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starbase1
09-25-2006, 03:39 AM
I'm writing this from work, as I had a monstrous windows crash yesterday evening.

I was able to recover the PC to operational, but only by reverting to the initial windows, so every prog I ever installed is now not working. (Well, rather surprisingly LW would start, but only in discovery mode).

And speaking of discovery, it is not a good time to discover that while I had backed up tons of stuff, I stuipidly forgot to back up the email data, which contains all my passwords, mailed soft keys, etc etc... Feeling rather dumb at the moment.

But what I did notice, which brings me back to the subject, is that the first I tried, to check the hardware, was booting off a Linux live CD.

It came up exactly as usual, and everything there worked first time - I could play my music files, and all the usual stuff immediately. Whereas, more than 12 hours later, I am still trying to work out how to get most of my windows stuff back, and it will probably take me weeks (if ever) to get things back the way they were.

Why the &%!$ can't Windows work that way?

This really does it for me. I am switching to dual boot immediately, and will be looking at Linux first for everything new. I will think VERY long and hard before starting any new dependancies on Windows based software. Mosdt definitely including 3d software.

Nick

habaņero
09-25-2006, 06:54 AM
You might want to look into acronis trueimage or similar for backup ... It'll allow you to step gradually backwards in time, but ulike system restore it keeps all data and can't generally be corrupted by viruses, file corruption etc. The advanced features like "restore to dissimilar hardware" isn't 100%, but the basic incremental restore is bullet proof in my sense.

Both Ubuntu and OSX is good alternatives to windows ...

lede
09-25-2006, 09:07 AM
Yeah the OSX is based on a unix kernal so its darn stable. I've heard a couple people porting the OSX to a PC based platform and now that Apple themselves are installing it on PC based hardware for their new macs this might be a solid solution for you Nick. At least its something to look at :D

-Lee

MiniFireDragon
09-25-2006, 09:08 AM
Sounds to me like you had a hard drive crash. Not a physical crash, but something that destroys the FAT tables (which there are 2) on the hard drive. Regardless of having windows or linux, you still would have suffered the same data loss. The only difference between the 2 is you can run linux off a CD, but you can't run windows off a cd (due to registry writes and other functions that happen during boot up). But one must also realize that if you boot Linux off a CD, every time you change, update, add, remove stuff inside linux, you will have to create a new image.

As far as back up of your windows OS, there is a function inside Star>Programs>Assecories>Backup that will actually right the current registry as a backup to the Windows>Repair folder (I am speaking of Win XP) and make backup copies of that. That way if you have some generalized backups or just reinstall old app, you can boot to command prompt and right the 5 registry files back into the windows>system32>config directory.

Also, as a note for back up purposes, Outlook Express data is stored in Documents and Settings>You user account>Local Settings>Application Data>Identities

And outlook is stored:
Documents and Settings>You user account>Local Settings>Application Data>Microsoft>Outlook

If you reinstalled windows and still have the old (or pieces of documents and settings) it usually created a new indenties folder or a new Key. You can simply import your mail into your now outlook express.

edit:

If it happens again, I'd suggest investing in a program called Get Data Back from Runtime.org. It has recovered alot of stuff for me on a working drive (and ones going click... click... click...). And just recently I had to use it in a situation where I lost the FAT table. And there are programs that can replace the back up FAT table providing it is still in existance.

Red_Oddity
09-25-2006, 09:30 AM
Another thing that helps is moving your My Documents folder to a location on another HD/partition

You can do this easily by right clicking on your My Documents folder and just choosing another Target Location Folder.

That way a lot of setting (like you email, chat programs, etc) remain intact after windows decides to go belly up again.

starbase1
09-25-2006, 09:32 AM
Thanks for the inputs.

I understand it was a hardware failure, not a windows failure - it's the recovery that seems a thousand times simpler away from Windows!

Captain Obvious
09-25-2006, 03:03 PM
If LW and modo got ported to Linux, I'd switch in a heartbeat. Windows is just too darned slow for my tastes.

lilrayray77
09-25-2006, 03:57 PM
Speaking as a long time Windows user... Windows SUCKS!!! It may have been good back in the day, but it really hasnt changed much for quite a few years, and from the sound of it, Vista isnt any better. If it wasnt for all of my software, Id be either on a mac or linux.

Anyone else use xandros linux? It is Debian with some nice interface and software additions and is very easy to set up. Check it out: www.xandros.com. There is an open distribution for free (bitorrent).

kmaas
09-25-2006, 05:13 PM
If LW and modo got ported to Linux, I'd switch in a heartbeat.

If only LW was ported, I'd be temped to switch myself.

stib
09-26-2006, 06:32 AM
From what I hear Vista seems to impose quite a high performance overhead. This could be good for Linux: maybe it will the boot up the clacker that resource hungry apps like LW need to get on board with a modern operating system.. But that's probably wishful thinking, NT have been deafening in their silence about this issue.

Captain Obvious
09-26-2006, 11:28 AM
From what I hear Vista seems to impose quite a high performance overhead.
You mean they managed to make the thing even slower?! I don't see how that is even possible.

Phil
09-26-2006, 11:59 AM
They did indeed. It's pretty dire to be honest. In a wonderful stroke of genius, they also rewrote the entire networking stack, restoring all those design and implementation bugs that they have spent the last 10+ years fixing.

Happy, happy.

On the same hardware, Vista beta 2 requires over 800 MB of RAM, compared to a shade over 120 MB for XP SP2. It also pegs a Pentium III at 100%, even when idle and all the new shiny stuff has been disabled.

Lito
09-26-2006, 01:46 PM
Yeah Vista RC1 is really really slow. It definately doesn't run "properly" in 512mb of ram. I tried it in VMWare and it wasn't pretty even just opening explorer folders and notepad. Best way to describe the vista experience is, trying to use your machine when it is at full load. IMHO if it can't run well in 512MB of ram it's using way too many resources.

Jim_C
09-26-2006, 01:54 PM
You might want to look into acronis trueimage or similar for backup ...

Absolutely!

Or Norton Ghost. (Only decent Norton app)
They take an exact snap shot of your system, programs, files etc, then save the snapshot to another drive or DVD. If system goes down. insert DVD, run program from boot disk and it restores everything exactly as it was when you took a picture.

Captain Obvious
09-26-2006, 03:16 PM
On the same hardware, Vista beta 2 requires over 800 MB of RAM, compared to a shade over 120 MB for XP SP2. It also pegs a Pentium III at 100%, even when idle and all the new shiny stuff has been disabled.
Normally, I wouldn't worry, since it's still a beta... but... Oh my god. :( And they're supposed to release this hunk of junk next year? :thumbsdow


...


Did I just read RC1? They have a release candidate that pegs the CPU while idling? Gah.

nthused
09-26-2006, 07:08 PM
Windows doesn't work like that because it has to be "everything" for everyone...

For me...I just want to use the computer to create art and to work. Linux - as far as it's come - is not there yet. I've tried it several times, but I don't have time to figure out even things like installing hardware. (I realize it's not simple to program every hardware into the OS...but you know what I mean...)

Windows is not perfect - but frankly it's amazing that it can run the myrian of hardware configurations available to it. For the most part I can run LW, Photoshop, email, word processing, spreadsheets, etc... without a hickup.

Vista looks like too much overhead that took too long to release. If one doesn't like the product, support another by buying it. Cash speaks volumes to companies.

Phil
09-26-2006, 10:26 PM
Normally, I wouldn't worry, since it's still a beta... but... Oh my god. :( And they're supposed to release this hunk of junk next year? :thumbsdow


...


Did I just read RC1? They have a release candidate that pegs the CPU while idling? Gah.

Yep. I have a number of laptops here that serve as render nodes for LWSN. All have the maximum amount of memory possible and all are either early PII (slow, but still help) or late PIII machines.

I used one as a sacrificial lamb to see how Vista did. It's a reasonable machine for everyday use (512 MB, PIII 800 MHz) and Vista really was not happy. I'm aware that this is apparently the minimum spec for Vista (which itself is alarming - an OS is supposed to exist to run apps, not consume every resource that is available). Still, on first boot beta 2 was consuming over 800 MB of RAM and the CPU was pegged to 100%. After switching off the junk, which was no mean feat given the enormous lag in response, it was still taking 100% of the CPU and was eating a shade under 500 MB of RAM.

That's absurd.

They really should have taken the OSX route. Stuff all the compatibility crap into a VM-based XP clone and build a new constraint-free OS.

starbase1
09-27-2006, 03:05 AM
Well, the recovery is coming together...

I thought that LW had survived the crash, but the 'enter licence key' vanished, and also I note that hub doesn't start, and even when started manually modeller and layout don't talk to each other.

Looks like a full reinstall.

Sigh.

On the Linux frint, I bought a copy of Partition Magic, and have started on a home partition for it. But I want to get other stuff restored first.

Nick

Phil
09-27-2006, 05:18 AM
Why pick up Partition Magic? Most Linux distributions supply disk resize tools within the installer. OpenSuSE/SuSE/SUSE certainly does. It will also resize NTFS volumes, although backups are, as with commercial tools, recommended. Defragmentation is also needed.

mrunion
09-27-2006, 06:22 AM
nthused:

Considering hardware companies make products SPECIFICALLY to MS specs (note the "Windows Certified" logos on such stuff) and Linux has to write software/kernel modules based on what users "figure out", I'd say Linux is even more amazing in that respect.

It's easy to make something "just work" when you tell people your "going to be close-minded and don't care what way they come up with, just make your product meet these specs and we'll let it run."

Besides, I've only ever had trouble with two things with hardware and Linux -- Video cards and an old WinModem. WinModems are really no more, and both nVidia and ATI write drivers for Linux. Sure, there are still *some* things that don't work as well with Linux as they do in Windows, but one that has tried Linux more than a year ago really ought to give it another go before condeming it.

I have a 4-month old HP Laptop (dv8230us) that has EVERYTHING (including wireless LAN) supported and runs just fine.

Phil
09-27-2006, 07:33 AM
Ubuntu. Easy. Even sets up my WLAN PCMCIA cards in laptops without breaking a sweat. Windows needs add-on drivers and lots of faffing around.

starbase1
09-27-2006, 09:46 AM
Why pick up Partition Magic? Most Linux distributions supply disk resize tools within the installer. OpenSuSE/SuSE/SUSE certainly does. It will also resize NTFS volumes, although backups are, as with commercial tools, recommended. Defragmentation is also needed.

I was aware of this, but for something as fundamental as this I wanted to operate from an OS I knew well. Also it provides to option to convert between windows fs without losing data, which I think could be very useful for me.

Nick

stib
09-27-2006, 11:43 AM
yeah Ubuntu gets my vote, just for the sheer ease of installing it. It rivals OS X in its "just whack in the disc and hit enter a few times" ease of use. And you don't even have to download it if you haven't got big pipes: they'll send you a copy on CD (or several to give to your friends). For free! How good is that!

The only challenging part is if you're dual booting your machine, then you have to set up the partitions manually. Tip: install windows first and leave an empty partition on the drive for Linux. Windows doesn't seem to like being in anything except the first partition (typical).

Ubuntu is also the brownest OS around. It's very brown.

stib
09-28-2006, 10:05 AM
Oh yeah, the main reason why I went with Ubuntu is that there isn't any "enterprise edition" that costs money. It's like Debian (IIRC) in that it's a completely free distro.

iainbyoung
09-28-2006, 10:28 AM
It's always been a mystery to me why people have so much trouble with windows, (especially xp). The xp pro installation I have on my development machine at work is still the original install from when I got the machine new 3-4 years ago, and I can't recall ever getting a blue screen, or even an os related hang. Likewise with my home machines. I've got 4 xp machines (2pc, 1media center, and a laptop), and none of them have (so far) ever missed a beat.

Conversely, we have recently had trouble with the Linux / SCO / AIX machines at work, (requiring re-installs etc).

I suspect windows problems that people have are less to do with the operating system, and more to do with the quality of the driver software that the independant hardware manufacturers provide.

DarkLight
09-28-2006, 11:04 AM
I suspect windows problems that people have are less to do with the operating system, and more to do with the quality of the driver software that the independant hardware manufacturers provide.

This is why i only buy component from well knows manufacturers. The drivers supplied with most of the cheaper ones are often poorly written and never get updated.

Phil
09-28-2006, 11:22 AM
yeah Ubuntu gets my vote, just for the sheer ease of installing it. It rivals OS X in its "just whack in the disc and hit enter a few times" ease of use. And you don't even have to download it if you haven't got big pipes: they'll send you a copy on CD (or several to give to your friends). For free! How good is that!

The only challenging part is if you're dual booting your machine, then you have to set up the partitions manually. Tip: install windows first and leave an empty partition on the drive for Linux. Windows doesn't seem to like being in anything except the first partition (typical).

Ubuntu is also the brownest OS around. It's very brown.

I like the fact that you can surf the web whilst it's installing. Boot off the DVD and it loads the live version. You can use this to demo the OS, or to install from (whilst browsing the web, sending email, etc.) With a USB key in there, you can also save your documents for when you reboot to your shiny new install.

It's almost-perfectly executed (although Thinkpads can need special boot incantations in the new version of Ubuntu)

Phil
09-28-2006, 11:26 AM
Conversely, we have recently had trouble with the Linux / SCO / AIX machines at work, (requiring re-installs etc).

I suspect windows problems that people have are less to do with the operating system, and more to do with the quality of the driver software that the independant hardware manufacturers provide.

I'm just not keen on WGA phoning home, constant security patches forcing reboots, worries about Sony CDs installing rootkits (not an exaggeration - it's happened recently to a few people I know), or the pay-through-the-nose OS cost itself. Apple's family pack is a great idea. I'm still amazed that MS haven't duplicated this effort.

XP SP2 is a reasonable OS, all said and done. I'd just like to be given the choice by application vendors to be able to use something else.

lilrayray77
09-28-2006, 01:00 PM
I just tryed Vistsa (Virtual Mchine), and I have to say... Pathetic!!! The only ting that I saw was any different was the interface and it was slower... Good job microsoft.

Is Ubuntu good? I have ony really used Xandros and Knoppix (which by the way is pretty cool). Unfortunately i have never been very successfull with getting all of my comp. to work under linux (sound and vid cards).

Phil
09-28-2006, 01:23 PM
Ubuntu is honestly very, very good. It's not perfect, but it knocked SUSE off my machines here - 10.1 removed support for all my WLAN hardware, despite the driver being GPLed and available out-of-kernel, meaning extra effort to set them up. Not easy without sourcecode available on a machine with no other way of connecting to the outside world, I can tell you.

So....Ubuntu.

Whilst you're at it, you could do worse than http://www.lugradio.org/ - be aware that the podcast (sorry Apple!) is rather....colourful in terms of language used, but is very entertaining. Looks like they might be coming to your side of the Atlantic as well :)

art
09-28-2006, 02:47 PM
There is no doubt that linux is more stable than xp, but if properly maintained xp behaves quite well for relatively long periods of time (up to a couple of years in my case) without a need for reinstall.

We run several linux boxes at work (fc3 and fc4) and we rarely have any issues with them. Hardware installation problems are less and less severe with every new linux release especially if you use common components and not some obscure ones. As a server OS, linux is pretty good epecially if you have security in mind, but for my day to day use and favorite aplications I still prefer windows. But that's only me, I know that there are linux alternatives for almost any kind of software and lot's of it is free too.

Data recovery on windows is usually relatively easy, unless you have physical hard drive failure or the data has been overwritten (by reverting to old system for example). I usually use r-studio which saved me several times in the past.
I am not too familiar with data recovery on linux but recently we learned the hard way that files accidentally deleted (unlinked) on an ext3 partition are quite difficult to recover under most circumstances. When it comes to recovery, nothing beats a good backup.

starbase1
09-28-2006, 05:00 PM
I speak as someone who is one step away from zero experience, but I thought Ubuntu was excellent from the word go. I did try Suse, and I rather liked the way it came able to play MP3's immediately.

But overall I think I was surprised at how good and how painless everything was that i tried...

Nick

starbase1
09-29-2006, 03:28 AM
I suppose the other thing that might be worth considering would be to virtualise LW under VM Ware or similar.

I'm not fully up to speed on the technology, (though I intend to dig into it ASAP), but if you fired up LW under windows, snapshot it, then take the LW VM into Linux or anything else that has a player, that would have lots of advantages...

Anyone in a position to comment?

Nick

Phil
09-29-2006, 03:57 AM
Yup. You'll lose all hardware accleration for pretty much everything. For LW, that means OpenGL will be subject to the CPU time available to the virtual machine. Basically, it will suck. You can use the native Windows drivers in the VM to work with the dongle. You don't need to install the linux dongle drivers. If you have a parallel port dongle, you'll need to remove the lp module 'sudo rmmod lp' (or just delete/rename that module) to allow the parallel port dongle to be seen in VMWare.

Under Wine of course, you have dongle problems, but (using Wine from January 2005 and blocking it from being updated) you will have full hardware accleration. Pretty much everything will work.

iainbyoung
09-29-2006, 03:57 AM
I just tryed Vistsa (Virtual Mchine), and I have to say... Pathetic!!! The only ting that I saw was any different was the interface and it was slower... Good job microsoft.

Erm, you ran it in a virtual machine and are blaming the os for running slower? :stumped:

I've got it running on one of my dev machines at work, and generally it runs much quicker than the xp pro installation I had on there beforehand.

lilrayray77
09-29-2006, 04:49 AM
I also ran Xandros Linux and Ubuntu live CD in the VM and both were faster. I refuse to install any microsoft beta OS on my system... Id like to keep it functioning.

iainbyoung
09-29-2006, 05:26 AM
Vista uses an entirely new graphics layer (DX10) to control the desktop etc, (which also requires dx10 compatible graphics hardware). None of the vm solutions out there currently offer compatible drivers for this, and so it will run slowly, in a "compatible" type mode. Thus if you are evaluating vista in a vm, you will not see the full potential of the system.

I too wouldn't install a beta OS on a machine I was relying on. I needed to install at work so I could verify that our software works ok on it. I was pleasantly surprised with the performance, especially as it's still not the final release, (although in theory it should be very close). It also seems (so far) to have been very stable.

Phil
09-29-2006, 05:51 AM
I'm not sure I see the potential in any case. I would have seen more potential if they had stuffed the legacy support into a VM-based solution and built the shiny new stuff around that. I would have preferred more effort went into workflow improvements. I would have preferred them actually doing more than just paying lipservice to the idea of interoperability.

I also am unconvinced by the wisdom of rewriting the network stack. They already hacked it around a great deal for Win2K3 and seriously improved the performance whilst keeping all their security improvements in place. Starting from scratch, given MS's recent security record seems extraordinarily risky.

Requiring multiple GBs for installation of the runtime OS seems also rather excessive. It's not even as though this includes development resources. I'm not sure what they need a 9 GB disk footprint for. It's also unclear why they need so much memory to deliver the default configuration and no running apps. I'd have liked those resources for the apps.....you know, the ones that Windows exists to run? Vista is excessively heavy, even with all the new bits toggled off. It completely buries a PIII 800 MHz CPU - rendering the OS unusable on my fastest Thinkpad* That strikes me as absurd. The CPU may be somewhat out of date, but it runs Ubuntu without breaking sweat. It actually runs Ubuntu 6.06 better than XP, which is startling.

I'm also uncertain what Vista really offers me in day to day usage (i.e. workflow). The UI hasn't had anything radically change in functionality - task switching is still somewhat of a bind; the system tray is still abused; there are still too many places in the UI that are inconsistent; the control panel has spawned even more places to hide settings (reminds me of the options chaos in Outlook 2003 - dialogs within dialogs within tabs of other dialogs).
Workflow basically remains hampered by the same old crap. There is no separation of tasks in the UI : e.g. office vs. graphics vs. games - everything is wedged under one enormous menu. There is no multiple desktop support. There is no equivalent of Maxivista (which currently doesn't support Vista). It still doesn't support alternative file systems natively (e.g. Mac formats or Linux formats).

* I have been waiting for Vista to drive the incorporation of decent 3D hardware in laptops. Combined with Core 2 Duo, the start of next year holds some promise that I can justify dropping cash on a new portable. This might be the only good thing about Vista.

iainbyoung
09-29-2006, 06:12 AM
I agree with you Phil. On one side, it might be a good thing that they've got new security stuff, but on the other hand it could open a whole new load of problems.

Everything I've read about vista suggests that the people who'll see the biggest benefit are gamers. Professional users (apart from the obvious gui changes) probably won't notice a lot of difference.

The 3d hardware in my laptop works pretty well with Lightwave (it's got a Nvidia 6800 ultra card in it), and it's slow compared to the machines you can get now. Might have to upgrade next year :D

p.s. MS aren't allowed to support mac format drives. The anti-trust laws etc forbid it (and apple won't let them use the format anyway).

Exception
10-01-2006, 01:24 PM
I just installed ubuntu edgy, and eventhough it looks sweet and works pretty well from the word go, it still has a few quirks. can't connect to the network most predominantly, which makes it hard to look for solutions.

starbase1
10-01-2006, 01:43 PM
I'm on Dapper... I now have a dual boot system - I needed to use Partition Magic to make room on the C drive, as there was an 'unmovable' chunk of data down the end.

I'm trying to work out how to get the internet option active now, on my somewhat ancient adsl alcatel modem...

Nick

lilrayray77
10-01-2006, 08:30 PM
Im really starting to get ticked off at linux. So far, none of the packages support my network (D-link WUA-Something or other) or my sound card (Some piece of crap that came with my dell). Some of the distros support my graphics card. So I am taking a break from linux for say, a year.

DarkLight
10-02-2006, 03:34 AM
I just installed ubuntu edgy, and eventhough it looks sweet and works pretty well from the word go, it still has a few quirks. can't connect to the network most predominantly, which makes it hard to look for solutions.

I had a problem with ubuntu and networking when i tried it. All i had to do to fix it was disable IVP6 and after that everything worked fine.

starbase1
10-02-2006, 04:18 AM
Are there any other proper 3d packages (excluding Blender) that are available for Linux?

lilrayray77
10-02-2006, 05:55 AM
Are there any other proper 3d packages (excluding Blender) that are available for Linux?

You mean something like Wings3D? Or do you mean XSI, Maya, etc?

starbase1
10-02-2006, 01:10 PM
Any or all of the above...

Phil
10-02-2006, 01:18 PM
Hmmmm?

Maya and XSI are both available for Linux (XSI Foundation for Linux is slightly more expensive for some reason).
Houdini is also available on Linux.

Cinema 4D has a linux version, but I think you need to buy the everything-included package to be able to get it. You might need to ask to be sure.

Realsoft 3D has a linux version.

Modo is supposed to be getting a linux version 'at some point'. Before or after it can animate something other than on a turntable is unclear.