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1 • DVDs and the environment (by Ralph on 2012-08-27 08:22:38 GMT from Canada) |
What about using rewritable DVDs for testing out distros, at least on the machine that does not support USB booting? Supposedly they are less reliable than DVD+/-Rs, but I have had great luck with them myself....
2 • Trashing optical media (by DeeMee on 2012-08-27 09:21:21 GMT from United States)
You do have the option of using RW media. Both DVD-RW and CD-RW is available. I have been doing that for something like 5 years with various Linux distro's. You can re-burn them many times. Never had one quit burning properly. Had a couple get scratched.
I do use mostly USB now, but keep my main couple distro's also on optical media.
3 • Nautilus forks (by silent on 2012-08-27 09:23:35 GMT from Europe)
So now there are Caja (Mate DE), Nemo (Cinnamon DE) and Nautilus 3.4 (Unity DE) forks instead of a single Nautilus file manager. It is obviously a pleasure for the packagers, but I don't see any other point in it. May be Distrowatch could donate some money to gnome developers to cure their myopia with a pair of eyeglasses. Otherwise ignoring the users may lead to chronic headaches in the long run.
4 • Mint 13 "KDE" (by Chris Whelan on 2012-08-27 09:25:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm puzzled by the reviewer's difficulties with this; I have been running it on both a desktop machine and a laptop since the day of its release without a single issue.
The desktop machine is my main 'everyday' one, and is used for a variety of purposes for perhaps eight hours every day. Performance has been completely fault-free, including using the supplied updater.
I have no need of KPPP, but upon trying it did have the same problem.
5 • @ Erwin Van de Velde`s Article & Disadvantages of Arch Linux (by DrSaleemCeannKhanMarwat on 2012-08-27 09:45:50 GMT from Pakistan)
I wold disagree
1 ) GUI`s are mostly broken and would leave you with unexpected errors e.g I have always encountered errors with Gparted but cfdisk rarely fails , so having no GUI`s on Arch is rather more towards simplicity & stability than lacking something vital .
2 ) Arch Development team makes it sure to iron out all major and apparent bugs and you will only tumble down on unresolved bugs or errors if you are
a) Not doing things the Arch way
b) You are not knowing or trying to know what you are doing and don`t read or follow wiki or their forum
c)You are doing adventures with testing or unstable repositories
d)You are collecting and hoarding lot of AUR packages than standard packages from Arch Linux main repositories.
I have yet to see any unresolved bugs on my Arch Linux in many years till now.
3 ) No matter whatever distribution you are using will require maintenance time initially and later at different stages : Arch Linux does take some extra time after installation but once you are running a fully configured system it does not take than to run a ~ sudo pacman -Syu and ~ sudo pacman -S foo to live an easy and happy computing life than I have seen on any other distros.
6 • USB Boot (by eamonnb on 2012-08-27 10:41:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Kudos for the environmental concerns. On older hardware I use Plop Boot Manager either on a floppy or a CD which will point the PC/Laptop to boot from USB. I have booted Linux from USB on machines from the last century...well 1998 in fact. One obstacle is that a USB keyboard can prevent Plop working properly so I use one of those USB adaptors to plug the keyboard into a PS/2 port.
7 • Ram usage (by Whitespiral on 2012-08-27 10:47:06 GMT from United States)
Sir, I'm glad you now use a USB drive instead of optical media to test a distro. I keep a bunch of 4gb USB drives with different distros always at hand.
You also need to keep up with the times, however, by realizing that 320mb of ram usage for a modern desktop OS is not "heavy' anymore. And more so if it's KDE, which will always use more ram and disk space than other environments because it's also the most complete and customizable.
8 • GnomePPP (by Candide on 2012-08-27 10:52:44 GMT from Taiwan)
Although dial-up may be (nearly) dead, if you've got one of those 3G USB broadband modems (like I do), it's very handy to have wvdial installed. Many distros do have that (not sure about Linux Mint, but Ubuntu has it).
