Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby NickH301 on Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:18 am

Bear in mind that this would be a separate release/distro all of its own, and that it expressly would *not* try to keep users current - it would just do the absolute minimum updates to leave a version that's working, non-broken, LTS-based, and not too ancient that it's not supported.

Barring emergency security updates, I guess it might update software every couple of years, say(?), unless there was some reason why that was an impossible dream.

Is that kind of world not doable in Linux, without requiring complete reinstalls? In a distro you're releasing yourself?

[I've zero idea myself of course... just asking.]
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby Mark Phelps on Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:04 pm

I'm sorry ... but with decades of hands-on experience with 5 generations of computing environments, and computers sizes from filling a building to taking up a small part of your phone, I have to say that the only honest answer to your question is -- NO.

Why?

Because people using "XP" will essentially need a replacement that is IDENTICAL in form and function -- NOT just to the XP desktop, but also, to the application landscape with which they are familiar.

"Normal" people, and by that, I'm presuming you mean "non-technical" people, don't use "XP"; instead, they use an application base that runs on XP. IF you were to take their PC, replace it with one running another OS, but leave their apps, their files, their menus, and their functions exactly the same, they would never know that they were not using "XP" anymore.

And that is where the problem comes in.

The Linux distros were never intended to be an exact set of replacements for MS Windows -- desktops or apps. While LiberOffice does lots of the same things as MS Office, it is NOT a "clone" -- and anyone switching is going to have to learn a whole new menu system. The same is true of any other Linux "replacement" for well-established MS apps -- they have many of the same functionality, but the "look and feel" is quite different.

If you were to change your question to one of "will folks, switching from MS Windows to Linux, feel more at home with Mint than with other Linux distros"?, I believe the answer would have to be YES. Win XP, Win7, and even (yes) Win8 have a menu-based desktop that has a look and feel similar to that of Mint. Once you learn one Menu system, it's relatively easy to learn another.

But ... that said ... unwillingness to "learn" has been the stumbling block to improvements in the PC experience for a long time. We hear a lot about how folks "hate" Win8. but really, what they dislike is the ridiculous "tiles interface" -- and don't appear to want to learn that returning to their familiar desktop, complete with menus, is a very simple process.

IF folks in large numbers are NOT willing to learn how to (1) click an Desktop "tile", and (2) spend 5 minutes installing a Start Menu replacement app, to get their previous menu-based Windows experience back, how can you expect these same folks to learn a whole NEW menu system -- with something like LibeOffice?

I'm not saying there are not exceptions. We can all probably point to a couple of folks that made the switch OK. But the great mass of folks are going to stick with XP until it no longer runs -- and there is no "end date" on that.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby NickH301 on Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:51 am

Mark, TVVM for the reply - I started with punch cards too, nice to hear from another! :-)

With every reply I feel like we're shrinking slightly the potential target market for such a thing, *but* that's not an issue at all, that's entirely as expected. I'm not trying to get to every single home XP user at all - just the ones who stick to a browser (and perhaps non-power-use Office use as well - or not.) People who don't rely on a particular "application base" in Windows. People whose PC use is way way simpler than ours. A few million potential new Linux users.

That's a hell of a lot of home XP users out there in the world of plumbers, hairdressers etc etc etc, the world of all the endless ranks of non-techies (check Yellow Pages for more professions ;-). Maybe ballpark 50% of all home XP users might be our target market for such a thing.

(If you want to see how clueless technologically normal people are, by the way, try this - tinyurl.com/whatisabrowser - where Google researchers go to Times Square, in 2008, and discover that less than one in twelve people know what a "browser" is. No surprise to me, by the way, after lots of user research of normal people! That's just how normal people are. Anyway, lots of *those* people are the target market -- surfing and not much more, and not knowing what a "browser" is, even though they use one all day.)

You're right, yes, they may never realise (or not for some considerable time) that XP becomes a danger to your bank account after next April. How that one plays out I don't know.

