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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 16 Jan 2019, 01:13:48

kublikhan wrote:Anyway, you might want to at least look at Windows Lite to see if it meets your needs Outcast_Searcher. Although it is not ready yet so it's mostly rumors at this point.

Thanks kub. That sounds interesting.

I don't like to try and rely on "mostly rumors", especially from Microsoft. I pretty much lost confidence in their promises during the Vista fiasco (where I just skipped buying a PC or OS (and waited and WAITED) until Win 7 was ready, there were so many issues with Vista).

Their quality fiascos and Windows 10 spyware situation haven't helped any, IMO. Nor their consistent lack of meaningful backward compatibility.

IF/WHEN Windows Lite happens, and the reviews are good, I'll take a look. Meanwhile, the greatly stripped down nature of it says I'll still be using old Windows machines to do my offline work, and play my games, anyway. (At least as long as I can get Windows 7 and XP to run on existing old hardware for cheap).

Given the apparent inherent security advantage, simplicity, etc. with Chrome OS, I'll believe Windows Lite is "a Chrome OS killer" being more than a marketing statement when I see objective reviews claiming that and decide to evaluate it myself.

And I'm just a random former computer geek (grown lazy and old). How in the HELL do serious corporations do IT planning around the way Microsoft seems to be marketing its future OS plans (i.e. mostly rumor for crissakes)?

It looks like it will take me less than a few hundred bucks to get a decent powered Chromebook to do some decent evaluation and experiments, and at least have a potential alternative come a year from now, if I'm still on the fence. I'm sure not enthralled with the mainstream choices I took a quick look at today, like macOS.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 16 Jan 2019, 07:44:12

And then there are a few rare folks who don’t have reliable or inexpensive internet connections, like me.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby kublikhan » Wed 16 Jan 2019, 11:46:08

Newfie, did you try setting your network connection to metered? That seems to turn off automatic updates except for critical security updates. I just turned this on for my windows 10 machine.

What Setting a Connection as Metered Does
Setting a connection as metered prevents Windows from automatically using bandwidth in many ways. Here’s exactly what it does:

* Disables automatic downloading of most Windows updates: Windows won’t automatically download most updates from Windows Update on metered Internet connections. You’ll get a “Download” button you can click whenever you want to install updates. On the Creators Update, Microsoft has now given Windows Update permission to download critical security updates even if your connection is marked as metered. Microsoft has promised not to abuse this.

* Disables automatic downloading of app updates: The Windows Store won’t automatically download updates for your installed “Store apps” on metered connections, either. Desktop apps like Chrome, Firefox, and others will continue updating themselves normally.

* Disables peer-to-peer uploading of updates: On a metered connection, Windows 10 won’t use your upload bandwidth to share updates with PCs over the Internet. Windows 10 does this by default, consuming your potentially limited upload allowance to reduce Microsoft’s bandwidth bills.

* Tiles may not update: Microsoft says that the live tiles on your Start menu or Start screen “may” stop updating on a metered connection.

* Other apps may behave differently: Apps—particularly apps from the Windows Store—could potentially read this setting and behave differently. For example, a “universal app” BitTorrent client could potentially stop downloading automatically when connected to a metered connection.

How to Set an Ethernet Connection as Metered
1. To set a wired Ethernet connection as metered, head to Settings > Network & Internet > Ethernet. Click the name of your Ethernet connection here.
2. Activate the “Set as metered connection” option for the network you’re connected to.

How to Set a Wi-Fi Connection as Metered
1. To set a Wi-Fi connection as metered, head to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi. Click the name of the Wi-Fi connection you’re connected to.
2. Activate the “Set as metered connection” option here.
How, When, and Why to Set a Connection as Metered on Windows 10

Yeah thanks for stealing my bandwidth to host windows updates on your own private bittorrent network you POS.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Wed 16 Jan 2019, 12:15:45

I'm sure not enthralled with the mainstream choices I took a quick look at today, like macOS.


I admit that years ago when I first made the move from everything PC based to everything Mac based I was thinking...well what a terrible OS, I can't get in there and change things, it's all slammed shut etc etc. As time went on and I gained back all the time I had lost over the years recovering from viruses, OS failures that were not easily explained and waiting hours on updates I changed my mind. Nowadays I'm happy to have an OS I don't have to fiddle with and certainly one that is much less prone to viruses. I've used it for all sorts of things both at home and on the road back when I was working full time. I have MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint and also ran a Project variant that was almost exactly like MS Project. The Pdf editors I have on the Mac work well and are about a tenth of the price of Adobe, the photoshop like apps are also a lot cheaper and just as good in my opinion. And having an ipad pro along with an iphone means everything is accessible wherever you are, something I like. The only complaints I have are I like to do my own taxes and Tubo Tax is a very good resource. They once had a Mac app but discontinued it in favor of an online access to their app. I'm not a big fan of voluntarily putting sensitive information out via online apps (though you do so in the cloud) so this one has been a bit problematic and forced me to keep a PC laptop that I seldom connected to the internet just to do taxes and other financial stuff. I'm told the online Turbo Tax routine uses the same security protocals as the Federal Government, not sure if that makes me happy or not. I'm gradually coming around to accepting that proper use of AWS servers by companies should allow for secure data storage but am still wary of the human element.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 16 Jan 2019, 17:23:11

