An Eye-Opening Experience

Most of us who are familiar with Linux are familiar with the advantages of running Linux as a desktop OS. We frequently bemoan the fact that others don’t know what we do about the reality of Linux on the desktop, and we seem to be hampered by difficulties in spreading the word outside our own circles. Recently, I was able to get outside the circle of Linux users and perform a live demonstration of Linux (and LXDE) to a group of professionals in a conference setting. Here’s my story.
Continue reading

New laptop

In my post last week, Time For A Linux Laptop, I discussed how my options were rather slim when it came to combining Linux, good processing power, and machines on the smaller end of the laptop scale.

The bar by which I had been measuring everything was the now discontinued Darter Ultra, by System76, which was what I had planned to buy this month, at least, until it vanished from their website’s selection of laptop computers back in the end of February.

Well, despite my lack of options, I’ve made a purchase, and it’s arriving today.

Continue reading

Going back to Windows

Well guys, it’s been a good run, but I’ve decided that this Linux thing just isn’t working out.

I have been working on configuring Windows 7 machines for work, and I have found that it’s pretty much everything I could want in an operating system.

Linux is… well, it’s just not ready for prime time yet. Maybe in another ten years or so. Or if Microsoft comes out with their own distro, I might give it another try then. But until then, Windows 7 rocks!

I’m going to be formatting all of my Linux machines this weekend and I just bought Windows 7 licenses for all of them. This is going to be AWESOME!

So, as for this blog, keep checking back. I’m going to be changing its name to something else, obviously, I just haven’t decided what yet. Maybe “Windows Help”. I think it’d be cool to post Windows tips and tricks for the average user here, maybe something a little more in-depth once in a while for the more advanced user. I dunno. Still working on that concept.

At any rate, those Linux users who are still reading, you should give the new Windows a try. I was pretty skeptical, but WOW. It really blew me away. I’m done with Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Slackware, all of it.

Time to go mainstream!

Cheers!

– Trent

Time for a Linux laptop

I’m guessing some of my regular readers are thinking “Why don’t you just rename this blog to Linux Mint Critic and get it over with already?“, right?

Well, I’ve been discussing Linux Mint a lot lately, because it’s the distro in which I have the most interest at the moment, but I do still have other topics.

Like Linux laptops. I’m buying a new laptop in April, and I’m not exactly floored by a dizzying array of options. As if I already hadn’t come to the conclusion that I needed a new laptop, my old laptop completely locked up on me while I was writing this post today. So I’m definitely in the market. Read on.

Continue reading

Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition is out!

I’ve been following the development of this for some time, being a longtime Fluxbox enthusiast, and a relatively recent Linux Mint convert. This combines two of my favorite things in the Linux world, Fluxbox and Mint!

According to the official announcement:

“This release has been built with the emphasis on a lightweight and yet fully functional desktop centered on the Fluxbox window manager. Even though we strive to provide out-of-the-box readiness for all your hardware and common computing tasks, Linux Mint Fluxbox CE is easily configurable to run on lower-spec hardware with the tools needed for doing so readily available.”

Here’s a little version of their screenshot of how it looks out of the box (click for the full size image):

Considering the wonderful performance I’ve noted with the regular Linux Mint 7 and 8 releases on my aging hardware at home, I’m guessing a release optimized for performance with Fluxbox as its default window manager will be screaming fast.

I gave the release candidate a whirl the other day on my old Toshiba laptop in VirtualBox, and I was surprised at how fast and snappy it was even virtualized.

I can’t wait to get this installed natively on that laptop to see how it performs!

Anyway, I had to give preliminary kudos to Kendall for what is looking like some really great results from all of his hard work lately! Thanks to him for picking up that ball and running with it!

The ongoing role of my old Toshiba laptop

Bet you guys thought I forgot about this blog, huh?

Well, as I mentioned in my last post (ugh, all the way back in November already?), I’m gainfully employed again, and busier than a one-legged man in an…. well, you get the idea.

I get home from work and the LAST thing on my mind is writing any kind of intelligible technology articles.

That said, I DO need to start contributing some content to my own Linux blog again, so here goes.

Continue reading

The good news and the bad news

Hi all, Trent here with a long-overdue update.

As those of you who have been following The Linux Critic blog for a while now probably already know, I was unemployed for a good chunk of 2009, and one of the things I did to keep myself sharp in the world of technology was this blog.

Well, I have some good news and some bad news.
Continue reading

Up Close and Personal with LXDE

Regular visitors to this site will know that Fluxbox is Trent’s and Patrick’s preferred window manager. I, too, am impressed with its speed and customizability, and its low overhead. Fluxbox’s biggest drawbacks are that customization is somewhat less intuitive and significantly more labor-intensive than the full-featured environments’, and that the interface as a whole is foreign and unintuitive to those whose only other computer experience has been Windows.
Continue reading

The Laptop Renovation Project: Decisions, Conclusions and Lessons Learned

As some of you may know, a few weeks ago I posted about my efforts to revive aging laptop hardware. While there is still a bit of work to be done, the bulk of the project is complete, and the rest is simply detail work and optimization for our particular work environment.
Continue reading

Laptop Renovation Part II – The Community Feeds Back

Upon reading responses to my previous post, I decided to put some of the community’s suggestions to the test and examine some of the other options out there. Of the suggestions given, I primarily focused my attention on Debian (Lenny), Damn Small Linux and the wattOS beta.  All the distros had relative advantages and disadvantages, and this provided me with an opportunity to look at some distros I otherwise might not have.

Continue reading