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I started a program a few years ago called "Computers for Kids" which rebuilt donated computers, loaded them with linux and gave them out to kids and anyone else who wanted them, free of charge.

Gave out more than a hundred computers, one year.

Didn't attract a lot of volunteers to help, and the project has ramped down, but I still do this on a small scale from home.

Turns out that most computers people get rid of are being chucked not because of fried motherboards, blown power supplies, etc, but because they are either old and not powerful enough to run the latest and greatest Windoze, or because they were running Windows and got so crapped up with viruses and malware that the owner decided to get a new one (which will do the same in time.)

Thing is, many of these will run Linux just fine, and there are Linux distros for the real clunkers that will even run on a Pentium II.

I have gotten fine computers from thrift stores for less than ten bucks. All that was needed was to wipe the hard drive and install Linux, a process generally accomplished in under 20 minutes.

I occasionally buy new components for my home PC, when one goes south on me, but I haven't bought a new computer in close to a decade.
 
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I replaced my dinosaur at christmas, bought a laptop on sale for really inexpensive. I got another small and very basic laptop second hand for my son too, that was a bargain and a recycled item. We donated our tower etc to computers for kids locally, that's a great program.
 
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Location: Louisiana
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it is amazing what you can accomplish with a computer with malwarebytes/combofix/tdss and a little ram
 
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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I budget about $400 a year for computers right now two years ago I built my desktop which is still pretty solid, reused windows code from the old dell that fianly burnt its power supply, last year was two net-books both used and some fan upgrades so my desktop is whisper quiet this year a cheap bare-bones kit from tiger will put the core of my system back into competitive shape and I hope to be able to set up some network attached storage

running linux makes the netbooks fast enough and the dual core 4gb memory desktop blazing fast, and old parts get cobbled together into systems I give away or let the kids beat up
 
T. Joy
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Brice, does that $400 include your internet service? I'm not sure what I would spend that much money on yearly... My laptop cost less than that new, my son's was $150. I confess to being a bit of a techno-idiot so I don't even understand some of what's been said in this thread but for me once a computer is bought it doesn't cost me any more money unless something goes wrong.
 
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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What irks me is the printers!  I've got two printers, one about a year and a half old, the other only a few months old, and neither one works anymore.  When you add the cost of ink, it's atrocious!  I think when we move, I may go computer-less for a while again.

Kathleen
 
Belizaire Meaux
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Location: Louisiana
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your printer problem almost sounds like a driver issue or something. If you are using vista it wouldnt surprise me at all.
If the printer has a new cartridge i cant imagine why it would just quit working
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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My computer is several years old, and is running XP, I think.  I know it's not Vista.  The newer printer only worked for about two weeks, but died shortly after my grandmother died in February and I was so preoccupied with dealing with that that I didn't do anything about the printer. 

Kathleen
 
steward
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You probably have dirty contacts on your Serial/Parallel card.  Pull it out, clean with rubbing alcohol, and re-insert it.

FWIW:  90% of all computer problems occur somewhere between the chair and the keyboard.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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John Polk wrote:
You probably have dirty contacts on your Serial/Parallel card.  Pull it out, clean with rubbing alcohol, and re-insert it.

FWIW:  90% of all computer problems occur somewhere between the chair and the keyboard.



LOL!  I know!  I'll check out the card later today and see if that helps anything.  Thank you!

Kathleen
 
Brice Moss
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Location: rainier OR
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as to printer costs I love epson printers but can't buy their stinking ink at 50 cents a page

so I bought a nice epson printer used and a continous ink system like this one http://www.amazon.com/FantasyBuy-Bulk-Continuous-System-All/dp/B004GIKUPW/ref=pd_sbs_op_5

prints about a ream of image heavy school work on the $25 refill kit from wallmart or about a box worth of paper out of the $35 ink kit available on amazon
 
John Polk
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If the alcohol doesn't cut it, a pink pencil eraser will "polish" the contact surfaces with minimal abrasiveness.  When I was doing PC repairs, that was usually the first procedure after we determined that the cables were OK.

