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General => GNU/Linux Discussion => Topic started by: perknh on June 07, 2015, 04:46:30 pm

Title: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 07, 2015, 04:46:30 pm
Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks

by Chris HoffmanChris Hoffman | @chrisbhoffman
PCWorld

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2931974/dells-affordable-ubuntu-powered-inspiron-laptops-take-aim-at-chromebooks.html (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2931974/dells-affordable-ubuntu-powered-inspiron-laptops-take-aim-at-chromebooks.html)

It might be worth reading some of the comments below the article too.  Heating issues with Dell laptops? I don't know.  Still, I read this article as good news for Linux; and I can easily see one of these less expensive laptops becoming the perfect home for a Peppermint 6 installation!  ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 07, 2015, 05:38:43 pm
You said it .. in fact someone ought to tell Dell that Peppermint would not only perform better but would be more familiar to Windows users.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: rjm65 on June 07, 2015, 05:43:35 pm
Well the first thing I would do would be to wipe the hard drive 10 times, to make sure that unity is gone forever, then i would probably run mint 17 cinnamon...  :)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: emegra on June 07, 2015, 05:51:58 pm
Yeah Peppermint would be perfect on that laptop

I've always wondered why a company like Dell with all it's resources don't run their own custom Linux distro that way they would have more control of hardware and software kinda like Apple only open source

makes me wonder if they're really serious about Linux or only dabbling in it to drive a harder bargain with Microsoft


Graeme
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 07, 2015, 06:01:01 pm
This certainly isn't the first time Dell has dabbled in selling laptops with Ubuntu.  The last time, you were hard pressed to even find them in their online store.

Peppermint would definitely be a better choice for that laptop, but most big name OEMs are afraid to stray from a name that a lot of people at least know or have heard.  Good luck running Unity on Intel HD graphics, though.  At least it doesn't require 3D support anymore, 'cause Intel graphics don't have it.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 07, 2015, 06:19:57 pm
Micofrost are 'pretty much' giving away Windows 8.1 (with Bing) to OEM's as it is .. dunno how much more of a hrd bargain you can drive than that ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: VinDSL on June 07, 2015, 06:33:28 pm
I seem to be a Dell Latitude fanboi, these days, and I'm not really partial to Inspirons.  However, I must say, I'm jealous as hell about that alphanumeric keypad.   :P
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: rjm65 on June 07, 2015, 06:46:26 pm
I am being offered 10 for free bud...  pops up everyday on win 7 task bar upgrade to win 10 for free...  :P
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 07, 2015, 08:00:37 pm
Sure, you can get Win 10 for "free," the only cost is your privacy.  It comes with Cortana built in, Cortana "learns about your computing habits."  Sounds like spyware to me.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 07, 2015, 10:02:13 pm
The important thing here is that GNU/Linux is finally coming preinstalled on affordable laptops.


[EDIT]


No, guys, let's stay with Linux on an affordable computer:  It's a safer bet all the way around. [EDIT] We must consider supporting Dell in this endeavor!  ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 07, 2015, 11:00:07 pm
Hm, things just got kind of weird.  I'm not saying I don't like it, I'm just saying it got weird.   ;D

I always like seeing stuff like this, Linux coming preinstalled on affordable laptops, even if it is Ubuntu.  Hopefully, Dell will treat them better than they have their past Ubuntu laptops and give them their proper place in the featured store pages, as opposed to making people who want to buy them hunt all over the site for them.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 08, 2015, 01:47:51 am
This is a good thing, if it's played right and if it comes to fruition.  I have to ask this though.  Are Dell going to offer the different flavours of Ubuntu pre-installed?  Or is this a deal Mark Shuttleworth has struck up with Dell, in an attempt to again foist the Unity desktop onto an unsuspecting public?  Call me a cynic if you want.  I think this may be the motivation.  If this is the case, the project is probably doomed to failure. 

I'm also interested in how Ubuntu is going to be installed.  These laptops are going to be shipped with a 500 GB HDD as standard.  There's plenty of disk space to incorporate a decent partition table with a mounted DATA partition as standard.  In my opinion, this would be the prudent course of action.  Considering Ubuntu's goofy 9 month release cycle.  Unless they offer the LTS release as an installation option.  Unfortunately, I think Ubuntu will be installed on the HDD with the generic installation.  For many seasoned Ubuntu users.  This will drive them nuts because they'll have to reinstall it, partitioned for longevity.  They'd be better off getting a vanilla machine from the start.  The nOOb or non-techy types at the end of nine month, will probably abandon Ubuntu and Linux all together as too awkward to maintain and upgrade.  They'll just sling Windows 7 or Windows 10 on their machines; legally or pirated. 

Although the Ubuntu/Dell partnership initially sounds like a great idea.  On closer inspection, it's full of potential pitfalls.   One has to remember that Windows for the majority of people is synonymous with computing and because they've used it for years; it's the best thing since sliced bread.  This type of public sentiment, right or wrong.  Only creates an uphill battle all the way for anything seen as a potential usurper of the Microsoft crown. 

I think lack of forethought, poor implementation and marketing will probably generate unfavourable press and play straight into Microsoft's court.  I sincerely hope I'm wrong because it's a wonderful opportunity to infused a positive Linux message into the public consciousness  ;).
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: VinDSL on June 08, 2015, 06:43:30 am
Considering Ubuntu's goofy 9 month release cycle.  Unless they offer the LTS release as an installation option[...]

These links might help...

LINK #1:  http://linux.dell.com/

Quote
Dell partners with Red Hat, SuSE and Canonical, and so most of our efforts are focused on these distributions.

LINK #2: http://pilot.search.dell.com/linux

Quote
Ubuntu Linux 14.04 SP1

Looks like it's Ubuntu 14.04 SP1, Andy   :D
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 08, 2015, 06:58:37 am
WTF is SP1 ? .. 14.04.1 maybe (?)

Must they refer to it in Windows terms ::)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: VinDSL on June 08, 2015, 07:00:37 am
LoL  :D

The Apple (ahem) doesn't fall far from the tree...
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 08, 2015, 09:19:22 am
It's a real pity Ubuntu is getting the attention now. I'd have been genuinely happy at this news in 2010, but now I just see it as replacing one bloated OS with another.

So as for "We must support Dell in this endeavor!", I'm not so sure .. Acer did the netbook no favours with the stupid Linpus Lite they put on the Linux version of their AA1, it was such a stupid dumbed down UI that NOBODY liked it, it was foreign to both Windows and Linux users .. remind you of anything ?

I'm finding it harder and harder to support Ubuntu in much these days, which s a real pity as they did a HUGE amount for Linux a while back so will always have a place in my heart if no longer in my mind.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: rjm65 on June 08, 2015, 09:41:22 am
Ubuntu was all I ever installed, I thought it was the only linux way back when, and then they brought out this unity crap which I hate so much, I went looking for other distros and found linux mint!
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 08, 2015, 10:01:09 am
Mint bring out some nice tools, and have a familiar layout for Windows converts, but they're still bloated .. Still maybe that makes Windows users feel more at home.

Ubuntu/Mint MATE is closer to the mark, but that's old tech and *may* have it's own long term problems .

Peppermint I feel strikes the right balance between looks, functionality, ease of use, familiarity and lightness and  kicks all of their a**es  .. but then I would think that wouldn't I.
(yet even we're still sitting on a few components that have no future)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 08, 2015, 10:30:59 am


Quote
...Looks like it's Ubuntu 14.04 SP1, Andy   :D

That's highly amusing  :D.  I think it's also complete folly to use Windows terminology.  It gives the impression to the uneducated, that Ubuntu and Linux distros in general are no more than Windowseque free alternative OSs.  The general public's perception of these computers will be.  These machines are the lesser, or the poor man's version of the, "real thing".  It's as I stated in my previous post.  There is a lack of forethought, most definitely poor implementation of an idea and marketing that goes way beyond being just sub standard - It's a joke!  I seriously cannot see these machines, irrespective of their quality, making any difference to the Linux Desktop's market share.  In fact taking into consideration how bloated and memory hungry Ubuntu has become.  They're more of a hinderance to the Linux Desktop quest for popularity than anything else  >:(!!
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 08, 2015, 10:37:58 am
Hello PCNetSpec and AndyInMokum,

You know guys, I like to have one of these things.  But they're doing with these Inspiron keyboards what Chromebooks have done with their keyboards:  They put spaces between the keys.  I don't know why, but I have difficulty typing on computers that have spaces between the keys.

Maybe I have to adjust to this new kind of keyboard.  I'm just not used to it yet.

perknh
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 08, 2015, 11:44:36 am
I had a wireless keyboard with spaces between the keys for a while.  It was weird.

As for Ubuntu, yeah.  I don't get why it always has to be Ubuntu, when there are so many other great Linux flavors out there.  I haven't liked Ubuntu since Unity, which I thought was a terrible idea.  Then Gnome released Gnome-shell, which put me off of the entire DE.  (I don't even like Mint's Mate or Cinnamon variations, because it's still Gnome 3 underneath)  Then Windows released "Metro," which is the same crap.  Ugh.  I hate those tablet style interfaces for my computer.  It looks like garbage on a decent size monitor, to say nothing of a big one.

