Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Daughters, Driving & Texting (Score 1) 367

When my daughter was a teenager and going to beauty school, I let her drive my Ford F150 truck to school. She crashed it twice while texting and driving. TWICE! At least she was honest about it. Once she ran into the back of some poor slob in a little Toyota something or other. The little Toyota got creamed! The thing was nearly totaled. My truck only got a hole in the plastic bumper valence. Fortunately goofball daughter didn't get a scratch on her either time. Her victims were almost as lucky.

Comment Re:No place for 'almost', 'not quite' and 'nearly' (Score 1) 423

I agree. When they tried to change to a mobile phone retailer, they didn't do well. Their purpose became muddied and second class. When I did go into one for a cable, connector or part, it was my last resort if I wanted it today. They often did not have it or had it for an absurd price. It would be costly now to change back to their roots, but I don't think there is an alternative if they intend to survive. If they return to a hobbyist store, they should do it with all their heart and purpose....or go back to selling leather.

Submission + - Refurbished Hardware 1

RudyHartmann writes: My New (Refurbished) HP Monster with Mint 16 KDE

Here is how I bought a great refurbished computer to run Linux. I would also like to make it clear that I have no interest in any of these companies.

I had a Pentium 4 computer for a few years that I had built for myself with an Intel D915GAG motherboard. It proved to be a faithful workhorse but was getting a little old. The motherboard cannot access more than 4G of DRAM and the single core 3 Ghz CPU also needed help. So I decided to upgrade to a newer computer.

But being on a limited budget, I needed to try to get the most bang for the buck as possible. So I noticed on eBay that there were a bunch of used and refurbished Hewlett Packard (HP) xw8600 workstations. These computers have 2 sockets for Intel Xeon processors. So I bought one of them from a company in Minnesota called Server Worlds. They had some refurbished ones at a great price listed on eBay, but they were willing to negotiate with me for a lower price when I called them.

Serverworlds Inc.
17100 Medina Rd. Suite 500
Plymouth, MN 55447 U.S.A.
(763) 557-1181

I bought an xw8600 with a single quad core 3Ghz Xeon for $290. It came with 4G of DDR2 memory, an ATI Radeon Card and a 250 GB SATA drive. They also shipped it with a keyboard and mouse, but no operating system. I called them and asked if they had another Xeon CPU they could install. That CPU with the HP fan cost an extra $75. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

When it came in, I pulled the nVidia card out of my old PC and put it in my xw8600. The card has an nVidia GT520 chip with 2G of video memory. I also took the 2TB Seagate Barracuda SATA drive out of the old PC and put it in the xw8600.

The xw8600 is refurbished by Server Worlds. It is clean and looks practically new. Then I bought 32GB of DDR2-667, PC2-5300, Fully Buffered, ECC, 1.8V, 240-pin, memory modules. There are 8 memory slots in the xw8600, so they are in 4GB modules. These are not the regular commodity modules most PC's com with because they have error checking built in. The xw8600 can be expanded to a monstrous 128GB of DRAM memory with special riser cards too. In order to get the proper specifications for memory, you can go to the Micron website. Micron is a US maker of memory chips. After you get a part number and exact specifications you can shop eBay for lots a cheap memory. Here is the website for memory specifications:

Then I installed Mint 16 KDE 64-bit and did all the updates. My PC now can directly access 32G of DRAM with 8 Xeon cores running! I actually only use Windows for work. I much prefer Linux.

I used the entire 2TB drive. Then I booted with a Linux Mint 16 KDE 64-bit DVD. I then downloaded and installed all the latest Linux patches. After this I installed the latest nVidia driver that came with the Mint DVD.

Once I had my computer running properly, I added the Edgers PPA and the latest KDE release from the Kubuntu website. By upgrading Mint Linux 16, you will get a recent modern Linux kernel and nVidia driver 331.38. Go into a terminal and type these commands in to upgrade your drivers and kernel:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

After you have done these steps, reboot and enter another terminal session. We will now upgrade KDE:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

After having done all this, I also installed Windows XP Pro and Windows 7 each in separate virtual machines using VirtualBox. I assigned 4G of RAM to Windows 7 and 2G of RAM to the XP VM.

This is the fastest and most solid computer I have ever had. I could not be happier. For all the specs on my refurbished xw8600, you can get all that from HP's website at:

Comment SpaceX (Score 1) 250

I've seen the thousands of people used to monitor space launches run by government programs. Like all government programs, they become public works projects. My son works for SpaceX in Torrance California. Their last successful launch of the Falcon 9 had 39 guys monitoring the launch. 39! I am doubtful China can match SpaceX. I can't wait till the manned Dragon capsule launch.I hope SpaceX eats everybody else's lunch. I confident they will too. :-)

Comment Re:The funny thing about this... (Score 4, Informative) 187

There are 3 companies. Genica, Evertek, and Geeks. They're 2 blocks away from me in Temecula, California. Only the brick and mortar retail store is in Oceanside now. If you're a business, you can still buy from Evertek. I think they just bailed out of the online retail business. They have a pretty huge warehouse right here in Temecula. I just got the email notice, so I'm not sure what the rest of all this means yet. I'll find out more Monday though.

Comment Desktop Linux Has Gotten So Good (Score 1) 1215

I have a dual boot on some of my machines using Windows 7 and OpenSuse 12.3. Most of them just run OpenSuse Linux though. I really like Mint too, but my preferred UI is KDE. I only boot Windows now when I have to. I have mostly had an uneasy relationship with Microsoft for years. I kept spending and upgrading the OS, the utilities and other add-ons. I was convinced I needed to stay with Windows. But after being asked to help my friends, family and colleagues with their trashed Windows installations, I decided to tell them I would only help them if I could install Linux. First of all, everybody wants a copy of my damn software. I fricken paid for it and it was getting old and annoying with all the friends, family and colleagues that were asking me to give them the copies I paid for. My reply to a plea for help has been, call the local computer guy and give him your card number or agree to trying Linux. The first reason to install Linux for them is that it is legal and doesn't affect my licenses. Second, it is FREE and that was hard for them to argue with. Third, doing a full Linux install to a fraction of the time that a Windows install too. My kid's behavior online kept pounding their Windows installations. They didn't obey my rules for the Internet. But they needed it for school work too. Fine, now their installations don't break and even if they did, it would be free and less timely to fix. Another benefit is my kids are now grown and the Linux experience I forced on them, has enhanced their career opportunities and resumes. At the office I replaced the server and workstation OS's and everything still runs great. My computers also are easier to deal with. Linux uses all human readable config files. I don't like regedit or "win.ini" edits. Yes, there still are some decent Windows products. But the reason to use them is because others annoy you to keep them in the fold and you aren't motivated enough to try something else yourself. Microsoft will always be with us and a force to be aware of, but they're relevance is in decline. They might have their "Coca Cola" moment with Windows 8 and 8.1, but the horses have already left the barn. Most young people use mobile phones more so than anything else. They will be more familiar with a UI like that at the desktop at work, and so will their eyes when they age. None of them are using Windows on phones. Of all the people I have helped, only 2 have gone back to Windows. Some that have bought new computers with Windows 8 have begged me to come over again and get rid of it. The handwriting is on the wall.

Slashdot Top Deals

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.