Ink?!  Don't get me started on that one.  I read an article about 2 years ago, and they had calculated the cost of ink at $9,000 per gallon.  Somebody found a cash cow!

 
Lee Einer
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The ink cartridges are reusable. You can get refill kits for a tiny fraction of what a new cartridge or even a recycled cartridge costs. So you save about $25 a whack and get a little ink on your hands. Not a biggie.
 
T. Joy
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Have you ever refilled ink cartridges yourself? Lemme tell you, I have and I never will again. What a big fat messy pain in the arse! I'd rather pay for new ink personally. Having to scrub that stuff off of surfaces and walking around with stained hands and ruined clothes changed my mind about how worth it that trick is .
 
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Plus, using refilled cartridges will void whatever warranty exists.

I knew what was going on the day I saw Target selling an ink-jet printer for less than the cost of the ink cartridges.  It's like how the razor companies would give away the razor so they could  sell you the blades.
 
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In my town there are at least 1 or 2 places that refill your ink or sell you refilled ones. Way cheaper than the off brand ink from the store even.
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I have the same problem with printers getting eaten up. The paper becomes misaligned and the problem cannot be corrected. The printer starts printing lines on the paper and what's necessary is a new drum--which costs a few dollars less than a new printer. I looked into fixing my old printer and the projected amount of time to do it would take many hours to take it apart and $200 worth of parts. I am not talking about a sixty dollar printer, either. I use monochrome laser printers for my biz. I did find that my use of "interesting" 100% recycled paper killed one printer. It had bits of things in it. Not big bits. Even using kraft labels made it cranky. I have also found that some printers are just fraudulently reviewed ("great for graphics!". I too have had unhappy experiences with using cartridges I refill or buying Brand X cartridges. My last Brand X cartridge had diarrhea all over the inside of the printer. However, I do use the "black electrical tape" trick on cartridges to make them last longer. Stick it over the "eye" when you start getting "Replace cartridge" warnings--or when it just won't print because it says toner is out.
 
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I'm among the old/slow computer crowd running Linux. I tend to stick to business class computers since they are generally more durable and (sometimes) more compatible with Linux.

I just bought a Dell Latitude D610 for $100 from someone locally. It ran like a dog with a broken leg on XP. I put Ubuntu on it (took me a few hours to download everything I wanted), and now it runs very nicely.

As for printers, I too got a monochrome laser printer to keep the cost of consumables reasonable. Of course, I don't have color, but I haven't needed it in the last 9 months or so since I bought the printer. For some people, having two printers, a color inkjet and a monochrome laser, isn't a bad idea.

Also, instead of running Office, LibreOffice is an open source program that is excellent and no cost.
 
gardener
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I love LINUX!

This is in my opinion one of the key items to a frugal and dependable computer. Window$ is DESIGNED with built in obsolescence for the operating system and software written for it.  Micro$oft makes its money forcing you to upgrade every so many years. Not to mention that Micro$oft has deals with all the hardware makers so that things are not backwards compatible, you MUST upgrade sooner or later.

Linux used to be very complicated to install 10 years or so ago, but now pretty much anyone can install it.

You can't beat the price: free!

One of the main reasons computers with Window$ "wear out" is that they are susceptible to viruses, trojans, self-installing garbage programs, etc,
Linux is more or less immune to these things. One of the main reasons I switched permanently from window$ was the hairpulling annoyance of having to install, maintain, upgrade virus protection software, remove adware pop up crap pretty much on a weekly basis. Computer repair shops charge $40 or more an hour to remove this stuff if one cannot do it themselves.

I've used Linux for 10 years and have NEVER had a SINGLE virus or trojan, adware,etc attack any version of linux EVER.



For home computers I personally recommend either Ubuntu or Pclinuxos, both of which are Linux versions that are very easy to install and work very well on older and newer computers.

Speaking of computer frugality in general, most people don't need the latest or fastest thing. For the average person that surfs the net, checks email, does online banking,etc. a 5 year old computer is more than enough.

