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Linux questions.

Discussion in 'The Main Board' started by Atlas, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    I think it's a good idea to repurpose an old laptop for prepping requirements and keep it in a safe place.
     
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  2. soyer38301

    soyer38301 Well-Known Member

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    +1 on virtualbox.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    Cool. I'll be checking that one out soon here.
     
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  4. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    Is there a place to buy computers with no operating systems and is it any cheaper?
     
  5. soyer38301

    soyer38301 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure about that. I yave not purchased a computer in about 10 years. Perc of working in IT...they are purchased for me

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
     
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  6. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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    Re buying empty (no OS) machines... I've not seen anyplace that advertises a lower price for bare machines. Theoretically, a NEW machine should be several hundred dollars (Euro, Yen, etc.) cheaper, but the retailers don't want to give up their markup.

    On used/refurbished machines, I very occasionally see a bare machine sold but the price remains about the same as those with an OS. Used computer sellers will want to keep the same price point as their competitors.

    About the only place I've seen any kind of lower price is on places like Craigslist where you must trust the word of individual sellers about the condition of the machine.

    Without having an OS installed, it is much harder to verify that a machine actually works.

    All of the above being said, I have been to a local refurb seller (NewToYouComputers) who aim at the disabled user market. It was a PITA to deal with them because I had to fill out a literal requisition form, specifying exactly what features I wanted (processor, RAM, OS etc.) They then wait until they receive a donated machine and have refurbished it, before they send a notice that they have a machine which meets the requisition specs. I specified NO operating system and did get the machine I spec'd. It was a low end, 32 bit system, but the price was right at about $100.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
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  7. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    It's your dollars of course, but the last thing i would be concerned about is a laptop for survival use. Of course, government problems and restrictions could make a laptop important, with all the files that could be sensitive inside. But really, books in print are a better option, that don't require power from a system that may be offline if such a surge happened. Your solar panels, and even efi from a generator may be disabled. Your solar controllers are also computers. Besides that, no one really knows what will happen if such a thing actually happened other than some news stories from the early 1900s when a emp wiped out a telegraph system. I personally think we would all be better served buying a good printer then several used laptops and selecting the information we wish to keep handy should the day come.
     
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  8. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    You can build your own tower, and piece it out, sourcing the electronics from wholesalers, i used to do that. The main people doing so are PC gamers that custom build machines.
     
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  9. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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    Hardcopy information archives are good and, as you point out, more likely to be usable when electrical power is lost.

    I would recommend having both hardcopy and electronic backup/archives. The hardcopy has the disadvantage of being bulky and more difficult to move than electronic memory. Ecopy has the disadvantage of requiring the necessary hardware to be accessed.

    In a dystopian world, those who have a library, in either or both forms, will possess a form of wealth (knowledge) which can be exchanged as a trade good. I expect that having the ability to set up a true library, accessible by survivors, will be a major step in the direction of rebuilding society.

    Without such libraries, society will be dependent on those survivors who already have the needed knowledge and skills, learned before whatever event pushed society over the edge. Those people may attempt to train younger people but they may not have the time to that and they, like all of us, have limited life expectancy. Add to this that most people DO NOT have a universal skill set at their disposal. Specialization has proven to be necessary to learn a given skill set to the degree of proficiency, which means many skills are simply not part of our knowledge base.

    How many people would it take to ensure a broad enough set of skills to rebuild society?

    So, a library is the ideal cache of knowledge to be passed on to future generations. The form of that library, In My Opinion, needs to be both hardcopy and electronic, for the reasons I have outlined above.

    Now I want everybody to be quiet! This is a Library damit!
     
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  10. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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    I've done this also, both for my personal use and as a business. It was more profitable about 20-30 years ago, but is still viable today if you don't need or want to do it for profit.

    While I would prefer to use American made components, they are now mostly made offshore, these days, in mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam. Today, I would use what you can afford. Than includes buying used/refurbished systems.
     
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  11. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    Pc repair is often deceptively simple with a small amount of knowhow. Its amazing how many people don't know how to install antivirus systems, or clean the power supply. A great business for sure.
     
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  12. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    For those of us living a semi-nomadic lifestyle laptops and hard drives are pretty much the only option.

    Where I have trouble is that I live in several places, some I go to more than others. If I were to keep a real book library at each place it would cost a fortune. It is much cheaper and easier to store at laptop with a solar panel stashed at some of these places.
     
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  13. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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  14. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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  15. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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    That article is an excellent overview of what Linux is and how to install both the base OS and some advanced tools. Thanks for the link.
    Also at the end of the article are additional references which you can follow for more detail.
     
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  16. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    fair enough, it wouldn't be my preference. I completely understand why you feel that way. some information is just beyond memorization. Building a custom manual is something that has been on my mind allot, for the things i might need but haven't committed to memory. organized into modules that i can print off and put in a binder. obviously with digital back ups on inexpensive flash drives. for me, i'd rather carry a smallish manual than a full computer...besides that, paper is probably better firestarter and toilet paper than a lap top and flash drive lol.
     
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  17. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    Yeah buddy! it is a handy little tool. what freaked me most was creating live CD on a flash drive with Kali Linux, and being able to hijack a terminal without a password... pretty cool that you can still use the forensic hard drive tools to poke around for info afterword. Working on a homebrew version of the USB rubber ducky. I'll keep ya posted.
     
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  18. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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  19. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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    That article suggests using a dual boot with Windows. I don't recommend that. Windows tends to try to take over and "not play nice" with Linux... If you really, really need to run some Windows programs in the future, then a virtual machine can be created later which will "sandbox" Windows and prevent it from stepping on Linux. That for the future.

    Making a USB stick with "persistent" storage will give you a working Linux system without installing to the hard drive. If you want to test drive Linux, this is a good way to go. It is slightly slower due to the serial bus connection to the USB stick, but that's ok, you don't need speed to test.

    I recommend that you download the Linux Mint distro with the XFCE desktop. LM 19.1 XFCE or Cinnamon or Mate is available now. It (XFCE) is similar to Windows desktop styles which will be a help as you learn. I use it myself. Remember that the various desktops are just window dressing (no pun intended) to display the Linux tools and apps. Same tools, different paint job.

    Is your target machine 64bit or 32bit? You'll want to download and install the matching Linux version on the USB stick.
    I have a set of 64bit images for Linux Mint and for Kubuntu in case you don't have them. They are large and take some time to download. Once downloaded, they are quick to write to the USB Stick.
     
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  20. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    I just downloaded linux mint 32 bit to a usb thumb drive. I plan on completely getting rid of windows.

    On a semi-commical frustrating note. I opened the laptop and once windows fired up it went into lockdown mode saying that it needed to update. 4 hours later it's still updating. The best part is I'm going to erase it all as soon as it's done. What a windows pain in my behind.
     
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