64 Bits

Questions, answers, and news related to computer hardware and software

64 Bits

Postby Yogi » 06 Mar 2013, 08:18

Although I think I'm pretty smart when it comes to computers, I'm not crazy. My needs for any computer are that it must be fast and have a lot of memory. Thus, when I had my tower custom built, i had those goals in mind. 64 bit processors were just being introduced at the time and there was not a lot of software for them. Thus, I chose to use a 32 bit processor in my dream system.

Last month I decide the time is right to migrate over to 64 bits. A lot of mods and upgrades went into this old box, but in the end changing the motherboard only seemed like the best option. My requirements included keeping the (32 bit) multi-boot system configuration if at all possible, and to increase the RAM to 64GB. Since the shop that did the original build was now gone, I did a Google search and talked to three shops in my area before I found one that was even willing to consider doing the project. He (Tony) insisted they had the expertise to do exactly what I wanted to do.

Think about it. I had 5 years of hacking on two hard drives. One drive had the original Vista installed and the other had Windows 7. There were a ton of hacking tools (the good kind) and literally hundreds of thousands of files between the two disks. We are talking well over 200GB of data, and I was asking for all this to work flawlessly after the motherboard was swapped out. If you get a headache thinking of all the possible problems, then you will understand why I was looking for somebody else to do it. :mrgreen:

Well, as it turns out, Tony and a few other fellows took over the entire first floor of a residential home to do their computer business. This is scary to think about, but it makes good business sense. The tax write offs are well worth it. Tony is just slightly younger than me and an Apple fan who earns a living dealing with Microsoft products. His son is a Linux guru. I was hesitant for a few minutes when I visited the "shop" but I went with my gut instincts. Tony & co. got the job. He promised delivery in 24 hours. Before I gave them the go-ahead I explained how I was concerned about the new motherboard he was proposing because it uses UEFI boot. I told him specifically that I did not want Linux to be locked out just because Windows is on the same box. Tony looked puzzled as did his son. They never heard of such a problem but agreed to eat the costs of changing to a non-UEFI mobo if all did not go well. I gave him a copy of Ubuntu 12.10 and told him to prove it.

The one day turn around did not happen. Tony called and said they were having problems with Vista. Then the next day having problems with Windows 7. Then the next day a corporate job took on more importance than my conversion. The bottom line is that the existing Vista had to be trashed. It would only boot to the Safe-Mode and they could not get it to do anything else. Windows 7 was on a disk with hundreds of bad sectors, so I told them to simply re-install it (the 64 bit version) on a new disk. Also, a third hard drive was installed for Linux. Five days after meeting Tony & co. my new improved Windows box was ready for pick up.

Because Linux is the intrusive system that it is (grrr),Grub is the boot loader now. However, in our conversations I told Tony that in the past I had two MBR's; one on the Linux HD and one on the Windows HD. I had to go into BIOS to select which hard drive I wanted to boot from, but it was a small price to pay for keeping the two operating systems apart. Well, that is what they did for me in the new configuration. The Linux HD has it's typical Grub interface and all the OS's to select from (in two menus, by the way). The Windows 7 HD has the typical Microsoft dual boot interface. They did that without me asking.

Ubuntu booted several times and did not melt down the processor or go blank as the rumors would have it. It remains to be seen if that will stay the case when I upgrade to Ubuntu 13.04, but I have great expectations. But, the most amazing part of this whole conversion is that the configuration of my hard disks from the old system was more or less preserved. My Thunderbird e-mail, for example, had all my custom folders and e-mail as it was before the fresh install. I also was shocked to learn that there was no licensing issues with Microsoft who obviously was looking at my new hardware and possibly thinking I installed their OS twice in two different machines. So far no warnings or demands to call head office have been made. They simply used the old serial number on the new install and voila. It all works.

I'm now in the process of fine tuning the machine. That will take a while because I need to do my income taxes first. However, while I was updating Java I discovered that browsers, Firefox in particular, come in two flavors. There is the standard 32 bit ones we all know and love, but some browsers are specifically 64 bit. You need both versions of Java if you are using both kinds of browsers. Internet Explorer automatically came as 64 bits with Windows 7, of course, but I had to switch to the nightly build channel in order to get it from FireFox. I've only been using it for a few hours now, but all looks fine to me. If you think that upgrading FireFox every month or sooner is a hassle, try upgrading every night. LOL

So, my dear fans, that is what I've been doing the last week or two. I am certain that I will have more to say as I get into organizing the system to my needs. I already have problems with Ubuntu because Tony's video monitor was not the same as the one I'm using and Ubu won't display things right or tell me what I need to fix it. I have a feeling that a fresh instal is going to be required, but that is a story for another time.
User avatar
Yogi
Oracle Class Poster
Oracle Class Poster
 
Posts: 7013
Joined: 04 Aug 2007, 19:37
Location: Chicagoland

Re: 64 Bits

Postby Kellemora » 06 Mar 2013, 12:19

Glad to hear they managed to get it all worked out for you.

