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[#] Fri Dec 05 2014 05:00:18 EST from the_mgt

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Use a distribution which does not come with a heavy windowmanager/desktop environment on an old laptop. Avoid Gnome and KDE, try one of those ulgy "box" window managers, XFCE, enlightenment or what else there is. Most of the KDE/Gnome programs will probably run fine, only things that rely on all the bling from those desktops might fail. Avoid their filemangers like a plague.

For real snappy feeling, find a distro with BFS (Brain Fuck Scheduler). Feels like cutting snow with a blowtorch.

Manjaro, Sabayon, Zenwalk and PCLinuxOS use it.

[#] Fri Dec 05 2014 13:49:09 EST from vince-q <>

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It seems to me that the issue these days is not "making linux faster than Windows."

Linux has *always* been faster than Windows.
The problem is that contemporary linux development has led toward more and more "extras" that really do *nothing* to add to the efficacy and utiility of the *operating system* but just to the "flash" and, quite frankly, the bullshit that integrates with the (various different) window managers.

the_mgt has hit it right on the head. It's the "bells & whistles" that some developers seem to think are more important than anything else are *not* what makes linux superior to just about anything else in existence today.

*That* job is handled by the kernel and core applications.
And *that* job is, in my opinion, most likely as far along as is currently possible.

I'm sure you can nitpick what I've just said; and no doubt some will.
And I'm equally sure that in the not-so-distant future, there will be kernel developments (no doubt matched to CPU advances) that will make linux even better/faster.

[#] Sat Dec 06 2014 08:29:27 EST from Sig

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Well, part of the "pleasant to use" part is "more visually appealing than XP." There are tradeoffs. I've been playing with various distros and window managers with varying degrees of success and enjoyment since 2000. This machine has been primarily Linux for close to four years now.

[#] Sat Dec 06 2014 20:31:16 EST from vince-q <>

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Windows 98 was more "visually appealing" than XP.
The single most important factor for me is speed.

This, of course, assumes the platform to be stable.
But then, just about all linux distros are stable.
And if you strip out the fluff, they are also all fast.

It's the window managers that introduce most of the slugginess. And that really only manifests itself from the GUI (X) side. The CLI on every linux box I've ever used is fast. Very fast.

[#] Sun Dec 07 2014 03:42:42 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Thankfully the fluff *can* be stripped out, for most use cases.

[#] Sun Dec 07 2014 07:34:53 EST from dothebart

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yea, and if you've ever used cygwin, you know that the tab-expension is realy slow over there... since stuff all nice to the os on linux weirdy fails on the wintendo and brings everything to a grinding hold.

[#] Sun Dec 07 2014 08:20:16 EST from the_mgt

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I like some bling and bells&whistles on my linux machines alongside of the fast speeds. I always preferred enlightenment/e17 (and previously e16) with my machines, because they at least tried to look good while staying out of the way. I hate these openbox/fluxbox minimalist things. I also love to have automounting for usb disks and some comfort. What I do not need is another audio system or a new init version or a reinvention of handling of pluggable devices and X autoconfiguration.

But part of the sluggishness on normal desktops is due to the kernel itself, or rather the default scheduler. Con Kolivas build his brainfuck scheduler because of this. On a normal 1-2 core desktop computer, the schedulers in the kernel performed like a sloth. So he wrote his own and it does really make sense on a desktop, were realtime interaction and quick responses to user interaction is paramount. He reported that to the kernel scheduler guys and they said "can't reproduce on my octacore 16gb ram machine."

[#] Sun Dec 07 2014 09:54:00 EST from vince-q <>

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A good example of "fast by stripping out stuff" is what I'm going to do with a dedicated box - serve the TNC for packet radio, and the Citadel BBS.

The box will do *nothing* else; it will even "hand off" DNS to the main linux box.

It will be blazingly fast; hell, it was blazingly fast the last time I tried this back in the 1990s - so it can only be better/faster today than it was "back in the day."


[#] Sun Dec 07 2014 21:05:09 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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People *are* re-learning the art of efficiency in system deployment. We have the Raspberry Pi to thank for that.

