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Messages - bobc4012 [ switch to compact view ]

Pages: [1]
I agree wi-fi can be a problem. However, I have yet to find  a distro that can handle my Broadcom wi-fi card successfully. I have an old Acer laptop and it has the Broadcom IN2220. Going back to Ubuntu 6.4 and all the following releases, none will support that card. As I mentioned, other distros I have tried also fail. Fortunately, it has a PCI slot and I have found a Netgear adapter that works. But even trying a Netgear USB WG111 adapter, I had a problems. NDISwrapper will install it and it may work once or twice and then fail. I also picked up a couple of Linksys adapters (PCI slot) and have yet to get the "500 to work and the "300" is hit and miss. Interestingly, I have an even older Toshiba that had no wi-fi but does have a PCI slot too. All the adapters work in it without using NDISwrapper, including the USB adapter.

I have done a lot of googling on that Broadcom card and it seems to be a major problem for others too. There have been "fixes" posted, but they are also "hit and miss".  A lot of success seems to depend on who makes the PC/laptop.

As for the rolling releases, it is no different than running updates on other distros. The point is that there is no need to re-install and spend time re-installing and reconfiguring a lot of applications. I even had my home directory in another partition and a couple of times running Ubuntu (back around 8 or 9) and it didn't pan out. I ended up having to re-install everything again, which is a royal PITA!

My Acer has a Celeron "M" series chip (non-PAE). Linux Mint 14 and later plus later releases of Ubuntu and other current distros won't run on it. As I posted previously, "forcepae" didn't work either.

What will be the killer for XP users is it won't run on non-PAE processors (Intel M series - including Celerons which were popular on many laptops). Depending upon the particular "M" series processor, "ForcePAE" may or may not work, but an XP (or Vista) user won't know about that option during boot! Most likely scenario is they try it, the system hangs (no explanation), they go to some Linux forum, be told they had a bad download (or to "F" off with their ID 10T error), get discouraged and end up buying a new Windows 8 machine (Win. 8 does not support non-PAE either)!!!

Unfortunately, too many are spouting off that Linux will run better on old H/W that Windows - until one encounters an older non-PAE H/W. BTW, Linux Mint DE (Debian Edition) does handle non-PAE H/W and also has "rolling updates" so there is no requirement to re-install every time one wants to update to the next release.

Living Room / Re: Is Linux just a hobby?
« on: July 19, 2012, 03:11 AM »
Page 5 has a lot of interesting discussions. One advantage Linux has over Windows - FROM AN "EXPERT" viewpoint (where X = "unknown" and Spurt = "Drip under pressure") - all kidding aside - is you can obtain the source code and figure things out. Many centuries ago, I would have done that. With Windows, you cannot do it unless you work at Microsoft (or have someone on the inside) and then people are probably restricted as to what they can see (code-wise). Probably one reason why you might get a better answer on problems from the F/OSS community than you can from the Microsoft community. While MS Certification may be fine for getting a job and handling most common problems, sometimes it helps to look at the source code to see exactly what is going on. NOW, this is NOT an exercise for a NEWBIE, unless already an "XSPURT" programmer. Additionally, Unix has been around a good 10 + years longer than MS-DOS (since the early 70s) and even longer than the Windows versions. So when you do get help, chances are you have a better shot at getting good help.


As far as a common complaint among newbies about the condescending attitude of certain "Linux XSPURTS", you have the same problem with Windows, maybe you are used to it and don't notice it as much anymore. I recently chided a couple of people on an XP Pro forum for their attitude when someone (not a novice either) asked for help on XP Home. A couple of the repsonders came back with the attitude "Well, you should be using XP Pro". Needless to say, after I chided one for the response, a number of others proceeded to "tear a new one" for those two. They did "humbly apologize", but the person who had the question basically told the people on the board where to go if that was the attitude.

I have been having problems with Windows 7 - buggy piece of "mierda". When I was looking for ideas, one person asked what my H/W was (after I already provided the config and that it was less than a year old). After I mentioned the brand, the reply was "well that's what you deserve for buying that piece of H/W crap". So Linux boards are not the only ones who have people with attitudes, so do Windows boards and, most likely, the Apple boards too. The world is full of "fornicating recto orifices", so it should be no surprise to find them on blogs, forums, etc. I find 3 or 4 boards that I like and stick with them. Contribute when I can and ask for help when needed.

