From Win to Ubuntu to Linux Mint

I installed Ubuntu on an old laptop to fix my Sansa e280 last week.  A couple of days later I changed the distro to Linux Mint KDE 18.2 64bit UEFI.

It’s running great on that old HP laptop.

On Tuesday of this week I put that same iso on a DVD to dual-boot install Linux Mint on my good Desktop. I cleared an older hard-drive to hold the Linux install.

Installation was straightforward, except for the later boot into Windows being hours ahead on the clock, the well known dual-boot problem … so I ran a registry fix for Unix time on Windows. Now time is not an issue in this dual-boot.

The main hitch left was –no sound.

Smaller issues were getting the graphics how I wanted them. I use a 43″ 4K Sony Bravia with my Desktop.

On Windows it’s easier to set my resolution and zoom the stuff bigger to make it nice.

On Linux it isn’t as intuitive, and I found I have to go deeper changing fonts and sizes of font system wide, and in programs that allow it, like Amarok and Chrome Browser.  On Windows it does all flow from that little change of a slide bar, and it works well.

It can be done on Linux, just takes more fiddling.

Darkness on Linux is easier to attain.

On Windows, apps will go dark (or use whatever color you pick) with themes, but not Programs at all, only the title bar, for instance.

I prefer dark computer programs, windows, etc. because I just do. I mean I NEED them sometimes, I get light sensitive migraines and it’s painful to look at blue light, bright white, green, blue, etc. I would love a pair of Rose Tinted Glasses. It is a goal of mine to get some eventually.

All in all I just prefer the dark screens on computers, like now, I’m typing in Chrome on this web interface, and it is painful because I can’t get it dark in any pleasing way, and it’s a Migraine day.


The sound took forever to implement, I’m not sure which thing I did that made it so but… it worked finally, yesterday afternoon. (Sound was a problem because of HDMI sound being the thing I needed.)

I’m trying to get Amarok working for me, it works, but I mean make it use my music how I want.

I couldn’t get it to stick to my second external drive music folder. It wasn’t putting it in the database and keeping it there. So I felt I had to copy it all to my Linux Music Folder and since then, indeed, it’s pretty solid. (I created a mysql database for Amarok before all this.)

One main thing to consider is in Terminal type ‘alsamixer’ then enter, and unmute everything, but where that is ….. down the line for the main soundcard  second item from the right. That’s what may have finally fixed my situation, but it wasn’t only that which I’d been doing, software, drivers, in and out my ears and eyes, I can’t say what I did. After the unmute it was some minutes later that sound started working. Not right away.

So now I have a couple of good Linux installs to log into. It feels good, much better than Ubuntu did. I know I’ll delve deeper and find something more challenging for me eventually.

Going back to Windows on this same machine makes me feel like the introvert I am in a large noisy crowd of people. Yeah, Linux is just what I need. Windows is what I HAVE to use because … oh so many dumb reason.

Windows may think it’s past it’s METRO phase, but it’s not. Too much of a dividing line between programs and METRO, and it bleeds into SETTINGS and finding those old settings  windows is getting harder with each new update Windows brings.

I don’t want METRO at all, really. Apps are stupid. I like apps on my Android phone and tablet. My laptop is a 2-in-one and I don’t like “apps” on there either.

I would like to get Linux on my Acer laptop, but it’s not going to be a simple proposition to get done. A tablet 2-in-1 with Linux has to be fully touch friendly to make the process natural (things like: not needing a mouse or keyboard to login, etc.) So dual-booting is in the same region of need, and difficulty with Microsoft Surface tablets is right where my laptop is for dual-booting. I don’t want to wipe Windows from my laptop. I need to keep it around on my main laptop and my Desktop. Dual-Booting is the only option.

Anyone wanting to try Linux would feel very comfortable in Linux Mint, the KDE option that I’m using is simple and arranged familiarly, like Windows a bunch, if that makes sense. But it’s definitely Linux.

I hate looking for fixes on Windows. On Linux is lovely.  I love using Terminal. My desire for devices to work, get them fixed, Linux is where things shine, I’m never going back to trying to live with only a live usb or dvd version. I will play and work on Linux and Windows from now on.