If any of these companies had half a brain, they'd install something with more of a Windows-like interface, such as a KDE or LXDE interface.  Those are going to be more familiar to Windows 7 and earlier users.  And, there are even official Ubuntu variants with those desktops, so it doesn't even make sense that it has to be Ubuntu's main release.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 08, 2015, 01:12:56 pm
MATE is a fork of Gnome 2.x, but that means it may come with it's own particular set long term problems.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 08, 2015, 01:41:37 pm
Yes, scifidude79 and PCNetSpec, even old-fashioned Xubuntu would be an excellent choice.  I've personally seen Xubuntu work well on an old computer where even MATE and LXDE strained with difficulty.  The truth is that Xfce is a really good DE too. 

Xfce is another DE that is light and fast; and, most importantly, it just works! ;)

@scifidude79

Quote
I had a wireless keyboard with spaces between the keys for a while.  It was weird. --scifidude79

I've never gotten used to it, but I don't know if this is a good enough reason for me not buy one of these reasonably priced machines.  I am thinking seriously about it!  :-\
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 08, 2015, 01:48:27 pm
I was thinking MATE was just a mod of Gnome-shell, but that must just be Cinnamon.  *shrugs*  Either way, I don't like Gnome 3.  It's not just what's on top, but there are a lot of under the surface things I don't like.  I never took to MATE either, that's probably why I didn't remember it being a Gnome 2 fork.  One of the massive issues with that is that Gnome is developed by Red Hat, which no longer supports or develops Gnome 2, so the current "fork" development is being done by others.  Therefore, good intentions or not, it will be different than Gnome 2 was.

I love Xubuntu, I ran it on my desktop and laptop for a while. (I still use XFBurn for CD and DVD burning) XFCE is my favorite Gnome-style DE since Gnome went to crap.  However, it requires more custom modding in order to get that layout to look like Windows, and most OEMs don't want to have to pay employees to go through that trouble.  That's why Kubuntu and Lubuntu would be better "out of the box" solutions for OEMs wanting to give a Windows-like experience.  Though, ANYTHING is better than Gnome-shell or Unity. ;) (in my opinion, of course)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 08, 2015, 02:25:43 pm
I love Xubuntu, I ran it on my desktop and laptop for a while. (I still use XFBurn for CD and DVD burning) XFCE is my favorite Gnome-style DE since Gnome went to crap.  However, it requires more custom modding in order to get that layout to look like Windows, and most OEMs don't want to have to pay employees to go through that trouble.  That's why Kubuntu and Lubuntu would be better "out of the box" solutions for OEMs wanting to give a Windows-like experience.  Though, ANYTHING is better than Gnome-shell or Unity. ;) (in my opinion, of course)

Hello scifidude79,

I admit Xubuntu lacks the glitz that many people are looking for today.  And, yes, you're right;  You have to tweak Xubuntu a while before it suits one's personal preferences.  This means it's probably no-go out of the gate.  Good point!

I'm trying to look at this objectively, and I know I'm biased here; but this is one of those cases where I really do see Peppermint 6 as a perfect fit.  This is my opinion, but I really do consider Peppermint 6 to be a fast, light, and gorgeous distribution.  All I've done for my distribution here is darken, enlarge, and move the panel to the top, customize the clock, and set up 9 applications in the panel.  I'll tell you, with the Mint shield up there, it really looks very nice.  And it moves too.  I don't experience the wait times I do with Unity --and my preferred DNS is coming out of Amsterdam too.  Still, Peppermint 6 is moving along very quickly.

Peppermint 6 is all very impressive!  ;)

perknh

Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 08, 2015, 03:10:05 pm
XFCE is actually my second favorite DE, after LXDE.  Both are light and fast, without all of that glitz, or as I call it, useless fluff.  I don't like all of that.  (I don't even have the destkop effects enabled in P5 or P6)  I used to love KDE, but the load times of the heavier desktop aren't to my liking.

Though, there are other distributions that offer a more "Windows Like" XFCE experience "out of the box."  Mint is one.  In fact, I used to love Mint XFCE, before the borked some of their repositories.  (different discussion altogether.  ;))  However, it unfortunately once again comes down to the OEMs stepping out of their comfort zones and going with something that's less known than Ubuntu.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: rjm65 on June 08, 2015, 03:40:12 pm
I don't know about the rest of you, but if that dell comes with ubuntu lts, and let's say someone buys it 2 years from now, how do you think they are going to feel in 2 years being told their OS is end of life on a 2 year old machine? I would think if Dell was serious about making a linux machine they should have looked into a rolling release, rather then a 5 year LTS that as of this moment has only 4 years left? There are some light weight rolling releases out there, one that comes to mind is Antix MX-14 which is using xfce, and I am pretty sure it is a rolling, or semi rolling release....    ;)

Maybe Peppermint should do a debian release that is rolling and hit dell up for future machines....
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 08, 2015, 03:56:03 pm
XFCE is actually my second favorite DE, after LXDE.  Both are light and fast, without all of that glitz, or as I call it, useless fluff.  I don't like all of that.  (I don't even have the destkop effects enabled in P5 or P6)  I used to love KDE, but the load times of the heavier desktop aren't to my liking.

Though, there are other distributions that offer a more "Windows Like" XFCE experience "out of the box."  Mint is one.  In fact, I used to love Mint XFCE, before the borked some of their repositories.

Although Xfce was removed from Mint, SolydXK, a Debian distribution, has picked up where Linux Mint left off.  I actually like SolydXK Xubuntu edition very much.  It just doesn't like our computers much because of heating issues, so I haven't looked at it in a long time. But rjm65 has had excellent luck with SolydXK, and I believe it would probably also make an excellent distribution for a Dell Inspiron if it came preconfigured on the computer.

I can't say too much about KDE.  Yes, I've tried it, but I always left Kubuntu humbler for the experience.  It looks wonderful, but I never figured out how to really use it.

Quote
However, it unfortunately once again comes down to the OEMs stepping out of their comfort zones and going with something that's less known than Ubuntu. -scifidude79 -

You know what you're saying here really sums it all up, doesn't it?

@rjm65

You posted right before I posted, but I was thinking of your positive experience with SolydXK too.  The rolling release idea is interesting too.  I believe Peppermint once considered the idea, and I can't remember why Peppermint decided against it.  But, it was sound logic at the time.  Who knows?  Maybe this idea is due for reconsideration again.  I'd love to see Peppermint taken up by an OEM.  In my opinion this would also be a service to the world!  ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 08, 2015, 05:22:16 pm
Rolling distributions are nice, but they're few and far between and most people haven't even heard of the rolling distributions.  The branch of Debian that is rolling is unstable, meaning it has software that hasn't fully been tested.  Distributions based off of it have frequent issues until fixes are released and are not new user friendly.  Distros like Arch or PCLinuxOS would be better picks for rolling distros on computers being sold.  Of course, then you can run into issues with popular software maybe not working as well with those.  For example, I tried PCLinuxOS again a while back and had issues with Steam working like it does on Debian based distributions. (probably because it's a converted .deb package) So, there are concerns when you start getting into "other" Linux flavors, aside from user familiarity.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 08, 2015, 06:11:25 pm
I don't know about the rest of you, but if that dell comes with ubuntu lts, and let's say someone buys it 2 years from now, how do you think they are going to feel in 2 years being told their OS is end of life on a 2 year old machine?

Don't you think it'll come with 16.04 by then and have 5 years support .. not to mention the ones with 14.04 will be offered a free upgrade to 16.04 by the update-manager. ;)
(something that wouldn't have happened in Windows until recently)

Personally I've never done Ubuntu in-line version upgrades on the desktop edition, too tainted by old Windows (failed) upgrade experience .. but I 100% trust Ubuntu in-line version upgrades on their server edition on my VPS (it's never had third party software outside the default repos, and obviously hasn't a DE to go wrong), server edition is a simpler beast.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 08, 2015, 06:17:41 pm
Of course Ubuntu will come with a free upgrade.   :P
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 08, 2015, 06:34:22 pm
Rolling distributions are nice, but they're few and far between and most people haven't even heard of the rolling distributions.  The branch of Debian that is rolling is unstable, meaning it has software that hasn't fully been tested.  Distributions based off of it have frequent issues until fixes are released and are not new user friendly.  Distros like Arch or PCLinuxOS would be better picks for rolling distros on computers being sold.  Of course, then you can run into issues with popular software maybe not working as well with those.  For example, I tried PCLinuxOS again a while back and had issues with Steam working like it does on Debian based distributions. (probably because it's a converted .deb package) So, there are concerns when you start getting into "other" Linux flavors, aside from user familiarity.

