Archive for the ‘Linux Mint’ Category

I have never seen myself as a Guru or even someone anyone even listen to what I say or even take it seriously. Why do I say this?

Well I was talking to a Polish customer at work whose old laptop was running slow but still fully functioning and I suggested be replace the Windows on this laptop with Linux Mint using xfce desktop. All so he could save money and get more life out of this old equipment as anyone who uses Linux knows.

The customer did what I suggested and loaded Linux Mint with xfce desktop and after the usual learning curve and minor issues when starting use Linux in anger. He also asked me few questions at the start but seamed to get on with the change over to Linix from Windows.

I saw the said customer recently and they told me they loved Linux and wondered why they had not done the change a long time ago. It sort of says it all that if someone is brave enough to change from Windows to Linux especially now will find their whole experience with computers in general will become fun again and not a chore as Windows seams to make it.

As said me as a new guru seams a new experience for me but those of us who use Linux keep pointing out that Linux is easy to use and lot less hassle than Windows and one person listens and takes the plunge. The people in question will tell others and spread the word of Linux slowly but surely.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

In the end contrary to what I have said before Linux Mint turned out to be a big disappointment especially on older hardware and the newer versions as after a month or so usage it managed to pick up a glitch which disabled the wireless card. This is contrast to a Debian Linux I use on other old hardware which has been working over a year without one major glitch or driver issues.

I should of expected that I would have problems with Linux Mint as it is an Ubuntu based Linux and I have had little success using any Ubuntu based Linux on any computer as it always ends up failing due to some glitch or driver failure after a few months which has resulted in myself replacing the Ubuntu with another distribution Linux.

In the end I have done the one thing I should of done in the first place which was to load on a Debian based Linux, in this case Crunchbang, and modified to desktop so it was easily used by someone who is coming from a Windows xp. This turned out to be easier than I expected and the resulting desktop and operating system will be far more stable and maintenance free.

Basically Ubuntu based Linux’s have always been a disappointment my end and I have had no end of problems with stability and speed on older hardware. I should of expected this with Linux Mint but I had a faint hope it was free of such problems which turned out to be wrong in the end.

So now I recommend that anyone thinking of using Linux on older hardware avoid using any Ubuntu based Linux’s and try other Linux distributions especially those using Debian and light desktops for example Openbox but not likes of Gnome 2 or 3.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my small social network just follow the link to On the Other Side!.

As Windows xp users are slowly thinking about changing computers or those who have old hardware which frankly is very serviceable and only made useless by the Windows inefficiency of use of hardware should consider an alternative to Windows 8 and Apple.

One alternative which should be considered which will both give the Windows xp users an interface which they are familiar with and not have to abandon their old hardware which on the whole is still very serviceable and far from the end of its life is to replace the Windows xp on the computer with Linux Mint with xfce desktop.

This also has the added advantage in these times where money is short it will save the Windows xp user money as they will not have to buy new hardware and pay over the odds for an operating system which frankly not liked by the majority of users.

Why do I say this?

Because I have already done this for a friend who was given an old laptop running Windows xp which would have to be thrown away because frankly when it was running Windows it life span as a viable computer had come to end not because of the hardware but software.

But I installed Linux Mint with xfce desktop on the said laptop which breathed life back to the hardware and produced a laptop which was usable because it ran fast enough to be used again.

The friend in question now uses the laptop more than his Windows desktop simply because it is more stable and usable than his Windows computer with little or no problems simply because the xfce desktop is so similar to the Windows xp desktop with few minor differences.

Would I recommend that all Windows xp users do this?

The answer is yes especially if the user is just someone who uses their computer for browsing the internet, basic word processing and collecting their email as it will mean it will save them money and they will not have to go through the trauma and headache of learning the new Windows 8 desktop which frankly is very messy and user unfriendly!

Oh, the one other big advantage is the days of the constant battle with viruses and malware users are having with Window computers while surfing the internet will be greatly reduced even eliminated when the users go to Linux Mint. Basically the Windows xp user can surf the internet for a first time in a long while safely.

A good place to start is at the Linux Mint site and follow the download link and download the xfce desktop version of Linux Mint: Linux Mint

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Please Note: If you are interested in my small social network just follow the link to On the Other Side!.

