What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Questions and thoughts about present and future editions
Forum rules
Before you post please read this
MrD
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:34 am
Location: UK
Contact:

What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by MrD » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:37 am

I suppose the first thing we have to consider here is who the average user is. Whilst Linux only takes a small proportion of the market, there is the possibility it could grab more. I came over when malware (Antiviruspro2010) destroyed my Windows XP partition for the last time and I was looking for something that would protect me more. Sure, I'm a geek in a way, but I don't do much technical stuff on my computers anymore. It is more media and online (social networking) usage. We want to be safe online, but have to accept a greater takeup will encourage the criminal element to start targetting linux where they can.

The Free and open source aspect of Ubuntu does not have a major tug on my heart. As a student I like free, or cheap. I do appreciate the open source side of things means I'm less chance of being stuck with a piece of Windows software that damages my registry just installing/uninstalling it. I am not on a soapbox though preaching to others in a quasi-religious way. The ability to do what we want in a safer and more controlled environment is my argument when I put friends on Mint.

We all have lists of things we want to do with our computers, mine is:

1) IM's, with ability to webcam with full video/audio
2) Browsing
3) Listening to music and watching videos
4) Office software
5) Image editing
6) Video editing

At the moment the only two things of interest to me in the writeups are a refined and faster booting and operating kernel, and maybe the social networking tools. There are still things lacking in my list really, but they aren't really Ubuntu's fault:

1) I can't get MSN audio to work yet. I persuade friends to install Mint and they are forced to tell all their contacts to install Skype for working audio, and a lot won't or can't for whatever reasons.
2) Browsing is fine, the only niggle is mainly answered with the Flash video problems I saw with Mint 7 reduced at the time I upgraded to Mint 8. I can now watch flash videos on my laptop full screen. Admittedly Flash is 3rd party software and nothing to do with Ubuntu itself. It still isn't perfect, but it is usable. The fact I use tvout to watch catchup tv and full screening puts the video on the primary monitor is an annoyance.
3) Audacious provides something I am used to, with Winamp and then jetaudio. But I use a Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music card and am lacking the advanced controls, including the Crystaliser which makes the difference with the music I listen to and my soundsystem.
4) No problems with Open Office! But if I leave a hole where this point is, I feel a kind of OCD surfacing :) Admittedly I only use the word processor and presentation tools.
5) I love Paint.NET on Windows. I've recently been trying Pinta but it's not quite there. Gimp has issues for what I use an image editor for (drawing lines on images is inaccurate and cumbersome)
6) Sony Vegas! I've tried every editor for Ubuntu and I just can't find a stable one that gives me anywhere near the features I want, with fades and slight effects.

I understand Gnome 3 will change the face of computing. But that won't come till later. I understand the 3rd party software I need to carry out my normal tasks is going to take time to create to a usable status. So, with what I've read, and maybe I am misunderstanding, what is Ubuntu 10.04 and therefore Mint 9 going to do for the average user? Because I see little really but some tweaks. I sometimes feel that switching the OS on will be fine and dandy, but if the 3rd party software isn't there to operate like those in the Windows world, it drains that enjoyment.
Dell Inspiron 1520 - T6570 2.1ghz C2D, 4 gigs ram, integrated Intel 965 GPU, Intel replacement wifi card.

tinca
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 511
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:23 am
Location: England U.K.

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by tinca » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:03 pm

MrD,

from the tone of your pessimistic post of expecting to find a Linux program to replace the love of your life in Windows, I think you will have to wait a long time.

If you want to drop Windows, then you have to either find a substitute program and then try to find out how to use it, or stick with Windows. You could of course use the program "Wine" to run Windows and your programs in, but to me that would be a bit of a cop out. I dropped Windows some years ago and I have managed to find something in Linux that I can get to do what I want. Not the same as in Windows, but OK nevertheless.

The main problem that newcomers to Linux have is the expectancy to find an identical program to the one they are familiar with in Windows. Now sometimes that is possible and sometimes not.

For my video editing I use "Openshot" which is adequate for my needs.

