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Quick question

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March 12, 2007 9:42:34 PM

Does anyone know a bootable partition editor that I can use before installing Linux?

More about : quick question

March 12, 2007 9:51:00 PM

Slow? If that was slow, you'd better start schooling the Pizza delivery people over here. I called an hour and 15 minutes ago and I'm still waiting for my order.
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a b 5 Linux
March 12, 2007 10:02:07 PM

I tell you.. the Linux section is the nicest place to hang out round here. Take a break from the HW/Vista mayhem and do a short distro roundup down here for a change. [/half serious]
March 12, 2007 10:14:22 PM

No kidding. Prompt, accurate answers, no flame wars and especially no "He shall not be named" posters getting on my last nerve...
a b 5 Linux
March 12, 2007 10:17:00 PM

If you install Linux you are either thinking for yourself or broke to the point that you welcome any help. I kind of fall into both camps :lol: 

EDIT: We leave the flame wars for Linus and the Gnome developers... :wink:
March 12, 2007 10:24:16 PM

Ohh.. KDE vs GNOME, not a AMD vs Intel or Microsoft vs the world, but close. I'm trying to get familiar with Linux since my chosen major and future profession will have me almost constantly working with it.
a b 5 Linux
March 12, 2007 10:43:05 PM

If you are talking about playing the learning game you could do worse than getting a Solaris install going on one of your rigs. Still very widely used and with good reason. Free personal / educational copies available plus the OpenSolaris goodness.

Seeing as I know a little about your HW collecting abilities you can also get into some interesting older HW for sensible money. Some of those old machines are now to be had for less than a mid range graphics card and will teach you so much about the other ways things can be done with HW/SW.

I wouldn't dream of offering that advice to a raw noob but I know you can read a manual and form a question. Plus I know you would enjoy it :p 
March 12, 2007 10:47:20 PM

Damn right. To the lady of the houses chagrin, I've began amassing a sizable collection of old machines that are starting to clog up my basement laboratory.
a b 5 Linux
March 12, 2007 10:54:33 PM

Items I would want in my lab:

SGI Indy - I loved the design
Sun SparcStation IPX - Used to look after one many years ago. Most old sun hardware is well made and in it for the long haul.
DEC Alpha Server (anything 2100 upwards) - Great to get that old NT 3.51 running on :twisted: Also VMS perversion to be had... oh my.

If you fancy a giggle old VAX systems can be got up and running with OpenVMS. There were some mighty machines that nowadays make no sense. Lots of SUN kit knocking around. If I had a couple of quid and some space I'd be in trouble.
March 12, 2007 10:59:31 PM


Now that is fresh and clean. No wires running willy nilly, I'd be wiling to spend a couple of pounds for that.


This, probably has less power than my Tungsten C.
a b 5 Linux
March 12, 2007 11:14:56 PM

If you are a fan of nice wiring have a look inside some Naim hifi kit some time.. older the better. Krell or Levison also get my engineers eye of approval.

The board looks clean and the lugable looks almost familiar. I started at college with an 8088 Oliveti lugable with 512Kb ram and a 640K floppy as my first proper PC. It was probably only a couple of years younger than that beast.

I've still got my 48K tucked away awaiting a suitable mount to be made. That might be a project for my dad this summer. And I thought I had some junk knocking around. What with PC's and your cars I can see one big workshop in a few years..
March 12, 2007 11:46:01 PM

I'm going to hate taking everything out of there when the builders come to put up the sheet rock and carpet/tile. I've grown fond of the bare cement and exposed ducting and wires.
a b 5 Linux
March 12, 2007 11:52:41 PM

Wow, I was going to answer after I finished a round of grading and looks like I missed an entire conversation :) . I most definitely second the use of GParted, as it has most assuredly has gotten me more than $100 in repayment beer/food (the currency of college) over the years. Nice interface, never seen it damage a partition (resizing an NTFS partition sanely sets the dirty flag in the superblock, letting Windows make sure that nothing is amiss)

On the subject of clean, nice hardware, the o2 I've procured and fallen in love with has some of the neatest wiring I've ever seen, when you can find it. The whole thing is very modular and completely tool-less before that was "in". Any of the main components can be replaced without opening the case and without any tools as everything is on an easily-removable sled.

