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flat assembler > Heap > Linux hardware advice: What to buy?

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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 15162
Location: GW170817

sleepsleep wrote:
if the idea is to get a taste of linux and using it daily, maybe a refurbished laptop or desktop already enough to reach such goal, less than 100 usd,

That isn't really my purpose to get a taste. But anyhow, what specifically do you have in mind to buy?
Post 10 Jun 2017, 11:45
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
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i would dare to say, any cheap acer laptop, desktop is okay with linux, not sure if you "know" how to check the quality of refurbished / 2nd hand laptop, (maybe you could go through your website Evil or Very Mad )

when in doubt, get that new acer with full hd screen i recommended before, i think it is very good!
https://board.flatassembler.net/topic.php?p=196702#196702

actually i can't get full hd screen (acer) at such price here in malaysia, i love to have it!
Post 10 Jun 2017, 12:16
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 8000
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E

sleepsleep wrote:
i would dare to say, any cheap acer laptop, desktop is okay with linux

What is "okay"?

Let's see if a free Linux distro can be installed in a cheap Acer laptop like Acer Aspire R11 without any problem:

https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2302072

At the end of the day, driver issues always can get in the way.

Wink
Post 10 Jun 2017, 13:13
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
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How to install Ubuntu on Acer Aspire R3 Series
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtXnQpv5Zqw

the trick is set up supervisor password to enable feature to clear secure keys in bios, then set boot to uefi and tada, Embarassed

i actually use the same trick when installing linux on my acer tablet, Laughing (uefi 32bit)

btw acer aspire r11 is not cheap, the one i recommend revolution with full hd is cheaper, Laughing
Post 10 Jun 2017, 13:27
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 8000
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E

sleepsleep wrote:
acer aspire r11 is not cheap

There are different models with different configurations. Pick the one with Intel N3160 and 64GB eMMC, and you will have a cheap Windows "convertible" with superb battery life. Not bad at all.

Wink
Post 10 Jun 2017, 13:37
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l_inc



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 876
revolution
I've been mainly running Linux (first Ubuntu then switched to Fedora) since a few years ago, and my experience is that it's a pain. You'll be OK if your needs are very modest. Once you try to configure your system according to your taste you'll come across all kinds of bugs. The more you configure the more often the bugs will appear to have never been solved or to have never been even reported by anybody.

The first time I configured Fedora it took me 2 months until I had a more or less acceptable state of the system I could work with. The second time I configured Fedora, I've just been following my notes I wrote the first time and it took me 1,5 weeks. The notes included installation, compilation, configuration, and applying patches (e.g, those lying around on the Internet and not accepted into the distribution for decades for obscure reasons), which have conflicts with the current state of the source code.

I don't know what to recommend with respect to distribution and hardware, but I think a good advice would be to suggest to create a file with notes (I have these per program), where you document every single action and every single command line you executed to solve the problems you encountered.

_________________
Faith is a superposition of knowledge and fallacy


Last edited by l_inc on 11 Jun 2017, 11:29; edited 1 time in total
Post 11 Jun 2017, 11:20
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Furs



Joined: 04 Mar 2016
Posts: 821

l_inc wrote:
but I think a good advice would be to suggest to create a file with notes (I have these per program), where you document every single action and every single command line you executed to solve the problems you encountered.

I agree with the advice, but I thought it applies to everything? I've always noted modifications and tweaks I've done to any OS which helped when I also made VMs out of them.

Unless you want to use a bloated OS full of security vulnerabilities because of millions of services you don't need up and running, tracking you and other shit like a certain Windows version. Because that's what happens by "default" or with clueless "casual" users.
Post 11 Jun 2017, 11:29
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l_inc



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
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Well, I must say, I never came to the idea to take such notes over the 1,5 decades of using Windows. And I'm very glad, I still have an independent Windows 7 installation on a separate ssd in my laptop in a dual-boot configuration together with Fedora.

