….and I went ahead and installed Linux.

After fooling around with the idea in my last post, I went ahead and tried it. I took the laptop to work and put it to the side and periodically looked at it to see if it needed me to click Ok or next, as installs of OS’s tend to be.

And I really like it. I installed it to a small partition (about 60 out of 200 GB) and decided to reinstall and give it a larger portion and use the Windows side for games and Office (read: Outlook) and try to do everything else on Linux Mint for while. It’s pretty intuitive, once I’ve gotten the handle on Package Manager and Software Manager (and that all the software I can use successfully isn’t on there, as well). I doubt I’ll be doing too much in-depth tinkering but it’s fun to try, and it’s a worthwhile experiment to see if later on, when something like this might actually be useful, that I’ll have some experience with it.

It is nice that when I installed it, almost everything worked – I had a problem with the video card, initially, worked through that, and then everything worked – even the extraneous buttons on the laptop worked, for sound and playback. DVD’s play, the wireless connects, the Interwebs work…finding a solution for a dedicated web manager will probably be a problem but I can get into doing more straightforward, coding-type stuff for my website and actually relying on CSS as a template instead of Dreamweaver templates, that looks to be the biggest obstacle with using it for a whole site right now.

Some advice that I do have for anyone using a Dell laptop with Media Center on it – install in this order, though it makes absolutely no sense but probably is necessary since it’s a program that wants to boot as its own OS:

  1. Install Media Center, at least use that disc for partitioning
  2. Install XP
  3. Actually install Media Center with the disc
  4. Update the crap out of XP, with all 47,000 updates, patches, security fixes, and upgrades to existing software
  5. Install Mint

Media Center seems useful enough that I’d regret not installing it now, so just today I did the fourth or fifth (hopefully last in a while) re-install of Windows on that laptop in the past month. And, actually it takes less time than you’d think, and so do the drivers. Of course I’ll be working on something and hit a roadblock and not have the driver disk with me and not be able to do something critical like read a jump drive with the USB, but so far seems pretty stable.

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