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Old 05. Mar 2013, 10:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Hello all. I'll agree with every bit of this. I got fed up with M$ four years ago. Every update one whole summer scrambled something on my XP Pro. That made me head to support and then a few times to users forums to find the fixes. I didn't know anyone who used Mac or Linux and I was more than ready to jump ship to anything other than M$. I finally settled on Ubuntu. It was free and sounded like it was at least OK and I wouldn't - hopefully - have to buy a new computer. At that time it was number one, and may still be. My wife noticed that my side of the office was suddenly much quieter and I was actually getting much more work done. She started paying attention to my desktop and asking questions. She had just bought a new unit with Vista less than a year before and in that short time I had to fix her desktop settings a couple of times after updates messed up her settings. She's blind in one eye and has distorted vision in the other so her contrast and size settings are critical. She wanted to try Ubuntu out for herself so I dual-booted her unit. She had Vista for about two months more and noticed she wasn't using it all, so when it came time to upgrade I made a clean install and wiped M$ off of her desktop too.
It's nice that you can just copy your /home directory to an external drive, clean install in less than half an hour, install any preferred programs that don't come default and then copy the saved /home directory over the new one and your settings and accounts and personal files are instantaneously there!
There is one thing I prefer to do once in a great while but especially after a full install. I run bleachbit as root and show hidden settings. I check nearly all except for Memory and Overwrite and a couple History settings. This cleans all extra files and helps the system run a bit cleaner and faster. Bleachbit isn't a default program on installation in Mint for some reason so it has to be installed.
As for the firewall, I just open a terminal and type 'ufw enable' after an install. Any Ubuntu based build and any others that use the Ubuntu FireWall are now set up with the default firewall settings which is good enough for most home browsing and other web work. I have added OpenDNS protection to our modem as more protection since the kids and grandkids drop by and either hard wire or jump on the wireless with their units which are all M$ only because they just have to play their online games and that's one thing that Linux doesn't handle - yet. Here's info on OpenDNS; www.opendns.com/.
After four years I'm still learning more everyday about Linux, but it's because I want to and I find it fascinating, not like the latest versions of M$ where I either had to learn or take it to a shop.
I've tried Zorin and a few others, but Mint is my favorite as well as my wife's. We switched from Ubuntu after trying the Unity style and neither of us liked it.
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Old 05. Mar 2013, 09:09 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBClark
I have added OpenDNS protection to our modem as more protection since the kids and grandkids drop by and either hard wire or jump on the wireless with their units which are all M$ only because they just have to play their online games and that's one thing that Linux doesn't handle - yet.
There a number of great games for linux. Have a look over at dedoimedo's website: Computer games He has done some pretty good reviews and tutorials.

There is also Wine which helps to run MS Windows applications and games. In addition you may want to take a look at Playonlinux which is a utility to be used with Wine.
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Old 05. Mar 2013, 11:40 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention Steam is available for Linux now.
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Old 06. Mar 2013, 08:41 AM   #24 (permalink)
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The kids and grandkids game is World of Warcraft. There seems to be mixed reviews on getting it working with Linux. It either does, or it doesn't even after a lot of tweaking. I just haven't had the urge to try it on any Linux build and neither have they. I'm not a gamer needless to say.

I have a nephew and his family who get into RuneScape and the same seems to go for it on Linux. He has a new Mint 13 / Win-7 dual boot I set up for him to try out and get used to about two weeks ago. His Win-7 seems to be going a bit unstable for him. He's done a few restores, even a full restore so far this winter. Programs just stop functioning either partially or fully on that unit, especially Outlook. There doesn't seem to be any physical problems with the HDD so I'm leaning toward Win-7 becoming unstable on his hardware. After another couple of weeks of general use for them to get used to Mint I'll see what we can set up for him. With luck, it'll go. I'll stockpile some gamer's tricks and tweaks pages on a thumb drive to take along jist fer.

I hope the Steam project steamrolls! Pardon the pun. WINE with POL and even Q4wine are possibilities as well as Crossover but none of them focus on major online games and the graphics like Steam is supposed to. If I ever get the irresistible urge, which I don't see happening - for myself anyway, I may play around with WoW. For now, none of the kids are interested in Linux so there's no point.

My wife loves the desktop games, Yahtzee, Mahjong, Anagramarama and such so she has them. I put Mint on our co-mother's (son's mother-in-law, a retired nurse) Toshiba laptop almost a year ago when Vista went totally south. She had never made any restore disks or an installation disk so she was looking at buying M$ all over again! She too loves the desktop games and is into the pogo online games and Facebook games too. Mint handles them all just fine with no tweaking. She's another proven and happy convert to Linux.

