1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Hardware Building an Ion-powered Linux Media PC

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Guest-16, 3 Dec 2009.

  1. pimlicosound

    pimlicosound What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    7 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    242
    Likes Received:
    8
    I've installed Windows 7 on a netbook, a Sony Vaio laptop, and on a self-built PC with loads of attachments, including aging scanners and even a fax machine. As part of the installation, Windows 7 found drivers for EVERYTHING, all by itself. Windows update does the same with updated drivers; all it takes to update is one click on the "Update" button, and it downloads and installs everything behind the scenes. I never have to think about it.

    Does this mean you'll start listening to the Windows crowd now?

    Snarkiness aside, it sounds like you're comparing the current functionality of the latest Linux builds with the functionality of Windows XP, an 8 year old OS. Windows 7 includes far more automation, when it comes to software updates, than you seem to give it credit for. I'm not talking about learned behaviour - I'm talking about an OS that knows how to take care of itself, without the user needing to learn anything.
     
  2. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

    Joined:
    2 Aug 2003
    Posts:
    8,087
    Likes Received:
    1,523
    I think what Da Dego is trying to point out is:-

    To update everything on Windows=
    1: Run Windows Update
    2: Reboot
    3: Run Office Update
    4: Reboot
    |
    |
    |
    X: Run (program #237) Update
    Y: Reboot

    Total time (on fast net connection) - most of a day sat in front of the screen repeatedly clicking "Restart Now"

    To update everything in Linux, say, Ubuntu for instance (GUI mode first, then text mode)=
    1: Open System/Administration/Update Manager / Open Terminal
    2: Click "Check" / Type "sudo aptitude update"
    3: Give admin password
    4: Click "Install" / Type "sudo aptitude safe-upgrade"
    5: Reboot only if you received a Kernel or GFX driver update
    6: There is no 6

    Total time - Maybe 20 mins (if a new version of the OS came out) during which you can go have a coffee.
     
  3. pimlicosound

    pimlicosound What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    7 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    242
    Likes Received:
    8
    @IanW:

    Again, it sounds like you're quoting the update procedure from the days of Windows XP! Windows 7 updates everything, in one window (the Action Center), all by itself, with just one confirmatory click from the user, and even that can be automated!

    Windows has much improved its software update procedure lately. Why is Linux still competing with an 8 year old OS?
     
  4. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

    Joined:
    2 Aug 2003
    Posts:
    8,087
    Likes Received:
    1,523
    Does Windows 7 really update not just OS & drivers, but every last program on the PC in one go?
     
  5. ChriX

    ChriX ^

    Joined:
    30 Aug 2001
    Posts:
    2,651
    Likes Received:
    4
    How is full screen flash player now? Last I heard it was a little choppy, as Adobe have only just added support for the Ion HW acceleration?
     
  6. Da Dego

    Da Dego Brett Thomas

    Joined:
    17 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    3,913
    Likes Received:
    1
    Having used Win7 and its update, it does a great job of finding drivers for its hardware and updates to the OS itself.

    Win7's "Windows Update" updates just that - Windows and its components. It doesn't update Office or find those patches (That's a whole separate update). It doesn't update Windows Live OneCare (whole separate update). It CERTAINLY doesn't update XBMC or VLC or whatever video player you use. It doesn't update your NVidia drivers if you've installed them independently. It doesn't update...well, anything but windows.

    I give it a lot of credit, it's come a long way since XP where there were "critical updates" followed by "recommended updates" followed by "optional updates" which required several trips through the Windows Update just to get things moving.

    But have you tried installing Service Pack 2 for Vista?! It even requires its own tool to reconfigure the system to update, so many users are having problems. The BASIC operating system gets in its OWN way on that update. And again, it's a series of restarts - I built my good friend a very good system recently, slapped Vista in it cause I knew he wanted to game. It was several days of update, restart before it was even usable. Nothing's been installed on it BUT a LEGAL operating system (hasn't even gone about updating drivers), and
    he can't get SP2 to install.

    In the meantime, my mother's vista computer installs updates constantly - grabs them but she set AutoUpdate for 3am so when she boots into the computer (she shuts it down each night), it goes and grabs and installs the updates first thing. Then reboots her computer FOR her while she's in the middle of something, because it was told to auto install at 3am and it's past 3am. No prompts, no questions, just grab and reset. In the middle of her working. I turned auto-update down to "download but do not install" and Windows OneCare changed it back during a routine check. THIS IS NOT USER FRIENDLY. :)

    Win7 is *so far* better - the OS is new enough that you can't really make a great judgment on that quite yet. But it's STILL not anywhere in the near proximity of the ease of updating an entire linux box across whole VERSIONS of a distribution. When Ubuntu Karmic came out, a user of a previous version only needed to change their version name to "karmic" in two places in synaptic, and the whole new OS downloaded and installed - AND upgraded every piece of software on the system to be compatible with it. Come to think of it, it actually ASKS users on the first boot that it finds a whole new release whether they want to upgrade. One click, a password, and done. Everything, from your office software to your games to your photo program...one shot.

