What are your top tips for a Newbie?

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby adanedhel728 on Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:14 pm

Okay, admittedly, I've read hardly any of this thread, but I'm afraid I don't really have the time right now, and I did have a few thoughts about this. Maybe some of this has already been said, and maybe some people would disagree with some of the things that I think.

First of all, Mint is a very good selection for a first time user. It's generally pretty stable and smooth, and very easy to use. Not to mention very customizable (which is the main reason why I use it). Also, a lot of stuff comes with it by default (like codecs, Flash, Java, etc.) that you have to spend time trying to figure out how to activate if you're using a different distro.

Secondly, and I think a lot of people would disagree with this, I say avoid Wine as much as possible. I must give the developers credit for doing something that I imagine must have been very difficult, but that doesn't really change the fact that Wine just, in general, doesn't really work very well. And it can be very aggravating. Better to keep VirtualBox with a Windows VM installed instead, I think, but even better than that is to find an open-source alternative, even if it takes some getting used to. But there are some exceptions; I use the Netflix hack all the time, which uses Wine, and it works surprisingly well.

Thirdly, be aware that, more often than not, if it works in Ubuntu then it works in Mint. Say, for example, if you want to install Dropbox from the website instead of through Synaptic. You can get the .deb file that's designed for Ubuntu and it will work fine. And the previous link I just gave is meant for Ubuntu, but it works fine in Mint. But there are still some differences, especially in the interface, since Mint doesn't use Unity.

Fourthly (almost done), I'm guessing that the OP has already started using Mint, but in case someone else comes along and sees this, I would suggest first trying it out in VirtualBox rather than through a LiveCD. LiveCDs are pretty slow, and I think give a bad experience overall when compared to the way the OS will work after it's installed. So, if you really want to know how the OS will operate, you'll get more out of a virtual machine, and you'll even be able to see how the install process works, as well as customizing the desktop and installing software.

Fifthly and finally, this is less true with Mint than other distros, but I've learned that I need to be very patient with Linux troubleshooting sometimes. Honestly, I think that Linux's general downfall is that it's pretty rare that something goes right on the first try. Many, many programs that I install require some kind of troubleshooting before I can get them working, including the OS itself. Weird, cryptic error messages come up, video players go black, and may God show grace upon you if you need a program that can only be installed by compiling from source, because I've almost never been able to get that to work. Troubleshooting in Linux can be a nightmare. Thankfully, this is one reason why I like Mint and Ubuntu; this happens a lot less often when I'm using them. This also seems, in my experience, to get better through the passage of time. But it does happen.

Oh, one more thing that I thought of. Some people might not be too happy about me saying this last thing, but one terminal command that I find myself using quite a bit lately is "sudo caja." (Caja is the default file manager for MATE, but you can replace it with any file manager you want. When I was using Ubuntu with Gnome 2, for example, it was "sudo nautilus.") Be very careful when you're doing this, though, because what it does is open a graphical file explorer in superuser mode, so you can change anything on your system. Meaning you could potentially destroy anything on your system. I imagine that might seem very off-the-wall, but it's very handy for changing settings that can only be changed with superuser mode.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby TheOne on Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:40 pm

adanedhel728 wrote:Okay, admittedly, I've read hardly any of this thread, but I'm afraid I don't really have the time right now, and I did have a few thoughts about this. Maybe some of this has already been said, and maybe some people would disagree with some of the things that I think.

First of all, Mint is a very good selection for a first time user. It's generally pretty stable and smooth, and very easy to use. Not to mention very customizable (which is the main reason why I use it). Also, a lot of stuff comes with it by default (like codecs, Flash, Java, etc.) that you have to spend time trying to figure out how to activate if you're using a different distro.

