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Comment: Linux actually a radio button option for a change (Score 4, Interesting) 123

by rklrkl (#48948209) Attached to: Dell Continues Shipping Fresh Linux Laptops

It's nice to see that Dell have put Linux as an OS option right next to WIndows (and $101 cheaper than Windows too). A bit strange for them to ship a Linux release that initially has no Thunderbolt support, though I suspect not many people use Thunderbolt-only hardware outside of the Apple ecosystem.

Defaults to an HDD in the config options which is also weird, especially since it appears to have 2 drive bays, so surely you'd want an SSD in there in one of the bays?

The higher res screen is only a $70 bump, so it would appear to be a no-brainer to pick that option. If the final price wasn't so eye-wateringly high (and me being in the UK probably means it'll either not appear on the UK dell site or be a dollar to pound conversion), it would be an attractive high-end Linux laptop.

Comment: A few if statements needed... (Score 5, Informative) 329

by rklrkl (#48829909) Attached to: Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

Something like this might have helped:

if [ "$STEAMROOT" != "" -a "$STEAMROOT" != "/" ]
          if [ -d "$STEAMROOT" ]
        then your evil deletion of $STEAMROOT here

Should avoid at least a full deletion traversal of the filestore, but it's still got a risk that $STEAMROOT might be ~username (or /tmp, which is less critical).

Comment: Vinyl? Never bought it, never will (Score 0) 278

by rklrkl (#48719353) Attached to: Vinyl's Revival Is Now a Phenomenon On Both Sides of the Atlantic

I suspect that the majority of households in the UK and US no longer have a vinyl turntable any more now that CDs have been around for 30 years and of those, hardly any would consider buying a turntable any time soon. Even CD players are on a similar downward slide (probably Blu Ray/DVD players keeping them alive more than anything else) with downloads and streaming rapidly becoming the method of choice.

I never bought vinyl myself because unless you take great care with the discs and have a top quality turntable as well, a well mastered CD (i.e. not horribly compressed) is going to generally sound at least as good as vinyl, if not better. Don't forget it's trivial to back up a CD using a PC (into a myriad of formats including ISO, FLAC, mp3, ogg, wav etc.) and much, much harder to do so with a vinyl record (USB turntables can do it, but they're not a massively popular item).

The only advantage I can see with vinyl is the larger artwork, but nowadays that's long been replaced by a downloadable digital PDF booklet (which can be resized bigger than the vinyl artwork :-) ).

Comment: Probably had 10 pounds postage too.... (Score 1) 138

by rklrkl (#48605225) Attached to: Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

Because most Marketplace sellers on Amazon UK charge postage (and often hefty amounts even for small/light items), they often use a bad feature of Amazon's "sort by price" option - it doesn't include postage in the sort - to mark many items as costing a penny. Those items then very annoyingly appear first in multiple pages of "sorted" results and it's only when you click on them that you find the postage is 500 times the so-called cost of the product.

If you ask me, it's karma coming back to bite those sellers on the arse - maybe the third-party software dropped the postage charge by mistake? I do wish Amazon UK would sort prices *inclusive* of postage - this misleading price sort has been going for many, many years. Failing that, at least set price minimums (e.g. 49p without postage and 99p with postage).

Comment: Linux Chrome 35 already dropped NPAPI (Score 1) 107

by rklrkl (#48455887) Attached to: Google Chrome Will Block All NPAPI Plugins By Default In January

I believe Google dropped NPAPI support in Linux for version 35 onwards. This *immediately* broke all Java applets (as far as I know, there's no PPAPI Java plug-in), which wasn't great for sysadmins using Java VNC applets (yes, I know about noVNC, but not all Web UIs have moved to that) or F1 timing on as a consumer example.

Comment: Any other site that does what Freecode did? (Score 1) 62

by rklrkl (#47270883) Attached to: Freecode Freezeup

Freecode was useful to simply find out what new/updated software (sometimes not always free, hmmm...) had been recently released regardless of where the code is hosted. Is there any other site that provides such a list in date order? Suggesting Sourceforge as an alternative isn't great (I can't find a list of date-ordered project releases - not individual files, which are in one of their RSS feeds - on the Sourceforge site).