Thanks Kub,

It is my Wife’s PC and I haven’t gotten around to doing that. We got it shortly before leaving in this trip and things have been hectic to say the least.

I appreciate the advice.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 16 Jan 2019, 22:51:21

rockdoc123 wrote:
I'm sure not enthralled with the mainstream choices I took a quick look at today, like macOS.


I admit that years ago when I first made the move from everything PC based to everything Mac based I was thinking...well what a terrible OS, I can't get in there and change things, it's all slammed shut etc etc. As time went on and I gained back all the time I had lost over the years recovering from viruses, OS failures that were not easily explained and waiting hours on updates I changed my mind. Nowadays I'm happy to have an OS I don't have to fiddle with and certainly one that is much less prone to viruses.

Don't get me wrong, rock. It's not that MacOS is terrible or anything, especially compared to Windows. But Mac hardware is expensive, and not especially reliable. And Macs have many of the kinds of issues Windows has, even if less often. They can get viruses, etc. even if Windows gets more focus from the bad guys.

But the killer point for me, which I mentioned upthread, is how Apple doesn't offer any timeline or warning before they just stop offering security updates. They just do it, and to hell with the customers. At least with MS you can plan for that.

From more studying today, the Chromebook thing for the net (and still using "real computers" off the net for specialized work") might be a great solution for a whole lot of people. The main issue is you have to be willing to trust the Google Ecosystem, like the Google Cloud. Or, if you distrust the cloud, you have to store your sensitive stuff elsewhere, or encrypt it elsewhere before you save it on the Google Cloud.

I'm on the fence at this point about that, but plan to experiment with different ideas in the next few weeks as I get some practical experience with a Chromebook, Chrome OS, and elements of the Google Ecosystem like Google Drive.

And I'm happy to share summaries of what I learn. At least when customers have a variety of choices in OS's as they do so far, that forces providers to try to provide value, to some extent.

...

For one thing, speaking of viruses, since Chrome OS works with a sandbox environment concept each time it boots, and for each Android app it runs, it appears to be so difficult for Chrome OS to get a persistent virus (one that remains the next boot-up), that there's no need for any anti-virus at all for it. That right there shows a kind of really different thinking and move toward simplicity that a LOT of young folks are very attracted to, and if it works OK for the basics and the net, I'll be happy to join them.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby MD » Fri 18 Jan 2019, 17:58:25

It's been sort of a moore's Law problem for many years now. Increasingly complex software and hardware computing/networking systems with millions of people updating and/or attacking it daily.

40 years ago I was one of the giants. Today I am an ant. lol.

Trying hard to avoid being stepped on.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 18 Jan 2019, 18:04:03

It this ant hill is all disorganized. Each one individually has some tiny fraction of the system. Back then you had far more control over the system. It’s not you, it’s the system.

There was a time I was running a DOS application called Feamework. It was pretty neat and ran blindingly fast. For practical applications I could do more on that with a x86 machine than I can do today. There is more complexity, but not more productivity for the average Joe who is really trying to compute, not just video gaming and the sort.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 18 Jan 2019, 18:21:32

Kub,

I set up the metering on my Wife’s computer this morning. Thanks.

Also turned off most the the apps running in the background.

Hope this helps.

With the iPhone it is constantly pestering me to update apps and update the IOS. But at least it’s transparent. Still a pain in the keester, and trying to find free WiFi to same my data is not always easy.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 18 Jan 2019, 18:35:16

MD,

Back in the early 80’s I had my ONE foray into practical programming. I wrote a dBase program to manage a small telephone cable plant. It had the infrastructure in one dB and the usage in a different one. I could use it to identify every wire used, it’s location, and pertinate facts about that location so that I could print out a “trouble ticket” for a circuit to give to one of my workers. It had other practical uses.

Working on my own time on my dining room table, late at night, I got it along far enough to prove it out and estimate data requirements and speed to print out a report. I had done about 10% of my territory, about 3% of all circuits in the company. It was a very interesting problem that required a specific insight which, a revelation, to make it work. There were commercial products costing hundreds of thousands, but none had my innovation, I could run rings around them all.

