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James James is offline
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Default Questions from a Newbie - 02-27-2009, 06:03 PM


I'm a newbie round here - Hi !
I've just bought my Dad a Mini 12 (Ubuntu) to use (he's a techno-phobe) and have some questions that I hope someone can help with;

I'm new to Ubuntu - out of the box, other than Software Update, what would you recommend I do/install/configure ? Some sites mention enabling the Linux firewall for example. Any key packages, or anything to "harden" the OS ?

Can this be Mini 12 be OS-X'd ? I've looked into it and some sites report the chipset might be wrong, with others saying you could get it working with a 10.5.6 update and a few tweaks. It'd be great if I could get this done.

This Mini seems fairly slow. I'm being stupid here, but was hoping without XP's junk running, the boot times and general OS response would be quick(er). I seem to get a fair bit of lag in the OS when clicking in Apps. Is this normal? As per question 1, is there anything I can trim out of the OS to see better speed?

Thanks in advance,
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WolfKeeper WolfKeeper is offline
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Default Re: Questions from a Newbie - 02-27-2009, 06:47 PM

First off, the box is pretty secure out of the box. Unless you start installing services, nothing is really left open networking-wise.

Second, OS X won't work. The chipset isn't supported by Apple, as it was never used in any of their hardware.

Third, it's slow because IMHO the Mini is using a sub-par hard drive. Remember that Microsoft has done a ton of optimization to their OSes to run on Intel hardware, and a similarly configured clean XP machine can out-perform a Linux box without alot of tweaking for desktop tasks.

Getting an iPad
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snowpine snowpine is offline
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Default Re: Questions from a Newbie - 02-27-2009, 07:30 PM

Hi James, welcome to the forums!
As you probably know, Linux comes in a lot of different "distros" or flavors. Ubuntu is one of the most popular because it is easy to use and has a very "graphical" user interface (many new Linux users are intimidated by the terminal/command line). On the downside, it is one of the slowest, because those usability features require more ram and cpu power. Fortunately, there are a lot of different tips and tricks to speed up Ubuntu. I highly recommend joining where you will find tons of great advice. Depending on how "techie" you are, you can speed things up quite a bit. For example, I use LXDE instead of the default Gnome environment. LXDE is not as pretty, but it is less demanding on system resources.

The bottom line is this, though: Windows XP is almost 10 years old, and was designed to run well on computers that would seem underpowered today. Ubuntu 8.04 is less than 1 year old and was designed with user-friendliness, not speed, as its #1 goal. XP is just plain faster. If you want Linux to out-perform XP, you'll need to either disable a lot of Ubuntu's features, or go with a different Linux distro that is designed for speed.

But, in your father's case, I would definitely recommend Ubuntu, since it sounds like screaming fast performance is not the #1 goal.

Just my opinion.
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James James is offline
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Default Re: Questions from a Newbie - 02-28-2009, 03:29 PM

Thanks to both for your input.

It's a shame about OS-X... I'm guessing no amount of tweaking by someone in the know could get a set of drivers done for Leopard and this chipset? Maybe I should just be patient or accept and enjoy Ubuntu.

I've just configured Evolution for him with a Gmail account and Skype so he can contact old friends. Fingers crossed....

Thanks again.
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