Secondly, and I think a lot of people would disagree with this, I say avoid Wine as much as possible. I must give the developers credit for doing something that I imagine must have been very difficult, but that doesn't really change the fact that Wine just, in general, doesn't really work very well. And it can be very aggravating. Better to keep VirtualBox with a Windows VM installed instead, I think, but even better than that is to find an open-source alternative, even if it takes some getting used to. But there are some exceptions; I use the Netflix hack all the time, which uses Wine, and it works surprisingly well.

Thirdly, be aware that, more often than not, if it works in Ubuntu then it works in Mint. Say, for example, if you want to install Dropbox from the website instead of through Synaptic. You can get the .deb file that's designed for Ubuntu and it will work fine. And the previous link I just gave is meant for Ubuntu, but it works fine in Mint. But there are still some differences, especially in the interface, since Mint doesn't use Unity.

Fourthly (almost done), I'm guessing that the OP has already started using Mint, but in case someone else comes along and sees this, I would suggest first trying it out in VirtualBox rather than through a LiveCD. LiveCDs are pretty slow, and I think give a bad experience overall when compared to the way the OS will work after it's installed. So, if you really want to know how the OS will operate, you'll get more out of a virtual machine, and you'll even be able to see how the install process works, as well as customizing the desktop and installing software.

Fifthly and finally, this is less true with Mint than other distros, but I've learned that I need to be very patient with Linux troubleshooting sometimes. Honestly, I think that Linux's general downfall is that it's pretty rare that something goes right on the first try. Many, many programs that I install require some kind of troubleshooting before I can get them working, including the OS itself. Weird, cryptic error messages come up, video players go black, and may God show grace upon you if you need a program that can only be installed by compiling from source, because I've almost never been able to get that to work. Troubleshooting in Linux can be a nightmare. Thankfully, this is one reason why I like Mint and Ubuntu; this happens a lot less often when I'm using them. This also seems, in my experience, to get better through the passage of time. But it does happen.

Oh, one more thing that I thought of. Some people might not be too happy about me saying this last thing, but one terminal command that I find myself using quite a bit lately is "sudo caja." (Caja is the default file manager for MATE, but you can replace it with any file manager you want. When I was using Ubuntu with Gnome 2, for example, it was "sudo nautilus.") Be very careful when you're doing this, though, because what it does is open a graphical file explorer in superuser mode, so you can change anything on your system. Meaning you could potentially destroy anything on your system. I imagine that might seem very off-the-wall, but it's very handy for changing settings that can only be changed with superuser mode.



Thank you for taking the time.
The last thing though;
If you cant change the files in the terminal you should probably NOT try to change them through superuser GUI file manager.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby grandtheft_jiujitsu on Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:07 pm

This might go without saying but it is well worthwhile to have more than one backup.

For example, I used this guide to make a shell script that backup I run monthly and backs up to an external hard drive
Code: Select all
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=3969


and a modest $40 investment for a cheap-o 64GB thumb drive (or however big your /home directory is), installed Mint to it as well (just like you would your hard drive, with a CD/USB) and used cron and rsync to sync my home directory daily and carry it around on my keychain. I chose to set up the thumb drive as a live-persistent-USB but you could just as easily use it solely for storage (i.e. what most people tote around thumb drives for).

Here is one of the main resources I used among google-ing to work out any kinks.
Code: Select all
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=15082
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby BiroAnalyst on Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:10 pm

apologies if anyone has said these already!

>woud recommend for all linux beginners to get themselves a USB stick of around eight GB or more in size; do not buy the hong kong fakes sold on ebay though because they are put through a program which makes them appear to have more memory than they do and often fail quickly-thats assuming they are the ones that get delivered!
>on this USB stick,use a programme such as YUMI [if are using windows,because its the most simplest bootable linux program going] to install several highly useful distros, mint; obviously if are liking it,several others for the choice to be there incase there is any isues, and also a 'distro' of sorts called hirens boot CD, it is amazing with the amount of programs on it to help a cure a computer of virtualy any non hardware failiure issue including recovering linux partitions from screwups and can also cure pesky viruses on the windows side to.
make sure the 'boot sequence' in the computers BIOS is set to boot from the USB pen first before bothering to boot the pen.