I needed a few thousand dollars (bigger hard drive, dedicated computer) and a few hundred hours of clerical time to expand it from my sample to full implementation for my territory. It had clear efficiency advantages as well as management improvements. Management had ZERO interest.

Later in my career I was able to reuse some of those same concepts to build a working project management application. I didn’t do the programming but directed development. It worked a charm, clear demonstratable results on multiple projects. Privet sector comapny. Absolutely zero management interest.

I did have some success at one company in cleaning up basic project management process but that success came from my peers. We implemented standards in various offices but only because middle managers saw the advantages and agreed to adopt common standards. Management? Zero interest!

I found working out problems and solutions interesting and challenging right up to my retirement. Part of the problem is I’m not a good salesman, schmoozer. But a bigger problem is management were noting but salesmen, schmoozers. F*** ‘em all, I’m floating in the Carribean and their all working to pay off loans.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 00:45:03

MD wrote:It's been sort of a moore's Law problem for many years now. Increasingly complex software and hardware computing/networking systems with millions of people updating and/or attacking it daily.

40 years ago I was one of the giants. Today I am an ant. lol.

I hear you loud and clear on that ant analogy. Maybe more like a molecule for me.

When I knew I was in trouble, re being able to keep up, was when the Windows Registry became a big deal with Windows '95. As I recall, there were already over 6000 types of hardware registered with MS for that shortly after Win '95 rolled out.

And then networking became a big thing, and the world of malware and on and on.

I think that's the reason I'm intrigued by the sandbox and encrypted cloud idea, if it works and can be trusted. Supposedly if a Chromebook does get fouled up due to software, worst thing is you reset it to factory settings (easy as booting while pushing a button for awhile), and you're back where you restarted. As long as you've been backing your data up to the cloud (or your own drives or both), just restore that data and you're back in business.

If that's true, it would make me feel more or less back in control since Win 3.1.1 and DOS 6.2, when you could just reinstall things including the OS without massive pain and complexity.

This molecule doesn't even WANT to be a giant -- I just want to USE the damn computer (safely) :lol:
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 08:21:36

And if you don’t have a reliable and high speed connection? Or it goes dark? Or someone shuts it off?
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 21 Jan 2019, 13:48:35

Newfie wrote:And if you don’t have a reliable and high speed connection? Or it goes dark? Or someone shuts it off?

I'm not sure who you're addressing that to. In case it's to me, I'll respond.

First, the internet is at the center of computer use for many people. If that goes down, obviously internet banking and finance, shopping, and streaming, email, etc. is down. True for any OS.

The Chromebook doesn't require an internet connection to do everything. The provided Google Apps for things like spreadsheets, word processing, etc. don't require an internet connection.

There is local wrap-around storage for storing docs, and you can attach hard drives, flash drives, etc. via USB. So you can do work -- to the extent the apps will run without the net.

I haven't looked into turning the machine into an Android machine (requires reformatting the drive (i.e. provided internal storage) for all but the newest Chromebooks, and I want to know what I'm doing first). So I don't know about the android apps that will run on the Chromebook, available from Google Chrome store (screened for safety, quality, etc). It wouldn't surprise me if most of them won't run without an internet connection, although some tools claim they do. My guess would be none of the free ones work without the internet (I wouldn't have 99% of them, since they come with advertising) -- same deal with all my electronics, like the Kindle. I'll pay a modest fee to avoid ads. For the ones that have a cost -- they want to sell them, so I think that will be a mixed bag.

Thus far, since I own no smartphone, and have no plans to unless someone comes up with apps that ****I**** feel make it worth it for the expense, having to worry about security and patches for it, etc. Thus, though I like to stream and browse, I'm less tethered to the internet than the vast majority of the first world folks.

Dunno if I answered your question. If not, please let me know.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 21 Jan 2019, 15:02:44

My situation is that I’m traveling/living outside the USA. I’ve no single internet provider. I’m a vagabond. These last few weeks I’ve purchased data here in St Martin, but that’s a luxury. Often I only have sporadic WiFi in restaurants or bars.

Even when in Canada I’m limited to 500mb of data per 24 hours. I have to drive 40 miles to a Tims to do an update.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 21 Jan 2019, 16:49:36

Newfie wrote:My situation is that I’m traveling/living outside the USA. I’ve no single internet provider. I’m a vagabond. These last few weeks I’ve purchased data here in St Martin, but that’s a luxury. Often I only have sporadic WiFi in restaurants or bars.

Even when in Canada I’m limited to 500mb of data per 24 hours. I have to drive 40 miles to a Tims to do an update.

