[Arm-netbook] new development laptop needed, looking at dell xps 13 9350

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Tue Dec 6 18:05:18 GMT 2016

On 12/5/16, Julie Marchant <onpon4 at riseup.net> wrote:
>>  by contrast: fvwm2 is an 8 *megabyte* install size.  gnome is...
>> what... several hundred megabytes?  latest versions force you to use
>> wayland?  and systemd?? fuck that!!  absolutely no way i'm tolerating
>> that.
> GNOME does not force you to use Wayland. I don't know where you got this
> idea from. Wayland is still supported experimentally (X is used by
> default, Wayland support is quite buggy) last time I checked. As for
> systemd, GNOME requires logind, but not the entire systemd package.

 that requires libsystemd, which i refuse to have on any machine that
i am managing.  there seems to be something desperately wrong with how
gnome (and systemd) are being developed and funded: i can't put my
finger on it, but i can tell that there's something really, really

 that and the work-efficiency level of my using gnome is a *reduction*
not an increase... no. cannot and will not do it.  i won't even put
average end-users on gnome: i go to a *lot* of trouble to install TDE
for my clients.

> To be clear, I wasn't suggesting trying to do your work on an A20 card,
> or anything else you produce in the next few years. That would be
> absurd. More that maybe it would be a good idea to optimize things so
> that you don't have to keep upgrading and eventually an EOMA card of
> some sort can catch up.

 it'll require an x86-compatible processor or a hardware-accelerated
VM capable of running x86 instructions (such as the MIPS64
ICT-designed china-state-sponsored Loongson 3H), because i need to run
x86 windows (tried wine: spectacular fail).  that means it's going to
be several years.  by that time, 8GB of RAM should be insanely low
cost and should be the "norm".

> It seems even just managing to reduce your screen need so that a 1080p
> screen would suffice would be a huge help.

 can't do it.... purely and simply because i now *know* that i would
be more efficient and effective with a larger resolution screen.

> By the way, have you considered turning off swap?

 yes.  tried it.  didn't go so well.

> Linux will
> automatically terminate programs when there just isn't any RAM left,

 ... exactly.  it actively prevented and prohibited me from being able
to simultaneously run the applications that i needed in order to work
effectively and efficiently.

> so
> that would at least prevent your system from slowing to a crawl. Also,
> using swap on an SSD is probably really terrible for the SSD.

 it seems to be ok up to a point on the macbook pro one, but beyond a
certain point the SSD appears to go into "maintenance" for up to a few
seconds at a time, ceasing to deal with writes and reads.  generally
this is bad :)

> I don't
> know if you can control what programs get closed when that happens, though.

 exactly.  it's not worth investigating if i need the programs
running.  if they're running, *i* can choose to do killall -STOP
{progname} temporarily, which i do regularly, followed by killall
-CONT later when i want it re-enabled.  not ideal, but workable.


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