Linux "Q4OS"

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Richard Hed

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Is it still true that Linux sets a certain amount , reserves, some space for internal tasks? I forgets what it is called. But that amount might be too small. You can change the amount, make it bigger.
 

awake

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Hmmmmm.....
Another issue where I need advice. - I need to use the tablet to write here, as the PC will not open Gmail from Linux, I use Gmail to talk to folk and short-cut to HMEM. Is that Google blocking it?
And this morning I spent more than an hour typing stuff in documents using Linux office, with documents saved on the huge store drive I have connected to the PC. But after one document had 630Kb of picture added, Libra Office crashed, telling me the document was too big! It is about 5.1Mb. Is that big? The long message told me I had to fix it by enlarging the memory... but it was saved on to a disc with over 500Gb. Of free space!
Being a new-bee.....
I'm resetting to MS... and re-booting the PC.
Linux works Firefox - except it won't access Google addresses..... e.g. my mail and account stuff.
It is limited with Libra Office.... like in 1990 before MS..... When we had our first PC at work. - running from discs with "programmes"...
Help please?
K2
Both the slow down and the symptoms above sound to me like you have filled up your RAM - not your (external) hard disk. The USB or CD booted Linux uses RAM to create a virtual disk, on which reside not only your virtual Linux home folder, but also other parts of the "hard disk" that support normal operations - such as caches, temporary copies of things, and so on. So depending on what you're doing, you may gobble up so much of your RAM that the system can barely function. As analogy, this is kind of like trying to work on a desk that is overflowing with piles of notes and scratch pages and other papers, so that you have to keep moving things around just to have a big enough patch of empty desk to try to do anything.

T'were it me, I would make sure all of my documents were backed up, then I would go ahead and wipe the internal hard drive and install Linux from scratch. That is easy for me to say, of course, since I know how to do this - not so easy when someone has never done something like this. I might note: if you have ever wiped a hard drive to do a completely fresh install of Windows, then you are a long step ahead in being ready to do a fresh install of Linux - but very few Windows users ever do such a thing, so no surprise that installing Linux can be daunting. "It really isn't hard" - really, truly - but it does involve doing some things that most people have never done before.

I'm not familiar with Q4OS or its installation system, but I am very familiar with Ubuntu, having used it for more than a decade. The installer for Ubuntu has gotten very good, certainly as good as the installer for Windows. It will lead you a step at a time, and if you follow the defaults you should wind up with a snappy installation.

BUT - I have to say this, with apologies to the pro-Linux crowd (which includes me). While Linux continues to get better and better at detecting every variety of hardware, there still will be situations where something doesn't quite work out of the box, and needs some tweaking or workarounds - this is especially true with laptops. The issue is this: in the effort to squeeze laptops down in size while maximizing battery life, laptop manufacturers use all sort of specialized peripherals (cameras, sound systems, wifi, etc.). Manufacturers work directly with Microsoft to make sure that Windows has the drivers needed to handle all of this specialized hardware. A few manufacturers also work to make sure all of the needed drivers are available for Linux (Dell tends to be good about this), but most do not. The good news is that Linux developers are very aggressive about creating any missing drivers ... the bad news is that sometimes it takes some time, or some finesse, to get these working.

So: 9 times out of 10, you can install Ubuntu or another distro of Linux on your laptop, and "it just works." But there will be that 1 out of 10 experience that really needs a geek to get it set up. Now to be fair: with Windows, 9 times out of 10, you plug in your peripherals and it all works ... but Windows has a nasty habit of abandoning perfectly functional but older hardware, so you update Windows (or rather it does it for you, whether you want it to or not), and suddenly your printer won't work. This does not happen with Linux - which is why Linux can be such an excellent solution for older hardware that still has plenty of life, but has been left behind by Windows.
 

awake

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Is it still true that Linux sets a certain amount , reserves, some space for internal tasks? I forgets what it is called. But that amount might be too small. You can change the amount, make it bigger.
Richard, there is more than one thing that might fall under that description - a swap drive, the /tmp and /vars and /procs directories, which handle temporary data and manage running processes, the /dev directory which provides access to all devices, and probably more.