Best regards Keith
EVGA Geforce GTX 1070 FTW
Image

User avatar
Carl
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 695
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Isle of Wight, UK

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by Carl » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:11 pm

Just thought I'd point out that there's an unofficial port of paint.net in mono which will run on Linux Mint, I have no idea how stable or useful the program is as I have no real desire/use for it :wink:

http://code.google.com/p/paint-mono/

MrD
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:34 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by MrD » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:32 pm

Yeah, I tried that mono port. Couldn't get it to work right.

And the post isn't pessimistic really. There are detractors to using Ubuntu full time, but I'm not saying don't use it. It can be used in certain circumstances and not be found lacking. I do think there are areas which have long needed attention though to make the OS a worthwhile contender as a fully fledged and capable alternative. It's not Windows per se that Ubuntu should try to copy. By using that argument you're saying we don't need a non-linear video editor capable of creating modern media. That we don't need video/audio conferencing with friends and family round the world (outside of Skype, which is admittedly a 3rd party piece of software) You can't very well say, "well they did it and we're trying not to copy them so we won't have those features available to our users and tough."

From what I've read, Ubuntu has gotten so big that it is going to be offered to the world. But a computer is a workhorse and must do certain things. If it is lacking, then no matter how good the OS is in principle, it will never get taken up wholesale. And anyone buying a new computer with Ubuntu manufacturer fitted is going to start making noise when they can't do things we've been doing for many years now with Windows and Mac's. My initial training as a systems analyst makes these decisions quite simple. A logical argument that the client (the home computer user) will be unable to complete certain tasks that the alternatives can, meaning that the proposed OS install is inadvisable. It means anyone involved in ensuring Ubuntu becomes widely taken up must address these issues.

and if you think what I've just written is an attack on Ubunbu like the first post, Tinca, then we see the poor response that I see pop up from time to time around here and elsewhere. "Go back to Windows! Close the door on the way out!" The fanboy arguments I've heard over and over. Now it is time for pressure, to coral the individuals working on the programs the OS 'needs' to compete in the world and make them work together to at least provide one viable alternative, then go for variance.

Still, the original question wasn't answered. What does Mint 9 mean for the average user? Maybe I'll never know till I try it and see how it works as a user, trying to carry out the tasks that I expect an OS to do in 2010.
Dell Inspiron 1520 - T6570 2.1ghz C2D, 4 gigs ram, integrated Intel 965 GPU, Intel replacement wifi card.

tower
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:08 pm

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by tower » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:08 pm

Call me old fashioned but stability is far more important than fast boot times in an LTS version of Mint.
Just how many times per day do we boot our PCs?

User avatar
DrHu
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7537
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:20 pm

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by DrHu » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:51 pm

You can always use something like meebo, and their web page widget (meebo me now), doesn't everyone have a home page or a blog or a facebook or a twitter account ?
http://www.meebome.com/learnmore.html
http://meebonow.com/

Googlevoice
--might have a problem on Linux, but promised availability
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/howto-setup-v ... pathy.html

User avatar
DrHu
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7537
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:20 pm

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by DrHu » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:16 pm

MrD wrote:Still, the original question wasn't answered. What does Mint 9 mean for the average user? Maybe I'll never know till I try it and see how it works as a user, trying to carry out the tasks that I expect an OS to do in 2010.
If there weren't so many average users already using Linux, almost any desktop focused distribution, including Fedora, which sometimes gets a bad wrap; then the question would be valid
--in this case, all I can say is:
  • For the average user (or just user) Linux Mint proves to be a pleasant experience..
--almost everything works, which is kinda amazing considering the lack of hardware OEM support for the most part..

The exception is..
Those users who insist on exactly matching a windows OS experience, where their software of choice only provides a windows OS (and sometimes MAC OS-X) support system..

MrD
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:34 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by MrD » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:11 am

