Linux "Q4OS"

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trlvn

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@ShopShoe If you "don't want to spend a lot of time just for experimenting", what is prompting you to want to leave the Mac world?

The recent MacBook and MacBook Pro models are really powerful and yet go far further on a battery than anything running an Intel processor.

On macOS, the unix command line is right there in the terminal app. If you want to install open source software, MacPorts or Homebrew package thousands of applications and utilities.

When you say "database", do you mean something like MariaDB/MySQL or something lighter-weight?

Craig
 

stanstocker

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<trimmed>

I seem to have reached a point in life where I don't want to spend a lot of time just for experimenting with this. Primary use would be basic word processing, email, web-surfing, etc.

What is your opinion of this approach in general?

Two things I would like to have in addition to what I said above would be a database program and a flow-chart writer.

Ubuntu?

--ShopShoe
Greetings,

If you are satisfied with the Apple environment you might want to upgrade your portable Mac hardware instead. There is something to be said for not having to remember how to do the same thing two different ways. Many open source applications are available for Mac and Windows in addition to Linux. If it's an application itch you want to scratch you may not need to swap operating systems. LibreOffice alone might fill in most of your needs if Base covers your database requirements. MySQL is available for mac as well. LibreOffice does have drawing tools. Some of the flowchart / diagramming apps also have Mac builds. I may be a linux bigot but I'm even bigger on making things only as complicated as they have to be.

On to linux options:

A preconfigured linux laptop may cost a bit more, the machines from System76 seem well regarded. I played with their Pop-OS for a bit, it didn't turn me on or off, it was OK but I liked Mint better when I last looked at Pop-OS, maybe a year or so ago. System76 does offer Ubuntu as well as their own Pop-OS.

Never having bought a pre-configured linux machine I can't offer specific advice on vendors. It does seem you pay a premium for this option versus buying a good Windoze machine off the shelf and adding linux to it however.

For all the general stuff most any recent hardware and mainstream distribution should work fine. If you use web mail it's real easy of course, for email I like Thunderbird as I download all messages and delete them from my host mail server. You can set it up for the shared access flavor, just not something I've bothered with as I keep many old emails in archives. When we travel I shut down the machine running thunderbird and use webmail for short trips. For longer trips I copy my .thunderbird folder to the laptop running linux and and then copy it back when we get home. Thunderbird supports filters to sort incoming mail into folders based on rules and does a pretty good job of learning your spam definitions.

LibreOffice is a very good equivalent to MS-Office, particularly as you are looking for basic compatibility rather than edge case conformance.

For flow charting there are multiple options. I haven't been doing Visio sort of stuff for many years so all I can suggest is having a look at:
10 Best Flowchart and Diagramming Software for Linux

Perhaps one or more will meet your needs.

For data bases you have a lot of options. For a basic data sort of app along the lines of the old Access in MS-Office LibreOffice has a program called Base. Fooled with it a bit, it works, like access it's OK. It's a pig to access from external programs from all I've seen. If you want to do actual database programming in a real RDBMS sense via SQL move on to MySQL or one of the others below.

For real relational / SQL based stuff MySQL is likely the most recommended and is a core of the default LAMP web server build - Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP.
Quite a few others, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and SQLite are sort of the other big deal open source database packages. As you get into the RDBMS world there is a bit more setup and configuration, but you can usually just "follow the bouncing ball" level instructions and it will work. Nothing like the pain of installing Oracle on SunOS in the 1990's!

Hope this is helpful,
Stan
 
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ajoeiam

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Straying a Little Here...

I'm primarily a MAC user, even though I have built and run Windows machines, including servers and device controllers. I've played with Linux from time to time, always using "retired" PCs. Like others above, I presently have several computers in use for specific things, some only off-line.

I'm presently looking again at buying one of the laptops sold by a company that specializes in selling preloaded, preconfigured Linux machines either as Linux only or as Linux/Windows Dual-Boot systems.

I seem to have reached a point in life where I don't want to spend a lot of time just for experimenting with this. Primary use would be basic word processing, email, web-surfing, etc.

What is your opinion of this approach in general?

Two things I would like to have in addition to what I said above would be a database program and a flow-chart writer.

Ubuntu?

