This morning I downloaded the new Mepis 8.5 OS 64bit version, and installed on the Dell Inspiron 1501. I had the original 80GB SATA Hard Drive that came with this Dell, so I installed it on that drive to test it thoroughly. Over the years I tried a lot of different Linux distributions, but I always come back to Mepis, as it seems to be extremely reliable and stable.
After installing and configuring the wireless adaptor, I was quickly on the Internet and downloading a few patch files that were needed. For a long time, most Linux distros have quite frankly been a pain in the ass to configure a wireless connection to the Internet. Starting about 2 years ago, most of the popular distros have simplified the configuration process, so that now it is a no brainer.
I don’t seem to be having any screen issues with this version of Mepis, as some of the current distros, (Ubuntu and Fedora included), want to “freak out” on the ATI video chipset that is built into this notebook. Everything seems to work “right out of the box” which is comforting for novice users. Linux has always had an uphill battle competing with the two “for profit” operating systems, Microsoft and Apple. Linux doesn’t have millions to spend on marketing and lobbyists, or for convincing the public that it needs the latest and greatest bells and whistles. What it does have is large grass roots support from individuals, software developers, and smart corporations that don’t want to be tied to a particular vendor for their computer operating systems.
If you have an older computer, either a desktop or laptop, try downloading a Linux distribution and playing with it. Start at DistroWatch, do your research, go to the particular distro website, do the download, and try it out. Most distros have a “live CD or live USB key” option, that allow you to “try out” the distro before installing it.
A side benefit of running Linux as your operating system, is that it makes it impossible to infect your computer with Windows based viruses or malware. Have fun playing with your new Linux box and enjoy the freedom of open source software!
BTW, I wrote this post using the Dell laptop running Mepis.