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Old 05-05-2018, 11:31 AM   #1
newbiesforever
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so "business card-sized" doesn't mean just "very small"?


I passed a description of DSL recently--I forget where--and saw the familiar description "business card-sized distro." Thinking about it, I was only 99 percent sure what that means. It occurred to me that the card slot on my laptop is about the size of a business card. (I've never used those slots and never even paid any attention to them, so I admit I don't even know what they're called without looking it up...PC express, is it?) Therefore, I started wondering if there might be a business card-sized medium I hadn't heard of, which DSL fits onto. I thought you would tell me no, it means only "very small"; but I looked it up and, to my surprise, "business card" refers to a physically modified CD.

I think this must be something relatively unknown outside the Linux world (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootable_business_card says a Linux user invented it), because I'm no Linux expert but I'm well-read and inquisitive, and have never heard of this, even though it was invented almost twenty years ago.

Wait a minute; I haven't figured this part out. Since a regular-sized optical disc can still hold the 50 MB, what is the point of physically trimming the disc? What I thought, as suggested above, is that DSL might use a data medium that fit inside the roughly businsss card-sized PC express slot, or whatever that slot is called.

Last edited by newbiesforever; 05-05-2018 at 11:35 AM.
 
Old 05-05-2018, 11:54 AM   #2
rknichols
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesforever View Post
Wait a minute; I haven't figured this part out. Since a regular-sized optical disc can still hold the 50 MB, what is the point of physically trimming the disc?
When was the last time you tucked a regular optical disk into your shirt pocket or business card wallet? These are for handing out at occasions where business cards would typically be exchanged.
 
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:15 PM   #3
fatmac
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Damn Small Linux claim came about because the whole distro would fit on a business card sized optical media disk, (I think it was 50MB), that's all.

Some of those business card optical media were actually shaped like a business card, but still had a circular data area, which would play in any optical drive.

The slots on old laptops were for PCMCIA cards, modems mainly, but one or two had small hard drives.
 
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Old 05-05-2018, 01:07 PM   #4
newbiesforever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rknichols View Post
When was the last time you tucked a regular optical disk into your shirt pocket or business card wallet? These are for handing out at occasions where business cards would typically be exchanged.
Oh--of course. So obvious I didn't think of it.
 
Old 05-05-2018, 08:56 PM   #5
frankbell
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When I make business cards, which I hand out occasionally to promote some of my activities, I put QR codes on the back, if there is a relevant URL.

I use qrencode to generate them.

Last edited by frankbell; 05-05-2018 at 09:00 PM.
 
Old 05-06-2018, 01:31 AM   #6
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesforever View Post
but I looked it up and, to my surprise, "business card" refers to a physically modified CD.

I think this must be something relatively unknown outside the Linux world ...
Not that unknown, you can still get them. Here's an example: https://www.bandcds.co.uk/all-others/business-card-cds/

However, since very few new machines have optical drives and most of those are slimline, there is not much use for them any more in the context of distros. You need a drive where you can push the CD onto the spindle directly. And more importantly you need a distro that fits into under 50MB. I suppose a net-boot edition could do it now with both Linux Mint and Ubuntu being so bloated that neither even fit on a 2GB USB stick any more.

You can get USB sticks with custom labels rather cheaply these days instead.
 
Old 05-06-2018, 07:05 AM   #7
ondoho
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i also saw buisiness cards that had an integrated usb stick on a hinge.
very impractical to use, but - buiseness-card-sized.
 
Old 05-06-2018, 04:01 PM   #8
newbiesforever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
However, since very few new machines have optical drives and most of those are slimline, there is not much use for them any more in the context of distros.
I had no idea of that! since I get by with ~6-8-year-old Thinkpads and have little reason to care what the latest laptops are like. (Since we have been discussing business cards and professionals' habits, I assume you mean laptops, not new computers generally.) So the manufacturers think optical drives are obsolete and/or passe?
 
Old 05-06-2018, 04:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesforever View Post
So the manufacturers think optical drives are obsolete and/or passe?
There's a mention of optical drives in a thread here:
https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...ml#post5850708
I, for one, was glad to see the back of them. In my opinion they're a redundant format which served us well when they were needed but were always too full of compromises to last. For example, I liked MiniDisc but it was just a stop-gap before devices with enough storage to have a whole collection in FLAC.
 
Old 05-06-2018, 10:42 PM   #10
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesforever View Post
(Since we have been discussing business cards and professionals' habits, I assume you mean laptops, not new computers generally.)
I had meant personal computers in general, whether for home use or business, desktop or notebook. I was going to back that up with a wide sample. However, given the pathetic state of incompetence in what passes for web design nowadays I have not fought through enough web shop UIs to have a large sample, just some spot checking.

Apple, Dell, and Lenovo seemed to have dropped optical drives years ago for their models. They don't mind cutting costs and increasing profit margins by leaving out components while not lowering the prices. So for them it's great to capitalize on the push for hosted services, "cloud" is what the marketeers try to call that now. That's the direction things are heading if we let it happen. M$, Google, and others are after gaining control of your data, not just the file format in which it is trapped. Others, like Spotify, remain unprofitable and seem to exist for the sole purpose of crushing the ability to buy audio on physical artifacts moving towards datamining and rental. Netflix, has been profitable, but has a lame selection now and seems lately to be more about pushing certain topics or themes than building a market.
 
Old 05-07-2018, 12:47 PM   #11
newbiesforever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
Apple, Dell, and Lenovo seemed to have dropped optical drives years ago for their models.
Shoot, I guess that means if I ever bought a ThinkPad much newer than these T61s and T400s I've been happy with, it would not include an optical drive. Oh, well, I wasn't planning to.

Last edited by newbiesforever; 05-07-2018 at 12:51 PM.
 
Old 05-07-2018, 12:54 PM   #12
Timothy Miller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesforever View Post
Shoot, I guess that means if I ever bought a ThinkPad much newer than these T61s and T400s I've been happy with, it would not include an optical drive. Oh, well, I wasn't planning to.
Correct. Although you can get external USB drives that will work. The USB bus, even 2.0, is faster than optical media can saturate (pre blu-ray at least)
 
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:59 PM   #13
newbiesforever
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Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
Correct. Although you can get external USB drives that will work. The USB bus, even 2.0, is faster than optical media can saturate (pre blu-ray at least)
I find external optical drives a pain, if mostly for minor reasons of organization: I have to make sure I have a port; and they generate cable clutter. I'm too used to the convenience of a bay inside the computer.

Last edited by newbiesforever; 05-07-2018 at 01:03 PM.
 
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Old 05-07-2018, 01:04 PM   #14
newbiesforever
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Optical drives of any kind pose their own problems, but that's a topic for another thread, isn't it?
 
Old 05-07-2018, 01:05 PM   #15
Timothy Miller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesforever View Post
I find external optical drives a pain, if mostly for minor reasons of organization: I have to make sure I have a port; and they generate cable clutter.
True, but today's laptops are all about thin and light, and so the optical drive was the first casualty of seeking thin and light. I BELIEVE that the T430s was the last Thinkpad branded laptop that had an optical drive. I have a T450s and it doesn't, my wife has a E450 and it doesn't, and a friend at work has the T440s and it doesn't. I'm pretty sure the L line got rid of it at the same time, but I'm not really familiar with the W line, so they might have kept it for longer, not sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesforever View Post
Optical drives of any kind pose their own problems, but that's a topic for another thread, isn't it?
It is moderately related since to use a business card cd you need an optical drive...
 
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