Comment: I just use a real Android device (Score 4, Insightful) 167

by rklrkl (#47261145) Attached to: Android Needs a Simulator, Not an Emulator

Whilst playing around a little with Eclipse and the Android SDK, I found it much easier to just plug in my Android tablet (or it could be an Android phone or both) and download/run the app on that. You get to check rotation, multi-touch, camera etc. a lot more easily this way and it's just as easy (if not more so) than running the emulator. Of course, there could be Android devs without any Android devices at all, but I suspect that's a tiny minority.

The main use of the emulator is probably just to test different screen dimensions render OK - I personally wouldn't use it during the bulk of development though.

Comment: Re:Linux, it's harder than you've been told. (Score 1) 293

by rklrkl (#47044921) Attached to: Linux Sucks (Video)

In my experience, it's Windows that doesn't play well with the MBR or provide any sort of menu system for non-Windows OS'es like the way grub does. In fact, the Windows installer is amazingly bad from a dual (or triple etc.) boot kind of way:

It won't touch a partition formatted in anything it doesn't understand (you can't even re-format it in the installer). You actually have to trick the Windows installer by using fdisk in Linux to change the partition ID to something like 7 (NTFS) and then magically the Windows installer will let you format it. Quite surprising how dumb this is, because surely MS would *want* to destroy non-Windows partitions the first chance it gets?

The Windows installer in the latest releases insists on hogging the first partition on the first drive in your system (i.e. it has to be formatted to Windows format), which is utterly appalling.

The Windows installer destroys the MBR (and effectively kills grub) with no attempt analyse it or the various non-Windows OS'es that might be on the rest of your system. This is disgraceful behaviour - most Linux distros will detect existing OS'es (including Windows) and set up grub menu items for them.

Of course, to work around these atrocities, you soon learn that you install Windows first (letting it wreck your MBR and partition setup) and then Linux second. You then get a dual boot grub menu with both Linux and Windows items.
If you have to re-install Windows later on, it will destroy the MBR yet again, so you end up having to boot a Live Linux distro and run grub commands to restore the MBR/grub setup.

So, to sum it up, the Windows installer is nasty to anything else that isn't Windows on your system , both on initial install and on any further re-install. So the blame here is 100% with Windows and not grub or Linux.

Comment: Re:No Android browser can currently cast a tab (Score 1) 26

by rklrkl (#47038243) Attached to: Chromecast Support Coming To Mobile Firefox

Er, Google Chrome on desktop Linux can cast a tab with the Google Cast extension extension in the Chrome store, so I've no idea why you claim no Linux browser can do this. If you use CentOS 6 like I do, you can even get Google Chrome running with my script.

The Firefox bug for all this seemed to be swaying backwards and forwards between using the SDK and not using it. Latest updates seem to suggest it *is* using the Chromecast SDK now, which unfortunately means desktop Firefox and Firefox OS may be left out in the cold initially.

Comment: No Android browser can currently cast a tab (Score 4, Insightful) 26

by rklrkl (#47032953) Attached to: Chromecast Support Coming To Mobile Firefox

People are moaning why desktop Firefox isn't going to cast a tab at the same time as the Android Firefox will. Firstly, I believe they *aren't* using the Chromecast SDK so the chances are good that desktop Firefox will follow not too long after Android Firefox. Secondly, no Android browser can currently cast a tab, so Mozilla are actually heading for a platform first - embarrassingly beating Google to it! - if they concentrate on Android Firefox first for tab casting.

Comment: Cheap desktop PC with 5 or 6 hard drive slots? (Score 1) 983

by rklrkl (#46471849) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Assuming you don't need RAID on the backup device itself, then a cheap desktop PC (usually from a custom white box builder - most OEM PCs don't come with enough SATA connectors/hard drive bays) with 5 or 6 4TB SATA hard drives does the trick. Sure, it'll cost you a fair amount for the hardware (in the UK, probably around 1,000 pounds or so), but it might be the most flexible solution (e.g. could be located offsite if you're paranoid, though you'd need a fast connection to it - at least 100 Mbits/sec I'd have thought - for that amount of data).

