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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    10,956

    Red face Computer Oddyssey

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    I am a Ubuntu, indeed a Linux newbie due to a monster sized Sony all-in-one desktop. I bought it in 2009 with the best resources that I could buy at the time - so good that in 2017 it still does quite well though I wouldn't attempt to turn it into a gaming machine. The problem is a common problem with all-in-ones that one should keep in mind if you ever consider purchasing one. The hardware was customized so much to fit behind the monitor that it became proprietary and no driver updates were ever released which made it eventually impossible to upgrade Windows. Eventually it became a 50+ pound brick after a failed upgrade and I reformatted/wrote over the hard drive to eventually recycle the computer and bought a much smaller hybrid computer (Acer Alpha 12 Switch) for daily use. I do like the little thing, but it's too small to comfortably use to remote into my work computers at the office but it works fine for personal use.

    A friend encouraged me to give Ubuntu a try to see if the necessary drivers were available, and much to my pleasant surprise the live CD worked and the old brick is up and running, and even faster than it was with Windows 7. All for $8! For some reason my wired mouse doesn't work well, but a new mouse is far less expensive than a new computer! My 26-inch all-in-one computer now seems massive in size, but as long as I can figure out how to install the Linux Citrix Receiver then I will have the perfect, for me, combination of electronics. Back in the 2000's I played with Debian for a period of time, and Ubuntu is certainly more graphical than Debian was back in the day, and while it's more user friendly it is still Linux and there is still a learning curve.

    hmmm, I wonder if this is good for the brain like trying to learn a new language? Again, not bad for a whopping $8 for the OS and a new mouse!
    Last edited by Catrin; 01-17-2017 at 04:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    6,652
    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    hmmm, I wonder if this is good for the brain like trying to learn a new language? Again, not bad for a whopping $8 for the OS and a new mouse!
    It totally is! I've been reading more and more articles recently about how we all need to plan on learning new things our entire life to keep our synapses healthy, and that learning something new is much, much more valuable for our brains than simply doing crossword puzzles, for example. I'm still working on my Spanish lessons (audio and online) since there's a decent chance we may return to Mexico at some point, for awhile at least. And even if we don't, I know it's good for my brain, especially since I'm retired and no longer have the challenges of learning new things for work.

    Glad you got your computer issue sorted out -- I remember your discussing it awhile back. I know nothing about Ubuntu or most of what you are talking about, though I did use plain old unix back in my job as a software engineer and enjoyed its simple elegance. $8 is a deal!

    Have fun with it!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Congrats on a successful conversion. I need to embark on a cable modem odyssey -- my wifi signal keeps disappearing and I'm pretty sure the old Comcast modem is the culprit. They told me to upgrade it ages ago but I ignored them because I was afraid I'd have trouble getting the new one to work with my router, and then I'd be trapped in an endless circle of "the problem is not our device, you have to call the other device's tech support." But I can't ignore it any longer so last week I did some research and found a highly-rated modem that I could buy to use with Comcast's service, and I bought it from Micro-center which has great tech support. Now I just need to take it out of the box and figure out how to hook it all up. Of course I'm putting it off because I rarely get through this sort of thing without frustration and anxiety. I really do need to dive in and deal with it though -- once I get the new modem working, I can return the old one and stop paying the monthly rental fee to Comcast.

    (One reason I'm putting off hooking up the modem is that I'm still going through the New Phone Odyssey. It took so long to back up stuff from the phone and get the contacts transferred, and I'm still figuring out how to use some of the basic apps. This morning I had a voice mail and couldn't figure out how to listen to it. I can only take so much tech frustration.)
    Last edited by ny biker; 01-17-2017 at 01:11 PM.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Kind of similar, I just upgraded my MacBook Air from a 125 GB SSD to 1 Terabyte. It's amazing how much better the thing runs, now. 125 is tiny, and a new book with a drive that size is around 3 grand (more or less). The SSD was around 500, and I had a local MacBook authorized place order and install it. Great deal. Plus, the new ones can't be upgraded. I'm going to buy an inexpensive MacBook Pro (refurbished Pro might be around $580.00, and I can upgrade to a SSD and the memory, can't touch the memory on an Air).

    Think I did pretty well, and a local shop did the work, which is a plus.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    I need to get a new pc for work. I can't work at the client location for this project due to a conflict between the pollution from the asphalt plant next door and my asthma, so I work at my company's HQ and connect remotely to my work pc. And I have to provide the computer that I use at my company's HQ. So far I've been using an old laptop that runs on Vista, but it's getting slower by the day. I already have a larger monitor connected to it (the laptop screen started to grow black spots) and a separate keyboard and mouse. So the old laptop is functioning like a desktop at this point.