To use it, from a terminal type: sudo wvdial
But before you can do that, as root create file /etc/wvdial.conf with the following content:
Phone = *99#
APN = internet
Username = username
Password = password
Stupid Mode = 1
Dial Command = ATDT
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Baud = 460800
Init2 = ATZ
Init3 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
ISDN = 0
Modem Type = Analog Modem
Of course, you won't need to do this if you can connect using included nm-applet in Ubuntu (and I guess Linux Mint using the same applet, but I'm not sure). However, nm-applet has failed me at times, whereas wvdial always seems to work.
9 • Nautilus 3.4 (by Nikos on 2012-08-27 10:58:35 GMT from Greece)
Its not too late for Ubuntu to switch to KDE, cause eventually the Canonical crowd will have to fork most of GNOME's end user applications..
10 • optical media (by greenpossum on 2012-08-27 11:02:53 GMT from Australia)
While for testing I agree that rewritable media or USB sticks should be used, I always burn a DVD for my workhorse's distro release because I want something I can reinstall from in case the machine gets trashed, and I don't want to tie up USB sticks for something that will hopefully never happen. It will be only once or twice per year anyway. Where readability on aging DVD drives are concerned, pressed media > burnt write-once media > rewritable media so it's a compromise I can live with.
11 • "The Perfect Linux..." (by Jordan on 2012-08-27 11:17:54 GMT from United States)
Cool that the Slax guy, Tomáš Matějíček, is back. I'm hoping that ongoing support and development paths to the future (hardware drivers, etc) are what he considers as the foundation to a "perfect linux distro."
Those things still don't guarantee perfection of course, that being in the eye of the beholder. ;)
12 • @6 USB Boot (by PCBSDuser on 2012-08-27 12:14:26 GMT from Canada)
Just wanted to second this recommendation. Plop is excellent for booting a USB drive on a computer whose BIOS does not support this. Here's a tutorial I came across:
13 • rewriteable media, Manjaro, and Chakra (by wilsonn on 2012-08-27 12:33:23 GMT from Canada)
Flash drives are great. Dvd rw seems very robust for repeated use but I have had several cdrw fail over the years. They may have been bad brands.
I was really impressed with Manjaro but did not want to venture into arch on a permanent basis. If I had more time, this is the Arch spin I would play with.
Chakra does a lovely job with kde but why did they break with Arch? Is it not a lot more work to maintain their own repositories and packages?
14 • CD Recycling (by vw72 on 2012-08-27 13:02:17 GMT from United States)
CDs and DVDs can be recycled, but because the are #7 plastic, they won't be if you use curb side recycling like many places in the US do. However, you can send the CDs to a recycling center such as
CD Recycling Services in the US
420 Ashwood Road
Darlington, PA 16115
Digital Audio Disk Corporation
Attention: Disc Recycling Program
1800 Fruitridge Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47804-1788
And in the UK
The Laundry CD Recycling
4d North Crescent
They won't necessarily pay you for your old CDs, but for a under $10 shipping, I've sent off a big box of CDs (maybe 300). I know that a USB key is ecologically friendlier at the landfill, I'm not sure it is from the perspective of manufacturing and obtaining raw materials. Recycling the CDs eliminates the landfill problem, however.
15 • Wonder what the GNOME devs are thinking (by DavidEF on 2012-08-27 13:08:25 GMT from United States)
""GNOME's feature removals in Nautilus 3.5.x - which included the popular 'type-ahead' and 'split-pane' views""
Do the GNOME devs not know that those features are popular? What is their justification for removing features that the users actually use? Seems to me that if you take away things that your users use, they won't have a reason to be users anymore. Didn't they learn that lesson from the backlash over GNOME 3?
P.S. If anyone is reading this who knows how to get a fully functional Screensaver/ Screen Lock system back into Gnome 3 (or Unity), please help me out. I miss my screensavers! Yeah, sure, they're not technically needed, nor are they a great way to conserve power. But I WANT THEM! And the hack that came out forever ago, about using xscreensaver and changing a bunch of configurations, is not what I'm looking for. I've done that, but there is still missing functionality.
""...ignoring the users may lead to chronic headaches in the long run.""
I already have headaches from this junk, the sooner they do too, the better. Maybe then, they'll fix it. I don't believe in wishing problems on people, but I do believe in people getting a taste of their own medicine at times.
