Making the move to Linux Mint 15

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Making the move to Linux Mint 15

Postby KeefEcosse on Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:53 pm

A fresh start with Linux Mint 15, my rough install guide (end of doc),as well as my thoughts and experiences.

In its day Microsoft Windows 98 was a brilliant piece of kit. Even those with little or no training could learn about computers and how to deal with minor problems or faults. I presumed all future MS programmes would be as good. Fast forward several years and I needed a new PC but '98 was dead and in it's place XP but Word, a programme I had used for many years was absent and would cost me extra to buy and install seperately. I wasn't happy. Microsoft had changed approach from a company producing great software to a company more interested in selling me more. By July 2013 I was still using Microsoft software that I didn't want or like but this time it was Windows 7. It was slow and clumsy and it would hang up several times a day which meant that it would need another of its dreaded 45 minute reboots. I even thought it might be my ageing Toshiba laptop that was causing all the problems it was around four years old now and why else would the mouse stop working if there was nothing wrong with it? I'd had enough but I refused to buy a new machine with Windows 8 installed in it and I desperately wanted something else to get away from Microsoft but there wasn't anything else was there? A passing remark to a neighbour resulted in me finding out about Linux.

Linux Mint 15 was my choice of the Linux operating software but the truth is it didn't matter which one I chose, if I didn't like it I would just install another, they are free afterall. I looked at the free thing as 'try before you buy' which is great. If the whole Linux thing worked out then Linus would have saved me the cost of a new laptop so making a donation was be the least I could do.

When it came to downloading and installing Linux I couldn't get as much information in one place as I would have liked so I relied on a mix of the information I had, my limited knowledge and some good old fashioned luck.

If you've been advised to try Linux by virtual machine (VM) I'll tell you that it's a lot of hassle with little beneift. In truth Linux feels clean and sharp in operation and responds quickly but in a VM you'd think the opposite as it's painfully slow, I say forget the VM trial. However, if you chose to download a VM, Deamon Tool Lite or any other programme for that matter then please only use reputable sites or ones you have used before otherwise you can end up with the dreaded mysearchdeal.com search engine which looks like a google page but it takes over your entire internet experience and you will struggle to get rid off. Take my word for it.

I'd read of a few people having printer driver problems. I searched on duckduckgo for mine, and up came the software on the official Brother site for my HL 2240 but would it work? I downloaded and installed both the required drivers but they didn't work. Then a friend noticed that both the drivers were for 32-bit systems and mine was a 64-bit. So I downloaded and installed ia32 libs from my Mint Software Manager to get the drivers to talk to my printer. Voila. Don't be fooled though this took me days to do.

Conclusion;
First of all, you shouldn't have any concerns about Linux. If you don't like the version you've downloaded then download another. If you have done that several times and are still not happy then re-install Microsolft, you still have a licence agreement afterall, don't you? Just make sure you back up all your files before you start to change over.

I am so pleased to be free of Microsoft, there isn't a word I haven't called them. I should have percevered more and looked online for alternatives but who'd have thought you could download operating software and try it for free before you consider paying for it?

Now, I have new operating software that I love and I have all the tools I need to do what I want to do. One of the things that hit me early on with Linux Mint 15 is the lack of interference when you're online there are no warnings about malware, viruses, upgrading, anti-virus or pop-ups or IE9 is not responding, there's none of that there's only peace. You should prepare to enjoy the internet much more than you do now.

Through the loss of control I felt from moving from Windows 98 to XP then Windows 7 I never felt I recovered from and my self-development and understanding of computers went on hold back then. It's off hold now and I have a lot to learn but I am back in control of this machine now and that makes me very happy. Removing Windows 7 and its sticker from my laptop was a significant moment. Microsoft had left a bad taste and I am looking forward to a fresh start with Linux Mint.

Linux Mint 15 has transformed a four year old Toshiba laptop into a machine that feels like new, it's unbelievable. So there was nothing wrong with the Toshiba hardware afterall only the Micrtosoft software to blame and to think that I almost threw it out.

Am I glad that I changed to Linux? Would I do it again? Was dumping Microsoft the right thing to do? Has Linux Miint lived up to my expectations? Yes, yes, yes and yes.

