Linux Mint To The Rescue.

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yogi
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Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

You're going to like this story. LOL

I'm typing this from our hotel room in Crystal Lake, Illinois. This is where we will be staying until the wedding is over and done with. I pack a lot of things just in case. That is particularly true with my computer because I don't want to be hampered in any way. In the past I never had problems with the WiFi in any of the hotels, but this one is an exception. The normal route to the internet is via a website the hotel uses for it's guest network. This is an open network and terrible as far as security goes, but it's this or nothing.

My current ASUS laptop has never been on the road. This is it's first time out of the Command and Control Center, and as such I disabled the WiFi card. Ethernet is a lot better for my home network. Be that as it may, just to be safe I did test out that WiFi card on my LAN. It works fine there.. Well, it does not connect here in the hotel. The error from the troubleshooting tool claims the router signal is not in range. That's interesting given that my phone, my wife's phone, and her table are all able to connect to the hotel's network.

I did all the troubleshooting I know how to do and the network is visible to Windows 11, but the connection cannot be made for some reason. The people at the front desk gave me the IP address of the website so that I can go there directly, but that didn't help. None of my four browsers could connect, and thus the problem is in the Windows network software ... somewhere.

At this point I was no longer sure if it was hardware or software. I just happened to have several Linux on a Sticks in my toolkit and decided to see if I can get Linux Mint working. No problem there. It connected without me even seeing that darn webpage provided by the hotel. That all tells me the computer hardware is fine, and I am happy about that. But, Linux is not Windows and there are a few things it can't do because Linux software doesn't exist for it. I brought a copy of my encrypted USB storage, for example, and Linux cannot decrypt what Microsoft encrypts. It can't mount the OS either. So, I had to open a Windows session and copy the needed files to an empty USB stick that Linux could read, and voila.

Thanks to Linux Mint, I have Internet access. Not 100% of what I usually work with, but hopefully it will get me through this weekend. I don't know what it is about the access point being on a webpage but Windows 11 certainly doesn't like it. Windows 10 or 7 never had that problem. There probably is a setting somewhere that will fix it. Maybe in my spare time I'll find it. More likely is the fact that ASUS did a crap job with its drivers. You may recall there also is no speaker audio on any version of Linux. That definitely is an ASUS issue. Now the WiFi doesn't do Internet connections but will connect to hardware routers. Again, I'm suspecting ASUS. I suppose it could be that I'm using beta software for Windows, and the only way to check that is to replace it with a stable version. Not on my watch.
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by Kellemora »

I don't use a lot of WiFi connections from my computers, since they are all hardwired.
But since getting Echo devices, I had to use WiFi for them.
Debi also uses WiFi on her Schmartz-Fone when she can. Plus she has Kindles and Netbooks, etc. all on WiFi.
Her phone and our router here, can use WPA-3, but whenever she is out at a public place, it uses WPA-2, and the motel she stayed at in Florida, she had to use WPA-2-PSK to connect to their Motel WiFi.

So my thoughts here are, do you know how Linux Mint actually connected, if not, maybe you need to try on your Windows connection to use WPA-2-PSK. It seems the Motels only have one password for their WiFi. Same with some restaurants around here, and almost all of them are WPA-2-PSK.

Debi has gotten into the habit of always trying WPA-3 first, if that's a no-go, then she tries WPA-2, and finally WPA-2-PSK.
Now at the Chinese Restaurant next door to where she works, you have to go all the way down to WPA-PSK to connect.

I'm not sure, but I think Linux Mint's WiFi drivers go down the line trying all of them in the background until they get a hit that works, hi hi.
Debi's son has a Windows 11 laptop, and he could not connect to our WiFi using the password. But if I pushed the button on the router that gives a minute to lock-on before it expires, once locked on it then works for him, but not on WPA-3, it drops down to WPA-2 when he connects. But there was something else he had to do on his Windows 11 laptop first before it could even see the WiFi network at all. I'm sure it was turning off one of the security features built into Windows 11.
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yogi
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

I'm pretty sure that all mobile devices have WiFi capability. There may be some cell phones that do not, but that would be a very old and outdated design from what I can tell. Mobile means wireless, and that is the definition of WiiFi. Actually, there is no definition, but that is the common usage of the acronym. :mrgreen:

The WPA standards to which you refer are all about encryption. This hotel is unique in the respect that their guest network is open and not encrypted. Not encrypted as far as I can determine anyway. No passwords are required in such a network. I have a feeling that is the reason Win 11 is having fits. It wants security to be in place because, well, because that is its brand. Functionality be damned. Then, too, I discovered even though it it WiFi 6 compatible the hotel network speed is around 2-3 MBps. That might be too slow for my gaming laptop.

