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76  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 30, 2014, 06:21:21 AM
Because its "compile as needed" design is too time consuming,

I felt this during the process of setting the machine up initially -- but not so much on a day-to-day basis now.

Quote
and its rolling release model is a potential support quagmire once you go beyond your own personal machine. For multiple desktops, it would be a challenge. For production servers, it would be a nightmare - and likely a career threatening environment to be in as well.

It certainly is more work to compile for each machine -- I don't know what Sabayon did, but IIUC they are based on Gentoo and have binary packages...may be they decided to choose some default USE flags?



BTW, I'm going to try using that nearly-bare-Debian-with-VirtualBox set up as my host OS and install Gentoo Prefix for additional software (perhaps I'll also try Nix and/or Guix).
77  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 26, 2014, 07:41:46 PM
including OpenRC and not systemd

Thmbsup
78  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 26, 2014, 08:03:31 AM
Oh yeah, that utility for dependency checking I was trying to remember earlier is called equery. It's part of gentoolkit.

I've been using the list and files modules for equery but didn't know about the others.  Thanks!
79  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Unexpected Behavior of HDD (internal VS enclosure?) on: May 25, 2014, 11:34:30 PM
I ran fdisk using a variety of arrangements for access to a specific HDD and found discrepancies in the reported total bytes (and ofc sectors) of the HDD.

The six things I tried included:

Direct internal SATA connection
3 SATA <-> USB adapters
2 USB 3 enclosures

The results for the direct connection and adapters all agree, but each of the USB 3 enclosures report different numbers (both smaller by different amounts) Sad

Does it sound like I should avoid these enclosures?
80  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 25, 2014, 09:55:38 PM
He he -- wishing you the best this time around Thmbsup



BTW, here are some handy things I picked up this time around (but perhaps they are already familiar...):

  • app-misc/pfl - Searchable online file/package database for gentoo -- provides e-file command -- can be helpful for determining which file a package is in (whether the package is installed or not)
  • app-portage/ufed - Gentoo Linux USE flags editor -- provides curses-based ufed command
  • app-portage/eix - Search and query ebuilds, portage incl. local settings, ext. overlays, version changes, and more -- specifically eix-sync may be of interest
81  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Blog Essay: The Indie (Game) Bubble Is Popping on: May 25, 2014, 08:50:02 PM
You have a large influx of B-grade and C-grade "talent" glutting the market.

Quote
Once you have a market glut and the quality (inevitably) declines significantly, the product quickly becomes generic - and a commodity item. Before long you see the entire market living with generic and commodity level prices.

Professionals cannot compete with low-ball amateurs on price or quality. (Repeat that 3 times.) Low-ball amateurs can, however, quickly force out the professionals - who need to make a living from their craft - and charge appropriately to do so. Excess amateurs in a field do this by lowering standards and reducing customer expectations to the point of indifference, Eventually, the market arrives at the point where the price becomes the only real selection criteria. Because the market is so loaded with junk that most buyers no longer expect (or get) very much for their money.

You'll see this in mature markets all the time: Crap drives out quality. Lower quality results in lower prices. Lower prices necessitates compromise, and attracts amateurs into the field, further lowering overall quality. Lower overall quality produces more crap. Repeat.

Sad state of affairs. But nothing new.

Do you know of a nice term/phrase to describe this sort of process?  I've been looking for such a thing -- hoping for something as nice as the phrase "Streisand effect" (ofc that's for a different process!).
82  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 25, 2014, 09:31:01 AM
Every so often I think about trying Gentoo again. But like the dog up above, my very next thought is "what for?"

I thought so too the last time I considered Gentoo -- but the recent turn of events with systemd finally convinced me that I'd better try again.

I didn't know about their overlay system until this time around, and I'm finding it to my liking.  I much prefer it to AUR which feels more like its existence is "tolerated".

I didn't get the hang of USE flags before, but it's starting to make more sense.

Perhaps I'll have Funtoo to look forward to before long Wink  (On a side note, if only Nixos hadn't gone the systemd way...a shame.)

Quote
Especially since I built a career on learning to live and work with whatever Microsoft doles out. When in Rome..."think toga" as the saying goes.