Of course, if you then want to keep multiple archive copies, then you'd have to look at compressing the backups and/or perhaps using backup software that does incrementals (e.g. Amanda on Linux or whatever). Another much pricier alternative is multiple spanning Ultrium 5 tapes in 24-slot autoloader attached to a machine with little local storage (1-2 TB free for holding space), but we're talking 5,000 pounds or so for this solution.

Comment: Anaconda needs love... (Score 1) 128

by rklrkl (#45949243) Attached to: Fedora 21 Linux Will Be Nameless

I don't know about you, but I really don't like the redesigned Fedora installer (Anaconda) that's turned up in recent Fedora releases. It's quite SHOUTY (yes, headings in full capitals and bold too!) and the disk partitioning section is frankly awful (very non-obvious, mixed units and it took me ages to work out how to create a partition that used all the remaining space - answer: put a huge value for the size and it'll round it down to what's left).

Fedora with the MATE desktop isn't too bad, but sadly that's the not the desktop that's the default selection. I also seem to remember a couple of releases (18 and 19 I think) that were incredibly show to both show the login screen and the post-login desktop in VirtualBox (20-25 secs for each on an i7 machine with a couple of CPU cores allocated!), though it looks like Fedora 20 fixed this. Many people will install Fedora in a VM first (particularly if they're Windows users) and if it performs poorly there, it won't get installed on the bare metal.

I basically gave up on bare metal Fedora from 15 onwards - no coincidence that the frankly dreadful GNOME 3 came out at the same time. Once I saw how bad it was in a VM, my preferred OS became CentOS 6, whose combo of GNOME 2, GRUB 1 and SysVInit scripts (all of which are much easier to use than their "better" successors) remains probably the peak combo we've seen to date in a mainstream Linux distro.

Comment: Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (Score 1) 186

by rklrkl (#45896117) Attached to: Red Hat To Help Develop CentOS

The RHEL/CentOS kernel does get security and bug fix backports from later kernels, but the reason it runs such an "old" kernel is for stability reasons. Most Windows desktop users never upgrade their OS to a newer major release during the lifetime of their PC (because it costs money and can be a hassle - remember most of the world's desktops are running the OS that was pre-installed when the machine was bought), but apparently most Linux desktop users are constantly chasing the bleeding edge if you're to be believed.

The problem with most Linux distros is that their support window is very narrow - usually less than 18 months and definitely less than the lifetime of a typical desktop PC. This is where CentOS scores heavily against Ubuntu - 10 years of updates to the OS, so *you* decide when to jump to the next major OS release and you're not effectively forced to jump releases half-way through your PC's lifespan.

Also note that it's not the kernel version that's a problem with CentOS, it's the older system libraries (particularly glibc, X11, Gnome etc.) that cause issues, particularly if you want to run closed-source binaries. Google Chrome is probably the highest profile casualty of this, which is why I cooked up a script to install the latest Google Chrome on CentOS 6.

Comment: Not that exciting... (Score 1) 107

by rklrkl (#45844247) Attached to: NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 Tested, Fastest Android 4.3 Slate Under $200

I saw the specs for the Tegra Note a while ago and got a bit bored with them because:

1. It's not a Nexus device, so is already behind with its Android version. Now it may be with the many updates to the Nvidia Shield, we might see speedy updates to the Note as well, but until this actually happens, I'll err on the side of caution.

2. I would prefer an 8" display in the same dimensions and weight as a typical 7" tablet (e.g. reduce the bezel width). 7" displays aren't just quite large enough, IMHO.

3. The screen resolution is 1280x800, not 1280x720, but even so that only matches the 2012 Nexus 7 from 18 months ago and partially explains why its graphics benchmarks are so good.

Having said all that, Currys in the UK are selling it at 129.99 pounds ($215), which is actually a very good price for a decently spec'ed tablet in the UK.

C for yourself.