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Made the move to Linux - a kind of personal intro

Posted 11-13-2011 at 12:15 AM by forbinproject

About a month ago, I tried Linux for the first time on this system with a dual-boot between Vista and Ubuntu (Vista came with the computer). After about a month of working with a dual-boot system, for whatever reason, the Vista partition was not as stable as it could have been; that is, there was some sort of new winsock error that forced a very long boot to happen. I was in the midst of backing up files, so it took me a little longer to make the full switch. The re-install I had made of Vista was about 2 years old, which, in Windows terms, is anywhere from 2-4 times too long ago.

After working with Ubuntu for about 2 weeks with Unity, and then Gnome with a more traditional (i.e. applications, places, system) setup, I decided on Mint 11 because I read there were a lot of codecs already pre-loaded. With this knowledge, I assumed Mint had gone to the trouble of installing various codecs that might've been left out of Ubuntu (even though I had installed "restricted extras" and was using primarily VLC).

Mint 11 has had its problems (i.e. clock applet not starting during boot, sudden logouts while using Chromium [which I read as a conspiracy to get Mint-ers to use Firefox's Custom Mint Search], setting up hplip, firefox [apparently, a "race issue," with mint panel or menu]) but all in all, it has been even simpler to do Linux. My 3 years old Gateway laptop (yeah, I said it) works like a champ. I was participating in a grand hoax that Windows had more options available. I just don't have the money for a Mac and, besides, the Mac thing seems a little too cult-ish to me.

It appears that Mint, like Ubuntu, somehow got faster along the way because it was truly slow to boot the first few times. I did shutoff the bluetooth, which might've been the problem. While I understand that the Linux Mint Custom google search in Firefox is intended to help more people on their staff get paid, I changed it because the damn custom search just wasn't adequate and I'm just hard-wired for a search toolbar at this point (and that's with the main google page set as my FF homepage). I added duckduckgo for regular searchs and then use the homepage google search for videos and such.

Got the printer working and am figuring out how to use xsane for scans. I'm thrilled that I don't have to sacrifice hardware functionality. It would be terrible to spend my days doing my print and scan jobs on other people's Windows OS computers (and having to explain myself, presumably).

I'm no stranger to computers. My parents were part of the lot of parents in the early eighties who threw down for computers early in the game in the attempt to be cutting edge. It still blows me away how much has changed since my TI-99, Apple IIc, and 386 days. I truly believe this to be my breaking out of the more mindless End-User experience to which Windoze seems to lend itself. It just so happens that I'm in a career change part of my life and amplifying my knowledge of computers seems to be an important part of that change. I'm going to try my hand at some web design again and maybe some Python (and so on).
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  1. Old Comment
    Linux is a cult, too It just happens to be one that I enjoy being a member of

    As for cutting edge (your reference from the 80's), what makes you think we're (all) not still hanging precariously over that edge, with some hanging by the feet of others.

    In any case, I'm glad to see it's working for you. It doesn't for everyone. But then, not everyone has the same expectation. Windows has to address the masses, and the masses just want (whatever ... their email, their bank account, their pictures or music, etc) ... and don't care about operating systems and don't want to worry about device drivers, and such.
    Posted 11-17-2011 at 10:16 AM by Skaperen Skaperen is offline


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