Wednesday, June 27, 2007

To summarize (pg. 4)

Penguins, Beasties, Borgs, lend me your eyes;
I came to install Linux Mint, not to praise it. ;=)

I'm not going to bash Mircorsoft or Windows XP today. A large portion of the world's computer users are currently running XP and know it quirks far better than I. Again, my install should have gone qicker but was made difficult by my own actions. What are my final thoughts on XP for my Dell?

I was kind of shocked at the amount of hardware XP didn't work with natively. I understand why it didn't, but I had been living under the myth that Windows "just works" with everything. I was also caught off-guard on the lack of functionality XP showed. Yes, it's all available for a price. I just expected things like Java/Flash support to be included, silly me. In the last few years I have become much more productive and comfortable with the Linux/BSD way things are done. I need XP installed on my machine. I'll pop over to verify and test things under Windows, but I don't think I will spend much time here. It's personal, but to me XP feels excessively restrictive. Like trying to run in waist deep water.

My feelings for Linux Mint? Brace yourself. :)

The Mint logo is "from freedom came elegance". I have to agree. Mint is very much like an elegant Ubuntu. The Mint team's hard work shows in more than just the looks though. Things like additional hardware detection, Beagle search, mintDisk and mintConfig help Mint to establish its own identity. I've used mintInstall and their portal to install gFTP and will be watching the development of mintInstall closely. Very interesting things afoot, indeed.

It's almost spooky how well Linux Mint suits my personal computing habits and hardware. For example, I normally install Thunerbird first thing but it comes as the default e-mail client in Mint. Other little details, things I would have changed if I could spend the time, are all there. The way right click now includes an option to really Delete, not just move items to the trash, love it. This is my system now.

Linux Mint did have a few quirks. Nothing serious, but little blemishes, like leaving numerous residual config files on the machine or my MediaDirect button linking to not installed rhythmbox. Beauty marks on a model for all I'm concerned. At this point, me and Linux Mint... We's in love!

Anyone curious about this Linux thing you keep hearing about, I highly suggest you get a copy of Linux Mint and give it a try. It's a live CD so you don't even have to touch your hard drive and current OS if you don't want. Play around and then fire up Synaptic (install software in Mint's main menu) and be amazed at the offerings of the FOSS world.

Well, I hope you enjoyed our little dual-booting odyssey. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to spend some quality time with Linux Mint. :=)

14 comments:

nixcraft said...

A very informative article. I was able to resize the NTFS partition on my IBM laptop R40 using Mandrake 9 and later PCLinuxOS .92. I am thinking of buying a lighter laptop and I have zeroed on to Toshiba Portege or Sony Vaio VGN-TX57GN/B. But both do not allow resizing the NTFS partition. I have been thinking of formatting the HDD and reinstall. Has the author thought of any simpler method by now? Thanks for any suggestion.
Kumaresan

HackingYodel said...

Linux Mint comes with the great program gparted that can resize NTFS partitions. Here is a link to how it's done http://gparted.sourceforge.net/larry/resize/resizing.htm

The good people on the Linux Mint forums are always very helpful and my be able to assist also. http://www.linuxmint.com/forum/index.php

Eric said...

WOW that was pretty inspiring if you ask me man, very well done, and all good and honest reviews like these are what is needed for migration over to a GNU/Linux operating environment.

nixcraft: follow what hackingyodel, he/she speaks much truth :)

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

Anonymous said...

I read this wonderfull blog,and wish to thank for good quality article.Sorry for my bad english!
Wish you the best.
Stefan from Romania

Chip said...

I used to do the old dual-boot thing for those few times I had to work in Windows. Then I met vmware, and I never looked back. It's a linux boot for me 100% of the time now, and when I must go to Windows for some proprietary reason, I just boot the VM keeping Windows in the tight little controlled box it needs to be in.

I backed up the VM install, so if I ever I end up with a virus or problem, it's a simple matter of restoring the VM to its pristine condition. Drivers are basically irrelevant because the host OS already has everything configured and working beautifully.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Mint, I haven't tasted it yet since I've been swimming in a cup of Ubuntu lately.

For the XP part I'm not so thrilled since taking any 6 year old distribution and installing + upgrading it would lead to similar headache. My laptop has a recovery cd that restores almost everything to the date when it was made and the updates are reasonably swift after that. Of course it does not include Open Office or such goodies but this part was a bit too much for me.

