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Thread: A new HDD and some general computer questions

  1. #1

    Default A new HDD and some general computer questions

    Recently my laptop hard disk has been clicking so I got a new one. Of course this means I am going to have to reinstall everything and puts settings for stuff again. Even if I could just save these settings and carry them over, I think I want to do it again so that I can do it better and learn from it. As such I think this is a great time to learn more about using my computer. However, I have a few questions.

    1) OS: At the moment I have a dual boot ubuntu/XP installation on my laptop. Been as I can't get Vista or 7 I was thinking about continuing with this. However, are there any other recommendations you can think of. I use windows for playing games and skype (both rare now because I am too impatient to reboot ) and for printing because I have far more control over my printer using the windows only software than I do with the rather poor linux drivers. I have to skype on windows because linux can't detect a mike. So, any suggestions? Stick with what I have? Try virtual machines? Run only one OS? (if you say just run XP I shall find where you live, abduct you, and cause your death by rabid penguin).

    2) Linux: I like what I have seen of Ubuntu. It's a lot quicker than windows and it doesn't have the major problems I find with Windows. But at the moment I am using it as a cheap Windows like thing - not a linux distro. My ability to use the shell is abysmal. If I need to I can't compile something to use it. I basically don't know that well how to work it. Are there any good resources you people out there know of to learn this stuff? Any tips you can give?

    3) Software: Most important - what's a good free virus checker/spyware protection/whatever that I can install on XP. I'll get a free disk with some stuff on it when I go to Uni, but that is still 27 days away and to be honest there's probably better stuff out there anyway. Also, any other software you would recommend to make windows more bearable and linux more fun. Or good sites with collections of different programs.

    4) Anything Else: Any other resources you think might be useful - either to help me learn more about computers or improve the way my computer runs. Just basically any advice you think I should have based on what I have said I want to do.

    5) Name: Finally, any ideas for a name better than 'Andrew-Laptop'? This is, of course, the most important question.


    Just so you know I'm computer literate but in terms of geekdom I am no more than a wannabe. I am willing to learn and spend time on it though. Basically I am open to all kinds of suggestions but don't make it too complex. Or if you go complex explain how to get their from simpler stages first.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by mzkkbprmt View Post
    1) OS: At the moment I have a dual boot ubuntu/XP installation on my laptop. Been as I can't get Vista or 7 I was thinking about continuing with this. However, are there any other recommendations you can think of. I use windows for playing games and skype (both rare now because I am too impatient to reboot ) and for printing because I have far more control over my printer using the windows only software than I do with the rather poor linux drivers. I have to skype on windows because linux can't detect a mike. So, any suggestions? Stick with what I have? Try virtual machines? Run only one OS? (if you say just run XP I shall find where you live, abduct you, and cause your death by rabid penguin).
    I'd go with the VM. I set one up a XP Pro VM recently, and I find that it handles my printers and other USBs just fine. Its also seems to be just as fast as my native XP Home(navigating), with faster bootup. Its really easy to do. Its not that linux has poor driver support, all in all, most devices work easier on linux than WIndows, its just that certain vendors don't support their open source styling and so do not offer hardware specs. That is why ATI and Lexmark suck so bad with linux. My printer is a Lexmark. With my VM, I can use all the functions without rebooting. A limit I have found is that you will have some graphics limitations. I'm using virtualbox, so that may not be true on others, like VMware.




    2) Linux: I like what I have seen of Ubuntu. It's a lot quicker than windows and it doesn't have the major problems I find with Windows. But at the moment I am using it as a cheap Windows like thing - not a linux distro. My ability to use the shell is abysmal. If I need to I can't compile something to use it. I basically don't know that well how to work it. Are there any good resources you people out there know of to learn this stuff? Any tips you can give?
    Besides books and practice, I dont know what to tell you. There are a lot of good ebooks online that you pick up for free. I can send you a good one if you want it. One thing I can advise you, is to learn the shell better before you start trying to program. It will make it easier for you to understand what you are looking at. You can also check to see if there is any courses in your area. BTW... if your not using Emacs22 for programming, you might want to get it. I like it better than vi editor.



