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Vista User On SimplyMepis 8.0.10

August 26, 2009 8 comments

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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