I have external ports on my computer, so I can plug old Hard Drives in and connect the power without opening the case.

This became a hassle. Phunny too if I booted an old HD with Win95 or 98 on it, and no drivers for LCD, hi hi....

I tried building a software RAID, using multiple old HDs and quickly discovered the RAID only builds to the size of the smallest HD. So that was no good.
Then I tried something really crazy. It doesn't have the HD failure protection of RAID, but let me use up a few of the old HDs laying around here. And since I know what folder I put on each HD, if one goes bad, I just add the folder back to another hard drive from backup.
I created a Main Folder in my onboard HD.
Then created a Top Folder on each of the other HDs. They are internal hard drives but mounted externally in an old metal HD rack. Finally, I added a Symlink from the top folder to the main folder.
I tried it out with a game that says it MUST be installed in such n such a location on my main hard drive.
It wasn't, it was in a folder by that name, inside the top folder, on external drive #3.
To play the game, I merely look for it through my Main Folder and it fools it into thinking its on the main computer.

If I die, I feel sorry for the person who has to figure out all the weird things I've done here.
But I've covered that too. I have a folder named Emergency in the /home directory on each computer.
It holds a copy of everything I consider important, or that others would need access to.

Heck Yogi - One would think a person of your stature would be running at least 8 CPU's, hi hi
But did I hear you right????? 64 gigs of RAM?????

My computers had only 4 gigs and I swiped 2 gigs from one to build another, so each computer now only has 2 gigs and the swap file has never been used, even with all the graphics work I do.

But this leads to my main question. I messed around with Edubuntu a couple years ago, thinking of having all of my computers like dumb terminals. I ran across the problem of not enough memory to turn on the third computer.

Then another bigger problem, the programs had to be loaded onto the computer I was using to work.
I couldn't just load the program onto the Edubuntu server and then open a program from another computer.
I had no one to help me, so probably did something very wrong. As I've said, I'm not computer literate.

But I do know from back in the days when I had my Wang VS and OIS systems, that all the rest of the computers were nothing but really dumb terminals. The Network Card used in them, made them boot from the mainframe.

Think I'll just ask this way, WHY do you have 64 gigs of RAM?????

TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN

Re: 64 Bits

Postby Yogi » 06 Mar 2013, 13:04

64 GB RAM is absurd for any personal computer. It probably doesn't make sense for most servers as well. I actually upgraded to 16GB RAM, and not the 64 I stated erroneously. :oops:

32 bit systems are limited to 4GB RAM max. They simply can't address more than that due to the restrictions of a 32 bit address bus. I have been experimenting with virtual machines and found that the 2GB I have available to allocate to them is not enough. I'm just guessing 16MB is sufficient. I will find out at some time in the near future when I get around to exercising that part of my system.
User avatar
Yogi
Oracle Class Poster
Oracle Class Poster
 
Posts: 7013
Joined: 04 Aug 2007, 19:37
Location: Chicagoland

Re: 64 Bits

Postby Kellemora » 07 Mar 2013, 11:39

Until recently, I was running mostly 32 bit software and OS on 64 bit machines.
Now that they most 64 bit stuff running smoothly, I see 128 bit on the horizon.
Don't think I would ever need it though.

I also think I confuse thin clients with dumb terminals. On thin clients, all the work is done on the server, and on dumb terminals, the programs are loaded into the terminal where they are run, not on the server.

When I messed with Edubuntu, it took 2 megs of ram for each computer connected to it. So, if I wanted all 8 of my computers I owned at that time to be usable at the same time, I would need 16 megs of ram on the server.
But then I hear than NO, only 4 megs is all I would have needed, because Edubuntu is a server, and the computers connected to it do the work, not the server. So I'm still lost, hi hi....
I read up on SunRay, I think it was called that, not to long ago. Ultra-Thin clients. The more I read, the more confused I became, hi hi.....

I don't know why, but I think the next computer I have built will be an 8 core with 16 megs of memory. Only because it will probably be the last computer I buy. And if I understand right, if I use VM and keep the OS's separate, each OS uses an unused core. Don't think that is the accurate of explaining it. But I've noticed with newer programs I have been using, they seem to make better use of dual-core and quad-core CPU's.

Wish I knew enough to build a rack and cluster my mobo's into one cabinet.
I visited a graphic artist a few weeks ago. He does none of his own programming so had no idea how is 5 foot tall computer worked, hi hi..... However, he had six monitors and could do some mighty fancy stuff. Either something different on each screen or blow up a single image to cover all six screens. However, he usually worked on a single screen and had his tools scattered out across the rest of them. He said the system was the cheap part, having it set up the way he wanted cost over 35 thousand bucks in programming fees. He makes that in under a month, so it was just pocket change to him. To me, it is several years income, hi hi.....

TTUL
Gary
User avatar
Kellemora
Brainiac Class Poster
Brainiac Class Poster
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: 07 Jul 2012, 18:52
Location: From St. Louis, current Knoxville, TN


Return to Personal Computers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron