Peppermint OS

General => Hardware => Topic started by: VinDSL on January 02, 2017, 07:04:46 pm

Title: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 02, 2017, 07:04:46 pm
Well, I couldn't take it any longer ...

The Dell Latitude E6430 refurbs I posted about last year (almost to the day) (https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,2934.msg29034.html#msg29034) finally hit my price point.

LINK (actual purchase):  https://www.dellrefurbished.com/catalog/product/view/id/26649/s/dell-latitude-e6430/

Couldn't pass it up @ $198.11 USD w/Promo Code, delivered.  The CPU  is worth more than the total purchase price (https://www.amazon.com/Intel-AW8063801108900-Dual-core-Processor-Supported/dp/B00E7QER0W) !

Gonna add 4GB RAM, Bluetooth module, back-lit keyboard, SSD, and secondary battery, but Dell parts are dirt chip.

Anybody else buy themselves some toys over the holidays ?   :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: AndyInMokum on January 02, 2017, 09:15:25 pm
Damn it John, you're giving me ideas that'll get me into deep doodoo with the Mrs.  I love my Dell Latitude e6410.  That e6430 looks mighty tempting.  It's got my brain a whirring  :).  I'd take out the optical drive and stick an extra drive caddy in the thing.  I've done this on my e6410.  The main drive is a SanDisk 240GB SSD Plus with three distros.  The extra drive is a 1TB WD blue HDD for shared /DATA and swap.  The combo works a treat too  ;).
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 03, 2017, 02:39:04 am
Can't beat Dell Latitudes IMO, Andy !  And, the price was right.  This will be the 3rd Latitude in my stable:
The biggest reason(s) I bought the E6430 was because it has an HDMI port, USB3 ports, supports 3 external monitors, and weighs half as much as my 'road warrior'.  You wouldn't *think* 4 lbs vs 8 lbs would make any difference, but it DOES when you're lugging it around the country, on your shoulder.

You probably spotted the 'promo code' on the main laptop page (https://www.dellrefurbished.com/laptops), but in case you didn't:

Quote
* 60% Off E6430 Laptops, use Coupon: CHEER6430 - Limited time offer.


I would have been perfectly happy with an i5, but when I first saw the special, there were three i7s listed, two Grade-A's, one Grade-B. 

I spent a few minutes contemplating whether or not a Grade-A i7 model was worth the extra price.  By the time I made up my mind to pull the trigger, there was only one i7 model left- the Grade-B.  So, the choice was easy.  LoL !   :D

If you want to get in on this current deal, do it soon. 

When I ordered my E6430, there were over 700+ available.  Inventory is down to 125, as I type ...
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on January 03, 2017, 04:08:40 am
They say we're in a "global market", but I'm betting there's no chance of getting one of these in the UK.
(or without adding £200 in import duties::))
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on January 03, 2017, 04:10:28 am
I couldn't see an order button, or any delivery offered outside the States. Looking at the UK equivalent site, the deals there are pathetic by comparison.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on January 03, 2017, 04:39:51 am
My point Egg-Zactly :(

"Rip Off Britain" strikes again.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on January 03, 2017, 05:04:10 am
I wouldn't even mind the import tax on that, if they worked it out off the price paid. What I object to is Dell refusing to sell to us because their subsidiary over here is conning everyone.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on January 03, 2017, 05:10:08 am
I wouldn't even mind the import tax on that, if they worked it out off the price paid.

LOL .. there's wishful thinking for you .. we ARE talking about HMRC.
(you know for sure they'd "estimate" it based on "new" prices over here .. however they can "interpret" the rules to maximise their thieving grab tax)

The ONLY chance you have is for an American friend to post you one, and HOPE the post office don't spot it.
(and if they do either submit to rip off britain, or spend 6 months arguing over it's "worth" .. and loosing no matter what the evidence)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on January 03, 2017, 05:36:24 am
 ::) Can't argue with that really.  At least there's always Fleabay, where most sellers don't care where they send it to and the box might not be marked with a big Dell logo  ???
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: scifidude79 on January 03, 2017, 06:26:14 am
Awesome computer and a fantastic steal.  That CPU is a beast.  8)

I couldn't see an order button

That's because there's not one.  They probably sold out at that price.  A computer with a 3 GHz i7 for under $200 is an absolute steal.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 03, 2017, 04:10:10 pm
I couldn't see an order button [...]

That was the webpage for the actual laptop that I purchased, hence no order button.

I saved the link, in case it doesn't come configured exactly as ordered ...
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 03, 2017, 04:20:56 pm
A computer with a 3 GHz i7 for under $200 is an absolute steal.

IKR

Looks like the sale is off.  And, they've listed some 2.9 GHz i7's.  Check today's prices ...   :)

LINK:  https://www.dellrefurbished.com/laptops?filter_model=399&filter_processor_brand=190

Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: scifidude79 on January 03, 2017, 07:51:45 pm
You scored for sure.  :D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 11, 2017, 03:12:33 am
Interesting !

I finally received my Dell E6430 yesterday.  Took forever to get here !  Scab trucking company -- FedEx   :P

I charged it overnite, and ...

This thing is already perfectly configured from the factory and blazeningly fast on Peppermint (USB ISO).

I planned to do a lot of mods, but my first impression is: all this thing needs is a Sammy 850 Pro and an additional 4GB RAM stick.

Damn you Dell !!!
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on January 11, 2017, 08:06:04 am
LOL .. tinkerers hell eh!!!
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 11, 2017, 03:22:49 pm
LOL .. tinkerers hell eh!!!

It's like buying a car, expecting to customize it, only to find out it's already been done.

Really, it's perfectly usable, the way it is.  Smooth, baby, like driving a Cadillac ! 

Maybe I should have bought a Volkwagen instead of a Corvette, with an i3 CPU and 2GB RAM.

I need to at least replace the spinner with an SSD, right ?   ::)

Oh, well, I'm gonna pop it open, and see how it looks inside ...
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: AndyInMokum on January 11, 2017, 03:50:18 pm

...I need to at least replace the spinner with an SSD, right ?   ::)

Oh, well, I'm gonna pop it open, and see how it looks inside ...

Without a doubt replace the spinner.  While you're at it, replace the "coffee cup holder" with an extra drive caddy  8)!!
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 11, 2017, 04:55:06 pm
While you're at it, replace the "coffee cup holder" with an extra drive caddy  8)!!

I'm seriously considering that.

I was originally thinking about adding a secondary battery, but I have a hunch this E6430 is going to last longer on battery power than I expected.  If so, I'll definitely go with a second drive instead.   ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: AndyInMokum on January 11, 2017, 05:27:35 pm
While you're at it, replace the "coffee cup holder" with an extra drive caddy  8)!!

I'm seriously considering that.

I was originally thinking about adding a secondary battery, but I have a hunch this E6430 is going to last longer on battery power than I expected.  If so, I'll definitely go with a second drive instead.   ;)

I did it on my Dell Latitude e6410.  I slung a WD 1TB Blue HDD for my /DATA partition.  I tagged the SWAP space on the end of the drive too.  That way it's not putting any unnecessary burden on the 240GB SanDisk Plus SSD I have in the main drive bay.   It took  all of about 5 min to swap it out.  I've a Dell eSATA external DVD/CD reader and writer.  I slung the optical drive in that.   You're absolutely correct, Dells are really easy to customise and the parts are peanuts to buy.  The whole setup I have runs like a charm  ;).   I've done the same thing with one of the HP 6930p Elitebooks I have.  Only on that, I used two SSDs.  That machine is now so robust, I can sling it around like a rag doll  :o.   it's close to indestructible  ;).
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 12, 2017, 03:24:04 am
First thing I NEED to do is add some RAM.

I opened up my E4630 last night, checked the RAM stick, blew the chassis out with compressed air, et cetera.

It comes with CAS 11 RAM, so I thought I'd better stick with that.

I ordered a matching stick (https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-original-204-pin-PC3L-12800-M471B5173EB0-YK0/dp/B01CBIC3OE/), before going to bed.  That'll give me 8GB RAM, which should be sufficient.   ;)

While I'm waiting for the RAM to arrive, I'll start hunting for a SSD ...
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 15, 2017, 08:51:49 am
Gotta love that Amazon.com guaranteed 1-Day delivery ! 

Bought a Sammy 850 EVO before going to bed late Saturday night. 

Woke up Sunday morning, and there it was, sitting on my doorstep.


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Sammy-850-EVO_2017-01-15_09:37:01.jpg)


"That'll do, pig.  That'll do."  ~ Farmer Hoggett
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: spence on January 15, 2017, 09:39:08 am
Well, I couldn't take it any longer ...

The Dell Latitude E6430 refurbs I posted about last year (almost to the day) (https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,2934.msg29034.html#msg29034) finally hit my price point.

LINK (actual purchase):  https://www.dellrefurbished.com/catalog/product/view/id/26649/s/dell-latitude-e6430/

Couldn't pass it up @ $198.11 USD w/Promo Code, delivered.  The CPU  is worth more than the total purchase price (https://www.amazon.com/Intel-AW8063801108900-Dual-core-Processor-Supported/dp/B00E7QER0W) !

Gonna add 4GB RAM, Bluetooth module, back-lit keyboard, SSD, and secondary battery, but Dell parts are dirt chip.

Anybody else buy themselves some toys over the holidays ?   :)

I already returned the toy I bought, too underpowered with an i3 and no ability to upgrade the memory, nor the drive to ssd....  https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,4905.msg49123.html#msg49123 (https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,4905.msg49123.html#msg49123)

And getting a bit weary of laptops who's batteries become useless too quickly, I've been pondering rebuilding my mini-ATX desktop. The choices are daunting me though. Wondering if i may ask, what was your logic for not choosing a quad core in your new toy?
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 15, 2017, 11:29:02 am
Wondering if i may ask, what was your logic for not choosing a quad core in your new toy?

Nothing I'll be doing will require 4 active cores.  This will primarily be used for business/enterprise purposes.

None of the software I run will use 8 threads. 4 will be sufficient, and HT (hyperthreading) handles 4 threads in parallel, so no biggie.

Bottom line:  I was seeking higher clock speed, reduced heat, and longer battery life.

Not knocking quads !  If I ended up with a lower speed quad-core CPU, I'm sure it would have been fine.

BTW, anecdotal comments (such as below) ultimately swayed my opinion, too ...   ;)

EXTRA CREDIT READING:  http://www.notebookchat.com/index.php/topic,37516.msg228012.html#msg228012

Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on January 15, 2017, 11:31:48 am
Good god, they deliver on Sundays in the US ?

Nice one though, Samsung 850 Pro's rock :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 15, 2017, 12:14:11 pm
Good god, they deliver on Sundays in the US ?

Yup !  And, if the product doesn't get here in 1-day, customer service credits your account with a extra month of 'Prime' for free.