I'm not trying to suggest Mint (or similar) would be a perfect UI replacement - just that it would be closer than anything Microsoft can give them (and save buying new hardware - which is a big deal too) --

-- look what Microsoft did with introducing the Ribbon UI. I'd say LibreOffice, for everyday normal-user use, is way way closer to old Office versions than that. And we're talking seriously limited stuff here - your average plumber won't exactly need to learn the entire LibreOffice UI.

-- and Win8 tiles. You mention that these normal people "don't appear to want to learn that returning to their familiar desktop, complete with menus, is a very simple process." To put it another way, in their world, they don't KNOW this possibility exists - and even those few who did hear of it would mostly not try it, because (as user research tells us repeatedly) they're scared sh*tless of changing anything serious-sounding in the system in case they break something and can't work out how to put things back as before. To all intents and purposes, for the great majority of useres, that "very simple process" doesn’t exist for them. (Even though, to us, it's trivial, and we *so* wish they would find it and try it.)

---

I'm personally veering towards the conclusion that this idea would be a waste of time, partly due to uncertainty over when our normal XP users would realise they needed to leave XP, and party because of the near-impossibility (speaking from similarly long experience) of convincing the Linux world of how truly simple so many normal users' PC/tech lives are.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby Nilla Wafer on Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:57 am

Windows 8 is so different from Windows XP that users who upgrade are going to be just as frustrated as they would be if they had switched to Mac or Linux. I just inherited another computer from a friend who bought a new one with Windows 8, and she is really POed with it. It's new and strange (looks alot like Unity if you ask me), and awkward to use if you're used to XP.

She's going to want her old computer back when she sees how wonderfully "familiar" I can make Mint Xfce behave on it. And if she does ask for it back, I'll be happy to give it right back and maybe have another Minty Linux fan to share with!

~nilla
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby gold_finger on Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:14 pm

Mark Phelps said:

"Normal" people, and by that, I'm presuming you mean "non-technical" people, don't use "XP"; instead, they use an application base that runs on XP. IF you were to take their PC, replace it with one running another OS, but leave their apps, their files, their menus, and their functions exactly the same, they would never know that they were not using "XP" anymore.


and

But ... that said ... unwillingness to "learn" has been the stumbling block to improvements in the PC experience for a long time.


These statements hit the nail right on the head!



NickH301 said:

I'm personally veering towards the conclusion that this idea would be a waste of time, partly due to uncertainty over when our normal XP users would realise they needed to leave XP, and party because of the near-impossibility (speaking from similarly long experience) of convincing the Linux world of how truly simple so many normal users' PC/tech lives are.


If targeting XP users in general, I agree it is a waste of time. However, I have to believe there is a small (in terms of total Windows users) subset of users who could and would successfully convert to Linux without much of a problem. (That "small" Windows user subset is probably a few times the size of our total Linux user base.) Those who are technologically more curious and not afraid to tinker and try out new things. The ones who all their friends call for help when they are stuck or mess up their system. They are the target market.

The main problem, in my view, is that many of them are not aware that Linux distros have gotten to the point where they are very easy to try out and very easy to use for typical computer applications right off the bat. Yes, it will take a little time to adjust to the differences but, for the tinkerers, this won't be much of a hinderance -- especially because they can confidently try the live versions without worrying about destroying their system.

Just out of curiosity the other day, I did a youtube search for "converting from XP to Linux" and similar variations of that phrase. I did not see very many results geared specifically for that. The "technologically curious" XP users are going to be the ones searching for alternatives. Maybe our focus should be on posting helpful info and/or tutorials to general sites like youtube under headings that match their likely search terms. Focus more on making it easier to find out that there is an alternative for them, rather than hoping they stumble their own way on to the Mint (or other's) site.

Incidentally, while searching around, I ran across a distro that I wasn't aware of before that seems to have done a very good job of making a newbie friendly distro that runs well on older hardware -- https://www.linuxliteos.com/ Load it into a VM and check it out -- it's pretty impressive.