Living Room / Re: Is Linux just a hobby?
« on: July 17, 2012, 03:13 AM »
For me, mainstream Linux use hinges on one factor:
being able to install third party software on any (or most) distros without much noodling or programmer-skills necessary.  like Windows or something as easy.

Most people will argue, however, that that is fundamentally opposed to the Linux way of life.  i don't agree.  I think if people really wanted to, it can be done.  But I get the sense that the Linux crowd intentionally prefers things to be more complicated, even if it doesn't have to be.  This will all happen naturally when the time comes, most likely.  PC users will never become apple users, except for the most light-users.  So the only alternative to hardcore windows users is Linux.  And if Windows continues to piss people off, they'll see more converts to linux.  And as the linux community grows, then this whole fragmentation issue will start getting resolved.

Actually, in the Ubuntu (and some of the other distros), installing S/W is as easy as on Windows. There are a few ways of doing it. One way is to install via the Synaptic Package Manager - search for what type of function you want, check the box and then click on apply and it installs. Another way is via the Software Center. You can set up "Software Sources" to include "proprietary 'freeware'". A third alternative is to download a Debian package (.deb) and use GDebi to install it (GDebi is a GUI to install .deb packages). You don't get the numerous messages that you get when you install a Windows application (e.g., a typical ".exe" file), so in a sense it is easier than Windows. In Ubunti (and erlated) erlease prior to 11.04, the desktop Environment was much like Windows XP. Clicked on Menu (vs Start) and select the category and the installation method.

Now, granted, you aren't going to install Windows apps this way, just any comparable (or Linux only) apps. If you have Window apps you wish to install, you need to install WINE. It handles a significant number of Windows applications - BUT NOT ALL (you can use VirtualBox to install Windows and run Windows apps that won't run under WINE). Old DOS only apps can also be run in DOSBox or the DOS Emulator. Their is a glitch with the DOS Emulator that stops it from running after you install. I did report the problem a couple of years ago, but it has not been fixed. The Config file needs to be tweaked. I do it by going to /usr/bin and executing dosemu (or xdosemu) in the Admin ID (you set one up when you install Linux, just like you do with Windows). When you execute dosemu, you get an error message telling you how to correct the problem (usually copying the "fix" text, opening a terminal window and type sudo followed by pasting the "fix" text. You will be prompted for the admin password, the fix made and then the DOS Emulator can be invoked by clicking on the icon.   

BTW, I disagree with your statement that most Linux users prefer the hard way of doing things. In the early years, there wasn't much of a choice - X WIndows was the only way to get Windows (as I recall) back in the early-to-mid 90s). It was still in the primitive stages like MS-DOS and eventually Windows 1. Windows 3.1, was the first (IMO) significant improvement to Windows. Unlike Windows, Linux has come a long way with GUI environments. You can choose from a number of them with most distros. With Windows, you are stuck with the one that is shipped. Yes, there are a few open source Windows GUI environments (e.g., Classical Explorer for Windows 7 and maybe another or two). ut you have to search for them on the internet, download them and install them. With packages like the Synaptic Package Manager or Software Center, you can just select those you want (click on the check box), click apply and let them install. Next time when you log on, you will see an icon to click on and select the desktop you want.

After a while, you may find Linux to be an enjoyable "hobby".

Living Room / Re: Is Linux just a hobby?
« on: July 15, 2012, 03:43 AM »

I prefer to think that it's hardware manufacturers that can't handle Linux, rather than that Linux can't handle the hardware.  After all, many folks have asked Canon for decent Linux support and they refuse to even allow others to do the job, much less do it themselves.

It tends to be that H/W vendors don't want to put any support into Linux, because they feel there are insufficient users and no money in it for them. As far publishing I/Fs so the Open source people can write their own drivers, they are hesitant to do so because it may expose some of their "proprietary" implementation. Broadcom is another example, but when people who were using Linux shied away from H/W using Broadcom cards, it started to affect their bottom line (even, if a little bit). After all, a lot of Linux users still use Windows too and dual boot or use a VM. I read recently, that Broadcom is changing its position now.