DrHu wrote:You can always use something like meebo, and their web page widget (meebo me now), doesn't everyone have a home page or a blog or a facebook or a twitter account ?
http://www.meebome.com/learnmore.html
http://meebonow.com/
Tried Meebo the other day, two Mint laptops in one room using the same router, logged into two different MSN accounts. We saw each other to chat to, but when trying the Webcam option from both laptops, alternatively, neither party saw the request incoming. Everyone we know has Facebook (although I'm routinely turning down friends requests :) ) 99% of those we know signing up to Twitter never use their accounts, and perhaps too lazy to update blogs where there is no effective feedback on their "me, me, me!" postings. Students and the students union within my university shifted to Facebook as a communication tool at the beginning of 2009, so it sees heavy usage as is fairly user friendly.
Googlevoice
--might have a problem on Linux, but promised availability
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/howto-setup-v ... pathy.html
I've seen a fix for empathy using MSN video/audio, goes back to September 2009? It lists installing farisght 0.0.13 or greater, but only 0.0.11.2 is in Mint repositories and I'm having some issues with tarballs to update my laptop that needs some reading into. The main problem my circle of Mint friends has is with other users, those refusing to install other clients or make new accounts. Being based in the UK, everyone tends to use MSN. Our main circle of friends are university students, but that doesn't mean they are computer literate. Maybe the MSN issue is more prominent within certain communities where it is the primary messenger service of choice? To this effect, it may not bother other communities where Yahoo, AIM and ICQ are primary.

An additional point to consider here is that my current re-education circles around English Language/Linguistics and there is a fair amount of research carried out via video conferencing. This is normally interviews with messenger in text form and then additional video conferencing with those speaking English in other countries round the world (estimated 2 billion speakers now) and what type of English they learn, what governmental and social influences, etc. Students around me are frequently holding these conferences, recording them for use in research. Whilst Skype does offer a higher quality service than MSN, we frequently find ourselves having to use MSN. Many of the people abroad we have contact with have come to England to study (a result of the British Council, IELTS and Cambridge English delivery targeting those abroad to study here) have picked up MSN accounts with their association with us, keeping in touch with friends for years. So, to my community, MSN audio is quite important. We also have those specialising in British Sign Language who absolutely require the video aspect in conjunction with the audio.

I'm going to have to dual boot everyones laptops in my circle now, I know they be able to do it themselves so it means hours and hours of work for me. I'm the only one who is capable. I hope they remember when i need something doing :)
Dell Inspiron 1520 - T6570 2.1ghz C2D, 4 gigs ram, integrated Intel 965 GPU, Intel replacement wifi card.

z06gal
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 660
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:16 pm

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by z06gal » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:08 pm

I'm sure you are much smarter than I am where computers and operating systems are concerned but I became so sick of all the issues in Windows [viruses, trojans, etc. and I had anti-virus and all the "protection" that never worked] that I googled Linux and picked Mint knowing zero. I installed it and have never looked back. It does everything I need and is ridiculously user friendly. Yes I have caused my own problems trying to learn how things work but I have learned alot as a result and love this os big time. It's nice not to have to worry about all the crap I had with Windows especially with Vista. Obviously we all have our opinions but Windows has a long ways to go to be as user friendly as Linux Mint is. I have checked out other linux distros but, in my opinion, Mint takes the cake. I am looking way forward to Mint 9. :D

User avatar
vrkalak
Level 12
Level 12
Posts: 4416
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:53 pm
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by vrkalak » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:52 pm

*scratches head* I don't know any "average users" ... after all, this is Linux.
z06gal wrote:I'm sure you are much smarter than I am where computers and operating systems are concerned but I became so sick of all the issues in Windows [viruses, trojans, etc. and I had anti-virus and all the "protection" that never worked] that I Google'd Linux and picked Mint knowing zero. I installed it and have never looked back. It does everything I need and is ridiculously user friendly. Yes I have caused my own problems trying to learn how things work but I have learned a lot as a result and love this OS, big time. It's nice not to have to worry about all the crap I had with Windows especially with Vista. Obviously we all have our opinions but Windows has a long ways to go to be as user friendly as Linux Mint is. I have checked out other linux distros but, in my opinion, Mint takes the cake. I am looking way forward to Mint 9. :D
Thanks, for the glowing review ... glad you're enjoying Mint. :D Welcome to Mint and the Forums.
Image
:: Debian-Sid (Xfce/Fluxbox) :: LinuxMint-18 (LTS) LXDE w/Openbox ::
Registered Linux User: #497031 :: My DeviantART Page

MrD
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:34 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by MrD » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:29 am

vrkalak wrote:*scratches head* I don't know any "average users" ... after all, this is Linux.
There's the clincher though! Mint is great compared to the other distros I've tried in the past. vanilla Ubuntu isn't for the average user, not when they have to figure how to install a load of software Mint comes with in a non-intuitive way. I have put other "beginner" class users on Mint and they took to it immediately and love it, except for a couple of niggles that I've mentioned above. I honestly think Mint is better for the user than even XP. It's intuitive enough anybody can find their way around and the software manager is a great source for them to do almost what they need to. Mint is for the average user. Step back and look at what an OS needs to do for them, how it is laid out. Remove all the fanboy/geek views you have about linux and think of the average users position. Surely Mint can be seen now in this regard?