I'm going to tinker a bit with girlfriend's old computer (circa 2001-02) that has XP on it. Going to test Mint Xfce and LinuxLite, try importing things during install and see how well things work out. I haven't done that myself before (importing Windows stuff during installation), so I'll get first hand look at what XP users will face. Will report back my thoughts later today or tommorrow.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby NickH301 on Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:50 pm

gold_finger -- I think you've confirmed my conclusion for me... though not in a good way.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby Eggnog on Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:16 am

Nilla Wafer wrote:Windows 8 is so different from Windows XP that users who upgrade are going to be just as frustrated as they would be if they had switched to Mac or Linux. I just inherited another computer from a friend who bought a new one with Windows 8, and she is really POed with it. It's new and strange (looks alot like Unity if you ask me), and awkward to use if you're used to XP.

She's going to want her old computer back when she sees how wonderfully "familiar" I can make Mint Xfce behave on it. And if she does ask for it back, I'll be happy to give it right back and maybe have another Minty Linux fan to share with!

~nilla


My story is somewhat similar. My son inherited a nice Win 8 laptop from a friend who bought it when her old XP laptop finally faceplanted. She had it for about a month and gave up on it loudly proclaiming it to be a pile of junk. She went out and found a laptop with Win 7 on it and she is now completely happy. She just gave my son the Win 8 laptop on the promise that she never see it again ... or else.

My son doesn't much like Win 8 either but he is soldiering on with his inherited laptop just enough to do some minor things here and there. He told me he would never use it for anything "serious" and labeling Win 8 as "just weird". He mostly watches videos on it and sends the occasional email. Other than that it just collects dust.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby armandh on Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:09 am

yes, no, maybe
and the same applies to 7 and 8

I am new to this forum
but not new to Linux or Mint

it all comes down to what you must do or have

some [real mode] software on an xp machine will have no vista, 7, or 8 upgrade
some that do will have no linux version or work alike.

most all office files open and work in Oo and Libre

some needs will only be met by a 7 or 8 box [QuickBooks]

for one stinker I needed virtual XP

99.9 % of the time the answer is yes
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby gold_finger on Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:41 pm

NickH301 wrote:gold_finger -- I think you've confirmed my conclusion for me... though not in a good way.


I didn't mean to discourage you with my last post. What I was basically saying is that since the "general" XP user typically does a few simple things with his/her computer and generally shows no desire or willingness to go further and learn anything new (even on Windows), they are a waste of time to try influencing. They don't care and are virtually impervious to anything you demonstrate or say to them.

The focus needs to be on the XP users who are already self-motivated to learn new things, who like experimenting a little, who already play around with their Windows machine, are generally comfortable with technology, and/or those who are just motivated to look into alternatives for one reason or another. My guess is a good number of people fall into these categories. If they find tutorial videos that demonstrate clearly (in non-geek speak) that Linux is indeed a viable alternative, they will try it out and take it for a test drive. Unless they specifically require specialized Windows software, my guess is that many of them will make the switch.

They are the ones who may be clicking around the internet looking for alternatives to buying Windows 8 and a new computer. The key is:

How to get their attention?

And, once we have it, how to motivate them to try Linux?

To get their attention, maybe we should be posting a few newbie videos on youtube with title headings that contain phrases and/or terms that they might be searching for. For example: "Convert easily from Windows XP to Linux", "Keep your XP computer running better than ever -- with Linux", "Windows XP support is about to expire -- what can you do about it?", etc. (I don't know -- just guessing here.)

Overall, I do believe that just about anyone can use Linux. But most won't allow themselves to find that out. The guy I described in a previous post was completely technically illiterate -- yet had no problem with the old Ubuntu machine I gave him. BUT, if he or I had a copy of Windows, he would have insisted that I put that on the machine. There is no way he would have agreed to try Linux. For him the choice was a free computer with Linux or no computer. I've used him as an example to try convincing other "typical" Windows users to try Linux. No dice! That's why I say it's a waste of time to bother with the typical user. They know all they want to know, have no desire to learn anything else, and unless they have no choice, they will almost never switch voluntarily.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby gold_finger on Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:34 pm

For anyone whose interested:

I did test installing Mint Xfce 13 and LinuxLite on an old XP computer yesterday. (Micron Millenia, Pentium 4, 512MB Ram from around 2002.)