    And I still can't open up windows update, type "photo organizer" and have it display a list of photo organization programs with descriptions, ratings, screenshots and other info, click one, and have it install. I can do that in Ubuntu.

    THAT is the ease of use that nobody using Windows wants to even talk about. Because it doesn't exist for them. But heaven forbid you typed two lines to get a driver working, and didn't need to restart your computer. :)
     
  7. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

    Joined:
    27 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    1,415
    Likes Received:
    10
    I'm talking about an OS that knows how to take care of itself, without the user needing to learn anything.

    That's exactly what I'm talking about. I have to say, I really resent the standard "you're just too stupid" approach. Too impatient, perhaps, if "impatient" means that I want to spend more time using a piece of software than I do installing it.

    To paraphrase something I said privately to someone: the issue with linux is consistency. I have no problem with learning new techniques or manually configuring things if I can see a tangible benefit from doing it. The frustration is that every piece of software under every linux distro seems to want different settings in different text files in different formats, different shell scripts run with different options in different places, with different archives in different formats unpacked in different ways into different directories. Everything's different every time, based on whichever approach to software distribution is fashionable at the time. You can't possibly defeat a situation this as a learning process because next time you want to perform a related task it'll be a completely unrelated procedure. I mean, look in the article that spawned this debate: instructions to install two or three pieces of software are each different sets of instructions to do exactly the same job. It's crazy.

    P
     
  8. Da Dego

    Da Dego Brett Thomas

    Joined:
    17 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    3,913
    Likes Received:
    1
    I guess that's it - I've been using linux for YEARS. Along with Windows for YEARS. And I know just what you're talking about, I just don't SEE what you're talking about. Not anymore. Because it's a holdover misconception from back prior to Ubuntu.

    Ubuntu - package manager. Done. It does ALL of this for you. Your WHOLE argument. THAT's why you're getting so much flak - because this argument is years old from when we were all on debian or gentoo or fedora. It just isn't done that way anymore - not on ubuntu, not on Mint. not on any distro that's in common use for desktop PCs. Those URLs you complained about? They're just like an "auto-update" where you don't need to go on NV's page anymore EVER to download new drivers. Or anything else for that matter.

    The "package manager" is your one-stop install-remove-and-update-shop for everything. No cli, no scripts, no configs. Every linux user here is scratching his head wondering wtf you're on about, or shaking it that some people just can't get past that image of linux when we were compiling our kernels in dark basements.

    Hope that helps. If it doesn't, I'm sorry, but there's really nothing more I can say. :( I don't mean to sound like 'nix is the best thing ever, because it's (just like windows) got its own purposes and its own fallings down. But your view is, sadly, archaic. If I told you my whole opinion of windows was from Millennium Edition, maybe you'd see my point.
     
  9. HourBeforeDawn

    HourBeforeDawn a.k.a KazeModz

    Joined:
    26 Oct 2006
    Posts:
    2,637
    Likes Received:
    6
    ya I have to say Windows7 has pretty much eliminated any needs for linux I may once had.
     
  10. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

    Joined:
    27 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    1,415
    Likes Received:
    10
    But it doesn't, does it. Again, look at the article preceding these comments. Three bits of software installed, three completely different procedures to do it, none of which are in any way consistent with the others, and at least one of them is, by sane standards, incredibly techy and complicated. To install a graphics driver!

    There are other examples. You can't by default play DVDs or h.264 video on Ubuntu, among other formats, for complex reasons involving opensource politics and lots of other things I don't care about. In order to make it happen you have to hack text files with complex code strings.

    "apt-get install foo" is the glib response to any criticism involving package management on linux and I'm sorry but it just does not hold water. apt can be a horribly dangerous piece of software - I have sat by and watched it destroy operating systems. The reason it does this is generally because you've hacked the wrong code string into the wrong file. It's a vicious circle because you're more or less forced to do this in order to make the system do anything useful; all you can do is google or ask in a chat room, and you'll be fed some complex Magic Strings. You have very little chance of being able to reverse-engineer most of what these things do so you're left with very little choice but to just do as you're told and hope.

    This is not years ago, this is now, today.
     
  11. Anakha

    Anakha Minimodder

    Joined:
    6 Sep 2002
    Posts:
    587
    Likes Received:
    7
    Just because he didn't do it "The package manager way", doesn't mean you CAN'T do it "The package manager way".

    The package manager way to install the graphics card driver is:
    • Open Synaptic
    • Open "Manage Repositories"
    • Enable the "Non-Free" Repository (And refresh the list when it asks you to)
    • Search for "NVidia"
    • Check the box against the version you want to install (Probably the newest)
    • Click "Apply"
    Job done.
    That means you get the latest tested version (Not necessarily the very latest version - Just like what you get with Windows Update) installed, which will also be managed and auto-updated by the package management software.

