Home > Releases > Vista User On SimplyMepis 8.0.10

Vista User On SimplyMepis 8.0.10

The recently released version of SimplyMEPIS may just be the beginner friendly Live CD that pushes you over the edge. Released on August 25th, 2009, SimplyMEPIS 8.0.10 can bring you a ready to use Linux desktop featuring an interface that is easier to use than Vista and ideal for XP and Win98 users. Combine this with the stability of its Debian 5.0 ‘Lenny’ base and recent updates from the Debian Lenny pool and you get a efficient replacement for your current Windows setup. Right?

It all sounds good but lets take a closer look at how intuitive the SimplyMEPIS 8.0.10 Live CD really is for a Windows user. I’ve introduced SimplyMEPIS to a lifelong Windows user and documented the “cans” and “can nots” of his first 2 hours on this Linux distribution.

User Stats:
My windows user was a 28 year old male that used his Windows computer for internet browsing, music, Youtube, email, and social media. Pretty much in that order. Although he had used Windows 98 and XP in previous years his current setup was a Dell Studio Laptop with 64 bit processor and Windows Vista Home Premium.

The Problem:
The computer was still functional but had viruses, spyware, display settings problems, and most of all was incredibly slow despite its ample hardware setup. With a computer like this, who knows what’s really going on. This computer could have easily been controlled by hackers to do a number of things including but not limited to stealing credit card and other personal information, performing hacking attempts on other sites and much more. Click Here live training classes on Network Security.
Virus

Getting Started With SimplyMEPIS
To be clear of his starting point, my lifelong Windows users was given a copy of the SimplyMepis 8.0.10 Live CD rather than making him burn his own copy in Windows.

I gave my user only 5 instructions:

  • Insert Simply Mepis 8.0.10 Live CD
  • Restart
  • Press F12 on Dell screen
  • Boot CD drive
  • “demo” and “root” passwords

The first thing displayed was an option to select different types of SimplyMEPIS. The top option is the default and will load automatically if you sit there long enough.
First SimplyMepis Screen

Next was the login window. On the left Demo and Root are both visible. With Demo selected type in the password “demo”.
SimplyMEPIS Login Window

My Windows guy made it through the login just fine which was a relief after I watched him restart 3 times before catching F12 on Dell Screen instructions. Never-the-less he got it, logged in, and waited patiently describing the SimplyMEPIS boot time as “adequate”.

After the desktop had loaded completely. My user immediately criticized SimplyMEPIS for its bouncing coursor. Disgusted with his “looking for anything wrong” approach I broke my silence advising him that this was easily disabled.
SimplyMepis Default Desktop

On to the menu. The basic style of the SimplyMEPIS KDE 3.5 menu seemed to be well organized and easy to navigate. No complaints here.
SimplyMEPIS Menu

Next my user fired up the Firefox web browser and began his most common activity, web browsing. Firefox was up in no time and my user had an easy 20 minutes looking at random sites he frequents including, Ebay, Amazon, and GMail. So if we’re keeping track that’s Web Browsing and Email take care of.

After a little bit of searching my guy finally found the Multimedia section in the menu. The Multimedia tab include Amarok, K3, KsCD, KMPlayer, and Kmix by default. Amarok gave him virtually no problems, although as expected it will take some time to find all the controls and options for the application however nothing that couldn’t be overcome with a few hours of use.

Mp3s were downloaded in using Firefox and played without a hitch on the SimplyMEPIS desktop using Amarok, a state-of-the-art music player.
MP3s on SimplyMEPIS
Youtube was sure to give him trouble. Right? Expecting some plugins or problems to throw him off track he navigated to Youtube.com. Nope, Youtube videos played smoothly right out of the box with SimplyMepis 8.0.10. Youtube
Youtube on SimplyMEPIS

Social media applications like Twitter not only work with Linux but many widgets and applications exist for Linux.

Although an important part of using a desktop is adding and removing applications, this may not be something that most users will do in the first few hours of use. Use the Synaptic Package Manager for this purpose when needed.

Our Windows user ended his two hour session with little or no problems to speak of. The layout and navigation took awhile to get used to but he was navigating comfortably after an hour or so. This was all done with a Live CD without any impact to his installation of Windows Vista Home Premium. If you’re having trouble and want some help getting started with Linux view our great selection of Linux Books and PDFs.