>next tip,avoid using intermediate/advanced tailored and/or specialst distros such as; backtrack/kali,matriux,gentoo,slackware,arch,puppy variants etc until are famliar with the linux way of life and environment,with linux comes a greater level of freedom that as windows users we never had.
some people thrive on change & challenge but everyone else shoud probably pick their battles wisely and just ease themselves in,think of it like having a bath,people can choose to ease themselves in or jump in,easing into it gives the body time to adjust to the changes whereas jumping in is a shock to the system.
some people think they have to use distros tailored for intermediate/advanced users,as if its a right of passage,if feel fine using mint or whatever distro are using dont change, some people are snobs and look down on anyone who uses ubuntu or debian variants,but theres snobs in all walks of life.

>next tip,if are interested in going to a linux club where people are very accepting of newbies,students or non students,offer help and ideas,test distros out on the computers and generaly chill out with each other...plus have got a university nearby,look the university up online with 'linux user group' in the tagline google search,as LUGs [aka linux user groups] are great places for newbies to get actual offline help and get to know linux users near them,it can be difficult getting to know anyone who uses it,personaly speaking the only people have known who uses linux are those who have pretty much forced em to install it,though am not able to access universities due to disabilities. :P

>next tip,if have got interest [and the money!] in buying magazines,have a look out for linux format, havent bought this for some years but its an incredibly useful magazine- especialy if have made a screwup,have not got a working distro installed and are in need of advice!
it also comes with different distros installed on a disc every copy,though the disc isnt bootable/theyre data files that have to be copied to the hard drive then put on something bootable.
>if have not understood anything am saying,please PM for it to be said differently; am severely autistic and have intelectual disability, cheers<
using and abusing linux since the millenium year,mint 15 64-bit [encrypted HDD install]
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby theStreak on Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:32 pm

Simulate, simulate, simulate. Be sure that the distro/edition you're interested in serves your purposes before you commit. Spend a significant amount of time working from a live-CD (or a live-USB) for each distro/edition that you're considering before just jumping in. Sometimes the water's too deep or too cold... Whatever you want/need to do with your computer, be sure to test it first on a live-CD; at least test your most important "use cases". Testing on live-CDs helps to guarantee a positive experience even before you've installed. It can tell you if your hardware is supported. It can tell you if you're gonna have problems finding the software you need/want. It can tell you if you're gonna love or hate the desktop environment. And perhaps most important of all, it can teach you lot about using Linux before you've committed to and installed it. On a Linux live-CD you can do virtually anything you can do on an installed system so long as you don't install too much software at one time (though you'd be surprised what you can get away with). And if you do hose your live-CD environment (BTW, you can't hurt your installed O/S unless you accidentally click the "Install" button and follow all of the instructions, or you mount one of your local drives and delete stuff), you simply reboot back into it. As a developer, I spend a significant amount of computer time working from live-CDs. It's a great way of testing ideas, scenarios, new software. I've even done LAMP and desktop development from live-CDs. ;-)
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby cryptic57 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:02 pm

I have been tinkering with some old gear, trying Linux and that other nameless OS for about 2 years, while mainly using a Mac. I discovered Mint and really started to play and made many mistakes - or bad judgements - and that's how I have progressed. I have had to re-install so many times, but I read and persevered.
Then my Mac made the sound of breaking glass last week, so it was learn faster or go without a computer, and that's when the fun started. After the initial panic of getting the old gear to work properly and trying to install network drivers etc so I could get online I have settled into a more relaxed using/learning mode.
I am now thinking that when I have replaced the HD in my Mac I will also load Mint on it. I may even use it as my main OS as the more I'm forced to use it and learn, the more I like it. The learning is becoming so enjoyable and I can see many years of this before I become anywhere near proficient so I will have fun.
My advice then is keep at it, if you like the look and feel of Mint now you will have many years of enjoyable computing as I'm sure that I will.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby jimg52 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:24 pm