If there was full audio support for MSN out of the box and a viable video editor to do the tasks people are taking for grant in windows, then Mint can truly start hammering away at the Windows consumers. Until that is done, Ubuntu will not be able to tear these users away from Windows. The day things work and the magazines, websites and forums are awash with people stating it is a fully fledged viable alternative the big change will happen :) I await that day. I truly do. I want Ubuntu and Mint to succeed. Everyone does really. These things just need sorting out.
Dell Inspiron 1520 - T6570 2.1ghz C2D, 4 gigs ram, integrated Intel 965 GPU, Intel replacement wifi card.

User avatar
Aging Technogeek
Level 13
Level 13
Posts: 4581
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:54 am
Location: Right about here

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by Aging Technogeek » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:22 am

You must remember that Mint is a fork of Ubuntu, which is a fork of Debian and, as such, many of the changes you ask for must come from upstream, at least from Ubuntu if not from Debian. Some will require kernel changes (which is about as far upstream as it gets).

The Mint development team is very small (it is growing) and most of them work full time to earn a living and develop Mint in their "spare" time. It would be difficult for them to write all the code required to implement the requested changes without using a base distro like Ubuntu. The changes may come, but not in Mint 9 and probably not all in Mint 10 (unless Ubuntu magically steps up their innovation).
Registered Linux User 483387

denyu
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:02 pm

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by denyu » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:43 am

I don't remember why I switch to Mint from windows from July 2009 till now not switch back. I've try a lot of distribution but not as easy as Mint. I have very good impression when I installed LM7 everything worked (except my tv -> i plan to buy real tv anyway) but a little bit dissapointed with LM8 evendough I am using it right now.
I hope in next distribution Mint will have tv player which have many compatibility with many hardware. And also much faster and not make me force to change to new hardware.

Bry
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:57 am
Location: Mid Kent, England, UK

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by Bry » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:02 am

Average user, that's me. I am looking forward to Mint 9, especially after being on 8 for some time now. Like that song says: "Things can only get better!" Having used Ubuntu for a while last year, then changing computers to this one with W7, I soon wanted to get out of the Gate(d) community and feel free from Microsoft-Mauling. A little online research brought me to Mint 8. Windows, no way ever again!

I just love being a Minty - it's almost boring without reboots and scans and all that nasty stuff. I tried Ubuntu's newbie yesterday after testing PCLinuxOS. I have also checked out other distros and know that Mint is the best for me. So I am sure that Mint 9 will be excellent and I can barely wait to download to cd/dvd as soon as it is announced. Mint is so good that I am not bothering to check out other Linux distros from here on. Mint is great for the average user as far as I am concerned, and Mint 9 will be even better.

My grandson's Windows computer became infected in spite of being fully "protected". It really jammed up the system. I showed him how Mint works on mine and with his agreement I put Mint on his Acer laptop. He is well pleased and it does everything he requires.

Older people like myself at 73, do not want hassles that Windows gives them at some expense. We/ I want a computer that simply works to the extent I/we want.

Mint does that for me. Freedom!
Laptop: Sony Vaio VGN-NW26M 64-bit. Mint Katya 64-bit. Browser: Firefox. Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700.

FedoraRefugee
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1284
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:25 am

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by FedoraRefugee » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:14 am

I hope Mint 9 is an improvement, they have a lot to overcome using Ubuntu as the base. :roll: Of course I said the same about Mint 8 and it turned out great. I think Mint 5 was the best Mint yet but 6, 7, and 8 were not bad releases. I hope 9 can continue the tradition.

Either way though, I will make it work. Mint is good at the niche it fills. It is a fast, clean, full install that looks great in its default form and really needs nothing added to go to work. I am sure 9 will at least be adequate in this regard. :)

bar0n1
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:46 am

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by bar0n1 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:21 am

The OP has some valid points here.

