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GeneralRe: Argh. Javascript ID tags Pin
Mycroft Holmes9-Dec-17 0:28
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GeneralRe: Argh. Javascript ID tags Pin
Jeremy Falcon8-Dec-17 6:55
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Marc Clifton8-Dec-17 7:47
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ZurdoDev8-Dec-17 8:19
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GeneralThat Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. PinPopular
dandy728-Dec-17 6:01
memberdandy728-Dec-17 6:01 
It hasn't been 3 fulls weeks since I've posted a message here in the lounge praising the current state of Linux. The short version of that post is that I have an old machine dedicated for watching media hooked up to a projector, and it's been sluggish with Windows 10, which had also been giving me trouble with updates, so I installed Lubuntu on it (a lightweight version of Ubuntu) and it's performing a lot better--at least in terms of always remaining responsive. Everything "just worked" and the machine served its (single) purpose again beautifully.

Cue to today. Now that I've had a few weeks of "real use" out of it, the review isn't so glowing anymore.

a) Video drivers. Even though the machine is old, it played back 1080p video just fine, so long as I had Nvidia's ION driver installed, which is trivial to install on Windows. Nvidia has a version for Linux, but it looks like it's a few kernel versions behind, so it doesn't install on the current Lubuntu (17.10). I'm no Linux kernel developer, which you apparently have to be in order to figure out how to get things working in this sort of situation. I had to give up on that, which is pretty much a showstopper as, without hardware acceleration, 1080p video stutters all over the place and is basically unwatchable. 720p, with just the basic video driver, "works", but it's definitely glitchy here and there.

b) LAN connections. Again, I'm no Linux expert, but I do know enough so that using "smb://machinename" in the file browser was all that was needed to access shares on other machines on my LAN. It worked well for about a week. Then it simply refused to access anything from the machine hosting my media files (some generic timeout error, even though it's clearly not spending any time waiting for a response, as the error is immediate). However, other machines on my LAN remained accessible to it. The consistent fix was to reboot the machine hosting my media files, even though other (Windows) machines could read everything with no issue. That machine is also hosting other files that are needed elsewhere, and rebooting all the time is going to upset some processes, so that's not a long-term solution.

c) The straw that broke the camel's back: One day the machine booted at 640x480 only, and refused to go back to whatever native resolution my projector is using (it's not a monitor+projector configuration - only the projector is hooked up to it). No amount of rebooting would change it back, and given the other two problems I already had, I knew that even if I managed to solve this by messing around with video configuration files (which I've done exactly once, years ago), this machine was destined anyway to get flattened/rebuilt from scratch.

I just so happened to have a recent version of CentOS on a bootable USB stick. I figured why not try another distribution altogether. The installation went fine, only, after the first reboot, I was looking at a blank screen (not even a blinking cursor). I've used the same image to set up VMs, so I know it works.

Now...I'm the guy who will spend hours, if not days, of his spare time digging into technical problems and keep looking long after others have given up. However, this is a machine I use when I simply want to kick back, turn off my brain, and watch something for an evening--in other words, this is the machine I use when I want to walk away from problems I'm trying to solve. So in this particular case, I simply have no patience for fiddling with OS settings.

So this week, back to Windows 10 I went. It's not without its own problems, but I can at least get it in a state where it's functional, it'll play 1080p flawlessly, and then I can leave it alone. Updates be damned if they start breaking - this machine isn't used to access the internet.

Linux...you're so close, yet still so far from actually being usable.

Rant over.
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
OriginalGriff8-Dec-17 6:20
protectorOriginalGriff8-Dec-17 6:20 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
pkfox8-Dec-17 6:22
professionalpkfox8-Dec-17 6:22 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
madwilliamflint8-Dec-17 11:03
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GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Cornelius Henning8-Dec-17 6:56
professionalCornelius Henning8-Dec-17 6:56 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Daniel Wilianto11-Dec-17 16:33
memberDaniel Wilianto11-Dec-17 16:33 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
lopatir8-Dec-17 7:44
memberlopatir8-Dec-17 7:44 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
dandy728-Dec-17 11:35
memberdandy728-Dec-17 11:35 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Nelek8-Dec-17 14:10
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GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
lopatir8-Dec-17 20:51
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GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Munchies_Matt8-Dec-17 22:48
memberMunchies_Matt8-Dec-17 22:48 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Munchies_Matt8-Dec-17 22:48
memberMunchies_Matt8-Dec-17 22:48 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Nelek9-Dec-17 4:34
protectorNelek9-Dec-17 4:34 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Munchies_Matt8-Dec-17 22:47
memberMunchies_Matt8-Dec-17 22:47 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Marc Clifton8-Dec-17 7:57
protectorMarc Clifton8-Dec-17 7:57 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
dandy728-Dec-17 11:38
memberdandy728-Dec-17 11:38 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Munchies_Matt8-Dec-17 22:50
memberMunchies_Matt8-Dec-17 22:50 
GeneralRe: That Linux praise?...I take at least part of it back. Pin
Joan M8-Dec-17 10:44
professionalJoan M8-Dec-17 10:44 

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