Likes
The clean fuss free look and feel of Linux.
Brisk operation speed.
The internet is another world now and I don't need security software either.
I'm back in control of my laptop.
My laptop used to take 45 minutes to power up now it takes less than 60 seconds.
I haven't had to buy a new laptop like I was expecting to do.
Lots of neat features that make it a pleasure to use, like workspace, tomnboy notes, the simpliciy of updates and the digital photo frame really personalises your machine.

Dislikes
That I can't download the brilliant Libre Office 4 yet.
Small screen You Tube videos are fine but full screens are sometimes jumpy.
The installation process could be easier.
Screen flashes on power up but I've got used to it.
The battery life seems a lot less than it did on windows.
Printer set up was a headache but printer manufacturers should supply drivers for Linux on their CDs alongside Microsoft and Apple then it'd be all square.

My Quick Rough Guide - you might find some of this helps.

Pre-Install Make sure you have backed up all your files.
If you have Nero or anything similar, uninstall it.

Installation.

o Download Torrent.

o Using Torrent, download your chosen Linux Mint software to your hard drive.
You'll need to know if you need a 32 or 64 bit system. If you're using Windows 7 type 'system information' in the 'search box' .

o Burn Linux Mint to CD from your hard drive.

o Power up machine with the disc in driver.
Some systems will automatically start from the disc drive (I'm told) mine didn't.

o Press F12 on power up to access boot manager. Select start from CD-DVD.

o You should now be able to play around with Linux Mint 15.

Happy? Then on the Linux Mint 15 desktop double click 'install'. You'll be asked if you want to run dual boot or replace Windows with Linux Mint 15. You choose. I went for the latter option and I have never looked back.

Cheers,

Keef.
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Re: Making the move to Linux Mint 15

Postby petepc2 on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:37 am

Thanks for a good post there keith, having started on Win 98 myself an seen all the new releases from microsoft go haywire i could not agree more with your comments. I personally did not change from 98 until XP proved itself (who remembers Millenium?) didnt use 7 and Win8 is primarily a first run into the touchscreen field.
yes they want your cash, but its for old rope it seems . There are many things that are hyped up on a new release that in reality are nothing but pointless minor changes easily spotted by those in the know.

Thats enough about the big W i think, so onto something more interesting.....Linux
these guys really know how to put an OS together and they listen to the users taking onboard new ideas and including them into the systems (after being tested of course) Never having tried linux before , finding my way around mint has been really straight forward, yes certain drivers need tweaking, i had to track down a linux friendly graphics driver but for the most part a fresh Mint installation from new worked without any major problems.

I found a download that could be put on a USB stick, all that was needed was to make it into a bootable drive easy enough with the right software, i used a program called Universal-Usb-installer and transferred the linux distro to it

Just change boot order to usb drive in bios and reboot with USB stick plugged in "et voila" a new OS and after a few straight forward inputs you have the new system up and running. Far less hassle than any other installation ive had to do believe me ive done more than my fair share.

Yes it runs without fuss with none of those silly msg things every 5 min .
One of the best things ive found is theres an inbuilt chatroom taking you into a dedicated help forum where any questions can be put to experts and problems are worked through in a live enviroment. Excellent idea ,, i used it a couple of times always got the help i needed .
I find my 7yr old laptop runs faster too....as theres no bloatware needed.

In short the whole system does exactly what it say on the tin............it works !

Before you ask...
NO i dont work for linux....
.NO im not getting paid to say this
YES im a relative newcomer
YES im a total convert and a big fan................May the XFCE be with you :mrgreen:
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Re: Making the move to Linux Mint 15

Postby TNFrank on Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:56 pm

I had Win98 on my first real computer and unless I totally reinstalled the Op System about every 4 to 6 months it'd just not work right. Win98 totally turned me off of Windows based Op Systems. I bought an iMac and didn't look back for over 11 years until it died from an EMP pulse caused by a nearby lightning strike.
What I did find was having such a trouble free op system as OS X made me get lazy where tech was concerned. My tech skills were awful. After it died I tried a Windows8 laptop but it picked up a Trojan horse virus within a week and so I took it back for a full refund and got a couple older laptops and installed Ubuntu 12.04LTS on em' and was actually pretty happy. Then I gave Mint 15 MATE a try and wow, it was even better. Yep, I'm a diehard Linux user from this point on out, no more Windows(never really was on the table) no more Mac OS X, Linux or bust. :mrgreen:
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Re: Making the move to Linux Mint 15