[#] Sun Dec 07 2014 22:33:40 EST from vince-q <>

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Dec 7 2014 6:05pm from IGnatius T Foobar @uncnsrd (Uncensored)
People *are* re-learning the art of efficiency in system deployment.

We have the Raspberry Pi to thank for that.

Yeah - sort of like it used to be when programming for pre-winBlows DOS...

"Watch that executable - can't exceed 128K!"

[#] Mon Dec 08 2014 00:42:35 EST from ax25

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the_mgmt, I agree E17 is fun.  IG, yes, the cheap Rpi does make you think of the mantra: Do one thing, and do it well :-)

[#] Mon Dec 08 2014 09:07:15 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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"Watch that executable - can't exceed 128K!"

Back when I first started developing Citadel on a unix platform I was running an early version of Xenix, and the compiler had a 64K code + 64K data limitation.
Little did I know that I was facing a Microsoft stupidism, even then, even on a "real" operating system.

Microport ended up being better. Who knew.

[#] Mon Dec 08 2014 13:19:22 EST from vince-q <>

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On the PC/MSDOS platform I used the Borland C compiler.

All things considered it was a good development system, at least for its day. I have *no* idea if they (Borland) even still exist.

The limitations were imposed by DOS (3.x at the time) - 128K for the executable after compiling. As far as I can remember (it *has* been almost thirty years!) the compiler handled all data issues internally while compiling.

I had the machine "populated" with 640K of RAM. Remember? A memory card. 8 sockets by 16 sockets if memory serves, and you had to place a chip in each socket. I think. It's been forever-ago... ;)

This was a machine running an intel 80286 CPU with a "math coprocessor" chip. IBM PC/AT architecture (it was a clone).

They just don't DO that any more! (good thing)

[#] Wed Dec 10 2014 18:15:28 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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SO HAPPY to see that TigerDirect has a small selection of laptops available with Linux on them!

I've never used "Linpus" (sounds like something that would come out of an infected penguin) but I can always reload it with something else. Not one dollar of my hard-earned money will be sent to the Great Satan of Redmond!

Ideally I'd love to support a company like System76 but they just don't have anything in the low-end range, and this is for a family member who will abuse it.

[#] Wed Dec 10 2014 18:18:41 EST from LoanShark

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Linux is the reason my younger brother (who barely makes enough money to make ends meet) is still actually able to *afford* a computer (he's apparently currently running a 1.5GB RAM box, instead of the 8GB monstrosity you need to run Winbloze these days.)

Bill Gates: stealing money from the hard-working since 1972

[#] Wed Dec 10 2014 18:57:43 EST from zooer

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IG, If you are looking for something low-end for someone to abuse why not get a Chromebook and duel boot it?

[#] Thu Dec 11 2014 10:19:16 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I did some browsing on that subject and it seems there's more to it than just "buy one with an Intel CPU, plug in a USB drive, and reinstall."

I haven't actually tried out a Chromebook yet. One of these days I'm going to have to wander into one of those old-fashioned computer stores and play with one for a while. I would imagine they fit well with my use cases, since I do almost everything in a remote "network computing" sort of way.

[#] Thu Dec 11 2014 10:55:35 EST from vince-q <>

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I think a lot has to do with *which* chromeBook you buy. There are chrome laptops 'out there' that *do* have physical hard drives in the laptop. Not many, for sure, but they *do* exist, at least online, and from the BigBox folk.

If memory serves, I think Dell makes one.

[#] Thu Dec 11 2014 12:30:36 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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They all have something, either a spinning disk or an SSD (typically 32 or 64 GB). Obviously it's doable ... there are even people running Windows (cursed be its name forever) on them. Maybe I will experiment with it one day but at the moment I don't have the time to hack; I need to take delivery, install Debian in a predictably short amount of time, and drop it under the tree.

[#] Thu Dec 11 2014 18:46:26 EST from the_mgt

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Dell and Lenovo and some other bigger corporations also sell laptops without an operation system or a FreeDos installation. And you are already paying MS in license fees for your googlephone. Or any device that supports the sdxc standard.

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