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The "where have you been all this time" thread

Discussion in 'Random Nonsense' started by Kaitain, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    While I loved AMD's Athlon and held it above all others, that glorious two years passed. Unfortunately AMD is maybe 5% as large as Intel. This underdog status is unfair and unfortunate but inescapable in researching the future of GPU's/CPU's. Some folks insist on i7's but i5's are good enough for me. Maybe I was inept, but my Lenovo desktop, though it ran silently and very well would just not accept my attempts at installing Mint.

    It was time for a new box, I found out why saving mebbe a hundred bucks by buying a brand name machine could bite you if it had to be replaced with a standard architecture machine. Glorious fan noise is back! Yet slow turning 120's are far quieter than my last home built monster. Those screaming 80mm's (and plenty of them) added up to 70db measured at the back of that box. The new one is I'm guessing 22 db. I don't hear them most of the time.

    It would be beyond wonderful if AMD could steal a march on Intel again. I'll buy one if that happens!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  2. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    Possibly, although the generation difference between the first-gen i5 and the much more recent AMD core should have meant they were sharing pretty much a level playing field. On paper, anyway.

    I'm reluctant to pin the blame on AMD, though. Frustrated with various other problems, I recently wiped my wife's machine and installed the exact same Mint KDE spin my own laptop uses, and tested them in general use. The faults are everywhere - bad disc performance, bad USB performance, bad network performance, poor wifi acquisition and a bizarre tendency to lock up when performing NFS read operations. So I might have a faulty Lenovo, but it's not the first Lenovo we've had to do some decidedly weird things.

    I wonder what they're doing to the PC standard architecture to make it walk like a duck, swim like a duck but quack like an elephant?
  3. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I still have my LAN parties with 6 desktops and a lot of 80mm fans!
    They are all custom builds that get upgraded with hand-me-downs after I upgrade my best machine.
    AOA was a huge inspiration and motivation to keep working on my desktops.
    My next goal is to have Linux on all of my PCs for LAN gaming.

    I actually got 4qty 1TB drives recently. Now installing Mint on all of my computers.
  4. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Weyell, you know. Name brand machines use custom made almost everything, mainboards with built-in nearly the whole kitchen sink. They cut every corner they can in aid of maximum profit. Not sure why I bought a Lenovo desktop...probably because they were simply "IBM boxen with a new name" at the time. I had no complaints at all while using that machine for about three years, sorry that your mileage with a laptop by Lenovo is so different. I gave it to a pal who's chronically short of cash, after trashing its HDD and replacing it with a brand new 256 Gb SDD. Hope he makes a few bucks with it.

    Speaking of mainboards, in this case a generic real one, I remember Dr Surlyjoe posting (on AOA) that he sawed off about a quarter of an ATX motherboard in aid of its fitting into a Micro ATX case.
    I still can't really believe that he knew precisely where to lop off a chunk of that mobo with no ill effects!
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
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  5. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    booman is so great, I gotta tell ya! Even with a brand new job to learn he's concerned about his spare time LAN parties. Which are a gas, I betcha!
  6. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I have avoided pre-built computers since I've worked on them in the past. Immediately I could tell Dell, HP and the like were "cutting corners" to make their computers have a cheaper price tag. I was never impressed with their motherboards missing a video expansion slot. Who the heck thought that was a good idea?
    The worst was eMachines! Any time someone donated an eMachine to me, I would take the hard drive and CD/DVD ROM drive, then throw out the rest. Those were the low of lows when it came to hardware.
    I've always preferred to spend a bit of extra $$ in order to build a long lasting up-gradable computer. I re-use all of my Power Supplies, Proccessors, Memory, Hard Drives and cases. If anything, I would refurbish them and donate them.
    Its very hard to do that with cheap pre-built computers.
  7. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    It's amazing that some folks bought the cheapest ready-built machines of all (afaik) eMachines--then had the nerve to complain about their performance and the difficulty of updating their BIOS and such like. Those people cracked me up, but you couldn't be rude to them and tell it like it was. "We try to help you out" web sites make you bite your tongue at times.
  8. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    I was given a 386 by a pal's GF. Bought a used tiny IBM monitor for it that was in love with pea soup green. My first "real" machine was a locally built AMD box. Wowsa, that was a long time ago. Built my next three machines (with a friend looking over my shoulder for the first one.) Built another two(over maybe five years) for a poor friend with the components bought locally .