That's the inherent problem with rolling releases .. they'll ALWAYS be considered "testing/unstable/experimental" .. Arch recently had an issue with a new version of audacious breaking audio playback of streamed media and mp3, it wasn't an Arch fault as much as an upstream bug but it made it into Arch because rolling releases have no option but to experiment on their userbase (generally not a problem for your average Arch user to fix, but an average Ubuntu user ?) .. okay the same might happen in a non LTS release where newer software tends to get tested for LTS releases, but the LTS's generally stick with tested  software (unless it's fairly self contained like a browser), which is why OEM's will always gravitate in that direction.
(stable LTS is a safer bet for the PC's guarantee/support lifetime .. rolling releases are too much of a moving target, with the inherent risk that brings)

In short - LTS's are more stable over the PC's guarantee/support lifetime than rolling releases, so from a support standpoint for Dell.......
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 08, 2015, 06:51:58 pm

Quote
...Rollling releases are riskier, and from an support standpoint for Dell.......

They're also high maintenance and expensive to keep from a distros development point too.  This is why Linux Mint is no longer running LMDE as testing.  They are now going to base it on Debian stable, (Jesse).  I think they're calling it LMDE2.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 09, 2015, 08:04:29 pm
Dell Inspiron 14 Ubuntu Edition Review

Posted on June 5, 2015 by Jim Mendenhall  Copyright 1998 - 2015 Jim Mendenhall.

To be honest with you, it sounds like setting up this "Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptop" isn't nearly as easy as you would expect with Ubuntu and new a computer.  To be honest, I don't like what I just read here:

Jim Mendenhall tells of his initial experience with this laptop here:

https://www.starryhope.com/dell-inspiron-14-ubuntu-edition/ (https://www.starryhope.com/dell-inspiron-14-ubuntu-edition/)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 09, 2015, 08:37:16 pm
Good read, thanks for posting that review.  :D

Am I the only one who notices the super key has the Windows logo on it? ::)  (fortunately, some sandpaper will take care of that)  Companies that specialize in Linux computers will at least put a Tux or Ubuntu logo on it, but I guess this is what you get when you buy a computer from a company that usually sells Windows computers.

It definitely seems like a great computer.  I'm not surprised that Dell borked Ubuntu a bit, OEMs have been doing that to Windows for ages.  I've had computers where upgrades, some hardware drivers and other stuff wouldn't work because of the hacked version of Windows.  That's what it sounds like Dell did here.  It also sounds like they added a bunch of bloatware like they do on their Windows PCs, which isn't a great surprise.  However, after the initial issues, it seems like it works great for guy.  :)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 09, 2015, 09:45:14 pm
Hi scifidude79,

 I found what I read there quite disappointing.  I think the only thing to do with a computer like that is to do what I do with Windows --toss the installed OS completely and then replace it with Peppermint.

I always make a back up of the default OS when I first purchase a computer, but I can't imagine wanting to backup that.

It looks as if you can replace the battery when its time comes --which is good.  But it also looks as if the battery's charge doesn't last very long --which is bad!

At the end of the day, I'd be just as happy if I could put Peppermint on a lighter and even more inexpensive Chromebook.  But, the last time I checked, I wasn't able to do so.  And, even booting from a flash drive is challenge with Chromebook --something I never learned how to do.

I'm thinking AndyInMokum may prove himself prescient here:  We may not up to prime time with this Inspiron laptop yet, and this project might well backfire on Dell, Ubuntu and the Linux community in the long run. (Those aren't his exact words, but I feel that is gist of what he was saying.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, Andy.)  I say this because we have a computer here that is made especially for Linux, and a Dell computer at that!  And, the poor fellow, who is clearly a seasoned Linux veteran, has all those difficulties right out of the gate.  I think this is a bad sell for Dell, Ubuntu, and Linux, and this bothers me.  :(

Still, I hope I'm wrong with what I'm concluding here.  I should also say I was this far away from buying this Ubuntu-based 14" 4GB computer today.  I even made it to checkout.  But, for whatever reason, it just wasn't clicking with me, so I decided to do more research.  And then that was the article that I found.

Let's put it this way:  I don't feel so inspired by Dell's Inspiron any more.  But, who knows?  Maybe I'll feel differently about this tomorrow.

And, scifidude79, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter.  I am, and will be, considering them.  ;)

perknh
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 09, 2015, 11:44:02 pm
The only reason I can think of to buy one of these (if you have the money, which I don't) is to show big computer companies that there are people willing to buy computers with Linux preinstalled.  It may lead to good things.  At the very least, they may do a better job next time.

But, yeah, it sounds like there are too many issues with the first boot.  Granted, those of us versed in Linux will know how to get past them, but new users won't.  And that, unfortunately, is a major issue.  People are used to powering up the computer for the first time and getting it to boot right up and everything is working as it should.  Someone wanting to try Linux on one of these may boot it up, run into those issues, and think "Linux is a piece of crap, I'm going to send this back and get a Windows laptop."  And that is unfortunate.  So, the only people who will buy and enjoy these will be people who are already Linux users.

Personally, when I'm in the market for a laptop next time, I hope I can afford one from Zareason or System 76.  Those companies know how tho make computers with Linux preinstalled.  All you can get from System 76 is Ubuntu, but Zareason offers a variety of distributions and you can even specify a different one when you order.  (such as Peppermint  ;))  Though, you pay more for their computers because they're not big companies like Dell.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 10, 2015, 02:46:33 am
Bingo, you hit the nail right on the head.  If someone is buying a laptop with a preinstalled OS from a company that's pretty much a household name.  Irrespective of the price of the machine.  It better work straight out of the box; without having to fiddle around with it.  This is especially true for a Windows user. 

I concur with you, for the average Windows user, the initial fiddling around will be the tipping point.  They'll feel all the negative stories associated with the Linux desktop are valid.  They'll mutter a few obligatory curses.  Then send the machine back in exchange for a Windows model.  I can't blames for doing it either  :'(.  I'd say that Dell are not targeting Windows users as potential new customers.  They're trying to develop the established Linux user market.  You can't blame them for this either.  They already have a well established and lucrative Windows market.  They're not going to do anything that may upset that  ;).
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: VinDSL on June 10, 2015, 09:41:16 am
Personally, when I'm in the market for a laptop next time, I hope I can afford one from Zareason or System 76.

Personally, I'm a flea-bay Dell fanboi.   ;D

It's sort of like buying cars.  Let some sucker buy it at a dealership and lose $10,000 when he drives out of the car lot.

Here's the way I roll...

Inspirons are shiz!  I prefer D-series Dell Latitudes (arguably the #1 selling laptops of all time).

Here's my current road warrior:  http://www.ruggedpcreview.com/3_notebooks_dell_ATG630.html

Did I pay $4500???  Hell no!  Last time I counted it up, I have $300 invested in mine - SSD, dual batteries, and all.

Examples on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Latitude-ATG-D630-14-1-Inch/dp/B00CGE3IT8

You can buy them all day long on flea-bay.  The trick is to find one with a good screen, 2.5 or 2.6 CPU and Intel graphics.  Anything else you want to add (factory options) can be purchased for pennies on the wholesale dollar - if you don't mind getting your fingers 'dirty' and do the work yourself.

These Inspirons are what they are.  If it was my decision, I would contact Dell and work out a deal with them, to drop-ship Inspirons with Peppermint pre-installed.  We could handle the support here.

Ayway, gotta be in court again, this morning.  gtg bbl
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 10, 2015, 12:42:09 pm
I have absolutely no brand loyalty anymore.  I have a mixed bag of stuff.  Sharp TV, Toshiba DVD player, Samsung Blu-Ray player, Samsung computer monitor, Logitech speakers, keyboard and mouse, HP printer, ASUS laptop and Samsung tablet.  I guess Samsung is as close to a "favorite" brand as I get, just because I have more of it. ;)

My two home built PCs couldn't be more different.  One has an ASUS motherboard with an Intel processor and Crucial RAM, the other has a Gigabyte motherboard with an AMD processor and Crucial RAM.  (at least I'm consistent on the RAM ;))  For disc drives, hard drives, etc., I buy whatever looks good.  What I do anymore is I shop buy product reviews.  If I think something looks good and it has a decent rating, I'll read reviews, particularly the one and two star kind, to see what people like and don't like about it.  Brand matters not.

When I first started with computers, I bought Compaqs.  I loved them.  However, then HP bought them and they became HP's cheapo line.  So, since then, I've decided to stay away from Compaqs.  Unless I'm in the market for a computer and I find a Compaq with really good reviews.   :P
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: VinDSL on June 10, 2015, 02:30:23 pm
I have absolutely no brand loyalty anymore.

Heh!  Brand loyalty.  There's a flash from the past.  Bragging rights are what it's all about, these days.

I don't even have band loyalty.  I like certain DJs like Virtual Riot, but I digress...

I don't particularly care about Dell, one way or another.  I just like their D-series Latitudes - the '57 Chevy of laptops.   ;D

It's paying for itself today, BTW.  I'm sitting outside at lunch, right now.  I guess they're having a party for one of the judges or magistrates.

