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Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series

Thad E Ginathom

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Oh! I just discovered this thread!

Over the past week or so I have been experimenting with Ubuntu too. I have installed both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Ubuntu Studio. Originally I installed the ordinary distribution from the live-CD. Then, I scrapped that and worked with the Studio 64-bit for a few days, then installed the Studio 32-bit yesterday. Although Grub recognises both, as well as WinXP, I cannot boot my 64-bit version any longer. Major surgery might fix it, its / file system is still there, and I might be bothered to give it a go, but don't mind too much. I kept my /home file system from 64 to 32 (it is a good idea to make it a separate file system).

The ordinary live-cd distribution announces finding Windows early in the process, and asks if you want to overwrite it or go for dual boot. The alternate (Studio is an 'alternate') CD doesn't mention it until almost the very end, so, at least the first time is a bit nerve racking.

The network thing... this is odd, because I recall configuring it with the graphic tool --- but now the graphic tool seems to offer everything except the opportunity to set a fixed ip4 address! In the end, I found vi to be a far better tool and much quicker and simpler to use. The Ubuntu documentation is very comprehensive, available at a touch of a browser, and (as far as my dim brain remembers) anyone who ever used unix will not be too far from getting to grips with configuration files.

I remember looking at Red Hat in about 2003. I found it hard to even put an icon on the desktop to launch a program! Gave it up pretty quickly. Ubuntu is far superior. I do think, though, that it would be a very lucky non-geek that found it to be an install-and-go system. They'd have to be very lucky with all their hardware for a start. For instance, I can print, but it will not even see my HP scanner --- hardly an obscure item.

Wonder of wonders... my RME card is recognised, or at least the analogue I/O is; the digital I/O is conspicuously missing. I have not tried to record anything through it yet, but it plays fine.

My Echo AudioFire, on the other hand. Hmmm... support for Firewire audio devices is poor and full of necessary geekery. This is the sort of thing that should "just work", especially on a "studio" distribution.

File sharing... I had an office with 40 users accessing Samba drives, and I suspect it will work better than Win XP in the end (Windows moan: How the hell can "search for computer" run for ever when it only has to look at a local network?). Whether or not Windows machines can see each other's shared drives has always seemed to me to depend on the weather. Or something. But again... this is not to be set up without geekery.

Firefox mostly works as it should. I transferred my profile without problems, and, one day, will try linking files for mutual use and update by both WinXP and Ubuntu. There are some rough edges. I look at Doonesbury and xkcd regularly, and the rendering is very rough-edge. Apparently (maybe) something to do with linux firefox not rendering PNGs properly. Looking at the forums, this seems to go back years! Couldn't it be fixed? And it (and Flash) will not play video content on The Onion. On the very positive side, it does not take ten seconds off every few minutes!

I began my entire experience of computers with Unix. After my first few weeks, someone put a DOS PC in front of me, and I said, "But... It doesn't do anything!". Ubuntu, of course, does heaps. Quite apart from all the unixy command line stuff and programming languages etc etc there is easy access, via the package manager, to browsing and installing a vast amount of software. I may not see the outside world again for some weeks!
 

suri

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Hello

I installed KUbuntu 10.0.4 LTS first thing today morning. It is a wonderful looking platform!!
As slick as Windows 7 and with a little time spent customizing colors and icons you can have a really wonderful looking desktop.

Please try it if you are going to be installing a New OS on your desktop.

Regards
hi gobble - i have read all the posts in the thread - and-

when i read your post - it seemed to me that installing that OS would be like climbing the Qutab Minar from the outside using my fingers and toes-

after reading all the posts - it now seems like getting to the top of Burj Khalifa from the outside using my fingers and toes.

when i get to bangalore - will you do it for me?