Bashing XP is fun, I do it too but come on. Everybody knows that an operating system made before your computers parts existed is due to have a lot of updating and problems.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, thanks for sharing. As a new user to Ubuntu and the associated headaches with non-FOSS software it carries with it you have definitely got me interested in Linux Mint...

Anonymous said...

I've been using Linux Mint for a couple of months now. Running it as the sole OS on an IBM X40 Thinkpad, with a Dlink AirPlusG card installed. I love it too... it just works, yeah there's a couple of flaws here and there but at this point I'm willing to overlook those.

No Yards said...

[quote]Bashing XP is fun, I do it too but come on. Everybody knows that an operating system made before your computers parts existed is due to have a lot of updating and problems.[/quote]

A valid point to note, but the reality is (and people have to deal in realities when they install OSes) that XP is an old OS, and while SP2 would have made things easier, to paraphrase Rumsfeld, you go to OS installations with the install CDs you got, not with the install CDs you wish you had. lots of peopel in the real world have to install in exactly the same manner as was done in this article.

One could respond I suppose that most people buy their systems with the OS pre-instaled, and that is a valid and large reality, just not the reality that is being dealt with here ... but one has to admit that the "pre-installed" reality is still a major one that challenges Linux. Of course, pre-installs today are moving towards Vista, which despite it's improved security (for now) and flash, is just as likely to cause a revolt against M$ as it is to be a Linux killer.

Vista may (or may not) have made things easier, but again, the reality is that lots and lots of people don't want to use Vista, or don't have the hardware to use it if they wanted to.

For years Linux had to face "reality". Linux almost always did everything better technically, but in the end always had to face the reality that in order to get it to do a lot of things better than Windows, it took a lot of knowledge and hard work ... reality has caught up with the "number 1" OS, and as for Vista, well once it has a user base of any significance we shall see how well it does.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine got new Acer desktop with Vista Basic on it. It is 512 MB PC, but with Vista it feels slow. Then I tried Linux Mint 3.0 live cd. Wow, the live cd was FAST and it was FASTER than the installed Vista. Everything just works. Afraid to install, my friend played with it for long times, then I realized that the keyboard and mouse were wireless and they also just work !

Cor said...

Thx for the great article! It was quite amusing to read & realize that one is not alone fighting M$ OS to get it working more or less...
I got hands on a Vista Business from my Uni & thought to give it try...well it was that famous last drop in the pond which made my way to Linux Mint! sry for my words but Vista just sucks! After creating folders I wasn't allowed to delete them anymore even if I was logged in as an administrator and disabled that crap thing called UCL or whatever its name is. So I installed Linux Mint fearing that I may not support all my hardware (it's pretty new stuff) but I was just flabbergasted to see everything work from the beginning!!! It's just incredible! Compared to install Vista & personalizing it which takes hours & hours it took me about 1.5 hours for Linux Mint! Thx a lot to the Linux Mint Team! Damn good job here! So I decided to kill all my M$ (had W2K running as well) and just to live with Mint. Best choice I ever made (for an OS ;)) It's a really happy and relaxing time ever since...

Eduard said...

Man ... I'm also a pro Linux guy ... "in general". Why do I say in general? Because I like Linux in the console mode, but actually it's so difficult to compare it to Windows XP when it comes to (X)Windows application. Because Xwindows was made to be so general (it's a server in itself) and because most video drivers are somehow source closed, the speed that you get on Windows it's far better then you can get on Linux. In my case for example, I'm a Java programmer and I use most of the time the Elipse. Now even though there is an Eclipse build special for GTK, on Linux + Gnome it looks sooo bad (so much flickering, menus and windows are drawn slowly and so on). And this was just an example. Another problem is the font rendering, which makes fonts look much worse than on Windows. Even Microsoft's fonts look worse on Linux than on Windows. So ... linux is still the best on servers, and even on desktops ... if you are a Linux fun ... and it's free, but the general feeling is that Windows is still smoother, and gets many things better than it.
But this is just my opinion :). Cheers

Nick said...

I have windows vista ultimate, it came on my computer, and I hate it. It takes roughly 15 minutes to boot up, and another 15 to log on. Microsoft should have just kept vista 64-bit like it was supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

You can remove the config files by:
sudo apt-get autoclean