It's like playing the lotto.  I figure the odds are skewed in my favor.


Nice one though, Samsung 850 Pro's rock :)

In anticipation of the next question ...   8)

I bought a brace of Samsung 850 EVOs instead of 850 PROs.  Both of them are head n' heels above everything else, in that price-range.

I haven't done forensics on a Sammy 850 yet, but after extrapolating the data, the only difference I see is a 5-year vs. 10-year warranty. 

Personally, I can't see paying a 30% premium for a 10-year warranty that I'll never use.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on January 15, 2017, 12:32:10 pm
Oooh, there's much more to it than just the guarantee .. though that should also tell you something :)

Don't get me wrong, the EVO would probably be my second choice (and a close one), but I've found if you look around you can usually find a Pro for not much more .. at least over here, but that's still probably twice what you guys pay.re

Over here the EVO is an expensive premium drive, the Pro is just stupid expensive .. so we end up with a situation where you can't get a discounted EVO but you CAN get heavily discounted Pro's which if you hunt around often makes em the same price as an EVO .. go figure ???

After reading a million and one technical tests and reviews I now swear by 850 Pro's .. At their price point I do however wish Samsung would add power loss protection like the Crucials (and some others) for what little it's worth.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 15, 2017, 01:46:39 pm
Oooh, there's much more to it than just the guarantee .. though that should also tell you something :) [...]


Over here the EVO is an expensive premium drive, the Pro is just stupid expensive .. so we end up with a situation where you can't get a discounted EVO but you CAN get heavily discounted Pro's which if you hunt around often makes em the same price as an EVO .. go figure ???

There are a LOT of things to consider, in this country, including misrepresentation and downright fraud, by unscrupulous marketers. 

When I see 'hot web deals' I'm more worried about getting a shop-worn item (repaired), being sold as 'new', or a grey-market item (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_market#Electronics) with no warrant at all.

I thought about buying a 850 Pro, but this 850 EVO is working well, so I decided to roll the dice and get another one.

Then, there are my ulterior motives:  I have a theory that I can shoehorn 2 Sammy EVOs in my Dell 7010 SFF case.  Only one way to find out.  Or, maybe I'll buy a 512GB Pro for the 7010 and install dual 250GB EVOs in my Dell E6430, as Andy suggested.  Yada, yada, yada !

I dunno.  In a way, it's like buying ground beef.  You really don't know what you're getting, unless you kill the cow and grind 'em yourself.  Butchers aren't known for their integrity.  Ask a cow ...   ;D

I suppose the only sure way to know what you're getting is to buy directly from the OEM.  And, sometimes that's the  cheapest option, but not in this case.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on January 19, 2017, 03:17:43 am
All hardware arrived - installed - tested.

Not much free time right now, but it's getting there ...


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Screenshot_2017-01-19_03_04_00.png)


Next steps:  Peppermint 7 Respin   8)


Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on February 11, 2017, 09:43:57 am
Well, I gone off the reservation again ...   ;D

I'm dual-booting '7' & '10' now - both working flawlessly !

I swapped out the POS Broadcom WiFi adapter for a SOTA Intel 7260 AC + Bluetooth card (http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-products/dual-band-wireless-ac-7260-bluetooth.html).  Highly recommended !

During testing, at work (we have a NOC on the property with multiple light sword feeds (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_operations_center)) the Intel 7260 AC card measured @ 58 mbps (802.11n connection).

802.11n is no longer flavor-of-the-month (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11), but it's good enough for the abode, and probably well established and common enough for on-the-road usage (hotel rooms, convention halls, airport concourses, et cetera).

So, my latest addition is going to be an ASUS RT-N12/D1 AP (access point) for home usage.  Ordered one NIB from Newegg for $10 USD, after rebate and promo code (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320168).  Ordered it last night.

Couldn't rationalize spending $430 USD for the latest n' greatest AC 802.11ac router (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA91J5708883)  when a $10 USD 802.11n AP will fill the bill.

Anyway, onward n' upward  ...   8)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on February 21, 2017, 03:13:54 am
Gotta love those Newegg "Shell Shockers" (ordered) !  Think about it ...    :D

SOURCE:  https://goo.gl/24F0x3

Gonna use it for a 'parts' machine:


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Screenshot_2017-02-21_04:06:17.png)


Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on February 21, 2017, 03:03:12 pm
I'm beginning to wonder if there'd be more money in PC smuggling than drugs :o

You reckon they'd survive a drop from a low flying plane piloted by some Mexican dude ?
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on February 25, 2017, 04:55:25 pm
(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Screenshot_2017-02-21_04:06:17.png)


Test bench pics ...


Humpty Dumpty takedown - blow out the dust bunnies - check for bulging caps - swap the HDD, et cetera.

(http://vindsl.com/images/P1030745.png)


Gotta love the quality of these enterprise business machines - original MSRP $1306.00 USD - push/pull air flow

(http://vindsl.com/images/P1030746.png)


Works !   Gonna see if I can blow it up now ...  8)

(http://vindsl.com/images/P1030755.png)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on February 25, 2017, 05:02:53 pm
Jeez that fan must be powerful .. when you turned it on it sucked all the colour out of the world :o

Switch the damn thing off .. I'm redoing the house electrics and can't tell which wire is which >:(
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on February 25, 2017, 05:40:11 pm
Heh !  Yeah ...

You can't even hear the fans spinning, during operation.  The heatsinks are shrouded after reassembly, and the PS fan doesn't slap air either, so it's quiet as a fanless design. No kidding !

Only noise you hear, coming from this thing, is occasional HDD churning, during startup, app installation/upgrades, and so forth.

I've been running SSDs long enough that I'd totally forgot about head (voice coil) noise.   ;D

Anyway, I took that last pic at dusk, so the colors were washed out.  The choice was a neutral sepia-tone or monochrome, and I picked the latter.

BTW, if I decide to keep this machine in my stable, I think I'll put one of my Sammys in it.  Been considering a 1TB Mushkin Reactor (http://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Mushkin-Reactor-1TB/Rating/3583) for my daily driver.  Supposed to be just a fast and dependable as a Samsung Evo ...
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on February 25, 2017, 06:25:33 pm
Talking of 1TB SSD's and "new purchases", I've got a couple of still boxed Crucial MX200 500GB mSATA SSD's I've been thinking of combining into a single 1TB 2.5" SATA with one of these:
https://www.startech.com/HDD/Adapters/Dual-mSATA-SSD-to-2-5-SATA-RAID-Adapter~25SAT22MSAT
(I bought the MX200's because they have power loss protection .. or so they claim, dunno if it's worth the silicon it's written on but can't hurt right :) )

I've come across people on the web advising others against it, they say "you'd be better off with one single SSD because if one of the RAID pair dies (in striped RAID0 or BIG/SPAN mode) you'll loose everything" .. erm, you could say the same about a chip going out in ANY SSD ::)
(I think they're trying to say you're doubling the failure surface area .. well not really, a 1TB SSD has twice the chip count of a 500GB, but okay probably one less controller)

At least I could unplug the dead one, reformat and start again at half capacity .. or replace the dead bit at half the cost :)

It's a pity an SSD pretty much swamps SATA (6GB) anyway, so there's no real scope for the performance increase of RAID0 :(

[EDIT]

Oh, and for the record I generally hate those cases with sections that swing up /slide out / slot in / twist out .. they seem impressive the way they give easier access allowing effective use of space, but I inevitably slice a hand open on an effin burr somewhere.
(and chain-male gloves may be cool with a sword, but they're a bugger when working with small screws)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on February 25, 2017, 07:20:31 pm
Hold on ...

NOTE TO SELF:  Custom clock settings

Okay, back on topic ...

That RAID adapter is cute.  I likey !   ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on February 27, 2017, 02:45:43 am
So, my latest addition is going to be an ASUS RT-N12/D1 AP (access point) for home usage.  Ordered one NIB from Newegg for $10 USD, after rebate and promo code (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320168).

Couldn't rationalize spending $430 USD for the latest n' greatest AC 802.11ac router (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA91J5708883)  when a $10 USD 802.11n AP will fill the bill.)

OMG !!!  I just spent 4 hours backtracing a print server prob on my LAN.  After trying all the usual software solutions, it turned out to be a janky CAT5 cable.   :P

Guess I should have tried the usual hardware solutions first, but how often does a feking ethernet connector go bad, you know ?

All is good now (print server is reachable over the LAN) ...

Code: [Select]
╭─vindsl@Boogaloo-5 ~ 
╰─➤  nmap -sP --max-retries=1 --host-timeout=1000ms 10.0.0.150

Starting Nmap 7.01 ( https://nmap.org ) at 2017-02-26 13:37 MST
Nmap scan report for 10.0.0.150
Host is up (0.0080s latency).
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 0.05 seconds

My AP arrived yesterday.  Took 15 days via FedEx ground.  Won't use those bastards again ! 

Anyway, I'll walk down to the mailbox, retrieve the goods, and start config'ing the AP.

It's a matter of priorities.  In my world, print servers trump wireless access points.  LoL !   :D 


[ 12 hours later ]


This ASUS RT-N12/D1  is ridiculously simple to setup !  Good thing, because the manual is exactly three sentences long - in about 20 different languages.  LoL !   ::)

First thing I did was flash the ROM with the latest firmware. 

Ran it as a 'Range Extender' for a couple of hours.  Worked fine.  I might return to this mode later, as it doesn't require a CAT5 connection.  It's strictly WiFi, all the way around.

I'm using it as an 'Access Point' now.  That works fine, too. 

Next step is to flash it with DD-WRT firmware (https://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Asus_RT-N12).  Been wanting to play with DD-WRT for years, but never owned a router that was compatible with the haxor.

All in all, I can see why ASUS routers are so popular ...    8)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on February 27, 2017, 06:22:53 am
I'd be interested to hear if DD-WRT is worth it, if so I may look into one of these myself.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on February 28, 2017, 07:42:14 pm
Can't beat Dell Latitudes IMO, Andy !  And, the price was right.  This will be the 3rd Latitude in my stable:
  • ) D620, used 24/7/365 as a DJ bot
  • ) D630 ATG, my 'road warrior'
  • ) E6430, to-be-determined

Well, my Peppermint 6 DJ bot (bootable USB stick with persistence) ralphed yesterday.  285 days uptime, since last boot.   8)

I clicked the Menu button (on the panel) and boom !  Blew a hole in the file system.  FSCK was useless.

I installed Peppermint 7 Respin and everything is good again.  Only problem I had was 'xfce4-power-manager' wouldn't blank the display, and no amount of fiddling around fixed it.  So, I purged it and installed 'mate-power-manager'.  Bingo !

Gotta say, I have a newfound respect for USB sticks.  I never expected it to last this long, being hammered 24/7/365.

Amazing !
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on February 28, 2017, 07:47:30 pm
I'd be interested to hear if DD-WRT is worth it, if so I may look into one of these myself.