16 • Re #9 Ubuntu switch to KDE (by vw72 on 2012-08-27 13:10:13 GMT from United States)
No, please don't. KDE works really well and I would hate to see Ubuntu carve it all up like they have done with Gnome 3.
17 • Nautilus 3.4 (by vw72 on 2012-08-27 13:12:01 GMT from United States)
According to Canonical, the reason they chose to stay with Nautilus 3.4 is that the new changes came to late in the development cycle for 12.10 to be adequately tested. Nautilus 3.6 should be included in 13.04. It was not about dropping features.
18 • boot media (by octathlon on 2012-08-27 13:22:16 GMT from United States)
My only comment is, if you are reviewing a distro geared toward older computers, that you do go ahead and test it on your old one. That one CD burned could save a lot of others being wasted if people find out from the review that they wouldn't like to try it on their old machine.
19 • #7 Ram Usage (by vw72 on 2012-08-27 13:24:01 GMT from United States)
On the systems that I have set up, KDE uses less RAM than Gnome 3's gnome-shell or Ubuntu's Unity interface. It does use more than XFCE and LXDE.
The problem, though, with comparing base RAM usage is that a computer sitting just at the desktop do nothing isn't really useful. It is the applications we run that make a computer useful.
If you start LibreOffice, the amount of RAM used by the desktop won't be the issue any more. Same with Firefox, Thunderbird and any number of applications.
I can install openbox and a 256MB computer and it is responsive. If I open up much more than a terminal, though, that changes, let alone if I try and open up LibreOffice or any other resource heavy application.
That said, there are still a lot of resource constrain computers out there and testing a distro on them is still a good idea. If it runs decently in 320MB of RAM, it usually means it will fly on a more modern spec'd machine.
20 • Memory usage is relative (by Jesse on 2012-08-27 13:50:54 GMT from Canada)
>> "You also need to keep up with the times, however, by realizing that 320mb of ram usage for a modern desktop OS is not "heavy' anymore. And more so if it's KDE, "
320MB is still quite high for a desktop environment. Typically KDE distributions use around 230MB of memory on my machines (90MB less than Mint's KDE edition). GNOME 2 usually uses less than 160MB, Xfce usually uses around 125MB and LXDE around 90-100MB. Relatively speaking 320MB is pretty high for a desktop OS, even for KDE.
21 • Old & CD/DVD (by Sammi on 2012-08-27 13:52:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
CD-RWs have served me well, just a couple of obsolete Traxdata 650s let me down and one of responded to a CLI clean up. However, few CD-RW will work on really old CD drives, ~<36x according to my experiences, so there is still a role for plain old write-once CDs which seem to run on anything. DVD-RWs have been less reliable; several have failed to rewrite by any persuasion. Notwithstanding, glad to note [No.6] the FDD isn't dead and still offering us solutions with Plop!
22 • Re. Linux Mint 13 KDE and USB Drive instead of CD-R/DVD (by Mech T.L. on 2012-08-27 13:58:07 GMT from Hong Kong)
FOA, I fully approve the reviewer's responsible way to switch to the USB thumb drive for testing. I too feel the need and the responsibility to do our own part in all of this. That said I would suggest for contingency there is still a live DVD / CD-R for your main working environment as a 2nd backup, but only for that single working environment only.
As for the Mint 13 KDE, I too been using it for a while and have not had any problem with it as stated. And similalrly many Mint using Peers had no problem with it either. So I wagre it can be a case of specifics that the reviewer encounter that made all this
23 • @14 CD Recycling (by Rick on 2012-08-27 14:30:01 GMT from United States)
EXCELLENT post! Too often I read about how plastic is such an environmental problem when in reality, PEOPLE are the problem - NOT plastic. If people would take the time and dispose of plastic products and by-products properly, there would be no issue of plastic and the environment.
24 • DVDs vs. USB Thumb Drives (by Chris M on 2012-08-27 14:39:54 GMT from United States)
Under most circumstances, there's no question that using a thumb drive is a better (faster/more efficient) and more Eco-friendly way to install Linux.