A lot of ordinary people who were comfortable with XP commplained a lot about Visa and, even Windows 7. Wait until they have to buy a new box and get Windows 8. It will be like they just woke up on a planet in the Andromeda system. BTW, the same thing happened with Ubuntu when they moved to Unity in 11.04 (rumors are Windows 8 copied some of the good ideas from Unity). The GUI in Ubuntu up until 11.04 was not much different than Windows XP. You populated the screens with icons (Firefox, text editor, OpenOffice oor LibreOffice, etc.) and then it became point and click. You could surf the internet, do e-mail, IM, etc. Granted, the underlying support was different, but once set up (which, if you learned a few simple things about Ubuntu) was as easy (or even easier than) as doing it in Windows. I have played with Ubuntu 12.04 and am not thrilled with the Unity I/F for populating my desktop (or generating panels - like Window's task bar). I haven't tried the same thing with Windows 8 Metro, primarily because I could not get any of the three "preview" versions to install (on a Win. 7 machine with ample memory and HD space (1TB)). When I get sufficient time, I'll give them another shot - maybe I'll get lucky.

Living Room / Re: Is Linux just a hobby?
« on: July 14, 2012, 01:11 AM »
You are welcome Dan.

Glad to have been of help this time. Sometimes I know enough to be dangerous. I took a Unix certification course at the local CC about 20 years ago and file structure-wise not much has changed. Linux follows the Unix pattern. I find books like "Linux Unleashed" quite good (but can be expensive - I go to used bookstores and pick up an occasional book for $5 or $10 - may not be the latest, but sufficient for getting a clue as to what is going on). BTW, the certification course never did me any good job-wise, even though I had tons of programming experience.

Living Room / Re: Is Linux just a hobby?
« on: July 13, 2012, 03:08 AM »

BTW, if BobC4012 is still around, maybe he can tell me how to replace the Chrome icon from the panel with another like... Opera! yes!   :Thmbsup:

Hey Dan, if you want an Opera Icon, check the following directories.

  / usr/share/opera/styles/images            or


A little exploration in the icons directory and its sub-directories may be of value.


I should have added, similar to Windows, right click on the item, select "Properties" and then click on the icon in the "window". On Ubuntu or Zorin (or other Linux), it will bring up a menu. Under "Places" (on the left), select "File System" and then you will see from "bin" to "var". Click on "usr", "share", etc. When you see the icon you want, then click (double-click?) on it and it will replace the existing icon.

Good luck.

Living Room / Re: Is Linux just a hobby?
« on: July 13, 2012, 03:01 AM »

BTW, if BobC4012 is still around, maybe he can tell me how to replace the Chrome icon from the panel with another like... Opera! yes!   :Thmbsup:

Hey Dan, if you want an Opera Icon, check the following directories.

  / usr/share/opera/styles/images            or


A little exploration in the icons directory and its sub-directories may be of value.


Living Room / Re: Is Linux just a hobby?
« on: July 13, 2012, 02:25 AM »
My apologies bobc4012!  :-[

"Fuhgedabotit" - none needed. I probably could have written the post a bit more clearly.

BTW, I'm not sure what distros you are tinkering with, but in Zorin 5.2, there is a utility called Ubuntu Tweak. This worked like the "old Ubuntu Tweak" and had a lot more options for tweaking, like those Windows Tweak utilities. In the System category, you could set the power options (ala lap-top power options - AC, never dim or power save - Battery - power dim, etc.). I was looking at Zorin 6 and they have the new "Ubuntu Tweak" that ships with Unity (or the Software Center). It has fewer options, which ticks me off'.

I should note that Zorin still has a few glitches. One thing about release 6, however, is you can change the Desktop Environment without logging off and back on. Select one of the three (Gnome, XP or Win. 7) and it changes it immediately.

Living Room / Re: Is Linux just a hobby?
« on: July 12, 2012, 10:02 PM »
Speaking of Zorin...


-Opera couldn't be found in the Software Manager.

I had mentioned in my post that Opera can be installed via the Zorin Browser Manager. There is a slight difference in the way you get to going from Zorin_OS 5.2 to Zorin_OS 6. In 5.2, you selected from the menu "Applications -> System Tools -> Zorin Internet Browser Manager" -> Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome or Midori. In 6, it is under "Applications -> Internet -> Zorin Web Browser Manager". Once installed, going through the same menu sequence, you can uninstall the browsers (under each icon, you will see "Install" or "Uninstall") - similar to the install/uninstall concept used in the "Software Center".