When I first started with Ubuntu I used WINE quite a bit because there were those 'special' Windows programs I just had to have. Since then I've found Linux counterparts for them that are at least as good if not better. I used NoteTab for HTML, CSS and PHP and the library code features were great, then I started using Quanta+ and BlueFish and tossed NoteTab. e-Sword was another M$ program I needed, but dll problems made it very grainy and hard to see, then I started using Xiphos which has almost the same features! There were others, but they were replaced as I learned. With the last few installations I haven't used WINE for anything. Come to think of it, I never put WINE on my wife's desktop, she just started finding and using the Linux counterparts she needed from the get-go! Blast, that means she migrated to Linux better than I did! I hadn't thunk of that before ... Hmph
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Old 14. Mar 2013, 03:53 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Thank you all for you very helpful comments on this post Linux for absolute beginners ?. I have been reading for nearly 3 days now about LINUX and I have learned a little bit but I am no closer to having booted in to a LINUX version. The learning curve has been high for me since I an not a software or gaming fan. The sticking point has been choosing and building an install disk. Being unfamiliar with some terms and processes, ISO, Live CD, Live USB, Torrent, has made this a heck of a journey.

I have been a hardware guy (Electronic Technician) for a very long time and have built my own machines in the past and installed Windows on them all since DOS 3.3 through XP. My AMD Athlon I recently booted up had a suprise Christmas present on it from Microsoft dated 12-25-2012 WGA-Windows Genuine Advantage. My Xp is now hosed ! I have running some what now but it is a pain in the azz. I was using this computer to save my family photos and things. It seems like a excellent time to migrate to LINUX !

I want to do this migration correctly with the least amount of screw ups on my part so I can learn LINUX, be productive using it and possibly start a new career in Linux.

Configuring this AMD Athlon beast of mine concerns me. It is a Full Tower with 6 HDDs, 2 CDs, SCSI card, Extreme gaming card, USB Card, Nvidia G Force card, etc and I would like to use it as part of a network to store photos and hopefully play a legacy game or two, VIPER Racing.

Your input and experience is much appreciated !

Thank you again.

Last edited by Big EZ Crusin; 14. Mar 2013 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 14. Mar 2013, 06:59 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Personally, I would start with a well supported distro that has good hardware recognition and is likely to be the most trouble free in operation and for me this is Linux Mint. I would download the versions for both the Cinnamon and KDE desktops to see which you prefer using in Live mode before committing to a full install.

http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=118
http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=126

Assuming your existing Windows setup still supports the addition of new programs, you can download and install the freeware UNetbootin to create bootable live USB's from your Mint ISO's. These you will have to create one at a time (if only using one USB stick) and for best results the USB stick should be formatted using Windows first. The UNetbootin GUI is pretty straightforward. Just navigate to where you have downloaded your ISO files and select as appropriate. Make sure the destination drive for the installation is correct, and is not pointing to an external USB main drive, if you have one.

The MInt ISO's can be downloaded as you would for any other software if you have a fast connection. Otherwise you can choose the torrent option and then load these using a Windows torrent client such as Tixati.

Details plus some other options here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...ent-client.htm

User guide for Tixati here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/cont...xati-speed.htm

Having created your live USB, simply plug this into your PC and restart it. Depending on how you have your BIOS settings, you will usually need to press a key (often F11) during the boot process in order to choose to boot from USB or DVD, although ISO's burned to a DVD usually launch automatically with standard BIOS settings.

Let us know how you get on.
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Old 14. Mar 2013, 07:29 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Thank you MC for your time and posting back so quickly. SO I am headed in the right direction, I had decided on Mint. I will get it loaded on a stick and boot from there.

I will post back here an with my progress.

Thanks again MC.
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Old 15. Mar 2013, 01:09 AM   #28 (permalink)
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You're welcome.

It has been some years now since I started my own Linux journey and at that time my first encounter was with Ubuntu and later Fedora. I gave up with both several times before things began to click and now I use Linux for 95% of my time. Things have moved on a lot since then however and apart from maybe some difficulty with an odd internet connection, stuff mostly all works out of the box.
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Old 19. Mar 2013, 02:06 PM   #29 (permalink)
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It's been really interesting and informative reading all this stuff. I'm almost finished with the computer my son sent me. All I need now is sound. The motherboard is a LanParty and has a separate sound module. The connector for it is gone and I couldn't find a replacement for it online so I just ordered a different sound card.

