Category Archives: computers

My new love

So there she was, just sitting there waiting for me to arrive. I looked at her and it was love at first sight. It wasn’t that she was flashy or anything like that but yet she had a certain kind of elegance that sad to say most don’t really stop to appreciate.

They’re really missing out.

Some feel that in order to be attractive you have to put on expensive clothing and spend time in the bathroom putting on makeup but the truth really is, I love you just the way you are. I know it’s been said beauty is only skin deep and for some that is indeed true, but this time I have truly found something special.

Now before you go off to never never land let me clarify that I am referring to a laptop. Not just any laptop mind you but a classic thinkpad. In fact, the one that I am referring to is the Lenovo T420, simple and rather plain but just like a woman it’s the beauty on the inside that you will no doubt appreciate and continue to love even if the outside no longer looks the same.

Speaking of the inside of the T420 I will talk more about that in a moment but first I will talk more about how I got her.

I just so happened to go into a pawnshop that day and I was curious if they would have some thinkpads in there. Of course, I expected to see Toshibas, Dells, HP’s and other popular brands and I was thinking maybe, just maybe I would actually see something I like. So going back to the scene I described earlier I knew it wouldn’t hurt anything to look.

What is so awesome about all of this is that I already wanted a T420 anyway. You see, I don’t purchase a laptop without researching the exact make and model to ensure that it will be worth my time and money. So this was truly a surprise and one that only gets better and better

Oh yeah I did say I would talk about the specs of this machine well here goes….

14“ screen thats 1600×900 resolution
i7 2620 2.7 Ghz Cpu
4 GB Ram
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Oh and the price. I’ll let you think what you think the price ought to be.

Times up!

It was $135.

Now compare that to what I saw at Microcenter: $250.

$250 good lawd thats a lot of money! Yes, it is for the following reasons.

#1. I just noticed this today that they don’t list the resolution of the screen. So that could be less than what I have, or to be fair it could be.

I doubt it, doubt it!

#2 An i5 instead of an i7.

Hmm, interesting. Now lets talk about the upgrades I did to the machine shall we?

16 GB DDR3 RAM $60
Samsung M850 SSD $90

Grand total: I spent about $295. What if I got the machine from Microcenter as much as I love them it would have been $250 plus $150 so $400 instead of a $300 investment.

Again with a weaker processor, and likely lesser resolution screen so to be honest my savings are even more.

Well, now that I have talked about my new love I do my own review of the Lenovo T420.

I know you just can’t hardly wait.

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How I got started with Blender

clothnapkinlaptop

When you first look at Blender I feel as though you are totally forgiven for feeling intimidated by it. In fact that was exactly my experience, yet I decided to press on anyway. Really I was determined to cast my fears aside and enter a brave new world.  One that I have wanted to  be a part of since high school. Thanks to this wonderful website for being one of several sites to inspire me to do this.

Well, over a decade later I finally got a piece of the pie for I am at long last in a position to follow the dream and thankfully it would be no simple fantasy

Yet, at long last I was able to go ahead and make something. Since then I have done the tutorial several times and each time I changed some of the details of it.  I also did renders on my x201 laptop and even on my Fujitsu Lifebook 4215.  It did pretty well on the x201 but the Fujitsu was well, I’ll tell you later about that.

I guarantee it!!

Of course, I prefer using my PC with my 30 inch Apple Cinema Display connected to it to work on Blender as it has much more kick than either of my laptops

No way i was letting that nice monitor go to waste!!

Then I decided to do it again and this time change the thickness of the cup to 0.9 vs. 0.7 and I know I know you are like…….Big hairy deal. And that’s perfectly fine, because I was just going for a minor difference before I completely lose my mind and make more drastic changes.

Just to be clear this is #3 and changed the roughness to 2 instead of 1. Changed the color, but decided to keep the original thickness of the cloth. The material I chose was silk instead of the regular cloth so don’t start with the whole “but silk is cloth moron!”.

LOL!! Well….duhhhhh!!!

Lamp strength doubled to 4,000 and I think that is why the cup looks as if its textured. Believe me I was just as surprised to see that effect as you are. Speaking of surprises, I thought the rendering process was going to be 20 minutes. Frankly I’m just glad they didn’t go by like hours to be honest with you.