Mint was first. Made one simple / partition and a swap partition from within the installer. Checked the box to migrate Windows settings. Mint Xfce definitely runs better on the machine than XP. Everything quicker to respond, but obviously still slow in today's standards. It boots up and is ready to go in 50 seconds. (Windows XP took a full 3 minutes before anti-virus and firewall were done screwing around getting themselves set-up.) No problems with hardware, etc. -- everything worked fine from the get go. However, I didn't see any sign at all that anything had been imported from Windows. No bookmarks, no documents, ... nothing! I don't particularly think that's a big deal, but a complete newbie who was expecting that certainly might. Anyway, aside from that, Mint worked well and I'd estimate that it improved the performance of the computer by 20-30% compared to Windows.

(I've never done an install "along side Windows" from any linux installation I've done. So, maybe that is the choice during the installation that does result in imports from Windows. I don't know. If anyone can shed light on this for me (and any newbie that might be reading this), I'd appreciate it. What exactly does "install along side Windows" mean? How is it partitioned that way?)

The big surprise to me was LinuxLite. Performance improvement was very impressive. I don't know what they did different (it's also Xfce based), but they knocked it out of the park with this one! I'd estimate that the old P4 clunker is 35-45% faster with LinuxLite vs. Windows XP. Definitely makes a big difference on old machines! Not only that, it's very user friendly for beginners. Mint is great for beginners too, (we all know that), but LinuxLite's included user help manual is more newbie friendly, very well organized, and contains many clear explanations and examples of how to do various things a newcomer would want to know. It's easily accessible from either the main menu or as a bookmark in Firefox. There are some minor differences in the included software, but much is the same as Mint. I hate to say this, but it is the best I've seen for Linux newbies! Very impressive!

(I did not remember to try importing stuff from Windows when installing LinuxLite -- and I don't actually recall if that was even an option.)

For those of you who like to test out different distros, I definitely recommend checking this one out.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby NickH301 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:59 am

Thanks gold_finger, that's really useful to know :-) -- LinuxLite might be an even better way.

And I'm sure you're right, there's definitely a market to aim for in "XP tinkerers".

But I think there's also another market --

- Hairdressers, plumbers etc who basically just use the web (webmail, amazon, ebay, facebook, banking...) - a couple of million people, minimum
- Hairdressers, plumbers etc as above, but who also do some seriously basic MS-Office work - a couple of million more, minimum

I was thinking just of them -- maybe 5 million or so, say, who'll be facing leaving XP at some point over the next few years, and who would find an XP-like Linux way easier to learn than Win8. And way cheaper too.

And all they need is a lightweight distro that will install dual-boot on an XP machine, out of the box, and point LibreOffice at their old docs, and bring over their bookmarks, and provide an "XP users readme" on the desktop, and only update for vital security updates, and (being LTS) survive 5 years without reinstalls ever being an issue.

I'm sure getting the impression that there's nothing technically preventing such a distro.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby I2k4 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:40 pm

An interesting and pretty realistic discussion above. I've been getting more impressed recently with how much is being built with HTML5 onto Google's Chrome browser and Firefox (which is putting on OS on phones) then came across this link to put a build of Chromium OS onto a USB:

http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/

(Caution that you can't use the default XP extractor but 7-Zip works for the .img file, and the writer application is no longer at Launchpad but at Sourceforge. Otherwise easy to create a bootable "Chrome OS" on a 4GB USB.) I'm writing this on it.

As long as you're talking about those simple folk who use email and Facebook and basic Google Docs type functions now and then, this browser functionality is becoming a serious platform. The original poster might be interested to look at the introductory screens that guide a new user into first use. And Chrome or Chromium run well on any Linux distro.

