Monday, November 26, 2012

Zombie Dell Mini

This Dell Mini 10 is proving to be one tough cookie to crack. I read up on some techniques on USB installs and it turns out they aren't as reliable as I had thought. Being faster and less wasteful that CDs does have its drawbacks. On the one hand, the Dell is the only laptop that has given me problems with live installs from the USB drive. On the other hand, I do jump into these things headfirst with internet notes close by. Its pretty easy to get it right, but road bumps like these for the unprepared could potentially get really hairy really quick.

It seems like my failed install attempts for Ubuntu on the netbook were not because of Unetbootin. It appears the image and pc combination caused the problem. I tried using other image burning software, however most of them are pretty clunky, not in English, or were very annoying and difficult to operate. Unetbootin pretty much does the trick though, it even got the Windows 8 previews up and running for me- despite 8 having its own "anti-netbook" issues.

So, in hopes to get this pc back up and running I think I will pull a page from MajorLinux's book and give Fedora a try. I'm not sure if the regular requirements are too much for a netbook but ill try it anyway. I have tried the XFCE Edition of Fedora 17 on the netbook and it went alright  The live installer could stand to be a bit less suspenseful... I thought the system had crashed on start up as I was left with a blank screen for much longer than usual for a live usb test run. Other than that, it seems to be pretty basic though it does include a ton of apps for various situations. I wonder if the space is better spent leaving duplicate functioning programs out, especially for a lighter and less bloated version of the distribution... but I suppose providing users with choices and options is Fedora's goal.

The newest version of Linux Mint, Nadia, is out and I think I may have to check in again on "Old Reliable" and see what she is up to these days. My hang up on Mint has always been their preferred upgrade path of requiring a system wipe and re-install  At this point, I should just embrace it as I know that I get bored of operating systems quickly and pretty much wipe and install something new every few months anyway. (Its like trading up on a new car after the new car smell is gone.... but the car is always free!)

I should probably take this opportunity to scour the distros to find one that plays nice with Dells out of the box... Ubuntu did well, but I break it so easily *evil grin*. So far, Ubuntu and Mint are the only distros that have properly prompted for and installed the weird broadcom wifi adapter in the netbook. That is pretty much my dealbreaker... Welp, whatever happens I'll post the results here. Hopefully, with more pictures and fanfare.


Update: Just installed mint 14... It doesn't have the hardware installer for the wifi built in! Arghh, no easy fixes online either.