Trench’s adventures in Linux: Zorin OS 12 Core

Trench's adventures in Linux: Zorin OS 12 Core

As far as Linux distros go, I’ve been a fan of Zorin OS for years. I still have fond memories of using Zorin OS 5 Core for longer than I use most Linux distros. The problem was, that in my opinion, the quality of Zorin OS Core fell off in the following years. With Zorin OS Core 12, that fondness for Zorin has returned and then some.

The first benefit is that Zorin OS 12 Core is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS edition. In the past Zorin would release distros that were either a generation behind the current Ubuntu distro or would release one that was not based on the LTS (long-term supported) distro. So in this instance, Zorin finally nailed the timing in their current distro.

The second thing that really impressed me is that they finally abandoned the AWN Dock which has been long abandoned by its own developers. In its place is what they call Zorin Desktop 2.0. According to the release announcement

We have entirely reimagined the Zorin Desktop environment in Zorin OS 12. This new version of Zorin Desktop is powered by Gnome Shell and packs an enormous variety of new features.

While it’s not as customizable as something like the XFCE desktop, it still has enough options to keep it looking fresh. As a matter of fact Zorin has three different desktop settings. You can have a Gnome 2 type appearance, a Windows type appearance and a Unity type appearance. If you like Unity on Ubuntu I recommend using Zorin instead as the desktop isn’t as torturous as Ubuntu’s.

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Lastly, the last time I tried a Zorin OS Core installation, it appeared to me that it was a resource heavy distro. That has changed with OS 12 Core. Right now I have it installed on my Acer Cloudbook 14, which only has 2GB of RAM and a 1.60GHz Intel Celeron processor, and I have had no hiccups or any chugging. So if you’re looking to re-purpose and old laptop, Zorin may not be such a bad choice.

The only issue I had was that OS 12 Core cones with Chromium pre-installed as its default browser which gave me some issues. I removed that and installed regular Chrome and have had no problems since.

Zorin OS 12 Core is not only a great Linux distro for beginners and Windows users, but for intermediate Linux enthusiasts like myself.

Trench’s further adventures in Linux: Enchantment OS

enchanmentosdesktop

One of my favorite things, as a Linux fan, is to read the weekly issues of Distrowatch’s ‘Distrowatch Weekly’, and seeing what new Linux distros are being added to their database. In the August 29th issue, under the ‘Distributions added to waiting list’ section was a distro called Enchantment OS, and it was described as follows…

Enchantment OS is a Linux distribution which is based on Xubuntu LTS and designed with less technical users in mind.

Ok, so it’s billed as a beginner’s Linux distro, but it’s much more. First off, the Enchantment OS website is professional looking. Sometimes if a distro’s website is janky looking, I won’t download the distro. The only compalint I have about the website is that the distro is a straight download from Sourceforge. I’d have preferred a torrent download, but if a distro is a newer one it may not have the users to torrent. Enchantment OS also offers pre-installed USB sticks and DVDs for sale along with a paperback guide for the distro. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a distro that was so encouraging to new Linux users. I can’t offer a review on the book since I can’t afford the $30, but I’m not above taking a free review copy if Enchantment wants to send me one. (hint, hint)

After downloading the distro, I installed it onto my Acer Cloudbook 14 with its 2 GB of RAM and 32GB hard drive. I had no problems with installation as I had with some other distros like Zorin OS and Linux Lite. It’s a very nice and clean-looking distro with all the software you might need. and not a lot of unnecessary applications. After downloading all the programs I needed, that weren’t included with the distro, I still had 18 GB left on the hard drive, Compared to the 3GB I had left after the last Windows 10 update, 18 GB is plenty.

enchanmentoslogo

It boots fast, It has some great looking wallpaper choices that comes with it and, as one famous company once said. it just works. The one thing I didn’t care for was Enchantment’s Software Boutique, basically its app store. Instead of being able to search through it, you can only browse through it. However, Enchantment, in its Software Boutique, also offers you the option to download any other software manager like the Ubintu software store which I prefer. It also comes with Firefox Fast browser pre-installed, which is a really good privacy browser with the best ad and flash blocking extensions pre-installed.

If you were to sit a Windows user in front of a machine that had Enchantment OS installed on it, they should have no problem using the machine, but as with most Linux distros they’ll probably need their hands held for a few things. I would imagine that’s where the Enchantment OS book comes in.

As a regular user of Linux, I love Enchantment OS, and it is now currently my favorite distro. It comes with the XFCE desktop, and is based on the long-term supported Xubuntu 16.04, so you won’t have to do a fresh install every six months. In closing of my disjointed review, I give Enchantment OS the full Trench Reynolds’ seal of approval.

Trench’s Tech Tip: Updating Windows 10 on an Acer Cloudbook

Trench's Tech Tip: Updating Windows 10 on an Acer Cloudbook

Recently I purchased an Acer Aspire Cloudbook 14 since my regular laptop is probably not too long for this world. A great pickup if you need a cheap laptop to just browse and Facebook and stuff, or in my case writing. The problem with the Cloudbook is that it only has a 32 GB hard drive, hence the term Cloudbook since they want you to ‘live in the cloud’ as they say. However, living in the cloud doesn’t help when it comes to updating the operating system. So I’m going to share with you how I fixed a recent problem with that in order to save people some time who happen to have the same problem.

Windows 10 notified me that it was in need of an update but there wasn’t enough space on the hard drive to complete the update. However I could choose an external drive to download the temporary files to. I had a 32GB SD card inserted into the SD slot and the system recognized it but it wouldn’t let me choose the card. The trick is to format the card as NTFS instead of FAT32.

The first thing you want to do is back up anything on your SD card that you don’t want to lose. After that you click on My PC, then right-click on the SD Card and choose Format. One of the options will be for format type and you want to change that to NTFS. Once that’s done restart the update and the system will let you select the SD card as the external drive. Once the system is done updating you can delete the temporary files on the SD card.

Hopefully this will save someone from having to scroll through endless forum posts looking for the answer.