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Wild Penquin

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About Wild Penquin

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  • CPU
  • Motherboard
    Asus Maximus VII Gene
  • RAM
  • GPU
    EVGA GTX 970 (04G-P4-3975-KR)
  • Case
    Lian Li DX-04
  • Storage
  • PSU
    Works and is silent
  • Display(s)
    Samsung LC34F791
  • Cooling
  • Keyboard
    Corsair K95RGB Platinum
  • Mouse
    Logitech G703
  • Sound
    Jazz, Progressive Rock, electronic music!
  • Operating System
    Arch Linux

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  1. When I'm not streaming through a browser etc., I use mpv. I don't need a GUI (save for the OSD one in mpv), but I could describe myself as a command line geek. I presume SMplayer, which already got a few recommendations, should have the snappiness and performance of mpv (but, personally, don't use it since I don't need it). Although vlc has more market penetration in the free software video players, mpv is, in my experience, better in this regard! It can play whatever you throw at it (so can VLC, expect perhaps in 0.1% of cases, and that's when mpv usually saves the day). I'm not sure why VLC is laggy in your case. I've found it very snappy the last time I tried. Actually, now that I think of it: it may sometimes hang for a few seconds since it is looking for optical media, but that's about it. IIRC it only happens if you go to the said menus relating to optical media. Don't use/haven't used Windows at home for nearly two decades, so can't comment on the performance vs Windows (but I'd have hard time noticing something being even more snappier).
  2. Macs (Macbook Pro/Air/desktops) are just PCs these days, in principle, there is little special compared to them here. The only (minor thing) is, they don't have a BIOS menu to control what to boot (or enable Legacy etc.). They are completely EFI compliant and will boot any EFI bootable Linux installation media from the USB (at least those I've tried), but Legacy boot is not possible (there's no reason you should use Legacy if you can use EFI in any case). In case you want to dual boot, use Disk Utility in OS X to resize the OS X partition beforehand (IIRC most/all Linux the installers should be able to resize HFS+, but not APFS?). That's the only difference, really. After that, "just install". I've used some form of Linux on my old Macbook Pro for ages. Other problems I've had are similar to what I'd expect with any Laptop (Apple or non-Apple branded). These include the following: The biggest gripes I've had was/is with the touchpad. Apple has made the best multi-gesture implementation on the market, nothing on the Windows or Linuxes user-space software can parallel it, but after tweaking (by command line, searching etc!) a Linux desktop can come close to it. Some of the Wifi drivers for my specific chip were a bit troublesome (cutting off the connection, and the Wifi chip getting stuck); however there are many chips in use on the Macbooks, you may or may not encounter similar problems (EDIT: the chip in the MBP5,5 is BCM4322, and the driver that works best in my case is broadcom-wl. The other drivers are b43 and b43_legacy. However, if you have some other chip, even if it is broadcom branded - this may not be your case.). I had some minor issues with keyboard and display backlight control, however those could be worked around and after some upgrades, the workarounds became obsolete (i.e. it works OOTB now). EDIT: NVidia proprietary driver makes the VCs unusable (black) and Nouveau driver has some issues, too. Specifically: sometimes desktop effects cause some kind of buffer-related artifacts/flickering, which can be worked around by disabling the effects (and re-enabling). Also, connecting another display is ... well, possible but the other one will flicker like crazy (again, looks like some kind of double-buffering issue). However, come to think of it, I haven't had the issues for a few months - but they are rare (I haven't tried another display for a while now). This, too, has nothing to do with Macbooks - it has to do with the specific display adapter they use in this Macbook Pro (5,5)... similar issues are expected on any Laptop using the same display adapter. EDIT: Also, none of these issues can be resolved by choosing a certain distribution, but are Linux/GNU generic. They come down to closed H/W, manufacturers not releasing specifications to their drivers so the support can be added by Linux/Gnu folks, or supporting Linux by themselves. Nothing new here, this problem has been there for ages - and a lot worse on Laptops side than on Desktops.
  3. Running foss software is a valid reason to switch in and of itself. I never said it isn't. Not true, a lot of computer illiterate people can get along with Linux just as they might with Windows - unless again they run into compatibility issues. Remember that "computer illiterate" people would be equally unable to install Windows themselves if they had to, they need someone to jumpstart their machine. Yeah, my sentence didn't come out quite well. It's not like there is a dichotomy here (i.e. all Windows users are computer illiterate and Linux users are not...). One needs some skills to install and maintain a Windows desktop, too. You are right of course, however the basic maintenance of a Windows desktop machine is easier and at least more familiar (for someone considering migration) than on Linux. With Linux, user needs to be prepared to learn new stuff, and prepare for breakage when Windows (or OS X/MacOS) decides to overwrite the Linux bootmanager/loader etc... In many ways, Linux Desktop maintenance can be easier or at least less laborsome and time-consuming than a Windows desktops, after you are familiar with the basics. That's why I choose to install some Linux desktop to those relatives / friends / acquaintances, who just can't maintain any kind of computer and ask some help to get something to read their email and use online banking account with. (EDIT: so, in a way, it suites very well these people I happen to know, who are very computer illiterate).
