Adventures in Linux

My version of Mandriva is out of date, as the auto-updater reminds me every day, but it fails to update itself. This may be due to the fact that no updates were done for about a year and now it’s too far behind, or possibly because Mandriva is no longer free. I have the 2010 version, and in 2011 (I believe) the company decided to go commercial and start selling their products. Too bad, I have really enjoyed using Mandriva’s Gnome desktop since I first installed it in early 2009.

So, I guess I need a replacement.

I have Mint running on one of my laptops. From memory, I installed Mandriva on there first, but failed to get the wireless drivers working. Wireless drivers seem to be the one thing that Linux cannot do out of the box (at least not back in 2011), and although I once got it working on my friends laptop with a lot of messing about, this time I just couldn’t do it. Anyone with a subscription to APC will have every flavour of Linux on hand, so I went about selecting another one. A previous housemate had had Mint on her laptop and didn’t seem to have any issues with the wireless, so I decided to give that one a whirl. Mint Helena was installed, I connected to the network and off I went. So far, so good.

What does this have to do with my current desktop in 2013? Not that much actually. A mere couple of weeks after installing Mint I purchased a new laptop with Windows 7 and moved overseas, leaving both the old one and the desktop behind to slowly outdate.

Then I returned and the desktop was so out of date that web sites are giving me warnings, ect. Time to choose a new Linux.

I figured I’d give Mint a proper test before comiting to putting that on the desktop, as it seems pretty different and I really like the Mandriva I am used to. I got the new version, Nadia and chose the KDE desktop purely because in the screenshots of each the Gnome version looked pretty different to what I am used to, and I got the impression that KDE was the default, so I should stick with it.

Again the wireless drivers work with no dramas, but I’m not 100% sold on the inferface. I don’t know if it’s a KDE thing, or a Mint thing, but I’m not liking using it as much. Apparently Mint is a type of Ubuntu, which I tried before Mandriva and disliked, mostly because it didn’t work with my graphics card, but also partially because I just didn’t really like it, for no good reason. Maybe it was the brown. Blue is much nicer.

I installed some software that I like, LMMS, Blender, everything was installed automatically through the software manager and works perfectly. These are both programms that I tried to install on the Mandriva machine also and failed. Yep, Mandriva’s gotta go.

Instead of OpenOffice, Mint came with LibraOffice. I’m using it right now to type this, and it’s pretty spiffy! If I can get a word count button to appear on the toolbar, I’ll be sold forever.

I went to Youtube and it works. Flash had to be installed seperately in Mandriva and it was an ordeal.

There are a few things I don’t like for stupid reasons but those are probably things that I just have to learn to customise. I want more folders to appear in the Computer section of the Start menu. I want there to be a tab for development tools. Apparently GCC is in here somewhere, it’s not on the menu I have to search for it.

Speaking of development, I figured I should check is cmake was included (it wasn’t in Mandriva) and install it if not. After all, the software installer is nice but there are plenty of programs you have to build yourself. The terminal in Mint is white instead of black. I like the black. Call me old-school. Anyway, cmake wasn’t installed, and it advised me to do a sudo apt-get install cmake in order to install it. It failed the first time, probably due to my woeful internet connection, but the second time managed to get all the packages. I just checked, and it’s still not installed. Hmmm. I still don’t underand 100% what it is even for, so I guess it’s ok for now. At least sudo worked, that had to be activated in Mandriva. Again I don’t understand 100% why. RPM?

Opera offered me an update file and is ended in .deb, which I was pleased to find opens but it wouldn’t install because AMD64 is the wrong architechture. I’m not sure if I should try install the i386 one instead because I don’t know if it just gave me the best one by default, or if it knew that was the one I was supposed to have. I’ll run a system update tonight and see what happens?

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