As it so happens, while Linux Mint saved the day it did not solve the problem. I wanted to know why I could not connect. Just telling me I can't isn't good enough for curious minds. After much thought and frustration I decided there is probably a hidden setting I'm not enabling. As noted earlier I enabled the WiFi card, but there is a lot of support software to go along with that card. I could easily miss something. But what? Windows, since the days of Vista, has something called the "God Mode" that lists all the possible settings for the OS in one place. If the setting does not exist in the God Mode, the setting does not exist. It takes some special naming of an empty folder in order to generate the God Mode, but I do that in every Windows computer I own. I rarely if ever need it, and it is overwhelming with the number of settings. But, I figured if I am missing a setting, that would be the place to find it.

I found something called "Connect to Network" which happens to be the same title given to the normal network settings menu provided by Windows. That normal menu is where I get the error saying It cannot connect to this network. Thus I was hesitant to pursue it in the God Mode because it failed every time in the normal settings. Well, to my utter surprised that "Connect to Network" setting in the God Mode worked.. It took several seconds of scanning, a blank screen, and then the hotel login screen appeared. I logged in and have been using Windows ever since. The network did drop out a time or two, but given enough time it recovers. From what I can tell it gets pretty slow at times, which I suppose depends on how many hotel residents go online at any given time. I don't know what the God Mode setting did that was different, but I am happy it did it.

If it was not for the fact that not all my programs and apps have Linux equivalents, I might never go back to Windows. I don't know that Mint would be my Linux of choice, but Linux in general is gaining some ground in my opinion of it.
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by Kellemora »

You know, I use Debian, which does not install much from the git go. If you need a driver for a particular operation, you need to install in yourself from the repositories.

Ubuntu is built on top of Debian, and adds tons of stuff, most of which you don't need and will probably never use. It also runs a bit slower because of this.

Linux Mint is built on top of Ubuntu, which is built on top of Debian, and they add tons of things Ubuntu didn't add, so it runs even slower yet. But nearly everything you ever need to do is already loaded and ready to use.

This is why I also install Linux Mint on my computers along with Debian. If something doesn't work in Debian, I boot into Linux Mint, and if it works then, I can look to see what driver Linux Mint used.
Then I can boot back into Debian and download the specific driver Linux Mint used, and normally I'm up and running.

With most of my computers being older than gods dawg, I was amazed at the difference between Debian and Ubuntu. Ubuntu is what brought me back to using Linux, but even Ubuntu balked on some of my older machines, where Debian made them work almost like new again. I did use Ubuntu for a long time before making the switch to Debian as my go to OS.

See, I always told you Windoze thinks it's GOD, so I'm not surprised it has a God Mode built in, hi hi.
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yogi
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

The God Mode fixed my connection problems in this hotel. I don't care why Microsoft created such a function, but I certainly am glad they did. There is no equivalent in any version of Linux I ever evaluated. If there is a missed setting in Linux, good luck trying to find it.

The more I think about it and tinker with it, the more I am convinced the problem I had is not the hotel network nor some strange security requirement demanded by Windows 11. ASUS has a bunch of OEM software installed to enhance the gamer's experience. Some of it is absolutely stunning, but most of it is broken in one way or another. There is something called Game First VI. This program can work on the network to optimize certain modes of operation. As you know the normal Windows processes must have priorities because there are many more processes running than the CPU has cores to run them. This is also the case in Linux and any other sophisticated OS. Then, too, there is something called Direct Memory Addressing, DMA, which prioritizes memory usage with interrupts. Without getting overly technical, all these priorities and interrupts are necessary to create a normal flow of data on the internal CPU bus lines.

ASUS in all it's wisdom decided it can modify the data flow, using Game First, to optimize whatever it is you are doing at the moment, such as playing a game, editing graphics, or downloading something on the network. Thus, if set to Gaming Priority, downloads that happen during my game session would have lower priority for the CPU managing it. OR, I could set things so that the downloads are first priority and gaming is not. There are half a dozen priorities that can be set, one of which is Adaptive Intelligence. This allows Game First to decide for itself what has priority by using it's build in artificial intelligence. I don't know exactly how it does that, but that is the setting on my Game First panel.

