Linux Mint 11 32 bit Review:
An in depth review of any Linux distribution would be boring, however, I only have good to say about this distribution. It still uses old Gnome 2.32.0. It has the bottom Windows like menu and the interface is very easy to navigate. Finding where things are is not difficult by any means. I like to review random stuff. I much prefer “Software Manager” over Ubuntu Software Center. It doesn't hang as much, and seems to work very well. I found I was much better off switching to Metacity from Compiz which is fine. I ran into a couple issues with Wine, but nothing turning off all the pretty effects couldn't fix.
In this I will try to replace Windows and OSX as much as physically possible. In fact I will be using nothing but Linux Mint 11 for 30 or so days.
Installation and getting settled. I chose to use a USB stick and Universal Linux USB from http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal- ... -as-1-2-3/
and selected Mint 11 and selected the downloaded 900mb ISO. It brought me to a live desktop with an icon to install the OS on the desktop.
AMD Athlon X220 Dual Core 2.0 GHZ
2G DDR3 1066MHZ
Nvidia 8400GX 1G DDR3
Not a beastly system, but enough to give Linux some running room.
I usually tend to stay away from Gnome distributions as Gnome never has enough for me to actually enjoy life. Gnome 3 will be no exception to this rule. I am sure the interface will grow and yadda yadda yadda, but when KDE 4 came out it had a complete desktop. Sure people complained, and they took a while to get the features in there that people wanted, but KDE 4 offered something that was still missing in every other desktop. With that being said, lets kick off this journey.
It installed rather quickly and the included wallpapers and themes are very nice, however, still not as easy to install themes as it is in KDE. Not a big deal, but I look for the little things that people tend to miss. All in all, I can't tell I am using Gnome, I feel like I am using “Linux Mint” one thing Ubuntu failed to do, even with Unity. When using Unity I feel like I am using a cheap OSX knock off. So this is definitely a step up from there. Surfing around the Internet seemed to be a breeze and things popped up asking me to install flash and multimedia codecs, rather than waiting for me to go looking for them. This is a nice step, and reminds me of KDE based distributions.
Do I know you? You aren't Linux. You have smooth flash playback and quick video jumping and decent applications. I know it has been a year or so since I actually played with Linux, but this is not the Linux I remember from a year ago. It certainly is the same Gnome though. And Gimp hasn't changed at all. I will talk more about the applications tomorrow.
I installed a few things in Wine. So lets talk about them for now. WoW the game I enjoy runs flawlessly (after enabling metacity and disabling compiz). I am very impressed with this. I used to stay away from Wine, but since I set out to replace Windows, I might as well. Ill be probably using Arch with KDE next like a good KDE fan anyway, so it couldn't hurt to mess with Wine. Rosetta Stone 3.4.5, the application I use for work, works wonderfully. I am very impressed with Wine. Other things didn't work, Office 2010 installed, but didn't start, and QuickBooks 2011 started but didn't seem to want to do anything. This is not an issue and remnants of OSX, install VMWare Workstation and a stripped down XP specifically for this purpose. All I need to do is copy my image over from the Mac and I have all my work applications already installed. The in-house developed database application did not want to work properly. It would connect to the server at work, and it would run, but just randomly complain when trying to open databases about the data not being there, then open it anyway. It refused to save any changes made to existing databases though. I am sure Winetricks would probably fix it, but I am going to just use VMWare Workstation as I get it free from work anyway. Uninstalling the applications went smoothly enough. When I get home from work tomorrow I will be sure to bring home the VMWare disk and a Linux License out of the supply room. All in all, there is no way you can fully replace Windows. I am sure with the advent of Office 365 and Mint from Intuit, we might see Office and QuickBooks being replaced, but there are a slew of other applications for work that I use at home that makes this a very damp transition. Also I noticed Rosetta Stone randomly complain about some error requiring me to install it over and over just to get it to work after closing it.
At the end of Day 1 it was a lot like buying a Mac. It had all these quirky little features, but as soon as you went to do something you were used to doing, you have to find some work around. It is why you don't see more Macs. But I feel accomplished and was able to just find what I needed to get the little things done, which is more than I can say for Winodws 7 SP1. I remember jumping from XP to 7 and it was not this aquatic, it was very rocky, and I needed to figure out that I was using 64 bit and that it messed everything up and I needed 32 bit just to work.