[Herts] Questions.

Mike - XP Computers mike at xpcomputers.co.uk
Sat Apr 3 17:27:57 UTC 2010



I can't comment on whether you had good advice or not. Since I haven't tried
SuSE (or any other version Linux recently).... so that only leaves me
qualified to talk about my experience on my netbook and another computer.
Both worked without fiddling with Mint 8. 


At the end of the day no OS is perfect, so what worked for me, might not
work for you and your hardware. I chose Mint after a lot of reading up, as I
was about to install Ubuntu, and read that Mint supposed to be a bit better
again. For example it has all the media CODECs preinstalled in the main
version, so media files just work out of the box. I think I read it has
better wireless card detection too. I must say I like the Mint main menu


I'm sure you could make any version of Linux work for you. One particular
tip is to Google search your your laptop model number and the name of the
linux you are considering: eg for my Samsung NC10 netbook, I searched for
something like: NC10 Mint linux  (and variations on that theme eg NC10 "Mint


You should get a feel for whether anyone has trodden the path before you and
solved any problems if there were any... which might help you pick a distro
of Linux that works with your hardware better than a different distro (or
even different version of that distro). In the case of my Netbook, I found
that someone had made a repository for Ubuntu & NC10 netbooks, that made all
the screen brightness key strokes work etc. and fortunately they worked for
me with no modification on Mint too (as the vast majority of Ubuntu stuff
does). But I had a very complete experience out of the box without those
extras.... they were just the icing on the cake! 


If you have older hardware, then the latest version of a distro isn't always
better, since sometimes the advances break compatibility with older
hardware. Older ATi graphics cards drivers being one example broken by newer
Kernels, and ATi have failed to update the drivers. Open source community
drivers are getting better though, and in most cases the graphics still
display fine, you just get less advanced support for the hardware and it's
3D acceleration.


So although I'm very happy with Mint here, (and I recommend at least giving
it's Live CD a go, so you can see how it looks for yourself on your
hardware), you might well find your best distro of Linux is a different
distro/version to me. Hopefully the google search for your computer model
will help you narrow the list down very quickly so you can try a few live
CD/DVD's out to see how well it works for you.






From: herts-bounces at mailman.lug.org.uk
[mailto:herts-bounces at mailman.lug.org.uk] On Behalf Of Andrew Porter
Sent: 02 April 2010 19:03
To: herts at mailman.lug.org.uk
Subject: Re: [Herts] Questions.



I either received, or took the wrong advice from a former colleague. Suffice
to say, it was SuSE Linux that was introduced on a corporate computer that
some engineers were asked to use, therefore, this was their first
introduction to Linux. With impressed responses all round means that the
general opinion, at the time, was for SuSE Linux, without necessarily
understanding the implications of how to install and fully set up SuSE
Linux. In addition, when one former colleague did install SuSE Linux, it was
a dual boot system with Windows 98, where it appears that SuSE Linux was
able to detect far more from the Windows 98 settings, when compared to SuSE
Linux and Windows Vista, no great surprise now that I understand how much
Microsoft appear to tie in their users. Perhaps Microsoft regard Linux
operating systems as an increasing market competitor, particularly when Dell
started to offer ready to run computers with Ubuntu Linux installed.

Time to step back and recognise that I need to start with Ubuntu or similar,
as an alternative to SuSE Linux, or more significantly, to detatch myself
from Microsoft Vista.


On 02/04/2010 15:41, Mike - XP Computers wrote: 

...and Ubuntu would have been a better introduction to Linux.

