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Thread: Computer Discussions

  1. #1

    Computer Discussions

    Hello all,

    I'd like to use this thread for discussing computer of any kind: desktops, laptops, notebooks, ultrabooks, and the like.

    I need to get a new laptop for myself but I'm not sure what to get. I'll only use it for programming, linux only with some virtual machines (used rarely). In my country, the market is filled with gaming computers, every hardware piece is marketed as gaming. It looks horrible, and the price is similar. I don;t care about the screen, the features, the weight. What I'd like a simple non-expensive laptop that can do the above. Does something like this exist?

    Thank you.
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  2. #2
    Moderator anon's Avatar
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    https://wiki.installgentoo.com/wiki/Laptop_Buying_Guide is a good start. It hasn't been updated in a while, but the general advice remains solid. I'd love to get a ThinkPad myself, but with the current state of affairs, my only chance would be doing something like this.



    Speaking of which, beware of scams and stolen goods. Boot passwords cannot be cleared by removing the CMOS battery, and Computrace is very effective at achieving its goal.
    "I just remembered something that happened a long time ago."
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  3. #3
    The problem is that this is not a one-time purchase. So a phone is generally good for 1 year, and a computer say 2 years, tops. More than that you'll experience your apps, sites and what else working slower than before. Technology advances very rapidly, and we need to keep up. This is why I'm looking for a solution to this. Spending 1600 euros or more on a laptop every year, or every two years is not exactly a good plan here. And this is the starter price of the hardware that I need at my stores.

    Speaking of which, beware of scams and stolen goods. Boot passwords cannot be cleared by removing the CMOS battery, and Computrace is very effective at achieving its goal.
    This is true for phones as well. In my country there is a trend: people go to their network operator of their choosing, they get a subscription for maybe 2 years, with a phone that is only paid a starter fee (not sure if this the right term) which is generally about 5% or less of the value of the phone. Now, after they get the phone, they "forget" to pay the subscription, they sell the phone at about 80% of the original price. The warranty comes from the manufacturer so the operator that sold it has no say in this. And.. in some time, possibly a month, maybe 2, the phone will be banned in the network via IMEI. I'm not exactly sure if this is a global ban on all operators - could be true since the authorities are involved. Still..
    Last edited by Master Razor; 21.05.22 at 14:04.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Razor View Post
    The problem is that this is not a one-time purchase. So a phone is generally good for 1 year, and a computer say 2 years, tops. More than that you'll experience your apps, sites and what else working slower than before. Technology advances very rapidly, and we need to keep up. This is why I'm looking for a solution to this.
    My Nokia 1112 from 2007 would like to have a word with you, nya. Anyway, I used the same desktop computer for 15 years, so I may not have normal people parameters on this regard. With that said...

    Spending 1600 euros or more on a laptop every year, or every two years is not exactly a good plan here. And this is the starter price of the hardware that I need at my stores.
    A good ThinkPad costs a fraction of that, and will fulfill the needs mentioned in the first post excellently. Full virtualization including passthrough, and Linux support is great except for very new models, which is par for the course. I used them a lot at a company I consulted for, so this is not a 4chan meme. The only thing I'm critical of is the trackpoint, but others swear by it (apparently practice makes perfect), and it can be turned off anyway.

    Ugh. Add a last-gen ThinkPad to the list of things this reality stole from me by never giving them

    This is true for phones as well. In my country there is a trend: people go to their network operator of their choosing, they get a subscription for maybe 2 years, with a phone that is only paid a starter fee (not sure if this the right term) which is generally about 5% or less of the value of the phone. Now, after they get the phone, they "forget" to pay the subscription, they sell the phone at about 80% of the original price. The warranty comes from the manufacturer so the operator that sold it has no say in this. And.. in some time, possibly a month, maybe 2, the phone will be banned in the network via IMEI. I'm not exactly sure if this is a global ban on all operators - could be true since the authorities are involved. Still..
    Well, here contract phones stopped being sold with SIM locks once carriers realized they could place you in a debtors list after you vanish, and therefore prevent you from buying anything on credit again.

    The IMEI can be "repaired" fairly easily on many models, and there's always the option of selling the phones abroad. International cooperation on this regard is informal and inconsistent. Chile is (in)famous for using a whitelist approach, though.
    "I just remembered something that happened a long time ago."
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  5. #5
    My Nokia 1112 from 2007 would like to have a word with you, nya. Anyway, I used the same desktop computer for 15 years, so I may not have normal people parameters on this regard. With that said...
    I never said I agreed with the practice.. Society forces us to stay "up-to-date". Some examples:
    1. You need to use some app that cannot run on old versions of android. I have a mobile operator in which their bills can only be paid in that app. Their website does not support this. So the app is build for newer android versions only, to ensure "security". This applies to banks, only they also add root checks.
    2. Banks work in the same manner: most operation can only be done in the app; the browser variant does nothing but allows to see your balance.
    3. You need to take a picture of a document and author it. Conversion in PDF, and sign it all on your phone.

