Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

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Lady Fitzgerald
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

MurphCID wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:34 pm
Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:31 am
MurphCID wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:16 am


Look at the new Dell G5 (AMD) gaming laptop, it is ALL AMD.
Thanks for the suggestion but it's too small and wimpy for my needs (and desires). If it wasn't for the stupid use of an NVIDIA graphics card, the System 76 I have now would be nearly perfect.
It was a thought. There are some powerful AMD systems coming.
What's curious is, despite AMD processors having more power, etc. sometimes even for less money, System 76's new AMD replacements for many of their earlier Intel machines have fewer features than the original versions. My machine was replaced shortly after I bought it with one that is 15" instead 17" (you used to have a choice between the two), moved the USB type C port from the left side to the rear (which is a less convenient location, which is odd since type C is gradually replacing type A), deleted the Thunderbolt port (even Jay LaCroix, of LearnLinuxTV on Boob Tube, probably System 76's biggest fanboy, lamented the deletion of Thunderbolt on several of System 76's newest replacement models), despite what the specs say, appear to have replaced the SD port with a microSD port (based on the illustration), and eliminated one of the 2.5" drive bays.

edit: I found elsewhere that the SD card reader is, in fact, a microSD card reader.

The previous 330W PSU has been replaced with either a 180W or a 230W, depending on what graphics card you choose; you do not get a choice otherwise. Adding insult to injury, the previous 82Ah battery has been replaced with a 62Ah battery. The previous machine was notorious for having dismal battery charge life so, if even the newer machine draws less power, why not keep the previous battery to increase the amount of time one could run on the battery? I'm glad I bought a spare charger and battery when I bought my machine.

I couldn't find out more because only a quick start guide was available. I couldn't find a more detailed one like the one my "older" machine (it's only three months old, for crying out loud) and even that manual was out of date and inaccurate in places.

What's sad is it appears Lenovo is going to be our best hope for getting Linux compatible machines. However, I'm soured on Lenovo because they downgraded my last machine I bought from them from the previous machine I had bought from them and DRMed the machine to not accept aftermarket batteries which left me up the creek without a paddle (nor the canoe), meaning I was SOL since Lenovo no longer sold the battery. Added to that, Lenovo has an unsavory history for putting malware on their computers.

What's a girl to do? At least I can build my own desktop.
Jeannie

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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:19 pm
MurphCID wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:34 pm
Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:31 am


Thanks for the suggestion but it's too small and wimpy for my needs (and desires). If it wasn't for the stupid use of an NVIDIA graphics card, the System 76 I have now would be nearly perfect.
It was a thought. There are some powerful AMD systems coming.
What's curious is, despite AMD processors having more power, etc. sometimes even for less money, System 76's new AMD replacements for many of their earlier Intel machines have fewer features than the original versions. My machine was replaced shortly after I bought it with one that is 15" instead 17" (you used to have a choice between the two), moved the USB type C port from the left side to the rear (which is a less convenient location, which is odd since type C is gradually replacing type A), deleted the Thunderbolt port (even Jay LaCroix, of LearnLinuxTV on Boob Tube, probably System 76's biggest fanboy, lamented the deletion of Thunderbolt on several of System 76's newest replacement models), despite what the specs say, appear to have replaced the SD port with a microSD port (based on the illustration), and eliminated one of the 2.5" drive bays.

edit: I found elsewhere that the SD card reader is, in fact, a microSD card reader.

The previous 330W PSU has been replaced with either a 180W or a 230W, depending on what graphics card you choose; you do not get a choice otherwise. Adding insult to injury, the previous 82Ah battery has been replaced with a 62Ah battery. The previous machine was notorious for having dismal battery charge life so, if even the newer machine draws less power, why not keep the previous battery to increase the amount of time one could run on the battery? I'm glad I bought a spare charger and battery when I bought my machine.

I couldn't find out more because only a quick start guide was available. I couldn't find a more detailed one like the one my "older" machine (it's only three months old, for crying out loud) and even that manual was out of date and inaccurate in places.

What's sad is it appears Lenovo is going to be our best hope for getting Linux compatible machines. However, I'm soured on Lenovo because they downgraded my last machine I bought from them from the previous machine I had bought from them and DRMed the machine to not accept aftermarket batteries which left me up the creek without a paddle (nor the canoe), meaning I was SOL since Lenovo no longer sold the battery. Added to that, Lenovo has an unsavory history for putting malware on their computers.

