Linux - the adventure begins...

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Linux - the adventure begins...
« on: May 30, 2014, 06:04:46 PM »
Any enthusiasts have some tips? I have the linuxmint-16-cinnamon-dvd-32bit.iso sitting on my win7 laptop and some day, some weeks later during the summer I guess, I'll try it out on my old winxp laptop. Basically, I've decided it's about time to stop pirating windows. Having gotten a little bit into Android, Linux on a laptop is starting to look okay. Plus, there's things like encryption and privacy that I want to start worrying about too.

So, what's the skinny?

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Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 07:23:49 PM »
Bye bye games, hello trouble free computing. 

If you know how to use a computer, or at the very least can Google things and follow instructions, then Linux is great.

I run my laptop on Linux and I have no problems.

Do be aware that if your laptop has any daft Acer-like buttons and suchlike then changing the OS may also mean you'll need to reflash the BIOS.

Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 03:50:57 AM »
I can't remember why I chose Linux Mint. The iso has been sitting in my torrents folder for some time. For reasons I can't remember, I decided it would be better than Ubuntu. Possibly something about multimedia support out-of-the-box. The install (when I eventually do it - after the exams) will be going on my number two laptop with the heat problem, but I want to see multimedia working quick.

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Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 06:49:49 PM »
I use Ubuntu [Orgasmic Ocelot 1.4.5.&.?.89]  and it is fine out-of-the-box. 

I actually use an ostensibly "desktop" OS on my laptop with no issues. 

Not sure what you mean by "multimedia" support (like, playing videos or doing stuff with video editing software?) - but Ubuntu can do everything that Windows can do out of the box (and a damn sight more besides).  The great thing about Ubuntu is the size of its community.  When you want to do something clever, like get a Windows program to run on Ubuntu using Wine, you sometimes have to put a few lines of commands into the console.  Now, unless you are a computer network dude then this requires a Google search or two and it's much easier to turn up results if everything is tied to Ubuntu.

Not sure if Linux will result in a fix for your heating issues.  Although you tend to find that everything runs quicker on Linux because 1: less time is spent making the front end look super shiny to impress people who can't use computers and need things to look friendly and 2: no anti-virus software is needed because Linux f*cking rocks and so your computer doesn't spend any time looking at what it is doing while it's supposed to be doing it. 

Also, Windows tries to do everything for you.  It assumes that you can't use a computer.  Linux on the other hand assumes that you are cleverer than the OS you are using and if you want it to do something, then you can tell it to do something.  The bottom right hand of your screen will no longer be a telegraph station whenever you start up.   
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 07:22:58 PM by bobrage »

Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 09:02:09 PM »
It may have been a Lifehacker article that turned my head. In any case, still researchin'. At some point I'll put the iso on a USB stick and get the system a spin. I probably started this thread  a bit too early.

(The heat problem on the number two laptop is likely just several years worth of dust. I don't expect a new OS will fix it. Possibly the laptop needs its owner replaced.)

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Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 09:15:09 PM »
Number two laptops are there to be taken apart. 

Compressed air, cloth, thermal grease: have a party.

Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 01:34:59 AM »
Both my laptops have DVD drives but my next one won't and who uses CDs any more anyway (except for textbook companies) so I made my 8GB usb drive bootable and did thereby install linuxmint-16-cinnamon-dvd-32bit.

The installer prefers to have network access. For me this would have added hours or more to the install process. I was looking at reaaally slow download rates for -- I forget, language helper files? -- if I were to rely on my ISP provided DNS. Starting over with OpenDNS settings quickened things up enough to be going on with, but I got bored anyway and skipped the download. Thus, fairly promptly, I was able to get the thing going and start playing around.

Initial impressions:

I forget why I chose Linux Mint with Cinammon. Maybe something about how it's similar in UI layout to XP. Because, it is. Which is cool. I am willing to look further into the experience. However...

Day 1 protips discovered:

Don't wait too long between downloading the install iso and actually installing the OS. I discovered a large number of updates waiting to install, and went on to discover this is because Linux Mint is up to version 17 now. Thus I believe I shall give up for today. I'll torrent version 17 and start over tomorrow.

But in any case, my old XP laptop is now no longer an XP laptop. Hooray for progress.

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Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 03:20:38 AM »
Upgrading via the package manger in any Linux based system often results in issues. It's definitely better to do a fresh install with the latest version instead as you are planning.

Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 10:01:04 PM »
Day 2 - linuxmint-17-cinnamon-dvd-32bit.


Same as before, I installed from usb. Same as before, I got bored waiting for the language-packs to download, so I skipped them. Different from before, once the whole thing was up and running I tried screwing around with software. Thus began the nightmare, no more nightmarish than setting up any other new system, but made so-o-o much worse by China being China. You see, I wanted to install Chrome.

Now, Chrome being Chrome, it's available only from the anti-leftist capitalist roaders, Google. Like any running dog, I'd have to Vigorously Pound my Nuts if I wanted to espouse universal values and/or download Chrome. I discovered the set up process for Vigorously Pounding Nuts was not unlike vigorously pounding my nuts: it hurt, it took a long time, but eventually, well eventually, I "made a connection". Reached Nirvana if you will. You see, the service that would pound my nuts for me does have a really easy set up method for Linux Mint. It's very nearly built in to the OS. You just enter values and change a few settings and viola, a really, really slow pptp connection of limited functionality. If this weren't China, it'd probably be fast and functional. But this is China.

