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The new machine...

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  • dbneeley
    I ve had the new laptop for several days now, and I have the Windows install to the point where I am prepared to repartition to set up a dual boot with Linux.
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 11, 2010
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      I've had the new laptop for several days now, and I have the Windows install to the point where I am prepared to repartition to set up a dual boot with Linux. (I must keep a Windows install to support some Windows-only software for my wife, who rarely uses a computer except to send me email when we are apart).

      I did get the ASUS UL30a-x5k from Amazon--the one with integrated Intel 4500HD graphics. The battery life is amazing, just as advertised--and having a 3.7 pound laptop is a very nice change.

      I am taking the original 5400 rpm, 500 GB drive and putting it in an external case for use as a backup drive. I am replacing it in the machine with another 500 GB drive--a Seagate hybrid, which is a 7200 rpm unit with a 4 GB solid state hard disk element built in. The drive firmware is supposed to move those files that are most frequently accessed into the solid state portion, so it should run much faster than a conventional hard drive while having a far more reasonable price than a full solid state disk. This hybrid cost me $139 at a CompUSA in Dallas.

      For those who do not know, the remaining CompUSA stores are now owned by the same people who own Tiger Direct. Their prices seem to blow away those at Fry's--the one in Dallas is across a freeway overpass from a Fry's, so some price comparisons were easy.

      So far, I have not found the 13.3" screen to be a problem, even for my old eyes.

      I have installed Kubuntu on the new disk, but thus far I haven't had a great deal of time to use it--I wanted to get the original drive all set up first, so in case of it being needed as an emergency replacement it should be easy to do. I will clone the resulting disk to the new hybrid drive, then slip the hybrid back into the machine.

      I'll let you know how the whole thing turns out...

      David
    • J
      ... Good luck with that. :) I m interested in knowing what you think of that hybrid drive when you have used it for a bit. I ve read some reviews on those
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 12, 2010
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        On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 02:19, dbneeley <dbneeley@...> wrote:

        > I am taking the original 5400 rpm, 500 GB drive and putting it in an external case for use as a backup drive. I am replacing it in the machine with another 500 GB
        > drive--a Seagate hybrid, which is a 7200 rpm unit with a 4 GB solid state hard disk element built in. The drive firmware is supposed to move those files that are
        > most frequently accessed into the solid state portion, so it should run much faster than a conventional hard drive while having a far more reasonable price than a
        > full solid state disk. This hybrid cost me $139 at a CompUSA in Dallas.

        Good luck with that. :) I'm interested in knowing what you think of
        that hybrid drive when you have used it for a bit. I've read some
        reviews on those units but until know didn't know of anyone in the
        wild who had one, so I'm curious to know what your experience with it
        is, and whether the 4GB buffer is worth the extra money for everyday
        use.

        As for stores, we used to have both CompUSA and Tiger Direct here in
        Raleigh, but CompUSA went under (Tiger Direct was always better on
        prices anyway).

        I just WISH there was a Fry's here... I hit them up every time I'm on
        the west coast... the ones I've been in are so much nice than the
        Tiger Direct stores... we have two in Raleigh and Durham, and both
        look like a ghetto K-Mart full of Computer/Electronics stuff...
        cramped dirty aisles, lots of boxes, badly set up displays... but they
        DO have good prices that even make the 45-50 mile drive worth it for
        me sometimes...

        Cheers
        Jeff
      • dbneeley
        ... I ll be happy to report back on the drive performance. Since I am traveling and visiting relatives, I have been unable to find the time to do the major
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 14, 2010
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          --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, J <dreadpiratejeff@...> wrote:
          >
          I'll be happy to report back on the drive performance. Since I am traveling and visiting relatives, I have been unable to find the time to do the major installation stuff--I plan to do that today as a major endeavor.

          Until fairly recently, CompUSA was owned by the Carlos Slim group from Mexico--and their American management wasn't all that great. Now that Tiger Direct has the remaining few stores, the selection has greatly improved and the prices dropped.

          Fry's is always fun--but their prices seem to have grown progressively worse over the last few years. As I said before, the CompUSA in Dallas is far lower on many, many items and no higher on the rest, from what I could see.

          I must also do some serious testing of the external DVD writer I bought. In trying to make the backup set for my ASUS, it has been burning coasters--which I have yet to determine is either the fault of the backup routine or of the DVD drive. I'll burn a few disks today with error checking enabled to try to determine which. To be on the safe side, I'll also order a restore set from ASUS to be on the safe side.

          By the way, I also bought a Sony PRS 600 Touch ebook reader--and Calibre works quite well with it, although it is not explicitly supported in the device list. For those who don't know, Calibre is an ebook program available both for Linux and Windows. It not only handles library management, but it also does conversion between various ebook formats so if you get an ebook in a format your reader may not support, it is very likely Calibre can transform it to one your reader can deal with. It also serves as a good reader application if you don't have a reader, but want to read the books and such on your computer.

          David

          >
          > Good luck with that. :) I'm interested in knowing what you think of
          > that hybrid drive when you have used it for a bit. I've read some
          > reviews on those units but until know didn't know of anyone in the
          > wild who had one, so I'm curious to know what your experience with it
          > is, and whether the 4GB buffer is worth the extra money for everyday
          > use.
          >
          > As for stores, we used to have both CompUSA and Tiger Direct here in
          > Raleigh, but CompUSA went under (Tiger Direct was always better on
          > prices anyway).
          >
          > I just WISH there was a Fry's here... I hit them up every time I'm on
          > the west coast... the ones I've been in are so much nice than the
          > Tiger Direct stores... we have two in Raleigh and Durham, and both
          > look like a ghetto K-Mart full of Computer/Electronics stuff...
          > cramped dirty aisles, lots of boxes, badly set up displays... but they
          > DO have good prices that even make the 45-50 mile drive worth it for
          > me sometimes...
          >
          > Cheers
          > Jeff
          >
        • Scott
          ... I have to add my recommendation of Calibre--I liked it so much, I donated money to them through their site. Excellent program and seems to handle most
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 14, 2010
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            On Sat, Aug 14, 2010 at 10:28:59AM -0000, dbneeley wrote:
            >
            >
            > By the way, I also bought a Sony PRS 600 Touch ebook reader--and Calibre works quite well with it, although it is not explicitly supported in the device list. For those who don't know, Calibre is an ebook program available both for Linux and Windows. It not only handles library management, but it also does conversion between various ebook formats so if you get an ebook in a format your reader may not support, it is very likely Calibre can transform it to one your reader can deal with. It also serves as a good reader application if you don't have a reader, but want to read the books and such on your computer.
            >

            I have to add my recommendation of Calibre--I liked it so much, I
            donated money to them through their site. Excellent program and seems
            to handle most ebook formats.

            I have found that Fedora, Ubuntu, and Arch's versions all seemed to have
            some limitations that I didn't find when I got the program from
            Calibre's site. The pre-packaged versions all seemed to have trouble
            with one format or another, but when I got it directly from the Calibre
            site, it worked with everything. (I couldn't install it on CentOS, as
            CentOS' library versions were too old--or maybe python, I don't
            remember, but regardless, used it with a VM and everything was fine.)



            --
            Scott Robbins
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