I've recently made a decision...

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briandc
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I've recently made a decision...

Post by briandc »

Hi everyone,
well, the last few months have seen me posting stuff and asking a lot of questions here at linuxmusicians. It's been really exciting to start learning about the world of audio production using a linux-based PC. And of course there'll be a lot more to learn along the way!

A few days back I came to a semi-conclusion that I'd like to share here, and hear all your opinions. Here it is:

My "main" PC (and another that's a bit older, only 1GB of RAM, but going strong on BodhiLinux!) is now running as a beautiful audio-making machine. I'm very satisfied. Thanks to you guys here (falkTX, AutoStatic, Capoeira, StudioDave and others), I think I've now got a machine that's ready to "detach" from the Internet, and to just be used as-is. No more updates, no more upgrades. Just making music. (Of course, I can always download any new instruments unto a USB stick and transfer them over.)
But my main thought is, why keep updating what is already perfect?? After all, an audio production PC is used for a different purpose than your average PC that's always communicating with others via the web, emails, security issues, etc.
Now I do realize that things will continue to change and grow. There are probably already new things coming out as I write this that I don't have on my machine already.
But I have literally hundreds of synths, soundfont players, etc etc. And rather than keep updating my system (and probably weighing it down in the long run by doing so), I'll just use it as is, just like most electronic hardware today. A finished product.
(I've seen how a PC tends to slow down and require a fresh install when it's continually updating its packages, and I think this can be avoided on a machine that serves a specific purpose and doesn't require constant updates.)

After all, computers are pretty inexpensive these days. I'm sure that in a few years, God wiling, I'll be ready to either do a new install, or just get another PC and install what's new at that time, from the bottom up, just like I have now.

So, no more "network connection/package update daemons" running. Just an awesome digital audio workstation that'll serve me for years to come!


Your thoughts? Anyone done something similar?

brian
Have your PC your way: use linux!
My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com

tux99
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by tux99 »

Makes sense, Linux doesn't have to be constantly updated like Windows anyway (practical risks are much smaller and much more theoretical anyway) and if the install suits your needs as it is and even more so if it will be detached from the internet then there is absolutely no reason to keep updating it.

SR
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by SR »

It depends. I've been in a constant upgrade cycle because I always end up finding some new toy which comes with a whole new set of dependencies which inevitably causes me to upgrade. If you're happy with what you have working right now then go for it. If you like to experiment with new software all the time then get used to upgrading.

Thad E Ginathom
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by Thad E Ginathom »

Unfortuantely, Linux developers seem to always write for the latest version. In Ubuntu, for instance, the idea of a "Long-term-support" version is a joke if one ever wants to run a new progam on it. The next version will have introduced incompatibilities, and it is that version that will be written for. That's understandable, when I remember that the vast corporate entity that has produced my latest must-have program might consist of ...one person working for little more than the love of it. But it is still hardly an ideal situation.

Actually, two days ago, a friend asked me if he should "upgrade" his laptop's version of XP, or was there any advantage in changing to Linux. My answer: while your hardware and software does what you need it to, it doesn't matter how old it is. Even to corporates, official support matters less than they think: what works doesn't need support!

briandc, my answer to you is to go for the best of both worlds. You probably have space on your hard disks for at least two versions of Linux. You can install the latest-greatest whilst keeping your production system sacrosanct. I'm sure you can turn off updates in it.

Also... Hardware fails. The longer you want to keep a system running in the way that you suggest, the more important it is that you have backups, and know that you can reinstall and restore your system the way it is now.

tux99
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by tux99 »

Thad E Ginathom wrote:Unfortuantely, Linux developers seem to always write for the latest version. In Ubuntu, for instance, the idea of a "Long-term-support" version is a joke if one ever wants to run a new progam on it. The next version will have introduced incompatibilities, and it is that version that will be written for.
Actually surprisingly that's not really the case. The source code can often be build on older distros too, it's the distro packagers that stop packaging new versions of applications for older distros.
I have been packaging mostly bleeding edge applications for Centos/SL 6 for more than a year now and despite the base distro Centos 6 is now almost 3 years old (most RHEL 6 packages on which Centos 6 is based are versions from early 2010) I was surprised myself that I'm still able to build brand new applications on it.