Anyway, there aren't many laptop displays that you can use outdoors, in the Arizona sunshine.

That's where my loyalty is -- OSs and machines that won't let me down, when you're on the trot.  ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 10, 2015, 08:19:10 pm
Since I'm disillusioned with the Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops.  I'm toying with putting Peppermint on one of these Chromebooks --which I believe are not ARM laptops.

These seem to be going pretty fast --especially the Acer, which is the same make and model of Chromebook that my wife enjoys a great deal, and which I'm leaning towards.

Think any one of these could possibly be Peppermintized?  ;)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Acer-Chromebook-C720-2844-11-6-Intel-Celeron-2955U-4-GB-16GB-SSD-ChromeOS-/141685524535?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20fd1d8837    [Matte screen]

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ASUS-Chromebook-13-3-HD-Gigabit-WiFi-32GB-SSD-Storage-4GB-RAM-C300MA-EDU-/311363058616?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item487eaf3bb8

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Chromebook-11-6-Laptop-1-4GHz-4GB-16GB-SDD-Silver-Black-730-8301-/371348712995?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56761bae23  [Suspected Glossy Screen]

Thank you,

perknh

Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 10, 2015, 09:22:44 pm
Yeah, definitely not ARM, since Intel and ARM are mortal enemies.   ;)

I don't see why any of those wouldn't be a good fit for Peppermint, though I personally would go with the ASUS, simply because it has a 32GB SSD, the other two only have 16GB.  ;)  It also has a faster processor.  The only thing that gives me pause with ASUS is their plastics.  They tend to use a lower grade of plastic and their cases won't stand up to as much abuse as some others will.  I swear, the plastic around the CD drive on my laptop feels like I could crush it in my hand if I had a mind to.  I've read other people complain about their plastics in reviews of their tablets.  But, if you're not planning to bang it around a lot, that shouldn't be an issue.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 10, 2015, 10:58:57 pm
Thank you, scifidude79,

It really does boil down to these two --Asus or Acer.  It really is a coin toss right about now.  The Asuses are used products, while the Acers are returns!  There's a factory warranty with the Acers, but there's a larger SSD and screen with the Asus.  The Acer is lighter and easier to tote around, while the Asus' processor should be better.  Both Chromebooks have matte finishes for their screens, but colors may display better on Acer's smaller screen.

So now, in total desperation, I must quote Jane, the sadistic vampire from the Twilight series, "Decisions. Decisions."

 :-\

P.S.

Two reviews by By Andrew Martonik from Android Central.

http://www.androidcentral.com/asus-c300-chromebook-review (http://www.androidcentral.com/asus-c300-chromebook-review)

http://www.androidcentral.com/acer-c720-chromebook-review (http://www.androidcentral.com/acer-c720-chromebook-review)


Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 11, 2015, 12:31:51 am
If it was the other way around and the ASUS had the factory warranty, I'd tell you not to even bother factoring that in.  ASUS support is dreadful, from what I hear.  They'll claim you broke it and not fix anything.  However, I don't know much about Acer's support.  I do know their factory refurbished computers leave a lot to be desired. (fortunately, this Chromebook is just an open box buy and not a refurb ;)) I bought one of their refurbs 7 years ago.  Sure, the computer came all nice and clean and the keyboard, mouse and speakers looked new, but they didn't even fix what was likely the issue for it being a refurb: the HD was crap.  It didn't start being an issue right away, but it was a problem you ran into after you used it for a spell.  It would start "forgetting" files and pinging.  A HD pining is NEVER a good thing.  Fortunately, I didn't really like the size of the HD anyway and replaced it with a Hitachi that had double the capacity.  Ironically, that HD is still going strong.  My mom has it now, but I rebuilt the computer with a new mobo, processor and RAM for her last year.  So, I can't say all experiences I've had with that company has been stellar.  However, other Acer products I've owned have been good.  None of the ASUS products I've ever bought have let me down.  My 5 year old gaming graphics card is an ASUS and she's still going strong.  :)  My ASUS DVD-RW drive has an issue where it won't burn discs anymore, but it reads them fine.  I use another drive solely for burning stuff.

Anywho, back on topic here.  Both had decent reviews for what they are.  Like you said, there are advantages to both.  I did notice that the reviewer said he expected more bang from the ASUS's processor.  It may not perform as well as the specs claim.  But, that also depends on what he was looking for when he ran it.

But, yeah, between the two, I'd definitely say it's a coin toss.  Both look like nice computers and should run Peppermint great.  Now, you just have to do something about that Chrome logo. I'd recommend a Peppermint sticker for that.  ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 11, 2015, 06:44:48 am
Okay, Scifidude 79,

I hate online shopping, but it's where you get to see everything.  So now, to complicate matters even more, I just stumbled across this little baby.   This one's looks interesting too, and it's real unknown!  ;)

Do you think I could put Peppermint 6 on this little netbook?  The processor seems poor, do you think it would move like mud?  On the other hand, it says it's already running Linux --linpus Lite?  Linpus Lite!  I never seen this distribution at DistroWatch!

Wikipedia article on Linpus Lite --even has some nagware included!  :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linpus_Linux (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linpus_Linux)

It does look interesting.  I would hope it would give me less of a fight when installing Peppermint 6 than a Chromebook.  And, yes, I have wrestled with a Chromebook before!  So far the Chromebook has won ever round when it came to installing Peppermint 5 on it.  :-[

Now more homework.  Now, I really know nothing about what I'm looking at here.  ::)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Acer-Aspire-V5-131-2887-11-6-Celeron-847-1-10GHz-4GB-RAM-320GB-HDD-Linux-Laptop-/231577698497?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35eb1b40c1

$40 more, weaker processor, but with some sort of a preinstalled Linux OS.  Now, it's between this one and the Acer Chromebook!

perknh

Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 11, 2015, 07:11:28 am
http://www.linlap.com/acer_aspire_v5-131

about the only things I can find that might need some tweaking on the v5-131 range  is possibly the backlight and the card reader (both of which *may* be ok now)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 11, 2015, 07:45:42 am
Hello PCNetSpec,

I hope I have chosen wisely here.  I paid a little more for this than the Acer Chromebook, but I'm hoping it will be more compatible for a Peppermint 6 installation than a Chromebook. 

We'll see.  I've got a feeling that this thing is built very sturdily.

Shopping online is not always easy.  Many thanks to you, Scifidude 79, and to everyone for all of the help and support I've gotten here.  ;)

perknh



Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 11, 2015, 08:25:18 am
Fingers crossed but I think you'll be fine .. as soon as you loose Linpus.

The  Acer Aspire One netbooks came with "Linpus Lite" out of the box and that was god awful .. in fact it was the reason I came looking for a light distro and found Peppermint.

I think the version on that will be a much newer and changed version, but it's still liable to have the plug pulled on support pretty much without warning as was the AA1 version .. IMHO it's not well supported and has always been known for giving people headaches.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 11, 2015, 09:33:20 am
PCNetSpec, I promise you I have zero interest in Linpus Lite.  I want to put Peppermint 6 on that machine  With few exceptions, such as veggie (who is simultaneously gaining both star status and infamy around here*), we're all invested in Peppermint.  What I want a light portable device on which I can bring Peppermint with me when I go to public places which have Wi-Fi.  That is my one goal here.

I'm knocking on wood that Peppermint 6 is just what the doctor is ordering for that machine.  But I won't be taking any chances either.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed too!  ;)

perknh

*Personally, I look forward to veggie's annual visits and commentaries.  It's becoming a tradition around here!  ;D
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 11, 2015, 10:36:52 am
*Personally, I look forward to veggie's annual visits.  It's becomming a tradition around here!  ;D

I see you have masochistic tendencies perknh :o
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 11, 2015, 10:48:54 am
 ;D

By the way, does anyone have a take on the Acer Aspire V5-131 Video Review?  They took all the page info down after I made the purchase, so the video is about all we have to go on now.   How I had wished I had copied that page.  I'm assuming this will be a 32-bit computer.

I found this little Linux computer this morning.  And, when I saw that five people were viewing it, I snatched it up quickly.

perknh
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 11, 2015, 11:13:33 am
Hi perknh, try this YouTube video.

https://youtu.be/gl6vxEVtX1Y (https://youtu.be/gl6vxEVtX1Y)

I think you've bought yourself a cracker of a Netbook with this one.  It's not going to breath fire.  It's not designed to do that.  Sling Peppermint Six 32-bit on it and It's going to blow some seriously impressive smoke rings  ;)!!
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 11, 2015, 11:19:57 am
Nope, Celeron 847 is definitely 64bit .. so you can use either a 32 or 64bit OS:
http://ark.intel.com/products/56056/Intel-Celeron-Processor-847-2M-Cache-1_10-GHz

and the original ebay listing is still thereed .. you just have to click the "see original listing" link (top left) .. or use thsi direct link (then scroll down the page a bit
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Acer-Aspire-V5-131-2887-11-6-Celeron-847-1-10GHz-4GB-RAM-320GB-HDD-Linux-Laptop-/231577698497?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35eb1b40c1&nma=true&si=Qm9oDAnagxNV%252F7LYWxsBPZ4UtEw%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: VinDSL on June 11, 2015, 11:24:49 am
What I want a light portable device on which I can bring Peppermint with me when I go to public places which have Wi-Fi.  That is my one goal here.