--ShopShoe
I have been buying 3 to 4 year old business computers for my 'testing' machines - - - where I install things to make sure that they're not going to give me grief.

Dunno why would would want to pay the premium for pre-installed linux - - - installers are quite straight forward - - - - far easier than installing M$ win in fact and far faster.

Database program - - - between Postgresql or MariaDB (fork of MySQL) you're covered. (there are more!!)
Flow-charting - - look here: 10 Best Flowchart and Diagramming Software for Linux
havent used most of them so ymmv!
personally I wouldn't touch ubuntu - - devuan testing (daedalus iirc) would be a good choice (a very very responsive user group imo!!! far better than debian's) although devuan stable chimaera is also nice just software is less 'up to date' although rock solid!!

For those uses I don't see why you would want to run M$ at all but its your $$$ and its your call.
Questions - - - fire away (general - - - on this list - - - very specific - - - I'll try to help please use the private mail connection on here)

HTH
 

awake

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It uses Open Media Vault which is a Server/NAS O.S. Based on Debian openmediavault - The open network attached storage solution has all the details and links to a very active forum with loads of expert advice from it's community and sometimes the devs themselves. There is also a long series of excellent, in depth video tutorials covering every aspect of it from initial installation through to really heavy duty stuff like setting up a private cloud server and beyond.

OMV is a plugin based thing with installable plugins for a huge range of tasks including automatic backups. the one I use is called UR backup which is a Server/Client type of thing which polls networked machines running a small client program in the background and periodically backs them up according to whatever schedule you decide. It does this in the background and seems to monitor network and client loads so it is pretty much transparent. there is a bootable rescue disk for optical media or USB drive to recover the images if (as is usually the case) you cannot access them like a hard drive failure for example. It does work and very well, I had cause to actually use it a while back when I managed to accidentally part erase my system drive.
Sounds good. Can you set up the background client program on Windows as well as Linux machines? (My wife uses Windows.) Also, how does it handle past backups and extreme situations - for example, when you accidentally erased your system drive, I take it that it did not start erasing those files from the backup. What about if someone gets ransomware - does it happily copy the infected files into the backup?

May I PM you some pics of it and a brief rundown of the hardware.
Yes, please!
 

awake

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Suggest you hustle over to Devuan and you will likely long term have an even better experience.

I've been using Debian for some 15 years after I got tired of the every 6 months update then current with Fedora.
A long time mentor very long time *nix user pointed Devuan out to me some years ago (sadly he is no longer with us!). There are some things that Debian is doing (for the last 3 or 4 years) that are also less than 'nice'.
Suggest giving ubuntu the by as they are working like M$ in forcing upgrades from their servers on their schedule (with no way to shut that 'feature' down!!!). (Found this when I was looking into containers a la LXD - - - a great idea but hamstrung by a decision to do this mandatory connecting.)

Devuan is Debian with init freedom for those wanting to know the difference. (Devuan was forked form Debian by some very disgruntled devs.)
Hmm - I have run on Ubuntu for many years, and I don't recall ever being forced to do any upgrades. Not sure what would account for that difference ... ?
 

Richard Hed

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I think MS could have a serious fail with Win 11 unless they drop this crazy TPM 2.0 requirement and for secure boot to be enabled. many, even quite modern machines, do not support it. I would go so far as to say that the majority don't.


The prob here is that msux doesn't have any serious competition from THEIR point of view. And the idiots will not change over to Linux so msux cannot fail. remember, they are a "gorilla" in industry
 