I have had a few problems with anything ASUS did to customized this computer because it was designed for Windows 10. At least in the first few months when I had direct access to their tech support people I learned that they did not fully test this hardware on Windows 11 and thus missed a few minor details. I'm guessing they missed the fact that Windows 11 does not like to be interrupted by anybody, not even the guys who made the computer. I can't see any settings in the Game First software that will allow me to turn it off. I will have to uninstall it to see if that has any effect, but, of course, I'm not about to do that here in the hotel. It's all working for the moment and I'm not prepared to do a clean install if that became necessary. I am seriously thinking of doing exactly that just to get rid of the ASUS custom software that is broken. I would hate to lose some of the things that work, however.

Debian is a fabulous OS for people who like bare metal. Us noobies who know very little about Linux are very uncomfortable in a bare bones system. I have my doubts about the value of FOSS too because of exactly what you describe about Linux Mint. It is built upon Uvuntu, which is built upon Debian, which the gods only know how well that is developed. Any problems in Debian are propagated by all versions of Ubuntu and those are compounded by being distributed by Mint. So if there is a problem running Mint, for example, and they don't know how to fix it, the problem becomes an issue for upstream developers. In other words Mint developers do not take responsibility for any previous issues but they have no problems distributing those problems along with their brainchild. I know Windows isn't perfect either, but there is only one place you need to go with Windows issues, i.e. directly to the source. Linux has many sources and that is a big problem as far as I'm concerned.
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by Kellemora »

There is, it is called dconf Editor. Let's you change any configuration setting on the computer. But beware, one mistake and you can break your install.

If there is something I learned early on, games written for Windoze run best on Windoze, rarely on WINE or Play on Linux.
Games written for GNU/Linux machines, run better on GNU/Linux machines.
Games written for MAC or BSD Linux, run better on MAC or BSD Linux machines.
Red Hat is sorta like Unix/Linux in a way, games written for Red Hat do poorly on any other type of Linux machine.

Now the makers of those games could port them to a specific Linux Distro, but many games for Windoze uses things that are only in Windoze, so cannot be ported without rewriting a good hunk of the games. Most who write games for Windoze would never port them to Linux, because they cannot hide files anywhere in the system, like they can in Windoze. And that is one of Windoze major security flaws. Hackers can get into Windoze through nearly any game that uses direct CPU access calls.

One of the things I liked about Windows XP, and the main reason I used it for so long, is quite a few things were customizable if you found the right programs to download to do it. Windows XP let you install and play any game written for Windows 3.0 and up, and the add-on program I had let you slow down the CPU so those old games that used the system timing didn't run too fast to play. I even had a couple of DOS games I could still play on XP, if I used the DOS screen to load and play it. The DOS screen was slightly different than using Terminal, but I can't tell you what it was. You couldn't do Terminal things in the DOS game screen. But you could run already written BASIC programs in the DOS game screen, and BAT files sometimes.

Believe it or not, I'm not all that savvy about using Debian. I rarely if ever use the Terminal, and if I do, it is for something I had to do that way from day one. I don't even run RSync from Terminal, I use the GUI GRSync instead. I do run updates and upgrades using Terminal, but I have those codes all saved in Terminal, so it's just a matter of opening Terminal, and scrolling back to them. I've not found one like is used in Linux Mint yet, and I have tried a few others, faster and easier to use Terminal sometimes. Now when I had that code you wrote for me, I was using it all the time, but the game I play where I needed it, now provides all that info for you in the game itself. So going to Terminal for anything is really rare for me.

I do notice a big difference in how fast the computer is when running Debian, vs booting into Linux Mint to do the same things. But I figure, Linux Mint is built on top of Ubuntu, and Ubuntu loads a lot of bloatware, and then Linux Mint adds more bloatware on top of Ubuntu's. Boot up time for Linux Mint is nearly twice as long as booting up Debian.