My real-world job(s) require that I travel around the USA from time-to-time.  I've successfully used Peppermint on 100's of WiFi spots.

The only 'fail' I can recollect was in Houston, on a SOTA AT&T system.

The prob wasn't with Peppermint (nor a hardware issue).  It was a janky kernel.  On my mobile devices, I run the latest low-latency mainline kernels - the 'latest' meaning RCs. 

In the case of Houston (yes, we have a problem), it turned out to be a 'dev branch' kernel problem.  Once I found a hardwire connection (in the hotel's business center) I was able to download and install a regular repo kernel, and all was well.

Just saying...   ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 11, 2015, 11:48:12 am
Yes, that should run Peppermint just fine.  My ASUS laptop with a 1.0 GHz dual core and 3GB RAM runs it just fine.  That has a 1.10 GHz dual core and 4 GB RAM.  So, it's a bit more powerful.  Personally, I'd recommend using 64 bit Peppermint on that, but then I don't use 32 bit at all anymore.  In my humble opinion, the whole world should be 64 bit now, but you can't get some software makers to convert or even start doing 64 bit versions of their software.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 11, 2015, 01:15:15 pm
Thank you everyone. 

I'm not experiencing buyer's remorse yet.  I'm taking that as a very good sign.   ;)

perknh
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 15, 2015, 11:46:51 pm
I'm not experiencing buyer's remorse yet.  I'm taking that as a very good sign.   ;)

Those, my friends were famous last words --words that were soon to be proven wrong!

The Acer Aspire V5-131 is a beautiful machine to look at.  It has a handsome black color, and because of its large battery, there's a comfortable, and attractive, ergonomic slope to the keyboard.  And, Peppermint 6, with it's handsome dark looks, is a spot-on perfect visual match for the machine.  Also there's an Ethernet port where one can do one's work without worrying about its replaceable battery.  These are all winning points for this notebook computer.

Now, on the other hand.  The Wi-Fi stinks, and is easy to lose any weak connections you may get.  Also the volume is rotten --very low, and of poor sound and voice quality too. 

So who is this computer for?   Well, in my opinion, it's for a kid with naturally good hearing --for a kid who also has access to relatively stable Ethernet port and ISP.

So now, if I were given a choice between an Acer C-720 Chromebook, or an Acer Aspire V5-131, I, personally, would have to give up the rugged, handsome aesthetics of the Acer Aspire V5 and go for the Acer C-720 Chromebook.  The graphics on both are about the same.  Old 1980s movies on both screens look the same --which means sometimes pretty lousy.

So do I have any buyer's remorse now?  Well, for my needs, what for what I wanted it for --yes!  (Oh, how I wish it would work as well as my wife's Chromebook!  :() Could it make a good surprise gift for a grandchild in grammar school.  You bet!

When, and if, I get the wind for it again, I intend to go back to my old focus of learning how to Peppermintize a Chromebook.  If I'm reading the tea leaves correctly, we're going to have to learn how to do this anyway.  If we want to stay in the GNU/Linux game, the arena of the Chromebook is a good place to be playing right about now! ;)  I say this because I believe Windows is slowly, but surely, going bye-bye.

Anyway that's my take on the Linux Acer Aspire V5-131 notebook in comparison to the Acer C-720 Chromebook.  Where it counts most, good, solid sound and stable Wi-Fi connectivity, the Chromebook beats the Linux Acer Aspire V5-131 notebook hands down.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 16, 2015, 03:01:06 am
Hi perknh, that's a real shame.  I really thought you we going to have a winner there.  The two little Acer Apire One's I recently bought are gems.  They were originally built to run Linux.  I can't remember it's name.  It was an version built by idiots for idiots but it was still Linux  ;D.  A lot of people swapped it for the lighter 'buntus or Mint and they ran great.  You can imagine how they run with our lovely lightweight Peppermint Six installed.   I have the A110 version and I rebuilt an A150 as a gift for my sister.  I upgraded the RAM to the max of 1.5 GB on both of the machines.  I also swapped out the original 120 GB HDD for a Kingston 120 GB SSD on the A150.  They both have great WiFi.  No fiddling around needed.  The internal speakers are surprisingly loud and clear for their small size.  When I plugged the machines into a set of Logitech speakers with a sub-woofer.  They sound great.  So I can't complain about the audio output. 

The little single core Intel Atom 1.6 Ghz processor chugs along quite merrily.  The A150 with the tweaked SSD is pretty spritely for what it is.  Peppermint Six seems to be a near perfect fit for these models of Acer.  I really suggest you keep an eye out for this model of Netbook.  Especially the A150.  I picked both of them up for a paltry 40 each here in Amsterdam.

Microsoft killed these little gems when they bullied Acer into shipping them with Window XP.  This made them sluggish and the added cost of the Windows license fee, made them too expensive to be considered a viable low cost computer.  I've even seen them for sale with, Windows 7 installed as an XP replacement,  instead of doing the obvious.  These must be real dogs to use.  It's again the the case of, "it won't run Windows, (something it was never designed to do) it must be dead".  The solution is there for the taking.  The majority of people don't even consider the obvious though.  There must be loads of them for sale on your side of the pond.  I can't praise these little gems enough  ;).
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 16, 2015, 04:18:10 am
The little single core Intel Atom 1.6 Ghz processor chugs along quite merrily.  The A150 with the tweaked SSD is pretty spritely for what it is.  Peppermint Six seems to be a near perfect fit for these models of Acer.  I really suggest you keep an eye out for this model of Netbook.  Especially the A150.  I picked both of them up for a paltry 40 each here in Amsterdam.

How come the Netherlands is suddenly so cheap for electronics? Most things there are expensive. That netbook is over 100 here second hand.   ???

PS Fully agree with you re: great combination is netbook + linux. I have a Samsung NC10 and I'm going to upgrade it from PM5 to PM6. My mother has a Samsung netbook also which is now unuseable due to horrendous slowdown with Windows (I think XP, I forget). Am going to put PM6 on that too  :D

I also have 2x SSDs, one of which I was given a while back which is in my desktop (the 128 GB). But I have a 256 GB in my old i5 Toshiba laptop which is old and runs very hot now, which I think I will take out, put in desktop, and switch the 128 from the desktop to the netbook. That really should help speed it up  ;D
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 16, 2015, 05:15:53 am
You have to fish around here.  I noticed that the UK is really expensive for second hand Netbooks.  You can easily find some great deals here though.  Peppermint is basically tailor made for Netbooks.  As I mentioned in my previous post.  I have Peppermint Six 32-bit on my Acer Aspire One ZG5 A110.  It just works and never complains.  This is with a funky custom installation too because the machine only has an 8GB fixed SSD.  This I use as the /ROOT partition and I have a 32GB micro SD card formated to ext4 as my /home partition.  I have another 32GB micro SD card formatted to FAT32, that's auto-mounting in fstab as extra storage.  It gives me no problems at all  ;).
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 16, 2015, 06:56:42 am
Good morning, folks,

If you looked the Acer Aspire V5-131 with Peppermint 6 installed, your jaws would drop.  The color of the notebook, the angle on which it sits on a table, and entire look, is nothing less the professional.  Sound quality, and Wi-Fi connectivity, however, are other stories entirely.  On these two fundamental issues, the Acer Aspire V5-131 doesn't even come close to cutting the mustard.

Don't get me wrong, the Acer Aspire V5-131 is not junk at all, but it doesn't come close to the functionality of Chromebook regarding Wi-Fi connectivity and sound quality.  Is Peppermint 3, 5, or 6 better than the limited Chrome OS --from a company which has put limitations on its hardware?  You bet it is.  But, boy, besides the durability, the Ethernet port, the looks, and replaceable battery of this little laptop, there isn't anything going on here.  In today's world Wi-Fi is a must, and sound quality is very important to many too.  It's important to me anyway!

But will I be able to make a seven-year-old kid's eyes light up when I give him this as his first little computer?  You bet I will.  The trick here will be having an Ethernet port, and a stable ISP.  We take these two things for granted now in the West, but, believe me,  these two things are not to be had so readily available in all parts of the world, and I'm thinking of Central America in this particular case.

perknh

P.S.

mattosensei, to keep on the safe side of things, check with PCNetSpec before you make a move with that Samsung for your mom.  We want things to go right for you here.

AndyInMokum, keep up the good work.  You're on a roll here.  You gave you sister a terrific present, and I assure you, the UK is now a better place because of this.

