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Tired of Windows

Discussion in 'Random Nonsense' started by booman, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I have 4 old Dell laptops from work:
    • 2 - Latitude 131L
    • 2 - Inspirion 6400
    My goal is to create a portable LAN for some simple gaming:
    • Terraria
    • Hammerwatch
    • Armagetron
    • Din's Curse
    • Minetest
    • Zero Ballistics
    • Smokin Guns
    Of course I want to install Linux Mint 17.2 on all 4 laptops... as expected Mint installed perfectly, quickly and everything was ready-to-go except proprietary video drivers.
    I even setup Openbox to reduce any unnecessary processes and gain some speed.

    After chatting with Daerandin and doing some research, AMD drivers aren't even worth installing. Even if I went with an older Mint distro, there could be library problems and/or driver problems.
    So I decided to use the already-installed Open-Source drivers.
    To be honest, they run quite well. Hammerwatch, Armagetron, Din's Curse, Smokin Guns and Zero Ballistics ran fine and all have native Linux binaries.

    But the ONE game I really wanted to run is Terraria. I figured "its a 3D side-scrolling game, so it shouldn't have hefty video requirements.... Native Terraria rans so slow it was unplayable.
    Naturally I tried PlayOnLinux and the Windows Terraria, ran better, but still too slow.

    Desperate to get Terraria running I tried installing Windows XP on one Latitude 131L.
    I have installed WinXP countless time in the past and got to visit the partition screens and updates all over again...
    YAY!

    I spent hours getting Windows XP and drivers installed. HOURS! That is how desperate I was to run Terraria (Cause its a really fun cooperative game).

    Have you ever tried to download drivers from Dell support?
    I've been doing it for years and have always HATED it! Do you have a video card/chip? Dell will give you 5-7 different drivers for different chips and you have to guess which one you need by downloading all of them.
    YAY! Its the same with audio and networking drivers. HOURS!

    Finally finished XP and Terraria runs just fine thanks to old AMD supported drivers. No thanks to Linux AMD supported drivers that would have same me a lot of time.
    But wait, now Hammerwatch won't run!
    Zero Ballistics won't run either!
    Are you kidding me!??

    They ran fine in Linux with open source drivers and now they won't run...
    More hours troubleshooting two games and they refuse to run. Actually I got Hammerwatch running in 256 color mode and its totally unplayable cause you can't even read the fonts.
    Oh well, at least Terrari and MineTest run fine cause those are the two games we'll be playing the most.
    Last, Clonezilla image and restore on the other Latitude 131L

    Now on to the Inspirion 6400
    It was originally made with Vista, but I was definitely not going that route. I decided on Windows 7, and that was the first hitch... I couldn't install it with my DVD ROM! Tried another DVD with Windows 7 and still couldn't get either DVD to boot. Probably something wrong with the Drive. OK, I have an ISO and can use Windows 7 USB Tool.
    Booted up my Fedora server, dual-booted back to Windows 7 (First time in months) and copied both 32-bit and 64-bit ISO files, then used the Windows 7 USB Tool to image the 32-bit on my flash drive. This easily took an hour, but it worked and booted on the Inspirion 6400.
    Started installing Windows 7, use the new partition manager and its installed. Kinda slow because these are older laptops, but it worked!
    Thankfully most of the drivers are already on the USB Windows 7, so audio, networking work out-of-the-box, but I still need updates video drivers. First I begin at Dell Support and search for Vista video drivers. There are several again:
    • Intel
    • Nvidia 7400 or 7300
    • AMD x1400 or x1300
    Which one do I have? I don't know, its not written on the laptop! Once again I download them one-at-a-time and try to install. I gave up after the Nvidia drivers because I realize that Windows 7 updates will find the drivers for you.
    OK, lets update Windows 7...
    I run updates for literally 2-3 hours and it still loading... a few hours later I see there are 201 updates!
    What?!! How long is that going to take?
    All night baby!
    Yes, I let it run all night and the next morning its hung on 199th update

    Terraria better run after all of this!

    A few restarts later and the update DID install AMD drivers for me.
    If only these stinking laptops has Nvidia chips, don't go there, don't despair, its not the end of the world...