But my latest dual boot install attempt on a new-ish ASUS desktop with UEFI was the exception (GRUB 2). Even without the secure boot mess to worry about, my USB install of Linux wanted to install GPT. That messed up the partition (confused it, for lack of a better phrase) after an MBR install of Windows 7. Maybe if I has formatted MBR prior to with GParted, it would have worked, but I thought I had done that. Trying to get GRUB to work correctly (for dual booting) via UEFI and GPT was tough to the point where I threw in the towel.
What I did was to format MBR, install Windows via DVD, and then install Linux via DVD - bypassing UEFI - relying on the traditional BIOS. No question that that slows the boot process, but I finally got it to work in good old GRUB fashion.
The bottom line was that the DVD install of Linux gave me no issues - it installed on an MBR partition without issue.
The whole UEFI thing is a real PITA. Part of the reason for buying the new-ish computer was a desire to "understand" UEFI. Now I understand.
And at first, I did install Windows via thumb drive GPT, followed by Linux. But Grub was not doing its thing.
25 • linux (by colin on 2012-08-27 15:26:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
why so many distros, linux is linux at the end of the day and to the untrained eye all the distros are exactly the same as each other with maybe a few tweaks here and there.
26 • @25 (by Jordan on 2012-08-27 16:25:40 GMT from United States)
"why so many cars, motorcycles, cigars, TVs, drape/curtains, trees, cats/dogs, etc.....life is life at the end of the day and to the untrained eye we all are exactly the same as each other with maybe a few tweaks here and there."
27 • Use Plop Boot Manager to boot USB drives on older computers (by David on 2012-08-27 16:26:30 GMT from United States)
You can use the Plop Boot Manager to boot USB flash drives on older computers that won't do so from the BIOS.
Just install Plop on a CD or floppy, set the BIOS to boot from that drive, and you'll get a menu that includes your USB drive. (It's not wasteful to put it on a CD, because you can use the same disc over and over again for every distro you test.)
28 • @25 (by Pearson on 2012-08-27 17:49:49 GMT from United States)
"to the untrained eye" is, IMO, a critical point.
Sure, there are a lot of distributions that are merely "tweaks" (many Ubuntu derivatives appear to me merely themes and a couple of default application changes ). However, there are philosophical differences between many of the distributions. Just a few off of the top of my head:
1. Which package manager? There are pros/cons between them
2. How many packages are being maintained? More packages = more time required
3. How often are upstream (individual package developers - think LIbreOffice, firefox, etc.) updates applied?
4. How stable vs. cutting edge is the software?
5. How user-friendly (vs. hiding powerful options) will the distribution be?
6. How security-focused?
7. What kind of non-English (or even English) languages are supported?
8. Is it for a niche user (e.g. Parted Magic)?
29 • Mint 13 KDE review 32 or 64 bit? (by claudecat on 2012-08-27 18:14:44 GMT from United States)
Jesse - which version did you install? I ask because I always use 64 bit and there is a difference when it comes to memory usage. In fact, I've noticed differences even with the same distro and bit version on machines with 1gb and 4 gb ram. The more ram, the more is used at boot (or at idle). For me 320mb is fairly low for a 64 bit KDE distro on 4gb ram. Average seems to be around 350-450mb. Gentoo does best here - using only 210mb.
Overall I find Mint 13 KDE pretty nice, but not appreciably better than Kubuntu with some added stuff (which is after all what it is). It's great for the linux newcomer that may not know how to add the things that Mint does to the initial install.
30 • USB Flash Drive Boot (by Bruce Fowler on 2012-08-27 18:25:38 GMT from United States)
"Should you have any thoughts on this change one way or the other, please feel free to comment below or e-mail me."
I run a monthly Linux workshop for a local user's group, so I download, burn and run a lot of distros. Flash drives are the way to go, they are quite cheap nowadays and, of course, reusable. One minor quibble:
Some distros seem to require the use of "UNETBOOTIN" or similar to set up the .iso file on a flash drive, others work only by using a "DD" copy. It would be nice if distro developers would explicitly state the steps necessary to produce a bootable flash drive for their particular distro. I know the information is usually there in the release notes or documentation somewhere, but often it is not easy to find. Thanks.