Windows actually does some of the same things. If you enable viewing of hidden and system files, and look at your /user directory in Windows, you will see a swap file and one or two other files that Windows uses to manage itself. There are a couple of subdirectories under your user directory that contain additional system files, some of which again serve similar purposes.

As I noted above, the issue with running Linux from a DVD or USB is that - unless you remap the root directory to an actual hard drive - these things will be set up in a virtual hard drive that actually resides in RAM ... so RAM can start to run out, fast.
 

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My intelligence isn't insulted, Baron. The difference in our ability and knowledge on this subject is huge.
But I'll have to go and buy CDs and I have already bought Linux on a stick -all be it only 32Gb. The Linux I bought was simple to install as some expert had written instructions, made video tutorials for users, etc.
But it seems from the Linux message I have to reconfigure memory..... I just don't know what to do. Throwing it away and starting again, as you suggest, is one option, but can you humour me a little while I try and learn what to do with the system I already have?
Thanks,
K2
 

BaronJ

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My intelligence isn't insulted, Baron. The difference in our ability and knowledge on this subject is huge.
But I'll have to go and buy CDs and I have already bought Linux on a stick -all be it only 32Gb. The Linux I bought was simple to install as some expert had written instructions, made video tutorials for users, etc.
But it seems from the Linux message I have to reconfigure memory..... I just don't know what to do. Throwing it away and starting again, as you suggest, is one option, but can you humour me a little while I try and learn what to do with the system I already have?
Thanks,
K2
Hi Ken, Guys,

Basically Andy got it mostly right. As I alluded to earlier, these bootable operating systems, run from the CD/USB stick. In the case of your USB stick, Linux only occupies part of the available memory space, the rest is used as temporary storage, which includes everything that you do !

You wanted to download a picture, that's fine, but it has to be put somewhere ! In the case of the USB version that place is on the USB stick, the same applies to documents, your Email, passwords etc. In the case of the CD version, it goes into the available RAM on your computer. This storage is only temporary, it vanishes the moment the USB stick is removed or the computer is turned off. It is also a limited resource.

Now in the case of Q4OS there is an icon provided on the desktop that you can click on to properly install Q4OS on your computer. This icon starts a script which is programed to lead you through an installation routine so that you end up with a working system which has most if not all the right software installed for your hardware.

Until you click on that Icon you should not be able to access any of your hardware and by implication your valuable files/data.

NOTES:
Linux is very good at managing resources ! It uses swap files to help manage both itself and programs, In order to keep a program running it will swap parts of itself out of memory and reload the parts that it needs to perform the tasks that you have asked for.

There are very good reasons why Linux is so popular, not just in the commercial arena but the private one as well.
 

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Hi guys. I understand a lot of the explanation about the system that I bought running out of memory -therefore it uses the RAM space - as that fits the symptoms I have.
But how do I tell it to use another resource - e.g. The huge space in the plug-in hard-drive where I have copied all my documents?
I don't think my document is huge. Just 2 pages of text and 4 photos when it crashed.
Using MS I recently sent a document that was published which had 4 pages of text and 8 photos. I'm not re-writing War and Peace.
I have seen longer posts on this website. Don't tell me it's my fault for doing these things (writing documents, looking at my photos, doing a family tree, etc.), please help me resolve the issues.
All I hear is "Linux can do it easily". Not "follow these instructions". If I have been sold a dud with the "Xtra-PC" USB, I shall go back to them for help.
I just thought you were encouraging me to go to Linux and offering help, but I think I am being criticised for being a New-bee.
Not happy just now.
K2
 

Richard Hed

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Hi guys. I understand a lot of the explanation about the system that I bought running out of memory -therefore it uses the RAM space - as that fits the symptoms I have.
But how do I tell it to use another resource - e.g. The huge space in the plug-in hard-drive where I have copied all my documents?
I don't think my document is huge. Just 2 pages of text and 4 photos when it crashed.
Using MS I recently sent a document that was published which had 4 pages of text and 8 photos. I'm not re-writing War and Peace.
I have seen longer posts on this website. Don't tell me it's my fault for doing these things (writing documents, looking at my photos, doing a family tree, etc.), please help me resolve the issues.
All I hear is "Linux can do it easily". Not "follow these instructions". If I have been sold a dud with the "Xtra-PC" USB, I shall go back to them for help.
I just thought you were encouraging me to go to Linux and offering help, but I think I am being criticised for being a New-bee.
Not happy just now.
K2
Ken, Dry your tears. We're here to help. Of course, without being there in person, we cannot be sure what the problem is. Truth is, I am VERY happy you are TRYING. It gives me a warm fuzzy as Mal might say in Firefly. I know there is a setting for "swap" space. See if you can find that and what size it is. this is a space that is used by Linux to hold information that is not being used at this moment. When it is needed, it is fetched. There are some other spaces too, but other guys know more about those than I remembers. Years back, I used SUSE 9.2 which would crash if I tried to use a USB larger than 4 GB--hilariously small for today's world. But it's a fact. So, keep some kleenex close by and try again.