I've not really hit anything I would call a Bug when doing the things I normally do using Debian.
Now Farcebook has a ton of bugs, and some of them are quite annoying.
And the game I play has added a lot of new bugs they don't seem to care to fix. In fact, one bug I know about has been in that game since day one, and it is still there.
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yogi
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

Gaming is a huge industry only second to pornography. Everybody buys into games and porn; well maybe not everybody but enough people to make those industries highly profitable and competitive. You are fairly correct to say that Windows has things not found elsewhere. Their system called Direct-X does indeed have direct access to the CPU and can override the operating system functions. Then, too, so did Flash Player which is why it was abandoned. That's also the reason Flash did not run everywhere. It emulated Direct-X in many ways which is a Windows thing. There are some fundamental differences between Windows, Linux, Android, and any other platform for games. That's not a necessity but the differences provided a competitive edge in some instances. That's why it's hard to find games that run on all platforms. All that is changing in today's world, but it will be a long time before all games can run on all platforms.

My issues with ASUS are not unique. A lot of the PC manufacturers are OEM precisely because they do things that cannot be done in the unaltered operating system. They used to write the BIOS for example. Then the idea of adding custom functions, such as animated wallpapers, became popular with people who are already insanely addicted to gaming activities. Add to that all the "help" those OEM folks want to give you so that they can increase their support and software product line sales and you start to see Windows that looks a lot like the FOSS bastardizations in Linux. It's crazy enough trying to figure out the basic OS, but when the OEM adds their bloatware things can get complicated quickly. That's part of the plan from what I can tell, and is all designed to get the user to buy services and software from the OEM.

Be that all as it may, I'm home today and can return all my systems back to normal. I will in fact uninstall that suspect Game First software added by ASUS and do not expect to see any changes in performance. I will test it on my LAN but the proof of the pudding would be to go back to the hotel with the flaky network and see if that uninstall does anything. Not that it matters. We won't be going back there any time soon anyway.
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by Kellemora »

Dang it Yogi, I just lost everything I had just written, AGAIN, and my hands were not even on the keyboard. I reached for my mouse to scroll down is all, and it knocked me out.

And for the life of me, I can't get it to knock me out on purpose.

Basically I had said, Flash Player was much better of a program than WebGL which is VERY LIMITED, and when the game writers use UNITY it makes it even worse.

Forgot what I said about the next topic.

Debi's niece bought a new laptop for $2,400.00 and it came with Windows, she thinks it is Windows 10, but isn't sure. Compared to her 5 year old laptop, she said it is as slow as molasses in the dead of winter, when she went to do her normal days work on it. She took it back to the dealer to show them how slow it was compared to her old computer. They kept it over the weekend to work on it. A brand new computer shouldn't need worked on, hi hi. She got it back this morning, and has already called to complain that it is still way too slow, a little faster than it was, but here old computer is still faster.
In any case, she is bummed out about it, especially since it cost so much, and she is heading back over to the dealer when she gets off work. I doubt they will do anything more for her though, but hopefully will take it back.
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yogi
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

I feel your pain when you put so much effort into a reply here and it all gets blown away for no apparent reason. It may not be relevant, especially since you are running Debian and I am not, but the Chrome browser was updated today in my Windows 10 Machine. I don't use Chrome in Windows 11 or any of my Linux systems so that I can't say if the update was across the board or not. However, it is possible that the updated browser created a glitch. I'm just grasping at straws here because we have gone over this a few times in the past. Spontaneous loss of content as you describe it should not occur in any computer or browser. Either something is going on that you are unaware of, or your computer is demonically possessed.

$2400 is a lot of money to pay for a slow computer. I can't argue with that. But, as you are well aware, not all hardware and software is created equal. Above and beyond that, even when you have identical hardware and software, the system will respond differently depending on how it is set up to operate.

I have both Windows 10 and Windows 11 on the desktop and laptop respectively. They are not problem free as you can tell by the many rants I have written in these forums. However, neither one of them are what I would consider to be slow in spite of the desktop being explicitly designed to run Windows 8 and the laptop for Windows 10. To be perfectly honest it would be hard to see any difference in response between Windows 10 and Windows 11. You really have to look for it to see it, and as the updates keep coming in the differences are becoming insignificant. Microsoft is improving both versions.

Also, just because you have the latest (and most expensive) hardware does not guarantee it is the fastest it can be. There are things that can be done at the OEM level to slow things down. I don't know why an OEM would do that other than to encourage you to buy a bigger and better version of his hacked machine, but I have read reports and reviews claiming that it is not uncommon for systems to be tuned down deliberately. That's a shame too because it means that even if you fine tune the software, the operating system, it's not going to get any faster than the hardware will allow. Then, too, some computers are not intended to be speedy. Those made for office work cannot compete with those made for gamers for example. And a gamer's CPU isn't necessarily designed for optimized throughput as would be a workstation. So it takes some foreknowledge to get a system that suits your needs. Unfortunately, not many people have that kind of knowledge.

