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Building an Ion-powered Linux Media PC

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steveo_mcg 4th December 2009, 10:44 Quote
I'm the first to admit that its not perfect, its not. Show me the OS that is. For example Phil explain how having just moved from an ATI gfx card to a nVidia card one would get windows to run stably? I suspect your right why don't you go back to the windows threads we'll call when we need your opinion on how perfect windows is.
Phil Rhodes 4th December 2009, 11:14 Quote
Personally I'd probably take that as an opportunity for a reinstall - but that's part of the issue. You'd just reinstall windows, and in a couple of hours you'd be done. Linux, you'd be at it days, googling desperately for all the Magic Make It Work Strings, and you'd probably never quite get it back the way it was before.

And you do need my opinion, and the opinion of everyone else who says "stuff linux it's too much trouble". You do indeed need the input of those people, but you just don't see it that way, do you?
steveo_mcg 4th December 2009, 11:27 Quote
Exactly you would spend hours doing what should be a completely unnecessary procedure where as in three simple "Magic" commands you'd be off. You don't even get that the fact that you have to do a reinstall every now and again is ridiculous your just so used to the windows way™ and there in is the "Problem" with Linux you've spend years learning how to do things like a reinstall and updating drivers and you cba to learn how to do things differently. Fair enough I cba to learn a new language but then i don't go round a French for beginners forum trolling them.

Constructive feed back is always a valuable asset, trolling by some one who is very invested in windows and only wants to use Linux when its exactly the same as windows is very much less useful.
Burnout21 4th December 2009, 11:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Phil since you clearly have no interest in using linux why do you bother coming in a trolling the threads regarding it?
Fact is there are menu options to do things in this distro but since the internet is text based its actually easier to read then copy paste text commands than it is to follow your way through a 4 level deep hierarchical menu to then follow a serise of click here do this click here do that sequence of help that if you miss a bit can land you even more confused.

+1, every command in linux give as a terminal command can be done via the GUI with 'click here, do that' commands.

Its just easier to help people with the terminal commands.

I thought linux would be a pain, well its not at all. It throws its toys out the pram a few times, but that is due to user error 9 times out of 10.

after installing ubuntu, just give it a 10/100 connection to the internet, and it will find drivers and fix errors with in a few minutes, then open up the applications and add from all the open source goodness out there hassle free!


I also love that zotac's ION itx is £130, and strongly back up the suggestion of buying AMD on a mATX plateform for much less cash, and live with a little noise and greater size.
Phil Rhodes 4th December 2009, 11:57 Quote
Quote:
Exactly you would spend hours doing what should be a completely unnecessary procedure where as in three simple "Magic" commands you'd be off.

...which would take far longer than two hours, wouldn't it, because you'd have to figure out what particular pseudorandom alphanumeric gibberish it wanted today, try several variations, fix the damage done when you tried the wrong one, etc.

Frankly I've had to install linux more often than windows because it's so easy to destroy the entire install by typing in the wrong gibberish! I have pages and pages of notes (made on a windows PC) detailing exactly how to set up various things under Ubuntu, on the basis that you install it, try and make it do what you want, mistakenly make it unbootable, then you reinstall, return it to the point just before you screwed up, try something else, get a bit further, mistakenly kill the install again, reinstall from the CDs... god it's just soul-destroying. The only thing I'll put Ubuntu on these days is eee-PCs which have that magic "factory reset" button, you want to do anything else you're on your own.
steveo_mcg 4th December 2009, 12:02 Quote
http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&source=hp&q=install+nvidia+drivers+ubuntu&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=0&oq=install+nvidia+&fp=b79064815dba9d93

Yup that would take hours, hours and hours and hours. If you had to build Google from scratch.
Aracos 4th December 2009, 12:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Frankly I've had to install linux more often than windows because it's so easy to destroy the entire install by typing in the wrong gibberish! I have pages and pages of notes (made on a windows PC) detailing exactly how to set up various things under Ubuntu, on the basis that you install it, try and make it do what you want, mistakenly make it unbootable, then you reinstall, return it to the point just before you screwed up, try something else, get a bit further, mistakenly kill the install again, reinstall from the CDs... god it's just soul-destroying. The only thing I'll put Ubuntu on these days is eee-PCs which have that magic "factory reset" button, you want to do anything else you're on your own.

I'm sorry but you must be made of complete failure, when I first ventured into ubuntu without even a hint of linux experience or any beginner tutorial/handbook even I never managed to make the OS "unbootable". To this day I've never managed to screw it up THAT BAD that I can't even boot the bloody thing, I think what you should've done was read the instructions a LITTLE more carefully and had a bit of common sense ;) The only time ubuntu has been unbootable is because I reinstalled XP so it installed the XP bootloader so a simple 5 minutes googling and I found how to get my grub back and bob's your uncle, FIXED!

I still do not see why you are trolling a guide entitled "Building an Ion-powered Linux Media PC" with emphasis on the LINUX MEDIA PC to just come and say linux is crap, use windows. If you have no interest in the title the the guide THEN DON'T POST AT ALL!
Phil Rhodes 4th December 2009, 12:16 Quote
Inasmuch as a google search just restates the question, yes, Steve, I would expect it to take hours and hours to install a set of graphics drivers on Ubuntu. It might not, you might be lucky, but you've generally got to allocate an afternoon to a job like that on PenguinOS because it will so reliably screw it up and you will have to fix an absolute bucketload of peripheral issues that the work throws up.

