Linux Mint 12.0

This is for those who want to know what Linux Mint is about.

As the name itself suggests, this is another version of Linux. Mint has three different types of desktop environments.

1) LXDE
2) Gnome
3) KDE

Lets look at this different types of environment in brief:

1) LXDE: – Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. This is just a desktop environment just like Gnome or KDE. But it a lighter and faster type. It comes with the minimum packages that you need to get started. Things like a good interface, language support and additional features like tabbed file browsing. It consumes less CPU usage and RAM and can be installed on many Linux distributions including Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Fedora and Debian.

2) Gnome – GNU Network Object Model Environment. It is another type of desktop environment that runs on a computer OS. It is the most popular desktop environment used by millions of people around the world. It runs on top of the X windows system and is available on most Linux distributions.

3) KDE – K Desktop Environment. It is a graphical desktop environment. Use this if you are so used to Windows. It comes with Kword, kpresenter, Kcalc and Kontact.

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14 Responses to Linux Mint 12.0

  1. Hey there Vicks

    I like the redesign. Nice look. I see the graphics design discussion helped.

    Something of interest for you (link the source article is: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/windows-phone-faces-test-with-lumia-launch-2012-04-05?pagenumber=2)

    Last February, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop — a former Microsoft executive who had recently taken the top job at the Finnish cellphone giant — circulated a memo to employees now known as the “burning platform” letter, in which he noted that the company had been lapped by Apple and Google in smartphones.

    (Burning Platform article is here: http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2011/02/09/full-text-nokia-ceo-stephen-elops-burning-platform-memo/)

    Support from application developers has become key to a mobile platform’s success, and Window Phone has far fewer applications available than Apple or Android.

    • continuing your education …

      I’ve bought and read EVERY book Bruce Eckel ever wrote (they’re really REALLY hard reading and that’s what I like!) and this blog entry is particularly good. Especially the part that goes…

      The bottom line is that I am amazed. I never thought I would be saying anything positive about a Microsoft OS ever again. Yes, both Linux and the Mac are still ahead in a lot of ways, but still … for those who are for some reason stuck in Microsoft-land, this is huge.

      [read it here>> http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=324861

      • Viken says:

        What are some of the beginner books that I should read by Bruce Eckel? Well windows 7 is not very bad, it has a good user interface. One main reason why Linux is ahead of windows is because there are so many versions of Linux some being released every 6 months. Plus experts customize it according to their needs. And that’s why Google & YouTube have their own version of Linux.

      • There are no beginner books by Eckel. He dives right in there and you have to have been programming for a while. That said they’re very good to get your brain juices flowing. Try to get through the books I gave you and then come back to Eckels stuff. In the meantime have a look at his blog and go through his article there. They’re more bit-sized and will get you thinking about current IT issues and concerns.

  2. FYI – today on distrowatch.com

    1 Mint 4228
    2 Ubuntu 2147
    3 Fedora 1732
    4 openSUSE 1593
    5 Debian 1447
    6 Arch 1198
    7 Mageia 1077
    8 CentOS 1066
    9 Puppy 982
    10 PCLinuxOS 816

    … and for your readers to educate themselves: http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mint

  3. Tony says:

    Being rationale rules.

    An interesting take on ‘overtaking’ the West. I think that the true competition to overtake is in the East, particularly Bangalore and China. The West’s software is made there. 🙂

    I have used ‘Linucks’ on my personal laptops at home in various guises for many years now. Pc Linucks Os is what I started with until Neal suggested that I try Knoppix a few years ago. I have since used openSUSE and now use Ubuntu.

    However, NONE of my client base uses Linucks in a business capacity. I service more than 15
    2,100 clients from medium sized organisations to listed companies on a consultancy basis on behalf of a top 20 firm providing corporate tax consultancy. A personal portfolio of clients too.

    Unfortunately, NONE use any version of Linucks. For the larger multinationals, it is common to see the servers running Unix but the client side is categorically always Windows based. This trend tends to permeate internationally in the organisations I service.

    All four of my restaurants use Windows based technology. Given that this was inherited technology, it is unlikely that it will be replaced in the medium term. It works, the staff is all trained on it, and my partner would never move from Windows. The core of the trade is not based on the technology.