    There was only one laptop design that I knew of in the country that could be built by yourself, but the diagrams didn't tell me enough to make that leap. Not to mention where the heck did you get about half the parts for it? More experienced folks may have been able to pull it off, but not me. Bought a middle of the road Dell laptop. Haven't looked at it in years, it's really too dang old now and maybe the battery went leaky in it? Not sure why I prefer desktops, if I was a peripatetic chap maybe I'd think about getting a modern laptop. Ooh! Ooh! Maybe I must pay more for an Apple laptop that sports four year old components. Everyone knows that sApple's are the best!
  9. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    My first computer was some generic PC my parents gave me to write papers in college. I didn't know anything about PC's so I only wrote papers. Never tinkered with it.
    Later in 2003 I had a friend take me to Frys Electronics and purchase all the parts to build my first REAL computer. After that I built all of them myself. Never regretted it and still build them myself.

    The only laptops worth building these days are the ODROID, Rasberry Pi laptops. You can purchase all the parts and assemble it yourself. Then you have to install the Operating System and applications. I think there are several different styles of laptops too, but its kinda pricey due to the flat screen. Still a nice project!

    You could always just fabricate your own laptop for a Rasberry Pi by laser cut, 3D printers or using metal/wood.
  10. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Many years ago I bought a HP, spent a fortune on it, best they had. When something went wrong with the hard drive I thought I'd take a look inside. I knew almost nothing back then. But I knew a 12 Pound cast hard drive was not what I paid for. Nor was the blatant "USED" sticker on it.

    Built my own after that! BTW HP did NOTHING to fix it.
  11. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure that I bought that first locally assembled AMD machine for Christmas of 2004. Didn't start "rolling my own" for at least a year after that. Compared to the old hands here at GamersOnLinux I'm a newbie. It's always freakin' something!

    Thank you for letting me know about the ODROID, booman. Not sure if a JaguarBoard which handles x86 would be a better choice. Raspberry Pi and JaguarBoard seem best suited for the IoT. Which I'm against, naturally. The Internet of Things is a huge security disaster, I don't mind getting up and adjusting my own thermostat.
    3-D "printing" is beyond me, tbh. If I absolutely have to I can purchase a well regarded laptop. I just don't like that form factor, can't say why.
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  12. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    HP...let me count the ways. I purchased an HP inkjet long ago to replace the ancient impact unit I had. It worked well enough for its day, but it went through ink like mad and the refills were outrageously overpriced. My Samsung laser printer is reliable and sparing on the toner. Black only, naturally.

    Afaik, HP PC's started going downhill many years ago. Too bad that Dell joined that club too.
  13. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    The Rasberry Pi probably has the most development, but the ODROID can run x86 applications and operating systems can NOT run x86 because it has an ARM processor as well. So you can install Linux and still run games in it. I haven't invested in either because I'm still busy upgrading my desktops at home... slowly.
    There is also Pine 64, a $15 motherboard with CPU, GPU and RAM. Its an ARM processor so you can only use Android or Linux applications made for ARM.

    Here are more references:
    Rasberry Pi
    ODROID
    Pine64

    Chart of RasPi vs ODROID vs Pine64
  14. Gizmo

    Gizmo Chief Site Administrator Staff Member

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    Or use a source distro like Gentoo, and compile the apps to ARM.

    'Course, I guess you can do that anyway if you have the source, regardless of distro.
  15. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting about the Pine 64, very interesting! I wish that the jerks making a movie that I sank a grand into on Kickstarter came through on their promises. As they were liars and frauds as far as I'm concerned this will keep me away from Kickstarter forever. Live and learn, sigh.

    I mentioned the JaguarBoard because it is x86. Unfortunately it is or was another Kickstarter project.
    Dunno how to compile Apps and frankly don't have the time left to me to learn how. The Raspberry Pi impressed me greatly and still does, more power to 'em.
  16. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    No problem... I remember seeing an x86 board somewhere...
    I'll do some digging
  17. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for your enthusiasm, booman! I do not plan to build a laptop or Raspberry Pi or JaguarBoard machine. In my case they are projects that I don't have genuine enthusiasm for. I was trying to give credit for cool innovation, not attempting to build one myself.
  18. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    I've got much love for the RPi - brilliant bit of kit! My home in the UK has several - one behind the TV that runs everything important (kodi, tvheadend, satellite tv tuner, openvpn, openssh, stunnel, mysql and a few other bits and pieces), one which is #1 son's, as he's getting to be quite a dab hand in Scratch, one which arrived just before I left for China, so is still in its box, but I have a good project in mind for it...

    So much capability for so little money!
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  19. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Posted like a true engineer--you da man, Kaitain!

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