As others and I wrote above, the big hook Windows has is that XP users have already shown themselves to be much more interested in and dependent on third party software than on operating systems. XP machines in businesses all over the world are doing some quite sophisticated things with Office and other apps on that OS, such that migration even to the next Windows will be a major move they're in no hurry to make.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby Pig on Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:43 am

Sorry for *bumping* an old post, but the topic becomes more interesting by the day that MS drops support for XP, although they provide virus warnings for an other year http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/microsoft/10576771/Microsoft-extends-security-support-for-Windows-XP.html

I recently installed Linux Mint (maya) and am very impressed how easy it is to get used to, coming from a windows xp environment.

Since I too have quite a few programs running on MS Windows XP and I did try to upgrade to win vista and win 7, but my old pc's (Pentium 4, 3 GHz with about 2 GB ram) will not perform very good or worse the software I depend on isn't compatible with those new OS's (thanks MS for notoriously not being backwards compatible.)

I simply don't have the money (or refuse to fork it out as I am Dutch :-) ) to replace my three old pc's for more powerful ones in order to be enable to upgrade to win 8, what is more I should also update my software for 1000 nds of Euro's and I felt cornered by the threat that XP is going to expose once the support is dropped.

So to make a long story short (too late, sorry) I installed Oracle's Virtual Machine Virtualbox in Linux Mint and now run a virtual windows xp pc (box) in an Linux environment. All works as it should and I am really happy with my great looking and fast performing desktop.

My worry is though that by enabling windows xp within Linux Mint I might still be vulnerable to attacks or does Linux protect me for that ? I run an up to date virus scanner within XP and firewall of course, but isnt windows xp a trojan horse (well sort of) this way ?

I hope someone can reassure me or has tips how to enhance security. I was thinking myself of disabling the network connections but that is seriously crippling my software (CRM with integrated e-mail)

Any tips or additional info is appreciated.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby Pierre on Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:55 am

Windows 8 is so different from Windows XP that users who upgrade are going to be just as frustrated as they would be if they had switched to Mac or Linux. I just inherited another computer from a friend who bought a new one with Windows 8, and she is really POed with it. It's new and strange (looks alot like Unity if you ask me), and awkward to use if you're used to XP.


all this week, I've been getting 1 -2 calls a Day,
from this guy, who "upgraded" from win_XP up to win_7. :(

- the guy is retired, & has "used XP for ten years".

the new PC, spent two days, continually updating & every time it was turned off, - there was another pile of 'updates to be installed'.
- he called the PC shop, - on the 3rd day, to ask "how much longer will the updates, keep happening?".

he was told by me, & not the PC shop, that those updates should slow down, but will never cease altogether.
- to about the same, as what his win_XP was doing, on the last time that he used it.

he calls me, because "it is so different", & 'not as easy to use'.
- he was / is wanting to use the same software, on the the win_7 PC - that was being used on the old win_XP PC.
- some was transferable, some wasn't. - had one heck of a time with eMail, because he was using Eudora 7 :?

he's been drinking a lot of coffee, this week :)

- fortunately, he did call me, about the "quotes from the PC shop",
which is when it was learnt, about his intention to "upgrade".
- it was suggested, that 'upgraded to win_7' & not to win_8 :shock:
as the "required change" would be enormous.
( you can still get win_7, if & only if, you buy a "new PC" ) - ( not available a stand alone purchase )

Finally, - only 11 % will switch ??
http://t.co/C4KI8C8EV4
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby Lingula on Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:03 am

Pig wrote:Sorry for *bumping* an old post, but the topic becomes more interesting by the day that MS drops support for XP, although they provide virus warnings for an other year http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/microsoft/10576771/Microsoft-extends-security-support-for-Windows-XP.html


So to make a long story short (too late, sorry) I installed Oracle's Virtual Machine Virtualbox in Linux Mint and now run a virtual windows xp pc (box) in an Linux environment. All works as it should and I am really happy with my great looking and fast performing desktop.

