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Thread: why not central home computing?

  1. #11
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    In Icelandic the Æ is alive and well today. It's pronounced like the English I.

    Off topic, I know. Switching back to lurk mode.
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  2. #12
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    Quote Originally Posted by mörgæs View Post
    In Icelandic the Æ is alive and well today. It's pronounced like the English I.
    That would be the same as classical Latin. In classical Latin, the name Caesar is pronounced like the German word Kaiser (for king). The usual English pronunciation "see-zur" is based on medieval church Latin.

  3. #13
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    Probably the Old English pronunciation, where it rhymes with "sat". It's the first word of Beowulf.
    This is correct - it is the æsc from Old English.

    Though I'm notoriously inconsistent on pronouncing it.

  4. #14
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    I've been doing remote computing for about 25 yrs. It has gotten better and better as networking has improved.
    The easiest way is using remote X11 from one Unix-like OS to another.

    Code:
    $ ssh -X userid@ip  run-some-command
    So, if I want to run firefox on a different system, but have the "window" shown on the system I'm on, I'd use
    Code:
    ssh -X  hadar  firefox &
    That "run-some-command" can be almost anything, except a full desktop or a command that needs direct access to the GPU. Gnome3 doesn't work, for example, but xterm, firefox, thunderbird, and too many other programs to name do.

    Then there are NX-based remote desktops. There are free, F/LOSS and commercial versions. Most fo them are incompatible between the different vendors/projects. NoMachine makes a commercial version and a limited version that's closed. x2go makes a F/LOSS version that works really, really well. I use this almost all day, every day to access my primary desktop. That desktop runs inside a modest KVM VM under a modest physical machine. That VM host machine runs about 10 other VMs too. They all fit well within 16G of RAM and there is plenty of CPU left over. In fact, there's so much CPU left over, I've ordered 16G more RAM ($70) to better utilize the hardware. 10 VMs and 3 LXD containers running on that since sub-$500 box. Audio mostly works fine. Video playback works if the data is transferred, not the images. Streaming video systems send the data to be rendered by the client machine for best viewing. That's why a $40 raspberry pi can playback 1080i HiDef videos fine.
    NX uses ssh tunnels. This is part of the NX protocol, so if you have ssh working between the client and server, then you've done the hard part ... which actually isn't very hard at all.

    Then there are the popular, but highly, highly, non-secure RDP and VNC options. Once I found NX (x2go), I never looked at VNC again.

    For a while, there was a single-computer and multi-head solution. A "head" is short for keyboard, video, mouse connections back to a computer. Our typical desktops today could probably support over 100 ssh connections, provided they don't use a GUI. I remember the says when a mainframe had 8MB of RAM and 300 users too. If a GUI is needed, then assume 1 GPU for each "head." There was a project "LTSP" for this. Think that died. The main issue I saw was that video doesn't like long cable runs.

    I suspect the LTSP guys all moved over to using small, smart clients, like raspberry pi computers to do stuff these days. A raspberry pi v4 is pretty impressive, if a little overpriced. We are paying for the PI community. There are cheaper, faster, ARM-based computers, but they lack the Pi community. It matters.

    There are some other techniques, but those are completely dependent on having specific hardware, specific commercial licenses, for the solution to work. "Commercial" doesn't interest me at all. I'm thinking about nvidia having a network-based remote GPU solution. They aren't charging home users for the licenses, but I understand the license must be requested and only their higher-end GPUs support it. My $70 nvidia 1030 won't.

    On the same LAN, use ssh -X. It is so very easy, very secure, and hides some complexities that would confuse new users. Over the internet, use x2go.

  5. #15
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller View Post
    I like the Synology boxes. You can definitely go cheaper or more flexible, but you can't have as nice, or as easy, for cheaper. You configure it just through a web page.
    Provided you bother to configure it correctly. Many (if not most) owners of Synology boxes whom I know do not bother to do so. They succumb to what I call "appliance disease", thinking that a Synology box is basically a toaster—just plug & play. Begging to be pwned.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    On the same LAN, use ssh -X. It is so very easy, very secure, and hides some complexities that would confuse new users. Over the internet, use x2go.
    I tried ssh -X between a powerful host and a RPi 4 and it wasn't a smooth experience. Perhaps because one leg was over WIFI, but it was a strong 5Ghz signal, so I doubt that was the bottleneck. You've mentioned x2go many times in the past, so that will be my next experiment.