Today, I'll be putting Peppermint 6 on an old HP (I believe) desktop that is still running Windows XP --should be an adventure!  ;D

Peppermint fever --for all and forever!  ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 16, 2015, 06:59:09 am
You have to fish around here.  I noticed that the UK is really expensive for second hand Netbooks.  You can easily find some great deals here though.  Peppermint is basically tailor made for Netbooks.  As I mentioned in my previous post.  I have Peppermint Six 32-bit on my Acer Aspire One ZG5 A110.  It just works and never complains.  This is with a funky custom installation too because the machine only has an 8GB fixed SSD.  This I use as the /ROOT partition and I have a 32GB micro SD card formated to ext4 as my /home partition.  I have another 32GB micro SD card formatted to FAT32, that's auto-mounting in fstab as extra storage.  It gives me no problems at all  ;).

Oh that's a good setup.

My Samsung NC10 does not have an SSD, it has a 160GB HD. On wiki it says that:

Quote
The standard internal hard drive size is 160 GB on a SATA 1.5 Gbit/s interface. It also includes an SD card slot, supporting MMC, SD and SDHC cards for additional storage. The standard internal hard drive can be replaced with a Solid State Drive (SSD), although there is no operational speed increase due to the SATA 1.5 Gbit/s bottleneck.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_NC10

I'm assuming it would still be useful for me to upgrade to SSD if I can?
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 16, 2015, 07:10:45 am
mattosensei,

We'll let AndyInMokum answer for himself, of course, but I think SSDs are better --now that I've seen, and played with both, on the same size notebooks.  That said, the hard dive, at least for me, is not the deal breaker.  Wi-Fi connectivity and sound quality are more important issues for me IMHO.

But we all have to hear what our beloved Mayor of Peppermint (with a unanimous vote count, I might add) has to say about this.  Good question!  ;)

perknh
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 16, 2015, 10:15:37 am
As far as speed goes .. with your Samsung NC10 netbooks SATA-1 (1.5Gb/s) controller/connection you're not going to notice a massive  performance gains, it's definitely going to be quicker because of the better seek times, but how noticeable this will be is probably pretty negligible.

What you DO get is the benefit of no moving parts .. so
a) your batery may last longer
and
b) you'll be able to chuck your netbook about without worrying it'll damager the HDD.



to notice MASSIVE performance gains an SSD really wants to be attached via SATA-3 (6Gb/s) .. where they absolutely cream an HDD :)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 16, 2015, 10:30:51 am
mattosensei,

We'll let AndyInMokum answer for himself, of course, but I think SSDs are better --now that I've seen, and played with both, on the same size notebooks.  That said, the hard dive, at least for me, is not the deal breaker.  Wi-Fi connectivity and sound quality are more important issues for me IMHO.

But we all have to hear what our beloved Mayor of Peppermint (with a unanimous vote count, I might add) has to say about this.  Good question!  ;)

perknh

There is no question in my mind.  SSDs are the way to go.  The new ones are fantastic.  Operational speed is not an issue.  They're going to be around the same speed as an HDD.  The big advantage is how they work.   With an HDD, you have a disk spinning like the clappers.  Combining this with a Netbook is pure folly.  Netbooks are treated in the same way as most people treat tablets.  They get abused and used at all kinds of weird angles, bumped and casually shoved around.  This is not good for a spinning disk.  The armature in the mechanism ends up scratching the the highly polished surface of the disk.  When this happens, wear on the disk rises exponentially, ending in premature disk failure.  With an SSD there are no moving parts.  So there is no physical wear.  There's component wear, that cannot be avoided.  However, these new SSDs are built to last.  This is why most of them have a three year warranty.  After some tweaking, you can expect to see no significant slowing down for at least ten years of regular use.  This make your little Netbook a super robust machine.  Check out these two websites: Samsung NC10 : replacing the HDD by a SSD (https://brocas.org/blog/post/2012/04/10/Samsung-NC10-:-replacing-the-HDD-by-a-SSD) and this excellent site, courtesy of our own illustrious, VinDSL (http://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php?action=profile;u=9): SSD: how to optimize your Solid State Drive for Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu 14.04 and Debian (https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/ssd).  I hope this gives you a better idea of SSDs  ;)!!
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 16, 2015, 10:56:13 am
Oh that's music to my ears:

Quote
The results :

    launching time under Ubuntu 11.10 with the HDD :
        from GRUB to Ubuntu users selection screen : 42 seconds
        from Ubuntu users selection screen to the fully operational desktop : 25 seconds
        total : 1 minute 7 seconds

    launching time under Ubuntu 11.10 with the SSD :
        from GRUB to Ubuntu users selection screen : 12 seconds
        from Ubuntu users selection screen to the fully operational desktop : 15 seconds
        total : 27 seconds


So I'm going to:
Take the 160  GB HD out of the Samsung NC10 and put into the Toshiba laptop and eventually part exchange / dispose
Take the 128GB SSD out of this desktop (Win7 currently sits on it) and put it into the Samsung NC10
Take the 240 GB SSD out of my old Toshiba laptop (the SSD itself is newish) and put into this Desktop.

PM6 currently runs on this here desktop on a VERY old HD, 7+ or so years old, I forget. It's not very fast, as you'd expect. So when the 240 GB SSD is in here I'll probably duel boot Win7/PM6 for max speed. Seems crazy as I spend 90% of the time in PM6 to have it on a very old HD when I have SSDs not really being used.  ::)

I'll have quite a lot of work to do!  :D
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 16, 2015, 11:22:21 am
Would something like this work in a netbook? It's a cheapy, used 32GB SSD.

 I have  family member's netbook that could do with HD -> SSD upgrade also. Would need minimal space as only used for browsing/skype etc.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LITE-ON-32GB-SSD-LAPTOP-LSS-32L6G-HP-FREE-P-P-Solid-State-Drive-/161735145621


Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 16, 2015, 11:40:57 am
It really depends on the Netbook and if the existing hard drive is changeable and if so.  What SSD is compatible?  For the use you are suggesting that size is more than enough though  ;).
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 16, 2015, 01:54:05 pm
Would something like this work in a netbook? It's a cheapy, used 32GB SSD.

 I have  family member's netbook that could do with HD -> SSD upgrade also. Would need minimal space as only used for browsing/skype etc.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LITE-ON-32GB-SSD-LAPTOP-LSS-32L6G-HP-FREE-P-P-Solid-State-Drive-/161735145621

Highly unlikely
that's an M.2 type SSD

If the netbook has a 2.5" SATA HDD, you want the same form factor SSD, most likely with standard SATA power and data connectors

See here:
http://rog.asus.com/308552014/labels/guides/ssd-guide-pci-express-m-2-msata-and-sata-express-the-differences-explained/

*Nearly* all netbooks with an HDD will have standard SATA connectors, so you're most likely gonna want sommat like this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SanDisk-64GB-SSD-Internal-2-5-Solid-State-Drive-SATA-6Gb-s-/361157046352?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item5416a33050
bit of advice .. DO NOT buy an SSD or any other type of flash memory (USB sticks/SD cards/etc.) from an unknown source, it's highly likely to be faulty or counterfeit stuff from china, there's a LOT of it about.

Buy from someone with a reputation . Dabs/Ebuyer/etc. .. you can get 32/60/64Gb new at reasonable prices and you'll save yourself a lot of trouble.



If you're unsure but don't wanna strip the netbook before purchasing .. post the netbook make/model ehere and we'll try to figure it out.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: scifidude79 on June 16, 2015, 01:58:53 pm
Sound quality and WIFI connectivity are typically going to be issues on smaller computers, especially your lower end laptops.  The speakers are just too small to be any good.  They usually sound really tinny, even on bigger more expensive laptops.  As for WIFI, these things use a card that's usually behind a port on the bottom.  It has one or two wires coming off of it, which are the antenna wires.  This is a horrible way to get WIFI.  Usually, where you are in relation go the WIFI adapter and the exact position of the adapter can make a huge difference.  Sometimes, moving around helps, but you shouldn't have to do that with a laptop or netbook.  In fact, you'd think a netbook would have better WIFI than a cheap laptop, but I guess they don't.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 16, 2015, 04:48:08 pm
There's no doubt that the Acer C-720 Chromebook boots up faster, and has better sound quality than the Acer Aspire V5-131 Linux notebook.  The Acer C-720 has the same amount of ram (4 GBs) but has a 16 GB SSD and considerable better audio. 

Google Chrome is doing something right with that little Chromebook!  ;)

Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: VinDSL on June 16, 2015, 06:50:58 pm
*Nearly* all netbooks with an HDD will have standard SATA connectors, so you're most likely gonna want sommat like this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SanDisk-64GB-SSD-Internal-2-5-Solid-State-Drive-SATA-6Gb-s-/361157046352?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item5416a33050

bit of advice .. DO NOT buy an SSD or any other type of flash memory (USB sticks/SD cards/etc.) from an unknown source, it's highly likely to be faulty or counterfeit stuff from china, there's a LOT of it about.