I'll let you know.  Probably do it this weekend. 

I'm dealing with crafty attorneys all week. 

Gotta watch my P's & Q's, you know ?   ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on March 01, 2017, 06:29:12 am
I'm dealing with .. attorneys all week.

And what exactly did you do in your previous life to deserve that particular karma ?
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on March 01, 2017, 06:18:49 pm
And what exactly did you do in your previous life to deserve that particular karma ?

I dunno.  It's just a game we play.

Everybody wants to ride the bronc that ain't been rode before, you know ?   ;D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: kimbopeppermint on March 07, 2017, 04:13:52 pm
Hey VinDSL, I've had experience fixing those specific Dell Latitude series, there's 3 things you're gonna have to watch out for. The normal battery, the non extended one is pretty bad. The ram needs to be about 6GB on these or they wont run well with Windows, Linux is obviously fine under 4GB, and the internal WIFI cards are super janky. I would replace it with a Intel card from Amazon. Hope yours works out though, just keep in mind when they broke for people it was usually the Wifi Card that was broken and I had to replace from another machine. ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on March 07, 2017, 05:22:31 pm
Thanks, kimbopeppermint !  I think Mark can attest to this ...

The first thing I do, when I buy a laptop, is rip 'em apart and start replacing stuff.  I'm a merciless butcher of virgin machines !

I replaced the WiFi cards in every one of them.  You're right.  The originals were shiz.  The replacements all work great, especially the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 in my E6430.  Damn thing's amazing, actually !   8)

I've got dual batteries in my D630 ATG, 6-cell & 9-cell  (15 cells total) - genuine Dell packs with Jap cells.   It'll run all day n' night without needing a recharge.

I haven't taken my E6430 on a trip yet, but it seems to be pretty miserly.  If I find myself looking for electrical outlets in airport concourses, conference rooms, and such, I'll buy a bigger battery and/or install dual batteries.

All I run on my D-series Dells is Peppermint OS w/4GB RAM.  On the E-series, I'm dual-booting Peppermint & winders 10 w/8GB RAM.

Anyway, you're spot on, all the way around !
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on March 07, 2017, 05:34:26 pm
I'm "attesting" to nothing, far too much of a legal overtone for me...

But I'll back up what you said if that's enough ?

Yep, the dude can't stop messin with his erm, "hardware" .. yeah that's what I meant :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: kimbopeppermint on March 08, 2017, 03:31:01 pm
@VinDSL So beautiful to see a Dell Latitude running Peppermint OS and configured with proper intel upgrades and quality parts. I've seen em running Win 7 64bit with only 3GB ram installed, the non extended battery, and the default WIFI adapter and they were supposed to work efficiently with that. BTW "I'm a merciless butcher of virgin machines !" made me burst out laughing when I read it. That's going in my Sig.  8) ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: rickc on March 27, 2017, 02:10:03 am
My modern laptop died last week (quite expensive HP, poor build quality ) and I'm very happy how it's turned out

Bought myself a reconditioned Dell Latitude e5510 for £175 and it's great.  Love that the DVD drive isn't flimsy, that the keyboard is business standard, quality speakers etc etc.

Even though I'm delighted with it, I'm taking it back to the local pc shop to upgrade ram from 4gb to 12, and go for a SSD.   240gb Kingston SSD just £59 now on e-bay.

Now dual booting with windows 7, using that for steam (can't be without age of empires 2 HD!!!) and Peppermint for all else.  W7 is quite good to be fair, far prefer it to 8 and 10.

Also feeling quite pleased with myself - saved my broken laptops harddrive and put it in a caddy to save my data (for me, that's quite clever ). Have also removed the 8gb ram

This set up will hopefully see me through the next 3 years while w7 remains supported

Sometimes bad news can turn into good news :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on March 27, 2017, 03:46:22 am
Bought myself a reconditioned Dell Latitude e5510 for £175 and it's great [...]

This set up will hopefully see me through the next 3 years while w7 remains supported

Sometimes bad news can turn into good news :)

Score !   Yes, every cloud has a silver lining, for sure.

Can't beat a Dell Latitude IMO, nor their enterprise-class desktop boxes, nor their business-class monitors.

Latitude keyboards/trackpads are solid, but their desktop keyboards are garbage.  Sometimes, they're dead on arrival, new OOTB.  And, the lettering [decals] fall off the keys and become unreadable, in short order.  I prefer IBM or HP business keyboards - the bigger and heavier the better, but I digress.

Have fun !  Blow the dust bunnies out of your Latitude, every once-in-a-while, and it should last forever ...   ;D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on March 27, 2017, 09:20:01 am
Yeah I'll not be buying another HP consumer grade laptop either .. they're "okay", but the build quality is rubbish .. where the heck is that "T" key, oh yeah it's the shiny black one to the right of the half an "E" and half an "R" keys

I apparently have a QW_| . Y keyboard...
(and this is only about 12 months old)

Not good for a "single finger typist" with fat fingers to boot ::)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: rickc on March 28, 2017, 12:04:51 pm
Yesterday I was thinking, "love this Dell Latitude, the only shame is the lack of USB3"

A quick google later and I discover something very cheap called "USB3 express card".   

Perfect  :)

Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on May 22, 2017, 08:20:49 pm
On the heels of my Dell 9-cell battery purchase ...

Can't pass up a LinkSys WRT1900AC router for $54.99 USD (https://goo.gl/vSCHjW) !

No sense in owning an Intel AC WiFi card, without a matching AC router, yes ?  8)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on May 23, 2017, 06:02:30 am
Cool, that's DD-WRT able too apparently.

Once again, sommat we can't get over here .. there's no refurbished stuff on the Linksys GB site.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cavy on May 23, 2017, 01:44:00 pm
RIP OFF BRITAIN: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linksys-WRT1900ACS-Gigabit-Processor-Ethernet/dp/B01562PSIU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495572156&sr=8-1&keywords=Linksys+WRT1900AC+AC1900

& https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/259-3702749-6956707?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Linksys+WRT1900AC+AC1900+
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on May 23, 2017, 04:35:36 pm
Cool, that's DD-WRT able too apparently [...]

Yeah, I never could get my [recently purchased] Asus router to run on DD-WRT.  It was a hatchet job.  They don't make a ver specifically for the model I bought, so ... I thought I'd better quit flashing it, before it bricked.  I plan to re-purpose the Asus as a repeater, in the middle of my abode.  Works great for that !

Shouldn't be a prob, flashing the LinkSys.

Also, I was reading a review on the LinkSys (https://goo.gl/8l1vlm) at lunch today, and they said it'll host up to two external storage devices at a time [USB2/USB3/eSATA] so that's a plus.

Quote
The WRT1900AC's NAS performance was the most impressive. When coupled with a portable drive connected to its USB 3.0 port via a gigabit connection, the router registered a sustained speed of 75MBps for writing and 105MBps for reading. These are by far the fastest among all routers that have this feature, and even faster than many high-end dedicated NAS servers.

For the price, I'll give it a whirl ...   ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on May 23, 2017, 04:48:34 pm
Erm so would I :(
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on May 23, 2017, 05:05:42 pm
RIP OFF BRITAIN [...]

Believe me.  You can get ripped off here, too.   ;)

I have a mail account dedicated to receiving hot deals, several times a day.  99% of the time, I scan the offers, and delete the email(s) immediately after I read them.  But, every once in a while I run across deals I can't pass up.  And, if you don't pay close attention --  the really hot deals are gone in a few minutes, to an hour.

This is one of my favorite places:  https://goo.gl/hUp0

You have sites like that in the UK, right ?

I just watch, and wait, and jump on stuff when I see it.  I've been wanting an AC router, since I bought an Intel AC WiFi card for my Dell E6430, but I didn't want to get bent over the counter, you know ?
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on May 23, 2017, 06:17:39 pm
Oh sure, there's plenty of sites like that if you want to spend all day and save a whopping £2 on a £600 telly ::)

But nothing ever gets sold cheap .. they'd rather land fill it than create any "real" competition.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on May 23, 2017, 06:27:27 pm
Well, that's sad ...  :(
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 02, 2017, 04:27:55 am
LinkSys WRT-1900AC Update

Man, I'll tell you what:

I probably have 20 routers and switches laying around here [boxes full of them].  I'm using a handful of the best ones on my LAN, and I *thought* I'd seen it all.  But ...

This thing is something else !

I don't have time to research the best firmware and flash it [yet], but OOTB this router is straight out of a Dr. Who movie.

I'm considering buying the matching switch (http://www.linksys.com/us/p/P-SE4008/), but it's unmanaged, so I probably won't, but it's very tempting.

Anyway, highly recommended, if anyone is interested in stuff like this.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 02, 2017, 04:47:00 am
I've seriously been considering it .. how's the range and signal strength ?
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 03, 2017, 07:08:13 am
I've seriously been considering it .. how's the range and signal strength ?

Short answer: It's all good !

Extended answer: I don't know how to measure and quantify the results, in a meaningful way. 

My abode is a 2000 sq ft single level dwelling, in a nice neighborhood, surrounded by a sea of WiFi routers.

The primary concern, to me, with any router is; Does it drop the connection ?

The secondary concern is; Does the sea of WiFi routers negatively affect its operation ?

The answer to both is: No !

Something that you might find interesting: In dusty, arid, desert regions, like this, Stucco home construction is very popular. Basically, the houses are made of sticks and mud, with tile roofs.  'Chicken wire' is what holds the whole thing together, and tends to act as a Faraday cage.  The wire covering blocks outside signals from coming in, and inside signals from going out.

WiFi signals are measured in milliwatts, and don't go through interior walls effectively, thus requiring multiple WiFi routers inside your Faraday dwelling.  In this abode, I'm using three WiFi rounters, and a brace of ethernet routers, for the printer server, and so forth.

This topology makes it hard to accurately measure how efficacious a single 'spoke in the wheel' is performing.

All I can tell you is: It doesn't drop connections, it gets along fine with the surrounding hordes of WiFi routers, it's shockingly fast, and it allows my lappy to connect on channel 161 @ 5GHz [for instance], instead of channel 1-11 @ 2.4 GHz, which almost all of my neighbors are using.

The jury is still out, on the matching switch. If I wasn't such a sucker for 'design' I wouldn't even consider it, but ...  it's soooo pretty, you know ?  8)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 03, 2017, 07:21:01 am
Something that you might find interesting: In dusty, arid, desert regions, like this, Stucco home construction is very popular. Basically, the houses are made of sticks and mud, with tile roofs.  'Chicken wire' is what holds the whole thing together, and tends to act as a Faraday cage.  The wire covering blocks outside signals from coming in, and inside signals from going out.

