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New 2020 Resolution, Learn Linux

This is the last of 2019, one more day, one more year, 2020 marks a decade. Times flies! Thus, for this new year make your new resolution to learn something new. Learn, Linux, It’s not that hard, and with the entry level systems I have in the shop you cannot go wrong.

There are many reasons that I could point-out to you about learning Linux. However, that’s been done, and you can easily search and find thousands of articles on the subject. However, in order to understand the difference, you need to try it for yourself. Start, learn, and decide by yourself, the transition is not that hard at all. If you are into gaming, there’s a lot for you in Linux with several gaming distributions, steam, and steam play. For people that are into more serious things – business, writing, developing software etc. there’s something for everyone.

Before, I close this mini-article, Happy New 2020 to you and family and may G_d bless you, your family, and your endeavors for 2020.

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Brick, What does it mean?

In my previous post – I used the term “bricked.” to make it short and directly to the point, simply said, to permanently disable a computer with damaged software or using bad code that will render a system unusable. The BIOS is firmware used to perform the immediate initiation of a computers hardware. This is the first software to run when you power on your system. Depending on the type of motherboard you have, you’ll see an initial logo screen and a message giving you time to access your BIOS, select different boot devices or the systems starts. The boot process, provides the necessary run-time services for operating systems and programs. The BIOS firmware, is already pre-installed in your computer.

Usually the manufacturers use programmable memory chips, known as e-proms. If bad code is introduced or the BIOS firmware is tampered with, it will cause irreversible damage. The end-effect of a faulty firmware while flashing your BIOS (update your firmware), or any bad code, or mod (modification) gone bad, turning of the power of the computer while performing your BIOS update will damaged and brick your system. Thus, a lot of techies use the term brick, referring to damaged system as brick.

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Why Linux is not popular?

Someone asked me: Why Linux is not popular? Here’s my answer to that question. This piece will discuss freedom from an Operating System point-of-view, and it’s an opinion only. Linux is not popular because it represents “freedom.” To some, freedom is something that does not come for free. To others, freedom is their choice.

Freedom is available and easily attainable. Unfortunately no one cares about it thus they stick to what has been stuffed down their throats. There’s no freedom in today’s Operating System Markets. Two of the major distributions have worked extremely hard to ensure dominance of the markets.

One of the major players ensures that their product is packaged with every system sold by retailers. Another has guaranteed that their OS is theirs only, and can only be found packaged with their own systems. There’s seems to be no escape from this cycle. There are two well established monopolies, they fight hard to keep it that way.

Those in the technical world that truly understand what “freedom” is all about opt to take a lesser traveled path. They opt to walk with Linux, because, fortunately, they understand “freedom,” and they have the technical savvy to download, install, configure and setup the OS to their liking. That’s way Linux is not so popular. No one one’s to download, configure and setup an operating system, they want it already packaged and ready go to.

Linux, in recent years have become extremely easy to use from the Desktop point-of-view., it has become a point-and-click Operating System. From my point-of-view is ready for mass marketing, however, as I explained above, the other two major players ensure it stays out of reach.

Additionally, do not forget, that the two established major players are influenced by other sources – commercial and governmental. No one knows up to what point your daily computing activities have been compromised. Everyday you read how your information is being manipulated and sold. Everyday, you also read about how hackers have been able to breach their systems and create havoc.

It takes people like me and some organizations to teach you what “freedom” is all about. Yet, you resist and prefer to bounded to the systems that takes your “freedom” away. You pay to be restricted and to give your choice of freedom away. That’s your choice.

In closing Freedom is something that does not come for free. You pay for having your choice of freedom taken away from you. You pay for what you get. I like to have freedom of choice, with that said, I choose Linux.

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24 Hours of use Already Bricked

Alienware Aurora R8 – What a big disappointment. The system was in use for less than 24 hours and it broke. The first update broke the system. Can you believe that? It’s a new system, it’s suppose to work and last for a few years before it breaks.

