Yesterday night I was waiting for my new-to-be companion to arrive, but the traffic was terribly slow, no wonder I fell asleep before she finally arrived. This very morning I took a deep breath and had a look at her. Wow, she’s young, tall, slim, very attractive with low demands and lots of hot things to offer. Her name’s Petra.
She will live in my 6‑year-old Lenovo Think Pad T61 dual core, 4 GB RAM, sharing her new home with four four other tenants. Right now, she lives in the last apartment in the row, but if she’s good enough she may move forward, who knows…
My everyday work system was originally LMDE, but it turned into Debian 7.2 over the time, as I needed some new functions and newer versions of libraries. On both my Linux Mint systems Mate is the default desktop environment (DE). I installed Crunchbang a few weeks before, originally to test if it will suit my 13-year-old daughter on her netbook. She liked it being very fast on her fainted machine and I kept it for testing purposes and I have to say I like it a lot, thus using it more and more on daily basis. The Windows system here is #7 used very occasionally.
I have been a Linux Mint (LM) user from version 9, LM was my choice after Ubuntu got its Unity desktop, which I never liked compared to my beloved Gnome 2. At first I used LM with Cinnamon but I switched to Mate in LM13 I think, as my desktop I used at that time (an Athlon XP with 2 GB of RAM) fell very sluggish with Cinnamon. Mate has been a favourite of mine since then even if Cinnamon has always been a second choice for me. When Cinnamon 2 was out I was eager to try it out to see if the hardware demands will be lower having got rid of Gnome 3 dependencies.
Installation of Petra was a plain sailing. All hardware was properly detected while my T61 was sitting in her docking station being connected to a 19″ HP L1950 LCD via a DVi cable. The boot from a USB stick was very fast, installation itself took about 15 minutes. For the purpose of this preview a clean default install of will be described (linuxmint-16-cinnamon-dvd-64bit-rc.iso). The only app that was installed is Shutter to take screenshots, the only change made is the panel having been moved to the top, as I’m used to it. The whole system takes up some 3.9 GB of space which is excellent.
Fresh system starts in about 38 secs from Grub which is very good (there is no SSD in my machine). After the first boot there are 62 updates to be installed with 69 MB to be downloaded. As this is a release candidate it is no surprise. From the very first moment the system is perfectly usable — this is one of the Linux features I love over Windows systems. I started writing this preview about 5 minutes after finishing the install. OK, let’s get started…
My native language is Czech, I’m a translator/interpretor and an English teacher by profession, no wonder I care about thing like localization. The localization team seems to have done a great job, there are only two or three strings my eyes keep noticing and these are “Síťování” and “Barevnost” where I personally would prefer simple “Síť” and “Barvy” respectively, but no big deal. Localizing software can be very tricky quite often. Great job!
Edit: the main menu uses “Síť” and “Barvy” for the same items, so there is a little inconsistency.
First thing that stroke me was switching the desktops — the moment my mouse cursor got near the screen edge, the desktop got switched. The first time it happened I didn’t understand what’s going on. My just launched Firefox was gone 🙂 (I don’t use this feature in my Mate settings, not exactly sure there is one right now). The most strange thing about this feature is, that switching the workplace with the mouse is silent with no indication on the screen, but if you switch using the keyboard, you hear a sound and the desktop’s name pops up! On the other hand, window snapping and tiling, windows management as a whole is great — that’s something I miss very much in Mate and OpenBox.
The USB writer seems to be new in LM. Just trying to write a Crunchbang iso to see if my daughter’s netbook will be able to boot from it, as it refused to boot from a USB stick image created with unetbootin (my T61 had no problems booting from it).
Software choice is standard for LM, with Libre Office in Version: 18.104.22.168, Java 7.
For translating and localization jobs, OmegaT is the crucial software for me. It’s a Java application which can be downloaded with it’s own Java environment. Have to say OmegaT looks just amazing in Petra, the interface is polished and you wouldn’t guess it’s a Java app. It’s a little bit slowish though, entering text just leaves the cursor behind, it takes a second or two for the input to appear. It’s the same on my main system with Mate, but the interface is not so nice and clean. But on the LMDE installation, it looks just as good as on the main system, but it’s swift and fast. Running my work environment (OmegaT, web browser with 5 tabs open, terminal and some music playing in the background leaves me with more than 50 % of free RAM. That’s great.
OK, first issue — waking up from hibernation didn’t finish — I hibernated the computer while it was in docking station, didn’t wake up when taken off it.
error when updating:
Zpracování spouštěčů pro balík initramfs-tools …
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img‑3.11.0–12-generic
Warning: No support for locale: cs_CZ.utf
It seems faster, the loading time is shorter, also would say installation is “swifter”, Skype is in the repository. But the applications grid stays the same no matter how wide the window is.
Gallery of screenshots