mintCast 136: Linux an Apple Wannabe?


  • Munich Begins Shipping LibreOffice. (
  • Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal” takes flight with a bag full of Juju. (
  • Raspberry Pi display driver turns out to be crap. (
  • 1960s era computer restored to working order for 50th anniversary. (

The Main Topic:

Tip and Featured Website:

  • Execute specific commands at given times with “at”. (

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12 Replies to “mintCast 136: Linux an Apple Wannabe?”

  1. ioconnor

    I’m quite happy with Linux Mint XFCE and don’t feel the need for Apple or Windows. Actually to the contrary I find most things on the Apple, Windows, and android platforms twisted. Take for example how most of the music storage playback applications work. Most of the users on those platforms spend their time sharing tips on how to move their music from one medium to the next. I have no such problems with Linux. In fact handling music or podcasts is a non-issue.

    However there is Ubuntu. Those who want to spend their time relearning the basics each time the OS is updated have Ubuntu.

    I don’t need crowds doing the same thing to justify my decisions. In fact with marketing so effectively herding crowds against their best interests I’d be worried if Linux Mint were the crowd pleaser.

  2. cwwgateway

    The community website is based on what people put in their account profiles. People constantly forget to update their profiles, and their are some people who don’t use the community website. In addition, the main edition and x64 edition date back to when they were separate editions. Cinnamon and MATE were only added recently, after Mint 13 was released. There is also some problems when you run Xfce 64-bit on LMDE – you can only choose one or two of those three characteristics to report. The final problem is that if you run 2 different versions on two different machines or if you dual/triple/etc boot, you can only report one of those machines/installs. Basically, it isn’t too accurate.

    As for the main topic, I think that Linux can learn a lot from both Apple and Windows. People in the linux community are sometimes very hostile towards these, but they have merits depending on what you’re looking for. Even if linux is and always will be a hobbyist OS, it can take certain ideas from Windows and Macs. Like everything in the Linux community, everyone will be divided on if we should learn from OS X and Windows, and if we should, then what we should, but a discussion is important.

  3. Brian36 in Dorset UK

    Thanks Guys – Once again, quite thought-provoking. I’ve no problem with anyone making money out of their legitimate efforts whatever the OS. I just don’t want the trolls to take over! I’m not so sure that Windows is faultless as implied by T47 as it does not just work. It’s just that upgrades tend to mask what has to be done. I’m sure that Linux will remain more of a niche OS and I’m happy to see Ubuntu being used as a commercial model.
    On the subject of emails – I don’t expect a reply, but it is a way for you to have some form of feedback.

  4. Paul

    Interesting show. However, you omitted mention of Linux’s problems with DRM material. You cannot stream from most commercial sources (netflix, Amazon etc), sync ipod/ipad players, download ebooks and audiobooks from your library and so on. Until this is addressed people will have a need for Windows or Mac OS as well.

  5. merelyjim

    First, James: the Gray Aliens with the really big eyes tell me that you’re not paranoid, you’re looking in the wrong direction!

    There’s a never-ending race among most Linux people to get the latest and greatest distro, apps, and previews to the next Big Thing. The rest are using Debian (stable). I have one machine like this, because barring mechanical failure, it’s always going to work.

    New, unvetted stuff breaks things- that’s how we know it needs more work. a strength of Open Source is that you can report the problem; even e-mail the guy who wrote the code, and see if it can be addressed. How often do you see that from Microsoft?

    Apple has an advantage in that they control both the hardware and the software, and if you don’t like it, you’re exiled from the magic kingdom. If there was ever a model for Closed Source, it’s Apple.

    In the next year, my Dad, Brother, someone in my family is going to buy a Windows_Ocho machine, and they’re going to be stuck with the Windows Store Interface [not a joke, that’s what they’ve decided to call the previously named “metro interface”], and I’m going to have to help set it up.

    Unlike my family, I’m NOT locked into a user interface that I want nothing to do with. A while back Crunchbang Linux decided to roll the ISO with Openbox only. But drawing on the Debian repo’s I got my Xfce set-up anyway. This isn’t something that Apple or Microsoft would have allowed, because they don’t want the headache of supporting a herd of cats. I understood that I could have broken my machine by doing this (thus making the laptop go {Crunch} [Bang], but I also know how to re-install an OS if everything goes wrong.

    Linux isn’t just about choice, it’s also about risk and reward. I’m not always on the bleeding edge, but over the years, I picked up some game.

  6. John A

    LOL, qubodup.

    He was being kinda biased as he actually runs FreeGamer, which I should mention is a very popular blog amongst OSS game developers and gamers who appreciate Open Source. 🙂 I suggest you guys follow it too (RSS available, since it’s BlogSpot).
    Very good for getting started with game development, the OSS way (though AFAIK none of you guys are programmers/artists, though James sounds like one).

  7. gregzeng

    I can’t understand these simple communists who only value open source: Fedora, etc. Flash, Opera browser, Android, etc are not open source.

    In the ‘open society’, even private property is valued. Youtube has many non-open-source publications. Some ‘shareware’ (Winzip, winrar, etc) are effectively freeware.

    Please, can we loose our childish ‘open source’ virginity?

