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09-15-2022, 05:15 PM - 2 Likes   #16
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Thanks to everyone for your responses. I appreciate all the thoughts and comments. It's all part of the learning process. The primary thing I learned from your responses is that I was working too hard and making things more complicated than they needed to be. That made me step back and think about exactly what was happening.

I seemed to have solved my problems by just installing a new distro. I initially installed Lubuntu distro because it is lightweight, and I just wasn't sure what resources Linux distros required or exactly what resources the old computer had. Today I replaced it with Linux Mint which I find much nicer to use. And it allowed me to get all the software I am wanted installed and running (Yea!).

So now I have a dedicated machine – no more lugging my MacBook – in my toy room for messing around with coding my microprocessor projects. And the bonus is that I also downloaded Darktable, Raw Therapee, and Gimp to play with for grins.

So all looks good at this point. No matter how it all turns out in the long run, it is fun to mess around with and learn a thing or two.

I may be up and running, but I am still open to any thoughts, ideas, tips, and tricks about anything Linux you can share. I am ready to learn.

09-15-2022, 07:40 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
Today I replaced it with Linux Mint
My advice is don't second guess this choice and take time to get familiar with whatever desktop environment you installed (latest versions of Mint offer three choices, Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce). Learn to use the file manager for your desktop environment, the app installer and how to find and launch the apps installed. The biggest problem with Linux is that everything can be customized and every user has a unique set of features they want to manipulate. No one is going to bother debugging your customizations, they are too busy tweaking their own systems. Once you are comfortable with the basics, then start playing around with alternative apps and customizing your system. When you run into problems, search Google with as specific of keywords as you can, because otherwise you will spend dozens of hours looking at irrelevant posts and eventually you will forget what problem you were trying to fix and start making unnecessary changes to your system because someone else did it. The end result will be a perfectly good computer becoming a badly abused anvil.

If you enjoy problem solving, your Linux computer can bring you a lot of joy. There isn't anything worthwhile that you can do on a Mac or Windows that you absolutely can't do on Linux, but there is no financial incentive for anyone to make Linux simpler to use (by telling you what you have to do and not allowing you to do things differently), so you need to learn to swim without a life-jacket.
09-15-2022, 10:17 PM   #18
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The only ones I would use on Ubuntu & derivatives almost daily were:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get autoremove

That was mainly to get updates & purge out unnecessary packages.

Debian also had similar commands, but now I'm mainly using Fedora. Slightly different command line entries, but similar results.
09-16-2022, 01:10 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
So now I have a dedicated machine
What is the actual specs of the laptop?

09-16-2022, 02:14 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
I initially installed Lubuntu distro because it is lightweight, and I just wasn't sure what resources Linux distros required or exactly what resources the old computer had. Today I replaced it with Linux Mint
There is really little need to go for a lightweight distro unless you have a really ancient PC. Windows has become very bloated over the years so any PC that has been running Windows in the last 10-15 years will run any Linux distro. Main reasons for a lightweight distro these days are : (1) to run it in a virtual machine that you don't want to take up too much of your host machine, or (2) to run it on something like a Raspberry Pi. Lightweight distros generally require a bit more expertise to use.

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
My advice is don't second guess this choice ...
^^^^ This post is excellent advice

QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
The only ones I would use on Ubuntu & derivatives almost daily were:

sudo apt-get update
[.... etc]
They use the command line which you do not have to. I don't use Ubuntu or its derivatives, but my graphical package manager is Synaptic *. There is also Aptitude which is an ncurses application [text based but with menus and hot-keys], and really meant for use on servers without a graphical desktop.

* I have just checked and Synaptic is avalable for Ubuntu and its derivatives, of which Mint is one. I came from a Debian background, and Debian is like the Godfather of half the Linux world and Ubuntu derives from it, hence the Synaptic connection. I went with a different direction from Debian, to Devuan. I hope this glimpse into the Linux world is not putting anyone off : stick within the ecosystem of Mint and you'll be fine
09-17-2022, 09:08 AM   #21
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I think Linux Mint will give me everything I want for this old machine. This distro is very smooth and operates very nicely. I apparently was unduly worried that the computer would have enough oomph – 4GB of RAM; 750GB Hard Drive; and a Pentium dual core CPU. Compared to our current machines of 32 to 64 GB RAM sets and multi-terabyte SSDs, it seems anemic. But apparently it is all that Linux Mint needs.

Everything is now running smoothly. I have found some excellent tutorials that cover Mint's basics so I know where to find things and what those things do.

I have all the software I want installed. The Arduino IDE is installed and running, so I can use the computer for coding projects for Arduino microprocessors. This is the primary reason for the project.

I also have Raw Therapee and Darktable installed – and running – to play with. I am essentially a Camera Raw and Photoshop guy, but thought it could be fun to mess around with this software.

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts and comments.
09-17-2022, 01:46 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
I think Linux Mint will give me everything I want for this old machine. This distro is very smooth and operates very nicely. I apparently was unduly worried that the computer would have enough oomph – 4GB of RAM; 750GB Hard Drive; and a Pentium dual core CPU. Compared to our current machines of 32 to 64 GB RAM sets and multi-terabyte SSDs, it seems anemic. But apparently it is all that Linux Mint needs.

Everything is now running smoothly. I have found some excellent tutorials that cover Mint's basics so I know where to find things and what those things do.

I have all the software I want installed. The Arduino IDE is installed and running, so I can use the computer for coding projects for Arduino microprocessors. This is the primary reason for the project.