Yep, definitely "interesting", but not really relevant in blighty :))
(as isn't "2000 Sq/f abode" unless maybe Richard Branson needs a new router)

These are the kind of things that always make me feel "Ooooh, gotta get me one of those", then I calm down and think "what's the point, my router does what I need", it's reasonably quick, I don't have wireless AC on my PC's, and it rarely drops out being kinda conspicuous only by its invisibility.

[EDIT]

I think it's mainly because I've always wanted a play with DD-WRT .. but I have to wonder if £160 for a quick fumble is worth it.

So, sorry I probably got you typing for nothing there :-[
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 03, 2017, 08:07:58 am
I think it's mainly because I've always wanted a play with DD-WRT .. but I have to wonder if £160 for a quick fumble is worth it.

So, sorry I probably got you typing for nothing there :-[

No, prob !  I should be changing the motor oil in my car. It's a nice distraction.

If I wait long enough, it will be too hot to do it today [forecast: 106 F].   ;D

Here's a nice '10' utility.  Very handy for finding hotspots, when I'm on the trot !

You can see my 3 WiFi routers [top 4 entries] floating on 'the sea'.  The 2.4 GHz routers are motorboating up n' down, but the AC1900 is steady as a rock !

BTW, you can always tell my devices, because I name them ALL after Ghostbusters characters.   8)

Picture being worth 1000 words ...


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Linksys_AC1900_Snap.PNG)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 03, 2017, 09:12:07 am
Joe wifi .. imaginative :)

[EDIT]

Unless of course it's owned by Betty.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 03, 2017, 09:15:24 am
Well, see ?  You didn't waste my time  :D

I kept monitoring the WiFi traffic and saw the 2.4 GHz side of the Ac1900 drop the connection.

I tried different radio frequencies on my Actiontec modem, and Asus repeater, until I got them to quit fighting with the Linksys router. 

It smoothed things out considerably !  Thx !


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Linksys_AC1900_Snap_2.PNG)

Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 03, 2017, 09:23:40 am
Joe wifi .. imaginative :)

[EDIT]

Unless of course it's owned by Betty.

I got no control over the little fekkers.  Sorry !   ;D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 03, 2017, 09:39:16 am
LOL :))

[EDIT]

Hack it .. don't do any damage, just change it to either

unimaginatively named wifi

or

Betty wifi

There ya go .. a project :))
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 03, 2017, 10:07:22 am
Bwahahahahaha !

Okay, 2.4GHz 802.11n side is working like a champ, too.  It's a keeper !

I'll stop now.  Only 91 F outside.  Maybe I'll go change my motor oil ... or not.   ::)


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Linksys_AC1900_Snap_3.PNG)




Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 06, 2017, 08:06:51 pm
Just got home from a 2-day convention.  I'm supposed to be attending a dinner, tonight, but I wanted to try a new topography, before going back to work, in the morning.

Funniest things go through your mind, when you're listening to actuaries for hours.  Think I got a winner.

Actiontec WiFi modem/router on the west-side of the house, Asus WiFi repeater in the middle, and Linksys Wi-Fi router in bridge mode in the east.

Probably go blind, from all the spurious RF radiation, but it's working a treat ...   ;D

EDIT

Oh, BTW, the new 9-cell laptop battery is working great !  12-hours, in real-world conditions, without a problem. 

I was packing the 6-cell as a backup, but never needed it. YaY !


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ62Mmu2dws
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: spence on June 07, 2017, 01:59:27 pm
we decided using grandparents names for wifi was perhaps not wise... so we chose remington & winchester... if we ever need to add bridge or extender we'll have to call it reuger...   8)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 07, 2017, 02:04:23 pm
LoL !   :D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 07, 2017, 05:40:16 pm
Hey, where did the snarky comment go, old man ?   ;D

I gotta prepare for a meeting the state minority leader, and a senator, next Monday.

After that, I'm gonna flash this thing with DD-WRT.

I'm expecting better results than I formerly had with the unsupported Asus router ...   ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 07, 2017, 05:49:18 pm
Purdey ?

I meant the shotgun .. nothing "snarky" ???
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 07, 2017, 06:04:51 pm
I thought you were talking about the girl's butt in the Devo video.  LoL !

Shows you where my mind's at ...   :D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 07, 2017, 07:37:22 pm
Okay, that got me to watch it.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 11, 2017, 07:19:04 am
Heh !  I posted the following in January:

Gonna add 4GB RAM, Bluetooth module, backlit keyboard, SSD, and secondary battery, but Dell parts are dirt cheap.

And, here it is ... June now, and it's taken all this time to FINALLY get the backlit keyboard straightened around.  ::)

It took 3 keyboards, from 2 different sellers, before I got the keyboard I wanted.

The first purchase was a total cluster fek !  The supposedly *new* keyboard was used.  It worked fine, but some of the key covers were damaged.  Some of the 'function' lettering on the keys were red, and some were blue.  To top if off, the 'Caps Lock' key cover was in Spanish, not English.  I contacted the seller, and we negotiated a downward price adjustment, $19.00 USD => $13.00.  I thought I could live with it, but I couldn't.  OCD, is a blessing and a curse, you know ?  Great for coding, but not so good for keyboarding ...

So, I eventually went on a quest for 'The One'.  I finally found the perfect backlit keyboard, ordered, and paid for it.  When it arrived, USPS [post office] had crushed and torn the shipping box, destroying the delicate keyboard, during transit. Long-story-short:  The seller sent me a replacement, and it arrived in pristine condition, 2 days ago. YaY !

Here's what I ended up with [New US English backlit keyboard, W 10 key, red 'function' lettering, and blue pointer - $18.00 USD]   ...


(http://vindsl.com/images/backlit-E6430.jpg)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: AndyInMokum on June 11, 2017, 06:05:13 pm
Nice keyboard, the @, #, ~ and | are in the wrong places though :)).
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 11, 2017, 06:52:30 pm
LOL :)

And I bet when you type c o l o u r .. it spells it wrong too.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 11, 2017, 08:05:39 pm
Tell ya what ... I've owned a lot of portables in my lifetime, and I thought backlit keyboards were a gimmick, but I'll never go back to a non-lit keyboard.

This is a snappie I took, after reassembling my Dell.  Not creative, but gives you the idea.  I old bilingual, multi-color, backlit POS keyboard can be seen to the left, on the bubble wrap.

The backlight has 5 settings, dim, not so dim, kinda bright, bright, and off.  When you touch any key, the backlight comes on.  And, when you stop typing, it tapers off after a few seconds.  I even run the backlight in a well lit room, in daylight - I like it so much.

Doesn't use much juice either.  I ran my lappy on battery power for around 12 hours, 2 days in a row [after charging between sessions] with no problem.

(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL-Backlit-Keyboard.png)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 12, 2017, 08:46:21 am
NEXT  8)  :  http://www.linksys.com/us/support-article?articleNum=136442

Quote
The Linksys WRT1900AC and WRT1900ACS are compatible with most external hard drives, external thumb drives and printers.  The following tables list the storage devices and printers tested to work with the router.

NOTE:  Storage File System Support formats are FAT, NTFS, and HFS+.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 12, 2017, 09:32:54 am
Yeah my routers supposed to support attached drives as a very basic NAS (FAT / NTFS / not sure about HFS) .. never actually works though, drive drops out in the middle of just about every file copy .. useless.

Bit more useful as an SMB print server, but as I'm not sure SMB is properly patched on that, safer to just disable and just use my NAS for that.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 12, 2017, 10:55:42 am
Gotta go meet with the state political leaders, down at the capital building in Phoenix.

They're out of session right now, so I won't have to wade through a sea of lobbyists with briefcases.  Parking should be okay, too.

When I get back to the abode, I'll start researching which external drive works with this Linksys router.

BBL
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: Bigoeuf on June 17, 2017, 05:34:13 am
Good afternoon
I had been following this topic from the beginning as have been toying with the idea of upgrading my ageing Dell Inspiron 1501 for sometime & VinDSL's choice of a Dell latitude 6430 seemed a good choice (for the reasons he has set out throughout the topic).
When VinDSL first started I looked on the Dell site for same/similar refurbs & as been metioned in the topic they are much more expenive this side of the pond  :(
So ebay looked like my natural recourse & after plenty of searching & much Deliberation, Cogitation and Digestion I've taken the plunge & bought this:

Dell e6430

Quad core i7-3720QM @ 2.6ghz (8 logical cores)

8gb ram

Nvidia gfx

The laptop has 2 drives:

- 128gb SSD (for the os)
- 737gb HDD (for storage)
 plus external cd drive

Comes with laptop bag and charger

Has Fedora installed & was used for programming apparently, used mainly as a workstation by all accounts hooked up to an external monitor & keyboard - was described by the seller as:

“Few marks on the lib but otherwise good condition”   

for under £200 including postage

Sounds good, & I hope it is, will look at wiping it & installing Pepp 8  ;) - configuring it - got to get accustomed to new (in all senses of the word) hardware particularly the SSD & Nvidia graphics (which I presume will be the NVS 5200M card)

Looking forward to it - hopefully the difference between this & my Inspiron 1501 should be like night & day + I'll be able to run stuff that I was never able to before (like Kodi  ;) )

Only thing is I will probably be on here 'on the ear'ole' for some technical info - standby lol  :D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 17, 2017, 09:59:32 am
Score !

Dell Latitudes are enterprise-grade business machines.  Other than the excellent build quality, I've always liked the way they're designed to be easily taken apart and put back together.  They do this for themselves, of course, because there are so many options and customizations available from the factory.  Their techs grab a base machine off the shelf, and outfit it to the client's specifications.

I always buy refurbs -- let someone else get bent over the counter -- and replace the components with the ones I want.

Then, there are all the little things, like ...

Using the service tag on my Dell E6430 as an example:  https://goo.gl/jEp8We

You can see how the machine was config'ed  when it left the factory, and its current config.

Anyway, have fun !  I think you'll be very happy with it.   :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 17, 2017, 10:26:48 am
Yeah my routers supposed to support attached drives as a very basic NAS (FAT / NTFS / not sure about HFS) .. never actually works though, drive drops out in the middle of just about every file copy .. useless.

Bit more useful as an SMB print server, but as I'm not sure SMB is properly patched on that, safer to just disable and just use my NAS for that.

I've been toying with the idea; contemplating all the possibilities.  There are a LOT of possible combinations, and different ways to go.

I was looking around, inside the Linksys CP, and noticed that I can set it up as a FTP server.  I've always been a FTP fanboi, so it's a natural fit, especially since I've settled on running the router in bridge mode.  All transfer protocols have error detection, but FTP also has built-in error correction, which most others don't.  That's why FTP is still around, all these decades later.

I'm looking around for a suitable external dual-bay docking station that will allow mixed file format, Linux and winders.  If that doesn't work, I'll buy a diskless NAS, and go that route.

