I think I’ve actually settled this time… I now have Arch Linux on my computer and even my 1TB storage drive is formatted btrfs. Nothing Windows related on here at all. Seems like a pretty good distribution so far, I have things mostly formatted nicely with openbox for my window manager and tint2 for a taskbar/launcher/tray thing. Now I just have to fiddle around with conky and have a nice looking desktop that works great.
Also, my new mechanical keyboard should be here sometime today, Filco Majestouch 2 TKL with Cherry MX Red switches. Can’t wait.
Too lazy to link anything in this post this morning.
Since my last update, I had gone back to Windows after a while. I forget why, I think it was because I was giving Guild Wars 2 a try and it didn’t want to cooperate in Linux. Or at least, I wasn’t in the mood to mess around with it.
Last week I installed Linux Mint 14 to try out. Ubuntu-based, so it was easy to do things, but I didn’t quite get into it for some reason. Yesterday I figured I’d give Debian a try again – I had been using that for a long time before and really enjoyed it, but I just wasn’t happy with it. Fonts in Ubuntu/variants just look so much better for whatever reason. And then I stumbled across Lubuntu. Which uses LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment), a speedy and nice looking desktop environment. So far things have been enjoyable.
Along the way, I discovered a couple of new (to me) apps. First is URxvt, a pretty neat terminal emulator which can have text-based tabs, not the ugly looking graphical stuff that newer terminals have that come with Ubuntu, etc. Currently I have it set up to have transparency which both looks cool and can be useful. Second is WeeChat – a text-based IRC client that is actually being developed and updated, and seems to work pretty well. Has scripting with whatever language you want as well. It reminds me of Irssi, which I used to use, but nicer. So now I’m running it on my local fileserver via screen, so I don’t have to worry about staying connected.
Also, both of the games I currently play either run natively (Minecraft), or works well with Wine (Path of Exile). And YNAB still runs fine with Wine, which was the other important piece of software. Everything else has versions/alternatives on Linux. So I’m determined to stick with it this time.
I decided to install Linux on my main system again, since I ending up having to format my two 1TB drives that were in RAID0 (some sort of error on one of them). So I left them as separate drives this time. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS like my media server/player currently, and I’m testing out various things.
I mentioned YNAB in my last post, and that one does work quite well in Linux using Wine. Even with the Dropbox syncing in the new version. The forum posts about it sounded scary and complicated but it was as simple as just installing and running it.
I haven’t really tried much in the way of games yet, though. Everything else is basically the same app anyway, or a better alternative than Windows (looking at you, annoying iTunes). Most of the games I’ve enjoyed lately have been indie ones anyway, many of which actually have a Linux version. I do need to get around to trying Civilization V and Path of Exile though. And play all of the indie games I’ve picked up recently.
If all goes well, I’ll reinstall everything at some point, using my SSD for the OS and not even bother with Windows on here at all.
Well, I finally got around to building a dedicated system [krypton] for the TV. It is also serving as a fileserver, to replace my ReadyNAS NV+ (well, once I finish transferring all of the files). Everything is working quite nicely, with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. It’s nice to have a 5-year support plan for the OS for something that I won’t really need to be fiddling with, other than updating XBMC/SickBeard/SABnzbd as necessary.
I’m fairly impressed by the onboard graphics (HD3000?) on the Intel i3 2105 and Z68 chipset motherboard. Videos run smoothly, a couple of games I tried ran fine. It was only Braid and Crayon Physics Deluxe, but still… and bsnes seems to work well. I just have to get a controller to properly play it.
If not for gaming, I’d be running that on my main system as well. Games like Path of Exile, Torchlight II, Civilization V… I play random other games at times, but those are the main ones. Maybe PokerStars, which I load up every now and then. I guess Wine might work for some, could be potential problems with others though. YNAB is probably the only non-gaming app I would need without a Linux version or equivalent, but apparently that does generally work with Wine. I haven’t used that in many years, but I hear it works much better these days.
Yet again I started playing EVE Online, and have been having more fun with it this time around. I finally have the skills to fly the ships I was aiming for, plus changes over the last year made it better as well. I’m aiming to be able to make enough ISK in the game with my two accounts to be able to play without having to pay actual cash each month. You can buy an in-game item which converts to 30 days of game time (and you can also buy the item on the website to redeem in-game to sell, which is where they all come from). Going rates, as the market is completely player-based, are something like 460m. Which isn’t that bad, I think I can make that sort of credits fairly quickly with my current characters/ships. One kicking ass, and the other helping with support skills, and looting/salvaging to sell to go along with the mission rewards and bounties for killing things.
All pretty much meaningless to you if you don’t play the game, but whatever ;)
I’ve been trying to read more again lately – I used to do that constantly. Having the Kindle app on my phone since last year helped a little, and getting an actual Kindle for Christmas was even better :) Plus actual books that I’ve been reading.
Eric Flint was suggested to me as an author to read a long time ago, and I finally got around to starting one of his books this week. 1632, the first in a series/universe of books. I’m only 14% into it, but it’s pretty good so far. A few books in the series are available for free via the Baen Free Library, and other ebooks are reasonbly priced ($4-6), available in multiple formats, and DRM-free. Worth checking out if alternate history science fiction sounds good to you.
Well, after doing some more research and playing around with things in VirtualBox, I think I’ll be using Debian+XFS after all. ZFS seems like it would be great if I didn’t have plans to extend my RAID array. Now I guess I have to play around more with md+lvm+xfs things to see just how it works. And find out how it handles spreading things out over multiple RAID5 arrays – seems like lvm can do that from the little I read, I just don’t know if it’s a good idea or not.
And make sure that Sick Beard and SABnzbd work fine on there as well. Other than that, I don’t really need anything else running on there that I can think of.
My ReadyNAS is pretty much full, so I’m planning on building a server to replace it – see server-todo for some parts I’m considering.
I was going to go with Linux and XFS, but after some initial research, FreeBSD with ZFS sounds better. As long as I can add new drives in the future and expand the RAID array. For example, I have 4x2TB drives in RAID5 and I’d want to add a 5th to it. Anyone know offhand how easy that would be? Well, the actual question should be assuming 4x2TB drives in RAID-Z, how easy is it to add a 5th drive? And more after that?
Posted originally via my phone while at work, so it was a bit brief. I was poking around a bit at FreeNAS (in a VM) and it seemed interesting but more limited than I want. A proper BSD installation couldn’t hurt, since I’m not afraid to mess around with the system. Even if I don’t have BSD-specific experience, my Linux usage years ago should help somewhat with a command line and overall ideas. And actually, I might rethink the motherboard choice, and go with ECC RAM. I’ve never read much on that, so I don’t know what my options are.
Pictures of outside of our new place, including the great view!
I finally was able to check out a Kindle in person, since The Source started to sell them. I must say, I was pretty impressed. Page transitions were much faster than the Kobo I tried at Coles, and overall the device just felt better in my hands. I wanted one anyway, but after playing with an actual device a little bit, I’m sure of it now. Not right now, but it’s definitely on my list of toys to get.