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Topics - Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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General Discussion / Chromebook Vs Peppermint on an SSD boot times
« on: October 12, 2014, 01:39:09 am »
How fast exactly does a chromebook boot ?

I've found the video below that say 8 seconds .. but is it me, or was that more like a resume from suspend as he never hits a power button ?
(and the 8 seconds appears to be to the login screen)

reason I ask...

I just put a 250GB Samsung 840 EVO solid state drive in a customers Dell n5110 (quad core i7-2670QM, 6GB RAM, SATA3 [6Gb]),then bunged Peppermint 5 on it .. boot time from GRUB menu to *fully* loaded desktop (auto-login) including active wireless .. 7 seconds
(11 seconds from power button to desktop)

OK, that's somewhat higher spec than a chromebook, but still.....

If I get the chance, I'll video the Dell .. for now you'll just have to take my word.

Chromebook boot in 8 seconds - Samsung Serie 5
(youtube title)

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General Discussion / New iPhone/iPhold commercial
« on: October 10, 2014, 01:51:21 pm »
They haven't really thought it through have they....

Duuuumb duuuumb duuuumb dumb dumb .. dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb duuuuumb

News and Events / Windows 10 technical preview contains a keylogger
« on: October 05, 2014, 01:18:10 am »
According to The Hacker News, the Microsoft 'Privacy Policy' (that you must agree to to download/install the Windows 10 technical preview release) states:-

“If you open a file, we may collect information about the file, the application used to open the file, and how long it takes any use [of] it for purposes such as improving performance, or [if you] enter text, we may collect typed characters, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spell check features,”

Think about that .. you access your bank account Microsoft now has your login details, you login to your corporate network or email servers.....
(and even if you trust Microsoft not to use that info nefariously, it's there for some "hacker" [sic] to steal)


General Discussion / Whyyyyyy ???
« on: September 23, 2014, 11:58:43 pm »
You know the Dave Gorman (Modern Life is Good-ish) advert .. where he shouts WHYYYYYY ?? .....

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Source (including screenshots):


And to pre-empt any questions relating to Peppermint .. Yes probably (in fact it could probably be done more accurately with Peppermint's XFWM4 window manager), but NO I won't help ::)


News and Events / Windows 9 to finally get multiple desktops
« on: September 18, 2014, 01:51:45 am »

Includes links to other leaked videos of Win9.

Title say it all really .. Jeff Hoogland, the guy who started Bodhi has decided to stand down and ask if someone else wants to take over the project....

Will Bodhi survive this .. I certainly hope so.

In either case I'd like to wish Jeff good luck in all future endeavours, and say thanks for giving the world Bodhi :)

General Discussion / Kit appearing that "boasts" Linux compatibility
« on: September 02, 2014, 12:21:00 pm »
Kit is starting to appear from mainstream manufacturers that "boasts" about Linux compatibility .. OK, it boasts "SteamOS ready"' but it amounts to the same thing, effectively they're bragging that it's designed (or at least tested) to be Linux compatible and that *has* to be a good thing .. right ? :)


General Discussion / why is windows Vs why is linux
« on: August 21, 2014, 03:06:31 pm »
Thanks to AndyInMokum (Peppermint forum moderator) I searched google for the search terms -

why is windows
why is linux

Interesting results can be found by clicking these links:

Very different top results, wouldn't you say ? :)

General Discussion / Gotta get me one of these
« on: August 19, 2014, 02:34:12 pm »

General Discussion / More own foot shooting from Microsoft
« on: August 19, 2014, 12:13:14 pm »
Ya gotta love it when Microsoft sabotage their own OS

Microsoft says to uninstall August patch updates causing blue screen of death

I *know* this to be true because I had a Win8.1 PC here the day before yesterday with the same issue:-

"Stop 0x50 errors," aka blue screen after applying any of four updates (KB2982791 KB2970228 KB2975719 or KB2975331).

If you update your Windows with the update, a message flashed on the screen that reads: “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just collecting some error info and then we’ll restart for you (0% complete).”

"Installation went smoothly. After rebooting everything worked fine. But when I shut down my notebook and switched it on a little later it came up with a blue screen with a Stop 0x50 in Win32k.sys. I could not even boot into safe mode as Windows failed to start no matter which mode chose"

Workaround (including for those that can't boot) detailed here:

General Discussion / Not an ebuyer (or windows) advert
« on: August 09, 2014, 02:02:52 pm »
Whilst I don't want to advertise for ebuyer unnecessarily (or Windows for that matter) .. I find this deal amazing:

Zoostorm Desktop PC

    Intel Celeron Dual Core 1037U
    4GB RAM
    500GB HDD
    mATX Case
    Windows 8.1 64bit

Trade in an old PC and get this one for £99.99 .. With a copy of Win8.1 64bit .. Hell, how much is Win8.1 ?

Seems to me they're saying "buy Win8 and get a free PC"

That's a master stroke and could even get Win8 moving :)


There's a new tutorial for installing Peppermint Six here:


In this tutorial we will wipe the default OS (Linpus Lite) from the internal 8GB SSD (or hard drive in the case of the AOA150) and install PeppermintOS (Five) Linux is its place.

