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Hardware

Comparison of OS

A brief overview of the major operating systems used: Linux, OSX, and Windows.
Linux computers are now available:
DELL
SYSTEM 76
LENOVO
Updated: 12/4/2020

Feature Mac
Windows
Linux
Cost Expensive Moderate.
Fully equipped PC can be expensive (Intel I9, 32G ram, 8gb video card)
Open Source
Can purchase laptop/desktop with Linux installed from Dell.
Stability Good Windows 10 Ver 1909
very stable now.
Very stable system, Linux can run for years without needing to be restarted.
Malware Very little at this time.
As more and more users and business' switch to Mac, hackers will start focusing on Mac vulnerabilities.
Vulnerable: requires antivirus protection.
Hackers focus on Windows because it is the most popular OS in the world.
Virtually none.
OS Sized Huge - requires lots of RAM. Huge - requires even more RAM. Small and lightweight.
Doesn't require fast processor or lots of RAM.
Apps Can run Windows applications. Proprietary
Has the most available software.
Proprietary
Not as much software available.
Media Great running on multi-media. Best for gaming. Not as much multi-media apps available.
Variety Current OS Current OS Linux is a kernal (core) - requries a Distribution to function. There are several Distribution choices to give Linux a different feel and look: Fedora (Red Hat), Ubuntu, Debian, Mint.
Ease
of Use
Very user friendly.
Unless coming from Windows, there is a learning curve.
Easy to use. Slight learning curve.
Also learning curve between different distributions.
Upgrade Use proprietary hardware and cannot be upgraded as easily.

Uses standard form factors, easier to upgrade,

Uses standard form factors, easier to upgrade.
Tech
Support
Apple has it's own help section, and valuable online documentation.
Forums and other support available on the web.
Microsoft has it's own help section, and valuable online documentation.
As the most popular OS, you can always find infomation or tips on the web.
Free and Unlimited, through the Open Source Community. Much documentation available on the internet.
Coolness Best looking hardware. Depends on Brand, some are cool looking. Same as windows hardware.
Geek
Factor
Just turn on and use. Most users also just turn on and use. But OS has capability for Geeks to tweak and play with. Since one needs to download the OS and manually do an install and setup... A real Geek. You know what you are doing (can purchase pre-installed from Dell, System76, Lenovo)

Linux Distributions

Linux has a number of different versions to suit any type of user (Distros).
Updated: 12/4/2020

Distro Description Free or Pay
Pop OS Open-source Linux distribution, based upon Ubuntu, featuring a custom GNOME desktop. Free
Elementary Always places in the top 10 of every list: bestlooking desktop, clean and simple. Some say it's style is similiar to the OSX desktop. Pay what you want
Mint Offers 4 different starter downloads or flavors each with a different desktop look. Also great support for media formats. Free
Ubuntu One of the first distros, is available in desktop and server editions. Recommended for those switching from Win or Mac. Free
LUbuntu Lightweight and faster version of Ubuntu. Uses Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE). Free
Debian One of the oldest and most popular distros. Large community support. Free
Fedora Workstation Using a distribution made by RedHat, the biggest Linux kernel contributor in the world. Has built in Docker support. Free
openSUSE Alternative to Ubuntu and other Debian based Linux distros. Makes use of a GUI tool called YaST to install and setup an openSUSE system a breeze. Free
Tails Its aim is protecting your privacy and anonymity. Because Tails is a live OS, it's actually not installed onto a PC, when you disconnect from the Internet and turn off the computer, there is no trace of activity on your hard drive. All traffic run through the Tor network. Free
Arch Linux Arch a distro for intermediate and advance users. Not as easy to install, but allows you to customise your build using ability to choose the package to download and install. Free
Manjaro A Linux distribution which is based on Arch Linux. A fast, user-friendly, desktop-oriented operating system and easier to install. Free
CentOS CentOS is derived from RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) sources. Is available for download in 5 different variations. Great choice for server reliablility, but not the best desktop experience. Free
Kubuntu A descendant of Ubuntu, and uses the KDE desktop environment. Has a Windows like interface, so excellent choice for those migrating from Windows. Free
Korora 25 Korora is ideal for those new to Linux. Easy to setup and very user friendly.
Does not offer much for experienced users.
Free
Antergos Antergos is an Arch based distribution and was designed for ease of use. $2.00 Tip

Comparison SDD vs HDD

Comparing solid state drive (SSD) and hard disk drive (HDD)

Feature SDD HDD
Performance
Boot
Boots in seconds. Slow, may take over a minute.
Depends on heads reading data (if fragmented or not)
Performace
Apps
Launches apps fast. Slower
Durability No moving parts.
Lasts long time.
Moving parts, susceptible to shock = wears out in time.
Defragmentation NO
Recommended to disable scheduled defragmentation.
Yes
Required for optimal performance.
Noise Quiet
No moving parts.
Noisy
Weight Less parts.
9x - 10x lighter
Excellent weight savings for laptops.
Heavy
Rotating Discs, spindle and motor.
Heat Cool
Requries less power = less heat.
Hotter
Rotaing discs and motor require more power = heat.
Power Useage Little
Longer battery life in laptops.
Higher
More drain on laptop battery.
Memory Capacity Up to around 400 GB
Reports of a 800GB by Intel.
Up to around 4TB
Larger size = more platters for more storage.
Cost Expensive
Approx $1.50 - $2.00 per GB
Reasonable
Approx $0.10 per GB

Ethernet Cables

Compare ethernet cables, which one is best for your needs.
Updated: 8/27/20

Cable
Category
Shielding Max
Transmission
Speed (mbps)
Max
Bandwidth
Physical
Difference
Notes
Cat 5e
[enhanced]
Unshielded 1Gb 100 Mhz Reduced cross talk
Cat 6 Unshielded and
Shielded
1Gb
10 Gb @ 55 meters
250 Mhz Sheath thicker than Cat 5e Further reduces cross talk w/ tighter wound pairs & foil or braided shielding.
Cat 6a
[augmented]
Shielded 10 Gb 500 Mhz Thicker than Cat 6 Cross talk eliminated w/ thicker sheathing.
Cat 7 Shielded 10 Gb
100 Gb @ 15 meters
600 Mhz Thicker and stiffer Uses GigaGate45 connector. Uses extensive shielding.

USB Drives

Difference between USB 2.0 and 3.0

  USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Speed 480 MBPS 640 MBPS
(5 gigs)
Exchange of
Info
Half Duplex
Either send or receive
Full Duplex
Send and receive data simultaneously
Connector
Color
Grey Blue
Charging 100 ma 900 ma
Backward
Compatibility
USB 1.1 USB 1.1, 2.0
Mini USB Yes Discontinued
Micro USB Yes Yes