If Deb's niece can't get the seller to optimize her computer, then there is a good chance it is not designed to run at speeds she is accustomed to seeing. Since I don't know what she is comparing the new computer to, I can't even suggest upgrades she can consider for the new computer. If I had a list of specs for both machines in front of me, I might be able to see something obvious. Other than that she should not buy anything that she cannot evaluate live and in real time before she buys it.
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by Kellemora »

The computer Debi is using is over 12 years old, and is almost as fast as the Silver Yogi running Windows, but still slow compared to the Silver Yogi. The thing here is, her computer was her sons hi-end gaming computer, so was built for speed at the git go.

The reason Pam bought here computer from a computer store, was because she knows off the shelf computers are garbage.
But then too, it was not a built-up computer, but ones the computer store buys already built for resale.
We have not yet heard back from her to find out what happened yet.

I know the off the shelf computer I bought for Debi was a major mistake. But she didn't tell me about it for a long time. She didn't want to complain about something I bought new for her. But I saw her frustration from using it, and the fact she quit doing much on it at all.
I brought it up to my office and put both Debian and Linux Mint on it, and it ran fairly fast for me.
However, a month or so ago, the power supply died in it, at least that's what I think is bad in it, other than the whole thing being a piece of garbage. Only ONE of the NINE computers I have sitting in my office still work, and that's the Silver Yogi.
I did buy a box of batteries to see if that might be what is wrong with some of them, besides cleaning. But have not had time to move them all down and start to clean them yet. I did get one very old machine with only 512k memory in it to run, barely, just enough to play Spider or Free Cell on, but that's it, no audio, no internet, and no opening anything big like a word processor, then it just shuts down. Clock is wrong on it too, so here to, problems may just be the battery. Many computers the battery maintains the bios state, besides the clock. I know from the Dell, when the battery went dead, nothing on it worked.

It's been a while since I checked for a Google Chrome upgrade, perhaps I should do that when I get off here.
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yogi
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

There are memory upgrades that can be installed into Off The Shelf computers. More memory and SSD's will improve things but there are limits to what can be done due to the CPU limitations. I suppose a CPU can be upgraded too, but if you are going to do that you might as well get a new computer considering the time and cost of changing the motherboard. The better choice would be to find a high school kid who likes to build computers. There won't be the same kind of warranty or tech support in that case, but you will get a computer worth owning. I never made a laptop from scratch, and I'm not sure that is even possible. You can buy motherboards already in a case and add on from there, but every laptop I've ever opened up is a nightmare. If I'm going to build a computer it will be a desktop.

I didn't build that Silver Yogi, by the way, but I did have somebody I trusted do it. The original build was with a 32 bit processor and what you have is a rebuilt system with a 64 bit processor. There were not many people willing to do the conversion but I found a guy who worked out of his living room and was in fact a big Linux and Apple fan. I told him what I wanted and he knew how to do it plus save all my installed programs to boot. I am very well pleased that you are enjoying the performance, but that machine has to be getting near the end of it's useful life. Actually, I think the mobo will outlast you and me, but the power supply does have a time limit.

Those little CMOS batteries are in fact what keeps the BIOS alive when you shut down the computer's power. When that battery goes the BIOS is no longer accessible which is why you can't boot into it. Also, changing the battery resets all the parameters to their default, which may or may not be a good thing. You need to know how to set up a virgin BIOS when you replace the battery. Or, if you are lucky, the default settings will be good enough for your purposes.

I have a couple old laptops that I need to disassemble to separate the metal, the plastic, and the electronics. There is a place not too far from here which will take the electronics and not charge me to recycle it. I think they only take one computer at a time is the catch. I am not a collector of computers such as you might be because I would be infinitely frustrated with the old technology in them. I'd have to admit to being a power user and anything less simply will not do. I have sold a few of those old machines, however.
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by Kellemora »

My older computers that all had the same motherboard and memory types, I could swipe from one to beef up another.
Or like I did, reduced one computers memory to get a new computer mobo w/CPU installed without having to buy another memory card. Then when one computer did finally die, I took the memory from it back out and added to the one that was working. But none of the rest of my newer computers could I do that with. They all needed different types of RAM.