    3) Software: Most important - what's a good free virus checker/spyware protection/whatever that I can install on XP. I'll get a free disk with some stuff on it when I go to Uni, but that is still 27 days away and to be honest there's probably better stuff out there anyway. Also, any other software you would recommend to make windows more bearable and linux more fun. Or good sites with collections of different programs.
    What I use on Xp is a combination of: Avast antivirus, Comodo firewall, Spybot S&D, Hijack this, and some imagining backup software. And to make windows more bearable... you might want to elaborate, because mine runs like a champ. There are tons of linux apps that are fun- fractal generators, graphic programs, games and education: I love Stellarium, Kstars and the chemistry ones. Emacs 22 is also a must. I also recommend Klamav, Knocker, PortSentry and a firewall like guarddog for security, although you can set that up manually with iptables and chans if you want(the firewall).



    4) Anything Else: Any other resources you think might be useful - either to help me learn more about computers or improve the way my computer runs. Just basically any advice you think I should have based on what I have said I want to do.
    Older books on computers are a great resource for understanding how the actual circuitry works, if your into that. I have several from the late 60's to early 90's that are wonderful for that sort of info. Again, books on shell scripting will also be beneficial. You could also check some out on TCP/IP protocols.



    5) Name: Finally, any ideas for a name better than 'Andrew-Laptop'? This is, of course, the most important question.
    Ah.. the name.... I would make it something related to what your interested in. Maybe you could run Andrew-laptop through a cipher? Convert it to binary code or something? I know you like codes, so maybe thats something you could do. You could try different words to cipher too, not just Andrew-laptop...
    Last edited by Drosera; 24-Aug-2009 at 19:43.

  3. #3

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by mzkkbprmt View Post
    4) Anything Else: Any other resources you think might be useful - either to help me learn more about computers or improve the way my computer runs. Just basically any advice you think I should have based on what I have said I want to do.

    5) Name: Finally, any ideas for a name better than 'Andrew-Laptop'? This is, of course, the most important question.
    4: Ghost (first by Binary Research Associates (I think), and now by Symantec), is a beautiful, beautiful thing. I have actually BOUGHT (yeah, I know) a more recent copy a few years back because of all the utility I have received out of it over the years working for various employers. It's a bloody good disk-cloning program.

    5. How about "Hammers_of_Doom" for a name?

  4. #4

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Chromos View Post
    if your not using Emacs, get it, its easier and better than vi.
    While I hardly can call myself an expert on these matters, that is a decision purely based on personal opinion. And mine differs from yours :p

    Other than that. there's not all that much advice I can give you, other than throughly agreeing with what cromo said on ebooks. Read lots and lots and lots.

  5. #5

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Chromos View Post
    BTW... if your not using Emacs22 for programming, toy might want to get it. I like it better than vi editor.
    Good clarification on for programming.

    VIM is the real man's text editor. Then again, I do my systems work in CLI.

    You should actually learn the Eclipse IDE. Not necessarily because it's the best, but because it's what a ton of places use.

  6. #6

    Default

    Emacs is more user friendly, which may be better for him. Nothing wrong with vi though...

  7. #7
    lpoolboy

    Smile

    Hey there!

    Right here’s my two cents!

    1&2: I cannot help I am afraid, as my area of expertise is not Linux or dual boot. I can however scour the internet for the best price, gimme an item and I can get it! :P

    3: Free software. I have used and found several sites for finding freebies. I hope that these are some use. I know tucows has a Linux section.

    Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com

    Shareware.com - Search for shareware programs and free software downloads.

    Free Software and Shareware Downloads - Tucows

    AVG Free - Download AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition for Windows 7, Vista and XP (Virus checker, some people love it, some hate it – I know my sister and friends use it).

    4: Anything else? Have fun and don’t stop playing around, that is how I learnt most of my skills. Keep checking on the internet for new updates and software etc.

    5: Name. I think that is up to you, you will find something that is unique and cool. Maybe a play on words? Combine some things you like to make it snazzy?

    Have fun

    LpoolBoy

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