I had to contact Dell, and sadly request a return label. Remove the R8 from my computer desk and return to my custom build Debian 10 Buster Desktop (D10BD). A renewed system, with about 15 days of continuous use. Never had any flaws, it has never broken after an update. Both the hardware upgrades and software updates have actually made my D10BD better and faster. The point here is, reliability. After I renew or restore a used PC, I test the systems from a minimum of 48 up to a maximum of 72 continuous hours of use. During that time I am able to understand if the system is reliable or a simple lemon. During the initial burn in process I configure and update the systems. I ensure that what ever I build is good and reliable. Reliable systems will end-up in my on-line shop and lemons get parted in parts or discarded.

You all, already know the story of the R8, arrived 6 days late from the promised delivery date. Prior to that fiasco, I received and e-mail from Dell that the PC was going to be late like 14 January 2020. Finally, arrived, then brakes in less than 24 hours. That was a pre-build brand name system. I think, I should forget about buying pre-build brand name and concentrate on what I do best. Build my own.

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Oh My G_D! I don’t know Windows!

It’s been only a few hours since the Alienware Aurora R8 arrived. In this little time I have nothing but good things to say about it. Notably, I purchased a basic system, thus I will have upgrade the hardware to my liking with top-of-the line hardware.

However, there’s one thing I really dislike. I’m trying to make sense of it as I write this. I’ve just realized that I’ve forgotten everything I knew about Windows. The last time I officially used windows for personal use was during Windows 98. Since then, I officially moved to Linux, an OS I’ve been using since nearly it’s beginning. Yes, I use windows at work, but only from a professional user’s perspective, log-in, use MS office apps, create a report, modify a report, log-out, etc. However, the “Oh My G_D! I don’t know Windows!” It’s just sarcasm. I know the OS, I just opt to ignore using it.

Windows 10, in my opinion is worse than windows 98. I had little interactions with Windows 7, but what I’ve know from that Windows version is that it was good. Why I’ve like Linux? I liked Linux because I’m able to dive deep into the inner core of the operating system. I’m able to change things to my liking, from the OS up to the Desktop. Thus, when I configure a renewed or used system for a friend or customer I make sure that they end-up with a system they can use with confidence.

I’m not referring to the point-and-click aspects of customizing. I’m referring to the deep technical things I personally like to do with the OS. I can make it be what ever I like. I can make it work in which ever way I want.
It’s a matter of time (today) that I’ll be installing Debian 10 Buster, then, migrating all of my OS and Desktop modified files into it. In fact, I tell you this, the Linux OS is good, even with an old nearly obsolete hardware it performs flawlessly. Thus, with something new like this it will certainly out-perform the current OS by miles.

All the professional software I need is open source readily available for me to install. All of the entertainment software (most of the games I play) have been migrated to Linux. I no longer need a Windows PC laying around to play games. However, with some notable exceptions there are some quirts that developers need to resolve but those are works in progress . I’ll see what takes place tonight once I’ve install Linux into this system.

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Alienware Aurora R8

Alienware Aurora R8

Today, finally, the Alienware Aurora R8 arrived. Unfortunately, arrived 6 day late from the original promised delivery date. That’s better than 45 days later. This is the second time around I purchase pre-build system. However, I always upgrade all pre-builts to my liking. I got it up and in running in a matter of minutes. However, it’s running Windows 10. That’s going out some time this week. There are a few upgrade in mind besides replacing or dual booting Linux with Windows 10. Or, maybe in the end I’ll running one Debian in a virtual box.

I’m not going to review this system, there are many on-line sources targeting and reviewing the Aurora R8. There are also a few sources describing several upgrades such as memory, SSD’s and Fans. The later (the fans) to be were quiet as it can be. However, a quick look inside I discovered that the graphical unit (GPU) – looks like or seems to be some type of Generic GPU. I’ll have to review this during the weekend and perhaps replaced with a worthy upgrade.

I can build a system of equal or better specifications, but, for some reason this system appealed to me. I did some extensive research. I found out that just about every person that has purchased the Aurora had nothing but good things to say. However, I will judge that later when I get Debian fully configured and running in this system.

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Keeping the promise brings more business down the road

Having a combined experience of 37 years in and out of the PC business. Mostly as as a system integrator., I know for a fact that building my own computer from scratch is the only way to go. In a recent post “Cyber Monday Disappointments with Dell and Steam,” I’ve complained about two on-line transactions I did for two different products. One has been really an eye-sore to me.