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Post 11 Jun 2017, 11:35
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
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l_inc wrote:
I think a good advice would be to suggest to create a file with notes (I have these per program), where you document every single action and every single command line you executed to solve the problems you encountered.

Great minds think alike. Back in the netbook days, I had such notes, too. Wink
Post 11 Jun 2017, 13:15
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 15162
Location: GW170817

l_inc wrote:
... running Linux ... and my experience is that it's a pain.

... where you document every single action and every single command line you executed to solve the problems you encountered.

This seems to be the expected default situation with Linux: "You'll encounter problems, expect it. And when you solve them ...". But therein lies the actual problem. 1000 different people all solve the same problem 1000 different times. And how many other thousands of people gave up after never solving the problem and just accepted the reduced functionality?

Ideally I want to avoid that, if possible. I don't want to become a Linux guru or anything similar. I don't have the time available to get to that sort of level. I want my computer and the OS to be a tool, not a goal in itself.

If there really isn't any suitable and reliable hardware/software combination then where does that leave me? Stuck in the hands of MS and their big-brother "trust us with everything" attitude? Should I just accept the misconfigured hardware under Linux and not be too demanding to expect things to actually work correctly as designed?

So how about this: I expect the WiFi card to work (of course). But if it only supports a/b modes, and not g/n modes (or whatever combination), then I could go with that, my data bandwidth requirement is not high. It would be sad to have to accept that, but it wouldn't be a show stopper. And similarly with other things, maybe the top possible speeds are not attainable, or the lowest power mode is unavailable, or something, but as long as it basically "works". Is there a system?
Post 11 Jun 2017, 23:58
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neville



Joined: 13 Jul 2008
Posts: 503
Location: New Zealand
I get the impression that internet vulnerabilities are your main concern which has prompted you to look for alternatives to M$?

If so, then maybe just use your chosen alternative for internet use, and retain your M$ systems for everything else.

I currently use only Ubuntu when I'm on the internet. I've had NO problems and apart from anything else the data I save is amazing. I was staggered how Windoze could chew through data just while "browsing". Win10 is now the worst offender of course. Last year I was forced to use it for a couple of days and several gigs of data just disappeared without trace. Comparably I would use less than half a gig of data doing the same thing on Linux.

A dual- (or multi-!) boot system would be ideal. Linux reads FAT32 and NTFS no problem, so your OS's can read the same disks so no data transfers required.

So a cheapish 2nd-hand laptop with Linux currently installed on it is your starting point. Here is a suggestion. The seller is even willing to install Ubuntu for free. $150 BuyNow (or $135 if you want to take a punt on the auction) and $12 to courier it to you. What are you waiting for? Smile

BTW Ubuntu is easy to use, very intuitive, and Lubuntu is more Windoze-like in layout if that's what you want.

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Post 12 Jun 2017, 04:01
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 8000
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E

neville wrote:
So a cheapish 2nd-hand laptop with Linux currently installed on it is your starting point. Here is a suggestion.

Given its weight of 2.7 kg, which is 1.1 kg over the "tolerable" value, the picky thread-starter would not even consider it.

Refer to:
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-HP-ProBook-6550b-Notebook.42583.0.html

We should not waste our time on helping him/her any more.

Wink
Post 12 Jun 2017, 05:27
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
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we need to find a perfect wife before we could experience the marriage life for the first time, good luck then,

i prefer cheap hardware to perfect hardware, Laughing change the old c2d laptop to use sdd, then you are in 2017 suddenly,

battery is always issue, but somebody will come up with modular exchangeable battery fluid solution, in fact, they are here already,

waiting for revolution os, fasm os, yong os, sleep os, 2030? probably
Post 12 Jun 2017, 08:08
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 15162
Location: GW170817

neville wrote:
I get the impression that internet vulnerabilities are your main concern which has prompted you to look for alternatives to M$?

If so, then maybe just use your chosen alternative for internet use, and retain your M$ systems for everything else.