  6. #16
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHook View Post
    [I] I tried ssh -X between a powerful host and a RPi 4 and it wasn't a smooth experience. Perhaps because one leg was over WIFI, but it was a strong 5Ghz signal, so I doubt that was the bottleneck. You've mentioned x2go many times in the past, so that will be my next experiment.
    I think of rpis for media players. Have a v2 and v3 doing just that both running osmc (kodi distro). The arm cpu isn't a problem because all video streams are converted to h.264 by a more powerful plex server. never used either for desktops. Also, I don't use wifi. Designed wifi deployments at work and learned when deploying over 1200 locations that wifi always sucks. always. The signals are always fluctuating even in the best situations. Best to just avoid wifi. Plug in an ethernet cable and see how the rpi performs. I use powerline ethernet rather than wifi. Powerline provides consistent throughput. Consistency is more important than peak bandwidth.

    x2go has a few limitations. No android client. No iOS client. The linux, windows, osx clients work well. By tuning the bandwidth and image compression settings, the performance can be excellent over most networks and distances. Choose ISDN for the network and x2go should fly.

    That limitation changed how travel. Was using a 4" Nokia tablet, then tried using a 10" android tablet, but for the last decade, have been taking a laptop. Would love to travel with a 7 inch tablet and mini-keyboard, but x2go is a necessary fallback for me still. Android just isn't enough OS for me and running a Linux desktop inside a chroot under android wasn't very good all sorts of issues. For travel, the best solution I found was a light laptop (sub-3lbs), usually an 11-13 inch chromebook running ubuntu-fvwm w/ a USB3-GigE adaptor. ChromeOS wiped.

    For around the house, there are just so many choices. Usually a laptop or I'll just work in my home-office. For media control, bubble-upnp controls the systems in 3 rooms from any android device. I don't have a way to synchronize playback for more than 1 room, however. Haven't really looked for that.

  7. #17
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    I think it's habitual. We all get set in our ways (seems like around age 40) about how we do things.

    For example: My mother just recently asked to borrow my laptop, so she could log into TurboTax to do her taxes. I asked her why she doesn't just use the app on her smartphone? To which she replied... "Well, I didn't know you could."

    Online Banking is not something your grandparents will ever use. They don't want to make payments over the phone, or on-line. They are perfectly happy spending the entire day running all over town, going from place to place, paying bills. I mean, who writes checks, when you have a perfectly good Debit/Credit Card?

    A lot of it is generational, sure, but a lot of people just like doing things the way that they learned how. This is why Windows took such a beating from the public when they made Windows 8. All of the standards they had put in place since Windows 95 were all somewhere else now.
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  8. #18
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shibblet View Post
    Online Banking is not something your grandparents will ever use.
    I've yet to see any grandchildren, but I am over seventy and have been using online banking for years.

    The extent of ageism in forums like these is pretty disturbing.
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  9. #19
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    The extent of ageism in forums like these is pretty disturbing.
    I'm sad to hear this as you certainly are one of the most knowledgeable users here.

    I don't think age is really the concern, just some form of bigotry or ignorance.

  10. #20
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    Re: why not central home computing?

    I'm sure Shibblet intended no offence, although I also understand SeijiSensei's point: that ageism does not require intent and is problematic precisely because it is so pervasive as to be offensive even when presented without malice.

    Speaking as a grandparent then, I was not offended by Shibblet's comment. I took it as a figure of speech that is based on a generalization. As most generalizations go, it has a statistical basis in being largely true while failing in specific instances. Most—but not all—people old enough to be grandparents are also more resistant to adopting the latest IT craze. I know very few people my age (and I know a lot of people my age) who twitter, instagram, online bank or are IT savvy in general. The few who do, like SeijiSensei (or me), are outliers.

    It behooves us to remember that there is a balance to these things. The same generalization that relegates older people to the ranks of the IT-challenged also ascribe more life experience and wisdom to us. This is just as much a generalization as the other, but in reverse. It is also just as problematic when instantiated: I know far too many old fools.

    Perhaps it's best to take a deep breath and try to remain charitable in these fraught times. We all stumble. When it's my turn, I hope that you will all extend a hand and help me pick myself back up.

    To get back on topic:

    Thanks to TheFu's introduction, I've recently discovered the joys and tribulations of RPis. After getting them working, they're fantastic. But it was certainly an adventure getting them working. I didn't want to use Raspbian, so the adventurous part was getting Ubuntu (actually, XFCE) working. The server image is not hard, but the DE was more challenging. There's not a lot of info to be found on line. But after cobbling together hints and workarounds from many sources, I've finally kicked them into shape. Three RPi 4B+ running everything from a micro NAS to a LibreElec streaming box to a full desktop replacement. All three combined have set me back less than what I would have spent for one machine in the past. It's been a very interesting rollout. When it's time to upgrade Mrs DuckHook's computer, I will likely go the thin provisioning route with an RPi. If all one uses it for is surfing, playing audio/visual and the occasional document, it has enough power to get the job done.

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