now need to reboot, or are you saying that I need to do this different path and then reboot?


- -

The memory pig for me is chrome. When chrome is shut down, something like 0.5 gigs is in use. As I open and close tabs/windows in chrome, I see that some pages with lots of ads take up something like 0.8 gigs. And if I open five tabs at that site, it can take up 2.5 gigs right there. Then I can open up a dozen tabs on some site and it takes up very little memory. So when I start to run out of memory, I try to find the tabs that are memory pigs.

The key is that every tab that is currently open is a task that I need to properly deal with. So I just need to get better at that!

- -

But I am currently thinking that I need a computer that can handle more memory. Right now, my laptop has 8 gigs of memory. I would like a laptop with 32 gigs of memory. I would like THIS laptop with 32 gigs of memory.

In fact, my current power supply is a 65 watt power supply. It would be really cool to find a laptop that used even less juice and still had a 17 inch screen. Maybe something with a SSD?

But when I go look, it seems that power consumption is not a concern.


 
Len Ovens
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Hmmm, my android does not work well for answering messages here. The quote button (and others) do not even show up. Power consumption is really low though

An external keyboard is really nice and I have found my $3 usb keyboard works just fine with the OTG cable that came with it. I only have three tabs open on the browser and do not know what it would do with lots... I think it keeps the url and reloads the part of the page you are looking at every time you go back to that tab.

It is not real fun to use. ctrl+/- does not change the font size and it seems with the kb plugged in, using two fingers doesn't either.

I will have to try some of the other browsers

Hmm, not preview button either.
 
Len Ovens
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Chrome and firefox are not any better. (on the android)
 
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I spent a few hours shopping for a laptop ... only to not find what I want. I got to the point where I was willing to pay $1500 for a laptop that is what I want. But now I'm just sick of burning time in this space.

The thing that is driving me nuts about this one is that the memory cannot be expanded. I keep hitting the ceiling about a dozen times a day.

I am now thinking that the best thing to do is close a bunch of chrome windows and tabs.

Just for kicks, here is the laptop I would like to have:

- 32g memory
- SSD (500g is okay, but 1t is better)
- 65 watt (max) a/c power supply.
- using one of those 15 watt i7 chips.
- 17in 1920x1080
- linux mint

Yes, the 17in monitor takes more power, but the cpu and ssd take much less power.

I'm okay with the i7 chip being a dual core instead of a quad. I'm also okay with a slower i7. I really think having lots of memory is the thing that will make everything work smoother. In fact, my current laptop is a low power dual core i7 and the processor seems to do just fine as long as there is plenty of memory.

(side note, I tried to edit sysctl.conf from cinnamon but it would only let me have read access. went to the command line to try "edit" .... sudo gedit worked. gonna reboot now)
 
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paul wheaton wrote:
I am now thinking that the best thing to do is close a bunch of chrome windows and tabs.

Just for kicks, here is the laptop I would like to have:
- 32g memory
<...>




Paul, are you positive you need a hardware solution here? Have you tried any software solutions?

You're definitely not the only guy in the world having issues with Chrome's memory usage in high-tab-count conditions. I did a little quick searching, and found this listicle on Chrome tabs and memory issues.

This sounds to me like it's worth investigating:

2. Tab Hibernation

Tab Hibernation is a one-button tool that instantly puts all other tabs except the one you are currently vieweing into hibernation. Once installed, a button in the shape of a crescent moon will appear at the end of your address bar. Clicking on it will hibernate all your other tabs, freeing up Chrome’s memory for a smoother web surfing experience. To wake up a hibernated tab, just click anywhere.



Or heck, the fourth and fifth entries on that list offer to suspend the idle tabs and free up their memory usage automatically!
 
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You might want to look into hybrid ssd, I hear that they work really well and I believe they are cheaper than straight out ssd.
 
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I've tried some chrome extensions in the past to manage my tab stuff, but .... maybe things are better now. I'm trying one of the five you suggested (tabmemfree).
 
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Adrien Lapointe wrote:You might want to look into hybrid ssd, I hear that they work really well and I believe they are cheaper than straight out ssd.



I saw mention of those.

I guess the thing that is important to me is the idea of using very little power.

Maybe with this tabs plugin I will be able to postpone a change for a year or two.
 
paul wheaton
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The tab management plugin stuff is helping a little - but not enough.

I think I need to move to a new computer.

I am open to the idea of getting windows laptop, shipping it to a linux expert and the linux person install linux on it and then sends it to me. I would even put up a hundred bucks for such a service.

Anybody interested?
 
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paul wheaton wrote:The tab management plugin stuff is helping a little - but not enough.