Dual-Booting and Data Reclaiming

I have a Seagate GoFlex Desktop 3TB drive, I wrote a post about it previously to this one.

I was able to get a live Ubuntu DVD going which proved via Testdisk that I did have harvest-able data on it. That just wouldn’t work on my big Desktop computer though.

I finally just bit the bullet and went to the HP All in one in the kitchen, shrunk the main partition, and got Ubuntu 14 to dual boot on it. It’s not great, Ubuntu is scrunched onto the computer. It’s great to take bits of my data via Testdisk though.

I actively have to copy files that will go onto the measly 5gb partition for Home. Then once there I have to chmod 777 them so I can copy then delete or just plain move them immediately.

I’m only copying my HD Videos right now. I did an entire years worth, not watching all of them, but a lot of them to verify they were OK. They are all OK.

Occasionally I have to re-copy from the Seagate GoFlex data, so there is some kind of problem with the drive.

At any rate, the drive was fine last week, and then one day suddenly not.

I’d be so happy to get another external NEW drive. Bad timing, is all I can say. Not a penny to throw at it.

I did install STEAM there on Ubuntu today. It was a horrible process, then come to find out Terraria isn’t Linux capable. Oh well.

That HP All in one computer has a problem that didn’t show up the last two days in Ubuntu, but did today. Windows loses wi-fi. It’s not an easy fix, you have to set it to troubleshoot connections and it’s a pain.

In Ubuntu it happened, no wi-fi suddenly. I right-clicked the wi-fi indicator at the top right of the screen, unticked “enable wifi” then reticked it. Bingo. Wi-Fi radio working and online again. Much easier. But Ubuntu isn’t going to be our main computer. It just can’t hold a candle to Windows ‘any flavour’ still. I find that all Linux flavours are good for troubleshooting and changing things …. hard drives, data corruption, rooting devices, etc.  I enjoy using Windows and when I want/need something else, it works out.

As it goes, I used to use Fedora, dual-booting. I am trying to figure out if I can get something like that going on my now older HP Envy 4-1115dx UEFI boot and no HP Recovery partition any more. Then I’d have more use for that machine.

Installing RTL8192se in Linux

I’ve done this more times than I wish I would have had to … based on many reasons, but the basic thing is, I have it down, at least how to do it with a good fresh install of an updated linux system.

I use Fedora, have done this in Fedora 12 and Fedora 13.

Download a recent Linux driver from Realteks website.

as your regular login self un-tar the file such as (the most recent linux driver at this time of writing):
tar -xzvy rtl8192se_linux_2.6.0017.0507.2010.tar.gz in Terminal.

Then, get ready: make sure you have given yourself Sudoer status.

I like this way in Terminal.:


password: <—–enter password

echo  user "All(ALL)  NOPASSWD:ALL" >> /etc/sudoer


Make sure you have Sudoer status. Check out that link above for info about that.

Now you are ready to get going on the wireless install.

In Terminal cd to the un-tarred rtl8192se_linux_2.6.0017.0507.2010 directory.

Give yourself Super User status in Terminal:

Sudo Su
make install

When you are booted into the right kernel next time, your wireless should be working (setup any connection information beforehand so that it just connects right away automatically.

Fedora 12 working well for me

I was working in Fedora 12 earlier today and found I had somehow installed a newer kernel … something I was doing last night got me there. I didn’t like having it in my bootmenu … and didn’t want to have a different linux to boot to, I’ve only worked for a day or so on one and have things peachy for the most, and didn’t want to have to go through any of the hoops to get wireless working again … it was an inadvertent install that I quickly shutdown and booted to my preferred one. I looked online for aide in previously written word and found no help.

Sometimes when I have problems I find it hard to actually “search” for the problem. Putting it into search terms is often troublesome. This isn’t a post about searching. That is only an aside. The real point is finding answers when there are no answers.

I found an older page on a forum detailing “yum” and it was something I was interested in since I’ve been using “yum” and like it better than the software adding part of Fedora 12. I found a few additional commands in that which enabled me to look at what I’ve installed recently and find programs or packages, just information that is helpful in diagnosing something, whatever it is.