Other computer frugality points:
*Research printers online before buying, often that $50 amazing deal printer uses printer cartridges that cost almost as much as the printer itself!
*Limit printing in general. Save interesting articles, emails,etc. as files and read them on the computer rather than printing.
*Replace your old tube CRT monitor with a flatscreen- they are much more economical on electricity and don't generate near as much heat.
* Stop burning CDs. Use USB memory sticks to transfer files or bring pictures to show friends,etc. Use MP3 players for music- use much less power than CD players, reduce the clutter of CDs, no "burner" needed, reusable.
* Use the "sleep" button on the PC instead of leaving computer on when not in use. This saves where you are and what you are doing and allows you to quickly get back to it.
*If buying a new computer, consider buying a laptop/tablet pc rather than a desktop tower, these are designed specifically to use little power, plugged in or not.


 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Okay, I have seen the advice to switch to Linux-based systems many times, but nobody has ever explained HOW to do it!  Do I have to wipe Windows (and all my files) off my computer first?  Do I download the Linux system and then wipe Windows off?  Do I download Linux and KEEP Windows?  Will my saved files still be readable/usable once I switch, or will I have to start from scratch

I have an older computer (about five or six years old now), and I would love to know how to do this!!!

Kathleen
 
Cris Bessette
gardener
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
Okay, I have seen the advice to switch to Linux-based systems many times, but nobody has ever explained HOW to do it!  Do I have to wipe Windows (and all my files) off my computer first?  Do I download the Linux system and then wipe Windows off?  Do I download Linux and KEEP Windows?  Will my saved files still be readable/usable once I switch, or will I have to start from scratch

Kathleen


It depends. 
The simplest thing to do is download a "live CD" version of Linux, burn it on a CD, then run it.
What this does is run Linux in memory without changing anything on your computer. This lets you check it out on your computer and make sure you like it before committing to installing.

As for Windows, as long as you have enough free space on your hard drive, you can generally have Windows AND Linux.
My favorite 2 versions, Ubuntu and PClinuxOS both are able to install Linux by fitting it in beside Windows so that you can "dual boot".
(On starting the computer you are asked which system to start)

Ubuntu and pclinuxos are the ones I am familiar with and you should be able to access most of your files on the Windows partition automatically with these.
Any Microsoft office documents, photos, music files, etc. can be opened with Linux equivalents- I say "most" because some few proprietary programs might not have an equivalent. For example if you use a specialized genealogy program or software written by your brother for monitoring oil wells , then maybe not.


I've been using linux for about 10 years and it used to be a really nerdy thing to use, but I would say now that anyone that can install windows can install Linux just as easily, if not easier. Generally with the versions out now you can put in the CD, reboot, go have a bite to eat, come back and its done.

My personal favorite version is pclinuxos, this is less known than Ubuntu but it has one major feature that puts it ahead of Ubuntu for beginners in my opinion: It includes proprietary drivers for hardware and software like "flash" for playing videos. Ubuntu specifically does not include these as they are "closed" software, meaning the manufacturers do allow secondary developers like Linux developers know how the programs work internally.

To be simple, this makes installing linux harder. For example, on my computer at home, the video card uses a special driver that Ubuntu does not include, it has to be downloaded seperately. Also, I would have to download "flash" software for Linux on ubuntu so that I can view youtube videos and other videos on the web. PClinuxos includes these and my PC worked as soon as it finished installing the operating system.

I hope I am not being too obtuse , I don't know your computerese level

here are some appropriate links

http://www.reallylinux.com/docs/windowstolinux.shtml

http://www.pclinuxos.com/?page_id=2

http://factoidz.com/reasons-to-switch-from-windows-to-linux-for-beginners/

http://www.ubuntu.com/






 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Thank you, I think that answered my questions!  And it was at just the right level, LOL!

Kathleen
 
Posts: 25
Location: Southern Illinois
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If you are wanting a 10mb OS check out Tiny Core Linux. It would be beneficial to children also because they would need to learn a few basic codes to use it well.
 
pollinator
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CrispyCritter wrote:
I love LINUX!

Me too, been using since before slackware. My first linux was the fall 1994 Yggdrasil plug and play..... I still have the CD. I can't find the kernel version on it but I think it was somewhere in .6* range. Back in those days, you booted the live cd from a floppy.



