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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Question for techies. :) I'm traveling a lot this summer for work but I want to get a lap top that I can still use blender with. I really don't know what is compatible with what. :roll: I know there has been a lot of problems with Vista but I can't find a lap top that doesn't use it. I'm currently building one through Dell which I have an open account with, so I will get one through them. I'm staying away from the 64 bit, I was told that it doesn't run the older software and I still need to run URU. I need a really really good graphic card and a lot of ram. I would like a second opinion on this lap top. It's a lot more money than I initially wanted to spend and of course the sales person stated I won't do much better.


[spoiler] 1 XPS 1640, Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3M L2 Cache)
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1 16.0 inch Wide Screen 16:9 720p HD WLED LCD, W/2.0 MP, XPS 1640
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1 ATI Mobility RADEON HD 3670 - 512MB
341-7912
1 320GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
420-8566
1 Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium Edition, English
330-1917
1 DELL RESOURCE DVD,BACK-UP XPS 1640
420-6576
1 DELL WELCOME,Software Dimension/Inspiron
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1 Dell Dock Consumer
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1 Dell Owners Manual installed on your system,click on icon after system set-up to access
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1 DELL-DOWNLOAD-FLAG
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1 Windows Live Search,Multiple User Interface
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1 DataSafe Local BackUp 2.0 Basic
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1 Integrated 10/100 Network Card
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1 ADOBE READER 9.0 MULTI- LANGUAGE
313-7054
1 8X DVD+/-RW Slot Load Drive for XPS1640
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1 Roxio 10.2 DE
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1 Cyberlink PowerDVD DX 8.2 for DVD
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1 Intel 5100 Wireless-N (1x2) Half Mini-Card
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1 McAfee Sapphire MUI, 15-Month
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1 56 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion P Primary Battery, for XPS 1640
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1 No ISP requested
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1 1 Year Limited Warranty
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1 2GB DATASAFE ONLINE 1.1 FOR SDO/DIM/INS/XPS
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1 To activate your online backupaccount, go to Start, Programs, DataSafe Online
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430-3206 1 Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Internal (2.0+Enhanced Data Rate)
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* -DISCOUNT/COUPON APPLIED[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:31 pm 
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Anything that you get should be able to run Blender just fine; it has no problems on Vista. There really aren't any problems with a 64-bit OS either -- in fact, if you are getting 4GB of RAM you should get the 64-bit version of Vista, otherwise you won't be able to get full use of your RAM.

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 11:55 pm 
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I think this system would be fine. My only other recommendation is NOT to accept the default directory for your Uru installation (the one that includes "Program Files" in the path). Vista controls the permissions too tightly in this path. Follow the example of MOUL and change "Program Files" to "ProgramData" when installing on a Vista system. This will save you from a number of subtle and irritating problems.

My installation is in D:\ProgramData\Ubi Soft\Cyan Worlds\Uru - Ages Beyond Myst for example.


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 12:08 am 
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Thanks the quick responses! I really don't know much about software compatibility..or hardware for that matter. I was afraid that getting a 64 bit would prevent me from running older software and I need URU for age creation.

Quote:
Herohtar ..if you are getting 4GB of RAM you should get the 64-bit version of Vista, otherwise you won't be able to get full use of your RAM.
Ah..thats good to know. One of the sells for me on this laptop was 4GB of Ram.

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johnsojc..My installation is in D:\ProgramData\Ubi Soft\Cyan Worlds\Uru - Ages Beyond Myst for example.
See.. I would have just installed URU as usual. :oops:

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 12:16 am 
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You can do what johnsojc suggested, or you can simply disable Vista's UAC and not have to worry about installing to a different location, which is a whole lot easier and it also gets rid of the annoying confirmation dialogs that you get every time you want to do anything.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 2:49 am 
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The problem isn't the UAC. It's the inherited permissions that Vista imposes on Program Files and its subdirectories. When I installed in Program Files, the game could not create the files in the INIT directory as well as not being able to create the log files in the log directory. Other people suggest setting the program to run as Administrator but if you use ProgramData instead, you do not have to play games with Administrator privileges or directory permissions.. just install it. This works both for Vista and Windows 7. It is very helpful to be able to create log files when you are playing with Python code (of course you need a special program to read those log files :wink: ).