It doesn't really matter what OS you are familiar with. When you change, you look for natural like-for-like replacements. This should not be seen as a failing of any one particular OS and it takes time to realise the new features of an OS that are of benefit for you.

When I used Mac OS X, I was frustrated that I couldn't properly maximize windows and that there was no Microsoft Outlook. I did grow to love the OS and then using my XP machine at work was frustrating - no two finger scroll, no expose, slow operating system etc. My initial moves to Linux were frustrating and more of an "appeasing the geek in me" learning experience. At the time, a few years back now, Linux really was not a complete operating system and apart from the fact it was fun to play with, I felt it was not ready for prime time and no replacement for (I think Windows 98 or 2000).

Now are our shiny new Linux distros are in fact excellent and for many average users could be a real choice. I made a decision to move to cross platform software where possible simply because I use all of Windows, Mac and Linux on different machines and change my mind a lot! It's true to say that some of this software is not as polished or as well integrated as some of their OS specific counterparts, but overall it causes much less headaches.

Example. Finance software. I went from MS Money and had to start all over again with software on the Mac (the name eludes me). In the end, I've settled for Moneydance which is cross-platform. It's not as pretty, not as functional as MS Money, but it does the trick and I am happy with it.

There are several features of Linux that I miss when I am not using it. Compiz is brilliant and more than adequately makes up for the loss of Expose in OSx. AWN is great. The Dock in OSX and the Windows 7 bar are important for my productivity and usability factors so the availability of like function in Linux is a huge boost (for me at least).

I use Openoffice and Googledocs which are perfectly useable and fabulous for home use. I don't feel comfortable using them in a work environment because I always feel that I need to check the formatting etc in MS Office first. If everyone used Openoffice, this would be perfect - but tell that to corporations of today and you get funny looks :-)

Pidgin, Firefox, Chrome, Dropbox, Miro are all great cross platform internet tools that I've learned to love.

Every OS has it's failings. Malware in Windows, lack of customization in OS X etc. Linux's failing for me is simple.

Through various distros and versions of Linux, I have never found one that can cope 100% successfully with power management on my Dell Vostro 1700 laptop. 50% of the time it works, 20% of the time it does not sleep when I close the lid (and sometimes when I hit the sleep button), 15% of the time it does not wake up (it just reboots) and 15% of the time it wakes up to a black screen with a flashing cursor until I hard power down. Hibernate does not work at all, I just get a flashing cursor. This is infuriating and is the number 1 issue that keeps pulling me back to Windows 7 (which works say 99% of the time).

The only other thing that draws me back is my inability to connect to my work VPN because it requires Windows and Internet Explorer. This is no fault of linux, but does reflect why it can be difficult to switch for some when there is no broad acceptance among the workplace. I could use a VM, but that's a pain and it either offers delayed availability or more resource usage depending on if I have the VM stopped or started. It does also exacerbate my above Power problem. If I use VM and then try to sleep - 100% it will not sleep at all.

So in summary for me, Linux does some things better than other OS's and some things worse. It's appeal is unique like any other OS and for being free is first class. For me, hardware compatibility is the key. Power Management should be something that just works. On a desktop this would not be a problem

M.

P.S. If anyone can offer advice on how to start debugging my power (sleep) issues, please do. I have read through endless threads about the subject but still no nearer a solution.

User avatar
hemimaniac
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 503
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:26 pm
Location: London ON

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by hemimaniac » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:15 pm

Aging Technogeek wrote:.....................

(unless Ubuntu magically steps up their innovation).

In the meantime for your viewing pleasure, I will pull World Peace from this hat.
"Linux allows for one thing above all else - 'A user can truly be themselves!'"
Image

z06gal
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 660
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:16 pm

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by z06gal » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:38 pm

LOL!

tower
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:08 pm

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by tower » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:46 pm

Mint 9 will be the distro most Ubuntu users hoped they would get in Lynx.

When Mint 9 goes live you will hear a Scottish voice shouting. "The severs will no take it cap'n!"

frank392
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 363
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:29 pm

Re: What will Mint 9 mean to the average user?

Post by frank392 » Sun May 02, 2010 8:45 am

MORE BUGS!!!!!!!!!!!

Post Reply

Return to “About Mint Editions”