Another thing that happened to me 40 years ago is that I had a Tandy TRS-80, my first computer. I wanted to learn "C", and C++ so I bought a program from someone. I was taking a class for it at the Uni at the same time. Well, everything workt fine for about a month, I was ha;ppy as a quark . . . . untill (dark music) . . . one day I could not compile some math program I was trying to write. Well, to make a short story long, it took me a WHOLE month to figure out waht went wrong. I was about to send the program back for my $$ back when I thot, well , let me try this: it turned out that the symbol "f" was used for decimal numbers which meant "float" otherwords the decimal point floated about. I was using "d" which meant something else but one would have thot "d" meant decimal. I was kikking things, kursing things, and krapping sharp knives. Needless to say, I was pisst, angry, relieved and happy again to get that out of the way.

That lasted for about a week, then the same thing happened, I could not figure out what was wrong but again it took a whole month to figure out ONE LITTLE CHARACTER! Talk about frustrating. IBM had a little cartoon of a guy ripping and kikking a computer that made me laugh -- not because th ecartoon was funny but rather because I was there --MANY times. I completely understand the frustration. Thing is, I didn't have anyone I could talk to, to get advice or to look over my programs. At that time, I bought my first modem which did a whopping 900BAUD. I used it to do my homework at Uni. So dry your tears and keep plodding.

PS, the only place you needs to worry about being a noob is in war where they put the noob on point.
 

BaronJ

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Ken, Linux is not mickysoft ! Stop trying to make it behave like Msux.

If you are not prepared to take instruction then you are wasting everybody's time !

I offered to send you a bootable CD, I've taken great pains to try and get you into a situation where you have a workable system without disturbing what you have already got.

But I think that you are a dyed in the wool Mickysoft person !
 
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Steamchick

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Thanks Baron. Maybe you are right to call yourself a Grumpy old git. But usually you are a clever and helpful guy, so lets move on and recognise that I would like to make the Linux system that I already own into something workable. I feel I have hurt your feelings by not accepting your "disc", but I have a Linux Stick already. I can't see the difference from where I am sitting. Maybe some help to "learn to walk" is sometimes better than chopping the legs off and trying to learn to use artificial ones? Maybe the artificial legs will work (They did for Douglas Bader!), but can we at least try the ones I have - even if I fall over a lot to learn the lesson? (A rugby player broke his back a year ago - told he would never walk again, he is walking after one year!). - A poor analogy, but that's how it feels from your offer of a different disc.
I just don't like throwing away something that has started to work, but needs a bit of developing, for something similar...?
Now Richard, this is not crying - but asking for useful help, as the words expressed here don't always come across as being useful, just critical and scathing. I want to avoid the emotions and get on with some real useful discussion.
Nuff said.
Now I'm back to modelling (and Rigby) - and using MS to write-up what I am doing until I know what to try next with Linux. (Until "the legs work", I'll "get about on wheels" - but I want that to be temporary! - With help I'll get there.)
Thanks Guys!
I DO appreciate your concerns.
K2
 