Postby JohnEMontanez on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:55 pm

I started out with DOS, Windows 3.1, 95, 98, XP, had Millennium for a while, Vista, then Windows 7. I started using Ubuntu and liked it, but they started adding things I didn't like. Then they would upgrade to a new version and stop supporting the version I had forcing an upgrade I was afraid of because I just knew there were additional things added I would not like so I stopped using it and went back to Windows 7. Then I heard about Mint. I tried it and it was like having the best of Ubuntu back without all the undesirable clutter on the desktop. I am very pleased with Mint. I have Mint 15 “Olivia” and I love it. :)
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Re: Making the move to Linux Mint 15

Postby nomko on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:10 pm

Pfffeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww....................... Win 98................. :shock: :shock: :shock: What a terrible, horrible, monstrosity of an operating system :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:

Each 3-5 months re-installing it due to slowing down and filling up with junk stuff...... And when re-installing it, hoping it won't crash during driver installations..........
Good thing i found Linux!!!

I started with DOS 3.3 and ended with DOS 6.2, installed Windows 3.11 WFW under DOS, jumped to Win 95 and then Win 98. In 2000 i bought Windows 200 Pro and used that for many years before using XP. In 2007 i stared using Ubuntu 7.04 and never turned back to Windows.

Linux Mint 15 looks good and feels as usual. User-friendly, easy accessible and above all fast.
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Re: Making the move to Linux Mint 15

Postby Snapcase on Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:23 pm

Likes
The clean fuss free look and feel of Linux.
Brisk operation speed.
The internet is another world now and I don't need security software either.
I'm back in control of my laptop.
My laptop used to take 45 minutes to power up now it takes less than 60 seconds.
I haven't had to buy a new laptop like I was expecting to do.
Lots of neat features that make it a pleasure to use, like workspace, tomnboy notes, the simpliciy of updates and the digital photo frame really personalises your machine.

Dislikes
That I can't download the brilliant Libre Office 4 yet.
Small screen You Tube videos are fine but full screens are sometimes jumpy.
The installation process could be easier.
Screen flashes on power up but I've got used to it.
The battery life seems a lot less than it did on windows.
Printer set up was a headache but printer manufacturers should supply drivers for Linux on their CDs alongside Microsoft and Apple then it'd be all square.


Likes. I pretty much agree most of them.

Dislikes. Libre Office 3? Really? I've got version 4 in Olivia KDE since day one.

I don't find a real difference in performance in Youtube related to full screen or small windows. Just the resolution itself whatever the size. Some HD streams work smooth and fine and some crap. even some running at non HD resolutions. That's dependant on servers not about LM capabilities. Maybe your issues are related to your particular hardware more than LM itself.

I don't like the installer either, but blame Ubuntu for this. It's basically the same installer. Other distros I've tried are way easier and less irritating than the Ubuntu thing. Even LMDE (Debian installer) is a totally different (grateful) experience in this area. Not an LM fault IMO. We are installing an Ubuntu tweak after all.

Screen flashes on booting are more related to drivers than LM itself. Nvidia proprietary drivers are notable for these issues.

Printers... Well, I agree. Manufacturers should provide appropriate drivers, but this obviously doesn't happen. It depends on your particular printer/brand. Many work fine right out of the box. I had plenty of printer issues with Brother printers even on Mac OS in the past, and in my particular experience never had an issue with the HPs I had in any OS yet.

Mileages may vary.
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Re: Making the move to Linux Mint 15

Postby KeefEcosse on Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:25 pm

Thanks for the responses gents and sorry for the delay in responding.

It's amazing that such a small group of people should have such different experiecnes of Windows 98.

Thanks for your note petepc2 and many will appreciate your advice on USB use. I had been told that what you have done wasn't do-able so you should share that as much as you can. People could have asked me the same questions that you answered but like you I have no connections with Linux. Glad to read of people like yourself who've had similar experiences to my own.

