A minty experience leaves a pleasant taste

Relation from transitioning a "typical user" from Windows to Linux. Interesting and funny one, too.

Knowing what sort of computer user type this person is I decided to make sure I chose the right distribution for them. After careful thought and a bit of google trolling (in the searching sense of the word) I decided to give Linux Mint a go. So I backed up their computer and settled down to install Mint.

Naturally the install went without a hitch. [...] Note the only changes I made were upgrading wine and installing amsn. Everything else I left as is.

I called them over and spent a couple of minutes showing them where their data is and left them to it. After a while I checked in to see if there were any problems. There were none so I let them be. Suddenly they stormed out and shouted "This G.D. computer is so user friendly!!" [...]

Every now and then other exclamations burst forth such as "This is great!", "It's like a new computer" and more. Each time the old liquid pump almost burst under the pressure of pride at a new assimilation.

I did not have to do any training. I did not have to do any hand holding although, I fully expected to have to. This person found exactly what they needed and could do everything they could do before. The things they are most happy about? They are free of windows virus's, their computer runs fast again and is easy to use. So I am very happy with my choice of Mint for them as are they. The Mint developers have made a very good distribution and it has suited this person to the T. It is the first time I used Mint and I have to admit, I was impressed.

That's truly opposite to one of the previous entries, Linux is for smart people. It's almost as good as one of the Helios writings ;-) Which brings us to the point that people are not necessarily stupid when they use Windows - but they are rather afraid of change or don't want to invest enough time to understand and assimilate the differences.



Problematic KB971033 update for Windows7

I recommend that you strongly consider rejecting the manual installation of the Windows Activation Technologies update KB971033, and do not permit Windows Update to install it (this will require that you not have your PC configured in update automatic installation mode, which has other ramifications -- so you may wish to consult a knowledgeable associate if you're not familiar with Windows Update configuration issues).

And if at some point in the future you find that the update has been installed and your PC is still running normally, remove the update as soon as possible.



Is YouTube's bandwith free?


the lack of a monthly bill in the mailbox doesn't mean Google's internet connection is free - it's just that it has purchased unused fiber optic cable known as "dark fiber" - and uses it to carry its traffic to other networks where it "peers" or trades traffic with other ISPs. Its costs for bandwidth are then amortized across the life of its fiber and routers.
Traditionally the net has been shaped like a pyramid with small ISPs at the bottom, connecting up to regional carriers, that connect to backbone and transcontinental carriers. It's much more complicated now with the top 30 websites serving up 30 percent of net traffic, either from their own sets of pipes or from data centers around the world that connect much closer to your computer - and for much cheaper - than ever before.
In 2007, the majority of the internet's traffic came distributed by 30,000 blocks of servers around the net (technically Autonomous System Numbers).

In 2009, 150 blocks served up half of the net's traffic.

"What we mean by the internet is changing and it's happening really quickly," Labovitz said. "I was blown away to find out that one-tenth of the internet is going [to] or coming from Google."


Activate Windows 7's Hidden 'God Mode'

Handy trick if you're setting up a machine for the first time and need to access many settings:

  1. Create a new folder
  2. Name it: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  3. That's it