I had an old dual sparc machine that I let slip out of my hands, but I have found a dual Alpha that I need to "coax" away from someone who's not using it :) . before I'm out of school I must have it.
a b 5 Linux
March 12, 2007 11:55:15 PM

Or you are somebody who is either an old UNIX geek or does more technical work that lends itself well to the OS. I easily qualify on the second part. I happen to do a lot of programming for my class assignments, which is odd as I'm not a CS major. Linux (or really any *nix with a decent text editor, C compiler, and X11 installed) fits the bill very nicely whereas MacOS X requires a bunch of tweaking and Windows is terrible to do that work on. I don't think I'm old enough to be a real UNIX geek as the heyday of the UNIX wars was about the time that I was born. There was a really big lull between the UNIX wars and the subsequent fall of the OS and the rise of Linux. That is when I got started on computers.

However, I *do* know a few old-timey UNIX geeks at my university and they seem to be very pleased that the UNIX-type operating systems are making a comeback and that younger people like me have taken an interest in using them. And learning how to actually use them- digging around in the guts of the OS editing .conf files with a CLI text editor, compiling a kernel, being able to work just as well in a text terminal as with X running, etc.

DaSickNinja: Old and unusual hardware can be pretty neat to fool around with. Modern hardware is so...bland. Apart from possibly putting together a dual-CPU workstation or a tiny SFF machine, every machine in the last decade or so is pretty much a clone the others, just a little faster. They all have very similar CPUs and layouts. It's almost impossible to find something other than the standard ATX or mini-ATX running an x86 CPU except if you want to drop some really serious coin on a server, and even those are becoming standard x86 machines. x86 is decent and all, but for some things, other CPU archs do better and it would be neat to have those choices as well. However with Apple no longer using PowerPC CPUs, it looks like just about everything under $5000 will be x86.

Too bad that the oldest and oddest machine I have is my 5-year-old laptop, and that's still being used on a daily basis. And compared to the stuff you guys are talking about, it's practically new. And a Pentium 4-M CPU is nothing special anyway. Maybe I'll find a
March 13, 2007 12:44:30 AM

I'm trying to get my hands on a Cray... :D 
March 13, 2007 1:49:25 AM

Actually, while we're on the off topic-ness of interesting hardware...

At work I work with a lot of Thin Clients that run off a terminal server. These are Wyse S30 model thin clients. They have a AMD Geode Processor, 32mb Onboard video, 10/100 ethernet, sound, 4 usb sockets and come embeded with Windows CE or Linux.

Now, my interest is that I'd like to pick one of these up, and install Linux into the embedded memory.. 8) I want to look at putting one of these into my Nissan Silvia to build an in-car telemetry system (looking at writing it in Python), which could also handle MP3's and other stuff in my car :)  I could expand the memory more by hacking a USB-SD card adaptor onto the mainboard and then just plug in a 2-4Gb Flash drive. :p 

Anyone know much about the process of installing software into the thin clients? I'd be really interested into finding out more...
a b 5 Linux
March 13, 2007 5:10:46 PM

Ever since I saw a picture of a Cray 1 I have wanted to turn one into a Lava lamp with seating.. Ultimate geek reception space.
March 13, 2007 5:41:03 PM

Sounds like you plan to make your own ETS type system..

@AV
Now ow would that work?
a b 5 Linux
March 13, 2007 5:56:17 PM

The original cray was water cooled. The central unit where all the busses came together (hell they even made pieces of wire the same length to solve timing issues) was a kind of seating unit with for want of a better description a water feature in the middle.