TNFrank I am on the same page as you, I don't want anything other than Linux now but suspect that I would have been better with Mint 15 Mate but I like the Cinnamon version so no harm done. My only concern is when this Toshiba gives up how do I buy a new laptop without paying for Microsoft software that I don't want, need or like? I'll probably end up with the wife's Samsung (which is no bad thing it's a great machine) and put Linux on that but I would like to walk into a shop and buy a laptop with Linux installed or failing that nothing on it at all and load it myself. I suspect the former scenario though and my wife will get a new machine. I hope she can work the latest MS version. lol.

John, I have the same Mint version as you and like it just as much. I've a friend who is an IT guru and was having a chat with him a few days back and he asked if I had seen some IT report online. It was about operating software and on one half it was all the good stuff and on the other were the baddies, Mint 15 Cinnamon was on the good side and rated as one of the best operating systems for security. There's no prizes for guessing what was on the other side though and while I won't name the company concerned I will say that Bill Gates wont be pleased.

I like the picture nomko. So you're not impressed with the new improved dual action windows? I can understand that. Your experience with 98 sound like my Windows 7 experiences.

Snapcasae, thanks and I'm glad usually people are lining up to disagree with me so it's a refreshing change. I've read Libre Office 4 needs major surgery to get on Mint 15 Cinnamon and I'm not prepared (read brave) to do it yet. I wish I had 4 though as the difference between what I have and 4 is huge.

I'm a car nut and watch all the road tests on you tube so the films are mostly fast would that affect it? I don't know why they jump sometimes it could be the wi-fi for all I know. Whatever it is it's not bad enough to make me want to change from Linux though, not on your life!

I'm used to the screen flashes now and never give them a second thought as they're just part of the power up process. In fact, I like them, and would miss them if they were to go and I'd be likely to complain about their absence. There's no pleasing some people!

As for the printer, both the drivers were there and easily available on the Brother site so a big thank you to Brother for that but the machines weren't talking and the answer to the problem lay in the FAQ's on the Brother site. I needed the ia32 lbs to get the printer and laptop talking. The installation was a chore and while it was two days of hassle it's better than years of misery with Microsoft. Once printer manufacturers wake up to the fact the people are choosing Linux then they might just start to offer Linux customers the same service as Microsoft and Apple by supplying drivers on discs and rightly so. If things hadn't worked out I would have changed the printer before I would have changed from Linux.

Finally, is htere any chance of a thank you button on here? I have wanted to click that many times over the last month and been unable to by its absence. I doubt that I will be the first or the last to ask for it though, Thank you.

Thanks again guys for you responses and to the folks who helped me during the very early days, much appreciated.

Cheers

Keef.
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Re: Making the move to Linux Mint 15

Postby TNTS on Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:22 am

Being a youngster, my first REAL experience was with Windows XP. By real I mean having it all for myself, exploring the possibilities the XP brought at the time. Though I used XP as my daily driver for 4 years, my first actual computer experience was with Windows 95 (2004) back when I was err.. 4. I remember playing with Paint and Notepad for hours until I just got bored. Ever year there would be a clean reinstall since a virus would be caught through Floppy disks and flash drives. At age 10 (2010) I learned about Windows 7 and was really eager to install it but my PC was just to weak to do that. 2 years later, I finally got out of the theme packs and actually installed Windows 7 then eventually Windows 8. I went back and forth between Windows 8 and 7 until my dad asked me to patch the old PC up. It was an old Celeron D with 1GB of RAM and since Windows 7 runs like a turtle with a 50 pound boulder on its back, I decided to take the Linux route and installed Linux Lite. A month later digging all the Linux-ness that Lite has to offer, I decided to install Ubuntu 13.04 and run it as my only OS. A week later I switched from Ubuntu to Elementary OS moving my sister's Sony VAIO Y laptop with me to Elementary OS then I moved to Pear OS and now Linux Mint. All those in 2 weeks. I don't know what is it that I like about Mint but somehow I started to not want the Unity UI. I guess I'm a sucker for simple stuff. So 2013 will be the year of my move from the OS with 85% usage share to an OS with 0.69% (giggidy) usage share in my country.
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