Richard Hed

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Thanks Baron. Maybe you are right to call yourself a Grumpy old git. But usually you are a clever and helpful guy, so lets move on and recognise that I would like to make the Linux system that I already own into something workable. I feel I have hurt your feelings by not accepting your "disc", but I have a Linux Stick already. I can't see the difference from where I am sitting. Maybe some help to "learn to walk" is sometimes better than chopping the legs off and trying to learn to use artificial ones? Maybe the artificial legs will work (They did for Douglas Bader!), but can we at least try the ones I have - even if I fall over a lot to learn the lesson? (A rugby player broke his back a year ago - told he would never walk again, he is walking after one year!). - A poor analogy, but that's how it feels from your offer of a different disc.
I just don't like throwing away something that has started to work, but needs a bit of developing, for something similar...?
Now Richard, this is not crying - but asking for useful help, as the words expressed here don't always come across as being useful, just critical and scathing. I want to avoid the emotions and get on with some real useful discussion.
Nuff said.
Now I'm back to modelling (and Rigby) - and using MS to write-up what I am doing until I know what to try next with Linux. (Until "the legs work", I'll "get about on wheels" - but I want that to be temporary! - With help I'll get there.)
Thanks Guys!
I DO appreciate your concerns.
K2
Re-read my story about the program for learning c and c++ and try not to take what I say too seriously. Thing is, written words do not convey how humorous our frustrations will be viewed in a couple months.
 

BaronJ

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Thanks Baron. Maybe you are right to call yourself a Grumpy old git. But usually you are a clever and helpful guy,
Its my wife that calls me that ! But thanks for the compliment.

so lets move on and recognise that I would like to make the Linux system that I already own into something workable.
You don't "own" Linux ! Its owned by the thousands of people that took time and effort into supporting it, and the FOSS concept. You do own the hardware, USB stick that you purchased !

I feel I have hurt your feelings by not accepting your "disc",
Not at all ! You may not have either the software or hardware to burn your own.

but I have a Linux Stick already. I can't see the difference from where I am sitting. Maybe some help to "learn to walk" is sometimes better than chopping the legs off and trying to learn to use artificial ones? Maybe the artificial legs will work (They did for Douglas Bader!), but can we at least try the ones I have - even if I fall over a lot to learn the lesson? (A rugby player broke his back a year ago - told he would never walk again, he is walking after one year!). - A poor analogy, but that's how it feels from your offer of a different disc.
I'm sorry that you feel that way ! I don't care for the idea of dumping something that I've paid good money for either ! But Insistence on beating a dead horse springs to mind.

I have no idea what software or utilities are on your USB stick. It is very likely that it hasn't any or any access to them that you can use.
People that sell things generally do so for money !

There are many places on the Internet that can help answer some of the questions that you ask, and yes I can explain how to edit control and resource files ! But you need the admin rights to do that, which you don't have.

I just don't like throwing away something that has started to work, but needs a bit of developing, for something similar...?
Now Richard, this is not crying - but asking for useful help, as the words expressed here don't always come across as being useful, just critical and scathing. I want to avoid the emotions and get on with some real useful discussion.
Nuff said.
Now I'm back to modelling (and Rigby) - and using MS to write-up what I am doing until I know what to try next with Linux. (Until "the legs work", I'll "get about on wheels" - but I want that to be temporary! - With help I'll get there.)
Thanks Guys!
I DO appreciate your concerns.
K2
 

awake

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Hi guys. I understand a lot of the explanation about the system that I bought running out of memory -therefore it uses the RAM space - as that fits the symptoms I have.
But how do I tell it to use another resource - e.g. The huge space in the plug-in hard-drive where I have copied all my documents?
I don't think my document is huge. Just 2 pages of text and 4 photos when it crashed.
Using MS I recently sent a document that was published which had 4 pages of text and 8 photos. I'm not re-writing War and Peace.
I have seen longer posts on this website. Don't tell me it's my fault for doing these things (writing documents, looking at my photos, doing a family tree, etc.), please help me resolve the issues.
All I hear is "Linux can do it easily". Not "follow these instructions". If I have been sold a dud with the "Xtra-PC" USB, I shall go back to them for help.
I just thought you were encouraging me to go to Linux and offering help, but I think I am being criticised for being a New-bee.
Not happy just now.
K2
Ken,

I'm sorry that if feels like you are being criticized for being a newbie. I hear you on this ... but I also understand the other side of the coin.

Here's the thing: it is possible to tell a DVD- or USB-stick-Linux to use your large hard drive instead of its RAM-based virtual hard drive. It is also possible to set up a USB-stick-Linux to use the USB-stick to function as the hard drive - but it sounds like your USB-stick-Linux is not set up that way.