Bummer.


paul wheaton wrote:I am open to the idea of getting windows laptop, shipping it to a linux expert and the linux person install linux on it and then sends it to me. I would even put up a hundred bucks for such a service.


I'm not an expert, I've installed Ubuntu and Lubuntu a handful of times. But installing from scratch on a brand-new machine, with no important data to worry about saving or weird mismatched hardware, is about the easiest thing out there.

So if no proper expert shows up (ahem, Len), I'd gladly be your backup plan. No payment needed beyond shipping.
 
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I have a new laptop. I put linux on it. And ... ugh ....

1) the new laptop does not have an hdmi port. It has "thunderbolt". But my external monitor has a thunderbolt port too - so all is well. I buy a thunderbolt cable. Linux seems to not be aware of thunderbolt. ?? So no external monitor?

2) Linux comes with firefox. But I have oodles of stuff set up wtih chrome. So I wanna run chrome. No chrome for mint? I did install chromium. I want to run chrome and chromium just like I am already doing.

FWIW: my new laptop is a lenovo w541.
 
paul wheaton
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My days with the computer are in molasses. I have a new laptop, but I keep using the old laptop with all of its problems.

So today the old laptop ran so slow that I shut it down and made another stab at the new laptop.

Ernie was here a couple of weeks ago and he is a fan of linux. He got chrome installed. The key is that "mint" is based on ubuntu. Something that I didn't think I needed to know.

1) The "thunderbolt" problem is still a problem. We noticed that the laptop has a USB 3 port and the monitor has a usb 3 port. And I read that that is a possibility. So I bought a usb 3 cable and ... apparently the monitor is willing to do stuff with the usb3 port, but not video in. So the thunderbolt problem is still a problem.

3) the touchpad buttons don't work.

Any suggestions for problems #1 and #3?
 
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paul wheaton wrote:
Ernie was here a couple of weeks ago and he is a fan of linux. He got chrome installed. The key is that "mint" is based on ubuntu. Something that I didn't think I needed to know.

1) The "thunderbolt" problem is still a problem. We noticed that the laptop has a USB 3 port and the monitor has a usb 3 port. And I read that that is a possibility. So I bought a usb 3 cable and ... apparently the monitor is willing to do stuff with the usb3 port, but not video in. So the thunderbolt problem is still a problem.


thunderbolt does not equal USB3.


3) the touchpad buttons don't work.



which touchpad are you refering to? The mouse replacement?


Any suggestions for problems #1 and #3?



"The key is that "mint" is based on ubuntu." and ubuntu is based on debian. Also, both Ubuntu and Mint are released based. (and so is debian, but Ubuntu does not follow debian releases) So Ubuntu chooses a kernel/x server/GUI libs three monthes or so before release, but LTS is only every two years. Mint used to be based on LTS repos, but come after the ubuntu release. The last LTS is 14.04, uname -a gives 3.13.0-61-lowlatency, 3.13 is actually quite old already as the kernel is at 4.2 ish. Lots of things have been added since 3.13. Ubuntu (and therefore Mint) does not change versions of software once it is chosen or released. So Ubuntu 14.04 will only get security updates to the 3.13 kernel.

Arch uses a "rolling release" style which means that it gets new SW versions as they appear. It also has a steeper learning curve and a user attitude that goes with it. (RTFM is the most common helpful hint you are likely to get, though there are some more friendly people)

The middle ground is to upgrade to each biannual release instead of using LTS only. If you are going to use Ubuntu, I would suggest staying away from vanilla (Unity is much better than it has been, but it is really a part of the whole convergence thing <the phone works the same as the desktop>) instead I would use either Xubuntu (which Ubuntustudio is based on and I use) or Kubuntu (my wife and one of my sons use this, but I am thinking of going Xubuntu). The difference between the two is the DE. Kubuntu uses KDE and Xubuntu uses xfce (much like gnome2 used to be). I have found that with KDE I tend to install a few of the tools I am used to that (for me) work better. Synaptic (which dispite it's age is the best GUI based sw manager) and pavucontrol the native audio controller is clearer about what it is doing than the KDE PA controller.

For me, xfce is the desktop of choice being the best compromise of light CPU/GPU use while still being fully featured. Gnome3 (and the DEs based on it), Unity and KDE tend to higher system use, things like openbox and LXDE tend to be missing things we have come to expect from a DE while not using signifcantly less system resouses than xfce.