31 • which flavour (by Jesse on 2012-08-27 18:38:58 GMT from Canada)
>> "Jesse - which version did you install? I ask because I always use 64 bit and there is a difference when it comes to memory usage."
I used Mint 13 KDE 32-bit build. Unless otherwise stated all of my reviews use the 32-bit build for consistency and (hopefully) lower memory usage.
32 • @31 (by claudecat on 2012-08-27 18:47:23 GMT from United States)
Duly noted Jesse, and thanks. You may have to make some exceptions to your 32bit rule as Chakra has just announced the discontinuation of support for that architecture. Will others follow? Probably not many (if any) for now, but the future does seem to be 64.
33 • Issue with Mint 13 KDE's installer... (by eco2geek on 2012-08-27 18:50:40 GMT from United States)
Since Mint 13 "KDE" uses Kubuntu 12.04's installer, this isn't a criticism of Mint 13 KDE directly. The same thing is true of Kubuntu 12.04 and Netrunner 4 "Dryland" 2nd Ed. (another Kubuntu 12.04-based distro I tried that also uses Kubuntu's installer).
I have over 10 partitions on my hard drive (since it's 1.5TB, why not install several different distros?). If I tell the installer that my hard drive's already partitioned, I'm lucky if I can tell the installer to mount four or five of them (i.e. root, swap, and 2 or 3 other existing ones) without it crashing. After installation, I have to add the other partitions to /etc/fstab manually.
This consistently happens with all three distros, Kubuntu 12.04, Mint 13 "KDE", and Netrunner. (Curiously, this has never happened with Ubuntu or an Ubuntu-based distro.) I haven't yet checked to see if a bug's been filed.
34 • Linux Desktops and RAM wars (by M. Edward (Ed) Borasky on 2012-08-27 18:53:32 GMT from United States)
Yeah, I've been there / done that. My current project is a collection of tools that I intend to run on LXDE or better across all the popular community distros. I started on openSUSE but have everything running on Fedora 17 LXDE, Lubuntu and Linux Mint 13 MATE with LXDE added. Mageia was almost working but I had too many problems and dropped it.
RAM size may not be important for a bare metal install, but I'm running these tools as virtual appliances - guests in VirtualBox. There it absolutely matters how much RAM your desktop takes up. The only reason I'm using LXDE instead of IceWM is that IceWM doesn't play well with VirtualBox in seamless mode.
35 • Amen to @30 (by Reticent on 2012-08-27 19:53:20 GMT from United States)
Yes, it's a PITA when forced to hunt for working boot methods.
Will it play from Rufus? or UUI? or multiboot for YUMI? Lili?
Or just unetbootin, or only dd or mandriva-seed?
Does it play nicely with Grub4dOS, Syslinux, Burg?
Will it boot from Ext2, ext3, ext4, zfs, Fat32, ntfs, bfs, ...?
Can it boot from flash? or just from disc? floppy? ...?
Documentation (hyper-wiki vs "go fish") is (still) a common challenge.
36 • @33 (by claudecat on 2012-08-27 20:54:33 GMT from United States)
I may be misunderstanding your issue, but why is it necessary to setup additional partitions in the installer? Simply opening dolphin and clicking on a partition will open it as needed - and without the need for a password like most other distros. Alternatively, you could play with the Removable Devices section under KDE System Settings...
37 • Setting Quota on specific folders (by Demosthenese on 2012-08-27 22:01:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Another strategy would be to:
create a group for each folder
change group ownership of folders
add users to the groups that need access to each group
set a group quota
38 • @36 - Re: setting up mountpoints in the installer (by eco2geek on 2012-08-28 00:36:46 GMT from United States)
You're right, one could do it that way instead of using the installer to write the mountpoints permanently into /etc/fstab. I may try that the next time I install a KDE-based distro.
39 • #30 When dd works (and when it doesn't) (by Caitlyn Maritn on 2012-08-28 05:45:32 GMT from United States)
If a distro's iso is made using hybrid iso technology then dd will work well for copying to a USB stick, micro SD card, etc... If not then you need a tool that will make the iso bootable on USB. In most (but not all) cases Unetbootin does that correctly.