I am fairly new to Linux myself, but after trying various versions over the years have found Mint to be the first version that generally works without too much tweaking. Installation is straight forward from an ISO file burned to a DVD. If you have an older printer, it may take some experimentation to locate a working printer driver, but support for more current models is built right in. I have found this Forum to be very useful in getting answers to questions/problems. The response time to posts is exceptional and the content very useful. With Microsoft's ever increasing control over system updates, I have found this a good time to invest the energy to make the move to Linux. Enjoy!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Ron on Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:10 pm

There are a lot of posts so I'm sure I'm being repetitive I only got through about half the pages. Anyway..........I started out dual-booting Ubuntu and Windows six or seven years ago because I was testing Linux for an old computer I was about to pitch. I knew nothing about Linux and only a little more about Windows. That computer, almost 10 years old now, is starting to show signs of hard drive failure but has been running Mint Main Edition since 2007. My testing caused me to dump Windows on my main computer and all-the-time-wasting-maintenance that OS needs for Linux Mint. Ultimately, I began using LMDE and I haven't looked back. Here is where I am today:

LMDE on a six year old desktop. I backup daily to the cloud (seeding now - will move to weekly soon), weekly backup to local external drives and make images twice a year with Acronis. If I think I need to do more backup than that, because I've created something I don't want to lose, I do it manually. Windows 7 is in a VM that I update two times a year so I can use Turbo Tax. I use no other Windows programs. If there was something I used in Windows I searched until I found the best Linux alternative and I now use it. WINE works great for some programs but, really, if you need a Windows program, use a VM. Virtualbox is awesome. Use it. Still, look for Linux alternatives. They are usually better or, at least, just as good. I don't hate Windows. I just think it's stupid.

When you run into a problem, DON'T GIVE UP! Honestly, just be patient. There are so many intelligent people out there that are having the same problem. A solution will be found. Periodically, run a search and, damn, if somebody hasn't figured out your issue. Then, TAKE NOTES AND BOOKMARK THOSE PAGES. You may need them again in the future. In fact, take a lot of notes. I'm old and don't remember crap. Take notes.

Linux Mint is great. Use it. Have fun with it. Customize it. It's awesome.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby colinmasters on Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:56 pm

If I can put my 2 pennorth in as a linux user of 2 and a bit days and 5 reinstalls :D

Now is the perfect time to play around and try out everrything as if you do break your sytem
all you have lost is 10 minutes or so while you re-install.

When you are backing up your win files don't forget your firefox (or whatever you used) bookmarks and your
usernames\passwords for the net ie ebay, paypal etc like I forgot to do as i have been using autocomplete
for so long I didn't even know what my username was for gmail that I had been using for about 10 years.

Don't forget to have fun :lol:
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby daveinuk on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:18 pm

5 installs in 2 and a bit days . . . . . . . . I'm impressed, that's even better than i managed :wink:

Nothing trains you up better for the FUBARs better than a good old reinstall lol . . . . . . :lol:
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby colinmasters on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:33 pm

I was going to say don't delete stuff at random but if you don't try you don't learn.
It was almost a sixth while I was typing that post til I found out my shift key was stuck
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby ruslombia on Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:17 pm

deanom wrote:Hi
I'm thinking of trying Mint for the first time, and have no experience of using any Linux distros. What are your top tips for me BEFORE my DVD arrives?
Possible topics:
Installation
Connecting to the Internet
Problem Solving
Please note that technical instructions will need to be pretty basic.
Thanks