I hate hotels. While I was writing this I was online and when I went to publish … I got a blank brower and what I’d typed was all wiped out when I used my “back” button (which auto-save feature of WP helped, but it last saved before I had typed the end of this post, several paragraphs which I don’t want to re-type/figure out right now.) In the past this has happened, I mean internet fritsing out, but WP hadn’t always lost the words, that was an early version, so I can’t say what did happen. I’m just gonna publish this and log out of Vista and go back to my happy OS. Fedora 12. I’ll re-work this post later.

Fedora 12 on HP tx2513cl dual-boot Vista

This past week I installed Fedora 12 on my desktop computer, dual-boot with Win XP. I haven’t gotten the wireless card working that is installed in that computer, it works great in Win XP, matches our router too. Both router and wireless card have been abandoned by D-Link, meaning: no updates for future OS usage, no updates for XP or any lower OS editions either. So it’s possible that it might not have any driver for linux either. I already have been prepared for having to upgrade the card, and also would like to get a new router anyhow. Both aren’t THAT old, just a few years, but that’s forever in computers.

This week we are not home, and I brought the Fedora 12 DVD I’d burned and used previously, along. I didn’t know if what I wanted to do would work, but I tried it, and it worked! I couldn’t get the wireless internet thing to work though. I looked on my Palm Pre webOS phone on the web for info, and found several ideas of “it won’t work at all” “it’ll work in limited fashion” and a few “I got it to work” or “It should conceivably work if you do this … but I haven’t tried it on that distro” as well as “this works for this chipset …” which is close but not exact … so maybe it’ll work on mine …

After all that I did try yesterday evening to get it going, going back and forth, Vista to find stuff, Fedora to try stuff … I eventually gave up.

This morning I tried it all fresh. I re-installed Fedora 12 on the entire drive. My setup that worked fine for install and usage in general for dual-booting was:

Running Vista on HP Pavilion tx2513cl –> Fedora 12 DVD in DVD Drive –> installed to –> USB external 120 GB laptop drive –> booting from first drive with Vista on it inside the laptop computer.

Once I’d fresh installed it again I went back to all the notes I’d taken on the different methods to make it happen and decided on which thing to try.

I found this site: and used the information in that post to download the file called “hybrid-portsrc-x86_32_5_10_27_6.tar.gz” .. untar it, and then build the LKM (Loadable Kernel Module) and then on to more stuff in the post. Ended up mixing that post with a README file that came in the tarball file.

In essence it all came out and I again didn’t think it worked, but then I attacked it again and re-thought through it and put the puzzle together a different way, Nothing I can write down, just a “look at both the documentations and do what seems to be doable, from a puzzle angle. Something worked.

I had gone to Network Device Control, clicked the Wireless tab, then clicked “New” and all of the sudden, in a flash indeed, there was a device showing that hadn’t previously been there, so I did something right in my puzzle put together info from two sources that were not separate in the first place, one begat the other, so source and then sub-source, neither worked to help me on their own, but together mixed up some, yes.

So at that point i flicked the button on my wireless radio hardware control … and the blue light came on! Then I had to get a wireless connection created … at the hotel. It was easy enough to add. Easy as typing in the name of the connection (ssid) basically. It connected really fast.

I worked on the internet for a long time then, fixing this and that. I got Flash installed, for one, got music playing in Rhythmbox (it wasn’t working for quite some time until all of the sudden something I updated and voila! I still have to get the DVD playing ability going. On my desktop I gave up on that and downloaded VCL which worked right off. I’m more dedicated this time to try and get the stuff that came in Fedora working before getting an entire new thing installed.

One nice thing is that Fedora 12 works with my touchscreen enough Out-of-the-Box that it brings promise of more touch-able-ness in the future. It works well with the Pen right off. It doesn’t register “touch” though, only pen-hover/touch.

I find my touchpad is very sensitive, I need to see about fine-tuning it, it works well, too well, almost, if that makes much sense.

The pet peeve I have in Vista hasn’t yet once reared it’s ugly head in Fedora 12. Typing in Vista, the drive will just flash and flash like crazy and my typing will get slow feedback, I mean, instant showing of what I type? Sometimes, usually no though. It’s maddening in Vista. I wrote a post about it in December on this blog. I semi-eradicated it turning of Indexing and a few other things. I turned Indexing back on in late January or so, missing the typing of something to easily search programs or documents on the start area. Right back to the halting typing slowdown, spit it out, wait, not yet, ok now your typing shows. Slow down, keep it inside, don’t prove she’s typed anything yet, not yet, ok, now. Let it out. AUGGGHHHH!