My worry is though that by enabling windows xp within Linux Mint I might still be vulnerable to attacks or does Linux protect me for that ? I run an up to date virus scanner within XP and firewall of course, but isnt windows xp a trojan horse (well sort of) this way ?

I hope someone can reassure me or has tips how to enhance security. I was thinking myself of disabling the network connections but that is seriously crippling my software (CRM with integrated e-mail)

Any tips or additional info is appreciated.


Virtualbox is a pretty good sandbox. The XP virtual machine itself may be infected but the host should not be. First, because Windows viruses don't infect Linux machines. Second, browser exploits shouldn't be able to make the jump from the VM to the host (assuming you're running a browser in the VM for Netflix or something. If you're running a browser only on the host Linux machine, then you may consider noscript to protect the Linux box).

There's a thread on antivirus in the forum. Many, many posts, but the above is most relevant in your case.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby Pierre on Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:13 am

So to make a long story short (too late, sorry) I installed Oracle's Virtual Machine Virtualbox in Linux Mint and now run a virtual windows XP pc (box) in an Linux environment. - All works as it should and I am really happy with my great looking and fast performing desktop.

My worry is though that by enabling windows XP within Linux Mint I might still be vulnerable to attacks or does Linux protect me for that ? I run an up to date virus scanner within XP and firewall of course, but isn't windows XP a trojan horse (well sort of) this way ?



the Linux Mint is quite secure, in it's own right.
- the win_XP won't realize that it is contained in a 'sandbox' AKA in a VM enviroment.
make sure that it has at least 1 Gb ram - to use & as big a virtual hdd, as what you can give it.

- if you are concerned with the win_XP getting some nasty, then install a A/virus in both Mint & in XP.
otherwise, you should be fine.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby benali72 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:04 am

>>>>Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

I take old PCs -- almost always with XP on them -- install Mint, and give them to charities. I refurbished 3 such machines this week. Two went to a church group and the other went to a home for disabled individuals.

The big issue here is whether you expect the "normal person" to download, install, and replace XP with Mint -or- whether you just expect them to be a user if someone else installs Mint for them.

My experience is with the latter case. I refurbish computers and install Mint 13 Maya, either with the Mate or Xfce interfaces, then give them over to end users without training them (other than showing them how to connect the cables and start the PC). I've found end users have no trouble at all adapting to Mint, assuming they have experience with any other desktop gui (XP, other Windows, Mac, etc).

The key here, IMHO, is that Mate and Xfce use simple menu-driven interfaces. This contrasts to many of the UIs that have a lot of the "tricks" we've come to expect in "more exciting" interfaces like Windows 8 or Gnome 3 (san tweak tool). Developers seem fascinated by invisible "hot corners," eliminating menus, taking away min/max buttons for windows, and covering desktops with icons so they look like handhelds, etc, but have you ever watched an untutored user with this stuff? It really frustrates them.

Anyway, such has been my experience. Put Mint with Mate or Xfce on an old XP box, and the user will love it.

Whether the normal user is capable of creating such an environment on their old XP box, I don't know.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby baldrick.777 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:56 am

NickH301: First off, Hi & welcome to the world of Linux!

Having been involved for many years in the the Linux community (mainly Ubuntu and more recently Mint), one of the best resourses I've come across which in my view should be compulsory reading for anyone about to embark is this: Linux is not Windows - http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm.

Secondly, Linux can have a bit of a learning curve depending on what involvement you've had with Windows. I'll give you an example of what I mean... A few months before his passing, my Dad bought his first ever laptop. It was an HP with Vista pre-installed, which he didn't use all that often apparently. After his passing, my elderly Mum decided to give this 'computer thingy' a whirl. The troubles she had meant that I heard from her more often than I did previously, which wasn't a bad thing! Her problems revolved around annoying prompts and questions that Microsoft thought might be 'helpful', it just left her more confused.
Finally, she sent me her laptop and I installed Ubuntu on it. Suddenly the nagging dissapeared, and my Mum's phone calls became way less about her 'stupid computer'. She found it so easy to to the things she actually wanted to do. A bonus for her was not being pestered about updating anti-virus.

