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Computer Hardware/Software Thread


Aphex
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Figured we could use a computer thread, since I couldn't find an already existing one. What operating systems do you guys use? I use Windows 7 myself, but I'm planning on switching to a linux distro when I get my SSD. I ordered myself the Samsung 850 EVO 250gb SSD from Amazon the other day for £68. I was considering going for a cheaper one of a different brand, but I've heard the Samsung SSDs are pretty reliable, and it comes with a pretty satisfying 5 year warranty. I spent an extra fiver to get it directly from Amazon too, since their returns and customer service (while not amazing) can at least be counted on more than some foreign supplier.

 

Once I get it, I'll be moving to Linux, but I don't know what distro yet. I've heard good things about Mint. Anyone got some advice for me here?

 

 

Another thing, anyone dealt with the Samsung cloning software? I've heard a bit about it, but not all of it great.

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I like Debian and Arch. I dislike Mint but the last time I tried it was a good 6 years ago.

 

Yeah, I've heard Mint used to be quite unreliable but in the last 2 or so years it's been improved massively. I'm still very new to Linux, I've only dabbled in Ubuntu before, really. I just went through a load of the different distros, checking what they looked like and how people reviewed them and such, and Linux Mint Cinnamon looks great, and is basically all I could've wished for.

 

It's GUI is bloody lovely and smooth, unlike Ubuntu's which I could never really find all that appealing. Whist not bad, Ubuntu is not as customisable as Mint, and customisation is something I enjoy. I've heard Arch is very good, but you need to be fairly knowledgeable in Linux before dabbling in it, really. As a beginner, Mint seems like a nice middle ground for someone who's new but technologically minded and eager to learn the ins and outs of operating Linux.

 

Cinnamon_1.4_on_Linux_Mint_12.png

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I've always had crappy old machines so Ubuntu and Mint were pretty slow for them, although Ubuntu was my main OS for a while.

 

Nowadays when I use Linux (for example on my Pi or when I'm developing) I almost always use it headless, so I just shell in from another machine. This is the real beauty of Linux for me, I am more of a keyboard guy and I can do so much (basically everything I care about) from the command line. The only thing that's been awkward is wifi setup. When I do use a window manager I usually prefer a minimal one, just enough to use Renoise and a browser basically.

 

Arch is definitely awkward to get going with but it can be fun and educational to set up because it doesn't hide as much from you. I think Debian would be a good distro for someone at your comfort level with Linux but distro choice is a very personal thing and it sounds like you found your baby :)

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Another thing, anyone dealt with the Samsung cloning software? I've heard a bit about it, but not all of it great.

tried it 2 times on different systems and it worked flawlessly and effortlessly both times.

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I've always had crappy old machines so Ubuntu and Mint were pretty slow for them, although Ubuntu was my main OS for a while.

 

Nowadays when I use Linux (for example on my Pi or when I'm developing) I almost always use it headless, so I just shell in from another machine. This is the real beauty of Linux for me, I am more of a keyboard guy and I can do so much (basically everything I care about) from the command line. The only thing that's been awkward is wifi setup. When I do use a window manager I usually prefer a minimal one, just enough to use Renoise and a browser basically.

 

Arch is definitely awkward to get going with but it can be fun and educational to set up because it doesn't hide as much from you. I think Debian would be a good distro for someone at your comfort level with Linux but distro choice is a very personal thing and it sounds like you found your baby :)

 

If you've dual booted linux before, I could do with a bit of advice on partitioning. I plan on installing windows 7 to the SSD first, partitioning around 20gb off on the SSD, then installing Linux Mint. The process I'm thinking of is to establish that 20gb as the root folder, then make a swap partition of around 8gb (I have 8gb of RAM) on my 2tb HDD. Then I'll have a large partition (maybe like 250gb?) on the HDD which I'll allocate for /home and that's where all my music and documents will be.

 

This way I can have all my large files on my HDD and have the operating system and a bit of space for a few select programs on my SSD. Does that sound like a good idea? Another point, if it turns out I need more than 20gb on my SSD or 250gb on my HDD at some point, can I somehow edit that partition to make it bigger?

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When dual booting I usually partitioned one hard drive (because I was cheap) but the consensus is that this is suboptimal for performance and iirc for data integrity. Not sure whether this applies to SSD though.

 

My understanding is that the ideal setup is one (smallish) drive per OS and at least one big general data drive with a file system that can be accessed by all the OSes. So I think you are on the right track although it would be better to put Mint on its own drive. Regardless, be sure to back up your MBR after installing Windows so can back out Linux if needed.

 

If I remember right you should partition before installing Windows but it's been a while. I always started with parted/gparted.

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When dual booting I usually partitioned one hard drive (because I was cheap) but the consensus is that this is suboptimal for performance and iirc for data integrity. Not sure whether this applies to SSD though.

 

My understanding is that the ideal setup is one (smallish) drive per OS and at least one big general data drive with a file system that can be accessed by all the OSes. So I think you are on the right track although it would be better to put Mint on its own drive. Regardless, be sure to back up your MBR after installing Windows so can back out Linux if needed.

 

If I remember right you should partition before installing Windows but it's been a while. I always started with parted/gparted.

 

Okay, so is there away to have a shared data for both Linux and Windows? So my documents folder in Windows links to my documents folder in Linux, the same with my music folder and such, and they can be edited and added to by both OS'. If so, that'd make much simpler. There'd be no need for duplicate files or anything like that. My origninal plan was just have have them completely seperated, but if this exists that'd improve it massively.

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Last time I installed Mint there was an option to have my Windows partition appear in the Linux file system as /windows. Can't remember the specifics but it's doable.

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When dual booting I usually partitioned one hard drive (because I was cheap) but the consensus is that this is suboptimal for performance and iirc for data integrity. Not sure whether this applies to SSD though.

 

My understanding is that the ideal setup is one (smallish) drive per OS and at least one big general data drive with a file system that can be accessed by all the OSes. So I think you are on the right track although it would be better to put Mint on its own drive. Regardless, be sure to back up your MBR after installing Windows so can back out Linux if needed.

 

If I remember right you should partition before installing Windows but it's been a while. I always started with parted/gparted.

Okay, so is there away to have a shared data for both Linux and Windows? So my documents folder in Windows links to my documents folder in Linux, the same with my music folder and such, and they can be edited and added to by both OS'. If so, that'd make much simpler. There'd be no need for duplicate files or anything like that. My origninal plan was just have have them completely seperated, but if this exists that'd improve it massively.

Yes, exactly. There should be a way, just make sure to use a filesystem that both Windows and Mint can read.
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One thing you don't want to do is have a setup where you use two seperate partitions often while booting a given OS, unless it's unavoidable (like with laptops with one HDD)

 

You don't want to be thrashing back and forth between your OS partition and shared data partition, then again buffering can reduce this some I'm sure. On laptops with one HDD it's unavoidable but on a desktop it's optimal to always keep OSes on their own HDD and data on another. Probably stating the obvious but yeah

 

I boot w7 off a 256gb SSD, then 1TB HDD for data storage. If you don't boot off an SSD you are missing out on a slice of heaven. Nothing will speed up the response time of your system more.

Edited by Zeffolia
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