Buy from someone with a reputation . Dabs/Ebuyer/etc. .. you can get 32/60/64Gb new at reasonable prices and you'll save yourself a lot of trouble.

The SDSSDP-064G-G25 (above) is almost identical to the SSD I'm running in my Dell ATG D630 Latitude 'road warrior'.  I have a SDSSDHP-064G-G25.  Looks like the only difference is standard SATA vs. SATA III. 

My Dell Latitude is SATA II, so the SATA III feature isn't being utilitzed, but after doing a little tweaking, this SSD flies like the wind on Peppermint.  9-11 sec boots (as measured via Bootchart) are common, and everything just pops, and shutdown is (almost) instantaneous.

You'd think I would be used to it by now, but this drive constantly amazes me.

Highly recommended !!!   8)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 16, 2015, 10:11:07 pm
Would something like this work in a netbook? It's a cheapy, used 32GB SSD.

 I have  family member's netbook that could do with HD -> SSD upgrade also. Would need minimal space as only used for browsing/skype etc.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LITE-ON-32GB-SSD-LAPTOP-LSS-32L6G-HP-FREE-P-P-Solid-State-Drive-/161735145621

You're more than covered.  I've done all of that with a 16 GB SSD.  A SSD of 32 GBs is really living it up!  :)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 17, 2015, 02:51:20 am
Thanks for the info.

Am waiting on final confirmation of the model from family member but 95% sure it's Samsung N110 or NC20. Pretty sure they have the same HDs.

@Mark Thanks, that 60GB version looks good.

I am also checking the RAM on the machine. Stock is 1GB. I upgraded mine ages ago to 2GB, am checking on this one. It's only 11.99 for an upgrade via Crucial to a 2GB chip (http://uk.crucial.com/gbr/en/compatible-upgrade-for/Samsung/nc110).
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 18, 2015, 01:17:17 pm
The model I'm going to upgrade is a Samsung N210 (http://www.samsung.com/uk/support/model/NP-N210-JA01UK).

I'm thinking about buying this RAM stick on Ebay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Samsung-2GB-RAM-DDR2-PC2-6400-800MHz-200pin-Laptop-SODIMM-M470T5663QZ3-/331582352727).

And as per Mark's suggestion, this 64GB SSD (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SanDisk-64GB-SSD-Internal-2-5-Solid-State-Drive-SATA-6Gb-s-/361157046352).

Any final thoughts or suggestions before I proceed?

Thanks for help.  ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 18, 2015, 02:53:26 pm
PCNetSpec's suggestion that I get Toshiba laptops with Windows 7 installed has paid rich dividends for both my wife and me.  We didn't have to play the wait-and-see guessing game as to what problems our laptops would give us if I purchased laptops with Windows 8 installed.

1) First suggestion --listen to Mark!  As he will tell you honestly are no guarantees with any of this, but Mark's experience will give you a better chance of a positive outcome.  I guarantee you that.  :))

2) Gather information about the devices sound quality.  It is important.

3) Gather information about screen resolution.  That's important too.

4) And, if you intend to take this device here and there, knowing how well its Wi-Fi works is a must.

In a nushell, listen to Mark, and remember that sound quality, screen resolution, and Wi-Fi connectivity are all very important.
Memory, of course, is essential too.  Too little of it, and the device will move like mud --as I'm learning from all the old XP computers I've been working on.

mattosensei, these are the things that come to the top of my mind off the top of my head.  And, I'm sure others here may an idea or two  I haven't even considered.  Wait a while, just to see what other ideas may come your way.

"May the odds be ever on your side."  ;)  --From the Hunger Games
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 19, 2015, 04:28:47 am
Hi perkinh thanks for the info (and apologies as I essentially hijacked this thread, though my theme is similar!  ::))

Just to clarify though - I'm not buying a new PC.

I have a family member with an old (6-7 year) netbook that is essentially now 'dead' with Windows XP/7 (I forget which) on it. I've been told it's so incredibly slow "it's ready to be scrapped" which I've said is not the case. I want to resurrect wth Linux - because I too own a 7 year old Samsung netbook and it works just fine with Peppermint on.

A major upgrade for the machine would be RAM (taking it from 1GB to 2GB) and perhaps more importantly - putting an SSD drive in there.

Wifi/screen/sound are all 'OK' on it. Not really had any complaints. Have always been pleased how well the machine can stream 720p content with no stutter.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 19, 2015, 06:50:33 am
Hello mattosensei,

It will be interesting how that 2 GBs of memory will work with the SSD.  I bet you'll get a little more bang for your buck with the SSD.  But, I have to warn you here:  I've heard that keeping multiple browser tabs open when you have only 2 GBs of memory will make even a Chromebook with an SSD move quite slowly.

Last night I wrote about an old XP computer that had only 2.4 GBs of memory --and posting here was a painful experience due to all the lag time between typing the letters and waiting for them to appear.  I'm sure this netbook with an SSD installed will do much better than that, but If you compare Chromebooks, which all have SSDs, the Chromebooks with 4GBs of memory fare much better than exactly the same models of Chromebooks with only 2GBs of memory.  I heard that an owner of a Chromebook with 2 GBs of memory can not afford the luxury of keeping multiple tabs open on his or her browser.

Still, I'm like you, I like to keep these old machines running if I can.  We also have to accept, unfortunately, that there can be some downsides to doing so at times --such as still having to deal with too many open tabs in the browser.  :(

Still, it is good to be mentally prepared for some of the downsides we may continue to experience when upgrading an older machine too.  ;)

perknh
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: Slim.Fatz on June 19, 2015, 09:39:29 am

(snip)

I heard that an owner of a Chromebook with 2 GBs of memory can not afford the luxury of keeping multiple tabs open on his or her browser.

(snip)


Hi perknh,

It really depends on your definition of multiple -- I have one of the first Acer C720 Chromebooks (bought, as I recall, in early 2012) with a 320 GB HDD and 2 GB of RAM.

I never use the ChromeOS. I immediately used Chrubuntu to install Ubuntu (12.04) on it. It was almost useless with the Unity Desktop (or whatever that piece of fat is called), but with Openbox on it there is great response and speed. And: no trouble with even 5-6 tabs open in Firefox (never used Chrome because it is such a RAM hog).

In the time since, I have upgraded to Ubuntu 14.04 (the Unity Desktop -- though improved -- is still too bizarre and overweight for this little machine) but I still enjoy using it with Openbox.

Now maybe if I tried running it with 10 or more tabs open ... ?  :-X

Regards,

-- Slim
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 19, 2015, 11:09:52 am
Hi Slim.Fatz,

I get what you're saying here --that there are many variables to consider here.  I hope I'm not confusing what I've been learning from different posts I've been reading, but my understanding is that this netbook will be going to mattosensei's mother.  Would she be a good candidate for Openbox?  Although I see its Openbox' virtues, not everybody warms to the DE's interface.

I was trying to use Chromebooks as an example of smaller netbook size computers which have SSDs and 2 GB and 4 GB models on the same make of computer.  I've seen an example on YouTube of where Chrome OS moved like mud with a Chromebook that had only 2 GBs of memory (when there were many tabs open) whereas the 4 GB model of the same make did much better with 4 GBs of memory when multiple tabs where open.

However I'm glad you brought this issue up.  It's a factor for mattosensei to keep in mind.  And, your idea of using Openbox might be just doctor will order for the particular notebook (netbooK) with which mattosensei will be working.

You make an interesting point, and your idea of a possible Openbox workaround is creative idea --in case mattosensei finds he needs to speed things up a little. 

Hopefully everything will work out well for him after he makes a few little upgrades to the particular notebook on which he is hoping to give his mother as a gift.  ;)

Thank you,

perknh
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: Slim.Fatz on June 19, 2015, 01:42:39 pm

(snip)

I hope I'm not confusing what I've been learning from different posts I've been reading, but my understanding is that this netbook will be going to mattosensei's mother.  Would she be a good candidate for Openbox?  Although I see its Openbox' virtues, not everybody warms to the DE's interface.

(snip)

Hi perknh (and mattosensei),

Anyone is a good candidate for Openbox !! It is unfortuante that the default setup of Openbox is really s**t !! It is actually not much work to make it look and behave pretty much just like our standard Peppermint Six installation or Windows XP or (with perhaps a little more work) ChromeOS. The advantages, especially on older machines, are its speed and light resource usage.

However, having said that, I really do not think that a standard Peppermint Six installation would cause any problems because I have been very impressed with its speed. The problems are with Windblows (any version), Unity, KDE and these sorts of bloated setups (although KDE can be trimmed down to probably improve its performance -- if I understand scifidudy79 correctly, but I am sure that it -- compared to Openbox or standard Peppermint Six -- is still a resource hog).

