In my last review of Linux Mint 10, I described my first 45 days using this Linux distribution, as well as one readers concern about trying either VMWare or VirtualBox. In that article Richard Krohn stated that:

“The only question I’m asking myself now is if it is worth the effort.  I probably need another Windows screw-up to motivate me.  It’s a lot of work.”

I agreed with Richard because I also knew it was going to be time-consuming. My assumption proved correct and I wanted to share my experience with you.  This past weekend, Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th, I set aside some time to work on this project.

I opted to choose  VirtualBox from Oracle, version 3.2.8 r64453, which is available for Linux Mint 10 through the Software Manager utility including in the distribution. I downloaded and installed VirtualBox without incident and had the virtual drive up and running in about 30 minutes.

I decided to use Windows XP and not Vista or Windows 7 for one simple reason. Windows XP uses the least amount of RAM and I was able to allocated 512MB exclusively to be used by Windows XP. In addition Windows XP is like an old friend from the past, with simple interface, and easy to use. plus the 3 Window based softwares I wished to use all work perfectly with Windows XP.

I was fortunate to have a slipstreamed version of Windows XP with SP2 that I used for the install, which is volume licensed, so I wouldn’t have to worry about registration issues. The Install took about 45 minutes. I also had to install the SP3 update for Windows XP, which required another 30 minutes, plus all additional updates from Microsoft. Next came the issue of updating drivers to match my newer hardware and also adding an anti-virus program. I also opted to upgrade Internet Explorer to version 8. This seemed to satisfy Windows XP and I was no longer nagged to update, upgrade, or install any additional software.

I would venture a conservative estimate that the entire process took me about 4 hours for both the installation of VirtualBox and Windows XP. Whew!

On Sunday during the Super Bowl game, I tackled the installing of the three pieces of software I needed.

The most problematic software installation was Dragon Naturally Speaking 10.  Dragon running natively in Windows 7 is slow. In a virtual environment it is even slower. It took me awhile to stop and wait for the words to be typed on the screen. I seriously doubt this is going to be a pleasurable experience, but I’ll give it a try just the same.

I am still playing with my other two software programs designed for Windows. They seem to be working OK, but I’ll report back any issues that I may stumble upon.

My overall experience with Linux Mint 10 continues to be positive.

Using Linux Mint 10 gives me a sense of security when surfing the Internet.

Comments welcome.

My first 45 day review of Linux Mint 10