TIA
suri
 
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alcy

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How is the driver support for the OS? This is one of the reasons I am sticking with M$.
Driver support is flawless with run-of-the-mill mass market components. Even with more exotic & niche/enthusiast market components, the support isn't bad. Simply, if its just that aspect that you are worried abut, you shouldn't. And of course the great thing is that to check the driver support you just need to boot off a live-cd and see if your hardware is supported...if it is & you like the OS, you can perform a full-fledged install eventually.
 

gadgetcrazy

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^^ agree with that. I did not have to install a single driver for my PC on ubuntu 10.04, not even for my webcam. Of course I do not have a lot of AV paraphernalia on my system.
 

gobble

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hi gobble - i have read all the posts in the thread - and-

when i read your post - it seemed to me that installing that OS would be like climbing the Qutab Minar from the outside using my fingers and toes-

after reading all the posts - it now seems like getting to the top of Burj Khalifa from the outside using my fingers and toes.

when i get to bangalore - will you do it for me?

TIA
suri
Sure. Its easy actually. What laptop do you have? Do you want to try a lightweight nettop version?

Try this liveCD first if you like it http://releases.ubuntu.com/releases/10.04/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso

If you want to install 64bit version let me know.

Cheers
Regards
 
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thevortex

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How is the driver support for the OS? This is one of the reasons I am sticking with M$.
Linux - especially and particularly the newer flavours thereof - are amazingly easy systems to work with. Driver detection is almost always fantastic. Chances are you dont have to install stuff as in Windows. You select a package and it installs itself. Thats what package managers are for.

Overall you get a far more stable, responsive and powerful system.

However I have still heard of issues with obscure wireless modems, printers etc. And I know for a fact that USB modems such as with Tata Indicomm and Reliance are not easy to configure. But I have managed to configure them - in the end :).
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Driver support is flawless with run-of-the-mill mass market components...
Oh, you guys are so lucky! I would have thought that my HP Deskjet scanner was pretty run-of-the-mill --- except that it is well over five years old (but then so is my printer, and my sound card is older).

As Gobble says: try the live-cd version: very easy, very safe.

No, the installation is not like climbing a polished marble wall, nor even a relatively rough cliff: it is no harder than installing Windows. Really! Even finding and installing additional software is a breeze. Even ending up with a dual-boot system is a breeze! Do not worry about Ubuntu 10.04 installation.

Unix, and its descendent, is like a tool shop. The fact that you don't know how to use an engineering lathe is no reason not to buy a screwdriver!


Geekery dept...

I fixed my non-booting 64-bit Studio. My hunch was that giving 64-bit and 32-bit the same swap space to share was probably a big mistake. Fixed this by creating a new swap space for the 64-bit and making sure it used it. In the process, I noticed a non-existent (it had removed) volume in /etc/fstab and fixed this, wondering if this very simple thing might not have been the whole cause!

None of this would have happened in Windows, of course (Hmmm... I wonder if it possible to install two separate Win systems on the same machine? --- it's that lathe/screwdriver thing again) ...but fixing Windows disasters is much harder, which is why I keep a recent image of C:! You don't fix Windows with a screwdriver: you need a bulldozer!
 
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gobble

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. My hunch was that giving 64-bit and 32-bit the same swap space to share was probably a big mistake. Fixed this by creating a new swap space for the 64-bit and making sure it used it. In the process, I noticed a non-existent (it had removed) volume in /etc/fstab and fixed this, wondering if this very simple thing might not have been the whole cause!
Thad
I doubt if that would matter - why would it?

The one area where Linux drivers lack is Graphics. ATI started a slow to progress correction program for this deficiency last year. ([Phoronix] Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?)
Nvidia and Intel have lesser and varying degrees of support for open source. (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvidia_qa_linux&num=1) Both NVIdia and ATI have binary drivers that work with Linux although I found the display properties window primitive in the ATI Catalyst.

M$ has a hardware certification scheme for vendors and almost all vendors have development teams to release certified drivers along with a new version of a product because 70% or more of the desktop world is on Windows and they want to sell. By contrast Linux has no such certification programme and most vendors don't bother to develop drivers. Or they hire one Linux driver developer as an afterthought, and are mostly understaffed on this front since they don't want to invest in FOSS yet. So finding a *full-featured* driver for your exotic card is not easy. It may work , but only partially - for all the most important functions, until an open source volunteer uses his spare time to complete a well written driver.

Regards
 
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Thad E Ginathom

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Thad
I doubt if that would matter - why would it?
I just reproduced the problem: it mattered!