You will survive I reckon smiley
83  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: pdf tool for search and removal of batches of elements in pdf on: May 25, 2014, 05:54:09 AM
Don't know about all of the features you mentioned, but am reminded of:

  http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfedit/
84  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 25, 2014, 03:46:30 AM
For making the environment a bit easier to use for pointing and clicking, tried the following additions:

apt-get install xfce4 # relatively light-weight desktop environment
apt-get install slim   # graphical display manager
apt-get install wicd   # contains gui for configuring wired and wireless network

df shows disk usage to be about 1.7 GB now.



Also disabled IPV6 by appropriately adding ipv6.disable=1 to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line in /etc/default/grub and running update-grub.



85  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 25, 2014, 01:14:31 AM
I ruined my first try by uninstalling too much after adding the Desktop Environment.

Yes, the remove pieces bit-by-bit approach has this sort of risk in addition to ending up with cruft -- building up from less seems to work out better for me.

In any case, good to hear things are working for you smiley
86  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 25, 2014, 01:11:16 AM
In the meantime don't neglect to create a disk image backup of the install. It will easily fit on a DVD or a modest USB key too.

Tried this out using dd and partclone for comparison.

For dd, I shrank the partition before gzipping.  The result was about 1.7 GB.
For partclone, I tried gzipping with and without shrinking.  In either case the result was about 500 MB.

dd's result is certainly bigger, but access to its contents seems a simple "mount -o loop" away, whereas partclone seems more involved (e.g. partclone-utils or restoring the image to a file before mounting)...
87  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 25, 2014, 01:02:43 AM
For me, at least the Arch install was mainstream enough that it felt comprehensible and somewhat familiar. (The excellent docs helped a lot too!)

I often find that Arch docs are more helpful than other things I encounter -- my impression is that they tend to have just enough but not too much.

It may just be my background, but I found the Gentoo installation procedure to be more familiar.  In any case, following the installation instructions for either seems to have the side effect of giving one quite a good start in learning how to look after one's system.

Quote
A stage-3 Gentoo install, on the other hand, will probably always look and feel weird to me.  huh

When was the last time you tried?  I think I originally tried Gentoo 7 or 8 years ago (remember stage 1 and 2?) with much less powerful hardware and this time around it definitely felt much easier.  One thing that seems to help for both distributions is knowing what you can ignore in the instructions -- as the quote Tuxman posted demonstrates, depending on one's specifics, what steps one follows may not be too much.
88  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Unexpected Behavior of HDD (internal VS enclosure?) on: May 24, 2014, 07:26:10 PM
Found the following response regarding the 2 moves from a gparted developer (?):

Quote
...there is truth in that to change a partition at the start of the disk from Cylinder alignment to MiB alignment and have it start at the first MiB does indeed require two moves.

There are historical reasons for the current behaviour in which resizing GParted could change a resize into a move and resize operation. For more information see the following bug report:

Bug 635113 - Unable to change alignment from cylinder (63) to MiB (2048) in single step

via http://gparted-forum.surf...fo/viewtopic.php?id=17101
89  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Unexpected Behavior of HDD (internal VS enclosure?) on: May 24, 2014, 12:10:46 AM
Thanks for the link and info!

Some subsequent searches have turned up the likes of:

Quote
To create an aligned partition (critical for an SSD) create a new partition with 2MiB of space preceding it (...) apply the change then resize/move the partition and change the 2MiB preceding space to 1mb. After that, create the next partition - again starting with 2MiB preceding space and then resizing/moving with 0 preceding space (always choose align to MiB). Repeat these steps for each additional partition.

via http://jsm-techblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/using-clonezilla-to-clone-from-larger.html

The instructions are for the program gparted.  Perhaps more searching will turn up a less manual series of steps...
90  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The AVE on: May 23, 2014, 11:42:49 PM
Came across the following 12 min introductory video (indirectly via a tip from 40hz):

  http://www.linuxvoice.com/learn-to-love-vim/

Covers -- among other things -- gotchas, saving settings, basic operations, etc.

Wish I had seen this before my first encounter with vi.
91  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 23, 2014, 10:55:20 PM
...steps a shot with the debian net-install.