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 5:41 am 
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The problem is that Vista is trying to enforce a security paradigm that disallows programs to WRITE to an area confined to executable code. It should be obvious why allowing it in the past has been a bad idea.

The issue arises when programs, such as Uru, were written in the lax days of pre-Vista and wrote willy-nilly wherever they wanted to. Vista has some pretty decent work-arounds, but it's a different system and problems will crop up occasionally.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:23 pm 
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I think I understand most of what everyone was suggesting. I have my laptop now and I went to the Blender site to download the software and it wasn't available for 64 bit? Can I use the new 32 bit release instead? If so should I install it the same way as URU/CC. Lastly what version of python should I use or does it even matter with 64 bit I think I'm currently using 2.5.2 on my old computer, but I forgot where to installed it. There was soooo much to install initialy for making ages and now I have to do it all over again on a different computer and I've forgotten most of it. :cry: Sorry for all the questions. I haven't been keeping up with all the new releases, it's been a while since I've worked on anything in blender.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:29 pm 
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atheni33 wrote:
Can I use the new 32 bit release instead?

Just install and see what happens. Worst thing that can happen is it won't install or will CTD (crash to desktop) on you.

It probably will run though - compatibility issues aside, think of the bits of the OS as the cap on what you can run. Below that, you can run stuff from the previous generation (now, 16-bit code is another issue; dunno if that works smoothly). Technically it's not straightforward, but Microsoft has made something called WoW64 to let you run your 32-bit programs on their 64-bit OSes reasonably efficiently.

Wouldn't have gone for the 1640 myself, due to the wonky resolution, 16:9 format, and slightly smaller screen, and possibly price, but the graphics card should give you roughly double the power of a single Geforce 8700M GT which is pretty cool.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:09 am 
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One of the big differences between Home Premium and Business is the System Restore. Business has better back up and flexible system restore. It is well worth the extra $40+/-.

I'm a big fan of nVidia video cards. I'm not a fan of ATI. You are limited as to which cards will fit in a laptop. Tom's Hardware and Anand's have reviews of video cards. Your real performance edge is going to come from the video card, at least with 3D apps. The newer nVidia cards are graphics & physics calc capable. I have not looked to see if ATI is adopting the PhysX technology or if it is still left up to 3rd party driver writers.

I have looked at nVidia's tech and the newer 200 series cards with CUDA. They make excellent use of the GPU's and dual and quad core CPU's. The GeForce 260 GTX is about the best price/performance ratio you can find. The dual 295 GTX is about 50% faster than anything else.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:32 pm 
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atheni33 wrote:
I think I understand most of what everyone was suggesting. I have my laptop now and I went to the Blender site to download the software and it wasn't available for 64 bit? Can I use the new 32 bit release instead? If so should I install it the same way as URU/CC. Lastly what version of python should I use or does it even matter with 64 bit I think I'm currently using 2.5.2 on my old computer, but I forgot where to installed it. There was soooo much to install initialy for making ages and now I have to do it all over again on a different computer and I've forgotten most of it. :cry: Sorry for all the questions. I haven't been keeping up with all the new releases, it's been a while since I've worked on anything in blender.


Actually, it is available for 64-bit Windows; they just don't have an installer for it. However, 32-bit applications (including Blender) work just fine on 64-bit systems. I use the 32-bit version of Blender simply because I prefer having the installer rather than using the zip package.

If you want Python to work with Blender you need to use the version it was compiled with -- for the latest Blender (2.49a) that is Python 2.6.2. Make sure you use the same "bit" version as Blender or it won't work (ie, 64-bit Python with 64-bit Blender)

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