For home computers I personally recommend either Ubuntu or Pclinuxos, both of which are Linux versions that are very easy to install and work very well on older and newer computers.


Xbuntu is still slow on my 1998 PII with 200m ram. I found antiX is much faster.
 
Cris Bessette
gardener
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Len wrote:
Me too, been using since before slackware. My first linux was the fall 1994 Yggdrasil plug and play..... I still have the CD. I can't find the kernel version on it but I think it was somewhere in .6* range. Back in those days, you booted the live cd from a floppy.

Xbuntu is still slow on my 1998 PII with 200m ram. I found antiX is much faster.


yeah, I still have some real old versions, ones that don't even have a graphical interface / X windows.  I mention Ubuntu / PClinuxos specifically because of their ease of installation and use for regular non-nerd types.

I used to spend days on end editing config files, experimenting, typing in long command lines. My next door neighbor and I built a network between our houses and setup our own internet mail server. (My friends thought it weird when they started getting emails from "root"

In any case I got tired of sitting in front of a monitor getting pale from lack of sunlight, now I would rather get home, check my email, get on facebook, then go outside and get my hands in the dirt.

 
Len Ovens
pollinator
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CrispyCritter wrote:
yeah, I still have some real old versions, ones that don't even have a graphical interface / X windows.  I mention Ubuntu / PClinuxos specifically because of their ease of installation and use for regular non-nerd types.

odd as it may seem, X pre-dates Linux.... maybe even the mac. My 1994 version has X, but, It requires about 8M of ram to run well (though I did get it to work ok with 4.... and swap) something that cost more than a whole computer does now. Then, once you had it running, it's only real use was to be able to have two terminals on at once.... oh, and xpaint   It was certainly not the default way of doing things. I had been using OS/2 to run a two line BBS (before Inet showed up). I wanted to add networking as inet started to emerge, but any of the OS/2 network drivers were major money (for me) so I started looking at Linux. I ran Slackware from ver 1 or so till about v11 (which still runs my server - No X though as I log in remotely) Then I started looking at music based distros for my desktop as the hardware got to a place I could afford to do digital recording. Audioslack was first, but then it died (no more updates) so I was looking for something else. Musix was ok, but there were install/run problems as the 2.4 kernels were not made for real time use and had to be monkeyed with. I've ended up using Ubuntu Studio.

When I got my netbook, Ubuntu had a netbook version, so I tried that and liked it... The next version had unity (alpha?) Yuck! and so does the current version(runs better but still yuck!) So I tend to use the classic (gnome) desktop. I can boot to win 7, but it is sooo  slow and has all this crapware popping up all the time.... I used it to download linux and put it on a memory stick to install....


I used to spend days on end editing config files, experimenting, typing in long command lines. My next door neighbor and I built a network between our houses and setup our own internet mail server. (My friends thought it weird when they started getting emails from "root"

In any case I got tired of sitting in front of a monitor getting pale from lack of sunlight, now I would rather get home, check my email, get on facebook, then go outside and get my hands in the dirt.


Its called getting a life.... happened here too. No facebook though.... I don't need to share my life with the world.... even though I am a bit of a recluse, I know the value of seeing people face to face and forming real relationships... I also don't think it is real secure and feel no need to have a foreign government monitor my online life.
 
Cris Bessette
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"......Then I started looking at music based distros for my desktop as the hardware got to a place I could afford to do digital recording. Audioslack was first, but then it died (no more updates) so I was looking for something else. Musix was ok, but there were install/run problems as the 2.4 kernels were not made for real time use and had to be monkeyed with. I've ended up using Ubuntu Studio. "

I have also tried to use Linux for multitrack recording, but I cannot seem to get around hardware issues. Something is always locking up or inexplicably there is noise or audio level problems or one software will grab the audio card and not let go when I go to something else.
I'll have to try out Ubuntu studio.