First, the original purchase date was set for twenty days down the road. Ok., with that in mind I’ve decided to completely forget about this and let the days go by. A few days prior to the promised delivery date – the vendor (in this case Dell) sent an e-mail with another 20 days delayed delivery. Another blow. A few days ago they sent another e-mail with a promised delivery day of 23 December., that day came and went. The news and disappointments now come’s from their delivery company FedEx. This delivery company has the system but opted to deliver it a few days past the promised delivery day. Another blow…

Yup, building your own system is the best choice, however, there’s a problem here. There are only a few vendor choices in Colorado from which you can purchase parts to build your own system. With that in mind, it’s best to plan a build with enough time in hand. My recommendations is not to purchase things during the holidays. Perhaps, the goods traffic is high causing in-route delays. Then you have to count for major holidays as goods may not flow fast enough to arrive on time during those days.

However, when a company promises something to a customers they better deliver. Specially if that company is a big brand name – reputation is on the line here. When I build systems for family or friends, I give then a delivery date that I can always deliver on. I plan the build with enough time to spare, but I always deliver before the promised day. I realize, I’m just one guy building one or two systems every once in a while. However, once I give a delivery date, is best to keep the promise and not disappoint your customers. Keeping the promise brings more business down the road.

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Ready to try Linux?

Ever wanted to try Linux? Don’t know how to build your own system, install and setup the operating system and software? Don’t worry I’ve done that for you. I have four custom build system, fully configured.

All you have to do is connect to your home or office network and enjoy. Two of the systems are renewed power gaming houses, steam and lutris ready. LibreOffice, anti-virus, Firefox, Evolution e-mail, audio and video processing software already installed and configured for you. If you have privacy concerns, the TOR browser has been installed. For security purposes all systems are firewall enabled out-of-the box. The other two systems are used, excellent entry level systems for a child or a person who is new to Linux. For more information click on shop link above.

Linux Gaming Desktop $325.00
Renewed Acer Aspire, Dual-Core AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 255 Processor, Acer Aspire X3400G Motherboard, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650, 12.3GB SSD3, MCP77 Network adapter/Qualcom Atheros AR9462 Wireless Network Adapter Dual 2.4/5Ghz, DVD+/-RW 3, one 500 SSD and a second 250 SDD mounted on removable trays. Corsair Carbide Series 100R Desktop-case with Insignia™ – 550W ATX PSU. Vantec NexStar SE Dual 2.5-Inch SATA Hard Drive Rack MRK-525ST (Black). Fully configured Linux Debian 10 Buster (64bit) Gaming Ready Desktop (64bit).

Linux Gaming Desktop $275.00
Renewed Dell Inspiron 531,Dual Core AMD Athlon(tm) 64×2 4000+, Radeon HD Video Graphics Card 6670, 8GB SSD3 Memory, MCP77 Network adapter, DVD+/-RW 3, one 120GB SSD and two 500 HDD. Corsair Carbide Series 100R Desktop-case with Insignia™ – 550W ATX PSU. Fully configured Linux Elementary OS (64bit) Gaming Ready Desktop (64bit)

Linux Entry Level Desktop $65.00
USED Gateway SX2110-UR318 – SFF – E1 1200 1.4 GHz – 4 GB – 500 GB, integrated, AMD Radeon HD 7310 small form factor, Integrated Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet network adapter. Fully configured Linux Elementary OS (64bit) Entry Level Desktop (64bit)

Linux Entry Level Desktop $95.00
USED Dell PC, Integrated Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet network adapter. Fully configured Linux Elementary OS (64bit) Entry Level Desktop (64bit)

I’m not an on-line retailer or shop etc. I’m just an individual selling renewed or used computers systems to you. There are no implied warranties all systems are sold as is – no refunds all sales are final. However, I do test the systems for 72 hours after installing and configuring the OS, thus, I know these systems are good. These systems are available on a first come, first served basis. Thus, once a system is sold it is sold, new systems will be posted whenever they become available. All systems are sold with a Linux Operating System preinstalled and fully configured. Note: I’m not selling the OS., the OS is a free download. Additionally for every system sold I will donate 10% to the specific OS installed in the system. I only work with Debian or Elementary OS. If you have specific OS request, let me know before-hand. Renewed systems have new parts installed, used systems are just that used.