    And so I have to decide what new pc to get. Either a laptop or a desktop would work. I only need basic internet access for it, plus Word and Excel. One option is to get something refurbished, basic and cheap, probably with Windows 7. But then I wonder, maybe I should spend a little more for something better that could be used outside of work if needed -- to replace my laptop at home if that one develops problems or to give to a relative if this job goes away due to layoffs (which is a possibility on this project). Though perhaps a basic refurbished Windows 7 machine could be upgraded if necessary. I don't know.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I need to get a new pc for work. I can't work at the client location for this project due to a conflict between the pollution from the asphalt plant next door and my asthma, so I work at my company's HQ and connect remotely to my work pc. And I have to provide the computer that I use at my company's HQ. So far I've been using an old laptop that runs on Vista, but it's getting slower by the day. I already have a larger monitor connected to it (the laptop screen started to grow black spots) and a separate keyboard and mouse. So the old laptop is functioning like a desktop at this point.

    And so I have to decide what new pc to get. Either a laptop or a desktop would work. I only need basic internet access for it, plus Word and Excel. One option is to get something refurbished, basic and cheap, probably with Windows 7. But then I wonder, maybe I should spend a little more for something better that could be used outside of work if needed -- to replace my laptop at home if that one develops problems or to give to a relative if this job goes away due to layoffs (which is a possibility on this project). Though perhaps a basic refurbished Windows 7 machine could be upgraded if necessary. I don't know.
    Keep in mind that Windows 7 will soon no longer be supported, and not all Windows 7 machines can take Windows 10. Just something to keep in mind while you consider your options, good luck with whatever you decide!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    Catrin, they are still doing security updates for Windows 7, per the following:

    Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on January 13, 2015. This means that no new Service Packs are coming for Windows 7, and no new features will be added to the operating system. It does not, however, mean that Microsoft is no longer patching the operating system.
    Extended support is still ongoing until January 14, 2020. That’s the date Microsoft will stop issuing new security updates for Windows 7.
    This means it’s safe to keep using Windows 7 until 2020, so long as you install all updates.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    That helps, certainly. Robust machines - especially refurbished - don't cost near as much as they did back in the day, hopefully you can can find something that will last as long as my desktop (and as well), and can eventually be upgraded Windows 10. My recent adventure was with an 8 year old desktop that I hope will be around for at least a couple more years - I know of new computers that are slower than my 2009 Sony. My driver issues with it was a special case due to proprietary hardware.

    Have fun looking and good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,607
    <geek speak>

    Well, I have my father's last laptop. He bought it about a month before he was diagnosed with dementia so the laptop is literally brand new; but, it is slow and old, XP, celeron processor and less than a Megabyte of RAM. USB port is only 1.0 so again slow. I want to use it but just doesn't have the umph to deal with today's bloatware.

    It did bootup Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS but took about 4 minutes to do so off USB live. Tried loading OpenOffice because that is what I prefer over MS office suite. No go Joe!! So I tried something with smaller footprint using Puppy Linux (slackware version of Linux) it too didn't fare too well. Do I want to try Damn Small Linux distro? I think the problem is with USB1.0 port. I'm not ready to install linux onto the laptop hard drive yet.

    <end geek speak> (oh what was the proper format for HTML??)

    I like this laptop, its got a very nice screen.

    So yes, you do want a Robust machine...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    lol - that would be
    <geek speak> </geek speak>

    though in these days it's more likely to be written in Java... and someone else will have to advise you on that one
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Yes, Ubuntu does require rather robust resources, but there must be other options. You should be able to find a live CD, assuming it has a CD drive?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,607
    GAHHH!!!!

    spent 6 hours or so tracking down a virus on my partners computer... How does she manage to get it infected with virus?? This isn't the first time or second time or third. This virus isn't as destructive as some of the others but it basically bricked her expensive WF-7620 epson printer. I ended up scrubbing her computer of printer drivers for the epson, managed to updated the firmware of her printer to unbrick it, tried to re-enable the printer from being offline to online, which it didn't take for some time. blah blah blah...
    and got it fixed after much &^%$#.

    Then just the other day, the strong windstorm came and knocked over a huge oak tree onto the power lines feeding my neighborhood. When the power went out, I had instructed her to unplug everything. When the power came back, we plugged everything back. Printers is offline again and I can't get it back on line. Checked the WiFi connection and its good... control panel> drivers printers> WF7620 and it says its on line but WF7620 says its off line GRRRR....
    as last resort, reloaded the original driver after, once again, I scrubbed her computer... now the virus is back. ???? reloaded the updated driver and the virus is there. Checked for virus and it says it found no virus. THE NEW VIRUS HAVE A WORK AROUND TO ESCAPE DETECTION FROM MANY OF THE VIRUS DETECTION/MALWARE DETECTION SOFTWARE.

    my partner is really mad at me now and I'm uber pissed off!! I'm not a GOD you know. Besides, I don't have enough hours in a day for my own work load. And I looked at her internet connection and its UNSECURE!!! %$# me!