".... No facebook though.... I don't need to share my life with the world.... even though I am a bit of a recluse, I know the value of seeing people face to face and forming real relationships... I also don't think it is real secure and feel no need to have a foreign government monitor my online life. "

I actually have become LESS of a recluse because of Facebook- I use it to setup meetings with friends, invitations to parties,etc.  Over 85% of my "facebook friends" are actual real life friends, family and acquaintances.
I used to go for years without having any contact with some friends and family, whereas now I keep closer contact.
As for the security-  I handle that by simply not putting any information on there that I wouldn't want people to know.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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As far as Facebook is concerned, I check it briefly once or twice a day -- I have NO 'friends' on there other than real-world friends and family, and we just use it to stay in touch.  It's been nice, actually, because it's easier to share pictures and messages with everyone.

Kathleen
 
Len Ovens
pollinator
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CrispyCritter wrote:
I have also tried to use Linux for multitrack recording, but I cannot seem to get around hardware issues. Something is always locking up or inexplicably there is noise or audio level problems or one software will grab the audio card and not let go when I go to something else.
I'll have to try out Ubuntu studio.


Depends on the sound card, I have a delta66 by M-Audio. 4 24bit Audio ins and outs and 2 digital in and outs. (6 all together) Very clean sound. I also run an Ensonic card that I use for midi i/o (the audio is ignored as it cannot be synced) and the MB sound is disabled as it is the standard intel thing that runs at 48k only and fakes everything else. Quality not bad but timing.... It does have digital i/o so I am thinking I may be able to use it with the delta 66, but really 4 high quality i/o should be enough for anything I am likely to do.

Having said that, on my netbook I have found that plugging in a small mixer to use as a preamp seems to make a real difference I just have plain ubuntu in that one but put Jack and Ardour in. It works just fine for playing around, even with a plain sound setup.

The only problem I have had with any of these was getting the cards to load in the right order... so it was the same every time. There is now a way of telling it to "load this one last", solved all my problems. Sound setup seems to have come a long way. I remember the days of SB16 being the only thing that was easy. (at least I think it was.... never had one)

Anyway, sound setup has come a long way. External preamps make a difference. If you only need two chanels, the old ensonic soundcards sound better than the SBs do.
 
John Polk
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Here is a good safe place to get lots of good, free software.  I have used them for years, and they always have the latest versions, and are safe and reliable.

http://filehippo.com/
 
John Polk
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Speaking of FREE, check out these:
And, YES, these are all legitimate.  No 'cracks', hacks, or other tricks.  These are all free from their publisher's websites!


Anti-virus/malware
AVIRA:  http://www.avira.com/en/avira-free-antivirus
EMSISOFT:  http://www.emsisoft.com/en/
AVAST:  http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download
PANDA:  http://free.pandasecurity.com/
MALWAREBYTES;  http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free

Disc Defrag:  http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag/ (The best IMHO)

And for the more tech savvy, here is a suite of tools by a man who understood Window's inner workings so well that Bill Gates bought him out hired him, and bought his site:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/0e18b180-9b7a-4c49-8120-c47c5a693683.aspx

(Process Explorer gives you real time insight of everything that is running under Windows...and allows you to 'terminate' it with a single click!)
(Autoruns allows you to simply turn OFF programs you do not want to run each time Windows boots up...uncheck the box, and it will never boot up again when Windows starts.)
Check out their descriptions of each of the other tools.  depending on what you do, there are many useful tools here.  You can download the entire suite, or just the ones you need.  Even better, if you are on a different computer, and want to run them, they are available LIVE @ http://live.sysinternals.com/

Hope that this helps somebody here!  Enjoy!
 
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LasVegasLee wrote:Turns out that most computers people get rid of are being chucked not because of fried motherboards, blown power supplies, etc, but because they are either old and not powerful enough to run the latest and greatest Windoze


Bingo, there's the problem. Windoze. Mac computers are kept for a lot longer. My mother still uses her original Macintosh Plus which is now about 25 years old. Mine is 10 years old as is my wife's. My daughters is 12 years old. Macs last.
 
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Location: swampland virginia
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my opinion, Apple is onto the game of software making hardware obsolete. Ever notice how older computers get slower after updates and newer computers may get faster? Nothing against the for-profit-company. You put your resources in where today's money is coming from. Appears sometimes that the OS slows down on purpose.

