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Messages - steve57

#1
I can fully understand your line of thinking Matt, if I only had one PC I would be wary about risking wrecking it. Your current HP550 looks pretty high spec to me (or am I completely behind the times?) so buying something similar isn't going to be "dead cheap", but I would certainly explore the refurbished/second hand market.

As for which Linux distro, Ubuntu and Linux Mint are both popular, and I think Mint is a bit lighter weight and uses less resources, although Ubuntu wouldn't have a problem on a machine with that spec. Somebody once wrote an article listing a number of reasons why Mint was better than Ubuntu for complete beginners, but unfortunately I can't remember where it was. If you do a search on something like "Ubuntu vs Mint" you may find it.

Per what Brian has said, download a few distros, burn them to USB sticks and try them out. This way you're not committing to anything. On Windows I personally use Rufus for creating the USB's, but there are other options.

I'm currently running MX Linux on one machine and Manjaro on another, and I haven't had any significant problems with either. I always say that if I can figure them out then anyone can.

The other thing to remember is don't give up at the first hurdle. If you come across a problem then ask either here or on the forum for the particular distro in question, there's always somebody willing to help. Some people have issues just creating the USB in the first place, so don't worry about it.

Please let us know how you get on.
#2
In that case I'll have to leave it those that are more "expert" to make some suggestions, and I will be keeping a close eye on things in case anything useful to me comes up. One of my machines is also a netbook of same age, and similar spec by the looks of it. Not very fast are they? Which is one of the reasons mine doesn't get used much.
#3
Just to clarify, is this something that's recently changed, that is has it suddenly become slower than what it was? Or has your netbook always been like that?
#4
Linux Tips & Tricks / Re: Etcher alternative
March 05, 2022, 03:06:31 PM
I really wish I could add something useful to this thread, but I can't. I've used both Balena Etcher and Rufus on Windows machines to make bootable USB's, and on Linux I've used the image writer that comes with MX, and the image writer that comes with Mint. I may have also done it on Manjaro but can't quite remember. Thing is, it's very rare that I have any problems, and I don't really know why that is. Have I just been lucky?

It's quite evident from various forums that a lot of people do have difficulties, and I'm not sure why. One occasion that something wouldn't boot I had used a very "well worn" USB stick that had been used countless times previously. I swapped it for one that I knew had very little use and everything was fine, so that may be worth considering. I also stick to well known brands, such as Kingston, and avoid generic "no name" stuff.

The other thing of course is the checksums, which it appears a lot of people don't bother checking. This came up in a post I put on the MX forum, and I was informed that of all those that had downloaded MX from Sourceforge, only about 3% had bothered to download the checksum file. It's no good blaming the image writer if you've got a corrupted ISO file.
#5
I can't speak from experience as it's a long time since I used Ubuntu, but from what I've read on various forums I get the impression that Ubuntu has become a little bloated and heavyweight in recent times. Not heavyweight when compared to Windows 10, but certainly heavyweight when compared to other Linux Distros. Mint I have used recently, and I would say it is definitely lighter than Ubuntu, and therefore less strain on your PC's resources. And yes, you should be able to run all the same apps in Mint as you can in Ubuntu.

Choices? I know, there are loads, and I got a bit overwhelmed with it all at one point. If you search for "Linux suitable for beginners" you'll find that Mint is often near the top of the list, so a good starting point. In fact there is a post somewhere that lists a number of reasons as to why Mint is more suitable than Ubuntu for beginners, but unfortunately I can't remember where I saw it.
#6
Linux Support / Re: Questions about user accounts
February 20, 2022, 12:57:56 PM
Afraid I can't answer your questions about users, not a thing I've ever had to deal with. Last time I had a PC that was used by anyone else was nearly 15 years ago, and that was XP. I'm sure others will be able to assist you with the users thing.

Apparently you can use Magicavoxel under Wine. If you type something like "Magicavoxel for Linux" into your browser and have a look at what comes up. I personally don't use Wine, simply because it doesn't encourage me to get away from Windows software completely, so I always look for a Linux alternative. But that's just me.
#7
Linux Support / Re: Linux Jukebox Project
February 19, 2022, 01:07:16 PM
Thanks for that Brian, I will look into it. Although as usual it will be when I get around to it. In fact, you won't believe all the things I'm going to achieve "when I get around to it"  :D
#8
That makes sense. As the previous partitions were for Linux they're probably EXT4 format, or something like that, and Windows won't recognise such things. Probably best to clear everything and start afresh, and see if the issue with freezing has gone away. If it hasn't and it freezes again, make a note of exactly what you were doing at the time, it may help in diagnosing the problem.

By the way, I agree with your comments on branded goods, although no doubt there's the odd exception.
#9
Linux Support / Re: Linux Jukebox Project
February 18, 2022, 04:40:54 PM
Thank you for your comments. The thing is, the whole point of this project is to use what I've already got, and I don't have any Bluetooth speakers. Being a bit of an old fashioned person I connect things with cables, which are far more reliable and very rarely fail. Also there's nothing wrong with any of my sets of speakers, so no intention of replacing them at present.

I also won't be controlling anything with my phone, as I don't have a smart phone. My mobile probably belongs on Antiques Roadshow, but again it still works. I'm not the sort of person that rushes out to buy a new gadget just because it's the in-thing, I replace things when they no longer work. Hence me typing this on a laptop from 2009.

I won't be connecting any other devices either, just the speakers. However, my music collection is well organised and everything is tagged correctly. Many hours have been spent in the past updating missing info.