If you are interested in RAM usage, install and run htop (it shows at the top a current RAM usage value that gets constantly updated). Then  open tab after tab in Firefox and then Chrome. You will see that not only the number of tabs is important, but also what is running in them (if anything -- such as youtube videos). Your best RAM usage data for programs are collected when a program is run for the first time after you login, since closing a program does not really erase its RAM usage completely. There is something in the kernel design that prevents this (if I understand that correctly) so that a renewed start of the same program occurs more quickly.

Regards,

-- Slim
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 19, 2015, 02:15:19 pm
Hello mattosensei,

Listen!  Slim.Fatz' post above is the gem we've been looking for!!  If Openbox can be made to pretty look and function like Peppermint 6, your mom should have fewer problems with two GBs of memory than I had mentioned above.

Thank you, Slim.Fatz for this information.  My recollection of Openbox goes back to Crunchbang.  I thought Crunchbang's Openbox interface was pretty darn cool, but I was perhaps Openbox's only advocate in this house.  If I had known how to manipulate Openbox to look and behave more like Peppermint's default interface, things might have gone differently around here.

Thank you, Slim.Fatz,   And, mattosensei, I'd be delighted if you would keep us updated on how things are going with this project, and tech adventure, in which you are pursuing.

perknh
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: Slim.Fatz on June 19, 2015, 03:45:27 pm
Hi perknh,

To be honest with you: I doubt that a standard Peppermint Six installation will be any more of problem for her computer than using Openbox. The difference in RAM usage is pretty minimal -- maybe 50-70 MB.

Regards,

-- Slim
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 19, 2015, 05:08:04 pm
Would you feel any happier if I said a big chunk of the development work for Peppermint 6 was done on an an Acer Aspire One netbook with 1.5GB of RAM ;)

2GB is fine for Peppermint 6
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 19, 2015, 06:57:01 pm
Would you feel any happier if I said a big chunk of the development work for Peppermint 6 was done on an an Acer Aspire One netbook with 1.5GB of RAM ;)

2GB is fine for Peppermint 6

Hello PCNetSpec,

Yep, it worked!  I feel considerably happier now.  2 GBs is the RAM acid test number--good to know.  :)

Thank you,
perknh
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 21, 2015, 07:03:06 am
Hello perknh (and Slim and Mark)

OK I'm impressed with how little RAM one needs!

Currently typing this on my Samsung NC10 netbook (now has PM6 on it, but still on the old 160HD rather than SSD as I haven't had time to sort that yet).

I have open:
Firefox with 6 tabs including a live radio broadcast in 1 tab
GIMP with a 3500x pixel wide image having basic edits
LibreOffice open with a 4-page form (document)

And according to htop (readout below) I am only using circa 900MB of RAM! As you'll see, the bottleneck seems more likely to be CPU than RAM.

(http://i.imgur.com/1W8t5Ug.png)

So I'm pleased with that.

On my mum's (1GB) machine (mine has 2GB as I upgraded it), she won't ever be using Gimp. Firefox with multiple tabs seems to put you in the 300MB - 500MB of RAM territory. She will also probably want Skype and Viber on in the background which may drain some RAM. I need to check. This will be her backup comp for use at her house in France. In the UK she uses Sony Vaio (which, though much more powerful, has also slowed down a lot in recent years due to Windows always slowing down after a while. I should probably get her on to Linux full time, especially as I could put something like TeamViewer on there so I could easily admin in if needed. I haven't used TeamViewer yet but the research I did indicates it's probably the best thing to use to support/manage an external machine).

 :)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 21, 2015, 07:50:03 pm
Hello perknh (and Slim and Mark)

OK I'm impressed with how little RAM one needs!

Currently typing this on my Samsung NC10 netbook (now has PM6 on it, but still on the old 160HD rather than SSD as I haven't had time to sort that yet).

I have open:
Firefox with 6 tabs including a live radio broadcast in 1 tab
GIMP with a 3500x pixel wide image having basic edits
LibreOffice open with a 4-page form (document)

And according to htop (readout below) I am only using circa 900MB of RAM! As you'll see, the bottleneck seems more likely to be CPU than RAM.

I'm impressed too!

And, now to your mum's machine:

Quote
On my mum's (1GB) machine (mine has 2GB as I upgraded it), she won't ever be using Gimp. Firefox with multiple tabs seems to put you in the 300MB - 500MB of RAM territory. She will also probably want Skype and Viber on in the background which may drain some RAM. I need to check.... I should probably get her on to Linux full time... --mattosensei


Are you going to upgrade memory on her machine?  I was shocked yesterday to see that PCNetSpec was working with an Acer notebook with only 2 GBs of memory.  But what a great acid test that is in order to see how well things will work, or are going to work, with a new edition of Peppermint.  (Also, I'm very fond of Acer notebooks.  They are well-built machines.)

Now, I have to say that 1 GB of memory seems a somewhat meager resource to my way of thinking.   Are you planning to both upgrade her machine's RAM, and install an SSD on it too?  If so, why not go all the way, and give this good woman the gift of Peppermint 6 too?  My wife is very happy with her P6 installation, and I know she'll never, never go back to Windows either.  I bet a dollar to a doughnut, your mum would love a Peppermint 6 installation.  (I'm doing this for my grandson right now on his first ever computer -- a new Acer notebook!) 

I consider giving the gift of Peppermint 6 nothing less than an act of true love for the people we care about the most.  :)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 22, 2015, 04:05:06 am
Are you going to upgrade memory on her machine?  I was shocked yesterday to see that PCNetSpec was working with an Acer notebook with only 2 GBs of memory.  But what a great acid test that is in order to see how well things will work, or are going to work, with a new edition of Peppermint.  (Also, I'm very fond of Acer notebooks.  They are well-built machines.)

Now, I have to say that 1 GB of memory seems a somewhat meager resource to my way of thinking.   Are you planning to both upgrade her machine's RAM, and install an SSD on it too?  If so, why not go all the way, and give this good woman the gift of Peppermint 6 too?  My wife is very happy with her P6 installation, and I know she'll never, never go back to Windows either.  I bet a dollar to a doughnut, your mum would love a Peppermint 6 installation.  (I'm doing this for my grandson right now on his first ever computer -- a new Acer notebook!) 

I consider giving the gift of Peppermint 6 nothing less than an act of true love for the people we care about the most.  :)

Yeh I got a 2nd hand ram stick for 10 so have gone with that. Haven't bought the SSD yet. Not being tight but as it's a back-up comp I think it might be a bit overkill, even though it's only 30. I know from having used my Samsung Netbook (that has 2GB RAM but no SSD) that you can get good throughput on websites/Firefox etc without the SSD. I will upgrade my own as I have a spare SSD lying around and I'll use it more than she'll use hers. I think the RAM upgrade + moving to Peppermint should be a good tonic from the glacial speed of a dying Windows installation  ;)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on June 29, 2015, 09:02:06 pm
Quote
...when I was with family yesterday, installed PM 6 to parent's netbook which was a success. --mattosensei

Was this the notebook you were going to fix up for your mother?  If so, I'm happy to hear that all went well.  :)
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: mattosensei on June 30, 2015, 06:42:06 pm
Quote
...when I was with family yesterday, installed PM 6 to parent's netbook which was a success. --mattosensei

Was this the notebook you were going to fix up for your mother?  If so, I'm happy to hear that all went well.  :)

Yes, it's now on there thanks  ;D

She uses Windoze 8.1 on Sony Vaio most of the time here but in France at her second home when she's there she plans to leave the netbook which had reached total meltdown unable to run Win7 on it. I have written out some instrucs for doing all basic things and put shortcuts to desktop so hopefully she'll figure it out...  :P

I did try and use TeamViewer for the first time the other day but that didn't work, was getting connection errors  >:(  so will need to try that again. Ended up giving her instrucs via Skype 'share your screen' which was slightly less preferable but having said that - she had to do the work and I watched, so probably better practice!! That was on the Windoze machine though.
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 30, 2015, 07:21:48 pm
Weird, I can honestly say I've NEVER had a problem with Teamviewer

Windows  <-->  Windows
Linux  <-->  Linux
Linux  <-->  Windows

It's ALWAYS worked flawlessly
Title: Re: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks
Post by: perknh on July 02, 2015, 04:13:54 pm
Quote
...when I was with family yesterday, installed PM 6 to parent's netbook which was a success. --mattosensei

Was this the notebook you were going to fix up for your mother?  If so, I'm happy to hear that all went well.  :)

Yes, it's now on there thanks  ;D

She uses Windoze 8.1 on Sony Vaio most of the time here but in France at her second home when she's there she plans to leave the netbook which had reached total meltdown unable to run Win7 on it. I have written out some instrucs for doing all basic things and put shortcuts to desktop so hopefully she'll figure it out...  :P

Well, mattosensei, I'm so happy you installed Peppermint for her netbook which is in France.  Peppermint 5 or 6 a perfect distribution for netbooks.  Let's be patient to hear what she says about Peppermint.  I'm sure she's going to love it --especially after dealing with that odious 8.1.

mattosensei, report in, after she uses her netbook for a few days.  I bet she's going to fall in love that netbook again!  ;)

perknh