Where-ever there is decent WIFI, from the reviews I've seen, the Chrome Browser on Chromebooks works just fine. It lets you join another network it finds, just as easily as Windows does.

When our WIFI goes out for a meaningful length of time, I go to a restaurant that has WIFI once a day, and do some catching up. Since secure links encrypt the traffic for any internet connection, performance might be annoying, but it shouldn't be a problem re security.

Bottom line, I don't see Chromebook being all that different than Windows without WIFI -- unless you badly need apps via Android that insist on an internet connection to work (like some Windows gaming providers, for example. As a business example, Per Adobe DC FAQ page, apparently Adobe Acrobat DC requires a connection to the internet to verify your membership once a month for a monthly subscription, or every 99 days for an annual subscription, but other than that, you can run offline just fine.)

I hope to have a better feel for that for Chromebook Android Apps. down the road, but may decide to get that more from reading reviews than personal experience, so I can't state a timeline for that input.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 21 Jan 2019, 18:46:24

I’m using PDF fill instead of Adobe. Only issue I’ve found is creating a signature, but I create the block in PDFILL then switch to reader to sign.

I do little on my computer anymore, but a WiFi requirement is a non starter.

Sooner or later I’ll go the way of they rest of the Dino’s.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 22 Jan 2019, 14:30:25

Newfie wrote:I’m using PDF fill instead of Adobe. Only issue I’ve found is creating a signature, but I create the block in PDFILL then switch to reader to sign.

I do little on my computer anymore, but a WiFi requirement is a non starter.

Sooner or later I’ll go the way of they rest of the Dino’s.

I seem to get a number of hits on PDF fill. I see online converters (and I don't want my private documents exposed online to sites I don't trust). I see things you can supposedly download, amid lots of aggressive advertising, which doesn't make it clear how to download and wants me to go to an unknown site.

Would you mind pointing out which specific product / site you're talking about?

If it gets a safe recommendation from outfits like Norton, I can download it, and it will support letting me do 256 bit or more AES encryption and password protection of PDF's reliably and simply, I'm interested. Oh, and I'd want to be able to scan docs and create PDF's, of course.

Thanks.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 22 Jan 2019, 19:28:02

https://www.pdfill.com

No clue about encryption. Its signature feature requires an outside license or a workaround by creating the space in PDFILL and doing the signature in Reader.

It’s a learning curve. Not excessively initiative. It has worked for the simple tasks I’ve done.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby radon1 » Wed 30 Jan 2019, 06:44:22

Go Linux. As long as you are not a heavy game player, you will fly on it. Even if you are, steam has now a translation layer for most of the games.

Go Xubuntu if you are a starter. Don't be put off by the default look, they keep it ugly for some reason, it is easily customisable to almost any look you want (btw win 10 isn't). And it is very light. Do a double boot for starters in order to test before the transition.

If you are more advanced, go Debian.

Some report a shorter battery life on linux, however, in case you are travelling a lot.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 30 Jan 2019, 13:24:13

radon1 wrote:Go Linux. As long as you are not a heavy game player, you will fly on it. Even if you are, steam has now a translation layer for most of the games.

Go Xubuntu if you are a starter. Don't be put off by the default look, they keep it ugly for some reason, it is easily customisable to almost any look you want (btw win 10 isn't). And it is very light. Do a double boot for starters in order to test before the transition.

If you are more advanced, go Debian.

Some report a shorter battery life on linux, however, in case you are travelling a lot.

With respect, I pointed out upthread that for all but the relatively advanced computer users, Linux is a bad choice in terms of working well to do what non-computer-savvy people want to do. It often requires various fixes, etc. for various websites, for example. And that would be fine if the fixes just went on like on Windows and normally worked. But they almost never do. And then anyone who isn't Linux savvy can't figure out why. (Same thing for Xubuntu).

I'm sure Linux is a fine choice for the computer savvy. But let's remember, there's a huge proportion of people who mostly want to click on icons, type in text boxes, etc. and just use the computer. And they have little real clue about meaningful computer problem solving. (And I don't think that makes them stupid. Just untrained, and having a finite amount of time.)

For example, before fuel injection, I was modestly handy with cars. Hell, with modern cars, aside from the battery, tires, etc., I don't even want to mess with them. And I don't want to change a battery since if I don't keep the power input going (like the better car shops now do as a matter of course), it causes problems re the modern computer gadgetry. The modern cars' computers make my "experience" trying to diagnose things with common sense almost obsolete. That doesn't make me stupid, IMO, but it does make me obsolete re car maintenance, unless I want to get trained up on modern car technology.

Again, normal people have limited time and energy working in fields they don't specialize in. That's why a huge proportion of people in the modern world make their living being specialists of one sort or another.
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