I also have Raw Therapee and Darktable installed – and running – to play with. I am essentially a Camera Raw and Photoshop guy, but thought it could be fun to mess around with this software.

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts and comments.
I used to run Ubuntu with Gnome3 on a similarly specced machine and on it I used to run a virtual xp guest as a printing app. Dedicated most of the ram to the Linux of course.
Gimp 2.10 may be a bit slow on your setup. The floating bit processing is demanding.

09-18-2022, 12:45 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lord Lucan Quote
…I hope this glimpse into the Linux world is not putting anyone off…
Chuckle chuckle! As an outsider, a non-Linux user, it’s been very entertaining instead: obscure references and opaque terminology galore. No disrespect intended, no hate implied; Linux in all its incarnations is like China to me - I’m sure everything works and makes complete sense there but as a UK resident it’s as understandable as a round of Mornington Crescent.

Someone mentioned Powershell in Windows and how deeply buried in menus it was, so here’s a small tip for MS users - hit the Windows key and start typing the name of what you’re looking for. Bet you an Empire biscuit it appears on the list of options in a few keystrokes. Menus are for those with minds like mice.
09-18-2022, 01:40 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
Chuckle chuckle! As an outsider, a non-Linux user, it’s been very entertaining instead: obscure references and opaque terminology galore. No disrespect intended, no hate implied; Linux in all its incarnations is like China to me - I’m sure everything works and makes complete sense there but as a UK resident it’s as understandable as a round of Mornington Crescent.
That is the sad thing - for an outsider reading the type of thread like this no one can blame you for thinking it can be tricky.
But then for every thread here on Pentax Forums complaining that something is loose inside their Pentax no one could blame you for thinking that the Pentax factory is pretty bad at tightening things down.
If you crystallise this thread down to the OPs last two entries then you will see that his second attempt at a built has happened quite effortlessly. Which is my experience of Linux.
09-19-2022, 04:58 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
If you crystallise this thread down to the OPs last two entries then you will see that his second attempt at a built has happened quite effortlessly. Which is my experience of Linux.
Exactly! With Linux Mint, everything has gone very smoothly. I am only looking to put an old computer to use for a few specific tasks. Once I installed this distro, I went on and installed the software I need with no problems. Everything is up and running and I am already working on my microprocessor coding projects.

The biggest problem with Linux, to my mind, is the 1001 flavors, and everyone promoting their favorite flavor. What Linux needs is some kind of a rating or categorizing system – sort of an easy, average, advanced kind of thing – that would point new users in the right direction. I looked at an awful lot of distros before I went with Lubuntu, and it still was not right for me.

I am a Mac guy – MacBook Pro, iMac 27, iPad, 2 iPhones, and iCloud. A total buy-in. When I used Windows it was while I was teaching and needed the compatibility. When I retired from the classroom, I walked (ran?) away from Windows. Using a Mac is like driving my car, it just works and I don't know or care what is happening under the hood. I am hoping this iteration of Linux will be like my second car.
09-19-2022, 08:07 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
Exactly! With Linux Mint, everything has gone very smoothly. I am only looking to put an old computer to use for a few specific tasks. Once I installed this distro, I went on and installed the software I need with no problems. Everything is up and running and I am already working on my microprocessor coding projects.

The biggest problem with Linux, to my mind, is the 1001 flavors, and everyone promoting their favorite flavor. What Linux needs is some kind of a rating or categorizing system – sort of an easy, average, advanced kind of thing – that would point new users in the right direction. I looked at an awful lot of distros before I went with Lubuntu, and it still was not right for me.

I am a Mac guy – MacBook Pro, iMac 27, iPad, 2 iPhones, and iCloud. A total buy-in. When I used Windows it was while I was teaching and needed the compatibility. When I retired from the classroom, I walked (ran?) away from Windows. Using a Mac is like driving my car, it just works and I don't know or care what is happening under the hood. I am hoping this iteration of Linux will be like my second car.
Don't forget to try Gnome 3 on your setup. The gossip about it being processor demanding comes from early days with different incarnations of Gnome.
I vastly prefer it because of its simple layout.
A single bar at the top and a auto hiding panel on the side for your favourite apps. And all your apps laid out in alphabetical order on a wallpaper of icons. Each app a click away from being added to your favourites.
I disliked the more traditional hierarchy of "accessories" "preferences" "tools" etc in the other setups. Could never remember which one to look for an app in! No doubt things have changed now though.
09-19-2022, 08:19 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
The biggest problem with Linux, to my mind, is the 1001 flavors, and everyone promoting their favorite flavor.
The incredible thing about this is no one is charging a cent! Apparently all done with volunteer enthusiasm.

Unless some one can explain the financial potential from these flavours.
09-19-2022, 09:09 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I built this machine from scratch in 2007 and even made my own single layer circuit boards for it.
DAMN! love the name you gave it!
09-20-2022, 08:45 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote

The biggest problem with Linux, to my mind, is the 1001 flavors, and everyone promoting their favorite flavor. What Linux needs is some kind of a rating or categorizing system – sort of an easy, average, advanced kind of thing – that would point new users in the right direction. I looked at an awful lot of distros before I went with Lubuntu, and it still was not right for me.
There’s always distrowatch to help with this. Link is to their search tool which helpfully has Beginner as one of the search criteria. He reviews just about every distribution out there too.

https://distrowatch.com/search-mobile.php#advanced
09-20-2022, 11:02 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
DAMN! love the name you gave it!
Thanks. I figured you'd recognize the periodic table in there. It's still going strong and I use it a lot.
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