Now my typing is so easy I’m messing up. I don’t “remember” how to type well, expecting the halt to come at any moment. If not that it’s my palm brushing the touchpad and my mouse cursor jumps up somewhere else, that’s a matter of training me or the synaptics stuff or both.

So then as to all this, I’m quite happy so far with Fedora, almost wishing I could get rid of Windows Vista. Not sure if I should keep dual-booting with it, or should I upgrade Vista to Win 7 and dual-boot with that.

I have some software that I haven’t figured out, or thought about. I have used Thunderbird and Firefox for years, so that’s a find transition, none. I am familiar with Open Office, used it for years, when I need something, not very often though, just sometimes. Other than that, there is ONE Windows program I have, came with my laptop, “One Note”. I love it, love it, love it. What free software would replace it satisfactorily?

Then there is Adobe Photoshop Elements 7. It’s a Windows product that I have. I’d rather have a full Photoshop product, but neither of those things are going to be on my Fedora install. I haven’t ever looked at any of the free graphics programs. I take a lot of pictures (Canon Digital Rebel) and it’s important to me to have quality software for that. I haven’t connected my camera to my computer with Fedora running, yet. Canon doesn’t have Linux drivers on their site.

I also have a Sony Handycam (HDR-SR11) and their software is for WINDOWS alone, every flavour. Anyhow, I’m not impressed with THEIR software. I need to find a robust program to work with my High Def files. Sony provides little that one can do with it. I can snip the ends and play them. I can convert them to yuckier formats. That’s pretty much it. No splicing, no timing changes (speed up, slow down) no titles, no production. So, I have less video than I want to have taken, and lots of video I have taken that just sits there on my harddrive.

So I guess in the end I can get some graphic something in Linux (Fedora) with a couple of programs, using my TabletPC, as well as my Intuit4 tablet, when I connect it sometime. But, I’ll have to have Windows programs in some capacity, plus for heavy video work …

So it’ll come down to my everyday computing self is interested in keeping Linux around as her full-time computer, with starting Windows for other stuff … sometimes. So I pay for the privilege of having $ software that is used sometimes only. Well, that’s it now nearly. I hardly ever buy software, I have gotten it bundled, or bought something here or there, but mostly prefer GNU-types of product. I have Vista because it’s on the computer I bought. I bought XP long ago to go with a computer I was building, had I had to do something back then like that. So it goes.

I used WP before it wasn’t yet 1, I used Firefox when it was a shadow of it’s current self, same with Thunderbird, not in the very beginning, but close enough. I’ve used Songbird, but haven’t been sold on it, yet. I wish I could learn enough to write code for something. Eventually I may, or not.

I need to get into my scrapbooking, cross-stitching, graphic art. I used to hand code my webpages. Simple HTML & CSS. I’ve pretty much converted to pure WP. I sort of wish to get some simple HTML pages on my sites too though. It’s pleasing to create with code, which is why it’s not just a good environment for computing, but Linux offers “understanding” of what is going on with your computer, how to update you can see it all happening instead of watching a dumb progress bar forever …

Fedora, DVD Playing via VCL

I wasn’t able to stay asleep last night after sleeping for awhile. I got my laptop out and worked on some things and read up on some things, then finally decided to go downstairs, make coffee, when it wasn’t such an indecent hour to be up (5-something).

I got the coffee going, which means grinding the coffee then brewing it: Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill, currently grinding Starbucks Sumatra (my favorite) in ourCuisinart FlavorBrew® 10-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker, black/SS.

Then I went to the desktop computer and worked on trying to get the media player in Fedora to play a DVD, which I couldn’t make happen with the info I found, but eventually gave up and got VCL installed instead. Immediately able to watch a DVD.

