Single Status Update
Well, not just linux. Hard drives. My BIOS. The fact that my favorite word processor doesn't make its lovely typewriter sounds when I run it through WINE. The fact that Linux refuses to let me change the working directory to anything with a space in the path name.
Lemme back up. I have two hard drives. C:/ is my secondary drive, with 18 gigs of space. E:/ is my main drive. 250 gigs of space with Windows Vista. Now, say what you want about Vista, but I don't mind it. It is a very obedient OS and does whatever I ask.
However, I've read a lot about issues with Vista and Faceposer (the program used to animate NCPs in Source engine games). All of the recommendations tell me to use Windows XP for that.
Hmmm, I thought. Perhaps I should install XP on my smaller drive. I'm not using it and I may as well get something useful done with it.
So I dig up an old XP installation disc, but the serial is gone. I only discover this when the install program asks me to put it in. Never allow me to be accused of intelligence.
Fine. I'll go find some crack or something online. Can't be too difficult... Um, what? No, boot to Vista. Stop booting to XP. No. Yes, boot to E:/ drive... no! Wait, what? VERIFY THE DMI POOL DATA FASTER!
So it's impossible for me to load Vista or E:/ drive now. Gnashing my teeth, I pull out a Ubuntu 10 CD and use the demo version to get online. Most recommendations for DMI verification snags tell me to reset the CMOS. I do so by removing the battery for ten minutes; I use this time to dust my computer's innards.
Nope. Didn't help. All it did was reset the BIOS clock. Raging hard now, I install Ubuntu on C:/ drive, leaving it to work on it while I go out with some friends. Upon returning, Ubuntu asks me to download a small package of system files. I do so, and crack my knuckles. Maybe I can get some stuff done after all.
It is not to be. To run any of my programs, I must use the WINE emulator. For those of you unfamiliar with the workings of the gem of open source, this requires that I change the working directory. WINE has no drag and drop capacity. I have to use the Terminal (sort of the Linux DOS prompt) to order it around. I admit this is sort of fun at first. Then I realized that this isn't really optional. I must use a command line interface. If you have not been paying attention, we are almost in the year 2011 AD. And I must use a command line interface.
Sure, there's a slight thrill involved at first. Typing madly with glee, I installed WINE and began to direct my attention to programs that I used on a regular basis before I decided to try and be useful. After rummaging around, I learned how to change the working directory to a different hard drive. Linux doesn't use the traditional lettering system that Windows users are familiar with. That's too simple. My flash drive isn't G:/ or L:/. It's /2157-00E4/. E:/ isn't E:/. It's /324CAAAC4CAA6A75/.
I'm sure there is a good reason for this that lies just beyond my ability to grasp, much in the same way that people continue to listen to country music. Note that I cannot progress past E:/ (which is what that hard drive is, no matter how hard Linux tries to convince me otherwise). I can get into E:/UDK, but not E:/Users (and from there to /roger/desktop/doom). Note that this is through the terminal. I can click to it like a normal person, but I all I can really do is inspect the files. Since I am passionately informed that Linux != Windows, I can't run the files. I have to use the terminal to get anything done with them. But since the terminal has developed a distaste for the /users folder, I can't do anything with it. Over 50 gigs of data is rendered unusable.
Again, I'm sure there is a good reason for this. Maybe I'm too stupid to add some argument in the terminal. But there is something fundamentally depressing about an OS that forces me to use a CLI for such basic procedures like installing software. And since it hasn't grasped the fact that a folder may have a space in the name, my old /program files directory is out of service as well. There goes another 100 gigs of data.
True, DOS does not support the space character as well (at least, to the extent of my limited knowledge). But I don't have to rely on the DOS prompt to accomplish everyday tasks. I've heard second-hand that there is an effort to let the everyday PC user know of the merits of Linux. This is a bad idea. The interface is clunky at best if you don't know what you're doing. And that's the problem: I clearly don't know what I'm doing. How could my mother (for example, and who I just recently managed to teach the concept of multi-tabbed browsing to) possibly understand how to work it?
Morose, I poked around a little more. There are a few nice features. For example, if you hover your cursor over a music file, it plays for as long as your cursor stays there. That would be pretty handy if a pixie renamed all of my music to gibberish overnight and I had no idea what anything was. But if you open the volume control, your scroll wheel can't change the volume. I must slide it, and the slider bar is temperamental at best.
I'm also told that I can download pretty spiffy desktop themes, like a rotating cube. But knowing my luck and judging from my experiences so far, that will probably involve three hours of prodding the Terminal before I can get anything done. The MIDI playback is off. To most people, this wouldn't be an issue. But as I'm a sound-color synesthiac, this is a big deal to me. But perhaps that's taking my judgment a little too far. Maybe Windows MIDI playback is off and I've just been hearing it wrong for years.
I am also disconnected whenever I put the computer into hibernation. I must manually reconnect. This is the sort of thing that's only annoying when you have to do it. And I haven't tried to use my microphone yet. Something tells me that this will require another download of drivers.
WHY?! WHY CAN'T IT JUST BE BUNDLED WITH THE DAMN OS? BOTH WINDOWS AND MACINTOSH COMPUTERS LET YOU GET STARTED INSTANTLY!
And then it hit me. Linux isn't about a superior OS. There is no way a sane human would buy this if it cost money. Very few people desire to construct their own operating system, even if the groundwork is there. Me, I just want to write; as well as play and design video games. No. Linux is an ideology. This is a way to stick it to the Big Bad Goons of the computing world. Micro$oft and Apple and Google and all the rest of the companies that make money can suck it.
The problem is, the aforementioned companies offer superior products. Sure, Linux may be good for programmers and running servers. But that is not the primary target market for these *gasp* companies. They are targeting people like me. Easily frustrated individuals with a short attention span should avoid Linux. I do not get some kind of joy from not using "Winblows". Windows works. And it works very well, with very little intervention needed.
In the meantime, I will continue to search for a way to return to E:/ drive.
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Even 32-bit versions of Vista, XP and Linux would have an issue with more than 4 GB of RAM on Pee-Cees. As for the 1 GB video card, is the problem related to the 32-bit address space limit or something else entirely?
Yep 1gb of your 3gb "allowance" goes poof just like that. It astounds me that people still playgames on XP. I guess it doesn't matter because most games are 32bit anyway.
Mr. T said:
Yep 1gb of your 3gb "allowance" goes poof just like that
Some sources on how this can actually happen?
Unless it's like those misguided guys that mistake the >3 GB memory mapped IO used on IBM PCs & compatibles with the video card "sucking up the RAM". In a sense it does, but only beyond the 3 GB. It can't take away even more -I think-.
Surely doesn't happen for me even with shared video RAM on a 8 GB system, the shared portion is actually taken from beyond the 3 GB barrier, and I see the usual 3.25 GB under 32-bit XP no matter if I set the shared RAM to 128, 256 or 512 MB (as much as the BIOS will allow me, ATI shared 4200 ).
Even with a pure 3 GB system and a 512 MB videocard plugged in, I see maybe a few KBs of decrease. Is there anything actually mapping that 1 GB back to the main memory (AGP had "memory aperture", but that was total bullshit anyway). Is there anything special about the 1 GB figure that behaves totally differently?