Why would you want to do this .. Well Linpus Lite, though small and fast is based on Fedora core 8 which is a very old Linux distribution that has been out of active development for quite some time .. so Linpus Lite doesn't receive any updates, and it is nearly impossible to get any new software to install without jumping through hoops, if at all.

PeppermintOS (Five) on the other hand is based on the MUCH more recent Ubuntu 14.04 (Long Term Support release), but uses the LXDE desktop (with the Xfce4 window manager/compositor) which is more like a "normal" desktop environment, and is also small and fast .. it also has the added benefit of having access to the Ubuntu software repositories, so it is VERY easy to install the latest software.

If you want a quick look at what the PeppermintOS Five desktop will look like by default, see here:
(obviously the appearance, wallpaper, themes, icons, etc. can easily be changed, and/or you can add dock bars such as docky/cairo-dock/etc. if you wish)
Or for a more in depth look at what PeppermintOS is all about, why not take a look through all the PeppermintOS user guide sections, here:

As you can see it has a single panel at the bottom, an application menu, a system tray, and a workspace that you can put application icons (shortcuts), files, or directories on .. in fact (good or bad) it's very similar to the Windows layout.

I'm going to set out this tutorial in stages .. the first stage will tell you how to download the PeppermintOS Five ISO image, and how to use a Windows PC to write it to a 1GB or larger USB Stick.

The following stages will deal with installation, then some post-installation tasks to get Peppermint "just right".

These instructions may *look* complex at first glance, but take it from me it is easier than it looks :)

OK, Stage 1 ..

Downloading the PeppermintOS (Five) ISO image (to a Windows PC) and writing it to the USB stick

The following instructions are for creating a PeppermintOS Five LiveUSB stick using a Windows PC .. if you need instructions for creating a LiveUSB on an Ubuntu based Linux distro including an earlier version of Peppermint, see the instructions at the end of this posting.

On your Windows PC, download the PeppermintOS (Five) 32bit ISO image from here:
or see here:

Once you've got the ISO image .. download Universal USB Installer (version or higher) from here:

Start Universal USB Installer, and at ..

Step 1 .. In the drop down list, select PeppermintOS
Step 2  .. point it at the ISO image you downloaded
Step 3 .. Choose your (already plugged in >= 1GB) USB stick .. probably best to let it format it too, so backup its contents first.
Step 4 .. (if available) Set the slider to the largest persistence file it will allow you.. so you can save changes. (if you want to test drive it first)

Heres a pic of the Universal USB Installer interface

Click Create .. and wait till it's done .. it will take a while, and *may* appear to have stopped .. but just wait till it says it's "Done" .. as in the following pic

Pic of Universal USB Installer .. Installing to USB Stick

Once the LiveUSB has been created, click Close, plug it into your AA1, then turn ON your AA1 .. as soon as you see the first screen (Acer Empowering People), hit the F12 key to access the boot device selection screen .. and select the USB HDD as the drive to boot from and hit Enter to boot.

When asked, select "Try Peppermint" not "Install Peppermint"

Be aware .. running from a USB stick will be quite a bit slower that running it from the internal SSD after installation, so don't draw any conclusions about speed at this point ;)

I *can* tell you that once installed, it takes slightly longer to boot than Linpus Lite .. but once booted it loads/runs applications just as quickly .. and has access to all the latest software.

Once you've got to a working desktop, you can either test drive Peppermint from the USB stick .. or you can just click the "Install Peppermint" icon that will be on the desktop .. but we'll get to that in a bit :)

For users creating the LiveUSB stick in another version of Peppermint (or other Ubuntu based distro) -

First you'll need too install usb-creator-gtk, so open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt install usb-creator-gtk

Now from your menu's go to menu > System Tools > Startup Disk Creator

Here's what to expect -

I've found it's usually best to let it format the USB stick first, so in the bottom pane select your USB stick, and hit the "Erase Disk" button, and enter your password if prompted.

Once the format is done, in the top pane, select the ISO image you want to create the LiveUSB stick from (if it's not already there, browse to it by clicking the "Other" button)

If you want the LiveUSB to be persistent (ie. able to save changes), make sure "Store in reserved extra space" is selected, and use the slider to adjust the size of the persistence file (the amount of room set aside for saving changes).

Click the "Make Startup Disk" button.

You'll be prompted for your password a couple of times before it tells you the LiveUSB has been created and is ready for use.

News and Events / Peppermint 5 is now available for download
« on: June 23, 2014, 10:07:42 pm »
The made-over Peppermint website is now LIVE

Complete with Peppermint 5 ISO links

Go get it :)

News and Events / Peppermint 5 release announcement
« on: June 21, 2014, 09:49:18 am »
Peppermint 5 is due for release on Monday 23rd June.

Barring some kind of catastrophe, at some stage on Monday the new website will go active and the it'll contain the download links for the new release:-

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