It's the distros (at least the main ones like Ubuntu, Mint, Mageia, Fedora) that force people to constantly upgrade not the application developers. If the distros would switch to a slower pace (one new release a year and support including backports of new apps to older distro versions for at least 2-3 years) then this wouldn't be an issue at all.

See my first post on LM for further details about my repo for Centos 6 (with a good choice of audio/midi related packages).
http://www.linuxmusicians.com/viewtopic ... 05&p=31375

Thad E Ginathom
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by Thad E Ginathom »

Thanks for that. You've expanded my mind a bit on the process. I'll try to make practical use of it :D

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autostatic
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by autostatic »

briandc wrote:So, no more "network connection/package update daemons" running. Just an awesome digital audio workstation that'll serve me for years to come!

Your thoughts? Anyone done something similar?
Almost a full ack here. This is why I'm using Ubuntu LTS versions and learned myself how to package newer stuff that isn't available in the official repositories. Another reason why I use Ubuntu, nothing beats PPA's. And my thoughts on this, it's about finding your balance. Do you like to endlessly tinker with your Linux installation or do you want to turn it on and make music? Do you want the latest and greatest or a stable, tested and a bit more conservative Linux installation? Do you want a full blown desktop experience with all the bells and whistles or something leaner and more moderate? Do you want an all purpose or single purpose Linux install?
And regarding network connection/package update daemons, /etc/network/interfaces FTW and I only update when I feel like it, have some time and don't have any musical aspirations at that very moment. So on my main machine all this update stuff is either disabled or uninstalled.

varpa
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by varpa »

It also should be mentioned that AVLinux is built with the no-update concept. It provides lots of linux audio/video apps in an audio-optimized setup with the idea of providing a stable AV setup which will not be disrupted by updates. However, with care one can update or add new packages, if one is careful not to do global updates which change many base packages which would likely break things.

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briandc
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by briandc »

Over the (few) years using a computer and linux regularly, I've kind of come to the idea that, on one hand, doing regular updates means having whatever's the current situation, and that can be a good feeling. On the other hand, sometimes an update comes along that can upset things. I recently did an update on an older PC, after summer vacation, and when I rebooted, the PC was unusable. I had to save my data and do a re-install. Which ended up being a good thing because now I've got a really lightweight system and I know exactly what's on it.

I really like KXStudio. I'm happy to see when others ask me about it, and how to install it. I think it's got a very complete arsenal of music-making applications and features, and the only thing I see I will need to update is adding new instruments/soundfonts/etc. But I can do this with a USB stick, and it won't make any major changes to the system. Basically it's already optimized and should be fine for a few years. Later on, or using another PC, maybe I'll install a newer version sometime down the road, and that will be the "king of the hill" at that time.

Of course, if I ever come across bugs, I can notify the developers and do a compile to update, without having to change anything else.

And, having a machine that's "finished" means that I can spend more time making music, and less time tweaking the machine itself. (I imagine that if I was a programmer, I'd probably spend more time tweaking the machine than making music...)


brian
Have your PC your way: use linux!
My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com

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briandc
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by briandc »

AutoStatic wrote:Almost a full ack here. This is why I'm using Ubuntu LTS versions and learned myself how to package newer stuff that isn't available in the official repositories. Another reason why I use Ubuntu, nothing beats PPA's. And my thoughts on this, it's about finding your balance. Do you like to endlessly tinker with your Linux installation or do you want to turn it on and make music? Do you want the latest and greatest or a stable, tested and a bit more conservative Linux installation? Do you want a full blown desktop experience with all the bells and whistles or something leaner and more moderate? Do you want an all purpose or single purpose Linux install?
And regarding network connection/package update daemons, /etc/network/interfaces FTW and I only update when I feel like it, have some time and don't have any musical aspirations at that very moment. So on my main machine all this update stuff is either disabled or uninstalled.
Maybe you're right.
I've found myself doing updates lately, as some stuff has been developed that I haven't wanted to miss out on. (I asked the folks at Calf to make Monosynth to have poly capability, and it looks like it'll be in the next release! :D So there's also more to come that I'll be upgrading, for sure.)