What's a girl to do? At least I can build my own desktop.
Valid points on all counts. Although thunderbolt seems to be somewhat less loved due to security issues, and possibly due to intel keeping it proprietary. Tuxedo computers might be close, but they use the same Cleve as System 76.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

After I re-installed the System 76 PPA, I can say that my response to this laptop is a resounding "meh" for the most part. It is useful, but the fact that I have to keep their PPA's to get keyboard lights, and other small items make the overall experience a "meh"
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

There was a system 76 update and now battery levels are all over the place. I am getting less battery life than before. Not sure what happened.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by BG405 »

I'd definitely query System76 about this! Maybe they'll offer a battery upgrade?
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

BG405 wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:17 pm
I'd definitely query System76 about this! Maybe they'll offer a battery upgrade?
Good idea. Although the last time I called them, the customer service rep was a little snooty that I did not want to use Pop OS.....
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

MurphCID wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:19 am
BG405 wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:17 pm
I'd definitely query System76 about this! Maybe they'll offer a battery upgrade?
Good idea. Although the last time I called them, the customer service rep was a little snooty that I did not want to use Pop OS.....
I haven't had great results trying to get tech help from them. They have always left out certain details in their directions, apparently assuming they are so basic I should already know them. One of the reasons I bought my System 76 computer was their reputation for great tech help. That has turned out to be a joke. They can't even put out accurate, complete manuals.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

I might play around with other distros, but Learn Linux TV says that you have to have the PPAs and they are only available for Debian based distros, not Arch.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by BG405 »

I was discussing this situation wih my mate earlier (a Linux afficionado, like me*) and we basically agreed this was a "manufacturer lock-in" scenario. I think the only hope is compiling from source (assuming they do actually provide the source code) to effectively use another distro e.g. Arch-based, which I love. I worry about the support-cycle with these as, at least with most hardware, you can generally use it until it's really not up to the job any more.

*In my case, by no means whatsoever, to be confused with the term "expert".
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

The new Fedora equipped laptops might be good, except I know NOTHING about Fedora. Plus I want a smaller, lighter laptop. And yes, it appears that System 76 is trying vendor lock in to make you use Pop OS.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

Does anyone know where I can get a Clevo chassis similar to the Lemur Pro but without the stupid Coreboot garbage?
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

MurphCID wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:17 am
Does anyone know where I can get a Clevo chassis similar to the Lemur Pro but without the stupid Coreboot garbage?
Clevo (I don't k now if they sell retail)? The one System 76 computer I have is both my first and last.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:47 pm
MurphCID wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:17 am
Does anyone know where I can get a Clevo chassis similar to the Lemur Pro but without the stupid Coreboot garbage?
Clevo (I don't k now if they sell retail)? The one System 76 computer I have is both my first and last.
Me too.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by Portreve »

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:47 pm
Clevo (I don't k now if they sell retail)? The one System 76 computer I have is both my first and last.
I've just now been reading up on the posts in this thread, and it's interesting to see your reaction to System76.

I have never heard anything related to their tech support. The principle reason I've had an interest in them is they sell Windows-free systems oriented specifically towards GNU+Linux, and from what I have heard their build quality is pretty good. However, you own their hardware and not me, so you'd know better than I about how those things go with them.

Honestly, I'm not really champing at the bit to buy another laptop right now. I've got other irons in the fire and, besides, I just bought a desktop to replace my MBP which I was 99.999999% of the time using as a desktop. I bought the HP ENVY because it was what I needed at the time: a serious upgrade from my old hardware, bundled with Windows 10 which I need for hands-on familiarizing so I can get back into the tech industry, but yet fully compatible with Linux Mint, which is my preferred OS. However, in a few years' time, if I get another desktop, I'll probably build that one. Who knows...

In my latest go-around talking to folk at places I've applied to or in one case actually interviewed with, there is quite the interest in supporting both iOS as well as macOS, so ironically any other "new" hardware I'm likely to buy will probably come from Apple: maybe a new (or new-ish) MacBook Air, probably an iPhone (as much as I love Android, I'm not so in love with various roadmaps I've read about for Google's future direction, and the whole hardware fragmentation thing has started to wear on me) since if I'm going to have an iOS device, then I want it to be something I'll actually use, and honestly I don't see myself using a tablet of any description.

