Thursday, July 10, 2014

Long time coming

I think I finally came to a solution for my restlestness regarding my computer setup at home. One reason why I found myself frequently switching operating systems on my machines was because I simply didn't have enough machines.

I love running and playing with Linux. But I also need a Windows machine that is pretty much full-time Windows. I need that for the rare thing that Linux can't do, as well as to run a few daemons that are Windows-only.

And unfortunately I just added to the reasons why I can't get along without Windows by buying another iPod. I got it mainly for the purpose of listening to podcasts. Podcasts certainly work best if iTunes is left running so that it can download them automatically in the background. And it would rather suck to have to re-boot a dual-boot machine back into Windows every day or two just to update the podcasts and sync with my iPod.

So if I need a dedicated always-on Windows machine, my Dell all-in-one is by far the best answer. First, a desktop machine is way better to have up 24/7 than a laptop. And the Dell has never been happy dual-booting thanks to the UEFI mess. Unfortunately that leaves only my laptop for running Linux on.

The laptop will run with the lid closed while allowing the use of two external monitors plus keyboard/mouse. But that's not a very good solution for what is supposed to be my main machine. I really want my main desktop machine to be... well, a desktop machine.

And even if I wanted to dual-boot Linux and Windows with my Dell all-in-one, it's really problematic thanks to it's goofy UEFI "bios". It was really meant to run Windows 8. Although it is too bad that Linux doesn't handle that better.

So the answer??... well... build a new machine of course! So today I ordered the parts for a fairly bare-bones desktop machine. I already have two monitors and a 1TB hard drive. So it wasn't horribly painful. It will be an Intel i5 with 8GB of RAM. Although it's not a high-end machine, it will easily out-perform anything we have now.

I could double the RAM down the road. But really, Linux is pretty darn happy with just 8GB. I even have a spare SSD that I could use for the operating system.

Sounds like fun ahead!