    And oh my dryer decided to go cold. It's an older machine so I could take it apart and fix it but again I just don't have time. Most likely, a blown thermal fuse somewhere inside or burnt out heating element. I did this three times growing up for my mother's dryer. maybe four times. Oh and our furnace made a huge exploding sound and had to be replaced about a month ago... Then about a week ago, I pulled my car into our drive way, parked it, set the parking brake, shut off the engine, took my foot off the brake pedal and the little jerk from the release of the brake pedal caused the car to break traction on the ice and my car sled backwards into my partner's pkup. I didn't have time to release the parking brake, restart the engine, put it into reverse and back out, so bump it went. Have an appt with body shop next Monday to get a quote then schedule a repair date.

    gawd, I wish I was 6 feet under.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    So, not just a computer odyssey but a general machine-related odyssey for you, smilingcat. It does seem like everything breaks down at once. For me lately it's been phone, work pc, refrigerator, toaster oven, regular oven. Plus my car is due for service and has a dent in the front that I need to fix one of these days. So far I have only dealt with the phone and the toaster oven, though technically I'm not done with the phone yet -- I can't get it read the music files on the sd card and I still have to reset the old one and turn it in so I can get a credit for it. But once I finish dealing with that, I'm sure something else will break or wear out. It's always something!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    So, not just a computer odyssey but a general machine-related odyssey for you, smilingcat. It does seem like everything breaks down at once. For me lately it's been phone, work pc, refrigerator, toaster oven, regular oven. Plus my car is due for service and has a dent in the front that I need to fix one of these days. So far I have only dealt with the phone and the toaster oven, though technically I'm not done with the phone yet -- I can't get it read the music files on the sd card and I still have to reset the old one and turn it in so I can get a credit for it. But once I finish dealing with that, I'm sure something else will break or wear out. It's always something!
    Just over a month later -- I still haven't dealt with the refrigerator or the oven, and still haven't been able to get my new phone to read the music files on the SD card. But I was forced into taking the car in for service this week. It's a long story so I'll just skip to the end and say that the guy at the local Toyota dealership who has been taking care of my car for years has once again done a great job of fixing things quickly and for a reasonable price.

    More relevant to this thread, I have finally taken the plunge and gotten a new pc for work. The old one has just gotten so slow, I didn't want to put it off any longer. I prefer to buy from the local Micro-Center, and after looking through the laptops and desktops on their website, including the customer reviews, I decided to get a relatively inexpensive HP laptop with Windows 10. I will still use the larger monitor and more comfortable mouse that I already have. The guy at the store tried to upsell me because "the processor is not the latest model." This annoyed me; of course he doesn't know the backstory of how annoyed I am that I have to provide my own pc for work or how much I detest setting up new tech devices or how generally peevish I am right now due to the sedentary lifestyle that has been forced on me by the ankle injury, but still, when someone has obviously already chosen the exact model that they want before walking into the store, there are better ways of suggesting that they consider another product. Then he tried to sell me on anti virus software. Then he tried to help me choose an external hard drive even though I'd already done the research and made that decision, too. Eventually he figured out that I was not going to be a big spender, handed me the paperwork to take to the cashier and ran back to the pc department.

    So now I am about ready to start the process of setting things up and transferring files from the old laptop to the new one. I do hope it goes smoothly. Once it's all up and running, I want to start using it after hours for some tutorials to learn a new programming language, which of course is another flavor of computer odyssey...

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,607
    agree. Nothing gets me madder or faster to getting me angry than "you are just a girrl, what do you know about techie stuff. let me help you spend your money!" I hate guys who want to try to upsell me stuff. I know what I want.

    BTW, I'm using my father's last laptop before he died. It's celeron and XP based Toshiba. Screen is still very nice. speed is really lacking. Tried slacko (Linux) and its still slow. Maybe I will upgrade my laptop to something with i7, 12G of DDR3 mem and Terabyte of storage. And it even has touch screen for around $600.00. tempted... Thought about hacking cheap chrome book into a Linux machine but Chrome has limited access and it can be difficult to change OS. And most can not be upgraded.

    well. After the furnace replacement three month ago. Our dryer quit. So we bought a floor model that was dented for around half price. Hey, long as it works. Good enough for me and made sure it had valid warranty.

    The third thing gone wrong is my ISP provided FiOS modem is shot. This is why I'm on a laptop at Starbucks. Talked to tech at Frontier Comm. At first it was can you do this, do that... After much annoyance and explaining to the "help desk" I asked for level 3 tech support. No can do... WHAT?? well after wasting hour of my time, they are sending a tech out. I've already told them that their MODEM, which they like to call HPNA box (What HPNA Home Phone Network Association product died when 802.11 WiFi standard came to being) died or rather its DNS server app died a horrible death. My VoIP phone with direct IP address has no problem of making connection but when I type something like teamestrogen.com or yahoo.com... It can't get to the internet.

    And oh my Prius, during last ice storm, my car slid in my driveway and went bump into my GF's pkup. Fix is going to be $$$$. So I think I will order Tesla model 3 and wait it out with the beaten up prius. Of course I will have it fixed by then, still I'm tired and Prius is starting to annoy me. Model S is too big of a car. My friend had to Tesla-size his garage so his Tesla model S would fit.

    I hate spending money... but this laptop is driving me bananas with its slow response. I'm bit spoiled for faster computers.

 

 

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