  4. My few opinions / notes, in addition to already mentioned very good points in this thread: Linux is not for people who do not have a reason to switch. If they have a reason to switch - i.e. something they do not like in Windows (or OS X) - they should think and do some research, if Linux is a match to that desire/need. Linux is not for people who expect some kind of drop-in replacement for Windows (or OS X). Linux is not that. There are benefits in changing to Linux, but there are downsides, too. A user should do some research and think about their computer usage, and then choose a suitable OS keeping that usage in mind. Linux is not for computer illiterate or those who can not or do not want to learn more advanced usage. You need to be able to search and read documentation and use command line to use Linux; at least in almost every use case. Linux can still be useful for regular users in internet cafés and similar situations, if someone else is the maintainer, but if you are the maintainer, then.... if you are not a power user, you will soon become one. Or notice Linux (distributions) are not for you, when you encounter some problems. It's a whole different world (in OS space), because the philosophy and software development field is different. For Windows and OS X, there are big corporations behind them and the OS components are very homogenic. With Linux distributions, there sure is some corporations also supporting the software, but 1) they are numerous and 2) they often do not specifically target a home user, and if they do 3) there is no single goal / consortium which would coordinate all efforts of (desktop-oriented) user space software. As a result there is more heterogeneity (as opposed to Windows or OS X), which also results in more possibilites, but also more need to, tinker with the OS.
  5. Indeed chances are it has too little RAM to be usable. Linux won't do miracles, web browsers and other applications will take a huge amount of RAM despite the OS. An old computer might be useful for a little while longer than with Windows, if you choose a slimmed down DE, but not that long. It can still be a fun toy / tool for some hacking tasks (things like something old HW which requires COM port or whatever). Assuming your girlfriend is one (EDIT: OOPS! By one I mean a hacker, not old HW, as I can see there is room for some misinterpretation here! ) then the route to go is to install GRUB on a floppy disk and boot a network installer from there. AFAIK mainstream distros don't have a network installation image available, but for example Arch Linux does have one (and it seems it just fits on a floppy drive). Some laptops might have some facilities to boot from network via other means, but I'm not familiar with those.
  6. I would guess this is indeed a battery health issue. I can also think of two more options: 1) the Linux distribution is using more power than Windows (this is actually quite common, as some optimizations are proprietary and generally Linux Kernel might not be optimized for power usage) AND displaying the battery charge wrongly (i.e. showing too high numbers). This is easy to test: let the battery discharge while the OS is running. Does the charge go below 50%, in a regular fashion, and warn (and only then shut down) near 0%? (EDIT: you could also reboot to Windows and check the battery charge from there; it should show roughly the same numbers, perhaps only a little less due to discharge while rebooting) 2) The computer has actually not completely shut down, as you suspect. But I don't see how this state could be mixed with shutdown; i.e. fans will not turn off in case the computer is still on, and if they do, it has definitely shut down. Also, since in shutdown only the computer H/W and BIOS is in charge, but this is not true if it has not shut down; i.e. power button behavior etc. should be different (single press of power button will not power on the computer, but perhaps, after holding down a certain amount of time, force a power-off, and only after that you can power it back on). I don't see how any OS could affect the discharge during the computer not being powered.
