Hey Mint Community
Happy to be here, love the support on the forums, great product that Clem has spit out here.
To start, I should say that I can't totally consider myself a total Linux noob, a few years back I did run a redhat box (can't remember what version) in my basement, hosted a fileserver and had something to log into from college to access my text based centericq (I see centerim is still on the packages list, woohoo). I didn't mess at all with X, and never used it as my main pc, it was just a cool server to tinker with, and when things got rough, I had a linux guru friend who could telnet in and fix what I broke
With my XP installation spanning 3 partitions, a start menu I can't view totally in 1024x768 (it spans 6 or 7 columns... lol), and a horrible mess ahead of me to reformat and reorganize, I decided it might be a better move to pick up Linux again. I had heard through the grapevine that ATI driver support was drastically improving (all my systems have ATI cards) and that Mint was a good solution for those that wanted media support out of the box, so off I went.
I installed it both on my laptop that I take to work (I do tech support, and have time between calls/issues to tinker with stuff), and on my home desktop. Laptop is an HP with an Intel chip and intel graphics, desktop is an AMD Barton 2500+ with an ATI X1600 512mb AGP. [[on a side note, I constantly have people hovering around me at work going IS THAT VISTA?!!? OMGZ!!!, and have 4 coworkers now that have Mint on their laptops too, constantly asking me questions, it's blind leading the blind sometimes]]
The laptop experience has been much smoother than the desktop's, mainly due to the support for intel graphics and the lack thereof for ATI (I'm hearing there's a solution with older drivers that might work, but the newest 8.42.3 is just horrible with Compiz turned on.. which is one of the features I was looking forward to).
On both however, I've gotten to the point a few times (stumbling around configuring stuff, at one point before I realized what I was doing my xorg.conf was 8-9 pages long, had tons of repeated and conflicting info, and I had no good backup) where the system was mashed up to the point where I'd get frustrated and just wipe the partition, and reinstall. Furthermore I've ran into other problems messing with windows utilities that have wiped out Grub or messed it up so it won't start, and in my noobness I've just reinstalled the entire OS rather than search for a way to fix grub thru the liveCD.
Now somewhat comfortable with navigating the GDM mint setup, I'm still finding myself spending more time in Windows (like right now) than in Mint. Main reason for this is the ATI issue. I've sifted through endless forum posts about how to properly install the ATI drivers and get them to a point where they work nicely, and have run into so much conflicting information and confusing walkthroughs that I've about given up. My main goal here is to have Compiz enabled, be able to watch videos at the same time, and to be able to scroll in firefox without it being choppy. (videos have big black chunks tearing through the whole view every couple frames, and it's very jittery. plays perfectly with compiz turned off. firefox scrolling is very very choppy and slow, flies like the wind with compiz turned off). I have a strange feeling the answer here might be "wait for better drivers out of ATI", but I'm hoping somebody has experience with ATI cards and can point me in the right direction. (conversely on the laptop, I have none of these issues, but have less desire for flashiness on my work laptop).
The second issue, is I watch alot of internet TV, mainly thru TVUPlayer (http://www.tvunetworks.com
) which is a P2P tv app. It has no linux port, so I've looked into running it on Linux, which led me to this little walkthru: http://tech.mikelopez.info/2006/10/19/f ... -on-linux/
He describes running it through Wine, and having IE6 setup, and a few other things (like Media Player 9).
(lol, few days into Linux and he's already trying to make it windows... but anyway)
This really leads me to a question about Wine. Whenever I run it, programs will generally open up, but their fonts will be all messed up, things will be overlapping, borders are shifted out of place, images don't quite line up, the clickboxes for buttons aren't always over the actual button, etc. Screenshots I see from Wine program installation guides have it looking.. like Windows. Mine looks like Linux trying to run Windows, and making an honest attempt, but it looks like crap. Is there something special Mint is missing to have Wine run "normally?". Not sure if I'm phrasing the question correctly, but all of my attempts to get TVUplayer working have ended in some Wine error or mashup that I haven't seen in any walkthrough, so it feels like I'm missing something vital.
(answer for this might boil down to "wait for a TVUplayer linux port" (or somebody might have an alternative?) or "stop trying to turn Mint into Windows", but I'd hope that Wine under Mint might look a little better than it does for me)
[will provide screenshots once I figure out how, heh]
Sorry for the long spam,
[ps: Should I try Celena instead? I was operating under the assumption that I wanted the newest in order to be best suited to use the newest ATI drivers. These drivers seem to be not working out as I hoped though, but maybe Celena would handle them better]