If Apple and Microsoft would give options to keep sludge-ware out of the newer versions, it would make for faster machines. I know they have telephone support, so that is part of it. If I do not want the Mac App Store, I do not want it, anymore than I want print drivers for every printer ever made. Speaking of which, how hard is it to write a few print standard that just about all printers could follow? Do we really need a different driver for nearly every printer? Guess so if you want to drop support

Question, major differences between different linux distros, bsd distros, etc?
Recommendations on linux server setups - NAS, over air tv recording (HD homerun), media server, firewall, etc? just curious if any of you have set that end up the market up and what your experience has been. Virtualization seems to be the way to go on that stuff. Easy to add and delete services.

Another Comment, notice how in the last few years more and more open source projects are being 'bought up' by 'big companies'? Does that mean anything? Should I read anything into that? Are we going to have fewer options down the road?
 
                        
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Dr. Temp, as far as the printer drivers go, HP has tried implementing a common driver for all its business printers.  The problem is when you have multi-function printers, i.e., the driver not only has to drive the printer portion, but run the scanner portion and maybe the fax portion, and maybe do this over a network (like a home network.)
 
Len Ovens
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Dr_Temp wrote:
Speaking of which, how hard is it to write a few print standard that just about all printers could follow? Do we really need a different driver for nearly every printer? Guess so if you want to drop support


It has been interesting to me that windows often needs a different driver for each type of hardware, but under linux all of them might use the same driver. the hardware is the same, but the card bios says it is different...


Question, major differences between different linux distros, bsd distros, etc?


I would suggest categories of distros as there are so many.

1) Desktop windows replacers - easy to install, works mostly like windows... most people can't tell the difference... besides the icon names and software names. Tend to use more resources .... like windows, but generally not quite as much.

2) server distros, designed for server work, includes all the server software you could wish for.... two subgroups:
   a)server distros for those switching from windows (eg. ubuntu server)
   b)server distros for those who like unix (eg. slackware)

3) floppy/cd/dvd run gateways/firwalls. takes an old (dx 66?) with no disk, loads everything in memory and provides, security/firewall, DHCP, internal nameservice, masquerade (or its equivalent these days) service... etc.

4) mini or low resource distros. Like antiX or Puppy. These are designed to breath new life into old hardware (generally back to the P II and about 128M min.) and gives reasonably fast and complete desktop experience on these machines. some of them (eg. xubuntu) are hard to tell from their window replacer counter parts except for speed and come with a full set of applications (and require more disk space). Others, come without much software at all, but only take about 10M disk space. The user with a small disk can then load just the software they need/want to save space.... does take just a bit more know how and time to set up.

5) phone/tablet distros. For smart phones and palmtop tablets.

6) games distros.... for games.

7) Audio/video distros... often with realtime kernels, for audio/video prduction

8 ) system repair cds.... starts up a linux system in memory so you can repair a windows computer   Or I have seen them used to install windows systems too. I used one as a backup tool for our NT servers at work. they are often configurable like morphix. They can also analyse networks and recover linux discs too. (log file fills up the drive and you can't even log on to delete it for example.... though most distros have a "safe start" mode that allows this anyway)

.... are you getting tired yet? Really, it depends on what you want to do.... and what you are used to. We have a different distro on each computer.... our server/firewall has slackare (11.* I think - old) the desktop has ubuntu studio (and a professional quality sound card). Our netbook has ubuntu desktop and the old PII 266 laptop has antiX. They all do their job just fine and are easy to use... The old laptop gets used to play Supertux and make drawings by the kids.


Recommendations on linux server setups - NAS, over air tv recording (HD homerun), media server, firewall, etc? just curious if any of you have set that end up the market up and what your experience has been. Virtualization seems to be the way to go on that stuff. Easy to add and delete services.


Recommend? I wouldn't do that, their are too many variables.... I suspect ubuntu server will do what you want.... and will work with the whole debian library of software... not a bad place to start. I would suggest using the classic session as "unity" is not there yet (may never be.... can you tell I don't like it?).


Another Comment, notice how in the last few years more and more open source projects are being 'bought up' by 'big companies'? Does that mean anything? Should I read anything into that? Are we going to have fewer options down the road?