    So, not that I ever would in any case, but professionally, it would be financial suicide for me to ditch Windows. It all depends on what you do to make your living. If you use Linucks technology for an online investment business, and it works for you, splendid. If you generate your business teaching IT, it is almost ideal to use Linucks. My businesses are not linked to IT. I would welcome a Linucks user as much as I would a Windows user as a client or a diner to the restaurants. I am a self-employed entrepreneur. Not ditching Windows makes perfect business sense to me. It is, as they say, a no brainer. However, if the lay of the land changes, as it is set to, I will of course alter my business tactic to suit.

    Would I promote or ‘sell’ the linucks idea to my client base. No is the simple answer. They do not pay me for that.

    On a personal level, it is a different story, I guess I can be best described as a computer hobbyist. I derive no income from computing. I started programming with BASIC on the ZX Spectrum+ and my cousin’s Commodore 64. Mainly, this consisted of typing hundreds of lines of code from computer magazines trying to make silly games like tic-tac-toe or Mastermind work. It was in the days off laborious and error prone saving/loading programs to and from cassette tapes. Much later during my university days, I met a friend doing a computing degree who was trying to write a chess program for his thesis project. Object oriented programming was in its infancy then. We spent countless hours late into many nights figuring out minimax algorithms, heuristics, and chess interface design. Me on my Amstrad 20286 PC, and him on his Tiny PC computer. I cannot recall his model.

    I remember we started with C but were flummoxed by it in a few months and moved to Gbasic :), I think it was. This was in between doing my own tax law thesis. We eventually had a small piece of chess software that moved randomly in response to user moves. Then developed the program further to use the minimax algorithm, some linear programming, and we had software which ‘understood’ chess rules, and actually applied some mathematical logic to settle on a move. It was painstaking arduous work learning on the fly. Needless to say, the chess program was not very good and we could beat it every time. But I had caught the ‘bug’.

    In later years, when I was ‘settling’ in London, I wrote my first chess program in Visual Basic. I am still in touch with my friend from university and we work on these projects together. Then did some work in Java and hated it. Later, again learning on the fly, I ported it to Borland’s Delphi and the program was relatively strong (bench tested at Elo1600). In 2008, I ported the program once more to C# where it broke several times. Almost broke me too!

    Eventually, I ditched the user interface as there were already serious chess ‘interface only’ programs out there – concentrating only on the chess engine. The latest version today is in C# and is a closed source Windows terminal only (DOS prompt for the ancients) chess engine. It conforms to the UCI standards but is in an exe file format. One can create a uci interface for it automatically in Fritz 10 and above, or use it in its native exe format in Arena and XBoard in Windows.

    I think Arena is available on Linucks but have yet to try it. Of course, the engine works at the command line level using DOSbox in Linucks. In its ‘native’ Windows form, my best estimate is that it bench presses an eye watering Elo 2100.

    To put this in context, Magnus Carlsen, the current world champion, sports an Elo rating of 2835. At an Elo rating of between 1835 and 1850 (assessed by Fritz 12) I consider myself a strong club level player. A beginner would rate around 1100 and a casual hobby player at 1600. The world’s strongest chess computer software program is Houdini with a monstrous Elo of 3300 which took over from Rybka in 2010.

    I am at present learning about porting it to Linucks and supporting XBoard functionality in Linucks.

    • Thanks for using Ubuntu … we worked our butts off to create that and we’re heartened by the very large and growing user base on something we gave away for free. I’m a little peeved now with the Unity interface and have myself pulled away from Ubuntu to mainstream Debian and run Mint for my clients and students. My personal systems are still based on Debian from which I have the largest software base especially for development work that I can find anywhere on this planet and that’s tremendously important for me as you can imagine. If you also don’t like Unity please agitate on the Ubuntu forums for a return to the Gnome 2 way of doing things.