Contrast that with my sister, who came to live with Mum. My sister considers herself computer savvy, been a long-standing Windows user for many years. She struggled with Linux. She thought that a computer that doesn't require ant-virus can't be that good (secure). I pointed out that a computer that needs anti-virus clearly has huge holes that Microsoft can't handle alone - requiring 3rd party apps to clean up their mess.

So, one who had little or no Windows experience, Linux was a god-send. The other, a long-time windows user, had massive struggles.

From where I sit, I think Linux does things in a logical order - you click someting, the desired effect happens. But, many longtime Windows users have become used to the less-logical Microsoft approach and find themselves having to unlearn/re-learn logic.

Ultimately, If you have the patience, and are not afraid to ask questions, then you will find your journey with Linux highly educational, rewarding - and enjoyable!

Hope that helps.
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby pienkvien on Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:06 pm

As a professional computer repair guy, I've swapped many computers with XP to Mint 15 Mate. From young to old people. They say the first week is a bit getting used to the menu, but from then on they work without problems.
I even had a client calling for info about a new laptop he wanted to buy and ended up with Linux on his 10 year old Pentium 4 desktop. He was surprised it ran as new and found it identical to XP...
So it's perfectly possible to switch from XP to Mint for 'basic' computer users.

Ontopic : Since it's better to replace the current partitions, you can't copy to the new installation. Even with an external harddisk, you would run into problems with firefox because the settings would mention windows paths... Personal files, email and contacts can be moved with a detour to a external harddisk, but program settings need to be set by hand. The most time is spend explaining people the new menu, software center...
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Re: Can normal people replace XP with Mint?

Postby Ryu945 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:23 pm

I can tell you my experience with it. I came in with no knowledge of linux somewhat recently and picked xfce for no other reason then I heard it was the fastest of the mint series (after running xp on a 10 year old computer, speed was all I cared about). In fact, both boot time and general use is far far faster then XP. I picked mint because I heard they took care of having drivers and other useful programs so I wouldn't have to waste my time installing a million things after the operating system (which I still found annoying to do on XP even though I have done it many times). I choose mint 16 because it was the newest. For using the computer in general, I found it better then XP. The way updates worked on XP annoyed me as they would often disable my computer everytime I booted it up checking for everything. I was pleasently surprised with the fact the the update system just so happened to be what I dreamed up as the most ideal update system.I also could not launch an applicatons by typing its name on XP since that only worked on offical Microsoft Programs though you can on mint 16.

An issue I have with it is that right click menus don't allow you to change things easy enough but I think that may be because I'm on XFCE instead of Gnome. Also uninstalling is not clean and leaves random things that should not be there( Like the CrossOver tab not disappearing when you uninstall CrossOver). That will not effect its usability but does take up small amouts of hard drive space and junk up the interface. What is really a nightmare on mint is running windows programs with emulators (more of the emulators problem though). It will have a technical guru that is not familiar with linux banging their head against the desk trying to figure it out. The amount of effort you have to put out is completly unresonable and this one point alone is enough to make me not recommend the average person trying it. Also, setting up your system for advance graphics like games can be a nightmare as well for some hardware. There is also alot of things that should work be default but don't and you have to waste time figuring it out like netflix.


Finally, I know there is a pop-up manual when you first get started that has a lot of useful information but as it is designed now, it covers many topics and is to long to expect someone to read it through all the way. This causes problems as a list of a few pieces of critical information would make starting out far easier. For example, someone coming from XP would see the software manager and think, that is for removing programs but not realize it is also how your suppose to not only install 95% of the programs but also to download them. They are not use to the concept of software repository and even when they learn about that they would not expect proprietary programs to be in it.


In short, for basic use I would recommend it to the average person but for advance use, I would not recommend it.
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