I have been very impressed by Mint Linux, which is based on Ubuntu, but with
a few usability tweaks and customisations pre-configured. I am using Mint 8
here (which is based on the latest Ubuntu 9.10). Mint 9 is coming soon, to
be based on the imminent Ubuntu 10.4
As a newbie to Linux, I found the process to be very simple and effective.
In fact I am assessing it from the perspective of rolling it out to people
who are less tech savvy than myself, and I finally think I've found a distro
that I could safely recommend to others no matter what their level of tech
expertise. It just works!
Highly recommend taking a look. It uses Ubuntu repositories too, so you get
all the perks of Ubuntu, with a few extras that Ubuntu doesn't have...
From: herts-bounces at mailman.lug.org.uk
[mailto:herts-bounces at mailman.lug.org.uk] On Behalf Of Andrew Porter
Sent: 02 April 2010 14:51
To: herts at mailman.lug.org.uk
Subject: Re: [Herts] Questions.
Your comments are consistent with the general recommendations that I have
received from work colleagues, that is, Q-Tek did not provide the full set
up they should have, and Ubuntu would have been a better introduction to
Linux. Apparently, it is notably better in detecting the dual boot Windows
element, and able to extract the Internet settings information, etc. As for
the Lexmark printer, I have found that Lexmark do provide driver software
compatible with SuSE Linux and other Linux operating systems, therefore,
once SuSE Linux is set up correctly, it should be a straight forward process
to down load the software. Suffice to say, help received from Lexmark with
Windows Vista was really comprehensive, easy to understand and follow. The
bad bit was trying to stop Windows Vista automatically overriding the
correct driver software! Put it this way, Vista is my first ever Microsoft
purchase, and will be the last.
I must add that rather than feeling that my experience with Linux has been
bad, or possibly frustrating, I suspect that this has more to do with Q-Tek
not preforming the installation requested completely, possibly because they
are not familiar with Linux installations. Being new to Linux myself means
that I was unable to detect that this issue was applicable, therefore, I am
reluctant to blame Linux as being at fault. In fact, I remain very keen to
have a Linux operating system as my prime operating system, and only use
Microsoft products as a last resort for those increasingly less common
elements that require a Microsoft operating system. Even within my Microsoft
system I use Open Office, etc., and have found this better than Microsoft
Yes, operating a Linux system from a DVD does work, and this is one method,
possibly, of testing Ubuntu, before installing over SuSE Linux. The live
DVDs I have are those intended to allow the user to run a Linux system from
a DVD, without endangering the computer's existing operating system. If it
works well, then the option exists to provide an installation. As my
computer is already a dual boot system, with a 50% partitioned hard drive
means that the process should be relatively simple, provided that I over
write the correct half of the hard drive! However, I know that the Windows
side is a FAT32 or NTFS system, and SuSE Linus should be EXT 2 or EXT 3 so
that the risk of deleting the Windows system in error is low. Even if I did,
I have an external hard drive used as a full back up of the Windows Vista
system, all the documents, files, etc.
As for bringing in my computer, the answer is yes. However, I am may miss
this month's meeting, I as I am due to be in France on a business trip.
Suffice to say, being in the minority as an Analogue Design Engineer at work
means high demands upon my time at work!
Enjoy your Easter break, whilst I look forward to eliminating my initial
frustrations with SuSE Linux, where SuSE Linux, itself, is not the cause of
the problem.
Andrew Porter
PS. I have been advised that SuSE Linux is biased towards office
applications, therefore, a Local Area Network. This make explain why Ubuntu
is regarded as a better option for the home user.
On 02/04/2010 12:37, Steve Clark wrote: 
On Wednesday 31 Mar 2010 21:22:22 Andrew Porter wrote:
4. Is Linux your main OS? 
 It was intended to be, but I have failed, so far, to get the system to
 recognise the DVD drive, the printer, and connect to the Internet. Books,
 etc., have not been of any help, as they assume that all that is needed has
 already been established, reference the DVD drive recognition, printer, 
 Internet connection and settings. The information sources are intended to 
 provide guidance once all that is needed is in place and working.
I'm sorry to hear you've had such a bad experience with Linux so far. I
that back in the old days (a few years ago) I too found it tricky to get 
everything working, but my recent experience, mostly with Ubuntu, has been 
that it 'just works'. I've plugged in a webcam, Bluetooth adaptor and
and had them working without any extra drivers or even editing of 
configuration files.
You say you've tried SUSE, which I haven't used. Have you tried other
Have you tried live CDs? Can you bring the PC to a meeting so we can try and
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