If you *really* want the instructions for how to set up your existing USB-stick-Linux to start using either itself or your large hard drive, we can try to oblige, but this is definitely major-geek territory. As such, it is the sort of thing that is very hard to do remotely, because there may be any number of settings that need to be checked / addressed. From painful experience, I can predict that this route will almost certainly involve a LOT of back-and-forth trying to figure out what is or isn't set a certain way. Thus, I'd personally far rather have you mail your USB-stick to me, set it up for you, and send it back ... or just send you a prepared USB-stick.

I'm suspecting that is why (or part of why) BaronJ is urging you to accept his prepared USB-stick - presumably the one he will provide will be set up so that it uses itself as a hard drive. This would ease a lot of problems that you are experiencing.

Oh, a comment on the memory requirements - you mentioned a document with "just 2 pages of text and 4 photos." The typical digital photo (say, from your cell phone) will be tens-of-megabytes in size. Let's say your laptop has 4GB of RAM, which seems like it ought to plenty - and it would be if there were a hard disk to swap to. But all of the running processes (the operating system, the user interface, multiple device drivers, all open applications ...) take up memory, and added to all of the memory allocated as a virtual hard drive, 4GB will run out very fast.

But let's say you use a prepared 32GB USB-stick, with 2GB allocated as the boot up, and 30GB allocated as the hard drive - now you're in business, and while a USB stick will typically be slower than a hard drive or SSD, it will move along plenty fast enough to get the full experience.
 
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BWMSBLDR1

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I feel bad saying this but I am learning a lot about Linux from the suffering of others. I hope to load Linux down to the SSHD on my Dell laptop when I start feeling brave! Bill in Boulder CO USA
 

BaronJ

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I feel bad saying this but I am learning a lot about Linux from the suffering of others. I hope to load Linux down to the SSHD on my Dell laptop when I start feeling brave! Bill in Boulder CO USA
Hi Bill,

I keep saying this "Download a Live CD ISO" ! OK I keep referencing Q4OS, simply because that is what I use and I know that if you want to install it, the easiest option is to use the icon that is present on the desktop. If you don't want to install it and just have a play about with it, don't click on the Icon !

HTH.
 

Richard Hed

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I feel bad saying this but I am learning a lot about Linux from the suffering of others. I hope to load Linux down to the SSHD on my Dell laptop when I start feeling brave! Bill in Boulder CO USA
Like we've indicated to Ken, be sure to back up your i;mportant files BEFORE you install on your SSHD--one never knows what accidents may befall you. If you test this first with a CD or USB, you won't have to worry about wrecking your files. I recommend that you do indeed install the Linux flavor you like best--AFTER testing them out. there are several flavors and if you put them on USBs or CDs, they are very easy to test. Do this first, that is, make a few tests. I find testing them out to be very fun indeed. the first time I tested out several distros for flavor, it took me several days (daze) because I had to install/uninstall/install/unin . . . . What a pain. Now it is very easy--no install or uninstall till you found your favorite flavor. Just download the flavors you would like to test and put them on CDs or USBs
 

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Everything has a learning curve and when I was in professional development in the US Army we all know the first day, or more, would be a vocabulary lesson. The Infantry and Artillery still can't agree on what "destroyed" means, but my view point is if you aren't close enough for it to shoot back at you, your description don't matter! Linux, in my experience, has a learning curve, and it can be hard not to project what "should be" from previous experiences. What makes it worse, is most of us are pressed for time and just want the darn thing to work and let me get back to doing what I really want to be doing. Ken, I've been using Linux now for 10+ years on my machines after they will no longer run "mickysoft" that every version manages to piss me off just a little more. But there was a learning curve. Just like when "mickysoft" took the user interface they forced on everyone for 15 years then changed to protect their market, and the hell with the current users. I still HATE the new UI. Another reason I like Linux/Open Office even on an MS machine.

So, please be patient with yourself, and what you expect. It's easy for the experienced users to forget that not only don't you talk the language, but your experience to this point has been "Plug and Play" and you may have never had any interest in looking under the hood. And Linux does take some, though it can be held to a minimum, looking under the hood.