Look at it this way if you think a couple of LED's and some UV die make a water cooling rig look cool you should see this thing... I'm hunting for pics now..

EDIT: Try this:



Or have a look through Google Images
a b 5 Linux
March 13, 2007 5:59:27 PM

lol.. how things change.. here is an original review

a b 5 Linux
March 13, 2007 6:31:11 PM

80 million operations per second...wow. That's about what the slower 486s can do. It would take hundreds of Cray-1s to match what modern dual-core CPUs can throughput.
March 13, 2007 6:48:40 PM

So my Tungsten C is faster than a Cray? Technology sure has advanced...
March 13, 2007 8:36:21 PM

Yes but AV is right. That thing is so retro it really would look cool as a centerpiece lava lamp. Just not sure if it would be such a fitting end for such a piece of equipment.
a b 5 Linux
March 13, 2007 10:32:56 PM

Fitting would be to put a new computer inside of it while you use it as a prop.
March 14, 2007 1:04:47 AM

Maybe a Penryn/Barcelona super bastard hybrid...
a b 5 Linux
March 14, 2007 3:40:33 PM

My buddies and I picked up some obsolete Neoware ThinClients on ebay cheap.

They have a Geode CPU ( 233 - 300MHz ) and a 40pin IDE connector.

I added RAM, connected my IDE DVD to them and booted up Knoppix :-D

It was a tad slow but worked fine.

An IDE to CF adapter would work too I would think.

Semper Fi Carry^H^H^H^H^H Linux on :-D


Quote:
Actually, while we're on the off topic-ness of interesting hardware...

At work I work with a lot of Thin Clients that run off a terminal server. These are Wyse S30 model thin clients. They have a AMD Geode Processor, 32mb Onboard video, 10/100 ethernet, sound, 4 usb sockets and come embeded with Windows CE or Linux.

Now, my interest is that I'd like to pick one of these up, and install Linux into the embedded memory.. 8) I want to look at putting one of these into my Nissan Silvia to build an in-car telemetry system (looking at writing it in Python), which could also handle MP3's and other stuff in my car :)  I could expand the memory more by hacking a USB-SD card adaptor onto the mainboard and then just plug in a 2-4Gb Flash drive. :p 

Anyone know much about the process of installing software into the thin clients? I'd be really interested into finding out more...
a b 5 Linux
March 14, 2007 6:46:12 PM

Now I wonder if you could get linux BIOS running on these things... :twisted:

Mine has a DOC unit and I always wondered if that could be replaced with something else..
a b 5 Linux
March 14, 2007 8:22:08 PM

Mine have a 40pin IDE DOC which I removed to connect the IDE Optical drive.

They have the old DOC socket too IIRC.


Since they have a standard 40pin IDE interface you should be able to use virtually any IDE device, 2.5" HDD ( with a 44pin to 40pin adapter ), IDE to CF adapter, IDE CD/DVD drive, IDE solid state disks, IDE to SATA converter, etc.

They have USB as well but it is only USB 1.1 so that is not much help.

They also have a PCI slot so you could add a PCI USB 2.0 card or something along those lines ( Firewire, SATA controller, GigE, etc ) although the CPU is not quite fast enough to fully take advantage of USB 2.0, etc.
a b 5 Linux
March 14, 2007 8:34:39 PM

I've actually got a 32Mb DOC and a standard 44pin IDE interface on the board. Only a floppy power connector though and not enough juice to spin up a 3.5' drive.

I can't boot from USB on it which is the real bummer. If I could then the old 64Mb stick and DSL would have it solved for me. It has a PCI slot and I have a spare network card so firewall duties could be sorted. Network booting is the only option I have for it at the moment. Unless I can find parts I'm not going to sink money into something that low spec.
March 15, 2007 4:05:29 AM

These are the thin clients I deal with.



Clicky for details.

They are pretty nifty, I reckon they would make a great car PC 8)
!