  4. Tony says:

    yes i know its rational and not rationale…lol

  5. Viken says:

    A very nice comment.
    I agree with what you have said in your comments. Many multinational company server’s run on Linux but the client computers run on Windows. The reason is because Windows is popular than Linux. Windows support hundreds of thousands of apps on it.
    One main reason why it is ahead is because manufactures have to support hardware that is compatible with Windows first than any other thing.
    If I could be the IT manager for your restaurants then I would just do the same as you. Install Windows on the client computers.
    I also used to programme using Visual Basic some time back but I quit it. Python it better in my opinion.
    What I am sure is that Linux will have competition when windows 8 is released Ubuntu will face still competition.
    I am sure about that.

  6. some more food for thought – today on Reuters:

    Reuters isn’t known as some Apple/Android fanboy blog, so the critiques it unearthed are pretty shocking.

    This is Reuters’ key paragraph:

    Sceptics among operators say the sleek, neon-coloured phones are overpriced for what is not an innovative product, cite a lack of marketing dollars put behind the phones, and image problems caused by glitches in the battery and software of the early models.

    It doesn’t get any better from there. Here are a few choice quotes:

    “No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone,” said an executive in charge of mobile devices at a European operator, which has sold the Lumia 800 and 710 since December.
    “Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market,” the executive said.
    “If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell,” he said.
    One device chief at a European operator [said], “We can open our stores to them and train our staff to sell the phones, but that’s it … Ultimately, Nokia and Windows are challengers and they either need to come to market with a really disruptive, innovative product or a huge marketing budget to create client demand. So far they have done neither.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-carriers-talk-about-nokia-and-microsoft-2012-4#ixzz1sIhtJDOh

    This is Reuters’ key paragraph:

    Sceptics among operators say the sleek, neon-coloured phones are overpriced for what is not an innovative product, cite a lack of marketing dollars put behind the phones, and image problems caused by glitches in the battery and software of the early models.

    It doesn’t get any better from there. Here are a few choice quotes:

    “No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone,” said an executive in charge of mobile devices at a European operator, which has sold the Lumia 800 and 710 since December.
    “Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market,” the executive said.
    “If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell,” he said.
    One device chief at a European operator [said], “We can open our stores to them and train our staff to sell the phones, but that’s it … Ultimately, Nokia and Windows are challengers and they either need to come to market with a really disruptive, innovative product or a huge marketing budget to create client demand. So far they have done neither.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-carriers-talk-about-nokia-and-microsoft-2012-4#ixzz1sIhtJDOh

  7. … and in case you missed the link in the previous article:

    The really scary thing about the reviews, from Microsoft’s perspective, is that no one is taking it easy on them any more, as far as the operating system is concerned. Initially reviewers patted Microsoft on the back for building a nice, different mobile operating system. They’re done with that now. All they see are flaws that make it weak in comparison to Apple and Google.

    … sounds to me like the dinosaur getting constrained to the bone pile RSN.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-really-scary-thing-about-the-bad-reviews-for-microsofts-super-phone-2012-4#ixzz1sIjcofVc

  8. You say and I quote you “Well windows 7 is not very bad, it has a good user interface.”

    User interface is not everything Vicky and I don’t agree that it has a good one. Take a look at Ice Cream Sandwich on Android (come to my office to have a look like you did for Mint the other day) – now that is a state-of-the-art user interface. And what is a user interface of not a FACE on top of … what? A rotten core? If someone is fooled by the face – well – all we can say is that beauty in ICT is NOT skin deep.

    Have you tried running Wireshark (the new name for Ethereal)? You’ll be shocked and dismayed at how much Windows ‘phones home’ passing MS info about you behind your back. I can do without that kind of shenanigans. And when you see the packets streaming back to MS through Wireshark if you’re not sickened to the core there’s nothing anyone can do for you.

    And did you see the little experiment we did with the new MSWord. In summary – a single A4 page of text is padded a helluva lot by Word for no apparent reason. You can see this for yourself if you do a low level bit by bit edit of it) or do this: export a single page Word doc as HTML then re-import it back into Word – it will bloat to 16 pages! Go on do it and prove it for yourself! And look at the HTML – all that rubbish that does nothing at all! Do a bit level edit (use EMACS to open a word doc) and take a look at the crap in there. I assume the same is going on with Excel and all the other packages. One of these days I’ll get around to fiddling with those.

    On the business end – have a look at pipeman.com – we migrated that business to LAMP a while back and he’s been smiling ever since. MS SQL Server through IIS was giving him hell – a story for another day.