I can get a modern dock for $50-ish USD, or a suitable diskless NAS for $250 USD.  Start low, and work my way up the ladder, you know ?   ;)

EDIT

Oh, BTW, I've got an ancient Netgear PS 110 print server (https://goo.gl/NV2iLZ) installed on my LAN.  Been running like a champ for years, so I don't need that feature.  Most modern printers are wired/wireless ethernet devices now.  I keep the Netgear print server around for my trusty HP DeskJet printers.

As an aside, I've always used refurbed ink cartridges on my HP printers, but they're getting harder to find, as time goes by.  Guess I'll finally need to retire them, one of these days.   :(
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 17, 2017, 11:58:16 am
If you're looking for a 2 or 4 bay NAS .. I'd HIGHLY recommend the Netgear RN202 or RN204.

[EDIT]

Now replaced by the RN212 and RN214

Built like a tank, feature rich, not quite as many addons as say a Synology NAS but all the ones you'll want .. and supports snapshots because unlike all its competitors it uses btrfs instead of ext4

Stupid easy to access from the web and/or provide password protected links to specific files on it.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 17, 2017, 03:00:51 pm
Now replaced by the RN212 and RN214

Yup, those are definitely on my radar.  I'm a Netgear aficionado, from wayback, but I wanted to checkout the competition.

Matter of fact, the majority of my routers and switches are made by Netgear.  I collect them. They never wear out.  I simply flash them, every year or two, with the latest firmware.

My Linksys WRT1900AC is connected to a Netgear ProSafe FVS318G (https://goo.gl/EdcoFo).  In the end, it didn't make any sense to replace my trusty Netgear 8-Port Gigabit VPN Firewall Router with the matching, unmanaged 8-Port POS Linksys Switch.

Anyway, might as well keep it in the family.   8)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 18, 2017, 11:46:46 am
Alrighty then ...

I just sprang for a RN212 @ Newegg (https://goo.gl/SdPeiB) -- $229 USD with promo code, no tax, and free shipping.

Reviews were positive, but when I found out it'll do port trunking through my Netgear ProSafe (https://goo.gl/KReS7n), it became a no-brainer.

It's the 'brother thing' again.  LoL !   :D


(http://vindsl.com/images/netgear-readynas-212-trays.jpg)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 18, 2017, 04:03:05 pm
Yeah I nearly mentioned the dual gigabit link aggregation, but for most people that wouldn't really be 'that' useful, and I figured it'd just be showing off :))  .. yep just about the only NAS I've seen in that price range with it.

You're gonna love it :)

They also have the best UI I've seen on any NAS, and as I mentioned in another post somewhere, they're VERY fast at getting patched firmware out for discovered vulns

50+ free apps, including Resillio Sync (Bittorent Sync), Owncloud, Plex Media Server (amonst other DLNA servers), Transmission, SugarCRM, PhpBB, OpenERP, Nero Mediahome, Moodle, Joomla, Wordpess, some BIND DNS servers, Amule, built in real time AV scanning (if you're serving Windows boxes), root SSH access (if/when enabled), FTP, WebDAV  .. hell it can even run Subversion for versioning

Rsync backup of the NAS (or certain directories) to anything else (external drive / another NAS / PC / offsite network share)

One touch backup of attached external drives

ReadyCloud (web access via netgears DDNS) actually works, unlike Buffalo's which was always flaky.

Apps for iOS, Android, and even Windows Phone.

Internal drives are hot swappable, so if one fails just pull it and replace (if mirrored it'll automagically resync), no downtime .. 3 x USB 3.0 and 1 x eSATA for external drives with EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+ file systems .. Supports NFS as well as SMB, and Apples networking protocol (whatever that is .. can't remember) .. oh sod it, here's the spec sheet:
http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/datasheet/en/RN200.pdf
(it even has Tux in the spec sheet)

You can share folder access to others over the web, or you can send someone a link to a particular file (with or without) a password and have that link expire after an access (or time) limit set by you.

It emails you if there's a problem, or if you tell it to when someone accesses one of the links you've sent them.

Once the initial boot is over, it's as near to silent as you're gonna get .. You'll hear the drives doing their write head clicking occasionally if it's being written to but that's about it.

They're one hell of a piece of kit, solidly built, even the drive trays are pretty funky (good sense of the word) .. just in case you didn't quite pick up on it, I kinda like mine a little :)

[EDIT]

In fact about the only useful (for some) thing I can think of that it's missing is a direct HDMI output .. well there might be another thing I can think of it can't do, but that'd just make me sound weird :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on June 25, 2017, 10:20:46 am
Been playing around with my new toy -- NetGear ReadyNAS 212 [RN21200] -- as time allows.

I took it a step set at a time -- Baby steps, Baby steps -- wrapping my mind around the concept.

Never owned a NAS before.  Thought it was going to be a high-end external drive, but it's soooo much more than that.

Transferred my first folder, last night -- 89 GiB -- Drag n' drop.  Worked like a charm. 

Going to take a while to get used to all the features, and work them into my backup/storage routine.

It's a keeper !   ;D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 28, 2017, 01:44:54 pm
Never owned a NAS before.  Thought it was going to be a high-end external drive, but it's soooo much more than that.

Isn't it just :)

Gimme a shout if you have any questions.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: Bigoeuf on July 02, 2017, 07:55:23 am
Well my new 'Toy' turned up a the beginning of last week:

(http://i.imgur.com/xCBMHNo.jpg)

First impressions - very nice - solid, in pretty good nick & apart from a downgrade in screen 'real estate' (15.6" down to 14") its a step up in 'class' from my  old Inspiron 1501.

Had a play with the installed distro - Fedora Gnome - very stylish & polished but I'm afraid it had to go  :D

Here's the specs (from Pepp 8 Live USB):

Code: [Select]
peppermint@peppermint ~ $ inxi -Fz
System:    Host: peppermint Kernel: 4.8.0-53-generic x86_64 (64 bit)
           Desktop: N/A Distro: Peppermint Eight
Machine:   System: Dell (portable) product: Latitude E6430 v: 01
           Mobo: Dell model: 0H3MT5 v: A00 Bios: Dell v: A18 date: 01/18/2016
CPU:       Quad core Intel Core i7-3720QM (-HT-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB
           clock speeds: max: 3600 MHz 1: 1623 MHz 2: 1200 MHz 3: 1199 MHz
           4: 3400 MHz 5: 2599 MHz 6: 1202 MHz 7: 1199 MHz 8: 1289 MHz
Graphics:  Card-1: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller
           Card-2: NVIDIA GF108GLM [NVS 5200M]
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) FAILED: nouveau
           Resolution: 1600x900@59.99hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Mobile
           GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 17.0.2
Audio:     Card Intel 7 Series/C210 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.8.0-53-generic
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection driver: e1000e
           IF: eno1 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 driver: iwlwifi
           IF: wlp3s0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 872.2GB (0.7% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: Samsung_SSD_840 size: 120.0GB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb model: WDC_WD7500BPKT size: 750.2GB
           ID-3: USB /dev/sdc model: Voyager_GT size: 2.0GB
Partition: ID-1: swap-1 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram0
           ID-2: swap-2 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram1
           ID-3: swap-3 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram2
           ID-4: swap-4 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram3
           ID-5: swap-5 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram4
           ID-6: swap-6 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram5
           ID-7: swap-7 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram6
           ID-8: swap-8 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram7
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 60.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 48.0
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 237 Uptime: 22 min Memory: 595.2/7885.7MB
           Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35
peppermint@peppermint ~ $

Battery's on its way out (poor health - its says 44%) lasts about 30-45 mins from fully charged - it runs pretty warm too (hottish air from the fan vent) and there is an annoying, & somewhat concerning, occasional , but fairly regular,  'clicking' sound (like a camera shutter operating) which I can only assume is the hard drive as its the only thing with moving parts. I contacted the seller who was "unaware" of this issue  :-\

However I now have Pepp 8 installed on the SSD & I have to say it flies  :)
it boots from cold to login screen in 9 secs everything opens very snappily, video playback is nice & smooth too (however more on this later re Nvidia).
I've 'tested' some of the peripherals USB ports, ethernet port, wifi & the webcam works - havent tested Esata, HDMI & SD slot.

Did a few things first prior getting to the installed stage:
1st I upgraded the BIOS from A19 to A21 as recommended on the Dell site.
With no Windblow$ followed this tutorial:

https://askubuntu.com/questions/100945/how-do-i-update-the-bios-of-a-dell-laptop (https://askubuntu.com/questions/100945/how-do-i-update-the-bios-of-a-dell-laptop)

Specifically this section:

Spoiler (click here to view / hide)
[close]

 I installed SystemRescueCd (FreeDos) from here:
http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/Download/ (http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/Download/)
to a USB (following the instructions on the page) & downloaded the A21 BIOS .exe file putting in a folder in the root of the USB stick.
The BIOS installation went smoothly ;)

I then wanted to format the SSD & HDD with Fedora on it (under LVM which is how Fedora installs apparently ??? - all new to me) & after a bit of reading decided to go with these very similar articles:

https://skrilnetz.net/the-truth-about-how-to-securely-erase-a-solid-state-drive-ssd/ (https://skrilnetz.net/the-truth-about-how-to-securely-erase-a-solid-state-drive-ssd/)

https://tinyapps.org/docs/wipe_drives_hdparm.html (https://tinyapps.org/docs/wipe_drives_hdparm.html)

From a Pepp 8 liveUSB I tested to see if both drives supported ATA Secure Erase (see first article), which they did & then I implemented it on both drives.
Fortunately on the 120gb SSD the HPA (Host Protected Area) was disabled so that didn't present any issues & the ATA Secure Erase process only took a few minutes
On the 750gb HDD however it took the best part of a hour though.
Also on completion I opened gparted to format & partition the disks & was somewhat perplexed to see that the SSD was shown as 111gb & the HDD 693gb!  ???