So, long story short, I gave in and tried the relatively more complex set up method meant for Ubuntu, which involved using the software installer and, Lord help me, Terminal commands. It worked though. The end result was a connection more like I was used to on my Windows 7 machine and soon enough, it produced a downloaded Chrome installer. (Which crapped out at the end but thankfully gave me easy-to-follow instructions on what to do next: "sudo apt-get install -f", whatever that is.)

Right now my new Linux Mint laptop (aka "my old XP laptop") is sitting in the corner taking a very long time "Applying changes..." As far as I know, those changes will result in the laptop using a card-specific driver for the graphics display, and everything will be wonderful.

Tune in tomorrow for: Ice Packs and Comfortable Cushions.

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Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2014, 12:06:36 AM »
Holy mother of God, NVIDIA graphics card.

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Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2014, 07:05:13 PM »

It works?  You have games to run on it? 

-sudo apt-get a vat of Winetricks

Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 08:08:08 PM »
I'm not wholly enamored of the look of the Linux Mint desktop. Windows straight out of the box provokes a similar displeasure, This is normally straightened out by installing suitable graphics drivers, giving one access to crisper icons and a wider variety of resolutions. At the time of the above post, I'd just discovered that by default, Linux, or at least Linux Mint, when it spots an Nvidia graphics card will install some open source driver called Nouveau... and one does not simply install the proprietary drivers over the top. One must disable Nouveau as well, which involves editing config files, which necessarily means a crash course in sudo.

Thus, I spent some time trying to work out, was the chunky, chintzy appearance of my new desktop because Nouveau is too basic, the Nvidia-specific drivers weren't being allowed to work, or my recollections of the graphics capabilities of this old laptop were exaggerated. I have since then determined the Nvidia drivers are working, and the desktop still looks kinda basic. This is okay because even under Windows the same was true. What's not okay is, it looks crap on the 22" external monitor too. This is possibly just a matter of various as yet undiscovered settings. I did just now for instance discover I can resize icons, which looks like it might work out well on the bigger screen. But I've had enough for today. I try again tomorrow and see what's what.

(I in particular want to find out if LibreOffice on a bigger screen still makes my Word documents look like crap. Over the last year or so I've become a fan of a Windows font called Calibri. It prints well and looks good in docx files. It's not in LibreOffice but it was easy enough to install by copying from a Windows machine. It, however, doesn't look the same at all. On my laptop screen it was some spindly anorexic shadow of itself.)

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Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2014, 08:52:15 PM »
Just in case you haven't found it, but you probably have:

It has some icon resolution info down the bottom there.  Also, it's for Ubuntu.

Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2014, 12:58:43 AM »
The reason I chose Linux Mint with Cinnamon, as I have recalled from reading around, was speed. Somewhere or other I read that Linux Mint was the hastier of the two when compared with Ubuntu proper. I like a nippy os. More specifically, I like a responsive operating system. And graphics. I liek teh graphics. I've always purchased systems with independent graphics cards, not just onboard whatevers. Thus, a pickle...

It's partly the old laptop (an SL400 Thinkpad - Intel Core 2 Duo, 2Gb RAM, NVIDIA  GeForce 9300M GS, 5400 rpm HDD), but Linux Mint 17 is sometimes a little slow to respond to mouse clicks (particularly when screwing around with System Settings menus). So I thought, what the hell, I'll try Ubuntu and see. I installed Ubuntu 14.04 (Tumescent Trollop) alongside Mint, and was appalled. Ubuntu is faster and more responsive. (And it displays my preferred font, Calibri, the right way by default.) But that's not the pickle. The pickle is Ubuntu's Unity interface. It is, I don't know, poop. Its dark, there's no task bar displaying open programs and folders, and there's an mostly immovable strip of blighted space alongside the left edge of the screen (aka Launcher - because touch screens). I like Cinnamon much, much more. That's the pickle.

The pickle is complicated by there being a way to install Cinnamon on Ubuntu, only the relevant Cinnamon is a "nightly", and for reasons known only to the designer, an uglified version of the Cinnamon you find in Linux Mint.

I discovered you can choose interfaces. You can log out and then select older interfaces (Gnome 2?). I gave it a try and it's a little better, but there's still this question of an active and informative task bar. I like to know what's open, just like in Windows, so I can switch, as I often will do.

Possibly therefore, judging from screen shots, I am looking for Xubuntu? I imagine I shall have to torrent that too and find out.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 01:04:07 AM by Calach Pfeffer »

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Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2014, 02:35:10 AM »
And now, another 1gb in the hole to my torrent ratios, I discover you don't, technically, have to download a whole new Linux installation. One could just install a different UI, and it's about as easy as installing a launcher in Android. And as far as UIs go, I'm presently thinking:

Cinnamon > Xfce > Unity

Later, after I try MATE, I reckon I might start over, erase the disk, install Ubuntu again, drop in a preferred UI, and set up the machine properly. (And if ultimately I want and can't get a decent Cinnamon on Ubuntu, I might start over again, with whatever is the next iteration of Mint + Cinnamon).


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