I learned a few things about how to do things in Fedora (root, for instance, which I never did find a decent line in any information online on how to just basically login anything as “root” … I figured it out on my own how to do it in Terminal, which is just one of those silly things, to me, that people reference using “root” but not how you start it. Always general reference to it as if anyone using that tutorial would automatically know how to do that, though a basic linux newbie might be computer savvy and figure things out and understand things well beyond beginning linux about something linux, just not “how to work from the beginning in an actual linux environment … you know, like someone who has done some in Python, also has used Knoppix for something in the past … understands lots of computer things, just not “how to use ‘root’ ” and then how it’s compared to “admin” in windows is really weird, ’cause in my experience no Windows profile is any good unless it’s “admin” status ’cause you can’t do squat with lots of things in a limited account, which is the “recommended” account for basic computer use. Yeah, in Windows that means some programs won’t run, certain things won’t install (simple little things that aren’t dangerous to the computer) on and on it’s been such my experience, but the fact is that things in Fedora are not so limited for the basic user. FWIW so the comparison is poor. I may have a different perspective on it than others have, this whole thing is my PERSONAL OPINION, not an overarching statement of fact.

Back to Fedora in general, I’m looking forward to learning more and tweaking it all up, and seeing how much better, hopefully, the desktop can be in Fedora, as opposed to the dual installed Win XP that’s been on it for so long now. I don’t know how friendly it’ll be with filesharing, and I do have to do something with the XP … or that computer, it’s too ancient compared to my Vista laptop which I hope to upgrade to Win 7 soon, I have to explore so much of this, and also put Fedora on the older laptop eventually, if hubby ever gets a new computer, it’ll be interesting to see if it can be a linux only computer better than the XP thing it has been.

I need to figure out how to dual boot my laptop too without having to move everything, which I do have to do anyhow probably. The other thing is, the half-plan has been to get me a new laptop and give this one to hubby, maybe. In that case I’ll back up everything to another drive, and re-install and then upgrade this one, and maybe at that time partition for Fedora on this laptop or not. I doubt hubby cares what OS he uses. I’ve tried and tried to convert him to free software, not cracked stuff, I mean GNU, etc. free. He could use it, he could convert companies he’s with to see the light as well, but he doesn’t. Whatever.

The main thing is he needs a decent program that can do what he wants to use Business Contact Manager for. Outlook w/Bus. Contact Manager is such a resource hog, I hate it. I hate having it on any computer I have worked on (not used, just worked on) with all the complaints lodged when it’s in use, I don’t know why the light isn’t seen as to what is what with that. Anyhow I need to find something else that will work that isn’t so proprietary, also he wants it since it’ll share info with Neat Receipts … which is just another chink in the armour he wears. Nice thing (the scanner), but still, wish there were another way to use it. I’ve never looked into it since I haven’t had to use it, but I suppose I should.

Fedora 12 on my Desktop

I’m typing this post in Firefox on a new install of Fedora 12. It’s my first time installing a linux distro. I’ve used a Knoppix CD before, and have wanted to install Linux, but just hadn’t until I finally got the bug to upload my .scrobblerlog and didn’t want to not load it to, which I had done a dump from and upload to in mid-2009 — once after that I hand fixed a .scrobbler log to load it to, but that was a mess. A big mess. Took several times to re-do the list and reconnect (Python is how one loads data to I liked using Python, and want to learn more of how to use it, write in the language for usefulness, etc.

I looked online to find someone who’d made a Python script to change .scrobblerlog to be accepted by uploading to, but the only thing I have found, over and over, is one thing, a bash script on a linux forum. So that was what eventually got me to install Linux. I chose Fedora since it’s a good thing.

I have a Dual Boot install. So I have new Fedora 12 and old WIn XP SP3.

The one thing I haven’t gotten done that I want to is to get my wireless networking card to work in Fedora. I haven’t tried too hard. I have to find the key anyhow, it’s in my router at least, which I can access since I’m plugged in with an ethernet cable for now. If I can’t make that work, then I’ll have to leave the desk by the router for the time being.

One thing that was troublesome in this is that my Bluetooth keyboard and mouse worked through install up to a point, but not after reboot, and I’d whizzed through a screen that I needed to get logged in to the system, and couldn’t do anything but get a wired keyboard and reinstall. Which was fine, it’s not like Windows that would have taken an hour to install. :rolleyes: