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Posts Tagged ‘amiga’

Alternative operating systems

September 28, 2008 Leave a comment

While Windows is the dominant operating system in use today and Mac OS X is constantly gaining market share, there are many other options when it comes to picking an OS. Linux is the obvious choice with very good hardware support and masses of easily installed software packages. The initial obstacle for me is always which distribution to choose. Techradar have a good basic guide to what they consider the best 14 distributions for a range of user levels.

My biggest problem with linux is that while there have been massive improvements in ease of installation and setup there are some basic things that don’t just work. I have searched for a long time for an easy way of setting up a Microsoft multi-button mouse. It can be done by editing an xorg.conf file, but this is 2008 so why do we have to resort to this to get a popular piece of hardware working? I have yet to find a package that configures the mouse for you.

Another problem I had was getting games to work under Linux, specifically the audio part. The OS was Fedora which had switched to the newer Pulse Audio system and the games didn’t want to work with this. I know there are workarounds to fix these problems, but again it’s editing config files. Getting audio working on my hackintosh was easier than this, I just dropped a couple of modified kernel extensions onto KextHelper and rebooted. Here’s an article detailing the various sound API’s available.

Moving away from LInux there are lots of smaller operating systems that while not quite ready for widespread use are looking very interesting. Royal Pingdom has the details on ten of the most promising. Amiga OS 4.1 is one of the options I wish had more widespread use, but unfortunately the hardware to run it is neither cheap nor widely available. React OS is aimed at providing a Windows compatible operating system for free, and the others all have a unique focus. Well worth a read.

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New Shuttle and Cybernet PC’s

March 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Shuttle kpc 350I saw a couple of PC’s over the weekend that stood out from the crowd in different ways. First was the Shuttle KPC 350, a small form factor case with a single core 1.8Ghz Intel Celeron 430, 512MB of memory, an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 and an 80GB hard drive. Nothing flashy or new there, but it comes with Foresight Linux OS preinstalled. A USB optical drive is necessary if you want to install Windows, but this is aimed at people who want a simple computer for internet and office tasks. Starting at $229 for the spec listed, this is currently US only.

ZPC GX-31The second machine that got my attention was the Cybernet ZPC-GX31, shown on the left. Is this what the Amiga 1200 would look like in 2008? The spec is several steps up from the Shuttle KPC, with a range of Pentium 4 and Core 2 duo/quad processors available. $699 get you a Core 2 Duo E4500 at 2.2GHz, 1Gb ram, 80Gb hard drive, CDrw/DVrom combo drive and no operating system. Not exacty cheap, but very stylish. A spec to match my hackintosh would cost $1,157 (Core 2 Quad 6600, 2Gb ram, 500Gb hard drive), which at the current exchange rate is £581. Am I the only one that thinks this would look great with an Apple monitor?

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