I wanted to use UEFI with GPT so ensured the BIOS was set correctly & partitioned the drives with GPT, with an empty 25gb partition on the SSD formatted in Ext4 ready for the OS & a 250gb 'DATA'  & 8gb 'Swap' partition on the HDD.
Then went to install Pepp 8 to the SSD partition from the liveUSB - all going well till Grub install then a pop-up appeared "'grub-efi-amd64-signed' failed into /target/" & the install crashed.
I read up & rechecked the the BIOS, re-formatted the SSD partition & tried again - same result. I did try one more time - again with same result.
Taking heed of Einstine's famous statement:
 " The definition of insanity is doing the same thing & expecting a different result"
I reformatted the drives to msdos, set the BIOS to legacy preferences - bingo install first time - would of liked UEFI/GPT but maybe some other time ey?? ::)

Next was to update the firmware of the SSD which is a Samsung 840 EVO. After a bit research I decided the best course of action was base on this article:

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/2nrwu9/updating_samsung_evo_840_ssd_firmware_from_linux/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/2nrwu9/updating_samsung_evo_840_ssd_firmware_from_linux/)

I've cleaned up the process & posted it below hopefully to make it easier:

Latest Firmware:
http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/software/Samsung_SSD_840_EVO_EXT0DB6Q.zip (http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/software/Samsung_SSD_840_EVO_EXT0DB6Q.zip)

NOTE: It is important that the firmware (the DSRD.enc & EXT0DB6Q.enc files)  is extracted & set up this structure (I have placed the files in this example in the correct structure in my home directory):
~/dsrdenc/DSRD.enc & ~/dsrdenc/FW/EXT0DB6Q/EXT0DB6Q.enc

You need to use Samsung Magician DC (v1.0):
Samsung still hosts the original file:
http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/downloads/software/samsung_magician_dc-v1.0_rtm_p2.tar.gz (http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/downloads/software/samsung_magician_dc-v1.0_rtm_p2.tar.gz)
Right click on the link & 'save as' to download the file
(DO NOT use the latest (v2.0) because that does not recognise the 840)

I extracted the magician program file
then moved it to usr/share/bin directory:
Code: [Select]
sudo mv magician usr/share/bin
open the terminal in the directory in which the file is (or write the path to it)

then make it executable:
Code: [Select]
sudo chmod +x magician
launch by:
Code: [Select]
sudo magician -L          (L option to find the SSD number)

Once you have the number of the SSD:

Code: [Select]
sudo magician --disk X --firmware-update --fwpackage-path /path/dsrdencto launch the firmware update process (pointing to where the firmware files are in the correct structure, see above, which is necessary for the update to work.

Sorry its a long post  but I hope this is of use to someone.
Any comments welcome - especially about the 'clicking' sound.
Also thinking about 'upgrades' @VinDSL - Backlit keyboard (£12-£14 eBay) & maybe wifi card - although looking at my dual-band one seems reasonably capable?  ;D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on July 02, 2017, 10:28:03 am
It looks like you didn't have an EFI boot partition when you tried it the UEFI way.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on July 02, 2017, 02:50:58 pm
Well my new 'Toy' turned up a the beginning of last week

Nice !  Looks just like mine, right down to the badges.

I'm dual-booting my lappy in UEFI mode with Secure Boot enabled, so it IS possible with enough tweaking.

Here are a few screenies that may help, or not (2 - Peppermint 7  &  1 -'10' Insiders) ...   ;)


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Screenshot_2017-07-02_13:46:16.png)


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Screenshot_2017-07-02_13:54:57.png)


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_secure-boot_POC.png)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 02, 2017, 03:57:09 pm
I like that wallpaper just as much now as when we used it .. it's weird because I normally go off them quite quickly.

I'm not saying I change wallpapers a lot, I don't, but I normally stop thinking "that's nice" pretty quickly.

Sorry - A bit off topic I know :-[
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on July 02, 2017, 05:03:58 pm
I like that wallpaper just as much now as when we used it .. it's weird because I normally go off them quite quickly.

Looks great on a laptop -- with both Peppermint OS & '10'.

Opera has matching dark theming now, and so does '10'.  Matter of fact, '10' picks the colors out of the Peppermint wall and automagically adjusts the window and text colors to match it.  Run Cantarell Regular fonts on both installs, and you can't hardly tell the difference.

I've been thinking about changing the border to blue, on focused windows in winders, like Peppermint does, but the similarities are already shockingly similar.  I don't want to blow my mind and/or get too comfortable with the enemy, you know ?  >:(

Seriously, it's a marriage made in heaven - Peppermint, winders, and Dell - as hard as that is to fathom.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: Bigoeuf on July 06, 2017, 04:24:05 am
Morning Chaps

It looks like you didn't have an EFI boot partition when you tried it the UEFI way.


Yes your probably right Murraymint - I thought on installation it was only necessary for me to choose the Drive (as I did with the legacy install) but it seems I have to create/specify EFI boot partition.  ??? Don't know if I'm gonna do a re-install on UEFI/GPT now that I'm up & running on legacy - we'll see - may be for the re-spin  ;)

@VinDSL
Thanks for the graphics - see you have got a separate EFI boot partition (albeit a share one with win10 - hence the FAT32 file system?)
See you use seperate home partition too - not thought of using a DATA one as per Slims tutorial?
 I really like it & can use it with other OS's - I currently have Miyolinux - Devuan based -systemd free  :) (a route I would like Peppermint to go down - if its possible - as Mark said in his interview http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/an-interview-with-peppermint-ceo-mark-greaves (http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/an-interview-with-peppermint-ceo-mark-greaves) he's thinking of leaving Lubuntu due to the arrival of lx-qt)

Also @VinDSL (as your a 'proud owner of a E6430  ;) ) - any thoughts on:
Quote
Battery's on its way out (poor health - its says 44%) lasts about 30-45 mins from fully charged - it runs pretty warm too (hottish air from the fan vent) and there is an annoying, & somewhat concerning, occasional , but fairly regular,  'clicking' sound (like a camera shutter operating) which I can only assume is the hard drive as its the only thing with moving parts. I contacted the seller who was "unaware" of this issue  :-\

Quote
Also thinking about 'upgrades' @VinDSL - Backlit keyboard (£12-£14 eBay) & maybe wifi card - although looking at my dual-band one seems reasonably capable?  ;D

My wifi card is: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300  - as I say its dual-band (although my broadband is poxy 2.4ghz) but apart from that I don't know much about wifi cards but it seems to work OK  :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: Bigoeuf on July 06, 2017, 04:46:36 am
I like that wallpaper just as much now as when we used it .. it's weird because I normally go off them quite quickly.

I'm not saying I change wallpapers a lot, I don't, but I normally stop thinking "that's nice" pretty quickly.

Sorry - A bit off topic I know :-[

I like the original Pepp 7 one 'Dawn':
(http://i.imgur.com/NqCq4f5.jpg)
 reminds me of the groynes on Hayling Island where I spent some good happy times  :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 06, 2017, 04:47:08 am
Quote
see you have got a separate EFI boot partition (albeit a share one with win10 - hence the FAT32 file system?)

AFAIK all EFI partitions must be FAT32, it's part of the standard.

And there's only ever a single shared one .. again part of the standard .. it's where UEFI looks for the bootloaders for all installed OS's

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/EFI_System_Partition

[EDIT]

Yeah that wallpaper also isn't diminishing with time .. probably for the same "warm natural beauty" reason :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: Bigoeuf on July 06, 2017, 05:17:24 am
Quote
AFAIK all EFI partitions must be FAT32, it's part of the standard.

And there's only ever a single shared one .. again part of the standard .. it's where UEFI looks for the bootloaders for all installed OS's

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/EFI_System_Partition

Cheers for the link Mark  :) I should be a bit more thorough really  :-X
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on July 06, 2017, 04:37:25 pm
Also @VinDSL (as your a 'proud owner of a E6430  ;) ) - any thoughts on:

Quote
Battery's on its way out (poor health - its says 44%) lasts about 30-45 mins from fully charged - it runs pretty warm too (hottish air from the fan vent) and there is an annoying, & somewhat concerning, occasional , but fairly regular,  'clicking' sound (like a camera shutter operating) which I can only assume is the hard drive as its the only thing with moving parts. I contacted the seller who was "unaware" of this issue  :-\

On batteries:  The standard Dell battery, that shipped with my  laptop, is in pretty good shape, but it only lasts 3-4 hours in real world conditions. So, by lunchtime, I found myself fighting 'smart' phone users for electrical wall outlets.  I went with a Dell BYD04 slice battery (https://goo.gl/ybMVsq).  I've run it for 12 hours, several times, with juice to spare.  That would be my suggestion. 

Also, I use 'Standard'charging in my Dell E6430 BIOS settings, not 'ExpressCharge' --  in both my 'primary battery' and 'battery slice' configs. 

Supposedly, fast charging does not create more wear and tear on a battery than conventional charging.  They say that magic charging algorithms ensure safe and effective battery recharging, and the total amp hour life of the battery remains unchanged, but I don't believe in electrical fairies and dragons.  'ExpressCharge' overcooks the batteries IMHO.  Up to you ...

On the clicking noise:  What you're describing might be 'the click of death' (video picked at random):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMhdEp3SM_w

If that's the case, I would burn the HDD and buy a Sammy SSD.  ;)

Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cavy on July 06, 2017, 05:26:00 pm
@ VinDSL. Thanks for sharing, how to recognise a dead hdd,  Useful.

Not to be left out of this Dell i7 fan club, my refurbished Dell E6420 i7 arrived today from Season Domestics. Very reasonable priced £170.00 (for the UK) via Amazon.

Bonus point, it came with back-lite-keyboard (handy in low light as of now), the casing, especially the alloy middle section looks tatty or well used. Overall in good shape and have treated it to 8Gb of ram, a SSD (sammy 250Gb liberated from my spare desktop) tomorrow.

Currently have determined windoze 10 is slower to start up and slower to shut down in Legacy than my pre installed PMOS8 disk which is fully encrypted . From my Lenovo T410i lappy.

Can swapped out both hard drives, as in plug and go. Windoze is a Toshiba 500Gb/5400rpm whereas Peppermint is a Hitachi 500Gb/7200rpm. That has to have its BIOS, crypt lock and password enterd to boot. Mmmmmm windoze/bill honsetly, that be slow. Both i3 then i7 machnes.

SSD.. is there a "systemd analyze time" test for windoze and linux, as in a fair play and comparsion test...? Windies, have CLI now?   

Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on July 06, 2017, 05:44:27 pm
SSD.. is there a "systemd analyze time" test for windoze and linux, as in a fair play and comparsion test...? Windies, have CLI now?

Not that I know of, but I haven't searched for one, soooo ...

I boot Peppermint 7 and '10', both in UEFI/Secure Boot mode, and truthfully, I can't tell an ounce of difference in boot times. They're both boot/shutdown incredibly fast !

Disclaimer:  I don't install a bunch of cruft on my '10' install, like most winders users do.  It more or less is setup with the same functionality as my Peppermint install.  Only apps I've added is Crap Cleaner, Avast!, Opera, and a few diagnostic utilities.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cavy on July 06, 2017, 06:04:38 pm
For windies, I add CCleaner, Ad -Blocker Pro, Clementine, VLC and now FastStone Image Viewer. For basic functionality. Then no-Scripts, to hopefully keep all mutha-foka out.

With all the recent scares, I'm loathed to even use M$ for basic use, i.e email/web browse etc.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cavy on July 07, 2017, 04:14:50 pm
Sorted the Dell lappy earlier today.

Found a HyperX 120Gb SSD I'd forgotten about. Swapped out the HDD and installed PM8, after the usual tweaks, its as fast as my rig....Impressed.....! Kernel 3.7 and Userspace of 12.8 = 16.55 was the best.   ;)

Keep reading urban myths or urban fact...? A Dell 6420 will take 16Gb of ram...!  Its tempting, but that's a lot dosh to be wrong....mmmm....?

