Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Monster

So, Steve wants to upgrade.

Since Steve rarely does anything on the "cheap", this system was destined to be a screamer.

The parts list included:


AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Thuban 3.3GHz, 3.7GHz Turbo 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor

GSkill 8G

MSI Radeon HD 6870

Ubuntu 11.04, Gnome3, Unity

28" LCD

Steve and I spent a couple hours opening boxes, whistling through our teeth, and putting parts together to be greeted by a system that any small company would love to have (or NASA).

I is fast ... so fast ... unbelievably fast.

Did I mention how fast it was?

The best part, we got to save the $550 we normally would have shelled out for Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate and anti-virus products.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fedora vs Ubuntu

Let me start out by saying that either of these two Linux distributions is great.
They each have their loyal followers for good reason. They are stable, fast and free.

They are different.

  1. installs easier
  2. upgrades from version to version easier
  3. hides the "root" account from the user
  4. has a more useful "run live" CD
  1. is more tailored to Red Hat Enterprise users
  2. can require more fine grained security understanding
  3. is often a bit more "bleeding edge"
  4. in my experience does not upgrade from version to version well
  5. requires a root password be created at install
I personally run Fedora because I like it. I never pass out Fedora "run live" CD's. because I am a selfish pig and I want to enjoy my free time. Fedora is just not as well suited for novice users. It is GREAT if you already understand administering Linux computer systems.

I personally do not use Ubuntu.

I hand out Ubuntu "run live" CD's like candy.

Ubuntu installs easily enough that a novice user can successfully put it on an old machine and have it running in minutes. I recommend and install Ubuntu for friends and family.

The Ubuntu "run live" CD's are also great for recovering the data from crippled Windows boxes.

So, there you have it. I run Fedora and recommend Ubuntu.

Radeon HD 3450 on Fedora 14

This card performs well under the MESA drivers and Catalyst drivers.

The performance under the Catalyst drivers seems a bit more responsive.

Kensington Pro Fit 2.4GHz Wireless Mouse

According to Steve, this mouse is great and works good with Linux.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thermaltake BlacX SATA HD docking station

I just picked up one of these P/N: N0028USU for my desktop Linux box. I am taking it for a test spin at the moment, I plan to use it later for hard drive upgrades and backups.

It took longer to unpack this than it did to set it up for use. Plug in USB, plug in A/C adapter, drop in hard drive (750G Seagate Baracuda, 32M cache, 7200 rpm).

I used gparted on Fedora 14 to write an MS-DOS style partition table. Then I created a single ext4 partition and set the label to "backup".

I removed the USB and replaced it and Fedora mounted the drive.

I am running the script for backing up the home folder ... so far so good.

The script is below .. just change system_name to whatever folder name you want.

This script will run a while the first time you use it because it will save off everything. The next time it will only update the files and folders that have changed.


# backup to /media/backup
if [ -d /media/backup ]; then
echo 'starting backup'
sudo rsync -av /home /media/backup/system_name
echo '/media/backup not mounted'