He he -- I'm about to try to use them again -- nice to have notes to consult Wink

Quote
I knew what I was getting into, and I've run into a full dead-end in my startx, but I've learned a TON, and recalled a TON.  I hadn't done much with linux command-line in about five years, and never had enough time to do very much with it anyway.  At first I couldn't do without sudo, and found I wasn't on the internet when I went to install it.  I'm very proud of my setting ifconfig (a new set of commands for me) manually for all the specs and getting eth0 up running on startup.

I get (what I imagine are) similar feelings when trying to follow the instructions to install Gentoo or Arch!
92  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 23, 2014, 10:50:03 PM
For imaging, Clonezilla and DD are what I use. DD mostly if it's just for me. Clonezilla for clients and anybody else. Clonezilla can also install GRUB so that's a big plus when performing a disaster recovery. Clonezilla also has some nice features for use with Windows-based systems. (Check out their website for details.) And it's now UEFI (or 'URFU' as I like to think of it) bootable.  So if you straddle multiple OSes, having one tool to learn and standardize on is really nice too.

I tried version 2.2.3-10 to clone with some success -- the first time through I encountered a lot of fast-scrolling text when checking on progress (the resulting HDD seemed fine though).  Since the cloned results was for testing purposes, went ahead and used it.  Seemed ok for the most part.  An unintentional trashing of the backup (likely pilot errror) provided an opportunity for a second use -- this time no weirdness was encountered smiley

Thanks for the suggestion!
93  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / *NIX: Unexpected Behavior of HDD (internal VS enclosure?) on: May 23, 2014, 10:28:17 PM
Has any one noticed oddness when trying to use a HDD sometimes via enclosure and at other times directly (e.g. via a SATA cable)?  An example of oddness is that gparted will show a partition table via one means, but via the other gives errors (sorry, don't have them recorded).

Need to do more testing and research, but came across:

Quote
My hunch (and it is just a hunch) is that your problem results from switching between a USB enclosure and direct connection of the disk. Some enclosures translate 512-byte logical sectors on the disk into 4096-byte logical sectors presented to the computer -- that is, the opposite of what the firmware in an Advanced Format disk does. I'm not positive, but I suspect that some enclosures do this only on over-2TiB disks. Both MBR and GPT partitioning schemes refer to data by sector numbers, so changing the sector size invalidates the partitioning data. Thus, if you prepare the disk in a USB enclosure that translates in this way and then try to use the disk directly (or vice-versa), you'll see errors because the partitions (and even GPT backup data) won't be where the computer expects it to be

via http://askubuntu.com/a/337993

Is this a well-known gotcha?
94  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: SpeedCrunch: calculator (for keyboard) & formula book! on: May 23, 2014, 06:07:47 PM
Thanks for the news!

Been a happy user of the most recent older (portable) version Kiss



Have not been happy with the likes of http://<whatever>.blogspot.com/ redirecting to http://<whaterver>.blogspot.<2-letter-code-of-we-know-where-your-access-is-from>/...
95  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Per-User Software Installation (and the like...) Under *NIX on: May 23, 2014, 07:55:35 AM
May be you have the makings of tool smiley



On a slightly related note...I wanted to try the latest version of Sigil but found that it depends on Qt5 -- which appears to require a bit more work than I want to go through to install.  The work-around?  Run the Windows portable version of Sigil via Wine...
96  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 22, 2014, 09:11:42 PM
Some interesting related bits at (search for isohybrid):

  http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/4957.html

As a side note:

  https://www.sabayon.org/a...boot-linux-nightmare-over
97  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Debian Tails OS question on: May 22, 2014, 09:03:47 PM
On a parallel track a quick and dirty thing you could do is install ToolWiz TimeFreeze

Looks very interesting!  Thanks for sharing Thmbsup
98  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Debian Tails OS question on: May 22, 2014, 07:08:47 AM
Mmm, Edvard, how about a separate thread for that list of yours? smiley
99  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use on: May 22, 2014, 07:06:48 AM
Very nice! Normally I'd just use USB Image Writer or something similar. But it's always good to know a command line way to do something just in case the PC you're using doesn't have all you favorite tools installed.

Indeed!  I tried just using dd with the iso image first without success -- not sure why that works for some things and not others.

Quote
I wasn't aware of that isohybrid command.

It was new to me too.  FWIW, on Gentoo I found it in the syslinux package.
100  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: When you make your 100'th Post on: May 22, 2014, 07:03:05 AM
and now...

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