Look at open office for a good example.... as Sun has been dragging their feet... the developers have gone and started a new open source office suit based on open office so they can do what they want. The neat thing about open source is that anyone can take however far they got while it was open and continue from there. Basically ... the cat is already out of the bag. If the software is useful to any number of people, there seems to be someone willing to keep it up to date.... and some things are just useful as they are with no updates at all ("less" and "xterm" come to mind).
 
John Polk
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As far as firewalls go, Linux comes with as good as it can get.  You can easily configure it.
Start with "Forbid EVERYTHING", then "ALLOW" only what you want.  No program you install (or installs itself) can ever change that.  DUH.

I have a Fedora 15x distro, but I think I will wait 'til I build my desktop to install it.  Seems kind of like overkill for this laptop.  I grew up on RedHat, and Fedora is basically a Beta of the next v of RH.  At least now, I don't have to make everything I install anymore!  LOL

 
Len Ovens
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John Polk wrote:
As far as firewalls go, Linux comes with as good as it can get.  You can easily configure it.
Start with "Forbid EVERYTHING", then "ALLOW" only what you want.  No program you install (or installs itself) can ever change that.  DUH.

Most of us tend to forget about it pretty quick


I have a Fedora 15x distro, but I think I will wait 'til I build my desktop to install it.  Seems kind of like overkill for this laptop.  I grew up on RedHat, and Fedora is basically a Beta of the next v of RH.  At least now, I don't have to make everything I install anymore!  LOL



Forgot to mention Red Hat. I did use it for a while but didn't find it did anything more for me than SlackWare at the time. To put it another way it was certainly just as good as anything else, but I already knew S.W. inside out, so why switch? Then it seemed to start going more business oriented. I think that is still their main strength. They are one of the few distros that offer "support" in the traditional sense. This makes it's use possible in some large corps where their accountants demand support for all installed software.

My list was not meant to be comprehensive, but Red Hat is unique enough to deserve a mention all on it's own. There are probably thousands of distros out there.... it is hard to pick out just a few to talk about. All of them use current kernels... though some use alpha versions because of their unique needs (real time etc.).
 
              
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grew up with apple products, but they are going over the top for me. knew they were heading that direction before they had ipods. now that they have near merged their desktop and ios platform and business model, it is getting old. Tired of everything phoning home and being locked into this and that.

Funny note on Printers, drivers, etc... in the documentary posted here, http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/8560_0/frugality/planned-obsolescence-documentary the guy has a printer that quits because the counter went too high and said he needed to replace the ink sponge, which all was fixed with a piece of open source that reset the counter. LOL. planned obsolescence.
 
John Polk
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It is amazing how much quicker my PC boots up if I turn off the router first.  That way M$, HP, Adobe etal are not trying to call home for instructions & updates.

I have always turned off "Automatic Updates" on everything I can.  If Windows were updating unbeknown to me in the background, and I powered down, I could lose everything on my harddrive.

I had a friend who had to reload Windows because he shut down while defrag was running in the background (automatically, and without notification).  The next time he tried to boot up, Windows could not locate a critical file!  defrag had changed its address, but had not yet transfered the file to the new address.
 
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Wow, this Linux stuff sounds great.  I hate MicroHard (as my Dad calls it).  Some time back I switched to the K-Meleon browser [http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/] in part for this reason.  Here and there the K-Meleon browser ends up being uncompatible and then I use Firefox instead.

And I like the sound of my OS running faster.  One of my few vices, is that I play a particular MMORPG where greater speed is really advantageous.  (If you want to know which one, PM me and I'll send you my recruiting link... yes I am that hooked.) 

I am now of the habit of saving almost nothing on my hard driving -- putting almost all saved items on a memory stick, because the less you have saved on your hard drive, the faster your computer runs.  Almost all downloads, files saved from Excel or Word go on the cheap $20 removable memory device. 

Two questions:

I'm going to want to keep Excel and Word, not because they are great, but for compatibility issues.  Are they going to work with pclinuxos?
Also, if I install pclinuxos and dump windows, will I still need my Norton Internet Security subscription OR can I just let it lapse?
 
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