Richard Hed

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Hey guys, stay cool. I am a total newbie with Linux, so I realise there is a lot of learning to do. I just found a Debian site, with initial instructions and explanations about what Debian and Linux was all about, but in the second sentence, they talked using too many words with absolutely no meaning in my brain. Yes, the verbs and a lot of joining grammar used "American" English, but the rest should have been written in Serbo-Croat for all the use it was to me. I just need to find a book that speaks simple English, like starting with "Switch on the I/O button to I position". - I managed to do that bit (intuitively), but the first word I struggled with was the meaning of "Image". As in "download any of the following images". I didn't immediately realise that "Image" in this context was a download of what I thought of as a "program".
Please be patient with my ineptitude (I can't even manage that word without spell checker!). I'll get there. I will take a few years, but if I can out-live it I am sure my world will be a bit better.
Incidentally, I found (from ahistory of updates page) that my computer crashed and reset to a totally new Windows 10... probably because of some security issue? - Or maybe because MS tried to convert it to Windows 11 - which apparently it cannot manage! Well goose me with a USB stick! I have been struggling with Windows since XP was blown away! Does that make me less clever than my PC - I think not - just the PC is more tame and able to be re-programmed by MS...
Still, (tell me I am wrong?) instead of trying to figure out what I need from all this Debian stuff...
View attachment 133427
I was frankly so spoiled for choice I could not decide what colour to choose... so I thought I would look at the Q40S website - which had previously been recommended... (But hadn't worked sensibly for me - I got stuck, as it said my computer was rubbish... or maybe it was me, something?).
So I have a 32-bit computer, with 10% spare space - adequate to install the Q40S download for 32-bit stuff..
I shall let you know later how I get on...
Thanks for your support.
(Just stay calm! - Life is too short for high blood pressure over computers!).
K2
No, msux did that to me too--they shut my computer off and attempted to install msux 11. I managed to stop it, however. "Image" took me a long time to undertand also. It means the "whole operating system" installed at once, basically, as opposed to "installing" it.
 

skyline1

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Sounds good. Can you set up the background client program on Windows as well as Linux machines? (My wife uses Windows.) Also, how does it handle past backups and extreme situations - for example, when you accidentally erased your system drive, I take it that it did not start erasing those files from the backup. What about if someone gets ransomware - does it happily copy the infected files into the backup?
The client program is available for Windows, Linux, (many flavours and a universal binary) and even a beta MAC version, I am using it on a Windows machine right now, in fact I see from the icon that it has just started doing an incremental backup.

Past backups, It will maintain as many past backups as the disk space you make available for it rotating them off by age eventually. I think mine keeps about 4 full backup sets.

When I shot my own system drive, I simply put in the recovery disk (a USB flash drive in this case) booted from it and selected the most recent backup as simple as that.

UR backup restored my drive to the backup state (24 hours previously in my case) Windows didn't even complain when I started up again.

On Windows you have partial protection against viruses as it uses windows shadow copy as a backend which runs through the MS Anti Virus

You can check it out here UrBackup - Client/Server Open Source Network Backup for Windows and Linux

I'll PM you details of my system shortly

The prob here is that msux doesn't have any serious competition from THEIR point of view. And the idiots will not change over to Linux so msux cannot fail. remember, they are a "gorilla" in industry
This is all true but releasing an O.S. that millions of fairly up to date machines can't run (or they will not allow to run) is pretty idiotic even by their standards. We are not talking about ancient obsolete hardware here but current stuff that is still being produced and runs Win 10 fine

Users WILL seek other alternatives as they have no choice.

Some will stump up the Bucks for ultra modern handy-dandy machines that will support it (few I think)

Some will go with Linux or even MACs

Most, especially the corporates, will grumble and moan, and carry on using Win 10 to the bitter end and beyond just like XP. By then Windows 12 or 13 will be on the horizon and the whole thing will start up again.

Best Regards Mark
 

Richard Hed

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Straying a Little Here...

I'm primarily a MAC user, even though I have built and run Windows machines, including servers and device controllers. I've played with Linux from time to time, always using "retired" PCs. Like others above, I presently have several computers in use for specific things, some only off-line.

I'm presently looking again at buying one of the laptops sold by a company that specializes in selling preloaded, preconfigured Linux machines either as Linux only or as Linux/Windows Dual-Boot systems.

I seem to have reached a point in life where I don't want to spend a lot of time just for experimenting with this. Primary use would be basic word processing, email, web-surfing, etc.

What is your opinion of this approach in general?

Two things I would like to have in addition to what I said above would be a database program and a flow-chart writer.

Ubuntu?

--ShopShoe
What company sells laptops preconfigured with Linux?
 

aarggh

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Suggest giving ubuntu the by as they are working like M$ in forcing upgrades from their servers on their schedule (with no way to shut that 'feature' down!!!).
None of our Ubuntu systems, or in fact any of the other distros we've run over many years, have ever forced upgrades of any kind at any time, so that's a bit weird you've experienced that?

