I'm still what you call a linux noobie but after almost four years of using Linux Mint (Cinnamon) I guess I'm not so noob. Currently I'm using Mint 20 Cinnamon on three desktops and one HP laptop. I really do enjoy using Linux. Using it makes me happy and I have never sworn at Linux unlike the many times I have cursed at Windows.
I started out with Linux by accident. I had an old 2 core desktop that I advertised on FB but nobody wanted it and I was a day from bringing it to the local recycling station when I read a FB page done by a computer teckkie who wrote about giving your old computer a new lease on life by installing linux and Mint in particular. That caught my curiosity and I looked into Mint, downloaded the .iso file, burned that to a DVD and installed it. The rest is history.
As of January 2021 I have Mint 20.1 running on three Dell desktops: two i5s, one i7 and one HP Elitebook laptop. Two desktops are running dual booted with Windows 10 on separate drives
In the past i've tried Ubuntu 20, Manjaro XFCE, Linux Lite, Mint XFCE, Zorin XFCE, LMDE4, Ubuntu KDE Plasma, MX Linux and most recently, Ubuntu Budgie. My favorite still remains Linux Mint. My next favorite distro would have to be Ubuntu Budgie. And I did another go round with Linux Lite on a USB and I'll say that I enjoyed that one quite a bit. If I were moving from windows, I'd seriously consider that one also.
WHAT DO I WANT FROM LINUX?
That's a good question because what I want may not be what you want. What I want from linux is an operating system that doesn't force updates on me. I want to be able to do them myself whenever I want to do them. I don't want updates that take an hour or more to complete. I never want to see the operating system update when I turn on the computer or when I turn it off. I want an OS that's responsive, not sluggish or slow, taking it forever to load a stupid program. I never want to see those dreaded words "DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER!" I want an OS that looks and acts like Windows out of the box. I don't want to have to find and change a bunch of settings to make it that way before I use the system. I want one that is easy to learn, stable and lets me do most (or all, ideally) of the work I was doing with Windows 10. And I want it to be customizable. For me, Mint (which comes with the Cinnamon desktop) does all that and more. It's perfect for me.
If I'm going to be running Linux instead of Windows, I'll need software that will do the same job as the software I use on Windows. Luckily, 90% of the time there's no problem and you can find much of what you need in the Mint Software Manager, which is a repository of linux software unlike Windows, where you have to run around the internet downloading .exe files from various websites. In linux there are no exe files.
Some of the software I use daily...
LINUX MINT 20.1 ULYSSA (Cinnamon)
January 2021. I upgraded all my computers to Linux Mint 20.1. These were done through the Update Manager. I made disc images for all computers before I did the upgrade but found that I didn't really need to. Each upgrade was 15 minutes or less and all went very smoothly.
LINUX MINT 20 ULYANA (Cinnamon)
Summer 2020. Linux Mint 20 is now out and rather than wait for the upgrade option, I decided to do clean installs. My first install was on a Dell dual core desktop. The install went flawlessly. So, after the good experience with that, I did a clean install on my HP Elitebook laptop. That one also went flawlessly. And so, to build on that, I did another clean install on our Dell i7 desktop. That also went perfectly. Finally, for my last install, I went back to the first Dell dual core desktop, wiped the disk, installed Windows 10 2004 and then installed Mint 20 Cinnamon and converted its 160GB drive to a dual booter. It was a quick and easy install which installed effortlessly. And I'm glad I took the time to do this instead of waiting for the official upgrade instructions because I'm reading that some users have had problems with it. It was tempting to just wait for the upgrade because upgrades generally go much faster than clean installs, but I learned a few things about MBR and GPT formats and just how easy dual booting can be, at least in a desktop and one laptop.
USING SKYWAVE LINUX TO ACCESS KIWI AND WEB SDRS
I've become a fan of DXing remotely using Kiwi SDRs. Skywave Linux has dozens of Kiwi SDRs and WebSDRs for you to listen to plus tons of other stuff using their version of Firefox. My favorite is in Iceland. If you are interested in this, download Skywave Linux (an Ubuntu dirivative) and use USB Image Writer in your Mint Menu to burn it to a bootable USB stick. I have had no problem using it with an HP laptop but get no audio with my Dells. This seems to be a known problem, so keep this in mind. Also know that you will need to enter your network password every time you start Skywave Linux. If doing this every time becomes annoying, consider creating a "persistent" bootable USB using a program called mkusb. This method saves your network setting to the USB so you don't need to do it yourself every time. To install mkusb just click on the link above and enter the three commands into your terminal, then find mkusb in your Mint Menu under Accessories and click on it. Follow the prompts in the article and create a persistent USB. It's easy to do; it just takes a while. (Notes on Skywave Linux: Win+R shows and hides the menu. Use ENTER to select Firefox or whatever. CTRL+ALT+DEL exits Skywaves Linux. Click extreme upper right side of the window to enter your network data. CTRL+ALT+T shows terminal if you should need it for anything.)
Thanks for reading!
Last updated 4/15/21