Just wanted to check in and say hi to the great Mint community!
I've been toying with Linux for over a decade, keeping a spare partition with some distro or another for the sheer fun of it. I think I started with RedHat 4.0 (NOT RHEL, mind you, but the original late-90s RedHat), played with Mandrake, ran screaming from Slackware, and about three years ago settled on Ubuntu. 8.04, to be exact.
In these last three years I dual booted Ubuntu and Vista, and without setting out to do so, I ended up spending more and more time in Ubuntu. Once I got MS Office running (more or less) in Wine, I only booted into Vista once in a blue moon. And once I realized the joy of VirtualBox (for Office and two or three specialty programs I need), I stopped using my Vista partition completely.
But about 6 months ago, I started becoming disenchanted with Ubuntu. The 6-month upgrade cycle was simply disasterous. Even the bugs got buts with it! And then the whole Unity debacle...
It became clear to me that Shuttleworth intends to make Ubuntu the desktop of the masses. Unfortunately, that doesn't include me, but people like my grandmother. It's obvious he's going about this by making Ubuntu the OSX of the Linux world, severly limiting choice and flexibility for the sake of ease of use, and seriously repressing democractic interaction for the efficiency of imposing his vision with money.
Good for him and the people on his payroll -- I honestly wish them success, and will be overjoyed when granny can manage to check her e-mail and read the paper on line using Ubuntu, one mouse button and two fingers. No more AV to update for her, no more malware to remove, etc. It's truly win-win.
But at the same time, there's a damned good reason me and people like me don't use OSX and its ilk. So I had to part ways with Ubuntu.
I tried Mint's Ubuntu-derivative and liked it, but then I realized I could use pure Mint-flavored Debian and get the exact same user experience, plus rolling updates, so I switched to LMDE.
And I haven't looked back!
Thanks to the entire Mint team and community for making this happen!