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  1. August 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Interesting experiment. I’m of the firm opinion that if we could just get people like your Windows User subject to TRY an easy-to-use distro, they’d find that it meets most of their needs, and in a lot of ways is much better.

    I’d like to hear what your subject thinks of the lack of things like viruses, spyware, and COST.

  2. August 27, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I plan on doing a follow up where he takes on some of the harder tasks. One problem I see is that certain distro-hardware combinations will need work in the terminal to enable things like wireless, scaring off beginners with that hardware immediately. Luckily support for Linux keeps getting better.

  3. August 27, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Cool, I’m looking forward to reading about it.

    I’m not sure how it works in SimplyMepis, as I’ve never tried that distro, but I’ve found that as an Ubuntu newbie I could do almost everything I needed without ever having to fire up a terminal.

    Granted, I’m a tinkerer and a Slackware guy, so of course I DO fire up the terminal to do a lot of stuff — but it isn’t necessary, not even for things like wireless (at least not on the Toshiba laptop on which I have Ubuntu 9.04 installed).

    Hopefully your subject finds SimplyMepis to be point-and-click all the way. :)

  4. August 28, 2009 at 10:11 am

    SimplyMepis used to be a great distro and it looks like they’re back at it, after a period of some sub-par releases. I’ve read nothing but praise for the current 8.0.10 release, and will have to give it a shot. However, I cannot believe they’re still holding on to KDE 3.5; the next release is with KDE 4.3 I’ve read, but how far out is that?

  5. August 28, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Mepis 8.5 with KDE 4.3 is under development now. The 8.0.10 release was to give those of us who are KDE 3.5 die-hards a current LiveCD/install disk, with all the improvements since the initial 8.0 release.

    When is 8.5 going to be released? Not even developer Warren Woodford can say right now. Other than: “When it’s really ready for prime time.”

    Keep up to date with MEPIS Linux news & developments at:
    MEPIS.org — developer’s site
    MEPIScommunity.org — Mepis User community site
    MEPISlovers.org — Mepis help forums.

    BTW, nice experiment, Beginlinux! This is the way to go. If someone is not convinced, give them a Vista install disk (Where can you get one??) and see how well that works in comparison!

    thanks,
    SilverBear,
    MEPIScommunity.org website project director

  6. PB
    September 21, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    I tried the latest Mepis at home and was pleasantly surprise. I did have to find the proper method of booting so that I could get to the desktop. The VESA route was what I took. But I was very surprised to notice how this OS actually installed both of my printers with no configuration what-so-ever. I personally like KDE3. KDE4 needs some work, as it is a resource hog, and has become overly complicated for simple tasks, and there are too many ways to do the same thing. This just serves to bulk up the distro unnessarily IMO. KDE4 is a textbook case of new is not always better. Sure, I can figure it out in time, but time is something I don’t have. Network connection was established at boot which was also nice. However, and this is a big however, I took it to work to try it an old testing PC that I use quite frequently for testing linux. I needed to get on out network to access internet, and the network configuration tool was rather complicated and required a “broadcast” address. I’ve never had to use this before, and I tried several combinations. Eventually, Mepis said that a connection was established, but it’s not a good one because firefox just quits after only a few seconds. I thought I really found something here, but to have this much difficulty with network configuration is really disappointing. It’s ironic that printer configuration was as good as OS-X if not a touch better. This is something I’m always prepared to contend with no matter what distro I’ve tested. I never thought connecting to a network would be such a problem. I’m willing to say that it’s totally my fault, and I just don’t know what I’m doing, but I have experienced far simpler methods of getting on the network. I thought to myself, maybe I’ll just use it at home. But I have a hard time committing to that, when I know I can’t get it on a network manually if I wanted to.

  7. robinzrants
    November 15, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    I’ve just ordered a Mepis 8.0.10 CD and can’t wait to try it out. I’ve been really wanting to see what all the fuss is about with KDE, and I don’t mind that it’s not the latest edition. I need stability – and I’m just not getting that with Xubuntu.

    Not that I really have much to complain about with Xubuntu though. It’s pretty and full-featured and plenty fast even on my older ‘puter. But the only taste of KDE I’ve had was a brief fling Kubuntu but it was super-slow; and with PCLinuxOS, but it had all kindsa hardware issues. The Debian-based distros I’ve played around with (Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Mint, Crunchbang, U-Lite) had no hardware issues. Rock-stable is what I need, and KDE looks cool and simple. I’m so looking forward to my CD arriving!

  1. August 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

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