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Re: First impressions Ubuntu 11.04 Live CD

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  • thad_floryan
    ... The BIOS isn t going to do anything beyond the capabilities of the installed CPU. From just now reading the BIOS release notes for A00 (initial release,
    Message 1 of 42 , May 4, 2011
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      --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, roro <roro@...> wrote:
      >
      > On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 13:01, thad the floryan <thad@...> wrote:
      > > [...]
      > > I took a picture of my D600's BIOS page 1 a few minutes ago;
      > > check how it differs from yours:
      > > <http://thadlabs.com/PIX/Lat_D600_BIOS_pg_1.jpg>.
      > >
      > > If you need to upgrade the BIOS, lemme know -- the firmware might
      > > not be available on Dell's website but I have a copy; the latest
      > > is A16.
      >
      > well shucks, dingle mah berries and call me miss shecky, yours shore
      > is different, it is.. :)
      >
      > so do you think updating the bios would upgrade the cpu speed to
      > 1.8ghz? i'd welcome that, cause this comp's video processing
      > capability isn't all it could be; i have to tweak mplayer and renice
      > it and drop screen res to get smooth playback. :(

      The BIOS isn't going to do anything beyond the capabilities of the
      installed CPU. From just now reading the BIOS release notes for A00
      (initial release, 11-FEB-2003) all the way to A16 (29-JUNE-2005), I
      see things like:

      * add support for new versions of Intel Pentium M processors,
      * update Broadcom PXE for newer hardware revisions,
      * add support for new wireless cards
      * new ATI Radeon 9000 Video BIOS version(s)
      * improved BIOS support for DVD +/-RW drives
      * several score of misc. hardware device issues fixed
      * etc etc etc

      My combined copy of all D600 BIOS release notes is here:

      <http://thadlabs.com/FILES/Dell_D600_BIOS_relnotes.txt>

      I was/am religious keeping my BIOS code current during all my Dell
      products' normal lifetimes. The latest A16 BIOS code is still on
      Dell's website as of a moment ago and I have copies of A14, A15 and
      A16 (the last); A16 is 622 KB, A14 and A15 are 620KB.

      It's clear that CPU and other hardware changes occurred (daily, in my
      experience) over the duration of the D600 product life cycle. I don't
      believe the BIOS can speed-up the CPU, but clearly there are video
      BIOS exhancements that could/should benefit you.

      However, doing the update could be troublesome. Though my Latitude
      C610 laptops have an external floppy drive that can be plugged in to
      do BIOS updates, I can't find one for my D600 and it's likely I did
      the BIOS updates via the OS (WinXP (now at SP3)); I keep WinXP-SP3 on
      that laptop because of some of the bundled software I needed at the
      time (Acrobat, PhotoShop) and my other laptops are all Linux-only.

      I just examined my parts bin. I have some external floppy drives and
      the special cables that connects between the drive and the parallel
      ports on the laptops; I know that works for my Latitude C610s but I
      never (as far as I can remember) tried that with the D600. Point being
      it may still be possible to update your laptop's BIOS even though the
      OS on your laptop isn't WinXP.

      Browse my BIOS relnotes file and see if you want to update to A16;
      I'd strongly recommend it because by so doing (keeping BIOSs current)
      I never had any problems with Dell hardware for the entirety of the
      time I was buying Dell products (1990s through 2008). Every Dell
      system I bought over the years still functions fine.
    • thad_floryan
      ... That s good to know; thank you! I need to determine if that ll work with the Live CD -- I m disinclined to install to GD just for a 30 minute or so test
      Message 42 of 42 , May 10, 2011
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        --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, Scott <scottro@...> wrote:
        >
        > On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 01:35:30AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
        > > --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, Scott <scottro@> wrote:
        > > >
        > >
        > > I still want to test it (Unity) before making a final decision. It's odd
        > > that the Live CD didn't even invoke Unity on my largest system with an
        > > Intel E8500 (3.16 GHz), 4GB RAM, and EVGA GeForce 9800 GT video. I
        > > suppose there's something one has to do to invoke Unity -- will have
        > > to look that up.
        >
        > Apparently, there are still a lot of issues with Unity and NVidia.
        > Putting in the proprietary drivers should invoke it.

        That's good to know; thank you! I need to determine if that'll work
        with the Live CD -- I'm disinclined to install to GD just for a 30
        minute or so "test drive".

        > [...]
        > Jeff once pointed out, that where numbers are concerned, Arch, the
        > BSDs and other more technically oriented systems are really
        > niches--the user base who uses the computer as an end, rather than
        > a means, is quite a minority.

        A niche of a niche ... :-)

        > So, what you and I think probably matters less. I don't know where
        > SuSE fits in--here in the US, they seem to be relatively small.

        I'm not sure now either. I have one SLED (Suse Linux Enterprise
        Desktop) system here and it's different from everything else. Novell
        is now in bed with Microsoft (and, in fact, that incident occurring
        on Saturday March 29, 2008, is what triggered Levanta going belly-up
        on Monday March 31, 2008 [there were other related aspects I'd have
        to look up in my files for the details]; for the curious:

        <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levanta>
        <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linuxcare>
        <http://www.linuxcare.com/> weird, orig. founders bought the name)

        > RH has its server market, and is probably rather nervous about
        > Oracle,

        The signs aren't there. Oracle is shooting itself in the foot daily
        with its ridiculous price increases and severe mismanagement of its
        Sun acquisition. Many, MANY companies are simply abandoning all their
        Solaris systems and migrating to Linux as I read daily in the Sun
        newsgroups on Usenet.

        > [...]
        > I think both the Unity and Gnome3 folks will probably work on the
        > things that REALLY tick a lot of people off, but its basically the
        > interface of the future, $DEITY help us all.

        I fail to see the benefit(s) of a tablet-based solution or replacement
        of the present desktops. Every tablet system I've seen to date just
        leaves me cold (and I'm not a Luddite).

        > [...]
        > Or---everyone will start using KDE, LXDE, and XFCE4 and that will be
        > that, it will become a niche desktop like the *box's and tiling
        > managers.

        Very possible, or we "roll our own". :-)
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