I think, that without a nowait in an option, it just goes on trying.

Is this an esoteric problem? No! I removed an unused Windows partition, as you might, but Ubuntu had been told to mount all my Windows partitions . This is one that could happen to anyone, so worth remembering!
 

alcy

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Thad, you can use the same swap for both the versions. Its not a mistake, in fact it is a good habit I reckon. I forgot how, but there's a variable that needs to be assigned a value for that (yes/no kind of value). Will look up one of those old Linux For You issues I have lying around in the store.
 

gobble

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Thad, you can use the same swap for both the versions. Its not a mistake, in fact it is a good habit I reckon. I forgot how, but there's a variable that needs to be assigned a value for that (yes/no kind of value). Will look up one of those old Linux For You issues I have lying around in the store.
Exactly! I have used it too, but I dont recall any config options - it just works!

Regards
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Thanks... I'll experiment again.

My main reason for loading the 32-bit was to see if jack/firewire was any better than in 64. --- and I haven't done so yet!

(Oh, have to go out to meet family at hotel... and I'm going to be late. Again!)
 

gobble

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My store ain't huge..so I found the magazine, Feb 2009 issue.

In fact, the article is available online : Improve Multi-OS Computer Performance through Cross Swapping LINUX For You Magazine

EDIT: Its a bit off I guess, but worth reading nevertheless .
I used to keep my swap on a different hdd like that article says, but beware!! Its easy to forget and unplug a hard disk to move it to another system, and suddenly you will see strange messages on the console on next reboot!
More importantly some suspend modes do not work as they depend on swap partition. Then you find your desktop has been refusing to go to sleep and eating a lot of power (crunch! crunch!) while you are away until you remember and rectify it ... :)

Cheers
 

Thad E Ginathom

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In an ideal world, swapping never happens!

(But not in all ideal Unix worlds, some of which write every program to swap when they execute it, because, hey... might want it there soon!)

I used to use lots of paging space for Windows, then I read about systems without any, tried it --- and it didn't make any difference!

It's better to keep the swap away from the data, rather than the programs, especially if it is something like a database with a lot of disc activity.
 

gobble

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In an ideal world, swapping never happens!

(But not in all ideal Unix worlds, some of which write every program to swap when they execute it, because, hey... might want it there soon!)

I used to use lots of paging space for Windows, then I read about systems without any, tried it --- and it didn't make any difference!

It's better to keep the swap away from the data, rather than the programs, especially if it is something like a database with a lot of disc activity.
Actually yes, if you ever look at the top command, the swap utilization is always zero. This has been the case ever since paging became the norm. But it is needed for suspend to disk or hibernate option I think ...

cheers
 

Thad E Ginathom

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I wish I could say that, in the commercial, multi-user world, I had been able to always see the the paging at zero! ;). Mind you, memory was much more expensive then, especially if it was some dedicated IBM RS/6000 part, rather than something for a PC. I don't remember how much RAM my servers had --- but I know that my PC now has much more disk space than any of those servers did!
 

gobble

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Aha! I browsed the kde bugs list and found the problem.

1. The knetwork manager never launches - it is a little applet in the taskbar
2. It defaults to using dhcp unless it is unable to contact an dhcp server!! I had to login to my modem and disable dhcp, then it immediately used my manual settings.
3. The network settings manager has options to store config settings in an encrypted store or plain text file. I think it was the auto-dhcp setting that overwrote the /etc/resolv.conf earlier, but just to be sure, I enabled text mode and now I see my resolv.conf updated!!

It is quite dumb usability decision of kde team to provide a menu link to an app that never launches an open window. The tiny icon for knetworkmanager also looks totally dull greyed out and inactive unlike all other applets in the task bar. The mouse-over only says connected and does not list interfaces. Hence one ends up skipping it. One has to right-click it and it shows "auto eth0" as default (dhcp). Disabling dhcp made eth0 the active interface automatically. This leaves no control to the desktop user if he is not a sysadmin on a LAN and cannot disable dhcp for any other reason. Really stupid decision making like I said.

Cheers
 
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