40 • RAM Usage Etc (by Rob Bateman on 2012-08-28 20:12:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Even if RAM is cheap and plentiful, it is still good practice to write good code. The Linux world has always so far done a good job of this. My main problem as i am still using single core CPU's (AMD Athlon 2000+ and 2500-3200 Barton) is Flash. This has maxed out my cpu's on most distros, but not all. I cannot see a common link in the ones that play acceptable and the ones where it is at about 3 flames a second. anyone any thoughts. will not miss flash when it finally put out to grass.
41 • re 40 (by corneliu on 2012-08-28 21:03:29 GMT from Canada)
64 bit memory addresses require more memory than 32 bit memory addresses. That's why 64 bit software needs more memory than 32 bit. Good code or bad code doesn't matter in this case. The advantage with 64 bit addresses is that you can map way more memory, more than the 4 GB that the 32 bit systems can handle.
Because of the diversity of the Linux world, it is impossible for Adobe to provide hardware acceleration (graphics card rendering) all the time. If hardware acceleration is not available (that's most cases) then the CPU is used to to the rendering. CPU is in general less efficient that GPU. So, if your graphics driver can work with flash, you are good. If not, then you kill your poor CPU.
42 • Testing of 11 small distros (by Phi Kappa on 2012-08-29 02:44:56 GMT from Canada)
I picked a few distros from DistroWatch for the purpose of trying them out on my laptop (an HP TouchSmart TX2). Here are some findings from my rather informal testing: http://pjk.scripts.mit.edu/pkj
43 • Setting quotas on specific folders (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-08-29 10:36:33 GMT from Spain)
I has been told that the loop device system is flawed and can bring the file hosted filesystem to deadlock under some circumstances, particularly when using journaling filesystems or, worse yet, journaling filesystems under block level encryption.
Not that I have had a problem with these configurations, but it is good to keep them in mind.
44 • @38 Alternative to USB boot (by Jon Homan on 2012-08-29 13:15:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've had mixed success booting from USB. There seem to be so many variables that involves too much trial and error: hardware, hybrid iso, dd, unetbootln, syslinux, grub.
Now I use a Zalman ZM-VE200 external drive which simulates a USB dvdrom drive. You just copy the iso to the first disk partition, select which you want and boot. Very simple, no waste, and as many distros as you want.
45 • More RAM better? (by Somewhat Reticent on 2012-08-29 13:29:51 GMT from United States)
RAM is getting cheaper to acquire and install. Does more RAM use more electric power, even when not in use? Power's not getting cheaper.
46 • Mint 13 and boot-install (by Boris on 2012-08-29 13:53:48 GMT from Russian Federation)
I did not try Mint 13, but if the handling of PulseAudio is unchanged from Mint 12, then there is no sense even to try. I could not make the system connect the webcam mic as the input device, so all my attempts to install Skype ended in a fiasco. There is a program "pavucontrol" which is supposed to help with proper device mapping, but it doesn't. I cannot assign the webcam mic to the Skype input - there is no such item in the menu. Three other distros - OpenSuse, Vector, Mepis and PCLinuxOS - handle this situation correctly.
About CD/DVD or USB-key install there is another option which remains largely unexplored. VectorLinux distro comes with a certain script which can handle the .iso file of the distribution as if it comes from a CD-ROM drive. Due to this script no further tricks are needed - you download the .iso file, start the script (from console, NO GUI, please!), and it installs the new system inti a partition of your choice. It is for another distros to follow suit, the example is excellent!
47 • [@35] Try-it-out methods (by Kibitzer on 2012-08-29 14:04:07 GMT from United States)
Also consider storing an ISO on a hard drive and using a disc emulator like QEMU (if you have enough RAM?) ; or "frugal-install" a system as an SFS file in a partition already in use.
