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Foray Into Linux
I have heard good things about the Mint variant so I found a download of a recent version and the all important USB installer. According to what I have read you should be able to install from a USB stick providing your PC or Notebook supports USB as a boot option. Mine did and after making the required changes in the BIOS I attached a USB stick with the USB installer and Mint variant of Linux.
What followed was arduous and torturous as I got slowly – so slowly - to a certain point before the installation stopped. So I downloaded a slightly earlier version of Mint and the same thing. Then yet an earlier version the initial interface was different and although it was happy to run from the USB stick still no completed installation.
As regular readers will know I tend to want to know why. So having spent around ten hours (over two days) I finally gave up and burnt a DVD, changed the first boot device to CD/DVD and watched the install proceed without problem.
At this point I should explain that Mint and I had a parting of the ways and the download and install was of Ubuntu which I had briefly dabbled with a few years ago. The install took around 30 minutes and I was left with a rather Windows looking interface, easy to follow with the little exception of the ‘x’ to close a window being on the top left rather than the top right.
I even downloaded a couple of cross platform programs that I use often to make me feel at home.
I could browse the WWW via an Ethernet lead. This notebook has Wi-Fi but as yet I have not found how to enable Wi-Fi. I will be able to get my emails – should I wish – as a copy of a well known email client is included in the distribution.
I have heard that drivers for certain things are a problem I have yet to bite the bullet and try to install a printer, I did look at the icons choices and a mixture or tiredness and elation at the simple success of a final installation success said leave this for another time.
During the install I was given the choice of dual booting with Windows or let it have the full (50GB) hard disc to itself. I choose the latter, and it now boots in a minute (it only has 512MB RAM) and it now shuts down rather efficiently in six seconds. I know when this was a XP system I had plenty of time to make a coffee and some toast while it booted.
Mint may well install well from a CD/DVD environment but not as far as I can tell from a USB stick. Why did I switch to Ubuntu at the eleventh hour I do not have a good reason but tiredness does strange things and it worked. Of course what I should have done is try to install Ubuntu from a USB stick but I did not.
The next day after a few minutes delving into the Settings menu I managed to setup my Network printer and a genetic driver still so far using Ethernet but I can print.
There must be many people out there who are basic users and want to collect email and browse the WWW for this an otherwise unprotected Windows XP unit is no longer a safe alternative so could Linux answer their needs?
I installed Ubuntu Linux 14.04 from the link below, remember to select 32bit (unless your unit will support 64bit).
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