On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 1:46 PM, Michael Galea via talk <talk@gtalug.org>

> On 04/11/18 22:27, D. Hugh Redelmeier via talk wrote:
>> Do you have a good example of why he would bother firing up Linux?
> I imagine he will want to run the Linux instance in the background so he
> can get access to a personal git server.

There are perfectly good Git clients for Windows whether it's command line
only or GUI.

> The course he is taken is in game design and it is mixed Windows/Linux, so
> what he actually uses the Linux for will be mandated by the school.
> I myself would push him completely to Linux but for:
> 1) Some game design systems have sole support or better support under
> Windows (according to him),
> 2) Windows seems to be his preferred development target,
> 3) He plays a lot (too many really) games on Windows.
>> You missed your chance to brainwash him: you had to start earlier.  I
>> succeeded with my kids :-)
>> Well, he did come to my work to pick up some professional development
> working in C on Linux, so he's not inexperienced.  He can still be turned
> from the dark side.
> My (adult) kids do boot to Windows for two things: games and playing
>> back protected streaming content (on a dedicated HDTV).  We also boot to
>> Windows to run tax preparation software.
>> We have 5 dedicated Linux machines in the home, 3 are always on. (I am
> not counting the multitude of tablets and embedded Linux devices, only
> things I upgrade on a regular basis).
> We have one Windows machine is entirely dedicated to games, but runs
> Chrome, Thunderbird, Libreoffice and the Gimp instead of whatever Microsoft
> runs). I would ditch Windows 10 if Wine was good enough.
> And there is my Son's Windows machine, whatever is on that (shudders).
> Having two OSes as "home" is kind of schizophrenic.  It requires
>> developing twice the skills and experiencing twice the annoying
>> puzzles.  It may not be a good use of a student's time.
>> It's also best to have the same OS as your associates: sharing
>> documents and expertise.  Libreoffice is almost good enough as an MS
>> Office clone.
>> | As per laptop specs, I am figuring on getting something with a late
>> model
>> | Intel i7, 32 GB RAM, and 1-2TB storage. I figure many laptops must meet
>> this
>> | spec.  Is there anything else I should be looking for?
>> I now think that an ultrabook is better for students: easy to carry,
>> long battery life.  256G of SSD and 8G of RAM is fine now, I think.  I
>> love having a great screen.
>> Good point, but I suspect that the laptop should be meaty enough to play
> the things he develops on it.  He uses unity and recommendations for
> building a dev machine range from 8-32 GB.

8GB is completely inadequate for a dev machine unless you don't run a
(piggy) web browser and ideally, no GUI. I would consider 16GB a minimum
these days, especially if you intend to run a virtual machine within the
host machine. It does not matter if the host OS is Windows, macOS, or
Linux. None of them are especially lightweight these days and they're all
piggy in different ways. I have a ThinkPad A21p from circa 1998 that still
works. That is maxed out at 512M of RAM. I ran Linux on that for years and
eventually that machine was retired when it became untenable to do so.

> An external drive left at home/residence may be a great way to keep
>> archives safe.
>> He can always rsync from the residence to the (family) home for backup.
> But kids these days actually may be shedding notebooks for phones.  So
>> maybe a stays-at-home beefy "gaming" notebook might be better.  And
>> archives are for the cloud (scares me on a couple of levels).
>> Then again, in some crowds, cool kids have some kind of MacBook.  It
>> has UNIX underneath but most folks never look.
>> ---
> Thanks to all the subsequent commenters!  Summarizing:
> 1) Don't forget VirtualBox, it works well. Some say try Hyper-V since it
> is native. But then he would need Windows Professional, hmmm.

There are other reasons besides Hyper-V to spring for Windows 10
Professional over Windows 10 Home. See: <
https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/compare>. The ability to join an
Active Directory managed network is a big one. If you were buying just a
Windows license from Canada Computers today, the difference is $50. On an
OEM license, it will be even less than that. If you're willing to spring
for 32GB of RAM, the $25 or $30 you'll spend for the delta between Home and
Pro seems negligible as a percentage of the total cost of the system.

> 2) Make sure the processor support Intel's VT-x for 64 bit development.

It's not just the CPU and it's not just for 64 bit development. The BIOS
must support VT-x, too. The "workstation" type of notebooks should support
it. Cheaper notebooks might have a CPU that supports VT-x but the BIOS
might not. Hyper-V will not work without VT-x enabled.

> 3) Consider an SSD.
> 4) Some say 8GB memory is enough, some favour 32GB. The university
> recommends 8GB at minimum.

See my comments above. I'm typing this on a Dell Precision M4700 mobile
workstation with 32GB of RAM. It's fast. It has a decent keyboard, though
not as nice as the classic ThinkPad keyboards, a great TFT panel, but it is
bulky, heavy, and noisy when the fans come on. On the plus side, I have
replaced both the CPU and the GPU fan to alleviate fan bearing noise that
it used to have.

> 5) It was pointed out has Microsoft has "Linux subsystem for Windows", but
> its command line only.

That is how I use it. I have read accounts of people installing X on it. I
didn't pay attention to the details so I have no idea how viable it is. I
would be less inclined to use the LSW if I did not already have a
full-fledged Linux developer workstation.


Clifford Ilkay

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