The problem is that any version of Linux can and will drastically alter its behaviour depending on whether it's exactly the same hardware configuration, BIOS setup, kernel/libraries/source versions as the guy who wrote the guide, whether you're wearing odd-coloured socks or if it's the thirteenth wednesday after Pentecost. Consistency is a huge problem. It's easy to get the impression that most of the software (including absolutely critical things like the package manager) are written by a bunch of amateurs who have no real personal investment in whether they work, so long as they work for them at that moment. Which is in fact the case, mostly, so it's not very surprising.
steveo_mcg 4th December 2009, 12:22 Quote
Restates the question and throws up a thousand guides to solve it, funny that.
Phil Rhodes 4th December 2009, 12:37 Quote
Y...yes, Steve, yes, that's what I mean.

Why does the bloody thing need a thousand guides to install a graphics driver?

Here is a "guide" to installing more or less any piece of software on Windows:

1) Run the installer.
2) You're done.
steveo_mcg 4th December 2009, 13:36 Quote
For the same reason there are nearly 17million hits for the same search as above but for windows. Every one wants their own words on the web.
http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=installing+nvidia+drivers+windows&meta=&aq=f&oq=installing+nvidia+drivers+windows&fp=b79064815dba9d93
What version of windows are you installing on? 32bit? 64 bit? Its no where near as simple as you make out, what are you meant to run where do you download it from? Do you see where I'm coming from your a Linux noob you clearly have issues with it, but your (presumably) a Windows power user so of course its easier to work windows, it doesn't just work either but you know what your doing and how to work around the limitations inherent in any OS.
Jaguar_Infinity 4th December 2009, 15:03 Quote
Ok is it me or is it getting a little hot in here?
HourBeforeDawn 4th December 2009, 16:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anakha
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
see an HTPC means all of that and Blu-Ray to me and well is there an option for that in the linux scene legal or not?

[strike]Thoeretically, yes. Rip the disc contents using software on Windows, and XBMC can then play it natively (Although without menus and the like so far).[/strike]

You can follow the guide(s) here:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats/BluRayAndHDDVD

Or (with DumpHD installed and working) use a command-line like this:
Code:
./dumphd.sh --infile:BDMV/STREAM/000054.m2ts /media/cdrom | mplayer -cache 8192 -lavdopts threads=4 -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdpau -
To decode and play on-the-fly.

ya I figured that much but the other thing that DumpHD will have to look into that.
Da Dego 4th December 2009, 16:50 Quote
WARNING! RANT AHEAD.
<troll><rant>
@Phil

I hear this argument all the time, and frankly it's pretty tired. If you want to run Windows, you have to KNOW you need a driver. You have to FIND the driver. You have to DOWNLOAD and RUN the driver and then let it restart your computer twice to get it to work.

In Linux, you DOWNLOAD the driver, switch to a terminal, type in TWO commands and it works.

Do you know how to type "CD"? Do you know how to use "DIR" in windows command prompt? These things are learned. As you become more tech sophisticated, you learn more things, like drivers and installation procedures and registry editing and all those other wonderful things.

Linux isn't harder, it isn't magic, it isn't any of those things. It's DIFFERENT, and you DON'T LIKE IT cause you have to LEARN A NEW COMMAND. The days of "months of google searching" are long past over. If you didn't know what a driver was, going onto NV's site and getting the right one and installing it would be just as cumbersome.

Nobody who is a regular user of Linux claims that it's perfect. But we all get VERY tired of the same old worn-out argument simply because you learned something differently so therefore it's SO much more complex to learn this one. If you want to hammer on the OS, be my guest - being a user of Mac and Linux only at this point, I can point you to a few places we can really have a ball firing shots at Tux. But at least pick a valid argument.

Major tech sites now carry all the basics of Linux, so it's not hard to find. And frankly, the day that I can open up my windows box, open up Windows Update and have it upgrade EVERY BIT OF SOFTWARE on my box to the newest version (not just the OS) with two mouse clicks and a password, or just search for new software by typing in what I want and having it go fetch, install and configure it for me, I'll start listening to the Windows crowd about what is or isn't "easy."

yeesh.
</rant></troll>
pimlicosound 4th December 2009, 17:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Dego
And frankly, the day that I can open up my windows box, open up Windows Update and have it upgrade EVERY BIT OF SOFTWARE on my box to the newest version (not just the OS) with two mouse clicks and a password, or just search for new software by typing in what I want and having it go fetch, install and configure it for me, I'll start listening to the Windows crowd about what is or isn't "easy."

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.
IanW 4th December 2009, 17:53 Quote
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.
pimlicosound 4th December 2009, 18:04 Quote
@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?
IanW 4th December 2009, 18:07 Quote
Does Windows 7 really update not just OS & drivers, but every last program on the PC in one go?
ChriX 4th December 2009, 18:17 Quote
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?
Da Dego 4th December 2009, 18:36 Quote
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. :)
Phil Rhodes 4th December 2009, 19:02 Quote
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
Da Dego 4th December 2009, 19:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
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
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.
HourBeforeDawn 4th December 2009, 19:51 Quote
ya I have to say Windows7 has pretty much eliminated any needs for linux I may once had.
Phil Rhodes 4th December 2009, 21:51 Quote
Quote:
Ubuntu - package manager. Done. It does ALL of this for you.

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.
Anakha 4th December 2009, 23:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
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.

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?
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