brian
Have your PC your way: use linux!
My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com

Alwaysanewb
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by Alwaysanewb »

I started on ubuntu 10.10 becaise it was the lastest when I decided to go linux it ran great when I switched to 11.04 when it came out a lot of my7 progams wouldn't run and it was kind of a mess maybe it was because that's when they introduced unity mabey not so I reinstalled 10.10. When 12.04 came out I made the switch and built a new recording pc and installed it on that. I really like the new unity and using an lts there is better documentaion and support.

I keep my computer hooked up to the net and do all the updates though just becaue it never really messes with anything or any programs I use. If I was having problems getting bugs after I did upgrades I would disconnect it from the net. That's probably one of the fun things about linux systems thoughs. Different people have different problems and set ups and use different programs and distros so there is a million different ways to do things.

Smurf43
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by Smurf43 »

Just like a windblows/hac machine, if it works & is not giving you any problems, leave it alone I say.

I just started using win7 6 months ago from xp pro x32. I just wanted the x64 version to use all my memory. Now that AVLinux6 and Mixbus is playing well on this system, I am now dual boot....again.... :wink: 8)

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briandc
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by briandc »

Upgrades, especially "important" ones like going from one release to another, are a delicate matter, imo.

As long as it's an application update, things usually go fine. But a whole system upgrade can create problems; maybe an app wasn't fully tested before the release, and what worked before suddenly makes problems. Of course, it's all stuff that can be remedied.. but my thinking was that since I have such a massive amount of stuff to work with and to get familiar with (try getting familiar with 5 different DAWs!), that it's enough to just use the computer as is.
Then, in a year or two, maybe do a complete new install, and definitely find some new stuff to work with again!

Anyway, upgrading is a delicate thing, imo.

Brian
Have your PC your way: use linux!
My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com

lawnmover
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by lawnmover »

If the machine is not connected to the net in anyway updates only serve the purpose of fixing bugs. If connected to the net make sure to install the security updates which makes for save browsing. Thus if you encounter no bugs no need to update. If not connected as you are no update needed.

In addition I must say that updates have to work else they are no updates but bug introductions. As I had so many times using UbuntuStudio and always getting the newest version. I have a installation that came from 12.04 to 13.10 and it broke twice. Once from 12->13 and once from 11->12. The one from 11-12 was so hard that I did a fresh install of 12.04. But this seems to be a general problem with ubuntu updates as I also experienced this with the default distro.

If your distributions has a relaxed update cycle say only bug fixes and security fixes and new version every 2 years or so I would update without to much of worries. Those updates are mostly tested well and only break things in extrem enviroments. Else just keep the system as is and enjoy.

Frank Carvalho
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Re: I've recently made a decision...

Post by Frank Carvalho »

AutoStatic wrote:This is why I'm using Ubuntu LTS versions... I only update when I feel like it, have some time and don't have any musical aspirations at that very moment.
Hear! I've been running 12.04 LTS as well until just a few weeks ago. But I could no longer disregard the kernel upgrades and important upgrades of Ardour3 and effects, so I started the long and perilous road to upgrade to 13.10. And, as expected, this gave me trouble. Upgrade from 12.04 to 12.10 was fine, apart from a few applications that vanished and had to be reinstalled. But with 12.10 on the machine, the upgrade tool starts to suggest an upgrade from 13.04 to 13.10. It looks like an upgrade bug, and unfortunately not one I can find a solution to. So I am now stuck in 12.10 with a 3.8.0-25-lowlatency kernel. Maybe I should have stayed with 12.04. That was a pretty good version.

/Frank
Vox, Selmer, Yamaha and Leslie amplifiers. Rickenbacker, Epiphone, Ibanez, Washburn, Segovia, Yamaha and Fender guitars. Hammond, Moog, Roland, Korg, Yamaha, Crumar, Ensoniq and Mellotron keyboards. Xubuntu+KXStudio recording setup.

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