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Adam Hardy
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I'm building a computer for the first time for linux only and I've just realised I don't really have much clue about all the apps and programs that I'll need, or about what hardware they will (or more importantly will not) run on.
I'm going to put RedHat on it and use it for programming mainly, but also for music, DVDs etc although only secondarily.
I'm thinking of using a DVD burner as my backup method (don't like tapes). I heard people were doing DVD burning on linux already - what software are you using?
And how about the BIOS power-saving on the mobo - does that have support in linux? Where can I find out about that?
Thanks,
Adam
 
Greg Harris
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as for hardware compatibility, you should check here: Red Hat Hardware Compatibility to see what will work.
i recently got my Toshiba internal DVD player working on a Redhat 8.0 installation. i am using Ogle as the front-end... read the "downloads" page to figure out what you will need.
Redhat 8.0 comes with a couple different CD-ripper, CD-writer programs... i am using grip and kroast with my external Sony CDRW drive (slow, but it works).
you will need to go to Guru Labs to get an MP3 plug-in if you want to play MP3s on Redhat 8.0... the licensing issues prevented them from including support with this distro.
as for the applications you will need, it depends on what you want to do. i formatted my windows hdd and turned it into a storage drive for my music... so i am M$-free now! i am using Open Office as a replacement for M$ Office and i use Evolution as a replacement for Outlook. both of these come with the Redhat 8.0 distribution.
yes, Redhat 8.0 comes with support for power-saving... i have not tried it out yet, but i have seen the apps on my box.
 
Adam Hardy
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Cool. That�s what I want to be too - Windows-free.
I did check the Redhat site - they have no DVDs even mentioned as far as I can see, unless they are from one of the manufacturers I didn�t search for. Let alone DVD-RW.
I found this link to some DVD-RW doc at Chalmers University (which like Ogle ends its domain name with .se which is Sweden, but it sounds American) but other than that I haven�t tracked down any DVD burner programs yet.
What is so good about evolution? I liked crawling out of the sea ... I mean the mail program? Is it better than Mozilla mail?

As for MP3s, I�ve been reading alot about this new ogg format that is public licensed. Any experience with that?
 
Greg Harris
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the problem with DVD players and Linux is that you cannot *legally* play DVD's on your Linux box. as you know, DVD's are encrypted... and Linux is open-source... therefore, the DVD (CSS) people do not want to give us the code to decrypt and play their movies. funny thing is, some 16-year-old kid cracked the code and wrote the "DeCSS" program so he could play DVD movies on his Linux box.
(CSS means something like Content Scrambling System read about it here )
so, even though you will be able to play DVD movies on your Linux box, i doubt you will find anything official on Redhat's site.
to play my DVDs, i just type "ogle /mnt/cdrom1" at the command line, or use the gui and open the /mnt/cdrom1 directory... that's it.
as for evolution, it is not any better than any other program out there. i was using KMail before but switced to evolution because it has the familiar calendar, task list, contact folder, etc. that outlook has.
ogg vorbis is supposed to be a better (cleaner) format that mp3, from what i have heard. i have been ripping my cd's in mp3 format because i have a player, but i going to start using ogg just to see how it works.
 
Adam Hardy
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Good grief! I didn't realise there was so much encryption on DVDs. Long live the hackers! (as long as they leave me alone )
So DeCSS will not only read the DVD but it is also a Linux equivalent of RealPlayer or Quicktime?
 
Greg Harris
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yea, the DVD people took the encryption thing way too far! the part that i really hate is when they turn-off your "fast-forward" or "skip" functions and force you to watch the commercials or previews. if i buy (or rent) the DVD, i should not be subjected to advertising!
along the same line, if i buy (or rent) the DVD, i should be able to watch it where i want to... if i happen to run Linux on my computer, then i should be able to watch it on Linux.
as for quick time... i think the DeCSS program is just for decrypting the CSS scheme.
 
Adam Hardy
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I checked out the xiph and ogg vobis sites and they look to be just what I need. Problem is at the moment, I've only got some crappy old computer speakers on my old soundblaster on one machine, and the built-in mobo soundcard on my linux box, i.e. the quality is poor - did you listen to any of those comparisons b/w ogg and mp3? I'd be interested to know if there is a great difference on decent quality equipment.
 
Sean Casey
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If you don't like you're speakers, you can always hook your computer up to a stereo receiver. I've had mine hooked up to a kenwood receiver with bose 301's for the past 4 years and it works great. As for your ogg question, I'm not an audiophile but I hear that it's the format of the future. I think mp3's are fine if you encode it in a quality bitrate.
 
Greg Harris
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did you listen to any of those comparisons b/w ogg and mp3? I'd be interested to know if there is a great difference on decent quality equipment.

no, i have not compared them yet... i will give it a shot over the weekend and let you know what i think. i will rip some songs so i will know that i am getting a true comparison.
i am not too concerned with outstanding sound quality, but i do have a Soundblaster Live! card and some pretty good Bose speakers. Rush sounds very good up to about 3/4 volume.
 
Adam Hardy
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I have vague dreams of getting a surround sound system working and connecting up a widescreen TV to my PC.
The sound on my PC is actually OK but what bugs me is the constant hissing when I�m not playing any music. I wonder whether that is because of my speakers, my sound card or my software.
 
Frank Carver
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Usually that's because the "extra gain" or "boost" option is switched in for the microphone input channel of your sound card.
Explore your sound card configurations and you'll probably find a setting for it hidden somewhere. Unfortunately, some software installations set this option, whether you want it or not. The D-Link USB radio does this, and it made my sound system effectively unusable for ages.
 
Adam Hardy
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Well, I'm not sure about configuring my soundcard because the software that came with the motherboard only runs on windows
I had problems with the intel8x0 onboard soundcard until I installed alsa, which now works fine. The hissing is no more - so I presume alsa got it right first time - I certainly didn't configure anything except accept the defaults, although I don't believe any were offered.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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