Even critical patches for every distro I've used are only ever installed after manually running update commands.

One of the many benefits of running Linux is that YOU run it, not the other way around.
 

awake

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What company sells laptops preconfigured with Linux?
Dell offers some models preconfigured with Linux (I believe Ubuntu, though maybe other flavors are available as well). System 76 is a company that only produces Linux machines (all laptops, I think?), and you can choose from a wide variety of distros. There are at least one or two more.

But as was said before, these tend to be pricey. I think the only Dell laptops that are available preconfigured with Linux are the XPS line. As I recall, the cheapest System 76 model is over $1000, and that is with a very basic configuration; a well-equipped model runs $2000 or more.

Meanwhile, I have had very good results putting Ubuntu on plain-Jane Dell Inspiron laptops (their budget / home line) - in general, with Dell's I find that everything just works, even including the hotkeys for volume and screen brightness and so on.

I have had mixed results with other brands. Currently I am using an HP Pavilion Gaming laptop - I bought it not for doing gaming, but rather because it has really good speed and relatively easy to expand RAM and HDD / SSD (yes, it can take either or both), in a relatively compact size - and I got it at a great price (around $600, as I recall). I also really wanted a backlit keyboard. In general, Ubuntu runs very well, very fast, and it has lived up to my hopes in terms of speeding up video editing and other intensive tasks. I'm getting ready to upgrade it from 16 to 32GB of RAM, and from 1.3TB to 2TB of SSD. But there are a couple of annoying things that don't work under Linux - the SD card reader is an odd-ball unit that Linux almost but not quite recognizes, and the keyboard backlighting does not work under the latest kernels. Sigh. Still, nothing that doesn't work is a deal breaker, and I cannot find a Dell that has the speed, along with the DP-enabled USB port and the Ethernet port and the GPU, for anything close to what I paid for this.
 

ajoeiam

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Hmm - I have run on Ubuntu for many years, and I don't recall ever being forced to do any upgrades. Not sure what would account for that difference ... ?
You're not forced to - - - - they just happen.

I get to choose when I update my system.
Ubuntu when I was using their stuff - - - they scheduled that - - - and one time there was a right nice cock up.
No option to control that 'feature' either.

Do you do system updates?
 

ShopShoe

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Thank You trivn, stanstocker, ajoeiam, awake, and richard hed. You have me thinking through this a little more clearly now.

A little more background on me.

I'm a "not all my eggs in one basket" type, so I like different options. I also like the idea that I am in charge, not bound by some monolith's idea of how I should do things.

I thought Dell had stopped loading anything but Windows a few years ago, although other vendors like the one I have been watching will start with a Dell machine.

My experience with database for home use was Filemaker-Pro for many years, although I learned with the long-gone REFLEX and 4-D. I also worked with data supplied to me through Access and Foxpro, but didn't work in those programs myself. Primary use is tracking things like my home and shop inventory and My parents' lifetime collection of artifacts and keepsakes from decades of world traveling. (Inquiring Insurance Agents would like to know....) Filemaker allowed photos, so worked well for those uses.

I was in the education-support world for many years and used Inspiration for flow-charting. It was originally designed for kids but worked very well for visually thinking through concepts. It's not the same anymore but I sure liked the simplicity. I had Visio on a Windows box, but was not impressed.

I take the advice to get another Mac as well, and perhaps that really is the option. I may not have a lot of money, but I sure have time.

Thanks Again,

--ShopShoe
 

willray

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"Image" took me a long time to undertand also. It means the "whole operating system" installed at once, basically, as opposed to "installing" it.
Sadly, these days, "image" means exactly whatever the dolt writing "image" meant.

Historically, "image" meant a bit-for-bit copy (a "picture") of some variety of (typically) drive-like media: a CD, a DVD, a hard-drive. One made an "image" of a drive/CD/etc, "burned" (think "projected") it onto another drive/CD/etc, and got a duplicate copy of the original. That media could have contained a "whole operating system", a game, the files necessary to play a movie in a DVD player, literally anything that could have existed on some physical device from which data could be read.

