• Ewaste or usable – week 4

    Previous posts:  Week 1 here,  Week 2 here

    Week 3 here

    So this weekend I’ve installed various versions of Linux Mint on the Acer Aspire One.  I’ve been sticking to using 32 bit versions and have tried Tricia and then Tina . For Tina I’m trying the XFCE version — the reason?  Even Cinnamon Tricia was causing the system to be slow.  It IS an old laptop after all.

    So I started out downloading RUFUS .  If you aren’t aware of what this tool does, it allows you to easily build a bootable flash drive.

    You click start and off it goes to install the downloaded ISO to a bootable flash drive.

    Once you’ve installed it on a flash drive, then comes the fun part – booting the laptop so that it grabs the operating system from the flash drive rather than the hard drive itself. In the Acer One case, you hit F2, go into the bios and change the boot order to where the usb flash drive is the primary boot device.  Boot from the flash drive and then choose Install Linux Mint.

    Click install mint and off you go.  It will ask you for the wifi password if it’s seen the network card. Installing it is straightforward – you are asked if you want to replace the OS that is on the computer or do a dual boot.  In my case I want to replace the OS because regardless if I let this unit go to anyone or ewaste it, I have to have the existing data totally wiped.

    Now comes the question – is it usable?  Compared to my trusty Thinkpad, it’s slow. I’m trying the XFCE version as it’s meant to use less resources. Once you boot up you have a functional browser (Firefox) and programs like LibreOffice and Thunderbird. Are all of those functional?  Absolutely yes.

    If you have questions, remember the forums on this site as well as the Linux Mint forums.

    What’s the major difference?  Well like anytime you make changes from one platform to another, there’s a lot of “I did this here, how do I do that there?”

    Case in point?  Want to know the IP address of the computer?  Instead of the windows version of ipconfig /all it’s ip a in the command window . You do much more command line work in Linux than you do in modern Windows or even Macintosh.

    Next up – to find tools to remote into the computer similar to RDP.  I always like to have ways to go from one computer to another.  Once tool I should be able to use is RealVNC.  There is also XRDP (more on this in a later post)

    Decision so far?  I definitely wouldn’t rely on this for my main computer.  I can still protect and defend myself on a Windows computer. But if you have spare time and old hardware, you can certainly entertain yourself for a while!