I don't think I need to worry about the power supply in the Silver Yogi since it's not powering the GPU. And it looks like everything put into the Silver Yogi was all hi-end products.

I don't use laptops, the few I've bought sat in the bottom of my closet until the batteries leaked and ate up the carrying case and damaged the floor in one closet. Heck, I can't even find the 600 dollar netbook I bought for my wife. It too is stuck in some closet somewhere, along with a wireless mouse and keyboard to use with it, hi hi.

Since most of my computers were anciently old, I've had to replace CMOS batteries several times. Some are easy, some are a royal pain in the arse to get to to replace, and yes, they all return the BIOS to the default settings.
One old one with a dead battery does boot up, but the clock is wrong.
The others, I don't even get video on when I know the video card is good.

I had bought a 4-port KVM switch, just so I could keep all the computers ON, and use them for something.
Which I did heavily while I was writing. Especially during Editing. I could have my original script on one for reference, another that did work with the Internet I could use to look up words on the on-line Thesaurus, or do research.
Plus the computer I was using for editing. The computer I showed the old manuscript on was not on the KVM so it's screen stayed up in front of me all the time.
And when not writing, or when my main computer was busy doing something that prevented me from using the KVM, I would use it to play a game on while the main computer was busy.

The older guy who I had make my built-up computers retired finally. Sold his business to his two main repair guys, and after a short time, they moved to a larger store across the other side of the shopping center. They also raised their prices considerably. And now with runaway inflation, I'm afraid to ask what they would charge me to build a new computer. Doesn't matter though because there is no way I could afford one anymore.
I was unable to handle my AZ-NO3 business, and lucked out to find a guy to take it over from me. But his sales have been really low. He only sold 59 bottles over the past three months. And he is really trying too, paying for ads and contacting old clients, etc. Many of the pet stores who carried Reef have dropped Reef altogether now. Corals that used to cost between 150 and 500 bucks, the size that was 500 bucks is now 6,000 dollars if you can even find one to buy at all.
Nearly every product sold by pet stores associated with Reef Aquaria has doubled in price each year for the past couple of years. Heck, even treats for the dogs I used to buy for 3 to 4 bucks a bag are now 9 to 19 bucks a bag for the same things.

All I can say, as far as grocery shopping for us humanoids. It's a good thing we have the UGO store close by. They are basically 1/2 the price of Kroger and Walmart, which is high priced here.
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yogi
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

Working for Motorola spoiled me. I got to use cutting edge technology every day. I was using computers at work well before I got one for home use, and even that first HP PC had all the options available at the time. There was no Internet in those early computer days and I didn't use my home computer for more than one project in my astrology hobby. My love for digital machines was satisfied at work, and the best part of it all is that I was getting paid to do what I loved. Moore's Law was in its heyday back then but every time the technology changed, Motorola kept pace. In fact they were leading the crowd in some areas. It wasn't until I upgraded to a Windows 98 machine that I started to feel the pangs of using a less than modern computer at home. I wish I had the resources to buy new equipment every year just to keep up, but some of the newest processors cost about as much as a used car. Two years from now they will be affordable, but then something better will be out there.

I'm at a plateau where spending on technology is concerned. It's not all a matter of inflation either. New technology simply is more expensive because you get more with it. My income, however, varies only a few hundred dollars per year which is the interest difference on some of my financial accounts. I suppose I could buy anything I want if I didn't mid liquidating those investments, but I know what you went through. I'm not invulnerable to the same kind of disaster. That point is being brought home particularly hard at this "Open Enrollment" time of the year.

The good news is that we will be getting a substantial COLA increase in SSA benefits thanks to Joe Biden, be that a good thing or not. In my case that will cover the increased cost of groceries, but not much else. It's still unclear at this point in time if I will have enough excess to even think about building a new computer. I don't really NEED one, but it would be nice to have something more current than a Windows 8 desktop stretched to its limits. LOL
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by Kellemora »

I hear ya Yogi - When I worked on pinball machines and video games, I got so spoiled I don't play inferior, poorly maintained pinball machines at all anymore. We have a couple of restaurants here that still have a row of pinball machines in their lobby, but not a one of them function properly, and are set-up wrong.

I honest never like the latest and greatest of any computing type of system. Way too many headaches with them.
For one, most do not have drivers for your hardware yet, not even if you are using Windows computers.
And if you run Linux, forget about finding drivers for your hardware that work on the newest computers.