Well, it was 17 minutes so not that far off really

Well, there you have it. Another bad creation by yours truly. Be on the look out because more are coming soon. Also, I am strongly considering doing more videos on You-tube so I’ll talk more about that later. Now, if I could just convince the Linux Mint guys the next time that the letter “I” comes around to name the version “Iesha”, that would be just great.

It sure would!!

Kolibri OS: A diminutive surprise

kolibri1

One thing that is pretty widely known about hummingbirds is that they are very, very fast. They are also very, very lightweight. I recall one time watching in horror as one flew into a glass window and plummeted three stories to the ground.

I was sure that it was going to be a goner and yet somehow, someway, some shape, some form it was still alive. In fact, its heart was still beating at what appeared to be a million miles a second. I remember its beautiful plumage and just being rather concerned about its future. More about that here.

Despite this being several years ago the scene plays like reed that were wound around my head.

It is as the result of the above characteristics that the Kolibri operating system is so very, very well named. I was to find this out for myself just a few minutes ago, when I loaded it up into VirtualBox and gave it 512 MB of RAM to work with. In fact the download for it was only 14 and a half MB, rather than the hundreds of Megabytes that I was used to with Linux and way more when obtaining Windows. Even Puppy Linux was a little more than 100 MB for comparison.

I digress!!!

Instantaneously I was greeted with the desktop and I promise that it was NOT “just my imagination”.

Once again!!!

The first thing I did was use a program called “tinypad” and boy, did it live up to it’s name. Then I played “snake”. If that game brings up ancient memories then that would make sense because I was playing a version of that game way back in 1995 on a Packard Bell.

kilibri menu

If you look at the left side of the screen and you go there with your mouse you are presented with different options, one of them being the familiar terminal. Something that caught my attention that I really wasn’t expecting was an IRC chat client.

kolibriirc kolibriirc

I guess I should have known better!!

Looking at the bottom right corner you will see several games such as the aforementioned “snake” and “checkers”. I was wondering where the rest of the games were and all I had to do was scroll down and more were visible. Going to the lower left side was familiar looking menu, this was what I was looking for in the first place, but I’m not gonna be a brat about it.

In the games section I was very, very surprised to see the bounteous bounty of games for an operating system of such a diminutive size. Yes, most of them will likely be familiar to you and will not have the 3d graphics that kids have been spoiled with now but they are still pretty cool just the same.

Whew this has ended up being quite an interesting look at Kolibri OS but I am getting tired so you’ll have to check me out the next time I decide to write about it.

PAE might prove to be useful to me

Recently I decided to get more RAM for my laptop, and I spoke about that in the posts whose links are available at the bottom of this one.

At the time I learned that since I have a 32-bit system, I would be limited to about 3.2 GB RAM that can be used.

Say it isn’t so!!!

Well, hopefully I can, because I just installed a pae kernel. Which raises a very good question:

Whats pae?

Well, PAE stands for Physical Address Extension.  It allows a person running a 32-bit system to be able to use more than the 3.2 GB limitation.

Theoretically it means that I could install lots and lots of RAM and still be able to use it, at the same time while it would be useful for something like virtual machines as an example, it still wouldn’t be so practical as far as cost is concerned.  Not to mention that most programs wouldn’t even be able to take full advantage of it anyway.

Well, after installing pae I found that my above observation of only having access to 3.2 GB of RAM was true so pretty much I got 700MB more than I had before but really 800 MB is wasted.

in the words of Beavis and Butthead:

beavisbutthead

 

 

 

 

posts https://swift110.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/ram-ram-ram/.

https://swift110.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/time-to-get-more-memory-part-2/

Stupid me!

A very useful podcast aggregrator

A very useful podcast aggregrator

All this time I have been downloading content from Jupiter Broadcasting and it has never dawned on me to simply use their rss feed in gpodder.

Until today!

I really feel like a dummy.  I have been going to www.jupiterbroadcasting.com and one by one I would download the shows I want such as LinuxUnplugged, Scibyte and Linux Action Show.  Now I don’t have to worry about doing that again thanks to something I already had installed.

Goodness, I really do learn as I go along, just as my about me page spoke about.