I did some research a few months ago and as an experiment I made a copy of the sound archive I maintain for phone notifications and ringtones specifically for use with an iPhone. Honestly, I'd love to try them out and see how well they work. But, that'll have to wait until I have the hardware. I mean, unless someone on here with an iPhone wants me to send them a copy. I have rather eclectic — but not indecent — tastes. (Oh, and except for the standard set of sounds which originally came from prior Android phones I've owned in the past, I've created all my own sound files from original source material. I don't groove on Zedge. :lol: )
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

Portreve wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:44 pm
Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:47 pm
Clevo (I don't k now if they sell retail)? The one System 76 computer I have is both my first and last.
I've just now been reading up on the posts in this thread, and it's interesting to see your reaction to System76.

I have never heard anything related to their tech support. The principle reason I've had an interest in them is they sell Windows-free systems oriented specifically towards GNU+Linux, and from what I have heard their build quality is pretty good. However, you own their hardware and not me, so you'd know better than I about how those things go with them.
I have had very good luck with HP products, with the only real downside is that they are no longer upgradeable (no memory upgrades), and smaller batteries than some. I will most likely go back to HP when I get my smaller laptop (in a year or so). Regrettably my computer upgrades have been put on hold since I have to replace the A/C drain pipes in the attic, and that promises to be VERY expensive. Plus car repairs. Oh, well. I doubt I will ever purchase another System 76 product.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

I found something else disappointing yesterday about my system 76 laptop. The Ethernet port cable plugs into the left side of the machine and always gets in my way, even when using a cable with a right angle plug. I have two USB 3.0 ports toward the back of the left side of the machine. The forward port held my mouse dongle. The rearward port has a right angle adapter that then leads to a small four port USB 3.0 hub that my DAC and two scanners were plugged into. Since the DAC uses minimal power and only one scanner will run at a time (the scanners do not use USB power), this setup worked fine. My only other complaint was I have four cables to unplug whenever I want to move the computer out of the way. I have WiFi but I prefer to keep it turned off for security reasons.

Yesterday, I plugged a USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter into the hub so I could get rid of the cable on the left side of the computer. This also reduced the number of cables to unplug to three when moving the computer It worked well except of one "minor" problem. Apparently, the two USB 3.0 ports on the right side (and presumably the two on the left side as well) are actually single ports split by an internal hub because the mouse dongle suddenly had reduced range. The mouse would be a little erratic when using it just to the right of the computer and not at all when moved away from the computer (cue in a string of words Mama "told" me not to use). The dongle works fine in a USB 3.0 port on the left side but I prefer to keep both of those ports available (not to mention my power drawing portable ODD will probably steal too much power from the dongle when I'm using the ODD). I'm going to have to put the Ethernet cable back to the left side of the computer and settle for muttering "sweet nothings" under my breath every time it gets in my way. :evil:

Clevo :twisted: and System 76 :twisted: are my new curse words. I'm flabbergasted by the number of glowing reviews I've seen for System 76! Of course, these are from people content with being stuck with Ubuntu or POP OS. :roll:

Edit: I finally restored the original Ethernet cable to the left side of the machine and did some "training" the cable (including using quite a few of those words Mama "told" me not to use) so the cable doesn't take up so much room on my desk (tip: Forget diamonds and dogs or cats; Gaffer's tape is a girl's best friend!). Now my back is using those words Mama "told" me not to use (she's probably furiously rolling in her grave right now) since routing that cable in places was a bit "inconvenient".
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

Yeah I have USB issues on mine as well. Some USB ports work, others don't. This is an issue. If I put in a USB and it works, when I remove it, and then plug it back in, the computer refuses to see the USB drive and I have to use another USB port. Is this a Clevo issue, or a System 76 issue? I don't know but at this point I am calling it a System 76 issue.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

I finally posted a review here: https://www.linuxquestions.org/question ... 175680849/ It combines everything from here.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by MurphCID »

MurphCID wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:30 am
I finally posted a review here: https://www.linuxquestions.org/question ... 175680849/ It combines everything from here.
Apparently over there some folks think I should just shut up and accept what System 76 delivers. How Microsoft/Apple.
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Re: Birthday gift for me [System 76 Darter Pro]

Post by antikythera »

Opinions are like arseholes, everybody has them. You can choose to ignore them even if they fart in your general direction ;)
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