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Linux is a form of operating system that has almost endless possibilities which is by far more than Windows or OS X combined. If you have been a hard core Windows user for all these decades, then even the move over to Apples OS can be extremely daunting. It can be very frustrating for the new user on the alien computers.
Hence the reason why so many people hated Windows 8 because all the people didn't know what to do on it. In Linux, deep down, most users of Windows will get lost and the frustration will begin but if you are willing to learn about a new operating system then Linux is for you.
For the average home user, surfing the net, checking emails and checking out Facebook or Twitter is a daily enjoyment. For others, doing that as well as fiddling around with some home movie editing, or burning files or music that you have paid for is quite common practice. Where all this can be done on Windows, it can also be done on Linux, but all for free. With almost all versions of Linux, installing the OS also installs a free Office suite, music programs, Video programs and many more to be downloaded at your leisure.
If you want to have a look first so you can make your mind up, there are several ways to check it out. The first is by going to your local newsagent and start looking for computer magazines, in particular Linux but also look at other PC magazines like PC Authority and PC World. Though expensive for a magazine, they have discs with them and they sometimes have Linux distros on them. Distro is a term that means Distribution and all you have to do is insert the disc, restart your computer and let it boot from the disc. Depending on the PC, it may take a little while but once done, you will have Linux loaded and running on your computer. Nothing is changed and no damage will be done to your Windows or personal files as it is loaded into the memory only.
You can now explore the OS and do whatever. If you do any work on it, make sure you save the files to a usb stick. The other method is to download it from the main website for your choice of Linux, burn the ISO file to disk and do the same as above. The last choice is to visit us at our workshop and see a fully installed version on one of our computers.
As confusing as it sounds, Linux is a solid operating system that comes in many flavors such as Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Elementary, Suse, Mageia and heaps more.
Over a period of time, you will get used to it and before you know it, you will be hooked just as you were with Windows. Before you go any further, just one last thing to remember is that Linux has new versions every 6 or 9 months so the thing here is to look for LTS versions. LTS stands for "Long Term Support" meaning they have you covered for 5 years. After this period ends, you will get a message if you want to upgrade to the next version which is recommended and you don't lose any valuable files. If you have second thoughts about the constant upgrades, just remember that Android does there version every 6 to 9 months in which you will see a new confectionary name. Other updates get rolled out when they have them which makes Linux the same as Android.
If you have been reading to this point, then it shows that you are interested so for more information, continue scrolling through.
Linux Mint has been around since 2006 and has grown bigger and better with each passing year.
Linux Mint Mate is the choice of the year for Linux versions again and with already 2,800 hits per day on the website, it truly deserves to be number one. Unlike Windows, Linux Mint is ready to use straight out of the box and all of the programs installed, work flawlessly.
This doesn't mean there are bugs and problems but to actually create an OS, it does take millions if not billions of code to make everything work. With so many things not fully operational in Windows 10 upon it's release, Linux would be insulted if they did this to the people.
Where apps are the rage with Microsoft and Apple, there is no such thing in Linux. What you get are fully operational programs that do not crash or are simply a waste of time.
Just like all Linux varieties, Mint comes with a fully working OS, an entire Office suite and a myriad of other programs.
LibreOffice suite (Calc, Draw, Impress, Math, Writer, Base), Document viewer, Dictionary
Firefox 34.0, HexChat, Pidgin Internet Messenger, Thunderbird Email, Transmission
GIMP 2.8.10, gThumb, Image Viewer, Simple Scan, Screenshot
Banshee music player, Brasero CD/DVD writer, Videos 3.10.1, VLC 2.1.4
Archive Manager, Calculator, Disks, Search for Files, Pluma 1.8.1 text editor, Tomboy Notes, USB Image Writer, USB Stick Formatter, GDebi Package Installer, Terminal, Backup Tool, Domain Blocker, Driver Manager, Network, Printers
The classic Linux Mint start menu
Extended view in all applications
Control Panel, Control Center. It's all the same
Linux Mint still holds the mantle for being the best desktop replacement for Windows. The design is easy to follow, installing and uninstalling programs has become even more easier and they have compiled all the settings for your computer in an easy to use section called "Control Center".
Linux Mint Mate is perhaps the friendliest but if you are more serious about your operating system, then you can go to the Cinnamon version which is a more powerful desktop designed for the newer computers of today where Mate can run on older computers. Gnome3 is used in Cinnamon and Gnome 2 is used in Mate but what is gnome?
Gnome is the GUI (Graphical User Interface) for Linux where Aero is the GUI for WIndows 7 and same as Metro in Windows 10 but it doesn't stop there. In Mate, the Favorites section in the start menu can be fully customised to suit all your needs.
Ubuntu has been around a long time so they have the experience and dedication from their community. There was a fall out with the community when Canonical decided to change the Gnome UI to Unity. The idea was to change the use of space on smaller monitors by having the Launcher instead of the start menu but slowly the members came back and Ubuntu is in full swing but out of all the distros available, Ubuntu is now ranked 3rd (01/02/2017). Ubuntu held the number one spot for many years but the glory had to end and when Linux Mint powered ahead in the race, the strength of the start menu could even be seen in Linux.
Just like all varieties of Linux, Ubuntu is packed with all the usual goody's and with the latest release, most people wouldn't see anything different but many core items were updated and security patches also were beefed up.The biggest change for Ubuntu is the INIT, SystemD, which is the startup process for system components such as graphics, HDD's, networking and just about anything else the computer needs, Ubuntu had their own version called "Upstart" because the old SysV was as useless as a ship on land. Being Debian based, Ubuntu decided to follow suit.
Once again, Ubuntu is packed with all the features that anyone would need to have a complete computer
Office: LibreOffice suite (Calc, Draw, Impress, Match, Writer), Document viewer
Internet: Ubuntu Browser, Firefox, Desktop Sharing, Empathy IM, Remmina Remote Desktop Client, Thunderbird Mail, Transmission Bittorrent client
Graphics: Image viewer, Shotwell photo Manager, Simple Scan, Gnome screenshot
Multimedia: Brasero Disc Burner, Cheese Webcam Booth, Rhythmbox Music Player Videos
Accessories: Archive Manager, Backups, Calculator, Contacts, Disks, Files, Passwords and Keys, Font Viewer, Security Privacy, Gedit text editor, Time and Date, UXTerm, XTerm, Terminal, Startup Disc Creator.
Ubuntu For Everyone
Icons can be placed on the desktop
As Ubuntu has everything just like Mint, they decided to go one step further and release a Mate version for older computers just like Linux Mint. Although Mint Mate came out a few years before the Ubuntu version, Canonical realised that there was an abundance of old desktops out there that could be refreshed to look new.
But the battle is only beginning. When Ubuntu left Gnome and changed to the Unity UI, they had plans for the future. In 2010, Unity was released with the intention of having one OS for all devices. With Android ruling the mobile world, Google simply doesn't have a desktop OS........yet! Two years after Unity, Microsoft released Windows 8 with the idea of one OS for all devices but they failed and are still struggling with Windows 10 to take the market. For the desktop edition of Ubuntu, be prepared for a little annoying part which still has us all perplexed. In Windows, if you want to close a window, you just go to the top right corner and click on the "X". In Ubuntu, the "X" is in the top left corner. We have used Ubuntu for many years now and still can't get used to it.
Already available on Smartphones, Ubuntu phones can be purchase through BQ and Snapdeal. Future plans include smartphones with Ubuntu in every shop just like Android.
Anyway, Ubuntu is a very pleasant OS with heaps of power. If you have an old computer, use Mate otherwise, go straight for the throat and install the Unity edition.
A few years back, we rated Elementary as the 3rd best distro in 2014 but decline in popularity and the lack of support meant Elementary has slumped to 6th place (01/02/2017). This doesn't mean it bad rather the people want more and not less.
In steps debian which has raced the ladder to become the 2nd best distro in 2017. Smooth clean and a fast startup, Debian has the flavor of several distros in the one but you also have to remember, a lot of Linux distros are debian based. Unlike Ubuntu using Unity, debian still uses Gnome 3 so this tells the people they aren't in any hurry to try something new. Reaching number two on the popular listings hasn't been easy for debian where most Linux users found debian to be a perfect testing operating system. Things have now changed where once upon a time, debian was based as a server application only but with the introduction of full packages like:
Office: LibreOffice suite (Calc, Draw, Impress, Match, Writer), Document viewer
Internet: Firefox, Desktop Sharing, Thunderbird Mail, Transmission Bittorrent client, Seamonkey, Midori
Graphics: Image viewer, Shotwell photo Manager, Gnome screenshot, Blender
Multimedia: Devede disk burner, Clemetine, Xine, Banshee
Accessories: Disks, Files, Passwords and Keys, Font Viewer, Security Privacy, Gedit text editor, Time and Date
The list may not be as exciting as Mint or Ubuntu, their respository, though, is the largest in the world because this is where Ubuntu gets all their applications from and Mint get's theirs from Ubuntu. Either way, for debian to reach 2nd place, the distro must have caught everyones attention.
Just like Android having new releases every six to nine months, debian has a new release every twelve months, but if you don't want to upgrade, debian has you covered for an extra twelve months giving a full two years of updates. As with all Linux upgrades, they will always be larger than the original ISO due to all the extra files you have downloaded and installed. The ISO is a ready to go installation meaning you have everything there to get started and after that, what you add in, the upgrade usually accounts for this.
With so many varieties of Linux out there, there are many of those that switch and swap all the time. People like this are classed as wanderers where they can't make their minds up and aren't truly Linux followers. For the most, they will install their favourite distro and stick with it. The choice is yours and leaving Windows is a big step so to get the taste of Linux, Mint would be the first choice to change to Linux where everything is there, updates are flawless and it is very easy to use while being powerful and stable.
There are several ways you can contact us and the preferred way for us is by email but please rest assured, either method will get us returning your phone call.
71 Davies st, George Town, Tasmania 7253
Phone. (03) 6380 0069
Mobile. 0408 747 565
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