  8. BostonPeng

    Another great show, guys! Although I’m with the crowd that says while Linux could use Apple’s marketing skills and budget it may actually hurt the OS because there’s so many different kinds of Linux. If you think it’s confusing for folks now it would be even worse if the various distros started doing heavy marketing. I’d love to see Mint boxes available for purchase in stores and online to help people start using it, although very few people will want to buy a Linux machine without really knowing what Linux is and where it’s similar yet different to Windows and OSX. And I really hate the fact that Ubuntu is becoming what so many people think of as Linux because I think it does a great disservice to the Penguin.

    Oh how short memories can be. Ubuntu showed they aren’t a community-driven distro back in 2008-2009 when Ubuntu decided to move the “traffic lights” from the right hand side of the title bar, where they’d always been, to the left hand side like the MacOS does it. There was a great hue and cry from the user community, The Spaceman listened to all of it, and do you remember his reply? This is how we’re doing it. If you hate it that much feel free to use another distro.

    That was the beginning of the end of my days on Ubuntu since I had already had enough “edicts from on high” with Mozilla folding ad-dons into the base program to help the newbies rather than taking the time to educate them about the existence of add-ons. That created a cottage industry for remove-ons to get the old behavior back and it seems Mozilla made a point to make things tough for folks who liked how things were done before. (Now they’re making things even worse for add-on devs by doing so many “major upgrades” so often.) To be honest with y’all I almost didn’t even look at Linux Mint because of it’s Ubuntu base, but now I’m glad I went with the KDE version of Mint. I’m even happier with LMDE KDE and I look forward to it becoming an official release. And to hearing a review on the ‘Cast of it, of course.

    Welcome back! I hope your bosses don’t have a new project in the planning stages for you. If there is we may have to contact your wife and ask her to hide the luggage, etc. I bet she wants you home for a spell anyway and so do your penguin chicks (kids).

    I have to say it’s getting really annoying when you keep interrupting your co-hosts. I know it’s something that all three of you do but you seem to be trying to elevate it to an art form. Maybe I’m just old but that strikes me as being really rude and I’d hope for more from the mintCast. If it’s just me feel free to ignore this but I wanted to mention it since I was commenting on this week’s show anyway.

    I hope everyone had a fun Halloween and Half-Price Chocolate Day. I’m going to guess there’s a week or so of semi-downtime before you have to start getting things ready for Turkey Day, and we all know once the bird hits the oven there’s not much free time until after the new year is rung in. Enjoy the quest days while they last!

    • JamesC

      I listened to this episode and it seems to me as though everyone is “interrupting” each other equally as much. Maybe it’s that I’m the “youngster”, so I get picked on.

  9. t47

    Since my post was replied on the podcast I feel obligated to respond.
    1. The fact that you responded to comment I left on your webpage doesn’t mean you respond to email. Maybe my expectations are too high. Probably because I also listen to SFBRP podcast. It’s host replies to EVERY single email that he gets and he gets a lot.
    2. While our experiences may be different I personally have never had any problems with basics in Windows 7 (or XP). After installation it can always do the basic stuff for me. Linux is more time consuming to set up correctly. Back in the days when I was using ATI graphics (integrated on the motherboard) setting the drivers in linux was time- (and patience-) consuming. In Windows it was always just few clicks. And this is just one of many examples.
    Recent change in linux started by Ubuntu’s Unity and followed by Gnome 3 makes distro selection much more difficult. It’s as if everybody (well, maybe not everybody, but still the majority) went mad and started talking only about UI. When I read about some new distro release I see notes mainly about interface. It’s hard to get information on new features. Your distro reviews are also not very… detailed.
    As I said, I’ve been using Mint for some time. It’s quite difficult to remember what features were added in recent releases (were there any?). I remember only interface changes (Cinamon, MATE etc.). When I read about Solaris 11 the interface is not discussed at all. They tell me that they have ZFS that enables me to move back in time and review previous versions of my files. That’s a killer feature, not some new interface that makes you relearn everything again. What is the killer feature of linux? Is there any?

    3. I look forward to more informative content Scott was talking about.

    4. I liked your tip at the end.

    • Scott

      t47 – you raise some good points here, although I am not sure if I agree with all of them, particularly the graphics example.

      I think I related on a recent episode that I just replaced the graphics card in my main desktop. When I booted into Linux, it just worked. When I booted into Windows 7, it looked terrible until I spent 20 minutes loading the latest nVidia drivers. My point would be that most of the O/S choices out there have their fair share of issues. Like try finding decent drivers and applications for that Solaris 11 installation you mentioned.

      But your point regarding focus on UI rings true to me. I am still not onboard with the (now) 18 month old Unity/Gnome 3 revolution.

      Thanks for writing in and keeping us on our toes.

      – Scott

      • t47

        I wonder how much time it would take you in both systems if you had AMD graphics card. Do not forget that you usually get a CD with windows drivers (they may be old, but at least they work).

        I mentioned Solaris 11 not because it is easy to set up, but because it has some really good and solaris-only ‘killer’ features. Linux is often said to be easier to set up than Windows which in my opinion is not true (especially if you happen to have AMD/ATI graphics).

        I’ve also checked the ‘new features in linux mint 13’ page. This is a list:
        – MATE 1.2 (interface)
        – Cinnamon 1.4 (interface)
        – MDM (interface)
        – artwork improvements
        – yahoo as main search engine
        So actually it is not a list of new features but a list of interface changes. Interface IS NOT a feature.

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