I'm happy with start up, its quick, I'm assuming userspace is me reacting and entering password....?

I can now make a judgement call and most importantly VinDSL comprehend what you writing about, with first hand knowledge/observations.  :D

Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: Bigoeuf on July 10, 2017, 05:50:38 am
Also @VinDSL (as your a 'proud owner of a E6430  ;) ) - any thoughts on:

Quote
Battery's on its way out (poor health - its says 44%) lasts about 30-45 mins from fully charged - it runs pretty warm too (hottish air from the fan vent) and there is an annoying, & somewhat concerning, occasional , but fairly regular,  'clicking' sound (like a camera shutter operating) which I can only assume is the hard drive as its the only thing with moving parts. I contacted the seller who was "unaware" of this issue  :-\

On batteries:  The standard Dell battery, that shipped with my  laptop, is in pretty good shape, but it only lasts 3-4 hours in real world conditions. So, by lunchtime, I found myself fighting 'smart' phone users for electrical wall outlets.  I went with a Dell BYD04 slice battery (https://goo.gl/ybMVsq).  I've run it for 12 hours, several times, with juice to spare.  That would be my suggestion. 

Also, I use 'Standard'charging in my Dell E6430 BIOS settings, not 'ExpressCharge' --  in both my 'primary battery' and 'battery slice' configs. 

Supposedly, fast charging does not create more wear and tear on a battery than conventional charging.  They say that magic charging algorithms ensure safe and effective battery recharging, and the total amp hour life of the battery remains unchanged, but I don't believe in electrical fairies and dragons.  'ExpressCharge' overcooks the batteries IMHO.  Up to you ...

On the clicking noise:  What you're describing might be 'the click of death' (video picked at random):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMhdEp3SM_w

If that's the case, I would burn the HDD and buy a Sammy SSD.  ;)

Cheers for that VinDSL - looking through other videos & post it does seem that thats probably the problem with the HDD - its annoying cos other than that & the battery the lappy seems a good buy - So looks like I might have to fork out a bit more  :-\
With you about the charging of batteries to - slow & steady in my experience (vehicle batteries etc) :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 10, 2017, 06:34:50 am
Consumer hard drives need to die and disappear (particularly in laptops) .. if all manufacturers fitted SSD's their price/capacity ratio would soon drop, as it did with HDD's.

spinning glass/ceramic/aluminium disks with a magnetic coating are an old, inefficient, and easily damaged technology that was NEVER suited to mobile computers .. and that's without even mentioning the huge speed benefits :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on July 10, 2017, 06:37:52 am
Consumer hard drives need to die and disappear

True !

When you think about it, they have a 100% Failure Rate.

It's just a matter of time ...  ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 10, 2017, 06:45:33 am
I guess the same can be said for all tech, but at least an SSD doesn't get damaged just because you move the computer .. as I said, HDD's are totally unsuited to mobile computing.

Current price/capacity ratios still make them ideal for server storage where throughput and risk of damage through movement isn't a factor, but for mobile they are and always were a stupid tech.
(but even this situation would change if prices tumbled .. which they would if they became the mainstream storage tech)

Personally I have no idea why HDD's are still used in consumer tech ???
(IMHO the speed and damage resistance TOTALLY outweighs the capacity benefits for consumer tech .. if you need storage capacity, a NAS or external HDD makes much more sense)

I'm yet to come across ANYONE that's gone back to an HDD as their boot drive once they've tried an SSD .. in fact as soon as anyone tries an SSD they immediately buy more for ALL their PC's .. they're speed is VERY addictive :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on July 10, 2017, 07:14:15 am
.. as I said, HDD's are totally unsuited to mobile computing.

Funny you mention that.

I was reading a review of my current 'Roadwarrior', the other day, and it said there's an internal sensor that detects when the lappy is dropped off a tabletop, or whatevs, and it supposedly parks the head before the machine hits the ground.

Only good reason I can see for buying a HDD, these days, is for populating a NAS, and so forth.  And, that's just a cost consideration.  DC-class SSDs would still be better, but horribly expensive.

I might also mention, I replaced the HDD in a co-worker's laptop, a few years back.  It had died from heat build-up.  When I took his machine apart, it was totally clogged solid with dust bunnies, cat hair, et cetera, and had no airflow, even though the (twin) fans were spinning so fast that it sounded like a vacuum cleaner.

So, yes, HDDs are unsuited for mobile use for several reasons ...
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 10, 2017, 08:47:25 am
Yeah these E5420's have the "ST Microelectronics Free Fall Sensor" (accelerometer), but I have no idea if it works in Linux .. requires a proprietary driver in Windows.

[EDIT]

According to this:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTcxNzg
and:
https://www.phoronix.com/forums/forum/software/mobile-linux/43769-linux-3-16-will-detect-if-your-dell-latitude-is-falling
kernel 3.16 onwards **DOES** support it .. though it may not actually park the head without a userspace dameon running.

Hmm, I wonder it that's a **bad** thing for an SSD ?



BTW, I had to laugh at the "Would be annoying for astronauts." comment :))



[EDIT2]

Code: [Select]
lsmoddefinitely shows the dell-smo8800 driver as loaded on the Latitude E5420's .. but I have no idea if it's actually doing anything besides 'knowing' the system is in freefall.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on July 19, 2017, 04:04:36 pm
I found these used on the bay and I'm quite tempted:

Quote
10Zig 5810q Thin Client windows 10

Citrix HDC Pro Technology Supported
Certified VMware and Citrix Ready
7 x USB Ports (2 x USB 3.0)
Dual DVI Ports (1 x DVI-I 1 x DVI-D)
Kensington Lock Port
Centralized Management Console Can be downloaded to manage multiple devices.
4GB Ram
Windows 10 IoT
16gb on Board Storage.
Intel HD Graphics
Intel Quad Core 2.0 - 2.42 (boost) Ghz

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10Zig-5810q-Thin-Client-windows-10-not-wyse-hp-/252876854578?hash=item3ae0a29532:g:lQYAAOSwzqFY9hdC

Not really sure what that Intel processor is but I figure it would run Linux OK.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 19, 2017, 04:33:27 pm
They're likely to be the same intel J1900 Celeron from the previous 5800q model
https://www.10zig.com/resources/10zig-in-the-news/new-high-performance-quad-core-thin-client-introduced-10zig-technology

Whislt this ***shouldn't** have a problem booting Linux, there's no guarantee .. and there'll likely be no way to upgrade the 16GB storage except with an external drive.

If I were you I'd look more at a Gigabyte Brix with a J1900 .. or even better an N3150 or J3160 processor ... all of which offer greater internal expandability, and the J1900 Brix isn't that much more new.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gigabyte-Brix-BXBT-1900-Ultra-Compact-PC-Intel-Celeron-J1900-2-42GHz-Gigabit-/252877521527
or
http://www.ebuyer.com/711030-gigabyte-brix-mini-pc-intel-celeron-j1900-barebone-gb-bxbt-1900

Though the N3150 would be better if it's going to be used as a media player
http://www.ebuyer.com/742989-gigabyte-gb-bace-3150-2-08ghz-barebone-gb-bace-3150

Be aware you'll have to add RAM and a 2.5" HDD/SSD to those barebones BRIX though
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on July 19, 2017, 05:13:45 pm
The "storage" will probably be one of those internal oblong SSDs. Maybe you can get bigger ones or I could run an SSD on USB3.

None of those will take a DVI for my Dell monitor. You can get those monitors for £20 or less in Cash Converters and I might stick another one next to it  8)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 19, 2017, 05:35:01 pm
I'd be willing to bet the storage is soldered to the board (and more eMMC than SSD) .. but no way of knowing for sure.

It's your money my mate ;)

Here's my favourite media PC barebones (I have a couple of these)
https://www.scan.co.uk/products/asrock-beebox-j3160-mini-pc-barebone-dp-2x-hdmi-1x-usb-30-type-c-3x-usb-30-ac-wifi-plusbt-40-remote-

it has a mini DisplayPort so you can easily get a DisplayPort --> DVI converter for a coupla quid
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on July 27, 2017, 03:26:28 am
I'd be willing to bet the storage is soldered to the board (and more eMMC than SSD) .. but no way of knowing for sure.

Actually I took a closer look at the 10zig website and it seems the storage is upgradeable to 256GB and the memory to 8GB. It comes with 16GB and 4GB in it so it's still looking like a decent computer for under £100 as it is, with options to upgrade it.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 27, 2017, 05:31:46 am
One of those cases where I'm more than happy to be proven wrong :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cavy on July 27, 2017, 01:28:54 pm
I found these used on the bay and I'm quite tempted:

Quote
10Zig 5810q Thin Client windows 10

Citrix HDC Pro Technology Supported
Certified VMware and Citrix Ready
7 x USB Ports (2 x USB 3.0)
Dual DVI Ports (1 x DVI-I 1 x DVI-D)
Kensington Lock Port
Centralized Management Console Can be downloaded to manage multiple devices.
4GB Ram
Windows 10 IoT
16gb on Board Storage.
Intel HD Graphics
Intel Quad Core 2.0 - 2.42 (boost) Ghz

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10Zig-5810q-Thin-Client-windows-10-not-wyse-hp-/252876854578?hash=item3ae0a29532:g:lQYAAOSwzqFY9hdC

Not really sure what that Intel processor is but I figure it would run Linux OK.

You could try this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Phoenix-Technologies-Phnx-Barebone-Computer/dp/B014FLW2GY/ref=sr_1_38?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1501187114&sr=1-38&keywords=barebone+pc

or

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MSI-Cubi-N-Barebone-Celeron-Graphics/dp/B01C6PMTLE/ref=sr_1_8?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1501185888&sr=1-8&keywords=barebone+pc both are new.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on July 27, 2017, 02:20:06 pm
Thanks cavy, but the first one is just an empty case and the second one comes off worse to mine on processor specs.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cavy on July 27, 2017, 03:19:30 pm
nay probs jimmy.   :D

Was going to mention this earlier, but thought you were on a budget. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eggsnow-Aluminum-Fanless-Desktop-Computer/dp/B00VUTOB1O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501193871&sr=8-1&keywords=eggsnow+i5
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on July 28, 2017, 08:57:29 am
thought you were on a budget.

That makes it sound as if I plan my purchases or something. I'm a cheapskate, is what it is  ;D

It is interesting that you can get i5s and i7s now in little fanless boxes like that. I wonder how hot they get?
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 28, 2017, 11:48:43 am
From a links on that page...

This looks pretty cool
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XW8CQ8J
though it doesn't have the DVi/DP port you require :(
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cavy on July 28, 2017, 04:33:07 pm
thought you were on a budget.

That makes it sound as if I plan my purchases or something. I'm a cheapskate, is what it is  ;D

It is interesting that you can get i5s and i7s now in little fanless boxes like that. I wonder how hot they get?

