I had a Dell Latitude that I had planned to put Linux on, probably Ubuntu. My Dell died on my a few days ago, and a friend is giving me her old laptop that has XP on it. I would still like to try Linux, and was thinking of dual-booting. I've read the "'Beginners Guide to Using and Installing Mint" as well as Fred's "Considerations Before You Install", (both of them excellent reads) but I still have a couple of questions.
As I mentioned, I had been thinking of Ubuntu, but after doing some reading had about decided to try Mint instead. My questions:
1. I've read on this forum that dual-booting Mint with XP is as simple as loading the disk, hitting Install and following the prompts. Is it really just that simple? I anticipate using Linux for most everything, but would like to keep XP around as a "safety net" (as holey as the net my be!
2. If I dual-boot, keep XP until I get tired of it and decide to dump it and go straight Mint, how hard is it to "clean out" XP?
3. I've read that since Mint is based on Ubuntu, the programs from Ubuntu will work on Mint. Since one of my concerns is the availability of software, that would be a pretty good thing, I think. Is it correct that Ubuntu apps will work on Mint?
4. I have read quite a bit on the Ubuntu forums about difficulty with video and wifi. That concerned me, since 2 of my priorities are the ability to watch DVD's and hook up via wifi. I had read that Mint was easier in those respects than Ubuntu and so had started leaning towards Mint. However, looking at this forum I see as many posts asking for advice on wifi issues as I did on the Ubuntu board. Is it going to be difficult getting things set up to hook up to a wifi net? And how difficult is it going to be to get a good media player up and running so I can watch DVD's?
As for the rest, I'm pretty sure I'll be okay. I'm already using OpenOffice and Firefox. I'll be looking for a good photo editor, and some sort of Bible reader/study, but from what I see those things shouldn't be a problem. I don't do a lot of graphics-intensive gaming, so I'm not too worried about that either.
Okay, that was 4 questions.
Thanks for any advice you can give me.
Oh, and one more barely related question. What's the deal with the screenshots of the big floating cube I see on some Linux sights. It looks like the four sides are different windows or tabs or something. It's pretty, but is it something done to show off, or does it have a function?