48 • Zalman ZM-VE200 external drive sucks maybe help with teensy sd cdrom emu (by charles on 2012-08-29 17:41:51 GMT from United States)
I have a couple of bios mobos where the zalman wont boot.
maybe help teensy sd cdrom emu opensource project instead:
49 • USB drives are not envirnmentally friendly (by ezsit on 2012-08-29 18:39:02 GMT from United States)
The main component in your USB drives is an integrated circuit chip. These chips require highly toxic chemicals to manufacture and the manufacturing process has a large carbon footprint. Relatively speaking, the IC chips used in USB drives produce more waste during manufacture than optical media. Go ahead and fool yourselves into thinking you are "green" by using USB drives. I will continue to not care either way and use whatever is convenient at the moment.
50 • #49 you're too funny (by DavidEF on 2012-08-30 15:13:57 GMT from United States)
One time manufacture versus how many uses for usb flash drives? Then disposal. I'd like to see your chart showing the toxicity from creation to disposal of a usb flash drive versus the equivalent number of cd-r or dvd-r discs. Oh yeah, don't forget to include the dvd burner drive, you won't get many successful burns without one! And they also have integrated circuits built into them, just like usb drives (well, not JUST LIKE).
I personally don't worry too much either way, as you said, I use whatever is convenient. But, I do think you should use facts to support any argument you wish to make. A chart should suffice. And remember Mark Twain (below).
51 • RE: 50 (by Landor on 2012-08-30 17:48:57 GMT from Canada)
I've actually read a few pieces done on this subject and it would 'seem' that a flash drive is barely ahead, but all of those studies were based on single write optical media. Hands down RW optical media blows away flash drives for being eco-friendly. I would even hazard a guess that in some cases (there's a lot of poorly manufactured flash drives out there, even fraudulent ones, gurus will know what I mean by that) RW media can outlast a flash drive.
Oh, and what I've read took into account any drives need for the optical media, and exactly the cost to the environment in production and waste.
Oh II, the only reason they based the information on single write optical media in the first place was because RW media never really caught on so it would be an unfair comparison.
Keep your stick on the ice...
52 • CD/DVD v Flashdrive and/or hard drive v SSD (by zykoda on 2012-08-31 09:01:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Like comparing the Nipkow disk with its electronic equivalent. Slow, power hungry, unreliable, and severely limited.
53 • KDE RAM usage (by Peter on 2012-08-31 11:41:30 GMT from Spain)
As others have mentioned, a typical 32 bit KDE idles at nearly 300 Mb when you it's using the infamous Nepomuk-Akadoni-Strigi trio, full 3D effects on binary blob graphic drivers, Krunner complements, etc.
It can be reduced greatly using opensource drivers, no 3D eye-candy (specially transparency), eliminating (where possible) the mentioned Nepomuk-Akanodi-Strigo gang as well as Virtuoso (remember to uncheck the clock's "display events" or it will recall Akadoni again) and lightening Krunner. Most can be achieved easily using the Kubuntu_low_fat package.
On my 1.86 Mhz DualCore 2 Gb RAM laptop, using internal intel graphics, it idles at 180 Mb but runs very smoothly...while only producing 22ºC of heat using Jupiter applet on "onDemand". Actually, the fan stops when idling and hardly ever goes over 30ºC (while on Vista the fan NEVER stops and idles at near 30ºC).
I completely dropped the idea of installing a "lighter" DE (E17 or LXDE) because it now runs very well and with all (most) of the beauty a KDE desktop can show. Do give KDE a chance to prove itself, specially the latest versions (4.8 and 4.9).
54 • @51 Flash drive versus CD burner with media (by DavidEF on 2012-08-31 12:05:43 GMT from United States)
So, you're saying the electronics in the cd burner drive are less toxic than those in the flash drive? Or, there is a much smaller physical amount of toxic electronics in a burner drive? Anyway, thanks for the info. I'd still like to see it for myself. Not that I don't believe you, I'm just a highly visual learner. Maybe I will do a search for it, now that I know it exists.
And about RW media, I have my own personal experience to go on. I tried RW media. It does (or did) work in fewer devices than write-once media (that may no longer be the case). But my personal reason for not using it was that it was re-writable. I felt like I was wasting the resource because I only ever used a disc once.