We are both canny Scots, and want our pound flesh before parting with our hard earned.  ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cavy on July 28, 2017, 05:12:42 pm
From a links on that page...

This looks pretty cool
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XW8CQ8J
though it doesn't have the DVi/DP port you require :(

Err...Another budget chipset machine. Ok, I know I've become, a snob. it must be an i3 minimum. LOL....!
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 29, 2017, 03:34:03 am
Why ? .. trust me these quad core low power Celerons with hardware HVEC decoding are ideal for HTPC's (or monitor mounted 'general purpose' PC's)
(the n3450 being the updated version of the n3150/J3160 based boxes I have)

and also for pretty much anything else besides gaming .. but then the graphics card would be the bottleneck in these tiny systems anyway, and the gaming versions of these small box PC's with more powerful graphics chips would require a VERY loud fan.

For anything these small box PC's are ever likely to get used for I can see no benefit to having an i3/i5/i7 in them .. they'll just draw more power and produce more heat for ZERO benefit.

A 'budget' CPU in a 'budget' system sounds about right to me ??? .. but that doesn't mean it's not 'capable', the low power nature of these CPU's makes them the IDEAL choice for most situation you're going to use a small box PC for ;)

Why would you want to fork out an extra £100 - £400 for an i3 - i7 that will never be anywhere near fully utilised .. what do you plan on using the thing for that requires an i3 - i7 but still an on-die graphics processor ?

In a small box PC "overkill" and "waste of money" are terms that spring to mind .. if you do anything that requires an i3 - i7, get a form factor you can add a separate upgradeable graphics card to that would take advantage of the more powerful CPU.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cavy on July 29, 2017, 05:30:25 am
Why ? .. trust me these quad core low power Celerons

A reasoned critique for the target market.   ;)    8)

I remember those good old, bad old days when I thought laptops were all the same, before I discovered more Ram and SSD, transforms things, especially my LenovoN200 (Dual Core Celeron) from a coal-fired slug into a fire breathing beast.

When my AMD A8 powered Tower died, rebuilt it, new board, A10 chipset, 8Gb ram and SSD. Fired it up and couldn't believe how slow it was, compared to my celeron lappy. Retired it to charity, as it did not meet my expectations. C'est la vie...!

Content with my other equipment.   :D

It still amazes me, looking through various listing for new/used lappies, proclaimed to be ultra quick and powerful, but come supplied with a 5400rpm HDD, neutered at birth.  LOL.  ;)




Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on July 29, 2017, 05:40:33 am
Agreed .. my opinion on the continued use of any mechanical spinning platter (and easily damaged by movement) tech in a **mobile** computer is well documented on this forum.

Flippin idiotic tech for mobile .. that made sense ONLY when it was all we had ::)

Solid state should have become the standard (for at least the system disk) in mobile computing from the first day it was invented .. 'spinners' have always been the primary failure point of laptops (hence the 5400rpm HDD's which were generally 'slightly' more damage resistant and longer lived than their quicker 7200rpm brothers .. although the 10,000rpm raptors break that rule being known for their long life due to having the spindle mounted at both ends on quality bearings).

I mean do people really need 1TB+ (but extremely fragile) storage on a laptop ? .. it's just more data to loose when the thing takes a knock. Or is it just about having a 'bigger number' on the advertising for those that don't understand (and manufacturer penny pinching at the same time).

NOBODY, repeat NOBODY, I've ever fitted an SSD into a laptop for has said they want to go back .. storage capacity generally being irrelevant to them over say 240GB, robustness winning the day EVERY time over them returning with a damaged HDD every year or so requiring data recovery and a reinstall (by the second year it's usually saved them a ton of money too) .. the additional speed is just a (very happy) side effect.

Nowadays ALL laptops should come OOTB with an M.2 (or mSATA) SSD .. leaving room for an additional (aftermarket or optional) spinner bay for "storage" if required .. it would also help if this "spinner" bay could be easily hot swappable/removeable so you can treat it as a kind of internal 'external' drive (if you get my meaning) so can easily choose to only carry the easily damaged spinner internally when deemed 'necessary' (the rest of the time it connects via eSATA/USB3.x as static desktop storage).
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on October 15, 2017, 08:58:17 am
Been wanting to buy a Dell port replicator, for my Latitude E6430, since I bought it last year.

I'm very patient when scouting for new 'toys' and had no intention paying full retail price ($160 USD).

Last week, I discovered a 48% off Columbus Day Sale coupon at the Dell refurb site. They were normally selling the refurbs for $59.00 USD, but the coupon knocked the price down to $33.07 USD including tax and shipping.

How could I pass up a Dell CY640 docking station (https://goo.gl/9roMKu) for that price?

Patience pays, no?  8)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on October 15, 2017, 09:19:14 am
Yeah I keep wanting to buy one and nearly give in .. but I don't use half the ports I already have, nor do I sit at a desk very often.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on October 15, 2017, 09:21:21 am
Nowadays ALL laptops should come OOTB with an...SSD
Yes indeed, that would bring the price of SSDs down quickly due to the ramp-up in volumes. Why isn't this happening?!?
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on October 15, 2017, 09:34:13 am
Nowadays ALL laptops should come OOTB with an...SSD
Yes indeed, that would bring the price of SSDs down quickly due to the ramp-up in volumes. Why isn't this happening?!?

Some OEMs are getting it.

I saw a Lenovo refurb desktop box, the other day, that contained both a HDD and SSD. Thinking about doing this on my Dell 7010.

I'll see if I can find it again...

Bingo - still in my Opera history:  https://goo.gl/3v8L9p   ;D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on October 15, 2017, 12:11:23 pm
Nowadays ALL laptops should come OOTB with an...SSD
Yes indeed, that would bring the price of SSDs down quickly due to the ramp-up in volumes. Why isn't this happening?!?

The cynic in me says "because there's a roaring trade fixing PC's with broken spinners", but if I had to guess most likely because Joe Average doesn't understand the benefits of an SSD .. all he sees is "smaller yet slightly more expensive". Which is why I push their benefits to everyone I come into contact with.

In the long run an SSD will save you money .. most likely the first time you give your laptop a good knock.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on October 15, 2017, 01:57:33 pm
most likely because Joe Average doesn't understand the benefits of an SSD .. all he sees is "smaller yet slightly more expensive".
That's true. I refused an SSD when buying a used netbook because it would have cost almost as much as the machine and I didn't know how much better they were. Now I only use HDs for mass storage and I can't wait until it's economic to replace the larger ones with SSDs.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: PCNetSpec on October 15, 2017, 02:10:01 pm
Yep, when Joe Average starts voting for them with his purchases HDD's in laptops will become a thing of the past and prices will tumble .. until then we just have to keep spreading the insight.

Remember, once you get someone to use an SSD (for a few days) they will NEVER go back .. have you tried using a system with a spinner now?, it's horrible, it almost feels like they're broken :))

[EDIT]

If you ask me that's why Chromebooks did so well, they all had small SSD's so once you'd used one your HDD equipped PC felt clunky by comparison, and there was nobody to tell most people it was just the SSD that was doing that and could be fitted to your PC too.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on October 15, 2017, 03:35:39 pm
have you tried using a system with a spinner now?, it's horrible, it almost feels like they're broken :))
Yes, good grief. I had to upgrade my parents from Vista on an HDD (they were about ready to throw the whole thing out) to Peppermint 8 on an SSD and it's like a brand-new machine.  :D
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on October 28, 2017, 11:52:10 am
Oh, Oh !

Finally getting into my comfort zone. Patience is a virtue. I'll wait for $250-ish USD  :)


(http://vindsl.com/images/Opera Snapshot_2017-10-28_114158_promotions.newegg.com.png)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: cfx795 on November 03, 2017, 04:53:17 pm
Not bad for a TB.
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on November 07, 2017, 06:47:25 am
I picked up an HP Chromebook 14-ak006na for cheap. It's not much more than a year old and it seems pretty decent, but when I got hold of it I realised there's Baytrail crap in there  :(

I've tried Peppermint 8 on it but it's very particular about kernel versions and the sound wasn't working. I'm using Gallium OS (Baytrail spin) which is Xubuntu based. It seems to run pretty nicely and the CPU and RAM are more than adequate. The OS is running from a USB3.0 Sandisk stick.  8)

Code: [Select]
$ inxi -Fz
System:    Host: galliumos Kernel: 4.8.17-galliumos x86_64 (64 bit)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 Distro: Ubuntu 16.04 xenial
Machine:   System: Hewlett-Packard (portable) product: kip v: 1.0
           Mobo: N/A model: N/A Bios: coreboot v: N/A date: 06/28/2016
CPU:       Dual core Intel Celeron N2840 (-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB
           clock speeds: max: 2167 MHz 1: 2167 MHz 2: 1499 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1366x768@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Bay Trail GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 17.0.7
Audio:     Card Intel Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.8.17-galliumos
Network:   Card: Intel Wireless 7260 driver: iwlwifi
           IF: wlp1s0 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 30.8GB (46.1% used)
           ID-1: /dev/mmcblk0 model: N/A size: 15.6GB
           ID-2: USB /dev/sda model: Ultra_USB_3.0 size: 30.8GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 24G used: 3.5G (16%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 4.87GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
           ID-3: swap-2 size: 6.09GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram0
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 28.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 190 Uptime: 16 min Memory: 837.0/3870.8MB
           Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on November 07, 2017, 07:51:57 am
Nice! Hope it works to your satisfaction.

I always check the Ubu Cert Site, before buying a device: https://goo.gl/BPJwiD

Don't like nasty surprises, you know?   ;)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: murraymint on November 07, 2017, 08:58:08 am
I knew it would be a lottery with a Chromebook but it's capable enough for Linux with a bit of coaxing. I managed to disconnect the paper-thin touchpad ribbon while I was having a look inside, that took me a while to figure out.  :-\
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on November 07, 2017, 10:12:07 am
I hear ya!

I bought one of these, probably 25 years ago, for working on microscopic stuff like that: https://goo.gl/R2FN2S

With the optional 2.5 magnifier, I might add: https://goo.gl/RRCjyP

A little pricey, but it's saved my bacon more times than I care remember. And, it's still going strong - quality product.

My wife uses it all the time, too...  :)
Title: Re: New Purchases 2017
Post by: VinDSL on November 08, 2017, 07:01:19 am
w00t!  Good ol' DealNews  :)

I bought my first 'smartie' about 6 weeks ago, and have been looking for a suitable Micro SD card for extra storage.

Just snagged this online. I can pick it up locally, at a Best Buy store, in a couple of hours...


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Selectionshot_2017-11-08_07:41:23.png)


Plus, this *FREE* perk...


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Selectionshot_2017-11-08_07:54:31.png)


I swear, that DealNews site costs me a small fortune, but what's a guy to do?

They keep making offers you can't refuse.  ::)