It's much more difficult when you are test driving as you are and simply, no fault of your own, don't understand some of the limitations inherent in the test drive "No, sorry, you can't smoke the tires." One of these is the different types of memory a computer uses, the storage that you are thinking of, like writing on a piece of paper, and the "Random Access Memory" used by any operating system to , well, "think" with. And that some "thinking" can be scratched on a note pad, "swap" space on the storage device. All of these are limited with the test drive stick or CD. As you unhappy learned. A full install will remove 99% of these problems, but you are stuck with a re-boot if you need to go back to "mickysoft" for an application that can't or won't easily run on Linux.

Hope another perspective helped a little.

Ron
 

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Hi Guys,
Xtra-PC: A Legal Scam Aimed at Inexperienced Windows Users
I am one of those "inexperienced Windows users". - It worked well on day one.. but has since fallen over repeatedly as I try and do some real work. I bought it knowing Linux was free, but a front-end set-up was all I thought I would need... OK - I was wrong (My wife tells me repeatedly, and she is always right! - not a joke.).
Thanks all for the "votes of confidence" that I will work on this and succeed. But don't back a headless Chicken... it may run fast for a short while, but only in random circles, making a mess everywhere and soon falls over dead.
I'll vent my frustrations from time to time, but do keep coming back to this. (I have tried - not hard, not often - for 10 years or so...).

So today's sorry story.
Linux opened Firefox - and said it was Google. The link to my Google account settings didn't work, Gmail didn't work, AOL mail didn't open, E&@y Opened successfully, and almost everything else failed to open.
So I tried to open a document to update on the weekend's modelling. 1 sentence typed - then it crashed - telling me I had used all the space allocated.
So, trying to learn a bit - I browsed the menus and got into something where I could see each drive and the partitions.
  • The Xtra-PC stick is 16Gb - and looks almost full with 15Gb of OS. - As I suspected from your advice?
  • The plug-in drive is 3/4 full but still has a few hundred Gb of space... - I just don't know how to get Linux onto that drive. I bet Xtra-PC have some encryption so I can't copy the drive contents to this one... Is it worth a try? - Or is there a straight-forward way to tell Xtra-PC Linux to use a partition on the plug-in drive? (I don't know how to add a new partition, but there is a button on the drop-down list...). I can read files in this drive, both with Linux and with MS, but downloading Q40 etc. installation set-up screens don't let me choose where to put them - so they go "somewhere secret". Not on the plug-in drive I want to use.
  • The computer Hard-drive is 1 Tb. But Windows occupies >750Gb, and other system partitions use up another 200Gb or so, leaving only around 50Gb spare... Maybe that is why the PC is slowing down?
So knowing the last point, I guess I need a new PC.... (a cheap second-hand thing just a few years old should do?).
Unless you have other ideas... - and I am usually wrong so better to ask - and is my spare 200Gb of space on my plug-in hard-drive the right thing to use? (is it quicker than a USB stick or CD?).
I'm going to do some house jobs and modelling - within my capability.
"Have a nice day" - without me bothering you! - till tomorrow...
K2
 

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Hi Ken,

FWIW I got a refurbished HP small format desktop machine with an i7 cpu, 8 Gb ram, cd/dvd writer and a 500 Gb hard disk in it. I had a spare 4 Gb ram module which gave me 12 Gb of ram. It has onboard audio and video, which can be adjusted to use upto 1 Gb of ram, I think that I've got mine currently set for 256 Mb. It cost me less than £200 a couple of years ago. I asked for them not to bother installing Wins on it so that saved me £20 and they delivered it free of charge.

This is the machine that I use today. I doubt that you would get a similar machine for that price today. Its a HP8300 machine, you could ask "Eshot" for a price.

Installing Q4OS was simply a matter of booting the machine from the CD and clicking on the desktop icon. Answering a few questions, choosing a password, the HDD size for the operating partition or accept default, in my case 30 Gb and the rest for the user partition. Sit back and let it get on with it.

Once installed it was just a matter of setting up my Email details. Firefox is the default web browser, which I have very carefully set for private browsing, among other settings that are needed for security purposes.

That was about it ! I have probably forgotten some things, but that is about it.
 

Steamchick

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I am thinking that maybe I should simply have your disc, blow MS off the computer, then I'll have 1 TB of drive to partition and use. Many people have told me Linux uses a tenth of MS, so the will be less than 10% instead of 80%? And I won't need to buy another computer.
I'LL put all my files onto the plug-in drive first....
A bad idea?
K2
 

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