Once I get that installed, I'm going to install my other hard drive which is an ATA. The one I have in it now came from my broken dell and is a SATA. Not sure how I'm going to set it up. For some reason it's showing up as slave in my bios even though it's the only HDD. :/

This bios is a bit more complex than any other's ive seen. I guess because the motherboard is a LanParty and has lots more networking options than i'm used to. I'll have to whip out the good ol' Mike Meyers A+ AIO and read up one hard drive configurations. Not sure how to configure a SATA/ATA master/slave setup. I don't think SATA's require a master/slave configuration but ATA's do.
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Old 20. Apr 2013, 08:53 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Been awhile since I last posted on my thread here. Been busy procrastinating the Linux installation.

I got all my computer hardware driver problems taken care of, everything running nice and smooth and last night I rolled up my sleeves and got busy with Linux Mint.

I have to say that it was very, very frustrating trying to get the image file on something bootable. My USB stick would not boot, no matter how much I played around with my BIOS. I had no CDROM or DVD burner handy [well, I did but it was in another computer and I had no free molex connectors. I tried burning it with a borrowed USB DVD reader/writer and had two failed tries. I finally yanked out my own DVD burner, removed my secondary hard drive just to free up a molex connector. Finally managed to get a successful image to burn.

I installed it on my desktop and got down to getting to know my new Linux Mint OS.

The first thing that came to mind as I played around with settings and learning to navigate it was, "Why is Linux seen as such a mystery by so many?" I never wanted to touch Linux for years because I thought it was geekware that would be impossible to use and not much to look at.

Boy was I wrong! On both counts!

My impression at first glance was that it's a very elegant interface, very easy on the eye. My next impression once I clicked on the Menu was that it was extremely intuitive! I wasn't expecting it to be that intuitive to get around in. This is especially nice because everything is different in so many other ways, from how Linux names hard drives and partitions to what they call software. It'll take some getting used to remembering that software is called packages.

The panel [taskbar] confounded me at first. "How do I add program shortcuts to this? I couldn't figure it out so I thought I'd just come back to it later. Then as I was exploring the menu, I right clicked for no particular reason and there it was! Add to desktop, panel or bookmarks! No matter where you go, you can do lots of things from where you're at!

For me, being a Linux newbie, the most useful feature by far are Software manager and package manager. Right there, in those two places, I can get compatible software, updates for packages, make changes to software and more I haven't even looked into. I was worried I'd have to go on a painful web search to find compatible programs and drivers, but everything was all there! Right out of the 'box' I had everything I need-even Wine, for running some windows programs in Linux. I tried GuildWars, but the performance was rather lackluster, so I'll be sticking to Windows for that for the time being. It might just be audio and video settings needing adjustments I haven't figured out.

Another thing-rather small and insignificant-was discovering that I could name my 'start' or 'menu' button what I wanted to name it! So I don't have a menu at the bottom left hand corner, I have La Menu instead, for my own amusement.

I'm just absolutely stunned at how elegant and intuitive it really is. All the cinnamon settings are pleasing to the eye [I like glass], I love how I can customize my calendar at the bottom right to have any format that pleases me and then theres.....

.....Tomboy Notes. Sure, it's a far, far cry from MS OneNote, but since I took the hard drive that had OneNote and put it into this new computer, OneNote decided that [because of the dramatic changes in hardware]that I'd activated it too many times, making it inaccessible to me now, even though I bought and paid for it. Far far cry from OneNote, but Tomboy is free and I wont argue with that until I find something like OneNote to use on Linux.

Other features: Right from the get-go, updates were available, compatible software and updates for that software were available without even having to open a web browser and looking for it. The Microsoft OS and programs that run on Microsoft OS's...it's just not like that. It's a royal pain in the ass to find the right software or the right driver without pulling your hair out. I was fulling expecting some headaches like this, being a new OS and all, but I had not one single problem.

Other than playing games that don't run well on Linux, I may never go back to windows again.

After showing all this off to my ex, he said that Microsoft probably spends a billion dollars a year saturating the media with misinformation to scare people away from Linux or to make them think it's useless other than as a geek toy. Now that I've seen for myself, I can't help but feel upset at Microsoft and some other software developers for making the process of finding and obtaining software AND decent support, such a royal pain in the ass. I feel like I've been bamboozled for the past 20 years. Linux developers do for free-or for donations-what Microsoft has never done: Provide a good quality product that's easy to obtain, use and get support for in a professional manner.

/rant @ MS
/adulation of Linux Mint.

If this is repetitive in some parts and long-winded [it is, I know], it's only because I haven't been this excited by an operating system in...like..ever.
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