Notably, an "image" was a copy of the _media_, not of the files. The bits and bytes on the media can be interpreted as files by an operating system, but the media itself knows nothing about how it's being used. Much like an old-school vinyl "album" doesn't know that there are different songs on it - it's all squiggles to the vinyl - the media doesn't know about files, it just knows about bits. The point of the "image" was to copy everything about the media and enable that to be reproduced.

As removable optical media has become less prevalent the usage has drifted. For many "images" these days, there was never an original device from which they were copied, instead they are created denovo. Conceptually they could be written to a CD/DVD/hard-drive, if one wanted to create a duplicate of the phantom device that never existed. However, software now exists to make the image look to your computer as though the image itself _is_ a physical CD/DVD/hard-drive. So rather than "burning" the image onto a physical CD/DVD/etc and then mounting that CD/DVD/etc, one simply "mounts" the image itself and the computer thinks you've burned it to CD and mounted the CD.

Steamchick, you're getting into the weeds again. Pick a voice, let them help you...

Will
 
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stanstocker

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Greetings ShopShoe,

I haven't done any collection data apps since back in the days of dBaseIII+ and video cassettes / records. I am surprised to find very few apps for ANY platform, particularly any open source apps. Inventory management stuff is all over the place, but it seems aimed at retailers or manufacturers. About the best starting point to have a peek I could find is:


I got there doing a search on open source home inventory.

Maybe something will seems workable there. Tellico is an open source linux only app for collectors that is claimed to support custom collections as well as the predefined movies / books/ coins etc. There are quite a few specific paid apps out there, some have the smell of constant upsell efforts, others might be great. It's just not an area where I know diddly.

There is a home inventory table included in LibreOffice Base. I checked it out by creating a new database when Base started, then selecting table wizard. Under personal rather than business included tables I found home inventory. It might give you a good starting point, but it did not appear to include images as provided. At least LibreOffice is available on your existing hardware so you can play around and see if it fits :)

Best of luck however you proceed!
Stan
 

awake

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You're not forced to - - - - they just happen.

I get to choose when I update my system.
Ubuntu when I was using their stuff - - - they scheduled that - - - and one time there was a right nice cock up.
No option to control that 'feature' either.

Do you do system updates?
Yes, I do system updates ... but no updates "just happen" on my system. I am alerted if there is an update available, but my choice whether to accept it or not. Maybe it's a matter of a different setting somewhere?
 

Niterate

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Probably best frame that 'Updates' topic as .. updates to your running OS, and 'Upgrade' to that newer OS Version.

Updates are awesome, stay safe .. do that regularly. Upgrade ... mmm, as to "do you like the new one?", in Linux land you can usually get a 'Runs of a DVD' or 'Live' version .. boot off the CD and see if you like it.. Try several of them, then you can make an informed choice to Upgrade OS or platform... ymmv as always.. typically "Desktop" distro's do a live cd or dvd. You can take the new thing for a test drive ... mmmm

Enterprisey IBM Redhat like things .. not so much but limiting as a Desktop Proper, maybe SLED fare's better.. unsure. But Fedora will always short cycle stuff and you'll find you need to move to the next version in 13 months or something silly like that.. I do Ubuntu LTS for desktop or Debian Stable so it's arround longer, now that CentOS has been pooched by IBM Redhat.

However it's unheard of in my world at least, that a linux distro, any distro, 'Forces' an upgrade or update. Linux distro's tend to be about choice, specifically User choice. Thankfully lack of a TPM in my box means my Win 10 Pro, will never try and update to 11.. Noice for me :)

Being such, I can offer that I'm a first time Mac buyer of the new Arm powered M1 .. now 2 months in, whilst I can see the hardware is awesome .. the UI/system is stageringly unhelpful... and in the smallest of ways that just break me. I use linux, windows, regulary, even BSD on occasions.. but gawd, for me Mac really is that bad, I'm struggling to see what other people see in it, granted I'm a newcomer to OSX gui way of doing things. Think I'm now waiting for a M1 native linux to justify my $1300 aud investigation spend at this rate, Maybe, just maybe, Ashahi will get up.