  7. Just get a USB bootable USB Linux media (i.e. burn a suitable image on USB stick / MMC card) and boot from it (hold Option during boot). It should boot without issues. Some Macbooks (and even other laptops) might have graphics card which have issues with some Linux Kernels. Only add nomodeset if the boot hangs after bootup. The only difficulties (compared to regular PCs) might be with the bootloader; but even some "PC-laptop" -manufacturers (quotes since even MacBooks have been x86 for at least a decade). Just install ReFind and be done with it. TL;DR: There is nothing special with installing a Linux on a MacBook vs. a regular laptop, since that's what they are. EDIT: OOPS! I'm not sure how I red the OP, but he's saying it's an iMAC. I red MacBook Pro . However, that doesn't change the main point: there's nothing special, they're just PCs with Apple design and a peculiar BIOS (after Apple stopped using PowerPC architecture)
  8. To have a smooth desktop environment, especially with anything as modern HW as you have, I believe it comes to other things than the choice of DE. Most importantly, don't run off a mechanical HDD, use an SSD. This will make the experience far more snappier than any other single choice / intervention (such as swapping the DE). It has been said GTK is slower in this thread and elsewheree. I wouldn't know since I've been using Plasma or KDE for ages, since Gnome always seemed "dumbed down" and lacking basic functionality in my experience (for example, it's file selection dialogs are just horrible, borderline unusable - which is a deal breaker to me since in regular desktop usage the are everywhere). The same goes for Unity (and whatever they use currently). But(!), as I've used Plasma (and plain KDE when it was called that way) I'm strongly biased towards it since I've accustomed to their design choices and anything different will not feel familiar. YMMV! However, I would consider anything having slowdowns just caused by the DE as bugs, especially if running on modern (even way inferior to what you have) hardware with good (4GB or more) of RAM and an SSD. I would assume even anything based on GTK should be snappy on your HW. The only gripe in this regard with KDE/Plasma is the volume selection dialog - it seems to be waiting for something sporadically when I click on it, but that may have something to do with the fact I have 4-5 audio devices :-P. It is a bug, but a minor one, and it seems to always recover it. I assume most modern DEs might have some small hick-ups - they are constantly being developed, after all. But, I should mention, I'm on a rolling release distro, since: I use Arch, BTW! What I would do in your shoes, would be to try different DEs and choose the one which feels most comfortable to work with. It may well be that the "snappiest" DE is just not something you feel at home with, but the "2nd snappiest" is just a little bit less snappy but still more comfortable for you. Honestly, I wouldn't expect there to be that much difference between, say, Plasma and Gnome in this regard. There are far more differences in the UI and design choices.
  9. What I meant, are the port separately configurable on the router, and if they are, have you changed any settings? If not -> it is most certainly a H/W failure on the router.
  10. This means it has internet recovery (IIRC). There are really two options (I can see) here: If Disk Utility doesn't find the HDD/SDD, then something is wrong in the H/W (i.e. faulty drive, faulty cables, faulty MB...). It might reduce the guesswork if you can tell, how you got the computer in this state in the first place. If the disk does show up in disk utility, and you still can not install, can you post a screenshot here from the disk utility (with the partition layout visible)? That way we could tell what is wrong with the partitions (actually, if you don't mind nuking the drive, you could just delete all partitions; make sure you are indeed booting up via internet recovery before deleting any recovery partitions).
  11. Unlikely it would cause access violation. However, as I've understood the error, it could be caused by other things than faulty H/W, too, such as buggy drivers. But probably no SSD will install their own drivers (as they are pretty standard H/W). Also, the whole stack from the SSD down to your chip-set (and beyond) is quite well tested and standard, I wouldn't expect those drivers to be buggy. I would look at other drivers for problems. That being said, memtest only tests a small subsection of the computer. There could still be faults elsewhere (M/B, CPU...). It's not even 100% accurate on finding pure memory faults, either.
  12. Are the ports somehow different (on the S/W side of the router)? If I understand your description correctly, it looks like a failing port (i.e. doesn't work, works after fiddling, doesn't work at home while other ports work ... etc; i.e. works - doesn't work - works - doesn't work ... )
  13. This may be a stupid question, but did you actually start up Disk Utility? That is a separate program from the installer! As the installer prompts you to format the drive, it may imply it has actually found a drive (and: "no hard drive or SSD found" might be just a user misinterpretation of the MacOS installer...). It could also be just a bad choice of words from the installer (or not having a separate error message / check in place for not finding any kind of HDD). You can not edit the disk partition layout (or format existing partitions) from the installation program. The installer will only install if it finds a compatible EFI partition and a compatible partition with an existing file system (but it will not re-format any partition, retaining possible user data intact). It can re-size the partition if there is free (unpartitioned) space, or (IIRC) create new partitions on the unpartitioned space (EDIT: and even then, if there is an existing OS X / MacOS installation, it will refuse to create another partition and make "double" installation, and only option is to re-install on top of the old one - but I could remember wrongly here). To do anything else, such as destructively delete (and re-create) partitions, change filesystems or reformatting, you need to start a separate program from the upper panel menu (called Disk Utility).
  14. Actually, from their help page: However, judging from ... everything, I wouldn't install that particular distribution (no names anywhere, no source files on sourceforge at least, etc...)
  15. I think that just validates my point - no one has bothered to update their web page. That doesn't necessarily mean the installation method would have changed, however. According to sourceforge, Cho was released in 2016. There is Aio which has been Modified in 2019, but that one is in beta.