Mostly, yes. I have to accept a W10 box as part of my job requirement. But I refuse to connect it to the Internet because of data leakage concerns. MS became too greedy and desperate IMO.
Post 12 Jun 2017, 09:54
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 15162
Location: GW170817

neville wrote:
So a cheapish 2nd-hand laptop with Linux currently installed on it is your starting point. Here is a suggestion. The seller is even willing to install Ubuntu for free. $150 BuyNow (or $135 if you want to take a punt on the auction) and $12 to courier it to you. What are you waiting for? Smile

Haha, sure. If I was in "South Island" then only $12 shipping. No mention of shipping anywhere outside of NZ. I laughed when I saw "About half hour battery life after full charge." Yes indeed, the standard battery problem so many people suffer from. No mention of screen resolution, just the physical size 15". No warranty. Hmm, seems likes the perfect system. Razz
Post 12 Jun 2017, 10:00
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 8000
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E

sleepsleep wrote:
i prefer cheap hardware to perfect hardware, Laughing

Me too.

In fact, given that tech is evolving at such an exponential speed, it does not make any sense to expect that a laptop should last over a decade. Anyway.

Wink
Post 12 Jun 2017, 11:00
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sleepsleep



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YONG wrote:

it does not make any sense to expect that a laptop should last over a decade. Anyway.


i hope laptop manufacturers could consider a proposal to design a kind of new laptop that could last 20 years,

if the main objective is processing 0 and 1, and find more ways to process 0 and 1 faster, efficient and cheaper, maybe we already deviate too far,


revolution wrote:

Mostly, yes. I have to accept a W10 box as part of my job requirement.


maybe time to do start-up and become boss?
Post 12 Jun 2017, 15:39
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Tyler



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 1216
Location: NC, USA
Doesn't meet your screen reqs, but have you considered a libreboot T400? They're decent computers on their own and their 110% linux compatibility is why they're so commonly used for libreboot computers. You seem like the perfect customer for a custom, open source firmware laptop.

https://libreboot.org/suppliers.html

In general, if that's not your thing, stay away from GPUs. You want an integrated Intel GPU, no Nvidia or AMD. Especially stay away from integrated/discrete combos. Those things are nasty. Apart from that, you'll want to check the wifi and (if you care) bluetooth compatibility. Most of those are okay these days. They used to be a real pita. If those are all fine, you're almost surely in the clear. Worst case scenario otherwise is lack of support for suspend to RAM and you'll be stuck hibernating (suspend to disk).

Use a "not so free" distro like Cinnamon. Their lack of obsession w/ free software means they'll package questionably licensed drivers (from a OSS purist PoV) and things will work out of the box (unlike, say, Debian).
Post 13 Jun 2017, 01:56
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 15162
Location: GW170817
I definitely won't be buying a Surface

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microsoft+Surface+Laptop+Teardown/92915

Quote:
# This laptop is not meant to be opened or repaired; you can’t get inside without inflicting a lot of damage.
# The CPU, RAM, and onboard storage are soldered to the motherboard, making upgrades a no-go.
# The headphone jack, while modular, can only be accessed by removing the heat sink, fan, display, and motherboard.
# The battery is difficult and dangerous to replace, giving the device a limited lifespan.

Inbuilt obsolescence at its finest. Very Happy

ETA: A pertinent comment in the comment section:

Quote:
yet another product of disposable design driven by shareholders to maximize quarterly earnings instead of customer lifetime value.

ETA2: For those with environmental thoughts:

Quote:
I am curious what sort of challenges a difficult to disassemble device poses to recycling?

Post 17 Jun 2017, 16:34
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 8000
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E

revolution wrote:
I definitely won't be buying a Surface

Me too.

Despite all the negatives, M$ Surface does have an edge: Windows 10 S. Users can't install any apps that aren't from Windows Store, which "kind of" makes the OS more secure.

Besides, users can upgrade the OS to Windows 10 Pro for free -- within 2017.

Wink
Post 18 Jun 2017, 01:57
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