    Its been a long weekend screwing with Windows and I'm so tired of it. I do stuff like this all day at work, then come home to easy-to-use-easy-to-install LINUX

    I'm so happy with Linux, it has made my computer life so much easier!
    • No more KEYs
    • No more activations
    • No more Dell, Toshiba, HP, Sony drivers
    • No more incredibly long updates
    • No more bloatware
    • No more extra processes using up my CPU
  2. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Tired of M$ to the bone for far too long. Typing this from my brand new only-Linux machine, I'm overjoyed to say. Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon yee-hah! Life can actually be good!
    Linux Mint is so much easier to install than SuSE of a ~decade ago, me very happy!!!

    Thank you all so very much for your wonderful help and encouragement for YEARS!!!!
    booman likes this.
  3. ThunderRd

    ThunderRd Irreverent Query Chairman Staff Member

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    I'm glad to hear that you got your box finished, George. Who built it for you?

    Remember we are all here in case you have any problem at all.
  4. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Infotech in Federal (we luv the federales around here) Way(15 miles away) built it for me. It took less than twenty four hours! It probably helped when I told them that Saturday was the only really comfortable day to pick it up. They had no problem installing no OS on it. Truth be to tell my friend Mr C fired it up and set BIOS (or whatever the heck its called nowadays) for me. Then he installed Mint 17.3 Cinnamon. We marveled at how easy it was compared to ten or so years ago, freakin' amazing! Only the Vidcard driver required effort, with Nvidia being far more helpful than EVGA. I'm flabbergasted, it really really is like wWindows.

    I ran into a problem: Is Netflix going to play for me? Its complaining about missing HTML5 plus Silverlake. Seems to want them both, pretty sure that Silverlake (M$) is completely out of the question.

    It is wonderful to be typing on a new inexpensive keyboard (that features a backwards "L" shaped Enter key!!) Hurray!
  5. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Awesome Cloasters! Glad you can finally join us!
    What browser are you using for Netflix?
    I found that Firefox and Chromium won't work because of copyright protection.
    Try downloading Google Chrome:
    https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/

    Make sure to click the 64-bit version because the 32-bit version will no longer be supported.
  6. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    Actually, Chromium works with Netflix as long as you use two required plugins. Pepperflash and Widevine. Pepperflash is the same flash engine that Chrome use, and Widevine is the plugin that lets you play DRM protected content.
  7. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I think I tried a pipelight plugin for Firefox that would allow Wldevine but it didn't work. I tried several tutorials, but when I installed Chrome it Netflix worked fine out-of-the-box. No plugins, no pipelight... just worked.
  8. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    I used to watch with Chrome myself, but once I learned that Chromium handles it just as well natively then I made the switch. Although it may be simpler to use Chrome. For Arch there is a chromium-widevine package in the AUR, I suspect there are PPA's for Ubuntu and Mint providing similar packages. But I suppose that is only interesting if you'd prefer to stick with open source over a closed source browser.

    Chrome does work out of the box with Netflix since it comes bundled with both flash and widevine, so that is definitely the easiest approach.
  9. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I didn't find anything in Synaptics Package Manager
    I did see the pepflash-free and Unity WebApp
  10. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    I'm using Firefox 'cause I really like it, plus Mint made it so very easy to choose. I looked over a few hundred suggestions at Linux Mint, but it unsurprisingly wasn't covered. Thank you very much for the Chrome suggestion. I tried it briefly years ago but deep sixed it because its Google. I'll try it, thank you very much for the suggestion and URL! I hope I won't incur a horrible snooping process from Google--do no evil my butt.
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  11. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Gosh, this Mint is just... amazing! It takes thirty seconds to boot up! A SSD probably helps, I imagine. I SO miss the four and a half glorious minutes Win7(real close to Win10--thank you so very much Bill) needed.
    booman likes this.
  12. Gizmo

    Gizmo Chief Site Administrator Staff Member

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    As long as you don't actually tell Chrome to login to your Google account, it will only collect generic browser stats AFAIK. While it's true the information COULD be traced back to an individual, it would require someone actually WANTING to. On the other hand, actually logging into Google would give them pretty much everything on a platter.

