Tuesday, April 7, 2015

College and Linux

I have been taking online classes at a popular University.  One of the requirements is to have access to Microsoft Windows and Office.  I am in compliance 100% because my end game there is to get me degree.  It is interesting to note what it is like setting up a computer with W7.

I had the opportunity to purchase a refurbished Lenovo T410 laptop with a 320g HD.  This had W7-Ultimate on it with no office.  I played with it for a short time and then installed a new 250 g SSD and then installed Fedora 21.  The W7 drive I stuck on an adapter and installed it into the disc drive slot.  Now I dual boot Fedora and Windows.

I can usually install and set up Fedora in under 4 hours.  The W7 drive took several hours over a period of several days to set up.  One of the issues was security updates.  W7 has to be primary in the boot sequence.  Further more, to get the security updates, Windows Boot Manager must be used instead of Grub.  That was easy, I just set the Bios to boot to the W7 drive where the WBM handles the rest.

Not done yet.  In order to use anything on the W7 side, I need drivers.  And these drivers need to update regularly.  And with the updates come reboots.  And I can't just shut the system down, I have to shut the system down and wait for the updates before the thing powers off 100%.

An example is my wireless keyboard.  In W7 I can't just plug it in.  Instead I have to first install the cool keyboard software and then plug it in.  And it is cool software.  Other cool software that I need is usually 30 day trials and then proprietary which means I have it for 30 days and then have to make the purchase.

And, with the slow-mo HD, W7 boots slow because, the HD is slow, and there are a lot of start-up programs that have to get up and running in sequence before I can get to my productive day.

On days when I just want to run Fedora, I boot into the Fedora side (SSD) and it is up very fast.  Wireless kicks on and the day is golden.  A week ago, I was working on the car and needed to plug in a special camera called a bore-scope.  I had the choice of installing the software on the W7 side or simply plugging it into Fedora.  I chose Fedora, used Cheese, and recorded the video for my bore-scope project.

I have seen this with other things as well.  I just received a Logitech USB DVD drive.  With W7, I will have to install the driver, most likely.  With Fedora, I will just plug it in and use it.

This has been a long-winded way of saying, I wish colleges would embrace FOSS instead of pushing expensive stuff on poor college students.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hey wuts up

Here we are in March.  April is just around the corner.  Up here in the Pacific Northwest, there are a lot of things to do.  I personally have a bunch of stuff to do.  Here is my list:
1) Honda alternator
2) Honda door electrical
3) Honda radio antenae
4) Honda tire rubbing issue
5) Nissan oil change
6) Nissan strut change (all 4)
7) Nissan front axle swap (both
8) Toyota brakes
9) Toyota struts

And that is the short list.  I need to do the spring cleaning on the garage, finish my Discrete Math class, fix 4 lawnmowers (the mowing season is upon me) and get myself to LinuxFest NW is at the end of April.  But,  there's a lot to get done before then.

And you know what?  There is an annual Tulip Festival going on and there is ice cream there.

I might have to go to that.

Let's see, I mentioned Linux and did I mention Fedora 22 is coming out soon?  There's just a lot to get done before the LinuxFest NW and the release of Fedora 22.  It is Spring in the Pacific Northwest.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Mint Saves the Day: Linux vs. Windows

I haven't written anything for a while.  I think I have missed a few Fedora releases since my last post. Currently, I am running Fedora 20 64 bit with KDE.  I am not against other distributions and actually I recently used Linux Mint to rescue data on one of my home computers.

The computer was actually my son's box.  He was running W7 at the time.  His main hard-drive developed a glitch and became unreadable.  I took an extra SATA drive and loaded Mint.  I was able to rescue his critical data to a back-up drive.  He ran Mint for a few weeks until he could purchase a new and larger drive.  After he installed W7 on the new drive, I transferred is data to the new drive.  And since he is a W7 guy, Mint went back on the shelf awaiting another opportunity to save the day.

I tried to install Fedora to his computer but it didn't take.  Mint had no problem installing and reading the old drives.  I was actually surprised. And, he was actually able to continue with his video editing on Mint while waiting for his new drive.  Mint truly saved the day.

This brings up topic.  Why can Linux read drives that Windows rejects?  Since I am not a hacker (or a cracker) I have no idea how to answer that.  What I do know is if a NTFS partition becomes unreadable, Linux may be able to read and recover the data.