Living Room / Re: Is Linux just a hobby?
« on: July 11, 2012, 02:27 AM »
Late to the show here. First, the most popular Linux distro (distribution) has been "Ubuntu" (Ubuntu is actually Debian-based). Linux Mint (and a few others are actually Ubuntu-based). Kubuntu is an Ubuntu derivative that uses the KDE Desktop Environment rather than Gnome. Ubuntu Ver. 10.10 was the last version to use Gnome 2. It switched to the Unity Desktop in 11.04 (which, from what I understand, Windows 8 Metro mimics to an extent - not sure how much, since I could never get any of the three Win. 8 Previews to install in VirtualBox, in spite of sufficient memory and HD space on a new Win. 7 AMD64 machine). Other Distros have moved to Gnome 3. The one thing I liked about Ubuntu (and some of its derivatives) was the ability to install inside a Windows directory (called a Wubi install) and avoid dual booting which can cause problems on occasion as the Windows loaders and Grub (Linux loader) do not play nicely with each other. The Ubuntu CD cotains an "exe" file, named "wubi". It actaully installs Ubuntu in a Windows directory, like installing any other Windows app. I have an older XP laptop with this setup and Ubuntu runs just fine (I do defrag occasionally). With Win. 7 and a heftier system, I installed VirtualBox on my Win. 7 machine and have 4 different Linux distros installed in VMs. I can run Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome faster in a VM Linux distro than they actually run native on Win. 7. Performance of other Linux apps seem to be just fine.

The one thing I didn't like with Unity, was Unity Dash (Metro-like) and when you had a file manager display (like a directory display) it moved the Winows "Min./Max./Close" icons to the left side (similar to Apple) there is a config file that can be modified to set them back to the right side. I did notice in Ubuntu 12.04, that Ubuntu Tweak (like Windows Tweak utilities), you could set it back to the right side (where God intended). Another thiing, you can install multiple desktop environments in Linux. The site http://www.renewable...x/kde-gnome-or-xfce/ is a nice starting point on the more popular desktops. When you get the Log-on screen after boot-up, the top-right corner of the log-on box has an icon, click on it and choose the desktop - assuming it is installed). You have a number of GUI ways to install desktops and other apps on Ubuntu. The first way is using the Synaptic Package Manager (SPM). You can see all available apps (or apps in a specific category). Check a box and click "Apply" and let it install. Another way is via the Ubuntu Software Center. Although the format is somewhat different than the SPM, you select an app and click on install. While the install is taking place, you can click on another app and it will be stacked for install. You can also select "Software Sources", which opens up access to S/W apps not in the Ubuntu repository. You can also download Linux Debian-based apps (.deb) and use GDebi as the GUI to install. Also, Redhat (Fedora) apps (.rpm) can be downladed and converted (Alien) and installed. While I suspect some may not run smoothly, those that I have tried did not have any problems).

I preferred the Gnome 2 desktop, but under Unity, I installed the XFCE desktop as it is close to Gnome 2 (as is Classic Gnome). The thing I used heavily in Gnome 2 were the 2 panels (task-bars), top and bottom. Gnome 2 also allowed me to easily moved the icons on the panels to where I wanted them. There is also another Ubuntu based distro called Zorin_OS. The lastest is Release 6 (Core). What makes it interesting is you can select one of 3 desktop/menu environments - Gnome 2, Windows XP or Windows 7. There is a paid version which, I believe, also allows for an Apple desktop. The core underneath is still Linux, of course, but it does give that familiar look and feel. Zorin_OS installs with its own browser, but you can select from the menu (Applications -> Internet -> Zorin Browser Manager) Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome or Midori (in Zorin_OS 6 - Zorin_OS 5.2 Core, it was under Applications -> System Tools -> ZBM). Those who are interested in trying it out, can download it from the Zorin site . I don't know if Zorin OS 5.2 can be found anymore - Gnome 2 and Zorin_OS 5.2 had on the top left corner, the menu items "Applications Places and System" - in Zorin_OS 6, they moved part of the "System" under "Applications -> System Tools" - probably due to the underlaying changes made in Ubuntu 12.04 (as 5.2 was based on Ubuntu 11.04). The download is 1.3GB (32bit) or 1.4GB (64bit). There are 4 sites, I recommend the NLUUG site as the fastest. Softpredia also offers the downloads - I presume from their site and not a redirection to the Zorin site.

BTW, someone posted a comment their was no equivalent to the Windows Task Manager, there is - it is the "System Monitor", found under "Administration". I have its icon installed on my top panel so I have ready access in case an app ever gets hung up.

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