There are too many OS made for web browsing and to be as phone like as possible (windows 8 anyone?). Many people have all their computing experience on Android or iOS and so they feel comfortable with that. Personally, I want an OS/DE that is made to make "real work" easy to do. I sometimes have as many as 12 windows open on any one virtual desktop for SW development. I have 4 virtual desktops and all of them have something open on them right now. (yes two screens and wishing for more ;) )

I am not sure about the laptop thing. I think the idea is to use less power and I think a few years ago that was true. I am not so sure any more. We are talking power laptops with i5/i7 and so the power required is much the same desktop or laptop. A desktop can be outfitted with fast hard drive, laptop slower hard drive (less power) or SSD really fast and even less power. Most screens are pretty power miserly these days. A movable KB is more egonomic and a mouse is quicker than a touchpad. The laptop has the added power use of charging a battery where the power out is less than the power needed per charge. I think it will not be long till the laptop is once again just for portable use while the desktop is the choice for fixed use.

The desktops of today are 12v runnable. My screens take 12v, and the MB uses nothing higher. There are 12v to AIX power plug adaptors available too (see the Intel i3/5/7 NUC as an example... though the i7 still looks like a renamed i3 with only two cores, but only 65w PS).
 
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I think the problem is that the thunderbolt port is not supported by linux. ??
 
Len Ovens
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paul wheaton wrote:I think the problem is that the thunderbolt port is not supported by linux. ??


Linux 3.17 has been released on Sun, 5 Oct (this document was only finished on Sunday, 13 - sorry for the delay)

Summary: This release adds support for USB device sharing over IP, support for Xbox One controllers, support for Apple's thunderbolt, {more stuff not included}

--------------------8<-------------------------
1.5. Thunderbolt support

Thunderbolt is a hardware interface that combines PCI Express and Displayport into one serial signal alongside a DC connection for electric power, transmitted over one cable. Up to six peripherals may be supported by one connector through various topologies. Co-developed by Intel and Apple, it's mostly used in Apple devices.
--------------------8<-------------------------

Hmm that didn't add much. http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/hardware.html is old (pre 3.17) but explains part of the problem. http://cateee.net/lkddb/web-lkddb/THUNDERBOLT.html Says Apple devices are now supported.

 
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Len,

Apparently you said the magic stuff. Ernie seems to now know what to do. I suppose I now need to connect ernie to my laptop and all will be well.
 
Len Ovens
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paul wheaton wrote:Len,

Apparently you said the magic stuff. Ernie seems to now know what to do. I suppose I now need to connect ernie to my laptop and all will be well.



Good, I started with Linux where the first thing one did after an install was to roll a kernel for the system. Things have changed rather a lot since the mid 90s. However, if it is hard to upgrade the kernel version from the standard repos, you may wish to (or Ernie may wish to) try Liquorix as a kernel.

Liquorix Web page

For kernels beyond 3.17 it may be best to download the package (and depends) for vivid (3.19) or wily (4.1)(both from Ubuntu). I would suggest 3.19 is more likey to work well as it is closer to what you have. I do not know Mint well myself, (not known to be easy to get low latency audio working) so someone who knows it better will know what is available better.
 
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This really isn't about a laptop but I thought more people that might be looking for a neat idea could be reached here, what do you think?

A kickstarter for an android pc. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1123481999/remix-mini-the-worlds-first-true-android-pc?ref=nav_search

 
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i had been dipping my toe into the icy linux waters for a long time, finally a few years ago i took the plunge! its not so bad once you get used to it =)

and once you get through those initial glitches, theres always something...with each different linux version i have tried its always at least one weird glitchy thing i have to spend a long time figuring out....like not recognizing ports, and wireless cards...i've had some difficulties trying to figure out all that stuff...and it takes a while to research stuff to figure it out, thats sort of geeky type fun though, when you have time for it. then once you get it set up for your needs, no more having to mess with it all the time.

i go back and forth between linux and windows XP, thats the last one that windows made that i want to deal with. and i have #! (crunchbang is my favorite so far) on one external hard drive, and some kind of ubuntu on another....then i can boot from the drive if i feel like its a linux day =)

crunchbang is a good one, very minimalist....but i guess they stopped developing it? well like everything linux, theres already a bazllion different versions of it...i think its this one that i have, or something very similar ---> http://crunchbang.org/download/waldorf

 
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Mike Feddersen wrote:This really isn't about a laptop but I thought more people that might be looking for a neat idea could be reached here, what do you think?

A kickstarter for an android pc. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1123481999/remix-mini-the-worlds-first-true-android-pc?ref=nav_search



Ok, so whats new? I don't see anything, or any combination that is not already available today. The only thing I see added is "promotion". There are already computers that small or smaller that run Android, Debian, Arch, Ubuntu, etc. There is Ubuntu Touch which looks like more than that already. M$ already sells a computer that is just a screen and keyboard (Desktop) and the Intel Nuc also mounts on the back of most monitors using even less desktop space than this with the same computing power.

