I use three or four older big roomy desktop computers in my home network.
I joined your board this evening after spending many hours tryng to figure out your OS.
I tried Linux about ten years ago (Suse and KDE) and needed the help of a computer scientist friend of mine to install Linux on what was then a modern computer. I even used BeOS for a while if anybody is old enough to remember.
At the time I felt it was good for hobbyists with unlimited spare time, and for professional system admins who wanted job security, because rank-and-file users would not be able to manage their own systems without help.
Fast forward about ten years.
I thought I would try it again. I have a handful of old but pretty good machines to play with.
I was able to try Ubuntu on a machine a couple of years ago, and it loaded up OK from a CDr I made.
So far so good.
I played around with it for a couple of weeks but went back to using Windows XP when I needed to get something done.
Win XP has many ugly things about it, like bloat, fequent huge update packages, need for antivirus and antimalware, Microsoft corp, etc,
but at least I could make it work and usually get done what I needed to do.
Before Christmas I thought I would try again.
I dragged the computer which had Ubuntu installed from the closet and fired it up. I updated to Ubuntu 12.10.
I was well stoked at first because it installed easily and seemed to be a nice package.
The Ubuntu website looks modern and professional and I believed for a little while that maybe Linux had come of age.
A waste of time.
It took me about two hours to decide to toss it out.
The configuration options were very limited from the gui.
It is an ugly interface for a desktop machine. It doesn't use menus.
It uses this gadget that is supposed to figure out for you what you are trying to do.
That's some real progress there I'll tell you. (kidding).
I tried loading Bodhi next.
Nice that they included the checksum info so I could see if the download went well.
Nice minimal design. Lightweight package. Designed to load from a USB stick.
But the machine I wanted to load it on didn't have a USB boot option.
It would begin to load from the CD I made but then choke.
I reburned the CD on different burners, tried different readers etc.
I tried Watt OS. After several tries, I got it to load on that machine.
It looked OK, but seemed to dislike the NVidia display card.
The next day I started the machine from cold and it got stuck in memory test.
Maybe Bios is shot. Don't know. Likely coincidence.
I may do some more experiments before I toss that machine.
I put the hard drive into another computer and it fired up fine. Surprise! Something was easy! But not so fast.
It came with Chromium browser which would crash every time I tried to use it. I uninstalled and reinstalled and same thing.
I Set that project aside for the time being.
I tried a couple of others and couldn't get anything to load.
Then I tried to install Mint 14 Xfce from a Cd into the box where I had Ubuntu installed.
After a couple of tries and fails, it took. After that it loaded OK.
Nice that you included checksum info with your downloads.
I couldn't figure out how to do a checksum on the Cd after it is made from .iso.
This would be a good thing for me to know so when something doesn't load,
so I can tell if it's because of a faulty Cd or DVD burn.
After it loaded, I tried to see if I could use it.
It has been a load of struggle and very little joy since then.
I'm used to WIndows XP. In a few clicks, I can see how much of my Hard drive is full, permissions etc.
I can see what my hardware is and if it seems to be working. I couldn't even figure out how to tell which desktop version I had runnning.
The Thunar file manager is just file manager in its title so I have to see if it looks the same as the other file manager.
Oh I guess they are the same.
Nothing is easy to figure out.
When I look for documentation, it's from five or six versions ago, and it looks like those older distributions were set up better.
Programs have been renamed and functions removed.
I can search a bit more and find advice about how to do it from terminal.
Well that's great for the hobbyist and there is no lack of very committed hobbyists around the Linux scene.
Hats off to you.
I'm a beginner with Linux and don't aspire to be a computer scientist or anything, so I get frustrated with the terminal thing after an hour or two of struggle.
I wanted to see the rest of my home network, and transfer some files.
Nothing in the network settings menu worked.
I couldn't do it from File manager. Windows XP saw the Linux computer in an instant, at least for printer sharing.
But I couldn't figure out how to see the Windows machines on my network, or how to let Windows see the files on my Mint machine.
Oh I have to use Samba from the terminal. OK there is a ton of documantation for that. I'll work on it when I have a few hours to kill.
I plugged the USB stick into my XP machine and used that to transfer the files.
I decided to clean off an 8 Gb USB memory stick, load another OS and see if I could use the Plop program as a boot loader.
I used a WinXP machine to download and burn the plop disk. It took me about three minutes.
I tried your Thunar file management program. It sort of works but I found it very clunky to use. Used it for an hour or two.
Then tried to use g-thumb and ristretto to sort some jpg files. What pain. I tried to get the hang but they are both so limited
SOLUTION: plug the USB stick into a windows XP machine. Use IrfanView and Windows File manager. Easy and done in half an hour
including doing batch conversions of image files. I will try to use a windows emulator eventually ( if I don't give up on Linux first)
and see if IrfanView runs OK with it. I expect it will be difficult to get that to work, because it's plenty hard to do even simple things with Mint.
Btw, g-thumb crashed many times along the way. I think it didn't recognize some file types or something. No error message or anything. Just pooff! Gone. Restart the program.
Ristretto also crashed a few times. Maybe there are some better graphics programs out there in LinuxLand.
I would be happy if there was only one little application that was about as good as IrfanView was ten years ago.
So I cleaned the files off the USB stick with your file manager. It saved the deleted files in trash or something like recycle bin.
Thunar would not delete the files. I tried the diskmanager program do do a format. No go.
Solution: Put the USB stick into Windows XP machine. From file manager, or from my computer, or several other places, it is about 3 clicks and the files are
deleted and the USB drive is formatted.
Now I want to write onto the formatted (fat 32) USB drive.
I try your gadget for writing .iso files to USB. No go.
I will try to figure out how to use the dd terminal command, just to put myself through it.
I will start threads on specific topics so please don't try to help my problems here.
I would like to hear about your thoughts about Linux in General in response to my verbose complaints.
At this stage I'm going to invest some more time and effort in trying to get Linux to work for me, though I feel foolish throwing good time after bad.
It's also likely foolish of me to ask this kind of general opinion question in a room full of True Believers.
It seems that the design and programs that come with Mint 14 Xfce are far from finished.
"Oh, skip the gui programs and just go to the terminal and start typing"...(after searching the documentation for an hour).
That's a nice answer. You sure are smart Timmy.
Every time a user has to go to the terminal is a failure of software design.
When the user feels stupid and confused it's a failure of both software design and documentation.
I've felt plenty stupid these few weeks.
At the moment I would suggest Linux for a person is a natural computer genius with a terriffic memory, in which case they would already be using it.
For somebody who has loads of time and little or no responsibility in life.
Somebody who thinks learning terminal commands is great fun, Mountain Dew is good food, computer gaming is physical excercise.
For someone who has a windows computer to use when they have to get something finished on time.
I like the thought of a open source OS for mass consumption.
There are many things to like about Linux, but I am getting my butt kicked by the experience.
I welcome your thoughts and advise.
Yours, Shortshift Frog.