    Here’s a parting shot: Stuxnet – that first cyberwarfare tool that destroyed a number of Iranian enrichment centrifuges only runs on the Windows platform. No one could have built a like tool to take down systems running on Linux. Well, serves the Iranians right for running mission critical software on the wrong platform.

  9. Vicks

    I’m a little concerned about your progress in programming. How far have you got with Lutz’s Learning? I know you’ve had exams that you had to devote time to but I also know you’re working hard at getting concepts under your belt – concepts like OOP, recursion and the like. I don’t want you to get stuck in an imperative way of thinking and that’s why I suggested that you move into learning LISP as quickly as possible. If you spend too long a time learning Python it is likely to become ‘stuck’ in your mind and you might even assume that the imperative way of thinking is the only way.

    You saw how much money my systems are making for me through the High Frequency Trading and I saw your eyes light up at the number of zeroes tacked onto the end of the account bottom lines. That is the carrot I’m dangling in front of you. I have seen in you a kind of eccentricity that I KNOW when I see it is a key pointer to a mind that can absorb some very difficult concepts ‘conventional’ minds will never be able to grasp. I’ve had a dozen or so students like you over the years and I’ve fought hard and long to prevent them falling into the mediocre, average life trap that I can see you skirting the edge off now. You’ve seen what I’m doing for Acacia and how she’s progressing in leaps and bounds. I want you to achieve the same so that you can look at your accounting skills as a kind of hobby and solid background to business and your IT skills as what carries you to the pinnacle of your life.

    Before C/C++/Java/Python/Ruby habits get too ingrained in your head you need to look at program development in a totally different way: forget about state, control flow and time. Software is no more a succession of instructions changing a state. The world has moved on from that and there are new paradigms to get your head around while you still have the nimble mind that can do it. Once you cross your 20s and head into your 30s you won’t find it easy at all to learn these new ways of thinking. From your 40s on you might not be able to pick up a new way of thinking at all. This has been my experience personally and with hundreds of students.

    You have to think in a totally different way: software is a combination of data transformers. You have some very powerful filters that you apply to data. You have combinators used to create complex filters from more simple ones. A combinator is itself a kind of filter. There is no more any idea of state or time evolution. Once you have described the transformations to be applied to data to get the solution of your problem, the execution of the software must be understood as an algebraic simplification of your transformations. When no more simplification is possible you have your result.

    The data transformers generally respect some rules. For instance :

    map f . map g = map (f.g)

    In Python, that kind of equivalence cannot be asserted because the order of evaluation matters (because of side effects and non local state). So, it is not possible to define an algebra of programming. Something as simple as f(x) + f(x) = 2 f(x) is generally wrong in Python. It depends on f. In functional programming languages (LISP, ML, OCaml, (my personal favourite Haskell)) f+f is 2f so you can define an algebra of programming. So, the first step for learning a functional way of thinking is to start learning the algebra of programming.

    (now you understand my insistence that you start to use EMACS asap so that you get it ingrained into you and see the power of a UNIX background tool that has stood the test of more than 40 years of development and use)

    I understand the above might not make too much sense to you right now but believe me when I tell you that I’ve taught hundreds (yes hundreds) of students to think in a more ‘modern’ way – the way that will lead us forward past the singularity. So, don’t get hung up on Python – yes it’s a great language and a very big leg up on the old languages like C, Pascal etc but I am convinced its not the way forward. So get moving, get through ‘Learning’ as fast as you can and progress to ‘Programming’ and then let’s move into LISP/Haskell and get those concepts under your belt. And for Force’s sake – let’s not get lax and sit back happy to do that DTP thing called accounting. OK? You know my thoughts on that score so I won’t go into them here. Broaden your mind; keep it moving forward. Working through ‘Learning’ and ‘Programming’ as fast as you can using EMACS as your development environment tweaking it using ELisp as you go along and send me feedback as to your progress.

  10. Things worth researching (a curated list for just you):

    Ubuntu on Android
    Nvidia – just joined Linux Foundation
    Kenyan – LUGs – Linux User Groups
    Cinnamon 1.2 desktop environment on Mint
    Garmins TomTom GPSr – Linux on ARM

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