The Weird Sisters

It’s definitely very strange having so many powerful computers in the house. In the space of about a week, I went from a low-end haven to a mid-range fleet.

To anyone else it probably looks a bit primitive still, but either of the two P4-era Celeron machines is capable of handling anything I’m used to doing, alone and by itself.

Not that that’s saying much though. I have made the same claim against 120Mhz Pentium machines. :roll:

But with two high-end (to me) machines around the house, and with a flaky wireless router which is invisible to some machines and blatantly obvious to others, and with one or two with very good networking jacks, an unusual arrangement has unfolded.

One Celeron, the VersaPro, is sitting in the other room, at close range to the router, and connected by cable. That one is catching torrents, and using its connection to download and seed at better speeds than PCMCIA wireless usually offers.

Of course, this is not the first time I’ve allowed the full Ubuntu desktop to take over that role.

The other, the Satellite, is on my desktop, and is working as an entertainment station, hooked into these speakers and showing my meager collection of DVD rips on its Big Fat Screen. Quite nice, really.

Which means the only other two — the Mebius, which is command central for all practical purposes, and the X60s, which is guinea pig — are standing by, waiting for action.

The oddest part of this entire arrangement is that both Celerons are using Ubuntu 11.04. I know: Crazy, isn’t it?

I can’t offer any rationale for that, other than it was the way things panned out, when I decided to put them to work together. The VersaPro has a large drive in it, seeds ISOs with Transmission and serves up the web UI to anybody listening.

The Satellite is hooked into it via nfs, and I can stash music or ripped DVD files there, and stream them over the wireless connection.

Ordinarily, Ubuntu’s desktop is the less-than-ideal choice for either of these roles, in my opinion.

Both machines can run it, but not the Unity desktop (thank goodness). Logging in with the traditional desktop with no effects makes them quite perky though.

And while the tools are there (meaning, in the repositories) for these machines, it’s a wee bit odd to be using a behemoth desktop like that, and relying on only a few small tools on either one to do the job.

I don’t think this arrangement will last much longer; I find it a little unnerving to use Ubuntu on either machine, even if it seems to be working. Every day, something new, I guess. …

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11 Responses to “The Weird Sisters”

  1. 1 imgx64 2011/05/06 at 9:05 PM

    I find the “command line only” installation from Ubuntu’s alternate CD a good choice for older computers (although why it needs Plymouth is beyond me).

    By the way, I noticed that you removed the older laptops from the Hardware page. This will break *a lot* of links from older blog posts. Maybe you could keep them under another section or page (“Hardware I no longer have” or something).

  2. 3 ScannerDarkly 2011/05/06 at 11:32 PM

    What’s wrong with Unity if it works? Much better window management than Gnome I find — the ability to tile natively is great too — just drag to either side and behaves like Windows 7. I like to read from the web browser whilst I word process, and sometimes look at 2 different sites, or have 2 different folders, so Gnome’s lack of tiling (which has been present in Windows since 95) was irritating.

    I find from a UI perspective Unity offers a lot more productivity too as it utilises maxmised window focus with no bars in the way, which is really how we browse the web thesedays.

    • 4 K.Mandla 2011/05/07 at 7:02 AM

      If you enjoy it and it works on your computer, then by all means, please enjoy it. Neither of these machines has the video wherewithal to keep up with it, and I dislike the interface anyway, so for me nothing was lost.

  3. 5 Robert 2011/05/07 at 10:52 PM

    You are wrong. Unity rocks
    :-) just kidding….

  4. 7 linuxbakkie 2011/05/08 at 4:01 AM

    I agree with Mr. Mandla, I don’t like Unity either.
    I’m not saying it’s bad, but it’s big and I like it small and fast.

    @Robert, here another ‘rocking’ unity :P
    This is not my normal desktop, just an experiment.


    Ubuntu 10.04 (LTS) netinstall, openbox, lxpanel, tint2, docky, gtk2 (light-themes), xcompmgr, transset-df, etc.
    No tiling-things (but 4 virtual desktops should be enough), shortcut keys are easy to make in OpenBox (rc.xml).

  5. 8 Robert 2011/05/08 at 6:58 AM

    Maybe we should send these to Apple. Perhaps they could pick some decent ideas for their desktop?

  6. 9 linuxbakkie 2011/05/08 at 12:57 PM

    @Robert, as far as I know they’re too busy with stealing mr. Mandla’s ideas ;)

  1. 1 My Green Fedora « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2011/05/29 at 10:16 PM

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Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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