I’ve been trying since 1996 (25 years) to find a Linux Distro that was focused enough on “Innovation” that it could actually offer a competitive Desktop OS alternative to Microsoft Windows, but the best they have been able to come up with since 1992 is Puppy Linux 9.5 – as a Companion OS for Windows 10. Heck, how can Linux ever be considered innovative or creative or modern when it has never even mastered the basic Scroll Wheel Mouse in over 29 years?!

In over 29 years, most Linux Distros still *FORCE* their Desktop OS users to deal with their archaic ‘n annoying “Authenticate” popup/s or other ‘Pesky Passwords’!? Android has shown “Innovation” with their mobile operating system, which was based on the Linux kernel, and none of my few Android devices ever forced me to use a password.

In over 29 years, this following quote sums up what a majority of Linux Distros think of Desktop OS “Innovation” – ‘Terminal-Centric’. That’s ‘Linux-speak’ for a keyboard-based OS. Remember DOS? DOS was also a ‘Terminal-Centric’ OS. Remember the floppy disk drives and their ‘Floppy disks’? Linux is akin to being the ‘Floppy disk’ of OSes when it comes to “Innovation,” IMHO.

I’m not the only one who has noticed the almost total lack of “Innovation” by Linux Desktop OSes. Look at their Market Share of Desktop OSes. Look at the Historical Trends of their Top 7 Distros for the past eleven years. All the other Distros are not listed because – ‘The diagram shows only Linux subcategories with more than 1% usage.’

ICY DOCK – ‘Bringing Innovation & Difference’ ‘n I am impressed with what I have seen so far! Fact is I may have only seen a tiny-bit of what my new ExpressCage MB732SPO-B is actually capable of!?!

I have used several types of a SATA Hot Swap Bay for about 5 years now…only had one that was useless to me ‘n it was the one with a fan. I’ve been in quieter airboats and will never-ever buy another one with a fan! The other two types have been excellent – 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack:

They handled 3.5” HDD’s, but needed an adapter as I moved to SSD’s:

Adapter on the left w/ SSD in it – 3.5″ big, heavy, slow ‘n loud HDD up towards right.  😉 The adapters became a pain when almost all of my drives were SSD’s…then I started looking for something else:

BTW, those Kingwin KF-251-BK Dual-Bay’s were for 3.5” front base case slots, but there is an adapter for 5.25” case slots. All have been reliable ‘n sturdy – other than the noisy one with a airboat fan in it.  😉

Still too soon to tell about the ExpressCage MB732SPO-B at this point, but it is obvious on how much planning ‘n designing ‘n “Innovation” they have put into these. A couple examples:

Gotta love those switches for testing Linux Distros! I don’t have internal drives in any of my 4 test computers, so I need to put each computer’s licensed WIN10 Pro into a Hot Swap Bay when needed ‘n pull it out when testing or using Linux. On the new ‘CM130’ build, with these switches, I can leave WIN10 Pro in a bay most of the time ‘n just switch it on when I want to use it. Second example:

Some of these Small Form Factor mini-ITX cases have very little room in them, so cable management is very important. My Kingwin KF-251-BK Dual-Bays require two SATA power cables ‘n two SATA cables and that 2nd power supply cable can excessive when space is a concern.

  • OT, for a moment, but I am going to try a liquid 120mm CPU cooler soon in this new build, and if I have no problems then may test the Ryzen 9 3900X ‘n the GeForce GTX 1660 or GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC with this mini-ITX build. Can’t get a big CPU fan/cooler into this case, but it’s made for a 120mm liquid cooler. More planning ‘n measuring still needed, but am close on attempting it, if all the measurements work out. With the right case, these mini-ITX boards can be fun ‘n useful to build.

The ExpressCage MB732SPO-B also comes with a slot behind a detachable faceplate on top that can fit a Slim ODD or an Ultra Slim ODD in that area. Don’t really want a CD-ROM/DVD/Blu-Ray for that slot, so am looking around for something else, for example the ToughArmor MB852M2PO-B:

Have to be careful when planning these M.2 ‘Thangs because you can end up with just an expensive SATA SSD with “M.2” in the name. But PCI-E NVMe is the fast stuff, if I recall correctly, and it looks like my mini-ITX board can work w/ this if I add an OCuLinktHiNgIe’ to my M.2 socket 3, and then run a cable to the Tough Armor MB852M2PO-B:

That’s another possible option for that space if I ever needed it. ICY DOCK’s “Innovation” can keep you busy checking out their website. Was just going thru their ICY Tips page ‘n they have been waaaaaayy ahead of me for years. On that 2nd page ‘n down the list to “Jan 2014” – they have this pic:

Looks like my new build!? That’s from 2014 so humble me is definitely waaaaaaaaayayayyy behind!  ICY Tip – ‘Optimize your Mini ITX System for Small Business or Home Servers, Gaming, and Media Center using ICYDOCK Storage Solutions’ and some examples of the benefits “to owning a Mini ITX system” – with a Cooler Master Elite 130 mini-ITX case. So my new build’s case has been around for at least 7 years.

This Cooler Master Elite 130 mini-ITX case has been the most fun to build with ‘n work in of all my cases, and I have enjoyed most of those! If I can get processors like my ‘Apevia’ Ryzen™ 9 3900X and/or the ‘Antec Jr.’ Intel® Core™ i9-9900 to work well in a case like this then I may move all the way down to mini-ITX instead of micro-ATX…maybe. I do like a couple/few extra drives in my *MAIN* computer, besides a PCIe M.2 NVMe ‘n at least one SATA Dual SSD Hot Swap Bay, and that Elite 130 might not be big enough. A DVD-Rom is also nice to have in a *MAIN* computer. Mini-ITX board (with some extras) might work in a slightly bigger case as my main computer in a couple/few years.

Anyway, since technology ‘n “Innovation” ain’t gonna to wait for humble me to catch up then I better get going!  😉

  • UPDATE: Yeah, I don’t believe these Small Form Factor cases are made for major ‘Desktop Duty‘ – the Elite 130 only has 2 expansion spaces, so the GeForce GTX 1660 XC from ‘Apevia‘ computer won’t fit. I tested the GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti OC 4G from ‘Rose‘ and it fit w/ some arranging of wires. Here’s a pic of the results:

  • Top of pic shows Ryzen 5 3400G w/ the onboard Vega 11 graphics…
  • Bottom of pic shows it with the GeForce 1050 Ti…

I focus on Desktop performance mainly ‘n those numbers are the same. Only 6-7% improvements from Gaming ‘n Workstation performances, so I put the 1050 Ti back into ‘Rose‘. The Ryzen™ 5 3400G APU with Radeon™ RX Vega 11 Graphics works perfectly in ‘CM130‘ so I will leave it as is. Maybe later will try a better 2 slot GPU, but doubtful now. Will also stick with the original plan of moving to micro-ATX, i.e. performance counts w/ computers ‘n you need space for that!

  • UPDATE: 2/22/2021 – Tried the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER™ which takes up just two expansion slots, but it was way too wide.

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!