Around a few months ago I had to change the Linux’s on both my two working computers because of various issues including usual problem with the Second Life Viewer failing to run on the main computer which is the major reason why my main desktop is kept running.

So I had to reinstall the Linux on both the desktop and laptop choosing Crunchbang 11 for the laptop and Mint Linux with xfce desktop for the desktop which both installed easily and both certainly ended up doing the jobs they were intended to do.

But what has come out from this exercise is that is has highlighted both that Linux is very sensitive to the hardware it works on and it seams to take time to settle as an operating system on the hardware itself.

It was more apparent on the Crunchbang 11 which when first put on the laptop just after it’s release was not exactly the fasted Linux in the world if anything it was performance wise a very disappointing indeed. But now a few months on the said same Linux, after a few updates, has turned out to be a remarkably stable Linux whose performance now is impressive on the less than powerful hardware of the laptop.

Strangely a similar thing has happened with Mint Linux Computer though not as dramatic but as the Linux embeds itself on to a machine it gets more stable and faster. Though I should not be surprised by this as Linux is based upon Unix which needs to be tweaked initially to get it working well on hardware which Linux seams to itself.

So from my experience if a Linux seams slow initially on a computer give it a week or so to settle on the hardware and if it has not speeded up or became stable it is the wrong Linux for the hardware. There are those doubters out there who will use such an argument against Linux but it is a necessity for such operating systems and always ends up with more stable and faster computer which is a pleasure to use.

After my problems with Cunchbang Linux and a need for a quick fix of my one desktop with a Linux Mint 14 xfce disk at hand to solve the problem easily and neatly by installing Linux Mint on the said machine.

It got me thinking about Linux Mint 14 in general especially with those Windows xp users out there who will need an alternative because of Microsoft’s upcoming stopping of it’s support need an alternative operating system. All this especially as Microsoft have made it difficult even now to reset and upgrade a Windows xp machine and the only alternative Microsoft will give them is the poorly written and user unfriendly Windows 8.

Though they have been offered an alternative which has been pushing itself as the alternative to Windows 8 that being Ubuntu but to be frank it is not much of an alternative as once again it has a far from user friendly desktop much like Windows 8. So in the end Ubuntu is not much of an alternative to Windows 8 for the Windows xp users.

But Linux Mint 14 in all of it variations, especially xfce version, are very viable and usable alternative for the Windows xp users and as they have no real alternative provided by Microsoft I would recommend that Window xp users go in this direction.

This has also answered a question why Linux Mint has been consistently beating Ubuntu for downloads in the Linux community because Linux Mint have stuck to the more traditional desktops which regardless of the attempts of both Microsoft and Ubuntu to change this people simply like and can cope with.

After all the traditional desktop has been around for decades so why change it just for the sake of change or force users down a path they simply do not want to go!

Today is a sad day as Crunchbang Linux had to be removed and replaced by Linux Mint because in the background the creators of Crunchbang updated set of packages which dealt with the creation of windows in the openbox desktop.

Normally this would not be a problem but as always the Second Life Viewers always determine which Linux is used on the said desktop. Crunchbang’s modifications stopped the Second Life Viewers working the main reason why I have the main desktop in the first place.

It was just lucky I had a copy of Linux Mint 14 with xfce desktop which saved the day and once again the Second Life Viewers worked again as well has the previous Crunchbang Linux loaded on the same machine.

I find it extremely disappointing that Crunchbang did modifications to their packages which caused major problems but I learnt why people are more impressed with Linux Mint as it was easy to install and set up which resulted in a very useable machine with traditional desktop.

One thing has come out of all this is that the Crunchbang Linux on the said desktop was the cause of our network problems here as replacing it with Linux Mint has removed a lot of our network problems over night. Even the Crunchbang Linux on my laptop is now more responsive than before.

The Crunchbang Linux will be left on my laptop as it is still working fine on the laptop plus I really do not need to run Second Life on it so as long as the laptop keeps doing what it needs to do it is fine.

As a side note the day after my problems on the main desktop Crunchbang released an update which changed the packages involved with creation of windows within the openbox desktop.