I doubt if COLA will keep up with our HIGH INFLATION we have thanks to BIDEN!
Plus, they are always more than a year behind the ball also.
A 3% or even a 6% raise cannot make up for the 15% to 50% increase in common everyday items, like food.
If it were not for our discount food store here, we wouldn't be eating at all.
It used to be, when Medicare went up, our SS checks would go up just enough to cover that increase, but then for the last 8 to 10 years, the increased amount of SS did not cover the Medicare increase, and the supplemental insurance rates have gone up too. Each year we have less income from SS after paying for Medicare, Drug Plan, and Supplemental.
And although we got a fair COLA increase on our SS last year, it was still 140 dollars less than the three medical plans went up.
We have a neighbor who decided to go ahead and switch to the Advantage Plan. He thought it was great, at first. But now he realizes he is paying out more than ever before. The number of drugs he had to take, none of them are covered by the Advantage Plan, and he has the higher priced Advantage Plan too. He had to have a minor surgery on his shoulder, which his original Supplemental would have covered completely, but under The Advantage Plan, he has to cough up around 650 bucks.
He never did use the vision or dental part of it, because I think he said those things are only covered after the second year. In any case, he is going to keep the Advantage Plan one more year and make use of everything that is available on it, before going back to his normal plans he had before.
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yogi
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

I've not had many driver problems over the years primarily because I don't have any new equipment. :mrgreen:

I don't doubt that Linux would have issues with drivers because they change the kernel every few weeks. There are times when that new kernel suddenly breaks some old peripherals because the developers in their infinite wisdom decided to deprecate them. Or, better yet, the developer who came up with the driver retired and no longer supports it. I suppose that all could happen in Windows too, but there we only have to deal with one company and not a bunch of renegade FOSS advocates. There are some advantages to staying with old equipment, but, unfortunately, you can only do that for a certain length of time until the software reaches its end of life.

Well, I'm not surprised that SSA benefits were lagging when the Republican party was in absolute control of things. Those are the people who want to eliminate Social Security and Medicare. I think you will be surprised at the next COLA increase. I fully expect it to be in the double digits. Also, I don't know if this will affect your family or not, but new laws will now limit the out of pocket insulin expense to $35/mo. A lot of people will be happy to see that.
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by Kellemora »

I used to have a Logitech ScanMan, only like 3 inches wide. I used it to do things like scan business cards into a business card folder that came with it as a program, those long narrow cash register receipts that fade away fast. And columns from a newspaper. I loved that little thing. It still worked, but changes in Windows rendered it inoperable. So about that time is when I started buying flatbed scanners, and most of them were as touchy as heck to use. Now I use flatbeds built into printers because the drivers for the program are part of the printing machines guts. It can scan without a computer at all and put the data on a USB stick, or print it out on paper, again without the printer being connected to a computer.

It is NOT the Linux communities responsibility to write drivers for Hardware, it is the Hardware makers responsibility. But since the Hardware makers are in BED with Mickey$oft, very few write drivers, but at least they give enough info to those who can write drivers for Linux users, they usually don't give enough info though. I think this is why a few Hardware makers are including the drivers for the machine internally, and they only need to get the right signals and they then do the rest.

Hmm, the only time I remember not getting COLA increases is while Obama was in office. They said there was no cost of living increase so no additional funds added to our SS checks even though Medicare went up, drugs went up, and supplemental insurance went up. You also have to remember it was the Dem's who BLOCKED Trumps request for a minimum SS check of 1200 bucks. That alone would have helped me considerably, much more than any small percentage increase. Using percentages to calculate the SS increase benefits the wealthy more so than us poor folks.
If you only get 800 a month, 3% only raises it by 24 bucks. If you get 1,600 bucks a month, 3% raises it by 48 bucks. Double of what those who need it the most get. And that is what Trump was trying to correct, and the Dems shot it down.
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yogi
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

The Linux kernel, among other things, controls peripherals. It doesn't matter who writes the drivers when the kernel is written not to use them. The reason why developers favor Windows is because that is where all the money is. It takes just as much time and effort to write Linux drivers as it does to write Windows drivers, so why would a developer waste their time with an OS that will not bring him as much profit as does Windows?