    And the reason DVD playback isn't included within Ubuntu by default isn't some "Political" reason, it's some "Legal" reason - Under US law (the DMCA, to be precise), the DVD Decryption routines Linux uses are illegal. Just like the way Windows Vista (and below) didn't come with a way to play back DVDs out of the box either. It just so happens that everyone who sold a Vista PC, or a non-OEM DVD drive, bundled a version of some (legal) DVD playback software in with it.

    And you CAN play back H.264 video out of the box on Linux - MPlayer, VLC, Xine and more all support it straight away. So I've got NO idea what you're talking about there.

    And "Hack complex text files"? You mean open a single text file, read it, and copy/paste the instruction inside that text file into a "run" box? That's too complex for you? Compared to, say, watching an AVI file downloaded from the 'net on Windows?
     
  12. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

    Joined:
    27 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    1,415
    Likes Received:
    10
    So why didn't he? Because he's a linux user and he has an unquenchable need to prove how clever he is by doing everything in the most complicated and difficult way possible? Does he walk everywhere on his hands as well?

    One of the main causes I find for advanced text-file hackery on Linux is doing exactly this sort of thing. In my experience in order to install anything the community has arbitrarily decided is "non-free" you end up "adding repositories", which involves adding things to various text files and typing commands beginning with "apt-get" which invariably fail. That's what I mean, and yes, yes, that is very much too complex for me just for the sake of installing a single program. Only someone who's been stuck on Linux for years could possibly consider this normal or appropriate.

    I could spend half an hour describing the specifics of the grief and troubles I've had with the procedures necessary to play these formats on linux, but suffice to say it is most certainly not out-of-the-box. You can probably install windows 7 and VLC in the time it takes just to get VLC onto Ubuntu, and even then it won't be properly integrated and you'll end up typing all your filenames into shells in order to make it use the player you'd like it to use. My advice to new Linux users is to evaluate whether you can do what you need to do with the software that comes with the install, because if you can't, adding new stuff is an absolute nightmare. That "world of high quality free software" you were promised by the nerds may well exist but you won't be getting anywhere near it!

    P
     
  13. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 May 2005
    Posts:
    5,841
    Likes Received:
    80
    :duh:
     
  14. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

    Joined:
    27 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    1,415
    Likes Received:
    10
    Well that's an absolutely piss-poor excuse, isn't it - are your GUIs really that badly designed (the answer is: why yes, they are!)
     
  15. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 May 2005
    Posts:
    5,841
    Likes Received:
    80
    Cool what ever Phil your arguments have clearly degenerated in to going over the same ground over and over, when you have some constructive feed back to make to people i'm sure there will be some one willing to listen to your basically incoherent ranting but till then laters.
     
  16. LAGMonkey

    LAGMonkey Group 7 error

    Joined:
    4 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    1,507
    Likes Received:
    8
    As ive said before on the forum, my Zotac ION is perfect for what i want and i run vanilla XBMC. Ive just upgraded to Karmac the new version of XBMC.
    I would strongly recomend that anyone connecting via the HDMI to start learning about Mode Lines for the xorg.conf. Before i did this to my system i would get overscan on my samsung TV as well as never being able to achieve 1920x1080i at 24Hz. This would cause stuttering on some content.
    Now i have three settings that the Zotac box will switch between depending on the content. 1920x1080@24hz, 1920x1080@30hz and 1920x1080@60hz. (these are interlaced resolutions as my TV can only do 1080i ).
    Some other things in the xorg.conf are disabeling "TwinView" to reduce stutter etc. With Linux there are many many ways to skin a cat!

    Id also recomend getting a Bluetooth remote for it. I use a PS3 remote for mine and since some very kind people on the XBMC forums (yea i know i look at other forums... sorry bit! ) have made it a LOT easier to get the remote working. As Boxee is a fancy facebook version of XBMC it will be easy to get stuff working.
    As for my ION, its a single core atom with the power brick, it makes everything sooo much easier (not to mention smaller) and even with only 521Meg of RAM in it i can still play High Def content without problems. Hell itll even play the "Killa" sample! (44MBps video stream)
     
  17. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

    Joined:
    27 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    1,415
    Likes Received:
    10
    Sometimes you have to research your examples, and sometimes, well, they're just handed to you on a plate :)
     
  18. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 May 2005
    Posts:
    5,841
    Likes Received:
    80
  19. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

    Joined:
    27 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    1,415
    Likes Received:
    10
    Yes Steve.

    That's Windows in a failure mode being about half as complex as Linux is as a matter of course.

    I mean - what exactly is a mode line, and what would be an appropriate one for my Toshiba TV?
     
  20. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    8,614
    Likes Received:
    197
    Phil your like an arrogant American on holiday, rather than learning the native language of the country your visiting you insist on screaming at the top of your voice.

    So to carry this on the country your visiting (ubuntu) could be far better than your home (windows) at different tasks.

    So quit trolling!
     
Tags: Add Tags

Share This Page