Deano
Lincolnshire
England


A couple of tips

1. I would advice you to get all your files in one single partition and use another one for the file system. That will save you a lot of troubles as you will be reinstalling your system many times before you learn a bit about Linux
2. do you like reading?.. thats what you will be doing for a long time, but I advice you don't get away from debian, or debian like distros (LMDE, ubuntu, etc), cause you will get a lot of support, tons of good software and very stable system. I am not saying that rpm based distros are bad but all I had been looking in a distro, like stability and friendly environment I have founded in LMDE..... so far LMDE rules... Greetings from Colombia and good luck.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby ubuntuLEARN on Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:09 am

deanom wrote:Hi
I'm thinking of trying Mint for the first time, and have no experience of using any Linux distros. What are your top tips for me BEFORE my DVD arrives?
Possible topics:
Installation
Connecting to the Internet
Problem Solving
Please note that technical instructions will need to be pretty basic.
Thanks

Deano
Lincolnshire
England

Im the stupidest person on a computer ever, I also hate microsoft and apples, please tell me how to connect to the internet as i have with ubuntu for 3 years, i click click click and click, im on the web... with mint, that i just installed, i have no idea even how to do it. dont tell me to open a command line, it s a waste of my time.. i am dumb, i am drunk, , i just want to get on the net with mint 14, and not have my networld and data sold to chinese communists , like ubuntu does... if you can tell me what to click, without using a stupid command line, please email me on tweetingheart@gmail.com. THANKS :O
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby ubuntuLEARN on Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:14 am

BiroAnalyst wrote:apologies if anyone has said these already!

>woud recommend for all linux beginners to get themselves a USB stick of around eight GB or more in size; do not buy the hong kong fakes sold on ebay though because they are put through a program which makes them appear to have more memory than they do and often fail quickly-thats assuming they are the ones that get delivered!
>on this USB stick,use a programme such as YUMI [if are using windows,because its the most simplest bootable linux program going] to install several highly useful distros, mint; obviously if are liking it,several others for the choice to be there incase there is any isues, and also a 'distro' of sorts called hirens boot CD, it is amazing with the amount of programs on it to help a cure a computer of virtualy any non hardware failiure issue including recovering linux partitions from screwups and can also cure pesky viruses on the windows side to.
make sure the 'boot sequence' in the computers BIOS is set to boot from the USB pen first before bothering to boot the pen.

>next tip,avoid using intermediate/advanced tailored and/or specialst distros such as; backtrack/kali,matriux,gentoo,slackware,arch,puppy variants etc until are famliar with the linux way of life and environment,with linux comes a greater level of freedom that as windows users we never had.
some people thrive on change & challenge but everyone else shoud probably pick their battles wisely and just ease themselves in,think of it like having a bath,people can choose to ease themselves in or jump in,easing into it gives the body time to adjust to the changes whereas jumping in is a shock to the system.
some people think they have to use distros tailored for intermediate/advanced users,as if its a right of passage,if feel fine using mint or whatever distro are using dont change, some people are snobs and look down on anyone who uses ubuntu or debian variants,but theres snobs in all walks of life.

>next tip,if are interested in going to a linux club where people are very accepting of newbies,students or non students,offer help and ideas,test distros out on the computers and generaly chill out with each other...plus have got a university nearby,look the university up online with 'linux user group' in the tagline google search,as LUGs [aka linux user groups] are great places for newbies to get actual offline help and get to know linux users near them,it can be difficult getting to know anyone who uses it,personaly speaking the only people have known who uses linux are those who have pretty much forced em to install it,though am not able to access universities due to disabilities. :P

>next tip,if have got interest [and the money!] in buying magazines,have a look out for linux format, havent bought this for some years but its an incredibly useful magazine- especialy if have made a screwup,have not got a working distro installed and are in need of advice!
it also comes with different distros installed on a disc every copy,though the disc isnt bootable/theyre data files that have to be copied to the hard drive then put on something bootable.

is this where i submit stuff? im dumb
call me on tweetingheart@gmail, i want to get on the web with MINT!$, but its impossible...im using ubuntu now, and im on the web, but i cant do it with mint for some reason. im a strictly desktop user.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby oldrocker99 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:48 am

All I can say is YUP YUP YUP I love messing with some of these guys in the computer shops here (although in Staples they do have people that use Linux)


My local Staples guy sez "Oh, I LIKE Windows 8" and "Linux has a lot of hardware problems" and other false statements about Linux :lol: .