Sorry for re-stating of any obvious.. just a working Linux Sysadmin's opinion to add to the mix . Better yet, cluster some Raspberry Pi's .. now that IS fun :) (chip shortage permitting .. that is)
 

ajoeiam

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Yes, I do system updates ... but no updates "just happen" on my system. I am alerted if there is an update available, but my choice whether to accept it or not. Maybe it's a matter of a different setting somewhere?
TL;DR
This is really fascinating.
I found this particular issue when I was trying out LXD.
So - - to use LXD (a container system) you need to install snapd.
Snapd is where the forced updates were happening.
You could schedule it for once a month but it had to happen.
There was a thread on the forum with some over 500 messages as of some time in early 2020 with various devs asking about how to change and and and.
(I can no longer find this thread on the forum and am not going to spend time to do so about 10 minutes this morning is enough. The guy that started the thread is one of the senior devs for FRR if you know your opensource software.)
The brass was adamant - - - - this is permanent - - - suck it up buttercup etc.
Some of the dev responses were actually quite rude with basically the attitude of ' we know what's best for you '.
What made it even more interesting - - - I had started this on my server (since added a testing system for that too!) was that I just couldn't get rid of the stuff.
I spent quite a few hours trying various things got a cheat sheet from the senior developer and still no joy.
The only way I could actually remove snapd and all of the flotsam that remained after removing lxd and snapd was to reinstall my system.

Now you're going - - - well it couldn't have been that bad.

Well - - - I had done what was initially suggested (this was early LXD 2 days) to stop the upgrades - - - use your firewall to not allow connection to the outside. The real frustrating part then showed up. The software wasn't allowed to update - - - so it forced a system shutdown. It took the third time this happened, the second started me investigating, for me to try and find all the possible things that could be causing my server to shut down.

So maybe ubuntu 'general' doesn't do this. but ubuntu 'canonical' did do this.

So my solution was simple - - - - no more ubuntu - - - EVER!!!!!!!!!!

If you're going to insist on total handholding - - - then there are options NOT connected to ubuntu.

I spent a lot of time on this problem and found some tidbits that pointed to some reasoning for 'canonical's ' thinking.
This all started just after there were a mountain of rumors that 'Shuttleworth' was thinking of floating an IPO partly to capitalize his net worth. He was wanting to increase his liquidity and enter into the big boys league - - - you know - - - where you're a billionaire software entrepreneur.

As you can see - - - given my experiences I am quite adamant that ubuntu is NOT benign and also like M$ - -quite not to be trusted.

I will not continue to post on this topic inside this thread as I believe my position is clear and the whys have been fully explained (this is not just a knee jerk reaction!!!) Hopefully I am allowed to continue to interact with other aspects raised in this same thread.
Thanks for listening!
 

ajoeiam

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snip

Sorry for re-stating of any obvious.. just a working Linux Sysadmin's opinion to add to the mix . Better yet, cluster some Raspberry Pi's .. now that IS fun :) (chip shortage permitting .. that is)
I never wanted to get into programming - - grin - - I started my computing on a mac plus.
IMO still the best tool ever for multilingual writing.

I've been thinking of using RPis for servers - - - sort of intermediate servers - - - where data is collected close to the generation point and then block forwarded to the main server for residence. Likely the analysis and all those other joys happening on my main box.

Also thinking of adding a RPi3 to access voip stuff - - - am quite tired of the telco ripoff!!

Then am finding all these gizmos I NEED to make - - - argh - - - and there is programming involved - - - lots more arghhhhh!

My system trail goes like this:

1. mac plus
2. that ended at a mac IIci
3. that died and it was MS 98SE
4. really didn't appreciate a virus I landed up with so then moved to Red Hat (5 or 6.2 - - - that is some over 20 years ago - - LOL)
5. Fedora and Fedora Core was the next variant
6. got frustrated with the every 6 months upgrade and then moved to Debian
7. my server testing machine is on Devuan and when I need to upgrade my main box (can't afford to right now) the replacement is also going to Devuan.
servers to stable and main bax to testing

I tend to try pile of software and so have evolved to having a testing system for both of the main and the server so that if adding x bit of software causes issues - - - well I can continue to function. Started that when I took 3 weeks to get my system back running the way I wanted the last time I tried to work with my graphics subsystem.
(Presently running 4 - 1920 x 1080s and 1 - 4k - - - the 4k is giving me all kinds of grief so at present its not connected but it sure is useful when I do try it. )
 

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