5 May 2010

Mint Really Is Mint!

Just a quick blog post to sing the praises of Mint, a user-friendly Linux operating system.  I have been promising my brother that I would rebuild an old laptop for him for several months.  After finally completing the physical rebuild at the weekend, I faced a dilemma as to what OS to install.  The only Windows options open to me were Windows XP (9 years old), or Windows Server 2008 (fine as developer workstation, not great for a non-techie end user).  I did look at buying an upgrade to Windows 7, but I couldn’t justify the £80 price tag for this 7 year old laptop. 

So I thought I would try out a Linux OS for the first time.  After using this excellent online wizard to select a Linux OS, I plumped to install Ubuntu.  Unfortunately, Ubuntu wasn’t configured to deal with the wide screen on the laptop, and after booting, it would only display a blank screen.  I did search for a fix, but despite spending some time on the command line, I wasn’t able to update the display configuration. 

After this, I remembered reading that Mint was a variant of Ubuntu specifically designed for first time Linux users, and decide to give it to go.  After an insanely short time (approximately 15 minutes), Mint had smoothly installed itself, and was ready for use.  I am already very impressed with the options to install and automatically update applications using the software manager, and the overall performance of the OS.  Remember, this is a 7 year old laptop, with only 500MB RAM – I dread to think what the performance would have been like if I had installed Windows.  So, my brother has his laptop, and I am left a Linux convert!

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