"new" computer

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Michael Smoker
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"new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:14 am

After agonizing for a little while, I finally paid for a "new" computer.

It's an Athlon dual core 2.8 with 2 gig dual channel RAM and a 250-gig SATA HD. Yeah, that's all 2006 technology, but the parts have never before been used, so in that sense the computer is "new."

It was custom built for me by a guy in Ohio who spends his retirement playing with computer bits. Total cost is $232 plus shipping. I should receive it on December 31st.

This is fairly exciting. My current computer is a P4 2.8 with a 40-gig HD, so this is a significant upgrade.

Michael

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Dargon
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Dargon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:50 pm

Not a bad rig, pretty good price too. Should work good so long as you aren't planning on playing the newest, top of the line games (mind you, those may still run fine if you turn the graphics down a notch or two).

Michael Smoker
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:49 am

Lol I'm not a gamer. :) Last game I actually bought in a store was MOO II. :D Basically, my complaint about today's games is that they all use a real-time engine that requires faster reflexes than I have. If there were decent turn-based games in which the player got an unlimited amount of time to finish his turn, I'd consider playing them.

I do, however, have registered copies of Monopoly and Scrabble from Spintop, which were developed some time this decade. They were dirt cheap and are a lot of classic fun.

Michael

EDIT: I forgot to add that my monitor is actually a 20" LCD TV set. It's a good set but doesn't offer the ultra-fine resolution that some new games might require, and that my video card is probably capable of.
Last edited by Michael Smoker on Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KAGU143
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Re: "new" computer

Postby KAGU143 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:54 am

Computers perplex the daylights out of me. I have to deal with them so I do, but I don't understand them or trust them at all. :think:
Darned finicky things that catch more diseases than an inner-city pre-schooler!! :roll:

I want to go back to the 20th century!!!

:sigh: :wah:

I'm too slow for a lot of the games that are out now, but I still play one Facebook game (Birdland, of course :mrgreen: )
Yeah ... I know ... I've sold my soul to the devil ... :lol:
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

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Dargon
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Dargon » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:54 pm

Another person who has actually heard of Master of Orion! MOO II was the best of the three.

There are a number of puzzle and even action/platformer games that allow for slower reflexes. Mine are pretty good, but I stand no chance in multiplayer generally as the people there are godly. Then again, a lot of them seem to be 12 year olds who can dedicate 60 hours a week to the game whereas on a good week I get to play three or four hours. There are also a number of RPGs which reflex is not a big deal, and many real-time strategy games allow for issueing of commands while paused, making them a lot less real time (I actually enjoy RTSs that allow this, as it allows more strategy and less twitch in my opinion).

As for modern turn based games, have you given Civilization a try? I want to say the current iteration is Civ 4 or 5. I haven't played any since 3, but both 2 and 3 were fantastic.

Michael Smoker
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:10 am

The computer arrived today, on schedule, and works great. I do, however, need to invest in an operating system better than XP Pro. It seems a shame to waste a dual core 64-bit processor on an eight-year-old 32-bit OS.

Perhaps I can be talked into trying to run Linux again, if I can find the right distro.

Michael

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Dargon
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Dargon » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:10 pm

XP Pro can deal with the multi-core aspect, but not the 64 bit aspect. I'm still running XP pro, mind you my proc is 32 bit as well.

As for linux, Ubuntu is the most friendly distro I have played with, and it has a 64 bit version. However, the 32 bit version is much more stable.

Truth be told, aside from high end gaming or other high end applications such as video edition, 3D rendering, or other niche applications, 32 bit ought to be plenty.

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Re: "new" computer

Postby Joe of Loath » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:11 am

Linux Mint Debian edition :)

Being a rolling release, you'll never have to reinstall again.

Michael Smoker
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:14 am

Joe of Loath wrote:Linux Mint Debian edition :)

Being a rolling release, you'll never have to reinstall again.


Joe, where can I get a copy of that, and is there cost associated with it? I'd like to at least have the install files backed up on my own media.

Michael

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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:21 pm

Update:

The CPU is actually a dual-core 2.4 MHz processor, not a 2.8, but it's still more than twice as fast as my old P4.

I did find and download Mint version 10 and burned it to a DVD, but I haven't installed it yet because it would require me to wipe out my secondary HD partition, which I've devoted to storage space for data that would survive a Windows reinstall. If I can find some affordable way to do non-destructive repartitioning and create a third partition for the Mint (which, like all Linux, requires two partitions to run) then I'll go for it. Otherwise I'll have to consider the dual-boot option.

If anyone here has experience with dual boot, please let me know how well it works. I get the heebie-jeebies thinking about it because Windows is infamous for "not liking to play with others."