I've burned countless linux distros to cd or dvd. I never know ahead of time whether it will be one I want to keep around, or write over, so I assume I will be keeping it around, and re-writable media doesn't make sense. Although I know I could burn a new one if needed, I don't always have the time to burn a new one. And sometimes I don't have access to the iso to burn it. So, I use write-once media, and keep it around until I'm sure I don't need it any more. I've used flash drives to boot before, but not all the computers in my house can boot from usb. I'll therefore continue to NOT be green, for the most part, using write-once media.
Fortunately, the post #14 above made me curious, and I checked on recycling in my area. We have curb-side recycling, which I already take advantage of, and the card they gave me lists "plastics 1-7" as being acceptable. So, I CAN recycle old write-once media with curb-side! I wish I'd known that a year ago, when I was cleaning out my desk drawers. Sorry, landfill people!
55 • #51 and to a lesser degree #49 (by DavidEF on 2012-08-31 15:30:01 GMT from United States)
Can anyone point me to an online resource for eco-friendliness (or conversely toxicity) comparison of usb flash drives vs optical media? My searches have turned up nothing.
56 • @ 54 -- RWs again (by Ralph on 2012-08-31 17:44:35 GMT from Canada)
Regarding the following comment:
"I've burned countless linux distros to cd or dvd. I never know ahead of time whether it will be one I want to keep around, or write over, so I assume I will be keeping it around, and re-writable media doesn't make sense. Although I know I could burn a new one if needed, I don't always have the time to burn a new one. And sometimes I don't have access to the iso to burn it. So, I use write-once media, and keep it around until I'm sure I don't need it any more."
I recognize the problem you are talking about, but I have to a great degree solved it while continuing to use rewritable media, at least in my own case, simply by storing the downloaded iso(s) that I'm not sure I should get rid of (just yet) in a separate folder on one of my harddrives. I have a lot of different distros installed on one of my computers at any given time. Normally what I do is re-install a distro every time a new version of it comes out, so one DVD+RW will be devoted to distro x, and will have seen umpteen rewritings of distro x, one for every version ("distribution release") that comes out. When version y of distro x comes out, I retain version y - 1 on my harddrive until I'm satisfied that y is working well, then I nuke it.
I also have a few DVD+RWs set aside for lesser known, newer, and experimental distros and OSs that typically don't see a permanent installation on one of my harddrive partitions, but whose iso(s) typically do get retained for long periods of time on my harddrive (if not permanently), so they are readily available should I wish to have another look at them. Time is not much of an issue for me in the case of re-burning (something I rarely have to do), as there are always others things I can do on my computer while burning is taking place.
I do not say this procedure will work well for everyone, but it certainly works well for me.
57 • Disc-RW's (by Diminishing Returns on 2012-09-01 02:09:28 GMT from United States)
Somehow I never have as much storage space available on a RW disc after a burn ... it just keeps shrinking.
58 • usb flash drives vs. cd and dvd r's/rw's (by imnotrich on 2012-09-01 02:11:36 GMT from Mexico)
USB flash drives are susceptible to EMP and ESD damage.
Optical media are not impacted by EMP or ESD. Although they can be damaged by exposure to uv's or sunlight. Or you could get a bad batch of dye and not know it. Try explaining to the IRS why you can't provide returns from tax year whatever.
I wouldn't trust either media with archival stuff that you want to save forever. Barring any malfunction , quality control problem, or physical damage USB drives have a finite number of read/write cycles until they die. Typically without warning.
But if you do a lot of distro hopping, or like to use live cd's (like puppy or similar distros) that let you write/re-write/re-master) and your computer supports usb boots the flash drives win every time.
One thing though all media have some impact on the environment...I've found optical drives are harder to securely destroy whereas a flash drive can be erased with data destruction software then run through a standard shredder.
I don't think we'll ever have computer components that are built green or green when it's time to discard them unless some aliens come to earth and share their technology with us (not likely).
59 • Discs, pendrives, paper, staples, clips (by Shreddables Separateble on 2012-09-01 16:54:32 GMT from United States)
Several recycling techs have assured me shredded discs & pendrives are easily separated from paper, just like staples, paper clips, etc.
Number of Comments: 59
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