Linux So Far

As one would be aware, about six months ago I took my first tentative steps towards the Linux platform. Since then I have been using Linux extensively on as many of my computers as I can. I did so in the full knowledge there is something of a religious zeolotry associated with this platform, almost like the Apple zeolotry but for different reasons. Whilst wishing to stay above that kind of fanatacism I still have to admit that I have developed a fierce loyalty for the Linux platform in that six months. Every day there is some new opportunity or experience or learning to be had in conjunction with this platform. Running VNC is the latest great accomplishment as I have spent the last few days exhaustively VNCing to my 24 GB computer from the low spec computer in another part of the house and it has been a brilliant working experience with only occasional hiccups in terms of being able to do a lot of stuff from a computer that is innately incapable of handling it. The browser issue, well switching to Firefox Developer as my primary browser at home hasn’t been the issue that I thought it would be, the issues I saw back in July when I last tried it haven’t actually been there at all this time.
It took me several goes to find a distro that worked well for all the different computers. They could have all run different distros but now they are all running Xubuntu, which I think gives the best use of resources on both low spec and high spec computers, and also has a very pleasing visual impact for the most part. The fact many applications I already use have been available for Linux for a long time has limited the need for me to keep computers that run Windows down to just one actual computer and one virtual machine on a regular basis. There is a question mark over the AMD E350 computer running Xubuntu which has not been as good a performer as I expected and tends to max out on the CPU relatively quickly. A thought is the AMD video driver supplied in Ubuntu may be an issue but I have yet to investigate further as being able to VNC to another computer in the house has been a useful workaround. Both Firefox and Chrome max out the CPU playing fullscreen Youtube clips with Remmina being the only other substantial sysem load, but there is virtually nothing between the browsers as far as performance goes. However it is notable that CPU is at 100% while the amount of RAM being used is less than 500 MB, so I don’t really know where the bottleneck is, and it will be interesting to compare the other AMD E350 that is running Windows 8.1 to see what its performance is like.
So far – very good.

The comparison with the AMD E350 running Win 8.1 turned out to have similar performance issues. Well, the boards were cheap (the CPU is onboard) and were originally bought to use as essentially thin client terminals so they were never expected to have a lot of power. Still, it is disappointing that an old DQ35JO Intel board with 8 GB still is a long way from maxing out CPU as quickly as these do, and that it was essentially a waste of money upping both the ones I have to 8 GB. I have now replaced the AMD E350 in the lounge with that selfsame DQ35JO on a number of bases, including that it can take one of my $50 Nvidia NV210 cards and therefore run both screens in digital – it has VGA, HDMI and DVI connectors and can use any two – for the sharpest picture. Plan at the moment is to pick up the DG41RQ from work and swap it for something else low spec, bring it home and use it as the shed pc in place of that DQ35JO. Would be interesting to see how that AMD E350 goes as a multimedia computer running Kodibuntu and I will have a play with that as soon as I work out which chassis to put the board into.