I am not saying the idea is bad, just that it is not new. In my opinion not kickstart worthy. If I was looking for a tiny computer, I would be willing to add this to my set of choices. Having said that, it would likely not end up as my choice to buy unless I can load something better than Android. Low latency audio is important to me, Android has problems with that. It is ok in a tablet though.
 
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Len, thank you for the reply. I am definitely no geek and lack funds to direct to any worthy pc no matter what operating system.

What I liked about it was the 10 watt power consumption, that it could allow me to upgrade from my bitterly old 2008 Toshiba laptop(please don't die now that I have put these words out there).

Also my kid, 8 has always used whatever computer or tablet I put in front of him, showing me my
ineptness, and his natural curiosity opens so many new doors I didn't know existed. Most led tv's
have a connection port to allow them to be the monitor, so a nice cheap set of speakers, a wireless
keyboard and mouse and this $40+ shipping Android PC sounds like a great cheap idea. One for him,
one for me, the wife can use the desktop...happy, happy, happy.

 
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Mike Feddersen wrote:Len, thank you for the reply. I am definitely no geek and lack funds to direct to any worthy pc no matter what operating system.

What I liked about it was the 10 watt power consumption, that it could allow me to upgrade from my bitterly old 2008 Toshiba laptop(please don't die now that I have put these words out there).


don't be fooled by the low power use. Your laptop may well only use use 65W... so 10 + tv or monitor+ batteries for keyboard (or power to charge) + battery for mouse.

Last I looked a tv or a monitor seems to start around $80 and the monitor will look better than the tv (I am using two tvs as computer monitors only because they come with sound). My blue tooth portable keyboard cost $45 ($75 seems more common), but the logitech wireless is $20... if the box has a driver for it (it is not BT).

I am using my keyboard with a cheap hip street tablet $100 for computer and screen, so $155 for everything. This box plus tv plus mouse plus keyboard would cost more.


Also my kid, 8 has always used whatever computer or tablet I put in front of him, showing me my
ineptness, and his natural curiosity opens so many new doors I didn't know existed. Most led tv's
have a connection port to allow them to be the monitor, so a nice cheap set of speakers, a wireless


Just to clarify, this little computer only has a HDMI port for video, the same as any new DVD player, so it will work with a TV for sure, it may not work with an older LED monitor with a VGA plug (anything newer than 5 years old will have HDMI or DVI which will work with a HDMI to dvi adaptor). The HDMI cord will also have audio to the TV, so extra speakers are not needed or may be plugged into the TV itself rather than the computer.

To be honest, this seems a lot like the raspberry PI... with maybe a bit more speed... an Odroid (at $35 with no case is very close) Ubuntu for android has allowed running a full desktop on an android box for a number of years too. (take an android phone plug a big screen in the USB port and use a BT mouse and keyboard)

Running multi windows on an android has been possible for a while, but the reality is that desktop computing is moving towards the single window tablet style of desktop anyway. A cheap tablet gives you a local store to return it to. None the less I would be interested to hear your experiences with such a product.

Note: Android runs multi programs one at a time for the most part. That is, even though you can go back to an application you have started something on, it is being reloaded into memory every time. So just because there is more than one on the screen at a time does not mean it is actually running... though with even 1 G ram it _should_ be possible.


keyboard and mouse and this $40+ shipping Android PC sounds like a great cheap idea. One for him,
one for me, the wife can use the desktop...happy, happy, happy.



In the end if it works for you, that is what is good. All I am pointing out is that this is not something new, it is just another.
 
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Ernie has many hours trying to get thunderbolt to work. No dice.

I am now switching to an old monitor and VGA. It feels like a big step backwards, but I can get my work done. Maybe in a year the thunderbolt stuff will be working.
 
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I've personally enjoyed the Sager laptop I purchased five years ago. It was almost-top-of-the-line then, and is still a hoss now; it can handle both 3d modeling and audio and video editing with ease.

I don't have the skills or knowledge to assemble a computer from scratch. My experience has been that the Sager gets me the benefits of a 'hand-assembled' computer, without the headache of a 'constant-tinker-project' I see with many other home-built computers.

Plus: Had I bought the same specs from Big-Compy-Corp, Inc; I would have paid ~70% more than what I paid; AND had to contend with all the bloat-ware.

Lastly: I purchased from this guy (https://lpc-digital.com/) who gave a nice discount for paying in cash-ola. (Not affiliated in any way; just got good service at a fair price).

Background-goes-last: I know this thread is old, old, old; but I wanted to share my experience, for any other Permies buying computers, particularly since it doesn't seem to be voiced here, or elsewhere. (Searched "Sager", results: nada).
 
Everybody's invited. Except this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
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