    So.. apps are designed to only use the last say 3 (if that) versions and new phones only offer 1 major android version upgrade.

    A good ThinkPad costs a fraction of that, and will fulfill the needs mentioned in the first post excellently. Full virtualization including passthrough, and Linux support is great except for very new models, which is par for the course. I used them a lot at a company I consulted for, so this is not a 4chan meme. The only thing I'm critical of is the trackpoint, but others swear by it (apparently practice makes perfect), and it can be turned off anyway.

    Ugh. Add a last-gen ThinkPad to the list of things this reality stole from me by never giving them
    Well perhaps you could give me an example of some thinkpad models to check on my side.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Razor View Post
    I never said I agreed with the practice.. Society forces us to stay "up-to-date".
    I just wanted to show I'm doing my share to fight evil capitalism, Bill Gates and the NWO by not giving them the money I don't have. Though if I was really serious about that, I'd be posting it on Facebook through an iPhone

    Some examples:
    Your mobile operator and bank should kill themselves. Also, JotNot

    I have faced no. 1 but in reverse. Had to keep a portable version of Internet Explorer 6 to do my taxes until 2016, because the form wouldn't work in newer browsers (login screen recommended using IE 4 or Netscape 3.3 at 800x600).

    Well perhaps you could give me an example of some thinkpad models to check on my side.
    https://wiki.installgentoo.com/wiki/ThinkPad will give a good introduction, and you can turn to /g/ to make up for the lack of updates in the last two years. Their outlook regarding budget and usage scenarios is identical to yours. I don't recall the model they used at my company, but it had 32 GB of RAM, a fingerprint scanner (botnet), SGX (more botnet) and a 12-hour battery.

    Don't forget to look into me_cleaner and coreboot, though anything that supports the latter will be too old for your needs.
    "I just remembered something that happened a long time ago."
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  7. Who Said Thanks:

    Master Razor (22.05.22)

  8. #7
    https://wiki.installgentoo.com/wiki/ThinkPad will give a good introduction, and you can turn to /g/ to make up for the lack of updates in the last two years. Their outlook regarding budget and usage scenarios is identical to yours. I don't recall the model they used at my company, but it had 32 GB of RAM, a fingerprint scanner (botnet), SGX (more botnet) and a 12-hour battery.

    Don't forget to look into me_cleaner and coreboot, though anything that supports the latter will be too old for your needs.
    This actually helps, thank you! It is exactly what I wanted. But now I have a question, and it may be moronic but... when buying older hardware, how do I know if it will work with what I need? Performance wise, if it's still up to it.
    For example, a ThinkPad T450s Intel i7-5600u 16gb ssd 512gb 14'' will work for what I need? The RAM is OK but I think that CPU is really old.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Razor View Post
    when buying older hardware, how do I know if it will work with what I need? Performance wise, if it's still up to it.
    As usual, look up specifications and reviews, then compare to what your usage requires and decide.

    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us...-3-20-ghz.html
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-....127804.0.html

    The 5600u is a younger sister of the desktop i7 you may be used to. I think the fact it only has two physical cores will quickly show as soon as you need to compile something.
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  10. #9
    I know how to look at specs. I'm asking how to know if a cpu will be fine for my needs? The numbers cores, the clock, the speed, cache etc. How performant must it be? Because, if I just take the latest hardware I'll return to 1600 euros as before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Razor View Post
    I'm asking how to know if a cpu will be fine for my needs? The numbers cores, the clock, the speed, cache etc. How performant must it be?
    • Cores: if you want to compile code and run virtual machines at the same time, I'd suggest at least 4 physical ones.
    • Clock speed, cache: obviously higher is better, but these have diminishing returns and aren't the only factor (it's more of an "all else being equal" situation, and all else is rarely equal).
    • Virtualization: VT-x and VT-d mandatory. The former can be taken for granted because Windows logo, the latter not necessarily. GPU passthrough optional depending on what you want to do and whether it's possible in the first place.
    • Integrated graphics: anything is fine.
    • Others: AES-NI for disk encryption that doesn't make you want to kill yourself. Support for the latest SSE and AVX instructions if you need to use some super cutting-edge program or compiler.

    The rest is either nice but optional, or botnet. Speaking of which, don't forget to check for microcode updates.

    Because, if I just take the latest hardware I'll return to 1600 euros as before.
    My advice is to pick several models within your budget, and then we can help you decide.
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  12. #11
    I'll take a look at what is available.

    Virtualization: VT-x and VT-d mandatory.
    I always wanted a VT-d capable laptop; never had one but am very interested in this. One particular reason: to able to play old games on virtualized windows xp.
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  13. #12
    Moderator anon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Razor View Post
    I always wanted a VT-d capable laptop; never had one but am very interested in this.
    Oooh, just wait until you give your virtual machines real access to real network interfaces.
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