Michael

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Re: "new" computer

Postby Joe of Loath » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:14 am

You should be able to resize the windows partition during the install process. I know you can on Ubuntu, and Linux Mint is built on it. (Although I prefer the Debian based edition, it's not finished yet).

Michael Smoker
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:05 am

I'm pretty sure the release of Mint I downloaded and burned to DVD _is_ Debian. It was on a Debian webpage and had assorted Debian information in other tabs.

The installation options were (1) dual boot, (2) flatten my hard drive, (3) use existing partitions, but which would have flattened my data partition. I need to find some kind of non-destructive partitioning tool in order to create a third partition that Mint can use during install. Those, however, all appear to cost money.

Michael

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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:48 am

UPDATE: I found a freeware non-destructive repartitioning utility that did a great job. It even improved my computer's performance when booting from Windows.

Anyway, I split the main partition into two, one for dev1 and one for dev5. When I tried to install Mint Julia, however, the install program kept complaining as follows: "No root file system defined. Please correct this from the partitioning menu."

I tried everything I could think of in order to correct this problem, but the install program kept not accepting my solutions.

So I figure, if I can't even figure out how to _install_ Linux, there is no hope in hell I can figure out how to run it. So I just gave up and am making arrangements to give the Mint Julia DVD to my brother.

Thanks to those who tried to help, but Linux continues to be restricted to those with degrees in electronic engineering. To us poor intermediate-level end-users it remains extremely unfriendly.

Michael

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Re: "new" computer

Postby Joe of Loath » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:52 am

Maybe try plain Ubuntu then. Mint has always seemed a little rough around the edges to me, and now I've basically built my OS myself I don't notice the flaws.

Michael Smoker
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:05 pm

I went to the Ubuntu website and it uses the same installation interface, which means that it would present me with the same problem. Thanks for the suggestion, tho. :)

Michael

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Re: "new" computer

Postby Joe of Loath » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:41 am

Could be worse, you could be trying to dual boot Windows...

It's probably a simple fix, it's just the problem with giving is advice over the internet is you have no idea about what's happening on the other person's screen :lol:

Michael Smoker
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:32 am

Is there some special meaning to "No root file system defined?" That seems to be the problem. But being unfamiliar with Linux, I have no idea what it means.

Michael

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Dargon
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Dargon » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:13 pm

Only dual booters I've dealt with is GRUB and Windows BCD. The former, well, it pretty much set itself up (had a Windows XP / SuSE system on that one), the latter only works with Windows partitions.

Michael Smoker
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 am

I obtained a downloadable copy of Win 7 Pro 64-bit for what I thought was a dirt-cheap price. When I tried to install it, however, I had all sorts of problems. The support people told me it's either a bad download or a bad burn. The .iso is supposed to be exactly 3,250,552,832 bytes. :p So I'm redownloading it and, provided the file size is accurate, I'm going to try burning the DVD at 2x in order to minimize the chance of problems.

I also have to apologize to Joe; I _did_ download and test Mint Ubuntu last time. Yesterday I downloaded and burned the Mint Debian version but haven't tested it yet. The Ubuntu version is lightning-fast except that it doesn't support my webcam (used for Skype video calls to a few personal contacts) unless I rebuild the kernel, and I'm terrified of trying to do that.

Michael

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Dargon
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Dargon » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:18 pm

Does the iso have an MD5 hash with it? If it does, you can run a hash after the download to make sure it is the same.

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Re: "new" computer

Postby Joe of Loath » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:37 pm

'no root filesystem defined' means it's not partitioned itself correctly, and not given itself somewhere to install. I could walk you through doing it manually, but there are lots of buttons to press in just the right order, so I can only give you pointers.

Michael Smoker
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:54 pm

Joe, if you could give me a link to a tutorial on how to partition a hard drive for Linux Mint Debian, I would be grateful.

Dargon, the checksum was okay and I burned the DVD at 2x, but I still had the same problem of an extremely slow install. I googled it and read up on it and found that it's a known issue spanning many hardware platforms. Microsoft's advice is just to suffer through what might be a 16-hour install, but users have suggested about 20 different solutions that variously worked for them. The one that worked for me was to go into BIOS settings and turn off hyperthreading until after the install was over, then turn it on again. Once I'd done that the install took about 10-15 minutes and the OS works flawlessly. Meanwhile, the vendor was so apologetic that they gave me a free copy of Ultimate 64-bit. Like I'm gonna say no to that lol. Plus I even did a keyless install of the Wn 7 pro in case I want to reinstall within the next 30 days.

Michael

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Re: "new" computer

Postby Joe of Loath » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:41 am


Michael Smoker
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Re: "new" computer

Postby Michael Smoker » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:51 am

Thanks, guys.

Michael