In praise of Linux Mint

Linux Mint
Finally a Linux distro that does not feel like a sacrifice. I’ve been trying to ease myself from the Microsoft tit for some time. I’ve been downloading and installing every distro that comes along, seeking out one that meets my needs. The first distro I tried was Redhat 5…but I tried them all. The first one I ever got to work was Corel linux or Redhat 6, I can’t quite remember. I even bought some, Suse (before it was Novell), Xandros, I bought books attempting to learn enough to make Linux workable. For years this went on.
I was one of those freaks who thought Lindows (now Linspire) was a great idea when it was released.
I was never that dissatisfied with Windows. I thought it was a fine OS. I was dissatisfied with Microsoft and vendor lock in. As Windows moves ever more into locking me into their formats, as I lose more and more control of my hardware…I look forward and the trend in disturbing. Where will MS leave me in 5 years? Fearing this trend, I searched out alternatives.
I tried the Mac at the urging of friends. I guess they thought I didn’t like Windows because it was too hard to use. But that was not the case. I found Apple to be ahead of MS in vendor lock in and proprietary crap. No the Mac was not the answer–I tried it twice to be sure. The Mac would have been a fine answer if I was attempting to leave Windows because it was too hard–but that was not my reason. Plus I hate being treated like a child, and that is how Apple treats its users. Jobs trots out on stage at his dog and pony shows and reveals features as if he is God talking to Moses. I despise the pompous ass and do not want to be associated with anything that he is involved with. Oh yes, Macs are easy as long as you do stuff the simplistic way that Apple want you to. But attempt to do stuff your way (as opposed to the Apple way) and everything gets much harder…if not impossible.
I almost made the jump with Opensuse 10.2/SLED 10. I had it on my boxes–no Windows partitions, then an update would break it. Ugh.
Ubuntu never supported my hardware. I kept reading how nice it was, but I could never get it installed–there was always a missing critical piece of hardware. And that brown theme? Ugly.
I became a Vista beta tester. I held off on criticism of the OS until after final release. I bought a dual core desktop, I bought a dual core laptop…I had a tech net plus subscription…I was always having to make excuses for Vista, I was (gasp!) a Microsoft apologist. Now, 8 months after release, I am tired of making excuses for Vista. It is buggy, my hardware was supposedly designed with it in mind, but it still had/has major problems.
Then I tried a previous version of Linux Mint (Bianca)–Wow! It is beautiful…and Ubuntu’s hardware support was much improved. (Mint after all is just Ubuntu with some proprietary codecs and a nicer theme). With the release of Ubuntu 7.04, I knew the era of desktop Linux had arrived (latter confirmed by none other than Dell.) But I like to do things like play 3D games, watch DVDs, have access to ALL of the content on the internet.
Then Linux Mint Cassandra was released. I put it on my laptop–everything worked! Wireless, graphics acceleration, everything! It did not break when I installed updates! I was not forced to edit xorg.conf, I was not forced to execute byzantine commands from the terminal. Wow! Linux that does not feel like a sacrifice. Linux that competes with OS X and Windows–hurray. 10 years after first trying Linux…its day has arrived.

I have Mint on both my laptop and desktop–no Windows partitions! Mint comes as a live CD–meaning that you can check it out without messing with your Windows partitions…so give it a try. After all, you have nothing to lose but your chains.


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