45 days of Linux and going strong…

Hardly any issue after I installed Manjaro Linux XFCE on my decade old laptop. You must certainly give it a try!

In fact it is only getting better by the day. No lag whatsoever in performance, the laptop has only gotten speedier. Another strange happening on Windows has completely disappeared. While shutting down Windows 10 if I were to disconnect the power cord from its socket (i.e remove AC power) and run the laptop on the battery, the laptop would take ages to shutdown and then it would boot-up again. I would then have to shut it down and this time it would shutdown but sometimes it would boot-up again and I would have to repeat the process of shutting it down. With the AC power on I never had the problem. With Manjaro Linux installed I can be on battery or AC power and the system shuts down in seconds.

If checking e-mail, browsing the net, using standard office related software such as word processor, spreadsheet, presentation are your primary tasks then I strongly recommend moving to Linux because not only can Linux tackle all these with utmost ease but also do much, much more.

The only issue I have had so far is a file search utility called Catfish going kaput but it was only for a few days. A subsequent system update fixed it. Other than that there wasn’t a single issue, incredible when you consider that not a single driver had to be separately installed for the laptop. This wasn’t the case with Windows. Actually I am still yet to tweak several features as I am already using it like I had been on Linux for ages. The concept of a perfectly working, free OS, is a joy you’ll have to experience.

Everyday I use the laptop to play audio. The built in Audacious player is sufficient for this. Double-click songs to play or drag and drop .mp3s into the playlist. Okular is fabulous for viewing .pdf files and making annotations, such as underlines, highlighting, writing notes, drawing straight lines or those with arrow-heads, creating and managing bookmarks and lots more.

Chromium is the closest you will get to Google Chrome on Linux but it is as good as Chrome. I installed Chromium with just two simple commands on the Terminal window.

However, the browser you need to try out is Brave, an entirely new ball-game. Imagine no popping ads while watching your favourite YouTube videos. By the way, Brave can be used on Windows too. The importing of your favourites and passwords from Chrome into Brave is a breeze. Brave sometimes keeps asking for your computer password when it opens but I read that there is a fix for this. Otherwise if you aren’t worried about it you can just type in your password and you are in.

Looks like I will need to tweak my Mousepad which has gone hyperactive after I installed Manjaro. Other than that the only tweaks I have done are enabling Firewall (a flick of a switch) and setting my desktop screen to randomly set a new image every 5 minutes. By the way the desktop can be completely customised, it’s left to your imagination actually. I do update Manjaro from time to time but mostly when I install new software.

As for software Manjaro Linux comes loaded with software Windows can hardly even come close and again all for “Free”. Their premium image editing software Gimp (Photoshop’s competitor on Linux and available for Windows too) comes built-in with the installation. Want more? No problem. Just search via the Add/Remove Software tool and you’ll be taken to a world of incredible software. Then there’s Blender the 3D animation and computer graphics software that Hollywood is using to make movies (several shots of Spiderman were done using Blender). Other than this I installed a small tool that tells me if my caps lock, num lock keys are “on” of “off”. It’s called kbdleds and can be hooked to the toolbar at the bottom of the desktop. I installed a screenshot program called Shutter recently but Manjaro comes with in-built with something called Screenshot for basic screenshot work. I also installed another tool called Gsmartcontrol and thanks to this amazing tool on another desktop system I assembled, I was able to find out what was wrong with one of my SSDs.

Do you use a password manager? On Windows I use KeePass Password Safe and KeePass works on Manjaro too.

About Windows, I can say only one thing, as in the Fleetwood Mac song, “…Been down one time, Been down a two times (actually several times), I’m never going back again. You don’t know what it means to win…I’m never going back again”.

As I mentioned in my earlier post on Manjaro Linux, I will be posting a detailed video or instructions on how to install the software soon. So keep watching this space. Meanwhile if you are planning to check Manjaro Linux, please do so. You are in for a pleasant surprise.

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An unguarded poorly maintained Windows PC or Laptop is just a disaster waiting to happen. You can however prevent such situations with good practices and recovery tools in case these disasters do happen.

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Subash Sarath Lakshmi

Subash Sarath Lakshmi

Software Programmer turned Technical Writer, Writer, Blogger, Trainer, spiritual seeker tyring to better my life and the lives of others via my writings.

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