Tag Archives: Mint

Hardware: Setting Up A New Laptop

My autistic adult son finally killed his 5 years old Dell laptop, so for Christmas, it’s time to get him a new one. His old machine was Windows 7, and because of the WiFi port not being compatible with Linux I’d left Win7 on the machine. The new machine however, does not have that problem.

The laptop we chose is the Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK which was at the time of purchase, only $219 for a dual core Intel Celeron processor.

 Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK

Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK

The Amazon reviews of the unit clearly show a lack of power to run the included Windows 8.1 software, but since Linux is our OS of choice, I went ahead and got the unit, planning on installing Mint 17 MATE on the unit.

Installation was a breeze! At first boot-up, you want to hit F-12 to bring up the boot menu. From the boot menu, select the option to enable Legacy booting.

After that’s done, (and it will complain!) then insert your thumb drive witha Mint 17 disk image and reboot again, once again pressing F-12 to access the boot menu. Once there, tell the machine to boot to the thumb drive.

Once booted into Linux, setup your WiFi network and then select the Install Linux Mint shortcut on the desktop.

The install took only about 10 minutes, then another 30 to do the software updates and install my son’s favorite programs that he uses on his Mint desktop computer.

Of course I setup Caja with shortcuts to his desktop home folder so he can share files back and forth.

The Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK is screaming fast with Mint installed, and I’m sure it will give him another 5 years of dependable service.

So don’t overlook the lower end laptops by Dell or other companies. With Linux, they will be first class machines!



Why Linux Mint

Last night, we installed Linux Mint on the old XP machine of my next door neighbor. She was tired of seeing all the warnings pop up about how her system was no longer supported.

The difference in speed and response of her computer was the first thing she noticed.  Her Bose Wave Soundlink adapter was easily recognized by Linux, and her Bose Wave radio was belting out tunes from her computer in no time at all.

We’ve been asked why we push Linux Mint. The reason is pretty simple:

For users coming from WIndows XP, who want to get many more years out of their old computer, we suggest Linux Mint. specifically , we suggest the long-term support version of Mint, with the MATE desktop. The MATE desktop behaves the most like Windows XP. We’ve installed that on a number of friends and family machines the past few months, and nobody has had a bit of trouble adapting to the new operating system.

Let’s face it, the majority of computer users do nothing more than read their mail, surf the web and write a document or two. Why should you be forced to purchase a new operating system every few years just to do that!

The MATE desktop is no frills, clean and simple. It does not require 3D rendering graphics or tons of memory to run very well. So back up your data and install Linux Mint. You may just love it!



Still Running XP?

That old computer isn’t dead yet! You can bring it back to life in less than an hour by installing Linux!

Let’s face it, most people use their computers for 2 things, email and surfing the web. Linux comes ready for those tasks with the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird email client! (As well as dozens of other programs to sort and play your music, edit your photos, write letters etc.)

Have an Android phone or tablet too? Plug it in, and Mint will give you access to all the files on the device. Makes it easy to move your favorite music and photos to your phone or tablet!

We recommend Linux Mint for that task!

First thing to do is back up your personal files like photos and music. Thumb drives make this an easy process of you don’t have a lot of files. Just copy your files from your computer, to the thumb drive! After that’s done, safely remove the thumb drive and put it aside until it’s time to copy your files back to your computer.

Next, it’s time to try out Mint:

Make sure you are connected to the internet on the machine to be upgraded, then, download Mint to your hard drive. we recommend the Mint 13 distribution for older computers. Further, we recommend you download the MATE 32 bit version of Mint. (It will look the most like XP once installed.)

Once downloaded,  burn a DVD from the .iso image. Your burning software will have an option to burn an iso image.

Once that’s done, leave the disk in the drive and reboot your computer. Mint will boot up to what’s called a live image, where you can play with Mint, and if you like it, Install Mint on your computer!

If you have enough free  space on your hard drive, you can even, by following the on-screen instructions, have both operating systems. Then you can choose which one you wish to use at boot-up!

Need more software? Then open the Software Manager from the menu. There, you will find tons of free software! Keeping your checkbook? Then install GNU Cash. Most any task you require, you can find free software to do it! The best part, you don’t need to surf the web looking for software, it’s all in there Software Manager!

(Keep in mind, that if you wipe your computer to install Mint, that XP will be gone for good, unless you have your factory original XP disks to reinstall it. We’re not responsible for anything you might lose, so proceed at your own risk!)