Ian (lovingboth) wrote,

Flash! Argh argh... 2

My PC desktop of choice is MATE (pronounced mah-tay rather than the 'best friend' mate, because the founder of the project speaks Spanish) which is a continuation of GNOME 2, complete with menus on bars, notification areas etc, rather than trying to be suitable for touch devices. The distribution which championed it most is Linux Mint and I'd been using that since, oh, ever since Ubuntu went to its own Unity desktop for everything rather than just small screen devices.

At the time, Mint did a number of other things right too, but Ubuntu has caught up with most of those and there are some niggles with Mint. You could never be quite sure that upgrading from one version to another via the command line would work, for example. Given that it works in Debian and Ubuntu, its ancestors, I have no idea what they did to stop it being reliable.

The proverbial straw was when they changed the software update program to demand your password every time there's an update rather than once, on booting up. I was also beginning to wonder if the problems I've been having with Firefox crashing were Mint-specific too.

So when Ubuntu MATE (UM) arrived - Ubuntu using the MATE desktop rather than Unity like Ubuntu, LXDE like Lubuntu (as used on the notebooks here), XCFE like Xubuntu, or KDE like Kubuntu - I was tempted to give it a go. Another crash meant I did.

I could probably have gone from one to the other via changing where to look for the repositories of programs, removing the Mint-specific ones and letting the package manager install the UM ones, but it might not have worked, so I did a clean install of UM. As /home with all my files is on a different partition, I could keep everything there, but I also took a copy of the Mint /etc directory with assorted configuration files.

I was just about to start writing UM to the SSD, when I thought 'Oh, I could put Windows on it too'. Obviously, that would have to be done before putting UM on it (thanks to Windows thinking it must be the first and only OS on a PC!) but it'd be simple enough...

... nope. In the end, I had to disconnect the spinning rust drives before it'd work. I've no idea why, and neither did the Windows repair utilities. (I'd started by hiding the old Windows partitions on those, and that didn't work. Un-hiding them didn't work either.) Once it was done, it was easy to put UM on it too.

Amusingly, the size of the updates for a fresh install of Win7 Ultimate is more than the size of a UM install, despite having many fewer programs (no office suite etc). It didn't recognise the network, the sound, or the graphics card either, unlike UM. Once the network drivers were downloaded from the maker's site, most other things were recognised, but the sound card took some serious searching to get its drivers, despite being based on an utterly standard chipset.

So now, when I want to update the BIOS or play one game, the slowest bit of starting Windows is me typing the password...

Oh, while I remember, currently free for Android today on Amazon.co.uk: Eufloria HD, a nice game that reminds me of the 70s remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with its seeding of other worlds.

This entry was originally posted at http://lovingboth.dreamwidth.org/532853.html, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - comment count unavailable have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.

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