    For what it's worth, I use Chrome pretty much exclusively because FF has just gotten so FAT, and Chrome includes the bits needed for NetFlix by default. Flash is getting increasingly unsupported as a plugin on a browser in Linux (the latest Flash Player for linux is 11.2, while for Windows it is 20). So Google Chrome is really the only way to get current Flash.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  13. Gizmo

    Gizmo Chief Site Administrator Staff Member

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    Fedora with an SSD is about 30 seconds from POST to login (and that includes the 3 passwords I have to type in order to boot) on my laptop. From GRUB to login is something around 10 seconds, I think. I would expect Mint to be in the same ballpark.
  14. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't certain which DL choice to make with Chrome, but the Ubuntu and Debian option looked good as Packages was mentioned. Mama mia, Mint darn near installed Chrome automagically! So upset I was avoiding an apt-get situation, which I've never done. Whew, luckily I chose the tell as little to Guggle as possible options. Chrome works like a champ with Netflix, yay!
    I'm trepidatious about adding ""packages"" to Chromium to make it handle Netflix. I did notice that Firefox put on a lot of weight under MS, it goes like a rocket in Mint, whaa, me so sad!

    Thanks a lot for your help, guys! It is so cool to actually use Linux and only Linux!
    booman likes this.
  15. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    If your looking to cut your cable and save big bucks look into "Roku" video streamer.

    What parts did you end up going with?
    Did you know that "Driver manger" in your main Admin. menu will install Nvidia drivers for you? All you have to do is ask!":O}

    Has the magic penguin visited your dreams yet?

    Mint...for the discerning desk-top user."

    Booman!

    Your report on your Adventures with windows brought back
    the convoluted nightmare I entered into when I decided to stick with NT for as long as possible.
    There were reports that MS was paying game devs not to support NT any longer...but that was just the beginning. Installing it became almost impossible.
    do the updates wrong and you end up with no 'Device manager.
    Now...I try not to look back upon those years...":O}
    '
  16. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    You can avoid "apt-get" for most things by using the Synaptics Package manager. As long as you know the package you need, just search for it, mark it for installation and click Apply.

    I do this from time to time because sometimes the Package Manager doesn't install everything.

    Like when I install Remmina (Remote Desktop Program) it requires plugins for VLC and RDP, but Package manager doesn't install them. I have to install those with Synaptics Package manager.

    To find Synaptics just click Menu and search Snaptics and it will pop up. Then you can right-click and Add to Favorites

    There are other tricks with Mint as well. I recently learned that I can make shortcuts to anything on the desktop by right-clicking the desktop and clicking "Create New Launcher Here". I can shortcut to a game, a website, a folder or anything else. Unfortunately you have to know what program launches them.
    Ex: google-chrome http://www.gamersonlinux.com
    This Launches Chrome or a new Tab directly to our website.

    Ex: nemo smb://server/servershare
    This open a window to the folder on your server.

    Then I keep a folder on my desktop with all my normal shortcuts wether they are games, folders or websites. Then I can back them up as well. I can even use custom icons for all of them.
  17. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    I'm good and confused, yay! The icon in what used to be called The Tray said I need an update. When I used it--aw crud, I'm not remembering all the steps, sorry. Anyway, the one and only security update it needed disappeared and was replaced by a Chrome update plus another something something update. So I refused them because they rated "3" for not really secure.

    It was an openssl update that "disappeared. Reading about the problem on ArsTechnica. Hmm, not good.

    Now the icon is a red "X," telling me that "could not refresh the list of updates."
    "W:Failed to fetch http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/dists/stable/Release Unable to find expected entry 'main/binary-i386/
    Packages' in Release file (Wrong sources.list entry or malformed file)

    Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead."

    Hmm, I thought I refused to update the Chrome (and the second update)??


    Dan~, I posted the list of components in Random Nonsense about eight days ago---now I can't get to that part of Random Nonsense. Seems that if you don't add to a post in more than three days the thread becomes non-findable. I'm doing sumpthin' wrong, obviously.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  18. ThunderRd

    ThunderRd Irreverent Query Chairman Staff Member

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  19. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Looks o be some thing you can count on. Glad your doing so well! ":O}
  20. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I apply ALL updates Mint gives me. Every single one. Actually I don't know how to not get updates from a package I don't want to update. As for Chrome, you can remove the PPA so it won't ask for updates, but I definitely recommend updating Chrome. If you are using Chromium (open source) then update that as well.
    Also, don't worry about the "X" for the update icon, just click it and click "refresh" then you can update again
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016

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