That Logitech ScanMan was a handy device back in the day. When AIO (All In One) printers became the norm that was a welcome improvement. Now and days smartphones are photographing things that used to be scanned and those phones are storing the files in the cloud so that they can be accessed from anywhere, sans computers. Well, the smartphone is a computer, but that is a technicality. :lol:

Perhaps you forgot that Donald Trump, while president, wanted to cut payroll taxes. That sounded good, almost as good as his statement that he wanted to increase SS benefits to a minimum of $1200. However, the cut in payroll taxes was designed to defund Social Security. Just in case you need a refresher, I found this article telling all about it: https://www.americanprogress.org/articl ... -security/ You might also want to keep in mind that there are bills sponsored by the Republican members of congress already written to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Medicare and Social Security benefits as an effort to reduce the size of government. If the R's take control of the House of Representatives next month, you will see those bills introduced next year. Joe Biden isn't likely to sign off on any such thing, but then Joe might not be there after 2024. Think about what you will do when you have to buy private insurance and rely on your savings to live the rest of your life.
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by Kellemora »

FWIW: Linux drivers normally work better and faster than Windows Drivers. The main reason being is Linux places driver modules in the Kernel, and Windows places driver modules in User Space. It is rare to find drivers filed under /lib/modules in Linux unless they are add-on drivers because they are not yet in the Linux Kernel, where they would run faster.
For this reason also, whenever another batch of new drivers are added to the Linux Kernel, a new Kernel is issued.
Where Windows still clunks along on the old NT drivers for decades, hi hi.

I don't remember the name of the company anymore, but they made and sold device driver modules you didn't install, you just plugged them into the USB port to drive your hardware device that was not supported. The thing is though, about 90% of these plug-in external driver boxes were designed to make medical equipment usable with any computer system. From Unix, Mac, Windows, Linux of all derivatives, and hand-held medical computers. I keep thinking it was a Division of HP that sold these.

Perhaps you forgot the WE PAID INTO SS, and the Democrats are who STOLE the money from it. SS was more than Solvent. So much so it would have been impossible to drain all of its resources, until the Feds began dipping into SSs acccounts.
Borrowing money from it a few times, failed to pay it back at the agreed upon interest rates, then the Feds took all of the money and moved it to the general funds so they could spend it all on the Dems Pork Barrel Projects.
Don't forget, I did my Thesis on SS, and there is no way it could have gone broke. Even if they decided to end SS and FICA and start some other type of program, there was enough there to cover everyone who ever paid into it, much more than we now get too.

I'll, go read the link as soon as I send this, and may come back with a comment about it.
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Kellemora
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

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OK, I read the entire thing and didn't find not one sentence of truth in the entire article.
It read exactly like the run of the mill Demonrat Propaganda!
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yogi
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Re: Linux Mint To The Rescue.

Post by yogi »

I recall certain kinds of equipment, and software, that needed a dongle type device in order to operate. I also know HP was a fairly large manufacturer of medical equipment so that it is possible they tried to make something like a universal driver in a box.

It's interesting to learn that Linux kernels contain drivers. You told me a few replies previously that the kernel doesn't have such things. I can anticipate your justification telling me that the drivers are added on modules and not the kernel itself. Could be so, but even you admit you can't find the individual files in any directory because they are in the kernel package. As far a drivers running faster from the kernel goes that makes sense. There is no bus arbitration when the drivers are written into the kernel. You can't get much faster than that. I will also agree that Windows has some reliable and old drivers in it's system. Perhaps that is why it just works all the time while you have to go hunting for something that may or may not exist in Linux.

I'm also amused by your comments regarding Social Security. I realize you did some academic research on the topic and I'm certain all you discovered was correct and true when you wrote your thesis. But, it should be no surprise that times have changed since then. It is true that the Social Security (not Medicare, by the way) reserve funds were untouchable at one point in time. But then the day came when the government ran out of money prior to passing a new budget. The choices at that time were to let the government shut down and default on it's debts, or to use the SS fund as collateral. Guess who was objecting to the budget that year? It wasn't the Democrats. In fact the Republicans have for several years running contested the annual budget and refused to pass the bill for a full years' funding. They have no problem with the idea of shutting down the federal government and could not care less about defaulting on our debts because, after all, that budget is being proposed by a Democratic controlled House of Representatives. The Democrats might have saved the budget by compromising SS funds, but it was because the Republicans back then felt it was better to "own the libs" rather than protect our economy.
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