Maur's Linux adventures!

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maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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The great thing about Linux, compared to MacOS X, is that it will run on nearly anything. There aren't (m)any restrictions, unlike the 100% arbitrary bull that requires Clover configurations to work around. (To the point where people are turning real Macs into Hacks)

So, at this point, I have three Linux machines, all running Mint Linux 19.2. The old Hackintosh (i5 with 16GB of RAM and 500GB SSD), the Sony VGN-NW240F laptop (C2D 6600, 4GB of RAM, and a 250GB SSD), and (at least for now) an even older Dell Inspiron 1720 (C2D 7700, 4GB of RAM, and a 250GB HDD).

The old Hack was the easiest to get up and running, though the nVidia GTX 760 required proprietary drivers that cause problems with the login window and lock screen. However, as it is primarily a media server, this isn't really a problem. It mostly "just works", and except for the recent kernel update, it has been running more or less continuously. Performance wise, it has been an outstanding machine. You would never know it's a 2nd gen i5 just using it.

The Sony laptop required a bit more effort, but it wasn't bad either. Suspend was broken, so I had to find instructions on how to disable the suspend functionality. The system now goes directly to the lock screen when you attempt to suspend to memory. Otherwise, most everything worked out of the box. I did optimize a few things, particularly with regard to the SSD, but for the most part it is still pretty stock. The only unusual issue was the need to run imwheel to get the mouse wheel speed set correctly. (Which, btw, requires an additional argument if your mouse has buttons for forward and back on the side)

Only having two cores does mean it caps out if I start to try to do too much at once, but it is actually pleasant to work on. I have Thunderbird and Discord running in the background with Firefox in the foreground. Memory usage is about 1.6GB (of 3.7GB) and the CPU is mostly coasting. Yes, it's a 10 year old computer (literally), but wow, it is still useful for real work. It doesn't hurt that Sony put a SATA 3.0Gbps port, which means the SSD gets to open up a bit. The system boots to the desktop from power up in about 15 seconds. (not including the time required to enter the password)

The Dell required the most work. For one, the graphics driver kept getting hung up on the S-video port, which requires a dongle anyway. I had to alter the kernel boot line in the grub configuration to keep the system from taking 5+ minutes to get to the login screen. It also required a bit of hand holding for the wifi card, which is a Broadcom 4311 based device. The stock proprietary driver didn't work, but there are instructions (and an installer) that will download the Windows driver, cut the firmware out of it, and patch the open-source driver to use it. Wifi is now working on the old note brick!

This machine is a touch older than the Sony (2007), and it caps out at DDR2-667. It also only has 10/100 instead of a gigabit network port. I haven't checked the SATA port, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was stuck at 1.5Gbps. It does, however, have a larger, higher resolution display and a number pad beside the regular keyboard. Suspend also works, though the lock screen doesn't seem to recover, forcing a X-server restart.

Despite all of that, once it was up and running, it also did fairly well. The slightly faster CPU (2.4GHz vs 2.2GHz) seemed to somewhat make up for the slower RAM. This would definitely be usable for light work in its current state.

The only thing NOT working at all, on any of the machines, is USB tethering to my phone. It detects the connection but simply says the cable is unplugged. Nothing I have tried has fixed this, so I've had to resort to using my phone as a WiFi hotspot. Otherwise, all of the weird stuff has been resolved with a bit of research.
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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Maur's Linux adventures!