Used units have been fully tested and restored to default factory settings. Some of the used units have been slightly used devices that may show some moderate to deep scratches throughout the case. Used units do not have original packaging, renewed units may or may not include the original packaging, which may be slightly used. Please refer to the description for a list of accessories or items that are included.

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The puzzle, my own philosophical views of the Linux Operating system

This short piece is based on a conversation with one of my work colleagues. The conversation centered around the Microsoft Operating system (M$OS) and the Linux Operating system. His statement is based on the premises that the M$OS is what everyone knows and uses. That’s better than the Linux OS. My statement is based on creativity from a technical point-of-view.

Thus, this piece is centered on my own philosophical views of the Linux Operating system. This philosophical view represents an opinion. This personal opinion is based on what I know from the many years of experience with the operating system itself. I know M$OS., however, I opt to ignore it and concentrate my efforts on Linux OS.

The Linux Operating System is like a puzzle – there are many pieces in the puzzle that you need to put together in order to complete the puzzle. However, this puzzle, is the absolute principle implicit in creativity and based on a combination of parts needed to complete a puzzle. The puzzle, however, is never completed, there are many new parts and some parts are updates of existing parts that come out everyday. This continuous life-cycle will make you re-shuffle your master piece into something new. Thus, the pieces needed to create your own reality within the operating system lies only within your own imagination.

The parts of the puzzle itself are the principles of others own constructs based on ideas signifying their way, or should we say a code of parts that create an inherent behavior, it creates harmony from chaos which in turn help themselves and others bring order by creating their own world. The interpretation of the available pieces are primarily centered within the open source movement. The movement has helped to develop our systems into the reflection of what we want to see and how we want to make it work for us.

In my book, that (the puzzle) which cannot be reshuffled to create a newer version of itself has no cogency. The other, OS, a fixed puzzle, that is good in its own rights, however, does not allow for creativity as the puzzle is fixed, thus has no cogency. The point and I hope that many Linux users are like me. They are always thinking and working hard reshuffling their own puzzle over and over with the aim to create a better version of the previous puzzle.

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Cyber Monday Disappointments with Dell and Steam

For the fist time in my life, I’ve decided to purchase a pre-built brand-name computer system and a game controller. Therefore, I did what I’ve never done before. I sat in front of my computer and patiently waited for the deals to be posted on-line on Cyber Monday. Great! I did it! I actually for the first time purchased two products from two major brands as soon as they published on-line. I strongly believe I was one of the first customers to order.

I gotten two deals, one from a major digital game distribution service (Steam is a video game digital distribution service by Valve.) Another deal from Dell.com. On the 1st of December 2019 12/01/19 Cyber Monday – I ordered a game controller from Steam and one Alienware Aurora R8 at discounted cyber-Monday rate from Dell.com.

A virtual on-line promise was made to deliver the products, within two days Steam sent an e-mail “cancelling” my order. According to Steam, they ran out of controllers. Great! I waited an entire year waiting for them to lower the price of that product to no avail. One down (or should I say one disappointment), one-more-to-go. About a weeks time before delivery of the Aurora R8. I get an e-mail with an updated delivery date from Dell. This time around they moved the Aurora’s delivery to 14 January 2020. Wow! That’s a combined 45 days from the original date of purchase.

I’ve called Dell, that was two frustrating calls., one person say they are waiting on parts, another told me they don’t have shipping materials (go figure). I can understand to some extend running out of goods to sell. However, waiting on parts and not having shipping materials is unacceptable. I know that web developers program store web sites with safety measures, if an inventory is low on parts or product it automatically flags the product as deficient. The on-line inventory system then and there marks the product as out-of-stock. however, I get the feeling that this is like went you go on-line and rent a car, their web keeps renting even went the product has been completely sold-out. They go on the assumption that some customers will cancel their orders. That’s mostly driven by statistics.

Vendors should not make or sell products on empty promises. I strongly believe this hurts both the business and the brand. However, I wonder, did Dell undersold their product to me. Is Dell looking for a way to make the customer (Me) cancel the order by delaying the delivery. Then I hope, I don’t get a refurbished product or renewed product – because in my eyes I paid for a new product and that’s exactly what I wish to receive, a new product. We’ll see!