Finally, what's a DNLA server, what does that do? Not a thing I've ever come across before, so know nothing about them.
#10
If everything says "hatch matched" that would suggest the ISO is ok. Regarding the size of the USB, it shows the exact size of how much data you can put on it. 3.7Gb is about average for a 4Gb USB stick, 7.3Gb for an 8Gb stick, etc. Nothing has actually disappeared. Also don't worry about the "trash" bin, not all systems create that, some do, some don't.

As for burning software I've used both Balena Etcher and Rufus on Windows, and haven't had any problem with either. If I remember correctly didn't you previously comment on how cheaply you could get a USB stick? What brand is it? Could the USB stick itself be not up to scratch?

The freezing I'm not sure about, depends on what you were doing at the time. The thing with running a system live from a USB stick is that you're running the whole thing from RAM, and sometimes it can be not enough, although I would have thought 4Gb RAM as sufficient.

Also, as you've had to make a number of attempts to burn the USB, how have you deleted things between each attempt? Formatting doesn't always work properly.
#11
Linux Support / Linux Jukebox Project
February 13, 2022, 12:01:31 PM
I have an idea for a little project. I have two full size (15") laptops which I use to do "proper stuff", and I also have a little netbook, which only gets used for playing music, nothing else. It's a relatively under powered little thing. 1.5Gb Celeron processor and only 1.7Gb (usable) RAM, and with it's 11" screen isn't much use to me for anything else. But being so small and lightweight it's convenient to move about from one room to another, connect to external powered speakers, and away we go.

The one thing that irritates me is how long it takes to boot anything up, and I'm thinking it's a case of "could do better". The way I see it there are two ways I could approach this. One is to use a minimal distro, add a music player and any other essentials, job done. Problem with that is a lot of minimal distros are labelled as "for experts", and I'm certainly not an expert. I've had a closer look at a couple and to be honest wouldn't know where to start.

The other option is to use a more common, average distro and make it more lightweight. That is, remove any unwanted software, and disable anything unnecessary in it's start up procedure. The issue with this is that I probably wouldn't know where to stop, and I end up with something that won't boot at all.

In a nutshell, I don't need office suite, video player, development tools, games or anything else, just a music player. I don't need bluetooth either, but I will still need internet connectivity, for the purpose of displaying song lyrics and occasionally searching for any missing album artwork, although this is rare as vast majority of my collection is all tagged correctly.

The other thing of course is the music player itself. My preferred music player is Strawberry, but it doesn't appear to be possible to install it in every distro. I suppose I could use Clementine, but it hasn't been updated in about 6 years, and the last time I used it a couple of functions didn't work. Another alternative is Gmusic Browser, but I don't think that's available for every distro either.

I'm open to any alternative suggestions, but bear in mind the music player needs to be capable of handling relatively large collections, approx 8,000 tracks in my case, and I know a lot can't. I also don't want anything that opens as a tiny little box, the screen's small enough to start with, so I want to fill it.

So, any ideas, suggestions, pointers, whatever, feel free.

Thanks
#12
Just for interest, I have a TV set that has the function to record TV programmes to an external hard drive. However, if after you've recorded something you then plug the drive into a PC, you'll be lucky if it even recognises it, let alone reveal any of it's contents.

I haven't figured out the ins and outs of it, what format it's using or anything else, but I can't help wondering if it's all deliberate, perhaps to protect copyright, or something like that? Either way I don't bother using it, more hassle than it's worth, and I've got other recording equipment.
#13
Linux Support / Re: Can I have some advice please?
February 12, 2022, 12:28:17 PM
Yes, comparing just two would be a sensible thing to do, things may well just get confusing otherwise. As you say, for choice there are hundreds to choose from, but for distros that are genuinely suitable for complete beginners it probably does come down to only 5-10.

Technically speaking Windows choices no longer include 7, as that isn't supported anymore, and it looks like an awful lot of PC's won't be able to run 11. I've never used 8, but if I remember correctly didn't it get a lot of bad press from the day it was launched?

A 4GB USB stick will be fine for trying out Mint or Ubuntu. I suggest you try that for a start, then cross other bridges when you get to them.
#14
Linux Support / Re: Can I have some advice please?
February 10, 2022, 06:53:22 PM
I would also suggest Linux Mint for someone completely new to Linux, and it's also lighter weight than Ubuntu. When I first started dipping my toes in the Linux waters about 3 years ago I started with Mint, and found it to be an ideal beginner's distro. One other thing, take your time and don't try to rush anything. You know the old saying "Patience is a virtue", well that's as true with Linux as much as anything else.
#15
General Discussion / Re: Boot Times & Run Times
January 26, 2022, 12:28:56 PM
Thank you, very well written and informative, but this bit probably sums it up

Quote from: Mad Penguin on January 25, 2022, 11:24:31 PM
In terms of 'faster once installed', then if it's a modern system

In a lot of cases it probably isn't a modern system. I'm aware that some people are running Linux on pretty high spec machines, but for a lot of us we're using Linux simply in an effort to keep something old functioning. I have two laptops running Linux, both with the same spec, and both date from 2009. I'm running Manjaro on one and MX on the other, and I'm happy with both.

Quote from: Brian000 on January 25, 2022, 11:01:08 PM
This may help:

https://www.unbxtech.com/2019/03/pcie-sata-usb-interfaces-explained.html

Another interesting article, although I notice that, as is often the case, there's no mention of the the typical life expectancy of an SSD compared to a HDD. I don't know if things have improved recently, but the last time I looked into it the lifespan of an SSD was abysmal.

Well at least I managed to generate some discussion and interesting feedback, which was my original intention.

Thank you