I replied, "Yeah, that's why a Cray supercomputer comes with a standard Red Hat Enterprise installation, with a standard Linux kernel. That's why Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Wall Street use Linux. Because it has a lot of hardware problems :roll: . I've been hearing the standard Microsoft FUD [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] for a decade, and, while I recognize that your job is to sell computers here, and they all run Windows, you feel the need to spread the same old FUD. Why take Microsoft's word about an OS that is better than theirs? I guess you tell people that a Surface RT tablet is better than an Android tablet or an iPad because it's from MICROSOFT?"

"Homina homina" was his reply... :mrgreen:
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby kherring7383 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:31 pm

Although reading everything you can about Linux is a good suggestion, I would start here since it addresses the installation of Mint 15 and provides some great configuration tips.

http://www.howtoforge.com/the-perfect-d ... -15-olivia


Another good place to start is of course the Internet where you can find hundreds of Linux related sites that provide information about the most popular distros, applications and up to date changes that will keep you informed on a daily basis.

Here's just a few
http://www.noobslab.com/
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/category/app/
http://www.webupd8.org/
http://kernelnewbies.org/
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Oyabunbaba on Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:49 pm

My tips for newbie, here you go.
I am user of Linux mint for over 3 years. When I started my journey with mint, I have to do lots of research. Nothing was in one place. Of course there was forum but I always have to wait for answer, it's was just difficult. So I decided to gather all useful information into one place, that place was my "text" file :) Now I decided to share it all with all mint users, it's available here www.mintnext.blogspot.com , hope you appreciate my effort i spend on it.
Cheers
http://mintnext.blogspot.com/ My tips & tricks site for Mint users (^ _ ^)
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby izzy-noob on Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:18 am

my tips... read a lot... :)

this is a good start http://www.tldp.org/
enjoy Linux..
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Blue42 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:36 am

Back up your files! When I first started I think I had to reinstall Linux prolly about 3 or 4 times because I was trying get everything the way I wanted it and I kept coming to spots where I couldnt fix what I had done.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby ThoriumBlvd on Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:39 pm

Some of the things learned being a former W98-2/W95-2 user... then up to Linux...

0.) Strongly consider a cheap netbook/lappy/desker that runs Linux ONLY. The former two use a lot less electric.

1.) Try not to fill your computer with website junk. IMHO the main culprit here is java. "Jars" need to be cleaned frequently, and can/should be set to user-read-only after cleaning. On these netbooks the file is "access denied"... no more junk! *** CAUTION: some d/l programs temp store in a java jar... a thorough "SEARCH" with the term "java" is warranted. *** OTOH, "Files" tend to fill more slowly, but are necessary, a monthly "Delete file folder and Replace" is usually sufficient. Some files DO help webpages load quicker, but go out of date and corrupt the replacements. POGO dot COM take note :P .

2.) Unless you must, configure the pdf reader NOT to access the internet, and DO NOT put any ID info into the program. You should also strongly consider to disconnect java from the pdf reader. Check your default settings and modify OFF-LINE.

3.) Mail... well, this is strictly a 1%ers solution, but go to the website and read the mail THERE. Since 2001, I haven't downloaded mail of any kind, and I limit my mail addys to three.

These three helped me to survive Windows, and keep my 900a Best buy eee operating. The former got very cryptic with java having too may places to search and clean, and I refused XP-1-2-3 and NT because after careful inspection of friend's puters, java was everywhere, like a spider-web, and admin was sure to fail... and it did/does. IMHO the one addiction I have is a cigarette, my computer should do better, and have none.

Peace and be safe
There are FOUR things in life that are certain death, taxes, the resistance to them, and stupidity. At least one person has cheated upon the first two, and most everything alive obeys the third. But there is no escape from the fourth.
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ThoriumBlvd
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