So, as part of my personal mandate that I write about #stuffIlike, allow me to describe the reasons for my deep affinity toward Linux Mint.
Allow me to set the stage, I started collecting vinyl records (albums) back in high school. Frankly, I probably went overboard, but when I was done with my busboy shift at Lupton’s Fatman’s BBQ on 30th Street I had between $11-15 cash burning a hole in my pocket (not to mention the $2.01 per hour I would be making in my paycheck).
It was easy to justify going to Vinyl Fever at the corner of Fletcher and 15th and troll through the $1 bargain bin or find a gently used copy of Rush “A Farewell to Kings” for $3.50.
I had collected hundreds of records and listened to them in my parents garage apartment where I could play a little louder than inside the house and where my dad put our pool table. Bliss. Unfortunately, we had a break in and all the records were stolen plus the stereo and pool sticks. After insurance reimbursed the family for the stolen items, my dad made sure I had about $2,000 to put back into my collection. I did go and get the essentials (U2, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jason and the Scorchers, you get the idea…), but it was 1986 and I knew computers was something I was interested in.
Dad and I went to the computer store across from University Mall where they had the newest IBM PC clones. My target was the Leading Edge Model D. It definitely cost me more than $1,400 and had no hard drive (2 floppy drives 5.25″) and the monitor was monochrome (amber). It was my first computer. The operating system was DOS 2.11. Naturally, this was before I knew anything about Windows. Windows came much later. I became proficient at using command line to switch from program to program.
Here we are years later and Microsoft has not improved on its OS since Windows 7. In my opinion, the need to include apps and other mobile concepts like Cortana have created an OS that I can use, but don’t enjoy. Since I am trying to write about #stuffIlike, I will not go into the inherent problems with Windows.
I have several computers and laptops that became slower and slower over time. Sound familiar? I know it sounds extreme, but many times I suggest to whoever asks any of these questions:
- I think my computer has been hacked
- Stupid thing doesn’t boot
- My computer is soooo slow
- My computer crashes, like all the time
Answer: Why don’t you reinstall the OS? It has been quite a joke around my friends that have heard me suggest it. Honestly, I think it should be more of a solution now than ever before. Why? People should be using the cloud for EVERYTHING! Mail, photos, documents, music, anything worth saving. None of it should be on your computer. Your computer should be just a box that allows you to get to everything. Security? Maybe that is a post for another day.
My suggestion for those with a little bit of time and curiosity to reach into the closet and find the computer that you deemed too slow to use and take a few minutes and install Linux Mint. Yes, there are different versions of Linux Mint 18 (Cinnamon, MATE (pronounced mah-tay), and XFCE). My favorite for a newer PC including my laptop, work computer and a couple dedicated machines in my house are running Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon.
If I had a particularly old machine, I would use Linux Mint 17.1 XFCE. It is lighter and better suited for pre-Windows Vista machines.
Why do I like it?
- You can alter the look of the desktop really easily. Want it to look like Windows, a Mac, or something you envision. It can be done.
- Updating the OS is not a big deal that sometimes requires rebooting several times
- Linux does not use NTFS. The Windows File System is 25 years old and is not appropriate for newer hard drives especially SSDs.
- It is much less prone to be infected with a virus. Most linux users do not install AV software.
- If you are an android phone user and want to move a file on or off your phone, it is super easy.
Here is a video that shows you my computer and how it looks.